My confession….

I have a confession to make, I have affairs….with cookbooks.


Yes, it’s the dirty truth. It goes like this; My new cookbook arrives in the mail, I’m so excited as I tear the package open and lovingly thumb through the pages, drooling, running my hand over the pictures, thinking of all the great things we could do together, then I close it. It sits on the table for a few weeks where I look at it less and less and then it goes to the GIANT cookbook self, never to be loved again.

Affair over…….. then I order another cookbook.

Seriously I have an addiction. This became very clear to me when I ordered a rare and highly acclaimed cookbook for my birthday, to the tune of $70! And it’s not paleo, primal or gluten free. What am I doing? I’ve decided that I must stop this vicious cycle. I am putting myself on a cookbook fast. No more cookbooks till I start loving the ones I have. ( (Clears throat)After the one I just ordered comes in the mail. I mean it is Elana’s Pantry new cookbook! Love that woman!)

I, proclaim, right here in front of you all, that I will cook a recipe out of one of my cookbooks every week. Once a month, I will review one of these many fabulous cookbooks I have, plus share a recipe from it. I will go through my cookbook bookshelf and get rid of the ones I will never ever use. Then in about 100 years I might be able to order another one….maybe.

So on that note, there is no time like the present to start on reforming myself. Let’s start with the first cookbook in the pile up.

"Gather" the cookbook

“Gather” the cookbook

Gather, The art of Paleo Entertaining
By Bill Staley and Hayley Mason

This is a BEAUTIFUL cookbook! (It is also beautifully priced at almost $27 on amazon, $40 everywhere else.) It actually was on the table more like a month as my love affair with this book was hot and heavy. It’s probably the pictures. I love the pictures. Let’s face it, we all love pictures. Every recipe has a lovely picture of it displayed on a generous page, which is something wonderful.

The other thing I love about this book is the way they have it arranged, by the seasons, where they have menus, shopping tips and more pictures. I have a particular bent for cookbooks arranged this way as it is the way food arrives to us, in seasons. (That is if we are in tune with them) That is also a time saving element for me as I don’t have to go through the whole book to find what is in my fridge.

I also like the creative menus they put together for events, which of course this is ALL about. The “Night in Tuscany” looks particularly fun and delicious. Also the “Taste of Cuba” presents exciting and different food for a warm summer night. But the “Springtime Tea Party” really talks to me! I love tea parties almost as much as I love cookbooks with pictures.

While thumbing through this lovely book I was blinded with the novel concept, what if one could throw an event that is totally paleo? This book makes it completely conceivable. I always had this fixed idea that a big dinner party could not be completely paleo, just not possible. But I am a converted believer. If you love to entertain, this is the book for you.

And now that I am a converted cookbook hoarder I will plan one of these events and do it. But meanwhile I’ll leave you with the recipe that I made out of stuff on hand, meatballs. Oh yeah. They were very good but I had to change them a bit. (that is also an addiction.) Feel free to make them with bison or free-range grass finished beef, as venison doesn’t hang out in everyone’s freezer but thanks to my caveman hubby, it’s in ours.

Paleo Sweet and Tangy Venison Meatballs

Paleo Sweet and Tangy Venison Meatballs

Sweet and Tangy Venison Meatballs
These need to be started the night before, so plan that into the recipe.

Da meatballs
2 pounds of grass feed beef or venison
2 shallots, minced
2-5 cloves of garlic, minced
1-2 tablespoons of high quality Balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons of coconut aminos
Salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoons of bacon fat or coconut oil

Da Sauce
1 tablespoon of bacon fat or coconut oil
½ large onion, diced
8 once of crushed pineapple in the juice
15 ounce of (no salt added) tomato sauce
2 tablespoons of high quality balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
Salt and pepper to taste

In a mediumish bowl, mix all the meatball ingredients except the bacon fat, and squish it all together with your hands. (If you have a better way, let me know) Tuck it in the fridge, overnight for the flavors to marry. The next day, Preheat your oven to 350 degrees then squish the bacon fat into the meatballs, then form into 1 inch balls and place them onto a lightly oiled baking sheet. (You can use parchment paper to line the baking dish but have you read the ingredients on that paper? The clean-up was easy without the paper) Pop them into the oven to bake for 20-25 minutes, till they are done. (You test this by eating one! He he)

While those nuggets are baking make the sauce. In a medium saucepan, heat up your bacon fat on medium heat and then sauté the onions until they are fragrant and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir till well blended and simmer at just barely bubbling for 20 minutes, stirring often. The sauce will thicken and coat the back of spoon. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Then add the cooked meatballs to the sauce and serve with love. Can be an appetizer, which you can keep warm in a crock pot or a main dish served over cauliflower rice or cold on a salad. (Which I did! nom nom)


  1. says

    Thanks for sharing! I am very curious about that cookbook and might just have to get it for myself.I am looking forward to your recipes you will be cooking out of it. Those meatballs look delicious.

    • ziabaki says

      Those meatballs were so good! I even liked them the next day cold on a salad. Thanks for the comment. 😀

  2. Georgina says

    You are hilarious! I do this with my cook books as well though I’m thinking your collection is more impressive than mine. I just wish I had a shelf big enough for all of them. I love your idea and am really looking forward to your promised posts.

    • ziabaki says

      Ah, shucks. (Toe in dirt) I’m not sure which of us has more cookbooks but I’m glad to know someone else out there has my affliction! 😉


  1. […] 10. Sweet and Tangy Venison Meatballs Anytime you can use wild game in lieu of store bought meats you’re doing yourself a favor. This is because you know you’ll be avoiding the antibiotics and hormones that are used on conventional livestock. It’s about as close as we can get to the way things were in the Paleolithic Era. When we use modern recipes like this one that adds a sweet and tangy flavor to the venison it’s truly the best of both worlds. The sweet comes from pineapple and the tangy comes from balsamic vinegar. Yum! […]

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