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the IDEAL keto dessert
Keto is about limiting carbs, a moderate amount of protein, and a whole bunch of fat! Now what dessert fits that profile better than cheesecake!!!?!?!
With a food processor, it's incredibly easy to pulse a bunch of nuts and seeds to make a delectable crust!!
You're looking at almond flour, cinnamon, coconut oil, golden flax seeds, cup for cup sugar substitute ( the recipe I used calls for pecans, but I didn't have any so I used some whole almonds....)
Then it simply says to mix all the other stuff together
Beat the cream cheese until smooth, add the non-sugar, coconut flour, flavorings... and then add the eggs ONE BY ONE!!! Whip each until fully combined, and THEN add the sour and heavy cream...
As obnoxious as it is, I highly recommend the extremely slow method of cooling: an hour with the oven off, another half hour in the oven with the door open, overnight in the fridge... Trust me, it will be worth the wait!!

Posted by Linda :
Saturday 31 March 2018 - 23:43:50
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Pizza in half an hour?
I made my first cauliflower pizza a few years back when my sis-in-law started having issues with gluten.
In my new endeavor with keto, they have become a staple! Now, the original recipe I found didn't use cauli - simply eggs and cheese. I tried it, very good, but since I had a ton of cauli rice I've since added about a cup to his 4 eggs and 6 oz of shredded cheese (I prefer moz).
Just spread it out on some parchment,
Bake at 400F for 10-15 minutes. Let it kewl a touch before you proceed (but turn your oven up to 450F).
Most brands of spaghetti/tomato sauce have sugar - so either make your own or simply use tomato PASTE!
Spread it out - you don't need much!
SEASON!!! I used garlic powder, oregano, and dried onion.
Up to this point, your entire crust plus the cheese for topping has about 1000 calories, or more importantly, 15 net carbs. How you top it depends on you, so I can't guide you there - but I used some precooked hot Italian sausage and diced green pepper to top mine last night.
We've already accounted for another 4oz (1 cup) of shredded moz or provolone (I like them mixed!)
Ten minutes at 450F... Oh so good! I usually slice into six pieces - the original recipe says this serves 2, but I never eat more than two slices at a time - it's THAT satisfying!!!
(and, ahem, I HAVE eaten an entire frozen pizza in an evening... frown )

Posted by Linda :
Sunday 18 March 2018 - 20:34:24
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Simple changes!
I've been learning a lot on my keto journey – and loving every bite of it!! Okay, after three weeks I was on a special roadtrip for Valentine's Day and ate pasta and bread and home-fries (separate meals!!!)... Even that mild "binge" taught me -of that bunch I miss bread the most, so I'm experimenting! I've stocked up on some previously unusual ingredients like xanthum gum, acacia, psyllium husks... I already had some almond and coconut flour, and chia and flax are familiar names at least wink Those are important for replacing gluten items - but not for day to day life. Most meals, I'm learning, can be carb reduced by pretty simple means – I really enjoyed this recipe for beef stew, and it really wasn't very different than what I'd made before. The techniques discussed apply to ANY meat and veg prep, and the fact that this is low carb is pure bonus!
So what's the difference? Those ain't potatoes – that's a large celery root peeled and cut in a large dice. CHECK THIS OUT!!! Fewer calories, fewer carbs, more nutrients... Okay, it's ugly – but when slowly simmered as in this beef stew I PROMISE that if you didn't know, you wouldn't know!!! Adding just small cuts of carrot instead of tons of carrot still give you the eye appeal, and removes tons of calories/carbs... Almost forgot - instead of peas I used small cuts of green beans - same reason, fewer carbs but still looks "right"? MY adjustment to this recipe was that I felt it needed a tad of thickening, so instead of using a roux or other starch, I added maybe a half teaspoon of xantham gum and in just a moment I had that silky mouth feel I'd missed! Don't get me wrong – I'm not trying to convert anyone! In fact, this is simply a grand experiment towards my own health. As with any new endeavor, I'm enjoying the experimentation – I hope you continue to read along cheesey As always, your stories and experiences are welcome!

Posted by Linda :
Saturday 17 February 2018 - 22:44:54
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The Best Brownie that isn't QUITE a brownie – that you'll absolutely LOVE
I've made this recipe more than a couple times – and it's awesome! What bothers me is that the last time I went to the saved link to get the recipe I was told that after over a year, I no longer had privileges?!? Okay, lets all shake that off. We're about to make Banana Foster Chocolate Crusted BLONDIES. That's MY name for them, and very appropriate. Bananas Foster is a pan seared, deep caramel, rum sauce that is flambeed as the bananas cook, often served over ice cream. Here you have all the flavors baked into a chocolate crusted BROWNIE. Repeat after me...
I use my food processor to crumble the chocolate grahams, a touch of sugar and the melted butter.
Press all of that into the 13”x 9” and bake for a short while, then cool.
Now for the fun ingredients! Obviously missing are the bananas, which I'd frozen and well, they really aren't very pretty after that... Bananas, eggs, rum, flour, salt, walnuts... Shmoosh them all up in your food processor or mixer. The KEY to this recipe is browned butter – I've posted about this technique before and promise: I took lots of pics and will post a simple tutorial soon.
That gets mixed into the batter that gets poured over the crust and baked. And then... OH PHOOEY!!!! I don't have any pictures of the finished product!?!? I've got to make these AGAIN? wink to be continued...

Posted by Linda :
Sunday 15 October 2017 - 01:00:49
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Yeah, it's been a while...
Seems the company I work for decided to close our store – you can NOT imagine the chaos, frustration, emotions, exhaustion (and so much more) unless you've lived through it! I hope you never have to. So since early September when they made the announcement, life has been not much more than work and sleep. But occasionally I found the energy to create some comfort food.
Chinese Chili sounded like a great change on a classic, and truly was quite enjoyable. You start with the basics – beef, onions, sweet and hot peppers – but then the seasonings take a decidedly eastern turn. Soy sauce and hoisin instead of chili powder, ginger and 5 spice replace cumin and coriander... I started with a chuck roast, as the briskets were HUGE! Ended up delectably tender, so no issue there.
Doubling the tomato and adding a couple cans of black beans assured me more than a couple meals, so that was a plus. While the recipe said it should be fairly liquid, I enjoyed the texture the starch from the beans added and felt no need for additional liquid. This one I'm giving mixed reviews. Thanks to my ”chinese pantry”, I didn't have to buy anything special, which made the experiment worthwhile. The fried chinese noodles made a great topper!
I'd omit the habenaro (and not because of the heat) and cut the 5 spice in half – those were definitely the dominant flavors, and I would have enjoyed being able to note the others, especially the ginger. Here's the thing – it was different, and good, but not so much so to warrant the investment in all the ingredients unless you want to start your own collection. But then again, that's not a bad choice wink

Posted by Linda :
Monday 26 December 2016 - 23:37:15
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This is so good it will convert "Haters"
And it's made with BRUSSEL SPROUTS?!? Seriously folks, you have to try this one, even if you KNOW that you don't like those little cabbage thingies – it's THAT good cheesey I've admitted in the past that I had not found pleasure from Brussel Sprouts until just a couple years ago. My family serves them at every gathering now, and while everything tastes better with bacon believe it or not, I wanted a change.
This recipe satisfied both that desire and my scarce time and energy (retail is a nightmare leading up to any holiday)! Three kinds of cheeses with three savory elements... A beautiful balance of flavors. You do a little chopping and grating (which I did the day before) and then dump your ingredients into the slow cooker in stages. Slice a baguette or serve with crackers... And it's beautiful!
I opted for packaged shredded cheeses, choosing Swiss instead of Gruyere (at $20/lb for the aged stuff that was a no-brainer) and then buckled down on the chopping. Shallots and garlic I could do in my sleep, but the sprouts?!? I tried a couple in the food processor and all I got was mush – so I followed the example in the video – slice in half and then slice into shreds. Easy enough, but allow some time – two pounds is about a HUNDRED of those little thingies!! Over three cups when done!?
I made a full batch (and DO include the nutmeg – NOT optional in my book) and it was a ton (at least 8 cups)! Also, in my slow cooker it took about twice as long as indicated. The amount didn't phase me – leftovers of anything cheesy is a good thing! I just want you to be aware and feel free to cut the recipe in half... the FIRST time you make this wink Sixteen thumbs up from my crew – a definite keeper.

Posted by Linda :
Wednesday 30 March 2016 - 00:13:56
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So I was craving...
It's been delightfully nice, moderate weather - I mean, in my neck of the woods we should have had at least ONE snowfall by now, but even a couple days ago all I needed was a sweatshirt? When the wind finally kicked up I needed some winter style comfort food! Chicken Pot Pie was at the top of my list.
Don't ask me why – I haven't made it in years. A whole bunch of Googling and I found two recipes that if put together would make me happy. So that's what I did. I really liked all of the Veggies in this one from Taste of Home. But I also liked the more classic style from Ree Drummond (the Pioneer Woman). Basically, I used the method of Ree's with the ingredients from Taste of Home – I used Pioneer Woman's pie crust recipe (no commercial pie dough in THIS household, unless it's an emergency wink ) AND her choice of heavy cream in the filling...
I'll tell you right now that I made a MAJOR GOOF! WHEN you make this (or any other version), make your pie crust dough FIRST? I was so excited to get started poaching my chicken et al that it didn't occur to me that my kitchen would be too hot to make a proper pie dough. And trust me – with a stick of butter to each cup of flour, you do NOT want your kitchen too hot! I had to wait an extra day for my lusciousness!!!! Well worth the wait!!! Check out how even when I cheated and used a food processor to combine the butter with the flour, it is remarkably marbled cheesey
[This photo is darkened a LOT as it is still raw dough - but I wanted you to see all those bits of butter? THAT'S what makes a perfect crust (the blackish spots are the flecks of thyme used in Ree's recipe]
Nitty Gritty: I poached a whole chicken, and after I moved it to a bowl and waited for it to cool a touch, I boiled the diced potato and sliced carrot in the broth. Scooped those out, and after shredding the chicken from the bones threw the bones back into the stock to simmer a bit. Measured out the stock, and yes, I reluctantly added a bouillon cube to enhance the flavor – normally I would have added a bunch of veggies, but, well... Then in the same pot, the onion and celery are sauteed in the butter that was called for, and well, just a dab of bacon grease? Hey – you can make it as healthy as you want. Me, I was looking for “comfort food”! Here's after the flour and seasonings have been added and cooked together a bit -and as the stock gets slowly added back...
Everything else pretty much gets dumped in.
[You caught me - YES, I added some crumbled, cooked bacon!]
Stir it all together, add the cream...
It thickens quite nicely, especially after it cools.
Okay - my one real complaint? Neither recipe called for mushrooms, and that is quite a shame. I admit I didn't think about shrooms until it was too late in the process? SO - in the search for the umami of my choice, I generously added some Worcestershire sauce, which made my palate very happy.
I made one 10 inch deep dish pie, and a smaller one that I wrapped well and froze. Both recipes offer guidelines for baking in the future... Good food, delectably tender crust - and another meal ready for the next round! And folks - it's really NOT that complicated wink

Posted by Linda :
Tuesday 17 November 2015 - 20:02:08
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Too much BACON?!?
Yes, I know, it's shameless. But the fact is, I had about a half pound of bacon that needed to be used pretty soon, and since it had already been frozen I preferred not to freeze it again. Oddly enough, in the peak of summer I didn't have any tomatoes – the local crop didn't fair very well this year. So much for BLTs... My next thought was a standard: Carbonara! In case you don't know, this is a quick and delicious pasta dish - cook some chopped bacon (or better yet, pancetta) while you heat your pasta water, whisk some eggs, cheese and seasonings together, cook the pasta and marry them all together - seriously, maybe 30 minutes effort. This one has been a “go to” recipe for years, but see, I didn't have any mushrooms, or milk, or parsley? Heck, I didn't even have linguine or fettuccine, but I knew spaghetti would work just fine smile And I DID have a package of chopped spinach... Spinach and bacon are a great pairing, so I Googled. The one I liked the best was from Clair Robinson on the Food Network. Again, I didn't have fettuccine, let alone SPINACH fettuccine, but her technique relied more on the flavoring of the bacon fat than others and that suited me just fine! Thirty minutes later I was dining.
Perhaps a little heavy for this heat wave we've been having – but I discovered something! This version of Carbonara was actually quite good fresh from the fridge! So for the majority of my meals I enjoyed a bacon flavored pasta salad with spinach – not bad for an improv, huh cheesey

Posted by Linda :
Saturday 05 September 2015 - 22:29:23
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I thought I'd like this recipe
And I probably would. And you would, too. But when I read it later, I just had to tweak. Easy creamy, cheesy chicken, practically dump and cook in the slow cooker. Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti, I mean, what could be better? But I guess when I read it again I just couldn't wrap my head around Mexican flavors and, uh, spaghetti? So I used a cup of long grain rice instead (raw, at the beginning). Lots of green peppers, but no red, so how about a 28 oz can of diced tomatoes? The rice was going to need extra liquid, right? Oops, NOW there's a bunch more veggies and I only have the pound of chicken – so in goes a can of black beans for protein wink Oh, and fresh garlic instead of powdered...
While mushroom soup doesn't bring “Mexican” to mind, it was probably the easiest way to enhance the creaminess of the texture, so yeah, that stayed. Okay, I added a couple things, including ground chipotle pepper, but hey, it's MY kitchen!
As I often do, I used the recipe as a guideline – and that's the way it should be! Three hours later, before the last of the cheese went in...
The rice wasn't quite cooked, so I added about a cup of stock and kept it on “Hi” for another 30 minutes. Cheese in, set to “Lo”...
Not the prettiest dish ever, but this is great comfort food – chicken and rice and cheese, oh my wink Nice flavor, but not much heat, so I'll leave that up to you (me, I added some pepper flakes)...

Posted by Linda :
Wednesday 17 June 2015 - 23:21:46
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All the Flavor, NONE of the Fuss!
Who'd have thought it would take FIVE hours for an eye exam and shopping for a single item? A comedy of errors, including inaccurate public transportation schedules, made for a big chunk of my “day off”. As gorgeous as the weather was at that moment (we have snow again?), it left me drained and wanting something equivalent to “warm & fuzzy” wink And easy – the day had taken it's toll on me already! Brown some meat, saute some veggies, some sauce and pasta? Yeah, that's what I'm thinking. And cheese?!? Yes, I'd found my moment with Lasagna Soup.
Now, the author starts off saying it had to be “hearty” for her crew – in MY opinion, this is more like an Italian “goulash”, or more appropriately, a deconstructed lasagna. All the great flavors, a fraction of the effort. Whatever you call it, it's easy, fast, and can be as simple or fancy as you'd like! And of course, delicious!
This is a one pot meal - you even cook the pasta in the broth. Now, if you really want a soup, I'd add a couple more cups of stock - but if you just want it NOW, this is perfect! When I first made it, I followed the directions and broiled the cheese mixture on top of my oven proof bowl, which made for a nice presentation.
But for my leftovers (cooking for one this week), I stirred the rest of the cheese into the pot, and simply nuked a bowl full when ready.
Gotta tell you, my co-workers were jealous about this one – the aroma is just as great a the flavor. I liked the slight heat from using spicy sausage and a bit of red pepper flakes, but you may prefer a different balance. I'm definitely adding some chopped spinach (and nutmeg) to my next batch for just a touch of, you know... healthy stuff? Enjoy! I did.

Posted by Linda :
Wednesday 18 March 2015 - 22:57:24
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