Paleo Mongolian Beef
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Paleo Mongolian Beef

I adapted a Closet Cooking recipe to paleo-ize it. It was quite good. No, that’s an understatement. It was magnificent! Perhaps it was the beef that came out extra tender … I don’t know. This is one of my favorite go-to recipes now.

I downplayed a lot of the spicy ingredients so that anyone, even those who don’t like too much spice, will be able to enjoy Mongolian Beef.

Ready to check out the recipe?

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  •  1 pound steak (sirloin or flank), sliced thinly
  • 3 tablespoons amino acids
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, minced
  • 1 tablespoon tapioca flour
  •  1/3 cup water
  •  1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 yellow squash, sliced thin
  • 1 red or green pepper, sliced thin
  • 1/4 cup green onion, sliced

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, mix the amino acids, maple syrup, chili powder, garlic and ginger together then set this aside.
  2. In another small bowl, add water and the tapioca flour and mix this together then set this aside.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat then add the beef, pepper and squash and saute until just cooked, 4-6 minutes, then set the stovetop temperature to low.
  4. Add the two bowls of ingredients to the meat and stir. The liquid mixture should get somewhat thick due to the tapioca flour. Once it does, remove the skillet from the stovetop.
  5. Add the sesame oil to the meat mixture and stir.
  6. Garnish with the green onions.
  7. Serve over white rice, ginger pumpkin noodles or with a sweet potato.

Delicious!

Paleo Mongolian Beef

Paleo Mongolian Beef

 

 

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Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala
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Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala

Thanks to Popular Paleo for this Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala. Ciarra really outdid herself with this recipe.

I used diced tomatoes instead of crushed tomatoes when I made this recipe but it didn’t make any difference (that I can tell). I also replaced the coconut palm sugar with just a tad of pure maple syrup. Other than that, I followed the recipe to a “t” and the spices melded together beautifully.

The chicken was tender ~ so juicy and tender.

So, head on over to her site and take a look. If the rest of her recipes are this good then I am more than impressed.

I served my Chicken Tikka Masala with steamed carrot sticks on a bed of rice.

Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala

Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala

Delicious!

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Autumn in November
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Autumn In November

Gathering Leaves

Spades take up leaves
No better than spoons,
And bags full of leaves
Are light as balloons.

I make a great noise
Of rustling all day
Like rabbit and deer
Running away.

But the mountains I raise
Elude my embrace,
Flowing over my arms
And into my face.

I may load and unload
Again and again
Till I fill the whole shed,
And what have I then?

Next to nothing for weight,
And since they grew duller
From contact with earth,
Next to nothing for color.

Next to nothing for use.
But a crop is a crop,
And who’s to say where
The harvest shall stop?

Robert Frost

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Minnesota Autumn
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How To Pray

I recently came across an article called Be Yourself in Prayer on the Desiring God Blog and I found it quite refreshing.

Many times I hear people praying in the old English as if they had memorized the King James Version of the Bible. And they probably have as their prayers start with something akin to “O Most High Father in Heaven , thou art …”

How a person prays is a personal matter but I do like the way this article expresses a more simple way to pray as if talking to a friend when moments of silence don’t matter between friends.

I recommend you read the article ~ you’ll truly be blessed.

Be Yourself in Prayer

 

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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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