Yellow Lard Cake with Berries and Cream (A ‘Beyond Bacon’ Giveaway)


This weekend, my little girl turned 2. I just love that little peanut and her growing personality. I would say I’m excited to be moving out of the baby stage.. but it’s only a few months before we move back into it. 😉

This was her birthday cake!

I know it’s not the typical two-year-old birthday cake (what, no Dora?!), but my girl loves berries. So berries we had.. and lots of them.


But let’s back up a second.

This recipe is called Yellow LARD Cake. Say what!?!

A few years ago, I would not have been caught dead eating anything with lard in it, let alone a dessert. I grew up on the idea that lard and shortening (which are NOT the same, by the way) would make you super fat and you should avoid them at all costs. Pass the butter spray, please! (Can’t believe that’s still a thing.)

After lots of time spent learning about real food, my mind began to change. Maybe animal fats really were the way to go! I think the idea was really cemented in my brain when I took on the GAPS Diet, since the first stages of Intro included only tallow as the only fat (the beef or lamb equivalent for lard). For more reading about lard and it’s place in a nourishing diet, check out this post at Weed ‘Em and Reap.


The recipe for the cake comes from a book that everyone in the Paleo community has been talking about, Beyond Bacon. The cookbook is the brainchild of Matt and Stacy from Paleo Parents, one of the best Paleo resources out there. The book is all about how to take advantage the whole pig, scary bits and all. Matt and Stacy explain how to find quality pork and walk you through all of their preparations in a way that takes intimidating projects (like rendering your own lard) seem very doable.

The book is stuffed full of quality recipes. I’ve got my eye on the Smoked Pork Belly, Asian Short Ribs, Cucumber Dill Quiche, “Corn” Dogs, Fried Yuca, Savory Bacon Jam, Caramel Praline Lard Fudge, The Best Brownies.. so, like I said. A LOT of quality recipes in here.


Matt and Stacy recommend their chocolate frosting to top the yellow cake, but I opted for whipped cream and fresh fruit in honor of my little berry lover. I used real cream, but you can use whipped coconut cream interchangeably. (You may also notice some powdered sugar on the cake. That is NOT paleo, I just think it looks so lovely for photographs!)

I followed the directions in the book for two layers of cake, but unfortunately, one of my layers broke as I was removing it from the pan. My advice would be to chill the layers in the fridge completely and then flip the pans and tap the cakes free only when you’re ready to assemble the cake. Be sure to line the pans with parchment paper, too- that makes a huge difference with these dense paleo cakes!

As for the taste, we can’t get enough! No complaints there. The cake was a great base for berries and cream, but I’d love to try the chocolate frosting on it, too. Can’t go wrong with any kind of cake, if you ask me.

So, in honor of my little girl and her 2nd birthday, I’m giving away a copy of Beyond Bacon to one of you! I have pretty much dropped the ball on giveaways around here, so I’m very happy to be bringing you one today. Makes the heart full to be able to give things away. Just follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter widget below, my darlings, and the winner will be announced at the end of the week!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Cold and Flu Fighting Gummy Snacks


I have the sniffles.

And my little girl has a runny nose.

We haven’t had any sickness around here all winter, so I got to thinking about what might have changed in our habits in the past few weeks. Then it hit me- we were out of gummies!


It may seem trivial, but these gummies really make a difference for us. They are part of our daily routine during cold and flu season. Each morning, we all take:

  • a few Cold/Flu gummies
  • a few Vitamin C gummies
  • a spoonful of Fermented Cod Liver Oil (We use the Cinnamon Tingle gel, refrigerated. The kids chase theirs with fresh juice and a chocolate chip, without complaint.)
  • a small glass of my Apple Cider Vinegar concoction- a mix of raw ACV, fresh juice, filtered water, cinnamon and honey/stevia (This is optional, and we usually add this in when someone is showing symptoms)

We also use essential oils at bath time (usually lavender, citrus or eucalyptus) and for evening foot rubs (we use Thieves in a carrier oil). Might be silly, but it’s part of our routine now and it’s been working!


The powerhouse ingredient in the gummies is the Elderberry Syrup, known for strengthening the immune system. You can buy it pre-made or make it yourself. I inherited some homemade syrup from my sister-in-law, so I haven’t had to make it myself yet (thanks, Steph!). The tart cherry juice helps with sleep and the gelatin strengthens the gut lining. If you don’t like the tart cherry flavor or you can’t find it, you can substitute pomegranate juice, which is full of antioxidants. The raw honey and vanilla extract are optional, but I think they enhance the flavor and make the gummies more appealing for the little ones.


One batch poured into a loaf pan makes about 70-80 gummies for me, which lasts us quite a while, especially when we have other gummies to go along with them. I’d love to pick up some of those super cute silicon molds that I keep seeing on the internet, but I haven’t pulled the trigger.. I love these robot and dinosaur ones!

I know these gummies aren’t the key to health or a 100% guarantee to not getting sick this season, but every little step toward health can help. They’re yummy and my kids take them gladly, so I think we’ll be keeping them in the rotation for a while.

What about you? How do you prevent cold and flu from coming into your home? I’d love to hear your tips!

5.0 from 4 reviews

Cold and Flu Fighting Gummy Snacks
Adapted from –
Recipe type: Snacks
Serves: 70

  • 1¼ cups pure tart cherry juice and/or pure pomegranate juice
  • 4 tablespoons grass-fed gelatin
  • ¼ cup Elderberry Syrup
  • 2 tablespoons raw honey
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  1. Heat ½ cup juice until bubbling.
  2. Sprinkle gelatin over the remaining juice and let it bloom.
  3. Combine the hot juice with the gelatin/juice mixture, then add the Elderberry Syrup, honey and vanilla extract. Whisk until well combined.
  4. Pour into molds or a loaf pan. Chill in the refrigerator for 1-3 hours or until set.
  5. Remove from molds or cut into small squares.
  6. Makes 70-80 gummy snacks, depending on your molds or how large you cut them.

Curried Winter Soup with Carrot, Sweet Potato and Butternut Squash


Oh hey, 2014!

How’s week one of the new year going for everyone? We are in hibernation mode here in Ohio, which has given me lots of time to reflect on what to do with my time in the next 12 months (or rather the next 5 months, since new babies have a way of shifting your priorities).

To help me get my head on straight, I have been going through Lara Casey‘s Make It Happen series; it’s a goal-setting series that I absolutely recommend. Especially if you’re like me, AKA you have a huge desire to get your act together for the new year but have no idea where to start. I’ve got a lot of ideas swimming around in this head and Make It Happen has helped me to organize it all. So, yay, new year! And hooray for a new recipe today! Finally got off my duff and picked up my camera.


This soup was inspired by a lovely lunch I had with my friend Jillian (see how awesome she is below) at Wheat Penny here in Dayton. We sampled a little cup of their curried carrot soup to start our meal; it was grand. I love that curry powder gives such a distinct, comforting taste but doesn’t make things too spicy. For my at-home version, I used all the orange veggies we had on hand- carrots, butternut squash and sweet potato. Pumpkin would also work well; you can use what you have in any combination.

This soup works for a whole variety of diets and is almost impossible to mess up. It would be great with some crumbled bacon on top, or even some homemade croutons. You could kick up the spice by adding some thai red curry paste, too.

And beyond tasting good, this soup has great nutritional benefits:

  • Healthy, filling fats
  • Cold/Flu-fighting onions, garlic and turmeric
  • Orange veggies filled with Vitamin A to boost the immune system
  • Bone broth; rich in gelatin, vitamins and minerals and anti-inflammatory


A special thanks to my sweet friends Jillian and Megan for making this post happen- they came over to my house today and did all my dishes PLUS cleaned my fridge! It was amazing, and it motivated me to pull out the camera and get this post up. A clean kitchen = no excuses for this lady. Thanks, girls- you are such a blessing to me! I am ready to re-pay you in soup. 🙂


5.0 from 3 reviews

Curried Winter Soup with Carrot, Sweet Potato and Butternut Squash

Recipe type: Soup, Main Dish, Appetizer
Serves: 8

  • a few tablespoons quality fat (grass-fed butter, ghee, coconut oil, lard, tallow)
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • ½-1 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric (optional)
  • 6-8 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large butternut squash; peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped (you can substitute more carrots or squash if you’re on GAPS or avoiding starches)
  • 4-6 cups of bone broth (enough to cover the veggies in the pot)
  • plain whole milk yogurt, for serving (optional, you can substitute full-fat coconut milk if you’re dairy-free)

  1. In a large stockpot or dutch oven, melt down the fat. Add the onions and garlic and saute until they begin to soften. Add the spices and let cook a few more minutes.
  2. Add the carrots, squash and sweet potato to the pot, followed by the bone broth. Add enough broth to cover all of the vegetables. Bring it all to a boil.
  3. Reduce to a simmer and cook until the vegetables are fork-tender, about 20-30 minutes. When the veggies are soft, use an immersion blender to blend the soup until smooth.
  4. Serve warm with a generous drizzle of yogurt.

Merry Christmas from the Oven Love Family


Just wanted to pop in and share our Christmas card with all of you. We had this sweet portrait done by Etsy artist jordyluxe. I love how it came out!

We are making the final preparations today for our holiday fun and looking forward to spending time with our loved ones. Hope you are enjoying the season, too.

We have so many blessings to reflect on and much to be thankful for. We are most thankful for the sacrific of our great King Jesus to humble himself, come to eart and become a man to save us from our sin. What a gift, that we can be in relationship with our perfect Creator and counted as precious children in the great family of God. The only gift that really matters, and it’s free for us all. It’s too wonderful to understand. What great love!

Now I need to wrap up before I turn into a weepy puddle. Merry Christmas, my darlings!

PS. I made you some sparkling jello push-up pops for New Year’s Eve. 🙂

The One Where I Tell You I’m Pregnant Again (and other news)

Well, hey everyone! Glad to see you. Happy to be here.

Just thought I might pop in to fill you in on what nonsense we’ve been up to. I know it’s been awhile. But, I still love you guys and I am 30-40% sure you love me/care about my whereabouts. So, let the over-sharing begin!

Fun Fact: As I so casually alluded to in my title, I am pregnant with baby #3! Surprise, world! (Surprise also, self and husband!) We have known for a while, but as these pregnancies keep coming, I am getting lazier and lazier with announcing them. Not that we’re not excited, just lazy. 🙂 I am 14-15ish weeks right now, due at the end of May.. so probably June if my other well-baked babies are any indication. Here’s a crazy/awkward/very flattering photo I sent to a friend after I found out (no bump yet to show you) and the 10 week ultrasound photo:


Enough of that? Yes. In other news,


Though I have all but quit writing here, I have still be writing at Modern Parents Messy Kids. I just posted up a fun ice cream sandwich bar for the holidays (shown above). I love the idea- totally switches things up from your typical holiday cookie spread. Check out the post at MPMK for more details and recipes. I also shared my list of holiday baking essentials that I keep on hand this time of year.

My evening sickness (I typically do better in the mornings, I am a weirdo) has been crippling at times (over-dramatic much?), I am still managing to turn meals out of the kitchen. Dishes are going days without being washed… but everyone is still well fed. Can’t say the meals have all been paleo or GAPS or even gluten-free, but they’ve been meals and I’m thankful they made it to the table. Some phone pictures of our escapades:

iphonefoodpicstop: my grandma’s recipe mac & cheese, a sweet potato with BBQ chicken and avocado, my kid carbing up. middle: swedish meatball recipe i wish i would have written down, sweet potato totchos for Halloween, cranberry sauce explosion. bottom: kids downing some green juice, Thanksgiving-ish salad, early Thanksgiving spread from last week.

I feel like I have lots more to say, but this is all I can handle right now, you guys. Baby steps! Maybe I will share some foodie gift ideas with you soon? My head is swimming with holiday ideas but I can’t seem to get it all on paper yet. I’ve been keeping up with Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest, so be sure to follow me there if you want to keep up with me while I am an otherwise delinquent blogger. Slow blogging for the win!

And of course, enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday! We all have so much to be thankful for.


Pumpkin Cheesecake Bites (No Refined Sugar, Grain-free and Gluten-free Options)


I miss you guys! What’s happening? What’s new? How’s your pumpkin carving/Halloween costuming/PSL consumption going this year?

We are a bit of a Halloween-neutral family. We will dress up if there’s a party to go to, take the kids trick-or-treating, buy a few pumpkins and hit the fall festival scene, but we don’t love Halloween. We like it just fine, but it’s not our favorite holiday. I am always last minute with the costumes and the candy and what not. This year E had planned on being a ghost (BEST DIY COSTUME EVER, SCORE!) but changed his mind and now wants to be a plane (!!?!?! How do I make that!?!) So now the plan is make a cardboard plane, and then little L can go along and dress as a cloud. We’ll see if this plan actually goes forward.


Making these cheesecake bites provided me the perfect opportunity to continue procrastinating on the costumes this week. There was a last minute opportunity to bring a dessert to our house church and I wanted to make something pumpkin-y, but not TOO pumpkin-y, if you know what I mean. Dessert spreads can really be pumpkin overkill this time of year.

The first thing that came to mind was to pumpkin-ize this old recipe for chocolate-covered cheesecake bites. I remember really loving them the first time around and I thought they’d be a great bite-size party treat. I tweaked the recipe a bit and everything turned out perfectly. I love when that happens!


If you are grain-free or gluten-free, you can still make this recipe. Try Carrie’s grain-free graham crackers or  Shauna’s gluten-free graham crackers. If you are dairy-free/vegan/paleo, I feel for you, I love you, but this one’s not gonna work for you. BUT, behold these amazing-looking vegan pumpkin cheesecake pops! They look very similar and would totally work for you, yay! Everyone’s tummies are happy.


5.0 from 1 reviews

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bites
Prep time

Cook time

Total time


adapted from Handle the Heat makes about 36 squares
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 36

  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs (regular, gluten-free or grain-free as needed)
  • 1 stick butter, melted and cooled
  • 8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 5 oz mascarpone cheese, at room temperature (substitute more cream cheese here if you prefer)
  • ½ cup granulated sugar (I used coconut sugar, you could use date sugar as well)
  • ½ cup plain yogurt or sour cream
  • ½ cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 16 ounces chocolate for melting (refined-sugar free, if necessary)
  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil
  • more crushed graham crackers, for topping

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8×8 square baking dish with foil and grease with butter or non-stick spray.
  2. To make the crust: Combine graham cracker crumbs and butter in a small dish. Press mixture evenly into your pan and bake 8-12 minutes, or until light golden and fragrant.
  3. Reduce oven heat to 325 degrees.
  4. To make the filling: Beat cream cheese, mascarpone (if using) and sugar with an electric mixer until smooth, 2-3 minutes. Add in yogurt/sour cream, pumpkin, eggs, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg and beat until just combined. Pour mixture over the crust and bake 35-40 minutes or until the cheesecake is slightly puffed and the center is set. Cool to room temperature on a wire rack.
  5. Refrigerate until chilled (about 2 hours) then place in the freezer, 8 hours or overnight.
  6. To coat: Once the cheesecake is frozen, lift it out of the pan and gently peel away the foil. Using a sharp knife, cut the cheesecake into 36 squares. Place in the freezer until you’re ready to dip them.
  7. Melt the chocolate and coconut oil in the microwave or double-boiler until smooth. Place parchment paper on a baking sheet. Dip the squares, one at a time, in the chocolate. Let the excess drip off and place on the prepared sheet. Top with graham cracker crumbs, if using. Then refrigerate or freeze until the chocolate is set.
  8. Trim excess chocolate, if necessary, and serve cold. Store in the refrigerator or freezer in an airtight container.


Shepherd’s Pie with Cauliflower Topping (GAPS, Paleo, Grain-Free, Dairy-Free Option)


Good morning, hello, how are you?

I made you some pie.


But first, let’s talk about blogging for a minute.

Food blogging is a funny little part of my life. Most people I come in contact with in “real life” don’t even know I do it; whereas you guys only know about what gets posted here, only this little shared piece of me. Sometimes I feel like my head is bursting with ideas and all I want to do is camp out in the kitchen, test things out and share them with you. Other times, blogging is just off my radar completely. We just go about our business as a family for a while and suddenly (usually during a bang-up meal) I realize that I haven’t been blogging.

Blogging has changed a lot in the past five years. Heck, my life has changed a lot in the past five years. When I first started blogging, I did it because I really enjoyed baking and cooking and documenting what was going on in my kitchen. I had no kids, I had plenty of time. Then the blog grew a little bit and I started to put more importance on posting however-many-times a week, making sure I was hitting up social media and doing all the “right stuff” as a blogger. And I went through a period where I felt really guilty if I wasn’t keeping all of those things going. Spoiler Alert: I can not keep all that stuff going. haha

Now, I’m a mom of two, working on putting together a new house and making it a home. You better believe I have been churning out some great meals for my family that I’d love to share, but I just got out of the groove of setting up photos. Lots of good meals have gone undocumented. Sometimes I still feel guilty for not sharing all of that good stuff with you guys, but realistically, I know that you understand that I have a real life to live outside this slice of the web. So, just thanks for being awesome and going with the flow.

I’ll start talking about the pie now.


This Shepherd’s Pie wasn’t some long-thought-out plan to reduce potato consumption or GAPS-ify a classic recipe. I just had a head of cauliflower and some ground beef that needed using and this is what happened. I saw it coming out of the oven all bubbly and brown and my brain said, “Take a picture, fast, and then let’s eat this thing!”

Cauliflower is like the classic nerd-that-turns-popular story, am I right? People never really gave it much thought before, but now it is everywhere! Cauliflower pizza crusts and faux-tatoes and cauli-rice galore. Good for you, cauliflower. Enjoy your 15 minutes of vegetable fame. You and your versatility deserve it.


This is similar to a classic Shepherd’s Pie, just with the potatoes swapped for cauliflower. I did add cheese on the top, but you can leave it off if you must. If you’re on the fence, though, definitely leave it on- it’s awesome. I used extra sharp cheddar. Treat Yo’ Self.

Perfect meal for fall, you guys! Dinner on the table in about an hour. What’s not to love?


4.9 from 18 reviews

Shepherd’s Pie with Cauliflower Topping (GAPS, Paleo, Grain-Free)
Prep time

Cook time

Total time


Recipe type: Main Dish
Serves: 4-6

  • 1 head cauliflower, chopped into florets
  • 2 tablespoons fat (lard, tallow, ghee, coconut oil, etc)
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 celery ribs, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound ground beef or lamb
  • ¼-1/2 cup homemade beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon homemade ketchup or tomato paste (omit if you don’t have a GAPS-legal or Paleo option)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons fat (lard, tallow, ghee, etc)
  • ½ cup shredded GAPS-legal cheese (omit for Paleo)

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 2-3 quart casserole dish and set aside.
  2. In a large pot, steam or boil cauliflower until tender.
  3. Heat 2 tablespoons of fat in a large skillet or saucepan over medium high heat. Add the onion, celery, carrots and garlic and cook until beginning to soften, around 5 minutes.
  4. Add the ground meat to the pan and cook until browned. Add beef broth as necessary to keep the mixture wet. Add the ketchup or tomato paste (if using), parsley and season with salt and pepper. Let simmer while you prepare the cauliflower topping.
  5. To make the topping, drain the cooked cauliflower. Mash or puree with a stick blender until smooth. Add 2 tablespoons of fat and season with salt and pepper.
  6. To assemble, spread the meat mixture on the bottom of the dish. Top with the cauliflower mixture and smooth with a spoon. Cover with shredded cheese, if using.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes or until the top is brown and bubbly. Serve warm.


All Your Kitchen Problems Solved!

Ha! Not really all your problems solved. Just the ones you shared with me on Facebook this week. 🙂

I am desiring to make this Oven-Love-thing more of a community where we can help each other out. It is hard being a spouse/parent/human person on planet Earth, isn’t it? You’re out there trying to make things work. Juggling all the craziness of life, desiring to feed yourself and/or your family well. I hear you, I’ve been there, I’m there now, too. I love hearing from you guys and helping you to work through your kitchen issues. There were a few topics I wanted to hit on and some resources I wanted to share, too. So here we go, solvin’ problems.


Healthy AND Quick AND Cheap Meals

That’s asking a lot from one meal, but it can be done. I would first ask you this- what is your real priority? Is it feeding your family nourishing food, feeding your family quickly, or feeding your family on a low budget? Which is most important to you? We can incorporate all three elements, but it’s not going to happen every time, since all three are at odds with each other. “Healthy” foods are typically fresh, requiring more time to cook and can be more expensive than processed food. Food that is easy to prepare often sacrifices health with convenience ingredients. Cheap food that is healthy takes time to find (aka looking for deals, couponing, etc). Figure out what your highest priority is, and work on that one first.

So now that I’ve crushed your hopes, ha!, I’ll actually give you some useful tips to make this happen.

Healthy Food Cheap: Have a weekly/monthly food budget so you can stay within it. Shop with the sales, haggle with farmers at the market, buy produce in bulk and preserve it, buy bruised/ugly produce, grow a small garden, buy bulk meat/produce with a friend and split the cost. If you want to have truly healthy food at lower cost, you have to do some work to find it. Make use of food that is in season- it’s usually more local/fresh and on sale.

Healthy Food Quick: Meal Plan if you can (see below). Practice your kitchen skills- I can’t stress this enough! The more practice you have at preparing food, the quicker you will be. Do any prep work you can ahead of time- this could be defrosting meat the night before, chopping vegetables during nap- anything to help dinner time run smoothly. Utilize the slow cooker, or go the other way and utilize the skillet meal. Try your hand at freezer cooking. I will also add this thought- what is filling your day so fully that you feel rushed when preparing dinner? Is there any way you could reorganize your time? Spend a 1/2 hour less watching TV in favor of food prep each night? Just an idea to get you thinking about priorities.

I hesitate to actually give you recipe ideas here because we all have a different definition of “healthy.” But I did want to give you some ideas and tools to work toward the goal of healthy/cheap/fast meals. Don’t be afraid to mess up, don’t get discouraged. It is no small thing that you are in the kitchen, working hard to prepare nourishing food for your family. You will mess up sometimes, we all do. Keep at it!


Meal Planning

Oh, meal planning. Our best friend one day, our nemesis the next. All of my best meal planning advice can be found in this post- 10 Tips For Better Meal Planning. The hardest part is getting started. Set aside a time each week or month that’s just for meal planning. If you can, get out of your house and go to a coffee shop to do it so you can concentrate.


Keeping Up With the Dishes

I am the poster child for horrible dish habits. Doing the dishes is one of my least favorite chores, ugh. I just wish they would disappear. Here’s my advice (I’m definitely talking to myself here):

Clear the table right after the meal. Put dishwash-able items straight into the dishwasher. Have one or two times during the day that you will typically work on dishes (I do some after dinner while my husband does bath time with the kids, and then some in the morning after breakfast). Put dry dishes away before you start washing new dishes. If you have an overwhelming mountain of dishes to do, set a timer for 20 minutes, do as much as you can, and then take a break- you will be surprised how much you get done!


Pie Crust without Hydrogenated Oils

You’ve got a lot of options here.

  • Traditional pastured lard (can be rendered at home from leaf lard)- Traditional lard is different nutritionally than lard or shortening found on the grocery store shelves. I find it makes great tasting baked goods!
  • Pastured butter- I like Smitten Kitchen’s All Butter Crust
  • Coconut oil- Try Food52’s Perfect Vegan Pie Crust
  • Palm shortening- Try this Basic Pie Crust, Real Food Style

I did a pie crust comparison a year or two ago that may be helpful here, too.


Healthy Meals To Satisfy A Large Family

I only have two kids, so I’m definitely not an expert on feeding a large family. My first thought is that if I had a house of 7+ people, I would only be cooking one meal for everyone. I don’t have the energy to make everyone their own dish! That means not everyone will be happy every night, but to me, that’s okay. Perhaps a meal rotation would be a good idea? Ask everyone for their favorite meal and then put them into a rotation. Encourage them to try meals that are new to everyone, too, so you are all trying new things together.


Bread Baking

Bread baking can be pretty intimidating, that’s for sure. I’ve had my fair share of fails. Some resources I love are The Breadbaker’s Apprentice, Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes A Day and Tartine Bread. Also, read the “Air” chapter of Michael Pollan’s book Cooked– it will give you a renewed excitement about baking bread and help you to understand why the process can be so fickle.


Making Dinner with Kids Getting In the Way

I know all about this one. In my mind, you’ve got two options- keep the kids busy or involve them in what you’re doing. I do a little bit of both.

Keep the kids busy: Set them up with play food or a play kitchen. Give them pots and pans, or cups to stack. Get them to set the table if they’re old enough. Give them crayons and paper.. you know, whatever you have. And of course, there’s always the iPad and TV. The healthy food you’re preparing will cancel out any brain cells lost by technology. 😉

Get them involved: Let them help you with prep work. My littles help by putting the veggies I chop into a bowl, mixing things up, adding things to the bowl, etc. Get a kids kitchen knife and let them help chopping if they’re old enough. Buy or build a helper tower so they can help (or just be tall enough to watch what you’re doing)- we built one of these and it has been a lifesaver in our kitchen.


Well that’s about all the wisdom I’ve got in me. Hope it was helpful to some of you. Please keep sending questions my way!

Real Food Cookbooks You’ll Love (Paleo, Primal, Fermentation and More)


As you may know, I’ve recently fallen (hard) off the GAPS bandwagon.. but I am feeling the (terrible) effects and I am ready to jump back on. Maybe not legit GAPS, or legit Paleo with a CAPITAL P or whatever, but I feel the need to get back to a more intentional style of eating since I feel my best that way.

Since I’m gonna need some inspiration to climb out of this rut, I’ve compiled a list of my favorite new (or new to me) cookbooks to help me get back on the horse. This list will be helpful to anyone who is new to the Paleo/Primal/Traditional style of eating. Lots of great ideas and drool-worthy inspiration here!


Nothing adds to an already busy life like taking on Paleo. These time-saving books make it seem doable.

Paleo Lunches and Breakfasts on the Go– I’ve had my eye on this one for a while. I get into a scrambled egg rut with my breakfasts and often struggle with new ideas for lunch. This looks like it needs to hit my doorstep.

The Paleo Slow Cooker– The name says it all. Embrace the slow cooker, my friends.

Make Ahead Paleo– Any way to cut down on dinner time prep is good news for me. Now if I could only remember to start things ahead of time..

Paleo Power Lunch– More lunch time expertise. Needing it badly right now.


Beyond Bacon and Carnivore– For my protein-loving friends out there! Beyond Bacon has some killer looking recipes (not to mention great photos) and Carnivore is great if you want to branch out with new preparations or cuts of meat.

Fermented and Real Food Fermentation– I have mastered sauerkraut.. but I have yet to experiment with any other fermented veggies. I’m hoping one of these could help me face my fears.


Nom Nom Paleo’s Food For Humans and the Against All Grain Cookbook– I love these two ladies and their blogs, so I know I’ll love their cookbooks, too.

21 Day Sugar Detox Cookbook– I have Diane’s book Practical Paleo (which I absolutely love and recommend), so I want to check out this cookbook, along with the original 21DSD book.

Primal Cravings– I love this resource- especially if you are missing foods from the ol’ Standard American Diet.


Gather– This book looks gorgeous and takes the stress out of planning for a gathering, whether you’re the Paleo eater or your guest is.

Los Paleo– You had me at ‘mexican.’ I love this idea!

The Nourished Metabolism– I know this isn’t a cookbook, but it looks like a good read so I wanted to include it. The food we eat and our overall health go hand in hand.

Well Fed 2– I really liked the first installment of Well Fed, so I’m on board for round two. Both are worth checking out.


Have any of you tried one of these cookbooks? Any other favorite resources to share? I’m all ears.

Now, which one to read first…

What to Make This Weekend. (Labor Day Recipes)

Oh, Labor Day. I will forever confuse you with Memorial Day, but I am always glad when you come around. Four day weekend for military families, what what!

We are headed up to the family cabin with my parents and my brother’s fam, so there won’t be much action on the blog until next week sometime. I’m going on my usual holiday hiatus. You know how I roll.

I’m not sure how much cooking I’ll be doing this weekend.. a break sounds mighty nice. I may just sit back and wait for someone else to take over. But.. if I was cooking… I’d be making some of this goodness to stuff in my face.


I’m thinking Patriotic Pancake Stacks for sure, because you gotta give it up to America at your first meal. (See also: whipped cream for breakfast). The fat almond pancake (above) is a crowd pleaser, too.

Some kind of popsicle.. I loved these mango swirl pops and I want more.

One of these 16 summer chicken recipes. Because, GAHH they all look so good.

For drinks, it’s a toss up between Sweet Sunset Cooler (above) and Quick Blackberry Thyme Lemonade. Both, you say? Okay. Let’s do that.

Of course, if you want to talk main dishes, we can’t forget the Crockpot BBQ Ribs. With a side of Grilled Corn with Garlic Herb Butter. And then an End of Summer Chopped Salad (above) with the leftover corn the next day.

We might also need some mint cookies and cream ice cream.. or chocolate covered cheesecake bites? Or a giant skillet cookie. Your choice.

Have a restful weekend and enjoy some time with the ones you love!