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I’ve moved!

25 Dec

If you’re still following me on this blog, make sure you head on over to Pencilsandpancakes.com and subscribe by email!

 

Don’t leave me!!!

9 Dec

Hello all! I am in the process of attempting to switch over to self hosted blogging…..

I changed the nameservers but they say it takes 24 hours so I have no idea if it worked. I don’t want to leave you hanging in case it DID work. I will put up the link to my new blog when it is available.

If you like what you see, please follow me on bloglovin or your personal blog reader once it’s switched over.

And any advice to make this process easier will be much appreciated!!!

Also, if you self hosted, any suggestions on an affordable blog designer?? Thanks!!

 

Here’s a picture of my cat to hold you over.

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Holiday Baking Wish List

2 Dec

Anticipating the shorter-than-usual holiday season this year flying by before I can even blink, you better believe I was in the kitchen, blasting Christmas music while baking cookies and putting up decorations the DAY after Thanksgiving.

It was REALLY tempting to go Black Friday shopping…all the ads, the emails, the people posting on Facebook. The only thing I bought Friday was a freezer in anticipation of the 1/4 of a cow we’re getting later in the month. And it felt good! Normally I just end up buying stuff for me that I don’t really need. I get anxiety thinking about all the people. I’d rather just buy stuff online honestly. People are boasting and bragging about all the money they “saved”….however I didn’t spend any so I win!!!

I baked a couple of batches of cookies this past weekend, and I am going full force now trying to make a list of the holiday cookies I plan to make. This weekend I tried out a couple winners that will definitely be repeated…especially these:

Coconut Macaroons with raspberry chia jam from Oh She Glows

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Also, I made these for my husband and his friends while they were out hunting. They were VERY rich and chocolate-ly. They were so rich it almost easy to not eat the whole batch when they came out. Just kidding I still ate like 3. But it was a valiant effort.

Triple Chocolate Grain Free Cookies

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Mmmmmmm Cookies.

 

So, thanks for Pinterest, I have quite the list going regarding the recipes I’d like to try for Christmas cookies. However I’ll have to narrow it down to 2-3 recipes because baking, especially Paleo baking, can get expensive!!!

I found this spritz recipe in an old cookbook that I plan on making for the cookie press my mom got me last year! I have no idea how to use that thing but Google University should be able to help out a bit.

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Here are some others I have been eyeing:

 

Gluten Free white chocolate cranberry cookies

Paleo Thin Mints & Samoas

Pumpkin Gingerbread Cake with Maple Vanilla Frosting

Joyful Almond Coconut Chocolate Bites

Chocolate Chip Cookies

I also plan on making some homemade goodie bag Christmas presents for people, including these recipes (sorry for the spoiler if you’re one of the ones who gets one…….Smile) I want to put them in mason jars like so:

jars

Salted Caramel Bacon Bark

Holiday Nut Mix

Pretzel Gift Idea

Almond Cherry Bark

 

How will I decide?!?!?!

 

What cookies are you making for the holidays?!?!

Thanksgiving 2013

30 Nov

This year I have countless of things to be thankful for…..but honestly I try to make being thankful a habit that I practice all year, and not just on Thanksgiving! This allows me to focus on the more important matter at hand:food.

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This year was awesome!!!! Although I didn’t get to fulfill my dream of hosting a full Thanksgiving dinner in our new home (I’m sure I will someday) I did prepare a couple of dishes for dinner at my in-laws. I bought Danielle Walker’s (author of Against All Grain) e-book Thankful on a whim the other week and decided to try out a few of her recipes. I’ve made a couple of her Paleo treats before and I was a fan. Normally I pick out a few recipes from different places to try, but I knew I wanted to make green bean casserole…and then I saw the Paleo pecan pie and made the decision to try that as well. I’ve never made pecan pie…or even eaten it for that matter. It was a hit! I am planning on making it again for Christmas, but I’ll have to increase the amount of filling and decrease the amount of crust. There seemed to be a lot of crust for the amount of filling that was made. But the flavor was amazing!!!

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Rolling out the dough was kind of hard- the almond flour makes it really crumbly. But it worked out!

I also made her green bean casserole, sans the mushrooms and onions to cater to everyone’s tastes. It was also a recipe I’ll make again.

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We weren’t planning on it, but I also tried the recipe for homemade cranberry sauce. I have never had the canned cranberry sauce on Thanksgiving….it never looked appetizing to me. This recipe was simple enough. Although we agreed it could have used more sweetener than it called for. I was fine with it since I am used to unsweetened desserts.

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The turkey was literally the best turkey I’ve ever eaten!!!! I don’t know what my MIL did but it was so juicy. My plate: turkey, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, and cranberry sauce. I went back for seconds, obvi. And pecan pie for dessert.

 

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And….it looked a lot more like Christmas than Thanksgiving over here. Winter is coming early. Wonderful….

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Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday. I feel like a bad blogger as I have been neglecting the blog world since I’ve been on vacation. I promise I’ll get back on track this week!

What was your favorite thing on your Thanksgiving plate?

Weekend in Pictures: Vaca!!!

25 Nov

>Greetings from vacation land…I have a whole week off from work which takes me out of my regularly scheduled blogging routine. I figured I would share a few images from the amazing weekend I had at home for the first time in nearly three months.
First the Thursday befriend we left we received our much anticipated pastured organic turkey from our farmer.
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I’m not saying how much I paid… It’s way too embarrassing. I spent a lot of time rationalizing it and have come to the conclusion that it’s okay. People send equitable amounts on a day at the salon, or a pair of pants. It’s time to face the facts I’m a foodie and this is where my priorities lie. Al weekend shopping I’m pretty hesitant to spend $10 on a pair of leggings; but unleash me in Wegmans and ill justify any outrageous purchase. Speaking of which…. Like I need a new food obsession…..
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Finally tried ghee!!! Omg…I made Civilized Caveman’s banana bread with this Saturday and it was out of this world! Considering I make that banana bread once a week (no joke) and noticed the difference, I’m attributing it to the ghee. Now, since this little container was $5.99, I am currently planning on figuring out how to make my own, ’cause that’s wack.

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Making cookies while on a sugar detox is not recommended!! Omg, I made these double chocolate chip cookies for my students (because I’m awesome) Thursday night and had a hard time not tasting the batter. And Friday, confession: I ate one. They were probably the best cookies I’ve ever made. And that was probably because all the other cookies ive I ever made have always been some sort of recipe I’m tweaking to make it healthier. They were fabulous. So I didn’t officially finish the 21 days of the sugar detox however I felt great limiting sugar in my diet and plan to go on eating this way from now in, with an exception here and there if I feel like it.Hey, it’s vacation!

Something else I did Saturday… Chop off all my hair!!!

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I’ve been dancing around the idea for awhile since my long hair had become dry,straggly and takes forever to blow dry and straighten. I love the new look!

More shopping is on the agenda today….. When you live in the middle of nowhere and finally find yourself near civilization you find yourself saying ‘go to allllllll the places!!!’

Can’t wait til Thanksgeiving!! What are you making??

Have you ever tried ghee??

Do you feel guilty about the money you spend on food?

Favorite Posts

14 Nov

I guess I should acknowledge that my blog turned a year old the other day! Happy Birthday Pencils and Pancakes! It’s weird that I’ve more or less been documenting my life on the internet for a year. Sometimes I feel self conscious. A lot of people who have never heard of what a blog is or are unfamiliar with it don’t understand why anyone would want to do post their life on the internet, or constantly be taking pictures of food to post….but all I know is I enjoy blogging, reading others’ blogs, and writing. So I’ll keep doing it for now!!! I know…you were worried 😉

Since my blog is a year old I though I’d run down some of my favorite and most popular posts from the last year:

School-

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Sometimes I doubt if I should continue blogging about teaching, since I feel like the blog has morphed into more of a food blog, but teaching posts continue to be what people searching come for. So I’ll be happy to throw up a couple teaching related posts a month.

How to teach counterclaim

Book unit on Micheal Pollan’s Omnivore’s Dilemma

Food-

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Over the past year I have been experimenting with the Paleo diet. I love how it makes me feel! Although I don’t stick to it 100% of the time. Here are some of my favorite recipes from the past year (not all of them are Paleo).

Paleo Cereal

Butternut Squash and Chicken Curry over Coconut Cauliflower Rice

Spinach and Garlic Pizza

Grilled banana and peanut butter stuffed french toast

Spicy Roasted Carrot Fries <<I make these at least once a week

Game Day Treats: Roasted red pepper poppers

Reviews-

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Quest Bar Review

Gordon Biersch Brewery and Restaurant Review

Wedding-

pro 10

Pros and Cons of planning a wedding on Pinterest

Rustic Wedding Crafts

Bachelorette Party

Ceremony and Bridal Party

Miscellaneous Favorite Posts

What to buy organic

How to grocery shop on a budget using coupons

Working out in the morning: pros and cons

How to change your mindset and become happier

 

WOW it’s kind of fun to look at all the posts and reflect over the past year. I haven’t really taken the time to re-read much of my blog. Anyways, for the 2-3 people that might read this blog 2 of which include my husband and mother, thanks for reading! Next goal is trying to get this baby self hosted. It scares me whenever I think about it…any tips?

Do you ever go back and read your own blog posts?

How hard is going to self hosted? BE HONEST!!!

EPIC bar review

29 Oct

****UPDATE: The amazing people at EPIC have given me and my followers a special promo code for 10%  anything you order- with FREE SHIPPING!!! So now you  have a reason to try them out! Just use this promo code: PENCILSANDPANCAKESAREEPIC

Happy Shopping!

I have a ton of amazing and quality products that I have on the burner to do reviews for, so I might as well start. But before I do, if you haven’t, you should definitely head on over to my Pencils and Pancakes Facebook Page and like it!! I am almost at 100. For some unexplainable reason I will be really happy when I have 100 followers.  Humor me, please!?!?

Anyways….First up: Epic Bars.

 

From the website:

The EPIC bar is a 100% grass fed animal based protein bar designed as nature intended. Paleo friendly, gluten free, and low in sugar, we believe that EPIC foods should inspire EPIC health.

I’ve seen them in the Paleo blogosphere so I was thrilled when I was able to get some free samples. When I Instagrammed this picture, everyone was like “what!?!? a meat protein bar?!?!?” And basically yeah- that’s how I would mostly describe it: a cross between a protein bar and beef jerky.

Turkey

There are three flavors:

Turkey Almond Cranberry

Beef Habenero Cherry

Bison Bacon Cranberry

The taste is like a sweetened beef jerky, the texture is that of a mushy protein bar. Softer and less chewy than jerky. My favorite was by far the bison.

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I won’t lie…have I had better tasting, sweeter, more addicting protein bars? Yes. Did said protein bars have un-pronounceable, sugary additives? Yes. If the quality of the ingredients is a high priority, and you’re an athlete or someone looking to get some quality protein after a workout I would recommend these over any other sugar/crap laden bar or protein shake. By far.

To me, just knowing it is a lean source of quality protein is enough to make them a winner. In the words of Cave Girl Eats…this bar says “B*tch…I’m a protein bar”. LOL

So..if you’re looking for a quality source of protein after your workout and don’t want to fall victim to the latest sugar-trap protein shake concoction…you should try these out! Or just order them and try them out regardless ‘cause you’re addicted to online food shopping like me!!

What are your favorite protein bars??

Do you ever eat beef jerky?

Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash

16 Sep

Squaaaaaash! You might know I’m obsessed with it. Side not: I tried Delicata Squash yesterday for the first time. It was ‘meh’.

Acorn squash and butternut squash are probably my favorites. The farmer’s market this past couple of weeks has been brimming with amazing-ness. I even got a couple of pastured pork chops this week. They were unreal.

This is a dish I made last week (just getting along to blogging about it now). I kind of just thought it up randomly. I received some delicious chicken sausages from Bilinski (full review coming soon) and decided to use these to stuff the acorn squash I got from the farmer’s market.

Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash

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Serves 2! Prep time: 20 mins Cook time: 40 mins

1 medium acorn squash

1 package of Italian sausage (approx 1/2-3/4 lb)

1/2 of a red bell pepper

1 small onion

2 cloves of garlic

3-4 tablespoons chicken broth

1 tablespoon fat of choice ( I use lard or coconut oil)

Spices: salt, pepper, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp onion powder, dash of cayenne, 1/2 tbsp curry powder

1. I got a head start on the cooking of the acorn squash to cut my cooking time by cutting it in half, seeding it and drizzling it with olive oil and salt and pepper. I then popped it in a 375 degree oven while I prepped my veggies. This took about 15-20 minutes.

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Squash: annoying but worth it.

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Ready for oven

2. While squash was pre-cooking, I chopped the veggies and garlic. I put in a tablespoon of lard (you can use any fat) and let the garlic get aromatic. Then after 1 minute I added the peppers and onions. After that I added the chopped up sausage (if you have sausage in a package just place it in the pan and brown it).

3. After meat is browned (or warmed up if your sausage is pre-cooked), add in the chicken broth and spices and let come to a soft boil. Turn the mixture down and let simmer until slightly thickened. Check on your squash and take it out of the oven. At this point after 15 minutes it should be half cooked.

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4. Place the sausage and veggie mixture in the squash. Add some salt and pepper to the top (or maybe even some cheese if you eat it!).

5. Cook for approx 15 more minutes or until the outer shell of the squash can be punctured with a fork.

My husband would have loved cheese melted over this, but we didn’t have any. I absolutely loved scraping the squash out of the skin. Omg I love squash. And it’s only September.

 

What is your favorite type of squash??

Review: Ellicottville Brewing Co.

26 Aug

One of the (only) cool things about the area we live are the couple of great local breweries not far from home. Not far = less than an hour. But it’s totally worth it for delicious food and beer, especially since the offerings in our town are less than stellar.

Saturday we headed out to Ellicottville, NY for a day of hiking (this was actually an excuse to go to the brewery, on my part). The hike was supposed to be quite a  climb up a mountain but we took a wrong turn and ended up going in a big circle on the side of a hill. Still fun! There were plenty of fresh berries to pick and eat on the way and some neat views too.

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After we worked up a sweat on the hike, we naturally had to shove our faces with beer and fries  refuel with protein and carbs. Ellicottville Brewing Company has always been one of our favorites, but they recently re -opened after a large remodel and addition so I thought I’d do a review.

First of all, the remodel to the place was amazing. They turned a tiny restaurant into a large facility with two added bars (one outdoor and one more indoor for a total of 3),  beer garden with outdoor seating and (I think) banquet facilities for weddings and events. It was beautiful inside and out.

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new indoor seating

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new bar inside (crappy pictures, I tried to look like less of a creeper taking pictures)

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outdoor seating and bar

I thought it was weird when the hostess asked for my phone number, but I guess this is the system they use instead of those buzzer things. I thought it was a cool idea. You don’t have to carry around a germ-covered buzzer and keep track of it. They texted me when my table was ready and it was far below the quoted wait time. We hadn’t even ordered our drinks at the bar yet!

I went with the oatmeal stout. I don’t know what it is but ever since St. Patrick’s Day this year I have been obsessed with stouts. This one was had a rich, chocolate-ly, coffee taste without being too heavy. You’d think these types of beers would make you full but it went down (too) easily.

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Austin got a hoppy type. I forgot to take a picture of it but he liked it. We ordered our favorite appetizers, loaded brewer’s fries. They come topped with pulled pork in their amazing BBQ sauce, melted cheese and scallions.

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We also split a BBQ brisket sandwich. I absolutely love the BBQ sauce. The sandwich came with a side salad and pickle.

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The brisket was pretty good- a little tough but the flavor was excellent. No I was not being particularly healthy on this day if you didn’t notice…..things have been a little more lax since the wedding….it feels good to relax a little! I know I’ll clean it up once work starts again.

Both dishes were around ten dollars which made for an inexpensive and tasty lunch.

I highly recommend checking out EBC if you are in the area!! Good beer and food!

What are your favorite types of beer?

Wedding Picture Teaser

16 Aug

I will have official posts for all of my wedding pictures ones the professional ones are done. I did want to share a couple teaser photos for those that aren’t friends with me on Facebook. Enjoy!

 

kiss

 

 

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(photo courtesy of Lindsey Jones)

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(photo courtesy of Lindsey Jones)

walk

It was the best day of our lives and everything was perfect. I can’t wait to blog more about it in detail (obviously) to tell the whole story of our day!

 

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