Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Austin Love and Cheesy Low Carb Chicken


Have I mentioned how much I love Austin?

No, really. I freaking love this place.

Most of the things I miss about Massachusetts can be summed up thusly: I miss friends, family, the beach, and autumn. Other than that, meh. I guess I could say I miss being surrounded by my same political party (#ReadyForHillary FTW! (don't hate me please)) but honestly... Austin at least is pretty forward-thinking. Otherwise... Austin is perfect.

I've just felt this awesome content-ness lately and a lot of it has to do with living here. Coupled with the magic that is lexapro it's really helped my depression a lot.

The heat has hit and people are beginning to hide away in their air conditioning. Meanwhile, I'm working on my freckly-as-feck suntan. As soon as I'm out of work I'm by the pool with a book. And probably not blogging as much as I should. I really need to get that content calendar back up and running...

Anyways. This involves turning on the oven, so maybe save it for a day under 100 degrees. But trust me, it's worth it. We've been making this at least once a week--it's the picky-eater fiancé's new favorite dinner! Plus it's relatively low carb, so it's sort-of diet friendly!

Cheesy Low Carb Chicken

  • 6 chicken thighs (bone in preferred)
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour (or regular, your choice)
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 tbsp cajun seasoning
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp jalapeno ranch dressing (or ranch with a jalapeno smooshed in)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Mix together the eggs and jalapeno ranch, set aside. In a separate bowl, mix together the almond flour and cajun seasoning and set aside.

Roll each chicken thigh in flour. Then, dip in the egg mixture.

Sprinkle about a tablespoon of cheese on the chicken, then coat with the almond flour.

Place chicken in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with tinfoil. Bake for 30 minutes, until an internal temp of 165 degrees F is reached and juices run clear.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Boozy Pops - Peach Moonshine Iced Tea


The temps have finally hit 100 degrees in Austin, and so everyone is complaining. The summer before I got here, apparently there were 100 days of 100 degrees or higher.

Guys, I came from the friggin NORTH. I will deal with 365 days of 100 degrees just to have no more 0 degrees days. Plus the humidity here isn't half what it is in New England, so I'm grateful. Can you tell I'm not a fan of the cold?

Plus, I know how to cool off (and booze up!) when I need to: boozy popsicles. All you need is a shot or two, a pop mold, and some juice, and any cocktail you can dream of is available in popsicle form. Aren't shots more fun when you can down 'em in popsicle form!

Boozy Moonshine Pops

  • 2 cups iced tea
  • 2-3 shots peach flavored moonshine
  • 6 sour cherries

-Pour an equal amount of the moonshine into each popsicle mold, about 1/4 of the way full. Pour the iced tea to fill the mold nearly 3/4ths of the way full, and place a few cherries in each.

-Freeze until firm, overnight if possible.

-Gently squeeze molds and turn upside down to release popsicles, being careful not to pull the stick out without the pop (they will be soft, so being gentle is key!)

Monday, June 6, 2016

Paleo Buffalo Bites and DIETING IS HARD.


You guys. Dieting is hard. I'm not even doing much at this point other than inputing my daily food intake into an app that tells me how many calories I've consumed for the day--in an effort to, you know, just be AWARE--and I'm already stressing out.

I can't have wine AND Ben and Jerry's? I can't drink five hard ciders? How many carbs are in a slice of toast? IS BACON GOOD OR BAD CAN YOU PLEASE JUST TELL ME?? Gah!

As someone who was always effortlessly skinny, the closer I get to 30 the closer my butt gets to the size of Texas. I've never HAD to adjust my habits (or create totally new ones, ugh, exercise) so now that I'm past my peak years it's rough. Such a "first world problem," I know, and I'm still fairly slender by non-Hollywood standards, but still. It's a pain in the butt to be so painfully aware of my butt.

And then I remember my first favorite blog, and how the brave and wonderful Andie Mitchell lost the equivalent of a PERSON just by making healthier decisions, a bit at a time, and finding the beautiful compromise in her favorite foods.

So I had a stroke of inspiration--why not make a low carb version of my favorite indulgence? I thought back to my favorite Paleo chicken recipe (from the lovely Steph of Stupid Easy Paleo) and adjusted a bunch of things to make them suit my craving for boneless buffalo wings.

These won't get super crispy, but they'll have the texture of a buffalo sauce-soaked boneless wing from your favorite pub.

Paleo Buffalo Bites

  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into small strips
  • 1/2 cup pickle juice
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/8 tsp white pepper
  • 1/2 cup Frank's Red Hot (I don't know if this is truly Paleo, so sub in what you will)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1/8 cup coconut flour
  • water

For the Ranch Dip
(adapted from Paleo Grubs)
  • 1/4 cup mayo
  • 1/8 cup coconut milk (I used coconut almond milk)
  • 1 tbsp coconut flour
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/2 tsp parsley
  • 1 tsp dill

-Pour the pickle juice over the chicken and let sit while you prepare the rest of the recipe.

-Whisk together all ingredients for ranch dip, chill until chicken is done.

-In a shallow bowl, whisk together the garlic salt, pepper, egg, almond flour, and coconut flour until thick. Add just enough water so that the batter is about as thick as pancake mix--it should be thick but flow and drip off the spoon slowly.

-Remove chicken from juice. Pat dry. Dip into the batter and place on a well-greased or non-stick cookie sheet.

-Cook until the coating is dry and the internal temp of the chicken is 165 degrees--about 15 minutes.

-GENTLY coat with the Frank's Red Hot. I say gently, because the breading will fall off if you're not careful. I poured a bit of sauce into a bowl, placed the chicken on top, then poured a bit more sauce over them and used a fork to roll it around.

-Serve with the ranch dressing.