Are You Already Merrymaking?

2 03 2014

How good does this cake look?? Have you guys discovered these top chics yet? The Merrymaker Sisters will knock your socks off with their fabulous recipes that are all paleo & freaking delicious aaaaaannnnnddd they have a BOOK! I love recipe books, they make me so happy. This one will make you happy too. It’s a cracker.

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Well without further ado, let’s get to know these Merrymaking Sisters…..

Who are you?
We’re known as a few names! ‘The merrymaker sisters’, Emma and Carla or e + c! We’re just two Aussie real life sisters who want to have fun, be inspired and live creatively… and we’re on a personal mission to make the world a healthier place one recipe at a time!

How long have you been ‘cave ladies’?
We’re not sure if we found paleo, or that paleo found us? We’ll never know but will be forever grateful!. Not only for bringing us good health but a fire in our tummies (aka passion) to share it with the world! We’ve been living a paleo lifestyle for almost 2 years now and we’ll never be turning back!

Why ‘Merrymaking’?
In the dictionary, to ‘merrymaker’ means to bring joy to. Eating and living the way we do brings us so much joy, as does blogging and sharing the recipes we create! When it came to naming our online hub, there was no other word that better suited it!

What’s the ‘dream’?
To merrymake full time! It’s our intention to be merrymaking full time by the end of 2014! So watch this space! We’re going to develop our online hub even more, with a YouTube channel, more eBook resources and then be hardcopy published authors! Yes please! Plus we have like a zillion other ideas that are still in the works!

Favourite ingredient of all time?
Ooo! Well this is different for both of us! Carla LOVES sweet treats and can’t go past raw cacao powder. Emma is definitely savoury queen and loves avocado with everything! Who doesn’t?!

If you were on a deserted island & could take one celebrity chef with you, who & why?
Jamie Oliver! He is like the celebrity chef of all celebrity chefs! We love his story of where he has come from and his passion for healthy, simple food! We are so inspired by his personal story as well as his drive to actually make a dent in this world… which he has done several times over! Plus! Then we would have someone to cook for us while we soak up the sun… hehe… kidding!

Favourite kitchen item?
This is easy! Our Vitamix! We use it around 5 times everyday for EVERYTHING! Cake batters, cookies, smoothies, nut butter, sauces… EVERYTHING! We even minced bacon with it the other day!

Create the most mind-blowing ice cream flavour. Go!
Caramel cookie dough with double choc brownie bites, a ripple of coconut cream, a ripple of caramel AND a ripple of choc-hazlenut fudge (paleo of course)! Oh. My. Food. Can this happen stat?!

You have to cook a dish for your worst enemy, what do you make?
Well we always say: kill them with kindness! SO! We would create our most favourite dish and wow them with deliciousness! It would have to be our paleo creamy chicken pesto ‘pasta’ (seriously nom!), we’d also make a serve of sweet potato chips (because EVERYONE loves sweet potato chips), and then finish off with a de-snicker-licious raw cake! Post-dinner we will probably be BFF!

You’re in the lift with Jamie Oliver…. What do you say?
First things first: WE LOVE YOU JAMIE! That’s if we could get the words out, we may be star struck at this stage. Then we would sit him down and just talk and talk about food and cooking and then propose the idea that he DEFINITELY needs two aussie merrymaking sisters on his FoodTube channel!


In January 2014 we launched our first eBook: Let’s Eat Paleo. Packed with over 50 paleo recipes that are easy and delish to get you healthy! We’ve been overwhelmed with the positive feedback so far! The eBook also has all of the practical stuff like an overview of paleo, breakdown of our shopping trolley and frequently used ingredients! It seems that everyone is loving the simplicity and delciousness of all the recipes! Yay! You can get a copy HERE.

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Massaman Beef Cheeks

28 02 2014

I have not had beef cheeks since I made THIS RECIPE and made the discovery that they are actually cheeks for the face of the cow, not the butt. Easy mistake to make. These babies are the best to slow cook & you end up with this amazing fally-apart-melt-in-your-mouth business and a great dose of skin & gut healthy gelatin.

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Pork & Chorizo Stuffed Sweet Chilli

23 02 2014

I made a stuffing similar to this at Xmas time for our turkey and ever since I have been OBSESSED with stuffing and trying to think of more ways to acceptably eat it. This way is completely acceptable. And delicious. Deliciously acceptable even. I think that Xmas food should not just be kept for Xmas, I mean seriously, why aren’t we rocking baked ham off the bone all the time? Or turkey, I mean you’d have a weeks worth of food right there if you roasted that sucker up on a Sunday. Who’s with me? What other ‘Xmas food’ are we going to make ‘all the time’ food?

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Lime Mayo

20 02 2014

Mayo is my latest condiment obsession at the moment. It was BBQ Sauce, man that gear is good, but mayo is the front runner at the moment. I have it on eggs, chicken, fish, meat, salad, my fingers…..huh? Whatever, you will too when you taste how delicious this is. It’s easy, it will store in the fridge in a jar for about a week…. If it lasts that long. I just use the yolks as the raw egg whites seem to flare up my allergies a but work out what you like. Go for free range & the best quality you can find, if you are eating these suckers raw, you want them to be from awesome, healthy, happy chickens.

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Choc Chunk Coconut Cookies

14 02 2014

I love cookies. Especially the choc chip kind when they are warm out if the oven & the chocolate is still melty…. Is that even a word? Meh, it is now. Melty chocolate is the best, unless of course it has done it’s ‘melty’ business somewhere it shouldn’t, as in, not in a cookie but in your handbag. That’s not cool. You know what else isn’t cool? Cookies that are packed with processed sugar, highly refined white flour & weird dodgy fats like margarine. These cookies are totally cool though so don’t you worry about that.

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Butter Pecan Ice Cream

6 02 2014

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I freaking love ice cream. It is one of my favourite things in all of the land. This is probably my favouritist flavour so far. That’s right favouritist. It must be good then right? Well you will have to make it to find out. I wish ice cream grew on trees, like paleo ice cream trees, not ‘chemical $hitstorm loaded with crap trees’, someone should invent that….. But then they would be genetically modified wouldn’t they. Well that’s a damn shame. Just eat ice cream. It’ll make you happy. Read the rest of this entry »





Roasted Garlic Aioli

23 01 2014

Who loves aioli? I do & I love it garlicky…. Is that a word? It should be. How else can one be expected to describe the strength of garlic-ness of something? On a scale of not-very-garlicky to it-will-keep-the-vampires-away-for-weeks, I like mine closer to the repelling Edward Cullen end of the spectrum. Mainly because I find him completely ‘meh’, pasty & angsty but that is a whole other discussion. Eat this aioli, it’s delicious & garlic is great for the immune system.

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Ginger Coconut Bookies

13 01 2014

What do you get when you cross a BALL with a COOKIE? A BOOKIE! These little bookies are like little bombs of joy. If my tastebuds had feet they would be doing a happy dance right now. If you want your tastebuds to be busting some moves too then just make these. It’s that easy.

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Crap-Free Coleslaw

5 01 2014

Did anyone else used to think it was called ‘coldslaw’ too? I bet you did even if you won’t admit it. You’re only lying to yourself. Anyway, coldslaw makes much more sense than coleslaw because it really is cold ‘slaw’…. I don’t actually know if ‘slaw’ is a thing or if I just made that up? Stand by, I’m off to google it….. Right, so it turns out that ‘slaw’ is not a word, it’s just short for ‘coleslaw’. I also happened upon another fact…. ‘Cole’ is actually derived from the Latin word ‘colis’, meaning ‘cabbage’. Whatever Wikipedia, I still think coldslaw makes much more sense.

This one doesn’t contain the truck-load of cr@p that is in the store-bought versions and is exactly what I felt like in this 57-million-degree-heat. Not even exaggerating, it actually is that hot.

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Fig & Caramel Cake

23 12 2013

This recipe was inspired by a Paleo Sticky Date Pudding recipe I saw over at THE MERRYMAKER SISTERS, if you have not checked out those ladies yet you need to ASAP. They are fab, they cook amazing creations and you will want to lick your computer screen when you cast your eyes on some of their goodies. I was going to make their Sticky Date Pudding for my sister’s surprise birthday dinner but I don’t like to follow recipes so I changed it up a bit to suit the tangent I went off on which took me to figs instead of dates. You could make these as mini puddings too and I think it would make about 10.

Warning! This is NOT a low-sugar dessert! Obviously it doesn’t contain any of that highly refined nasty white stuff but natural sugar is still sugar. I guess what I am saying is that this is a SOMETIMES cake, not an ALWAYS cake and prepare for a bit of a buzz if you, like me, are used to minimal sugar generally.

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Cashew Sour Cream or Cheese

21 12 2013

Sometime you just need a bit of ‘sumthin sumthin’ and this is that something. We have had this on TACO’S, drizzled on PIZZA or MEATZZA or just as a bit of something to dip other stuff in to…. By ‘other stuff’ I mean food, nothing weird. Don’t be weird. It’s a great alternative to sour cream if you can’t do dairy and the ‘cheesy’ version just works.

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Top Deck Chocolate

10 12 2013

I love chocolate. I really, really do. It makes me happy in my heart. These days it tends to only be the homemade variety or some good quality dark chocolate that ends up in our house. This has been one of my favorites so far. Loaded with magnesium from the fabulous raw cacao & some healthy fats from the deliciously smooth cacao butter & coconut oil, this gear is good. Real good. Like you might need to hide it from yourself in the back of the freezer behind the dog mince to stop yourself eating it at breakfast time. Not that I did that…. BUT if I did there wouldn’t be anything wrong with that. Besides, if no-one saw me it never happened, right?!

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Coconut Crusted Fish

24 11 2013

I don’t know if you have tried it yet but I am OBSESSED with the FISH TACO at Primal Pantry. It is to die for. Go there, eat it, thank me later. Anyway, the salmon fillet in that is coconut crusted. Freaking heaven. It’s a mouth party & all your tastebuds are invited. Of course I though I had best get coconut-crusting my own fish at home. This is an awesome alternative to a regular fish batter & you could substitute the shredded coconut for almond meal if you wanted to as well. Go on, treat your mouth.

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Chinese Pork Spare Ribs

10 11 2013

Since my first ribs experience at Ribs & Rumps a few months back, I have developed quite a taste for these little morsels. That night was a first of a few things. I ordered my first steak…. Yep, EVER. Up until about 6 months ago I didn’t eat red meat. I had to consult the entire table about what type of steak I might like, how would I have it cooked, sauce or no sauce? I must have been super annoying. Anyway, someone else on the table ordered ribs & was nice enough to share (way nicer than me, if I had a plate of ribs, I totally would not share. Joey doesn’t share food! Remember that? Friends? No? Whatever). So that night I ordered my first steak & tried my first ribs & I have not looked back. Today I even cooked my first steak myself for lunch. I still have a bit of a freak out with red meat because I am not that confident cooking it. I stood staring at the steaks at the butcher for about 20mins trying to work out which sort to buy. In the end I did ‘eanie meanie, miney, mo’, because that is how I make all the difficult decisions in my life, don’t judge me, it has served me well to date. Anyway, I have just realized that this is probably a pretty rubbish story by now so I’ll wrap it up. I cooked the steak, it was good, not as good as my dad’s steak but edible. Make these ribs, they are delicious & I promise I won’t bore you with any more cr@p steak stories….well, I might.

2 tsp Sichuan peppercorns, ground
1 tsp Chinese 5 spice
2 tbs sesame oil
2 tbs honey/ maple syrup (OPTIONAL)
1/2 cup coconut aminos (soy sauce or tamari can be substituted)
1 tsp fish sauce
8 pork spare ribs

In a big bowl or tray mix all the ingredients except the pork together well. Add the pork to the marinade & toss to coat. Refrigerate for a few hours or overnight. Pop the ribs (no marinade) in an oven tray on 150C for about an hour then crank up the heat to 200C for about 15-20mins to crisp up the outside. Optional- With the leftover marinade, add to a small saucepan with 1/2 cup chicken stock and simmer over a low heat to reduce to a nice thick sauce that can be drizzled over the ribs once they are cooked. We served ours on a big bed of wilted greens. Now get those fingers dirty & dig in.

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Cumin Pulled Pork

7 11 2013

Now I know it’s getting warmer but that is no need to relegate your slow cooker to storage just yet! Whilst it might not be stew or casserole weather, slow cooked or shredded meat is an amazing accompaniment to a fabulous salad too.

This delicious pork concoction is what we used to fill our amazing COCONUT CREPES but it would be amazing however you chose to eat it. It has very few ingredients & as it is a slow cooker/crockpot recipe it requires very little work on your behalf.

1tsp ground cumin
1tsp cinnamon
4 dried red chilli (you can use fresh but maybe just 2), roughly chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 onion, roughly chopped
1-2L of stock or water
Pork- leg or shoulder
Pinch salt & pepper

OPTIONAL EXTRA
1 cup coconut cream
1 tsp cumin

Rub the pork with the cumin, cinnamon, salt & pepper & pop it in the slow cooker (crockpot) on top of the chopped onions. Add the garlic & chilli & pour over the stock (or water) to come about 2cm from the top of the pork. Cover & let the slow cooker do it’s thing on low for 6-8 hrs. If you are doing this in the oven in a crockpot I would go with 120C for 6-8hrs. Remove from the liquid and use a fork to shred the meat. It should all fall apart easily. I then popped the meat in a baking dish, poured over 1/2 cup of the liquid from the crockpot, 1 cup coconut cream and sprinkled with another teaspoon cumin, give it a good stir and popped in in the oven on 180C for about 20 mins before serving. That last bit it completely optional. We then used it as filling for the crepes.

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Coconut Crepes

2 11 2013

My mum made some delicious crepes with pulled pork for my birthday so I thought I’d have a crack at my own. I didn’t want to use too much arrowroot starch but coconut flour can be a total bit$h to cook with without it. I tried a couple at the start without the arrowroot starch, hot tip…. Just don’t. They were a disaster. Trav still ate them but they were not crepe-like, they were a pile of broken bits. Much like my ego was starting to become.

These can be used like a tortilla and I totally intend to crack them out for a Mexican fiesta feast one night. I think they would work brilliantly as chicken enchiladas or quesadillas. You could also make them a sweet crepe and shove all sorts of fab poached fruit inside.

1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 tsp garam marsala (optional- you can omit completely or replace with cinnamon for a sweet crepe)
6 eggs
Salt & pepper
2 cups Coconut milk (or milk if your choice)
2 tbs Arrowroot starch (cornflour would work too, some flavorless whey might work too, I haven’t tried, let me know if you do)
Makes about 15 crepes

Pop everything into the food processor & blend until smooth. Heat a small frypan & add a dash of coconut oil. Pour in the crepe batter & swirl it around the pan to form a thin, even layer. Now the trick to being able to flip these suckers without them ending up as a pile of scramble is to let them cook almost all the way through before you attempt the flip. They should be browning around the edges, then you can flip them and cook briefly on the other side. We filled these lovely morsels with some pulled pork & salad but they would be pretty devine filled with berries & yoghurt drizzled with chocolate sauce…. Just sayin.

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Chocolate Lamb

20 10 2013

So chocolate with lamb, super weird or super delicious? I think both. The raw cacao in this recipe gives the lamb an amazing rich & mildly chocolatey flavor without being too much of a punch in the face. Lamb is a great source of protein & is rich in iron, zinc & B vitamins. I love the way this lamb just falls apart from the cooking & can be a great addition to a salad if you want more of a Summer meal rather than a Winter warmer.

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Chai Protein Bounty Bars

20 10 2013

Ok, let’s be clear. Coconut butter & coconut oil are NOT the same thing! I don’t care if the lady/man/weird hippy/talking cat at the healthfood shop told you they are the same. They are clearly off their face & don’t have a clue about the wonderful world of coconut & they are lying to you. I don’t know why they are lying to you. Maybe they don’t like you. Maybe they want to keep all the coconut butter for themselves…. that would be understandable. You can try to use them interchangeably if you like, but it’s going to end in tears, oily coconut tears. So here’s the deal. Think about peanut butter & peanut oil. You know they are not the same thing right? Same deal. Coconut OIL is the oil pressed from the flesh of the coconut. Coconut BUTTER (also called coconut concentrate or coconut manna) is coconut flesh puréed to form a liquid or butter. Get it? Got it? Good. Let’s make these babies.

If you are not a fan of the old chai flavor you can just omit all the chai spices & make regular protein Bounty bars. You can leave out the protein too if you like. If you leave out much more though there will be nothing left so let’s not waste each others time & just do as I say. These are loaded with fabulous healthy fats, protein & are super low carb. You need these in your face ASAP.

BARS-
200g coconut butter
1 tsp cinnamon (omit if not doing chai)
1/2 tsp cloves (omit if not doing chai)
1/2 tsp nutmeg (omit if not doing chai)
1/4 tsp cardamom (omit if not doing chai)
1 tsp vanilla powder (or 2 tsp vanilla extract)
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup protein powder (OPTIONAL- you can use extra coconut instead)
1/2 cup coconut (shredded or dessicated)
1-2 tbs maple syrup or stevia to taste (OPTIONAL- I didn’t add any sweetener to mine)

CHOC COATING
2-4 tbs raw cacao (start with 2 & add more to taste)
1 heaped tbs ghee or coconut oil
1/2 cup nut butter of your choice
1-2 tbs honey/maple syrup or stevia (OPTIONAL)

In the food processor mix all the bar ingredients together until well combined then pour into a baking paper lined tray and pop in the freezer to set while you make the coating. For the coating, add all the ingredients to a small saucepan and melt together gently. Adjust the sweetness/cacao level as you need to. Once smooth, remove from heat & set aside. Grab the bars out of the freezer & cut into the sizes you want. Dunk them into the Choc mix & place on a baking paper lined tray in the fridge to set. Now you can eat.

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Mixed Berry Choc Ripple Ice Cream

19 10 2013

Oh ice-creamy goodness how I enjoy thee. The weather is heating up so has come the time for my ice cream maker bowl to resume its place in the freezer so that I can make ice cream on a whim. You know what’s annoying? Wanting to make ice cream & the bowl isn’t frozen. Height of inconvenience. My friend bought an ice cream maker this week. She didn’t realise you had to freeze the bowl first. Needless to say that batch of ice cream was not a success. If you have bought/are going to buy an ice cream maker, you’ve got to freeze the bowl first people, like overnight, not just a few hours. That’s my pearls of wisdom for the day. I’m fairly certain you are all feeling very enlightened by this information.

Homemade ice cream kicks ar$e on the store-bought chemical $hitstorm with 34 ingredients, none of which you can pronounce. This one is a delicious mash up of berry goodness & chocolatey yum. It is a low sugar recipe that packs a flavour punch.

Berry Bit
400ml coconut milk
400ml coconut cream
250g mixed berries
1 heaped tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla powder
OPTIONAL – Stevia or maple syrup to sweeten

Choc Bit
1 lge ripe avocado
1 cup coconut water (you can use a milk of your choice instead if you like)
2 tbs raw cacao
2 tsp cinnamon
Pinch stevia (or 1-2 tbs maple syrup)

Add all the berry bit ingredients to the food processor & blend well until smooth. Pour into your ice cream maker & let it do it’s thing.
Give the food processor a quick rinse. Now add all the choc bit ingredients to the food processor and process until smooth. Taste it & see if it needs more cacao or sweetener. Set this aside until the berry ice cream is just about done. When the berry bit is done, pour it into a container, pour the choc mix on top & swirl it through with a spoon/knife/fork/finger…. Pop it in the freezer for about an hour to set properly, scoop it out & get it in your pie hole.

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Creamy Garlic Prawns

15 10 2013

You know what I sometimes miss about this paleo bizzo?? Amazing fresh seafood pasta with loads of garlic & olive oil. YUUUMMMM!! Don’t get me wrong, I don’t miss the bloating, gut ache & general crappy feeling I get from eating gluten, but those few minutes before all that starts are heavenly. The Italians sure did get some things very right. Like gelato & Gucci. I am going to make sorbet with coconut water this Summer. Not sure what flavor but it is going to be delicious. I can taste it already. I love coconut water… & puppies. People who don’t like puppies have something wrong with them…. Like I think it’s a serious character flaw. That would totally be a deal-breaker for me if someone didn’t like puppies. That’s my dating advice for all you singles out there. If they don’t like puppies, move on quick smart. You are welcome. Well that didn’t get too off track at all. Pasta to puppies. Totally normal conversation.

2 1/2 tbs fresh garlic, crushed
1 red chilli, deseeded & finely chopped (optional)
1 shallot, finely diced
1/4 cup chopped basil
1/4 cup chopped continental parsley (optional)
400ml coconut milk
6 zucchini’s noodled (I use my SPIROOLI
500g peeled raw prawns
I also added 2 fresh salmon fillets chopped into cubes but that is completely optional!
Coconut oil for cooking.

In a large frying pan, heat the coconut oil & sauté the shallot & chilli until the shallot has softened, add the garlic & sauté until it starts to brown slightly. Add your coconut cream & reduce to a medium heat & bring to the boil. Once it is simmering add the prawns (and salmon if you are using it) and allow to return to a simmer stirring gently. Reduce to a low heat & cook until the prawns are just cooked through then remove from heat. Put the zucchini noodles in a big bowl (they are still raw but the hot sauce will be enough to cook them slightly), pour the sauce over the top, add the herbs, season with salt & pepper & toss gently to combine. Serve.

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