Forrest Gump, maple syrup and everything in between.

So I watched Forrest Gump the other night. And yes, I've seen it like a billion times. And yes, I did cry when Forrest talks to Jenny's grave (every time man! every time!). But apart from the movie being completely awesome, I took something away from it this time that I hadn't before. You know at the beginning of the movie how Forrest has to wear the braces on his legs? Well his Momma says to him "If God intended for us all to be the same, we'd all have braces on our legs". Too right you are Momma Gump. Too right you are. And here's my confession, I haven't actually been out in public yet by myself. For the most part it's because majority of the time I have to be accompanied by someone anyway, but I have tried to avoid times of going out by myself. This bothers me. Because if I let the brace become more than what it really is, this is going to be a tough 10 weeks. So my new challenge is to go out in public by myself. Never thought I'd be hearing myself saying that! And actually on the note of taking things for granted (e.g. walking around in public without being stared at), let me just remind you about the joys of showering. Well from what I can remember, it has been over two weeks since I last showered... You have not experienced discomfort until you are wearing a neck brace, in nearly 30 degree heat, itchy, sweaty, and dirty. Of course I can bathe, but any area covered by the neck brace is pretty much off limits. However there is an upside to this rant, every two weeks I get to go to the hospital and take a proper shower (with the neck brace on) and then they change over the lining in the brace. And yes, tomorrow is the day. It's like Christmas Eve, but instead of presents I get to stand under some hot water... Ok so maybe it's not like Christmas Eve.

So I'm still on my paleo cooking craze and am super dooper excited to tell you all about the deliciousness that has been manifesting in my kitchen. First off, I made this Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread with Maple-Candied Walnuts. Oh you heard right -  Maple. Candied. Walnuts. It pretty much was like a Cinnabon (an American cinnamon scroll covered in icing that is about 1000 calories and tastes like a good way) but without the guilt! The maple candied walnuts were really the winner out of all this though, I'm considering making a whole batch of these just to eat as little treats. And when I say little treats I mean to eat in bucket loads all day, every day. Here's the link for the recipe - my one alteration on this would be to add some finely chopped walnuts throughout the mixture, and to also add the cinnamon swirl in layers through the batter rather than plopping it on top and then mixing it in. Enjoy!
maple candied walnuts

you know you want this...
Then, the show stopper. Raspberry BBQ Sauce. OH and did I mention what we were having this with...? Pulled pork. Pulled pork to me is hands down the best way to eat pork. If I could, I would eat pulled pork and pulled beef, every day for the rest of my life. The shredded goodness is just incomparable! Anyway, the sauce. I love mixing salty and sweet and this does exactly that. To make the sauce is easy, I went to the effort of making homemade tomato sauce as well, which actually turned out amazeballs and I'm going to jar it and keep it in the fridge all the time! But I've decided this raspberry bbq sauce tastes good on anything. I had it with my bacon and eggs for breakfast, it was the bomb. So now I'm thinking of going into the sauce business and bottling this baby up because it is crazy good. My alterations for the bbq sauce were that I didn't use the EVOO and I added more than half a cup of the tomato sauce and another tablespoon of honey, plus salt to taste. For the homemade tomato sauce, I used apple cider vinegar instead of normal vinegar, and also added garlic powder and celery salt. T-T-T-T-T-Tasty!
Here's the link for the BBQ sauce - - 
And the homeamade tomato sauce - 
Pork marinading 

Pulled pork with raspberry BBQ sauce!

So after being on a role with this cooking, I decided the pulled pork would be awesome for Mexican. I love Mexican. Too bad it's all beans, corn, flour and cheese... But I wanted to give coconut tortillas a go instead of giving in to the awesome corn tortillas my Dad bought from the South American food store in Fitzroy. So I found a pretty good recipe, but it turned out to be a bust. After a few "mother f**kers" (I get a little heated in the kitchen..), actually I was watching Lord of the Rings while I was cooking so that probably made me a bit edgy and elf like. Or probably more ork like... I changed the batter into an oregano infused base that I then put in the oven and turned into savoury biscuits. This recipe I think needs more tweaking so let me get back to you on the recipe. I made a mango tomato salsa to go with the enchiladas too, and yes I did eat the corn tortillas and the melted cheese on top. Oops! But the biscuits dipped in the salsa, nom nom nom!
Coconut biscuits.
Salsa ingredients..I also added a sneaky anchovy!
Ok, enough about food! So my Grandad rang me today, he's Burmese and the first thing he says to me is "I hear you're on this diet, I want to make you Burmese curry with rice and you can't eat it??". Of course his biggest concern right now is if I can eat curry. I assured him I would eat anything he wants to cook for me when he comes over to visit. Oh hang on didn't I say enough about food? It's practically always food with me though. Anyway, then he goes on to ask me how long I have to keep the neck brace on for, I told him about 10 weeks and then he gives me the advice "don't listen to the doctors, when you feel ready, just take the brace off." Ahhh so wise. Really though, when it comes down to it, I'd rather be stuck with the neck brace for 3 months than be Frodo and have to take the ring to Mordor...

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