Mushroom and Artichoke Soup

I’ve been sick the last couple of days, the kind where you are just plain passed out on the couch and drooling. So when I finally managed to peel my tired and sick body off the couch, I wanted something hot and delicious. Luckily, I had a container filled with roasted mushrooms and some spare artichoke quarters languishing in a jar… so I thought… SOUP! Since I was fuzzy from sleeping 2 days straight, I put on some good music and chopped methodically while I simmered up this soup. Turns out, this is just what I needed.

Mushroom and Artichoke Soup (A little bit of this and that from the Kaprise Kitchen)

  • 2 cups of roasted mushrooms (I made mine like this), finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup of canned artichokes (the ones I had are marinated in oil and Italian spices, but plain should be just fine), finely chopped
  • 1 medium sized yellow onion, finely diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, smashed and finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • pinch of cumin, paprika, and whatever other spices you want!
  • 1 cup of water
  1. If you haven’t already, finely chop all of the ingredients.
  2. In a pot, heat the butter and olive oil
  3. Gently stir in the onion, cooking until translucent and sweet. Add the garlic and cook for a few minutes.
  4. Stir in the mushrooms and artichokes.
  5. Add 1 cup of water and bring to a simmer
  6. Season accordingly.
  7. DONE!

Easy Peasy! This is easily made vegetarian by just using olive oil…. I ate mine with some seared scallops, but you can add or leave out protein as you see fit!


I hope you are all staying warm! It’s been freezing out here, and much to my dismay, my dog LOVES being outside in the snow and ice.



How to Pack a Paleo/Primal Friendly Care Package

How many of you have loved ones that are far away? How many of you have loved ones in the military and/or overseas? How many of you believe that FOOD is the best way to express your love? Yes, yes, and yes? Me too.

Since most of my loved ones practice paleo/primal eating habits, my care packages are tailored for their needs. If you’ve read my blog before, you know that I am not, so it makes it a little bit of a challenge since I am not as nearly in tune with paleo/primal dietary restrictions. Plus, there are some things that are just SO good and worth breaking the rules just a little bit.

The most important thing that I do is READ the entire label and check the expiration date. Things that don’t expire until 2030 are OUT and things that expire within the next 6 months are out also. Often times these overseas care packages take over a month to find their destination, so I want to be sure the food lasts long enough.

After I read the entire package, I run through this little list. I try to purchase things that are a perfect fit, but it’s tough. I will purchase things that have the majority of these factors, but if the product only has ONE factor, I’m more hesitant to include it. Okay. Here’s my list:

  1. Made, manufactured, and sourced in the USA. I also try to support smaller companies over conglomerates
  2. Sustainably sourced
  3. Non-GMO
  4. Organic
  5. No added sugar (If the product MUST have sugar, I look for coconut sugar sweetened, agave, or something less toxic that corn syrup)
  6. Only intelligible ingredients (if I don’t recognize the 24 character word, I put it back)
  7. Gluten Free (I’m most on watch for wheat products)
  8. Healthful oils and fats
  9. Fiber content (I’m told that a little fiber is super helpful since many of the armed forces are stuck eating dense baked goods that don’t pass too well… and on that note, I think my list is done)

Occasionally some corn products slip into the boxes, but wheat almost never makes the list. For some reason, I find corn more forgivable than wheat (which may not be your preference).  I vary my boxes each time I send them, so this is only ONE of the many boxes I send. I’ll try to post the others as I send them to give you more ideas. As always, I used a USPS Large Square Flat-Rate Box. The box ships to any US address or FPO for $13.95 and for up to 20 pounds.

Alright? Ready? (Also. Please excuse the dark, middle of the night kitchen photos. I was trying to pack this all up and write a card before 11:00pm, but I guess that’s not happening!)

  1. Tanka Bars – These are Buffalo meat and cranberry bars. They’re good, filling, and come in a variety of different flavors. I packed a “HOT” one for fun. They come in the long whip or a bar. (For the skinny ones, $2/each. Bars, $2.89/each)SONY DSC
  2. TrueBar in Cranberry Almond and Hazelnut Chocolate – I haven’t tried these yet, but the ingredients were clean and it’s made in the USA. ($1.69/each)SONY DSC
  3. Coconut Secret – Mint Coconut Bar – This is amazing. It’s minty and coconutty all at the same time. It’s really yummy and a good dessert. (Dammit… now I want one) ($2.89/each)SONY DSC
  4. Artisana Nut Butters in Blue Algae and Phyto Plankton – I’m told that these are amazing despite their very strange physical appearance. I haven’t tried them, but I trust the reviewer. ($2.00-$3.00/each – I think the Phyto Plankton was 75 cents more)SONY DSC
  5. Inca Corn and Inca Chips – I know… I know… corn. However, the plantain chips are paleo! Both of these are crunchy, salty, and delicious. They are on the cleaner sider. The corn is non-GMO and the plantains are gluten free. ($1.49/each on sale)    SONY DSC
  6. Bear and Wolf Pink Salmon – I purchased this at Costco so I’m not sure the pricing. This salmon is pretty good for canned, and the cans are one serving size, which I think is good.   SONY DSC
  7. Bakery on Main Gluten Free Granola in Extreme Fruit and Nut – Also derived from corn products (since there is no oatmeal or wheat). I haven’t tried this before, but it looks promising. It is filled with delicious looking dried fruit and plenty of nuts. ($5.99/each) SONY DSC
  8. Peeled Dried Apricots and NOW Dried Mango – Just dried fruit. No sulfates or other nastiness, but again, I haven’t tried these two varieties so hopefully they are yummy! (Apricots, $3.99/each. Mangos, $5.49/each)  SONY DSC
  9. Seeds of Change Brown Rice and Quinoa – For a little variety, some precooked rice and quinoa. These packets aren’t particularly delicious. They are just plain Jane, but they heat up in the packet in the microwave or on the stove top in less than 5 minutes. For people on the go, I think this is a good option. Definitely needs some protein or flavoring, but it’ll do the trick. I bought these at Costco also, but I think it works out to about $1 a packet.  SONY DSC
  10. Traditional Medicinals Organic Peppermint Tea – This brand of tea is consistently good, so I snapped this one. ($3.99/each) SONY DSC
  11. Gingerbon  – Seriously. No words. Chewy. Gingery. Delicious. And made with only 3 ingredients – cane sugar, tapioca, ginger. ($1.00/each) SONY DSC
  12. Season Sardines in Olive Oil – Sardines! Good protein and calcium for people who don’t have access to vitamin rich food. Plenty of olive oil to keep you full with good fats. I also bought this at Costco, but I think it works out to about $1.50/box). SONY DSC
  13. Bagged Quinoa – I originally got this HUGE bag of quinoa from my older sister, but then she made the change to be 100% grain free, so I inherited this bag. I’ve been doling it out in 1 cup increments in my care packages, but after the bag is used up I will not be purchasing quinoa unless for very special occasions. More on that decision later (I’m still in the process of doing some research on the quinoa issue). With things that are bagged, I label them with instructions and specific measurements so that whomever receives them won’t have to make the extra step of measuring.SONY DSC
  14. Harry and David Mixed Nuts – I like to pack one serving size of nuts, but I’m an airhead and forgot to pick up extra packets today. I had this one so I’m adding it to the box, but normally I’d have a variety of toasted hazelnuts and lightly salted macadamia nuts.  SONY DSC
  15. Good Seasonings Italian Dressing – My older sister will be having a fit when she sees this, but I threw in a packet of salad dressing powder. It’s good to adding to quinoa before it’s cooked through, sprinkling on meat before grilling, and adding a little flavor to otherwise rather bland food. In the future, I’ll be sending Penzy’s Spices, but I didn’t have a chance to nip out there, so this commercial (probably GMO and chemical stuffed) packet has been included.  SONY DSC
  16. Finally, my personal favorite!! Chia seeds!! I love these always. I bought a giant bag from Costco for $10 and have been packing 1 cup at a time in my care packages. SONY DSC

So this is my final box: It’s still got some room. I’ll add some samples of cosmetics and other knick knacks before sending it out. 


And don’t forget to fill out that awesome Customs Form for things leaving the USA!SONY DSC


I hope this little list helps you pack yummy things for your loved ones!

What do you pack for your loved ones? Any suggestions on things to add or subtract from my box?


Hazelnut Almond Scones with Chunky Chocolate and Cherries

What a mouthful…. both literally and figuratively. Let me tell you… these scones? Amazing. Totally and utterly drool worthy… these are the scones that you drive an extra 15 miles to a different grocery store to get the right ingredients for. These are the scones that you get heart palpitations when you see someone else reaching for the last one that you wanted to add to your tummy (in addition to the 2 others you stored in there).

Forget the whole wheat thing… these are made of nuts. Nuts!!! This will change your life forever. I mentioned the recipe by Nom Nom Paleo, but being the nudge that I am, I had to tweak it. I couldn’t help it. Anyway – here is my recipe, just adapted a bit.


Hazelnut Almond Scones with Chunky Chocolate and Cherries, a mouthful in every way (Adapted from Nom Nom Paleo)

  • 2 cups of finely ground almond flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 1 cup of finely ground hazelnut mean (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 4 tablespoons of cold butter
  • 2 large eggs (Did I ever tell you guys about the difference in egg size?)
  • 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • 1 teaspoon of bourbon vanilla
  • 2 – 3 ounces of good quality dark chocolate, smashed (because baking is all about stress relief)
  • 1/4 cup of dried cherries (I chopped mine in half)
  1. Preheat your oven to 335F (I know. It’s a weird number, but I promise it works)
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, and a pinch of salt (I didn’t use any because I used a salted chocolate and salted butter, but this is totally your call).
  3. In the dry ingredient bowl, grate the butter (using the chubby grater holes) into the dry mixture. I like to dip my butter into the flours and grate so that the grated butter doesn’t stick. You can also freeze the butter, but I normally just dip and grate.
  4. Once the butter has been grated, crumble the dry ingredients with the butter. Make sure you have some chunky bits. Think the pea-sized bits you want when you make good fluffy biscuits.
  5. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the eggs, vinegar, honey, and vanilla.
  6. Make a well in the butter and flour mixture and pour in the wet ingredients.
  7. Combine gently. Your mixture should be cohesive, but very wet.
  8. Gently add the chocolate and cherries. (As I mentioned above, I smashed my chocolate bar. I also used closer to 2.5 ounces because I ate some before I added it to the bowl)
  9. Portion out the dough into even balls and shape on a parchment lined sheet.I managed to make seven large scones, but you can just as easily make daintier ones.
  10. Bake at 335F for 12 minutes before raising the temperature to 350 and rotating the pan. Bake at 350 for another 10 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  11. Gobble them up!!!


  • You will notice that the original recipe used baking soda, but I chose to use baking powder because the smell of the baking soda was unnerving to me. Baking soda and powder are basically the same, except baking powder has cream of tartar in it. For whatever chemical reason, baking powder does not have the same smell. I’m weird about smells… so this made a huge difference. Keep in mind, because baking powder does contain less baking soda (leavening agent), the dramatic rise and pouf of my scones is much less dramatic. However, barring your strange obsession with smell, feel free to use baking soda for the dramatic lift and the pillowier texture.
  • In the same vein, these scones are not light and fluffy… instead they are moist, a little heavier, and deliciously flavored.
  • I used a cup of hazelnut flour because I saw it at the store and I figured… why the hell not. It definitely adds a certain nutty flavor and luxuriousness to these scones, but you can also just use almond flour. Also… something important to note? Hazelnut flour smells TERRIBLE, but it bakes perfectly and it loses that strange smell. They turn into beautifully nutty scones.
  • I did try this recipe with 100% hazelnut flour and NO almond flour… they do not turn out the same because hazelnut flour is a great deal chunkier than almond flour. The resulting “scone” was more of a pile of semi-stuck together ground up hazelnuts. While it was delicious, they were not scone-like in nature.
  • I am pretty convinced the reason these scones are just so glorious is the quality of ingredients that are used. Most of the ingredients are on the pricier side, but well worth it. I think when you use truly good quality and well sourced ingredients, everything is bound to taste delicious. I’m not really sure why this comment is included, but it popped into my head so I’m leaving it.















Paleo Cabbage Ribbons

Did I tell you my sister and my mother keep a paleo diet? Yeah. I don’t really… I eat cookies and brownies. I don’t eat much pasta or bread, but I am not paleo. I just don’t have the self control, plus the three months I tried it all I did was eat bacon and eggs. You know what happens when you eat bacon and eggs every day? You get fat.

Anyway – my sister brought home these two gorgeous cabbages from her co-op and then promptly flew the coop for the west coast for the holidays. I’ve been staring at the two cabbages thinking “how much coleslaw can someone eat???”

However, I decided I wanted something warm and yummy. It is snowing outside, after all. I read a couple recipes about roasted slices of cabbage, and as I sliced into my pretty cabbage, I realized the slices wouldn’t stay together, let alone roast in a single piece. However, I threw caution to the wind and roasted my pretty slices. I generously sprinkled some salt, pepper, and good olive oil over the slices. I baked at 400F for about 40 minutes. I had two pans. One, I kept as tidy as possible and let the slices roast. And the second? I pulled apart those slices into beautifully toasted ribbons. I tossed a little chopped garlic in at the last minute and baked for another 5 minutes. Glorious.

Paleo Cabbage Ribbons (an inspired recipe)

  • 1 head of green cabbage, washed and the outer leaves removed
  • 4 cloves of minced garlic
  • salt
  • pepper
  • about 1/4 cup of olive oil (plus some as needed)
  1. Preheat the oven to 400F
  2. Slice the cabbage into slices and remove the core in the middle sections
  3. In two rimmed baking sheets, place the slices in the sheets, spaced apart well.
  4. Sprinkle with salt and pepper
  5. Evenly drizzle olive oil
  6. Bake at 400F for 40 minutes
  7. Break apart the slices into ribbons and toss with minced garlic
  8. Return to the oven for 10 more minutes, or until caramelized