October 31, 2015
by Jen
1 Comment

Product Review: Charles Viancin Lily Pad


I try to reduce, reuse and recycle as much as possible in the kitchen and in life in general so I was excited to be asked to do a product review on the Charles Viancin Lily Pad lid which is a reusable multi purpose silicone lid. The Lily Pad lids come in different sizes from 4 inches to 11 inches and can fit over mugs, bowls, stock pots and saucepans.

The description from the manufacturer says: “The Charles Viancin lily pad lid is a beautiful and practical alternative to plastic wrap. Unlike plastic wrap this silicone lid can be reused over and over. The lid seals tight on all smooth rims, meaning any bowl can be used for food storage. The lily pad lid creates an airtight, watertight seal for reheating and storing. It can also be used while serving food, to keep your dishes hot or cold for longer. Each lid is oven, microwave, dishwasher, and heat safe up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.”

I have never used my Lily Pad lid in the oven or microwave but I do like to use it as an alternative to plastic wrap. I usually prep my salads before I start preparing the main course so I use the lid to cover the salad bowl and store the whole thing in the refrigerator. When I am ready to serve the meal, my salad is fresh and crisp and ready to be dressed.

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I also use the lid in baking. I turn out my dough into the rising bowl and cover it with the Lily Pad creating a nice warm and moist environment for my dough to rise without forming a skin.

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The other way I use the lid is as a cover for serving bowls so that food stays warm just before serving.

The strength of this product is that it forms a good seal with the edge of the bowl so it really can perform the same as a good cling wrap without the problems of adding more garbage into our environment. I’m really happy to have been given this as a product review from Cook’s Junction and it has earned a permanent place in my kitchen for its usefulness and eco-friendliness.

Although this product was provided to me for review, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Granola on top of apples

February 8, 2013
by Jen

Grain Free Granola

If you are a regular visitor here, you know that we love granola at our house, so I set about finding a worthy grain free, gluten free, paleo style granola recipe to replace our old standby recipe.

I started by replacing the rolled oats with sliced almonds and then adding unsweetened shredded coconut to form the base of the recipe, after that I played around with different ratios of oil and sweetener until I came up with a lightly sweet and very crunchy mixture.  For the final step I added the usual suspects of dried fruits and other nuts giving me an end result that was toasty, sweet, crispy and very tasty!  Like any other granola, it can be used as a cereal, a fruit topper, a yogurt mix in, or whatever else you normally do with granola. Continue Reading →

Gingerbread jewels

January 10, 2013
by Jen

Gingerbread Jewels (Paleo style cookies)

Happy New Year to everyone!  Now that the kids are back to school and the whirlwind of the holidays has settled down, I thought I should share some of the great Paleo style treats I’ve been making that lent just the right touch of sweetness and nostalgia to my holidays without all of the digestive problems that traditional recipes seem to bring me.

I have always been crazy for gingerbread cookies so I am so grateful to have these delicious, delicate, puffy little gems to eat during the holidays (or any other time treats are called for!) Continue Reading →

Almond biscotti and chocolate walnut biscotti

November 26, 2012
by Jen

Paleo Biscotti

I’ve been craving a little something sweet and crunchy to go with my coffee or afternoon tea, so I started looking around for Paleo biscotti recipes.  There are lots of recipes available so I looked over the ones that sounded most promising to me and then sort of combined the elements of each one that I thought would be nice.

Traditional biscotti are a simple cookie that is first baked in a log shape, then cooled and sliced into cookies that are laid on their sides and baked again to make them crisp.  The final product is meant to be hard enough to withstand being dipped into hot coffee or tea, but not so hard that it is a struggle to bite through it!

By using a combination of almond flour and coconut flour, and being very careful with the cooling and slicing process, I was able to make a really tasty and properly crunchy biscotti that my children happily scarfed down.  This recipe has a short ingredient list and is very easy make so it is especially appropriate for me to use around the holidays when I am rushed. Continue Reading →

close up, 3 weeks after planting

November 14, 2012
by Jen

Growing Food for Dinner

One of the great pleasures of living in South Florida is growing food for dinner all winter long!  Our growing season is opposite the rest of the country, spring and summer are too hot for all but the hardiest veggies but fall and winter are perfect growing weather for all sorts of wonderful produce.

Last year I learned about a gardening method called Square Foot Gardening that seemed like a great fit for my gardening needs so I tore down my old “micro farm” and installed a 16′ x 4′ Square Foot Garden.  You can read all about the process of creating a SFG here, and watch a video about it here.

The SFG method worked out really well for me, so this year I was very eager to get my farming season started as soon as the heat died down enough to work outside. Continue Reading →

Paleo crisp w coconut cream

November 6, 2012
by Jen

Paleo Fruit Crisp with Coconut Cream

This Paleo fruit crisp with coconut cream is a perfect addition to your fall menus.  With the abundance of ripe, in season, Fall apples and pears, fruit crisps are my favorite Fall desserts.  This recipe is especially wonderful because coconut cream makes an even more delicious dessert topping than regular whipped cream. Continue Reading →

Duck 2

October 23, 2012
by Jen

Easy Roast Duck

This week I finally got around to making a surprisingly simple, delicious, easy roast duck.  I like to eat duck but, until now, I had never made a duck at home because I assumed it was too technical and complicated.  Now I know that I have been missing out on an easy and delicious bird all of these years!  My kids loved the rich flavor of the meat and they ended up eating more than half of the duck as their after school snack along with thin sliced Honeycrisp apples.

With a success like that, you can be sure that duck will be in the regular rotation from now on!  As a bonus, after I roasted the duck, I saved all of the rendered fat and I have been using it a little at a time to make AMAZING home fries in the oven.

Continue Reading →

Fried Apples 1

October 16, 2012
by Jen

Paleo Fried Apples

Paleo fried apples are a simple, tasty side dish that can be served with a meal or even as dessert.  As more varieties of apples come into season in the fall, you can try out the different ones to see which you like best.  My current favorite apple is the Honeycrisp variety, but Pink Lady and Granny Smith are also great when prepared this way.   If I am serving these apples as as a side dish with dinner, then I make the recipe exactly as written.  If I am serving these apples for dessert, I add in a handful of chopped walnuts, a little extra cinnamon and a little extra coconut milk.  Either way, Paleo Fried Apples are delicious! Continue Reading →

Larabar Brownie1

October 8, 2012
by Jen

Homemade Fudge Brownie “Larabar”

I just discovered my new favorite lunchbox snack, and it is a homemade fudge brownie “Larabar”.  I find it amazing that with a few simple and healthy ingredients; dates, walnuts, cocoa powder, coconut oil, vanilla and a pinch of salt, I can make a fudge brownie snack that completely satisfies my kids cravings for “treats”.  This combination of ingredients makes a rich, chocolatey, fudge-like treat that is completely surprising. Continue Reading →