Snack Bars

These snack bars are like Larabars. I have been trying to emulate the larabar since I discovered it about 4 months ago. It’s expensive and delicious…. This unfortunately has dried fruit that DOES have sugar in it. BUT you can find unsweetened dried fruit- it’s tough though. I still love this and will continue to practice Paleo and will still eat this and find a way to make it fully compliant.

You’ll Need:

2 c dates
3 c shredded coconut
1 c dried cranberries
2 c toasted pecans
1/2 c water

Method:

In a vitamix blend dates, cranberries, and nuts, then add water. add coconut and mix {May have to mix with a spoon and might be best to pull entire mixture out and mix in a bowl after the nuts are blended}.

Spread out on sheet tray {1/4 sheet tray} evenly to desired height and refrigerate for 2 hours. Cut, store in closed container, keep refrigerated. Enjoy hungry!

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Kitchen Tools I cannot Live Without

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There are a variety of different kitchen utensils and many kinds of the the same item. I learned to cook from watching my grandmother when I was little and she taught me a lot of the basics. Because I learned from her, I still sort of cook like her: “a little of this, a pinch of that, whisk until fluffy, cook until browned, stir until slightly gelled and sticks to the spoon when lifted out of the pot” things like that. I also married a chef and that sort of kitchen talk just doesn’t cut it {No pun intended}, so he has taught me to time things, measure, and write things down. This helps with my recipe creations. I can’t exactly be there in your kitchen with you telling you that you’re doing it right or wrong, so I need to be specific.

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To allow myself the time I need to do things right, I have selected a handful of items that I cannot cook without. Eating clean means I work with a lot of produce so there are a few pieces that I go to daily: my peeler, paring knife {Because sometimes I use that to peel vegetables like my Grandmother did}, my trustee knife for all of the chopping, and a flat wood spatula for stirring when sauteing. While these may be my top tools, there are a few more that make up my repertoire. Here are all of the handy kitchen utensils that show up in my kitchen often:

My knife- it fits perfectly in my hand, I only use one, and I use it for everything. I am constantly washing it in between ingredients.

Masher- I have recently become obsessed with mashed roasted cauliflower so this tool gets a lot of use in my kitchen. I use this when making a chunky soup or chowder too.

Strainer– I live in one of the most beautiful places in the world and am surrounded by incredibly fresh fruits and vegetables. I have fallen in love with ice cubes made from fresh fruit juice. This is surely not an easy task but my strainer {in many sizes} makes things go a bit smoother. I’ve discovered the process of cold pressed coffee too and my strainer makes a cameo about every other day to help me out.

Cheese Grater– Well cheese has been one of my favorite food groups {yes, I would consider it it’s own group, but I know it’s not…} for years. The cheese grater has other uses: to grate vegetables for fresh salads, to make “rice” out of cauliflower, to make zucchini “noodles” look sort of like penne, and more.

Flat Wood Spatula- This is the main utensil I use to cook with. It works well in cast iron, non-stick, and in stainless steel, so I am safe no matter what pot or pan I am using. This spatula is good for deglazing pans, mixing heavy stews and soups, flipping eggs, stirring scrambled eggs, and sauteing vegetables. It’s a staple for sure.

Paring Knife– I bought a paring knife from Sur La Table because I wanted something small to cut radishes and other smalls ingredients in my hand. I use this to peel produce, cut the tops off strawberries {without wasting the good parts}, and slicing small fruits and vegetables.
Scraper/Spatula- This is good for many things. It’s a handy when making rice out of raw cauliflower in the vitamix. It’s a must have.

Measuring Cups- Well…because sometimes you just have to measure.

Ladle- Being the soup queen that I feel that I am, I of course need a ladle in my life. I love this kitchen tool and I dislike it at the same time, mainly because it only has one use. But, I need it, so it’s here on my list.

These are the items that I could not live without in my kitchen. Cooking is so much fun and soothing for me. My kitchen is my happy place, I feel really at peace in it. My whole experience is made better with the great things that I have to utilize. They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, well I suppose the way to mine is with the tools it takes to make the food.

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Here is a set of kitchen utensils that will get any cook started. This is a great first set.

And Wooden Spoons….

Must Have {on Hand} Vegetable Stock

Must Have {on Hand} Vegetable Stock

Whole30 Approved

 

You’ll Need:

A stock pot full of cold water {4-5 quarts depending on size of pot}

  • Ends of at least 2 heads of celery
  • Ends and peels of 10-12 carrots
  • Ends of 2 yellow onions
  • 1 tbsp. Whole peppercorn
  • 2 bay leaf
  • 2 garlic cloves

 

Method:

Add all ingredients into water and bring to a boil. Turn to a simmer and cook for 1.5 hours. Add {gradually} additional water as needed to keep stock pot full. The longer the liquid cooks, and the more vegetable scraps are in it, the more flavorful the stock will be in the end.

Use a chinois and strain liquid into quart containers. Let cool in refrigerator overnight, then label and freeze for later use.

 

Fresh Fruit Cubes

Moxie’s Fresh Fruit Juice Cubes

{Whole30 Approved}

This is for those hot afternoons and evenings when all of my friends are sipping on Sauvignon Blanc and Rose’s or cool craft beers, I sip on this. Fill a glass with regular ice cubes, add one fresh fruit cube, and fill with mandarin orange bubble water. This is the perfect refreshing mock-tail! This is great for entertaining too, dinner party guests love these kinds of refreshing drinks!
You can be healthy and still enjoy delicious refreshing beverages without the booze!

 

Kid Tested 🙂 Mother & Whole30 Approved! 

These are also great for kids- my son LOVES these, he could eat them without any bubble water! In fact, he likes to take one in his water bottle with him to baseball.

 

You’ll Need:

  • 4 Grapefruit, cut into quarters
  • 2 Oranges, cut into quarters
  • 1 ½ Limes, cut in half
  • 2 packages of fresh blackberries

 

Method:

Squeeze the juice out of each of the citrus’ {with a hand held juice press} into a container. Put all of the blackberries into vitamix along with the citrus juice and blend until smooth. Take another container along with a chinois on top of it and pour the liquid into the chinois. Use a spoon to help get the juice through the chinois around the seeds. Repeat until all of the liquid is filtered. Dispose of the seeds after each pour through the chinois so it will be easier to filter the liquid through.

Take the finished liquid and stir it, pour into ice trays, stirring in between to blend the juice together as needed. Freeze the cubes for at least 5 hours, or until firm. It’s all juice so the cubes will not pop out like normal ice cubes do, use a knife to help them out. I take all of my juice cubes out and place in a freezer bag for convenience.

If putting in a freezer bag then leave the cubes in the ice trays overnight to ensure they are frozen all the way through.

Makes 3 ice cube trays full.

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Eat Clean, Eat Healthy, & Eat Well.

Refreshing Summer Water

Want some refreshing water that looks good on the table and tastes delicious? This water is simple, quick to make, and is a beautiful addition to any centerpiece.

In a large pitcher with about 10 cups of water add 4 limes that have been thinly sliced, fill with a couple of hand fulls of ice. Then add 8-10 medium to large strawberries that have been frozen completely to the water. The strawberries will extract a great flavor and pair really nicely with the lime citrus and they will also act as an ice cube! {The berries will turn translucent after about three hours so if the party is going to be longer, I like to just put a few in for color and looks and make a separate batch of strawberry flavored water and pour it into the the lime water.}

In the summertime, this water is the perfect accompaniment to any gathering. There are over 20 farmers markets in Sonoma County and fresh fruits and citrus can be purchased from local vendors there.

Refreshing Summer water

 

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