Friday, September 13, 2019

Keto Sugar Cookies for a Birthday

My  across the street neighbor had a birthday this week.  She is obsessed with fitness, all things sparkly,  Hallmark channel movies, doughnuts and eating keto.  She is the person who got me to go to Fairbanks Fit Body Bootcamp before my body got old and gave out and she is a great neighbor. 

So, for her birthday I made keto cookies decorated like doughnuts.  I used my homemade sugar free sprinkles and sent a batch over to her to help her celebrate her birthday week. 

These sugar cookies make great cut-outs and I know I'll be making these again to decorate around Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and Valentines Day.  They are delicious, hold their shape and are easy to work with. 

I hope my neighbor's birthday week got started off on a sweet note.

Keto Sugar Cookies
from Explorer Momma

Keto Frosting

4 Tbsp. butter, softened
4 oz. cream cheese
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1-3 Tbsp. heavy cream, depending on thickness desired
food coloring, if desired

Mix butter and cream cheese together until light and fluffy.  Add vanilla and about 1 Tbsp. heavy cream.  Mix, adding more heavy cream until desired consistency is achieved.  Color, if desired, and spread on cookies.

I HAD to try them, you know, to make sure they were good!
7 years ago: New Lights

September 13, 2019  Sunrise 7:06 am  Sunset 8:24 pm  Temp H69/ L 46°F

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Sugar Free Sprinkles

Sprinkles are something I've done without for the last 2 years or so. It's been ok, I'm not much of a sprinkle kind of gal and they are just a lot of sugar. If I'm going to eat sugar, it won't be for sprinkles.  But, I was wanting to do some keto desserts and dress them up just a little, so I decided to make some sprinkles.  

I can't believe I waited so long to make these.  They are quick, easy, and I had all items needed in my pantry.  With as easy as they are, I don't know why I didn't make them when I ate regular sprinkles!

Well, I have about a year's supply now.  Let the decorating begin!
Mix in food color of choice.

Pipe in long lines on waxed paper.

Don't worry if your lines are not perfect, you won't be able to
tell once you cut them up.

Dry overnight.

Store is containers on a shelf or in the pantry, don't store in the

Sugar Free Sprinkles

1 Tbsp. meringue powder
2 Tbsp. water, plus more if needed
1 cup confectioners sweetener, like Swerve
food colors of choice

Mix meringue powder and water until well combined. Add sweetener, mix and add water, if necessary, until desired consistency is obtained (I like a buttercream type consistency).

Divide mixture into small bowls, one for each color desired.  Mix color into sprinkle mixture until no streaks remain.  Place in piping bags, or small baggies (cut a tiny tip off the end).  Pipe onto waxed paper.

Let dry 30-60 minutes, cut into small pieces and let dry overnight.  Store dry, I put mine in small containers in the cookie decorating cabinet.

1 year ago:    Blueberry Fool and Missing Breakfast
5 years ago:  Pizza Stromboli for the Blond Boy
7 years ago:  Banana Crunch Muffins and My Love of Schedules

September 11, 2019   Sunrise 6:57 am  Sunset 8:35pm  Temp H63/ L 45°F

Monday, September 9, 2019

Bacon Wrapped Asparagus

I love asparagus and I love bacon.  So putting them together was a no brainer!  I made this a couple of times before I figured out a good system.  The first time I just wrapped the bacon around the asparagus and when Dave tried to turn the asparagus and bacon, the bacon just fell off. So using a toothpick keeps it all together.

Right now we are trying to grill as often as possible.  The weather has been really nice and I know our nice weather is going to come to an abrupt end.  The last time I stopped by Creamer's Field the birds were all gone, the leaves are all yellow and falling, and it finally frosted enough to kill my zucchini.
So, in the meantime, we will grill as often as possible, and have bacon wrapped asparagus a couple times a week!
Dave, trying to avoid getting his picture taken.

Attack with the tongs because I keep taking his picture!

Bacon Wrapped Asparagus

1 bunch of asparagus, mine was 12 spears
6 sliced of bacon, sliced down the length, one piece for each spear of asparagus
24 toothpicks

Place bacon in microwave, on paper towels, and cook for 3-4 minutes.  Wrap one (half) slice of bacon around each asparagus spear. Secure with toothpicks.  Grill over medium high heat until bacon is cooked.  Remove toothpicks, if used, and serve.

1 year ago:   Monday Mugcake, Chocolate Keto Cake
3 years ago:  Pumpkin Spice Cinnamon Rolls and the Travel Guy
5 years ago:  Colonial Bread

September 9, 2019  Sunrise 6:54am  Sunset 8:39pm   Temp. H 67/ L 46˚F

Friday, September 6, 2019

Mushroom Cookies

I have a love/hate relationship with mushrooms.  I love to see them, I think they are interesting, but I hate to eat them.  I have tried to like them, but I just can't.

This time of year there are all kinds of mushrooms growing.  When ever I walk at Creamer's Field I see them, they grow in our grass (much to my husband's dismay), and the path I walk at work is wooded and there are lots and lots of different mushrooms to look at.

Mushrooms were my inspiration for cookies this week.  When my kids were young, they went to a day camp called Camp Habitat and one of the songs they learned (and still sing) is about an amanita mushroom..."if you eat an amanita, that will be the end of you."  So, of course, I made little amanita cookies!

I don't have a mushroom cookie cutter, but Sweet Sugarbelle had some great instructions for round, oval, and candy corn shaped cookie cutters (see link below).  I made this very chocolate sugar cookie and went to work.

round cookie shape

using the point of a heart cookie cutter to  make the mushroom

mushroom from a round shape

oval shape 

candy corn shape

decorated cookies drying

a basket of mushrooms for a friend

The chocolate cookie recipe came from Baking a Moment
The mushroom cutout idea came from Sweet Sugarbelle

1 year ago:   Rootbeer Float Popsicles
3 years ago:  On the Road and Grandma's Birthday
5 years ago:  Oreo Truffles and Another Reason I Might Kill My Husband.

September 6, 2019  Sunrise 6:45 am  Sunset 8:50 pm  Temp H68/ L 45°F

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Cucumber Harvest

I met a friend for coffee and she gifted me two cucumbers and some tomatoes from her greenhouse.  I love cucumbers and told her how I would enjoy them for my lunch.  Well, that reminded me that my dad did a great job watering my greenhouse all summer, and while we did bring in some tomatoes, we never had any cucumbers.  I guessed they just didn't grow that much.

So, with the fresh cucumbers on my brain, I went out to my greenhouse to cut back some of the cucumber plants that hadn't been producing and make that my bag of garden I have to collect every day from now until the garden is put away.  I started hacking away at the overgrown vines, I hadn't pruned them all summer, and began to find hidden cucumbers.  After I cut about 6, I ran inside to grab a basket to gather the rest.  I came up with this...
So now I have more cucumbers than I know what to do with!  Dave doesn't eat cucumbers!  I decided I would try some dill relish, we might eat a jar a year, and maybe some dill chips, but English cucumbers aren't the best for pickles.  I posted this picture on my Facebook page and my very smart Seattle niece suggested antioxidant water. I drink a lot of water everyday, I have a pitcher on my desk I fill in the morning and have empty before the end of the day.  I could bring the  ingredients and make it here at work.  So I tried it.

Antioxidant Water
According to Beth

Cucumber slices
lemon slices
mint leaves
pinch of salt

Put all ingredients in a pitcher with cold water.  Enjoy.

1 year ago:    Feeling Blue and Blueberry Scones
3 years ago:  Gin and Tonic
5 years ago:  Zucchini Fries for Zucchini Season

September 4, 2019  Sunrise 6:39 am  Sunset 8:37 pm   Temp H 64/L 46°F

Monday, September 2, 2019

Sunflower Cookies

I planted sunflowers in a half whisky barrel in the front of my house.  They got really tall, but the blooms were small and a bit disappointing.  It's not that they didn't have enough water, my dad did a great job watering this summer.  I think they needed more food, and I didn't feed my plants well this summer.

Fairbanks is a great place to grow sunflowers, especially if we have a warm summer.  The long days help them grow really big.  People are posting pictures of their giant, big sunflowers all over Facebook right now, and I'm feeling a little jealous since mine were so small and sad.  So I decided to make some of my own sunflowers in cookies.

I baked 3.5 inch round cookies and let them cool completely.
Then I used a smaller cookie cutter and etched a circle for a
frosting guide.

I added a smaller circle for a frosting guide.

Brush away the crumbs left by the etching tool, those crumbs get
stuck in the frosting and make a mess.

I made the first ring of petals using a 103 tip.

Then the second ring of petals.  Then let the
cookies dry for a couple hours.

I added the center frosting, filling as full as possible and making
a little mound.

Covered the center with chocolate jimmies, turned upside-down
to get rid of the extra, and pushed them into the circle and
off the petals so they wouldn't stick.

A plate full of sunshine!

I used this cookie recipe and a very stiff royal icing recipe from SemiSweet Designs, except I added 3/4 cup water and not the full cup (because I wanted a really thick royal icing).  Next time I will a little less water as this was still softer than I wanted.

I found the idea from SweetAmbs.  
6 cookies drying

1 year ago:    Keto Cornbread and Fall
5 years ago:  Baked Oatmeal

September 2, 2013  Sunrise 6:33 am  Sunset 9:05 pm  Temp. H 71/L 50°F

Friday, August 30, 2019

The New Family Member and Keto Fried Cheese Sticks

We have a new family member I'd like to introduce you to.  He is rather quiet and really low maintenance and we have named him Charles.  Dave wanted to name him Charlie but that was not dignified enough for him, so Charles it is.

It all started when we were at the greenhouse picking up flowers for the garden.  I mentioned I wanted a new flowering tree to take the place of the chokecherry we had to cut down last summer.  Our front yard is just grass now and I miss the spring blossoms.  I walked over and looked at the flowering crab apples and decided I wanted one.  Well, we were out of room in the truck and the tree was $150, so I figured I could think about it for a while.

That Saturday, I met a friend for coffee and she mentioned the Conservation tree sale that was going on that day.  We headed over there to see if they had a flowering crab apple for me.  We stood in line for a good 20 minutes (we were a little early and the line was already 20 people deep).  I figured with so many people there it must be a really good tree sale, and it was!  My flowering crab apple cost me $5!  Yes, only $5.  Dave would be so proud of me for saving him so much money.

Well, it was my turn and I asked for my tree and out came my 5 inch stick with a whole bunch of roots.  Yes, 5 inches and not a single leaf on it.  I looked at that little stick and just laughed.  My friend gave me planting advice and off I went home to plant my little tree.

Dave came home and asked me why I stuck a dead stick in the middle of the front lawn.  I told him how much money I saved him and he just laughed.  He said it looked worse than Charlie Brown's Christmas tree and we should name him Charlie.  But I knew great things were in store for this little stick and named him Charles, a distinguished  name for a (soon to be) distinguished tree.

Charles has been in the ground all summer now.  He has grown some leaves and looks to be thriving.  I talk to him everyday when I water and tell him "good morning, have a good day" every morning when I get in my car to go to work.  Charles is off to great things.
Charles with Gman and the Seatlle DIL the first week of July.

To celebrate the beautiful leaves Charles has grown, I made keto cheese sticks.  I love those fried mozzarella sticks most restaurants have on their appetizer menu.  I made my keto friendly and safe for my tummy.  I made a big batch and keep them in the freezer so I can pull out a couple and have an appetizer any time I want.  They work equally well in the air fryer or fried in hot oil.
Cooking in the airfryer makes them leak a little.

Here's to you Charles, keep growing those leaves and I'll eat my fried cheese sticks and watch!

Keto Mozzarella Sticks

12 mozzarella sticks or string cheese sticks, cut in half making 24 cheese sticks
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup crushed pork rinds, or pork dust
1 Tbsp. Italian seasoning
1 tsp. granulated garlic
3 Tbsp. coconut flour
3 eggs, beaten

Oil for frying, or cooking spray if cooking in air fryer

Mix grated parmesan cheese, crushed pork rinds, Italian seasoning and garlic in a small bowl.  Beat the eggs in a second bowl, place coconut flour in a third bowl.  Line a baking sheet with parchment.

Dip each cheese stick in coconut flour, then egg, then cheese/pork rind breading, pressing to make breading stick.  Place coated cheese stick on baking sheet.  Repeat with all the cheese sticks.

Repeat the egg and pork dust breading steps with each cheese stick a second time.  This is important so the cheese doesn't melt and ooze out during the cooking process.  Once all cheese sticks are coated well the second time, place in freezer about 5 hours or overnight (I just make a bunch, freeze and transfer to a sturdy container for whenever).

To cook cheese sticks in oil:
Heat about 2 inches of oil in a heavy pan to 350°F.  Place 3 or 4  frozen cheese sticks at a time in hot oil and let cook about 3-4 minutes or until coating is a golden brown, turn and cook second side for about 3-4 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from oil and drain on paper towels. Repeat with more cheese sticks, as desired.

To cook cheese sticks in air fryer:
Heat air fryer to 400°F.  Place frozen cheese sticks in air fryer and spray lightly with cooking spray. Cook for about 5 minutes, turn and cook 2-3 more minutes or until coating is golden brown.  Cooking these in the airfryer does cause some leakage...don't worry they are still delicious and you get to eat the leaked out cheese, yum!

 Serve with sugar free marinara for dipping.

5 years ago:  Poached Eggs in Spicy Tomato Sauce
7 years ago:  Salmon Cakes

August 30, 2019  Sunrise 6:24 am  Sunset 9:16 pm  Temp H 68/ L 47°F

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Spider Emergency

I had an emergency the other morning.  It was life threatening and life altering.

It is gets cooler this time of year.  The geese and cranes are starting their flights south, the leaves are turning color, there was a snow advisory for parts of the interior of Alaska last week, and the spiders are moving inside. All this happens every year, and while I don't want to, I can deal.  Except this morning.

I got up and went to make my first cup of coffee, it's early, it's chilly and I just want my coffee and to wake up a little and I see this...

If you can't tell, that is a spider on the pull-out base of my Kuerig.  I could't pull the coffee maker out to make my coffee, but I figured I could just make my coffee, from the other side, and not bother anyone.  Well, then the spider did this...
 And climbed up to where my coffee cup sit.  I screeched  quietly moved my coffee cup and tried to figure out what to do.  I decided I really needed coffee so I could be brave and I went to pick the spider up, carefully, with a sheet of paper and I could deposit him outside.  I put the edge of the paper in his walking path, and he jumped!  Another screech I quietly threw the paper aside and grabbed the Swiffer duster.  I picked him up and dumped him into the garbage, handle and all.  I hope he is living a happy spider life in the landfill.

Well, I got my coffee and sat down to enjoy the life bringing caffeine in peace.  I decided I needed a back up plan to get my coffee in case this happens again.  I thought coffee cookies would be the perfect thing. I can eat them with coffee, if the coffee maker is free or I could eat them and still get my daily dose of caffeine.  These are a win-win.

Keto Coffee Almond Straws
1 Tbsp. hot water
1/2 Tbsp. espresso powder
2 cups almond flour
2 Tbsp. coconut flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup Swerve confectioner's sweetener
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla

2 oz. sugar free dark chocolate

Preheat oven to 325°F.  Line tow baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a small bowl mix the hot water with the espresso powder until completely dissolved.  Set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix almond flour, coconut flour, baking powder and salt.  Set aside

In a medium bowl, or your mixer bowl, cream butter and sweetener until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Add egg, vanilla and espresso.  Mix well.  Slowly add dry ingredients and mix until well combined.

Spoon mixture into cookie press fitted with the star or cheese straw disk.  Press straws onto parchment paper ( I made mine about 4 inches long which was one click of my cookie press).  Bake for 13-15 minutes until golden brown.  Remove from oven and cool.

Melt chocolate on a double boiler or in a microwave at 15 second intervals until completely melted.  You can add a tsp. of coconut oil to the chocolate to thin it a bit if desired.  Dip straws into chocolate, allowing excess to drip off, and place on parchment paper to cool and harden.  Or, alternatively, drizzle chocolate over straws in a zig-zag pattern.

August 28, 2019  Sunrise 6:18 am  Sunset 9:23 pm  Temp H 61/ L 44°F