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sweet potato fries

19 Oct

paleo sweet potato friesYeah. Hey. Bleh.

All sorts of bullcrap happened this past year. Let’s just let it come out naturally over the course of the next several many posts. Like, oh, look at the pictures – that kitchen looks different, doesn’t it? Interesting! Uh huh.

organic farmers market texas sweet potato

Also, this recipe is a total joke. Basically, I needed to get myself to post again and in true Julie fashion, my one idea I had for a simple ease-back-into post got thwarted in a last minute effort to obtain the ingredient that actually isn’t all that simple to find and required a special trip to the farmer’s market where the damn rancher didn’t even have it. But posting again has been weighing on me for such a long time and I thought, well, fine. I’ll just use whatever the hell and make a stupid post just so I can get back into the swing of it. So here we are. Sweet potato fries. Like you haven’t ever fucking made stupid sweet potato fries. And it’s not like I even have some sort of secret way of making them that makes them like the kind you get in a restaurant. They’re probably identical to every attempt you’ve ever made. And you’re going to stop reading this blog because why the hell would you bother reading about sweet potato fries and oh wait, you don’t read this anyway because I haven’t posted in like a year.
paleo primal sweet potato texas

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calabaza en tacha

4 Nov

calabaza en tacha I just don’t know why I made this. I hadn’t had sugar all month (Halloween included!) and now I’m WholeWhateverNumberofDaysUntilThanksgiving-ing (I started after making this, don’t you worry). Someone please remove it from my house. I didn’t even do a single thing for El Día de los Muertos, which is the holiday that made me decide to make this candied pumpkin, so I have no reason to have made it. Yeah, candied, sugary, syrupy pumpkin. Starring the world’s driest (and most absorbent?!) pumpkin that was prob sitting in some storehouse all winter and summer just waiting for some sucker like me to purchase it. I knew it felt a little light for its size… and the other one I bought feels even lighter. Fine, all the better to absorb any (clarified) butter I put on it after I roast it. Because, no I’m not going to make pumpkin pie with shortbread crust with it, like I really, really, realllllyyyyy want to. Except I’d use rice flour because it makes the shortbread all kinda grainy and I LOVE it. Okay, I’m done. No more sweets.
sugar pumpkin halved sugar pumpkin

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sesame summer squash salad

15 Aug

paleo sesame squash summer saladTired of summer squash? Too bad, time to eat more. Can’t say I’m tired of it, because I don’t have any  in my garden (yet). But if I did, this salad would be a perfect way to plow through those ceaselessly proliferating plants. Or you could not pick them, let them get gigantic, then leave them on your patio table, hoping that they’ll turn into dried out ornamental gourds. I’ve def done that a few times.
raw and toasted sesame seeds Continue reading

tomato and onion salad with curried okra chips

2 Aug

paleo tomato onion salad okra chips Things are starting to fall into place here, I suppose. After I found out our landlord doesn’t want me planting anything in the front of the house, which is the south side, I looked at a few community gardens nearby. I picked one that seems decent, though there’s always worry that neighborhood brats will steal or ruin veggies from the garden. It’s the best option I have, since the landlord seems to prefer to keep the front yard devoid of anything other than weedy ground crawl and unartfully curved metal edging that edges out the weedy ground crawl in favor of debris strewn dirt. So I’m going to start planting for the fall this week, which is exciting! I’ve already got fall (yes fall) tomatoes planted in pots in a patch of sunlight in the back yard. I guess other than that I don’t have much else in my life in place, actually. I signed up for a month at Joe’s Gym. JoesGym.info. I just don’t know what to do about a stupid Crossfit gym. So in the meantime I’m just going to meathead body building gym, getting major weird stares while I try do my old gym’s workouts. Even my cats are in a funk. They kind of just sleep all day, which is what I want to do. I have to snap out! Have to be productive! My funk is sucking at my productivity and my will to be productive. What a terrible cycle.
local texas okra paleo sliced okra Continue reading

fermented carrot pickles

7 Jul

paleo fermented carrot picklesHey. I’m here in Texas. And really all I’ve done is unpack, organize, and hand wash every freaking piece of wool clothing for indeterminately long storage. But I have this kind of brain blockage that prevents me from completing large, important tasks in favor of nagging smaller tasks. Then, the longer I don’t do whatever important task in question, the more I don’t want to think about how long it’s been and I try to not think about it. Take for example, not working on this blog and instead figuring out the best way to organize and store all of my holiday decorations. Or how I didn’t post this here recipe for a month and half because I was too busy getting ready to go to Texas and too busy seeing every friend possible. I had already taken the pictures, I was already completely checked out at my job, you’d think I would have been able to do it, but I just kept pretending like it wasn’t as long as it really had been. Brain blockage. So here’s a recap of my life.
bag of organic carrotsMy landlords in Denver were being real pains in the ass about wanting to show the house as soon as I told them we were moving. First, they wanted to show it all day. They were just going to be there all.day. 8 – 6. And they said they were going to do the showings on the weekend “so as to accommodate [my] usage during the month.” What does that mean??? How is it nice to have them there on the weekends? So, I said well it’d be pretty great if you could do the showings when I’m not there, thanks. Then they asked if I could lock my cats in a fucking closet for “10 or so hours” while they would be there showing the place. I didn’t reply to the email for a day because I needed to calm down. I’m so excited I never have to hear from Kathy and Randy Fischer ever again! Did I mention that Randy is a state representative here in Colorado? Rated worst for business by The Denver Business Journal. Thanks, bud. Also, his wife is on drugs, pretty sure. Teamocil probably. But yeah, they liked my garden and my compost pile, so that’s good. Didn’t have to haul off two truck loads of soil and months worth of rotting vegetable and yard matter.
cutting carrots for pickles weighing salt for pickle brine Continue reading

root vegetable chicken soup

9 Apr

paleo root vegetable chicken soup Someone’s got to eat the end of the root vegetables. Or heck, maybe you’ve just gotten some out of the ground that have been growing over the winter. You’re my hero. Here’s your answer, nonetheless, a silky, salty, garlicky chicken soup full of big hunks of soft, starchy root vegetables.
fresh parsley onion home made chicken broth Now that it’s getting warmer out I’m starting to regret my decision to get bangs. The other day was like 62 and they felt like a a sheet of plastic on my face. Sweaty plastic. I’m not sure headbands will work so well for the mid day workouts I like to do during my work days, lest I look like I have a drawbridge on my forehead. And please, I’m not washing my hair in the middle of the day. Who do you think I am?
boiled chicken for soup Continue reading

celery root salad

4 Apr

paleo celery root saladI’m completely smitten with old cookbooks and reenactment cookbooks…well, historical cookbooks, because they’re often not reenactments so much as modern interpretations on historical recipes. I only wish they were reenactment ones; maybe just explained a little more thoroughly than old ones. I have this one interpreted historical cookbook from the City Tavern, which almost makes me cry because I want all of the recipes so badly to be exactly what olde timey Philadelphians would have eaten at that restaurant so that I can taste something exactly the same. But there are some recipes in the book that aren’t too modernized. It’s refreshing at least to see lard used as the fat of choice in some recipes. This celery root salad is one simple little dish that I’ve been eyeing for a while from that book. There are a fair amount of vegetable recipes in it that are prepared nice and heavily. Don’t get me wrong, I like a good, crisp summer salad, but I’m not going to say I don’t really love fat-laden vegetables. I should have been born in Minnesota, I guess.
city tavernceleriac celery root mandolinejulienned celeriac celery rootCeleriac is one of my absolute favorite roots. To eat. Some how or other, though, I’ve avoided it raw. Mashed, boiled, roasted, but not raw. Come to think of it, I’ve also never had raw beets I don’t think. I asked for a mandoline for Christmas and this was the first time I used it to julienne something. Pretty sweet. I’m sorry if you don’t have one and you have to julienne the root by hand. No, I’m not, because I’ve had to julienne everything by hand before this. You can do it. You’ll be a better person for it. You could also use a box grater, though the result won’t be as elegant, but whatever. I’m not really elegant, either.
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pork neck bones with sauerkraut

14 Mar

paleo pork neck bones and sauerkrautMy trip to New York City nearly killed me with a flake of puff pastry. I hadn’t even had puff pastry in so stinking long and then I like breathed in a litte flake and it flapped over my trachea. Like a vacuum seal. It was the worst. I’d like to say my life flashed before my eyes, but instead I just kept thinking how much I just wanted to be able to freaking breathe. My memory is terrible anyway. Well, I probably have that little pastry flake still in my lungs, because I breathed again. Wait, in a month or something I’ll get some sort of lung rot from the putrified puff pastry residing in there. At least I got to have a wonderful time and was able to eat some pretty great food. And Samantha found a glorious wedding dress.
colorado pork shareSlow-cooked collagen is glorious in its melting rubber texture. That’s the best description I could come up with. I wish toothsome was the right word. If I could redefine toothsome, it’d be to mean the texture of slow-cooked collagen. It’s kinda like melty halloumi. But without the squeakiness. Kind of. I don’t know. It’s good though. And a spine, just like oxtail, has amble amounts of it.
local colorado pork neck bones Continue reading

one-pot mustard and lemon chicken

10 Jan

paleo mustard and lemon chicken and carrotsOne-rimmed-baking-sheet chicken. Whatever. This is easy chicken. Perfect weekday night dinner. Joe’s sister Louise requested a recipe of her own on here – one that would be nice and simple. This is a good example of what I might do on a weekday night (you know, because I don’t always make ridiculous dinners on a Tuesday). It’s to the point, but not lacking in flavor, and super good. And look, it’s carrots again. That’s another thing I do; obsess over ingredients.
butchering a whole chickenIt’s tough for me to settle on a recipe that’s simple like this. Should I have included onions? Other root vegetables? I guess I feel like it has to be like the definitive one-pot chicken and carrot dish. The BEST way to make them together. Or, at least the best way to make them together with a mustard lemon sauce. But sometimes it’s just nice to have a different way of making your normal weeknight meat and vegetables. You don’t want to marinate the chicken overnight, even if will make a wonderful difference; you don’t want to roast the vegetables at one temperature and the chicken at another; and on the other end, you don’t want another dinner of steamed broccoli and boring chicken. It’s shocking how many dinners I eat that are seasoned only with salt. I sure do love salt. Salt and fat. But I’ve got a reputation to upkeep here. I’m fancier than salt. I use lemon and mustard. Watch out.
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roasted carrot and caramelized onion soup with caraway

2 Jan

paleo roasted carrot and caramelized onion soup with carawaySometimes it’s the little details that make me happy in a recipe. Like nicely roasted carrots and caramelized onions in an otherwise very simple soup. And homemade chicken broth. And then, anything with caraway seeds in it is superlative in my book. The best seed.
carrots for paleo carrot soup roasted carrots Continue reading

roasted winter squash with tahini and za’atar

9 Dec

paleo winter squash with tahini and za'atarI lost the homemade candy contest. 3rd place out of 3. That’s okay, I guess the judges just preferred marzipan squeezed from a tube with shitty chocolate melted on top. Actually…I probably deserved it. I gave my friend some of my toffee and there was a hair in it. Maybe the judges got a hair piece, too. How embarrassing. How am I supposed to make cookies for people for Christmas? I should be in exile.
ingredients for winter squash with tahini and za'atarI’m really not feeling like writing much here. I had all sorts of wonderful things written down, then I accidentally deleted everything and whenever I do something stupid like that, I freak out and make everything worse. So instead of ⌘-Z-ing, I clicked somewhere else on the page to really confirm that I had deleted everything, thus really truly confirming the delete. Idiot. I don’t even remember what I had written. Other than griping about losing the candy contest. And probably Christmas, something, something, cookies. Trying to rewrite what you’d deleted is such an awful feeling. Even when it’s something as silly as a blog post. It makes me want to pull my hair out.
winter squash and red onions Continue reading

celery root and onion rösti

15 Nov

celery root celeriac and onion rostiI’m having a real crabby week. And it might have started Saturday. A high school kind of moody, little things are getting me down kind of week. I had a meltdown at the gym. That was real cool. I am sick of my bum wrist… both bum wrists and I don’t want to have to think about them anymore and I’m tired of getting setback in trying to get betterstrongerfaster. I’m going to be the worst old person, when all sorts of things start to ache and give me problems. Saturday I got mad when I tried to make this recipe. I burnt it. And I got mad at our stupid stove whose biggest burner isn’t big enough for my cast iron pan so the rimmed edge hangs off and doesn’t allow the pan to heat evenly. The edges of the rösti were only lightly browned, and the center was black, but I still ate most all of it. It’s pretty great, so I remade it on Sunday for some friends I had over. I don’t think they thought I was too weird for taking pictures, and they gave it their thumbs up.
celery root celeriactrimmed celery root Continue reading

polish cabbage rolls

6 Nov

paleo golabki polish cabbage rollI can’t call this gołąbki because I felt like I sufficiently interpreted these such that I might get chided by a Pole. Namely, in that I didn’t include rice. Next time I will, I swear (but these are so good I’m not sure I want to change them…). I’ll try to make my grandma proud. I also feel funny because I’m no expert in Polish cuisine – it’s not exactly the most popular ethnic cuisine, with hipsters flocking to little holes-in-the-wall to debate the best pierogi in town. There are actually kind of a few restaurants here, but I haven’t made my way over to them yet. Most of them look kinda crappy. Like, trying to be cool when it’d just be better to be a no frills, oblivious to modern tastes kinda place and have really good, all homemade food. Ugh, that reminds me of a Mexican restaurant nearby that has an ADA-certifited heart-healthy menu or some junk. Stay the hell away from that place. Growing up, my mom used to make gołąbki all the time, but I was a kid and I was picky and I didn’t eat anything that wasn’t Polly-O string cheese. So, I’m kind of starting from scratch here, with nothing much to compare to. I’ve mostly seen these little pigeons (that’s what gołąbki means) with a tomato sauce, but both Polish cookbooks I have seemed to be sauce-ambivalent and said you could serve it with a number of sauces. So, I picked a mushroom sauce because I’ve been in the mood for mushrooms lately. Again, it’s interpreted – I didn’t want to use cream. If you happen to be Polish (or another Eastern European) and make these – what sauce do you like to make for them?
cored cabbage blanched cabbage leafboiled cabbage Continue reading

lamb tagine

31 Oct

paleo moroccan lamb tagineAfter what I feel was a pretty damn decent representation of Ethiopian food, here we have what I think is maybe a bit of a misnomer. Not that this isn’t good, of course. It’s just…that there is no tagine involved. Like tandoori chicken with no tandoori. What other foods are named after their cooking vessel? Casserole. I don’t know. Aside from that, and maybe aside from the sweet potato, this is still a nice, long-cooked dish with lovely spices and tender meat. I didn’t take a lot of liberties. Though, I had also told myself that the next time I was to make Moroccan food I was going to have made preserved lemon. I didn’t. And I made this anyway. I’m such a let down. Lamb tagine…Moroccan lamb? Sure, whatever. Just make it.
lamb shoulder blade chopsbrowned lamb shoulder blade chopsI just realized that I thought I had only posted two African recipes in my blog’s existence. How incredibly embarrassing to admit that it was because I sometimes forget to think of Morocco when I think of Africa. I’m a bad person. Egypt, too. I don’t even know much how to differentiate Egyptian food from other Middle Eastern cuisines. I would like to be more cultured! Maybe that area should get their shit together so I can go visit and eat their food. Idiots. Oh and visit the Egyptian pyramids. Ohhhhh man do I want to do that. I used to be obsessed with Ancient Egypt. I had a Learn to Write in Hieroglyphics! set when I was in elementary school. Pretty, pretty, prettyyyyy cool.
giant onion Continue reading

spaghetti squash and caramelized onion cakes

1 Oct

paleo spaghetti squash and caramelized onion cakesfallfallfallfallfallfallfallllll!
spaghetti squash ready to roast spaghetti squashIn other news, I might move to Dallas. I am not happy about it. Joe is looking at a company down there for a job. I don’t know. We’ll see. But I can bet you their fall sucks. What the heck am I supposed to cook down there besides bbq (oh that could be good…). Do winter squash even grow? DO THE LEAVES EVEN CHANGE THERE. It’s just a hot, humid, flat wasteland. I’m too afraid to look back at my blog posts around the time of the Denver move. I think I didn’t want to leave Boston, either. I’m apparently inflexible. It’s hard to even get me to go out at night.
organic onions Continue reading

swiss chard and leek potato cake

18 Sep

paleo swiss chard, leek, and potato cakeI’ve just come off a long weekend of utter food debauchery. Samantha and her boyfriend Mike came to visit for what were the best four and a half days I’ll probably have until I make it back to visit them in Boston. I.love.themmmm. But wow, did my stomach not. Mostly, I screwed myself over with eating ice cream every night. Oof. But we really ate some pretty awesome food from some awesome restaurants. I love food. Joe loves food. Mike and Samantha love food probably more. It was epic. Mike kept telling me, “It’s alright, you can make it. Just another few meals to go.” Ha.
swiss chard backyard urban gardenraw milk, swiss chard, pastured eggsSome highlights included:
Chicken leg confit with collard greens full of pork chunks and some heirloom corn grits at The Universal. Best f-ing chicken ever. Holy cow. And it was for breakfast. That’s my kind of breakfast. I’d been there before and asked them to cook my eggs in bacon grease and the chef was not just willing to oblige, but excited to do so. Love that place.
chopped swiss chard stem Continue reading

roasted eggplant and garlic salad

12 Aug

Roasted eggplant and roasted garlic salad. I don’t know how best to write that. Does the roasted apply to garlic if I only have it in front of eggplant? Is it redundant to write roasted twice? AHH I don’t understand. But rest assured, the garlic is roasted. Sweet, sweet roasted garlic. And it’s mashed around to evenly incorporate amongst the eggplant. God I love this salad. And I can call it a salad because there are some raw elements. Otherwise I would just call it roasted eggplant and garlic. Boring.
I went to two pig roasts the other weekend. Back to back pig roasts. Well, one was a pig smoke. My god were those pigs good. I’m going to have a pig roasting party of my own. Oh yeah, and did I tell you that I went to a hog butchering class? If you followed me on the old twitter you’d know. Anyway, I made a friend at that class, and who also went to one of the pig roasts I went to, and we’re going to make it happen. He’s like a pig maniac and apparently a smoker master. So…I think we’re going to have the best pig roasting party of the year. Be there or be square, buddy.
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three chile chicken + charred summer vegetables

31 Jul

Hi, my name is Julie and my life is boring. I do the same exact things every week. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday: gym. Monday, Tuesday: MasterChef. Tuesday, Thursday: run. Wednesday: pick up CSA. Friday: pick up raw milk. Saturday and Sunday: I have no idea. I wish I’ve been backpacking every weekend. It makes me anxious that I haven’t been. Next thing I know it’s going to be winter. Terrifying. I did, however pick probably 10+ pounds of plums from some plum trees on the campus I work at. In total there were probably 60 pounds. There were four of us picking away – one had a homemade soda bottle fruit picker thing, one toted a ladder, one helped the ladder guy, and I climbed the trees. Barefoot, of course. It was perfect. We stripped those trees bare. I made cardamom lavender jam and I’ll be making pickled plums at some point soon. It sure is tricky looking for a pickle recipe online – how am I supposed to know if it’s safe for canning?! I don’t understand how people figured this stuff out. How many people died of botulism or flesh eating bacteria or whatever before they figured out how to preserve food?! I should just give up cooking. Move to the wilderness. Just scavenge with the coyotes. I’d probably die of a horrid bacterial infection doing that too. Or from the coyotes. Crap.
I have become such a caricature. Like I should be on Portlandia. I use my little reel mower. I ride my bike everywhere with my two panniers. I get all of my food from CSAs, farmers markets, and my backyard. GAG ME. At least Joe owns a gas guzzling Jeep. Sometimes we take the Jeep to pick up the raw milk and pastured meat. And then on the way there I make Joe stop at Target so I can look at all of the clothes. I bet all of those clothes are made in sweatshops. I’m not sure I feel so good about that, but I need something to balance my life out.
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watermelon gazpacho

14 Jul

Pretty sure this will be my last watermelon post for a bit. And hopefully the last fruit one for a bit, too. Not positive on that last one. I haven’t posted anything with cherries in it. And I like cherries. Really like cherries. Shoot. Uh, I’ll incorporate meat. I got it, don’t worry. Ohhh man, then peach season is upon us too…
My garden’s at the point now where if I am busy for a couple days in a row, it gets completely overgrown. Tiny little zucchinis turn into like county fair blue ribbon contenders. My arugula keeps fighting me, trying to bolt. I’ve pretty much given up on my broccoli rabe. I can’t keep up. But man, a veggie garden is the most fun thing ever. It makes me feel like such a city slicker – being so amazed and amused at the plants. Not that I am or was a city slicker. And not that I didn’t have a veggie garden growing up. I don’t know, those little plants still make me giddy. I can’t wait until I have a house of my own. Then I will turn the backyard into a produce aisle. I saw my first pear tree the other day. I was by myself and I squealed out loud at those little pears just dangling from the branches.
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halloumi, cucumber, watermelon, and fennel seed salad

13 May

I’m done! I’m done I’m done I’m done! No more 60 hours/week at my desk job plus the many other hours I put into Gathered! That really took it out of me. I felt like I was back in school, what with all of the 5 hour/night sleeps. Bleh, I do NOT do well with that. Some people seem to. I suppose there’s a bit of variation among people, but I’m betting that they are just used to subsisting on a general level of Suck. So when level Suck is elevated to Suck Less after they get 6 hours of sleep, they think “hm, this is nice”. Whereas me, I’m at level Awesome for most days and level Suck Less feels like level Total and Complete Shit.
Despite being a mega crab, I still made this lovely salad. Just for you. And me, because I ate lots. And because I needed another excuse to put more watermelon into my life. It’s not even good this time of year. Not stopping me. One day, possibly this summer, I will make it my goal to eat an entire watermelon. The only hindrance to completing that goal is self respect. Bah. Halloumi , as I’ve mentioned before is wonderful. So, so wonderful. In general, I’m rather cheese indifferent. I don’t not like it, but like, cubes of cheese on a cheese tray don’t do much for me. I’ll eat all of the grapes in the middle, but yeah. Browned cheese, on the other hand. OH HELLO. It’s the best. Then, if the cheese happens to be deliciously salty, then HELLO AGAIN! I LOVE YOU! A deliciously salty, browned, sheep’s milk cheese? YES PLEASE!
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