Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Coconut Flour Pancakes by Primal Palate

While I do have a bowl of cereal every once in a while, pancakes are something I rarely eat. I hardly have time to whip up a batch before work, and if someone else cooks it's usually the pre-made crap. No offense Aunt Jemima. Yesterday, I got up a little earlier than usual and decided the time would be well spent indulging in some home-made paleo pancakes.

The Recipe

The Good
They look like pancakes
Don't stick to the pan

The Bad
Awful texture, almost sponge-like
Very bitter

Overall - 1/5
After many delicious meals I've prepared from Primal Palate, I found one that was disappointing. The flavor was very bitter, I believe there was too much nutmeg. And I would have preferred a chewier texture. These pancakes are very cake-like and spongy since the recipe calls for four eggs. I actually doubled the batch, thinking I would love it (which has been the case for all the other recipes I've made from Hayley and Bill), and I ended up throwing half of it away.

However, this was my first time cooking with coconut flour, and there was certainly an unusual flavor that I couldn't put my finger on. I would be surprised if I didn't like the flour since I love everything coconut (water, milk, oil, flakes). I'll have to try some more recipes that call for it to see if that was the reason I didn't like the pancakes. Of course, there is always the possibility that I screwed up the recipe somehow. The commenters on Hayley and Bill's website seemed to love it, but this is just one recipe of theirs I can't recommend. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Fish and Chips by Pragmatic Paleo

Haddock was the only thawed meat in my fridge, but thanks to Wikipedia... "Haddock is a very popular food fish, sold fresh, smoked, frozen, dried, or to a small extent canned. Haddock, along with cod and plaice, is one of the most popular fish used in British fish and chips." Brilliant!

A quick Google search for "Paleo Fish and Chips" only turned up a couple results surprisingly. But this recipe from Pragmatic Paleo looked like a winner.

They may look like boring fish sticks,
but these things pack some flavor!

The Good:
Fantastic flavor thanks to the coconut oil and dill
Quick to make
Few ingredients

The Bad:
Not the most detailed directions
I wish I cooked more

Overall - 4/5
I will definitely cook these again. They were a snap to make, although following the directions was a little tricky. They say to finish the fish off in the oven, but don't tell you how long to put them in for. My fish was cooked after browning both sides, so I didn't want to risk over cooking them.

In terms of flavor they were great. They were light, crispy, and buttery. I initially thought I would be begging for ketchup (which we were out of), but they were good enough that I didn't even need any. Also, I probably added a little too much salt, but these little guys were a hit with the whole family. If you are looking for a simple and healthy fried fish recipe, look no further!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sirloin Steak with Garlic Butter by All Recipes

Sometimes the simplest of recipes are the best. This is certainly the case with the top sirloin steak I grilled last night. I snagged a top recipe from All Recipes and I had a delicious dinner in under 15 minutes. Let me give you the run down.

The Recipe

The Good
Under 15 minutes to make
Only 5 ingreadients (two are salt and pepper)
Melts in your mouth

The Bad

Overall - 4/5
This recipe is as simple as you can get (especially since it doesn't require marination), and it's tasty too . I must admit, I over cooked this, but it still believe 4 stars is fair. It has a great garlicky flavor with just enough salt and pepper to taste. Also, the melted butter was fantastic on top. I never tried that, but I will definitely be doing that again, whether I use this recipe or another one.

This steak is also great in salads - just slice it up and toss it in. It's fantastic. Definitely better than Alton Brown's recipie. Sorry Alton, your the man, but it's tough to compete with a recipe that calls for steak drenched in butter and garlic sauce.

On a side note I wish I would have taken RemaxRhonda's suggestion and added some mesquite flavor to it. That sounds amazing. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Low-Carb Cheesecake from Modern Paleo

I love cheesecake. As a kid it my favorite dessert. Nothing was better to finish a meal than a deliciously creamy slice of Cheesecake. I was also spoiled rotten by my Grandpa who had an award winning recipe in West Virginia. Although, I never understood why he loved to cook it and never wanted to eat it.

Since adopting a Paleo Diet, I've avoided dairy, but every now and again I'll have some cheese with a meal and I won't feel bad about it. I saw this recipe on Modern Paleo and I knew I had to try it.

There is much debate as to whether dairy is paleo or not. But when it comes to dessert, let's face it, sometimes you just want something tasty (it is still grain and legume free though).

The Recipe - Click Here

The Good

  • Quick - took me 15 minutes to prepare 
  • Uses basic ingredients - nothing I had to run to the store for
  • Aroma coming from the oven was intoxicating, reminded me of my childhood
  • Low sugar - I used 1/4C Honey (64g of sugar for the whole pie)
  • The crust is tasty! reminds me of this pumpkin pie crust
  • High protein - pretty good for a dessert 

The Bad

  • Took me an hour to cook at 375 (this is probably similar for most cheesecakes though)
  • You can tell it's low sugar
  • A little bland - could have used some spices (cinnamon ect)

Overall - 3/5 Stars
This is a solid cheesecake recipe. For those looking for a low-carb option, this is one I can recommend. It's not going to blow you away, but you won't be disappointed either. It has a solid texture and light crust. The cream cheese filling is the most dominant flavor here. But it finishes strong with the nuts from the crust (I used hazelnut). You might want to try putting in a tad more sugar than I did, and possible experimenting with some cinnamon to bring out the nuttiness of the crust.

Also, the smell of this cake was so alluring I coudn't wait for it to cool down. About 10 minutes after taking it out of the oven I was already digging in. To be fair, I did have some more today after letting the cake cool down overnight. Don't be surprised if you end up eating more than you intend to (this cake is very light).

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

No Social Media Required

An Invasion of Privacy

I have been observing a trend that people want to reclaim some privacy that Facebook and other websites have seemingly taken. Spin offs like Google+,, and Path (now, ironically, part of Facebook) are all giving us options to be more selective with whom we share our online lives with. I'm glad we have options, because I stopped using Facebook about a year ago. It became more about making money with advertising and promotion than about sharing your life with friends.

While Facebook might not be high on my list there are plenty of social media websites that I use on a daily basis to connect and communicate with people. I have a Twitter page, YouTubeFlickr, you name it. All of these websites have options to reach out to people (hence the social part). But I am a strong believer in making an effort in relationships that matter. Texting and tweeting are okay for people I don't have a strong relationship with, but I want to have actual conversations with people I care about. That means a phone call.

When someone takes time out of their day for a phone call it is more personal than any text or tweet could ever be. On the extreme, My Grandma still sends me a handwritten letter in the mail, at least twice a year. Now that's personal. But for most of us a phone call is the new snail mail. Anecdotally, with the increasing popularity of texting, I've noticed people are more apt to text than to call. Sure, it's quick and effective. But when has building relationships ever been about those two words?

Building Relationships

Phone calls are one way to drive healthy and sustainable relationships. This was the core idea behind my Android App - Phone Tracks. Being two years out of college, I was having trouble keeping up with people from various social groups. I had friends from high school, friends from college, distant relatives, and various business contacts. To make matters worse, when using Facebook and Twitter my true friends often got lost in the crowd. My solution was to have a phone app that would keep track of a small group of people. That way I could focus on building relationships with people that matter.

Four months later, I published Phone Tracks to the Android market (sorry iPhone users). Simply put: You add five contacts, and the app remind you to call them and tell you how long it's been since you last spoke.

It can work for:
- Immediate/extended family members
- College/high school buddies
- New romantic interests
- Potential sales leads or financial donors
- Existing clients
- Or whoever you wish and have the digits for

Feedback Rocks

It has been an exciting journey to see this app go from conception to market. In the past few months, I have had the privilege of working with two very talented freelancers. One is a developer from Germany named Martin, and the other is a Designer from Romania named Mihai.

As Summer ends and Fall begins I want to continue improving this application. If you use it please give me some feedback: what did you like? what did you hate? or anything in between. If you have any suggestions at all please email I'd love to hear what you think.

Thanks for stopping by,