Celebratory Sentiments

The day our oldest was born, the not-yet-to-be-knighted Nomad was all business. I was to be at the hospital early that Tuesday morning, checked in and donning hospital gown by 7 am. It was, due to still murky “complications”, a scheduled induction. Or as the Nomad describes, “the morning we ordered up a pizza.” We were casually pitched phrases like, “small for gestational age,” “possible growth restriction,” and “questionable amniotic fluid levels.”



As if the uncertainty of first-time parental status wasn’t enough in and of itself, we were ensured our deserved dose of anxiety with these last-minute, a la carte variables. And, prior to these discoveries, the nerd in me was determined this baby would be born sans drugs and sans complications – in a dewy meadow, near a babbling brook, as blue birds quietly chirp the news of a new life. (Allow me to insert the collective snort of all the veteran mommas out there.)


Irreverently stated, I was tweaking. The very idea that this baby was supposedly going to make its arrival as casually as a four-cheese pizza – after the long, nausea-filled, sciatica-prone months of baking away – resulted in an internal freakout session. No meadow? No birds? No news of this child’s birth heralded by the mythical Sirens floating their exultations over a crystal sea? Holy crap. This wasn’t at all my plan.


But, thankfully, my husband calmly took the helm, and after some effort, successfully redirected my mental state. With his sympathetic counseling (i.e. “Seriously, hon, get it together.”), and his forward-thinking plan to ensure Dave Matthews was playing in the delivery room without end, our deluxe pie was indeed delivered, quite uneventfully to boot. A sturdy 6 pounds, 2 ounces, and with no confirmed complications.The pizza arrived on time, as ordered. These years that have followed have been anything but a leisurely lunch on the pizzeria patio. Much like my detailed and unwavering birth plan, my perceptions of what parenting was going to hold for the Nomad and I were squashed more quickly than that child could fill a clean diaper. Navigating these rapids they call parenting has required a sturdy life vest and far more stamina than I had anticipated.


And, I’m going to say what I’m not supposed to say, particularly on the anniversary of your first-born’s birth: some days have been regretfully hard as hell, and I’ve selfishly wanted to resign my office of mom, longing for the days of freedom and spontaneity. And, just because we’ve made it another year doesn’t necessarily quell those blanketed feelings of resentment and anxiety. Every decision I make as a mother is painfully self-scrutinized. What in these past six (now, twelve… TWELVE!?) years could I have done differently? What could I have done better? Where was my sympathy and consolation during those times that I instead employed anger and impatience?


It’s days like these – the day we remember the moment we first saw her purple, wrinkled, lizard-skinned perfection – that brings into focus the reality that, yes, celebrate we must. For there is much to celebrate. But there is also much more to learn.


I have much to improve upon. Many ways to better my parenting skills and processes. Many ways to better demonstrate to her that even though I am far from motherly perfection, I am honored to have been given the opportunity to improve myself through her. And for that, I’ll never be able to pay her back.



Six years (… make that twelve, and heavy sigh…) of fun and failures. And through it all, she continues to smile, and I am blessed to walk into her room yet another morning and say, “Happy Birthday, bug.”





Moving on up.

January 1 of this year, Cavecloth celebrated 4 years in the trenches of small business. And March 1 of this same year, we are beside ourselves in anticipation to celebrate yet another big moment in our small mom-and-pop journey…


We’re moving!


Where, you ask? Well. Listen up cloth junkies, we’re gunna be everywhere YOU are! Your living room, your office, your bathroom, your car… (…okay, so maybe don’t search for us while you’re driving…)



Simply, Cavecloth has outgrown our little shop at Township and Gregg in Fayetteville. And thanks to your support, we need bigger digs and a better way to serve you. So, we’re going into a larger, better equipped facility that will allow us to do all the great things we’ve been dreaming of these past four years. Which means amazing things for you! Especially those of you who may not live close to our little shop.

Starting March 1, all the cloth you’ve wanted will still be available, but it will be easier than ever to get into your hands through our improved e-commerce site, www.cavecloth.com.





  • Free site-wide shipping!
  • Continue to custom-build your perfect tee!
  • More options to shop through our fantastic local retailers!


It’s big, y’all. It’s a big fat space with big fat opportunity. And you get to reap all the reward. We won’t be the traditional brick and mortar retail you may have come to love. (And let’s be honest, we’re gunna miss our little shop that’s provided us the wonderful opportunity to regularly see your faces.) But, this just means more time and attention on our part in getting more custom cloth in your hands.

We’re still local. We’re still small. We’re still a two-man mom and pop dedicated to hand-printing the softest tees in Arkansas. We just need a few more square feet to keep the cave fires burning.

Township and Gregg has been a loving home for our cave. If you’re available in the next few weeks, come see us and help us bid her a fond farewell. And then, we’ll happy dance together and we’ll tell you all about this new venture that awaits!

Meet Michael – Cavecloth Cares Edition 2

This is a photo of Dr. Michael Flowers. He is wearing a blue shirt, glasses, and has a beard.

Dr. Flowers, Director of Clinical Services at Youth Bridge, lives in Fayetteville with his wife, Lara, two children, one affectionate pup and a rather major passion for helping children and families. 

So. Go ahead. Snicker.

No really. I’ll wait. I deserve it.

After all, I opened up the floor for open auditions for snickering, finger-pointing, judgemental eye-rolling and any other numerous public shaming tactics, by talking a big blogging game months (… sigh… that’s so tough to type… “months”… insert large-eyed emoji here…) ago, and then initiating radio silence.

Follow-through…hmm. Just as a general question, how long does one have to be adulting before this seemingly illusive skill is learned? I mean, will it just manifest itself at some point? Like when I was 19 and suddenly preferred strong coffee over orange juice in the morning? Because I’ve kinda been an “adult” for a while now. And, there’s little of that learned behavior happening. Clearly, I need more in-depth tutoring in this field. But then… when one DOES follow through, one runs the annoying risk of having to ALSO be accountable, as people, for whatever reason, now EXPECT said person with aforementioned follow-through to CONTINUE to, you know… follow through. Dumb.

So. Many. Questions. While I’ll attempt to sort it all out, I’ll spare you my own personal agony, and instead, throw some more Cavecloth Cares love in your lap! (Yes! Cleverly change the subject and bait the reader with a far more interesting subject than my own bizarre inadequacies. I’m sure this tactic is like number 3 on the Top 10 “How to Blog” checklist.)

And here’s a quick reminder of what this Cavecloth Cares segment is all about: We go around Fayetteville, finding the faces of neighbors who are working tirelessly and often thanklessly to improve the lives of others and the community in which we live. We’ll snap a quick pic, ask them a few questions, and offer you a little look into what they’re doing to help make Fayetteville a fantastic place to live. We’ll post it all up on our blog (ta-da!!) in the hopes to drive awareness of just how powerful the efforts of a single NWA neighbor can be. Not to mention, we think they just plain-ol’ deserve some awesome praise.

So, here it is folks. The SECOND (boom… it’s like a thing now…) edition of Cavecloth Cares: “Featuring the best threads that make up the cloth of NWA.”


Cavecloth Cares Vol. 1 Ed. 2
November 2016


Name: Michael Flowers, Ph.D, LPC
Title: Director of Clinical Services, Youth Bridge, 2012 to present

In a nutshell, what do you do, Michael?
“Youth Bridge is a nonprofit, community-based behavioral health provider specializing in counseling and substance abuse services for children and adolescents while partnering with regional schools, foster care, and juvenile courts in our service areas. I oversee all mental health/clinical programs for Youth Bridge from Fayetteville to Mountain Home. We have programs in outpatient, school-based (with summer and after-school programs), and residential treatment facilities.”

Wow. That’s a major undertaking. And what an incredible opportunity to impact so many lives in NWA and beyond. Aside from what you do, what do you love about what you do?
“I love that Youth Bridge is a great resource for our community, schools, and other key stakeholders. Our job is to listen to the community’s needs for treatment of substance abuse and mental health issues whether that is in schools, homes, or residential programs. I am extremely grateful for all of our Youth Bridge teammates, and I am honored to work with a high quality group of people who share the passion to help others. Also, I love that we can partner to serve our most important population, children and families in need. I am energized and feel most successful when a school reaches out to Youth Bridge for help regarding a school or child crisis, and we can respond to keep children safe. I enjoy providing training for our community partners to help them navigate the resources needed to help children. I am hopeful we can all work together with the same goal in mind, to improve the quality of our children’s lives by offering the best care and services we can. As a parent, and long time mental health professional, I am acutely aware of the needs children and families face. I am driven to provide consistency, quality, and professional services for our clients.” 

What gets you out of bed in the morning?
“I am blessed with a wonderful and supportive wife who encourages and allows me to give a great amount of energy to the mission of Youth Bridge – to serve at-risk youth and their families. I want to honor her by making a positive impact on as many people as possible.”

What about your work helps you sleep at night?
“I am enthusiastically driven and resourceful, characteristic which can be exhausting, because, unfortunately, our work is never done.”

What is one thing about Fayetteville that inspires you to give back?
“I am invested in the community from Fayetteville’s at-risk families to our great schools. I have a personal investment because my children attend Fayetteville schools, and I am acutely aware of the immense challenges involved in providing treatment for mental illness, substance abuse and addictions in our community.”

What is one thing you’d like people to know about Youth Bridge that they may not already understand?
“We have provided services in nine counties throughout northern Arkansas for over 50 years.”


Youth Bridge is the only clinically and behaviorally focused organization in Northwest Arkansas that deals exclusively with youth and their families. Youth Bridge offers counseling and other support services with children and families in both residential and outpatient environments; offers multi-disciplinary professional teams for better results, and maintains a collaborative approach with other agencies. Youth Bridge does not turn away those who need help because of a payment issue. Youth Bridge encourages the community to join forces and participate through the many opportunities with advocacy, volunteerism and fundraising.

Thanks for all you do, Michael! Cavecloth cares about you!

Slow and Spicy Wins the Race

I’ve become quite the fan of Paleo Pot. If you’ve not perused this gem of a paleo culinary resource, I highly suggest you check it out. Yesterday, I found some chicken that I’d been neglecting in the freezer. Poor chicken. And my gym bestie (Kayla, I devote this post to you) inspired me to finally do something fab with the fowl.

I knew my afternoon was booked. We had big plans which revolved around a controlled burn of the Christmas tree. It went up like a cannon and proved to be more fun, and resulted in more little girl squeals, than we’ve had in a long time. Story for another day.

 

ANYWAY, I figured I’d let the crockpot do the work, and cross my fingers that I had enough random accoutrements to do that lonely chicken its overdue justice. I started here with this great entry from Paleo Pot. But deviated… as I usually do… in all things… not just cooking. Again, story for another day.

 

I call my version Chipotle Coconut Chicken and Crispy Kale. You can call it whatever you like. Just eat it. With the exception of the 40-foot tree flame extravaganza, my kids said this was the best part of their day. And sitting around the supper table on a Monday evening, there’s little more a mom could ask for.

 

Chipotle Coconut Chicken and Crispy Kale – Paleo Style

 

What you’ll need:

Crockpot

1 onion, rough chopped

6-8 cloves garlic, smashed

2-3 lbs uncooked chicken breast, or dark meat, or whatever you have, cubed

1-2 cans coconut milk (the good stuff, not the wimpy “dairy” replacement)

3-5 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped

1 mango, peeled and cubed

1 bunch fresh kale, cleaned, dried and rough chopped

Olive oil

Salt, Pepper, Creole Seasoning, or whatever you have on hand. 

 

What you’ll do:

 

Line the bottom of the crockpot with the chopped onions and smashed garlic cloves. Throw the cut-up chicken on top, and sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper. Pour in coconut milk. (Depending on preference, feel free to use two cans. It only adds flavor, creaminess, amazing fats, deliciousness and super powers. Your call. I used two cans.) Add the chipotle peppers, pop on the lid, turn the crockpot to “low” and go set something on fire, or participate in something equally primal… like tracking down tomorrow’s breakfast… or taking a nap. Then, come back to check on the chicken in 5-6 hours. 

 

In the last 30 minutes of cooking, toss in the mango, and give the whole mess a quick stir. I’ve found that including the mango from the beginning renders this delicious fruit mushtastic and somewhat flavorless. Throwing it in near the end works best.

Image courtesy of Paleo Pot.

Image courtesy of Paleo Pot.

While your kids are setting the table, toss your kale in a shallow layer in a baking dish, sprinkle with olive oil and creole seasoning and place in a preheated 400-degree oven. Keep an eye on them, but in 8-10 minutes you will end up with some deliciously crispy kale chips. (I suppose this post actually requires a dual-dedication. My paleo bestie, Becky, introduced me to this prep method for kale. As a result, I’ve become somewhat of an addict for the crunchy critters. As have my kids… which, let’s be honest… is the real victory.)

 

Plate up the chicken, top with a healthy handful of crispity, crunchity super greens, gather your family and dig in. Creamy, slightly sweet, smoky and a bit spicy. And with the help of the crockpot, you hardly had to shake a tail feather. Clucky for you.

A New Perspective

It’s a new year. I think it’s still early enough on the calendar pages to claim that? At least, I hope so. Because, here at the cave, we need as much time as we can get to keep this gig going. This whole mom and pop shop sitch is a little bit of a roller coaster ride. And if we were to be completely transparent, we’d have to quickly admit we don’t exactly have any of this figured out. But, we’d also have to say, it sure is fun trying to get it straight.


And we present our next step of Cavecloth discovery. We are beyond excited to begin to tell the Cavecloth story better than ever – through amazing photography that captures the heart and soul of Fayetteville’s softest hand-printed threads. cave_look









Props to our talented, patient, and oh-so-kind-to-listen-to-our-ever-changing-and-rambling-vision photographer, Frederick Cochran. He’s got the goods. And we’ve got the great views. 


cave_look_3


There’s an exciting year ahead at the Cave. You won’t want to miss the journey. So stick with us on the insta and Facebook. We’ll keep it happy and snappy.

cave_look_5


Rock on, 2016. 

Take back lunch! It misses you.

When people ask me about paleo, one of the most popular questions I get is, “What do you do about lunch??” Which, honestly, often perplexes me, as I’m somewhat confused as to why lunch presents itself as such an enigma. It is, after all, just another meal time. Head to the trough for the feeding frenzy just as you would for breakfast and supper. I suppose that in this culture we’ve created for ourselves, one to which we are hell-bent on making our humanity accustomed, we have to force food into our insane schedules. We treat it as an unfortunate time-suck instead of a welcomed break – a time to “Stop the Insanity!!” as the always eloquent Susan Powter would say.

We’re cramming so much into our days that lunch has sadly become a much-resented 30-minute trip to the food court for three-hour-old fried lo mein and high-fructose gut bomb beverages. I realize changing the mentality of our culture is a stretch. I’m not above trying, but I’m grounded enough (I think) to grasp the reality that whatever drivel ends up in this teensy-tiny blog in a dark, distant, as of yet undiscovered corner of the galactic world wide web isn’t likely to be read, much less serve as a catalyst to change cultural norms. Perhaps someday…

So, if I can’t change the mentality of what the lunch hour has become, perhaps I can at least offer quick, satisfying alternatives to partially-hydrogenated poo on a plate. Lunch doesn’t have to be a chore. It can be simple and delicious and still see you back at your cubical utopia with time to spare. Take back, lunch. It misses you.

image_ad53af40-0986-426f-9f27-c9b50f653afe_largeTry this one next time you’re short on time. Paleo fish tacos with simple salsa and avocado. The salsa is more of a pico de gallo, so you call whatever you like. The takeaway here is that it’s easier than shooting fish in a barrel… I’d imagine.

 

Paleo Fish Tacos

 

What you’ll need:

For the fish:

1 to 2 6-ounce fish filets (I used tilapia for this particular recipe, but you could use any flaky white fish. Living in the south, catfish is plentiful. I’d imagine it’d work just fine as well.)

2 tbsp organic grass-fed butter or ghee

Garlic powder

Fresh-squeezed lemon juice

Salt and pepper to taste

 

For the Salsa:

1/4 red onion, chopped

1/2 to 1 cup grape tomatoes, sliced in half

1/2 to 1 whole jalapeno pepper, seeded, deveined and minced

1 lime, zested and squeezed

2-3 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped

1 tbsp fresh garlic, minced

Salt and pepper to taste

Butter bibb lettuce

1/2 avocado, cubed

What you’ll do:

image_3150c606-b437-43ab-900f-4ad46481c2aa_largeMelt the butter in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Season fish filets with lemon juice, salt, pepper and garlic. Place seasoned-side down in the hot butter. While the fish cooks on the one side, sprinkle more lemon juice and seasonings on the top of the fish. Let the fish cook untouched for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the sides of the filets appear solid white. Flip the filets and continue to cook
until fish is firm and flaky. I like a little crisp on my fish, so I tend to cook at a high heat until it gets a little brown.

While waiting on your fish, put together the salsa in a medium mixing bowl. Rough chop the onion and tomatoes. Add in the jalapeno, cilantro and garlic. Season with salt, pepper, lime zest and juice, and mix well to combine.

Once the fish is done, flake with a fork, place generous helpings into two or three butter bibb lettuce leaves, top with salsa and chunks of avocado. Sprinkle with more lime juice as desired.image1_large

Island Stew with Pineapple, Too

In my life, I can think of no greater love affair in which I have engaged more willingly than with ham. Those that know me may offer stout rebuttal, and claim my affinity for bacon to be the clear winner in my food affairs. But, I think when the pork hits the plate, deep in the recesses of my gastroemotional being, I give my hand to ham.

So, naturally, I baked a ham for Christmas. At the time of this posting, that was over 15 days ago. And in that time, ham and I have grown quite distant. It was constantly hanging around, nagging me from the fridge, with all its talk of “What? Chicken? Tonight? Am I not good enough for you now? Tired of the old leftovers, are you? Looking for some younger, fresher meat to chew on?” After all, there’s only so much ham and eggs the kids could stand. But, I was determined to move on… to close the chapter on this swine drama. What better way to use up some leftover protein, and show it some love, than to put it in a savory stew and let it simmer to hog heaven?

And in so doing, I created my Paleo Island Stew with Sundried Tomatoes and Roasted Pineapple. With flavors reminiscent of the islands, this is a delicious, hearty bowl of ham and veggies in a robust tomato base, topped with roasted pineapple chunks and avocado.

A great start to any soup.

A great start to any soup.


What you’ll need:

4-5 strips bacon, rough chopped

2-3 carrots, diced

2 shallots, minced

3-4 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup sundried tomatoes, rough chopped

2 tbsp dried Italian or pizza seasoning (or oregano and basil)

1/2 cup dry white wine (optional)

2-3 cups chicken stock

about 2 cups leftover ham, chopped

28 ounce can crushed tomatoes

Fresh pineapple chunks

1 tbsp olive oil

Avocado

Salt and pepper to taste (Careful here. Pork is naturally salty. The bacon and ham should offer you more than enough salt for seasoning.)  

What you’ll do:

Render off chopped bacon in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add carrots, shallots, garlic and sundried tomatoes. Stir to coat in bacon fat. Add Italian seasoning, stirring veggies until just tender. Add white wine (if you have it, if not, it’s no skin off a pig’s back) and simmer, cooking off alcohol. Add your ham and two cups of the chicken stock. Stir in crushed tomatoes and bring it all to a bubble.

Cover and simmer on low. Meanwhile, heat up your oven’s broiler. Coat the pineapple chunks in olive oil and place on baking sheet. Broil until toasted and caramelization appears.

Roasted pineapple nom noms.

Roasted pineapple nom noms.



Serve stew over hot pineapple with avocado on top.
Top with fresh chopped cilantro or parsley, if you’ve got it.

Island Stew with Sundried Tomatoes and Roasted Pineapple. A delicious, hearty bowl of ham and veggies in a robust tomato base, topped with roasted pineapple chunks and avocado.

 










This really worked out nicely for everyone. The kids ate three bowls a piece, the ham got some love, and, mercifully, I got shed of my leftovers.

 

As for me and ham… we’re on a break.

Primarily Primal Whiskey Sour

I realize that whiskey is indeed far from paleo. Truth be told, all alcohol is. Sure, there are worse things… namely, beer. But, there are better things as well… namely, tequila. But, when the cave’s a’rockin’, the brown water comes a’knockin’. I happen to enjoy a quality sour mash in small quantities on rare occasions. And to shoot you straight, the past few weeks have handed us our fair share of obstacles. And considering we’ve so far hobbled over every hurdle in the race, I’m looking for my cookie at the finish line.

I present said cookie. 

whiskeysour_grande.JPG

What you’ll need:

2 ounces quality whiskey

1/2 fresh-squeezed lime

1/2 fresh-squeezed lemon

Drizzle of agave nectar (optional)

Club soda

Ice

 

What you’ll do:

In a shaker with ice, add whiskey, lime and lemon juice, and agave nectar. Shake well. Strain over ice in a highball glass. Top with club soda. Garnish with lemon zest and a cherry.

 

 

Paleo Banana Walnut Chocolate Chunk Muffins

AKA: Post-Push Press Proteinapolooza
So after peeling ourselves off the floor and shuffling home, it was clear I needed some post-workout fuel that was a grade higher than your average protein shake.

image_6424684a-8297-4f7e-9570-8dd25ff2e076_largeWe just got back from our Monday morning torture session… err… workout. I could go through the details of the horror, but instead, I’ll simply show you the post-workout carnage.


Our trainer seems to find delight in rendering us useless on the mat with little will, or desire for that matter, to continue living. But, as it’s a holiday today, and the ankle biters are home from school, I didn’t have the luxury of martyrdom. Seems they expect to be cared for. So after peeling ourselves off the floor and shuffling home, it was clear I needed some post-workout fuel that was a grade higher than your average protein shake. I found the original prep for these beauties here. But, made a few tweaks, and they turned out to be just the elixir we needed to continue the fight. Onward and upward. We’ve got forts to build, dogs to bathe and what looks to be a delicious crockpot chicken dinner to prep. (More on that later.)

 

So here we go. Holy banana chocolate chunk, Caveman.

 

Banana Walnut Chocolate Chunk Muffinsimage_526b0a22-5a57-41bc-8b8c-83f8e3f34274_large

What you’ll need:


• 3 ripe mashed bananas (I keep bananas frozen in the freezer. When they get brown and ick-tastic on the counter top, I’ll peal them and put them in a freezer-safe bag. When I need a super-ripe banana, I’ll just pull them out and let them thaw on the counter top for a bit.)

1/2 cup coconut oil, melted

5 eggs

1/4 cup honey (I used about half this amount. Up to you.)

1/2 cup coconut flour

3/4 cup almond flour

1 tsp. sea salt

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 cup chopped raw walnuts

1/4 cup flax seed

(optional) 1/4 to 1/2 cup dark chocolate (I like to use at least 70% cacao)

 

What you’ll do:

 

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place liners in muffin tin. I like the reusable silicone liners.

2. Combine mashed bananas, coconut oil, eggs and honey in a large bowl or mixer.

3. Add coconut flour, almond flour, salt and baking soda to the bowl and mix until well incorporated.

4. Fold in nuts, flax and chocolate, if using.

5. Fill muffin cups 3/4 full.

6. Bake muffins at 350 degrees for 25-35 minutes until muffins are slightly brown.

Citrus Mustard Salmon and Sprouts

My local market had a great deal on wild salmon yesterday. Consequently, we had a great supper on the table last night.


salmon_done_largeYesterday was the last day of Christmas break. And, as much as I enjoy a quiet, productive house, dropping the girls off at school this morning was about as satisfying as mistakingly grabbing yesterday’s cold cup of coffee off the kitchen counter and taking a hearty guzzle. Bleh.

It has been a good few weeks together. I consider myself blessed that the domestic disputes were small and, for the most part, insignificant. We traveled a bit to see family. We enjoyed a few flakes of snow. We imbibed… a few times. And, not wanting it to end without its just finale, we enjoyed a swimmingly delish last supper together. (Yes, I said swimmingly. This terrible writing isn’t going to stop, people. Those that know me have learned to ignore my nauseating affinity for punny. To the rest of you, I’ll simply say, you’ll get there.)




Mustard and Citrus Salmon with Paleo Herb Crust

What you’ll need:

four 6 to 8-ounce fresh salmon filets

dijon mustard

fresh-squeezed lemon juice

fresh-squeezed lime juice

sea salt

black pepper

2-3 tablespoons almond flour

1 tsp fresh or dried dill

1 tsp garlic powder

dried basil, oregano, or thyme (optional, to your liking)

1 tbsp melted paleo cooking fat (coconut oil, bacon fat, butter)

What you’ll do:

Place fish in baking dish, and drizzle with lemon and lime juice. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. (Note: If you enjoy the skin, which I do… like a hungry stray cat enjoys free tunafish… put a tablespoon of cooking fat in the bottom of your baking dish before placing the filets. This will allow you to abscond with the fish with the skin intact after cooking. Salmon skin is high in those good Omega-3s, and is just darn tasty. But, as always, there are skeptics and haters. I won’t hash out the “risks” here. That’s why there’s Google.) Place a dollop of a quality dijon mustard on each filet, and spread evenly. Let this marinate on the counter top while you prepare the herb crust.
salmon_raw_medium

In a small bowl, combine almond flour, dill, garlic powder and any other herb you like. It’s all flavor, and it’s all good. Go with what you like. There’s no science here. It’s pretty much fail-proof. Sprinkle the herbed almond flour over the top of the filets. Place in a 350-degree oven for twenty-five to thirty minutes. In the last five to ten minutes of baking, remove the filets and drizzle melted coconut oil, bacon fat or organic grass-fed butter over the top. Put back in the oven. This will allow the crumb topping to get golden and, quite frankly, irresistible.

 

Bacon-Roasted Brussels Sprouts

What you’ll need:
1 lb fresh Brussels sprouts

4-6 strips of bacon

garlic powder, dill or thyme (to your liking)

brussles_medium

What you’ll do:

Steam the sprouts, no more than 4 minutes. (Let’s face it, the BS get a bum rap. And I’m convinced it’s because our mothers never knew anything other than to cook them to mushy smithereens… or thanks to schmucks like this guy. Poor little buggars. DON’T NEGLECT THEM. They need just a few minutes in the steam bath. You’ll thank me.) Remove from heat, and let cool enough to handle. Meanwhile, rough chop the bacon, place in a 9×13 baking dish, and put in the oven, which should already be set to 350 for your fish. While the bacon renders in the oven, conveniently absent from any involvement from you, (told ya… this is easy… nothing fishy about it…) cut the stems off the sprouts and quarter. Once the bacon is swimming in its own fat, pull it from the oven, add the quartered sprouts, sprinkle with salt, pepper and dill (my favorite, but again, you can season to your little sprout’s desire), toss all in the bacon fat to coat, and back into the oven it goes.

I happened to have an eggplant that needed some love, so I cubed that up and tossed it in as well. Roast away while the fish is cooking, tossing every once in a while so everybody gets to play in the grease. I like to cook mine until I see a little caramelization, about 30 minutes, but again, totally up to you. If you’re using knives and an oven, I’m going on the assumption you have the wherewithal to adapt this to your liking. You can do this. I just know it.