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Confessions and cookbooks

October 8, 2013
Sweet and tangy meat balls

Sweet and tangy meat balls

What happened?? I was extolling the praises of the particularly fine summer we had and the red ripe tomatoes just in the last issue. Then BAM! No more summer, no more farmer’s market and tomatoes are getting hard to find. As I write, a big, soggy, windy storm is beating my garden down to the ground. This kind of weather makes me want to cook and make confessions.

I have a confession to make, I have affairs….with cookbooks.

Yes, it’s the dirty truth. It goes like this; My new cookbook arrives in the mail, I’m so excited as I tear the package open and lovingly thumb through the pages, drooling, running my hand over the pictures, thinking of all the great things we could do together, then I close it. It sits on the table for a few weeks where I look at it less and less and then it goes to the GIANT cookbook self, never to be loved again.

Affair over…….. then I order another cookbook.

Seriously I have an addiction. This became very clear to me when I ordered a rare and highly acclaimed cookbook for my birthday, to the tune of $70! What am I doing? I’ve decided that I must stop this vicious cycle. I am putting myself on a cookbook fast. No more cookbooks till I start loving the ones I have. (Clears throat)After the one I just ordered comes in the mail.

I, proclaim, right here in front of you all, that I will cook a recipe out of one of my cookbooks every week. Once a month, I will review one of these many fabulous cookbooks I have on my blog, plus share a recipe from it. I will go through my cookbook bookshelf and get rid of the ones I will never ever use. Then in about 100 years I might be able to order another one….maybe.

So on that note, there is no time like the present to start on reforming myself. Let’s start with the first cookbook in the pile up.

Gather, the cookbookGather, The art of Paleo Entertaining
By Bill Staley and Hayley Mason

This is a BEAUTIFUL cookbook! (It is also beautifully priced at almost $27 on amazon, $40 everywhere else.) It actually was on the table more like a month as my love affair with this book was hot and heavy. It’s probably the pictures. I love the pictures. Let’s face it, we all love pictures. Every recipe has a lovely picture of it displayed on a generous page, which is something wonderful.

The other thing I love about this book is the way they have it arranged, by the seasons, where they have menus, shopping tips and more pictures. I have a particular bent for cookbooks arranged this way as it is the way food arrives to us, in seasons. (That is if we are in tune with them) That is also a time saving element for me as I don’t have to go through the whole book to find what is in my fridge.

While thumbing through this lovely book I was blinded with the novel concept, what if one could throw an event that is totally gluten and grain free? This book makes it completely conceivable. I always had this fixed idea that a big dinner party could not be completely gluten free, just not possible. But I am a converted believer. If you love to entertain and are gluten and grain free, this is the book for you.

And now that I am a converted cookbook hoarder I will plan one of these events and do it. But meanwhile I’ll leave you with the recipe that I made out of stuff on hand, meatballs. Oh yeah. They were very good but I had to change them a bit. (that is also an addiction.) Feel free to make them with bison or free-range grass finished beef, as venison doesn’t hang out in everyone’s freezer but thanks to my caveman hubby, it’s in ours.

Paleo meatballs

Paleo meatballs

Sweet and Tangy Venison Meatballs
These need to be started the night before, so plan that into the recipe.

Da meatballs
2 pounds of grass feed beef or venison
2 shallots, minced
2-5 cloves of garlic, minced
1-2 tablespoons of high quality Balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons of coconut aminos
Salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoons of bacon fat or coconut oil

Da Sauce
1 tablespoon of bacon fat or coconut oil
½ large onion, diced
8 once of crushed pineapple in the juice
15 ounce of (no salt added) tomato sauce
2 tablespoons of high quality balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon of smoked paprika
Salt and pepper to taste

In a mediumish bowl, mix all the meatball ingredients except the bacon fat, and squish it all together with your hands. (If you have a better way, let me know) Tuck it in the fridge, overnight for the flavors to marry. The next day, Preheat your oven to 350 degrees then squish the bacon fat into the meatballs, then form into 1 inch balls and place them onto a lightly oiled baking sheet. (You can use parchment paper to line the baking dish but have you read the ingredients on that paper? The clean-up was easy without the paper) Pop them into the oven to bake for 20-25 minutes, till they are done. (You test this by eating one! He he)

While those nuggets are baking make the sauce. In a medium saucepan, heat up your bacon fat on medium heat and then sauté the onions until they are fragrant and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir till well blended and simmer at just barely bubbling for 20 minutes, stirring often. The sauce will thicken and coat the back of spoon. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Then add the cooked meatballs to the sauce and serve with love. Can be an appetizer, which you can keep warm in a crock pot or a main dish served over rice with a salad.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 19, 2013 2:04 am

    LOL! You are a serial monogamist to your cookbooks, I am not nearly so honorable, often reading 2-3 at a time. :-) Love it that you will be doing monthly reviews. Looking forward to them.

    • ziabaki permalink*
      October 19, 2013 3:30 am

      Once again you prove your great cooking skills. You are even a better cookbook hoarder! :)

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