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Paleo Chicken Meatballs with Braised Lemon and Kale

This was a super easy and tasty recipe from Bon Appetit. They call it gluten free, I call it paleo.

I was afraid that the lemon would interfere with the taste of the chicken ~ you know, overwhelm it, but it didn’t.

So ~ here are the ingredients you’ll need to make this (olive oil, salt and pepper not shown).

Ingredients

Ingredients

You’ll be adding the shallot, garlic and red pepper flakes to a large cast iron pot or any heavy pot, then cooking this through until you can smell the fragrance of the garlic.  Ummmmmm ….

Add shallot, garlic, red pepper flakes and and scallion

Add shallot, garlic and red pepper flakes

The recipe has you add only 1/3 of the ground chicken to the pot to start, but in hindsight, you can actually add it all in at once. I’ve left the original directions as they are for blog purposes.

Add 1/3 of the ground chicken

Add 1/3 of the ground chicken

You’ll be mixing the ground chicken with the other ingredients then transferring it to a bowl and letting it cool.

Next you’ll be adding the remaining chicken meat, salt, and several grindings of black pepper and mixing this in the pot to just combine it.

Then you’ll be combining this to the other 1/3 chicken and making meatballs from them then adding them back to the pot along with a tad of olive oil.

Cook the meatballs until golden brown then remove them from the pot.

Next, you’ll be adding the remaining shallot and the sliced lemons to the pot and letting the lemons soften.

Add lemon slices

Add lemon slices and shallot

After the lemon slices have softened, add the broth and the meatballs to the pot and allow this to simmer.

Add broth and meatballs

Add broth and meatballs

Looking yummy already, aren’t they?

Lower the heat and cover the pot and allow this to simmer for about 10 minutes then add the kale and cook until the kale is a nice bright green ~ not more than 4 minutes.

Add kale

Add kale

Season the mixture with salt and pepper and … you’re finished!

Ready to see the recipe?

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 medium shallots, minced, divided
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 pound ground chicken meat
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, more or less
  • 1 lemon, very thinly sliced and seeds removed
  • 2 cups low salt chicken broth
  • 1 large bunch curly kale, destemmed

Directions

  1. Heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat.
  2. Add one shallot, garlic, and red pepper flakes then cook, stirring constantly until softened and fragrant, about 6 minutes.
  3. Add 1/3 of the ground chicken to the pot and cook just until cooked through, breaking up any clumps.
  4. Transfer to a medium bowl and let cool slightly.
  5. Add the remaining chicken meat, salt, and several grindings of black pepper. Mix just to combine.
  6. Wipe out the pot and add the remaining tablespoon of oil then heat over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking.
  7. Form meat mixture into 8 -10 meatballs about 2 inches around each then add them to the pot (mixture will be soft).
  8. Cook the meatballs until light golden brown on all sides, 6-8 minutes total. Remove meatballs to a plate and set this aside.
  9. Add the remaining shallot along with the lemon slices and cook until the lemon is tender and starting to turn light golden brown, about 2 minutes.
  10. Next, add the chicken broth and return the meatballs to the pot.
  11. Bring the broth to a simmer, lower the heat and cover.
  12. Cook meatballs for about 8-10 minutes.
  13. Add kale to the pot then cook until the kale is tender and bright green, about 4-5 minutes.
  14. Season everything with salt and pepper then remove it from the heat and get ready to serve it.

I served this wonderful dish with basil zucchini and a slice of sweet potato.

Chicken Meatballs with Braised Lemon and Kale

Chicken Meatballs with Braised Lemon and Kale

I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

 

 

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Zeldabelle Curtains
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Of Draperies and Curtains

Actually, draperies and curtains are synonymous but I wanted to make sure you found this post in case you searched by one word and not the other. Why, do you ask, is this important?

Well, it took us almost 2.5 years to find curtains that 1) we liked and 2) were affordable.

Our family room windows had no curtains on them for the first year. Then my mother came to visit and what was a decision to leave the windows bare so we could see nature outside now became a problem.

“People can see inside,” Mama said.

“No, it’s too far from the street,” I countered.

“What about in winter when it’s dark outside and your lights are on?” Mama kept querying.

“If, by some crazy chance, there is someone out in the snow in temperatures below zero peering at us with binoculars, then by all means let them watch us watch TV,” I replied quite smugly.

The conversation ended but I soon learned that Mama was right but for the wrong reason.

You see, we have large windows in the family room and I soon learned that winters in Minnesota were, well, let’s just call them frigid. Let’s even go further and say that they are very very frigid since last year we had 30 days where the high temperature was not more than 0° Fahrenheit.

So, Mama should have given me the “energy and comfort” lecture instead of the “peeping Tom” lecture. Would I have listened?

The hunt was on for curtains. We looked at all the usual places like J C Penney and Bed Bath and Beyond. None of the “already made” curtains were good enough.

But, while at Ikea one day, I spotted some off white curtains that would work although they did not have grommets like we wanted. “This is temporary,” we reasoned. And inexpensive. But they weren’t lined and the family room, without the fireplace going, was still a tad chilly.

We decided to bite the bullet and ask Costco to come out and give us an estimate. $2700. Yikes! Okaaaaayyyyyy. I headed into J C Penney and spotted a similar curtain and asked the salesperson how much it would cost for them to install them (they were custom order). He said “about $3000.” Yikes! a second time.

Our next thought?  Well, when we moved into our house, we ordered custom blinds through a woman who was referred to us by our real estate agent so we decided to ask her to come over, measure and give us a quote. $3500!!!! Yikes!

Oh dear, I said to myself. We seem to like expensive material. I considered making curtains myself but I really need more sewing time under my belt before I’d feel comfortable doing that.

As we mulled over our options, my husband did some “googling” and found a place on Etsy that makes curtains and he sent me the link.

Hmmm … this was interesting. We selected a fabric and received a sample in the mail which looked exactly like the picture on the Etsy site. After emailing back and forth with the owner, she gave us a quote …. are you ready?

$1035, including shipping …. Yeehaw! It was like we found gold.

I was a little leery of ordering through a far-away stranger but what was the worse that could happen?

And so, we entered into a business relationship with Zeldabelle on Etsy.

Zeldabelle was the easiest person to work with. Emails were answered promptly, sample was received, the correct size grommets were available (we have a large curtain rod) and she even recommended the correct liner to keep us toasty warm.

An additional plus is that Zeldabelle has very high reviews on her site which was something that I always look at.

Zeldabelle Curtains

Zeldabelle Curtains

Zeldabelle Curtains

Zeldabelle Curtains

Zeldabelle Curtains

Zeldabelle Curtains

The “sashes” didn’t come with the curtains as I want to make my own. Also, Zeldabelle made sure we could add the plastic “wands” to the curtains so we easily close them.

Zeldabelle Curtains

Zeldabelle Curtains

So ~ if you’re having a hard time finding great quality inexpensive curtains or draperies, try Zeldabelle on Etsy. I highly recommend her.

It’s going to be a nice warm winter …

 

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Minneapolis Sculpture Park
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Minneapolis Sculpture Garden

A friend and I took a walk around the outdoor Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. It was … interesting.

I’m not a big fan of sculptures although I always find the Franconia Sculpture Park quite interesting but didn’t make it out there this year.

Still ~ it was a beautiful day for a walk and I learned something new about myself.  I “see” things differently than other people. You’ll read about my discovery below.

The first sculpture I found interesting was bronze and was called Woodrow. It looked quite frightening to me.

Woodrow, Deborah Butterfield

Woodrow, Deborah Butterfield

Here’s a closer look at the head of this sculpture. Yikes! I wouldn’t want to encounter this fella.

Woodrow, Deborah Butterfield

Woodrow, Deborah Butterfield

I don’t believe I could ever create anything like this because I couldn’t visualize it in my head, could you?

Up ahead I saw something a little softer on my eyes ~ a grove of trees. I felt centered again.

Woodrow, Deborah Butterfield

Grove of Trees

Here’s another interesting sculpture … hmmmm …

Goddess with the Golden Thighs, Reuben Naikian

Goddess with the Golden Thighs, Reuben Naikian

Quite frankly, I didn’t see a goddess nor golden thighs in this sculpture. I know, I know … it’s in the eye of the artist. Still …

This next sculpture was more recognizable to me. I must have a stunted sense of artistry as it appears I need art to be more clear cut for me to enjoy it.

Cavaliere (Horseman), Marino Marini

Cavaliere (Horseman), Marino Marini

The one below is called Dawn Tree. Hmmm ….

I didn’t feel bad in not appreciating some of these sculptures as my friend wasn’t overly enthused by them either and she had worked at an Art Museum for 25 years. Maybe friends who hang out together have similar taste more often than not. What do you think?

Dawn Tree, Louise Nevelson

Dawn Tree, Louise Nevelson

Don’t laugh at me now … yes, I know it’s a snowman, uh, actually it’s a snowwoman.

Front of Snowwoman, Gary Hume

Front of Snowwoman, Gary Hume

This next sculpture brought a giggle to my otherwise wondering mind … I’m not sure why. Somehow though, I could see a pore.

Ordovician Pore, Tony Cragg

Ordovician Pore, Tony Cragg

Now, the sculpture of the reclining mother and child I could “see” but it didn’t take much thought.

Reclining Mother and Child, Henry Moore

Reclining Mother and Child, Henry Moore

This next sculpture really made me wonder what goes on internally that makes us humans view things so differently.

Do you see what I see? I doubt it. When I looked at the sculpture below I said to my friend “Look, a bug relaxing on a recliner.” She looked at me strangely and said “It looks like a cherry on a spoon.”

Sure enough ~ the sculpture was called Spoonbridge and Cherry.

Spoonbridge and Cherry, Claes Oldenburg

Spoonbridge and Cherry, Claes Oldenburg

What’s interesting to me is that it actually looks like a cherry on a spoon yet, until it was explained to me, my mind saw a reclining bug with antennae.

How do we explain this visual conundrum?

There were more sculptures at the garden here, but these were the ones I found most interesting ~ today.

So, what do you think influences the way we “see” things? The environment? Our upbringing? Education? Exposure to art?

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Roasted Turkey with Sweet Potatoes and Tarragon

I adapted this Food Network recipe to make it paleo ~ quite simple really as I just replaced the new potatoes with sweet potatoes. It turned out quite well.

Here is what you’ll be needing for this recipe (olive oil, salt and pepper not shown) ~

Ingredients

Ingredients

And, of course, turkey tenderloins ~

Turkey Tenderloins

Turkey Tenderloins

You’ll be dicing your sweet potato into large bite-sized chunks.

Dice Potatoes

Dice Potatoes

Next you’ll be adding the prepared turkey to a large casserole dish along with the diced sweet potatoes.

Add Potatoes to Turkey

Add Potatoes to Turkey

Make a nice broth to pour over the turkey mixture.

Broth Mixture

Broth Mixture

Bake Turkey

Bake Turkey in Broth

You’ll be baking this for about 40 minutes then allowing it to rest for about 10 minutes before slicing the turkey.

Ready to see the recipe?

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 (1 1/2 pound) turkey tenderloins
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 1 large sweet potato cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons dried tarragon

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2.  Place olive oil in a large baking dish then season the turkey tenderloins with salt and black pepper then place them in the baking dish.
  3. Arrange the potatoes all around the turkey and coat them with oil.
  4. Season the potatoes by adding salt and black pepper to them.
  5. Arrange the shallots over the potatoes in the pan.
  6.  In a small bowl, combine the wine, broth, vinegar, and tarragon then pour this mixture over the turkey.
  7.  Roast the turkey and potatoes for 40 minutes until an instant-read thermometer registers at least 160 degrees F then let the turkey rest 10 minutes before slicing crosswise into 1/2-inch thick slices.
  8. Now serve your meal with a salad or additional vegetables.

Pretty simple, no?

Here’s the final product. I served my turkey tenderloins with a green salad.Roasted Turkey with Sweet Potatoes and Tarragon

Roasted Turkey with Sweet Potatoes and Tarragon

Enjoy!

Have you ever wondered why paleo eaters don’t regularly eat potatoes? One of the reasons is that the potato causes spikes in our glycemic index which can wreak havoc in our bodies.  Here’s a really good article on it that gives you a lot more detail: The Paleo Diet ~ Potatoes.

Ahhhh ~ but what about sweet potatoes, you say. Sweet potatoes don’t have several harmful substances such as saponins and lectins. 

And ~ that’s all I’ll say on that topic but please feel free to read the above articles along with the comments that accompany them.

For additional paleo recipes, click here.

 

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Lake of the Isles, Minneapolis, Minnesota
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An Autumn Lake of the Isles Walk

On a crisp early October day, a friend and I took a walk around the Lake of the Isles in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

It was hard not to notice all of the high-end houses in this area, but the lake is what caught my attention because being around water brings my heart peace.

Lake of the Isles, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Lake of the Isles, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Lake of the Isles, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Lake of the Isles, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Lake of the Isles, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Lake of the Isles, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Lake of the Isles, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Lake of the Isles, Minneapolis, Minnesota

The city is close by but, outside of glancing at it, the noises can’t be heard.  So peaceful ~

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Como Park Conservatory, St Paul, Minnesota
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Japanese Garden at the Como Park Conservatory

We get so few visitors since moving to Minnesota. I wonder if everyone is afraid of the mosquitoes or the snow. (laughing)

Fortunately, we had one brave soul come out to experience our autumn weather and she wanted to go to the St Paul Marjorie McNeeley Conservatory.

My husband and I had been here in the spring and it looks so different in autumn.

Here are a few pictures of what we saw ~ I really like the fence …

Japanese Garden, Como Conservatory

Japanese Garden, Como Park Conservatory

Japanese Garden, Como Conservatory

Japanese Garden, Como Park Conservatory

The sound of a waterfall is so peaceful ~

Japanese Garden, Como Conservatory

Japanese Garden, Como Park Conservatory

There were so many koi in the water waiting to be fed. I wonder what they do with them in the winter … ?

Japanese Garden, Como Conservatory

Japanese Garden, Como Conservatory

Como Conservatory, St Paul, Minnesota

Como Conservatory, St Paul, Minnesota

Como Conservatory, St Paul, Minnesota

Como Conservatory, St Paul, Minnesota

Even in early October, flowers were still blooming.

Como Conservatory, St Paul, Minnesota

Como Conservatory, St Paul, Minnesota

Such a vibrant color on the tree!

Como Park Conservatory, St Paul, Minnesota

Como Park Conservatory, St Paul, Minnesota

I definitely recommend a trip to the Como Park Conservatory ~ especially in autumn.

 

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Fudge

Yes, fudge. My husband’s favorite dessert.

There’s so many different kinds of fudge. And the best kind is the melt-in-your-mouth kind’ve fudge.

On our recent trip to Mackinac Island in Michigan, we saw so many places that were selling fudge that it made me wonder if it’s the fudge capital of the world.  (laughing)

Nonetheless, we walked into The Original Murdick’s Fudge store and bought three slices of fudge ~ chocolate, chocolate mint and chocolate walnut. Yuuuummmmmm.

The Original Murdick's Fudge, Mackinac, Michigan

The Original Murdick’s Fudge, Mackinac, Michigan

In all honesty, I bought one slice for a neighbor who recommended we go to Mackinac Island. But, since we didn’t get a chance to head over to his place right away, I froze it.

As life would have it (who else can I blame it on?), we took the slice of fudge out of the freezer and slowly but surely it got eaten. I just don’t know how it happened.  (laughing)

Oh well …

Now, I know you must think I’m a bad person by now, I mean, who would buy a gift for someone and then eat it themselves?

So I want you to know (honesty is the best policy you know) that I ordered 3 more slices from Murdick’s Fudge ~ this time my neighbor will get all three slices.

Really! You can believe me ….

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Marquette, Michigan

On our travels through Michigan and Wisconsin, we stopped at a small town called Marquette, Michigan, population approximately 21,000.

Since we were just “driving through” I didn’t think we would see anything noteworthy but I was wrong. I’m always interested in learning more about Midwest living.  So, guess what I found?

Do you know what this is?

Fish Cleaning Station

Fish Cleaning Station

Yes, it’s a fish cleaning station. I had never seen one before so this was a first for me. I like “firsts” as it means I’m still learning.

This station came with very explicit directions ~ good to know the head of the fish must go in first.  (laughing)

Directions on a fish cleaning station

Directions on a fish cleaning station

Hmmm … this doesn’t sound like it’s much fun though ~ clean up all blood? Well, I eat fish but I’ve never cleaned one or seen one cleaned before.

Directions on a fish cleaning station

Directions on a fish cleaning station

Does one use a special knife to cut the fish into pieces?

Directions on a fish cleaning station

Directions on a fish cleaning station

I’ll have to make a mental note to find a fish cleaning station while it’s in use ~ now those would be some nice pictures.

Here’s a view of the area right behind the cleaning station.

Lower Harbor, Marquette, Michigan

Lower Harbor, Marquette, Michigan

The picture below is of a Marine TraveLift for boats and is used to lift the boats out of the water so they can be worked on or cleaned.

Marine Travel Lift

Marine Travel Lift

After we left the Lower Harbor, we drove around town and I spotted an old church and had to take a few pictures.  The colors on this rotunda are beautiful.

St Peters Cathedral, Marquette, Michigan

St Peters Cathedral, Marquette, Michigan

Look at the detail …

St Peter's Cathedral, Marquette, Michigan

St Peter’s Cathedral, Marquette, Michigan

Old churches are so beautiful.

St Peters Cathedral, Marquette, Michigan

St Peters Cathedral, Marquette, Michigan

Small towns have a lot of history in them, don’t they?

To read more information on St Peter’s Cathedral, click here.

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Rosemary Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Caramelized Onions
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Rosemary Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Caramelized Onions

Okay so, the original recipe from the New Way to Cook Light cookbook is called Rosemary Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Shallots, but I had a problem with the shallots. I burned them. I was working on the rest of the recipe and took my eyes off the shallots ~ it happened and it’s over. I was able to improvise quite well (and with plenty of time) with regular onions that I caramelized. Whew!

Loved this paleo vegetarian recipe and I’m sure you will too. I’ve changed the recipe to use the onions instead of the shallots along with using pure maple syrup in place of brown sugar.

Here are the ingredients you’ll need (less the olive oil and imagine there are onions instead of shallots in the picture below) ~

Ingredients

Ingredients

I try to have the onions caramelized before doing anything else because they can sit off to the side after they’re cooked.

Caramelize Onions

Caramelize Onions

Next, I cleaned the two large sweet potatoes, peeled them and cut them into small 1-2 inch pieces

Clean and Peel Sweet Potatoes

Clean and Peel Sweet Potatoes

Dice Sweet Potatoes

Dice Sweet Potatoes

Then I boiled the potatoes until they were soft to get them ready for mashing ~

Boil Potatoes

Boil Potatoes

This is the amount of rosemary that I used ~

Diced Rosemary

Diced Rosemary

Next I drained the soft boiled potatoes, used a hand mixer to mash them, added the rosemary, salt and pepper then added the caramelized onions on top.

Ready to see the recipe?

Ingredients

  • 5 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced onions (about 1 large or 2 medium)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 1/3 pounds sweet potatoes, cleaned, peeled and diced
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Directions

  1. Heat 4 teaspoons of olive oil in a medium skillet over low heat.
  2. Add the onions and the maple syrup to the pan and cook for 30-45 minutes, stirring frequently until the onions are caramelized. Once the onions are ready, remove them from the stovetop and set them aside.
  3. Place the potatoes in a medium saucepan and cover with water.
  4. Bring the potatoes to a boil ~ about 8 minutes or until tender, then drain them.
  5. Place the potatoes in a large bowl and beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. (Alternately, you can could mash them with a potato masher.)
  6. Add the rosemary, salt, and pepper to the potatoes and beat again until blended.
  7. Place the potatoes in a bowl then top with the caramelized onions.
  8. Drizzle with the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil.

And ~ here’s the final product.

Rosemary Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Caramelized Onions

Paleo Rosemary Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Caramelized Onions

I served this with baked Chicken Thighs and a Salad. Yum!

Rosemary Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Caramelized Onions

Rosemary Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Caramelized Onions

Oh ~ you want to see my mistake with the shallots, do you? Well, okay. Here it is.  Don’t judge ~ remember that in the end, I was able to save the day. (smile)

P1110627

Burnt Caramelized Shallots

The original recipe was found in the cookbook called The New Way to Cook Light, page 319.

 

The New Way to Cook Light, page 319, 4 small shallots, pure maple syrup (about 1 teaspoon)

 

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