Oxtail…My Favorite Kind of Offal

I hope you’ll stick with me through this one, so I can convince you to try this great dish! I was able to get a great grass-fed oxtail from the local farmer’s market. I will say this… I found a 1 pound oxtail at the grocery store for $16. I purchased 3 pounds at the farmer’s market for $18! A much better deal and much better quality!.

I love trying weird cuts of meat. They’re often more economical and have quite a bit of flavor. So far I’ve tried, oxtail, beef cheek, beef liver, and beef heart. All with unique flavors. So if you think you’re brave, see if you can source them locally! This dish is actually very simple.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 3 Pounds of Grass-fed Beef Oxtail
  • A Splash of Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1Teaspoon of Pink Himalayan Salt
  • As Many Garlic Cloves as you Like (I probably did 5 ish…)
  • Water to Fill the Pressure Cooker

Are you ready for how easy this is? Throw all of these ingredients in your pressure cooker. Remember to put the metal insert at the bottom so that the meat is off the bottom. Please let me stress (as always) that you read your owners manual and understand how to operate it safely. I have a Cuisinart Pressure Cooker…so I’ll try to walk you through the general idea.

Don’t over fill your pressure cooker. Place the lid on top and lock it into position. Select ‘High Pressure’ on your pressure cooker for 90 minutes. Make sure that the pressure valve is in the right position so that it seals as it gets up to pressure. When it is finished cooking, please be extremely careful and know how to release the pressure safely. Most have the ability to do a quick release and a slow release. The only difference is, letting the steam all out by moving the valve, or just letting the pressure naturally seep out over a longer period of time. You choose what works best for you.

This was so delicious that I nearly ate the whole thing by myself! It is an extremely fatty cut, and a little messy to deal with. But it is so flavorful, you’ll be elbow deep before you begin to care about the mess. This goes great with potatoes, rice, or any other vegetables you like.

I hope you enjoy this recipe. Go ahead and try some offal! I promise it’s not as *awful* (wink, wink) as you think. Make sure to come back next time and see what weird things I’ll try next. I’m sending yummy, nutritious cuts from my Common Sense Kitchen to yours.

-Ami M. Lee, Offal Loving, Eclectic Ingredient Trying, Common Sense Cook

Gluten Free Cheesy Bread Sticks

Let me begin this with…We’re all human with weird cravings. Even us paleo’s sometimes miss conventional foods. If you’re like me…It is just NOT an option to slip up. Gluten exposure leaves me feeling awful. Too much dairy and I feel like a balloon. Same goes for too much almond butter (I love Almond Butter a little too much). One night my husband was talking about food we used to eat and I got to thinking about cheese filled bread sticks. The kind we bought were like eating an Olive Garden bread stick with a mozzarella cheese string in the middle. Talk about unhealthy habits, I could eat 5 or more by myself.

I had made a pizza dough from The Domestic Man (link at the end) that used parmesan cheese in it. Technically primal more than paleo. From my understandings, primal diets are more okay with dairy. Hard cheeses like parmesan, from what I read, are much more tolerable. My very lactose intolerant kiddo was even okay with these! I’m really starting to think there is a correlation between (at least for my child) the quality of the dairy and his tolerance level. But any hoo…On to the bread sticks y’all!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 1/2 cups tapioca starch or flour (it’s the same thing)
  • 1/4 cup each heavy cream and water (or 1/2 cup coconut milk instead of cream & water)
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • pinch of white pepper (I used black pepper just fine.)
  • 3/4 cup parmesan cheese (or any hard cheese), grated

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a saucepan, combine the coconut milk, butter, and salt and bring to a simmer on med/low heat. You want to get it to the point that it’s starting to bubble, but not boiling. In a large bowl, add the tapioca starch. When the cream/water mixture is heated, add it to the starch and stir it all together. I use a spoonula to mix gently. It can get flaky, but that is okay. Let it cool for 5 minutes.

Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Rub down with a little butter or coconut oil to help prevent sticking (as much).

Add the beaten egg to the mixture, and knead together with your hands. Add the cheese, white pepper, and oregano, and mix together until it’s dough-like.

Take about a golf ball sized piece in your hand. Depending on how sticky the dough is (I’ve had it be super sticky, and not very sticky at all…almost conventional dough like) you may be able to roll it in a ball, then push lightly with your fingers and roll it out into a snake. I’m thinking that the kind of cheese may have affected the consistency of the dough. The best one so far was an aged Romano.

This recipe, as is, makes about 6 about 5 inches long. They may vary in size, but that’s okay. I found that the ones that were about two fingers width wide were the best. Lay them on the cookie sheet and throw them in the oven for 25 minutes. They should be starting to turn a lovely golden brown color.

Let them cook a few minutes and peel them off the aluminum foil. I think that it is very important that you have the foil for easier clean up and removal after they’re cooked.

These bread sticks are crunchy on the outside and chewy, gooey, cheesy on the inside. My non-paleo husband wasn’t too sure about the texture. So, you may be cautious if you have family members that are really picky about textures of food. However, me and the kids ate them up! It may have been a long time since I had conventional bread, but I was thoroughly satisfied! This went great with Potato Soup (recently blogged).

I hope you enjoy this recipe! I encourage you all to look at recipes and find ways to use them more than the way they are printed. You never know what amazing things you could come up with! Don’t forget to check out the original recipes for The Domestic Man’s Cast Iron Skillet Grain and Gluten Free PIzza (http://thedomesticman.com/2012/12/13/cast-iron-skillet-grain-and-gluten-free-pizza/). As always, I’m sending you warmth and cheesiness from my kitchen to yours! I hope you’ll come back next time to see what recipe I’ll work with next.

-Ami M. Lee, Cheese Loving, The Common Sense Cook

Potato Soup

Potato Soup

It’s safe to say that this may be one of my favorite soups. That is saying a lot coming from a person who grew up despising everything soup like. I actually modified this recipe a long time ago to be dairy free for my littlest. The original recipe (for all of you non-paleo readers) will be linked at the bottom. Ree Drummond of The Pioneer Women (if you haven’t heard of her…Go to Netflix now y’all! Even paleos! She’s amazing and have plenty that can be paleofied) is who the recipe is from. Having attempted 3 versions of this soup, I am going to tell you my way, and my husband’s way that he likes it.

Here’s what you’ll need for this awesome soup:

  • 6 Russet Potatoes
  • 2 large carrots (or a handful of baby carrots. I’ve been keeping these around for kiddos)
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 1 large yellow onoin
  • 6-8 Cups Homemade Bone Broth (Seriously…I’m posting this recipe soon. Once you use this, you’ll never want to use anything else.)
  • Pink Himalayan Salt
  • Organic 1/2 and 1/2 (for the non-paleo or lacto-paleo version)
  • Cheese (If you tolerate it. I do in moderation.)
  • 1 Package of Bacon (oooo yes…I said it. Bacon y’all! I used about 1 pound.)
  • Cooking fat (or use the bacon grease!)

Does anyone else think of the Mom in My Big Fat Greek Wedding talking about peeling more potatoes? “It’s a lot of people!” She says. So, do just that. Peel and rinse off the potatoes. I usually cut them in half, length wise. Then, lay the flat edge down, and cut about two or three strips length wise (this will depend on the size of your potato). Then cut cross ways to make a small chop. Peel your carrots then chop them into roughly the same size as the potato. Repeat with the celery. One good thing to know about celery is to take the vegetable peeler and make a few runs along the stalk. If you remove some of the stringy bits, it is much more palatable and disappears into the soup much easier.

Now, if you like, start the bacon. I know it may take longer, and if you’re better at multi-tasking start this before veggie prep. I’ve been a little more cautious with cooking bacon and not being able to stand right over it to make sure it doesn’t get to hot. I had a pretty bad burn a while back. Any hoo! I take the whole package of bacon and use some kitchen scissors to cut it into 1 inch pieces. Throw it in a deep soup pot. It cooks much faster when it’s in pieces. Drain on some paper towel when it is finished.

Add your veggies to the bacon grease and get them to cooking. You may have to drain off a little bit, but I save mine in a bowl for future cooking. Use your best judgment here. Let the veggies start cooking for a few minutes. In this step, it really helps if you have everything in a bowl or on a plate, ready to dump in. Prep work is a pain, but really helpful with dishes like this.

Add in the potatoes and let them cook for about 5 minutes. You should see them start to turn from a very opaque white to a milky, less opaque color. Add a generous pinch of salt here.

Pour in 6-8 cups of bone broth. I want to mention here that, if you buy store bought broth, that’s okay. Just make sure to check the label because even my favorite organic stock had a wheat allergy warning on it.

Bring to a boil for about 10 minutes, until the potatoes are getting close to done.

I plugged my food processor in right beside the stove and carefully ladled a good half of the soup into the bowl. Blend until smooth. Carefully pour it back into the pot. Now, here is where you can decide to keep it paleo, or do my husband’s version.

You can let it simmer away and call it a lovely, chunky, golden potato soup. This is very yummy and my kiddos actually ate this up! Asked for seconds! If I’d let them have thirds… I topped theirs with some cheddar cheese and bacon.

For my husband, I add some of the soup to a smaller pot. Added about 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of organic 1/2 and 1/2. This turned the soup a lovely white color and gave it a creamier texture. If you’re looking for something more authentic, this is what I would do if you can tolerate some dairy. It also seems to be better tolerated in my family if I buy a better quality dairy product. He put cheese and bacon on top of his. Now, I may play around with the type of potatoes. Even though I only blended half of the soup he insisted it was still a little mushy…I mean come on…isn’t that what potato soup is? But, you may try a firmer, less starchy potato like yellow golden.

Either way you choose, I hope you enjoy it. I will be making this for Christmas Day. While unconventional, it’ll be a treat since it has been so cold and wet here in Arkansas. If I don’t make it back to the blog before Christmas, I want to wish each and every one of you a happy holiday. Happy Hanukkah, Kwanza, Winter Solstice, or hey…Just happy Thursday.

I’m sending warm, comforting bowls of soup from my kitchen to yours. I hope you’ll come back and see what I’ll come up with next…A hint you ask? Semi-paleo breadsticks (they have cheese), Corned Beef and Cabbage…And I never made it around to my turkey recipe.

-Ami M. Lee, Potato Soup Loving Convert, Common Sense Cook

P.S. My Friends: Here’s the original link for The Pioneer Woman’s awesome recipe: http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2013/01/perfect-potato-soup/

Julia Child’s Whole Chicken Poached in White Wine

Julia's White Wine Poached Chicken

Yesterday was a tough day. I ended up with a migraine and had to take a long nap that frankly, I didn’t want to wake up from. I’m sure many of you know how that feels. I tried some ginger tea, tried some headache yoga (From Yoga With Adriene on YouTube) and I was just feeling icky. Supper time rolls around and I feel it coming. That time when I normally give in and ask to get something quick. Yes! I’m guilty of the fast food trap. Thankfully, that is something I’ve been thoroughly working on and it’s cut our fast food in take from once every other week, to on rare occasions and I don’t participate. So what to do!? I knew I had seen a recipe where Julia and Jacque put a whole chicken in a pot and boiled it. Off, once again, to YouTube I go!

Ingredients for Whole Chicken Poached in White Wine

Here’s what you’ll need to set this chicken up right:

  • 1 Whole Chicken (I find great deals on Whole, Organic Chickens at Krogers. Simple Truth Brand.)
  • 2 or 3 Carrots, peeled
  • 2 or 3 Pieces Celery
  • 1 Roughly Chopped Onion
  • Herbs (I used some left over sage from Thanksgiving. Rosemary, Basil, and Parsley.
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1/2 Bottle of White Wine (Use something you’ll drink! I used Cupcake Chardonnay.)
  • Plenty of water

Whole Chicken Poached in White Wine

Bring out your biggest soup pot. Remove the giblets and plastic from your chicken. Set the giblets aside and look out for my chicken giblet gravy recipe. Throw that baby in your pot. I just set mine on the counter next to my cutting board so I could just throw everything in as I went.

Peel your carrots and celery. Yes, the celery too. If you can take off one layer of the celery, it’s a little more edible in texture. Cut the onion into a couple pieces. Halves or quarters works fine.

Add your herbs. Use whatever you have on hand. Fresh or dried. I’ll list the video below so you can see what Julia and Jacque did for their herb bundle if you want to follow the original. Make sure and add some salt and pepper.

Pour in your white wine. I just eye balled it; half the bottle…ish. I am never opposed to taking a sip or two so that I know how it tastes. One thing that Julia preaches, is knowing how the food should taste. Also, Gordon Ramsay says, taste, taste, taste! Do you need any more excuses? I could probably think of a few more. 🙂

Bring everything up to a good rolling boil. Turn it down so it doesn’t over flow…It was about Med – 5 on my cook top. This keeps it bubbling, but not over flowing. Do this for 20 minutes then turn it down to Low-Simmer for 45 minutes with a lid on top. The chicken, when fully cooked, should reach 165 degrees. Check out this great resource I found http://www.foodsafety.gov/keep/charts/mintemp.html

I peeled some potatoes, boiled them like usual. I have a recipe for Mashed Potatoes two ways that was posted before Thanksgiving. I added some of the chicken broth from the chicken and some grass fed butter. It whipped up just like conventional potatoes! It was so good with the chicken gravy, I may have had a small saucer plate for seconds. Cut up your carrots, celery, and onions on the side and you’re good to go. This was well received well by all 3 of my kiddos!

I hope you enjoy this recipe. I was pretty impressed at how easy this was and how simply delicious it turned out. Make sure and come back for that Chicken Giblet Gravy recipe. It is different than the Giblet Gravy recipe already posted and frankly, I like the Chicken one better. If you try it out, feel free to come by the Facebook page and share pictures!

-Ami M. Lee, Julia Child Loving, Cooking with Wine Lover, Common Sense Cook

P.S. Here’s the link to the YouTube video. You can skip to 24:45 in the Video because there are two episodes per video.

P.P.S. Don’t throw away the chicken carcass! Make bone broth! Waste nothing! 🙂

Honey Butter

Honey Butter

It’s Thanksgiving Eve. The sun is setting and it’s slowly getting darker in the living room. My kids are taking naps. My husband is still in bed (because he works nights), and I’m watching my father-in-law across the street move their mail box so they can widen their driveway. I was sitting here somewhat enjoying the quiet, then I realized how much blogging, and other jazz I need to get done. But, to me, it’s only Common Sense to give yourself time to breath. Everyone keeps telling me to stop stressing out. So here I go…Can’t be stressed about butter y’all.

Here’s what you’ll need for this Epic Butter:

  • 1 block of Kerrygold Irish Grassfed Butter, Unsalted (I’m sure you could use conventional butter, but I’m paleo, so just roll with the expensive butter for now y’all.)
  • Raw Local Honey (It has so many benefits, so I bought a huge jar before Farmer’s Market season ended.)

Two ingredients. Yep. You’ll never need to buy over processed, extra chemical laden butter again.

If you have the time, let your butter sit out and soften. I let mine sit out for a while and it didn’t seem soft enough to whip so I just threw it in the microwave for 30 seconds. You DO NOT want to melt the butter. Just soften the butter. It should still be opaque, and still have form, but most definitely will be soft and whippable.

Add it into a mixing bowl. Take a whisk and start swirling around until it seems an even texture. Now, as far as how much honey you would like to add, this can depend. Nobody is up, so I just added maybe a 1/4 cup. I know this honey. I’ve been using this honey for a while and it is STRONG! I am hoping my husband can try it before tomorrow so I can get a good gauge on how strong it is. Taste the honey first hand. Use your best judgment. And as always, taste, taste, and re-taste. That’s the best part of being the cook on Thanksgiving.

I hope you enjoy this quick and easy recipe. I’m sending you warm, honey buttered, happiness from my Common Sense Kitchen to yours. I hope you’ll come back next time to see what I can whip up next. Have a Happy Thanksgiving, and remember, I LOVE pictures! Even if you didn’t use one of my recipes, I’d love to see some pictures over on the Facebook page listed at the very end of the post.

-Ami M. Lee, Butter Lovin’, Turkey Basting, Common Sense Cook

Crock Pot Lamb Stew

It has been extremely cold here in Arkansas! It’s as if Mother Nature decided to skip from summer to winter. In the winter, I love cooking plenty of big, hot, filling meals. Anything I can do in a crock pot…even better. I had the idea after doing Julia Child’s Boeuf Bourguignon (Paleofied Recipe to come soon!) to use wine and lamb in the stew. I was sitting down with my grocery list and knew I had some ground lamb in the freezer that needed to be used. I had found a really great clearance deal and stocked up. So…how most of these intro’s end when I make something up…Bing, bang, boom! I made lamb stew!

Here’s what you’ll need for this hearty winter stew:

  • 3 pounds of Ground Lamb
  • 1 Medium Butternut Squash
  • 1 Yellow Onion
  • Red Wine (I used two bottles of red cooking wine, but use something you’ll drink if you’re fortunate enough to not live in a dry county!)
  • 1 Tablespoon of Crushed Dried Mint
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • Fresh Ground Pepper (It seriously doesn’t need salt if you’re using red cooking wine.)

Having most of the ingredients in the house made this extremely easy. I didn’t even bother to defrost the lamb. Add everything but the butternut squash into the crock pot. Check it every once and a while and move the lamb around. This can take four to six hours. I didn’t want the squash to get mushy, so I waited two hours before adding it. But, by all means, if you add it all at first, let me know in the comments if it turned out okay. 🙂

This stew is hearty, but yummy. The mint added a lovely after taste. I was a little proud of myself for throwing this together. I hope you enjoy this crock pot recipe. I think this would be great if you ran home and threw everything together on a lunch break. The leftovers are great. I hope you’ll come back next time to see what this Crock Pot Loving, Common Sense Cook will dream up next. I’m sending you a hot meal for the cold weather, from my kitchen to yours.

-Ami M. Lee, The Common Sense Cook

Manic Monday with A Recipe Review – Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

HWKIP Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

One of my favorite things about the Paleo blogging community is that everyone is so supportive of each other. Even if the bigger named bloggers don’t know who I am, or that I’m pulling out the pom poms and cheering them on; I’m beyond excited to pass along these amazing people. I follow them and I hope that you’ll check them out and consider following them as well.

Today is from ‘He Won’t Know It’s Paleo.’ Breanna fed her gluten loving husband for six months without him knowing that he was eating paleo! What a feat because my husband is aware and has never really been too happy about it. You can find her on Facebook, Instagram, and her website. I’ll link those things below. ^__^ This was so easy to do and had a smooth, drinkable texture. I know when I do smoothies with just almond milk and fruit, it often is like a thick frosty than a drink. It really was like drinking a pumpkin pie…minus the crust.

Here’s what you’ll need (or may already have on hand! I did!):

  • 1/2 cup pumpkin purée
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup ice
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon cloves
  • 2 tablespoons collagen powder (for 13g of protein) (I didn’t have this and just left it out.)
  • Honey, to taste

Ready for probably the easiest recipe I may ever post?

Put it in a blend. Blend until you don’t hear big chunks of ice. Pour in a glass. This makes one regular sized glass up. Enjoy.

Isn’t that great? What can be faster on a Manic Monday for breakfast, quick snack, or just because. In fact, I may get done with this and run to the store for more bananas!

I hope you enjoy this recipe and check out Breanna! I’ve even done her dinner roles that are pretty darn convincing to this paleo gal. You can find her at http://www.hewontknowitspaleo.com or on Facebook! I hope you’ll come back next time and see who I’m jumping up and down for next.

-Ami M. Lee, Pom Pom Waving, Paleo Community Loving, The Common Sense Cook

Mashed Potatoes – Two Ways

I know that potatoes do not have the best reputation with most paleos. In fact, potatoes may not be tolerated by everyone because it is a member of the nightshade families. (Look at this easy to read, informative post from The Paleo Mom: http://www.thepaleomom.com/2013/08/what-are-nightshades.html)

But, for those of you with me on the potato bandwagon, I wanted to tell you how I like to paleofy my potatoes to be dairy and gluten free. Thanksgiving just wouldn’t be complete here, without a big pile of potatoes and gravy. In case you missed it or are a new subscriber (thank you!<3), then check out the Giblet Gravy post so you can use all those yummy bits they send in the turkey. Don’t throw them out and don’t be afraid.

Here’s what you’ll need for potatoes two ways:

  • 2 – 3 Pounds, potatoes of your choice (I like yukon golds and plain ole sweet potatoes.)
  • Stock of your choice (I use mushroom or gluten free beef broth is pretty great too.)
  • Salt and Pepper to your choice
  • Butter (If you tolerate it. Grass fed butter is much better tolerated in our family than conventional.)

Peel your potatoes and rinse the dirt away. I’ve never really seen the point of washing them before hand because I always end up washing them again. It’s Thanksgiving. Save yourself the trouble. Peel and then rinse them off. Chop them up. If you’re doing a large amount at one time, I like to chop them then put them in a very large bowl.

Salt your water and bring it to a boil. You can add the potatoes before it starts to boil, just make sure the potatoes come up to a boil then turn them down to about medium heat. If it starts to bubble over, turn it down. I’ve mentioned a few times, my glass top seems to retain heat for a long time, which keeps me continually turning things down. I’ve even fried things on a two a few batches in! Set your timer for about 30 minutes. Check them frequently. If you can slide a knife through and it slips right back off (careful don’t splash yourself, I usually hold the cooking spoon under the piece I’m trying.) then it is ready.

Drain the water with a colander and return the potatoes to the pot. Take a whisk and start mashing the potatoes into little pieces. If they’re still hard and difficult to mash, you didn’t cook it long enough. It’s okay…I just did that the other night. Just make a smash potato instead of whipped, mashed.

Add the broth to your liking. I probably on average use between 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup. Remember, as Emeril Lagasse says, you can always add more, but you can never take more out. Whip it around, add salt and pepper. Do this when it’s hot and it should look like mashed potatoes. I used to use an electric cake mixer to do whipped potatoes that are pretty great, but this gives a good chunky, country style, mashed potato.

You can do the same thing with white or orange sweet potatoes. If you really want to spice up some orange potatoes you can add red bell peppers, crushed bay leaf, and use beef stock. Throw them in a lovely serving bowl and you are good to go. I did see Jacque on Jacque & Julia put his in what looked like deep ceramic, maybe souffle cookware in a deep, wide pan of hot water to keep them warm.

I hope you enjoy this hearty side dish made paleo. Giving up dairy and gluten can seem hard on the holidays, but that shouldn’t keep you for enjoying your old favorites, with new ingredient comrades. I’m sending you paleo alternatives from my kitchen to yours. I hope you’ll come back tomorrow for two recipes! I’ll be doing a Manic Monday combined with a recipe review for Pumpkin Pie Smoothie…You won’t want to miss this! Of course, I’ll also be bringing you the star of Thanksgiving! My paleofied Julia Turkey.

-Ami M. Lee, The Potato Mashing, Common Sense Cook

Bacon Braised Brussels

I have seen many bloggers do this recipe. I think this is a basic recipe that most anyone can pull off. Did the word Brussels turn you off? No wait! Come back! I also said bacon y’all! I learned, not too long ago, that if you steam Brussels they can often have a bitter taste to it. Bacon braising some Brussels sprouts actual allows the flavor to mellow and makes it more palatable and appealing to those pickier folks.

Here’s what you’ll need for these veggies made awesome:

  • Fresh Brussels Sprouts
  • Bacon

Tah dah! How simple is that? Two ingredients!

Make sure to rinse your Brussels and make sure any grit or dirt is removed. You may want to remove the first layer of leaves. Another great tip to help the flavor is to trim the ends of the sprout. Don’t chop it off, just shave a little off. You can also pierce this end with a small knife. I hear that this helps it to keep its shape.

Brown your bacon in a pan. It’s up to you how crispy you like it but keep in mind, we’ll be cutting them up into pieces. However…I’m not a fan of burnt bacon, so don’t over do it. Remove the bacon and let it dry on a paper towel. When it’s cool enough to handle, break it or cut it into pieces. Set aside.

Drop your freshly prepped Brussels into the hot bacon grease. Swirl them around and let them get soft. If they start to brown too much, turn the heat down a bit. If you need to, AND I STRESS WITH CAUTION, add a 1/4 cup of water and put the lid on. You want to make sure they’re tender. If you just can’t seem to get them done in the middle with bacon grease alone, carefully add the water and lid. Remember, oil and water don’t mix, although hopefully you bought a good quality bacon that leaves a half pound of bacon fat behind. It’s best to do this after a good while of cooking and the oil is mostly absorbed and they are starting to brown. This should really take about 10 minutes, always depending on how hot and fast you’re comfortable with cooking.

I hope you’ll give this a try. You might be surprised if you serve this to your Thanksgiving guests, as to who all enjoys this side dish. And if not, more for me! 🙂

We can’t have a Paleo Thanksgiving without bacon being in there somewhere. So I’m sending you a yummy paleo side dish to wow the crowd, from my Common Sense Kitchen to yours. I hope you’ll come back next time to see what this Veggie Loving, Common Sense Cook will do next…you know with bacon…and/or veggies. ❤ Remember, I’ll be trying to post a recipe a day until Thanksgiving. If you have any questions or need any help, leave me a comment or pop on over to the Facebook page. You can find a link at the very end of the page. And of course, as always, I want pictures y’all!

-Ami M. Lee, Southern, Y’all in Every Sentence, Common Sense Cook

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Let’s try this again. Note to self…Do not try to write two blogs at the same time. They act like children and some how steal the address to the other one and end up deleting…some how…the previous post.

Let me restart this blog by saying, thank you to all the nice commenters, likers, reposters, and Facebookers.

So, continuing on with our Julia Child themed Thanksgiving, every Thanksgiving table needs some cranberry sauce. Cranberry sauce is sweet and tangy, and goes great with just about anything. The first time I made this, last year, I put this on everything the week after. It’s easy to accomplish, so I hope you’ll give it a try! It’s certainly better than the canned junk. It’s always been my motto to use all real food ingredients and always scratch cooking on Thanksgiving.

Here’s what you’ll need for this delicious holiday sauce:

  • 1 Cup of Orange Juice
  • 2 Cups fresh or frozen cranberries (I used fresh.)
  • 1 Granny Smith Apple
  • 1/2 Cup Coconut Sugar (You might could use honey, but I haven’t tried that yet.)
  • 1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
  • The Juice of 1 Lemon

Preheat your sauce pan so that when you add the orange juice, it instantly starts bubbling. Add the cranberries, then the chopped apple. Stir until well combined then add the sugar, apple cider vinegar, and the juice of the lemon. Stir often to make sure it is well mixed. Keep an eye on the heat. You may start off at a medium high heat to keep it bubbling. If you have a glass stove top like I do, it retains a lot of the heat. You may have to continually turn it out to keep it from burning. Just keep an eye on it and use your best judgement. When it is well combined and sticky, it will be ready.

You can do this the night before, or early in the morning. The longer it sits in the fridge, the better it gets.

I hope you enjoy this recipe and enjoy it for years to come! I’m sending you sweet holiday wishes for the Thanksgiving. It doesn’t have to be Thanksgiving to enjoy this sweet sauce. I hope you’ll come back in the next week for more holiday and Thanksgiving ideas from this Scratch Cooking, Common Sense Cook.

-Ami M. Lee, The Common Sense Cook