Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Grain Free Pizza Crust

I. Love. Pizza.
If you ask me, I'll tell you my favorite food is Pizza and Ice Cream.  Even if you don't ask me, I might just bring that into any random conversation.

I can't go the rest of my life without pizza, even though I no longer eat wheat.  I have tried a couple different recipes for grain free pizza crust, and this is my favorite so far.  I haven't tried the cauliflower pizza crust you see everywhere, but I will.  I froze 5 large heads of cauliflower from my garden, so I'll get to it and let you know how it is.
This is a very easy crust.  It comes together quickly and holds together nicely.  It holds up to the tomato sauce, meat, and cheese without falling apart.  It isn't like the crispy, thin crust that is my favorite, but it is a thin crust, just soft.

We had pizza on Saturday night for dinner, I made an extra crust for Monday's dinner (so easy to just double the recipe and bake on two pans).  Sunday we had our favorite moose roast for dinner, and Monday we had sandwiches with left-over roast and the second crust for easy Moose Paninis during Monday Night Football.

Grain Free Pizza Crust
from peaceloveandlowcarb.com
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 375˚F.

Line a 12 inch pizza pan or a cookie sheet (I use my jelly roll pans) with parchment paper.

In a medium mixing bowl, using a hand mixer, combine eggs, cream cheese and seasonings.  Blend until smooth.

Using a rubber spatula, fold in the parmesan and mozzarella cheeses. Transfer mixture to the lined pizza pan. Spread the mixture out in a thin, even circle (or rectangle for cookie sheet).

Bake 22 minutes, flipping 12-14 minutes in. To flip it without breaking it, I like to top it with a second piece of parchment paper and top it with another pan, flipping it over with the new sheet of parchment paper under, and carefully peeling off the old parchment which is now the top.

Top with your favorite pizza toppings or cut and use as bread for sandwiches. I have been doubling this and having an extra crust on hand for avocado toast in the morning, panini bread for sandwiches, or hot dog buns for camping.
Second crust cut for sandwiches for tomorrow's dinner.

Left-over moose roast, pickled pepperchini, provolone cheese,
grain free pizza crust under the panini press.
Perfect dinner for Monday night football.

September 26, 2017   Sunrise 7:46 am  Sunset 7:35 pm   Temp. H 51/ L 35°F

Thursday, September 21, 2017


A little photo essay of my trip to Colorado.  

Sunday morning with my brother.  Champagne and the Pack!

A drive up to Pike's Peak.

Wednesday dinner with these two.

Of course we met at a martini bar!  It was so fun to connect.

After the week of work, up to Seattle to visit the Grand baby and his people.

G man with his momma.
It was the perfect work week.  A little play, a lot of work, and so much fun at the end.  I am one lucky duck.

2 years ago:  Peach Comfort (Drink of the Week) and the Hip Shot
3 years ago:  Another computer Crash
5 years ago:  Roasted Turkey and the Full Freezer

September 21, 2017  Sunrise 7:32 am  Sunset 7:53 pm  Temp. H 54/ L 40°F

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Pork roast with Eggplant

I was in Colorado last week for work.  I got to spend some time with my brother, went to Pikes Peak, saw my dear friends Mark and Suzanne, who used to be my back door neighbors, and then after work and all that fun, stopped in Seattle to visit the grandbaby and his parents.  I'll post pictures later this week.  

I'm headed to Seward for the rest of this week for work.  Fly into Anchorage and drive 2 hours to Seward.  It should be a beautiful drive, but there is so much to do this time of year, I'm struggling with my attitude about this trip!

It has cooled down in Fairbanks.  The mornings are very cool, the birds have all flown south, and everyone I talk to says it feels like winter is just around the corner.  
"Embrace the cold," is my motto for this time of year.  The cold is coming and there is nothing we can do to change it, so embrace it.  I guess that would be good advice for myself with this upcoming trip.

I made this delicious pork roast and eggplant.  The pork is done in the crock pot, so easy hands-off cooking, and the eggplant took about 20 minutes tops.  We had a warm, delicious dinner on this blustery evening.  Winter is coming so we might as well embrace it!
Pork Roast With Eggplant Mash
from Quick and Easy Ketogenic Cooking, Maria Emmerich

Pork Ragu
1 medium onion, chopped
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 tsp. finely chopped garlic
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. dried oregano
3/4 tsp. fine sea salt
1/4 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
1 (14 1/2 oz.) can diced tomatoes (with juice)
2 cups beef or chicken broth
3 lbs. pork spareribs, cut into individual ribs
Chopped fresh flat-leave parsley, for garnish, optional

In a 4-quart slow cooker, combine the onion, tomato paste, garlic, thyme, oregano, salt and pepper. Add the tomatoes and their juices an the broth; stir well to combine. Add the pork spareribs and turn to coat.

Cover and cook until the pork is very tender, 7-8 hours on low or 5-6 hours on high.

Remove the ribs from the slow cooker, leaving the cooking liquid in the pot. Using two forks, shred the pork. Return the pot to the slow cooker and mix it into the cooking liquid.

Then make eggplant mash.

EggPlant Mash
(In the cookbook, the author called this grits, I think that is misleading.  Grits have a very unique texture and this is more like a smooth mash.  You can call it what you want, I call it delicious.)
4 cups peeled and cubed eggplant (about 1 lb.)
4 slices bacon, chopped
1 cup chopped onions
1 Tbsp. finely chopped garlic
1/2 tsp. fine sea salt
1/2 tsp. dried ground oregano
1/2 cup beef bone broth
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Place eggplant cubes and bacon pieces in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat.  Stir-fry until the bacon is fried and eggplant is extremely soft, about 10 minutes.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the eggplant and bacon to a food processor; leave the bacon fat in the pan. Puree the eggplant and bacon until smooth.

In the skillet with the bacon fat, add the onions and cook, over medium-high heat, stirring until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and salt and cook, stirring until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Add the eggplant puree and oregano to the skillet and stir to combine. Cook, stirring with heavy wooden spoon, until the mixture forms a thick paste, 5-10 minutes, adding the broth 1 Tbsp. at a time to keep the eggplant from getting dry.  Sprinkle with cheese, stir, and serve.

Divide the eggplant among wide, shallow bowls and spoon the ragu over the top.  Sprinkle each serving with chopped parsley, if desired, and serve immediately.

September 19, 2017   Sunrise 7:26 am  Sunset 8:00 pm  Temp. H 50/ L 36°F

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Body Scrub

The leaves are turning yellow and falling to the ground, the garden is put away, the mornings are cold and I can see my breath when I let the dogs out, we are smack in the middle of moose season...

All of this means only one thing...scaly skin season is upon us.
Fairbanks is a very dry place to live. It is surprising because in the summer there is so much green and in the winter there is so much snow. But the very cold temperatures makes it impossible for the air to hang on to any humidity, so we are dry, dry, dry. And our skin suffers for it. My legs end up looking like alligator scales they can get so dry. I apply lotions, body butter, oils, all winter long. I decided to make myself some scrub for the shower. A little scrub action to get rid of the scales and the jojoba oil to lock in some moisture, and I love a bright, citrus smell and so I chose an essential oil that will with be a pick-me-up in the morning.  

I really like it. I will use a salt that is not as course as this one is. The oil sinks to the bottom, but I just turn the jar upside down for a minute and then turn it back over and use it. I think I know what everyone in my office is going to get for Christmas this year!

Body Scrub
2 cups coarse salt
1/2 cup Jojoba oil
1 teaspoon essential oil of your choice (I love orange and grapefruit)

Mix salt, jojoba, and essential oil together.  Place in a clean glass jar and cover with a lid.  Use in the shower to get rid of that alligator skin I know you have.

2 years ago:    MRI and Moon Pie Mug Cake
3 years ago:    Pizza Stromboli
5 years ago:    Losing the Best Back Door Neighbors and Pecan Crispies

September 14, 2017  Sunrise 7:11 am  Sunset 8:19 pm  Temp. H 61/ L 43°F

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Double Chocolate Flourless cookies and cleaning up the yard

It is that time of year.  Dave is out at moose camp and I am cleaning up the yard.  I spent the weekend pulling plants, cutting stems, picking the last of the weeds (they overran everything...again), and giving produce away because Dave and I can eat and store only so much.
Leeks, radishes, and chickweed, with a little johnny jump-up peeking through.

Late season radishes.  Dave planted these the end of July...we just didn't thin them so they are a little small.

They are sweet little things, I'll plant a late season crop every year now.

I need some ideas for these Anaheim peppers.

The spaghetti squash loved their spot.  I got 9 giant squash from two plants.

The end result.  Four boxes like this; cleaned, dirt turned and ready for spring next year.

I worked hard and I thought I needed a little treat.  I made these cookies.  I like cookies, I'm sure cookies are one of the reasons for my generous backside. And I have been missing cookies, so when I saw this recipe I knew I had to try them.  And after all that work, I deserved a cookie.

Flourless Chewy Double Chocolate Cookies
Peace, Love, and Low Carbs blog

1 cup natural creamy almond butter
2/3 cup confectioners Swerve, or other powdered erythritol
2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
2 Tbsp. peanut butter powder (like PB2)
2 large eggs
1 Tbsp. melted butter
2 Tbsp. water
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 cup sugar free dark chocolate baking chips

Preheat oven to 350˚F.  Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the almond butter, Swerve, cocoa powder, peanut butter powder, eggs, butter, water, vanilla extract, and baking soda. Just throw it all in there and mix with an electric mixer until well combined.  Fold in the chocolate chips.

Form cookie dough into 1 1/2 to 2 inch balls, or scoop with a cookie scooper.  You should get 12 very large cookies or 16 good sized cookies.

Place on prepared baking sheet.  Bake 10-12* minutes for 12 cookies or 6-8* for 16 cookies.  Remove the baking sheet from the oven and place on a cooling rack to allow the cookies to cool before eating.

About 1/2 way through the baking time, flatten the cookies slightly with the bottom of a glass. This will help the cookies stay fudgy.  I did it once I took the cookies out of the oven too.

I find these cookies dry out fast.  Make sure you eat them up fast.

1 year ago:    Pumpkin Spice Cinnamon Rolls and Avoiding the Middle Seat on the Airplane
3 years ago:  Colonial Bread
5 years ago:  Happy Birthday Carrot Cake

September 12 , 2017  Sunrise 7:05 am  Sunset 8:26 pm  Temp H 54/ L 40°F

Thursday, September 7, 2017

911 call

My assistant moved to Saudi Arabia and has left me on my own. That is a very dangerous thing. I had to schedule a pick-up with Fed Ex for a job fair and she left very detailed instruction and the phone number, it is a 1-800 number. Our building requires that you dial a 9 to get an out and a 1 for long distance. So, I dialed a 9 then a 1 then looked at the phone number left for me and dialed 1-800 and the phone started to ring, I had done something wrong so I hung up.

I must have forgotten the 1 for long distance, so I was very careful the second time I dialed. I dialed 9 for the outside line, 1 for long distance and looked at the number and dialed 1-800 and the phone started to ring again. I hung up and looked at the number trying to figure out what I was doing wrong when my phone rang.

"This is Carl at emergency services and I wanted to check on you and make sure everyone is all right over there."
"What?" was all I could stammer.
"Someone from this number called us twice, and I just wanted to check on you," Carl carefully said.
"Oh my, I'm so sorry..." and I told him what I had done, 9-1-1-800.

I was dialing 911. Really? I was so preoccupied trying to call Fed Ex and schedule a pick up for the first time, I wasn't attending to what I was doing and that was dialing 1 two times for the long distance number. I apologized,  explained that I was really an idiot, and apologized again. He chuckled and said to be careful with those extra 1's.

Well, I was able to order the pick up and just tried to stay away from my phone for the rest of the day. I figured I needed to send a treat his way to say sorry (again), and thanks for being there if I ever do need help. I made these and I hope it helps him forgive and forget.

Snicker Bar Cookies

Snicker Bar Cookies
adapted from Celebrating Cookies

1 cup butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups old-fashioned oats
1 bag mini unwrapped snickers, cut in quarters, or two bars cut in chunks
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375˚F.  

In a large bowl, cream butter, sugars, eggs, and vanilla until fluffy.  In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt.  Add to creamed mixture, mixing thoroughly.

Place oats in a blender or food processor and process until the texture of coarse meal.  Stir oats into dough with snickers bar pieces and chocolate chips.  Cover and freeze 1 hour (I scoop dough balls at this point and freeze.  Then I take out how many cookies I want to bake and put the rest in a ziplock bag.)

Shape dough into 1 inch balls and place on un-greased baking sheets.  Bake for 9-12 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges.  Cool cookies slightly on baking sheets; transfer to wire racks to cool.
Makes about 6 dozen cookies

1 year ago:    Grandma's 100 birthday
5 years ago:   Frost and Bean Soup

September 7, 2017  Sunrise 6:50 am  Sunset 8:45 pm  Temp. H 50/ L 46˚F

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Halibut Olympia

My brother came up to go fishing in August. We pulled a big surprise on my husband and told him there was only four spots available on the boat; one for him, my brother, my dad, and a family friend that was coming up with my brother (same friend that came when we went fishing in Homer a couple years ago). We told him the captain's brother and sister in law had the other two spots. Really, we had a plan; we were bringing the blond boy up and the hippy boy were going to go fishing with them.  

Thursday, before we left for Valdez, the hippy boy came to "say goodbye to grandma and grandpa" because they were leaving for the lower 48 after fishing in Valdez. He showed up and said, "Dad do you want a beer?" Dave said yes, so the Hippy Boy left the room and the Blond Boy came in with the beer. Dave was so surprised! We succeeded. That was surprise #1.

Surprise #2 was that we told Dave the Hippy Boy couldn't go fishing because he had to work and there wasn't room on the boat because really the captain's brother was fishing with them. The Hippy Boy did work but he drove the 7 hours to get to Valdez after work and at 5:00 am showed up at the camper and asked if his dad was ready to go down to the docks. Dave was surprised again. So the 6 boys went fishing for two days and my mom and I wandered through Valdez and checked out the museums in town.

Well, the boys were very successful on the boat. Bold Eagle out of Valdez did a great job with the charter. Coffee was ready on the boat at 6:00 when the boys showed up to the dock, the tunes were great, the captain and deck hand were a lot of fun, and they all had a great time.

First Day's Catch
Second Day's Catch
And now we have a freezer full of fish. We have halibut, cod, and rock fish for the winter. Everyone took boxes of fish home with them and we took some fish down to the Curly Haired boy when we went to visit. We'll be eating fish at least once a week all winter and Halibut Olympia is one of our favorite ways to eat it.

Halibut Olympia

1 1/2 lb. halibut fillet (cod works well here too)
1 small onion
4 Tbsp. butter, divided
1/2 cup mayo
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 tsp. garlic
3-4 shakes of tabasco 
salt and pepper
1/2 cup pork dust (or cracker crumbs)

Preheat oven to 350˚F.
Slice onion in half moons, sauté with one Tbsp. butter over medium heat until soft and caramelized.
Put remaining 3 Tbsp. butter in 8X8 pan and put in oven until butter is melted.  Place onions in pan.
Rinse and trim the fish, salt and pepper both sides.  Place fish in pan on top of onions. In a small bowl mix mayo, sour cream, garlic and tabasco.  Spread over top of fish.
Sprinkle pork dust (aka ground pork rinds) or cracker crumbs over top.
Bake for 20-30 minutes until fish is cooked through and flakes with a fork.
serves 6

1 year ago     Learning to like Gin
3 years ago   Zucchini Fries
5 years ago   New Lights

September  5   Sunrise 6:44 am  Sunset 8:52 pm  Temp H 60 /L 43˚F