Friday, August 30, 2019

The New Family Member and Keto Fried Cheese Sticks

We have a new family member I'd like to introduce you to.  He is rather quiet and really low maintenance and we have named him Charles.  Dave wanted to name him Charlie but that was not dignified enough for him, so Charles it is.

It all started when we were at the greenhouse picking up flowers for the garden.  I mentioned I wanted a new flowering tree to take the place of the chokecherry we had to cut down last summer.  Our front yard is just grass now and I miss the spring blossoms.  I walked over and looked at the flowering crab apples and decided I wanted one.  Well, we were out of room in the truck and the tree was $150, so I figured I could think about it for a while.

That Saturday, I met a friend for coffee and she mentioned the Conservation tree sale that was going on that day.  We headed over there to see if they had a flowering crab apple for me.  We stood in line for a good 20 minutes (we were a little early and the line was already 20 people deep).  I figured with so many people there it must be a really good tree sale, and it was!  My flowering crab apple cost me $5!  Yes, only $5.  Dave would be so proud of me for saving him so much money.

Well, it was my turn and I asked for my tree and out came my 5 inch stick with a whole bunch of roots.  Yes, 5 inches and not a single leaf on it.  I looked at that little stick and just laughed.  My friend gave me planting advice and off I went home to plant my little tree.

Dave came home and asked me why I stuck a dead stick in the middle of the front lawn.  I told him how much money I saved him and he just laughed.  He said it looked worse than Charlie Brown's Christmas tree and we should name him Charlie.  But I knew great things were in store for this little stick and named him Charles, a distinguished  name for a (soon to be) distinguished tree.

Charles has been in the ground all summer now.  He has grown some leaves and looks to be thriving.  I talk to him everyday when I water and tell him "good morning, have a good day" every morning when I get in my car to go to work.  Charles is off to great things.
Charles with Gman and the Seatlle DIL the first week of July.

To celebrate the beautiful leaves Charles has grown, I made keto cheese sticks.  I love those fried mozzarella sticks most restaurants have on their appetizer menu.  I made my keto friendly and safe for my tummy.  I made a big batch and keep them in the freezer so I can pull out a couple and have an appetizer any time I want.  They work equally well in the air fryer or fried in hot oil.
Cooking in the airfryer makes them leak a little.

Here's to you Charles, keep growing those leaves and I'll eat my fried cheese sticks and watch!

Keto Mozzarella Sticks

12 mozzarella sticks or string cheese sticks, cut in half making 24 cheese sticks
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup crushed pork rinds, or pork dust
1 Tbsp. Italian seasoning
1 tsp. granulated garlic
3 Tbsp. coconut flour
3 eggs, beaten

Oil for frying, or cooking spray if cooking in air fryer

Mix grated parmesan cheese, crushed pork rinds, Italian seasoning and garlic in a small bowl.  Beat the eggs in a second bowl, place coconut flour in a third bowl.  Line a baking sheet with parchment.

Dip each cheese stick in coconut flour, then egg, then cheese/pork rind breading, pressing to make breading stick.  Place coated cheese stick on baking sheet.  Repeat with all the cheese sticks.

Repeat the egg and pork dust breading steps with each cheese stick a second time.  This is important so the cheese doesn't melt and ooze out during the cooking process.  Once all cheese sticks are coated well the second time, place in freezer about 5 hours or overnight (I just make a bunch, freeze and transfer to a sturdy container for whenever).

To cook cheese sticks in oil:
Heat about 2 inches of oil in a heavy pan to 350°F.  Place 3 or 4  frozen cheese sticks at a time in hot oil and let cook about 3-4 minutes or until coating is a golden brown, turn and cook second side for about 3-4 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from oil and drain on paper towels. Repeat with more cheese sticks, as desired.

To cook cheese sticks in air fryer:
Heat air fryer to 400°F.  Place frozen cheese sticks in air fryer and spray lightly with cooking spray. Cook for about 5 minutes, turn and cook 2-3 more minutes or until coating is golden brown.  Cooking these in the airfryer does cause some leakage...don't worry they are still delicious and you get to eat the leaked out cheese, yum!

 Serve with sugar free marinara for dipping.

5 years ago:  Poached Eggs in Spicy Tomato Sauce
7 years ago:  Salmon Cakes

August 30, 2019  Sunrise 6:24 am  Sunset 9:16 pm  Temp H 68/ L 47°F

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