Due to a lot of allergies and other health issues I’ve been working through for the past year, I decided a week ago that I need to try an elimination diet to establish more of what I can and cannot eat. After a lot of reading, I’ve started with the Autoimmune protocol (AIP) and am about one week in.

At first, I was feeling stressed, mainly because I rely so much on eggs and dairy to go through my day. I had a moment of clarity when I saw a list of all the vegetables I can eat and got a ‘of course I can do this!’ moment.
The first week, I’ve been spiralizing a lot of vegetables and eating with different kind of meats and seafood but a couple of days ago, I felt like I got stuck in a bit of a rut again. It felt like I kept eating the same things.

Yesterday, I tried to come up with easy breakfast options as it feels like frying up veg takes a bit longer and I seem to be eating my breakfast very late in the morning. In comes ways to incorporate lots of vegetable in a format that I can prepare a big batch of and just reheat in the morning.

Today, I made porridge.

Veggie porridge (AIP)

1 slice of green cabbage (100g approx), cut up into small pieces
1 cup cooked spaghetti squash
handfull of fresh spinach
1/2 yellow plantain, cut up
1 green apple, grated/chopped (I kept some back for decorating afterwards)

cloves, cinnamon, ginger powder
dash of coconut milk
squirt of lemon

2tbs gelatin     (optional – adds protein)
1/2 cup water

I started by frying up the cabbage and squash in the pan with some coconut oil and a squirt of lemon until cabbage was a bit softer. Then in went the spinach and spices, until the spinach had wilted. This then went into my blender (vitamix) with the plantains and a bit of coconut milk. The milk was poured in to make it puree easier. You don’t want to see any of the spinach pieces when you are done.

I then poured the blended mix back into the pan and added the apple, once it started simmering again. At this stage, taste it and see if you need to have some more spices, but it tastes very much like apple from the plantains and is ready to be eaten. If you want to add more protein, you can add in gelatin to the mix.

The water went into a small pot and I sprinkled the gelatin over it whilst swirling it around (to minimize clumping) and once all had been mixed in, I left it for a minute or so. After the rest, I put it over heat and stirred it until the gelatin had melted and then mixed it into the porridge.  This will firm up a bit more when cold, and can’t really be tasted once mixed.

Serve as is, or add berries or whatever you want on top.

January has been busy with our birthdays (mine & my husbands birthday are 1 day apart) and a big event with our non-profit Maker group. We have been going at full speed and it’s not until this week that we’re trying to catch up on lost sleep.

This is what has been going on in January (with the help of my instagram)

Many birthday cakes were made! The husband wanted something with lemon/raspberry/white chocolate flavour so I obliged and made him a Paleo Lemon poke cake from Beauty and the Foodie but replaced the blueberries with raspberries.
Icing was harder than I thought (getting coconut oil not to float to the top before drizzling on, hmm) but turned out great.

For myself, I wanted a small cake with many layers I could place in my birthday present from my husband. Chocolate could work as I had some leftover raspberries I wanted to use and so I found the recipe for Paleo Chocolate Cake from Super Glue Mum. I made this cake in two small round tins which fit in my new cake dome and turned it in to a four layered cake.
The cake was tasty, but very moist. So moist that it was a bit hard to cut the layers.
I realised I had some cream cheese left from a couple of days earlier (never really happens), so I made a cream cheese frosting with some honey, vanilla extract, butter and cream cheese that I spread on each layer along with some smashed up raspberries.
All in all, a great cake – but once I assembled all the layers the glass dome didn’t fit!

The plate in the foreground was some amazing chocolate chip truffles a friend of ours gave us during our birthday celebrations. We also had some left over trifle that our other friends had made for us but we forgot to put at the table when I took this snap.

Royal pillows!
I tried to finish many of my projects I’ve been thinking about for a while and these small pillows was a gift from a dear friend back in the UK. They just instantly brighten up our apartment!

One of our great presents were a cast iron pan from my sister. I had been looking at different frying pans for a while and considered getting an ordinary Lodge pan for birthday money received. Imagine my surprise (& confusion) when this one arrived in the post!

My sister knows me too well!

There was a chocolate festival in Harvard Square and oh boy did we get a lot of free chocolate things!
It was all amazing and delicious and the four of us were so pleasantly surprised. And then I was all chocolated out. One of the mini tub of ice cream is still in the freezer…

Our big event was scary, exciting and a lot of fun! We have a maker space for people in Cambridge and this was our first big event with speakers. We had a sponsor who arranged some amazing food and all in all it was a great experience.
This ring, I 3d printed, painted with one of my favourite nail polishes and glued on to a ring I bought cheaply from Michael’s. And then I completely forgot about wearing it…

Being so busy over Christmas, new year and January, I have completely forgotten about my knitting projects. This cardigan, I started with last year and didn’t have the urge to finish it until one my friends completed hers in three days. Almost there!
One of my promises to myself this year is to emphasize more on finishing my projects rather than creating so many I get overwhelmed.  I have my many lists of projects to do, but will not start a new one before I have finished something properly.

 

So, January – jam-packed! I’m sure February will be even more amazing!

I was glad to have more time this December for Christmas decorations and tidying/cleaning up before people arrived for the holidays.

We actually bought a real tree this year (my husband has always had plastic so he was really excited) and since we already had to go to Target to get a foot for the tree, we also got two packs of decorations. I quite like the tree to be quite simple with lights and single decorations – no tinsel or lengths hanging off it.

Previous years, we have received ornaments from family and the ones that are more precious to us are the glass angel my mother gave me three years ago as well as the pcb Christmas tree my husband was given from his family.

Pcb Christmas tree ornament

I remember as a child that we always had several different ornaments that mum had been given at different stages of her life that she always cherished.  There were several old-fashioned Swedish/Finnish ones made out of hay and linen as well as the fancier (which I absolutely loved) ones made out of glass. She initially had owned a whole set (8) of the glass baubles which all had white frosty dots on the outside, but more and more broke each year (she was always devastated and re-packed them more and more carefully each year) until there was only two or three left.

I hope that in 10 years, our Christmas tree will be filled with many different bauble from different times of our lives and we will cherish them as much as we cherish those memories and experiences now.

These are the decorations from Target that I still quite liked. The green ones remind me of old vintage ones that my grandparents had in their tree.

Green vintage looking bauble

I also crafted two of my own decorations this year with plastic beads/pearls. You know the ones you iron on to fuse together?
I decided that to go with our hipster style, we needed some pixelated/8bit style baubles.

One in red.

And one in green!

The smell of the tree is absolutely amazing and the light from the tree on those dark afternoons and evenings sure makes a difference!

Decorative orange filled with cloves

Every year, we invite our friends over for Lucia celebrations which for us means a bit of food, great conversation and lots of cakes & glogg (mulled wine). As many things this year, it was our first Lucia in Boston and our friends where excited to find out what it all meant.

Among our new friends we had someone vegan which mixed with my wheat free needs made it slightly tricky, but not impossible. I really wanted to make as much as possible edible for everyone so that I wouldn’t limit myself or my friend to what we could eat. It was proving slightly harder than usual as the common lucia treats are usually filled with butter, quark or some kind of dairy.

I was also trying out a new brand of spelt flour as this is what I can usually handle. The spelt I found was from Whole foods but was a lot darker and more coarse than I was used to and it didn’t quite hold up in the same way that I was used to with Dove’s spelt flour in London. For the traditional lucia/saffron buns, I found an interesting vegan recipe from the Green Kitchen Stories – I’m a sucker for their website design!
Instead of traditional individual buns, I rolled out the dough as much as I could (it was hard as the dough kept breaking), dolloped out lots and lots of Earth balance vegan butter along with orange zest and almond paste. Swedes are almost as obsessed with almond paste as they are with dairy products and a lot of baking includes it somehow – I have always loved it!

Once all the filling was on the dough, I carefully rolled it up on the longest side and cut them into 3cm thick slices like one does with cinnamon buns. I greased a pie pan and squeezed in all the buns, let it rise again before I brushed all the buns with vegan butter and shoved it in the oven. They came out great, but as mentioned before – a lot crumblier than usual. Obviously still very edible!

Tasty tasty saffron buns

The ginger bread biscuits/cookies were quickly made by rolling out individual balls that were flattened before the oven, instead of rolling out the dough with our cookie cutters. I also took out some coconut kisses from the freezer to fill up the trays on the table.

Something very English that we always have are mince pies. They do not have any mince meat in them (as I first though) anymore but consist of a small pastry case filled with a thick, syrupy mix of dried fruit, diced apples, candied peels and lots and lots of spices and sugar. I didn’t feel like making so many individual pie cases thought so got some filo/phyllo pastry and made mince pie baklava instead which was a great hit. So great that I actually do not have any pictures at all of the finished product!

Mince pie baklava

Icy on the inside of the window!

Or should I say outside! It was so cold outside and quite warm inside (we had the heaters on max for once!) that the one window that is still original (thus only single glazing) froze on the inside!

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