recipe

Tostones

My husband is Puerto Rican and therefore loves plantains. I am not Puerto Rican (in case you couldn’t tell) and therefore think plantains are super weird. “Ew-I-thought-that-was-a-banana” weird. This starchy, less sweet, cruel joke of a banana can made into super delicious tostones in about 10 minutes. ONLY 10 MINUTES PEOPLE.

Step -1: buy green plantains. At least that’s what my husband said I should get. NOT the yellow/brown ones.

Step 1: peel plantain. Harder than it sounds. Cute the ends off and hope that you don’t accidentally shove the peel under your nail because it is sharp and stiff.

Step 2: cut the plantain into about one inch pieces. If you’re lazy use this:

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The Hutzler 571. READ THE REVIEWS. YOU WILL NOT REGRET IT.

Step 3: fry the pieces in a pan of oil. Use coconut oil if you’re working on your Whole30! Fry each side for about 2-3 minutes until they turn golden and slightly crispy.

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Step 4: remove from oil and rinse the slices in water. Why? Who knows.

Step 5: flatten the pieces with the bottom of a glass.

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Step 4: return the pieces to the oil for about a minute.

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Step 5: remove the tostones and place them on paper towels to remove excess oil.

Step 6: sprinkle with salt and serve immediately.

Step 7: take a photo so your mother-in-law will be proud of you!

Whole30: Week 2

Week 2 was almost harder than Week 1 because the novelty of this thing has officially worn off.  I’m a good bit into Week 3 and I just kind of feel over it.  Nothing is really exciting about it anymore and 30 days is starting to feel like a loooongggg time.  That being said, I’m still 98% committed to Whole30 (the once a week glass of wine is non-negotiable. sorryI’mnotsorry) and I have seen improvements in my skin, sleep patterns – confirmed by my FitBit’s sleep tracker, weight, and body shape.  I’m headed to a conference in Alaska soon and I’m a half concerned I’ll miss out on a rare treat and half terrified to reintroduce the restricted foods.  I’m committed to doing my best, but if there is some crazy amazing can-only-get-it-in-Alaska dessert, I’m going to eat it.  Hopefully there is just mountains of seafood being handed out by the Deadliest Catch guys.  That’s what I’m expecting, Alaska, so you better not disappoint!

In other news I hosted book club this week and thankfully several other ladies are grain/dairy free or paleo or working  on their own Whole30.  I STRESSED over what to make because very technically appetizers shouldn’t be eaten during Whole30 – they aren’t part of a meal, you eat them mindlessly, and (usually/hopefully/deliciously) they are covered in cheese.

After extensive Pinterest-ing, I just decided to get plantain chips (technically compliant), guacamole, salsa, cut up veggies, and strawberries and then make two little apps that just tiny meals really:  BLT Bites and Sausage stuffed mushrooms.

You can see the BLT bites below:  just halved grape tomatoes with a little romaine lettuce and a generous square of bacon.  (It is HARD to find compliant bacon.  Try looking for packages that say “uncured” or “no sugar cure.”  Those are your safest bet.)  They took about 20 minutes to make and were delicious.  They looked so cute too – I definitely would bring them to a party even if I wasn’t doing Whole30.

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I forgot to take a picture of the the mushrooms before A) they were mostly gone and B) all the good light was gone.  Sorry they kind of look gross here, but they were also very delicious and very very easy.  I just removed the stems from button mushrooms, cooked them in the oven at 375 while I browned the sausage (spicy Italian from the farmer’s market!  One of my favorite compliant foods because it is packed with flavor) with some chopped onions and the chopped mushroom stems.  When the sausage was almost cooked I just pulled the pan of mushrooms out of the oven, scooped in the sausage mixture, and then pooped it all back in the over for maybe 15? 20? minutes.  Into everything was brown and delicious looking.  I would normally top them with parmesan or nutritional yeast, but they were delicious as is.

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I chose The Fault in Our Stars by John Green mostly because I had already read and loved it.  Plus, most of the ladies are busy mamas so a shorter book without a seriously complicated story was most likely to actually be read/finished.  We all agreed it was worth the read  and even worth the price of a movie ticket .  We’ll be headed to see it in theaters in a week or two – after all the crying teens see it.  (SN:  If I was rich I’d rent out the whole theater so that I could see a movie with a few people.  Nothing grinds my gears like a noisy/messy/inconsiderate theater-goer.)  It’s gotten phenomenal reviews, so I’m really excited.  I expected most critics to pan it as a teenage cry-fest, but it’s looking more and more like the next Notebook.

 

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Dangerous biscotti

*i cannot find the original recipe that I used. It was a random blog but if some one recognizes this please let me know so I can credit them!

I’m not a gluten free girl. I eat two pieces of peanut butter toast EVERYDAY. Hank the Tank and I have a morning ritual: after getting ready we head downstairs. I pop my toast (super awesome ancient grains organic wheat bread from Costco) in the toaster and then Hank and I practice commands. I put all natural Jiff (I swear this is the best tasting PB on the planet. This is pretty much the only item I buy full price at the grocery store. Ever.) and then Hank gets to lick the knife. So if you’ve used a knife at my house then sorry I’m not sorry.

Anyways. Back to gluten free. We have a few family members and friends with diet restrictions – most commonly gluten free, diary free, and the vegetarian spectrum. So I’ve been playing around with the flour alternatives, especially knowing that almond flour > white flour. More protein, keeps you full etc. I also have been trying to replace sugar with raw honey. Because that’s way better for you than white sugar. I just don’t want my ingredients to say “bleached” on them, ya know?

I picked biscotti because it’s fancy. And supposed to be hard and a bit crunchy. (Common complaints I’ve heard about GF cookies is that they are flat and hard so that just works in your favor with biscotti.) I found almond flour at Wegmans (and at Shoppers) and went to town.

**there was a serious medical mishap that occurred while baking these. I put it at the bottom so if you’re squeamish you can easily avoid it. This is also the reason I don’t have any photos of the process.

Ingredients
1 1/4 almond flour
1 tbs rice flour (the original recipe called for some weird ingredient. I substituted rice flour because that’s what I had on hand. No idea if it helped.)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup honey
Add ins of your choosing. I put in about 1/3 cup of mixed pistachios and cranberries.

Step 1: preheat oven to 350
Step 2: combine all dry ingredients except of add ins in a food processor
Step 3: add the honey. Pulse until you have a little dough ball. WATCH YOUR FINGERS.
Step 4: take your dough ball out and mix it with your add ins.
Step 5: make it into and awkward log, throw it on some parchment paper (not the same thing as wax paper as I found out)
Step 6: bake for about 15 minutes or until golden brown.
Step 7: take the log out if the oven and let it sit for an hour.
Step 8: cut the log with a sharp knife on the diagonal to get biscotti shaped slices. Place the slices flat side down on new parchment paper
Step 9: bake at 300 for 10-15 minutes
Step 10: allow to cool completely. They’ll still be pretty soft at first so just let them be.
Step 11: dip in chocolate, drizzle icing, add chopped nuts, etc. So many options! Or do nothing and just enjoy how tasty they are

This recipe makes a very small amount. Maybe 13-16 pieces. I took two pieces to work everyday and they were amazing with an afternoon cup if tea. Plus, because they’re a little but sweet and salty (oops, I used salted pistachios) they killed any end of day cravings. Maybe the almond flour gave them extra staying power? Or the fact that you drink a big cup of tea while eating them does? Either way less hunger at the end of the day is always a good thing.

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Ok so terrifying story: I don’t have a food processor so my dumb ass thought: hey! Let’s use the immersion blender. So I did. And all the batter got stuck in it. So I got off as much as I could took the blender over near the sink, STUCK MY THUMB IN IT to try and clear some of the batter AND THEN ACCIDENTALLY HIT THE BUTTON. I’ve never been so terrified. My adrenaline went crazy, I pulled the blade out of my finger/thumbnail, rinsed my finger, stuck things back together (BARF) and wrapped it in a paper towel. Then I poured a large glass of wine and sat on the couch until my husband got home. He looked at it, said it was staying together well enough that I didn’t need stitches, and drive me to pick up hydrogen peroxide, neosporin, Hello Kitty band aids, pizza, and more wine. <- HUSBAND OF THE YEAR YALL. It looks like my thumb and I will survive but *gulp* my thumbnail may not. Thanks in advance for your prayers… For my thumb or stupidity. It's up to you.

#WifeTestedHusbandApproved: One Pan Chicken Alfredo

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I hate when you pin something only to find out that it’s a fake (or it links to porn. Awkwardddd). But this one pan chicken Alfredo really worked!

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The link led to No. 2 Pencil

I did make a few changes and plan to work to make this a much healthier dinner option – especially because the Hubs said he wouldn’t mind if we ate this twice a week. (Probably not only because it’s AMAZING but because it really does only take one large pan and cover. And he’s in charge of dishes .)

When your chicken is mostly done, add some chopped green onions just after you add the garlic.

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I kept the volume of liquid the same but added a little but more (homemade! So fancy!) chicken broth instead of cream. I should’ve/could’ve used half and half and maybe a little pat of butter if needed. Use what you’ve got.



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Bring the pot to a boil and the simmer, covered for about 12 minutes and then check the pasta’s firmness every few minutes. Mine took about 18 minutes before the pasta was 95% done and there was significantly less liquid. Add the Parmesan and don’t be afraid to add half and then work yourself up to a cheesiness/consistency you like. Also mix REALLY well and sprinkle lightly to avoid blobs of parm.

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Boom. You’re done in less than 30 minutes and it looks like you slaved over a homemade sauce. Other changes I’d like to try are using a dairy substitute, trading salmon for the chicken, and adding a green like baby kale, spinach, or wilted arugula.

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