It is 2014. TWENTY FOURTEEN. OMG. And I haven’t posted anything since last MAY. WTF. WTF was I doing ALL THAT TIME? Oh right, living IRL. Duh.

But, supposedly, people want to know the minutia of my life and want me to keep writing my blathering and posting them on the internets. So, I’ll TRY. Really, I’m going to try hard to write something, anything, at least once a week. So here we go:

Rather than give a recap of my last year, I’d rather reveal and revisit some of those *special moments* as they relate to the present. Like in a movie, where the character has a flashback and it gives you clues to the present and future of the character. Yes, I like this idea. Let’s go with it. πŸ˜‰

So today is Saturday…

My eyeballs cracked open at 4:15, 15 minutes after my alarm typically goes off. I laid in bed momentarily contemplating being diligent and disciplined and climbing on my spin bike for a sweaty 45 minute ride to some Dutch house and dubstep. I wiggled my toes and stretched my legs out from their curled position. Instantly the tightness and pain of DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) arced through my lower extremities. “Not happening,” I decided as I slowly rolled off my bed and hobbled to the TV to start an episode of Lonesome Dove on Netflix. Lonesome Dove is excellent TV to sleep through.

When we did finally get moving, it was at a rapid pace. M finished packing for an overnight ride to VA while I wrangled the hellions. We cruised over to McD’s for some chemical laden, gluten filled garbage to “fuel” our day before the posse set off. If I must eat there I always get the same thing and today was no different, (powdered) eggs with (plastic) cheese, “sausage”?, and a hashbrown. I’ve tried the fruit and yogurt parfait before and it’s too sweet and more than once I’ve gotten one that had spoiled. It’s not a road I’m willing to go down again. The kids had pancakes and sausage. Per their SOP K only ate pancakes and C only ate sausage. Then, onto the king of the grocery beasts, Food Lion. Rawr.

How thrilling it is to buy fresh produce. I’m serious. We got there early and the shelves were still being restocked. The kiddos were fascinated by the produce manager as she carefully washed each row of veg with the hose suspended from the ceiling. K asked why we couldn’t have a water hose in our ceiling. HA! After some back and forth about what to eat this week, and repeating at least 5 times that we already had PLENTY of kale at home we came away with: (cause you know you want these deets!)

The standards:

  • Celery, Carrots, Baby Spinach, Avocado/Guacamole, Bananas, “baby” Bananas, and bagged salad

The not so standards:

  • Cauliflower, for cauliflower crust mini pizzas
  • Parsnips, for a carrot/parsnip roast
  • Watermelon, because we can’t possibly eat fruit that’s IN SEASON!?!
  • RED Bananas, because you can just never have too many bananas in this house

We also managed to stick very well within the periphery of the store, except for buying 3 containers of Pringles…. because we had a coupon…. All in all, for a shopping trip with the kids, it wasn’t bad and I managed to stay on budget and within menu planning.

But chaos was lurking right around the corner, literally, and reared it’s unruly head right as we returned home. I dropped one single bag in unloading the car. And yes, of course, it was the bag holding the 2 dozen fragile, expensive, cage-free eggs. But what did this audaciously living gal do? Did I weep over the approximately $8 oozing into a yolky puddle in my driveway? Heck no! I brought them in and surveyed the damage. 4 were trashed immediately, 4 were salvageable if I cooked them right away, and the rest were rinsed and put in the bin for later. Then, I dropped one I was rinsing, so I had 5 eggs to cook.

Immediately, my mind went to images of light and lovely souffles and creamy custards. C and I sat and skimmed the pages of several well-loved cookbooks from my collection: Better Homes and Gardens, Eat Like a Dinosaur, Paula Deen Celebrates, and The Primal Blueprint Cookbook. Finally, we settled on Chocolate Custard from Primal Blueprint. C wanted to help cook for the first time EVER. I wish I’d thought to grab my Nikon and take “real” pix but I didn’t. You will have to believe me that she helped me very carefully pour each ingredient into the mixer so that she didn’t spill a drop. She also greased the baking dish with coconut oil then licked it off her fingers because it smelled so yummy. I amped up the mild mannered custard by adding a little heat: 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp chopped crystallized ginger, and 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper. (*Note* I should have added at least a 1/2 tsp cayenne) Fast forward an hour and we had a yummy warm paleo chocolate custard that filled the house with warmth and filled the mouth with drool. It was good while it was warm, but once it chilled in the fridge a bit the heat from the cayenne and ginger really came through the smooth, sweet creaminess of the chocolate. W-O-W.

Primal Chocolate Custard from The Primal Blueprint Cookbook
Primal Chocolate Custard from The Primal Blueprint Cookbook

Chocolate Custard, adapted from The Primal Blueprint Cookbook:

  • 1.5 cans full fat coconut milk (I used Thai Kitchen)
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 or 1/3 Grade B maple syrup
  • 3 tbsp cocoa (I used organic dutch-press)
  • Optional:
  • 1/2 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp crystallized ginger, chopped
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

First, grease a custard or casserole dish or dishes. Preheat oven to 325*. Put a large pot of water on to boil for a bain marie (water bath). In a large bowl, or stand mixer, whisk eggs for 1-2 minutes. Add coconut milk, maple syrup, and vanilla. In a small bowl, mix the cocoa powder with a few tbsp of warm water to make a smooth paste. (If using cinnamon and cayenne, add them now.) Add the cocoa paste to the mixer. Finally, add in your coconut shreds (and crystallized ginger) Pour the custard into the greased dish. Place the custard dish into a larger baking dish or casserole and place on rack in oven. Pour boiling water into outer dish (not into your custard!) halfway up the side of the casserole or custard dish. Bake approximately 1 hour or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. If you use individual or smaller ramekins cooking time will be much less.

It just occurred to me that a smidgen of orange zest and maybe a tbsp of fresh orange juice would be a good alternative to the spices. Yes, that would be seriously yummy.

Making the custard put me in mind to do some prep-cooking for the week. So, I dug around in the freezer and found a beef marrow bone that I never got around to having cut up for individual servings (Maaaaaan, that would have been good stuff) and a beef shank. They went into the crock pot with celery, carrot, onion, bay leaves, S&P and some water to simmer away and make gelatinous healing bone broth. I’m going to attempt to eat more (nutrient dense and filling) soup. I’m not really a big fan of soup, as I really like to chew my food, but I follow Paleo Parents on Instagram and Stacy posts a pic nearly every morning of her breakfast soup and it just looks SO good. Now, I’m kind of kicking myself for not buying some zucchini, squash, and cabbage for soup this week.

While the bones were crocking and the custard was cooking, I also whipped up some protein balls. This was a first time recipe so I’m not sure how it is supposed to turn out… I’m pretty sure I wasted 4 scoops of protein powder and more than a little coconut oil and cream concentrate. We shall see if M approves. Typically, he goes along with trying paleo and primal recipes and then asks me to pick up a stash of prepackaged, preservative, and chemical filled garbage stuff. I got the recipe from Feeding Ger Sasser, a crossfit/paleo food blog. Some of the other protein balls looked yummier, but I had the ingredients on hand for Lemon Lime Protein Balls. They kind of tasted like a Lemon flavored Luna bar, and that’s not one of my favorites. It may be that my Primal Fuel protein is too coconut-y and that overwhelms the zest and brightness of the lemon/lime. Next time I make protein balls, I will definitely be using chocolate or mocha or coffee. Vanilla is just too… vanilla.

While the bulk of my day was spent cooking, it was also spent rolling out sore muscles from doing two-a-day workouts this week (spin and Insanity… ouch!), doing a little resistance band work, a little yoga with the hooligans, and watching Iron Man cartoons. I’m still slightly hobbled so hopefully my next post will involve more than me shuffling around my kitchen! For now I’ll leave you so I can snuggle up with my munchkins and get in some couch time… and perhaps tackle some laundry. What a fabulous life I lead!