Monday, March 24, 2014


It's incredible how a few flowers can brighten your home and make you feel so alive!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Fettucine Alfredo with Bacon and Asparagus

The other night I made fettucine alfredo with asparagus and bacon for Shane and me. I was pretty impressed with the outcome and would absoutely recommend this simple dish to anyone who's in the mood for a little comfort and a lot of great flavor. 

The recipe was easy enough, which is great for me, seeing as I'm not the most confident cook ;)

2 cups heavy cream
4 tablespoons butter
Bacon (as much as you want! we did 8 slices)
Asparagus (trimmed and cut into 1" pieces)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
A dash of ground nutmeg
Italian parsley
Seasonings (I used pepper, salt, and crushed red peppers)

Boil water for pasta, meanwhile boiling water in a separate pot to blanche asparagus. While the water is boiling, start cooking the bacon. Once the bacon is cooked, remove from skillet and place on a plate, covering with a paper towel to soak up grease. When the bacon is cool, start to crumble it into small pieces. Check on boiling water, begin cooking pasta and place asparagus into water.

Helpful hint for cooking asparagus: remove one asparagus from the rubberbanded bundle and see where it snaps if you bend it. Place it back in the bundle and cut all asparagus to the same length as the snapped asparagus. Keep the asparagus in the rubberbands and gently, evenly lower the bundle into boiling water to ensure you do not disrupt the temperature of the water. Once the water starts looking green (about 5 minutes, usually), carefully remove the aspargus with tongs and put it in a cold ice chip bath in your sink (I actually just douse it with really cold water, and it does the trick). Place on a plate to cool.

Begin cooking sauce while pasta is still cooking. Start by melting butter int a dutch oven over medium heat and saute garlic for about 30 seconds. Now stir in the heavy cream. Add salt, pepper, and nutmeg, bringing the sauce to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered for about 5 minutes.  Stir parmesan cheese into the sauce until it is melted and sauce is thick. Turn off heat.

Drain pasta and add to sauce. Add bacon, asparagus, and parsley.

We added a little parmesan after, as well as crushed red peppers to give it a little kick. The result was really delicious!

It's not a paleo meal in the least, but it is really delicious for one of those cheat days, Katie!! Every day's a cheat day for me. I lasted about one day on the paleo diet... Proud of Katie for her commitment though!


Friday, February 21, 2014

Craving This Book

I have had my eye on this cookbook for a min now. I hope to buy it soon! 

Paleo Pumpkin Pancakes

Hello everyone, Katie here, Today I made Paleo Pumpkin Pancakes! It's the first time I am making them and you know what? I think I nailed it! They are light and fluffy and taste too delicious. So here are the goods!

Paleo Pumpkin Pancakes

4 Eggs
1/2 Cup Canned Pumpkin
1 Teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
2 Tablespoons Pure Maple Syrup
1 Teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 Teaspoon Baking Soda
2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil
(plus extra for pan frying)

Whisk the eggs, canned pumpkin, vanilla, and maple syrup together. Sift in the pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, and baking soda. 

In a skillet melt the coconut oil over medium heat. Then mix the oil into the batter.

Grease the skillet with the extra oil and spoon the batter into the skillet to make the pancakes your desired size. Flip the pancakes when a few bubbles start to appear.

I served mine with a little butter and cinnamon.

So simple, so good! I hope you enjoy yours as much as I did mine!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Amanda's 22nd Birthday

Diana here--Amanda and her best friend Alex came up to Santa Monica last Friday night to celebrate her 22nd birthday and so Katie, Sarah, and I decided we wanted to make a fun, paleo-friendly dinner that was good for our bodies and our bank accounts. We made delicious lettuce wrap tacos again, but this time we had chorizo, beef and lamb to fill in for the chicken! When planning for guests, it's always a good idea to consider possible combinations that are gluten free friendly, vegetarian friendly, and in this case we had a guest who didn't eat lamb. Hence the choice to have multiple meat options.

The evening started with Sarah and Katie taking stock of everything we had in the kitchen before heading out to the store. We already had the lamb and most of the greens needed for our dinner, but we still needed the beef, cauliflower, avocados and a few other items, plus 6 bottles of wine (eeps!). There's no dinner party without wine! Especially a 22-but-we're-pretending-it's-her-21st-Birthday kind of dinner party.

Because Katie was doing 3 different types of meat she played it lose on the recipes. While Katie went to town in the kitchen, I was able to chat with Amanda and make sure everyone had enough wine. Our friends Lynne and Alysia came by as well, and so we had a nice little gathering--7 girls--the perfect amount for a build your own taco style dinner!

First up: an incredible Avo-ziki Sauce.

Avo-Ziki Sauce:

1 ripe Avocado
1/4 cup grated cucumber
1 small clove garlic, grated
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon fresh dill, finely chopped

Katie here with the procedure tips--After prepping the items I combined all the items in a food processor.

Then I moved onto then lamb. I did a simple rub and cooked it in bacon fat.

Lamb and rub:

1lb lamb stew meat
Sea salt and black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1tablespoon bacon lard

In a medium bowl I mixed the seasonings and tossed in the lamb meat. Then I melted the bacon lard in a skillet and added the lamb. I cooked the lamb approximately 2-3 minutes on each side. Once the meat was cooked, I chopped it into 1/2-inch pieces.

For our garnishes I chopped up grape tomatoes, lemons, cucumbers, green onions and avocado and used the butter lettuce in place of tortillas.

I moved onto prepping the Cauli-rice. Since I just did that one recently,  I"ll skip the steps on that. Just not that the only difference was that I doubled the recipe.

For the ground beef and chorizo I kept it simple. I started with the chorizo in a skillet cooking it through. And I seasoned the beef with salt, pepper, cumin, onion pawer, garlic powder, and chipotle powder, then cooked it a skillet. I didn't measure out the spices on the beef,  I just based it on taste.

We set everything up on our bar for a create your own taco experience. I got hungry while cooking and couldn't wait to have one sitting down :)

And Sarah, my sous-chef, hard at work.

Overall I am really happy with how it all turned out! Happy Birthday, Amanda!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Lamb Meatballs with a Fig and Rosemary Compote

Katie here. The other day I attempted cooking with lamb for the first time! It didn't go perfectly, but it was still quite yummy. I feel that I need to play with the balance of spice in the meatballs and I burnt the compote on the first try--still need to perfect my skills on that one. With that said, for a first attempt I was quite happy.

Spiced Lamb Meatballs:

1 lb ground lamb
1 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon onion powder
salt and pepper

Fig and Rosemary Compote:

1/2 cup water
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
4 fried figs
1 sprig fresh rosemary

First step, preheating to oven to 375*F.

Then in a mixing bowl I combined the lamb and spices with my hands.

And formed meatballs about 1 1/2 inch in diameter.

Then they baked for 25 minutes.

While the meat balls were cooking I tried to make the fig and rosemary compote. 

I have never made a compote before, so of course I burnt it on my first try! It became more of a molasses. A burnt molasses! But I was not going to feel defeated and washed the pan out and started again. I simply added the water, balsamic, figs and rosemary in a sauce pan and simmered it until the texture became think.

I still feel that I have a lot of room to grow here, but everyday is a new adventure. Have you tried any new recipes that did not quite hit the mark?

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Lettuce Wrap Tacos and Cliantro Cauliflower Rice

I recently decided that I'm going to try and join Katie on the Paleo diet and she has been making the most delicious Paleo friendly meals for us! Monday we both had the morning off and we decided to get productive. We did laundry, went to the courthouse and dealt with outstanding tickets, and when we got home I immediately cleaned the whole house while Katie got busy in the kitchen. James Vincent McMorrow serenaded us in the background and the smell of spicy chipotle chicken filled the whole apartment. Katie made us lettuce wrapped chicken tacos and a bowl of super delicious cilantro cauliflower "rice"--WOW. So tasty! I'll let Katie tell you all about the ingredients and the process for creating this incredibly fresh, and simple, meal.

Ingredients for Lettuce Wrap Chicken Tacos:

Chicken thighs
Chipotle powder
Onion powder
Garlic powder
Grape tomatoes
Green onions
Head of butter lettuce
Coconut oil

Ingredients for Cilantro Cauliflower Rice:

Head of cauliflower
*Special addition: bacon fat


Okay, Katie here to chime in. While Diana ran around our "New Place" cleaning, I got busy in the kitchen. I am in love with our new kitchen because it is big enough to get a lot of cooking done, but also small enough where it forces you to stay on top of your side prep and cleaning. Because of this the first thing I did was clean and put away all the dishes in the sink before I started any prep.

Once I was done there, I started with the seasoning for the chicken thighs. It was simple: in a medium mixing bowl I added 2 tsp chipotle powder, 1/2 tsp onion powder, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, and salt and pepper to taste.  Then I started prepping the chicken thighs by cutting them into  1/4 inch strips and then tossed them in the seasoning I had just made.

In a skillet over medium heat, I melted 2 tbl spoons of coconut oil, and then placed the chicken thighs in the skillet. I cooked them for about 5-10 min and turned them occasionally until they were fully cooked. In the meantime, while checking on the chicken often, I chopped up some green onion and halved some grape tomatoes. Lastly for this dish I rinsed off a handful of whole butter lettuce leaves and cut up some avocado.

Next, I worked on the Cauliflower "Rice". For this dish I removed the outer leaves and stem from the cauliflower, chopped it into large chunks and shredded the cauliflower using a box grater. Then in a large skillet, over medium heat I melted bacon lard (about 2 tbl spoons) and then added the shredded cauliflower. I seasoned it to taste with salt and pepper and cooked it for about 5 minutes or until the cauliflower began to become translucent. To finish it off I tossed the cauliflower with freshly chopped cilantro in a mixing bowl.

The best part was building our own tacos! I loved heaping them full with the cauliflower "rice"!
I hope you have fun trying to make your own paleo tacos, let us know what your favorite taco toppings are, or do you have your own favorite substitution like our cauli-"rice"? Do you have a routine with your roommate where you pair up and take on the household tasks?