Apparently, this is a busy time of year for cookbook authors to release their cookbooks! But, I’m not complaining, and I bet you aren’t, either, because not only do you get free recipes from those cookbooks through reviews like this one, but you also have lots of fun things to add to your holiday wish list! 🙂 I’m incredibly excited to be sharing my review of Caroline Potter‘s All-American Paleo Table with you today, as well as her Blackberry Skillet Jam recipe from the cookbook. You’re going to love it!
I can’t really recall how I first came across Caroline on Instagram (because, like many of the bloggers I follow, I’m almost certain that’s how I first discovered her), but I’m sure what drew me in was her stunning photography. In the introduction of All-American Paleo Table, Caroline writes that she taught herself how to do food photography.
I’m jealous, and I need to figure out how to get on her level.
I could rave about her photography all day. I just love it. Her style is exactly what I love and hope to be able to accomplish–someday, when I manage to find the time to dedicate to that! Also, as a quick aside, now seems like the perfect time to plug Caroline’s e-book all about food photography, Scrumptious & Styled. THAT is how I’m going to learn to photograph like Caroline!
Anyway, back to the cookbook. I read all about Caroline’s story of being diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, which is an autoimmune disease. Her life got flipped upside down with this diagnosis, as usually happens with autoimmune diseases, and she had to learn a whole new way of living. When she eventually found the Paleo lifestyle and saw how dramatically it improved her life post-diagnosis, she was so motivated by it that she decided to become a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner (NTP)! Her story is heart-warming, and let’s be honest: Her food is downright incredible-looking.
I love the theme of All-American Paleo Table, like, a lot. There are an increasing number of recipes/cookbooks out there dedicated to recreating everyone’s old favorites in Paleo-friendly ways, but Caroline knocked it out of the park with this cookbook by having them all in one place. Like, I really, really can’t wait to be through my AIP reintroductions so that I can start making more of the recipes in it! There are just so many amazing recipes that bring back memories and that hit a lot of different American traditions. Plus, her chapters are totally non-traditional for a cookbook, which I love. Often, although the chapters might be creatively named, they’re broken down by meal (i.e. breakfast, lunch, side dishes, etc.). In Caroline’s cookbook, however, she’s got chapters that include all of those types of dishes within each chapter–so you might find recipes for breakfast, dinner, dessert, and a beverage, for example, all in the same chapter! Then, the chapters are themed on different American classics or traditions, such as “A Farmer’s Breakfast,” “Game-Day Eats,” and “The Thankful Table.” Clearly, I’m a fan.
When it was time for me to sit down and decide which recipes I was going to cook up and then write about, I decided to take the cookbook with me to work. Then, over my breaks and lunch hour, I sat and flipped through each page, soaking in the gorgeous photography and amazing recipes. Caroline definitely has branding on lockdown, as everything in her cookbook reminds me precisely of her blog and social media presence. Girl knows what’s going on!
I digress. I totally loved sitting there looking through All-American Paleo Table and tagging recipes to try. I have to admit that at my current phase of the AIP/reintroductions, I had a bit of a hard time finding recipes I could cook. However, I did find a handful, which was nice–and, of course, those were the ones I made. But there are so many more that I can’t wait to try once I’m through reintroductions and know what I can and cannot tolerate! One of the recipes that’s going to be pretty high up on my list is this one, and I only need one explanation–bacon jam:
The first recipe that I encountered that I both could make and wanted to make, because it’s so hard to find quality versions in grocery stores these days, was the Blackberry Skillet Jam. You can find the recipe for it at the end of this post, as Caroline generously gave me permission to share it with you all. Seriously, y’all, this was such an easy recipe to make! It’s a little bit time-consuming, but personally, I did some VA work for one of my clients during the times where I was just kind of waiting to be able to do the next step. I really wanted to bake up some AIP-friendly biscuits, both to go with the jam and with the other recipe I cooked, which I’ll discuss next, but I just didn’t have time to get the necessary ingredients. (Side note: Caroline has a fantastic biscuit recipe in the cookbook, but it’s not AIP-friendly.) Instead, I made the “Buttery” Baked Pita Crisps from Eat Heal Thrive. These were a great alternative vehicle for getting the jam from the jar to my mouth! 🙂
Really, you can’t find a simpler jam recipe that’s totally clean, allergen-friendly, and not overly sweet. The recipe calls for 1 pound of blackberries, but I bought a 12-ounce container, so I trimmed down the other measurements a bit. I also took Caroline’s recommendation of using the minimum end of the honey measurement, and even so, I think the jam is perfectly sweet enough with just a touch of tartness. Plus, you know, squishing the blackberries was more fun than I’d like to admit, as a very soon-to-be 27-year-old! I hope you enjoy the jam recipe as much as I did, and I’m pretty certain that you’ll want to keep a jar on hand at all times after you make it once!
After I was done making the jam and cleaning up, I went right into the next recipe I’d tagged to make, because brunch. I made a batch of Caroline’s White Sausage Gravy (sans biscuits), and it was SO GOOD! Yes, all caps was necessary. There are no AIP-friendly ground sausage brands at the grocery stores where I shop, so instead, I bought ground pork and made the Breakfast Sausage from He Won’t Know It’s Paleo. Then, I proceeded on with Caroline’s recipe as instructed. I was worried that the gravy wouldn’t come out as intended, because I’d accidentally used the last of my arrowroot starch to make the pita crisps and had to use tapioca starch for the gravy. But, I made sure to keep it on low heat for quite a while, and it came out just fine! It was the perfect brunch to perk me up after a morning already spent cooking pita crisps and jam!
Aside from the Bacon Jam & Fried Egg Burgers, some of the other recipes I can’t wait to make are the Crackling Pork Belly Croutons, Build Your Own Milkshakes, Duck Fat Fries, and Sausage, Apple, Mushroom Stuffing. But that’s really just a small list, because there are so many recipes I want to try! I’m confident that this will be a cookbook from which I cook often and happily. Caroline, kudos on a very well-done cookbook, and congratulations to you on your debut into authorship! I couldn’t be more thrilled to promote your cookbook and will merrily tell everyone I know that they need a copy. 🙂
When fresh blackberries are crushed and turned into jam, something extraordinary happens. Add a scoop to Skillet Peach Cobbler (page 106), serve over warm biscuits (page 40) or eat by the spoonful straight from the skillet.
- 1 pound fresh blackberries
- 1/4 cup water
- 4-6 tablespoons raw honey, depending on desired sweetness
- 2 teaspoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1 1/2 teaspoon grass-fed gelatin
- Warm a skillet to medium-low heat. Add the blackberries and water and heat for 10 minutes.
- Next, use the back of a wooden spoon to crush the berries, releasing their juice.
- Stir in the honey, lemon juice and gelatin. Heat for an additional 10 minutes, allowing the jam to slightly simmer.
- Remove the skillet from the heat and set aside to cool for 15 minutes before transferring to an airtight container and placing in the refrigerator. Cool the jam for 4 hours, allowing it to thicken.
- Spread on warm biscuits, sandwich bread or even add a scoop to vanilla ice cream!
This recipe is shared with the permission of Caroline Potter.
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