Perfectly Pumpkin Play day!

Today we got up, finished our chores and then walked around the local farmers market. I was thrilled when I saw a few of the vendors were selling pumpkins. Hooray for Fall! I’ve always wanted to make my own pumpkin puree so I decided that this was the day to experiment. It was so simple!

Ingredients:   1 Medium cooking Pumpkin

Process:

  1. Preheat oven to 375F
  2. Cut the pumpkin stem off and cut the pumpkin in half.
  3. Use an ice cream scoop to remove seeds and pulp. (set aside for later)
  4. Slice pumpkin into manageable chunks.
  5. Place pumpkin in a baking pan and cover with tin foil.
  6. Bake for 90minutes.
  7. Scoop pumpkin out of the shell (should be very soft and easy to scoop out with a spoon.)
  8. Put pumpkin into a mixing bowl, mix until pureed. (You could also use a blender or puree tool.)
  9. One Medium pumpkin gave me 7 cups of pumpkin puree.
  10. Store pumpkin in freezer bags for later use. I measured 2 cups per bag.

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Process:

  1. While your pumpkin is cooking. Rinse and clean pumpkin seeds.
  2. Lay seeds out to dry.
  3. Coat baking sheet with coconut oil.
  4. Place seeds on sheet and sprinkle with sea salt.
  5. Bake at 325F for 25 min, half way through stir seeds so they are fully coated in oil and sea salt.

I used some of the pumpkin puree today to make these delicious Pumpkin swirl muffins.

                 Smells like Fall

First Day of Fall

Today I woke up early, turned on my Autumn in New England CD that my mom sent me. I lit my cinnamon apple candle and ghost pumpkin candle. Threw a Boston Butt in the crock-pot with some honey, cinnamon, chili powder, red pepper and cumin. Smelling this for 8 hours along with the candles and the fresh air blowing through was a great start to the Fall season. This is how Fall started when I was little- this same CD, apple cinnamon candles, fresh air and the smells of cooking in the kitchen.

The hubby and I did some projects around the house and then ended our evening with a delicious dinner. Our friend Wes joined us and we ended up taking a walk to the neighborhood playgrounds. The boys taught me Kipping and Wes convinced me to flip over on the pull up bars. I did an assisted handstand push up, monkey bar and I tried some cartwheels (eeek). I ended my play time with a few attempts at back bends. I finally did one that was fairly unassisted but then I tried again and landed on my head! I decided to let it rest for tonight and maybe try again tomorrow (if I am not too banged up!) I realize that if I would just quit being afraid of hurting myself that I have a lot more strength than I allow myself to use. My Fall goal I guess.

Here are some recipes from today that I tried- 3 success’

Festive Boston Butt

Ingredients:

  • Large Boston Butt
  • 1/4 cup Honey
  • 1 Tbsp. of each Cumin, Cinnamon, Chili Powder
  •  2 tsp. of each  Salt, Pepper, Red Pepper Flakes (you may need to adjust the measurements based on the size of your meat)
  • 2 cups Water

Process:

  1. Put Water in a crock- pot and turn it on low.
  2. Rub your meat with seasoning
  3. Place meat in the crock- pot and drizzle with honey.
  4. Cover and cook for 8 hours on low.

Sweet Tots

Ingredients:

  • 1 large Sweet potato
  • 2 Eggs
  • 3 Scallions, minced
  • 1/2 Cup Almond Flour
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Process:

  1. Peel and chop sweet potato into pieces. Should give you about 2 cups.
  2. Add egg, flour, scallions, salt and pepper.
  3. Mix well
  4. Scoop into a well greased mini muffin pan
  5. Bake at 400F for 18min.

Cashew Nut Butter Ice Cream

Ingredients:

  • 2 Bananas
  • 1 Tbsp Cashew Nut Butter

Process:

  1. Thinly Slice 2 Bananas and place them on parchment paper.
  2. Place Bananas in the freezer for at least 3 hours. I froze mine overnight.
  3. Place frozen banana slices in a food processor until completely crumbled.
  4. Add 1 Tbsp Cashew Nut butter and mix until well blended.
  5. Optional: instant coffee or cocoa for different flavors.
  6. Serve immediately

*Ice cream recipe compliments of pinterest: http://pinterest.com/pin/249175791854213993/

Apples and Exploration

This video from my friend Tim pretty much sums up how I feel about my weekends and free time. Brandon and I love to have free time to just get out and explore. We did a lot of exploring this weekend. It is relaxing, rejuvenating and you never know what you will find.

This weekend we hiked, climbed trees, found some great wild life. We found a pick your own apple orchard thanks to Paleo parents and Aimee Buxton. We found some new adorable towns near our house and spent time with friends. These are the best weekends for us because you never know what you will get into.

What did you get into this weekend? Are you making time for exploration this Fall. It is one Continue reading

Red, White and Blue Muffins

In remembrance of those brave men and women that have served our Country. Farm Fresh and Active thanks the hero’s of our great nation. May God be with you and your families and may He send peace to Americans throughout the day. I took some time to reflect on today. My students are in 2nd grade, they were not born when this tragic event occurred. They had no idea and asked why we had Constitution Day. I filled them in on the events and shared where I was 11 years ago. My husband and I have chosen to go to NYC this year to run the Stephen Siller 5k through the tunnel toward the tower memorial. Going into this race at the end of the month, I know it will be extremely touching and tearful but I really want to do something to show support for all of those who have died. How did you take time today?
Red, White and Blue Muffins
Ingredients:  Continue reading

2nd Grade Health Lesson and Cajun Pasta

Today I was teaching my 2nd graders about healthy food options. We looked at the Standard American Food pyramid and one of my kids said but why don’t you ever get milk or bread? I said well, not everyone believes that this food pyramid is right for them and I know that grains and dairy don’t settle well in my tummy so I choose not to eat them. They asked what my Food Pyramid looked like so I drew it for them (I quickly got asked about my honey bottle and tiny stash of dark chocolate- so I had to draw a treat section!) I told Continue reading

Chocolate Coffee Brownies

It took me almost a year to perfect the Paleo approved Brownie. You know the saying “Things happen when you quit looking for them?” This is exactly what happened. I had given up on finding that brownie recipe that tastes like the brownies I used to make before going Paleo. I was working on a chocolate frosting recipe and when I failed at that, I turned it into these amazing brownies instead. These are incredible and they stay moist in a container for over a week (as long as you can refrain from eating them all!) These are Egg Free and Dairy Free!

Warm, chewy and delicious!

Chocolate Coffee Brownies

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup Almond Butter
  • 1 Cup Chocolate Chips
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp. Coconut Oil
  • 2 Tbsp. Cocoa Powder
  • 1/2 Cup Coconut Flour
  • 1 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Cup Maple Syrup
  • 1/2 Cup Chopped Hazelnuts (any nuts)
  • 1/2 Cup Brewed decaf coffee (or caffeinated)

Process:

  1. In a saucepan melt coconut oil at a low temperature.
  2. Add Chocolate chips, almond butter and vanilla extract, stir and melt at a low temperature until smooth.
  3. In a mixing bowl combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda and baking powder.
  4. Slowly add the maple syrup to the mixing bowl. Mix well.
  5. Add the chocolate sauce to the mixing bowl and mix well.
  6. Add brewed coffee to the mixing bowl and mix well.
  7. Stir in hazelnuts.
  8. Pour batter into a 9×13 greased baking pan.
  9. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes. (Keep a close eye on them after 10 minutes- if they over cook they will be dry and crumbly.)

These are warm, chewy brownies. They stay moist and delicious. My husband made an awesome brownie sundae with them by heating it in the microwave for a few seconds and topping it with Coconut Milk Ice Cream.  I cut them into shapes with a cookie cutter for a Halloween photo shoot for Paleo Lifestyle Magazine. You will love these treats!