Thursday, May 31, 2018

Keto Butter Pecan Ice Cream and That Dog...

Last weekend, I got everything planted.  I have 4 hanging baskets in the front, 9 baskets along the fence, 4 on the green house.  I planted the boxes around the deck, the green house, the garden boxes, the assorted pots and I did some major weeding.  I can feel every muscle in my body, some I forgot I had.  And the kneeling and leaning forward to plant and pull weeds has made it so uncomfortable to sit, my bum and back of my legs hurt.  I guess it is a good hurt.
Yes, that is a hole, where a strawberry plant used to be...
Well, Dave was gone fishing and I had all the dogs.  The little dogs were fine, even though Hershey has to bark at every moving leaf when Dave is gone.  Lily is the best dog in the house and then there is Tek.  He is still all puppy, but he is 120 pounds of all puppy. And he is wanting to eat and play with all the new plants outside.  I plant a strawberry, turn to grab a violet and he has already pulled the strawberry out of the dirt.  If I don't walk outside with him for a potty break, I come out to a flower and veggie massacre...dead green bodies all over the deck and pavers.  Have I told you lately how much I hate that dog.

Well, I needed a break from the planting and weeding, and an indoor activity so Tek would leave the plants alone.  I have been craving ice cream and have had to actively talk myself out of getting ice cream at Cold Stone, I was in the store this weekend and turned myself around.  So I made some Keto safe ice cream and I can have it anytime I want.  This batch made 10 scoops.  I had two the first night, because I needed a pretty picture, but now I can pull a scoop out of the freezer and have dessert any night of the week.

The butter pecan is rich, creamy and the toasty pecans are the perfect crunch.  This would be really good between two of my favorite flourless chocolate cookies or these chocolate chip cookies.  Now I need to make some cookies and try it out.

Just a side note, the sun does not technically set today.  It rose at 3:34 but doesn't set until 12:01 tomorrow morning.  We also are in a time where we don't really have night.  The sun doesn't dip below the horizon enough to give us night, we only have twilight.  I love summer.
Topped with Choczero caramel and more pecans.  Delicious!

Keto Butter Pecan Ice Cream
adapted from Sugar Free Mom

1/4 cup butter, melted
2 cups heavy cream
1/3 cup Swerve confectioners sweetener
5-10 drops liquid stevia vanilla
1/4 tsp. sea salt
2 egg yolks*
2 tsp. maple extract
1 Tbsp. Choczero Maple Pecan sweetener, or more Swerve
1 Tbsp. MCT oil
2 Tbsp. pecans toasted, chopped

Place all ingredients, except pecans, in blender.  Blend until smooth.  Pour mixture into ice cream machine and process according to your machine's directions.  At end of cycle, add pecans just to mix.  Serve immediately or scoop into muffin cups and freeze.  Remove from freezer about 15 minutes before you want to serve.

*If you do not want to use uncooked egg yolks, you can heat the butter and heavy cream until just before a boil, add swerve and stir until combined.  Add 1/2 cup of the cream to the egg yolks, whisking constantly, add 1/2 cup more of the cream-butter to the eggs, then add the cream-egg mixture to the butter-cream mixture, whisking constantly.  Bring mixture to a boil. Remove from heat and add the rest of the ingredients. Cool in refrigerator for at least 2 hours up to overnight.

10 servings, 242 cal, 25.6 g fat, 1.6 g carbs, 1.6 g protein

3 years ago:  The New "Camper"
4 years ago:  Apricot Crumble and Getting Caught in Hail
6 years ago:  A Letter to My Hero

May 31, 2018  Sunrise 3:34am  Sunset 12:01am  Temp. H 60/ L 40˚F

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Breakfast Ramen

I think this is my favorite time of the year in Fairbanks.  It is sunny when I wake up and sunny when I go to bed.  It is cool in the morning, but warm in the evening and we can eat dinner on the deck.  It smells like rain and it is time to start planting.

I do love spring.

For our long weekend, Dave headed to help friends put in their fish wheel and then on to Valdez to fish, I stayed home to plant my flowers and garden, and keep the dogs busy.  I was working hard outside so I needed some hearty meals to keep me going.  I love this keto ramen for breakfast;  roasted pork belly, zoodles, a hard boiled egg and sometimes I add some avocado.  It is easy to make all the parts ahead of time and just heat them up and throw them together in a bowl at breakfast.  It is fast, filling and I could get on with the planting.

Ahhh, spring.
Breakfast Ramen
Maria Emmerich, 30 Day Keto Cleanse

find the recipe in this book.

3 years ago:  Baby Greens and Artichoke Salad
4 years ago:  Black Forest Cake
6 years ago:  Meet the Pups and Homemade Dog Biscuits

May 29, 2018   Sunrise 3:40am  Sunset 11:58pm  Temp. H 63/ L 45°F

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Keto Shrimp with Tomatoes and Feta

Spring is really here.  The days are sunny and it is getting warm by the afternoon (60's are warm here this time of year).  The last couple of days my car has been hot when I get in it to go home.  I decided I would crack the sun roof, just enough to vent the hot air out.  Sometimes I am so smart I surprise myself.

I've been walking at lunch and doing a good job of getting my steps in.  I usually do a quick 10 minute walk about 10:00, then a 30 minute walk at noon, and, if I'm not too busy, another 10 minutes around 4:00.  So yesterday, I did my quick walk in the morning, it was bright sunny and in the 60's.  It was glorious.  At noon, I popped on my earphones for some tunes and headed out into the sunshine.  I got about 20 minutes into my walk and it started to rain.  There were big black clouds moving our way but nothing above me.  I had to walk up the hill to my office, so I hoofed it as fast as I could (because my fake straight hair does not like to get damp).  By the time I got to the parking lot it had started to hail along with the rain.  I just ducked in the building and the sky opened up and dumped.  It rained so hard you couldn't see the mountain range out our office windows, and it rained for about 20 minutes, hard.  I was hoping it was raining at my house so I wouldn't have to water my grass tonight.

At the end of the work day, I headed out to my car, opened the door and the whole inside is wet.  The seats are wet, the dash is wet, the cup holders have about an inch of water in them.  I forgot the sun roof was cracked all day and the deluge just filled my car.  Nice.  I grabbed some napkins out of the glove box and wiped up as much as I could.  I sat down and my pants got wet, awesome.  I'll never do that again, the weather is too unpredictable.

I needed something good for dinner after all that.  Shrimp is one of Dave's favorite things, me, not so much.  I do enjoy this shrimp with tomatoes and feta and try to make it for dinner once in a while.  Well, I've been cutting the carbs so this needed a bit of a do-over.  

I cut down on the tomatoes and onion and added a little bone broth.  The flavor is still all there and we loved it.  I even took the left-overs to work for lunch, and I don't really like shrimp!

This is great served over cauliflower rice or zoodles.  I eat it just as it is.

Shrimp with Tomatoes and Feta

2 Tbsp. avocado oil
1/2 cup onion
3 cloves garlic minced
1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup chicken bone broth
1/2 tsp. pepper
1.5 pounds of shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1 cup feta cheese, crumbled and divided
chopped parsley and cilantro, optional

Preheat oven to 350˚F.
Heat oil in medium, oven-safe pan, add onion and sauté until opaque, 3-5 minutes, add garlic and sauté for 1 minute more.  Add tomatoes, broth and pepper.  Bring to boil and reduce to simmer.  Add shrimp in one layer over the tomatoes.  Top with parmesan and 1/2 the feta.  Place in oven for 12-15 minutes until shrimp is cooked through and cheese is melted.  Top with remaining feta and fresh parsley and cilantro.
Serves 4

331 Calories, 8 g. carbs, 1 g. fiber, 7 g net carbs, 17g fat, 35 g  protein

2 years ago:  Adventures of Bolty and Being Obnoxious to My Husband
4 years ago:  Bacon Wrapped, Cheese Stuffed Hot Dogs
6 years ago:  My Cookbook Illness and Lemon Meringue Pie

May 23, 2018  Sunrise 4:00am  Sunset 11:37pm  Temp. H 63/L 45˚F

Monday, May 21, 2018

Seed Crackers

I've been working on a few favorite recipes and making them Keto safe.  One of my favorite snacks are these oat, seed and nut crackers.  I wanted to make them without the oatmeal, chia seeds and the maple syrup. I found that you really need the chia seeds to help hold them together, so I left that in.
I like to make this into 16 large crackers so I
can pile avocado and 1/2 a hard boiled egg on
top for my breakfast.  You can make them smaller
if you want to use them for dips.
This is not a favorite of Dave's so I get them all to myself.  I'll keep 1/2 the recipe for breakfast this week and put the other half in the motorhome for a quick snack while we are camping.  
Breakfast at my desk this week:
seed crackers, avocado and hard boiled egg.

Seed Crackers
1/2 cup chia seeds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup sesame seeds
3 Tbsp. poppy seeds
1 cup warm water
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. sea salt
Flaky sea salt for topping, optional

In a medium bowl, mix seeds together.  In a small bowl or a two cup measuring cup add water, garlic, onion and salt (I find warm water helps to dissolve this better).  Mix water into the seed mixture, stirring until well combined.  Let sit for 15 minutes then stir again.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 325°F.  Line a rimmed 13x15" baking sheet with parchment paper.  Once seeds have soaked and been stirred, pour mixture onto prepared baking sheet.  Cover with a second piece of parchment and pat out about 1/4 inch thick.  Remove top parchment and bake for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes remove from oven and flip sheet of crackers over, I do this by covering crackers with parchment, taking a second baking sheet and covering the top of the crackers, flipping the whole thing over, and removing the hot (now top) baking sheet.  Be sure to use hot pads as the baking sheet is hot (I don't think YOU are stupid enough to try this without hot pads, but, um, someone I know did this once without hot pads and my her hands were really burned and the crackers ended up on the floor all over the kitchen).  Peel off the parchment that is on top of the crackers, cut into desired size and bake for 25-30 more minutes, until lightly golden.  Top with flaky sea salt, if desired. 
Remove from oven, separate any crackers that are stuck together, and cool completely. 
16 crackers
per cracker: 109 calories, 5g. protein, 8g. fat, 6g. total carbs, 4g. fiber, 2g. net carbs.

May 21, 2018  Sunrise 4:06 am  Sunset 11:30 pm  Temp. H 68/ L 46°F

Friday, May 18, 2018

Tough Week

It was a tough week.  On Monday I was working on paying for one event that we had just finished and ordering for the next event. I sent the event orders to the wrong hotels.  The person in Texas I was working with had to call and ask for the correct one.  Which means the person in Anchorage got the wrong one and either didn't look at it or was waiting for me to figure it out.

On Tuesday I wore my sweater inside out.  I don't know how long, I take my sweater off and put it on about 74 times during the day.  But when I got home that evening, my husband pointed it out to me.  Did I have it on inside out when I was talking to the president of the university?

On Wednesday I grabbed an empty container to put some chicken wings in it for my lunch (the wings were in the garage refrigerator) and when I got to the garage I grabbed a flavored water, it was the last one, so I broke down the box and went to throw it away, but there wasn't a bag in the garbage can because it was garbage day, so I put a new bag in the can, jumped in my car and left.
This is what I opened for my lunch.

So, I started drinking early this week, on Thursday.  We had one lime in the fridge, it was supposed to be for the lime, cilantro chicken I had planned, I guess we are eating something else tonight.
Don't judge.

I really need to go camping.

Low Carb Margarita
1.5 oz. tequila
6 oz. orange sparkling water, like LaCroix
juice of 1 lime
3-10 drops orange stevia, to taste
salt, optional for glass

Mix tequila, lime juice and a few drops of stevia, mix.  Add sparkling water and gently mix.  Taste, adjust sweetener to taste.  Pour into salt rimmed glass, if desired and add ice.  Enjoy.

2 years ago:   Drunken Watermelon and Ruining the Surprise
4 years ago:  Warmer Weather and Friday Night Bacon Burgers
6 years ago:  Spinach Salad with Bacon, Mushrooms and Crispy Shrimp

May 18, 2018   Sunrise 4:16am  Sunset 11:20 pm   Temp. H 63/ L 47°F

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Triple Chocolate Truffle Cookies with Flaky Salt

I was traveling for work last week. Well, some of the week I worked.  I went to Texas and I have a niece in Texas so I had to go a couple days early to spend some time with her.  I landed in Houston and spent two wonderful days with Kaitlin. We went to the park, the aquarium, ate some wonderful food and ended our visit with brunch on Sunday before I had to leave.
My beautiful niece, Kaitlin having brunch.

Then I drove to Austin to meet my team for work. We worked and had a little fun.  We went and saw the 1.5 millions bats fly out from under Congress Bridge at dusk.  It was quite the experience.
We could see the bats.

On Wednesday, I flew to Seattle and stopped for the weekend on my way home to see the grand baby.  I had three lovely days with him. He did cry when I said I had to go.  "No go, mamaw, no go."  It broke my heart and I had to leave quickly, pull over a couple blocks away and have a bit of a cry before I could drive to the airport.
Lunch with MaMaw. He is the best lunch date ever.

I'm home now for three weeks, then a trip to Montana to visit family.  I'm really happy to be home for a while.  My neighbor is too, he mentioned how much he misses my baking when I'm gone (I can see that hint a mile away!).

So, I made these cookies for him and I took a plate of them to work.  They were such a hit I'm going to experiment with them and make them keto safe so I can eat some too.  They are chocolaty, and creamy in the middle with that salt on the top, mmmm.  Or so I'm told.  I didn't eat one but the look on everyone's face while they ate one made me decide to make a keto batch.  I'll keep you updated.

In the meantime, make these.  I'll live vicariously through you.

Triple Chocolate Truffle Cookies
adapted from Celebrating Cookies

3 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
4 oz. semisweet chocolate, like Lint or Ghirardelli
4 oz. unsweetened chocolate, like Lint or Ghirardelli
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1/3 cup flour
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped walnuts
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Flaky salt, like Fleur De Sel or Cyprus Flake

Place semisweet chocolate, unsweetened chocolate and butter in a microwave safe bowl.  Heat on medium power in 20 second increments, stirring between each additional time, until chocolate is completely melted and smooth.

Mix eggs, sugar and vanilla until mixture is mixed well and eggs are light yellow.  Add chocolate mixture and mix well.  Add flour and baking powder, stir until soft dough forms.  Stir in walnuts and chocolate chips.

Drop by small spoonfuls of dough 2 inches apart onto parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Sprinkle salt on top of each cookie.
Bake at 350˚F for 7-8 minutes or until lightly browned on bottom.  Leaving cookies on parchment paper, remove paper from pan.  Cool cookies 5 minutes; transfer to wire racks to cool.

2 years ago:  Spring and What a Difference a Week Makes
4 years ago:  Learning to Like Dark Chocolate and Swirled Chocolate Bark
6 years ago:  Meatloaf for Two and Crying at the Dinner Table

May 17, 2018   Sunrise 4:20 am  Sunset 11:16 pm   Temp H 59/L 35˚F

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

30 Days Dairy Free and the First Day Fail

I was traveling last week for work.  I went to Minnesota, worked some, went to the Mall of America and ate all the good food.  I ate more than I should have, and a few things not on my current Keto plan.  I decided when I get home I'll double down and get back on Keto and do a dairy free 30 days just for grins and giggles.

Well, I flew home and got in about 10:30 pm.  My husband was not home, he flew down to Spokane to help a buddy drive his new motorhome back to Alaska.  He left my car in long term parking so I found the car and drove problems.  I got to the house and let the dogs out.  They were so excited to see me after being gone for a week (probably more that they were in their kennels longer since the dog sitter just came over, let them out, fed them, and put them back in the kennels - but I'm choosing to believe it was all me), so they had to play and run around for a while to get rid of their energy and excitement, then I kenneled them about 12:30.  Of course at 5:30 the next same morning, Hershey starts barking because it is time to get up and let them out again.  So, I got up.

Now, you are probably asking yourself why I am telling you all this.  Well, it is because I want to give myself the excuse of not enough sleep and not really being awake.  Everyone who knows me KNOWS that I need my sleep.  I'm in bed by 9:00 every night, and if I'm not, nobody really wants to be around me.  O.K. on with the story.

I had my coffee (black because I was going dairy free for 30 days), read my bible study for the morning, did my guided meditation and then started to make my breakfast.  There wasn't much in the fridge because I've been gone and Dave was gone, but I had eggs and olives.  That would do.  I cooked a couple eggs, added some olives to the plate, and while I was putting the olives away I saw the cheese.  Hmmmm, that would be good on my eggs, so I slapped a piece on my eggs to melt.  I sat down with my coffee and started to eat.  I had about 2 bites and then sipped my black coffee, I really like cream in my coffee, and though to myself, "I really like cream in my coffee, but I can do this for 30 days."  Then I started to take another bite of my cheesy eggs and realized what I had done.  Crap.  I am claiming sleep deprivation for that one.

Well, I did better the next morning.  I had time to plan and shop so breakfast was a Cabbage Rosti with bacon and mushrooms.  Now, Rosti is usually made with potatoes (but carbs) so this one is made with cabbage.  I'm not going to try to fool anyone, it tastes like cabbage, but I like cabbage and it was good.  I'll try it with shredded radish next time and see how that is.  So a day later than I planned, but I am working on 30 days of dairy free.

I am headed to Austin in a couple weeks for work, I wonder if I can stay dairy free for that trip?

Rosti with Bacon and Mushrooms
The 30 Day Ketogenic Cleanse, Maria Emmerich

2 slices bacon, diced
2 Tbsp. coconut oil
1 cup mushrooms, diced
1/2 cup chopped green onions, plus more for garnish if desired
1/4 tsp. minced garlic
1 cup shredded cabbage
1 large egg
1/2 tsp. fine sea salt
1/8 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
egg to add to the top, if desired

Place the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat and fry until cooked and crispy.  Remove a little for garnish.  add the coconut oil, mushrooms, green onions and garlic.  Sauté for 5 minutes or until the mushrooms are golden.

In a large bowl, mix the shredded cabbage, egg, salt and pepper.  Transfer to the skillet with the bacon mixture.  Spread out the cabbage mixture in the pan and press it down to form a large pancake.  Cook over medium heat until the bottom is crispy and golden brown, about 5 minutes.  Flip with a large spatula and cook for another 10 minutes, or until the cabbage softens.

Remove from the heat and serve.  Store extras in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.  To reheat, fry in a skillet with a tablespoon of coconut oil on both sides until crispy, about 3 minutes a side.  Garnish with green onions and reserved bacon and top with an egg, if desired.

2 years ago:  Chicken Marsala and Running out of Heat in the Camper
4 years ago:  Strawberry Mousse
6 years ago:  Hiving the Bees and Bee Cupcakes

May 1, 2018    Sunrise 5:16 am  Sunset 10:21 pm   Temp. H 43/ L 27˚F