Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Paleo Pumpkin Pecan Butter

I love having homemade toasted pecan butter around. I have a plain version and a cinnamon vanilla version on this blog already, but this week I came up with a pumpkin version - it's great with apple slices.

I toasted a lb of pecan halves in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes and let them cool while I gathered my other ingredients and readied the food processor.

For each batch, I put the following ingredients into the food processor:

1  1/2 cups toasted pecans
1/4 cup organic pumpkin
1 heaping TBSP raw honey
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp sea salt

I ran the food processor until it was smooth, scraping down the sides once or twice. I put each batch into a container that I keep in the fridge.
It's a great thing to have on hand - it's all about the prep, so we have real-food choices.

Happy Thanksgiving from Feeding Ger Sasser, me, Ger, Cassie, Isaac, Mikko, and Daisy.
(Isaac call this week the "backwards week" since we go to work 2 days and get 5 days off. Love it!)

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Paleo Cocoa Maple Pecans

Aren't these pretty enough to serve over the holidays? They won't be around after a day or two, but I can always make more. They're easy!

I put one pound of pecan halves into a bowl.

I added:
 2 TBSP dark cocoa.
 3 TBSP real maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla

I stirred with a wooden spoon until the ingredients mixed and the nuts were coated.  
I spread the gooey nuts on a baking sheet and put them into a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes. I let them cool and broke the chunks up and put them into a lovely antique carnival glass bowl. Pecans like this are worth celebrating!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Kill Cliff Chicken

You've heard of Beer Can Chicken. Maybe you've made one. Some people debunk that idea and don't think it's a good way to cook chicken.....I don't know. I just had the idea of making a Kill Cliff Chicken, and you know what? It was delicious! moist and Kill cliffy on the inside and the skin was crispy on the outside.

The first thing I did was take the top rack out of the oven so I would have room to cook the chicken.

Next I opened a can of Kill Cliff (Tasty) and drank down a third of it. Then I sat it  in the center of a 9 x 12 pan and CAREFULLY set the chicken down onto the can. I adjusted the legs to help it sit up straight without tipping over. Then I washed my hands.
I rubbed two TBSP of olive oil on the outside of the chicken. Then, you guessed it, I washed my hands.
I shook ( and threw) some Thyme, basil, smoked paprika, smoked sea salt, and freshly ground black pepper on the chicken. I put 1 tsp of pasture butter, in little pieces, onto the shoulders of the chicken, so it would melt and run down.

I VERY CAREFULLY put the pan into a 350 degree oven for 1 hour and 30 minutes. My chicken was just over 4 and a half lbs. If your chicken weighs a little less, try checking it at 1 hour and 15 minutes.

I very carefully took it out of the oven, so I wouldn't spill it or knock it over. I let it rest for 5 minutes, then turned the chicken sideways and slid the Kill Cliff out of the cavity. I poured the Kill Cliff over the chicken.
 It was really good! I hope you try it soon.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Spice Up Your Bacon

I love to make good bacon in the oven. I put it on a baking sheet, usually with a rack, in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes. Some of the thicker bacon may take a just a little longer. I transfer it a plate with paper towels. And, it's just amazing. You can do other things while it's cooking AND you don't get splattered.

Bacon is always amazing. It's one of Ger's favorite foods. I have SEVERAL recipes on here for "Bacon Wrapped _________" (fill in the blank)

Sometimes, I spice things up - with spice. Have you ever made bacon and sprinkled it with chili powder right before you put it into the oven? Yum!

The photo shows bacon sprinkled with turmeric and basil. It's really good.
Another favorite is the combination of cumin and oregano.
Get creative!

Sometimes i sprinkle the bacon with Pumpkin Pie Spice, or CINNAMON. It's so good I think I have to make some right now. Here's a photo.

Paleo Blueberry Cobbler

I was craving a blueberry cobbler or a triple blend one that has blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries.....
I had given  away my old range and thought I'd simply go buy another one and have it quickly delivered, but I found that the old one had just been hard-wired in! So, I had to have that taken care of first. I wound up being without a range for 5 days! I am happily back to using an oven for all kinds of good things again, and it feels good!

Paleo Blueberry Cobbler is the first thing I made.

I took 3 cups of Triple Blend berries out of the freezer to thaw for a few minutes. (You can also do all blueberries. If your fruit is fresh, you can continue with the recipe immediately.)
I also rubbed coconut oil on a 9 x 12 glass baking dish.

In a bowl, I stirred up the following ingredients:

1/3 cup local honey (if you use raw honey, you might want to warm it a bit so it will mix better)
2/3 cup unblanched almond flour (but blanched would be fine)
1/4 cup coconut flour
1 cup organic coconut milk from a can
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup pecan pieces

When my fruit was mostly thawed, I poured it into the prepared dish and spread it out.  
Then, I covered the fruit with the cobbler mixture, with a wooden spoon and smashing it down some. It didn't cover the fruit completely.

In a small glass dish I melted 4 TBSP pasture butter (Kerry Gold, from grass fed cows) and then poured it over the top of the cobbler.  (Is your mouth watering yet? Wait until your kitchen starts smelling like heaven....)

The last thing I did was to sprinkle the cobbler with a little cinnamon.

I put it into a 375 degree oven for 45 minutes.

We all really liked this one. It was just perfect after a nice grass-fed chuck roast from the slow cooker, along with a pot of green beens with pork belly, and roasted sweet potatoes.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Vegetables with Rosemary

People are always saying to me how good I look for my age. Sometimes, in the same conversation, they say that they really don't have any time to cook or eat healthy foods. Some of them....connect the dots here, some don't. No one has time. Everyone's busy. BUT, some things are just so very important to your quality of life. (things like eating paleo and working out..... Confession time - I have been so busy with my job-change, I haven't been getting to the box to Crossfit - but see? It's an excuse. There has to be a way to keep getting that into my schedule!) So, let's all encourage each other to keep on keeping on!

This is quite a delicious blend of vegetables and would go with about any meat you might be having.

I peeled 5 big organic carrots and put them into a skillet with 1 TBSP organic coconut oil and 1/4 cup of organic chicken stock. I simmered the carrots until they were tender.

Nest, I broke one bunch of asparagus and threw the pieces into the skillet, along with a handful of sun-dried tomatoes and one sprig of fresh rosemary.
I added 1 tsp of smoked sea salt and some freshly ground black pepper.
I put a lid on it and let it simmer on medium-low for about 10 more minutes, until done.

It was so fresh and delicious. Who doesn't love the smell of fresh rosemary?

Monday, November 11, 2013

Candied Venison Tenderloin

Here's a guest blog recipe from John Rollins III:

I would like to thank the staff at the Feeding Ger Sasser Blogspot for the opportunity to write and share a guest spot on their blog. If anyone knows more about healthy eating it's these fine folks and I encourage any and everyone to give their recipes a try.
So as most of us know it is that time of year when the leaves start to change their colors, the temperature starts to slowly become chillier, days are shorter and shorts and t - shirts have more than likely found their way to the back of the closet.
The majority of people unfortunately find themselves becoming depressed that the long warm days of summer have come to a close but if you're a hunter, especially a deer hunter, this is your season. The season when you navigate your way to a treestand under the cover of darkness in the early morning hours while most people are lying in bed(quick confession, I am not a morning person and only hunt evenings, hah!) or you sit until darkness falls in a treestand in order to quietly exit your property without being detected while most people are in for the night having dinner or are probably on their couch watching their favorite sitcom on television. For that small percentage of us these are our days of summer.
If you're not a deer hunter, in my opinion, you're missing out. There's so many great things that an individual can take away from it that it is far to much to list. The enjoyment is the peacefulness. No sounds of the outside world exist. It is only you, the sound of the wind blowing through changing leaves, the rustling of squirrels jumping from branch to branch harvesting their food for the winter to come and the view of God's masterpiece that most of us refer to as nature and it's the time you have with just yourself to reflect on the past, present and future. Hunting certainly falls into the "No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems" philosophy, at least for myself. But let us not forget the ultimate rush that causes an accelerated pulse and increased respirations when you have a deer walking just yards from you only to quickly be silenced by the sound of a bowstring being released knowing the hours of practice you have put in honing your craft has come full circle. Lastly it is physical, hiking hills scouting for sign or tracking a blood trail, climbing trees to hang treestands and if you are lucky enough dragging your kill out of the woods. For me this is great because when deer season approaches I am in the woods and not in the gym. I enjoy the gym but if I have an opportunity to hunt I am going to be in the woods. I know, slacker.
The enjoyment and excitement is like nothing I have ever experienced. It is not for every one and if you do not hunt you have no idea the feeling I am describing but if you Crossfit.... think of it as seeing "Fran" or "Murph" on the whiteboard. If you do not participate in either I have no idea what to say to you other than I hope you have or will find a hobby that is more or just as exciting as hunting or crossfit.
So you do not hunt or Crossfit? Well maybe one thing we could agree on is eating healthy and that is where there this guest spot on the blog comes in to play. I truly feel you can not get any healthier meat than wild game, venison. Why? Simple. No hormones and no antibiotics have been chemically engineered and fed to these animals. The majority of a deers diet consist of Acorns, which are extremely high in protein and fat along with clover, the greens on soybeans and winter turnips if available. There are also many other types of greens deer will consume. Many people plant food plots to make sure the deer they have on their property are nutritonally well kept. Deer have complex digestive systems and they will only take in what they can digest. We could probably learn something from deer when it comes to nutrition if you think about it. Occasionally they will feed on corn but from what I have witnessed for myself the majority of their food source is protein, fat and greens. One more note, I do not think you could get anymore free ranging than a wild animal? Venison is extremely lean meat and has a very high protein count, along with the meat being antibiotic and hormone free it is what a crossfitter or paleo diet follower would want on their plate. It is also very delicious. This is one of the biggest reasons every year for the past two that I have put the time in a treestand in hopes I can fill my freezer with meat I know is healthy for my family and myself. The best part about venison is the tenderloin or what most hunters refer to as backstraps. Venison tenderloin has been considered to be the filet mignon of the beef industry and to be honest you can keep the filet mignon, I'll take the vension. The tenderloins run along the top sides of a deer. You also have two inner tenderloins but they very seldom yield much meat but they are also very delicious. Like anything else the larger the deer the larger the tenderloins. You have two options with the tenderloins when it comes to processing: leave them whole or cut them into steaks/chops. If you want to have an understanding of what venison tenderloin looks like it is comparable to a pork tenderloin only red in color, leaner and the majority of the time not as much meat. I butterfly mine into steaks but the choice is yours. Either way, if you follow the recipe below it's going to come out tasting the same and will work either way. You can cook tenderloin several different ways but my favorite is to candy it and wrap it in bacon. I say "candy" but that might not be politically correct. To be honest I could care less.
Last but not least. I know people are against hunting but I believe God put animals on this earth for three reasons. For balance, beauty and a food source. There are also so many memories and good things that happen because of hunting. Charities, time with family, generating a state revenue, etc... All I am saying is try not to judge a person because of their passion for hunting, in all honesty they probably have more respect for the enviroment than someone who does not hunt.
I hope you enjoy the recipe and thanks again to Feeding Ger Sasser for letting me share!
This is how I make the recipe from a healthy approach. If you do not want the healthy approach now worries as it will be included.
2-3lbs of Venison Tenderloin(Whole or Steaks/Chops)
1 pkg of bacon(I use regular thin sliced)
3 Cups Dark Brown Sugar(Healthier approach use Coconut Palm Sugar. Available at Walmart)
2 Cups Soy Sauce(Healthier approach use Tamari Gluten Free Soy Sauce or Coconut Aminos. I have not used the coconut Aminos so I have no idea how it would come out. I've never used them mainly because I have never found them in a store locally. I can say using the gluten free soy sauce does not give you the crappy saturated feeling after)
Preheat oven to 350
With a wisk mix the soy sauce or aminos with the dark brown sugar or coconut palm sugar until well blended.
Put your tenderloin in a large ziplock bag and pour the marinade in. If you have a vacuum bag use it instead of a ziplock. I've started to do this and the meat has been more tender. Seal the bag and make sure that all the meat gets coated with the marinade.
Here comes the hard part. Marinate for at least 8 hours. If you can do 24 hours it will be even better because it will allow the meat to break down more becoming very tender.
After marinating remove the meat from the bag. DO NOT DISCARD MARINADE. Wrap the  whole tenderloin or steak/chops with the bacon using toothpicks to secure the bacon. If you have any bacon left after wrapping the tenderloin or steak/chops you obviously do not appreciate bacon enough having it left over.
If you have a broiler drip pan I would highly recommend using it versus a standard baking dish. If not just use what you have. Grease your pan down with olive oil or coconut oil.
Remember that marinade I told you NOT to discard? Well I hope you still have it. Baste the marinade on the tenderloins or steak/chops.
Now place the tenderloin on the pan and put in your preheated 350 oven, unless you are like me and always forget to preheat. Cook time is going to be 25 minutes but what I do is set my timer for 10min. After 10min is up I take out the tenderloin and baste the meat with the marinade. Put it back in for another 10min and after that time is up baste again. Now to get that nice candied crisp the last 5 min turn your broiler on. Don't worry about waiting until your broiler heats up just put the tenderloin back in and switch your oven over to broiler. This cooking time should give you a medium rare to medium finish. I have found you do not want to go past a medium finish. The meat will be tough.
After it is all said and done hopefully you have something that looks like this. Enjoy!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Roasted Delicata Squash with Blood Orange Olive Oil and Basil

Organic delicata squash is one of favorite fall flavors. They are a great choice among the many fall squash choices because they taste incredible, AND they are smaller, which makes them easier to cut. This recipe is a fast side dish that can be ready in a flash!

I covered a small baking sheet with aluminum foil.

I washed 2 organic delicata squash and sliced them longways. Then I scooped the seeds and stringy stuff out with a spoon.
Next, I cut them into 1/2  inch pieces.
I put them on the baking sheet and poured 1 TBSP Blood Orange Olive Oil ( on them and rubbed them with my hands, to coat them. Then, I spread them out.
I sprinkled them with smoked sea salt, black pepper, and organic basil.

I baked them in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes. YUM!

If you don't have the blood orange olive oil, you can squeeze a blood orange on them along with a little olive oil or coconut oil.

And, if you are going to order anything from the Flying Olive (and they do not sponsor me...) their Black Cherry Vinegar is my favorite product. We could just about drink that stuff!

Sunday, November 3, 2013


Ger loves when pomegranate season is upon us. You can see his great enthusiasm in this photo Cassie took when they saw the first one in our Kroger. They looked good here, but the produce people at our Kroger NEVER throw them away - they leave rotting, dark mushy ones in the bin. They won't listen to me.

The newest way to get the seeds out is from a video getting shared on Instagram and Facebook. It's of a farmer in the field who cuts off the top about an inch and a half down and then scores between the sections and pulls it apart. See the photo below? That works best for me now and if you haven't seen it, you should find that wouldn't load for me here.

Many people get the seeds out in a bowl of water, but the "beat on them with a wooden spoon" method works much better for us. ( Cheree and John Davis told us about it, and we haven't looked back)  You cut the pomegranate in half, making the northern hemisphere and the Southern hemisphere. Then, you pull back on them, to loosen the pathways where the seeds will fall out. Do this over a large bowl. Then, you hold it LOOSELY in the palm of your hand and bang it in true "Crossfit" fashion! The seeds will fall out.

We love them by the bowlful. They are just perfect on lots of different foods, especially salads.

Pomegranates have been around for centuries. There's a lot of proof of their amazing health properties. Google their ability to rid the mouth of plaque of their cholesterol helpfulness. One of my favorites is their antioxidant properties so that joints don't ache - whether you're lifting heavy or just getting older - or both!