The Blissful Blueberry

a journey into mindful living and wellness

Month: March 2015

Battle of the breads: Which Paleo bread will rise to the top?

Battle of the Breads: Which Paleo recipe will rise to the top?

I’ve been on a hunt.  A hunt for the most gluten-y tasting sandwich bread that is actually Paleo. Darn near impossible, I know.

Up until now I’ve been happy with the store-bought gluten-free version of bread. But, now that I’m trying to avoid preservatives and almost all grain, it just wasn’t cutting it. 

The problem: recipes on Pinterest don’t always work and Paleo ingredients aren’t cheap.

So, I decided to be judicious and try four different recipes that weren’t  too expensive to make. All four actually worked out to be less than the store-bought loaves I usually grab, so a step in the right direction!

I had to pull myself away from this guy to start the day and start the baking…

Shelties have the best smiles

I know, tough, right? :)

First up: a recipe from Purely Twins.  The only ingredients are plantains and eggs, so I thought I would start with the easiest one. 

The photos on the website looked spongy, but normal. 

Eh. I’m not sure what went wrong, but mine came out gritty. Perhaps it’s the fact that it calls for 7-8 oz of plantains, and mine were just cut up really small but not smushed? It didn’t specify how to cut or measure them exactly. 😉

There’s also a video on the page, but I hate watching video tutorials. Who has the time? 

Still edible though! Just really thin. Perhaps they’re meant to be put on a cookie sheet and not in a bread pan? 

Battle of the Breads: Which Paleo recipe will rise to the top?

Well, looky here. Look what tastes great with some maple cream. :) You really could put maple cream on anything and it would work miracles. 

Battle of the Breads: Which Paleo recipe will rise to the top?

Battle of the Breads: Which Paleo recipe will rise to the top?

The butter we will save for another one. :)

Next up: a recipe from Paleo Grubs

This one is a more traditional recipe. Flaxseed meal, almond butter and coconut flour. I’m a bit hesitant of coconut flour-based recipes though because they can be overpowering and sweet. 

Battle of the Breads: Which Paleo recipe will rise to the top?

It’s thicker than the last one and without a weird texture. Moving in the right direction! :)

It is a little on the sweet side though and it didn’t rise very high and it had  a  crackly surface. 

Battle of the Breads: Which Paleo recipe will rise to the top?

Looks like a turkey, doesn’t it? Weird. 

Battle of the Breads: Which Paleo recipe will rise to the top?

Battle of the Breads: Which Paleo recipe will rise to the top?

How about some Irish butter to offset that sweetness? Worked like a charm! It’s tangy-ness is the perfect balance. (Nosh nosh)

Still, not worth the hassle to make it all of the time. I can’t ALWAYS douse it with butter. 

Third on the docket: a recipe from Guilty Kitchen.  It’s pretty much the same as the last one. But different. 

Battle of the Breads: Which Paleo recipe will rise to the top?

Not as cracked top. A little firmer and a little less sweet.

Battle of the Breads: Which Paleo recipe will rise to the top?

It rose a little higher, too!

Battle of the Breads: Which Paleo recipe will rise to the top?

Here’s how the first three stack up in a row. You can tell that the third one definitely has an edge on looks and size. 

Battle of the Breads: Which Paleo recipe will rise to the top?

This one calls for some homemade strawberry chia jam! Yum! Divine! This one has top points. 

Battle of the Breads: Which Paleo recipe will rise to the top?

One for me, one for the hubs.

And last on the list: a recipe from The Seasoned Homemaker.  Again, very similar ingredients, but this one required a little more leg work with whipped egg whites and a pan of water.   (Oh, how very long it took to fill a pan with water and stick in the oven.) :)

It also used milk kefir, which I’d never bought before–because of the whole trying-to-cut-back-on-dairy thing. But, it’s fermented so I bought some. So tart!

A little darker than the others. 

Battle of the Breads: Which Paleo recipe will rise to the top?

It was a little sweet, so I thought I should add some goat cheese and level it off. Divine! 

I think this one would work for non-sandwiches just fine!

But, the third one wins for overall flavor, texture and usability! 

Battle of the Breads: Which Paleo recipe will rise to the top?

I might attempt, on another weekend, a rice flour-based bread to get even more into the sandwich-like realm, but then I’d be putting a grain in my mouth. :) Naughty! Perhaps necessary, though, for sandwich sanity. 

These four (now in the freezer!) will keep me busy for a while though. I’ll be using one of them this week for sure with some tuna salad for my lunches! Yay!

Now, I’m hungry. Maybe I’ll make an extra one for me as a treat for getting my lunches ready. :)

Anyone have some healthful sandwich bread recipes that don’t call for corn or wheat? Please feel free to share! 

Battle of the Breads: Which Paleo recipe will "rise to the top"?

 

 

Social Media Interaction for the Newsroom

I’m now officially over two months into the new gig: Interactive Media Manager at a local news station. As a quick learner and avid researcher, I can officially offer up what I’ve learned. :) 

In the weeks leading up to my first day on the job, I read, read and read topics on social media and web-based journalism.  Best book? The Complete Social Media Community Manager’s Guide: Essential Tools and Tactics for Business Success.

The things that have helped me the most, though, were insider tips – things that were specific to newsrooms – and those were difficult to find. 

The problem with generic digital marketing tips and social media for newsrooms tips is that your market is always going to be different. We have a heavy 25-34 age range, but one of our sister stations is 55-64.  They will need to focus their attention on Facebook and the website, but we have to have greater breadth. 

In an older age bracket, though, like our sister station, you really need to think about how to target teens. That really should weigh on everyone’s minds. So, when you hear about a new app that kids are using, play with it, research it and have one of your younger reporters try it out. :)

Below is a quick guide to all of the platforms we currently use for stories and trade tricks I’ve picked up along the way. 

websitewer

To get even more in depth, I created an optimal workflow for the newsroom. Traditionally, it has always been broadcast first, so breaking out of that will be difficult. We’re not there yet, but trying to get as many people on board with this plan below will work wonders for productivity, reducing job overlap and overall viewer/user satisfaction. 

websitewer

Lastly, have fun. The social media universe is a weird place. Moderating comments is hilarious – yet heartbreaking. 

My key? Have a tab for all of those platforms open in your browser. Put them in the order that you use them. Mine are:

  • The website main page
  • bitly
  • Tweetdeck (re-tweet from staff list as stories come in)
  • our CMS
  • Facebook
  • Google +
  • Reddit
  • Tumblr
  • Pinterest
  • Storify
  • YouTube
  • My mobile phone has Instagram and SnapChat ready

What do I use for analytics? 

  • Google Analytics
  • Facebook Insights
  • Twitter Analytics
  • Sprout Social ($20)
  • Trending lists (Google -What’s Hot, Twitter #s, Buzzfeed, Yahoo trends)
  • Free Cyfe 
  • Free Sum All

What do you all use for analytics? What trips and tricks have you picked up on in the field? 

Happy tweeting!

Oh, and the key to a great morning? Coffee with whipped coconut cream. Because taking care of yourself at a desk job is oh-so-very important. :) 

Coconut cream

From frozen to oven: Easy delicious turkey!

 
From frozen to oven: deliciously easy turkey

Considering this bird wasn’t brined first, it was probably one of the moistest I have ever made–and for sure the easiest. 

Hannaford had turkey on sale for only 77 cents a pound or something ridiculous like that so I had to buy it. But, it was Sunday and I can’t cook anything Monday through Friday because of my work schedule. I need to do EVERYTHING on Sundays. 

Dilemma? How to thaw the bird. 

I Googled how to rapidly thaw a turkey. Of course, it would take all day even in the sink and plop on cook time and this thing wouldn’t be ready until midnight.

So, I know I’ve cooked chicken straight from frozen–why not a giant turkey, too? 

Thanks, Google! Many articles suddenly appeared on how to do this life-saving task.

There’s even some weird science about how the breast takes longer to thaw because it has greater mass, which levels out the varied cooking times because it will then take the same amount of time to cook as the the legs. So, the breast is not overcooked and dry like it usually is (because usually you have to wait for the legs to finish cooking.)They’re all cooked and tender and moist and done at the same time!

Science!

Besides avoiding the raw juice pathogens, you also get science. 

From frozen to oven: deliciously easy turkey

Step One: Find a pan. 

Step Two: Preheat oven to 325. 

Step Three: Plop frozen bird in pan breast side down. (Don’t worry if you have a thermometer on the breast–it will get flipped later.)
From frozen to oven: deliciously easy turkey

After three and a half hours in the oven, pull out the giblets. I was actually amazed how not hot, yet also not messy, this was. 

I’m so used to disgusting thawed turkey juice and grime going everywhere that this is the cleanest my hands and my counters have ever been while making a turkey dinner. Phew! 

Now, flip that bird!

This is when you can add any seasonings to both sides–pre-flip and post-flip. I didn’t add anything at all to it. Purity for a first test of a recipe…

Next time I’ll probably do some rubbing at this point or throw some citrus and herbs inside, but it tasted delicious on its own!

From frozen to oven: deliciously easy turkey

There’s that thermometer! I usually cook whole chicken and turkey breast side down so all of the fat juices go into it, but, when a thermometer is involved, I change the rules. 

From frozen to oven: deliciously easy turkey

Now, the wait. Total time? 4 1/2 hours for a 12-pound bird. Not bad, not bad. I thought it would take forever, but it was quite quick. 

From frozen to oven: deliciously easy turkey

Did I mention how moist it was? Crisp skin? Ugh. I need it again. 

Our least favorite part is carving because we haven’t mastered that yet. Some day! Maybe I will learn it and do a tutorial! Pshhh. Wishful thinking. 

From frozen to oven: deliciously easy turkey

Oh, and I almost forgot to plan for sides dishes because I was so turkey focused. So, while the hub was carving, I scrubbed two sweet potatoes, stabbed them with forks and popped them in the microwave for ten minutes. 

Squish them, add some ghee and cinnamon and you’re good to eat!

From frozen to oven: deliciously easy turkey

I might have stacked the plates a little too high with meat, but we were starving. :) Don’t try to eat this much at home, kiddies. 

From frozen to oven: deliciously easy turkey

That’s it! Enjoy! Now, no more worries about where to  keep the thawing turkey in the fridge or gross germs getting everywhere on your counter. The lazy man’s turkey!

From frozen to oven: deliciously easy turkey

From frozen to oven: Easy delicious turkey
How to cook a frozen turkey
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Cook Time
5 hr
Total Time
5 hr
Cook Time
5 hr
Total Time
5 hr
Ingredients
  1. Turkey
  2. Desired seasonings (rosemary, thyme, sage, lemons, salt and pepper are good bets)
  3. 2 sweet potatoes
  4. Ghee and cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325.
  2. Place turkey breast side down in low-sided roasting pan (if you have one).
  3. Cook for 3 1/2 hours.
  4. Remove giblets. Season. Flip bird breast side up. Season.
  5. Place back in the oven for an addition 1, 1 1/2, or 2 hours depending on the size of your turkey. (Mine was 10-12 lbs-ish)
  6. While carving, place scrubbed and stabbed sweet potatoes in the microwave for 10-15 minutes.
  7. Season with butter or ghee and cinnamon.
Adapted from About Food
Adapted from About Food
The Blissful Blueberry http://blissfulblueberry.com/