Thursday, April 26, 2018

Strawberry Galette

I'm loving the longer evenings.  O.K. they are not really longer, but the sun is up longer and it feels like we have more time to do things.  And I'm loving the sun through my kitchen window when we eat dinner.

One of our habits is to finish dinner and then play a game of cribbage.  We usually take turns winning.  Dave often helps me catch a couple points I missed, and once in a great while, I'll help him.  The game is all in fun, even though we keep track of who won the last game.

The new deck started out good, but I still lost this game.

Well, for a while I have been losing, and big time.  Dave was 12 games ahead of me.  12!  After that 12 game I threw the cards away.  We needed a new deck.  I don't know that it did much good though because I lost with the new set of cards too.  Tonight when we play, I'm sitting in a different spot at the table.

I have to console myself for losing so much, so I made a pie.  A strawberry pie.  I haven't been eating a lot of fruit (because carbs), but this is manageable if I plan my day, and so delicious.  After I had it for dessert, and fed it to my family, I had it for breakfast for the next couple of days.  I figure if I'm going big with carbs, better to do it early and work around that for the rest of the day.
It is a sweet and delicious way to get the day going.

Strawberry Galette
adapted from Gnom-gnom blog

For Pie Crust:
1 cup almond flour
5 Tbsp. coconut flour
1/2 tsp. xanthan gum
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp. confectioners swerve, or sweetener of choice
1/2 tsp. orange zest
3.5 oz. butter, cold
1/4 cup cream cheese, cold
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tsp. apple cider vinegar

sweetened whipped cream for topping, if desired

In a food processor, pulse the almond flour, coconut flour, xanthan gum, salt, sweetener and zest together.  Add butter and cream cheese and pulse for just a few seconds until crumbly.  Add in egg and vinegar and pulse until the dough just begins to come together, but stop before it forms into a ball.  Do not over process the dough.

Turn out the dough onto cling wrap and form into a round.  Refrigerate for at least one hour, or up to 3 days.

For Filling:
2 cups strawberries, rinsed, dried and sliced
4 Tbsp. cream cheese, softened
2 Tbsp.  confectioners swerve, or sweetener of choice, divided
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

In a small bowl mix sliced strawberries with 1 Tbsp. sweetener.

In a second small bowl, mix cream cheese, 1 Tbsp. sweetener and vanilla extract.

For assembly:
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Line large cookie sheet with parchment.
Roll the dough between parchment paper or wax paper, move to prepared pan.  Spread cream cheese mixture on pie crust within about 1 inch of edges.  Top with sliced berries, leaving about 2-3 inches around edge.  Fold edge of pie crust over the berries, pushing the crust together where it pleats and put back into the fridge for 10-15 minutes prior to baking, it will keep it shape better.
Bake for 15-25 minutes, until crust is golden and set.

8 servings: 292 cal., 27g fat, 13g total carbs, 6g fiber,  2g sugar alcohol, 5g net carbs., 7g protein

4 years ago:  Cheater Lemon Cream Bars and Removing My Own Stitches
5 years ago:  Oven Baked Onion Rings
6 years ago:  S'Mores, S'more ways and My Husband's Obsession

April 26, 2018  Sunrise 5:35 am  Sunset 10:04 pm  Temp H 45/ L 25°F

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Chocolate Coconut Pecan No Bake Cookies and the Texting Fiasco

So I've decided that I'm not allowed to text anyone from work anymore.  Just the other day, when I was on the road, my boss texted me about something from work.  I texted back and we went back and forth a couple times.  Then someone else texted me and I texted the response back to my boss...I didn't realize it until a week later.

Then, just yesterday, the dean of a college texted me for some data about one of our office's events.  I texted back.  Then I texted my husband and he texted back (he had fallen on the ice the day before and twisted his ankle.)  I did a couple back and forth texts with my husband and also with the dean,  then I texted "keep up with the ice and the Motrin" and just as I was hitting send I realized I was texting the dean and not my husband!  Thank goodness I didn't end it with a "love you" like I usually do.  I immediately texted "sorry, that was for my husband." At least the dean had a sense of humor and texted back "I do need Motrin."

I'm never texting for work again.

So I deserve a treat for living through the drama of all that.  When I was a kid there were these candies that were sold around Easter.  They were called something like coconut nests.  They were chocolate, coconut, pecans, and three little jellybeans on the top.  I loved them and always looked forward to them in the spring.

Well, these are a perfect sugar-free substitute.  They are easy to whip up, delicious, and I can have them anytime of the year.  I don't even care there aren't three little jellybeans on the top.

One pan on the stove is all it takes.


One perfect treat for a drama filled day.

No-Bake Haystack Cookies
The Everyday Ketogenic Kitchen: Carolyn Ketchum

1/3 cup creamy almond butter, unsweetened and salted
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
2 Tbsp. coconut oil
2/3 cup Swerve confectioners' sweetener, or sweetener of choice
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoanut flakes
3/4 cup chopped pecans

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.  
In a large saucepan over low heat, combine the almond butter, chocolate, and coconut oil.  Stir until melted and smooth.  Remove the pan from the heat.  
Whisk in the sweetener, cocoa powder, and vanilla extract until smooth.  Add the coconut flakes and chopped pecans and stir until well combined.
Drop the mixture by large rounded spoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheet and refrigerate until set, about 30 minutes.  Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.  Keeps in refrigerator up to a week.

12 servings: 172 cals, 15.6g fat, 5.7g carbs, 3.3g fiber, 13.3g erythritol

5 years ago:   Failed Quiche

April 24, 2018  Sunrise 5:42 am  Sunset 9:57 pm  Temp. H 52/L 31°F

Thursday, April 19, 2018

This Sums Up My Week...

It's going to be a long Friday.

I hope your week is shorter than mine!

2 years ago:  Smoked Paprika Rubbed Pork Tenderloin and the Fall
4 years ago:  Sangria and Stitches
6 years ago:  French Onion Soup

April 19, 2018   Sunrise 6:00 am  Sunset 9:41  Temp H 49/ L 27°F

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Chocolate Waffles

I really am a creature of habit.  I love routine, I like things the same, I get stressed out when things are not how I want them, and some would say I get a bit bitchy grumpy when things aren't the way I planned.  It's not that I'm not inflexible, I have to be very flexible at work, it's just at home I want what I want when I want it, and I've planned my day around that.

So, every Saturday morning you will find me at my kitchen table, drinking coffee, eating breakfast, and planning the week's menu.  I do this because I'll meet Donna for coffee at 9:30 and then head to the grocery store, with my list in hand, and we have a plan for the week's meals.

I also plan my breakfast and lunch and usually eat the same thing for those two meals all week.  Again, I like things the same, I like routine and I can usually control that much of my life...the rest, not so much.
This was my mom's waffle iron.  It must be 40 years old!  I love
to use it, but it scares my husband.  He is afraid it will burn down
the house!

Perfect waffles every time.

This week I'm having chocolate waffles.  They are from one of my new cookbooks and they are delicious!  The recipe makes enough for me for the whole week.  I make up a batch, cool and then freeze them and throw them in my bag to heat up at work.  I love them with butter and warmed Legendary Foods Pecan Pie Nut Butter (I love it so much, they don't pay me to say that, they actually don't know I exist, but in heaven this is all I'll have to is so good). I also like the ChocZero honest syrup (again, no paid advertisement, I just love that stuff...and the chocolate syrup I put in my coffee on Friday mornings to reward myself for making it through another week!)
Cooling waffles before I wrap them for the freezer

I'll make these for Gman when he comes up this summer.  We have to do one breakfast of waffles and ice cream.  These healthy chocolate waffles are one for the win.

Chocolate Waffles
Craveable Keto by Kyndra Holley

5 large eggs
1 cup sugar free natural peanut butter or almond butter
3/4 cup powdered erythritol (Swerve)
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
butter or oil for the waffle iron

Preheat the waffle iron.

But the eggs, peanut butter, erythritol, vanilla extract, and water in a large mixing bowl.  Using a hand mixer, beat until the ingredients are well combined.

In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the coconut flour, cocoa powder, and baking soda until well combined.

Use a rubber spatula to fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.  Mix until the ingredients are well incorporated and the batter is smooth.

Lightly grease the waffle iron.  Ladle the batter onto the center of the waffle iron, the amount will vary by waffle iron.  Consult the manufacturer's directions for the recommended amount of batter (or eyeball it like I do)

Cook for 5 minutes or until the waffle iron stops steaming.  Repeat until all the batter is gone, regreasing the iron between waffles.

3 years ago:  Grilled Flank Steak with Apricots and Almonds
4 years ago:  Carrot Ginger Soup
6 years ago:  Anita's Green Drink and Throwing Sausages at My Mother-in-Law

April 17, 2018  Sunrise 6:07 am  Sunset 9:34 pm  Temp. H 47/ L 22°F

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Raspberry-Cream Cheese Brownies

This is my spring travel season and I'm gone more than I'm home.  While I do miss home, and Dave, and most of the dogs, I really enjoy this time of year.  I get to travel a bit and see different parts of our country, I get to talk to people about Alaska and living here (the most beautiful place in the world), and I get to lay-over and see Gman and his people.  But, I do feel bad that my neighbor doesn't get his goodies as often.

I am home between trips for a couple more days.  My next trip I'll be gone for over a week and he wouldn't have a fresh treat for a while, so I made him these brownies.  They are fudgey with a cream cheese and fruit swirl. This makes two 8X8 pans or one 9X13.  I made it into two pans and took one to work to share. They are easy for me and delicious.  They will last my neighbor a few days before he has to go to the store and buy some cookies or something until I get home.

Raspberry-Cream Cheese Brownies

11 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 jar (10 oz.) Raspberry Simply Fruit Spread

1 cup butter, softened
1 1/3 cup sugar
3 eggs
6 oz. semisweet baking chocolate, melted and cooled
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350˚ F.

Spray two 8x8 inch pans with cooking spray, or butter pans.

For topping, beat cream cheese and sugar in a medium bowl until smooth.  Add egg and vanilla; beat until well blended.  Set aside.

Open jar of Simply Fruit spread.  In the microwave, with the top off, heat fruit spread until warm and runny or very soft.  Pour into a sieve over a bowl and stir, pushing the sauce through the sieve and catching the seeds.  Throw the seeds away.

For brownies, beat butter and sugar in a large bowl until fluffy.  Add eggs,  one at a time, continuing to beat after each addition.  Add melted chocolate, vanilla, and flour; stir until well blended.  Spread chocolate mixture into 2 pans.  Spread cream cheese mixture over chocolate mixture.  Spoon jam over cream cheese mixture.  Use a knife to swirl jam through cream cheese mixture.

Bake for 38-40 minutes or until center is almost set.  Cool in pans.  Cut into 1 1/2 inch squares.
serves about 25 brownies per pan

2 years ago:  Snow and Strawberry Sangria
4 years ago:  Dog Tired and Pumpkin Custard
5 years ago:  Parmesan Tilapia and How Hippos ruined it for me

April 12, 2018   Sunrise 6:26 am  Sunset 9:18 pm  Temp. H 47/L 27˚

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Almond Bread

I was gone for two weeks for work, a week in Pennsylvania and a week in Oregon.  I was finished with Pennsylvania on a Thursday and had to be in Oregon on Monday, so I spent the weekend in Seattle with the grand baby instead of flying home, and Dave flew down too.  Of course the baby had just gotten over a stomach bug and I caught it. So by the time I left Seattle, that stomach bug was just kicking in. Having the flu in a hotel is never as much fun as having it at home (is having the flu ever fun?), I will say the big fluffy towels in the hotel made a great bed the one night I had to sleep on the bathroom floor.  Luckily, I was able to work during the day, and other than one tough night the rest of the week in Oregon was good.
I am looking forward to two weeks at home now. I'll rest up and get ready for the next trip.  I do think I need to make a rule that I can only visit the baby on the way home, so this doesn't happen again.  It was bad enough last year when I caught the flu from the baby and I was headed home, I don't want to relive the stomach bug in the hotel room again any time soon.

Right now I am loving avocado toast.  I love it for breakfast, for lunch or for dinner.  I've been known to get home a little early and make avocado toast and sit on the back deck to eat it and enjoy the sun.  I'm home for two weeks in a row so making a loaf of bread and knowing I will eat the whole thing works for me.  One loaf of bread in two weeks - easy. 

This is an easy loaf to make.  I like it toasted with butter and avocado.  I've also put butter and garlic on it and served it as garlic bread with dinner.  If you were a sandwich eater, it would be good for a sandwich - I did toast some and slather it with peanut butter.  
Hmmmm I have been craving a grilled cheese sandwich, um gotta go..

Low Carb Almond Bread
from ditch the

2 cups almond flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt, or to taste
1/4 cup psyllium husk
4 eggs, beaten
1.8 oz coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup warm water

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Line loaf pan with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray.

Mix almond flour, baking powder, salt and psyllium husk in a large bowl.

In a small bowl beat eggs, add melted coconut oil and warm water.
Mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix well.  Pour into prepared loaf pan and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out dry.
Makes 15 slices

126 cals., 11.3 g fat, 3.9g carbs, 2g fiber
(Note: I plugged this into my Carb Manager and it says 6 total carbs, 4 g. fiber, 2 net carbs, 13 g fat, 5 g protein, 152 calories for 15 slices)

2 years ago:  Six Sisters Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars and the Lost Office Key
3 years ago:  Grilled Flank Steak with Apricots and Almonds
5 years ago:  Beer Braised Pork Loin with Warm Cabbage

April 10, 2018  Sunrise 6:33 am,  Sunset 9:12 pm  Temp. H 45/ L 26°F