Oat So Simple

Sheesh, another day another reaction! This time it seems I’m allergic to my husband! Well ok, not quite, but he is the cause of a flare up,of itchy, red eyes and major snotage! Nice! He had to climb in the back of his trailer today and got covered in oat dust. So here I am in October with, basically, hayfever! Yay!

In other news…. today has been super productive on the ice cream making front, and I’m actually looking forward to another weekend of creating flavours and yummy things for the ebook. 

I am ever so pleased with this jazzy little driftwood chalkboard shelf I whipped up from some things I had lying around the house.

I have been over come with creative urges today, so much so that DD2 had to reign me in from creating a full blown ice cream parlour in the hallway, complete with seaview and sand. Hmm, just as well I have people to temper my giddiness at times I guess. It is my dream to own a little beach side ice cream shack, so perhaps I’ll just have to direct my creativeness into making that dream a reality. First things first though, the book needs finishing first.

Oh, if you fancy joinng in over on our facebook page, I’ve been asking what your favourite icecream flavour is, and giving you the chance to receive a free copy of the book when it comes out. Hop on over and join in, and feel free to invite any friends who might be interested! You can find us at facebook.com/creativelypaleo

In yet more exciting news…. I’m going to be a Desire Map Book Club Leader in January! If you don’t know about the desiremap have a wander on over to Danielle’s website and be prepared to be enthralled! 

TTFN

October Already!

Seriously, how has the year gone by so quickly? I know they say time speeds up as you get older, but at this rate I’ll be 93 in less than 24 hours!

October is one of my favourite months, but then I am a Scorpio, so what else would you expect? Halloween/Samhain is the best festival of all time in my opinion, hands down beats Christmas and New Year. I really need to be kept away from the decorations sections in the supermarkets because I tend to go a little mad.

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Of course the other great thing about this time of year is the marvellous varieties of squash available. We love pumpkin, and I shall be stocking up and cooking and freezing as many of the big carvers as I can. There does seem to be an increasing selection  of other squashes in the supermarkets here now too, especially if you look in some of the higher end shops like Booths or Waitrose.

Last year I ordered a big box of spaghetti squash direct from a fenland farmer, something I must sort out doing again very soon – the squashes have such a lovely long shelf life that stocking up makes a lot of sense.

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What is your favourite squash recipe? I shall be having a go at a paleoified pumpkin pie again this year, but I want to try something a bit more adventurous too. Having said that, it will probably end up being a pumpkin inspired ice cream, as I plough on with getting my paleo ice cream ebook ready for sale towards the end of the month!

Just to give you fair warning, I’ve set myself a challenge this month – a blog post a day. Gulp. Let’s see if I do better with that than I did with Whole30!

TTFN

 

A Gingerbread Family

This week has been another hectic one in the Creatively Paleo family. I’m not entirely sure where the time is going to, but it seems almost incomprehensible that we are already in September!

Of course we don’t have the back to school rush that most families have, and for that I am eternally grateful! The idea of shopping for school shoes gives me the shudders! You may have seen the post about Primal Education a couple of weeks ago, well that is part of a lovely Not Back To School Carnival over at LiveOtherwise. Grab a brew and take some time meandering through all the posts, there are some really lovely stories included, and they might give you some interesting food for thought ūüôā

I’ve been working hard on a couple of projects, the first of which I have just launched and am really quite pleased with. It was a proper family collaboration with the children all contributing ideas as well as helping with various technical aspects that my brain had a temporary block with! It’s a free guide to primalizing your family – it takes a gentle and respectful approach, because, in my opinion at least, there is no space for anything else when it comes to such a huge and important change in a child’s diet.

For the guide we’ve been testing out a paleoified gingerbread recipe, and after much tweaking we are really pleased with the result, and have included it as a cute little printable in the guide. We really hope you like it and have fun baking with your children!

Here’s a little graphic that I whipped up in the A Beautiful Mess app (I do so love that app!). If you click on it it will take you to the download cart thingy majiggy!

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We’ve been back to meal planning again this last couple of weeks, which definitely makes life much easier. There should ¬†be some new recipes coming up on the site this week too, including a one pot chilli which was a real life saver in the campervan, and a tasty pork recipe with a Polynesian influence!

That’s it for now – don’t forget it’s #PaleoHour between 8 and 9 pm GMT tonight on twitter!

TTFN

 

Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush…

I’m sure pretty much all of you dear readers will now be singing away, reminiscing about childhood nursery rhymes, but how many of you have ever seen a mulberry bush, let alone eaten a mulberry?

When my teenagers were little they had a mulberry bush game from Orchard Toys, sadly it doesn’t seem to be available now, but it was a firm favourite back in the day. We sang the song and stomped our teddies round the little bush as we collected cards that went with the actions we had to perform.

As a child I remember singing the song and doing the actions in the playground at school, having been taught the song by my mother who remembered playing the same game herself. Mulberry bushes have therefore been part of the childhood of at least 3 generations of my family, but we had never seen one, nor eaten its fruits.

I’ve seen the ugly looking little berries in their dried form on various online shopping trips, but they never really appealed, mostly because of how they look, but also because I imagined they would be crispy and generally sensorily repugnant, as well as rather pricey!

When Detox Your World offered me the opportunity to receive some ingredients for review, I jumped at the chance to try out some of the products that I’ve looked at, but never been brave enough to buy. Top of the list was a packet of mulberries.

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I really didn’t want to try them when they arrived as they just looked so unpleasant. After several days (seriously, this is how unadventurous I can be with new foods!) I decided that I had better bite the bullet …. well it turned out that they weren’t remotely bullet like, instead they were rather soft, with a slight resistance, if that makes sense, and had a really sweet taste – incredibly moreish in fact! My children, when they could get past the look of the berries, thought that they were rather like raisins; my son’s descriptive powers went a bit further and said that they were almost toffee like, and that he would choose them over toffees if they were available in a shop! High praise indeed from The Boy with a ridiculously sweet tooth!

Mulberries were definitely a winner in this family then. However… one of the other exotic delights I chose to try out was Durian Fruit. Now it does suggest on the website that this is something that you will either love or hate, with some people suggesting it tastes of garlic and onion, but I was tempted by the promise of vanilla, banana, caramel and custard flavours.

I tried it out, in a VERY small amount, in my first trial of our passionate chia seed pudding. I was dubious as soon as I opened the packet in all honesty. The smell was odd, vaguely unpleasant but I could definitely detect some potential for creamy vanilla-ness, so I ploughed ahead and dropped 5 little pieces into the pudding to soak overnight, imagining that this would bring out the best of this curious little fruit.

Oh how wrong I was! The smell intensified almost immediately the fruit came into contact with the liquid, it was so repugnant that I imagined that come morning, going downstairs would result in the family all making a quick dash for bowls and toilets! No wonder that Singapore’s Mass Rapid Transport System carries signs like this!

Photo credit – wikipediaImage

As it happened the smell didn’t get any worse over night, and we all bravely tried a spoonful of the durian chia pudding; I should have videoed the facial reactions really, I think they would have become a youtube success! Disgust and horror would be the words that best described what my family thought of this delicacy – some may call us philistines, I would say that we have highly developed tastebuds, and that any fruit that is encased in such heavy duty armour as the durian, was obviously never meant to be eaten by any sensible human being!

Durian is reputed to be highly prized for its aphrodisiac qualities, and its high tryptophan content (the chemical that makes us happy)…. If any readers would like to try it for themselves I’d love to know what they think, and would be more than happy to send them the remains of our packet! Drop me a comment in the box below and we can consider this a competition of sorts!

In summary then: Mulberries we would definitely go round and round the bush for, durian  would see us heading for the hills at speed.

Huge thanks to Detox Your World for giving us the opportunity to try these items, it was lots of fun, and we will definitely be back for everything, except the durian!

Hello Poor Neglected Blog!

I had such plans and hopes for blogging over the last week or two, but life has been chaotic and I’ve just not found the headspace to sit and waffle away here.

I’ve been cooking like crazy, testing out lots of great recipe ideas, some of which have worked, others… well I hear a big fail klaxon in my head!

We had a really lovely Indian takeaway yesterday, except it was direct from my kitchen not a local curry house.

Not bad huh? I’m getting the recipes for everything up and so far we have the samosas, pilau “rice”¬†and Bombay¬†potatoes. The rest will follow in the next couple of days, so you should have them all in time for your very own Saturday Night takeaway, if the mood strikes you!

In other news I was very pleased to take delivery of an actifry¬†this week! I’m blown away by it so far, and it is going to be very useful for a top secret project I’m currently working on. More on that in due course, but it’s something I’m very excited about. I fried the samosas in the actify instead of baking them, and they worked really well, came out nice and crispy and cooked in next to no time. I’m going to try chicken nuggets in it later on, fingers crossed they turn out well, though I can’t honestly see any reason why they wouldn’t.

Today’s excitement was a delivery from Devon Rose, lots of lovely nitrate free bacon and lard, along with an assortment of other delights, including liver and kidneys! I haven’t cooked with kidneys yet so I’m looking forward to that, with some trepidation. Tomorrow I’m hoping to recreate a childhood favourite, Leberwurst. I really hope it tastes as good as I remember from my days in Germany, fingers crossed.

Oh, I almost forgot! I have a code to share with you for a 10% discount off your first order with Devon Rose, you just need to type in TW10RTD at the checkout. They offer a really fantastic service, Richard phoned me to discuss my order and was extremely friendly and helpful.

We went to watch some amazing fireworks the other weekend, take a look at this little video, I think you’ll be as blown away as we were (not literally, thankfully)

i’m sure I’ve missed out some incredibly exciting happens of the last week or two, but I’m buggered if I can remember what! I’m off to join in with paleo hour¬†in a wee while, come along and join in if you’re about between 8pm and 9pm GMT on a Tuesday, it’s a great little community that is rapidly growing. Uk based, but all welcome.

TTFN

Kitchen Cock Ups

Creating paleo cakes is quite an art form. Whilst cooking with gluten free flours isn’t always a doddle, it is infinitely easier than the paleo friendly flours, particularly when you are limited even further by allergies to nuts and bananas, which most sweet paleo dishes seem to use. 

When I come up with a new recipe, which involves baking, sometimes I get it right straight away – I consider these times flukes! Mostly there are days of cock ups and washing up mountains that would surely rival Everest*.

*This may or may not be an exaggeration. 

sometimes though it’s possible to use a little creativity and turn the cockups into a glorious success! Today was one of those days, but more of that later.

 Take my luscious lemon bundt cakes as an example. Here’s how they ended up looking 

 

Pretty good huh? I know it makes me one to bite into one and slowly lick that lemony centre out!You can make your own, the recipe is here. But they didn’t start out like that, oh no, see for yourself… 

 

 

I had two totally failed batches and a further 4 tweaked attempts before coming up with the perfect result. Thankfully my children don’t mind the failures, most of the time at least, so there isn’t too much waste, but the financial implications can be quite high given the price of many paleo friendly ingredients. 

Yesterday I decided that I wanted to create a coconut cake. I wanted to see if it would be possible to create one that was created completely from coconut. A tall order as coconut flour is, quite frankly, a complete bitch of a flour to work with! Fair play to me for giving it a go, I was even vaguely hopeful that it might work at one point.

Of course it would have stood more than a fighting chance if it had been cooking in an oven and not…. under the grill! Duh! I’m still getting used to the new to me oven. My question to Neff is this: who in their right minds thought an oven come grill was a good idea?! Someone who doesn’t cook I would wager!

My teens thought it was hilarious, and I’m not entirely sure when the leg pulling will stop. Perhaps as their birthday approaches? We shall see.

Fairly obviously it didn’t work and I was left with a soggy mass of crumbs. I was not a happy bunny I can tell you, and then the internet died. Could the day get any worse? I decided to go to bed just  to be on the safe side.

 

This morning I awoke with a genius idea – don’t you love how a good night’s sleep can do that? Truffles! Way back in the depths of time when school cookery lessons were called home economics, and dinosaurs still roamed the earth, I had been taught to make rum truffles from…. cake crumbs! Yay! Thank you crappy all girls boarding school, you finally taught me something useful! 

I set to work: remembering to turn on the oven not the grill, (although in this instance the grill may have worked more quickly) I dried the very soggy crumbs out a bit before weaving magic with raw chocolate and more coconut and… well see for yourself what I think of kitchen failures…

 

Do you want to see what they look like inside? Go on then, here is the, gratuitous (coco)nutty chocolate ball shot… (you knew that all girls school was a convent right? Yeah, that’s my level of humour still, sorry!)

 

 

 Not bad huh? I’m still working on the coconut cake, when I get it right I’ll share the recipe for it and the truffles, when the broadband is up and running again. The iPad is great, but I can’t build web pages on it. Boo hiss! 

PS I’m doing whole 30 at the moment, did I mention that? No cakes were consumed in the making of this blog post, except by my children! Lucky so and sos. You can keep up with my whole 30 progress on the page in the header area.

TTFN 

if you’re interested in keeping up with us you might like to like creatively paleo on facebook or follow us on twitter or instagram or if pinterest is your thing we’re there too! Social media whores, much?!

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Paleo Preserves

This week I had a hankering for a jammy dodger! Actually I prefer the raspberry creams – pulling off the bottom layer of biscuit, scraping the cream filling off ¬†with your teeth then nibbling on the jammy biscuit centre that remains… ok, I play with my food I’ll admit it! Of course jammy dodgers and raspberry creams are a total no go these days, the pain is totally not worth the pleasure, and I didn’t have the time or the inclination to try to come up with a paleoified version, but I did make these instead.

They were pretty damn good if I do say so myself.

Once the jam desire had abated I wanted something zesty and tart, ah for the days of lemon curd tarts! Instead I figured I’d lemonify the little cakes and fill them with lemon curd… My daughter saw them and came up with this piece of “art”…

Oh deary me! That’s teenagers for you. My more tasteful take is below.

I’m starting a whole30 tomorrow so I have had a complete paleo blow out this week – terrible really to still be stuck in the idea of filling up on naughty things before launching into a period of deprivation; it goes against the grain (oops paleo pun there…) of the ethos really I think, but old habits die hard.

Sunday brunch the day before whole30 had to be pancakes. I couldnt be bothered grinding up seeds for my usual pancake recipe so I decided to give the purple sweet potato flour I made the other week a go instead. Topped with lemon curd they were a deliciously decadent treat whilst still being good clean eating!

Recipes for the jam, lemon curd and cakes will be coming up on the website in the next week if I can get near a computer. ¬†I’ll also be documenting my whole30, so if you’re interested in keeping up with how it’s going you might like to like creatively paleo on facebook¬†or follow us on twitter¬†or instagram¬†or if pinterest¬†is your thing we’re there too! Social media whores, much?!

 

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