Sunday, December 28, 2014

Organic Vanilla

We use vanilla in several of our recipes. Real, organic, nothing-added vanilla is pricey. I started making my own! Gave it as Christmas gifts to our kids! (Gregory and Maria...forgot to ship yours to you, so it is being used here.)

What you need:
 1 large bottle of organic vodka (Found mine at BevMo)
 12 organic vanilla beans (Ordered from iHerb)

What you do:
 Slice vanilla beans length-wise and open
 Pour a bit of vodka from bottle and add the 12 vanilla beans
 Place in pantry for one month, gently shaking bottle every now and then
 Enjoy in all recipes that call for vanilla!

Matcha Latcha

Ali and David live above this great little place in downtown Santa Barbara, Boochies. They make a great spiced Matcha tea latte there! We came up with our own matcha tea latte, and Ali and David call it Matcha Latcha. We have been drinking Matcha Latchas for our breakfast. The healthy fats are very satisfying and keep us going until lunch (or that's our story and we're sticking to it)!

What you need:
 1 Tbs. butter (hopefully cultured, from grass fed cows)
 2-3 Tbs. good quality coconut oil
 Splash of organic vanilla
 Sprinkle of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves
 Pinch of sea salt
 1 large pitted date
 1 tsp. organic Matcha tea

What you do:
 Combine all ingredients in large mug
 Add boiling water to almost top of mug
 Place in Vita-Mix and blend on high for about 20 seconds
 Pour back into mug

Our Healthy Christmas Dinner

Friends ask us if we miss "traditional" Christmas dishes at our Christmas dinner. My answer is NO! This dinner was satisfying, healthy and delicious! The menu included a pear/pomegranate/avocado/arugula salad, slow cooked brisket, garlic/cauliflower mash, bacon/Brussels sprouts and roasted acorn squash.

For the Crock Pot brisket (recipe from Martha Stewart):
What you need:
 1 large onion, thinly sliced
 2-4 garlic cloves, smashed
 3-4 lbs. beef brisket
 Sea salt and pepper
 1 1/2 to 2 cups chicken broth

What you do:
 Place onion and garlic in Crock Pot
 Season brisket with salt and pepper and place in Crock Pot
 Add broth
 Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours
 Remove brisket and slice against grain
 Serve with garlic cauliflower mash, the sliced onions and some of the liquid

For the bacon/Brussels sprouts (recipe from Nom Nom Paleo):
What you need:
 1 1/2 lbs. Brussels sprouts
 2-3 Tbs. melted ghee
 Sea salt and pepper
 4 slices bacon, diced
 Aged balsamic vinegar

What you do:
 Preheat oven to 400ยบ
 Rinse, remove outer leaves and slice the Brussels sprouts in half
 Toss Brussels sprouts in melted ghee, salt and pepper
 Place on parchment lined baking sheet, single layer
 Sprinkle with diced bacon
 Place in oven
 Toss every 10 to 15 minutes, until done at 30 to 35 minutes
 Drizzle with aged balsamic vinegar

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Garlic Caulifower Mash

This is a great alternative to mashed potatoes.

What you need:
 1 head of organic cauliflower
 4-8 garlic cloves, peeled
 1/2 cup bone broth or water
 Sea salt
 LOTS of butter

What you do:
 Clean and break apart cauliflower
 Place in pot with garlic and broth
 Cover and cook on medium/low heat until fork easily goes through cauliflower
 Place in Vita-Mix, reserving some of the liquid
 Add LOTS of butter (preferably organic, cultured butter from grass fed cows)
 Add salt and pepper
 Blend to desired consistency, adding some of the reserved liquid if needed

Friday, December 19, 2014

Cassi's Yummy Dressing

Yes, that is what we have always called this salad dressing since December, 2014! ;-) My sister, Lori, gave us this recipe many years ago. She just informed me that it was my niece, Cassi, who came up with this recipe. Thank you, sweet Cassi! Really, it makes any salad taste delicious!

What you need:
 1 egg yolk (hopefully from a pastured chicken)
 2 tsp. sea salt
 1/2 tsp. pepper
 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
 3 to 5 drops Stevia
 2 garlic cloves
 1/2 apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
 3/4 cup olive oil (NOT extra virgin)

What you do:
 Place all ingredients except the extra virgin and regular olive oil in Vita-Mix
 SLOWLY add the oil