Saturday, March 30, 2019

RumChata Black Russian - Drink of the Week

I'm home for the weekend, just enough time for Dave to do my laundry, repack and leave again on Monday morning for another week on the road.  Dave told me I haven't been home one weekend this month, until now.  And while I love my job, what I do and all the benefits I get from the travel (seeing Gman often), I do get tired at the end of travel season.  So, I'm not doing much this weekend but making some crackers to take with me and having a drink of the week.

I still have this large bottle of RumChata in the fridge from this Christmas drink and decided I should try to use it up before it goes bad.  So, it's Saturday evening, some friends are coming over for a visit and we are having RumChata Black Russians.

RumChata Black Russians

1 oz vodka
1 oz Kahlua, I use this
1 oz. RumChata

Fill shaker with ice, add vodka, Kahlua and RumChata, shake until ver cold, strain into glass, enjoy.

3 years ago:   Carrots in the Spring
5 years ago:   Everyday an Adventure
7 years ago:   Wedding Bells

March 30, 2019  Sunrise 7:14am  Sunset 8:37pm  Temp. H 41/ L 24˚F

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Bacon Jam - Keto Remakes of Old Favorites

I've been eating Keto for a little over two years now.  I'm pretty happy with this way of eating and there isn't anything that I miss so much that I want to "cheat" so I can have it.  There are enough substitutions that work for me that I'm good.

We do have some favorite dishes that I am working on making them Keto so they fit into our new eating habits.  The first one I tackled was this shrimp and tomatoes with feta.  This is one of Dave's favorites and one of the few ways that I will eat shrimp, and I really love bacon jam but this recipe is full of things I no longer eat.  So I've been planning on making it Keto compliant.

I was making the menu for dinner this week and noticed the  high for Thursday was supposed to be in the 40's...that is 40 above and I am so excited!  Spring is really here, everything is melting, puddles are everywhere, the sun is shining and I am ready to grill.  I thought I would start easy and just planned burgers for dinner.  I like to make a big batch of them, form them, freeze them and then I just have to pull out the number I need for dinner.  It is also a very easy dinner if someone drops by unexpectedly, burgers are always good and homemade, pre-made makes it easy and delicious.

Well, I was really craving some bacon jam for my burger.  I decided it was time to see what I could do to keto-ize it and make it "safe" for me to eat again.  I had to practice a bit, so we have been eating a lot of bacon jam.  Good thing it is delicious on everything; eggs at breakfast, keto bagels with cream cheese, almond bread, chicken, pork chops, sautéd cabbage, green beans, maple keto ice cream...the list goes on!

I'll be keeping batches of this in my freezer for quick additions to meals.  I love it on my burger too.  This was a total success.
My grilled burger with cheese, avocado and bacon jam.

Sugar Free Bacon Jam
2 lbs. bacon, diced
1 small yellow onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup strong brewed coffee
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
zest of one orange
4 Tbsp. brown sugar substitute, I like Sukrin gold
1/2 tsp. maple extract
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 cup bourbon

In a frying pan over medium heat, fry bacon until crisp.  Remove bacon with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate.  Remove all but 3 Tbsp. bacon fat from pan, saving it for another use.  Sauté onions in bacon fat for 3-5 minutes until translucent.  Add garlic and stir for 1 minutes.  Add coffee apple cider vinegar, orange zest, brown sugar substitute, maple extract, ground ginger and bourbon and add bacon back into the pan.  Stirring often and over low heat,let mixture reduce until thick and syrupy, about 30 minutes or so.  Carefully transfer mixture to your blender or food processor and pulse until finely chopped.  Return to pan (if needed) to further reduce.  It should be the consisitency of slightly chunky jam.  Place in jars and refrigerate for 5 days or freeze for future use.

3 years ago:   Strawberry-Kiwi Sangria and Spring Snow
5 years ago:   Bahn Mi for a Quick Dinner
7 years ago:   Protein Balls and Fairbanks Fit Body Bootcamp

March 21, 2019  Sunrise 7:47am  Sunset 8:09 pm  Temp. H 48/ L 30°F

Monday, March 18, 2019

Happy Anniversary!

This guy.

20 years ago today we stood on a beach in Hawaii, said "I do", and smushed our two families together.  Joining 5 kids as a family, some of them kicking and screaming, was a feat of balance, negotiations and sheer determination.  I think back to those early days and I just feel tired, I don't know how we did it but we were younger and had more energy I guess.

He is my adventure partner, even when it is all my idea.  His idea of fun is a 4-wheeler, some sun and a beer.  Mine involves way more planning than he likes, but he goes along with me and pretends to enjoy the experience.

He will hold still so I can get the picture of things like a bee on his hand, and he doesn't try to kill the spiders, he just removes them from my sight and puts them outside.
He is patient (and goofy) when I need pictures for my blog.

He goes on adventures I like, like hiking, even though it is not his favorite (or anything he would ever do otherwise).

He is a kind, fun, considerate role model for our kids and our grandson.

He is a great dog-dad, even to my giant dog that is a little spastic.

He has been my rock, my calm in the storm. He held me as I cried when I lost a student, a grandparent, a friend and a breast. He fights with me (someone has to keep me in line), he encourages me when I try and fail and try and succeeded.  He makes me laugh every single day.
I am his and he is mine and that is just the way it should be.

March 18, 2019  Sunrise 8:22 am  Sunset 4:02 pm  Temp H 46/ L 26˚F

1 year ago:    Keto Asiago Muffins and Meditation
3 years ago:  Breaking the House Rules
5 years ago:  Birthday Cake
7 years ago:  Microwave Popcorn and the Confession

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Pigs in A Blanket - Keto

I love little snacks, I could make my whole dinner from a couple little snacks, like stuffed dates, pigs in a blanket, cheese and crackers, get the picture.  I also love to have things in the freezer I can just throw in the oven, I totally get why people buy pre-made snacks.  These are easy to make, easy to freeze, and I can make a pan full in the oven or just a couple in the air fryer.

Ready for the freezer or the oven
These little treats are perfect for an afternoon when watching a game on t.v. or for an evening of playing cards, or after a couple of hours of working on the truck. They make a big batch so I make them up and have some in the freezer for when ever we decide we need a snack.
Dave likes to dip his in spicy mustard.  I just like ketchup or barbecue sauce, I'm loving Alterna Sweets barbecue sauce and spicy ketchup.

Keto Pigs in a Blanket

Fat head dough
1.5 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
2 Tbsp cream cheese
2 eggs
1/3 cup coconut flour
1/4 tsp. baking powder

small hot dog type sausages or hot dogs cut in 1/3s

In a microwave safe bowl, melt mozzarella cheese and cream cheese together, in 30 second increments, until completely melted and smooth.  Add eggs, coconut flour and baking powder and mix until ingredients are incorporated.  Turn mixture out on a silicone mat or parchment paper and knead until all ingredients are mixed and no streaks remain. 

Roll dough out about 1/8 inch thick.  Cut in strips then cut strips cross-wise into small strips that will just fit around your sausages.

Roll dough strips around sausages, pinching ends and rolling smooth.  At this point you can freeze them (see picture above) and then transfer to a zip type bag for storage or bake them.

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Bake pigs in a blanket for 12-15 minutes or until dough is cooked through and browned nicely.  Serve hot with dipping sauce.

1 year ago:    Hating Yoga and Oven Fried Chicken
3 years ago:  Cavatappi with Arugula Pesto and Welcoming Spring
5 years ago:  Dog Tired and Pumpkin Custard
7 years ago:  Moose Parmesan

March 7, 2019   Sunrise 7:38  sunset 6:26  Temp. H 33/ L 16°F

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Florida Vacation

I was a little excited and had to cry a little when I saw her.
We just got home from a week in Florida.  My brother in law (BIL) bought a home down there last year and we went to visit him, get some sun and swim with the manatee.

I've always loved manatee, over 30 years ago I had tickets to go to Florida and swim with the manatee, but I got pregnant with my first son and the doctor said I couldn't go.  Then kids were born and other things took precedence and it just never happened. Well, it finally rose to the top of the list and we went. 

We spent a couple days with the BIL and Dave golfed, we went to Crystal River and I swam with the manatee, we went to Universal Studios and to Harry Potter Land, we caught a Yankees spring training game with the Pirates and a weekend with Gman and his people on the way home.  It was a wonderful break from the snow and cold, an amazing experience that I have waited a long time to do, and a nice visit with the BIL.

Now it is back to reality and a very busy 6 weeks through spring travel season.  It's a good thing we had a rest, I'll be gone more than I'm home for a good while.

1 year ago:     Peanut Butter Granola
3 years ago:   Banana Tartlets with Nutella and a Baby on the Way!
5 years ago:   Potato Sourdough Sandwich Rolls
7 years ago:   Remembering Robert and a Manhattan

March 5, 2019   Sunrise 7:45 am  Sunset 6:20 pm  Temp. H 24/ L 10°F