Cinnamon Chocolate Swirl Banana Bread from The Paleo Kitchen

I made this banana bread this morning.  It went together easily & it’s so good that I’ve already eaten half of the loaf.  Now I can’t wait for the cookbook to come out!!!  I’ve been following both of their blogs for awhile & the recipes never seem to disappoint.  Ok, please excuse me while I get another slice of banana bread (with butter…mmm).

Cinnamon Chocolate Swirl Banana Bread from The Paleo Kitchen

Cinnamon Chocolate Swirl Banana Bread from The Paleo Kitchen


Spicy Paleo Chocolate Cake in a Coffee Mug

I’ve been craving chocolate cake, but I don’t need a whole cake and sometimes you just want a little bit of cake quickly.  This recipe is paleo & not as spicy as I would like, definitely adding more cayenne next time!!!  

Spicy Paleo Chocolate Cake in a Coffee Mug with Chocolate Coconut Milk Ice Cream!!!

Spicy Paleo Chocolate Cake in a Coffee Mug with Chocolate Coconut Milk Ice Cream!!!

Spicy Paleo Chocolate Cake in a Coffee Mug
1 egg
3 Tbsp almond flour
3 Tbsp cocoa powder
2 Tbsp honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
a pinch of salt
a few dashes of cinnamon
a few dashes of cayenne (need to add more next time, but I LOVE spicy food)



1.  Add all of the ingredients to a coffee mug & mix until combined.
2.  Microwave 1 minute and 45 seconds.
3.  Enjoy!  I added chocolate coconut ice cream…so good!

Yield: 1 coffee mug cake

Science-y Green Pancakes

St. Patrick’s Day is tomorrow & instead of adding green food coloring to everything I’ve decided to use science to help out.  According to Sunbutter’s website there may be discoloration when cooking with sunbutter (sunflower seed butter) due to the chlorophyll present.  The chlorophyll acts differently in an acidic environment than an alkaline environment, so recipes with baking soda present (more alkaline) will cause foods to turn bright green.  Woo hoo!  Science-y St. Patrick’s Day Pancakes!!  Grain-free, dairy-free, etc. too!  

Science-y Green Pancakes

Science-y Green Pancakes

Science-y Green Pancakes
2 eggs
1/2 cup sunbutter (sunflower seed butter)
1/2 cup applesauce
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
coconut oil or butter for frying

1.  Beat the eggs, add the other ingredients and mix until combined.
2.  Melt coconut oil or butter in a frying pan.  Drop approx. 1/4 cup of batter into the frying pan for each pancake.
3.  Cook for a couple of minutes or until the center starts to bubble.  Flip and cook for another couple of minutes.
4.  Serve & Enjoy!  The green takes a little bit of time to develop, so if they aren’t green immediately don’t panic.  They’ll green up soon enough :)

Yield: Approximately 6 pancakes

When first prepared, not so green...

When first prepared, not so green…

Add strawberries & could be x-mas pancakes!  Also, delicious :)

Add strawberries & could be x-mas pancakes! Also, delicious :)


Mocktail Hour

Well, it’s the end of the week & it’s been a long one…  I’m on Day 11 of my Whole30 & that doesn’t allow for a cocktail, so I’m going to have the next best thing….a MOCKTAIL!!  Muddle up some fruit, throw in some sparkling water, & voila!  I even have a lovely bartender on hand to fix my mocktail while I work on dinner.  

Strawberry, Ginger, & Lime Mocktail

Strawberry, Ginger, & Lime Mocktail

Strawberry, Ginger, & Lime Mocktail
2 “coins” of peeled ginger
1/2 lime (quartered)
3-4 strawberries
3-4 ice cubes
sparkling water

1.  Peel the ginger, cut a couple of “coins”, throw in glass.
2.  Quarter half of a lime, throw in glass.
3.  Remove hulls from strawberries, slice, throw in glass.
4.  Muddle fruit.  No muddler?  No problem!  We used the handle from an IKEA potato masher.
5.  Add ice then pour sparkling water over the ice & muddled fruit.
6.  Garnish, add a pretty straw, stir up a bit & Enjoy!



1.  Slice ginger coins

1. Slice ginger coins

Quarter limes

2.  Quarter limes

Muddle fruit

4.  Muddle fruit

Strawberry, Ginger, & Lime Mocktail

5.  Pour sparkling water over the ice & muddled fruit

6.  Enjoy!

6. Enjoy!

Paleo Fried Roast Beef

My boyfriend introduced me to this amazing thing….fried lunchmeat.  I wanted some leftover grass-fed roast beef that I had thrown in the freezer a few months ago and didn’t have time to thaw it out for dinner tonight.  Turns out that you can fry it up & have this amazing crispy meat-y treat.  He used both duck fat and butter, so it is super tasty.


Paleo Fried Roast Beef
1/4 lb grass-fed roast beef
1 Tbsp grass-fed/pastured butter
1 Tbsp duck fat

1.  Melt butter & duck fat in a pan over high heat.
2.  Shred meat and throw in pan.  Stir meat to distribute the fat.
3.  Allow the meat to brown.  Once the meat begins to brown stir frequently.
4.  Enjoy!  I’ve thrown mine on top of a salad, yum!

Browning meat

Brown the meat

Stir meat frequently once it begins to brown

Stir meat frequently once it begins to brown

Coconut Flour & Witchcraft: Banana Nut Bread/Muffins


I recently purchased 3 cookbooks by Kelly Brozyna of The Spunky Coconut and decided to try out her Boulder Banana Bread Recipe from The Gluten-Free Baking & Desserts Book.  The recipe is also posted on her blog here.  I swear this stuff is held together with witchcraft & love.  I made a double batch if you look at the recipe on her blog (I made 12 muffins & a loaf of banana bread)–I also made a couple of substitutions (vanilla extract for the vanilla stevia & arrowroot starch instead of tapioca flour/starch, because that’s what I had on hand) and I threw in a 1/2 cup of chocolate chips (dairy free) for good measure.

I was absolutely shocked by how well they turned out.  I’ll definitely be making the recipe again (and again) and I can’t wait to try out her other recipes.  I’m not going to re-post her recipe here since you can just pop over to her blog for it, but I thought I’d share my mom’s Banana Nut Bread recipe instead (decidedly not gluten- or dairy-free–no witchcraft needed!)

Mom’s Banana Nut Bread
2 1/2 C AP Flour
1 C sugar
3 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3 Tbsp oil (can use melted butter or applesauce)
3/4 C milk
1 egg
1 C mashed ripe banana (2-3 medium)
1 C nuts (chopped)

1.  Preheat oven to 350F
2.  Throw everything in a bowl and mix on medium speed for 30 seconds.  Don’t over mix.
3.  Bake 55-65 min or until wooden pick is clean.

Yield: 1 loaf of bread

Nutritional Info (using applesauce instead of oil)
(calculated using SparkPeople’s recipe calculator)
Servings Per Recipe: 12
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 263.8
Total Fat: 6.8 g
Cholesterol: 0.3 mg
Sodium: 332.5 mg
Total Carbs: 47.6 g
Dietary Fiber: 2.3 g
Protein: 5.2 g

Sweet Potato Salmon Cakes

I had a very food-filled day yesterday.  I went to the farmer’s market first thing and got a ton of produce.  Then I came home, made myself a yummy spinach salad, and spent the day prepping veggies & cooking (see below) while watching foodie documentaries.  In the evening I went to a talk by Alice Waters at UCSB.  It was awesome!  I got two signed cookbooks (The Art of Simple Food & In the Green Kitchen) and can’t wait to try some of the recipes.  I now also kind of want to learn how to dismantle a whole chicken (humanely raised & slaughtered, of course)…


Sweet Potato Salmon Cake with Homemade Mayo

I am really happy with how these turned out…and, surprisingly, you can’t really taste the sweet potato.  They just taste like spicy salmon cakes (and if there’s one thing I love, it’s a seafood cake…).  I ate mine with some homemade mayo (made with a whisk…I’ve got skills ;) ).

Sweet Potato Salmon Cakes
4 cans wild caught salmon (you could use tuna instead)
1 can sweet potato (pumpkin or butternut squash could work too)
4 eggs
4 Tbsp coconut flour (use whatever flour you like)
4 tsp hot sauce (I probably used 5-6)
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp salt
2 tsp pepper
2 tsp garlic powder (I used garlic salt)
several shakes of red pepper flake–I have no clue how much I used, knowing me it was a lot

1.  Preheat oven to 350F
2.  Throw everything in a bowl and mix!
3.  Line baking sheet with parchment paper.  Form patties.  I made 11 with this recipe (you could make them smaller or bigger).
4.  Bake for 20 minutes. Take them out, flip them over and bake for 15 more minutes.
5.  Enjoy!  I’ve thrown most of mine in the freezer to re-heat later.  I can definitely see this on a GF bun with lettuce & tomato and a side of sweet potato fries (yum!)


Yield: 11 salmon cakes

Nutritional Info
(calculated using SparkPeople’s recipe calculator)
Servings Per Recipe: 11
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 316.2
Total Fat: 12.1 g
Cholesterol: 158.4 mg
Sodium: 795.7 mg
Total Carbs: 13.4 g
Dietary Fiber: 2.1 g
Sugars: 5.6 g
Protein: 36.5 g

Eggy Avocado Halves

eggyavocadosI’ve seen these on Pinterest a bunch & I’m finally trying them.  I started the Whole30 (pretty much Paleo) at the end of last week (hoping to banish my allergies & asthma…it’s only been 5 days & I can already feel a noticeable difference!) & I’m so tired of my mini frittatas (modified to be dairy free).  These are soooooo good!  and filling! and I’m actually looking forward to breakfast tomorrow!  I mean, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised—I practically live on avocados anyway, so just adding an egg shouldn’t change my love for them.

Eggy Avocado Halves
1 avocado
2 eggs

Halve the avocado.  Remove the pit.  I didn’t scoop out any extra to make room for the eggs, but perhaps I should have…


Balance the avocado halves so that they don’t tip over once you fill them with egg–I used the sides of these mini corningware dishes (I’ve also seen people use ramekins or foil shaped into a U).

Crack eggs & pour into the area previously occupied by the pit.  Add salt & pepper, if desired.


Cook for 15-20 minutes (I prefer 20) at 425F.


Yield: 2 eggy avocado halves (I consider this 1 serving…)

Nutritional Info
(calculated using SparkPeople’s recipe calculator)
Servings Per Recipe: 1
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 432.8
Total Fat: 36.2 g
Saturated Fat: 6.9 g
PUFA: 5.2 g
MUFA: 20.5 g
Cholesterol: 372.0 mg
Sodium: 465.9 mg
Total Carbs: 15.8 g
Dietary Fiber: 11.7 g
Sugars: 0.9 g
Protein: 16.0 g

Rose Bowl Flea Market

Rose Bowl Flea Market

rosebowlI lived in Pasadena for 3.5 years before I moved to SB.  My favorite activity on the second Sunday of every month was attending the Rose Bowl Flea Market.  I’ve been missing it since I moved, so the weekend before last I drove down to Pasadena.  Spotted Emily Henderson (from HGTV) right away, eyeing a chair at one of my favorite booths that I would have absolutely been eyeing if she wasn’t sitting in it.  I did not run up to her & say “OMG, I follow you on Pinterest!!”…but it took some willpower.  I follow these directions (the infamous zig-zag) for navigating through the flea market…I have it down to a science (an art?) and can get through everything I want to see in 2-3 hours.

It's crazy there!

It’s insane there!

I’ve seen all sorts of crazy things over the years & have certainly bought some of my favorite pieces there.  The craziest things I spotted on this trip were these missiles…at two different vendors!



I also saw this chair, which I kind of love, but I don’t need another chair in the apartment.


And these amazing string lamps, but again, no need :(



This piece of art is all embroidery & looked like it was all french knots, so cool:


The only thing I purchased this time was this fantastic vintage macrame plant hanger with plant from Recycculents.

planthangerShe also takes vintage housewares & uses them as planters—swoon!  Now I kinda want to do this as a sort of room divider…

Previous trips have rewarded me with various pieces of furniture, housewares, and art (as well as accessories for costumes):




Other items I’ve spotted there and loved (but not bought):




More crazy things I’ve spotted over the years:











I think I may try to make this a monthly pilgrimage—it’s something that really makes me happy.