Everyday Summer Make Up

Products used in this look:
Make Up For Ever HD Microperfecting Primer
Make Up For Ever HD Kabuki Brush
Make Up For Ever HD Invisible Cover Foundation in #115 Ivory
Christian Dior Pro Cheeks Creme Blush in #545 Hip Peach
Christian Dior Eye Show Creme Eyeshadow in #002 Moonglow
Sonia Kashuk brow brush
BeneFit Brow Zings in Light
Yves Saint Laurent Long-Lasting Eye Pencil Number 7 (on brows)
Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat Radiant Touch
Maybelline Great Lash in Clear (on brows)
L’Oreal Voluminous Mascara in Carbon Black
Make Up For Ever HD Microfinish Loose Powder
Burt’s Bees Lip Shimmer in Peony

Burger with The Lot

This is a serious burger and I only encourage you to make it if you need to be overwhelmed by your dinner, in the very best way. Any of these toppings would accompany a simple burger beautifully. Combine and adapt them as your evening and palate demand. I love The Lot because of the balance of sweet, creamy, sharp, sour, spicy, fresh, and well caramelized when all the ingredients play on each other in that gorgeous stack.

Start by making this bright chimichurri. I’ve replaced the typical parsley with cilantro and am expecting the purists to zip it.

Pineapple Cilantro Chimichurri

3 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 cup crushed pineapple, drained
Juice of 1 lime (about 2 Tbs)
1 cup loosely packed, finely chopped cilantro, stems removed
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper

In a medium bowl, mix together all ingredients. Cover and refrigerate for half an hour and up to 2 days. Taste and season with more salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste.

The Rest of The Lot

Now, caramelize onions. Peel and halve a sweet onion, then slice. In a skillet over medium high heat, melt a tablespoon of coconut or olive oil and add the onion slices. Sprinkle with a teaspoon of salt and stir occasionally until they are translucent and starting to brown. This will take about 15 minutes. Plenty of time to get the other ingredients together.

Next, make your fry sauce. Apparently this is a regional thing, which I usually pass on, but homemade is quite the condiment. Mix 3 tablespoons homemade mayo with 2 tablespoon tomato paste (or homemade no-sugar ketchup, if you’ve gone to the trouble).

Ok, next. You’ll need great ground beef. Allow for about 1/3 pound per person. Any less and you’ll just have to eat two. Season the meat with a teaspoon of salt and a half teaspoon freshly ground pepper. Mix together well with your hands and form into patties. Heat your grill or a skillet on the stove top to a medium high heat. Grill for 3-4 minutes per side. Mine took 7 minutes total and were a perfect medium-rare. Remove from the grill and plate in preparation for the works.

Back in the skillet, heat a bit of coconut or olive oil over medium heat and fry an egg over easy. For heaven’s sake, don’t over cook that yolk.

Ready to assemble?! Put a spoon full of fry sauce on the burger, top with some excellent sauerkraut or pickles, add the egg, then a dose of caramelized onions, and finally, a heaping spoon of the chimichurri. Slice it up and make sure you get a bit of everything in each bite.



Salmon Salad Lettuce Wraps with Homemade Mayo

When you have homemade mayo on hand, a filling lunch is only minutes away. Aurelia and I ate these for lunch in a rush this last weekend and I made a mental note that I had to write down what I used because it was just too yummy and too easy to forget. Plus, it’s a high protein meal for Aurelia without the usual toddler lures or cheese, noodles, or sugar. Win win.

Salmon Salad Lettuce Wraps with Homemade Mayo

1 can wild Alaskan salmon, drained
1/2 cup homemade mayo
1 small cucumber, peeled and finely chopped
2 Tbs cup lemon juice
1 tsp dried dill
1 heaping Tbs capers, drained
6 romaine heart leaves
1 small tomato, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

In a small bowl, flake the salmon with a fork. Mix in the mayo, lemon juice, dill, salt and pepper. Stir very well. Fold in the cucumbers and capers and spoon the salmon mixture evenly among the romaine leaves. Top with the chopped tomatoes and eat right away.

Homemade Mayo

If you think you don’t like mayo, try homemade. It is nothing like the processed weird seed oil stuff that can live forever on a grocery shelf. Homemade mayo can be made beautifully with olive oil, avocado oil, and macadamia oil – all good, healthy sources of fat. So don’t be anti-mayo. It’s amazing and worth all the hype.

This is the best recipe and method I’ve found for making homemade mayonnaise. I’d been frustrated because people who make it and love it always say it’s so easy and I made several attempts over several years and never made it correctly. For me, it never worked in my Vitamix. It may work in a normal-powered blender, but the Vitamix is just too powerful, too hot, and too fast. The emulsion broke each time and I’d end with an expensive, oily mess. If you have a food processor and three whole minutes of tedious patience, this method works and is worth the effort.

Melissa Joulwan made an excellent how-to video you can watch for step by step tips.

In the next couple posts, I’ll share a few recipes with how to use your mayo-gold. But nothing is better than turning it into an aioli, by adding a garlic clove along with the mustard and salt step. Then dip all your vegetables in it. And hard boiled eggs. And salmon. And roast beef.

Homemade Mayo
Adapted from The Clothes Make The Girl

1 egg
2 Tbs lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups light olive oil

Place the egg and lemon juice in a food processor. Let them come to room temperature together, about 20 minutes. Add the dry mustard, salt, and 1/4 cup of the oil. Blend for 30 seconds until well mixed. Now, drizzle the remaining 1 cup oil into the mixture very, very slowly through the drip funnel if you have one on your food processor. I use a 1/4 tsp measuring spoon to add in the first half cup, spoon by spoon then with a 1/2 tsp measuring spoon for the second half cup. This takes about three minutes. Scoop the mayo into an airtight container and refrigerate. The expiration date of your mayo is the same as the expiration date of the egg you used to make it.

*This batch of mayo pictured is made with 1 cup light olive oil and 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, hence the slight green color. I like the olive oil taste, but it can be overwhelming if made entirely with regular (not light) olive oil.

Okra, Sausage, and Tomatoes with Blackberry Cornbread Cake

There is more to this first recipe than okra, sausage, and tomatoes, but those ingredients are certainly the stars. I love taking simple ingredients and not fussing with them too much, but rather giving them a bit of spice and heat to come together as they wish. I’m sort of a food match maker.

Okra, Sausage, and Tomatoes

1 Tbs coconut or olive oil
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 small zucchini, diced
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cups cooked and shredded chicken
2 cooked spicy pork or chicken sausages, like andouille, diced
5 cups diced tomatoes
2 cups okra, sliced in 1/4″ pieces
1 lime, juiced
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp freshly cracked pepper
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp cayenne
2 bay leaves

In a large skillet or saucepan, heat the coconut oil over medium heat and saute the onions and peppers for 5 minutes. Add the diced zucchini, mix well, and cook until all vegetables are tender, another 5-10 minutes. Meanwhile, put the sliced okra in a small bowl and just barely cover with water. Add the juice of one lime, stir, and let sit for 10-15 minutes before draining. This helps cut down on the slippery texture inside the okra. Add the sausage, chicken, salt, pepper and spices to the onion/zucchini pan and mix well. Let it heat through before adding the tomatoes, lemon juice, and drained okra. Stir well, bring to a simmer, and cover. Cook over low for 45 minutes and remove the bay leaves before serving. Make sure you have enough for leftovers, as this is even better the next day.


Now, for you sweet eaters, I couldn’t resist making this cornbread cake with the blackberries Aurelia picked with her Grandma and Granddad the same night. It seems like the right accompaniment to the Okra, Sausage, and Tomatoes, though I was still somehow ok with out it.

Blackberry Cornbread Cake
Adapted from Allrecipes

1 cup cornmeal
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 Tbs baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 Tbs honey
2 eggs
1 1/4 cups whole milk
1 1/2 cups blackberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and butter an 8″x8″ baking dish. Stir together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the honey, eggs, milk before whisking in the melted butter. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir just to moisten. Fold in the blackberries. Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish and bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes, until the top of the cornbread starts to brown and show cracks.

Pumpkin Custard (No sugar added!)

Ever want pumpkin pie in the summer, but don’t want the oven on? Ever think about eating pumpkin pie filling straight from a bowl? Ever wish you could have a good for you comfort food? Me too! This is the recipe we’ve been looking for.

It may be improper to call this a custard, because I used getalin to help set it instead of egg yolks.  But, there are eggs included and it tastes like a custard, so I’m keeping the title.

I’ve been making an effort to eat more starchy vegetables the night before and the meal after my longer runs. These include sweet potatoes, beets, and hearty squash (as opposed to summer squash – again with the names).

Giving up added and artificial sweeteners for this month (on day 23!) has been no joke. I really don’t have the strong cravings I had for that cranky first week, but I do still like including sweet things to my diet. Fruit is nearly enough, but the combination of sweet and starch, like pumpkin, feels like something I’ve been missing. Just a couple spoons after dinner and a nice cup with lunch after a morning run helps me restore my glycogen stores and fuel my next workout. Not to get all science-y.

Most importantly, this custard doesn’t have any sweetener to it. Plain, pureed pumpkin has 22 grams of sugar in a cup. That’s quite sweet. It may not taste especially sweet if you’re still used to super-normal, hyper-stimulating flavors. But I encourage you to try it as is. I love it so much and am thrilled that the whole food is enough.

I drink and use raw milk from a local grade A dairy that treats their cows kindly. Personally, I handle raw dairy well and will use it instead of canned coconut milk when I can. If you want to make the recipe paleo though, feel free to substitute full-fat coconut milk for the cow’s milk.

This is definitely making it to the Thanksgiving table!

Pumpkin Custard
Adapted from Health-Bent

28 oz. can pureed pumpkin
28 oz. whole milk
2 eggs
1 Tbs ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp salt
1 Tbs vanilla extract
2 Tbs unflavored gelatin powder (2 envelopes)
1/2 cup warm water

In a medium sized pot, whisk together the pumpkin, milk, eggs, and cinnamon. This could take a bit, so be sure to keep stirring occasionally. Right when it’s about to come to a simmer, remove it from the heat. Because I included eggs, I heated it to 160 degrees, just when it started to bubble. While the pumpkin mixture is heating up… In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over luke warm water and stir to combine, making sure there are no lumps. Stir in the vanilla extract and let the mixture firm up. Whisk the semi-solid gelatin mass into the pumpkin mixture. Pour the pumpkin custard into ramekins, glasses, or any dish you’d like. The smaller the dish is, the faster the custard will be ready to eat. Press a small square of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the pumpkin custard to prevent it from forming a ‘pudding skin’. Refrigerate to allow the custard to set-up properly. You should be able to serve and eat in around 4-6 hours. Top with a sprinkle of cinnamon and a dollop of plain yogurt if you like!

Summer Steak Taco Salad

Oh, this is good. Very, very good. It’s all the things I love about Tex-Mex food without all the things that detract from those awesome things… like rice, chips, and cheese. This is so much brighter. It’s as fresh as summer can offer. Plus, given that I can pile my plate high with greens, meat, and all the toppings my heart desires, it’s really filling. This made a scrumptious and quick dinner. All the topping ingredients store well individually and the leftover peppers and meat can be combined. The next day, it’s as simple as ever to pull out the ingredients and make exactly the same meal in less than 5 minutes. I like the steak and bell peppers at room temperature, but they are perfectly wonderful both hot and cold too. So, no excuses. Go eat!

Summer Steak Taco Salad

2 pounds thin-sliced marinated steak, like skirt or flank (dry rub recipe below)
1 large onion, halved and sliced
2 green bell peppers, stem and core removed, cut into strips
5 cloves garlic
2 Tbs coconut or olive oil
6-8 cups salad greens
1 bunch cilantro, stems removed, leaves chopped
2 cups diced tomatoes
1 cup black olives
2 limes, cut into wedges
1 cup guacamole
1/2 cup tomatillo salsa or pico de gallo

In a skillet over medium heat, add the coconut or olive oil, onion and bell peppers. Stir well and cook until the onions start to become translucent, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic, mix, and continue to cook until the peppers are very tender and the onions begin to caramelize, another 5-10 minutes. Remove from heat and scoop onion and pepper mix into a bowl. Prep your toppings and put them in bowls for serving. Preheat grill to medium high heat. Grill steaks over direct heat for 2-4 minutes. Flip steaks and grill for another 2–4 minutes depending on the thickness and how well done you like your meat. Remove steaks from grill and rest for 5 minutes before cutting into strips and plating to serve. To assemble the salad, put a cup or two of greens on a plate, top with a scoop of the onion and pepper mix, add a good heap of meat, then finish with your toppings of choice. Enjoy!

BBQ Steak Dry Rub

1 Tbs cumin
1 Tbs chili powder
1 Tbs paprika
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp salt
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix well. Coat steak with the spice mixture and rub into the meat. Shake off excess and put meat in a ziplock or cover with plastic wrap. Marinate in the fridge for at least 4 hours. Store any unused dry rub in an air tight container.

Blueberry Zucchini Oatmeal Muffins

Muffin time again. Aurelia is on a blueberry kick and there is a never ending supply of zucchini. I took most of these to a work meeting and everyone is going to be nice and say they’re good, whether they are or not. I haven’t tried them, so you’re going to have to make them and report back honestly. Please and thank you.

Blueberry Zucchini Oatmeal Muffins
Adapted from Eating Well

1/2 cup old fashioned oats
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 Tbs baking powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp salt
3 eggs
1 banana, mashed
1/2 cup applesauce
1/4 cup coconut oil or butter, melted
2 cups grated zucchini, (about 1 medium)
1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Oil 18 muffin cups or line them with paper liners. In a small bowl, stir together whole wheat flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and oats in a large bowl. Add the blueberries to the flour mixture and stir to coat. This will help them not sink in the muffins. Into a large mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, applesauce, mashed banana, and oil. Stir in zucchini. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir just until incorporated. Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling them about 3/4 full. Bake until the tops are golden and spring back when lightly pressed, about 20 minutes.

Everyday Eats: Breakfast & More Roasted Veg

I am a serious breakfast eater these days. I eat within an hour of getting  up and before coffee. What a change! Eating fat, protein, and vegetables first thing really is such a more encouraging way to start the day than with toast, juice, or cereal.

I keep a cast iron on the stove and just have to wipe it off to clean each time and season it occasionally. With roasted vegetables or fresh ones already chopped and in jars, the addition of meat and an egg or two couldn’t be easier. And I’m crazy about those single serve guacamole packs.

This breakfast features an egg, fried over easy in coconut oil with green peppers, Aidell’s Chicken & Apple Sausage, Wholly Guacamole, and fresh tomato.

Another quick staple of summer is roasted veg. You know I make a lot each week, but this time of year is just overwhelming with the amount of fresh produce making it’s way in to the kitchen. I have the kindest neighbors, friends, and family, who often drop by with a bag of vegetables and it’s all I can do to eat my weight in them each day. Roasting them together like this brings the flavors together, reduces the volume, and makes them easy to add to any dish. I add them to salads, sliced chicken breast, romine wraps, and eggs.

Into a large bowl, I combine the cut vegetables with a health glug of olive oil, kosher salt, and fresh cracked pepper. Stir well to coat and turn out onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Distribute into a single layer and roast for 30-40 minutes at 400 degrees, stirring every 10 minutes.

This mix was zucchini, green bell peppers, and cherry tomatoes.

Stored in a mason jar in the fridge, easy peasy.

Moroccan Cauliflower Salad

Nom Nom. Perfect summer salad.

Moroccan Cauliflower Salad
Adapted from The Paleo Mom

1 small head of cauliflower (about 6 cups chopped)
3/4 cup raisins
3/4 cup cashews (raw or dry roasted), chopped
1 small bunch parsley (about 1 cup chopped)
2 Tbs olive oil or coconut oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp tumeric
1/2 tsp cumin

Chop cauliflower florets into small, mostly-uniform pieces. Chop parsley and set aside. Heat coconut oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add cauliflower with salt, cinnamon, ginger, turmeric, and cumin. Cook, stirring frequently, until the cauliflower is cooked al dente, about 6-7 minutes. Remove from heat and pour cauliflower into a large bowl. Stir in raisins, cashews, and parsley until combined. Pour orange juice and lemon juice over the top and stir to coat. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.