Tuesday, October 31, 2017

October 2017 Favorites

Oct 2017 Favorites

Continuing my tradition of sharing some favorites monthly, here are my October 2017 favorites! 

Just a reminder, some of these items contain affiliate links, but nothing in this post is directly sponsored by any company... I'm just sharing what I like! 

Oct 2017 Favorites: Beef and Broccoli (AIP)

Beef and Broccoli (AIP)
I’ve taken a couple trips this month, first going to Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN, then to Georgia and South Carolina. As I often do when I travel, I packed some “safe” food to take along. Beef and Broccoli is one of my go-to meals all of the time, but even more so when traveling. It’s easy to prepare in large quantities before a trip, it travels well, and it tastes good cold if I don’t have access to reheating. When traveling, I package the cooled Beef and Broccoli into quart-sized freezer Ziplocks and freeze them solid before travel. Then, when I’m ready to eat it, I thaw one in the fridge overnight and transfer it to a small Pyrex container. I like to top mine with garlic dill pickle sauerkraut and truffle salt.

Oct 2017 Favorites: XL 7-day pill organizer

XL 7-day pill organizer
Under the supervision of my Integrative MD, I’m on a more rigorous supplement regiment, tailored specifically to my needs as revealed in some recent testing. Some supplements I’m taking multiple times a day, but am taking different amounts at different times of the day, whereas before, I took things once in the morning and maybe again before bed. To keep myself from getting confused and to ensure that I would actually take the things my doctor is recommending, I invested in this new enormous pill organizer. And side note: I’ve never gotten so many DMs on Instagram as when I shared this pill organizer in my IG stories a few weeks ago! 

I still take the most things in the morning, so I end up using both the AM and the Noon spots for my morning pills. I’ve repurposed the evening spot for my afternoon ones and kept the bedtime slot for my nightly supplements. So far this organizer has been very useful and I feel I’ve been much more successful with actually taking what I intend to take while using this system.

The one bone I have to pick with the company manufacturing this pill organizer is their name “Stuff Seniors Need.” Yes, I do not fit in their target demographic, but I wish they’d have thought of more than just an older population when developing their marketing materials. (ok, I'll step off my soapbox now...)

Oct 2017 Favorites: Kuhn Rikon 4-inch nonstick paring knife

Kuhn Rikon 4-inch nonstick paring knife 
I’ve had two of these paring knifes since around 2009 and they’re still both going strong. Originally, I bought them to go in my culinary/pastry knife kit, but now I use them when traveling and occasionally in my day-to-day cooking adventures. They come in a wide variety of colors, but I happen to have a purple one and a light blue/periwinkle one. The knife sharpens easily, it fits really comfortably in my hand, and they’re very inexpensive (especially as knives go!) I also love that it comes with a matching cover, so I can throw it in my lunchbox to easily cut things (avocado, apples etc.) as needed.

Oct 2017 Favorites: Coconut + Argan Oil Cleansing Towelettes

Coconut + Argan Oil Cleansing Towelettes 
On a whim, I decided to try these as a good face cleansing option while traveling. I know myself well enough to know that I am much more lazy about my skincare when traveling! In the past, I’ve used a different company’s cleansing towelettes, but they started making my eyes burn… Yikes! Not good! I switched to these and have not felt that same burning.

The smell of these wipes took some getting use to—they smell a bit like Play-Doh—but they are effective and I no longer feel a burning like I did with the last brand I used. I’m sure they’re not perfect ingredient-wise, but they’ve been a great option while traveling or on the occasional night when I’m too tired to do a full face washing. I buy mine at Target, but they're also available on Amazon.

Oct 2017 Favorites: Penny Riding Boots
Photo by Rebekah Scadding

Sam Edelman Penny Riding Boots in Whiskey Leather (“Athletic Fit”)
I’ll be the first to admit, I’m not a fashion blogger. But I am a big fan of these boots and I’ve gotten some nice compliments on them too.

It’s taken me two years to find just the right tan tall riding boot because I’ve had a tough time finding ones with a wide calf shaft and with the right heel hight. Too short a heel and they feel weird when walking… Too tall and I can’t wear them long without my feet, back and legs hurting. These boots are wide enough in the shaft without being gap-y—I can wear them with jeans or leggings. They’re also very comfortable! I walked five miles in Boston in them over the weekend and didn’t get a single blister. My normal shoe size is a 9 1/2 (occasionally a 10) and these fit great as a 9 1/2.

I tried these boots on first in a department store, and while I really liked them and thought they fit well, the price didn’t work my limited budget. I checked on Amazon upon returning home, just in case, and they were less than half the price of the department store! To me, they're still a bit of an investment, but I know I’ll get lots of use out of them. Thanks to my friend Rebekah Scadding for taking the photo of me in these boots while we were in the Boston Public Garden this past weekend.

Oct 2017 Favorites: Teal Pumpkin Project

The Teal Pumpkin Project 
This year marks two years that we’ve participated in the Teal Pumpkin Project for Halloween. By putting a teal painted pumpkin outside our house (or you can buy one), we’re signaling to trick-or-treaters/parents-in-the-know that we’ll have allergy-friendly options. Since today is Halloween, it might be a little late for this year’s Teal Pumpkin Project, but maybe it will be something that can be utilized in future years. Since I grew up with food allergies, my heart really goes out to those kids who can't eat traditional treats.

Oct 2017 Favorites: Teal Pumpkin Project
painting my 2017 pumpkin while watching "Stranger Things 2"

We started a tradition last year of giving out glow stick bracelets instead of a food treat. I like that the glow stick bracelets are not only fun, but also help with visibility on a dark Halloween night.

So those are a few of my favorites from October. What are you loving lately?

Some of these items include affiliate links, meaning Sweet Treats makes a small commission off items purchased after a link is clicked with no additional cost to you. Thanks for your support.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

"Magical" Chicken & Vegetable soup + Freezer Cooking for the Paleo AIP e-book

Freezer Cooking for the Paleo AIP

I’ve been keeping another secret from y’all! I’m very excited to announce the release another great e-book project: Freezer Cooking for the Paleo AIP.

"Freezer Cooking for the Paleo AIP" e-book

Compiled by my friend Jaime Lubich Hartman from Gutsy By Nature, this e-book features over 120 recipes (100% elimination-stage AIP-compliant) developed by 30 contributors AND includes specific freezer adaptations (packaging, freezing, storing, and serving) for every recipe. All the recipe categories are covered from breakfast to appetizers/snacks to soups/stews to casseroles to main dishes to side dishes to desserts! We’ve also dedicated this project to our friend Martine Partridge (eathealthrive.ca) who passed away in May.

I myself contributed 6 recipes to Freezer Cooking for the Paleo AIP AND designed the cover. These are seriously some of the best recipes I’ve ever developed! These are my recipes below 

Crispy Belgian Waffles 
Crispy Belgian Waffles from "Freezer Cooking for the Paleo AIP" e-book
These waffles stay extra crispy due to a special ingredient. 

“Magical” Chicken & Vegetable Soup
"Magical Chicken & Vegetable Soup from "Freezer Cooking for the Paleo AIP" e-book
Cover recipe! Sneak peak of an Instant Pot® variation of the recipe below. 

Garlic Balsamic Beef
Garlic Balsamic Beef from from "Freezer Cooking for the Paleo AIP" e-book
This is a recipe I’ve teased quite a bit on Instagram and it might be one of my husband’s favorite dishes I’ve ever made. He calls it “meat candy.” This recipe includes both stovetop AND Instant Pot® instructions in the e-book

Roasted Broccoli
Roasted Broccoli from "Freezer Cooking for the Paleo AIP" e-book
An absolute staple recipe I make at least once a week. 

Berry Fruit Crisp
Berry Fruit Crisp from "Freezer Cooking for the Paleo AIP" e-book
An easy dessert that can be assembled in minutes. Bake in a large baking dish OR in individual mason jars. 

Slice-and-Bake Icebox Cookies
Slice-and-Bake Icebox Cookies from "Freezer Cooking for the Paleo AIP" e-book
Really 4 recipes in one, as there is a plain vanilla version, cranberry orange, raspberry swirl, and “chocolate” mint. 


To celebrate the launch of Freezer Cooking for the Paleo AIP, some of my favorite AIP businesses and resources have joined together to giveaway over $900 in prizes, which will be awarded to 14 randomly selected individuals.

Here are the prizes:
  • A $250 gift certificate to fill your freezer with gourmet frozen meals from Paleo On the Go
  • A Hot Logic Mini Deluxe with Pyrex and Car Adapter ($70 value) to heat your frozen meals anywhere
  • Curated bundles of AIP-compliant food products from ShopAIP: The Starter Kit ($63 value); Baker’s Dream ($61 value); Snack Attack ($68 value); and Savor the Flavor ($61 value)
  • A full free year subscription to Autoimmune Strong ($180 value)
  • One free month of Individualized Wellness Coaching by Alissa M. Frazier ($125 value)
  • Free membership to AIP Batch Cook ($67 value)
  • The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook by Mickey Trescott ($35 value)
  • The Phoenix Helix ebook collection by Eileen Laird ($45 value)
  • The Autoimmune Healing n=1 Workbook from Biohack U ($25 value)
  • Healing Eats by Kate Jay ($9 value)
  • AIP Safari by Bethany Darwin ($6 value)
*Due to shipping restrictions, the prizes from Paleo On the Go, Hot Logic, and ShopAIP are only open to winners with delivery addresses within the United States. Winner of The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook will receive a signed print copy if a United States delivery address is provided, otherwise will receive a PDF copy. All other prizes are open to winners anywhere in the world, unless giveaway is otherwise prohibited by local law. 

This giveaway will run through October 9, 2017, and no purchase is necessary to win! Enter via the Rafflecopter widget at the bottom of this page and mention that Laura from “Sweet Treats” sent you!

Instant Pot® “Magical” Chicken & Vegetable Soup

"Magical Chicken & Vegetable Soup from "Freezer Cooking for the Paleo AIP" e-book

Because we were pressed for space in this book, the Instant Pot® instructions for my “Magical” Chicken & Vegetable Soup had to be cut, so I’ve decided to share that version here instead. This soup has been a staple recipe for me, made at least twice a month for the past couple of years. Originally, I made the soup on the stove top in my beloved LeCreuset oval dutch oven (which was a wedding gift from my late grandparents) and you can find those stovetop instructions in the e-book, but once I got my Instant Pot® and adapted the recipe, I haven’t looked back…

At the risk of seeming corny and cliche, I call this soup “magical” because it’s not only delicious and nutrient-dense, but also heartwarming and good for the soul. I love to eat it for breakfast or lunch and it’s my go-to recipe to make for friends or family when they’re sick or recovering from surgery.

If you don't yet have an Instant Pot® (what are you waiting for?!?), make sure to check out the the e-book for stovetop instructions.

“Magical” Chicken & Vegetable Soup 
 by Laura Vein of Sweet Treats
yields 8 servings

This one-pot, self-brothing soup is one of my secret weapons—I’ve made a batch at least twice a month for the past two years. Don’t stress about the exact ingredient amounts… I rarely measure when making a batch! It’s great for any meal (especially breakfast) or when sick. Keep it interesting by switching up the garnishes when serving. 

1 1/2 to 2 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
6 to 8 cups filtered water
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 bay leaves
3 cups (approximately 250 grams) sliced leeks
2 cups (approximately 350 grams) chopped carrots
2 cups (approximately 230 grams) chopped celery
2 heaping cups (approximately 375 grams) diced white sweet potato
4 heaping cups (approximately 110 grams) chopped greens (such as kale or chard)
1 tablespoon kosher sea salt
Chopped herbs, optional for serving
Lemon, optional for serving
Finish salt, like smoked salt or truffle salt, optional for serving

Instant Pot® Instructions
  1. Add the chicken thighs, filtered water, apple cider vinegar, and bay leaf to the stainless steel insert of the Instant Pot®. Close and lock the lid, ensuring the vent is closed. Press the MANUAL button and decrease the time to 25 minutes. Once time is up, allow the pressure to release naturally. While the chicken is cooking/pressure is releasing, prepare the veggies. 
  2. Add the sliced leek, chopped carrots, chopped celery, diced white sweet potato, greens, and sea salt to the Instant Pot®  Close and lock the lid, ensuring the vent is closed. Press the MANUAL button and decrease the time to 25 minutes. Once time is up, allow the pressure to release naturally.
  3. Transfer the chicken thighs carefully to a cutting board—caution, they will be very hot and may have a tendency to fall apart! Shred the chicken and the skin with two forks. Save the bones for future batches of bone broth. Add the shredded chicken back into the soup and stir to combine. Discard the bay leaf.
Freezing Instructions  
  • Let the soup cool completely. Ladle the cooled soup into freezer-safe wide-mouth mason jars (1 quart jar is approximately 1 serving)—leave about an inch of headspace in the jars. Screw on lids and refrigerate overnight before transferring to the freezer. Alternately, especially for travel, use quart sized freezer Ziplock bags. Freeze flat. Store frozen quart bags in gallon bags, if traveling. 
Serving Instructions 
  • If desired, thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then gently heat on the stovetop or in the microwave. 
  • Alternately, thaw and reheat at the sometime in the microwave or stovetop.
  • Serve with chopped herbs, lemon, and/or a finish salt, if desired.
"Magical Chicken & Vegetable Soup from "Freezer Cooking for the Paleo AIP" e-book

This post includes affiliate links, meaning Sweet Treats makes a small commission off items purchased 
after a link is clicked with no additional cost to you. Thanks for your support.