Halloween is fast approaching, and if your child(ren)’s school is anything like my kids’, then you’ve been volun-told/tasked/guilt-tripped into preparing treat bags for your child’s class! A couple years ago, I made some “Ghostly Grub” for my boys’ class, which was a HUGE hit with the children. It’s super easy to make and these treat bag tags will top off your hard work perfectly!
Recipe for Ghostly Grub:
Combine the following:
Chex cereal – Monster Scabs
Pretzel sticks – Skeleton Bones (*Optional – cover the pretzel sticks with melted white chocolate or candy melts)
Candy Corn – Jack-o-lantern Teeth
Chocolate chip morsels – Witch’s Warts
Marshmallows – Ghost Poop
I put the mixture into ziplock bags, then placed the plastic bags into a cut up paper lunch bag. I wish I had had time to send the children outside to look for sticks, but living in a city without a yard or trees of our own, I realized that it was a bigger task than I could handle. I did, however, have some wooden chopsticks, which worked in a pinch to create broomsticks!
Both treat bag tags are available here for free: Just click on the image for the high-resolution jpeg and right click to download!
Ghostly Grub Tags
No Tricks, Just Treats! Tag
The tags measure approximately 2.5 inches in diameter, and I recommend using a 2.5 in circle punch to cut them out although scissors work just fine!
Happy New Year from Seoul, South Korea! I can’t believe it’s been so long since my last post–the past month has been an absolute whirlwind of activity. As a mother of kindergarteners, I have experienced my very first Winter Break, and let me tell you… It wasn’t pretty. My boys were BORED OUT OF THEIR MINDS and craved the daily activities, the friends, and the stimulation of school. In the meantime, I was running around like a crazy person trying to make sure that everything was PERFECT for Christmas, mostly because I know that we only have a precious few Christmases before my kids stop believing in the MAGIC of the holidays (see previous post).
So basically, this control-freak, Type-A mom was desperately trying to make sure that EVERY. LITTLE. THING. was in perfect order. By the end of their two-week reprieve from school, I was just about ready to kick them out the door and return to the (relative) calm of our day-to-day routine. Except we had friends come for a 12-day long visit with their incredibly adorable 9 month old baby, which made me even crazier because I was basically smacked in the face with baby fever and the slightly depressing (but also exhilarating) realization that I would never again have a sweet little baby to snuggle and nurse and make completely ridiculous noises and faces at–just for a perfect gummy, toothless grin. My husband commented several times within the first hour of our houseguests’ arrival that I was acting like a crazy person. He only stopped teasing me when he realized what a lunatic he looked like every time he got a hold of the baby. After a few hours of baby time, both the husband and I agreed–thank goodness we’ve both been “fixed” or we’d TOTALLY be talking about having another baby! My youngest would beg to differ though. She was not terribly pleased with mommy’s attention being diverted to the new baby in the house. 😉
Anyway, with all the excitement in the house and the fact that I was pretty much blinded by the baby cuteness, I completely forgot that the boys’ first week back in school was MY WEEK TO PREPARE CLASS SNACKS! I remembered as the kids were leaving for school Monday morning, and since the commissary is closed on Mondays, my options were limited. I sent my husband to the shoppette/liquor store and literally told him, “I don’t care what kind of junk it is. We have to send SOMETHING!” Feeling my crazy-mom panic, he assured me that all would be fine, and he wouldn’t let on to Mrs. S, the boys’ teacher, that I had forgotten.
Since Day 1 consisted of Cheez Its and Rice Krispie Treats (the pre-packaged variety that I will assume absolutely no responsibility for thanks to my husband’s self-sacrifice in the name of marital bliss), I had to step up my game and make up for my failure to deliver fun and nutritious snacks for my children and their classmates because this is the type of thing that only a crazy lady would worry about. Tuesday, I was able to deliver fruit from our local produce market (bananas, apple slices and clementines). Monday is really The Worst Day for the commissary to be closed. 🙁
Since I was (finally) able to get to the store on Tuesday, Wednesday, was more fun for me to put together, and much more fun for the kids to eat! When my boys came home from school, they were super excited to tell me about what a big hit the snacks were and what they built with their grapes, pretzels and cheese sticks! Small cubes of cheese would have worked well too as well as crackers of various sizes and other fruit (blueberries, strawberries, banana slices, oranges, etc.). So here’s a simple little printable to throw in the baggie along with edible “building” supplies!
For Day 4 of my frantic snack-making, I decided on my boys’ all-time favorite treat–S’mores. But without the fire and melted marshmallows, which seasoned s’mores-lovers may balk at, but thankfully, my audience consisted of a bunch of 5 year olds, so no one complained about the lack of dangerous, hot, burning embers in the classroom.
Delicious make-it-yourself mini s’mores can be made with Teddy Grahams, mini marshmallows and chocolate chip morsels. As my boys would say, “Easy peasy!”
Click here to download the mini s’mores printable: Mini Smores
And finally, to round out my week of snack-making hell fun, I made cheese and veggie muffins. I had originally planned to make these delicious and nutritious muffins for Thursday and give the kiddos the mini s’mores as a Friday/End of Week treat, but I failed to remember (until after the groceries were purchased) that my miserably small Korean oven can only handle one muffin pan at a time, so I needed the extra time to bake 4 dozen muffins. And please excuse my lack of a photo of the muffins. I was too busy taking photos of a certain adorable 9 month old. 😉 But you can take my word for it–they’re pretty and colorful!
Cheese and Veggie Muffins
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 diced red bell pepper
1 cup frozen corn (defrosted)
1 cup frozen chopped spinach (defrosted)
6 slices of white bread (cut into small cubes)
salt and pepper to taste
Makes approx. 1 dozen regular-sized muffins
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray muffin/cupcake pan with non-stick spray. Do not use paper cupcake wrappers. The paper will stick to the muffins and will not come off easily.
2. Thoroughly combine all the ingredients in a large bowl.
3. Spoon mixture into muffin pan.
4. Bake for approximately 20 minutes (or until tops of muffins are golden brown).
Easy peasy! 😉
I actually have no idea how well these muffins went over with the kids. My children will eat anything and everything, including spinach and red bell peppers. However, the cheesiness of the muffins mask the taste of the (healthy) veggies, so I’d say there’s a decent chance that non-veggie lovers would be willing to give it a try. When I make these muffins for my family, I also add BACON because… well, bacon. Just chop up some cooked (but not crispy) bacon and add to the mix.
Now that my houseguests have gone home and my week of snack responsibilities have ended… I can return to the lunacy of the everyday that is my life with three kids. 😉
The last few weeks have been incredibly busy (thus my absence from the blogiverse lately). We have a 17 year old relative visiting from the States–and OMG is having a teenager in the house a lot of work! During his 14 day stay, we’ve managed to: visit the National Museum of Korea, Gyeongbokgung Palace, the Korean War Memorial and Musem, have our feet chewed on by little fish in Myeongdong, see the Jump! show at Kyunghyang Art Hill, play mini-golf, and eat all kinds of food our small-town, middle American teenager had never even heard of before. On top of that, I’ve been knee-deep in planning for a kids’ color war party, and despite feeling overwhelmed by all the things… The teenager is flying out tomorrow full of new experiences and wonderful memories (hopefully!), and the color war party was a huge success!
The party was inspired by a very talented photographer and friend, Zayda Barros. She wanted to photograph a color war, but since she doesn’t have kids (yet!), she asked me to help throw a party of EPIC proportions. 😉 And because I love planning parties, I ran with it and this is what happened:
Since I knew that a professional was snapping away, I didn’t take very many photos… And I’m much too impatient to wait until her photos are ready to post to write this post, so apologies for my crap photos and I’ll have some beautiful ones to share soon!
UPDATE: Thank you to the very talented Zayda Barros for these beautiful photos!
Here what planning our Rainbow War Party entailed and some tips for planning your very own color war party!
Obviously, this is an outdoor activity! We planned our party for a public picnic area that was somewhat secluded, giving kids enough room to run around and throw colors without attracting too much attention. Also, access to water is important! Our picnic area came with a water faucet so kids could wash off before heading home/smearing colors all over the inside of mom’s car.
As with all parties, the fun begins with the guest list! We had a tough time keeping our guest list under 30 children, but we had to keep our group somewhat manageable. The color war is most appropriate for kids aged 4 and up. Our list consisted of 25 kids ranging in age from 2-9. As with all invitations for activity-based parties, be sure to thoroughly explain to parents what the party entails and be prepared to answer a host of questions! We explained: how kids should be dressed (plain white t-shirts that could be ruined during the party), what they should bring for their own child(ren) (towel and change of clothes), age-appropriateness, how long the color war would last, and how parents could help with supplies.
Because of the toddlers and also because the color war only lasts about 20-30 minutes (depending on how much color powder you’ve prepared), we prepared other activities to keep the kids busy. Finger painting and play dough are great, colorful activities to keep kids happy and occupied as they eagerly await the beginning of the color war! I purchased finger paints, but made my own play dough (scroll down for the very simple DIY recipe!).
Because I didn’t have immediate access to rolls of art paper, I just taped large sheets of white paper down to the picnic tables. Rolls of paper would definitely have worked better, but you do what you can…
Our menu consisted of pasta salad, rainbow bread sandwiches, fruit and veggie platters, M&Ms, Skittles, rainbow cupcakes and beverages–simple and colorful!
The bread was easy but time consuming to make. There are many different ways to make rainbow bread–just do a quick Pinterest search and there are plenty of different recipes. However, I’m not much of a baker and with a million other things going on at the jkwdesigns house, I needed to make things easier for myself, not harder! So I went with pre made dough. Pilsbury French Loaf dough to be exact. 😉 I was inspired by the recipe for the Rainbow Sandwich Loaf, but I took quite a few liberties with the recipe in order to make it less labor intensive. My changes resulted in a bread that wasn’t quite as colorful as the recipe suggests, but it worked out, I saved some time, and made less of a mess. Win, win, win!
I kept decorations relatively simple since the focus was on turning our adorable little kids into colorful works of art! I made a “Taste the Rainbow” sign for the food table and individual food signs. I would have preferred white tablecloth for the tables, but supplies at my local shop were limited so I had to go with light purple. I also would have liked to hang white tablecloth as a backdrop for the color fight area, but I wasn’t able to do that either. Oh, the injustice of shopping for party supplies in a country that doesn’t really sell party supplies… 😉
Also, I made water bottle labels for our Rainbow Warriors as well as juice box labels, but a friend brought them in a cooler with ice so my paper labels clearly weren’t going to work. My friend is clearly more thoughtful of the children that I am because I would have served the kids room temperature juice boxes for the purpose of aesthetics! 😉
The files for FREE printables can be accessed here:
And just for fun, I added some colored streamers around the picnic area, which ended up being more fun for the kids as we began clean-up.
Because this party was for a photo session rather than for someone’s birthday, we asked that parents contribute color powder for the fight. They had the option of either purchasing a pack of holi powder from Amazon or making their own. I found numerous recipes for DIY color powder for color wars, but none of them worked quite as well as I had hoped. The flour-based mixtures took ages to dry (Korean summers are just too humid), and very few of us owned coffee grinders. In the end, I did quite a bit of experimenting and came up with an EASY, NO-MESS solution! (Scroll down for Color Powder Recipe!)
For the rainbow war, we pre-filled cups with a small amount of color powder. As the color war began, kids were each given one cup, then instructed to return to the table to have their cups refilled when they ran out of color. This definitely helped the battle last longer!
The only instructions that we gave the kids were:
1) No throwing colors directly at someone’s face.
2) If someone asks you to stop, you must stop.
All the kids were a bit shy at first, but once they got the hang of things, it was a raging battle of colors–complete with laughter and shrieks of delight! And a few tears. 😉 It was impossible to keep the little ones (2 year olds) out of the battle, so we gave in and let them make their own messes, but my daughter decided halfway through the battle that she’d had enough and just wanted me to hold her. You win some, you lose some…
If you’re planning your own color war, just keep in mind that the color and consistency of the store-bought holi powder is far superior to the DIY powder. The colors are spectacular, and the consistency is dust-like. Here’s a link to the one we purchased: Holi Powder. On the other hand, the kids couldn’t have cared less! They were just as happy with the mom-made color powder as they were with the rather pricey holi powder a couple of us ordered from Amazon. If your goal is to take photos of bright clouds of color, invest in the store-bought powder, or perhaps use the holi powder for the first round/photographs, then move on to the DIY powder to save money.
Finally, the best way to end a color war is with water because…no one doesn’t like water play on a hot summer day.
DIY Play Dough Recipe (for 4 different colors):
4 cups of flour
1 and 1/2 cups of salt
1 cup of hot water
6 teaspoons of vegetable oil
1. Thoroughly combine the 4 cups of flour and 1 and 1/2 cups of salt in a large mixing bowl.
2. Place 1/4 cup of hot water in 4 individual bowls. Add 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of vegetable oil and the appropriate amount of food coloring to each bowl. If you’re using liquid food coloring, you’ll probably want about 30 drops of each color to make a nice dark shade. If you’re using gel food coloring, use approximately 1/2 teaspoon of each color.
3. Add 1 and 1/4 cup of the flour/salt mixture to each bowl. Mix ingredients together as thoroughly as possible with a spoon (no need to get your hands dirty!). You may still have clumps and unmixed portions of the mixture.
4. Sprinkle a small amount of flour on a cutting board or other dry surface and dump the contents of one bowl onto your work surface. Kneed and combine until the play dough is no longer sticky/tacky. Repeat this step with the remaining bowls of play dough.
NOTE: Store play dough in ziplock bags or an airtight container to prevent it from drying out.
DIY Recipe for Color Powder
3 heaping tablespoons of corn starch
Small amount of water
Aluminum foil or saran wrap
1. Place 3 heaping tablespoons of corn starch in a bowl. Add a small amount of water (approximately 4 tablespoons) and mix. The corn starch will have a strange, difficult to mix consistency. It will seem like it’s halfway between a liquid and a solid. If you’re having trouble mixing it, add a little more water.
2. Once the water/corn starch is thoroughly combined, add food coloring. As the mixture dries, the color will lighten slightly so be liberal with the food coloring! I used 30 drops of food coloring in each batch, and the colors weren’t quite as dark as I would have liked.
3. Cover a cookie sheet with aluminum foil or saran wrap and pour the mixture onto the cookie sheet. For faster drying, pour the mixture into small globs. The bigger the glob, the longer it will take to dry. Being a rather impatient person, I poured my mixture in thin lines. Dried super fast!
4. Allow the mixture to sit for as long as it takes to DRY COMPLETELY. It will become brittle and break into pieces when it is completely dry. In our humid, non-air conditioned apartment, it took about 2 hours.
5. Break the dried mixture into pieces and place in a ziplock bag. I just picked up the edges of the aluminum foil and poured the pieces into the bag. Press most of the air out of the bag and begin rolling over the mixture with a rolling pin to break it back into a powder. Voila! Color powder!
NOTE: If you make the color powder in advance, I would recommend storing it in bowls or containers WITHOUT a lid. If the container is sealed, condensation will begin to form and the powder will become mushy. Not the look you’re going for. 😉
Disclosure: This post contains links to products on amazon.com. These are products that I purchased and used for my own projects with no compensation. However, if you click on the link and purchase the product, I will receive a small fee from Amazon.com.
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jkwdesigns.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.
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You may have read in a previous post that I love duck. My husband loves duck. Our children love duck. It’s like the bacon of poultry. Only better. This recipe is inspired by a dish we tried out at an amazing duck shabu-shabu restaurant here in Seoul–we couldn’t eat enough of it. We don’t often eat Korean sweet squash, or kabocha, because, well, it’s a bit too sweet for our tastes, but as the oh-so-delicious and savory duck fat soaks into the squash, it cuts some of the sweetness and turns it into perfection! Yes, I know I’m being dramatic, but really… It’s that good!
This dish would be appropriate as an appetizer or as a dish served at a cocktail party. Korean sweet squash is relatively small, so (sadly) you can only stuff a limited amount of duck breast into the squash.
Also, smoked duck is very easily found in most grocery stores and marts in Korea, so this recipe is simple to prepare if you live in Korea. However, acquiring smoked duck breast is more challenging in the States. You would either need a smoker to prepare your own duck, or smoked duck can be purchased from online retailers like Nueske’s or D’Artagnan.
Steamed Korean Sweet Squash Stuffed with Smoked Duck
Paleo / Whole30
approx. 1/4 lb of smoked duck breast, sliced
one small onion, sliced
3-4 green onions, diced
one Korean sweet squash
1. Combine the duck breast, onion and green onions in a mixing bowl and set aside.
2. With a sharp knife, very carefully cut into the top of the squash to create a removable lid. Removing the top can be a bit challenging since the seeds and fibers in the center of the squash hold onto the “lid.” This takes a bit of strength–I usually call my husband in to give me a hand!
3. Scoop out all the seeds and fibers from the center of the squash with a spoon.
4. Turn the squash over and cut 3-4 slits into the bottom of the squash to allow liquid to drain out as it cooks.
5. Stuff the squash with the duck/onion mixture.
6. Replace the lid and steam for 45 minutes or until squash is tender.
7. Very carefully remove the squash from the steamer–it will be VERY HOT! Place on a plate or serving dish and slice into 12 pieces.
Galbi-tang is one of my husband’s favorite Korean dishes, mostly because he loves meat. While he was doing Whole30, it was virtually impossible for us to get our Korean food fix since so much Korean cuisine contains soy and sugar. Fromdelicious, sticky, white rice to kimchi to all the various side-dishes, all the things that contain soy sauce and sugar… Basically everything except samgyupsal (thick strips of pork belly, aka uncured bacon) and lettuce wraps was off limits.
However, there is one dish that we thoroughly enjoyed throughout the Whole30 experience–Galbi-tang–a beef-based soup full of thick cuts of beef ribs. It’s a simple dish with very basic ingredients. And trust me. It’s delicious.
This recipe isn’t difficult, but it requires a bit of prep work. I make the stock/soup base the day before we plan to eat it. Skimming the layer of fat off the soup is probably the most time-consuming part, but overall, it’s a very easy soup to make and well-worth the bit of planning/time management you have to do to make it!
Galbi-tang, Korean Beef Rib Soup
6-7 lbs of short cut beef ribs (can be purchased at Korean grocery stores–the thick cut short ribs are preferred for the soup)
1 Korean radish (cut in 1/4 inch thick squares)
4 cloves of garlic (minced)
1 tbsp salt
4-6 scallions (diced)
freshly ground pepper (to taste)
1/2 lb dangmyeon or Korean sweet potato noodles, optional (Typically sold in 1 lb bags. There’s much debate over whether or not sweet potato noodles are Whole30 compliant. I’m not here to judge. You decide!)
Prep (day before)
1. Place the ribs in a large bowl and fill with cold water, covering the ribs entirely. Let this sit for about an hour. The blood in the meat will drain out.
2. Drain the water and rinse the ribs. Place in a large pot (I use an 8 qt. pot) and fill the pot with water. Add garlic and salt and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for at least 1 hour.
3. Turn off the heat and just let it hang out and cool overnight!
Cook (the day of)
1. When the soup has cooled completely, there will be a rather thick layer of congealed fat on top. Skim off as much of the fat as possible, and if you’d like, use a strainer to get the smaller bits of fat out.
2. As you reheat the soup, peel and cut the Korean radish and scallions.
3. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil to cook the dangmyeon. Once the water is boiling, add the dangmyeon and cook for about 5 minutes until noodles are soft but still chewy. Drain and set aside.
4. Once the soup is boiling, add the Korean radish and boil for approximately 15 minutes (until the radish has cooked through–soft but not mushy).
5. To serve, place a handful of dangmyeon in a bowl and add soup and approximately 1 tbsp of diced scallions. Add salt (if necessary) and pepper to taste.
My family loves seafood in all forms–fried, baked, steamed, raw. Shrimp, fish, mussels, clams, squid, octopus. You name it. They’ll eat it. Excitement abounds from my little foodie children when I tell them we’re having fish for dinner, so imagine my delight when tonight’s dinner elicited not only squeals of delight before dinner, but sounds of nom nom nom and second and third helpings during dinner!
This dish calls for duck fat, but if you don’t have duck fat, olive oil or coconut oil are great alternatives. However, a word about duck fat. I love it. It’s amazing. Imagine your favorite foods. Yummy… Now imagine them cooked in duck fat. Oh my... Yes, it’s that good. Acquiring duck fat isn’t the easiest thing. It’s not sold in stores, so you have to drain it out of the duck yourself. Luckily, in Korea, duck is abundant and relatively inexpensive. Pick up a pack of smoked duck breast at your local mart and just collect the drippings as you grill it. (I collect the duck fat in a ceramic bowl then strain it with a small strainer as I pour it into a jar.) One duck breast will give you about a cup of duck fat. In the U.S., your best bet is to go to your local Asian grocery story. Whole ducks can be found in the frozen section for far less than you’d pay at a specialty grocery store. Roasting a whole duck and collecting the drippings will give you about 1.5 to 2 cups of fat. Double yum! If you’ve never roasted a duck before, then here’s an excellent tutorial from someone who may possible love duck fat even more than I do! 😉
Perfect Pan-Fried Tilapia Recipe
1 large bag of tilapia fillets (defrosted) – a large bag typically contains 11-12 individually sealed fillets. For my family, I cooked the entire bag and we only had 2 fillets left for my husband to take to for lunch!
2 cups of almond meal
1 tsp salt
1 tsp fresh ground pepper
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp tarragon
approx. 4 tbsp of duck fat
1. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and set aside.
2. In another bowl, thoroughly combine almond meal, salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika and tarragon.
3. Add about 1 tbsp of duck fat to skillet over medium heat.
4. Dredge tilapia fillets in egg, then thoroughly coat with almond meal mixture. Place on the skillet and do not move the fillets until you’re ready to flip them–approx. 4 minutes. This insures a nice, crispy coating. Flip the fillets, add a small amount of duck fat to the skillet (approx. 1/2 tbsp) and cook for an additional 3 minutes or until cooked through.
Obviously, with 11 fillets to cook, I have to repeat the cooking process a couple more times since skillets only get so big… But so worth it! I served this with steamed broccoli. Huge hit with my kiddos, and my husband said this was by far the best tilapia he’s ever had so give it a try!
I love everything about omelets, unless I have to cook them myself for my hungry horde/family. By the time I finish making the last omelette (mine), my kids have either finished scarfing their breakfast down or they’re close to tears and blame me for making them stare at their delicious omelets without being allowed to eat them. It’s pretty much a lose-lose situation for me. So when I my husband requested a more hearty breakfast during his Whole30, I wanted an easy way to pack some vegetables into our weekend breakfast without slaving away in the kitchen making 5 separate omelets.
It’s not just a throw everything in a baking dish and throw it in the oven recipe, but it’s a whole lot easier than making individual omelets. And if you love runny yolk (mmmm…), then this is a great way to eat eggs and sausage while packing in some delicious and nutritious greens and veggies. This recipe makes 6 servings.
The Sausage and Spinach Anti-Omelette
1 lb homemade breakfast sausage (I set aside 1/3 of this recipe when I make it for just this reason)
1 small onion (diced)
1 bell pepper (diced) *I used a yellow bell pepper just because that’s what I had on hand, but a red pepper would look lovely–I like pretty food!
1 lb bag of spinach (not baby spinach)
6 medium/large mushrooms (sliced)
1. In a large skillet, cook the sausage over medium high heat until cooked through. Stir often. You do not need to add oil.
2. Once sausage is cooked, add onions and combine. Cook for about 2 minutes, then add bell peppers. Cook for an additional 2 minutes, then add spinach gradually while combining the ingredients. Once all of the spinach has cooked down, remove from heat and set aside.
3. Fry eggs in your choice of oil. We love duck fat in this house! And we also love runny yolk. I tend to cook 6 eggs at a time in a large skillet rather than cooking 2 at a time, but that’s just a matter of preference. If I had the time, I would definitely cook each serving separately, but my kids down really care what their eggs look like–just as long as they can eat them!
4. Serve sausage and spinach mix on top of the fried eggs. My kids love their eggs, sausage and spinach served on top of toasted English muffins.
We love breakfast sausage. I mean, we really love it. My kids count down to Saturday morning breakfasts, and they tell me how hungry they are within minutes of waking up on Saturdays. And since we’re working hard to cut down on eating pre-packaged foods, delicious breakfast sausages included, I decided to make my own. So after scouring the internet for recipes that were both Paleo and Whole30 complaint (my husband completed the Whole30 in February) and 6 weeks of experimenting with various ingredients, I finally created one that the family loves. It’s delicious.
Most recipes I came across called for just 1 lb of ground pork. Honestly, that’s barely enough to feed my family a single breakfast. So I make my sausages in 3 lb batches, which allows me to freeze some for later because some Saturday mornings, I just don’t feel like spending 40 minutes prepping breakfast.
Homemade Breakfast Sausage
3 lbs of ground pork
2 tsp salt
2 tsp ground black pepper
2 tsp sage
2 tsp fennel seeds
2 tsp thyme
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground white pepper
3 tbsp maple syrup (optional–we love a hint of sweet in our sausages, but the addition of maple syrup crosses this recipe off the Whole30 list!)
1. Combine all the dry ingredients in a mortar (A mortar and pestle are not necessary, but I love grinding all the dry ingredients together and particularly grinding up the whole fennel seeds). Grind/mix ingredients thoroughly.
2. In a large mixing bowl, comine the ground pork and the dry ingredients. Be sure to mix thoroughly. (Add maple syrup if you’d like and mix.)
3. Shape individual sausage patties and place them on a sheet of wax paper. If you’re making extra to freeze, then cut your wax paper in a small enough size so you can easily place the sheets of wax paper in the freezer. Once they’re frozen, remove them from the wax paper and store in a ziplock bag or container.
4. Cook over medium heat until cooked through. Avoid flipping the patties over often. It’s best to leave the patties alone until they’re fully cooked on one side, then flip them once to cook and brown on the other side.
UPDATE (4/1/2014): I made this tonight with bone-in, skin-on chicken thigh because I forgot to specify and that’s what my husband brought home from the store. It was A-MAZ-ING! The skin was crispy and flavorful–his “mistake” was sooooo worth it!
Whipped this up for dinner last night, and it came out perfectly! Juicy and flavorful. It was easy to make, my children loved it, and we had enough leftover to eat with salad this afternoon for lunch.
It’s Paleo and Whole30 compliant, so get cooking!
Baked Curry Chicken
In normal circumstances, this recipe would probably feed 8 people. However, my hungry horde eats a lot. And we love leftovers.
2 lbs of boneless, skinless chicken thigh
2 tsp curry
2 tsp ginger
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp ground white pepper
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2. Rinse chicken and pat dry.
3. Mix all of the dry ingredients.
4. Place chicken in a large mixing bowl, sprinkle dry ingredients on and combine thoroughly, making sure that each piece of chicken in thoroughly coated.
5. Boneless, skinless chicken thigh pieces typically come in large, flat pieces. Either fold the pieces in half or roll them so that you’re not placing them in the baking dish flat. Arrange in a baking dish so that the chicken pieces are not touching each other.
6. Bake for 30 minutes (or until chicken is cooked through). I served this with a cauliflower mash (that my 5 year old boys thought was mashed potatoes–woohoo!) and fresh tomatoes and avocado slices. Yum!
This is a recipe that I put together about 7 years ago, back in the days before children when I could spend hours in the kitchen perfecting my meals! Pad Thai is one of my husband’s favorite dishes, so I spent a lot of time making sure this recipe was just right. It suits our palettes perfectly–a hint of sweet, a bit of spice, and all the savory goodness that Pad Thai is supposed to have. Enjoy!
1/2 lb rice noodles (flat, ¼ inch wide)
1 lb shrimp and chicken
1/3 c. fish sauce
1/2 c. water
1/4 c. sugar
2 T. lime juice
2 t. paprika
4 spring onions (chopped)
1 T. vegetable oil
1 T. garlic (minced)
1 c. bean sprouts
2 red chili peppers (chopped) NOTE: This will make a VERY spicy dish. You can either use one pepper or leave them out altogether for a mild dish. Also, you can substitute less spicy peppers such as jalepenos, which is what I often do because my kids can’t eat it if it’s too spicy!
1/2 c. peanuts (crushed)
Mix fish sauce, water, sugar, lime juice, and paprika. Set aside.
Scramble eggs and set aside.
Boil water and put noodles in to soften them (approx. 10 minutes). Do not completely soften the noodles because they still have to absorb a bit of water from the mixture. When you bite into them, there should still be a hint of hardness in the center. Drain and set aside.
Stir fry oil, garlic, chili peppers, and peanuts until garlic is brown.
Add meat. When meat is fully cooked, add noodles.
Add liquid mixture. Stir fry until the liquid mixture is completely absorbed.
Add eggs. Then add spring onions and bean sprouts and stir for about two more minutes.