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Paleo Challenge Round-Up: Week 3

I spoke too soon about my foot. It’s feeling a lot better, despite the fact that I haven’t exercised at all in about a month, but I still occasionally get a series of shooting pains if I walk around for too long. Also, the jury’s out as to whether the diminishing pain in my joints and muscles is a miraculous effect of paleo or the fact that, because I spend significant chunks of my weekend cooking, I consequently spend a lot of it on my feet.

Even if that’s the case, it’s a good thing. And it’s a good thing that I have the newfound energy and, let’s face it, enthusiasm to stay on my feet for a big chunk of the weekend.

I’ve also found my energy level has led me to some strange directions. Over the past few weeks, I’ve gotten a wild hair up my ass to upgrade my Hackintosh—that is, for you n00bs, a PC built by me to run Mac OS X—from Snow Leopard, which it’s been running since Lion was released in 2011. I built it originally in 2009, but I made a conscious decision to stay one OS generation behind, because I figured by the time the next OS was released, the Hackintosh community would have all the bugs worked out. After awhile, I stopped caring about keeping one-generation-behind, but now—goddammit, I want to be current! Forgetting the advantages of staying behind, I started with the latest operating system, El Capitan, but something is wonky with the video drivers. I tried numerous hacks to make it work properly with my older video card, but finally, I just settled on installing the previous OS, Yosemite, which runs perfectly.

Of course, the Yosemite decision and getting it to run perfectly all came about this weekend. I also bought a new, larger hard drive and decided to use the old hard drive to play around with Linux, something I haven’t done (and haven’t been interested in doing) since around 2001. Remember when Linux was touted as a free-for-all Windows-killer? Those were the days! But unlike Lex from Jurassic Park, I didn’t know enough about UNIX systems to have much fun with it. Now, thanks to 15 years of OS X use—and 15 years of making Linux a friendlier out-of-the-box experience—I think it’ll be fun to screw around with.

While I know the idea of sitting at a computer, figuring out why shit doesn’t work and playing around with new operating systems, doesn’t sound like a huge energy investment, I’m directing excitement and enthusiasm at a project I haven’t cared about in years; in fact, since I bought a friend’s used MacBook a few years back, I’ve used my menacing, once-overpowering desktop Hackintosh less and less, to the point that it’s acted as a media server more than anything else. Yet now, I want to play around with it again, and I’m having fun doing it, even when I fuck everything up and have to reinstall Yosemite from scratch.

I see this as a positive sign. I’m not lying in bed all weekend; when I’m not cooking, I’m fucking around with my computer, using my brain (and Googling other people’s brains) to solve problems—and I’m enjoying it!

At any rate, this week was light in terms of new recipes. Last week’s Breakfast Casserole—which I still don’t like, thanks to all that goddamn coconut—ended up yielding far too much (I doubled the recipe, thinking “4 eggs = 1 meal,” forgetting the recipe also includes sausage and sweet potatoes, among other things), so it carried over for another week. My original plan was to make more of that Paleo Taco Salad for lunch, because I felt very confident it would be great. Since it wasn’t, I replaced it with more of that Chicken and Avocado Caesar Salad (still delicious).

That left something new and exciting for dinner…


Apple Butter Chicken

This requires some lead time, since both the homemade apple butter and the chicken itself require a Crock-Pot. I got some slow cooker liners to make clean-up easier, so I did the apple butter on Saturday and the chicken on Sunday.

The recipe turned out really well, although I expected it to be a bit spicier with the blend of paprika, hot sauce, and mustard. The mustard gave it a noticeable tang compared to straight apple butter, and maybe the other spices add something that’s harder to gauge. Part of me wants to double the amount of spice, but I don’t want to ruin the balance. The bottom line is that this stuff is really, really good. The ingredients mix well with the extra chicken fat to create a nice, glaze-like sauce, with a nice balance of sweet, savory, and spicy. I would definitely make this again!

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