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The art of Thornwolf
And I guess this has turned into a food blog! I don't have much finished art to show that isn't already on FA, but I figured I'd share last night's dinner with you guys.

Recently skorzy and I went to Napa with some NorCal friends, commodoremarie and mooglepower, and at Marie's suggestion we started out at the Saddleback Cellars winery. They had an amazing Chardonnay that we fell in love with. I don't normally care for Chardonnay, but this had all the right notes without being too bitey, it was really mellow. Marie can probably better describe it because she's better with the wine lingo, but needless to say, it was amazing. I wanted to make a dinner that paired well with this wine.

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Mediterranean Lemon Chicken with Spaghetti Squash

Your best bet is to start off making the spaghetti squash, since while that is baking you can do the prep for the chicken and get that going.

Spaghetti Squash
This recipe I got from our friend stevefoxx who first introduced me to spaghetti squash in general. He made it for dinner once and I was so impressed, I just had to get the recipe! I thought this side dish would go well with the flavor profile of the chicken, and bonus, it fits well with my paleo/primal influenced diet.

-1 spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise and seeded (be very careful doing this, they can be hard! Use a sharp knife)
-2 tablespoons olive oil
-1 onion, chopped (I used a sweet onion)
-1 clove garlic, minced (I used the jarred garlic you can buy in bulk)
-1 1/2 cups chopped roma tomatoes
-3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
-3 tablespoons sliced kalamata olives
-2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a baking sheet
2. Place spaghetti squash cut side down on the prepared baking sheet and bake 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a sharp knife can be inserted with only a little resistance. Remove squash from oven and set aside to cool enough to be easily handled
3. While it's cooling, heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Saute the onion until tender. Add garlic and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and cook until they're warm (not mushy, just slightly cooked)
4. Use a fork to scrape stringy spaghetti squash pulp out of the halves and place in a medium bowl. Toss onion/tomato/garlic mixture in with olives, feta cheese and basil. Serve warm

The original recipe called for regular black olives but since I'm using kalamata olives already in the other recipe, I went with that. I like them better anyways. Mmm salty :)

Chicken
Start this while the spaghetti squash is baking.

-1/4 cup butter (or ghee), or coconut oil (I used butter)
-1/2 lb kalamata olives, cut in half
-8 chicken thighs with bones and skin (No one but me likes chicken thighs in this house so I used 3 chicken breasts. I would have preferred it with thighs but the family loved it so, whatever)
-10 tsp minced jarred garlic (or 30 cloves fresh garlic, mashed into a paste)
-1/2 cup lemon juice (I used fresh lemons from our back yard! Yum!)
-2 extra lemons, thickly sliced (remove the seeds with a knife)
-1 1/2 cups chicken stock
-a bunch of picked thyme leaves
-Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

-Your oven is already preheated to 350 degrees because the squash is in there. Good! Leave it that way, because you're going to pop this mixture in there and do a swap out
-Melt 1/4 cup of butter in a dutch oven or large hot pan with a lid and brown the chicken pieces on all sides. It will take about 6 minutes total (I did the chicken breasts 3 minutes on each side). Set the chicken aside on a plate
-Cook onions until soft, approximately 3 minutes
-Add garlic and cook for another minute. At this point you can add your salt and pepper
-Add chicken stock, thyme, and lemon juice. Deglaze the pan with the acid from the lemon juice and get all that chickeny goodness off the sides of the pan. Return your chicken to the pan (if using thighs, skin side up)
-Bring to a simmer and put the Dutch oven, covered, into the oven for 20 minutes
-After 20 minutes is up, put in the olives and lemon slices, and bake for another 15-20 minutes uncovered
-Serve the chicken with the olive, garlic, and lemon sauce as well as some of the lemon slices.

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The perfect bite is getting an olive with a piece of the cooked lemon (yep, peel and all, it's softened in the chicken juice) with some of the chicken. Oh my goodness YES! I don't feel this dish needs a lot of added salt if you eat the bites with the olives, since they're salty. Without the olives, yeah, needs salt.

My only real complaint is that there's all this amazing broth left over. Normally, if I were eating that sort of thing, I would have served this with couscous to sop up all of that broth, but I'm not really sure how to do that now on a no grain diet? I mean, I sometimes allow myself SOME gimmes like 1/2 a cup of rice or something, but I wonder if there's a paleo friendly alternative to a sop.

The spaghetti squash was a hit, and just one of them served 3 people with ample leftovers. The recipe says it can serve 6, so...be prepared for lots of squash.

And for those curious, it paired AMAZINGLY well with the wine :) Would do again!

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We've been wanting to try this recipe for awhile, but skorzy finds it unfitting to eat "cold weather" food when we don't really have cold weather here in SoCal. With the blustery winter winds we've been experiencing this week, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to pull out a stick-to-your-ribs meal!

This recipe is taken and modified from http://www.paleodietlifestyle.com, specifically one of their Halloween recipes which can be found here:
http://paleodietlifestyle.com/paleo-halloween-recipes/#s9

The problem I found with this recipe right off the bat, it's entirely too much food. We're a 3 person household, 5 lbs of beef creates just WAY too many leftovers, so we've halved the recipe provided, with some modifications (such as more garlic! You can never have too much garlic).

Also, we had a hard time finding any pumpkin. It would seem that with Halloween and Thanksgiving passing, pumpkins just aren't that popular, and I couldn't find any frozen chunks, so I had to substitute butternut squash.

Last month we dried our own Pasilla chilies from this fall's harvest and rehydrated them for this recipe. We also used some fresh jalapeños from our garden.
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Ingredients

6 large chilies of your favorite kind (we used 4 dried pasillas and 2 jalapeños)
1/2 cup diced bacon
2 cups chopped onions (we used sweet yellow onions)
2 1/2 pound stewing beef, cut into 3 inch cubes
4 garlic cloves, peeled;
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp ground coriander
3/4 tsp sea salt
1 can roasted and diced tomatoes (we bought "fire roasted" canned tomatoes)
3/4 cups beef stock
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro stems (keeping the leaves for garnish)
3 cups frozen butternut squash cubes, thawed

Place the chilies in a bowl, cover with boiling water and let soak for a minimum of 30 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 350 F.
Sauté the bacon in a oven proof pot until it begins to brown. Add the onions and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the beef to the pot, season generously with salt and pepper and stir to coat everything well. Set the pot aside.
Drain the chilies and reserve the soaking liquid. Place the chilies in a blander with 1 cup of the soaking liquid, the garlic, chili powder, cumin, oregano, coriander and the sea salt. Blend to a puree and add more of the soaking liquid if the puree is too thick.
Add the chilies puree to the pot with the beef with the tomatoes, stock and cilantro stems. Stir well to coat.
Bring the whole pot to a simmer and then cover and put in the oven to cook for about 2 hours.
Uncover and cook for another hour, until beef is almost fork tender.
Add the pumpkin and stir well. Roast again uncovered for about 45 minutes, until pumpkin is soft, adding some of the soaking liquid if the meat becomes uncovered.
Season with salt and pepper and serve with garnishes like cilantro leaves, mint leaves, chopped red onion or diced avocado.

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Sorry for the photo, this was skorzy's round 2 bowl (with cilantro, sour cream and avocado), it was that good, we forgot to photograph it before digging in!

Honestly it turned out more like a flavorful stew with a kick to it than a chili. If I were going to do it over again I would cut the stew meat into smaller chunks and add sweet potatoes or yams into it and call it a stew. Some argue this isn't adhering to Paleo diets but meh. I eat them, and I'm not going whole-hog anyways, I'm just limiting my grains and cooking Paleo and gluten-free recipes when available. It was VERY good and VERY flavorful though. We will be doing this again in the future.

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Still doing your holiday shopping and running out of ideas? Why not pick up a 2012 Werewolf Calendar! We still have a few left but they're going quickly!

http://werewolfcalendar.com/

This project is near and dear to my heart and the quality of the images this year amazes me both in content and in printing quality. I just received mine and, wow. So many great artists put a lot of work into this, and it shows!

Thanks for looking and Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
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It's Cyber Monday! If you've been keeping up on the sales you'll know I'm offering a 15% discount off of EVERYTHING in my store, including originals!

http://thornwolf.storenvy.com/
http://thornwolf.storenvy.com/
http://thornwolf.storenvy.com/

Use this coupon code at checkout to take advantage of this discount: GOBBLE

Offer ends this evening at 10PM Eastern, so if there's something in my store you've always wanted but hesitated to get due to price, please check out this deal!

Thank you, and happy Monday!
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I know I said that I wouldn't be doing a Black Friday sale outside of my MFF Holiday Sale, but my awesome awesome S/O, Skorzy, has agreed to help me out with this. So, I've gone through my leftover MFF merch, added some originals to the store, and here we have it! I'm starting it today because we had our turkey dinner super early and I needed something to do XD

15% off of ANYTHING in my Storenvy, even ORIGINALS

http://thornwolf.storenvy.com/
http://thornwolf.storenvy.com/
http://thornwolf.storenvy.com/

That's right, that 15% applies to your entire purchase and anything in the store. This is a screaming deal I only do once a year around this time, but it's an excellent opportunity to get some nice holiday gifts for friends, relatives, or even yourself!

All you have to do is type in this coupon code at check out: GOBBLE

Thank you and Happy Holidays!
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Hey guys! Just wanted to let you know I'm holding a few auctions that end Sunday. The items are original sketches, colored originals, and refined pencil drawings. They will ship before I leave for MFF. Thank you so much for looking!

http://www.furbuy.com/seller/Thornwolf.html
http://www.furbuy.com/seller/Thornwolf.html
http://www.furbuy.com/seller/Thornwolf.html

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I made a really tasty curry chicken salad tonight on a whim (well, I had to use the chicken that was in the fridge somehow and this family is leftover-phobic) so I figured I'd share my happy accident with you.

Ingredients
-I used the meat from one of those precooked chickens you get at the grocery store. I had half a breast and the legs and thighs left over so I used those - Chopped FINE
-1 stalk of celery, chopped
-3 green onions (the white parts only) chopped
-3/4 cups of mayonnaise (I use olive oil mayo)
-1 tbs soy sauce
-1 tbs lemon juice
-1 1/2 tsp curry powder
-1/4 tsp white pepper
-3-4 shakes of tabasco sauce

Mix together, scoop on top of chopped romaine lettuce, serve with cherry juice infused Craisins (oh my god this is an amazing addition). Watch people get up for seconds. :)

I'm making chicken stock with the carcass and the rest of the leftover celery/onions/carrots/green onions we had in the fridge. Awesome way to get rid of the undesirable parts! Smells SOOOO good right now.

And now for art!

"Into The Woods" - A collaboration between myself and foxfeather. I sketched, she painted it. This will be for sale in the MFF art show, please check it out!
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More art under the cut!Collapse )

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Tonight I tried another Paleo recipe from paleodietlifestyle.com, but I'm going to warn you, if you don't like mushrooms, don't even bother reading any further. The good news is though, this can be modified to be vegan friendly.

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Ingredients:
• 1 lb of mixed mushrooms, chopped with tough portion of stems removed (I used cremini, shiitake, and white button mushrooms)
• 1/4 cup of butter or ghee (I used butter, vegans, I imagine coconut oil is good with this)
• 2 onions, chopped (I used sweet onions)
• 4 cloves garlic, minced (I used that jarred garlic because we have a giant jar of it in the fridge, 2.5 teaspoons worth)
• Handful of fresh thyme, leaves picked
• 3/8 of a cup or so of red wine (original calls for 1/4 but...wiiiiiine. Also you can substitute beef stock!)
• 3/4 cup of heavy cream or full-fat coconut milk (original calls for 1/2 cup, I used cream rather than coconut milk)
• 2 green onions, chopped (white parts too!)
• Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste (I used 1 tablespoon of kosher salt, because I like it. I was liberal with the pepper because my family consists of pepper fiends)

Directions:
• Before chopping the mushrooms, rinse them to remove any excess dirt and then pat dry.
• Heat a large skillet over a medium heat. Add the butter butter or ghee.
• Stir-in the onions and garlic. Cook until they begin to brown, about 7 minutes.
• Add the mushrooms and season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. After cooking for a few minutes you will notice that they let off moisture. You want to continue cooking until this moisture evaporates entirely.
• Add the wine or stock as well as the heavy cream or coconut milk and stir well to ensure that the flavors are dispersed evenly.
• Once the stew has simmered for a few minutes, add in the thyme leaves, green onions and adjust the salt and pepper seasoning. Allow to sit on a low heat for a few more minutes so that it thickens.

Because we're bad, bad paleos, we had a piece (but just one!) of fresh baked garlic bread (as in, bread with garlic cloves baked INTO it) from the store and, oh no, whatever was to become of that opened bottle of wine? It was amazing :)

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Took some photos from the dinner I made last night. I didn't grab a photo of the pumpkin pudding parfait (oops) but at least you can enjoy these recipes.

Deviled Eggs
This is my Grandma's recipe, with a little bit of my own flare. Really simple, but very good! And uuh..I happened to have some black construction paper and a white paint pen, so this is a pirate armada of eggs (you know, going with the whole Halloween thing.) I made a dozen deviled eggs total but some of them had a hull breach (the white part split) and got sent to Davy Jones' Locker (aka: skorzy's mouth).

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Sorry for the amounts not being exact, I really just measure in "parts" until I get the correct consistency.

Hardboil some eggs, slice them in half, scoop the yolks out into a bowl. Mix these ingredients with the yolks:

2 parts mayonnaise (I use Kraft olive oil mayo, but you can use whatever. Mayo, not Miracle Whip...heathens!)
1 part yellow mustard
1 part sweet pickle relish
Salt and pepper to taste
Fill the whites with this mixture and sprinkle with ancho chili powder instead of paprika

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Creamy Pumpkin Curry

This is a recipe I nabbed from Everyday Paleo (I'm sort of doing Paleo/Primal, sort of not) and I thought it might be a fun pumpkin themed item to serve for Halloween. I've always wanted to serve something in a pumpkin bowl :D

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The original recipe can be seen here via the Everyday Paleo website: http://everydaypaleo.com/2011/10/21/creamy-pumpkin-curry/#more-3268

I have made some modifications though. The original recipe was good but it was missing a few things taste wise and I added to it towards the end. Also, it called for shrimp as the primary protein but skorzy is not really a fan so I went with chicken instead. Here's the recipe with my modifications.

Pumpkin bowls:
Buy the pie pumpkins (the smaller ones), cut the top off and hollow them out. Put them on a baking sheet and stick them in the oven at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes or until the insides are tender. You want to be able to poke the meat inside with a fork and have it give, but you don't want the pumpkins to get SO roasty that theyre droopy and won't hold soup. Just test it out! I actually grabbed one of them and filled it with water to test it. Very durable!


Ingredients for the soup:
1 14oz can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix!)

4 chicken breasts

2 carrots, peeled and sliced

1 medium yellow onion, diced

4 small zucchinis, diced

2 14oz can coconut milk, you will use one and a half of the cans, just the coconut cream from the half can – (make sure you have your coconut milk in the fridge a day ahead of time so that the coconut cream is solid on the top)

1½ cup chicken stock

2 tablespoons butter (original recipe says coconut oil but I didn't have any so, I used butter. Use whatever you like for cooking the onions down)

1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger

1 teaspoon crushed garlic

1 teaspoon coriander

½ tablespoon turmeric powder (be careful, this stuff STAINS)

1 tablespoon of kosher salt (I used approximately this much, but salt to taste)

½ tablespoon white pepper

2 tablespoons of lime juice (I didn't have any fresh limes handy, so I just used that bottled stuff. I know I know...but it turned out fine!)

1 bunch of cilantro (I totally forgot to add this this time even though I had it, but it would really add a lot I think)


1) In a large soup pot, saute the onion and carrots in the butter or coconut oil over medium heat until the onions become translucent.

2) Turn up the heat on the onions and carrots to medium high, scoop out just the cream from the first can of coconut milk and add to the hot soup pot. Let it sizzle and stir until the cream is melted and mixed well with the onions and carrots. Turn down to medium low and let it simmer.

3) In a separate frying pan, add some oil (2 tablespoons) and heat until shimmering. Cook your bite size chicken pieces so they're browned on each side, but not cooked all the way through. You're just searing them a bit. Set them aside in a separate bowl when you're done.

4) While the coconut cream, onion and carrots are simmering, scoop the pumpkin, spices, chicken broth, and remaining coconut water from the first can of coconut milk into a blender and blend until smooth. Dump this in the pot, then dump the chicken after it.

5) Add the zucchini and the coconut cream from the second can to the soup pot. Mix well and bring to a simmer, it's about 20 minutes until it's done, maybe a little longer, so if you want to serve this with rice you have time to make rice at this point. You're waiting for the zucchini to get soft and the chicken to cook all the way through (but since it's mostly cooked from the searing, this won't take long)

6) Serve in your pumpkin bowls topped with fresh diced cilantro.

Serves 4-5

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Spent the evening with some buds tonight, figured I'd show off our costumes.

"Well that's just like, your opinion, man". I didn't have a lot of money to put together a costume, but I did have the hair, so I went from there. And when your main prop is a White Russian, how can you go wrong? The Dude abides...

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skorzy's costume is made all the creepier by the fact that I apparently captured "ghosts" in the shot. He's not allowed to bring this mask into our room :( It disturbs me just a tad.

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Happy Halloween you guys!
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