Because the end of summer session deserves WAFFLES

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YOU GUYS.

I survived summer session!!! Donedonedonedonedone. And now I get a very well deserved week and a half to sit on my butt or go do jazzercise or reorganize the apartment which is slowly starting to look less like the home of the box-people, or quite probably some combination of the above.

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And I also get to COOK. And maybe even BAKE, now that the weather in Davis has decided that it will deign to be somewhere under 100 degrees. It might only be somewhere between 95 and 98, but I tell you what — that is a hell of a lot better than walking out in 107 and feeling like you’ve been punched in the face by a wall of heat. Also, incidentally it feels like walking into a hairdryer set on high. Groooosssss. BUT! This week is supposed to be under a hundred, so perhaps it’s time to test run the teeny tiny oven in my apartment.

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Side note. I have noticed, in subsequent kitchen explorations of my apartment, that everything is sloped. Literally EVERYTHING. My bar counter slopes one way, the stove slopes the other. Which is super fun when you’re making eggs and they all decide to run together in the back of the pan, in one giant egg party blob. I foresee some hilarious cooking adventures ensuing, not to mention some slightly crooked cakes.

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This was also in evidence last night when E and I made waffles (because Friday night = breakfast for dinner, obviously) and the waffle batter all ran to one side of the waffle iron, creating very interesting effects and only mild spillage / escaping batter. They were still delicious, because also BACON and walnuts and banana jam and paleo and maple and grass fed butter and zucchini (I had to have something green. It would be out of character if I didn’t). And sorry if the pictures are garbage. I promise these waffles are DELICIOUS, which is why my pictures are lame because I really just wanted to eat them… Pictures of the fully loaded waffle were dinner last night, and the halfsie waffle with banana slices was second breakfast today. WINNING.

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Also, one random thing… Kira and I are doing a 30 / 60 day drawing challenge! (30/60 because LIFE and we may not actually be able to do it in 30 days… margin for error). SO! Day 1. Drawing Self. I am supremely out of practice with drawing people / faces / self… not to mention that self portraits are HARD! But I declare it a credible effort, so here you go. Just one more way to keep myself accountable to finish this thing!

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Happy Weekend! Make waffles, eat, be happy with your crooked kitchen and slightly janky stove.

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Paleo Blender Waffles with Bacon and Banana Jam

Gluten free, paleo, refined sugar free, high fiber, grain free, fast and easy. Makes a delicious dinner when paired with bacon and walnuts (because bacon, duh) and banana jam. Recipe adapted from the Roasted Root, here!

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For the waffles:

  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 c coconut flour
  • 1/2 c tapioca starch
  • 3/4 c unsweetened hemp milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • heaping 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

For the banana jam:

  •  2 ripe bananas, all spotty: mashed
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • splash of hemp milk

For serving: cooked bacon, chopped into little pieces, chopped walnuts, shredded unsweetened coconut, grass fed butter, almond butter, and coconut butter (or some crazy combination of all of that).

Let’s waffle: preheat your waffle iron, and brush it with a little bit of coconut oil. I had no problems with these sticking, but only you know the character of your waffle maker! In a blender, combine all ingredients and blend until smooth. Once the waffle iron is hot, you know the drill…. pour about 1/4 to 1/3 c of batter into the waffle iron (the batter is super thin and that’s fine—just pour straight out of the blender) and cook until either the indicator light for doneness comes on (I estimate roughly 3-4 minutes per waffle for mine—I like them browned), or until you can lift the lid and take them out with no sticking. Keep warm in a low oven until serving, or just eat immediately! These also freeze and reheat in the toaster extremely well.

While the waffles are cooking, assemble all the delicious other things (toppings are the whole reason we eat waffles, yes??)…

For the banana jam, mash up the bananas with a splash of hemp milk and some cinnamon. Preheat a small skillet over medium heat, and cook the bananas until they firm up a little and lose some of their water content. They should caramelize just a little on the bottom of the pan, and you’ll know they’re done when you start smelling the delicious banananess of it all. Serve on top of the waffles for extra delicious.

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baconbaconSHORTCAKEbaconbacon

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Helllooooooo, I made you something with BACON!

And maple, and blueberries, and none of those sneaky little glutens. Tsk tsk.

Gluten free maple bacon shortcakes with vanilla blueberries!

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I know I know, for those of you who know me on fb or instagram, you already saw this nonsense. But life is life, and this is the first time I’ve had five minutes to sit down and actually write something.

Today also happens to be the last day of my job! Sad :( I will definitely miss everyone. But that also means that I leave for camp on Friday (wheeeeee!!!!!) and then grad schools starts four days after I get back from camp. Heeelllpppppp where has the time gone?! Jeez. To compensate for the ridiculousness that is my schedule right now, I seized a free hour on Sunday and made shortcakes! Also because I always seem to have this habit of baking right before camp, and that just couldn’t be ignored.

And also, bacon.

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Maple and bacon are a match made in heaven, and then you add shortcakes and blueberries and maybe ice cream, and then you have nirvana. Or at least something really close…

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Side note. Most annoying thing ever is when your long skirt gets trapped under the wheels of your desk chair. Grrrr.

Back to food.

And a doodle!

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And trolls!! These are the cutest little guys ever. And no, I don’t think they’re creepy.

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But actually, let’s go back to food…

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Gluten Free Maple Bacon Shortcakes with Vanilla Blueberries

Gluten free, egg free, and possibly dairy free (mine weren’t, but you could always sub coconut oil for the butter). The bacon flavor isn’t overwhelming, but it adds a nice savory note that contrasts the sweet of maple and blueberries. These stay fairly flat, but I found I could slice them easily with a paring knife. Yield: 5 large shortcakes. Shortcakes adapted from From Jessica’s Kitchen!

Shortcakes:

  • 1.5 c white rice flour, plus more for rolling
  • 1/4 c tapioca starch
  • 1/4 c ground flaxseed
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • very scant 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 c unsweetened hemp milk (or other non dairy bev)
  • 1/2 tbsp melted butter
  • 1.5 oz salted butter, chilled + diced
  • 1.5 oz chilled bacon grease
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup*
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

*more to taste if you want… mine were lightly sweet

Blueberries:

  • 1 pint of blueberries (or more — I used 1 pint for three of us, but the next night I used fresh ones as I used all of the sauce)
  • a good splash of vanilla
  • 1/2 tbsp chia seeds

Preheat the oven to 350, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together rice flour, tapioca starch, flaxseed, baking powder, and sea salt. In a liquid measure, stir together melted 1/2 tbsp of butter and hemp milk. Using a fork, or a pastry cutter, or your fingers (my preferred method), cut the butter and bacon grease into the dry ingredients, until it resembles coarse sand and the butter/bacon grease chunks are evenly distributed. Stir in hemp milk/butter, followed by maple syrup. Mix just until combined.

Flour a clean work surface, and turn out the dough. Pat it into a circle about an inch thick, and use a cookie cutter (my method) or a biscuit cutter or a knife or whatever to make the shortcakes. Transfer them to the prepared baking sheet, and bake for 14-16 minutes, or until lightly golden. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely, or eat warm.

While the shortcakes are baking, cook the blueberries over medium heat in a small saucepan. Once they have gone all saucy and delicious with a few berries still left whole (roughly 5-10 minutes, I never actually time this), remove from heat and stir in vanilla and chia seeds. It will thicken as it cools.

Serve shortcakes with blueberry sauce and any type of ice cream / non dairy dessert / coconut cream that rocks your world!

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Bacon and vegan things: All my eating proclivities in one post

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Ugh. It feels like it’s been forever and a year since I blogged last, but my stomach decided to take a little trip to the valley of the extremely irritable the last several weeks so I haven’t been cooking much of anything exciting.

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BUT!

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Brownies! Paleo maple bacon ones!

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I also made cookies for a friend last week that were similarly delicious except were vegan (no bacon) and gluten free and not chocolate. So not exactly similar at all except for delicious. And all treats should be delicious! These were a hot mess in the crumbly department but were tasty tasty so might I recommend crumbling them over ice cream? Or maybe straight into your mouth? Double fisted cookie crumbling into that big hole in my head sounds fantastic, who needs a plate?!

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And everyone knows that a four day weekend (Or three day. Or just any normal weekend) means that it’s time to go bop around outside and then come in and make dessert. Because weekends=dessert. Actually most things = dessert. Because… mmm treats.

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Also, one last side note… I get quite a few inquiries into my eating habits. Most everyone tends to think I’m a vegetarian, but that’s not exactly true. I choose not to have a label: sometimes I bake and eat paleo things, sometimes I eat vegetarian, and sometimes gluten free. I’ve experimented with lots of different ways of eating, and I like to mix it up… and I have lots of friends who are gluten free, or vegan, or paleo, and I like to make different things that are accessible for everyone. Also, I like to eat! I noticed as I was finishing this post that it’s a very accurate representation of the way I eat: something meaty and paleo, grain free, gluten free, and vegan. ALL delicious!

And Jessie and I have very interesting conversations. Apparently she thinks I’m fascinating, see exhibit A below…

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Paleo Maple Bacon Brownies

Paleo, gluten free, grain free, dairy free. Full of healthy fats and BACON so obviously you should make them. Refined sugar free, depending on the brand of chocolate chips you use. Yield: a small skillet or a loaf pan’s worth, 2 gratuitously obnoxious large servings or 4 sensible people servings (or you can just eat the thing out of the pan, to hell with proper plates because… picnic!)

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For the maple bacon:

  • As much bacon as you care to consume
  • maple syrup for brushing

Heat a cast iron skillet over medium until hot. Brush bacon with maple syrup and pan fry until it reaches your approved bacon-doneness (I like less crispy, feel free to make dead bacon if that’s your thing). Set aside and let cool.

For the brownies:

I used this one here by Clean Eating with A Dirty Mind, but I think these are my all time favorite brownies (so far. You never know). Both are very dark, not overly sweet, and super fudgy. Either way, they’re winners!

For serving:

Top brownies with crumbled bacon and some creamy vanilla ice cream/non dairy thing/coconut whip/whatever your favorite thing is. Live a little and eat them straight out of the pan in a park in the sun. You won’t regret it :)

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Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

These are the crumbliest things imaginable but they’re delicious so if you like crumbly cookies, defs give these a go. I prefer chewy cookies but I liked the consistency of these and they would be superb crumbled over ice cream. Gluten free, vegan, dairy free, refined sugar free. Yield: 19 cookies.

  • 2 c rolled oats
  • 1 c almond meal
  • 1 c millet flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • scant 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon (<–not a typo!)
  • 1/2 c melted coconut oil
  • 1/4 c unsweetened applesauce
  • 3/4 c maple syrup
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 c extra dark chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. I fit all my cookies onto one sheet because I have intense cookie cramming skills, but you can also use two.

In a large bowl, whisk together oats, almond meal, millet flour, baking powder and sea salt. In a smaller bowl, whisk together melted coconut oil, unsweetened applesauce, maple, and vanilla. Pour wet into dry and toss in chocolate chips. Stir to combine until fully incorporated, and drop heaping tablespoons onto the cookie sheet. Flatten the balls slightly since these don’t spread all that much (if at all). Bake for 15 minutes, until lightly golden. Let cool for at least 10 minutes on the cookie sheet before moving them to a rack to cool completely.

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Family traditions and some bacon (because why wouldn’t you add bacon?!)

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Happy slightly belated New Year!

2014 already?! Hard to believe. But I am fully determined to manifest the best.year.ever. Sparkly, bright, and new. And HAPPY! As Voltaire once wisely said, “I have chosen to be happy because it is good for my health”. Mantra for 2014? Check.

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Welcome to my family: with a grandmother hailing from Columbia, South Carolina, there was no escaping the obligatory good-luck meal for New Year’s day (not that I would want to escape it, it’s DELICIOUS). Black eyed peas+rice, cabbage with bacon [uncured and nitrate free, obviouslyyyy], and cornbread. All for good luck, though with different connotations: greens are for money, and cornbread for gold… and then I’m not entirely sure of the story behind the black eyed peas, but they’re lucky. Just accept it and move on.

It’s not New Years without some black eyed peas.

Why are they called peas? They’re obviously beans…

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Anyway…

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Despite the fact that I don’t drink, apparently I make good drinks: this one was even named after me!! Meet the HayBay! Kind of like a mimosa except not. A bit of bubbly, ginger liqueur, and ruby red grapefruit juice. Rather like me, I suppose… bubbly? Sassy? And maybe a little tart, ha.

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Happy TwentyFourteen! Much joy, laughter, and happiness to you and yours in the new year. Go hug someone :)

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New Year’s Cabbage with Bacon

I’m not even going to do this recipe-style… as far as I know I’ve never seen this recipe written down—all I know is that it comes from the southern side of the fambam. Technically I suppose this recipe is gluten free and paleo!

Cut up a big head of cabbage. Don’t worry about shredding it, just hack it into fork-sized, manageable chunks. After that’s done, slice up 5-6 stalks of celery.

Assuming you previously cooked up a good-sized skillet of [uncured, nitrate-free] baconony goodness (sorry, this is in no way, shape or form a vegetarian recipe. Sorry I’m not sorry, sometimes a girl’s gotta have bacon!), dump some of the leftover bacon grease into the largish soup pot you’re using for the cabbage. Sauté the cabbage and celery in the bacon fat unit it gets soft, but still has a crunch to it. Toss in diced bacon bits and salt, pepper, and hot sauce it up to suit your taste. We use Crystal hot sauce for this, since it’s a family tradition.

Serve hot, with black eyed peas cooked with more bacon (duh) and some cornbread (mine happened to be vegan… can’t get too far away from those contradictions, can we?!).

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Happy New Year!