Illustration

Grok Grub's Smoked Salmon Egg Stuffed Avocados [Paleo] by Alex Boake

Next up in my very drawn out series of recipe trades is a swap with Grok Grub! Things have gotten a little behind on my end due to my move across the ocean from Canada to Japan, but, more on that later. Rachel has actually already posted her half of the trade, you can find her photos of my MaCaZu Sauce on her blog. When going through her recipes I had a heck of a time deciding which one I wanted make. It's tough, when I had some killer recipes such as this Grain Free Rhubarb Tart and Paleo Sex In a Pan to choose from. However, after much deliberation, I finally decided on her Smoked Salmon, Egg Stuffed Avocados, and I was not disappointed! They made a perfect breakfast, filling and satisfying. You can head on over there for her mouthwatering photos, and a printable version of her text recipe. If you stick around here for a minute, you can take a look at my illustrated guide for assembly instructions!

Grok Grub's Smoked Salmon Egg Stuffed Avocados, Illustrated by Alex BoakeIsn't that genius? What a clever lady she is! You can find more of Grok Grub's tasty stuff on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

Primal Maple Vanilla Ice Cream by Alex Boake

Alex Boake's Primal Maple Vanilla Ice CreamYou may or may not be aware of this, but my Dad makes maple syrup! This recipe comes from a surplus of egg yolks from my sister Sweet Boake baking something, and from an abundant supply of maple syrup produced by Hockley Valley Maple Syrup. Though mostly it was from my Mom's suggestion that we use up those darn egg yolks and perhaps make some good old fashioned vanilla ice cream! My other sister just benefited in that she got to eat delicious ice cream. The whole family was sort of involved! We didn't give any to the dog though. Alex Boake's Primal Maple Vanilla Ice CreamPrimal Maple Vanilla Ice Cream Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 500mL Organic 35% Whipping Cream
  • 2 Egg Yolks, pastured if possible 
  • 3/4 to 1 Cup Maple Syrup, depending on preferred level of sweetness
  • Seeds from 1 Vanilla Bean

Directions Make sure the bowl from your ice cream maker is fully frozen, 24 hours if possible. Ours needs about 2 days in the freezer for best results on any ice cream recipe we've made. However, you know your own equipment best.

In a small saucepan, whisk together the cream and the egg yolks. Scrape out the seeds from the vanilla bean and add to the mix. Over medium heat, slowly raise the temperature of the cream mixture, making sure not to let it get too hot or you'll scramble those yolks. You want it to become a little bit thicker, then add the maple syrup. I like to stir fairly constantly to ensure that nothing gets stuck to the bottom or begins to cook.

Allow this mixture to cool a bit, then put it in the fridge until cold. Process according to your ice cream maker's instructions. This is best eaten right after you make it, topped with fresh peaches. Enjoy!

 

Predominantly Paleo's Onion Loaf by Alex Boake

Today's post continues my theme of recipe trades! This week I'm swapping with the awesome Jen of Predominantly Paleo. She's the creator of the infamous (and reportedly life-changing) Yuca Dough! Actually, I originally was planning on making the aforementioned dough, but I ran into so many setbacks related to sourcing fresh Yuca that I eventually had to put that aside and pick another recipe. Many thanks to Jen for putting up with all my #yucaproblems. Don't let that put you off from trying it out, though. One day I will resume my Yuca Quest, and slay the Yuca dragon~! Predominantly Paleo's Onion Loaf, Illustrated by Alex Boake

So, as you can see in my illustration above, I decided to make her Onion Loaf, which looks amazing in her photos. Not only does it LOOK amazing, but it also tastes amazing. It can talk the talk and walk the walk.

...Maybe that's the wrong analogy, but the fact remains that this is delicious. Yes, it's delicious even if you're like me and you use tapioca flour instead of arrowroot. (Look, I think I've got some sort of cosmic problem related to yuca/cassava/tapioca.) Please note, however, that if you use tapioca flour this will be more of an onion goo, rather than become crispy like in Jen's beautiful photos. Either way, it will be addictive and highly edible.

Predominantly Paleo's Onion Loaf with minor adaptations by me

Ingredients

  • 1 large Onion, peeled
  • 1/4 cup Potato Flour
  • 1/4 cup Arrowroot Flour OR Tapioca Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 1 dash Granulated Garlic
  • Avocado Oil or Bacon Fat for frying
  • Additional Sea Salt to taste
Directions

If using a mandolin, cut the Onion in half, remove the hard core at the bottom, and slice thinly. If you have a spiralizer, use as directed. In a large pan, heat up your oil of choice to medium.

In a shallow bowl mix the potato flour and arrowroot flour (for a crispy onion loaf) OR tapioca flour (for a gooey onion loaf), along with the sea salt and garlic powder. Dredge the onions in the flour mixture, until fully coated. The tapioca version may become somewhat sticky or clumpy, but it will be fine.

Cook the flour-coated onions until browned on all sides. Place on a towel lined plate to soak up any excess oil. Tapioca version will be somewhat sticky, so just pat it down.

Serve crispy Onion Loaf with ketchup or your dip of choice, and maybe just eat gooey Onion Loaf with a knife and a fork. Whichever route you go--enjoy!

Check out Jen's blog post for her original version of the recipe, along with her tasty photos. Plus, she's got tons of other amazing recipes so don't miss those either. You can also follow her on Facebook for all the latest updates.

Also, as I mentioned on my previous post, Jen and Vivian of The Real Food Guide recently collaborated and released an e-book dedicated to ICE CREAM. Perfect for summer, am I right? Check that out if you like ice cream, and also allergen-friendly treats.

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Head over here to get more information  "We can ALL scream for Ice Cream!"

The Real Food Guide's Autoimmune Paleo Spice Cookies by Alex Boake

Recently I decided to get inspired once again by taking on some more recipe trades. The deal is I team up with another blogger, take one of their recipes, make it, and then draw it! They take one of mine, make it, and take snazzy pictures! It's a win-win for everyone involved. Plus, then people can see that my recipes actually make food and are not secretly scams that I just draw and never make. ; ) This week's victim is Vivian of The Real Food Guide! Vivian is a Canadian blogger, recipe creator, Registered Holistic Nutritionist and a super cool designer. That's pretty rad. Her blog has awesome recipes and a fresh look to boot.

The Real Food GuideWhile Vivian chose to make my Lemon Ginger Chicken Thighs, as you can see here...I decided to try my hand at her Autoimmune Paleo Spice Cookies, and I'm so glad I did--they're delicious! If you're heading onto an AIP elimination diet, this might be a great option. Perfect for an occasional AIP-friendly treat. Great for the kiddos, and safe to have around in case 'temptation' arises. Again, win-win! I decided to take Vivian's tasty recipe and make an infographic out of it.

Autoimmune Paleo Spice CookiesIf you're more of a text-only recipe person, head on over to The Real Food Guide and her AIP Spice Cookie recipe for a Print-friendly version! The Real Food Guide can also be found on Facebook, if that's your jam.

Also, I should mention, Jen of Predominantly Paleo and Vivian recently collaborated and released an e-book dedicated to ICE CREAM. Perfect for summer, am I right? Check that out if you like ice cream, and also allergen-friendly treats. If you don't like ice cream we probably can't be friends, I'm just saying. IceCream_iPad2_flat400px

Head over here to get more information  "We can ALL scream for Ice Cream!"

Thanks for reading...until next time, pals!

Smoky Cauliflower - Roasted Cauliflower with Smoked Paprika [Paleo, Vegetarian, Vegan] by Alex Boake

Smoky Cauliflower There was some debate between myself and my parents while I was making this illustration about whether or not it was "Smoky" or Smokey". To set the record straight, it used to be spelled with an E, but the modern spelling is more streamlined and the E has been dropped. There is NO debate, however, about the deliciousness of this cauliflower creation! Perfect for low-carbers, it was a staple on my various 21 Day Sugar Detoxes and the like. We usually cook our meats at 350, so instead of roasting at a higher heat I use a lower one so it's compatible with my other staple proteins.

I'd say use whatever paprika you like, but honestly this brand is REALLY amazing. Life changing. I can get mine locally, but you can also find it online. At minimum, make sure to use a smoked paprika. You won't regret it! This vegetarian side is really simple, but has amazing flavour. Make sure you get a massive cauliflower since you'll be having the oven on for a bit, so you might as well have leftovers.

Roasted Cauliflower with Smoked Paprika Serves 4 to 6 - Cook time: 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 1 huge head of Cauliflower
  • 3 Tbsp Olive Oil (or more as required)
  • 1 Tbsp Smoked Paprika (or to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt

Directions Preheat oven to 350. Wash and pat dry the head of cauliflower. Remove the leaves and cut off the stem. Cut the head in half and then in quarters. Slice into ~1.5 cm thick pieces and lay in one layer on rimmed metal baking sheets. Cut any large florets in half. Toss all small bits onto the pan as you go. It should take about two large rimmed baking sheets to fit all the cut-up cauliflower.

Drizzle on the olive oil and sprinkle on the paprika. Toss and add enough oil and spice so that the florets are coated nicely. Sprinkle the salt evenly.

Pop into the oven and roast for 35 minutes, then flip and rotate the pans. Cook for 25 more minutes, until nicely browned with crispy edges. Serve warm, and enjoy!

Totoro Bonsai Guardian by Alex Boake

Totoro Bonsai Mike and I recently took the time to respectively watch and re-watch this excellent movie, and I got inspired to do a little illustration as a tribute. I'd say it's a big improvement over my previous Totoro illustration, though the attached recipe really does hold up!

This is also available as a design on my Society6 store, and you can get prints, TOTE(oro?) bags, shower curtains, pillows, phone cases, etc. Technology is amazing. Free shipping until June 8th using this link!

Totoro Swag

Animal Commissions (Limited Time) by Alex Boake

Alex Boake Illustration's Animal CommissionsDapper AlpacaTotes Mah Goats - Alex Boake IllustrationMugginsFor a limited time I’m going to be doing Animal Commissions! Get an illustration of your favourite animal, or your own pet. If you’d like your pet illustrated, please provide me with good reference photos. Feel free to prompt me with your favourite colours for either option (for the background/text). The text element is open to suggestion, though for pets I recommend their name.

Payment via Paypal. I will provide you with a good quality digital file for personal use. There’s an extra $5 fee for a high-resolution print file, also only for personal use. I retain the right to use the images in my portfolio, etc.

Contact me through email at alex.boake@gmail.com to get your very own personalized piece.

Thanks! -Alex

Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans [Cookbook Review] by Alex Boake

Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humansm {Cookbook  Review}I might be a bit late to the party in reviewing Michelle and Henry's awesome book, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans, but in my defense...I love to do illustrated reviews, and I haven't had time to squeeze one in around my other work. However, the long wait is over and I can finally say my piece about this excellent book, and whip out my drawing as you can see above! Michelle's character is just too cute, I really like drawing her. If you're in the "Paleo Scene", and you haven't already heard of Nom Nom Paleo, I imagine that you're doing the re-enactment thing and are actually living in a cave, not using the internet, etc. That's cool! Personally I've been a longtime fan of Michelle and Henry's blog, and have had the pleasure of meeting them in person a few times as well. They're just as awesome and nice in Real Life.

Basically, Nom Nom Paleo: Food For Humans embodies all the cool things that they're already doing on their blog, PLUS tons more recipes, print versions of their super photography, an extra bunch of really wicked comics drawn by Henry. It's really got it all, in terms of foodstuffs: Mayo, Ghee, Magic Mushroom Powder™, Sriracha, Holy 'mole Guacamole, three different Salsas, dressings...and that's just in the first section of recipes. It's like if you had access to a magic genie and wished for Nom Nom Paleo's blog in physical form, and the genie said, "WISH GRANTED; plus I literally added everything to make this as awesome as possible."

A personal favourite: in the "Nibbles" section, there's 6 whole pages dedicated to different types of non-spud CHIPS. I am a major crunchy fan, so, I'm sold. Also: 4 different kinds of deviled eggs. It's like they know the food-path to my heart or something.

There are so many amazing Paleo Cookbooks out there right now, but Nom Nom Paleo: Food For Humans is definitely a special one. With the informational sections and comics in the first part of the book, I dare say it would be a great introductory book to give a friend you want to ease into the Paleo Way-of-Life. With a fun spin, and super recipes, you really can't go wrong. Even kids would be drawn in by the comics and colours. In stunning hardcover, and with a really unique style, this book is really the whole package. If you haven't picked it up yet--you definitely should!

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Dapper Alpaca by Alex Boake

Dapper AlpacaAm I on a roll, or what? I know it's not what you're used to from me, but I like to shake things up and have some fun sometimes. What could be more fun than an Alpaca with bow ties? Come on! By the way, this is available on shirts. Also all my shirts on TeePublic are on sale for $14 again. Booyah! allshirtsThanks for tuning in! There will be recipes again. Someday. I promise! I still love you.

Goatly King Mushrooms [Primal, Gluten-free] by Alex Boake

Cheese and mushrooms are a match made in heaven, as far as I'm concerned. If you don't like cheese or mushrooms, then heaven help you! (I rescind the previous comment if you're intolerant to dairy.) Tangy goat cheese pairs wonderfully with meaty king mushrooms, and is kicked up to level 100 with garlic and fresh dill. Damn easy and delicious. King Mushrooms

Stuffed King Mushrooms Serves 4 as a side

Ingredients

  • 4 Big King Mushrooms
  • 3/4 Cup Soft Goat Cheese
  • 1 Organic Egg, beaten
  • 1 Tbsp fresh Dill, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, pressed in a garlic press, or finely minced
  • 1 tsp Butter, plus extra to grease the pan

Directions Preheat oven to 350. Grease the bottom of a small baking dish with butter. Slice the mushrooms down the center, almost but not quite cutting them in half. Lay them in the baking dish, slice side up.

Make sure the goat cheese is very soft, and mix together with the egg, butter, pressed garlic and chopped dill. Spoon this mixture into the sliced mushrooms, and cover them thoroughly with any extra.

Pop into the oven and cook for about 45 minutes, until the mushrooms are soft. Serve warm. Enjoy!

BACON MODE ACTIVATED Paleo Desktop Wallpapers by Alex Boake

Who likes bacon? Me! Who like bacon on their computer? Yuck, that's greasy, you say?! Well, not anymore. Here's some digital bacon so that your keyboard is safe from delicious bacon fat. I have two different sizes for you, and this should cover most screen resolutions if you 'fit to screen'.

Click to access full size.

Hope you enjoy all this bacon-tastic goodness all up on your screen, and that you have an excellent weekend. While you're here, consider donating a dollar or two to support my work!

Freelance Life: Want to work with me? Want to support my work? Here's the scoop! by Alex Boake

As you may or may not know, I'm a freelance illustrator! Yes, you may know me as "that girl who makes recipes and draws a picture of them", but actually I'm also a trained, professional illustrator. When I'm not creating illustrated recipes for this blog, for your enjoyment and meal-planning purposes, I'm actually available for hire. At any time, I might be working on a number of secret projects for clients, which will only be unveiled after they're published or used on a label. Of course I'm not allowed to post them all here! Depending on the contract the work is created under, you may only be able to see all of the pictures that I drew by checking out the book they're printed in--either through purchasing it, or checking it out in your local library.

This is why it's sometimes quite a while between recipe posts. If I'm putting all my time and effort into my freelance jobs, sometimes there's nothing left to put together another illustration for this here blog. That being said, I love to be able to do the work that makes me happy, and also try to make a living through my art!

I decided to put together a post to show you where you can find my published pieces, support me through purchasing prints, or work with me directly.

COMMISSION ME

Character Commissions - Alex Boake IllustrationLooking for a custom character for your blog? Personalized social media icons that match the flavour of your site? Want a recipe illustration of your very own? Well, you're in luck! I have quite reasonable rates for independent bloggers and small businesses. Contact me with the details of your project, and we can have it done in a flash.

Satisfied customers include:

PRINTS AND POSTERS

This hasn't really been public knowledge until now, but any one of my recipe illustrations can be available as a print or poster. If you get in touch with me through email, I can provide you with a high-resolution file and a licence to print one copy for display at your home or business. You can get the file printed locally, and there's no hassle with shipping. Prices tend to run from $20 to $30, depending on the size. These make a great present for the foodie in your life, or for yourself if you want your kitchen to look awesome!

PUBLISHED WORK

Practical Paleo Poop Pageant

Practical Paleo

It's no secret that my big debut in the Paleo publishing scene was Diane Sanfilippo's infamous Practical Paleo. I did a number of spot illustrations of various fruits, vegetables and meats to embellish the book, as well as a handful of diagrams. My favourite, of course, is the Poop Pageant. You could say this was the "crappiest job I ever had". (Just kidding, it was awesome.)

The Ancestral Table

The Ancestral Table : Traditional Recipes for a Paleo Lifestyle

Coming out this month is Russ Crandall's The Ancestral Table. His excellent blog is known as The Domestic Man, and if you're not familiar with it already, go check it out. This stunning book approaches the Paleo diet from a traditional foods background. I'm a tiny part of this fantastic project, but I feel very lucky to have been involved. He wanted a looser, black and white ink style, which was a fun way to get a bit more spontaneous with my line work. Not every illustration I did made it into the final book, so you can see a couple above which weren't included. (It was just too jam-packed with goodness already!) Definitely order this if you haven't already!

Paleo GrillingPaleo Grilling : A Modern Caveman's Guide to Cooking with Fire

Written by Tony Federico of F.E.D., this book covers everything you'd want to know about grilling. A meaty book, that's for sure! Speaking of which, I illustrated a TON of meat diagrams for the informational sections. I know it's tough, but you'll have to wait until June to get your hands on this. It's coming out in the summer, just in time for grilling season! Though, honestly, I'm Canadian and we BBQ all winter... I've had a glimpse at some of the recipes, and this is gonna be a good one!

Dougie the Hospice Dog

Dougie The Hospice Dog

This was a project by local Toronto authour Diane McQuaig, and was made possible by the Kensington Foundation. Based on a real location and dog, it makes the topic of death more approachable for children, and can be used to introduce the difficult subject in the case of the death of a loved one. This was a bit of a different style for me, but suited the tone and subject matter of the book. Currently available in some bookstores locally or directly through the hospice website.

OTHER MERCHANDISE

Phew, you've made it pretty far. Don't stop yet! In my Storenvy Boutique, I have tons of mugs for foodies and nerds, and also foodies who are nerds. I aim to please! Tons of designs, made by me personally and shipped right to your door. What's not to love?!

Lastly, I have a Society6 store, where you can get awesome totes and pillows with my drawings on them. I have one of the bags, and the quality is great! Very sturdy; it makes a perfect Farmer's Market bag for hauling some heavy veggies back home. There are also prints available here, but I get a very small cut, so unless you're looking for a canvas print, it's best to contact me directly to order regular prints.

Congratulations if you made it through this post! I appreciate anyone who takes the time to appreciate my work on any level. Even a comment makes my day. Hope you keep enjoying my work and I'll try to keep the recipes coming! 

Balsamic Roasted Heirloom Carrots [Paleo, Primal, Vegan] by Alex Boake

Shopping at farmer's markets is such a treat, and in my city there are at least 3 that run year round--including my go-to, Dufferin Grove. I spotted these heirloom carrots last week, and I decided that I really didn't eat enough carrots these days. Especially delicious, sweet, organic heirloom carrots! You can make this recipe with any ole' carrots you want, or even parsnips, but I highly recommend some heirloom carrots if you can get your hands on them. They're super pretty and extra delicious! For this recipe the amounts are approximate, I just toss everything together and add until the carrots look well-coated.

Balsamic Roasted Heirloom Carrots

Serves 4

  • 12 Medium Heirloom Carrots
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp Olive Oil or Melted Coconut Oil
  • 2 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • 2 Tsp Mixed Herbs or Herbes du Province
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Black Pepper

Directions  Preheat oven to 350. Scrub carrots and cut the tops off, then cut in half lengthwise. Line a metal baking tray with foil, and put the carrots on the tray.

Drizzle your oil of choice and the vinegar onto the carrots. Crush the herbs in your hand if the flakes are large, and sprinkle along with the salt and pepper onto the tray with the carrots. Toss to coat evenly.

Pop into the oven and cook for 30 minutes, or until golden and slightly crispy on the edges.

Lemon Ginger Chicken Thighs [Paleo, Primal. 21DSD friendly] by Alex Boake

Hi friends! Long time no see! Happy 2014! Hope everyone had a great holiday time. Just recently I came back from a two week trip to Japan, which was super fantastic. I saw so many cool things, it blew my mind. Also I ate many cool things! I'm thinking of putting together a little post about trying to eat 'Paleo-ish' in Japan, which is a challenge I'll tell you now. Look out for that sometime in the near future! I promised this recipe on my Facebook Page back about a month or two ago, but I was so busy I didn't have a chance to do an illustration. Well I'm back, babes! I put this together when I was doing my 21 Day Sugar Detox. I have to say, it's really simple, and really delicious.

Lemon Ginger Chicken Thighs

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients

  • 12 Chicken Thighs
  • 1/4 Cup Melted Butter
  • Juice of 1 Lemon
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Aminos or Gluten-free Tamari Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Fresh Ginger, minced
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Pepper
  • 12 Average Parsnips and/or Carrots, peeled and halved

Directions Preheat oven to 350. In a large roasting pan with a lid, put the peeled Parsnips and Carrots on the bottom of the pan. On top, arrange the chicken thighs skin-up in a single layer.

In a small bowl, whisk together the warm melted Butter, the Lemon juice, Coconut Aminos/Tamari Sauce, minced Ginger, Garlic Powder and Pepper.  Pour this mixture evenly over the Chicken Thighs.

Cook covered for 60 minutes. Remove the lid and cook for 15 more minutes.. The Chicken is done when you cut into it and the juices run clear. Plate, served over the Parsnips. Enjoy!

 

Paleo-friendly Whipped Shortbreads [Gluten-free, Primal, Paleo-friendly] by Alex Boake

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone! I hope everyone has had a relaxing time, filled with family fun and get-togethers. For me, the best part of the season is the excuse to meet up with people who I don't normally have a chance to see through the rest of the year. All the delicious and traditional holiday recipes make the season tasty, and nostalgic.

Last year I didn't really make any Christmas cookies because I wasn't really into baking. However, this year I've been less strict about it, and I had a hankering for some of the recipes of my youth. Now, I wasn't about to go back and make them with wheat flour and refined white sugar, so I took one of them and translated the ingredients to make a more paleo-friendly treat. If you're on the stricter end of the spectrum, these are definitely not the thing for you, because they do have coconut sugar, arrowroot and potato flour. That being said, I think there's a place for some treats over the holidays, so there you have it!

These ended up pretty closely approximating the texture and taste of my family recipe, while omitting the gluten and cornstarch, so I count them as a success! My sister who blogs at Sweet Boake was kind enough to help me out with the styling and photography. Please Note: As tempting as warm cookies may be, make sure you allow them to cool on the pan before you try to eat them, or they will be very fragile and fall apart. If you like eating crumbs, then dive in.

Primal Whipped Shortbreads Makes 3 dozen cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 Lbs Salted Butter at Room Temperature
  • 1 Cup 'Coconut Icing Sugar'*
  • 1 Cup Coconut Flour
  • 3/4 Cup Potato Flour
  • 1/2 Cup Arrowroot Starch
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract

*To make Coconut Icing Sugar, mix just under 1 cup of Coconut Sugar and 3 tsp Arrowroot Starch in a bowl. Put into a food processor, and process until quite fine.

Directions Preheat oven to 275. In a bowl, mix the butter and coconut icing sugar from low to high. Whip on high for 10 minutes until creamy and combined. Whip in the vanilla extract.

In another bowl, mix together the coconut flour, potato flour and arrowroot starch. Whip into the butter mixture a little bit at a time, scraping down the sides as needed. Make sure everything is fully combined with no dry bits.

Drop rounded tablespoon size blobs of the dough onto parchment lined baking sheets. You can fit 12 cookies per sheet, and they won't spread very much. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through the cook time.

Allow to cool on the sheets for at least 5 minutes before removing to kraft paper to cool completely before putting them away. These cookies are crumbly and are best enjoyed with a tall glass of milk of your persuasion, coffee or hot chocolate.

I hope to have more recipes to share once I return from my little vacation to Japan! Look out for photos from my trip on Instagram. I can pretty much promise you that there will be rice involved, but don't be too hard on me. Have a happy New Year everyone!

Liz Wolfe Rocks! Cave Girl Eats Illustrations by Alex Boake

I have a lot of really great clients, and I feel super lucky to be able to get to know people through social media, and that people think of little old me when they need some sort of illustration done. One of my extremely cool clients is Liz Wolfe, who is the super funny gal behind the website Cave Girl Eats! I've been lucky enough to do a number of illustrations for Liz, which started way back with the temporary cover I did for her upcoming book, Modern Cave Girl.

Personally, I think I've gotten much better at drawing her cave girl persona, but the above image is at least a year and a half old at this point.

Most of these illustrations were for advertisements for various bundles, which are now over, so I've removed the type as it's no longer relevant. Hope you enjoy this look at some of the work I've done for Liz!

If you're familiar with Liz, you obviously know that she does a fantastic podcast over at Balanced Bites! If you somehow haven't heard it yet, definitely take the time to check it out.

Skin troubles? Look no further than the Skintervention Guide!

I also can't forget to mention the cool series of shirts I designed under her direction, the Real Food Love apparel! Check our her store to see all the designs and perhaps purchase some?!

Recently Liz has begun her homesteading adventures, and you can follow her on Facebook or Instagram to get the latest scoop on what animal is eating whose poop, and what her adorable goats are climbing on.

 Here's a funky chicken to see you off. Until next time!

Fermented: A Four Season Approach to Paleo Probiotic Foods [Book Review] by Alex Boake

Fermented is the recently-released book by Jill Ciciarelli, who runs the blog First Comes Health. It is an all encompassing guide on how to ferment different foods, all through the year. It shows you how you can preserve the bounty of each season, and the methods she presents actually enhance the foods as well, turning them into probiotic powerhouses! The book is cleanly laid out with vibrant photography by Bill Staley. Shot against white backdrops with perfect colour balance, it shows you how pretty pickles, kimchee, kombucha--and whatever other fermented foods you might imagine--can be. There are no frills or extra props to be found in the styling, but it's a presentation that really works for this subject matter.

The instructions are easy to follow, and she shows you different ways you can make the process foolproof. Even those with the so-called 'black thumb' will succeed with this book! Believe, me, I know. I've failed at fermentation so many times, that I was almost scared to make something from this book. That being the case, I picked something basic: pickles! Making the brine was easy, and preparing my cucumbers was a snap. Being nervous, I used an air lock, which I highly suggest if you're not one to monitor your projects daily. In about two weeks I had finally succeeded in making pickles! They had great crunch and a lovely flavour...just like real pickles!

With that accomplishment, and this book, I feel prepared to tackle other fermentation projects in the future. I highly recommend it for anyone who feels intimidated by the process, and wants clear step-by-step instructions. Additionally, it's a beautiful book that deserves a spot on your cookbook shelf!

Order your copy now!

Greek Salad [Primal and Gluten-free] by Alex Boake

Last winter I had the incredible experience of traveling to Greece. We stayed mainly in Athens and made day trips out to different locations, such as Delphi and Olympus. Our guide Betty was fantastic and animated, with a wealth of knowledge about each and every destination. She also made sure we had access to excellent family-owned restaurants, and helped me to navigate menus so that I could eat safely without fear of gluten. One of our staples, other than Tzatziki, was the Greek Salad. Always with fresh and tasty ingredients, we had one with almost every meal--even breakfast! Whereas in North America, Greek Salad typically contains lettuce, in Greece you will never find lettuce in your salad, except maybe if you are in a very touristy area. This recipe is flexible, and can be adjusted based on your preferences. If you don't like raw onions or peppers, just leave them out! If you don't like olives, you're probably crazy, but you can omit them! Don't do dairy? Leave out the feta! You can just use good quality olive oil and lemon for the dressing, but I've also included a more elaborate dressing as well.

Greek Salad Lots of Fresh Tomatoes, cut into chunks Lots of Cucumbers, cut into chunks Some Red Onion, thinly sliced Some Green Pepper, thinly sliced Handful of Kalamata Olives, pitted or un-pitted (just warn people!)  Wedge of Feta Cheese (try to source good quality Greek or Bulgarian sheep's milk Feta) Dried Oregano, to sprinkle on top

Dressing 1/3 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil 1 tsp Garlic, crushed 1 tsp Fresh Oregano, minced 1 tsp Dried Basil 1/2 tsp Black Pepper 1/2 tsp Sea Salt 1 tsp Dijon Mustard 2 tsp Fresh Lemon Juice 1/2 Cup Red Wine Vinegar

Add ingredients in a jar with a lid and shake vigorously to combine. Pour over chopped vegetables and toss to combine. Cut feta into chunks and add to the salad, or cut a slice for each person and add one to each individual serving.

 

The Paleo Chocolate Lover's Cookbook Reviewed by Alex Boake

Let me begin by saying that I am a massive chocoholic. With that in mind, you can picture how excited I was when I opened up the package containing this lovely book by Kelly, who writes the blog, The Spunky Coconut. To be honest, I've been reading her blog since I first switched over to Paleo, and have always marveled at her delicious and allergen sensitive treats. This book takes all that deliciousness and wraps it up in one beautifully-designed-and-photographed package. Also, it really doesn't hurt that every single recipe, from brownies, to truffles, to chili...contains chocolate! The second taskafter drooling over all the chocolaty choiceswas to hand the book over to my sister, Sweet Boake, and have her narrow down the short list of recipes to test. As much as I love chocolate, I just can't handle having too much on hand! We decided to go with the Macadamia Nut Brownies. Kelly mentions you can substitute any nut butter for the macadamia cashew butter from the recipe, which was good, since I couldn't find any and didn't want to hit too many stores. We ended up using almond hazelnut butter, and it made just as delicious and delightful brownies as the original option, I imagine!

Check out Sweet Boake for her review, and more pictures!

There's also a great section in the front all about buying sustainable and fair-trade chocolate, which is a must, as there are a lot of problems in the chocolate industry in regards to unethical labour. When you purchase low quality chocolate, you're supporting sub-par cacao harvesting conditions, that's not right! You want to feel good about the work that goes into your ingredients!

I'd recommend this book to anyone who loves chocolate, and enjoys occasional grain-free treats in their life. There's a small section at the back that has more savory and main course dishes, which is a great bonus, but I wouldn't recommend the book to someone who never does any baking or who avoids 'Paleo treats'. Definitely would be a fantastic gift for any aspiring baker in your family!

It's currently available for pre-order, and will be released on October 1st.

Organic Week 2013 by Alex Boake

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It's Organic Week in Canada! It's the perfect opportunity to find a local event and educate yourself about the benefits of buying organic produce and products. Generally, I try to buy mostly organic produce, especially on things where I'm going to eat the skin, however sometimes the budget just doesn't allow for buying everything organic. In that scenario, you just have to do the best you can...and follow the Dirty Dozen and Clean Fourteen! Yes, I know it's Clean Fifteen technically, but Sweet Corn is on that list and due to GMO concerns, I believe only organic corn should be consumed, if any. Last year I did up some illustrations to give a visual representation of these lists, but I never posted them on my blog. To remedy that fact, here they are!

 If you're in Canada, make sure you check out the Organic Week website to see if there's an event near you.