Random Culinary Adventures

As is often the case with me, I make an honest attempt to get back into writing consistently and then immediately become overwhelmed with other responsibilities. But I’m trying to get a good routine established. Plus I have lots of fun wedding chores crafts coming up, so there will be lots of blog-able material.

CK and I have been doing a great job feigning dedication to a paleo diet, while secretly binging on frozen pizza and soda in our all-too-frequent moments of weakness. It’s a sad, sad cycle. I’d say we eat clean diets about 70% of the time. Weekends are mostly a wash. But I’ve been making paleo or paleo-inspired breakfast and lunch meals, and our dinners during the week are reasonably nutritious. As always, we could use more salads and greens in our lives. Nobody goes by Popeye around here. Here are a few meals I’ve made.

Butternut Squash Soup

CK found this recipe online and has since forgotten its origins. But I have photos!

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It was pretty yummy, but it lacked some flavor and overall some punch. It tasted like… liquid squash. Which is great, but I suppose I was really missing the creamy factor of a good butternut squash soup. We made a TON of soup. It took us about four days to demolish the soup between snacks and meals.

At one point the soup looked like dog vomit. CK didn’t appreciate my comment. But it did!

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Total dog vomit.

Pork Chile Verde

I got this recipe from Stupid Easy Paleo. Instead of ghee, I used Kerrygold butter. If you don’t know what Kerrygold butter is, it’s deliciously golden butter made from grass-fed Irish cows and we snatch up as much as we possibly can from Costco. I’m addicted. I actually forgot to bring some with me to the office the other day for my sweet potato snack, and I had to use the office stick of butter. First, it was not yellow. Second, it lacked flavor of any kind.

I picked up cans of Hatch green chiles, but I skipped the tomatillos. As usual, I forgot to garnish with cilantro. I love cilantro, but I never seem to remember the art of presentation after I’ve cooked something. I’m content with the feeling of satisfaction that comes from passably fumbling through a recipe.

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Choppin’ meat! Pardon the delectable can of spray paint on the counter.

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CK was on a business trip, so I was manning the kitchen alone. At one point I really needed about six arms. Sydney could have been my sous chef, but she was probably making sure she had a super clean bum instead (her usual nighttime/daytime/morning/mid-day routine).

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The finished product! I need to learn to take more appealing photos, but trust me – this stuff was amazing. Tender, flavorful pork and a scrumptious chile sauce. Made great leftovers for lunches.

Buffalo Cashews

This recipe I got from the Virginia is for hunter gatherers blog. I bought tumeric powder just to make these – I’m obsessed with buffalo wings but am trying to avoid trips to Buffalo Wild Wings to avoid the pain to my wallet and digestive system. The results were so-so.

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CK wolfed these bad boys down, but I thought they turned out a little mushy. I flipped them every seven minutes and flipped a total of about four times. Basic math tells me I baked them roughly 28 minutes at 325°F. Next time I will probably increase the temperature and go a bit longer. The photo was taken after the first or second flip, so they did darken from how they appear in the photo. But they were not CRUNCHY.

Also, I discovered that cashews contain the resin urushiol, which is found in poison ivy and mangoes. They are all in the same family! Eating truly raw cashews can cause skin rashes and major reactions, especially for those allergic to poison ivy. We bought “raw” cashews from Wegman’s, but all raw cashews purchased in grocery stories have been processed to remove the resin. Still, that freaks me out, and I partly think I didn’t enjoy the buffalo cashews because in my head I was putting them on the same level with rat poison. I’ll try again and see if I can’t get them crispier.

Will post some of my progress making wedding decorations. Twine-wrapped bottles, mercury glass mason jars, and more.

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