There wasn’t a holiday that went by that Carol didn’t serve her homestead cranberry sauce. Growing up on the homestead by the river, we were surrounded by lingonberries – a low bush berry native to the boreal forest. There were so many lingonberries around us in the woods our street was eventually aptly named Lingonberry Lane.
Carol was an avid cook and always served a wonderful holiday meal. Our Thanksgiving meal tradition was very similar to our Christmas meal and each time we loved it. Standard fare was turkey with stuffing cooked in the turkey for added juices, mashed potatoes and gravy made from the juice of the turkey. Candied yams baked were a hit with a molasses and butter syrup. I do remember a jello molded dish here and there in the 70’s. We had homemade rolls, too. The dinner was a process and a work of art, I learned in later years, after preparing my own holiday meals. I distinctly remember my Mom leaving the lingonberry sauce prep until the end many years and in a rush the lingonberries would be on the stove in a pan too small and a temperature too high and every time they would boil over ~ what a mess that was with an electric stove. Stress was high, but somehow it always worked out. Extra adult and kid hands helped at the last minute stirring the gravy, Dad carved the turkey and the table had long been set. The potatoes were mashed at the last minute and magic – the holiday dinner began. I have so many memories of Thanksgiving and Christmas food comas….I ate so so much and felt just awful for a while. But, somehow I’d manage to sneak in a piece of pumpkin pie with freshly whipped cream hours later. The pumpkin pie was always homemade – perhaps by a guest if Carol was lucky.
The most fun was the chatter and laughter and games at the table after our bellies were full as we waited for the 2nd round. I’ve heard rumors that our dear Alaskan friends whom we share Thanksgiving secured a bag of the precious lingonberries from my cousin for our holiday dinner. I can’t wait to share the lingonberries and chatter with our dear Alaskan friends…the same friends we shared many holidays with in Carol’s kitchen on the homestead. Thanks for the memories, Carol and family. We are making more.
Carol’s Cranberry Sauce
- 4 cups cranberries
- 4 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup chopped nuts
- 1/2 cup orange peel and juice
Start with 1/2 cup H2O and cook til done.
(A few more directions: Bring all ingredients to a boil, turn down heat and simmer for 10 minutes stirring occasionally. Cool and serve. Nuts may be omitted.)
With the pumpkin holiday right around the corner it was time for a little gluten free custard in the house. I adapted this recipe from the Trader Joe’s recipe on their 15 ounce can of pumpkin. The custard is a wonderful taste of fall, without the gluten. Serve chilled with fresh whipped cream and a little cinnamon on it. You can also bake the custard in individual ramekin dishes for a shorter time period for a lovely looking dessert topped with whipped cream.
- 1 – 15 ounce can pumpkin
- 1/2 pint or 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 large eggs
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon cloves
Preheat oven to 350. Mix all ingredients in large bowl with blender until smooth and creamy. Butter pie plate and add filling. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until custard is set. Center can still ‘jiggle’ slightly. Custard will set more while cooling. Cool completely. Serve with freshly whipped cream and a dash of cinnamon.
For a pretty individual dessert pour filling into individual ramekins and bake for a shorter time period.
Adapted loosely from Trader Joe’s pumpkin pie recipe.
From experience, I would say that it’s difficult to find a good solid recipe for gluten free/paleo baked goods. Most I’ve tried have turned out mushy and not good. I recently tried a recipe I adapted from Paleogrubs.com and their Paleo Banana Nut Muffins were good. The second time I made them I was inspired to add zucchini and I think that solidified my very first tasty gluten free muffin success. I did use butter in this recipe. You can substitute the butter for coconut oil for a true paleo version. These are a great lunch box snack for school or a breakfast treat.
Zucchini Banana Nut Muffins
- 4 bananas, mashed
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 cup creamy almond butter
- 2 tablespoons melted butter (or coconut oil for paleo version)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup coconut flour
- 1 cup shredded zucchini
- 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts
- 2-3 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Preheat the oven to 350. Line a muffin pan with twelve paper liners. In large bowl, mix the mashed bananas, eggs, almond butter, butter and vanilla until well blended. Add the zucchini, finely chopped nuts, coconut flour and the rest of the dry ingredients. Blend well. Using a 1/3 cup measuring cup, fill the muffin liners about 2/3 full. You may have a bit of leftover batter and bake in another over safe dish. Bake for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Eat warm with more butter and enjoy. Store the cooled muffins in the refrigerator in a sealed container.
Adapted from PaleoGrubs
Our family took a Northwest vacation. I really love a local vacation. There’s something magical about packing the car and driving north 4 hours and hopping a Washington State Ferry from Anacortes to Friday Harbor on San Juan Island. The trip up was relaxing. We stayed at my husband’s cousin’s home on our way up so we could get to the ferry early. You do have to arrive an hour and a half early to actually get a car on the ferry but it’s painless, you just need time. And the waiting helps you get into the ‘island time’ mode.
We arrived at Friday Harbor by 2pm and found a great lunch spot at The Market Chef. They had a grand selection of homemade salads, soup, sandwiches using local ingredients.
After lunch we toured the island and went up to adorable Roche Harbor. I could just hang out on the docks and eat lunch and kayak or paddle board here for a week. The first day at Roche we toured the harbor and got a first hand look at what life in a 2 million dollar boat looks like. Then we got back to reality and drove back south.
Our second day on the island we decided to go on a hike in the beautiful American Camp National Park. The hike started off wooded and ended on the gorgeous grassland filled vista overlooking the Olympic Peninsula across the bay. I highly recommend this 1.5-2 hour hike.
The next afternoon we decided to kayak and paddle board back in Roche Harbor. There are kayak tours available to whale watch but we chose to kayak in the harbor. After that 2 of us took paddle boards out in the harbor. On this picture perfect day I spent the second hour relaxing and taking in the scenery in the Roche Harbor Resort’s garden.
The view from a mini city park above Friday Harbor let us take in the views while eating our dinner that night from Vic’s Drive In. I could watch the ferries go in and out of the harbor for hours.
Our last day we spent on the water whale watching. We were aboard the Odyssey with San Juan Excursions. It was a 3+ hour tour that offered a look at San Juan Island from the water and wonderful sighting of orca whale pods. We followed the pods for at least 2 hours. The orcas were amazing and the crew very knowledgable.
And the last night on the island we decided to return to our favorite Roche Harbor and dine at McMillan’s at the resort. We got a lovely table by the window with a view and we each had a few courses. I had a delicious crab bisque and house salad with their halibut small plate. My husband had duck and daughter a sirloin small plate. The meal was topped off by a berry cobbler and coffee ice cream sundae. Perfect! We were surprised by a flag ceremony at sunset and taps. Lovely.
I have been jammin’ in my kitchen the last few days. I always over purchase raspberries and get a flat so I have lots to work with and this year I experimented. Traditional jams are so yummy but they come with baggage and that’s the excess amounts of sugar required but I must say if you follow the directions they are picture perfect and jelled to a T. I’ve seen recipes for chia seed jam and thought I’d try it to cut down on the sugar. I used Happy Healthy Mama’s recipe for a base and this recipe is so quick and easy and makes six – 8 ounce containers of jam. The jam is made of primarily fresh raspberries with a small amount of chia and honey and water. The flavor of the pure raspberries stands out. I love the flavor without the added sugars and feel really great to use raw honey as a sweetener. And you have the added health benefits of the chia like added protein, fiber and Omega 3’s, just to name a few. So enjoy your fresh raspberries on toast or a lovely biscuit.
Raspberry Chia Jam with a Bit o Honey
- 4 cups fresh raspberries, rinsed and drained
- 4 tablespoons chia seeds
- 4 tablespoons warm water
- 4 tablespoons raw honey
Blend all ingredients on LOW speed in your blender. If you have a powerful blender you may want to use the PULSE setting. Blend for a very short time (seconds) until the berries, honey and chia are a consistency you prefer for jam. Pour into three – 8 ounce jam jars and cover tightly. Let set for one hour in the refrigerator.
I have not tested this as a freezer jam but I am going to and will assume it will taste great after frozen and thawed. Happy jammin’!
Source: Adapted from Happy Healthy Mama’s recipe.
I’ve been on a gluten free path since January of this year. I’ve pretty much steered clear of gluten free breads from even good quality stores because they often have potato starch and other additives which I know I don’t need. I have followed the Against All Grain by Danielle Walker and she posts Paleo, Gluten Free, SCD (Specific Carbohydrate Diet) etc and the comments are always grand. This is the first bread I’ve adapted of hers and for a wheat free biscuit I thought they were quite yummy. I did add in butter and milk instead of Danielle’s Paleo version without coconut oil and almond milk. They taste great with toppings like butter and jam and they are light just like a bread should be. You could double the recipe for your family of more than four.
Grain Free Biscuits with Honey
- 1 1/2 tablespoons coconuts flour (plus a small amount for parchment paper dusting)
- 1 3/4 almond flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 cup butter, room temperature
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons raw honey
- 2 tablespoons milk
Preheat oven to 350.
Combine first 4 dry ingredients in medium sized bowl. In a separate small bowl cream together the butter, eggs, honey and milk. Combine the dry ingredients with the creamed ingredients until just moistened.
Rub small amount of coconut flour on your hands and spread the extra on a parchment paper on baking sheet. Roll the batter into four balls and flatten onto baking sheet. Bake for 15-17 minutes until top of biscuits are golden brown. Serve with your favorite toppings like butter, honey or jam.
Makes 4 biscuits.
Adapted from: Against All Grain
It is the season for cool refreshing smoothies. And the season seems to run all year long in our home. I usually make smoothies ad-hoc in the morning and sometimes they are wonderful and sometimes not quite as good as others. But most of the time combining frozen fruit, bananas, coconut water and yogurt is a great combination. I like using mango in a smoothie because the texture of the fruit makes smoothies VERY smooth. The mango does for the smoothie what the avocado does for my Chocolate Almond Smoothie. If you haven’t tried the chocolate smoothie I would highly recommend it. The avocado makes it really smooth as does the mango in this yummers. So try this one out. Add a little more plain full fat yogurt if you want a creamier version. Add chia seeds if you’d like. Enjoy the sunshine and a lovely yellow frozen drink.
Mango Pineapple Very Smoothie
- 1 cup coconut water
- 1 banana
- 1 cup frozen mango
- 1 cup frozen pineapple
- 1/2-1 cup plain full fat yogurt
Blend all ingredients until smooth and serve immediately. 2 servings.
Source: Jackie Mack, Lingonberry Lane
Chicken soup is a good for the soul and the whole body. Check out this article by Dr. Mercola and you’ll be making chicken soup every week. Just one benefit is that it contains calcium and magnesium for strong healthy bones. And my personal favorite is that it tastes really good and gives me a feeling of home. Homemade chicken soup is a comfort food in many ways.
Here is an easy 3 hour soup to simmer and serve for a hearty and healthy dinner. This recipe can also be prepared in the crockpot and cooked on low all day.
- 8 chicken thighs with bone and skin (can be skinless)
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- Sea salt to taste
- Pepper to taste
- 2 cups carrots
- 2 cups celery
Options: add 1 cup of rice or quinoa with the vegetables for last hour of cooking.
Put fresh or frozen chicken thighs in stock pot (make sure there are no plastic pieces/sheets on chicken if it’s frozen…)
Cover chicken with water in an 8 quart stock pot – about 3 inches deep. Add onion and garlic. Add all spices and salt and pepper to taste. I shake the dried thyme, parsley and sage so there is a nice covering of spice on the water.
Simmer the soup on medium to low heat for 3 hours. After 2 hours, add the vegetables (and rice if using) for the last hour. After 3 hours, remove skin, debone and chop chicken pieces. Return chicken to soup, stir and serve.
Crock Pot directions: Add chicken to large crock pot and cover well with water (about 3 inches deep). Add the rest of the ingredients. Cook all day on low. Debone, remove skin and chop chicken pieces. Return chopped chicken to crock pot. Add rice in last hour as option.
Source: Jackie Mack, Lingonberry Lane
I’m not sure when I stopped buying pre-made salad dressing but it was a while ago…one year, maybe two? I would always read the labels and undoubtedly there were in ingredients in them that were less than stellar – canola oil, vegetable oil, additives I didn’t recognize, sugar. So I started making my own on a regular basis. I often have dressing made up in the refrigerator ready to go but I’ve noticed lately that I really enjoy making a salad that’s dressed already for dinner. I like the opportunity to toss the dressing. The taste is lighter on the ingredients and I enjoy the salad being evenly covered, not smothered in dressing. So, this post is really about inspiration, it’s not necessarily a recipe to follow to a T. I’ll give you some guidelines as to how I simply (and maybe literally) throw together a vinegar and oil dressing on top of a salad I’ve just made.
Oil and Vinegar Dressing on a Green Salad
- salad greens
- chopped vegetables of your choice (i.e. peppers, cucumbers, snap peas, thin onions, tomatoes, avocado)
- olive oil
- vinegar (I use apple cider and/or balsamic)
- sea salt and pepper
- optional adds: squeeze of fresh lemon juice, fresh garlic for a kick)
In a large bowl with extra room for tossing, create your salad using bright colored vegetables. Sprinkle olive oil on top layer of salad. Follow up with about 1/3 the amount of vinegar. Add any optional ingredients like fresh lemon juice. Follow up with salt and pepper to taste. Toss well and serve immediately.
(Note – when starting out this method, go light on the olive oil and vinegar and do a taste test after all ingredients are added. If you need more, add a little more.) I promise this will get easy and it’s so simple and healthy!
Source: Jackie Mack, Lingonberry Lane