Monthly Archives: July 2012

Chicken Coop 2.0

We’ve been sweating our behinds off lately refurbishing a boat covering into a chicken coop. A huge chicken coop. Here are some pictures of the progress.

 

We added support with 2×4’s across the middle and extra 4×4’s in the middle of the long sides.

T also built a very nice functional door.

We moved the concrete parking blocks into the middle so the grass would grow in and the house had something to rest on.

The house was built out of scraps we had lying around the house. We’ll add hay for the ladies to lay on. We also have a large rod secured in one corner for the gals to roost on at night.

We intend to add lattice to the two sides that the dogs have access to so that the walls are more secure. The other two sides are cordoned off and inaccessible to canines. I also moved a potted plant that likes to creep up lattice to one side for some more curb appeal.

Hopefully this is a happy home for our fine feathered friends. We’ll know soon enough and report back!


Chorizo Stuffed Pork Loin

Cassie, what’s with all the stuffed meat lately? Well, glad you asked. It’s delicious and fun! Meat inside of meat? It’s like Epic meal time up in here. Don’t follow this link at work, some of the language is bleeped by a bird.

After the success of the spinach-bacon-chicken I searched my fridge for new ingredients to stuff inside a pork loin I had laid out. I found some chorizo in the meat drawer, score! Now what kind of vegetables go well with Chorizo? Why orange ones! Don’t ask me why it works, it just does. I wanted the seasoning on the outside  to match the chorizo inside. Read along for another amazing meat in meat recipe:

Chorizo Stuffed Pork Loin

1 pork loin ~5.5 lbs

1 package of chorizo 10oz

3 carrots diced

1/2 yellow onion diced

4 cloves of garlic minced

1 sweet potato cut in chunks

1tsp chili powder

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp smoked paprika

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp garlic

1/8 tsp of cumin

1/8 tsp of ground oregano

In a frying pan cook the chorizo on medium heat. While that cooks dice your onion then add it to the chorizo. Dice your carrots and again add them to the pan. Cook this mixture for another 5 minutes.

While it cooks prep your sweet potatoes and cut your loin. I time my cooking by how long it takes me to slice up my veggies. If you feel the need to prep your veggies ahead of time, cook each for about 2 minutes before adding the next ingredient. Remove the mixture from the heat and let it cool down. When it is cool enough to handle, stuff inside your pork loin.

Fold meat back together.

Place loin inside of a ring of sweet potatoes (any one hear Johnny Cash right now?) In a well oiled baking dish. Mix all the spices together in a small bowl and sprinkle over top of loin and potatoes. Toss the potatoes a bit to coat with seasoning.

I baked the loin in the oven at 400 uncovered for 1.5 hours while I rocked Grace at the gym.

This was too hot and too long. The meat came out tough and dry. Next time I’ll cook it at a much lower temperature for a longer time. That’s usually my MO, but I wanted to try something different. If you are making this at home, and you should because the flavors are wonderful, make sure that the fat side is up. Bake it covered at 200 for at least 4 hours.  As always check internal temperature before eating. You could definitely make this in a crock pot or deep pot and let cook low and slow while you are at work. I will make this again but much slower.

The flavors were awesome and as I said before, orange vegetables go great with chorizo! Are you hungry why not try this out?


Spinach stuffed Chicken Breasts

If you are a fan of my creamed spinach, you will LOVE this dish! My friend Rebecca is just starting her paleo journey and came up with this. I tweaked it a little for my own preferences, but I’m so thankful she gave me the idea for this. It was super tasty.

Spinach Stuffed Chicken

4 pterodactyl breasts (or enormous chicken breasts)

6 pieces of bacon diced

1 package of spinach (the frozen brick is 80 cents at my grocery store)

1 yellow onion diced

5 cloves of garlic minced

1/4 cup and 1 table spoon of coconut milk

1tbsp red pepper

A few dashes of the following: Cajun seasoning, salt, pepper, and garlic powder

1tsp xanthan gum (omit this if you prefer)

Cook up the bacon bits in a pan on medium high until crispy.

Remove bacon and keep the fat in the pan. Add the onions to the pan and sauté until they start to soften. About 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.

Add the spinach and red pepper and toss the pan a few times until evenly distributed. Remove from heat and add to the bacon bits. Mix and set aside to cool.

While your spinach cools, slice your chicken (pterodactyl) breasts in half making sure to keep one side still attached. If you are feeling particularity skillful try to only cut from the top so you have what is essentially a chicken breast mitten. When the stuffing is cooled enough to handle, stuff the breasts with the spinach mixture.

Place them in a well oiled baking dish. Pour the 1/4 cup of coconut milk on top of the breasts then season them with your remaining seasonings.

Bake covered in an oven at 400 for approximately 45 minutes. Check with a thermometer that the internal temperature is 180.

When done pour out the pan drippings into a stock pot, turn temperature to medium high. Add the remaining coconut milk and xanthan gum. Whisk until the mixture begins to thicken.

We ate ours with roasted brussel sprouts. I love brussel sprouts and noticed they were super cheap at the store in frozen dinner sized packs so I bought a few. Apparently I thought this was a good deal last week too. We now have a LOT of frozen brussel sprouts. T told me not to buy any more for awhile. Ooops.

This meal is so amazing! Try it today.


MMM meat

Just a delicious picture of smoked pork shoulder.


Coconut Acorn Squash

I asked on Facebook recently what people would like to see me cook. This was a request by The My. I hope you like it!

I’ve made acorn squash before. It’s a tasty hard squash that will start coming into season soon. It has beautiful orange flesh and the outside has ridges, green skin with spots of orange. I tried something I’ve never done before with this recipe and I’m very happy with the way it turned out.

Coconut Acorn Squash

1 acorn squash halved and seeded

1/2 cup of unsweetened coconut chips

salt and pepper to taste

(dash of cinnamon optional)

1tbsp of bacon fat (or whatever you have on hand)

I spread the bacon fat on the squash like butter. If you prefer use coconut oil or real butter go right on and do so.

Then I sprinkled salt, pepper, coconut, and cinnamon. T doesn’t like sweet things so I left the cinnamon off of his.

Wrap them up in tin foil and place on the grill over indirect heat.  They will take about 45 minutes to cook up. You can of course use your oven 350 is ideal, but it’s too hot right now, so I cooked them outside.

They will be easy to pierce with a fork or knife when they are done.

I eat it right out of the skin with some tasty protein like a pork ribeye.

While it’s not toxic, I don’t recommend eating the skin. It’s hard and doesn’t taste good.

 


Summer Slaw Salad

Who’s excited for grilling, sunshine, and fireworks? I am. This is light and refreshing alternative to coleslaw that will go great with your celebratory BBQ tomorrow.

Summer Slaw Salad

1/2 head of cabbage sliced thin (~2 1/2 cups)

1/2 large zucchini peeled with a julienne peeler (my zucchini are enormous so you might want to use 2 small zucchini)

6 sweet mini peppers sliced thin

4 green onions sliced

3 garlic cloves minced

1 jalapeno minced

3 tbsp of rice wine vinegar

2 tsp of sesame oil

A few sprinkles of toasted sesame seeds

Mix everything in a bowl.

Just before serving sprinkle the seeds on top reserve these if you plan on refrigerating it over night. I made this the day before so the flavors would meld together by tomorrow.

Happy 4th of July everyone! Have a save and lovely holiday. If you are working tomorrow, thank you. We couldn’t do it without you.