Not Every Recipe is A Winner – Common Sense Philosophies

Grilled Shrimp on a Baby Spinach Salad

Not every recipe is a winner. If you’re new to cooking, I think it’s important for you to know this. Now, I admit I do have an uncanny luck with liking most things that I make. My husband was shocked one day when they liked a dish and I refused to eat it because I didn’t like the flavor. It’s rare, but I promise I don’t always like everything I come up with…but my biggest message is…That’s okay!!!

One reason I like doing review blogs on recipes by other bloggers is because I want you guys to know these recipes are accomplish-able. I like to show you guys which recipes I’ve tried. Now…I think my first review was my only negative one and I immediately decided that I did not want to do another negative review. We all have different opinions…We all have our own food issues. For instance…Since going paleo for well over a year now I am not fond of most gluten free bread like products. I have given up on finding a pancake that I like. It’s just a texture issue for me. However, there are several good recipes out there that many people like. My goal is never to discourage anyone from at least trying a recipe.

When you’re cooking you have to be reasonable with your expectations. Not every recipe is going to be right for you. There may even be ingredients that you are just not ready to try. I, frankly, love to try anything and everything. I learned the hard way that I’m not a fan of short ribs. The flavor is just not something I care for. I’ve tried making up my own recipe. I’ve tried other recipes. I’m just not a fan…Again…That’s okay!

The picture above is actually shrimp sauteed in butter, lemon, and pepper. The shrimp turned out really soft and the butter flavor over powered the shrimp. It just didn’t taste good. I was not a fan of the texture either. Grilled shrimp would be a much choice for this salad in hind sight.

Things I’ve learned when choosing and trying recipes:

  • Go for it! Don’t be afraid to try it.
  • Modify when you know what you like. If you know you prefer basil over thyme…Do it! Try it!
  • Recipes are not written in stone. Experiment. Use the recipe as a guideline when you’re comfortable enough to experiment.
  • Keep time in mind. Do you really want to try to master bouef bourguignon on a Wednesday night?
  • Don’t be afraid to make your own recipe! (Have you seen the tab that says “Stuff I Make Up”?)
  • Shop local and in season as much as you can for inspiration.
  • Stay inspired and watch others cook, such as cooking shows, or on YouTube.

To end this Common Sense Philosophies post, I want to remind you my dear friends, just because the recipe isn’t a winner, doesn’t mean you’re a loser. You are still winning with experience points. Every meal is a lesson and you get a chance three times a day to try again, and learn more. I told my husband the other day, there’s nothing in this world that I wouldn’t want to learn. The day I stop learning is the day I’m ready to move on to the next life to learn something new there.

Keep on cooking friends and come back next time. I have several recipes and a review coming up that I am so very excited to share with you. I’ll be reviewing He Won’t Know It’s Paleo’s Red Wine Pasta Sauce…and I have figured out my AIP Bouef Bourguignon. Thank you guys for your continued support. It is so greatly appreciated.

-Ami M. Lee, Experimenter, Mad Hatter Chef, The Common Sense Cook

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Flashback Friday – Predominately Paleo Taco Shells, Two Ways (AIP Friendly)

I mentioned in my Month in Review for February that one of my favorite bloggers recently has been Jen from Predominately Paleo. She shares a wide variety of recipes that are often easily modified (or are) AIP Friendly! Not only that, but even my kiddos who don’t require their diet to be strictly AIP, enjoy many of her recipes.

I had read plenty of her blogs…pinned several. But, when it came to what I actually wanted to do I was a little unsure. The first time I tried this I messed up. I used coconut oil instead and ended up with a thick, hot mess… However, I happened to press some into a cupcake tin and made some amazing taco shell bowls! So if you want cupcake, taco bowls…Switch the avocado oil for coconut oil. Bake for 20 minutes and you’re done. If not…Stay tuned and try another way. It never hurts to know how to use a recipe in more than one way.
Here’s what you’ll need:
⦁ 3 Ripe Plantains (They should be heavily spotted, yellow, or black.)
⦁ 1/2 Cup Avocado Oil
⦁ 1 Teaspoon Garlic Sea Salt (I just used garlic powder and sea salt separately.)
⦁ 1/2 Teaspoon Onion Powder (left out)
⦁ Optional: 1 teaspoon hot sauce (not AIP)
⦁ Optional: Juice of half a lime.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Add all of the ingredients to a blender. Process until it turns into a consistent, slightly thick batter. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. I decided to add some coconut oil to try to keep it from sticking…but it definitely still stuck on pretty well. If you’re okay with using non stick aluminum foil it does help. (I don’t know how this stuff works, but it’s magic and did help the next time I made these).
Add a spoon full onto the baking sheet and use the back of the spoon to spread it out. Mine ended up being 2ish inches wide making some awkwardly shaped, baby taco shells. I may consider making fewer taco shells and opting for larger ones next time. Try to get them even and flat, keeping the size of your palm a good consideration for size (according to the original recipe that I’ll link below!).
Bake for 20 minutes. You’ll want to carefully try to flip them. I’m wondering if the parchment paper would have done better because I had a hard time flipping these bad boys. A good, flat spatula was helpful. Throw them back in the over for 10 minutes.
Here comes the dangerous part…Are you scared? Don’t be! Set those tacos on a plate. Place the baking sheet on your bottom rack to catch any crumbs or drippy grease. Drape the tacos directly over a bar on the oven rack. I found tongs very useful in helping to bend them without getting my fingers too close to the rack. Jen has some links on her blog to taco racks that are probably much easier and safer to handle that you can check out.
My tacos came out awful crisp and so close to burnt. It’s suggested that they go back in for another 20-30 minutes. I think this will depend on the size. If you have little baby tacos like me, it can be as quick as 10 minutes!
Carefully remove them from the oven with some tongs. I went ahead and left them folded to cool, and dry a few minutes. Add your favorite taco fixin’s and you have an amazing, flavorful taco shell creation that is sure to please! I know that we loved them! It was a little tricky at first, but I think once you get this down, it’ll be Taco Tuesday every Tuesday. Even if you’re not paleo/aip I hope you’ll try out this yummy alternative. Here’s is the link to Jen’s original recipe (http://predominantlypaleo.com/grain-free-taco-shells-paleo-vegan/).
I hope you enjoy this recipe review! Be sure to check out Jen on her website and on Facebook. She is very interactive and just the sweetest and brightest energy I’ve seen from a blogger. I just want to find her and make her my blogging best friend! Make sure y’all come back and see me on Manic Monday where I try to give you guys some of my quicker recipes to help you through dealing with a case of the Mondays!.
-Ami M. Lee, Taco Destroyer, Common Sense Cook

Manic Monday Recipe Review – Coconut Glass Noodle Soup

Gordon Ramsay…as some of you frequent readers might notice, is one of my favorite modern chefs. He has a great YouTube channel full of cooking clips. The hard thing about these simple, quick clips is that there are often no links to recipes and he doesn’t really give measurements. I Googled, and Googled for this exact recipe and failed. But, I think what I came up with by watching the video countless times, tastes great and is Paleo friendly! I’m not sure how this would turn out if you left out the coriander and red pepper to make it AIP (Autoimmune Protocol) friendly…but if you give it a shot, leave me a comment below!

Here’s what you’ll need for the bright yellow soup:

  • 1 Yellow Onion
  • 1/3 of a Red Bell Pepper (Use a veggie peeler on the skin, then dice.)
  • 1 Clove of Garlic, Minced
  • 1 Tablespoon of Fresh Ginger, Minced
  • 1 Teaspoon of Turmeric
  • Lemongrass
  • Coriander Seeds (Crushed and minced to break open with your knife.)
  • A Good Squish of Lime Juice
  • 1 Can of Full Fat Coconut Milk (Try to avoid gut irritants like Guar Gum, Cargeenan, and Xanthum Gum.)
  • 1-2 Cups Chicken Broth
  • 4 Shakes of Red Boat Fish Sauce
  • 2 Small Chicken Breasts (Optional. You can leave it out and it’s just as yummy and vegetarian if you switch to veggie stock for the broth.)
  • Noodles (You can use Rice Vermicelli Noodles if you tolerate rice, or Sweet Potato Starch noodles that are AIP, Paleo, and pretty cool looking glass noodles.)

Cook your noodles according to the directions on the package. If you would like chicken, sautee it in a small pan until just done. Set in a bowl on the side.

This cooks really fast and smells amazing. Dice an onion and part of a red bell pepper. Throw it in a hot pan with your oil of choice. I used coconut oil, about a tablespoon. But, use what you like. When the peppers and onions begin to soften and brown (about 5 to 7 minutes) add minced garlic, ginger, turmeric, coriander seeds and lemongrass. To bring out the lovely lemony aroma, take the blunt side of a knife and bash the end. Give it a squish of lime juice. Add the coconut milk and stock. Simmer.

Make sure to taste, taste, taste. If you’d like your chicken in your soup you can add it into the soup. Don’t over cook it though. When your noodles are done, drain them and add them to a bowl. Pour the yummy broth over the top and enjoy!

Technically…this is me making up the recipe from watching and what I had easily accessible in the house. It was super fast and very delicious. I surprised myself a bit on this one….Seems I’ve been doing that a lot lately.

So enjoy my version of Gordon’s recipe! This is “Soup”-er fast and great for any Manic Monday. It even tasted pretty good cold as leftovers! I’m sending you some unique spices, and a quick meal from my Common Sense Kitchen to yours. I hope you’ll come back next time to see if I can bang out some REAL fast food.

-Ami M. Lee, Turmeric in Everything, Messy Soup Eater, Common Sense Cook

Here’s the original link to Gordon’s clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_kKv6mZ8TY

Recipe Review – Dill Butternut Squash Fries

Chicken and Butternut Squash Fries

Chicken, No-Mato Sauce, and Dill Butternut Squash Fries

I can’t hold out any longer friends. This is by far my favorite new side dish. I’ve never been one to eat a lot of conventional french fries (with white potatoes). I received the book ‘The Paleo Kitchen’ by Juli Bauer and George Bryant for Christmas. The book is absolutely beautiful. Great pictures fill the pages of interesting and different recipes. I saw these unique fries and had to try them immediately. Since that time, I believe I’ve made them 3 times and feel like I am prepared enough to give you my thoughts. (Other than, conventional french fries, who?)

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 Butternut Squash
  • 1 Tablespoon of Coconut Oil, Melted
  • 3 Tablespoons roughly chopped, Fresh Dill (One of my favorite seasonings!)
  • 2 Teaspoons Coarse Sea Salt (Or I used Pink Himalayan Salt)

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Cut the ends off of the butternut squash and cut in half, length-wise. Remove the seeds with a spoon. (I’m saving mine, since I bought an organic one to see if I can grow my own!) Peel the skin with a vegetable peeler. Here’s the hard part. (Unless you have really good sharp knives.) Most butternut squashes have a rounded end where the seeds are, and a long, thick, solid longer piece towards the stem. This makes it harder to cut useful pieces. I cut at the end of the bulb and cut them separately for better pieces. Then try to cut them in to 1/4 inch slices, then place flat and cut into fry like shapes. A little complicated…but this is the only way I’ve done it so far.

Toss them in a big bowl and add the coconut oil, dill, and salt. Spread them out on a cookie sheet, covered in aluminum foil. Please make sure they don’t over lap. I tried throwing a bunch of them in a casserole dish and seeing what it’d do. They turned to mush. Yummy mush….but mush.

Bake for 35 minutes until crunchy on the outside and soft and tender on the inside. The book says to put them on a cooling rack to help retain the crisp. I haven’t done this and they’re just fine…but I would like to try that…especially for the kids and husband. Eat. Enjoy. 🙂

I hope you enjoy this recipe. I am considering doing a book review because this is a really great book that I hope you’ll check out. I also listened to a great podcast on The Paleo Mom with Juli and George and they seem like really awesome people. Check it out and make sure you come back next time. You never know what recipe I’ll try out next.

-Ami M. Lee, Dill Addict, The Common Sense Cook

Reference:

Bauer, Juli & Bryant, George. (2014) The Paleo Kitchen. Victory Belt Publishing Inc. Las Vegas. (Pg. 219)

Recipe Review – Peppermint Hot Chocolate

Paleo Parents Peppermint Hot Chocolate

Well. Three out of Five of us have come up with a cold. Supper was rather disappointing from the lack of taste bud power. I am hoping my husband can give me a verdict since I tried a Beef and Wine Stew in the Pressure Cooker. I realized that I was still feeling hungry…or thought I felt hungry. Even though I ate plenty. I think this is more of a psychological need to taste.

I discovered this recipe a while back. I am happy to report that this has a 3/3 kiddo approval rating. I think the Paleo Parents out did themselves on this one. And, the great thing about using peppermint extract, is that it is so powerful, I can actually taste it! ^__^ Original link: http://paleoparents.com/featured/peppermint-hot-chocolate/

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 Cups Coconut Milk (I have used carton and canned. Just use something full fat for better texture.)
  • 1/4 Cup Cacao Powder (I used Hershey’s.)
  • 2 Tablespoons Maple Syrup (They recommend Grade B.)
  • 3/4 Teaspoon Peppermint Extract (I found McCormick brand at Wal-Mart near the spices.)
  • 2 to 4 Marshmallows (Real Life Paleo has a recipe!)

Add your milk to a medium sauce pan. Place on medium heat (A 5 on our glass top stove.) until it comes to a simmer.

Turn the heat down and let it simmer for 5 to 10 minutes and whisk until the bits of cacao powder dissolve completely.

Stir in the peppermint extract.

Pour into 2 mugs. Add marshmallows if desired.

This recipe doubled very well. I was able to give each kiddo their own mug. Thank you whoever invented Corelle! I think it made them feel rather special too. Make sure to check out the original recipe and try it out. I love following the Paleo Parents instagram, Facebook, and their email subscription. I’m also really hoping for Real Life Paleo for my birthday!

I hope you’ll check out The Paleo Parents and try this recipe. By far, my favorite beverage of late. So good for these bitter cold, wet days we’ve been having here in Arkansas. Come back next time and see what other recipes I either try or just make up.

-Ami M. Lee, Peppermint Loving, Hot Mug Holding, 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

Recipe Review – Banana Nut Chocolate Chip Muffins

I think it is common knowledge that paleo baking is difficult, and does not often turn out like the baked goods we grew up with. I have made a few different recipes and nothing has turned out quite right. This recipe from Paleo OMG will definitely be one that I love and will make again. I’ve read a few of her recipes, and I rather love her sense of humor. It’s not every day that you find someone with the same weird sense of humor as yourself. I find that most of the people I like to follow are those who I can imagine sitting at my counter, sipping a glass of wine, sharing the recipe and gabbing about food.

Here’s what you’ll need for these awesome muffins:

  • 3 bananas, mashed with a fork
  • 3 eggs, whisked
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 Cup Smooth Almond Butter (I used peanut butter because a certain kid of mine ate all of the almond butter.)
  • 1/4 Cup Coconut Flour
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 Cup Chopped Walnuts
  • 1/2 Cup Chocolate Chips (I used Ghirardelli 60% Cocoa Chips.)

I firmly believe in following the instructions with baking so here are her exact instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Mash bananas in a large bowl. Add eggs, maple syrup, almond butter, and vanilla extract and mix together.
  3. Then add coconut flour, cinnamon, baking soda and powder and a pinch of salt and mix well.
  4. Lastly, fold in walnuts and chocolate chips.
  5. Use an ice cream scoop to scoop batter into 9 cups of a silicone muffin pan.
  6. Bake for 25 minutes. Let cool before removing from silicone pan.

I mean, come on girl! It’s so easy! I did exactly as it said. My bananas were a little unripe, but they worked. I actually used good quality maple syrup. And, as my note above mentioned, I had to use peanut butter because my youngest decided he was too hungry to wake up mommy and wait for breakfast. He took it upon himself, and his fork, to the fridge to scrape together the last of the almond butter. Which, is okay, because it’s a good lesson that we can’t be paleo perfectionists all of the time. I did use cupcake liners for the muffin pan, then put the rest of it in a pie pan. I didn’t use a silicone pan, but it sounds like a pretty awesome idea to consider in the future.

My children loved them and so did I! I think this will be a great celebration cake, by putting it in the 8″ pie pan. It actually had a cake like texture. The chocolate added depth, and the walnuts enhanced the texture. I think it really helped in my experiment of failed muffin attempts. Here’s the link to the original recipe: http://paleomg.com/banana-nut-chocolate-chip-muffins/ I hope you’ll check her out and try out this recipe. Her newsletter is pretty great too!

I hope you enjoy Juli’s recipe. I hope you’ll come back next time to see what yummy, paleo recipes I’ll try, and share next. It seems only common sense to share these amazing bloggers; from my Common Sense Kitchen to yours.

-Ami M. Lee, The Common Sense Cook

Recipe Review – Prosciutto Pesto Chicken Roulade

I am always looking for something new. Something exciting. Something to make people think. Delicious, Impressive, and most of all, pleases all five of us. This recipe from Against All Grain (http://againstallgrain.com/2013/04/07/prosciutto-pesto-chicken-roulade/) did just that! I am beyond excited to pass this one on and I hope you’ll check Danielle out on her website and other social media. She also has a new book out that has had many great reviews.

So here we go!

Here’s what you’ll need for this amazing recipe:

Pesto:

  • 1/2 Cup Packed Basil (I found a larger bunch at Wal-Mart.)
  • 1 Garlic Clove
  • 2 Tablespoons Pine Nuts
  • 1/8 Teaspoon Salt
  • 2 Tablespoons Parmesan cheese (Optional! I made mine without and it was awesome! This would make it paleo and vegan friendly!)
  • 1/4 Cup Olive Oil

Chicken Roulade:

  • 6 Chicken Breasts
  • Pesto (I used every bit of what I made from the recipe above.)
  • Proscuitto (I found Proscuitto de Parma from Boars Head at Kroger for $7.50. An expensive but awesome treat.)
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper

Broccoli Side Dish:

  • 1 Crown of Broccoli
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt and pepper

I pulled out my handy dandy, Ninja Food Processor. I add all of the ingredients except for the oil for the pesto. Blitz it until finely minced. The hard part with this version of processor is there is no way to slowly add the oil. So, I simply removed the top, added just a splash at a time. I added it to a small bowl and tossed a spoon in, so it would be ready for the chicken.

I chopped the tops apart on the broccoli. I tossed them in olive oil, salt, and pepper. I throw it in a pan with a little bit of water. I put the lid on and let it steam for about 10 minutes. I did not want it fully cooked yet. Set it aside.

I do not have a meat cleaver. I used a metal measuring cup and used the corner to pound it out. Sometimes, you just have to improvise. I wrapped my cutting board in plastic wrap. Placed the chicken on it, then covered it with another piece of plastic wrap. I banged it out as thin as I could get without it tearing.

I would recommend if you only buy one package of prosciutto and need to halve each piece, go ahead and do that ahead of time. Spread them out on a plate. They are so thin and will easily stick to each other. I assembled mine as I finished flattening each piece of chicken.

Add about a teaspoon of pesto to the center of the chicken then place a piece of prosciutto along the middle. Start at the small, tip end and roll it up. I set each of mine in my glass casserole. When all of them are complete, drizzle more olive oil over the chicken and crack salt and pepper over each piece, and I set the casserole by the stove. I add olive oil to a deep pan. I made sure to brown each piece one at a time. This is time consuming but it really was important because some of them wanted to fall apart. I would tip the pan and use the depth of the pan to my advantage. This allows you to tip the pan, brown the sides, and try to keep them from unrolling.

I threw them back in the casserole. I am questioning this just a bit. I’m wanting to learn more about cross contamination. It did all go into the oven, so I do not think any germs would survive, but if anyone has more information on this, feel free to leave me links in the comment section below. I add the broccoli around the chicken.

The original recipe calls for 10 minutes, but I had to cook it for 30 minutes. Turning the chicken over after 15 minutes.

Not only did I love it. Not only did my kids love it….but….MY HUSBAND LIKED IT! I nearly cried when he told me he would eat it again. I am so thankful for this recipe. Even though it seems rather fancy, it was quite easy to make. I sliced each piece of chicken into slices and added some broccoli on the side. I minced up a cooked piece of prosciutto to top off the broccoli. Not only did all three of my children (ages 3, 4, and 5!!!) ate ALL of their broccoli and my husband liked that as well.

It’s recipes like this that make me want to keep cooking. I also learned a new technique that I hope I can experiment with in the future. I hope you will check out Danielle from Against All Grain, and enjoy this recipe. Who knows what recipes I’ll try next, so come back next time and see what I’ll try to cook up next. Lots of love from my Prosciutto Loving, Common Sense Kitchen to yours.

-Ami M. Lee, The Common Sense Cook

P.S. Thank you so much Danielle for this recipe. I now have hope that I can feed my husband paleo and for him to actually enjoy it. 🙂

Recipe Review – Sweet Potato Apple Hash

I am having quite a bit of fun doing these recipe reviews. I never want to claim these recipes as my own, and as long as it’s a good review, I’m happy to name names! Today’s name that I can’t wait to share is Stacy from Paleo Parents. I discovered Paleo Parents through Dr. Sarah, The Paleo Mom. They do a great podcast together, and I’ve been following Stacy and her empowering words from losing weight, but loving yourself no matter what your size. She does Strong(Wo)man and loves lifting heavy things.

I’ve tried a few recipes and I usually enjoy them just fine. What I made this morning sent me to heaven! I was going to wait and post this on Friday but I can’t help it. I love you guys too much to hold out on you! I will sing the praises of this recipe far and wide! I for one hope to invest in a couple of their cookbooks. If this is any indication of the standard of their quality, it would be an investment well made.

Here’s what you’ll need….No it’s true, this is all you need:

  • 2 Green Granny Smith Apples, Peeled and Diced
  • 2 Sweet Potatoes, Peeled and Diced
  • 1 Large Yellow Onion, Diced
  • 2 Tablespoons of Lard (I used FatWorks 100% Grassfed Lard.)
  • 1 pound Ground Breakfast Sausage (I used Jimmy Dean, Gluten Free.)
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste

Now…If you’re a perfectionist like me, this can be slightly tedious. I started with the apple. I peeled it with a vegetable peeler then use an apple corer and slicer to make quick, efficient work. I dice it into tiny square pieces. I then peel the sweet potatoes. I love sweet potatoes and I recently came to a possible tip. I usually buy the biggest potatoes I can find in the bin. But…I came across some smaller potatoes and bought what I could find. The smaller potatoes seem to be easier to peel and are much easier to cut. It was also easier to dice the potatoes by slicing them length wise instead of in circles. I also diced the onion. I separated into bowls to make adding them to the pan easier.

You first add the lard and let it melt.

Let the pan get hot so that the sweet potatoes sizzle immediately when you put them in the pan. Use a very deep pan or even a pot. You’ll be shocked by how much this actually makes. Add the onions as well. Cook them until they start to brown and get soft.

I then moved the sweet potatoes and onions around the side and open the sausage and place it in the middle. I begin to break up the sausage and start to fold the sweet potatoes and onions over the sausage. I continually stir, fold, and break up the sausage. The original recipe says to cook until sausage is cooked. My experience, it took about 30 minutes, mainly because, I wanted it nice and golden.

All my kiddos asked for seconds and ate it up! I put just a bit of organic ketchup on it and I was in heaven. I have to admit…I ate three bowls. Moderation was not in my vocabulary after this! I am even having my husband pick up more sausage so I can make it again! I love the idea of getting fruits and veggies and protein in a breakfast. I have been full all day.

I am so excited to share Stacy’s recipe and let you know how I did it and how good it was. Go check out the original recipe that accompanies a whole post on camping. I love that if we do go camping these are easy to keep ingredients, it is one pot, and I bet this tastes even more heavenly in a cast iron skillet over a fire. It can’t get much better than this… I may regularly schedule this on my weekly grocery list. The ingredients are simple, easy to find, and reasonably priced. I could feed my family of five very well for (by my math) $1.50 a person or about $7.50 for everything except the lard, which I already had, and salt and pepper, which is a pantry staple that I don’t count.

I hope you enjoy Stacy’s recipe. Here’s the original link: http://paleoparents.com/featured/glamping-how-to-camp-paleo-style-with-glamour-2/ Go check her out. If you try this out, come on by the Facebook page and let me know (or leave in the comments below, Who is you’re favorite Paleo Blogger? I can’t pick a favorite but Stacy and Sarah take the awesome Paleo Cake.

I’m sending you my 2 cents on this recipe hoping to save you a buck, from my kitchen to yours. Come back next time and see what this Hash Obsessed, Common Sense Cook tries next. My motto? Sharing is caring.

-Ami M. Lee, The Common Sense Cook

Update 12/24/2014: I have experimented a lot with this recipe since I posted it. Here’s what I’ve learned so far:

  1. Take the time to cut a good chop on the vegetables. I have tried to put it in a food processor to mince, cut time in half, and it was not successful. It was mushy and lost a lot of the flavor.
  2. Lard or Tallow works really great. I’ve tried olive oil, and it’s okay if that’s all you have…but I think I prefer and would buy tallow just for this recipe.
  3. If you have a really sticky, well blended sausage, it helps to use a spoonula or spatula to almost slice. Do this in several directions and it’ll break up much easier than just smooshing it to death.
  4. I am confident that if you use your own homemade AIP-friendly sausage that this would be an awesome breakfast dish! I will be doing AIP after the first of the year, so hope to bring some more AIP-Friendly dishes and ways to feed yourself AIP and with a family of non-paleo husband/semi-paleo kids in the future.

Recipe Review – Coconut Flour Pancakes

I was watching a documentary yesterday and I whole heartedly agreed with something one of the chefs was saying. Cooking is a science. You may or may not agree, but if you look at baking, you might agree. Baking is something I’ve always loved, but always respected enough to follow the recipe. Pancakes aren’t exactly baking but it uses the same principles of having to use certain things, in a certain way, in a certain ratio. I used to make conventional pancaked all the time. I loved making chocolate chip pancakes and I successfully made Kate Gosselin’s chocolate chip banana pancakes dairy free (From “Love is In the Mix”). I knew that the day would come I would need to try to paleo-fy them.

So off I went into the interwebs, full of hope. I found a recipe with plenty of good reviews of fooling hubsy into thinking they were real pancakes.

Here’s what the recipe called for:

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon raw honey
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour, sifted
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Cream together coconut oil and the honey. This just means, take a whisk and mix them well. Add in 1 egg at a time.

Add the coconut milk and vanilla and mix until smooth.

Add the coconut flour and mix until smooth.

Add cream of tartar, baking soda, salt. Mix just a bit, the recipe stresses not to mix it too much.

My mixture did not turn out thin like pancake batter, so I just scooped it out of the bowl with a spoonula. Use a small pan to do an individual pancake at a time. Once you get a rhythm going, this isn’t that labor intensive for batch work. Put a tip of a tablespoons worth of coconut oil in the pan. If you’re stove is like mine it is slightly tilted. This was helpful. I swirled the oil around till it melted just a bit and I put the batter at the backside of the pan where the oil had gathered. These cook extremely fast and do not need high heat. I kept turning my stove down and eventually landed on 4. The pancakes are very squooshy and wet and do not cake up very well. A spatula to flip these was ridiculously difficult, so if you want to do these pancakes I hope you know how to flip a pancake.

The pan should be well oiled enough so that you can careful slip the pancake back and forth in short movements. Think of any television chef that you see swishing and swirling food in a pan with those short strokes. Prepare yourself….1, 2, 3….With a long, swift tilt of the pan you flip it over….I may not be explaining this well but I am sure YouTube could help if you’re more of a visual learner like I am. Flipping this pancake was mostly easy but since it cooked so fast the inside remained a bit gooey, instead of cake like.

I am not naming the name of the recipe originator only because this is not a great review. I don’t want to harm anyone’s reputation or keep someone from at least trying a recipe. This was much closer than my pumpkin pancaked disaster that turned into pumpkin mush. I have never been a big fan of plain pancakes, so I wasn’t surprised when I didn’t care for the goopy pancake. My husband wouldn’t even eat them because of the flavor and nearly spit it out. Yes, I cried… He had asked for pancakes and I gave him this in the hopes of fooling him as others had. The one bright light is…My kids loved them! I drizzled a little bit of quality maple syrup on their pancakes and they ate them up and asked for more. I might also mention that I had to double this recipe to feed two adults and three kiddos…even though I ate half of mine and my husband only took a bite. It would’ve been enough to feed us all.

It only seems Common Sense to me to share the successes and the failures…and the semi-failures with you guys. If the person who wrote this recipe happens by here, know that it was a great idea…It’s probably just us. If you would like to be credited in an only semi-positive review, just let me know! I encourage everyone to give it a shot. It wasn’t hard to make, and you may find you like it. As my Aunt Linda always says, “Different strokes, for different folks.”

If you try out this recipe, let me know your opinion below, or come by the Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/commonsensecook and leave me a picture!

From my kitchen to yours, I’m sending my love, Common Sense, and 2 cents on this recipe. I hope you’ll come back next time. The best thing about this community with Paleo is being able to share the recipes and knowing that even if we don’t like it, someone else could.