Monday, April 7, 2014

Sticky Maple Bacon “Teriyaki” Drumsticks- paleo, gluten free, grain free

Sticky Maple Bacon Teriyaki Drumsticks from alwaysinwonder

I will be the first to admit that I am not a die hard paleo follower. I love cheese and sour cream and haven’t ever been able to give those up. When I hit 8 weeks of this pregnancy I experienced something I had never felt before. Gluten cravings. I thought I had a ton of experience being a carb addict for 30 years of my life, but really I was so wrong. The intense cravings I experienced were like nothing I had ever dealt with and I wasn’t able to resist. I could tell when something didn’t have gluten in it because it was like my body wasn’t satisfied. The intense hunger and nausea wouldn’t go away until I put a gluten filled food in my mouth. Thanks Baby #3.

Before then I had been grain free for about 4 months (like I said above, not paleo because I love cheese) and on a weight loss journey. I had no problems cutting out grains and gluten and felt so much better than when I had included them in my diet. My food cravings had really dwindled down to nothing when I wasn’t eating those refined sugars and carbs on a daily basis. When they hit me at 8 weeks I really felt like a junkie looking for a fix. 20 weeks later, those cravings have finally stopped and I am beginning to include more grain free meals in my diet, and make paleo meals for my husband who actually follows the diet 100%. I’m hoping to go back to following a grain free diet soon, and looking forward to meeting baby #3 as well.

maple bacon teriyaki drumsticks from alwaysinwonder

These drumsticks were good. So good that I am embarrassed to tell you how many I ate the day I made them. They’re a little sticky, a little sweet, and delicious in a major way. 


12 Chicken legs/drumsticks (Thighs are also an option)
4 slices of bacon (we use uncurred, hickory smoked)
11/2 cups of pure maple syrup (none of the fake stuff)
1/2-3/4 cups of coconut aminos
1-2 tablespoons of avocado oil/olive oil
1 teaspoon of salt and
1 teaspoon of pepper

1. Pat dry the drumsticks before placing them in a 9x13 baking dish. Whisk together the maple syrup, coconut aminos, avocado oil, salt and pepper to make your marinade. Pour 1/2 of the marinade over the chicken in your baking dish. Make sure the chicken legs are coated well by turning them or massaging the marinade into them.
2. Cover the baking dish with a lid or foil and place in the fridge over night. Place the other half of the marinade in a lidded jar in the fridge as well.
3. After a few hours turn the chicken so that the marinade has had a chance to cover and soak into both sides of the legs.
4. 10-15 minutes before you’re ready to put your chicken in the oven preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit, and remove the chicken from the fridge. Cut up your bacon into small pieces and sprinkle over the chicken.
5. Place the baking dish full of chicken in the oven (uncovered) and bake for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes turn the chicken over, and bake for another half an hour.
6. After 1 hour in the oven, check the temperature of the chicken legs to make sure it’s at least 160 degrees F. If the chicken legs have reached that temperature, turn your broiler on and cook the chicken for another 2-3 minutes. Browning the legs a bit.
7. Remove the reserved marinade/sauce from the fridge and place it in a small pot on the stove on medium heat. Slowly bring the sauce to a low simmer, reducing the sauce, stirring frequently, until it is a thicker consistency.  Pour the sauce over the drumsticks and serve while warm.


Thursday, April 3, 2014

Honey Ginger Boneless Short Ribs, slow baked and Paleo!


What do you do when your husband comes home from Whole Foods with a couple of pounds of Grass fed, organic boneless short ribs, and you’ve never even made short ribs before? If you’re me, you put off making them until the very last minute, and then Google what the best way to cook boneless short ribs happens to be.  Thanks to searching the web I learned that slow baking was a simple and easy way to cook them.

I decided to put an Asian spin on them, and make a honey ginger marinade so they could soak up all that deliciousness overnight. Throwing together a quick paleo marinade only took a couple minutes with ingredients I had on hand, and luckily, it turned out to be pretty awesome. I put them in the oven for a few hours this morning so Justin would have something to take with him to work, and he gave them his complete approval. And a few hours ago I turned them into the perfect filling for a paleo, honey ginger short rib lettuce wrap.

honey ginger boneless short rib lettuce wraps

  • 3-4 lbs of grass fed, organic boneless beef short ribs
  • Honey Ginger Marinade (recipe below).
Honey Ginger Marinade
  • 1/4 cup of avocado oil
  • 1/2 cup coconut aminos
  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 1-2 cloves of minced garlic (or 1 heaping teaspoon of garlic powder)
  • 2 tablespoons of raw honey
  • 1-2 teaspoons of grated fresh ginger (or 1 teaspoon of ground ginger)
Whisk all the ingredients together. Put boneless short ribs in a gallon size re-sealable bag or a shallow baking dish that you can cover. Pour the marinade into the bag or over the short ribs, make sure the bag is sealed or the dish is covered and place in the refrigerator overnight.
When you’re ready to cook the ribs preheat your oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Place all the short ribs and marinade in a glass/ceramic baking dish so that they fit snugly together. Cover the dish with foil and place in the hot oven. Bake them for 2.5 to 3 hours. Remove from the oven and allow to cool a bit before eating.

The ribs turn out incredibly tender and are so easy to shred. They’re perfect for making lettuce wraps or tacos. For mine, I used romaine lettuce, and thinly sliced cucumbers sprinkled with sesame seeds, the honey ginger boneless short ribs, and some of the additional marinade that was cooked with the meat for a little sauce. The ribs became a super easy lunch, and we have plenty of leftovers.

honey ginger boneless short ribs

Hope you enjoy them!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Homemade Ranch Dressing, no packet needed!

Homemade ranch dressing

I’ll be the first to admit, when it came to ranch dressings I thought there was nothing better than the Hidden Valley Ranch packet and adding some milk and mayo. I know some of you are probably cringing, and thinking about all the bad things that are probably in those packets. And trust me, I am too. I knew the packet dressing wasn’t good for me. But the flavor of that ranch dressing just never compared to any other store bought dressings. Or at least to me it didn’t. So I never tried to make any other version of ranch dressing at home, and after buying bottles and bottles of store bought ranch dressings and not finding one that tasted good enough I pretty much resigned myself to the fact that I was just going to have to go ranch-less, because I had already decided that I wasn’t going to be using the processed packet kind anymore.

Sunday morning around 3 AM, I was fighting another bought of pregnancy induced insomnia, and I was up watching the Food Network. Some show with Guy Fieri was on, and he made a salad with homemade ranch. Which, if you’ve seen some of the shows Guy Fieri does, a salad and dressing is pretty much the last thing I would expect him to be making.  But he quickly threw together a homemade ranch, and I knew I could make my own right here at home, without any packet or crazy ingredients.

This ranch dressing is simple to throw together, and takes only a couple of minutes, using ingredients you most likely have on hand. I start with the lower amount in the ingredients and add more if more flavor is needed.

Homemade Ranch Dressing
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup mayo (you can make your own or use a store bought mayo)
1/2 cup sour cream (you can use greek yogurt if you prefer)
1-2 tablespoons of vinegar
1-2 cloves of smashed garlic (or 1-2 teaspoons of garlic powder)
2 teaspoons of dried parsley
2 teaspoons of dried chives
1/4 teaspoon of dried dill
salt and pepper to taste

Whisk everything together and pour into a jar to store in the refrigerator. No more packets, no more overly processed ranch. And you've got dressing that's been kid tested (if you count my two kiddos eating and loving it) and mom approved.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Paleo Chicken Pot Pie- grain free, dairy free, gluten free

paleo chicken pot pie from alwaysinwonder

For several weeks I’ve been craving chicken pot pie. It’s always been a favorite food of mine. I love the richness and heartiness it provides. But when you have a husband who is following a paleo diet, you can’t exactly make the chicken pot pie your mom used to make, or buy a store bought grain free crust. Instead you improvise and come up with your own recipe. One that’s still rich and delicious tasting, and still hearty enough to fill you up on a cold night.

Paleo chicken pot pie

**This recipe is grain free, dairy free, and of course gluten free.


Chicken Pot Pie Filling
4 carrots, peeled and chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
1/2 white onion, diced
3 cups of chicken broth/stock
2 chicken breasts, cooked and chopped into small pieces
1/2 can of coconut milk (full fat, shake before opening)
1 small head of cauliflower, cut off the florets and chop into small pieces
1 clove of garlic or 1/2 tsp. of garlic powder
1 tsp. of Poultry Seasoning
1 tbsp of arrowroot flour
1 tbsp of avocado oil or olive oil
salt and pepper

1. In a large pot or enameled dutch oven add the oil, carrots, onion, and celery and sauté for a couple of minutes.
2. Add the chicken broth and garlic, and brig to a boil. Cook on medium for 5 minutes.
3. Add the chopped chicken and stir it in.
4. Add the coconut milk and stir it in. Allow it to come back to a simmer/bubbling before whisking in the arrowroot flour.
5. Add in the poultry seasoning, and some salt and pepper. Stir well before adding the cauliflower.
6. Simmer for 10 minutes on medium low, or until the carrots are soft, and the broth and milk has thickened has thickened. Turn the heat off while you prepare the crust.

1 1/4 cup almond flour
1/4 cup ground golden flax meal
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp. baking powder
2-3 tbsp. melted coconut oil
1-2 tbsp of cold water

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix together the almond flour, flax meal, sea salt, and baking powder.
2. Pour in 2-3 tbsp. of coconut oil and begin to mix the dough together with a fork. Add the cold water as needed to make the dough smoother and stick together.
3. Separate the dough into small balls, and flatten into round discs.

Pour your chicken pot pie filling into an oven safe baking dish, and place the dough that you’ve flattened into discs on top of the filling. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until the top of the crust begins to slightly brown.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Paleo Inspired Valentine “Treat” and Printables

Paleo trail mix and free valentine printable from alwaysinwonder
This Valentine’s Day is super different in this house. Last year Valentine’s Day would have meant Justin bringing home candy for the kids and himself. But since the great hip replacement of May 2013 he has completely changed his diet and lifestyle and candy is not even a blip on his radar. He’s been grain free since last August, and pretty much on a Paleo diet since last October. It’s really helped his auto-immune disease and we’re lucky to have seen so many improvements in his health. 

Since he’s my Valentine, I thought it be kind of fun to make him up a Valentine’s Day “treat” he could take with him to work, and a cute printable to attach to the treat and slip in his lunch. I came up with the idea to combine a few of his every day snacks into one and attach the printable to jar. This combo is raw sprouted almonds, raw pepitas, dried unsulfured berries and raisins. You could use different nuts, seeds, or berries, and add grain free dairy free chocolate chips if you’re so inclined.

Paleo Trail Mix

I also made four different printables in case any of you have a Valentine who is eating a paleo diet and wanted to send them off to work with a cute valentine and treat.

paleo inspired valentines from alwaysinwonder

You can print all four at once, or print them individually. I’ve created Google docs for the printables and you can find them all by clicking on the links below. Feel free to print them and use them for your own Valentines.


Happy Valentine’s Day to all my grain free/paleo Friends!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Cottonelle Triple Roll Twitter Party- How important is the roll of toilet paper in your house?

Cottonelle Twitter party post image

From strong and extra-absorbent to ultra cushiony and ultra luxurious, Cottonelle is providing you with their longest rolls ever with their Clean Care and Ultra Comfort Care Triple Roll packs. We know just how important keeping a well stocked bathroom is in our home, and we want to know all your secrets for keeping yours well stocked too. We’ll be talking about the battle of the empty roll, how to turn little ones into helpers when it comes to changing the roll, and who you would vote for in your family as the person least likely to change the roll. Starting on February 2, 2014, when you purchase a Cottonelle Triple Roll pack from Walmart you have the chance to enter to win a 65” flat screen TV! (*Contest/promotion runs from 2/2/14 until 2/16/14.) Come join us for some “cheeky” fun and enter to win Walmart gift cards so you can keep your home well stocked with Cottonelle!

Here are the details:
When: Tuesday, February 4, 2014 from 8-9 pm EST (5-6:00 PST)

Where: On Twitter, using the hashtag #CtnlTripleRoll

Who: Be sure to follow our hosts @PollinateMedia, @alissamcircle, @jenhatzung, and guest of honor @Cottonelle

TweetDeck: We recommend following along using TweetDeck for the party. Search for our #CtnlTripleRoll hashtag + add a column to follow along

Prizes: We will be giving away 5 gift cards to @Walmart throughout the party. 2 $25 gift cards, 2 $50 gift cards, AND 1 $100 gift card! We’ll also be sharing about how you could enter to win a 65” flat screen TV with each Cottonelle Triple Roll pack you purchase from Walmart!

We’ve also made it easy for you to let your followers know about this twitter party. Just copy and paste the tweet below.
Join us as we chat about @Cottonelle Triple Roll & the importance of the roll 2/4/2014 8pm EST RSVP #CtnlTripleRoll

Please RSVP using the link below (enter the URL to your Twitter profile) to be eligible for a prize. All winners will be chosen randomly from the RSVP list. Winners must be present and participating during the party to be eligible to win a prize. Be sure to follow the Party Hosts, along with using the hashtag in every tweet about the party.

This twitter party is sponsored by Cottonelle as part of a social shopper marketing campaign with Pollinate Media Group®. #CtnlTripleRoll #pmedia

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

MINTED–The place to go for Cards, Invites, Party Décor, and More!

I’m sure you’re not like me at all, waiting till the last minute to order Christmas/Holiday or New Year’s cards, always forgetting to make cute party invites, or always wanting to create cute personalized gifts for friends and family but never knowing where to go. No, you’re probably not like me at all. BUT if you are, then you have to check out and you must look at all they have to offer.


I used to think Minted was just all about cards and invites, and don’t get me wrong, they have an amazing selection of both, but they’re also so much more. From party décor and photo calendars, to personalized journals and art prints, they offer you all of their creative paper products right there with the click of your mouse.

The Personalized Banners would be great for a party, or holiday décor, or even hanging up in your kid’s room.

These journals would make a thoughtful gift for any friend who loves to write or jot down their creative ideas.

I love the Art Prints from Minted too. The prints range in price depending on the size you order, and make great décor for any room in your house. This Rules to Live By print is so cute. I could picture it on my daughter’s gallery wall in her room.

And just because I love their Holiday and New Year’s cards so much, I decided to create a couple of mock ups of what our cards could look like.
Cute, right? And with Minted, you can enjoy 15% off all Holiday and New Year’s Cards when you order using the promo code HAPPY2014 (promotional code expires 1/1/2014).  Great savings for their beautifully designed custom cards.

Have you used before? Go check them out and I promise you will want to spend an hour just browsing their site and thinking up all the gifts you could make for people this year and next!

Disclosure: I was offered store credit in exchange for a honest review of Minted's website and services. No other compensation was given. This review reflects my honest opinion of the company and their services.