HOLIDAY GIFTS UNDER $30: SMALL BUSINESS EDITION

I wanted to share one more special Holiday Gift Guide featuring my favorite items from small businesses in my community. If you’re looking to grow your small business year round, Kabbage specializes in helping small businesses! While I have not personally used their services, it seems like a great alternative to traditional loans!

Since I already focused on getting those hard to buy for people on your list taken care of a few weeks ago (here!) I wanted to round out your holiday shopping with a few last minute gifts. At this point you’re probably running low on time and money (at least I am) so I kept all of the gifts under $30 and all on the same street: Grandview Ave in Columbus, OH!

Earth Elements: Seabolt & Co. Hydrate Toner $18

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I am obsessed with the “Hydrate” toner from Seabolt & Co. Technically it is geared towards men, but I use my husband’s body wash and deodorant sometimes, so that doesn’t stop me. It’s all natural, sulfate, paraben, preservative and gluten free, vegan, and never tested on animals. This is the perfect gift for the person on your list who is constantly on the go. They can toss the spray in their bag and use a spritz to freshen up after the gym, between the office and meeting friends for drinks, and before going into the office the next day if those previous night’s drinks have them looking less than fresh. For a more personal gift, Earth Elements provides custom skin care blends such as lotions, shower gels and bath salts.

The Candle Lab: Pour Your Own Candle $16

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This would be a fun gift to give to someone where you come back later and make candles together! You pick your container, custom blend up to three scents and get to design your own label! Another cool option is to bring in your own container and have it filled for $1.75 per ounce.

Peabody Papers: Holiday Cards $11

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I like to give my regular clients at the salon a little hand written card around the holidays. This is perfect for the people in your life who you might not buy a gift for, but you still want them to know you’re thinking of them during the holiday season! Peabody has tons of beautiful readymade cards, or you can work with them to design your own. I just love how sophisticated these black and gold ones are, and for $11 for a pack of twenty, you can’t beat that!

Vernacular: Old Fashioned Glasses $20

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How sexy are these glasses?! They’re like drinking out of Don Draper and Roger Sterling (Yes please!). These are perfect for the mad man in your life who enjoys a good drink! Vernacular (formerly Objects For The Home, don’t worry, same owners, same amazing finds) is full of awesome gifts for everyone on your list, whatever your price range.

The Oilerie: The Oilerie Balsamic $20

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This 25 year aged balsamic is AH-mazing! If you have a foodie on your shopping list, look no further than this. I’m not kidding when I tell you in my house this stuff goes on everything! I’ve put it on roasted vegetables, salads, steak, and even ice cream! (Told you I’m obsessed!). They also have a bunch of different infused olive oils and balsamic vinegars, I highly recommend the truffle olive oil!

Elli Nail Spa: The Care To Indulge Manicure $26
You didn’t think I’d leave out the best nail salon in Columbus, OH did you? Pick up a gift card for The Care To Indulge Manicure, and treat someone on your list to sugar scrub, a warm towel wrap and a massage with the lotion scent of their choice. After all the wrapping, cooking and washing of dishes, a manicure is much needed! You deserve one too so you might as well pick up a few!

What’s your favorite small business you support?

AN APPLE A DAY AB&J (OR PALEO ALMOND BUTTER AND JELLY SANDWICH)

Last week I had a real hankering for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, however now that I’m 90% paleo, that wasn’t going to happen. Also there wasn’t any bread or peanut butter in the house, so there’s that… You know what they say though: necessity is the mother of invention; and satisfying this craving was very necessary.

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I hate to even call this a recipe, I slapped some almond butter and strawberry preserves on an apple, but somehow this became my most “liked” Instagram photo of all time, so I felt the need to post it!

Ingredients:

1 Apple
Almond Butter
Jelly (I used homemade, processed sugar free strawberry preserves)

Slice and core the apple, spread as much almond butter and jelly on a slice as you prefer. Top with another slice of apple. Enjoy!

*this recipe is totally customizable, use any nut butter, jelly or even chocolate chip combination you want!

PALEO, VEGAN AND GLUTEN FREE CHRISTMAS COOKIES

If you have someone with dietary restrictions on your Christmas cookie list (or you are the person with dietary restrictions and don’t want to miss out on delicious holiday treats!) you have come to the right place! I have something for everybody: gluten free, dairy free, grain free, nut free, paleo, vegan and a combination of all! These Christmas treats are sure to please everyone, including those who can have the real thing!

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M&M Monster Cookies: Gluten Free

Buckeye Bark: Gluten Free, can be made vegan with non dairy chocolate and butter substitute

Peanut Butter and Jelly Thumbprint Cookies: Vegan, Gluten Free, Dairy Free

Carrot Cake Cookies: Paleo, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Grain Free, can be made vegan by replacing egg with a “flaxseed egg”

Ooey Gooey Mint Chocolate Brownie Cookies: Gluten Free, Nut Free, Grain Free

PALEO BAKED CAULIFLOWER FRITTERS

Paleo cauliflower fritters, dumplings, bites, balls….I have no idea what to call these except delicious! I’ve topped them with gravy, dropped them in soup, dipped them in BBQ sauce, they can be whatever you want them to be! I made a big batch and neutrally seasoned them so they could be really versatile, but you could also add Italian seasoning and top them with marinara, or add parsley for faux falafel! The possibilities are endless!

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Ingredients:

1 head of cauliflower
3 eggs
1/2 cup almond flour
1tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1tsp chipotle powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder

*Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Rinse and remove leafs from head of cauliflower. In a food processor, pulse cauliflower until pieces are about the size of a grain of rice. (You can also use a box grater to grate the cauliflower if you don’t have a food processor.)
In a large bowl, combine almond flour, salt, pepper, chipotle and garlic powder, add eggs and cauliflower. Stir until cauliflower is coated completely.

Form the mixture into two inch balls (pack them tightly, like a snowball!), and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 30-40 minutes, or until golden brown. Enjoy!

THE STAY AT WORK HOUSEWIFE’S 2014 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE

Here’s my holiday gift guide for even the trickiest recipient on your list, because why should Oprah get to have all the fun?

For your super stylish sister:

Greater Than earrings from Eli & Barry.  These dainty 10k gold earrings go with everything, so they’re perfect for your super stylish sister, who most people just get a gift card, rather than trying to match her awesome taste!

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For your mom who never treats herself:

An Ivory Faux Fur Throw from World Market. Would she buy herself a throw that’s over $50? No.  Will she act like you might as well have spent $500 with the way she’ll ‘oooh’ and ‘ahhh’ as she pets it?  Yes.

For your friend who is always networking:

The One In A Million business card holder from Kate Spade will ensure she’s always ready to make a connection.

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For your control freak boss:

The Arc Customizable Notebook by Staples, as a control freak myself, I can tell you that this is the greatest notebook ever!  The size is perfect to toss in a purse, the pages are repositionable, and it gives you the option to add more pages like graphing paper and pocket dividers.  Plus, the leather cover is totally chic!

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For your bibliophile aunt:

Personalized self-inking “This Book Belongs To” stamp from Cre8tive Rubber Stamp.  She’ll never lose a book in Book Club again!

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For your Dad, because Dad’s are hard to buy for:

A personalized wooden beer carrier from MVwoodworks.  He doesn’t have one already, and I know you’re getting tired of just giving him sporting goods store gift cards….

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For your high tech significant other:

The Catchall iPhone 6 Dock from Jigsaw Furnishings.  If your significant other is anything like mine, even though he lives in the same house as you, and most likely was the one who sat his belongings down, you constantly hear the phrase “Have you seen my…..”  Solve that with this smartphone dock that also holds keys, a wallet, glasses and a watch.  Just don’t move it when you clean.

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Did this help you mark anyone off your Christmas list?

PALEO CHIPOTLE ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP

Is there anything more comforting on a chilly day than a big bowl of Paleo chipotle roasted butternut squash soup? It is 13 degrees in Ohio right now and there’s a few inches of snow on the ground. THIRTEEN DEGREES!!!! Ugh! It hurts to breathe outside and my nosebleeds are already starting. THE STATE I LIVE IN GIVES ME NOSEBLEEDS PEOPLE! I’m not made for the cold, I HATE WINTER! But here’s the conflicting part: I LOVE wearing bulky sweaters and boots, curling up under a faux fur blanket with Tyler and some Paleo hot cocoa, I’m obsessed with Christmas lights and music, and everything else that comes with being cold, except for the cold! I could handle living somewhere that the low is about 35 degrees, someone find me three salons to manage in a place like that, then convince my family and friends to move with me! Anyways, one of my favorite ways to cope with the cold weather is to make a big batch of soup! This Chipotle Roasted Butternut Squash Soup hits all of my comfort food needs: warm, creamy, spicy, sweet!

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Ingredients:

1 butternut squash; peeled and cubed
1 yellow onion, diced
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
5 cups broth/vegetable stock (I used my homemade chicken bone broth but for vegan/vegetarian use vegetable stock)
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 and 1/2 tsp Chipotle powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon

*Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Spread butternut squash and onions onto a parchment lined cookie sheet, lightly coat in olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Roast in a 400 degree oven for 45-60 minutes, or until golden brown, stirring halfway through.

In a large pot (I used my Dutch oven) over medium heat add broth, coconut milk, chipotle powder, cinnamon, and the roasted butternut squash and onions. Simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and blend, either with an immersion blender or in a food processor/vitamix.

I like mine topped with roasted pecans or pumpkin seeds! Enjoy!

PALEO CRANBERRY SAUCE

My first thought after making this Paleo cranberry sauce was “If it’s this easy, why do people even buy the nasty canned stuff?!”
Either people don’t know it only takes 30 minutes and minimal effort to make this beautiful, fresh cranberry sauce that is the perfect balance of tart and sweet, OR with everything else you have to make for Thanksgiving it’s just easier to grab a can and slice it up so there’s one less thing to make. Well, now you know it’s super easy because I just told you, and I’m also going to let you in on another secret: You can make this weeks ahead of time and freeze it, before you even begin to worry about the one million other things you need to get done before Turkey Day! Did I mention how impressive it looks?

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Ingredients
4 cups fresh cranberries
2 pears; cored, peeled and diced
2 Granny Smith apples; cored, peeled and diced
1 and 1/4 cups water
1 cup pure maple syrup
2 cinnamon sticks
6 whole cloves
1 cup pitted dates; chopped
1/3 cup crystallized ginger; finely chopped
1/2 walnuts; chopped
1/2 tsp kosher salt

*Makes approximately 3 pints

In a large sauce pan over medium/high heat (I used a Dutch oven) combine cranberries, water, maple syrup, cinnamon sticks, cloves and salt; bring to a boil. Allow to boil until cranberries pop, stirring occasionally; about ten minutes. Lower to a simmer and remove cloves and cinnamon sticks. Add remaining ingredients except for the walnuts and simmer for an additional 15 minutes. Remove from heat and fold in walnuts.

I store mine in glass mason jars in the freezer until ready for use, thaw and keep refrigerated. Enjoy!

PALEO VEGAN CHOCOLATE PUDDING

This paleo vegan chocolate pudding is the bomb! Do people still say that? Well, if they don’t they will again once they taste this!

The hardest thing about going paleo is taming my sweet tooth. I know sugar is addictive, and I have cut out all processed forms of it, but I will not give up maple syrup, honey or dark chocolate! You can pry them from my cold dead hands!!! (I know that’s extreme but I really feel strongly about sweets!). With that being said, sometimes I just get the craving for something creamy, cold and chocolatey, and it doesn’t go away until I get a fix. (Again, I know sugar is addictive, but let me have this one thing, damnit!). Out of this craving paleo chocolate pudding was born!

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I recently had a dinner party where I wanted to try this out on some of my non-paleo friends to get their feedback, I realize I’m an adventurous eater so it’s always good for me to get a second opinion that isn’t my loving husband’s. I also like to see if someone who didn’t choose this lifestyle would still choose to have paleo chocolate pudding when they could easily have jello! Anyways, at the party I told my guests that the pudding was dairy free and that they had to try to guess what it was made from instead of milk. No one could figure it out. The secret ingredient is…..*drum roll*….. AVOCADOS!!!! (You have to say avocados like Oprah is introducing a guest there, that is how it is written in my head). That’s right, my favorite omega 3 packed super food is the base for this chocolate pudding! Avocados have been shown to lower bad cholesterol and improve heart health, so if someone asks you what you’re eating, tell them “medicine!”. This is healthy right? I mean it’s practically a salad. A chocolate covered banana salad…. Mmmmm….

Ingredients:

4 Avocados; peeled and pitted
2 Bananas; peeled
1/2 cup dairy free/soy free dark chocolate (melted)
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup almond milk
1 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp honey

In a mixer with a whisk attachment (or in a bowl using a hand mixer, or in a food processor) combine above ingredients and mix until smooth, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Cover and refrigerate for at least three hours before serving. Optional: top with whipped coconut cream. Yup, it’s that easy, there’s no excuse not to make this.
Enjoy!

PALEO CARROT CAKE COOKIES

These paleo carrot cake cookies were born out of the fact that I hate to waste anything!  My wonderful husband has recently started making us homemade almond milk every week from the recipe found on the blog Against All Grain, and I have started trying to find ways to use the almond pulp you are left with.  After the last experiment of turning the almond pulp into grainless maple cinnamon granola  (which I would say was very successful!) I decided to continue treating it as oats in a recipe, since the textures are similar.  I’m only three weeks in on my new paleo lifestyle and the sugary cravings I would once give into are in full force, so I decided to try to turn the almond pulp into something that only seems indulgent, and still follows the paleo guidelines.  I was unsure of how these would turn out, but I’m happy to say they are the perfect marriage of healthy cookie and delicious carrot cake!IMG_4616.JPG

 

Ingredients:

1 and 1/2 cups of dried almond pulp (if you don’t have almond pulp, just send 1 and 1/2 cups of almonds through a food processor until coarsely ground)

3/4 cups grated carrots

1/2 cup chopped pecans

1/4 cup dairy free/soy free chocolate chips (I used dark chocolate)

1 and 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 and 1/2 tsp cinnamon

2 Tbsp melted coconut oil

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup maple syrup

pinch of salt

To dry almond pulp:

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Place almond pulp on a parchment lined cookie sheet, spread out in an even layer, and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven.

Turn oven up to 325 degrees.

Combine dried almond pulp, chopped pecans, grated carrots, chocolate chips, cinnamon, salt and baking powder in a mixing bowl.

In a small bowl, mix melted coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla and an egg.  Pour wet mixture over dry ingredients and stir until completely combined.

Cover and chill the dough in the refrigerator for a half an hour.

Once chilled, pack the cookie dough into a tablespoon and drop onto a cookie sheet that has been lined with parchment paper and sprayed with coconut oil cooking spray (flatten the top of the dough out a little bit).  Bake at 325 degrees for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown.  Allow to cool completely before storing (that is if you don’t eat them all off the cookie sheet as they’re cooling!) Enjoy!

 

Makes 20 cookies.

 

 

HOLIDAY SEASON RECIPE ROUNDUP

I can’t believe it is already November! Where does the time go?! I’m planning a lot of changes here for The Stay At Work Housewife starting in January, including switching over to a self hosted format, highlighting some of my favorite fellow bloggers, more DIY projects and recipes that reflect my recent change to a paleo lifestyle! But before I get ahead of myself, it is time to start planning for this holiday season! Here are some of my favorite gluten free recipes with all of the comforting flavors of the holidays!
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Mint Chocolate Icebox Cake Tastes just like a chocolate dipped candy cane!

Sweet Potato Biscuits A great side for any holiday meal!

Eton Mess  Not only is this dessert the perfect holiday color scheme, its light and fluffy texture gives you a break from all the rich, heavy foods you’ve been indulging in!

Cranberry Sausage Bites All of the flavors of Thanksgiving in one little bite!

Pumpkin Icebox Cake  A lighter, delicious twist on pumpkin pie that frees up your oven for everything else you’re making!

Buckeye Bark  This is my favorite no bake treat to give around the holidays, package it up in cute little boxes and no one will guess how little time you spent in the kitchen!