Paleo Almond Butter Cups


I pinned this recipe a few days ago and my husband peeked over my shoulder at my pins exclaimed “please make this!!!!”  He’s a huge Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup fan and the thought of a Paleo version of them was definitely worth exclaiming.  So on our date night last weekend before we popped in a James Bond movie I looked at this recipe to see how much time it would take.  15 minutes!!  5 to make, 10 to freeze.  I was sold.  This recipe is SUPER easy.  However, there is a warning…. They are SUPER good and easy to devour quickly.  :)


1/2 C Coconut Oil
1/2 C High Quality Cocoa Powder
1/2 C Smooth Almond Butter
1/2 C Raw Honey or Maple Syrup
1/2 t Vanilla


1.  Melt coconut oil–it takes no time in the microwave.
2.  Blend all ingredients in a food processor or blender.  Or, if you are lazy like me and don’t like washing dishes, mix it together with a spoon.
3.  Pour into 10 paper lined muffin tin cups or silicon muffin cups and fill 1/2 inch full.
4.  Chill for 30 minutes in fridge or freeze for 10 minutes.  When firm, remove.
5.  Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator.  They will start to melt if left out of the fridge too long.

Practical Paleo

Italian Meatball Soup


2013 is here and I am determined to meal plan this year–both to save money and eat healthier.  In my meal planning I decided I would attempt one new recipe a week.  So this week, I tried Pioneer Woman‘s Italian Meatball Soup.  I love her recipe blog because she has step by step pictures to follow.  While I may not need those pictures, they are just more fun to follow!  She also thinks of out of box ideas that sound crazy but are good.  Lemon juice in meatballs? I wouldn’t have thought of that one!  But… amazing.  This recipe is filling, flavorful, and has that great hearty warmth that every winter day needs.


3/4 lb Ground Beef
3 T Fresh Parsley, Minced
1 Egg
2 Garlic Cloves
1/2 t Salt
1/2 t Black Pepper
1/2 t Ground Oregano
2 t Lemon Juice


3 T Coconut Oil
7 C Beef Stock
2 C Water
1/2 t Salt
2 T Tomato Paste
3/4 C Onion, Chopped
3/4 C Carrots, Chopped
3/4 C Celery, Chopped
1/2 lb Cabbage, Chopped
Grated Cheddar Cheese To Serve
2 Bay Leaves


Combine all meatball ingredients and mix well.  Shape into small balls and chill for 30 minutes.

After chilling, heat coconut oil over medium-low heat in a heavy pot.  Brown meatballs on the outside–don’t cook all the way through.  Remove meatballs to a plate.  To the pot, add stock, water, salt, tomato paste, and herbs.  Bring to a boil, then simmer 30 minutes.

Add onion, carrots, celery, and potatoes. Simmer 15 more minutes.  Remove bay leaves.

Add cabbage and meatballs. Bring to a boil, then simmer 8 to 10 minutes.

Serve with plenty of freshly grated cheddar cheese sprinkled over the top.

Adapted from Pioneer Woman

Balsamic-Garlic Crusted Pork Tenderloin


I love cooking with pork tenderloins because they are cheaper cuts of meat and the recipes are often very simple.  However, I have struggled to find a good recipe that doesn’t dry out the pork.  Another Pinterest find, this recipe yielded a moist and flavorful pork tenderloin.


4-5 Garlic Cloves, Finely Minced or Crushed
2 T Balsamic Vinegar
2.5 t Coarse Salt
1/2 t Freshly Ground Pepper
2 T Olive Oil
2 Pork Tenderloins (About 1.25 lb each)


Stir together garlic, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, and olive oil in a small bowl.  Rub the paste all over the pork.  If you have time, marinate overnight.  If not, it’s still great!

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Heat oil in a large, heavy saute pan over medium-high heat.  Brown pork all over, about 4 minutes.

Transfer pan to oven.  Roast pork, turning occasionally, until the internal temperature is 160 degrees, about 20 minutes.  Transfer pork to a cutting board, and try to let it rest 10 minutes before slicing.

Kitchen Confidante

Pumpkin Pie Almonds


A few weeks ago I bought some spiced almonds from Sprouts Grocery Store to have around when we had a lot of company in town.  These nuts were a hit!  I wanted to find a cheaper and healthier way for me to make these nuts.  Thanks to Pinterest, I did!


2 C Raw Almonds (I’ve also used Pecans)
3 t Cinnamon
3 t Pumpkin Pie Spice (Trader Joe’s makes a great one!)
4 T Honey
1 t Vanilla
Sea Salt to taste


Mix all ingredients together with the exception of the nuts in a mixing bowl.  Blend together.  Next throw the nuts in the mixture, toss to coat.  Dump out nuts on a lined cookie sheet.  Bake at 325 degrees for 20 minutes.  It will smell amazing as they cook.  Let cool a few minutes, then enjoy!

Knead to Cook


Cucumber Chile Powder Snack


Ever since I can remember, cucumbers have been my favorite vegetable.  I love them in big salads but I am just as content have a bowl full of cucumbers.  I stumbled across a new flavor to add to cucumbers from one of my favorite blogs, Wellness Mama.  I follow her on Pinterest and one of her pins suggested adding chile powder to cucumbers.  Sounds weird, but I had to try it.  Did you know chile powder has significant amounts of Vitamin A and Vitamin C?  I didn’t!  Try this healthy and out of the box cucumber snack. 

Chop up one baby cucumber and add lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper, and chile powder.  I bet you’re surprised at how yummy this is!

White House Salad


This salad was created by White House chef Sam Kass when he visited the set of “The Biggest Loser.”  It is known as the salad that no one can get enough of.  I tested out this salad on a picnic with friends this past weekend and it is a winner!  Simple ingredients paired with a super flavorful dressing.


1 head of fresh lettuce
1 cucumber
2 fresh in-season tomatoes
1/4 red onion
1 bunch fresh basil


1/3 C olive oil
4 T lemon juice
1 t honey
Salt and pepper to taste


For the salad: tear the lettuce into bite size pieces, peel the cucumber and cut into bite sized bits, cut tomatoes and cut them into bite sized pieces, slice onion as thin as possible, chop basil into large pieces.  Mix all together.

For the dressing: Place all ingredients in a container with a tight fitting lid.  Cover the container and shake vigorously.

Toss and serve immediately.

Watermelon Juice


A refreshing summer treat!


7 C ripe, seedless watermelon, removed from rind and cut into 2 inch cubes
1 C cold water
1 T lime juice
Ice cubes


Combine approximately 1/3 of the watermelon cubes and 1/3 of the water in a blender.  Blend until smooth.  Using a fine mesh sieve, strain into a pitcher.  Discard the solids from the sieve.  Repeat this step twice more with the remaining watermelon and water.  Add lime juice to watermelon liquid in the pitcher.  Serve on ice.