Recap: Cooking Demo

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Something pretty awesome happened last week. This rad friend of mine who is a super awesome radio DJ in New York City (check it) runs summer camps in the city. I ran into her a couple weeks ago in the subway (fate) and she asked me to speak and do a Paleo-centric cooking demo for a high school cooking summer program she was running.

I did, it went well. The end.

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Just kidding. That’s not the whole story. So she asked me to do this demo and seminar for 40 high school kids. I couldn’t incorporate nuts, they didn’t have a fully functioning kitchen, and hardly any cooking tools. I really wanted so badly to have the kids make their own flavors of Healthy Chewy Bars, but alas both nuts and lugging my large food processor were out. I thought about making my Swoon Worthy  Bacon Caramel Chocolates, but they didn’t have a freezer.. sooo that was also out. After loads and loads of thinking, I decided to have the kids make my Bacon Wrapped Butternut Squash Spears with Sage recipe. It is a simple and the preperation and time allows for plenty of  discussion and questions (and apparently small grease fires, nbd). I also wanted to show how simple making mayonnaise is and how versatile it can be with different flavors. It’s da simple switches in your diet doe. ;) But really, little swaps go a long way! Oh! And I pre-made a version of my Bacon Caramel Chocolates to pass around, because bacon+caramel+chocolate. Nuff said.

Anyway, I talked to the kiddies about Paleo, what Paleo is, Paleo misconceptions, and basic points of Paleo (good fats/bad fats, bad sugars/OK sugars, gluten and grain, and dairy). A handful of kids had actually heard of Paleo and two had even tried it. I was so very impressed! One even said it made him have more energy and feel better *high five*!

We chatted a bunch, I asked questions, they asked questions, and we cooked. The points that I hope were taken from the demo actually aren’t necessarily Paleo specific.

-What foods make YOU feel good? Eat those!
-What foods don’t make you feel good? Avoid those! Eliminate grains and dairy for a few weeks and then slowly incorporate them. You might have felt good before, but maybe you’ll feel even better after!
-If you’re cooking anyway, you may as well cook food that makes your mind and body happy!
-Don’t beat yourself up. Don’t let eating a certain ‘diet’ define you or your social life. If you do decide to eat Paleo, you don’t need to feel guilty for occasionally splurging and eating something ‘non-Paleo’ as a treat. But treat it as a treat and exception ;)


As this awesome Paleo superstar says, paleYOU!

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Cutting Board Moisturizer

                      The left spoon has been adiquatly moisturized compared to the dried and old right wooden spoon and cutting boards. 

                      The left spoon has been adiquatly moisturized compared to the dried and old right wooden spoon and cutting boards. 

Moisturizer for wood. Yeah, that sounds ridiculous doesn't it?! However, it makes perfect sense. Like human skin, when you repeatedly wash the wood/skin it dries out. No this is not a wood stain that darkens the surface, it just brings moisture to wood to bring it back to life! (However it will make the wood look a bit darker- but the color will fade). This also is a great conditioner for new surfaces as well. I did some pretty thorough research when I was gifted this GORGEOUS handmade, one of a kind cutting board. This is not any old cutting board. I want this sucker to last years and years, and for it to do so I have to treat it right!

                                                                                              Wood Cutting Board Moisturizer

                                                                                              Wood Cutting Board Moisturizer

A couple of things about cutting board care: >>>Always wash the entire cutting board, top-sides-back, wash it all! I'm lazy and would only wash the the top, however I have changed my ways! (Especially with wooden spoons, I have loads of experience with only washing the spoon part and not washing the handle). If you do not wash the entire surface, then the wood is liable to 'age' differently as opposed to together. >>>When you get a new wood cutting board, it is very important to condition it before you use it. It will repeal food and oils (instead of them seeping in), and it will minimize the marks from your knives. >>>With a new board, you should condition it once a week for about a month in order to better repeal food and bacteria. >>>You should condition your wooden kitchen tools every few months, or every month if you use them heavily. >>>Make sure you thoroughly clean your cutting board first!!

To Clean wood cutting boards:

1/2 lemon 
coarse sea salt

  1. Wash your board thoroughly with soap and hot water.2. Generously sprinkle the board with the salt.3. Cut your lemon in half and use one half as a the sponge and gently squeeze the lemon as you rub the salt around the board.4. Wash the salt and lemon off and let dry.

To Moisturize wood cutting boards:

Makes: about a pint of moisturizer
Hands on: 10 minutes
Total time: 6-8 hours

8 ounces of walnut oil*
2 ounces of organic beeswax
contents of 1 vitamin E tablet

  1. Fill a small sauce pan with a few inches of water and put on high heat.
  2. In a glass jar, add the beeswax and oil and put it in the sauce pan.
  3. Just being the water boils, turn the heat down to medium-low, just so the water remains at a gentle simmer.
  4. Constantly stir the glass jar (with a wooden spoon) until the oil and wax are all melted and smooth.
  5. Turn off the burner and add in the vitamin E and stir. Coat the rest of the spoon in the oil and massage.
  6. Once the oil has hardened (this only took about 20 minutes), use your fingers to massage the wax into the wood cutting board. Thoroughly cover all surfaces evenly. Wait about 6-8 hours. Then with a soft cloth, gently wipe the excess oil off of the board.

P.S. Your hands will feel so soft after!!!

*I used walnut oil because it doesn't easily turn rancid like vegetable oils.