We returned home last Monday after spending over a week Loreto, Mexico, in the Baja California Sur, celebrating the nuptials of our very good friends, Debbie and Dan. Since I was coming off a full month + of exceptionally strict eating, since I did Whole30, I was feeling really, really great, but on top of it, I was also several weeks in on experimenting with the ketogenic diet, as an attempt to get my autoimmune kidney disease into remission (more on this soon as I continue to experiment).
I had some slight trepidations in spending a week at a resort, both in how hard it would be for me to keep up my preferred way of eating, but also from the standpoint of my actual health and well-being, if 1 week away would ruin 1 month of hard work.
The answer is it wasn’t hard and no it didn’t.
If you are like me, there is never a shortage of super dark chocolate in your house. Since I’ve been experimenting and making my own dark chocolate bars the last few weeks, I have had more chocolate in the house than ever! Not at all a problem I am complaining about, but I am finding myself extra inspired by this gorgeous, silky, velvety, homemade dark chocolate.
This unique side dish take classic roasted cauliflower to new levels. Crisp-tender with a smoky char, the cauliflower gets the red carpet treatment with this luxurious, silky sauce, featuring the most unsuspecting of ingredients. Dark chocolate.
Our trip to London in October was one I certainly will never forget. Traveling halfway around the world with my love, without any major plans beyond knowing where to stay, a list of restaurants as dishes I had to have and a few sights that were “musts” and not much more. Such a wonderful way to travel.
Staying in the Shoreditch neighborhood in London was the perfect place for us. The grit of a big city matched with the deeply rooted history of London, it was the perfect edgy urban vibe that we love! The streets of “The Ditch”, as locals call it, are lined with charming cafes, coffee shops and restaurants, beautiful street art tucked into the most unsuspecting corners – it’s got that cutting edge vibe that juxtaposes the proper bits of London, just so perfectly.
Being in London I was able to safely eat gluten-free easier than probably any other city I have ever visited and the food was incredible – I was stunned, not at all what I had expected nor remembered from my trip to the UK over 15 years ago. I plan to write up a post sharing some of my personal favorites from the Trip, but in the meantime I wanted to share my single most-favorite dish from all of my UK travels, shoot maybe all of my European travels, even.
Sorry for the lack of posts – we have been very busy over here. We were in Chicago this past weekend for the Pitchfork Music Festival and Flatstock 26 and before that we were busting our butts designing and printed, getting ready for the festival. I have still been cooking, but pulling out the camera, trying out new recipes, etc., gets put on hold when life gets this crazy. Before we left town I did get a chance to make this delicious snack to munch on in the car on the road trip to Chicago. I know most of the reason I crave salty snacks in the car is due to boredom, but I have accepted that and I am happy to enjoy not having a mountain of work and a long to-do list, and to sit back watch the road and enjoy my hubby’s company. Rather than salty processed potato chips from a random gas station, I thought that these would be the perfect alternative. We also packed up some of the gluten-free blueberry muffins that I had previously made and froze and some chipotle hummus with sliced cucumbers from our garden. No reason to hit a drive-thru for lunch or to eat junk!
These almonds were so satisfying and easy to make. I started with roasted almonds since that is what I had on hand, but you could also start with raw almonds, and just toast them even longer. Mark and I both really love spicy food, so you can adjust the peppers accordingly. I used a premade salt-free Black and Red Spice mix from Penzeys, that was a mix of Tellicherry black pepper and hot cayenne red pepper.
We leave again in less than one week for San Francisco for the Renegade Craft Fair, then we are back home for a bit. Hoping to be able to cook a bunch and really use all the goodies we’re getting from the garden.
Toasted Spicy Almonds
1 tablespoon organic butter
8 ounces organic roasted almonds, unsalted
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Slowly melt butter in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the nuts, peppers and salt. Toss with a rubber spatula to coat the nuts and spread them out in the pan in a single layer. Allow the nuts to start to brown a bit, then toss or stir to flip, allow them to continue to toast. This process only takes a few minutes (3-5), remove the pan from the heat when the desired amount of doneness is achieved. Adjust spices and salt to taste. Allow to cool before serving.