Sweet potato chips, maki rolls, [almost] tattoos and pumpkin pancakes

Hello dear readers, Hannah here.

One of the great things about 2012 was that Amber moved to North Carolina.  Until recently, we’d been living several hours apart which wasn’t conducive to quick visits on a monthly or semi-monthly basis.  I believe we only saw one another once or twice when she lived in Florida and I in North Carolina.  Nevertheless, she’s only 3.5 hours away now so we’ve planned to visit once a month.  This month and last month, Amber came to me because I had nanny duties to one of the most adorable baby girls on the east coast.

Amber arrived at my house just in time for lunch.  Knowing she would be hungry, I prepared us both some lunch-paleo style of course!  We had sweet potato chips, baked chicken and steamed broccoli.  First, I heated some coconut oil in a skillet on medium high heat.  While it was heating, I cut two medium sized sweet potatoes into thin slices.  I do not own a mandoline slicer (but my birthday is coming up!) so I just used a knife and a cutting board and sliced as thin as I could manage without chopping my fingers off.  I fried the slices in the oil on the first side until the edges became brownish and then I flipped them.  Be careful not to burn these, it’s very easy to do.  When they were done, I laid them on paper towels to cool and sprinkled sea salt on them.  They were just too delicious not to eat.  I think they are best warm.

For the chicken, I just made a simple rub out of honey, paprika, salt, pepper, chili powder, and a few red pepper flakes.  I was going for a sweet/spicy taste.  It was delicious! Unfortunately, I did not get any photos of my creations! Speaking of which, Fit&Faithful is now on Instagram.  Look for our photos every Friday and Saturday as we post some of our paleo creations, uplifting words and exercise routines.  Follow us @fitandfaithful

After my adorable nanny charge went home for the day, Amber I headed to Gypsy Rose, the tattoo shop in the mall where I live.  Yes, there’s a tattoo shop in the mall and it is gorgeous.  I was really excited to be getting my family crest tattooed on my ribs.  My brother and two cousins also have the family crest.  I wanted to change it up a little bit so I sent an email with a picture of my brother’s tattoo, along with pictures of my tattoos and some instructions on what I wanted to do with it.  I have a rather girlie theme going on on my arms and I wanted the crest to resemble that.  I had complete confidence the artists at Gypsy Rose could pull this off because I’d had nothing but good luck there before.  When we arrived at the tattoo shop however, my mood shifted.  “So do you have a picture of this crest?” the tattoo artist asks after introducing himself.  Confused, I said, “You didn’t get my email?”  The girl at the desk pretends to look through their inbox.  “Nope.”  Ok…I’m flabbergasted at this point.  Didn’t get my email? What? I was communicating with the shop girl through email about my tattoo, how could they have not gotten it?  So, I pulled out my smartphone, found the sent email and resent it to the shop.  I was pretty sure I was not getting tattooed that day.  The whole point of sending an email ahead of time was so that the artist could have drawn up my design.  I made that clear to the artist and the shop girl.  They apologized.  I was upset because now we were starting from square one.  The artist printed out my brothers tattoo and said he would need 15 minutes to sketch something up.  Amber and I went walking through the mall.  When we came back, the artist had something really great going on his sketch pad.  He wasn’t finished though and asked if I would mind rescheduling my appointment.  I didn’t mind.  I wanted a great looking tattoo and I was willing to wait for it.

We left the mall heading for the commissary.  There, we gathered things for Maki Rolls.  We were going to adapt a recipe from one of my favorite new cookbooks called Well Fed. The original recipe called for things that we didn’t have, so we substituted a few things.  They were great. Amber will be detailing how we made them and what’s inside in a future post.

Fast forward to the next morning.  Pancakes.  Sometimes you just crave that warm, delicious flavor and the sweet, yummy maple syrup and you have to have it.  We decided to try our hand at making pancakes.  Well, I had forgotten to include eggs on the shopping list when we went to the commissary so…at 6:30 AM I’m searching for a egg-less pancake batter recipe online.  My stomach is growling like a lion. I am the type of person who must eat breakfast in a reasonable amount of time or else I’ll get woozy.  Thankfully, I found a recipe we could use on Cooks.com.  I modified it to be paleo friendly.  Instead of all purpose flour, I used almond flour, honey instead of sugar and coconut oil instead of vegetable oil.  I just realized I plumb forgot the vanilla extract.  However, we did add some cinnamon.  The first couple pancakes did not sit on the griddle long enough and as a result, were quite gooey.  Amber jumped in to man the griddle after that and made sure the rest were nice and crisp.

We topped our pancakes with warm berries from the freezer, homemade coconut cream (we beat cold coconut milk for 9 minutes), almond butter and 100% pure maple syrup.  They were pure heaven.

After I put the baby down for her nap, I put some chicken thighs in the oven for 45 minutes to roast.  I made a simple sauce to spread over top of them of honey, red pepper flakes, olive oil, salt, pepper and paprika. I was going for a sweet and spicy flavor.  They weren’t too bad.  I also steamed some brussel sprouts to have with the chicken.  It all kept me full for quite awhile.

I’m looking forward to the next visit with Amber. She tells me she has lots of fun things in store.