Well butter my biscuit, er, GF Muffin

Recipes

Butter. Probably second in line behind my first love, bacon. And like with anything, I of course had to figure out how to make my own. Turns out, it isn’t that hard. Thinking back, I’ve made butter by accident, though then, I just thought that it was ruined whipped cream. I like to taste my butter, so I don’t cook with it often, I prefer to put it on top of veggies, steaks, etc. so that I can taste it with every bite. That said, when I make my butter, it’s a huge splurge. The Heavy Cream that I buy, while delicious, is not cheap, but it is oh so worth it. 
Following are the step by step instructions for making your own butter, but it really is essentially fool proof.
Here’s what you’ll need to make butter:
1 pint organic heavy cream

Stand Mixer 

Dish Towel (splash guard if you have one)

Salt (if desired, I use Himalayan Sea Salt)


Add the cream to the mixing bowl on your blender. You’ll want to use your splash guard if you have one here, if not, loosely wrap a dish towel around your stand mixer. 


Using the Wire Whip turn on and slowly increase the speed to high. After a minute or so, you can drop the towel as the initial splashing will be over and for a while it will just look like whipped cream in the bowl. 


But keep an eye on your whipped cream. Depending on the quality of your cream, it can take anywhere from 5-10 minutes for the butter to separate from the butter milk. 


When this starts to happen, shut off your mixer and switch over to the flat beater, as it will be more gentle on your butter. You’ll need your towel again here, turn on the mixer slowly up to high speed again until the butter is fully separated from the butter milk.


 At this point, you want to drain off the butter milk. I also squeeze out any butter milk that is still inside the butter as well. This can be done in small batches in your bare hands or if you prefer, you can place your butter in some cheese cloth and squeeze out that way. Once the butter is squeezed out, I put it back in the stand mixer and add 1tsp +/- salt, depending on taste. That’s it. I store mine in a small ramekin at room temperature. Enjoy!


Pictured below, my homemade butter vs store bought. I know which one I’d prefer!

Blue Fish with Caramel Sauce

Recipes

I tend to order fish when I eat out way more often than when I cook at home. Not because I can’t cook it, more because I always cook it the same way, and it always seems to be served with a delicious sauce that I never dare try to replicate at home. Well, today I get a wild hair and decided I wanted fish for dinner and went to Whole Foods to see what they had. I was so excited to see Blue Fish because it is one of my favorites and I’ve been dreaming about the last time I had it with a Vietnamese Caramel Sauce that was to die for. I decided that tonight was the night that I was going to try to replicate it but more carb friendly and soy free. Of course, all I bought at the store was the fish, so I had to come up with the sauce with what I had on hand at home. 

Below is the recipe that I came up with. It’s not exact, but I think that it replicates the favors quite well, and it tastes good, and that’s what really matters the most. 

  
Blue Fish with Caramel Sauce

  • 2 – 4oz Blue Fish filets
  • 1T lemon juice
  • 2T coconut aminos
  • 20g coconut sugar
  • 1T fish sauce
  • 1/2tsp fresh grated ginger
  • 1T extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Cilantro (if desired)
  • Green onion (if desired)

Coat the fish with evoo and salt and pepper liberally. In small sauce pan combine sugar, fish sauce, coconut aminos, ginger, and lemon. Heat to boiling and reduce heat. Simmer until sauce coats the back of your spoon. 

In a screaming hot cast iron pan, cook fish skin side down for 3 minutes. Turn and cook 2-3 minutes until cooked through. 

Top with sauce and cilantro and green onions if desired. Enjoy!

  

Spring Fever

Every Day

Is that anything like Cat Scratch Fever? I sure hope not, because that sounds less than pleasant!

Actually, I do believe that Spring Fever is a real thing. I’m not a cold weather person, and every year in February I start to crave the warmth. I look out the window on those sunny winter days wishing and dreaming that it were 80 degrees outside instead of 20. March comes and is always a tease. You get a few days here and there of nice weather, but then that damn lion that came in with the beginning of the month rears its ugly head. And this year, the lion hung around well in to April when we got a rare April snow. That was not fun.

That said, I feel like it is finally safe to say that Spring is here. And with that always seems to come my renewed motivation. My exercise of choice is walking outside and it just doesn’t happen when it gets dark at 4pm and is only 32 degrees during the day time. But with Spring time and warmer and longer days, I have fewer excuses and finally get back out there and start moving. We also have a puppy this year who needs to be worn down on the daily, so that gets me moving as well.

There is nothing better than walking out my front door on a Spring evening with the puppy by my side, kids playing in the neighborhood, neighbors cutting the grass or grilling and birds singing. There is something about that combination of sights and sounds that feels like Spring. That feels like the long winter is finally gone, there is new life and new hope and I’m once again seeing the possibility of a new me. I tell myself, this is the year that I will get healthy, this is the year that I will take control of my life and my body and my spirit, tonight I will walk and tomorrow I will continue on the path to a smaller pants size.

I like myself in the Spring. I’m a dreamer. An idealist. I’m motivated. I love myself. That’s the problem you see. Everything is connected. When the weather starts to cool down in the fall, it goes from me enjoying those crisp evening walks to me snuggling up on the couch watching tv with my honey. I become less motivated to eat well and more motivated to make and indulge in comfort foods. One things leads to another and next thing I know I’m craving Spring to get back on my feet, to get motived and to again, get healthy, and take control of my life and my body and my spirit. It’s cyclical, and for me, that isn’t necessary a good thing. I always tell myself, this will be the year that I don’t let Winter get this best of me. This will be the year that I maintain my healthy habits through the cold months and maybe even spend some time on that dreaded treadmill. Maybe this will be the year, but maybe it won’t. But one thing is for sure, I’m going to march forward into this Spring with the same ideals and dreams that I do every year. I will worry about the hear and now and just hope upon hope that this is the year that I finally find a way to love myself enough to continue through the cold months and hopefully next Spring won’t start with a fever, but instead will be a continuation of the steps that I am taking for myself today.

Pickled…….eggs?

Recipes

Being from the suburbs of Philly means that I also grew up close to Lancaster County and thus there was a Pennsylvania Dutch influence in a lot of the foods that we ate growing up. One of my favorites as a child and still today is Pickled Beet Eggs. As a kid, I really only ever wanted the eggs with the sweet and sour flavor, but as an adult I’ve learned to love the beets and the onions as well. Sure, I end up staining everything in my kitchen a vibrant hue of red when I’m making them, including my hands, but the end result is so worth it. Over time, I’ve learned to appreciate the natural sweetness of the beets and no longer use sugar in my brining liquid, I just don’t think that it is needed. Instead I use a combination of vinegars that bring out the natural flavor of the beets and naturally enhance the recipe. This is a favorite in our house and I hope that it becomes on in yours as well.

Pickled Beet Eggs

1 dozen hard boiled eggs, peeled

3 large beets peeled and cut into 1in pieces

4 cups water

1T + 1/2T Himalayan sea salt

1t black pepper

1/4 C apple cider vinegar

1/4 C balsamic vinegar

1 medium onion sliced

Bring the beets to a boil in 4 cups of water and 1T of salt. Boil for approximately 15-20 minutes until fork tender. While the beets are boiling, place your onion on the bottom of your non-reactive container and then place the eggs on top. Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. When the beets are ready, place them directly into the container with the eggs and onions. Keeping the beet water on the burner, add the vinegar and stir to combine. Add the brining mixture to your container. Cover tightly and refrigerate 48 hours. Enjoy!


M.P.

Frozen Bulletproof Coffee

Recipes

Like many of you, I love my morning coffee. And my afternoon coffee. And my evening coffee. Before starting this journey I would take my coffee light and sweet. The lighter and sweeter the better. At some point I went from loving my morning cup of coffee to loving my morning cup of sugar and cream with a splash of coffee it seemed.

When I was first introduced to the idea of the Whole 30 from Melissa and Dallas Hartwig, I thought that there was no way that I’d be able give up my morning cup, or at least I’d never be able to give up my sweetener and cream, but when I committed to my first Whole 30, I did it to the best of my availability, including kissing my creamy sweetened morning concoction goodbye. I shocked myself and in 30 short days I learned to drink my coffee black or with a splash of compliant Coconut Milk.

After my first Whole 30 I did introduce dairy back in to my diet but was very cognizant as to where it was coming from, and for myself, I was only drinking locally sourced Raw Milk and by this time I had transitioned into a Paleo Diet. I did well for some time, but slowly I fell back in to the SAD. My health started to suffer; I had emergency Gallbladder Surgery and was later diagnosed with Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease. 

I knew that I never felt better than when I was following a Paleo diet, and so decided to head back down that road again. One day while reading a Blog I was introduced to the idea of Bulletproof Coffee. I gave it a try and quickly realized that it totally lived up to the hype. But with Spring right around the corner, I’d be making the switch to Iced Coffee and so I decided to play with the idea of my own bulletproof coffee, but cold. A little bit of experimenting and this is what I came up with.

Frozen Bulletproof Coffee

Makes 1 serving

  • 8oz brewed coffee
  • 1T Kerrygold Unsalted butter melted(or any butter from grass fed cows)
  • 1tsp extra virgin coconut oil melted
  • 6-8 frozen coffee cubes
  • 1tsp vanilla extract

This is a super easy drink to repair, but does require some prep. Start with a good quality organic coffee. I prefer this pre-ground organic coffee from BJ’s. I prefer the smaller ground coffee as I feel it makes a better cup of coffee.


Brew in your French Press, mine is Bonjour from Williams Sonoma. And let cool, I refrigerate mine overnight so the coffee gets really strong.


I almost always have frozen coffee cubes on hand, just pour leftover coffee into an ice cube tray and freeze.


When your ready to make your beverage, combine all ingredients in your blender and blend for 1-2 minutes until thick and frothy.


Pour in to your favorite cup and enjoy!


I hope you enjoy your Frozen Bulletproof Coffee, make sure you comment and tell me what you think. MP

Whole 30 Drop Out

Uncategorized

It’s been interesting around here at the Podtastic household since the last time that I posted. After successfully following a Paleo/Primal lifestyle for several months, a fell back in to my old ways of eating. My Depression and Anxiety went up a notch and I had to up my medicine. In November 2012 I had to have emergency Gallbladder Surgery and found out that my Liver enzymes are elevated. In December 2015 I was involved in a motor vehicle accident and I totaled my car. In February 2016 I was diagnosed with Fatty Liver Disease. After all of that, I decided that I needed to start focusing on me again and decided to attempt my third Whole 30.

Things went great the first week, even the second week, but then on Day 10 I caved and weighed myself. On Day 12 I had a cocktail. On Day 15 I had some Diet Iced Tea. And finally, today, Day 19 I had an Iced Coffee from McDonald’s. I think that it is time to come to terms with the fact that this Whole 30 just got downgraded to a Whole 19.

It’s okay though. I’m not upset, I’m not disappointed in myself. I’ve done a lot of good things over the last 19 days. I’ve managed to make healthy food choices. I’ve given up Gluten again. I look better. I’ve dropped a few pounds. And most importantly, I feel better. Isn’t that what we all want? To feel better? I feel better when my pants get loose. I feel better when I don’t consume large quantities of dairy. I feel that my skin looks better when I’m not eating gluten.

So, maybe I failed at my latest Whole 30 attempt, but in the process, I’ve found myself again, and I’ve found the way of eating that works best for me and makes me feel my best. That’s good enough for me.

M.P.

#whole30 #paleo #primal #glutenfree #LCHF

Ginger Basil Pop

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Soda has been one of the hardest things for me to give up while transitioning to Paleo/Primal. Diet soda to be exact. There’s just something about that bubbly sweetness that I just can’t seem to give up. I’m better, in that I don’t drink a 2 liter a day anymore, but I do sometimes allow my self a diet soda (or 2 or 3) when we go out to dinner. I always told myself “it’s diet soda, it’s no big deal” but really, it is. There is nothing good in that list of ingredients, and yet you can’t pry it out of my cold dead hands. 

I’ve been drinking it less and less as my diet has moved to natural, whole, organic foods, but it’s still always there. But then one day, I had an idea. There has been a soda maker sitting in our hall closet for two years collecting dust. I decided to give making my own soda a try. This is the first recipe that I came up with, and now it’s a staple. It’s not calorie free, but has just enough sweetness and fizziness to get me over my cravings. 

Ginger Basil Pop

1 liter water plus 2 cups
1/4 cup sliced ginger root
1/4 cup fresh basil
1/4 cup organic coconut sugar (more if you prefer sweeter)

Add 2 cups of water, the basil, and ginger to a small sauce pan and bring to a boil. 

 
Once it boils, reduce the heat to low and reduce until 1/2 cup of water remains. Strain through a cheese clothe and then put back in the saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the sugar and stir until sugar is melted. Continue cooking and reduce until approximately 1/4 cup of syrup remains, it should coat your spoon. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. 

  
While your syrup cools, prepare your carbonated water per the instructions on your soda maker. Slowly add your cooled syrup to your carbonated water until combined. Refrigerate for 12 hours or overnight, and enjoy!

  
(I like just a touch of sweetness but you can easily double the sugar in this recipe)

Did you try this recipe? Comment below and tell me what you think!

Loving myself

Every Day, Recipes

Today I ran topless.

It’s not really as risque as it sounds. I did what millions of other woman do every day, I ran in a sports bra.

This was a big deal for me. You see, I’m not a little girl. Quite the opposite actually. According to all the charts and standards assigned to women today, I am overweight, borderline obese.

I’ve spent the majority of my adult life hating my body. I’ve looked in the mirror and wrinkled my nose wondering who this woman was before me, because she looked kind of like that young, firm 18 year old that I use to be, but so many things were different now. Many times I looked at myself and grabbed the fat here, tucked the skin back there, and even years ago after losing 106lbs, I was never happy with what I saw. 

After having lost all that weight in the past, I spent a few years putting it back on. I felt even more disgusted with myself and hated my reflection even more. I avoided mirrors, I squeezed into too small clothes and I convinced myself that it wasn’t that bad. But it was. But not for the reasons that I thought. It was bad because I was refusing to accept myself for who I was and the person that I had become. 

I wasn’t just an overweight woman in the mirror. I was a Mom, a wife, a friend, a sister, a coworker, I was someone. I was someone that people liked and loved and admired even when I didn’t like myself. And didn’t I owe it to those people to finally after 40 years to learn to love myself?

I started slow. Afterall, it was going to take some time to learn to love myself after having such mixed feelings for 40 years. I knew that a lot of the way that I felt about myself was tied in to how I looked, so I decided that I needed to lose weight. And so I did. I lost 30lbs rather quickly. After a few failures in the past, I started following a Paleo diet and this time it was making sense. At first, I just focused on cutting the grains and dairy and packaged foods out of my diet. Then I started splurging on Organic foods. I always said that I could do Paleo without splurging on the Organic foods, but I was wrong. Eating them was not only helping me lose weight, but I felt better, and indeed I looked better. My skin was clearer, my waist was smaller, but I still wasn’t loving myself, but I certainly did dislike myself less.

Over several months I really started focusing on me. Putting me first. I had spent so much time being a mother, a wife, a friend, a coworker, that I forgotten how to just be me. I’d go for long walks with nothing but my thoughts, focusing on myself, how I looked, how I felt, how I was putting myself out there to the world. And then it happened.

I went out for a run wearing a cotton tank like I often do. It was late morning and the weather was still mild. I had my 16oz water bottle with me that should have been more than adequate to drink and splash myself a few times to cool off. While I was in the woods it was pleasant, comfortable even. The first 3 miles of my run were cake. Then I came out of the woods into the bright sun. I got hot. I got hotter. I reached down and grabbed my shirt to wipe the sweat from my eyes. I keep going, my shirt getting heavier from the sweat. I tried tucking my shirt up in my bra to keep my stomach and back uncovered. The breeze felt amazing, but the shirt just would not stay tucked. Finally, with about ¾ mile until I got my car, I made a decision. I didn’t know it at the time, but the decision that I was about to make, was going to change me. I took off my shirt.

It was amazing. It was exhilarating. For the first time in my life, I didn’t care what I looked like. I was hot, and I was going to do whatever it took to cool off. I was not only putting myself first, but I was putting my fear of what other people thought of me to the side. It was amazing. I had never felt so free. And then I realized, it wasn’t the criticism of others that I had always feared, it was the self-criticism that I was sure to endure from myself. But that didn’t happen. I felt something different. I felt proud. For the first time in a long time, I felt pride, and it was wonderful.