Thursday, August 31, 2017

Breakfast Bake

Mornings have been kind of tough. I used to wake up with a bounce and hop out of bed around 5:00. I've gotten to where I sleep until 6:00 and then drag myself out of bed. With the changes I've made in my diet, I have recovered some, but I am not bounding out of bed, or exercising consistently in the morning yet either. One thing I do to help myself is have breakfast ready so I can just warm it up at home or (if I'm running really late) throw it in my lunch box and eat it once I get to work.

I usually have the same thing for breakfast every morning for a week. I'll fix something on Sunday, portion it out, and have breakfast ready to go all week long. This is one of my favorites, cheese, eggs, taco meat, sour cream and guacamole on top, you just can't go wrong. Dave doesn't eat breakfast, and that is just fine with me because then I don't have to share!

Taco Breakfast Bake

2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1/2 lb. 80% lean ground beef (or moose)
1/2 cup onions
2 Tbsp. Taco Seasoning
1/4 cup tomato sauce
8 large eggs, beaten
1/4 cup bone both or beef broth
3/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack or sharp cheddar cheese
1 oz. cream cheese
1 tsp. finely chopped garlic
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
1 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. fresh ground black pepper

Optional Toppings:
sour cream

Preheat oven to 350˚F.
In a large oven-safe skillet, heat butter over medium heat.  Add the ground beef, onions, and taco seasoning and cook until the beef is cooked all the way through and the onions are translucent, about 7 minutes.  Add the tomato sauce and stir well to combine.

In a large bowl, mix together the eggs, broth, cheeses, garlic, cilantro, salt and pepper.

Add the egg mixture to the beef mixture and stir to combine.  Cook over medium heat for 3 minutes, until the eggs are just slightly set, stirring continuously.

Place the skillet in the oven and bake for 27 minutes, or until the eggs are cooked through in the center.  Remove from the oven and let rest for 3 minutes, then slice and serve.  If desired, garnish with salsa, sour cream and/or guacamole.
makes 6 servings

To prepare for the week, cool and slice into servings.  Put each piece in a microwave safe container and refrigerate.

1 year ago:    Italian Pine Nut and Apricot Cake and the Busy Squirrel
3 years ago:   Baked Oatmeal
5 years ago:  Banana Crunch Muffins and Routines

August 31, 2017     Sunrise 6:29 am Sunset 9:10 pm   Temp. H 68 /L 44 ˚F

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Zucchini tots

This is the time of year in Fairbanks when you NEVER leave your car unlocked, not even in your own driveway.  Because, if you do, you will end up with pounds of zucchini.
I swear, I pick all the zucchini and the next day I find 7 more and half of them are giants!  The two of us just can't keep up.  We are eating zucchini at every I like zucchini (especially in chocolate cake) but enough is enough!

Well, all my neighbors are on to me and they always lock their doors.  If I leave it on their porch, they kindly return it with a "I think you forgot this" note...darn it!
So, tonight with dinner, we had zucchini yet again.  This time in a tot.  They are warm, cheesy, and take about 15 minutes to put together and 15 minutes to bake.  I made a double batch and put them in the freezer.  I still have about 15 pounds of zucchini to use.  Any suggestions?

Zucchini Tots
the Ketogenic Cookbook, Jimmy Moore ad Maria Emmerich

You can find the recipe in this book:

1 year ago:   The End of Summer
3 years ago:  Chocolate Zucchini Quick Bread
5 years ago:  Zucchini and Cheese Tart

August 29, 2017  Sunrise 6:23 am  Sunset 9:18 pm  Temp. H 58/ L 48°F

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Layered Panna Cotta

We have a new puppy.  I would like to say my husband has a new puppy, but I'm the one who lets the dogs out of the kennel in the mornings and feeds them and the way to a puppy's heart is through his stomach. He loves far it is a one way relationship.
He is a beautiful dog and he was the runt so he should have been smaller. But, he has gained about 10 pounds a month since we got him, Dave weighed him last night and he sits at 57 pounds and almost 6 months old. The vet says he will be over 100 lbs. when he is grown. I am so thrilled.

He is all puppy, he tramples the little dogs, butts his way into any petting session with the other dogs, doesn't let me brush Lily, and has to have a part of me in his hand, my arm, my pants...
I've lost two pairs of pants from him grabbing, pulling, and tearing.

He better grow out of this fast.
Lily on the left, the wild one on the right.

He likes to help me. Right now I am starting to clean things up from the flower beds before winter. I cut some old lily stalks out of the bed, pile them neatly so I can put them into a garbage bag, and he comes up from behind, jumps in the pile, throws it around, and pulls it all over the yard and chews on it.
He has "harvested" a couple of my spaghetti squash, and a few zucchini, as well as all the nasturtiums trailing from all the pots he could reach. At least we will have snow soon and the yard won't be an issue.

So in the meantime, I'm treating myself, often, because I have to put up with that puppy.

I made this treat because I took an ice cream cake to the office for a co-worker's birthday and I didn't want to sit there while everyone else ate.  I shared it with a co-worker who is allergic to dairy. We both enjoyed our little snack and I have 3 more to enjoy the next time the dog takes a running start and jumps off the deck....onto my back.

Keto Mocha Latte Panna Cotta
The 30 Day Ketogenic Cleanse, Maria Emmerich

You can find the recipe in this cookbook:

1 year ago:    Saving a Life
3 years ago:  Poached Eggs in Spicy Tomato Sauce
5 years ago:  Peach Cobbler

August 24, 2017   Sunrise 6:07 am  Sunset 9:36 pm  Temp. H 69/ L 49˚F
Dave photobombing.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Dutch Baby and Being an Active Sleeper

More nights than I would like to admit, my husband goes and sleeps on the sofa. Not because he is mad at me, or me at him, but because I am what he calls "an Active Sleeper." He says that I toss and turn, pull the covers, throw the covers off, and pull them away from him again because I threw mine off. And he says I that is just being rude.

I have joked that we need to get rid of our king size bed and get two double beds for our bedroom, then maybe he would spend the night with me. But as long as I am the one that gets the bed, I'm really not complaining.

So the other night I was having a very vivid dream and the next thing I knew I woke up slapping my husband in the face! I don't really know why, but I started to laugh and then said, "Oh, sorry." And I laid myself down and fell back asleep. Dave, on the other hand, was wide awake. He said he tried to go back to sleep, but he ended up on the couch, again.

I do feel sorta bad about that one, not that I did it on purpose or anything, I was dreaming after all. But I do feel bad. So I decided to make one of his favorite dinners; breakfast for dinner.  I made bacon, fried eggs, and this fruit filled Dutch baby. It was delicious and I think he has almost forgiven me for slapping him.

Dutch Baby with Strawberries and Blueberries
So Easy, Ellie Krieger

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
4 teaspoons sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup low-fat milk
2 large eggs
2 large egg whites
grated zest of 1 lemon
4 tsp. butter
fruit for topping, optional
sweetened whipped cream, optional
pistachios, optional

Preheat oven to 450˚F.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar, and salt.  In another bowl, whisk the milk, eggs, egg whites, and lemon zest.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
In a heavy 10-inch cast-iron or ovenproof nonstick skillet, heat the butter until very hot but not smoking.  Pour the batter into the skillet and quickly transfer it to the oven.  Bake for 25 minutes, until golden brown and puffed; do not open the oven during baking.  Serve immediately topped with your choice of toppings.

1 year ago:    The End of Summer
3 years ago:  Lobo
5 years ago:  Banana Bread and Putting up Wood for the Winter

August 22, 2017  Sunrise 6:01 am  Sunset 9:43pm  Temp.  H 59/L 49˚F

Thursday, August 17, 2017


This is a long post, but I've been gone for about 6 months and want to explain...

I have been tired. Like hard to get out of bed, brain fog, making stupid mistakes, zoning in front of the t.v. even when the t.v. is off, kind of tired.

My husband tells me it is because we have never been this old. I struggled to get up in the morning and make it to work close to on-time, I wasn't doing my share of the work around the house. I have never been an overly energetic person. Anyone who knows me I am in bed by 8:30-9:00 every night, but I used to open my eyes at 5:00 am, be rested and bounce out of bed and be cheerful and ready for the day. Not now.

So, I was looking for something to help me. I had noticed that I was getting a lot of stomach aches and heartburn. I cut out milk, I cut out eggs, I cut out wheat - BINGO! That really helped so I cut out all grains for three months and would add them back to see if I reacted to them. I also came across the Ketogenic diet and decided to try that for 6 weeks to see how I felt. I did start to feel more energetic so I purchased a couple cook books and made the switch. (Now, I am not advocating this for everyone, we all have our own opinions on what is healthy, what works for us, and our bodies are all different. This is just working for me right now. And, I still bake for my family and my across the street neighbors so no hating when you see a variety of things coming out of my kitchen).

I was feeling a bit better, I was up in the morning and ready to head back to 5:00 bootcamp (I never went back consistently after my hip surgery in 2015 and I miss it). So, it's spring time and after travel season is when I take care of things like my yearly dr. appt., the dentist, the eye doctor. Well, my dr. asked when I had my last mammogram.

"I had one about 3 years ago, I think." I replied
"Really, because there is nothing in your chart." she said. "Did you go someplace else for it?"
"No, I always go here and I always do a monthly self check everything is good."

So, she ordered one and the center called to schedule and it was in my mind to do it, so I called back for my appointment.

When I went in, I noticed on my paperwork it had been 8 years and 9 months since my last mammogram! Oops. Good thing I was there now.  I had my girls squished and I figured I was done for another year...and yes, I would be better about getting in more consistently, like every other year or so.

Well, I got a call back. Something just didn't look right. So I went in for a second mammogram and an ultrasound. No biggie. Breast cancer doesn't run in my family, I have no lumps or bumps, I'm very healthy, nothing to worry about.

But there was.

There was an " 2 cm area of suspicion" that needed to be biopsied. We did the biopsy. Again, I really didn't think much of it. I have dense, fibrous tissue (I know TMI) and lots of friends have had biopsies that were nothing. Better be safe than sorry, nothing to worry about.

But there was.

I had ductal carcinoma in situ or DCIS. I had an early stage but fast growing kind. The treatment was laid out for me; lumpectomy and radiation, perhaps an estrogen reducing medication. I met with the radiologist (is that what the doctor that gives radiation is called?), I met with the oncologist, I met with the surgeon. She wanted a better look and ordered an MRI and we scheduled the lumpectomy. I had an MRI, I got a call back, I had another biopsy, I had more cancer a 6.7 X 5 cm area. Now we were talking mastectomy - maybe, chemo - maybe, lymph nodes involved? I had the second biopsy we got the results on a Monday afternoon - more cancer. Wednesday morning I had a mastectomy. Pathology came back and I did NOT have invasive cancer and my lymph nodes were not impacted - so no chemo, and the cancer was impacted so little by estrogen I didn't have to take that medication. So I am cancer free now and other than being lopsided - which will get fixed soon - I am in great health!

Now, keep in mind this all happened in the span of 6 weeks, it was kind of a whirlwind. Someone will tell me I am a cancer survivor but it doesn't feel that way because it all happened to fast that I never fully grasped that I had cancer, and now it is gone and I don't have any further treatments, it doesn't seem real. Don't get me wrong, I have been a hot mess the last 3 months (feel very sorry for my dear husband) and facing the mirror with one breast removed has been harder than I can even put into words, but today I stand here a healthy, cancer free, slightly lopsided woman.  YAHOO!

So, why all this info? Because...
It happened to me and I have a compulsion to share way too much on my blog.
I want every woman out there to do their monthly self checks and mammograms on the regular, as suggested by your doctor.
I don't want to hear any haters when my food choices are very different than your choices.  If you don't like the recipes I post, don't read my blog or just skip that recipe.  You get to choose (I love choices don't you?)

So there you have it.  I've been gone for a while but I'm back.

Some of the flowers I received while recovering from surgery.
1 year ago:     Introducing Grayson Zachary
3 years ago:    Blackberry Cheesecake
5 years ago:    Salmon Cakes

August 17, 2017  Sunrise 5:45 am Sunset 10:01 pm  Temp. H 59/ L 42°F