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Sweet Potato & Egg Salad

Sweet Potato & Egg Salad

Sweet Potato & Egg Salad

It feels like it’s been a long time since I’ve posted a new recipe.  Spring and summer arrived and I have two young men working with me on our acre so I’ve been been trying to work alongside them when they’re here.

After dinner, exhaustion sets in.  I’m not a spring chicken anymore and this yard work takes a toll on this body.  Bleh.

Come early July most of the yard work will be completed so I’ll have more time to focus on less physically strenuous things.

However, here’s a new recipe for you.  (clap, clap, clap)

I wanted to call this paleo recipe Sweet Potato Salad.  Then I thought, no, let’s call it Egg Salad.

Considering all my options, I decided to combine the two and let both the potatoes and the eggs get their credit ~ Paleo Sweet Potato & Egg Salad.  Whew!  Such hard decisions we have to make.

Making this was a no-brainer as I needed something to go with my baked chicken wings and potato salads are always good with chicken wings.

I first hard boiled 6 eggs.  Do you have a special set time you use to hard boil  your eggs?  I use 7 minutes exactly.  And that’s from when the water starts to boil.

Hard Boil Eggs

Hard Boil Eggs

Next I had to find some white sweet potatoes and I was fortunate that I had two in the cupboard.  They looked a little … well, I wasn’t sure they were alive.  (haha)  They looked sad but they worked.

White Sweet Potatoes

White Sweet Potatoes

I peeled these potatoes making sure I cut off any parts that looked “too sad” to use.

Peel the potatoes

Peel the potatoes

Then I cut them into small bite-sized pieces.

Cut into bite-sized pieces

Cut into bite-sized pieces

Next I boiled them until they were firm but tender.  Hmmm … are you confused about what that means?  I used to be but not anymore.  Really all you’re looking for is boiling them until they are a tad soft (yet cooked).  You don’t want them to fall apart in your recipe.

I used a pot that was a little too big for the amount of potatoes I had so I made sure I didn’t use too much water ~ just enough to cover the potatoes.

Boil Potatoes

Boil Potatoes

Next I decided to use some carrots in my salad ~ just to be different.  I took a half carrot, peeled it, sliced it thinly then cut it into 1 inch or so pieces.

Peel and Slice Carrots

Peel and Slice Carrots

Then you’re basically putting everything together once you have the prep work done.

One last note though ~ I use a homemade mayonnaise recipe (click here) but I substitute olive oil instead of the canola oil.

Ready to see the recipe?

Sweet Potato & Egg Salad

Sweet Potato & Egg Salad

Sweet Potato & Egg Salad

Ingredients

  • 6 hard boiled eggs
  • 2 medium white sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/2 small carrot, sliced thin and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • Mustard (to taste)
  • Mayonnaise (homemade - see recipe but substitute olive oil for the canola oil ~ http://www.mikekostyo.com/blog/2013/2/25/homemade-mayonnaise-chicken-salad.html)
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Pepper (to taste)

Instructions

  1. Boil the 6 eggs until they are hard (on my electric stove it takes approximately 7 minutes to get them hard boiled).
  2. Boil the sweet potatoes until they are firm (you don't want them too soft) then allow them to cool for about 10 minutes.
  3. When the eggs are ready, peel them then slice them thinly.
  4. When the sweet potatoes are ready, drain the water then put them a medium sized bowl.
  5. Add the eggs and carrots to the bowl.
  6. Add the mayonnaise, mustard, salt and pepper then mix everything together.
  7. Taste to make sure it doesn't need more of any ingredient for your taste.
  8. Ahhhh ~ enjoy!
Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
http://www.simplynorma.com/2016/06/26/sweet-potato-egg-salad/

For additional paleo recipes, click here.

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Paleo Chicken Thighs with Roasted Peppers

Chicken Thighs with Roasted Peppers

Paleo Chicken Thighs with Roasted Peppers

Chicken, chicken and more chicken …

I purchase a lot of chicken at Costco ~ maybe I should invest in some chicken stock?  Did you get the joke? Chicken … stock … as in, well, no, if you didn’t get it to start I won’t explain it to you. (laughing)

There are a LOT of chicken recipes out there in google-land. This recipe was quite tasty and did not come out dry in the least bit.  I changed the original recipe up just a tad.

I originally thought this was a quick recipe but honestly it took more time than I imagined.  I had calculated from start to finish it would take 30 minutes but it took about an hour. Still, it was well worth my time.

The two primary steps for this recipe are, 1)  browning the chicken on both sides ~

Brown the chicken on both sides

Brown the chicken on both sides

And 2) Broiling the peppers ~

Broil the peppers

Broil the peppers

I used a red and yellow pepper for this recipe ~ use what tastes better for you.

The rest of the directions are easy and mundane (mundane is good when it comes to saving time).

Ready to see the recipe?

Paleo Chicken Thighs with Roasted Peppers

Paleo Chicken Thighs with Roasted Peppers

Chicken Thighs with Roasted Peppers

Ingredients

  • 2 bell peppers (I used one red and 1 yellow), took approximately 5 minutes
  • 4 chicken thighs trimmed, skinless and boneless
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup almond flour (for coating)
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • Red Pepper flakes (1 toss ~ more if you want your dish spicy)
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 14.5 ounce can plum tomatoes and their juices

Instructions

  1. Char the bell peppers under the broiler.
  2. Transfer to a bowl, cover and let cool.
  3. Peel the skins then seed and slice the peppers lengthwise.
  4. Season the chicken with salt and pepper then coat in the flour.
  5. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat.
  6. Add the chicken to the pot and brown on each side.
  7. Transfer the chicken to a plate.
  8. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the Dutch oven then stir in the fennel seeds and garlic for a couple minutes.
  9. Add the wine to the Dutch oven and deglaze the pan.
  10. Add the tomatoes and mash them.
  11. Season the sauce with salt and pepper and cook until the juice is reduced.
  12. Lower the heat to medium, stir in the chicken and peppers, cover and cook for another 5 minutes to finish cooking the chicken.
  13. Uncover the Dutch oven, stir and serve from the pan.
Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
http://www.simplynorma.com/2016/06/05/paleo-chicken-thighs-with-roasted-peppers/

Hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

For additional paleo recipes, click here.

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Oven Baked Paleo Beef Stew

Baked Paleo Beef Stew

Baked Paleo Beef Stew

It’s dark and dreary outside ~ too dreary for a June day in Minnesota. The feeling of blah-ness sinks in as the house gets darker and darker ~ overwhelmed by the trees that cover it and the rain.  I’ve decided not to live like “this” so I turn on lights throughout the house to help cheer me up.  It does.

And the thought of dinner also cheers me up, for what better meal sits well in the belly on dreary days but Beef Stew ~ paleo and baked.  Slow cooking in the oven leaves me free to do other things.

Do you have a comfort food that brings you a sense of calmness on dreary days?

This meal was quick and tasted great!  I decided to share it with you (lucky you and you’re welcome!).

Oven Baked Paleo Beef Stew

Oven Baked Paleo Beef Stew

Baked Paleo Beef Stew

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lb beef stew meat
  • 3 tablespoons almond flour
  • 4 large carrots cut in bite-sized pieces
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut in bite-sized pieces
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • A handful of cherry tomatoes, halved or 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • Salt (to taste)
  • 2 dried bay leaves

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 325°F.
  2. In a large Dutch oven, toss the beef with the almond flour.
  3. Add the carrots, potato and onion.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients one at a time and mix everything together.
  5. Cover the Dutch oven with a lid and bake for approximately 2-3 hours or until the beef is tender.
Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
http://www.simplynorma.com/2016/06/03/oven-baked-paleo-beef-stew/

Enjoy!

(For additional paleo recipes, click here.)

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A Vision

Sunsest

Sunsest

It’s Friday evening.  My body and mind slow down in preparation for Sabbath.  It used to surprise me that this happened ~ the calmness that occurs as Sabbath draws near. I look forward in anticipation to this rest and can’t imagine life any other way.

Settling into bed as the evening draws on, I choose a Christian playlist on my iPod and wirelessly play the songs on the Bose speaker. Ahhh ~ the sounds of nature.  No words only music.

Turning off the light, I kiss my husband goodnight and wait the 5 minutes it takes for him to fall asleep.

Lying back in bed, I close my eyes and start to silently pray. Everything is dark.

Then it happens. As if I’m watching the beginning of a Star Wars movie, I feel myself being propelled through space. Darkness and movement. I’m moving quickly but I don’t feel afraid.

I see light. Suddenly a man sitting on a throne with a crown on His head is directly in front of me. I can’t make out His features.

Silently I tell myself “This can’t be God for no man has seen God and lived.”

Quickly realization strikes: “It’s Jesus!” my mind says.

And just as quickly as it appeared, the vision disappears.

I close my eyes tighter to see if I can make it reappear but it doesn’t. Then I fall asleep.

The next day I remember what I saw, what I felt.

Oh Jesus ~ the things you do to remind me to keep my eyes on You.

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The Zuhl Museum in Las Cruces

The Zuhl Museum, Table

The Zuhl Museum, Table

The Zuhl Museum is one museum you should not miss if you’re visiting Las Cruces, New Mexico.  This museum is part art gallery and part natural history.

The TripAdvisor reviews gave it high marks but said it was small so I was afraid that my friends would not be interested but I was wrong.

The picture below is of an amethyst quartz.  Quite impressive, no?

Amethyst Quartz, The Zuhl Museum

Amethyst Quartz, The Zuhl Museum

The rock on the left in this next picture is called Smoky Quartz.

Smoky Quartz, The Zuhl Museum

Smoky Quartz, The Zuhl Museum

The large beautiful log below shows a polished fossil conifer Araucaria that was cut in half.  Pretty colors, no?

Araucaria log, The Zuhl Museum

Araucaria log, The Zuhl Museum

Here’s a picture of Ichthyosaurs ~ a fast swimming reptile.

Ichthyosaurs, The Zuhl Museum

Ichthyosaurs, The Zuhl Museum

Lastly, we have a Crinoid which is an animal that belonged to the Phylum Echinoderms and lived attached to the seafloor.

Crinoid

Crinoid

Okay, I changed my mind ~ I feel compelled to share this next picture with you which is of banded iron formations ~ the colors would go very well on a quilt, no?

Banded Iron Formations, The Zuhl Museum

Banded Iron Formations, The Zuhl Museum

That’s it!  I hope you enjoyed the pictures and, if you’re debating whether to visit the museum, I encourage you to visit as there’s a lot more to see.

 

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Roasted Mushrooms

Roasted Mushrooms

Roasted Mushrooms

Here’s a nice side dish of Roasted Mushrooms that I found over at Closet Cooking.  And, they’re paleo ~ woohoo!

Of course, you have to like mushrooms ~ did I ever tell you that I don’t like mushrooms?  But, husband loves mushrooms so occasionally I buy them and later figure out what to do with them.

This recipe is simple and uses few ingredients but you won’t go wrong with it ~

First there’s the mushrooms ~ whichever kind you like …

Mushrooms

Mushrooms

You’ll be tossing them in oil, salt & pepper then roasting them in an oven.

While all that is happening you’ll be preparing the butter mixture ~

Prepare Butter Mixture

Prepare Butter Mixture

Then you’ll be tossing the roasted mushrooms in the butter mixture with salt and pepper.

And this is how they’ll come out … (except they won’t taste fuzzy ~ laughing)

Roasted Mushrooms

Roasted Mushrooms

Want to see the whole recipe?  Head on over to Closet Cooking.  He’s got lots of good recipes so check out his website.

(For additional paleo recipes, click here.)

 

 

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Paleo Baked Cod and Scallions with Spiced Potatoes

Paleo Roasted Cod and Scallions with Spiced Potatoes

Paleo Baked Cod and Scallions with Spiced Potatoes

This paleo Baked Cod and Scallions with Spiced Potatoes recipe came out really really good.  I was a little surprised because cod usually tastes so bland to me and needs lots of help.  But don’t we all?  (laughing)

It’s a fairly easy recipe though ~ my favorite kind ~ and the only change I made from the original recipe was to use sweet potatoes instead of red potatoes.

I purchased the cod at Trader Joe’s and used all the pieces that came prepackaged.

The first thing you’ll need to do is prepare the cod by cleaning it under cold water and drying it using paper towels.  Next I sprayed the casserole dish that I was going to put the cod in with Olive Oil Spray to coat the bottom of my pan so the cod will not stick.

Clean and dry the cod

Clean and dry the cod

Next I added the scallions ~ trimmed yet whole ~ then drizzled a little bit of olive oil, salt and pepper on top of it all.

Add scallions to the cod

Add scallions to the cod

I sliced the unpeeled sweet potatoes into 1/4 inch pieces.

Slice sweet potatoes

Slice sweet potatoes

Then I sliced them in half.

Slice sweet potatoes into quarters

Slice sweet potatoes into quarters

The sweet potatoes will be put in a casserole dish, tossed with 1 tablespoon of olive, the chili powder, salt, and pepper.  Then they will be baked in a 425° degree oven for approximately 20 minutes until they are golden brown and tender.

Prepare sweet potatoes then bake

Prepare sweet potatoes then bake

While the potatoes are baking, prepare the lemon by using a peeler and peeling strips from it.  Then slice the peel pieces thinly and sprinkle it over the cod before it’s baked.  Reserve the lemon to use once everything is cooked.

Grate chunks of lemon then slice thinly

Grate chunks of lemon then slice thinly

At the 10 minute mark of the potatoes being in the oven, you’ll be putting the cod in and cooking it until it’s opaque approximately 15 minutes (but follow the package directions if you have any).

And here’s the recipe ~

Paleo Roasted Cod and Scallions with Spiced Potatoes

Paleo Roasted Cod and Scallions with Spiced Potatoes

Paleo Baked Cod and Scallions with Spiced Potatoes

Ingredients

  • 1 large sweet potato, clean and sliced 1/4 inch thick then halved again
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 3-4 pieces of cod, cleaned in cold water then towel dried
  • 2 bunches scallions, trimmed
  • 1 lemon

Instructions

  1. Heat the oven to 425° F.
  2. In a casserole dish, toss the potatoes with 1 tablespoon of the oil, the chili powder, salt, and pepper.
  3. Bake the potato, tossing once, until golden brown and tender, approximately 20 minutes.
  4. Next, place the cod and scallions in a second casserole dish then drizzle with the remaining tablespoon of oil and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Using a vegetable peeler, peel strips of zest from the lemon then thinly slice them and sprinkle over the cod. Reserve the lemon.
  6. After the potato has cooked for 10 minutes, place the cod in the oven and bake it until it is opaque throughout and the scallions are tender, approximately 15 minutes (or follow package directions).
  7. Cut the reserved lemon in half and squeeze over the fish.
  8. Serve the fish and scallions with the potatoes.
Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
http://www.simplynorma.com/2016/04/28/paleo-baked-cod-and-scallions-with-spiced-potatoes/

Enjoy!

For additional paleo recipes, click here.

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The Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi

The Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi, Santa Fe

The Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi, Santa Fe

We visited this church when we were in Santa Fe, New Mexico recently.

Although this church is free to enter, a priest was standing near the front door to answer questions and had a “donation” box next to him.

We were able to walk around the church freely, but local people were there to pray near the front of the church so going through quietly is recommended.

The Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi, Santa Fe

The Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi, Santa Fe

I enjoy looking at the architecture of these old churches as they have so much colorful detail.

The Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi, Santa Fe

Ceiling at The Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi, Santa Fe

“Construction of this Cathedral began in 1869 and continued until 1887. The new Cathedral was built around the former adobe church and, when the new walls were complete, the old church was torn down and removed through the front door.”  The Cathedral Basilica

The Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi, Santa Fe

The Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi, Santa Fe

Stained Glass Window, The Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi, Santa Fe

Stained Glass Window, The Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi, Santa Fe

I’m not sure why I was surprised to see cameras in the church, but I was.

The Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi, Santa Fe

The Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi, Santa Fe

The church has a large baptismal that I found interesting as the Catholic churches I’ve visited don’t baptize by immersion but by sprinkling water on a person’s head.  The priest told me that the people who are going to be baptized walk into this baptismal but they are not “immersed” all the way.  Interesting.  I wonder why not …

The Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi, Santa Fe

Baptismal, The Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi, Santa Fe

We had stopped inside this church because it was cold and windy outside but we left with an appreciation for the architecture of this building.

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Japanese Garden, MN
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Prayer

A few months ago (yes, I’m a slow reader), I picked up a book called Prayer, Does It Make Any Difference? by Philip Yancey.

I have to say, this book has a LOT of golden nuggets and I thought that every now and again, I’d share some of them with you.

I’ve often had people ask me “Will you pray for …….?”  I always say yes as I feel prayer is powerful. And yet, in the pit of my stomach, I’ve sometimes wondered if some of my prayers are lost in the air above my head.

It’s not that I don’t believe in God ~ no, not at all. He has expressed Himself to me in so many ways. But sometimes, when prayers don’t appear to be answered, I wonder what happened. Did I lose the connection somehow?

And so … this book was/is quite appropriate for those types of moments in my life.

One of the very first golden nuggets I ran into was something I had never thought of:

There were no closets in Jesus’ day. So ~ why did Jesus (in the King James version of the Bible) instruct us to pray in our closets?

“But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.” Matthew 6:6

Different versions of the Bible use “go to your room and close the door” or “go away by yourself and close the door behind you.”

The original Hebrew word for closet here means a storage chamber or a secret room. So, the KJV is not quite as accurate as it should be.

Jesus’ main concern here was that people were praying in public to show off. And people can have a tendency to do that when asked to pray publicly. Perhaps they feel pressured to say the “right” words or not to forget to say something.

Sometimes when I’m at church and I hear really long prayers I wonder why they have to be so long and my thoughts trail off into something else.  Has that ever happened to you?

Our prayers should express the relationship we have with God so that it can free us to pray with people and for people. More often than not though, we need to have more one-on-one intimate conversations (prayers) with God as those are the times when our relationship with Him can grow the best.

I find that when I have the radio on in the background, I can’t “hear” God as well as if it’s quiet with absolutely no distractions. What works best for you?

So ~ have you had all of your prayers answered? I know I have even though sometimes it doesn’t “feel” that way.  Yet I’ve learned that we can’t trust our feelings all the time. Sometimes the answer will be no, other times yes and still other times God asks us to wait. But each time, if I’m patient, I know He has made the best decision for me.

So, find your “closet” and pray. He’s definitely listening.

Japanese Garden, MN

Japanese Garden, MN

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The Spoon and Stable Restaurant

Spoon and Stable, Minneapolis

Spoon and Stable, Minneapolis

For Christmas last year, we received a very large gift certificate for the Spoon and Stable Restaurant in Minneapolis.

We decided to go for brunch one very cold winter Sunday. Reservations HAVE to be made online and they are normally booked a couple of months out.  Brunch was amazing!  Everything was fresh and they try to accommodate any special requests such as a side scrambled egg that I wanted.

Since brunch was so wonderful and didn’t use anywhere near the amount of the gift certificate, we reserved a couple of spots for dinner.

The inside of Spoon and Stable is very open and has high ceilings which can make for a noisy dinner.  Fortunately, our reservation was for when the restaurant opened, so they sat us in a nice quiet corner near the cooking station where we could see the chefs at work.

I didn’t get pictures of everything we ate but here are three.

Belgian Endive Salad, Spoon and Stable

Belgian Endive Salad, Spoon and Stable

The Wild Mushroom Soup below was superb, and I don’t like mushrooms (my friend ordered this).

Wild Mushroom Soup, Spoon and Stable

Wild Mushroom Soup, Spoon and Stable

Everything was simply superb!  From the service to the food ~

Sweet Potato Agnolotti, Spoon and Stable

Sweet Potato Agnolotti, Spoon and Stable

Dinner is a LOT more expensive than brunch.  The $150 gift certificate we received would have paid for dinner and a tip but since we used part of it for brunch we wound up having to pay a little out of pocket (mainly the tip).

This is definitely a place we would like to return to ~ IF we can get a reservation.  Hmmm … maybe I’ll reserve now for my birthday this summer.

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