Paleo Oven-Baked Rutabaga Fries

Rutabaga Fries.

…Are the best. No joke. I don’t think I’ll ever eat normal fries again. And the best part? Blair loved them too! Yippee!

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Yummy, Low-Carb and Healthy!

Since we started buying local organic fruit and veggies through a co-op where you buy a share or group of items for a set price, Blair and I have been challenged to try new things in new ways. This past week we found ourselves with a rutabaga on hand.

Neither of us had ever eaten this root vegetable that’s a mix between a turnip and a cabbage – so it was definitely a challenge!

You can mash them, roast them, put them in soup, and even hash brown them. We ultimately decided to make somewhat spicy garlic fries in the end – and they are delicious!

Here’s the easy Paleo recipe!

  • 1 rutabaga (will make a little more than 2 servings)
  • salt & pepper
  • minced garlic
  • paprika
  • rosemary
  • olive oil
  • cookie sheet
I didn't need any ketchup - These were perfect by themselves!

I didn’t need any ketchup – These were perfect by themselves!

  1. Preheat the oven to 425° F
  2. Wash and peel the rutabaga, just like you would a potato
  3. Remove the ends and cut the rest into small french fries size slices – Try to make the slices the same size so they cook evenly.
  4. Add a dash of salt and pepper, along with paprika, rosemary, and minced garlic – You can personalize it here!
  5. Place the slices on the cookie sheet and bake in the oven for 30 minutes, turning the “fries” halfway so both sides crisp up – Cooking times will vary depending on your oven so keep an eye on them!

While these aren’t the same as fast food fries, not only are you getting a healthy alternative, but also still able to fix any french fry craving you have! My “fries” fixed my garlic fry craving and went perfectly with my burger! They were perfect.

So… what will you put on your rutabaga fries?

Lauren

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Paleo 3 Berry Sorbet Recipe

Seriously Fresh & Seriously Yummy!

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Great summer treat too!

Blair and I have been trying to gradually switch our eating style over to Paleo – a.k.a. primal, caveman diet, no grain. So far it’s  been an amazing lifestyle change and one that we both have been excited to dive deeper into the more we are on it!

My only complaint right off bat was no sugar. Instantly I thought that meant no more cakes, ice cream, brownies, cookies and so on. The little fatty in me was devastated!

However, the more I read and studied what Paleo is really about, I’ve found that I can still enjoy the natural sweets God has given to us! That’s when I got to experimenting and made my first homemade all natural sorbet! A super yummy treat that cures my sweet tooth, while still being healthy! The steps are below!

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups of Berries *I used some fresh and frozen berries I had on hand – strawberries, raspberries and blueberries
  • Water *1/3 for the berry mixture and 1 cup for the simple syrup recipe
  • 1 Cup of Honey

3 berry sherbetSteps:

  • In a small saucepan, combine 1 cup of water and 1 cup of honey to create a natural simple syrup. Mix together on low/medium heat until both are combined, then place in a separate container to cool. *Don’t let it boil!
  • Using either a food processor or blender, mix together the berries and 1/3 cup of water until well blended.
  • Filter out the seeds by placing a sieve into a bowl and pouring the mixture on top of it. *This may require some work to make sure you get all of the juice! I just used a coffee filter to do this job.
  • Add 1 cup of your simple syrup mixture to the berry juice (there should be about 2 cups of that after filtering it). *Play with the amount of simple syrup you add. 1 cup may be too much or too little for your taste!
  • Let the mixture chill for an hour or so.
  • Put into your ice cream maker and get to freezing! *Make sure to follow the instructions for your particular ice cream maker. Mine took 30 minutes to properly chill and set up.
  • Place in an airtight container and keep it in the freezer!

And enjoy!

I’m excited to play with even more versions of this – today I saw a strawberry lime sorbet on Pinterest! Sounds heavenly to me!

Lauren

Steam Cleaning: The Only Way to Clean a Fridge

The Fridge.

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I purposely made this photo smaller… Not only does the dirty spot gross me out, but it’s also just straight up embarrassing!

It was nasty. Something spilled and it was a terrible sticky mess to clean up. At first, I scrubbed with a sponge to get the residue picked up, but after having no success at doing so I pulled out my handy dandy Steamer.

Honestly, I wouldn’t be posting this for people to see unless I really truly believed in Steam Cleaning. It works wonders while sanitizing and I’m not too sure why it didn’t click until now to use it on and in my fridge. After all, I use it on everything else in the kitchen, bathroom and practically the whole rest of the apartment… I even use a Shark Steam Mop on our floors!

Anywho, the first thing you’ll need is a reliable steamer. I use a Scunci Steamer and I love it, but there are plenty of others on the market for less. Just make sure to read the ratings before you invest in one!

Some other supplies you’ll want are:

  • Old rag *Used to pick up the residue
  • Spray bottle filled with equal parts vinegar and warm water
  • Couple of clean rags *Used to wipe the vinegar & water cleaning solution up
  • Glad Press’n Seal *Optional – used to line any flat solid shelves for quick and easy clean-ups in the future!

Now, Let’s get started:

  1. Get your steamer filled with water and warming up.
  2. While the steamer is warming up, clear your fridge and get rid of any bad food.
  3. Remove any shelves and drawers that you are able to. *You essentially want a blank slate so you can get into every nook and cranny.
  4. Get to steaming! Steam any spills or touch residue first and wipe up with your old rag then get into the tight spots!

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    Reason 1,687,392,735,084 why you need to steam clean. This is nasty and it totally brought out the OCD in me. We rent our apartment so I can only imagine what this fridge has been through…

  5. Once most of the loose residue is steamed and picked up, spray your cleaning solution all around and let it sit for a minute. Wipe up with your clean rags.
  6. Since I had a solid shelf, I lined the top of it with Glad Press’n Seal to help quickly clean up spills in the future.

And you are done!

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Nice clean fridge! P.S. Glad Press’n Seal is shown in the bottom right photo!

 

Now that I’ve cleaned my fridge this way I can’t imagine doing it any other way. This is a must do for anyone! It makes cleaning the fridge no longer a hassle, but rather quite therapeutic – now, I don’t know about everyone else, but that’s my type of cleaning!

Lauren

A Lovely Treat – Beignets

Beignets.

It’s decided. Beignets in the Draper household are going to become a staple Valentine’s Day tradition. They were delicious, simple and a blast to make and eat with the love of my life.

And when I say simple, I mean they were RIDICULOUSLY SIMPLE. I’m pretty sure I’m going to offend some beignet fanatics out there by what I’m going to tell you next. But… they were actually made out of Pillsbury’s biscuits. Yes, I said it – those store-bought biscuits that frighteningly pop open a little too loudly.

I originally saw this idea on Pinterest but since there were no step by step directions, I figured I would post my own. So…

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What you’re going to need to make these lil’ devils are:

  • 1 can of Pillsbury’s Grands! Flaky Layers – Honey Butter
  • Vegetable oil – enough to fill the pot halfway or an inch deep
  • Pot/pan – it just needs to be at least 3 inches deep *I used a taller pot.
  • Instant thermometer *Tip Below!
  • Powdered suger & sifter
  • Honey – optional, but delicious!

Then:

  1. Get your oil heated up to 360° *If you don’t have a thermometer, take a small piece of bread and place it in the oil. Watch how it fries up. When it is fried to your liking, get to frying! A close Army friend taught me this and I think it is genius! Thank you, McNally!
  2. Open the biscuits and cut each one into quarters. *We used a heart cookie cutter on some of ours
  3. Place three at a time into the oil
  4. After two minutes, flip them over to the other side for another two minutes
  5. Place fried beignets onto a paper towel covered plate
  6. Top with powdered sugar and honey and enjoy!

*A good thing to keep in mind when frying foods is that the oil will continue to get hotter. After your first batch, keep an eye on how the oil is frying things up. They may be browning a lot faster than you want so just turn the stove heat down a little!

When last night came to an end, Blair and I were literally licking the powdered sugar off our fingers. I’m so happy I bought two containers of biscuits – I might just have to make these again here soon! Right after I go to the gym first, of course…

Lauren

My Treat: Brookies

Brookies.

They are delicious, brown-sugary, chocolate-chippy, chewy-gooey cookie brownies. So, in other words, mouthwatering.

While I wouldn’t necessarily recommend brookies for a wedding (they can get a little messy), they are perfect for a bridal shower or even as a cute thank you gift for close friends and family after the wedding has happened!

I made these brookies for my boyfriend’s dad’s “23rd” birthday.  😉  And considering they were gone before I knew it, I’m taking they were a huge hit for their family and would be for yours too!

Now with all of the ingredients on hand, let’s get to baking!

Isn’t that a beautiful color? Cannot wait to eat this!

I added the dry ingredients in bits so they didn’t fly everywhere when I turned the mixer back on.

DON’T forget to scrape the sides! Nobody wants left over flour clumps when they’re trying to enjoy their brookie.

The dough should be a beautiful golden color with plenty of chocolate chips!

My friend Julia and I had such a hard time resisting the brookie dough……. but we survived the temptation!

Final Product!!

Delicious and beautiful. It’s the perfect combination!

Blog Queen Bakerella shared this recipe last May. While she suggested mixing the batch up by hand to make the texture “better”, I went ahead and just whipped up the quick recipe in the mixer. I found the final product to be perfect for my taste, but included the “By Hand” instructions for you to try out in case you wanted to experiment with different mixing avenues! Best of luck in your baking!

Brookie Recipe:

2 3/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup butter, softened

1 lb. light brown sugar

3 eggs

1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla (The original recipe called for only 1 teaspoon, but I love vanilla so I added more!)

11.5 ounce package milk chocolate chips (Why not just throw in the whole 12 oz bag?!)

1 cup chopped pecans (Yes please!)

By mixer:

Sift flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.

Combine butter and sugar using a mixer until blended.

Add eggs, one at a time to sugar mixture, mixing on low in between each addition.

Add vanilla and mix.

Add flour and mix until combined.

Stir in chips and then pecans.

By hand:

Sift flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Set aside.

Stir brown sugar into softened (not melted) butter in another large bowl until butter disappears.

You can use the back of your spoon to help incorporate the two together.

Add eggs one at a time to butter mixture and stir well after each egg.

Add vanilla, chocolate chips and nuts.

Mix well.

Add dry flour mixture and stir until well combined.

-Coat a 13 X 9 pan with non-stick spray and spread batter evenly into dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until top is golden brown. Make sure you don’t over bake.

**My oven cooked the brookies perfectly in 30 minutes, but make sure you know your oven… If your oven runs on the cooler side and the top of your brookies are already golden brown, but the inside isn’t cooked yet, just throw on a sheet of aluminum foil and bake until a toothpick comes out clean! I like my cookies on the doughier side so I made my brookies that way too! It is all up to you though on that aspect!

…and they lived happily ever after.

❤ Lauren