Grain & Dairy Free Peach-Blueberry Cobbler

It's still officially summer here, which means the girls have not returned to school, and we are still enjoying the peak of seasonal bounty in the form of blueberries and peaches.  I have to say when I see others IG accounts boasting of peaches in early July my heart sings a sad song.  That is until August comes here, when it's peaches in smoothies, peaches in pies, and peach juice dribbling down my chin.  

Add to that the ever present tang and sweetness culminated in a perfect, straight from the bush blueberry.  The girls and I went to Ben's work last Friday, where there are blueberry bushes to eat from.  Needless to say, we enjoyed a few ourselves.  

It reminded me how eating fruit should be.  The taste is unadulterated and waiting out in the winter months to eat to my hearts content in the summer months is sure worth it.  

Try this simple grain free, dairy free and refined sugar free cobbler.  It's not overly sweet, and perfect for dessert to a morning treat.  

Grain & Dairy Free Peach-Blueberry Cobbler (printable recipe)

Ingredients:

Filling:

1 pint blueberries

5-6 peaches, peeled and cut into slices

1/3 cup maple syrup

1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla

juice from half of a lemon

2 Tb arrowroot powder

Crust:

2 cups blanched almond flour

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup arrowroot powder

1/4 cup coconut oil

1/4 cup coconut sugar

1 egg

Plus another egg for a wash

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375.

In a large bowl, combine blueberries and peaches.  Add maple syrup, nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla, lemon juice and gently mix.  Sprinkle the arrowroot powder over and gently mix in.  Allow to sit for 10-30 minutes.

In another large bowl, combine the almond flour, salt, and arrowroot powder till it is thoroughly disbursed.  Add the coconut sugar and mix throughout.  With a fork or pastry blender, combine the coconut oil into the dry ingredients.  Once the coconut oil is broken down into small pea size pieces, add the beaten up egg to the crust.  Combine until the dough is wet.  

In a 9x9 pan add the filling.  Set it aside.

With your hands, form the dough into patties or discs.  They should measure roughly 1/8 to 1/4 inch in height.  You should be able to make six discs of dough.  Place each disc on top of the filling so as to cover the entire surface. Try your best to not overlap them.

Take your last egg and lightly beat it.  With a pastry brush, brush the tops of the dough.  Put into the oven to bake for 30 minutes.  

Allow it to cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.  

***The maple syrup in the filling is adjustable.  For less sweet, only use 1/4 cup.  For more sweet, use 1/2 cup.  

***This pairs lovely with full fat plain yogurt as well.   

My Favorite Summer Drink: A Thirsty Crow

On our way down to Arizona we were able to spend the night at my oldest & most dearest of friends, Veronica's (and Alan) house. We have that friendship where you immediately pick up where you left off, and there's no need to explain family history. It's refreshing!

its so comfortable, I made myself right at home by going through cupboards to find baking supplies to honor our "First Day of Summer" tradition (eating strawberry shortcakes for breakfast). There is no fear of stepping on each other's feet. My gift is in cooking the food, while Veronica's has always been in opening up her space for it (and eating what I make).  

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That evening after the girls went to bed, Alan made us a drink. Veronica had posted a picture of it promising to make me one when I visit. Being the cheerful receiver as much as a giver that I am, I obliged. 

Sidenote: it's true that being a cheerful receiver is as much a gift of hospitality as giving.

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Hot dog! I'm glad I did, because this has become my signature summer drink. A Thirsty Crow, which has the unmistakeable boozy silhouette, while filling out with enough sweetness to not make those of us non-hard liquor people to gag.

It boasts of spicy ginger beer, sour fresh lemon juice & the sweet scent of Maraschino liqueur.  To tie it together, the Rye gives it that slight burn in your throat to let you know this is not a "frilly" drink. Add a dash of bitters at the end, and sprig of mint & one maraschino cherry for garnish give it a classy edge. 

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Thirsty Crow (Printable Recipe)

Ingredients: 

1 ounce fresh lemon juice

1 ounce Jim Beam Rye

1 ounce Maraschino liqueur

4 ounces Ginger Beer (not alcoholic ginger beer. I like Reed's or Fenimans) 

dash of aromatic bitters

sprig of mint 

1 maraschino cherry

Directions:  

 In a pint sized jar or cup add one sprig of mint and about 1 cup of ice. Add the lemon juice, rye, maraschino liqueur and finer beer. Mix with a spoon. 

Add maraschnto cherry and dash of bitters. Serve immediately. Makes 1. 

 

 

  

Easy Peasy Limey Squeezy Carne Asada

If you're familiar with cuts of a cow; then, you know you are only alloted two flanks in one beef cow.  There are so many recipes, which call for a flank.  Prior to ever buying our own cow I had never given it much thought. Like most Americans, you simply go to the store and choose the cut of meat you need for the desired recipe.  

Now, I don't think this is bad. What I do value is knowing where our food comes from and being a bit educated about the various cuts, in order to be an ethical, mindful eater.  I want to be more than a consumer.  So, when we buy our half a cow, I am rather picky about what I do with these rare cuts (brisket, tenderloin are some others).  

So you can imagine how I felt when I walked into the kitchen one day to see my selfless husband making dinner for us; but, to my dismay the flank steak had been used in the process.  See, I pine over what exactly I'm going to make with that cut. I stow it away using the plethora of hamburger until my salivating can no longer be subdued. 

It's very possible I cried inside and worked through loving in spite of it; because, truly he's so good. And, truth be told, I would most likely never use the flank for any of those fancy recipes. We know I would use it for the days of my Arizona youth...carne asada. 

Carne asada means "grilled meat." This is one of the most popular dishes served up on weekends in Arizona.  Add a couple Corona beers with lime, and it's a complete fiesta.  It's best to keep it simple. 

A word on flank steak and carne asada:

Flank is a tough, slender piece from the abdominal section of a beef cow.  This means, in order for it to become tender, a good marinade is necessary to tenderize it.  Marinating flank or a London Broil doesn't have to be fancy.  For the carne asada, I use minimal ingredients and salt is NOT one of them.  You don't need to add salt to your marinade.  In fact, using salt in a marinade for grass-fed beef specifically can dry it out. 

All you need is a tupperware container, or in my instance, two plastic bags (one being an old bread bag) to put the meat inside to sit in the marinade.  I used red onions, because it was already on my counter.  If you only have yellow, go for it.  You could use lemon in place of lime; but, really--why? Olive oil for the fat, lime juice for the acid, garlic and onions for added flavor.  Couple turns of the black pepper grinder should work nicely.  Let it marinade in the fridge for 6-8 hours.  Remove excess oil, add some coarse salt before grilling on both sides and grill it up.  

You'll want to serve it up with extra lime wedges & sliced radishes.  If you're avoiding grains, and the idea of making grain-free tortillas sounds exhausting (can I get an amen?); then, bake some sweet potatoes at 400 degrees for an hour (depending on size).  

Carne Asada Paleo Style (printable recipe)

Be sure to make my Mango-Avocado salsa salad with this, as it's perfect pairing

Ingredients: 

one flank steak

half red onion or yellow onion, sliced

3 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 tsp ground pepper

1/4 cup fresh lime juice

1/4 to 1/3 cup olive oil


Additional ingredients:

coarse salt

Directions:

In a sealable bag, or tupperware container, place your flank steak inside.  Add the garlic, onions, lime juice, olive oil and ground pepper.  Be sure to completely cover the flank with the marinade and allowing it to sit in the juices.  Place in your fridge to marinate for 6-8 hours.

Heat up your grill to high. Take your flank out of the marinade, and ensure that it's not completely coated with the marinade.  You're looking for it to not be sopping with oil as to avoid grease fires and burning of the meat.  Sprinkle coarse salt liberally on each side of the flank.  Place on the hot grill, close the lid, and cook for 4-6 minutes on each side.  I cooked mine for 6 minutes on each side and it was done. If you like a more medium rare flank, then cook for 4 minutes on each side.  

One thing to keep in mind is there can be a thicker part and a thinner part to the flank, which would affect cooking times. Once done, remove to a platter and place foil over it to rest for 10 minutes, so the juices don't run out and result in a dry steak.

Once it is has rested, you will want to cut it against the grain in thin slices. Serves 6-8.