Wednesday, December 11, 2013

You ever throw together a dish and wonder what you're thinking??

That would be my lunch today.  I really didn't have a plan in mind, just started throwing things together, adding as I went.  The end result . . . well, it wasn't the most appetizing looking . . . probably should have sliced rather than shredded the zucchini for a main dish, or better yet, pureed the zucchini for soup instead . . . but it turned out amazingly good!!


This started out with me wanting to use up a partial zucchini and a box of smoked baby clams. What to do with that??  First I added coconut oil for frying.  Then freshly grated ginger root.  And because I wanted sweetness with the ginger, I added honey.  And because I like lemon with ginger and honey, I added lemon juice.  Then garlic, just because I like garlic, and it goes well with lemon and ginger.  Then I thought it should have a creamy sauce, so I added part of an avocado.  Then at the last second I tossed in a chunk of French type goat cheese for an even creamier sauce.  Black pepper sprinkled on the top of that . . .  I put a little on my plate, wondering if this would taste good, or just plain weird . . . hahaha, it was SO good I went back and ate the rest!!  (And I'm not ashamed to admit I licked my plate!!)
 
Now that I think about it a little, I think next time I would puree the zucchini and make soup. Maybe a wee bit of shredded zucchini swirled with melted goat cheese on top to pretty it up. :)

EDITED TO ADD, Round #2:
Pureed the zucchini this time.  I don't know why, but this garden zucchini had turned yellow instead of staying green.  So the darker flecks should be green, but are yellow instead.  Or, you could peel the zucchini, but I don't bother to do that. Topped with bacon, green onion, and pepper. So delicious!!! :)







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Monday, November 25, 2013

Mmmmmmm . . . Venison!!

I just had a plateful of fresh deer kidneys, oh yum!!  Braised them, then steamed them over low heat to finish.  I used one of my favorite sauces, a cherry wine/rosemary/garlic/meat juices glaze.  Added a little spicy brown mustard in there too.

This past weekend was our annual deer hunting weekend with friends.  I have to say I really, really love our friends!!  They helped us fill our tags, so we brought home 4 deer for our use, and 1 for a relative.  But because there are lots of tasty deer bits that most people don't use, we also brought home 13 hearts, 7 kidneys, 3 lungs, and 1 liver.  We somehow didn't come home with any spleens, but the season's not over yet so I'm still hoping!

We LOVE deer heart and kidneys!  The lungs were an experiment for our dog, Lola.  We raw feed her, and already know she doesn't tolerate much fresh liver but she does fine on dehydrated liver and dehydrated lungs (via the local pet food store) so we wanted to see how she'd do with fresh lungs.  Fine, so far!

After we dropped our deer off for processing, I called back to see if they'd also save the tongues for us (yes - yay!!).  Now, tongue is one of my most favorite cuts of meat - so rich and tender!  Deer tongues are fairly small - not sure if they're really big enough for a meal - but even if they're really small they'll make a nice treat for Lola.

It's funny, even the employees at the butcher shop looked at me funny when I said we save all that stuff - most people don't.  Somewhere along the years, most people decided that organs were "icky" and not worth eating when in fact they are much more nutritious than the muscle cuts!  And did I mention delicious??

Cavemom's Cooking volume 2  will have lots of tasty venison recipes! :)


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Saturday, November 9, 2013

Another wild edible find! Puffball mushrooms!

Yesterday my husband told me he found these giant ball things in the woods; initially he thought they were rocks but was surprised to find out they were light and squishable.  When he described them to me, I said, "oooooooh puffballs!!!  If you see them tomorrow, pick 'em up!!"

So here today, we now have two large puffball mushrooms:


So what to do with puffballs?  First, you need to determine if they are edible.  If they are squishy or smell bad, pass them by; they are too old and will be inedible.  If they are firm, cut them in half.  The inside will look like foam or a marshmallow - you want to see white.  Also, when cutting them in half, look carefully to see if there's what looks like to be another mushroom inside of it - definitely toss that one out!!  That one is poisonous. Now, if the inside flesh is yellow or green or brown, toss it out, it's too old.  The inside flesh should be firm, like foam, too, and should bounce back after being touched.  If it leaves an impression, like memory foam, it's too old, toss it out. 

The puffball on the right, the bigger, more brown one, was too old.  It was squishy and green/brown in the center.  It got dispersed into the yard in hopes some may grow next year.  The smaller puffball on the left was just about perfect!  The outer edges were beginning to turn yellow in spots (under the visible indents in the picture)  and were at the point you can still cut that off and have a perfectly good mushroom.  Peel the outer layer off and then slice as you please.

So what do they taste like?  Some say they are mild with almost no flavor, and some say they are very earthy, and some say they have a unique flavor that is hard to describe.  Being as this is the only puffball I've ever eaten, I can only tell you what *this* one tastes like.  In my opinion, it's more of a truffle flavor, less like a mushroom flavor.   Earthy with a hint of an anise-like aftertaste.  Most of the recipes I saw online called saut√©ing them in butter with salt, pepper, and garlic.  I sliced up the puffball and tried a few slices fried up this way.  I can honestly say I didn't care for that combination.  The anise-like aftertaste just didn't blend well with garlic and butter.  The fried mushroom consistency was like that of French toast though, so that was my next attempt. 

I used an egg, a spoonful of coconut milk, some cinnamon, washed raw sugar, and a wee bit of salt.  Dipped the slices in that and cooked them on a griddle, then topped them with maple syrup - just like French toast.  Now, THAT was pretty tasty!  I still got that earthy taste, but it didn't clash with the rest of the ingredients.  In fact, I'm not sure most people would even know it was a slice of mushroom, and not toast!

I had just finished eating the "Puffball French Toast" when giving my son his lunch.  In his lunch, he had some of a leftover apple/mushroom side dish that had been oven roasted with lamb steaks (recipe in Cavemom's Cooking).  Of course, I ended up eating a little of his lunch, too, and found that those flavors blended well, so I'm looking forward to the next time I make that lamb recipe; I'll try adding the puffball slices to that.

I read that puffballs don't keep well in the fridge, so my choices were either eat it all, dehydrate it, or freeze it. Puffballs are HUGE, so there was no way I was going to eat it all!  For freezing, most said to cook it first.  I'd read the same thing about Morels, but froze mine raw and was very happy with how they thawed, so I froze the leftover puffball slices the same way I froze the Morels - single layer on a cookie rack over a cookie sheet until frozen, then remove and place in an airtight bag.

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We've been featured!

Click here to read our feature in Albert Lea Magazine's
Holiday 2013 Issue! 
 
We are on page 40. :)

credit: Albert Lea Magazine



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Friday, September 27, 2013

YES!! Paleo lasagna!!!!!

Yeah, I'm a little excited about this one . . . I do miss lasagna.  The only non-paleo ingredient is goat cheese.  I can tolerate goat cheese just fine (can only tolerate a wee little bit of cow cheese), and its sharp flavor is a nice complement to the dish.

Today I made a nice big vat of my paleo spaghetti sauce (in Cavemom's Cooking), and in this post I talk about woodear mushrooms, which are quite noodle-like.

I didn't want to make a big pan of lasagna if this wasn't going to work out, so I did a little test:


a nice big (cooked) woodear mushroom, spread on some goat cheese, layered in some fresh spinach, then a spoonful of my spaghetti sauce, topped with a little more goat cheese.  Then fold it closed:


It was a little messy eating it this way, but I learned what I wanted to know!  I CAN make paleo lasagna and it was really good!!!


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Saturday, September 21, 2013

Pumpkins + Apples = Pie-gasm!!

In honor of tomorrow being the first day of fall, I felt like making my paleo apple pie.  But with only 4 apples, it was either a trip to the farmer's market (where I'd want to spend way too much!) or get creative.  Then I thought about all the pumpkins I picked up yesterday . . . and an idea was born.  Although if you check Google, it's not exactly a new idea - it was just new to me! :)
 
First I had to bake up one of the pumpkins, let it cool, scrape out the flesh and mash.  I don't care for pureed pumpkin, to me pureeing it (or any squash) changes the flavor a little.  I'm happy with somewhat lumpy cooked pumpkin.  Then I began the process of making two pies into one.
 

Pumpkin Apple Pie
For this one you’ll need 2 recipes out of Volume 1, shared here:

Almond Pie Crust
If you use butter, you may substitute the suet for butter.

1 1/2 c. almond flour or almond meal
1/2 c. arrowroot
1 3/4 Tbsp rendered suet or tallow (I render suet as I need it)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 egg

Sprinkle on:
Maple syrup or honey
Cinnamon
Nutmeg
Allspice

Mix ingredients and pat into a pie dish, patting the crust up the sides of the dish.  Save some crust to use as a crumble on top the pie!

Pumpkin Pie Filling:
1 1/2 c. pumpkin, cooked
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 c. raw honey (heat on low to melt if necessary)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp allspice
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 c. coconut milk

Mix thoroughly, pour 2/3 of the mixture into the pie crust.  Set the rest aside.
 
Apple Pie Filling (this recipe is halved and slightly modified from the original):
4 pie apples, sliced
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp allspice
Washed raw sugar or maple syrup to taste
1/8 c. pecans, chopped
 
In a large bowl, combine apple slices, spices, and washed raw sugar or maple syrup.  Let sit a few minutes for the apples to juice up.  If using frozen apples, this will create a lot of juice.  Gently place the coated apples into pie crust on top the pumpkin filling (in order to keep the apple slices from sinking, you may want to place each apple slice individually).  Save the excess spiced apple juice and mix it with the excess pie crust and chopped pecans.

Once the apples slices are placed, pour the remainder of the pumpkin filling on top.   Don't forget the topping!
 
 
 
I baked it for 35 minutes at 350F, and the topping was getting a little dark but the pumpkin filling could have been a little more done.  Next time, I'd wait with the topping, bake the pie for 30 minutes, add the topping, then bake for an additional 20 minutes.  Even if I didn't bake it perfectly with the first go-round, it was still extraordinarily delicious!!


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Monday, September 16, 2013

What, you don't like Brussels sprouts?

I hear a lot of people don't like Brussels sprouts. Honestly I don't ever remember eating them growing up; I don't think I tasted them until I was an adult.  But I love 'em!!

If you are used to eating a lot of sweet sugary foods, Brussels sprouts will taste more bitter to you.  But I urge you to skip the extra sweetness for a few hours and give this a try.  The parsnips and pecans have a natural sweetness of their own, which blends very well with Brussels sprouts.

This recipe is a great rustic fall side dish:

Brussels sprouts, halved with stems chopped off
Parsnips, sliced thinly
Pecan halves
Olive Oil
Sea Salt
Pepper

When slicing the parsnips, don't slice them potato chip thin, but maybe about 1/8" thick or so - too thin and they'll burn. Toss brussel sprouts and parsnips with oil, salt, and pepper and place single layer on a baking sheet. Roast at 450F for 20 minutes. Add pecans, stir, and roast an additional 10 minutes. 

As a side note, if your dog is no stranger to table scraps, please keep them away from the Brussels sprouts, raw or cooked.  I don't know if it's all dogs, or just Cavedog Lola, but her stomach definitely doesn't tolerate them. :)


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Friday, September 6, 2013

Smells good in here!

Why?  Because I harvested my fresh herbs today!  I got 1 lonely basil plant, about 4 - 5 sage plants, and LOTS of parsley.  I thought about hanging them up to dry, or maybe using the dehydrator, but since dill and rosemary freeze so well, I figured I'd do that instead.

The amount of parsley that grew would last us a very long time, but I didn't actually grow most of it for us; I grew it for Miss Cavedog, Lola.  Earlier this spring she was diagnosed with immune-mediated hemolytic anemia, which you can read about here.  I chose to treat her holistically - parsley is part of her treatment as it is excellent for anemia!  I also have some parsnip-rooted hamburg parsley growing, but I'll wait for awhile yet to harvest that.  It has a milder flavor than regular parsley, which I actually prefer, but I'm growing it for the root crop.

The garden is pretty much done - just a few cucumbers & zucchinis left on the vine, and the two lonely little marrow squashes. I'm still sad the oregano, rosemary, and marjoram didn't make it, but there's always next year! 

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Monday, August 12, 2013

Garden Fresh Veggies!

If you were wondering what the results were of planting by moon phases, this is it! Zucchini, crookneck squash, beets, beet greens, green cucumbers, and lemon cucumbers!  Everything is growing nicely - except my herbs.  The lettuce, spinach, sorrel, and parsley are doing well, but the rosemary, oregano, marjoram, and thyme didn't - neither my indoor-started herbs nor my planted-right-in-the-garden herbs.  I do have 2 very very tiny rosemary plants and a few oregano plants, but that's about it.

I'm quite excited about this - can we possibly have chanterelles at the cabin?  Oh boy!  I hope there's still some there when we go next - they're supposed to have a longer growing season.  I didn't pick any last time because #1, I didn't expect them to be there, having never seen them there before, and #2, I didn't have any of my mushroom books with me to properly identify them.  The berry harvest was in full swing last trip.  We got many (albeit tiny) raspberries and blueberries, and even a couple gooseberries.  The gooseberry harvest is unusually slim this year.
 
I love this time of year - fresh harvest!  Home grown and wildcrafted!


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Saturday, June 1, 2013

Today's catch: catfish roe and morels!

I don't understand why people get grossed out by the mere thought of certain foods.  Food doesn't grow in supermarkets!!  I like to eat like our ancestors did - there is SO much tasty nutrition out there, forgotten by today's world.  It's out there waiting for us to re-discover it.  And you know what?  It's worth being discovered!

Today Nick caught me a big ol' channel catfish and found it was full of roe - did a quick check online, and yup, edible!  Looked at several recipes, pretty much just fry 'em on up.  I decided to wait until tonight, hoping I'd have a bounty of morels to add to the frying pan.












Mom & I made a nice little haul of morels today in the woods.

So - on to supper!!  Most recipes I found for catfish roe said to dip them in beaten eggs and season with salt/pepper, fry until golden brown. I did that - beat the eggs, added salt/pepper, beat them some more, and added the roe to coat.  Tossed them in the pan with bacon fat, and put some morels into the remainder of the egg mixture, coated, and put them in the pan too.  When it was all done, I topped the plate with fresh picked wild onion and garlic chives.  Man oh MAN was that good!   Nick caught another channel catfish tonight, here's hoping that one's full of roe, too!

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Friday, May 17, 2013

Monday, May 13, 2013

Yes, that's the Cavedog . . .


In the Acknowledgements section of Cavemom's Cooking, the very last mention is Lola - that she keeps my feet warm.  This is exactly what I mean.  Almost every night she worms her 70lb self between me and the stove while I'm cooking supper, and lays her head on my feet.

*Sigh* . . . silly dog.


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Sunday, April 28, 2013

Time to plant!

Digging in the dirt!
There is nothing quite like organic produce directly from the garden to the plate!

We've been getting the garden ready for planting.  It's been dug, turned, and naturally fertilized.  Inside the house, we have several pots just started with seeds.  This year, I'm trying something different - certainly not new, almost as old as time itself: planting by moon phases!  I came across the idea in a book on Wisconsin lore - as much as I am into nature and natural remedies, I'm surprised I'd never heard of it before.  Thankfully there is a lot of free information online - this is one of the sites I used: Moon Planting.  The idea is that the gravitational effects of the moon affect the moisture levels in the soil and how the plant stores moisture depending on the moon's phase and what specific constellation it is in.

According to the really thorough information online, last Sunday I planted my cucumbers, zucchini, summer & winter squashes.  Tuesday would have been perfect for planting my root crops, but alas, we just don't have the room in those pots!  Yesterday I planted most of my leaf crops.  The rest will wait until the danger of frost is over and will be planted directly outside when the moon phase is right. 

This year's garden will have:  cucumbers, zucchini, summer squash, marrow, beets, salsify, hamburg parsley (parsnip rooted), radishes, carrots (no carrots for Kaiden, sorry kid!), spinach, lettuces, oregano, marjoram, thyme, sage, parsley, and rosemary.  The rhubarb is already starting to come up, the black raspberries are beginning to leaf out, and the wild onions are already growing like mad.  I'm hoping the grapevine will have a little bigger harvest this year.  We'll be putting in an asparagus bed this year - summer crop, since I know where I can wild-harvest the spring crop!  We're also putting in a strawberry bed and some blueberry bushes.  This in addition to last year's planting of an apple tree, cherry tree, and two plum trees.  We've been talking about putting raised beds in the front yard, too.

Are you planting a garden this year?  Feel free to comment! :)


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Thursday, April 4, 2013

Simple. Easy. Quick. Delicious!

Cooking paleo doesn't have to take a lot of time - it can be very quick, simple, and easy!  Last night's supper was simply grilled pork chops, seasoned only with sea salt and pepper, oven roasted Italian cauliflower, and fresh fruit. 
 
I'd done some oven roasted cauliflower recipes in the past that were a lot more involved - cook, drain, make sure it's dry, coat it with oil and crushed spices in a skillet, THEN roast it . . . granted it's good that way, but it's equally as good this way and a heck of a lot easier! 

Ingredients:
cauliflower, cut into chunks
chicken stock
homemade Italian dressing
oregano
thyme
garlic granules
sea salt
 
Just preheat the oven to 425F, place a cookie sheet on top the oven with the cauliflower, about 1/8c of saved chicken stock from a roasted chicken (the heat from the pre-heating oven helps melt down the congealed chicken stock and fat), drizzle on some (homemade) Italian dressing and the seasonings - toss to coat - and pop it in the oven for 10 minutes.  I think it actually takes longer  to preheat the oven than to roast the cauliflower!
 
Simple. Easy. Quick. Delicious!


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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Shredded coconut topping for baked chicken

I never used to be a fan of shredded coconut - could not stand them in baked goods, so never tried them anywhere else.  But now . . . I like to add them to shrimp stir-fries, toast them for use on salads, and now - on baked chicken!

My first attempt at it I tried to make a batter, adding almond meal and eggs.  While very tasty, it didn't get crispy.  This time - just simply oiled up the chicken first, then sprinkled on my seasonings and the shredded coconut. Bake at 350F for 1 hr.  Paleo is so easy! And tasty! :)

 
 
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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Simple but tasty














Really simple, easy salad.  I wanted something a little more filling than just grabbing an apple or some veggies - thought about adding a protein, but just wasn't quite that hungry this morning at 10am.

Ingredients:
apple, divided in half
onion
mushroom
asparagus
oil of choice
freshly grated ginger
white wine
leafy greens
sea salt
pepper

Chop the apple, onion, mushroom, and asparagus, cook it up in a little oil of choice.  Just for fun, I added a wee bit of ginger and white wine.  I tossed the asparagus in at the end so it'd still be crispy.  Toss it all on a bed of leafy greens, sprinkle on a little sea salt and fresh ground pepper, and you've got the other half of the apple for dessert.  Quick, simple, easy! (and tasty!!)


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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Paleo Noodles . . . sort of!

I don't miss pasta for the most part.  I can't say as I ever really liked the taste of it by itself, but it was nice to pair it with a tasty sauce for added texture/filling.  When you think of spaghetti, you automatically think sauce + noodles, right?  So what happens when you go paleo and noodles are no longer an option?  What exactly do you serve that sauce on? Just meat by itself?  Well, sure, you can do that but I still feel like the dish needs a 3rd texture to round it out.  (By the way, since we are nightshade free I have an awesome nightshade-free recipe for spaghetti sauce in Cavemom's Cooking!) 

I like serving the sauce over meat served on top a bed of shredded raw zucchini, but it's still not quite what I was looking for.  Serving it over a bed of leafy greens works too, but again . . . not quite what I wanted.  I even tried shirataki noodles . . . they had zero flavor of their own and are too processed for my liking.  Then, at the grocery store, I found dried woodear mushrooms. 

This edible fungus has an interesting history of uses (I'll let you look that up).  I've tried them a couple different ways - tossed into dishes dry and let the moisture of the dish reconstitute them, which may leave some of them still crunchy, or simmered them to reconstitute.  Personally I like woodears just a little bit crunchy, but I liked the texture of crunchy noodles too.  Reconstituted they have a kind of rubbery texture, but it's not too terribly different than pasta. By themselves, woodears don't have a strong flavor, but they do complement dishes nicely.  They can be purchased whole or shredded/sliced, which would make them much more noodle-like; I got mine whole.  You'll probably have better luck finding them online than in most grocery stores unless it's holiday time.   A word of warning for the grocery stores though:  Around here all you can get is a 1 oz package for $4 - $9.  Pretty expensive! They can be found online in bulk for much cheaper, which is how I'll be sourcing them from now on.

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Saturday, March 9, 2013

Everything's Better with Bacon!

While wanting a healthier diet, I reeeeeaaaally didn't want to give up bacon . . . so like everything else, I thought I'd try making it myself. First I tried switching to side pork, frying that up with a little seasoning, but it tasted just like a fried pork chop - not the bacon-y goodness I was looking for.

This recipe was one of those instances where the idea just popped into my head while I was actually in process of frying up some side pork. The idea? Add apple cider vinegar to the pan. Now, I knew about brining bacon, but we have a small fridge and don't have extra space to allocate. It took some experimenting with amounts and heat settings, but I finally did it: quick, easy, bacon-on-the-fly that *gasp* actually tastes like bacon! I really like a maple-flavored bacon, but adding maple syrup is up to you.

Ingredients:

Side pork, sliced
Sea salt (best with applewood smoked sea salt, which you can easily make yourself with a smoker, some applewood, and some sea salt)
Pepper
1 part maple syrup (1 part = about 1 Tbsp per pound of bacon)
2 parts apple cider vinegar

Arrange side pork in a large skillet. Sprinkle well with salt and pepper and fry on medium heat until the side pork starts to brown. Add 2 parts apple cider vinegar and 1 part maple syrup. Swirl around in the pan to coat the side pork. Continue to fry (a splatter shield is recommended). When good and browned on the bottom, flip side pork over and sprinkle salt and pepper on the browned side. Continue to fry until slices are as done as you like. Tastes like bacon!

We actually prefer this recipe over commercial bacon. Today, I did basically the same recipe except we smoked it with hickory instead of frying it. Takes longer, but ooooooh was that ever good!!

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Sunday, March 3, 2013

Wine? Yes please!

While our paleo ancestors certainly weren't bottling wine for fine dining, it wouldn't have been an total impossibility for them to have found and eaten fermented fruit.  Therefore, I like to cook with wine!

Funny thing is, I'm not a wine drinker.  There's very, very few wines I can stand the taste of, most of which are sweet red wines, and I like them over ice.  My absolute favorite is Cherry Wine from St. James Winery, in St. James, Missouri.   It's what I use in my recipes that call for red wine.

There's just something about the flavor of a good sweet cherry wine, roasted garlic, and rosemary that works well on so many meat roasts.  So remember, before you drink it all, save some for the food!! :)

Note: If you know who to credit for the comic, please let me know and I'll add it! :)

Thursday, February 28, 2013

ooooh, smoked duck!!

We recently got ourselves a cheap little smoker on Walmart clearance.  With some modifications made to it (online suggestions from others who own the same one) it's a nice little unit.  We've since smoked pork roasts, chickens, side pork, northern pike, and today: a duck.

I don't have too much experience with duck; so far I only have 1 recipe I really like.  I looked at a few online smoked duck recipes - one was as simple as just maple syrup, salt, and pepper.  Another called for honey, soy sauce, garlic, and red wine. 

So, today's creation:


1 whole duck
sweet cherry wine (my favorite, of course)
maple syrup
sea salt
pepper
garlic granules
rosemary

I poured a little wine into the cavity of the duck, poured on the maple syrup (and rubbed to thoroughly coat), sprinked on the seasonings. I did prick the skin a little bit with a filet knife.  Lola will get the neck and giblets with her supper.

There was of course some liquid leftover in the pan, so I took some side pork, smooshed it all around in the seasoned sweetened wine, put it on a rack and added salt and pepper to the top.  This will be smoked along with the duck. 



We're using mostly hickory, but some apple wood in the smoker too.  Can't wait to eat this one!!!


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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Oxtail Stew: my favorite winter comfort food

My mom likes to come over on grocery shopping day under the pretense she is "helping" me wrangle the kid.  I just really enjoy her company while shopping for food, food being one of our favorite topics of discussion.  For our lunch today, I made one of my all-time favorites, Oxtail Stew.  Now, this one is probably the most complex or labor intensive of all the recipes in my cookbook, but the flavors are well worth the effort.  It's messy - or maybe that's just me, since my stove looked like something exploded on it by the time I was done. 
 
I'm not really sure how I even came up with this recipe; in my original hand-written version, it's modified from an earlier original recipe of mine that was most definitely not paleo and certainly not Kaiden friendly.  Some of the original ingredients were carrots (instead of parsnips), corn, and barley.  For whatever reason, Kaiden can't have carrots; they - along with nightshade foods - triggered his seizures.  Since sweet potatoes did the same thing to him, the only thing I can think of is the high Vitamin A content.  Which, really, is fine with me - I've never liked sweet potatoes, and while I like carrots, I do not care for their flavor paired with beef.  Parsnips, now, that's another story.  I love parsnips with beef!
 
So, without further adieu:
 
Oxtail Stew
Diced beef, or left over beef roast, sliced
1 pkg oxtail
2 parsnips, chopped
1 onion, chopped
Honey mushrooms (oyster mushrooms would also work well; cremini mushrooms are a little too bland)
2 – 2 1/2 c cooked pumpkin or butternut squash
1 peach, chopped
Garlic cloves, chopped, slightly crushed
Olive oil
Sweet cherry wine
Sea salt
Pepper
Rosemary
Thyme
1/2 tsp homemade curry powder (I have a recipe in the cookbook for paprika-free curry)
Water, as much as you wish to make stew
 
Add veggies to water.  In a skillet, brown the garlic in olive oil with rosemary, salt, & pepper.  When browning, add a little sweet cherry wine and reduce.  When liquid is almost gone, add oxtail and braise.  Add contents of skillet to stew. Deglaze skillet with a bit more wine and add to stew. Then add rest of seasonings to stew.  Simmer 30 – 40 minutes.  If there is enough  meat on the oxtail, when the stew is done pull out the oxtails, cut meat off, and return the meat to stew.
 

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Monday, February 25, 2013

Today is a good day.

Well, actually, it's a FASTASTIC day!!  The whole reason we got into paleo was because of our son.  Kaiden is four years old now, and is special needs.  He has low muscle tone and poor motor planning skills as well as some other issues.  Most children begin feeding themselves early on; Kaiden, until today, had not ever, not even once, EVER finger fed.  He'd pick up food and squish it, feed it to the dog, or feed it to me . . . but he would never put food in his own mouth.  Which is funny, because his hands and toys are always in his mouth. He will willingly pick up a loaded spoon and feed himself, and can load the spoon himself, but if he loads the spoon, there's just no way he will put it in his mouth. No way, Mom, not gonna happen. As long as someone else loads the spoon, he'll happily feed himself.  It's always been a big huge tantrum-filled deal to do hand-over-hand finger feeding.  But today . . .

Today he did it.  And not just once.  He demolished the rest of a bag of grapes while sitting on my lap!  Did it like he's done it all his life.  Kids.  They sure suprise you!!

Anyway . . . today is the first day my cookbook, Cavemom's Cooking, is up for sale!  I'm pretty excited about that.  When we went paleo, I never thought about writing a cookbook.  But as time went on and Kaiden made so much progress, I knew his story needed to be told.  And what better way than with what helped him the most?  Food.  So far it's just the e-book version, but printed copies will be made.

In the meantime, please come visit; I'll be posting recipes and food photos - some will be old favorites, and some will be the "hey look at the tasty food I just threw together tonight" kind of meals. 

Happy cooking everyone!!

Want more recipes?  Purchase Cavemom's Cooking on Etsy.