Better You in 2014

There's always room for improvement, a better youAs this year winds down and 2014 approaches I’ve been thinking of what I want for myself and my brand in the future. A future I can start working on today. I am going to BE better. Period that is my one and only goal. My challenge to myself and to my followers is simple: Be a Better You. Each day my intent is to do my best. So often we set outlandish goals. Crazy weight loss numbers. Deprivation. We fight change. We fight the goal, the dream. Then we get upset when we can’t reach them, or they don’t come fast enough. We don’t allow ourselves to change. We set out for perfection and crash and burn when we don’t reach our own perceptions of perfection. Perceptions of the perfect body, the perfect diet, the perfect weight, the perfect size. This year I want to focus on each day, each moment, each meal, each exercise making it the best I have. I want to be my healthiest self. Loving and focusing on the moment will allow me to become my happiest, healthiest, most fit, healing self.

What intentions do I want to set to be healthier? To myself I think:

Today I will eat healthy. I will nourish my body. Today I will eat more whole foods. Today I won’t eat anything processed. Today I won’t eat any gluten or sugar. Today I will eat good portions. Today I will cook tasty, delicious food. Today I will pause….breathe….relax….and enjoy the nourishing food in front of me. Today I will eat healing foods. I will eat more fermented foods. I’ll use more spices. I’ll cook with more bone broths. I’ll eat more local foods. I’ll eat more wild or grass-fed meat and Continue reading “Better You in 2014”

No Bake Cookies

016Finally here are the no bakes! Today we had a cookie exchange with the Dreher women. So much fun. What a great way to get together the family matriarchs for the holidays. Depending on the number of attendees, bake enough for 3 cookies per person. In the end you get a huge assortment of cookies. Make it more fun by requiring each member to bring wine or voting for the best/worst cookies. Plus the men and kids will love you when you return with a plate full of cookies. I of course opted for gluten-free, Paleo cookies. My family growing up were no bakes fiends. Verdict is that this is a good recipe. I also made this for my cousin’s Crossfit boyfriend for Christmas and he told her she HAD to get the recipe or have these make them for him. In the midst of sugar, gluten-filled cookies, these no bakes still shine.

—->>>>Chocolate Chunk Salted Caramel No Bakes <<<<—– Click this link.

Note: I added walnuts and that made them uber good! Continue reading “No Bake Cookies”

Paleo Cookie Sampler

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This radical site Paleo Grubs used one of my cookies on their site. How freaking cool!?! Holidays are about sharing, so I was pumped to have my recipe shared with a broader group of people. But I was also enthused to discover other bloggers and recipes. I decided then to bake some of the featured cookies, plus revisit my Butternut recipe. Tis the season for cookies. I personally have two cookie exchanges the next week, so I have some major baking in my future, not to mention the gluten-free goodies I take for Christmas Eve with the Paulin’s (my family with a Celiac history) and Christmas day with the Dreher’s. Check back soon because No-Bakes are a family favorite, which is why they didn’t make it today, they got gobbled up before I could photograph them. Sorry, but the good news is I’m making them for my cookie exchange and will take pics this time! So come to Bliss Delish for a verdict on the No- Bakes! I am so grateful to be a part of this blogging, sharing, community.

001Bacon Trail Mix Cookies Continue reading “Paleo Cookie Sampler”

Bacon Wrapped Butternut and Apple Stuffed Pork Loin

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OH MAN THIS RECIPE IS GOOOOOD! Thursday’s is girls night for my friend Tab and I, when we can get together, have dinner, and watch Grays and Scandal. Perfect for testing out blog recipes, because Tab is a straight-shooter. Verdict on this: killed it. There is just something about the butternut/apple combination that is delightful. Plus it pairs beautiful with pork. Why not wrap the stuffed pork in a bacon weave? Homey, with a layering of flavor, this is a winner for the Delishmas dinner!

Bacon Wrapped Butternut and Apple Stuffed Pork

Sweet Potato Bacon Bites

007These little bites I threw together for a birthday dinner last week. They were a big SUCCESS, so I thought let’s do it. Add them to Delishmas and let them bring joy to the holiday season. They are easy to make. They have bacon. All you have to do is pop one in your mouth. They’re perfect for parties and dinner sides. Hello, they are a freaking gift worthy giving. The gift of yummy food moans.

Sweet Potato Bacon Bites

Bacon Maple Mash

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We are going to start off project ‘Delishmas’ with a mash! For Thanksgiving we did a rutabaga mash, but this month I figured we play with the savory, sweet mix I adore. The original game-plan was to do a Maple Mash. Season it with sea and cinnamon and GO. However, seeing as I am the culinary creator I thought we could add more flavor. Tomorrow I have Sweet Potato Bacon Bites. I decided to bake my sweet potatoes then with the bacon. Letting them cook in bacon fat. Yum love the layering of flavors.

Bacon Maple Mash

Delishmas: What’s Coming Next

Cute Buddy the Elf Christmas Print. I just by orangeblossomshopaz, $12.00The best way to spread Christmas Cheer, is singing loud for all to hear.

I love Elf I’m sitting here watching it right now. Snuggled in with the Christmas tree glowing. I literally want to sing with Christmas joy….I love you…I love you….I love yooooouuuu! I have a big family, and I mean big. The holidays have always been a special time. A moment when we can all hit the Pause button and gather together. Fond memories spent on my grandparents lake, nuzzled in the house with the smell of homemade cookies in the air. Hugs everywhere after not seeing each other for nearly a year. Card games. Laughter. Fun. Giving. Wine and beer flowing. Reminiscing. Reconnecting. Catching up. Snow falling as we make the way home early in the hours of the morning, after a night of family fun. Barely sleeping before waking up to celebrate with my immediate family. Making hot chocolate while they still slept. Ready to go when we all wake up. Sitting down at the table together for breakfast together. Showering, setting out all our presents to look and wonder over. Then we walk over the holler to my other grandparents for a Christmas  Day feast and more FUN. Finish with a movie together and Christmas always seemed like a magical time to me. Granted as I’ve grown, so have the traditions. The additions of the next generation (my nephews), make the Holidays seem even more special. Continue reading “Delishmas: What’s Coming Next”

Delicious Stuffed Acorn Squash

022I usually lean towards the butternut squash in the produce, but yesterday I seemed to be magnetically pulled to the acorn squash. Probably because I am a change junkie. Lately I’ve felt a little restless as routine started to settle in. I need to do something. I reached then for the acorn squash. Of course this is a small act, but still it keeps out the sameness. I baffled myself when I realized I have never eaten acorn squash. Oh now, I have to get it. Thank you instinct and change addiction, because this was a yummy little meal. A little sweeter, it had a wonderful smell while baking. It just fills the home with a wonderful baking, holiday-feeling smell. Mmm….enjoy the aroma, then dig into the flavor.

Being as I like to add savory when a food lends towards sweetness, I decided to stuff these little gems. My original plans were a stew, but again when it came time to cook, my instinct said to stuff. I do not regret going with my gut for a second. I have to say even though I’ve developed a partiality to butternut, this was loads easier to prepare. All I have to do is chop it in half, scoop out the insides, and bake? I can dig it. If you lack the patience and knife skills to handle a butternut (plus you’d like to keep all your fingers), try this recipe, it’s quick and easy. I put in my squash, went for a hike in the snow and returned to stuff. Plus anytime you stuff something, feel free to take creative reign of what you’d like to put inside. Go for pork or chicken or  duck or goose. Try different vegetables from cauliflower rice to peppers. Go balls to the wall and put some seasoned apples in there. Boom, idea for the next time I bake for my friends: Spiced Apple and Pork Stuffed Acorn Squash. Sprinkle in just a few pecans and I think it’s time to start believing in magic. Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!

Delicious Stuffed Acorn Squash

Paleo Spaghetti Cups

030Not only is it holiday season for me, but it is birthday celebration time for me. Starting with my friend Shadow’s birthday at the end of October, it is a non-stop flow of birthdays leading right up to Christmas. This week is choke full of birthdays (shot-out to my uncle Doug and cousin Melinda), one of which is my dear friend Tabitha’s. She is a cross-fit junky. Really, she can’t go a day without talking about crossfit. As it is a day to celebrate her and her life, I caved. I caved in to throwing a crossfit themed party for her. She wanted a simple night in with friends. So I am giving it to her. As well as some tasty food options. Throwing a party gives me the opportunity to work on my catering, party food menu. I have been WANTING  to try out this recipe for some time, a crossfit party is like an open invitation to go for it. So I dove in. Holy sh** these were GOOD! Perfect little  sizes baked into these muffins tins. Reminiscent of my spaghetti pie, only with individual servings. Right now is the time for holiday parties. Give these a go. Dive in yourself. Treat your friends. Treat yourself. NOW! Happy Birthday Tab, love you girl, hope you have the best day ever.

Paleo Spaghetti Cups

Paleofied Grandma’s Chili

028Winter is quickly approaching. The cloudy snow-filled clouds are getting near. It is time to make some warm and cozy grub. Growing up, my grandmother’s chili was where it is out. If it’s cold outside you can guarantee I want a heart-warming bowl of soup (just click the link for my Butternut Soup). To me grandmother’s chili wasn’t just about the bomb flavors, but the memories that come with me. That’s what food is. It is soulful. It is memories. It is our history. Part of our story. Part of the traditional. Little bits of the past that we can cherish and pass on. But part of that food art is dying. We have to teach our kids our traditions. Teach them the comfort. Teach them the home-cooked goodness. Teach them the love for cooking and self-sufficiency. We have to forge food connections. Food brings us together. At the holidays I guess this seems more nostalgic than normal to me. Celebrating 5 years since my grandpa’s passing, any moment I can have with my family means the world to me. My friends and family are my top priority. They matter. They bring meaning to my life. They make it richer.

In preparing this dish it brings all this to life. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, cooking is more than following a recipe. It is a feeling. It is passion. It is love. It is a way of self-expression. It connects people. It brings our past into the present. So in making this dish I have taken what I remember of my grandmother’s chili and brought it up to date. Do the same. Take your family’s secret recipe and give it life.

Paleofied Grandma’s Chili