As winter settles in, I’m trying to remain focused on the few cold-weather activities I actually enjoy– namely, roasting things, making hot drinks, and baking cookies. (Don’t even try to get me excited about skiing, snowboarding, or sledding. I’ll just meet up with you in the lodge for some hot chocolate when you’re done freezing your nose and toes on the frigid slopes.)
There is one other winter activity I enjoy, though, and that is going on Caribbean vacations. I don’t have the money for a trip anywhere warm this year, but Ben and I had an amazing time in Jamaica year before last. Today we relived some of those good times by eating this paleo roasted jerk chicken with carrots and potatoes. It’s no trip to the islands, but it does taste really good.
This caffeine-free ginger thyme tea is easy to make at home
and perfect for when you’re feeling under the weather.
This bacon and sweet potato chili is my go-to paleo dinner. The recipe makes a large batch, and it freezes well!
It’s Whole30 time! In addition to eating right all month, I’ve committed to posting everyday as part of Blogher’s January NaBloPoMo. The theme is pressure, which seems fitting–I’m putting a lot of pressure on myself to eat clean food and blog about it every single day for a month! I probably won’t be able to share 31 new recipes, but instead will sometimes blog about how I’m feeling and what resources I’m using. I’ll be sharing lots of simple recipes, which will hopefully inspire you to get in the kitchen and whip up something healthy even if you aren’t committing to a whole Whole30.
These brownies are SO good! Rich and fudgy in the middle and irresistibly crunchy around the edges–I can’t stop thinking about them. Their flavor is enhanced by a dose of a cinnamon and a hint of cayenne pepper, but you can totally leave those out if you want a more classic brownie.
I made a big pan of these (doubled the below recipe) for the first meeting of my school’s Spanish Club, and they were a huge hit! The meeting was at ten am, but nobody complained about being served brownies for breakfast. I made them again day before yesterday in these Christmas molds, and I was going to give them as gifts . . . but we ate them all. Restraint is futile when faced with Mexican brownies, especially if they are shaped like Christmas trees.
These brownies don’t taste gluten-free to me at all! The original recipe called for a relatively small amount of flour, so I knew it would be a great candidate for using my paleo flour blend. If you don’t have the flour blend on hand, I’ve also provided measurements for each individual type of flour. The ratio is slightly different from that of the flour blend for ease of measurement, but I have made the brownies both ways and did not notice a difference in taste or texture.
If you’re looking for a last-minute edible gift, why not whip up a batch of these Mexican brownies? Just make sure to give them away quickly before you break down and eat them all. Or, go ahead and make them for yourself for breakfast! ¡Feliz navidad a todos!
You heard it here: cranberry is the new pumpkin! I am pretty much ready to put these little red super-berries in everything I make from now until Christmas. I love the depth the tart flavor of cranberries adds to desserts, and they’re great in savory dishes, too.
This recipe is so easy–just two ingredients, and you end up with two delicious and giftable condiments. The cranberry maple syrup would be great on pancakes, but I’m also thinking about incorporating it into a festive cocktail. I’ve already used it as the base for another dessert (involving chocolate) that would make a great gift, so stay tuned! If you want to be really prepared, make a batch of this now and just stash it in your fridge. I promise you won’t be sorry you did!
The cranberry compote is also delicious, and less sweet than the syrup for those of you who don’t want to get a toothache. I used some to make a parfait with yogurt and pecans this morning, and it was amazing. (Holiday parfait–it’s a thing! A delicious thing that rhymes!) You could also spread the compote on toast or even serve it with pork chops.
I had so much fun watching and listening to the cranberries pop while I was making this recipe. It’s more subtle than popcorn, but still great. I tried to make a video of it to post on Instagram, but it turns out I don’t know how to do that. Anyway, it made me think of the song “Get It Poppin’” (warning: explicit lyrics) from ten years ago–it’s a completely ridiculous Fat Joe song where he asks the ladies what they’re gon’ do, and they say “I’ma get-get-get it poppin!” over and over again. So, yes … that song has been stuck in my head since I made this. Still totally worth it, though!
Ever since my first graders voted last year to name our class the cheetahs, I’ve been keeping up with conservation efforts to save the marvelous cats. You can help cheetahs by sponsoring a livestock guarding dog in the name of someone on your list. The Cheetah Conservation Fund‘s unique project raises and trains Anatolian shepherds to protect local farmers’ herds, thus reducing the number of cheetahs that are killed by farmers to save their livestock. Donations start at $10, and you can download a personalized sponsorship certificate and a picture of one of the dogs.