Premeditated Mayhem

The Husband and the Girl made Paleo ice cream tonight, using a recipe from ( ).  They adapted it to make strawberry I’ve cream. It was wonderful to listen to them following the recipe, gently heating the eggs, mixing things… The only nerve wracking moment was when the Girl got upset that she had broken the egg and gotten it on her hand. Apparently the texture is mucho yucko.

It was more difficult to find unadulterated ingredients at Sunflower than I thought. I an getting more and more disenchanted with these stores as we go. I am working on a price list on the meal planning app we use so that I can find the best prices more easily.

Taste test results tomorrow!


Chicken Breasts Atop Kale & Artichoke Hearts


1 bag Trader Joe’s frozen artichoke hearts

a handful of frozen green beans, to appease the 3yo

almost a full bag of fresh chopped kale from TJ’s

a bit of chopped onions I had left over

almost 8 oz of fresh button mushrooms I had leftover

a handful of getting-wrinkly sweet little tomatoes

four chicken breast halves (not enough, really, to go with all the greens) breaded in almond flour & lemon pepper blend

a cup or so of white wine from the fridge, a couple pats of butter dotted all over the greens and 1 pat each on the chicken

layer it with the chicken on top, cover with foil, and bake at 325 or so for about an hour.


Estimated Nutrition Info using

Total Fat
Sat. Fat

That Marvelous Spinach


I used the tender, mild, delicious, fresh and FREE spinach I’d acquired in my serendipitous discovery of the Alvarado Urban Farm today as a plain, uncooked side. I had already planned a cooked spinach dish using a nifty food planning/shopping app (from so this was not a big deal.

Paul did his manly duty and cooked our steaks on the grill (eyebrows intact). I added a fried egg on top because who can resist steak and eggs?  No, to be truthful we almost had to share the steak with an extra guest so I figured the egg would stretch the meal just enough to share four small steaks among five people. As it was, my son got to eat the extra. It’s so rough being a sixteen year old and having to finish up the steak.

We finished the meal with a baked banana/raisin dessert that I tweaked a bit by adding pinons. Note to self: doesn’t need honey, add more pinons, and don’t set it down next to me our I’ll eat it all.  Oh, and we all shared the fresh from the dirt baby carrots, proudly scrubbed clean by the 3 year old.



(apparently the tongue helps)

Posted from WordPress on my android, egads… Wish it did the dishes, too!

Downtown Albuquerque – Shop, Dine, Stroll and …Farm??

On Silver Ave, between First and Second street, a surprise awaits you!  Linnae and I had just discovered that there are no midday Railrunner excursions and were trudging around the exciting downtown atmosphere looking for a picnic spot. Linnae decided going around the block from Gold Ave was OK with her.  We like to park close to the train station because I’m essentially lazy about walking in the heat with a three year old.  She was excited by all the buses and skateboarders and vendors and pedestrians but it was a bit overwhelming and noisy for her.

I suspiciously eyeballed a young man coming around the corner.  We had just dodged some irritating types cadging (and stealing) free food off the hot dog vendor.  This one looked like he’d be at home surfing on the beach, but I was preparing for the unexpected, nonetheless.

Rather than avoid my look or do anything outrageous, this young man smiled like the sun coming out from behind a cloud and offered us a carrot, “fresh from the farm.”  He generously held out the bunch of freshly-pulled-still-earthy carrots he was carrying. I held up our much-used pirate themed tote bag from le Target and mumbled something about bringing our own snacks, thanks. Admittedly, being among what to me is a crowd of people in a noisy area DOES raise my barriers a bit, but I felt slightly embarrassed at my grumpiness.  Part of my excuse was that we were walking next to a parking garage, notorious sites of  TV and movie carnage.  I was thus totally unprepared for the view as we rounded the corner of the parking garage.

There is a giant garden in the middle of downtown Albuquerque.

No, really!

Alvarado Community Garden

Since I am looking into this very kind of thing as part of my Paleo lifestyle change, I felt like I’d been run over by a very large Serendipity Truck. Linnae and I sat on the corner of a raised bed (coincidentally very like the ones I want my dear hubby to build for me next to the driveway) and watched Chris Goblet (self-titled “a farmer” but actually Deputy Director of the Downtown Action Team, I discovered later) and Margaret (an involved guest, I surmise)  pick spinach and carrots.  Apparently you aren’t quite allowed to leave without produce if you are lucky enough to stumble upon this little oasis in the asphalt, so we came home with a bag of marvelous looking spinach and baby carrots.

Apparently Tuesday and Thursday mornings are the busy times, but a few people stopped in to work and help Chris – raking, pulling some infested plants, etc. Chris patiently encouraged and educated, tending the plants all the while as he spoke. You could see the community being built, slowly but surely.

After our snack, some impromptu education on ladybugs,  aphids and when mustard lamentably bolts and becomes bitter, Linnae and I walked back to the car. In my normal irrepressible way, I stopped a man checking his parking meter stub in his windshield and asked him if he realized if there was a farm just on the other side of the office building he had just exited. He beamed broadly and replied “Oh, you mean the one I put up?” Apparently the Serendipity truck needed to back up and reposition in case I hadn’t gotten the idea the first time. This gentleman’s name is Rick Rennie, and he’s with HDIC (Historic District Improvement Company for those of us with acronymophobia) and the Downtown Action Team (incoming board president according to the June ’11 NM Biz Weekly article I scarfed up). He explained the Alvarado Urban Farm from a more top-down perspective and I could tell he had as much excitement for the project as Mr. Goblet had passion. I believe the Alvarado Urban Farm has some committed folks behind it and I hope it surpasses their dreams.

I also found out from Mr. Rennie that the good-natured young man sharing carrots was probably an Amy Biehl Charter High School Student who was spending some time gardening during lunch.  Students helped build it, as part of their community service requirement and the school has close involvement with the farm. I immediately thought of those scallywags at the train station, although produce is probably not their style. What a shame that so many people refuse to benefit and prosper from something within two blocks of their  daily routine.

Mr. Rennie was very informative, especially considering I probably caught him on the way back from lunch. Kudos to both of these important, driven men for pausing in their day to chat with us about their amazing Urban Farm.

Please drop by the farm on Tuesday and Thursday mornings and see for yourself!

101 Silver Ave SW

(It’s the big open space with uh, raised beds and edible plants and stuff, for those of you who are firm urbanites.)

They will also be selling produce at the Downtown Albuquerque Growers Market when it’s time to harvest more.

Read more:

Alvarado Urban Farm

NM Business Weekly Article

Omelette with salmon & feta


Last of the baked salmon from the other night with a bit of feta crumbles & some capers. Cooked in cast iron skillet in saved bacon grease, hence the black. The buttered Bulletproof coffee is good!

Posted from WordPress on my android, egads… Wish it did the dishes, too!

ELaD Choc Chip Cookies, revisited

Linnae loves helping
Linnae loves helping

Most of the batter makes it into the cookie sheet. Just like most of the chips make it into the batter.


They stick a little and brown faster at our altitude than the recipe on ELaD so adjust accordingly.


Obviously the most important part.


I portion out the dough in wax paper, roll it into logs & freeze to use later. Otherwise I’ll eat the whole batch.

My daughter loves this book. I need to buy more copies.

Mamasan becomes MamaPaleo

When I became a mother, I used the nickname “Mamasan.” It is still my screenname on many sites. When I remarried and changed my last name to Wolfenbarger, I changed it to “Mamawolfen,” which you have to admit has a nice growly ring to it. Now, as my husband, children and I ease into the Primal/Paleo lifestyle, I am reinventing myself with the nickname “MamaPaleo.”  (There’s already a terrific paleo blogger who goes by the name “PaleoMom,” her site is helfpul and inspirational. )

A series of events in the Fall of 2011 coincided to pique my interest in changing my lifestyle. I realized I was fatter than I’d ever been in my life — and GAINING. I was diagnosed with inexplicable and annoyingly painful inflammation in my joints. I was more sedentary, sleepless and in more pain than I have ever been before and becoming resigned to feeling twenty years older than I am. Strangers apparently think I look twenty years older as well, since many of them assume I am my three-year old’s grandmother.

In the midst of my complaining and whining a friend showed me a Loren Cordain video about The Paleo Diet on TED. That December, my doctor handed me Gary Taubes‘ book “Why We Get Fat” and worse yet, my sister showed up for Christmas dinner having LOST WEIGHT by ‘just eating lots of fruits, vegetables and meats’. (Of course that’s not really worse, I am utterly happy for her, we are just competitive like all good sisters.) Someone on my Facebook friends list directed me to and my Primal/Paleo quest was born.

My husband agreed to change his diet and become healthier with me and that, my friends, is all took to fuel my fire. We’ve cleaned out our pantry (it took three rounds and some serious grit and determination), our fridge (I found a renegade jar of maraschino cherries yesterday, oops) and our freezer. I’ve been trying to move slowly and deliberately, considering everyone’s preferences and feelings, but it’s difficult. I feel a fervor bordering on the religious when I contemplate how much better I feel.

We began by raising our vegetable and fruit intake with green smoothies. It’s the easiest way for me to cram in all those servings of healthy goodness without going crazy chewing. After about a week and a half of cutting out sugar and grains, it all tastes heavenly and the blending is no longer quite so important. We haven’t bought a blendtec yet, but I’m sure it’s coming.

Ah, my turkey, zucchini, sweet potato stuffed bell peppers are ready for dinner, I’ll leave you waiting with bated breath for more  ;p