Left: Chili Con Carne from The Ancestral Table. Right: Texas Chili from The Slim Palate Paleo Cookbook
I don’t know about you guys, but my teenage years were not very productive. I played and sang in punk rock bands, and we churned out a cassette tape release every six months or so. That was about it. At the time I felt like a pretty prolific chap, but it pales in comparison to the milestones that teen blogger Joshua Weissman (the writer behind the website Slim Palate and the newly-released cookbook, The Slim Palate Paleo Cookbook) has reached in the past couple of years.
Writing a cookbook is not easy. Surviving your teenage years is not easy. Somehow, Joshua managed both, and while I can’t speak for how easily his adolescence is going, this book is a significant accomplishment in and of itself. But this book is even more impressive; it is the tale of one young man’s journey from obesity to health (he lost 100 pounds along the way). Ultimately, this project is more than a cookbook – it’s an early chronicle of someone destined for great(er) things.
People say nice things about companies all the time, and I’m always leery of endorsements. After all, companies are just big, hulking, impersonal machines, right? While it’s probably easy or convenient to say that The Ancestral Table is solely the result of my own hard work over the years, the truth is that my cookbook wouldn’t have been possible without the support of many people, chief among them my friends at US Wellness Meats. I realize that sounds a little extreme, so hear me out.
Two years ago, I sent them an email asking if they were interested in partnering for some recipes. This was my first time putting myself (and this blog) out there like that, and I felt sheepish writing such an assuming email – after all, at the time I had only a few hundred Facebook “likes” and a regular readership of around 50 people. But the USWM team saw something they liked in my little site, and sent me a box of various meats to work with; they also added me as their April 2012 Featured Chef, and my website took off from there. I attribute the turning point of this blog – from something I was writing for mostly myself to what it is today – to their support in early 2012.
In the months leading up to my newly-announced cookbook‘s release (less than a month now!), I have been giving away some of the tools I used when making the dishes found in the book. This month is no different – I’m giving away one of my favorite kitchen items. I’ve been using a Le Creuset 5.5qt Round French Oven for years, and it was one of the most important tools I used in making this book. Simply put, nothing beats it when it comes to braising and roasting foods. Le Creuset was awesome enough to team up with me to give away one of their French Ovens, which carry a $345 retail value.
To enter the giveaway, click here and enter via Rafflecopter. The giveaway ends midnight (EST) January 24th 2013, and I will pick a winner on January 25th. Giveaway limited to US residents. Good luck!
We follow some very simple guidelines when it comes to making meals. First, we really only cook one big meal a day, dinner. Breakfast is usually eggs/meat and berries or fruit, or in my case during the week, I’ll often eat canned or smoked fish and berries or fruit. Lunch is leftovers from previous dinners. On many weekends I’ll cook a bunch of dishes at once (usually for the blog) and we can also use those leftovers throughout the week. That’s it – super simple, and definitely cuts down having to spend long hours in the kitchen.
But to be fair, there are some drawbacks to the type of recipes I often post on this site: they require a sizable time commitment. Not everyone has time to braise a hunk of meat for several hours, or the inclination to thaw and marinate something overnight. I try to combine some of my involved recipes with other, faster recipes (my Maldivian Fish Curry recipe comes to mind). I’m also very thankful for other like-minded sites that come up with quick, delicious creations using both ingenuity and talent (see: The Clothes Make the Girl’s Turkey & Cranberry Meatballs and Nom Nom Paleo’s Paleo Sausage Egg “McMuffins”).
Along those same lines, I still appreciate the use of pre-made sauces when in a hurry, like tomato sauce and Thai curry pastes. So when Steve from Steve’s Paleo Goods offered to send me a sampling of their PaleoChef sauces and marinades, I was intrigued.
Update: Congratulations to Christopher S., who won the giveaway!
A while back, I made the decision that I wasn’t going write single book reviews, and instead write book review roundups (check out my Summer and Fall roundups). But then I had a look at Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans, which came out on Tuesday. Here’s the deal: it’s so good that writing anything other than a single book review doesn’t do this piece of art justice. Don’t even read this review, just go buy the book. Not convinced? Well, then keep reading.
In the months leading up to my cookbook‘s release, I’ll be giving away some of the tools I used when making the dishes found in the book. For my third giveaway, I’m giving away a $100 gift card from Lava Lake Lamb! They were kind enough to provide the lamb I used in my recipes for the cookbook. As you’ve seen from previous lamb recipes on my site, their lamb is delicious and of the highest quality. One of my favorite blog recipes using their products is Homemade Gyro Meat, which I made last year (pictured above).
To enter the giveaway, click here to enter via Rafflecopter. The giveaway ends December 10th 2013, and I will pick a winner on December 11th. Giveaway limited to US residents. Good luck!
In the months leading up to my cookbook‘s release, I’ll be giving away some of the tools I used when making the dishes found in the book. For my second giveaway, I’m giving away seven of my favorite kitchen tools:
Wusthof 7″ Santoku knife ($100)
13×18 baking sheet ($13)
12×7 cooling rack ($16)
10″ cast iron skillet ($16)
quick-read thermometer ($18)
4-cup fat separator ($15)
3 square yards of cheesecloth ($5)
As you’ll see in later posts, I highly encourage everyone to try cooking through my book when it releases. These tools will definitely help you get on your way. Note that this giveaway is for brand new versions of the items pictured above, not the actual items I used to make the book – I’m far too attached to my tools to give them away!
To enter the giveaway, click here to enter via Rafflecopter. The giveaway ends November 23rd 2013, and I will pick a winner on November 24th. Giveaway limited to US residents, and items will be shipped via Amazon.com. Good luck!
In the months leading up to my newly-announced cookbook‘s release, I’ll be giving away some of the tools I used when making the dishes found in the book. For my first giveaway, I’m teaming up with Blendtec to give away one of their Designer Series blenders (factory restored, $500 value), plus a Twister jar ($120 value).
Blendtec was kind enough to send me one of their blenders about halfway through cooking the recipes that would make it into the book. Our ordinary blender worked fine for what we needed, but the Designer Series Blendtec blenders take cooking to a whole new level. The touch-screen interface is a thing of beauty, and its features take the guesswork out of blending altogether. We now use it for just about all of our pureeing, blending, and sauce-making needs, as seen in this week’s Gobhi Musallam recipe.
To enter the giveaway, simply click here and enter via Rafflecopter. The giveaway ends November 2nd 2013, and I will pick a winner on November 3rd. Giveaway limited to US residents. Good luck!
Congratulations to Abby F. who won the giveaway!
It’s with great pleasure that I take a minute and review Beyond Bacon: Paleo Recipes that Respect the Whole Hog, written by my friends Stacy Toth and Matthew McCarry (also known as the Paleo Parents). It’s the epitome of what I have been waiting to surface out of the Paleo world: a classy, beautiful, and relevant cookbook that holds its own against traditional cookbooks on the market today.
Beyond Bacon is a Paleo book with a lowercase “p” – the fact that the recipes happen to be Paleo takes a backseat, letting the dishes speak for themselves (and trust me, they can and do speak for themselves – more on that in a second). It’s the kind of book you’d expect people to buy only to find out later that it’s a book based on dietary restrictions.
Update: Congratulations to Erin W., who won the giveaway!
I think the upcoming release of Elana Amsterdam’s Paleo Cooking from Elana’s Pantry marks an exciting time in the Paleo movement. This value-priced book is coming right when Paleo is spiking in mainstream appeal, and the book sports some really delicious and ultra simple recipes, which will be really helpful for those curious about changing their dietary habits for the better. Moreover, there are enough new recipes in here to keep seasoned Paleo eaters busy for a while.