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Yes, that is butter and a hand blender in my bag – Traveling with Bulletproof Coffee

Have you tried Bulletproof Coffee yet? And by tried it, I mean not just had a sip, but substituted it for your regular coffee for a few days? If you haven’t, you’re missing out. It’s life changing. It literally changed how TimTheFarmer and I eat and alleviated the morning fatigue I’ve struggled with from fibromyalgia for almost 15 years. The combination of high quality fats from grassfed butter and MCT oil (fancy coconut oil) with coffee from clean beans acts as sort of a jump start (or rocket fuel) to your morning. You can read more about it here**.


Anyway, once you try it fo’ reelz (and thank me) and it becomes a crucial part of your morning routine, you have to figure out how to travel with it. The free breakfasts at Hampton Inn are great, but their butter isn’t from grassfed cows, their coffee’s moldy, and blenders are curiously missing from the buffet line. Here’s how I do it:

1. Plan your butter and oil portions

I know I need 2 tbsp each of butter and coconut/MCT oil per day, so there’s some basic multiplication involved. Tip: don’t start cooking with your butter/oil like we did on our honeymoon in Puerto Rico…when you run out of Kerrygold butter on Vieques, your SOOL. When we finally found the butter when we got back to San Juan, we did a victory dance in the local supermercado #itsthatgood.

2. Bring coffee too.

At home, we buy low mycotoxin coffee and even though I knew it was better, it was until a recent business trip where I relied on hotel coffee that I could really see the difference. I was getting headaches within an hour of drinking hotel coffee. Now, I bring good coffee with me and swap it out for coffee in the hotel coffee makers. It’s kind of a James Bond move; you’d be impressed.

3. Pack a hand blender, knife/spoon, and mixing cup.

The key to Bulletproof Coffee is blending it. Because I tend to jump the gun—after hearing rave reviews from Critter and E—I looked up the ingredients and threw butter and coconut oil in our coffee for the first week without blending it…imagine coffee with floating butter…it was a little greasy. Once I realized you had to blend it, it took it to a whole new level. Now I travel with our Cuisnart hand blender at all times. I would love an actual blender that’s light and suitcase sized, but haven’t found one. Most hotel rooms don’t have cutlery, so bring something to get the butter and oil into your cup. And don’t forget a large cup (I use a quart soup container that I pack the oil and butter in) to blend your coffee in, otherwise, you’ll be blending your coffee in an ice bucket, which I may or may not have experience with.

4. Pack Dr. Bronner’s.

In addition to being a great non-toxic face, hand, and body soap, this is great to use to cleanse your hand blender, knife, and cup.

Since November, I’ve traveled with Bulletproof Coffee fixin’s to Arizona, California (3x), Puerto Rico, Colorado (2x), Texas, Oregon, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Washington D.C., and Connecticut. This system works, but I’d love your tips if you travel with it too!

**Just an FYI, this is not an endorsement of Dave Asprey or his products…I’m skeptical of his entrepreneurial intentions and have never purchased his coffee or MCT oil. I have read his book, and his coffee recipe works for me, that’s it. If you’re curious about how I find good, affordable substitutions to Bulletproof products, post a comment below.

Freezing Fall’s Flavors: Cauliflower Fennel Soup

One of the perks of having a husband who works on a farm is the access to fresh, local, organic produce. We can, in general, harvest extras from the farm and each season, I make it my mission to put up as much of this bounty for the winter so that we can eat awesome veggies long after the fields are covered in snow. Freezing is one of my favorite preservation methods.

Cauliflower Fennel Soup

Fennel and cauliflower peak now (and late spring) and we love those flavors! My brother gave me this awesome cookbook a few years ago with recipes from farmers who work on farms like Hearty Roots and it’s fantastic because not only are the recipes great, it features seasonal recipes with ingredients that are fresh at the same time. I’ve modified its Creamy Cauliflower and Fennel soup the tiniest bit to make it paleo. I make huge batches of it with seconds from the farm and freeze the soup in family-size portions for great soup all winter. It’s also pretty nifty when I’ve been on top of my bone broth game which I make from chickens TimTheFarmer raises because this entire recipe comes from the farm (except for the fennel seeds and S&P #obviously)!

The recipe below is for a single batch – I just finished a batch 14x this size and froze 10 quarts of soup and 2 quarts of broth. Also, make sure to check out the end of the recipe for a big ol’ what not to do.

Cauliflower Fennel Soup + Broth

3 tbsp grassfed butter
1/2 large yellow onion
1 small fennel bulb
1/2 large cauliflower
4 thyme sprigs
5 cups chicken or vegetable broth/stock (if canned, use parts broth/stock and water)
1 tsp fennel seed, crushed
Salt and freshly ground pepper (I use pink Himalayan sea salt)

Chop all your ingredients (slice onions and fennel and cut cauliflower into florets).Cauliflower Fennel SoupMelt butter in a large pot and add onions. Cook onions until starting to brown and then add your cauliflower, fennel, and thyme sprigs (or dried thyme if you don’t have fresh…which I didn’t, because TimTheFarmer didn’t have time to grab…#hethinkshesfunny). Stir around to coat in the onions and butter.

Pour in your stock/broth/water combo. Bring to a simmer and cook until cauliflower is soft (20 min to an hour depending on your stove and size of batch).

When the cauliflower is cooked, use a strainer and large bowl OR a glass measuring cup to pull out most of the cooking liquid. Set the liquid aside (DON’T THROW OUT THAT LIQUID GOLD!). Add the crushed fennel seed to the solids and use a hand blender to blend the solids into a puree. You can also use a blender or food processor, but I prefer the hand blender as it keeps the dishes to a minimum.

Cauliflower Fennel Soup Steps

Once you’ve pureed the solids, add enough of the liquid gold back in to get the soup consistency you like. Return soup to the heat and add S&P to taste. Depending on how many times you increase this recipe, this could become quite a bit of salt #dontbescared #dontundersalt.

Now you’re ready to serve dinner up or freeze your soup for later! I buy these freezer quart containers.

Here’s where we get to what not to do. Do not, under any circumstances, set the soup on an unbalanced sheet tray on the counter, because it will fall and you will end up scalding your leg through your pants and you will do a striptease in the kitchen (luckily no one was home) to get out of your burning pants, and you will still be cleaning up soup from EVERYWHERE in your kitchen days later. Seriously. It splashed onto my computer and wallet and walls more than ten feet away. Update: I just discovered it on the ceiling.


Aaanywaaay, to freeze the soup, fill up your quart containers (freezer baggies work too) and leave an inch of head space (the empty space in your baggie or container that allows the expansion of liquids when freezing). Cover and let cool.

Cauliflower Fennel Soup

Once cool, label your lids – I use permeant marker on the lids, which should come off when you wash them. If it doesn’t, something oil-based (cooking oils or sunscreen, obviously) will get it off (everything I need to know, I learned in ski school). Put in the freezer. Defrost and reheat to enjoy!

Broth: remember that unused liquid gold? Make sure to freeze that too! It’s a great, flavorful chicken/vegetable broth that works well as a basic broth, or in your next batch of this soup.

Recipe Review: Apple Pie Competition … and a runaway dog

I had 4 days home during the first 23 days of October, so I thought it’d be a good idea to paint the guest bathroom and an accent wall AND enter an apple pie competition #NBD #whynot.

I don’t actually like apple pie, or most pies for that matter, but when you enter the Montgomery Place Orchards (MPO) apple pie competition you get a free 1/2 peck of apples…soooo this is my second year entering. Last year I was in NYC for work, so I left Sarah’s apple crisp recipe (which is AMAZING when properly executed) in the hands of a 12 year old and hoped for the best. While I’m sure it was delicious, we didn’t win. This year I thought I’d do what I do best when facing a competition or hosting a houseful of dinner guests: try a new recipe #duh.

Pioneer Woman is my hero when it comes to classic americana dishes, particularly pie crusts, so I broke out my A Year of Holidays cookbook for a recipe and found my kind of recipe: crumb topped apple pie. Here’s how it went down:

Friday after work I stopped by the MPO farm stand to pick up my apples. I went with Jonacrisps, Stayman Winesaps, and Swiss Goumets because the Internet said to I’m an apple expert.


Saturday was a whirlwind of making pie crust, peeling apples (my new peeler/corer/slicer is AMAZING (we struggled with a PIA one for the last 4 years)), making topping and filling, and assembling the pies. ApplePie1

**Because we’ve been eating paleo, I haven’t cooked with flour, sugar, or brown sugar in a year, so my supplies were low. I had to make my own brown sugar by combining sugar and molasses and was low on pecans. At this point, you’re thinking “you don’t like pies and you don’t eat flour or sugar or fruit, so why the hell are you entering a pie competition??” I’m still not sure, but I did.**

I threw the pie in the oven and resumed painting our accent wall. Then, my FIL’s dog got out of her harness, took herself on a jaunt down our road, across a major road, and towards the highway. With the pie in the oven and the roller thrown in the tray, I went running down the road  looking  WT-hippie-chic in my white tank top, Carhartt overalls, Birkenstock clogs, and crazy hair. Sadie has a mind of her own and gleefully looked back at me chasing her as she ran into a busy intersection. It.was.terrifying. Finally, a friendly driver helped me catch her and I CARRIED her a 1/4 mile down the road back to our house, just in time to get the pie out of the oven and finish painting before dropping the pie off at noon #wheresthewine. This is the look of a dog who knows she’s in the proverbial doghouse.


After standing around for 2 hours in the cold, the winners were revealed!

Aaaand, I wasn’t one of them. But, on closer review, I came in 4th place! Which, I am totally satisfied with. I ranked at, or near, the top in taste and crust, so just need to work on my appearance (see that runny topping below?) for next year and I will totally be bringing home the bacon. I’m sure of it.

ApplePieRecipe Review

This recipe almost won me a competition. I didn’t add the caramel because I didn’t have any, but the filling, crust, and topping were awesome! And, my internet-directed expert choice of apples turned out to be a great combination. I will definitely use this recipe next year and already have secret plans for sourcing a great local caramel.