Tuesday, June 8, 2010

two of my favorite things - slow cookers & leftovers...

Good Tuesday afternoon! Hope you’re having a good day. It’s not too sunny here today and we are in a high risk area for storms, possibly through tomorrow. I hope they just pass right over! Tomorrow my daughter and I will be driving to Highland Heights, Kentucky (just outside of Cincinnati) in order for her to attend her college freshmen orientation program. I’m really hoping it doesn’t rain. We intend to get there early in the evening and spend a little time together walking around downtown Cincinnati. Just us girls!
Last night in my low carb kitchen, I whipped up a quick and easy meal – thanks to leftovers. Leftovers & slow cookers – 2 of my favorite things. I had a lot to get accomplished at home on Saturday and I knew later in the afternoon, close to dinnertime, I was going to be beat. So I made peppered pork loin in my slow cooker. It took me about 10 minutes to prep the pork loin and put it in my slow cooker. For dinner last night, we had leftover peppered pork loin, sliced with horsey sauce drizzled on top. We also had a couple of pieces of cantaloupe and creamy coleslaw, which was leftover from our graduation party on Sunday.
Again, leftovers and slow cookers are 2 of my very favorite things! Thanks to both, I was able to put together a nice, cool meal in about 5 minutes. And speaking of cool meals, I had a great lunch today - spicy egg salad on a bed of fresh baby spinach leaves. It was awesome! The last couple of days, I’ve put on 5 eggs to boil while I was getting ready for work. I’ve eaten 2 hard boiled eggs for breakfast and used the remaining 3 to make egg salad.
Yesterday I had a special treat when I came home from work. If you like cold coffee drinks – I highly suggest trying this idea – I fill a large glass about 2/3 full with ice, then add cold/room temperature coffee, a little heavy whipping cream and a tablespoon of Splenda. You could also add a little sugar free chocolate syrup for a mocha style drink or maybe even some cinnamon. After a long Monday, this was just the little pick me up that I needed. I’m looking forward to another one today!
Well, it’s time for me to go. I’ll be whipping up something good in my kitchen tonight and I’ll fill you in on the new recipe tomorrow. Have a good evening and take care!

Monday, June 7, 2010

summer fun & some quick meal ideas

Good Monday afternoon! Although it’s not technically summer yet, it seems as if the summer is in full swing! Softball games, tournaments, graduations, graduation parties, summer camp for the kids and all the other fun things associated with this time of year. Not to mention the not so fun things like yard work, gardening and house cleaning. The list just seems to go on and on. With that being said, sorry I’ve been not so timely in my blogs lately! I’ve got lots of recipes to post, I just haven’t gotten to them, yet. So begins my to-list for the week.
We’ve been really busy around our house. First and foremost on our agenda has been all the activities associated with my daughter’s high school graduation. We had a very nice graduation party for her & my nephew yesterday. Later this week, her and I are attending her freshmen orientation at the college she will be attending this fall. It just seems as if everyone I know has a flurry of activities packed into their summer.
In addition to the recipes I’ll be posting later this week, I wanted to share with you some quick and easy summer meal ideas. One of my favorites things to purchase from our local deli is roasted whole chickens. You really can’t beat their price, especially when you consider the precooked chicken ends up costing not very much more than an uncooked chicken! One night last week the four of us – me, my husband, my daughter & my son – had cold chicken & cheese for supper. Of course everyone’s taste in my house varies – my husband ate his chicken on a sandwich made with low carb bread and a few pickle spears, my daughter had a chicken wrap & a few strawberries, my son had chicken & pork rinds with a dressing he made using Frank’s hot sauce, while I had chicken, cheese slices and a tablespoon of chunky peanut butter.
On another night, I cutup the precooked chicken and mixed with mayo for a quick and easy chicken salad. Again we all prefer something a little different – I had my chicken salad on a bed of lettuce, my husband had a sandwich & my daughter had a wrap – and we all had a few strawberries, too. Delicious, quick and easy, too! For a quick and easy snack, we almost always have pork rinds and cheese slices on hand. Also, several times last week, my son & I both had fresh slices of cool cucumbers with a bit of salt. I love cucumbers, so stay tuned for some quick and easy recipes.
Well, it’s time for me to go. I hope you have a great evening. Take care & I’ll be back tomorrow!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

hot, humid weather and a cool, crunchy oriental style coleslaw

Good afternoon! What a hot, hot day here in the Ohio River valley. I
went for about a mile walk this afternoon. When I started out, it was
hot & sunny but there was a nice breeze. About 5 minutes later, there
was no breeze - it was so hot and humid. I once heard our summers
compared to a hot humid jungle! That's funny! Thank goodness for air
Over the past weekend we had several family get togethers. Luckily, we
all pitch in and bring food, so that not just one person is left to
plan, prepare and cook a meal. Lately, my favorite thing to take to a
get together or potluck is a salad, preferably one that I can make ahead
of time. By preparing my food ahead of time, I don't feel so rushed and
it's just easier for me to have everything ready ahead of time.
During the summer or warm weather, one of my most requested salads is a Napa Salad. If you haven't had Napa Salad it usually consists of Napa
cabbage, green onions, nuts, salad dressing and Ramen noodles toasted in
butter. Basically, it's cool & crunchy. I've made this salad many
times and also made many different versions. My favorite versions use a
prepackaged coleslaw mix, instead of Napa cabbage. Cutting the amount
of net carbs in the traditional version is pretty easy by reducing the
amount of nuts and eliminating the Ramen noodles. It's still good, even without the Ramen noodles. So here's my low carb version -
Notice I call it coleslaw since it doesn't include Nappa
Well, it's time for me to go. I hope you have a great afternoon &
evening. See you tomorrow! Take care!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

busy memorial day weekend & a new recipe

Good Tuesday afternoon! Although after the long weekend it sure feels like Monday. I hope you had a great weekend! We had a busy but very, very enjoyable weekend. On Friday we had a celebratory early dinner with our kids to celebrate my daughter, Lori’s, high school graduation. Then it was off to graduation – she was so cute – she kept looking for us in the crowd & when she spotted us, her & I kept waving at each other. She was so excited. At the after graduation party sponsored by her school, she won 2 beach totes, 2 beach towels, 2 beach chairs, a cooler, a grill & a flat screen tv! Saturday was a work day around our house – thanks to the person that did a little hit and run number on our fence & gate. Sunday was pool party time with my in-laws – we had a blast! Monday, I spent the day at the pool – nice! I love swimming!
I’ve been behind on blogging – sorry about that! But, I have been spending some time in the kitchen, so I’ve got a back log of recipes to post. My first recipe, which I made earlier last week, is zesty chicken with tomatoes & chiles. This recipe is a quick recipe with basically no prep and it all cooks together in 1 skillet – which means only 1 pan to wash – yeah!
It’s funny, so many of our family members are following a low carb lifestyle. I heard at least 4 or 5 people say at our pool party on Sunday, that they were gonna carb up for the day and go back to low carb the next day. Actually, most of our summer picnics include hamburgers, hot dogs or another grilled meat – so that’s a pretty easy way for us to stay low carb. But I think we all splurged on my mother-in-law’s world famous potato salad! That’s the good thing about low carb. If you eat a few carbs at one meal and then you just go back to low carb – it’s easy.
Well, it’s time for me to go. I hope you have a nice evening! See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

last day of school, fishing & crispy fish softshell tacos

Good afternoon! Hope you’re having a great day! Today is the last day of school for my daughter, Lori. Yesterday, the seniors at her school did something they hoped to be remembered by for a long time. The students arrived 2 hours early for school, setup a ping pong table and played orange juice pong. They had loud music, doughnuts & bacon. And they ended up causing quite a commotion! It reminds me of what my senior class did immediately following our graduation ceremony – along with tossing our caps in the air – we all threw handfuls of super balls, the kind of small balls that bounce really, really well. Our family & friends thought it was pretty funny but the teachers and janitors at the stadium – not so much!
With the arrival of the warm weather comes lots of fun activities and one of my favorites is fishing, even though I haven’t been fishing in years. We have a friend that keeps his boat in our back yard – it’s just a small 2 person boat with a motor. He’s been having a lot of luck lately – this past weekend he even caught about a 4 pound catfish. After he’s finished fishing, he cleans & fillets the fish. He’s stocking them in his freezer and when he gets a few more we’ll be having a fish fry at our house. I can’t wait, we just love fish!
Speaking of fish, in my low carb kitchen last week I tried out a new recipe - crispy fish softshell tacos. It was kind of funny, every time I mentioned to my husband that I was going to try a new recipe for fish tacos, he kind of sneered. Then I realized why – his idea of any kind of Mexican dish revolves around beef, and sometimes pork, but mostly beef. So I asked if that’s why he didn’t like the idea of fish tacos and he said yes. So I told him just to think of them as fish wraps. He liked that idea… too funny! Anyway, I used tilapia but you could also use other kinds of fish, like cod. I also used whole fillets but you could use chunks instead. You could also use leftover fish fillets.
Well, it’s time for me to go. I hope you have a good evening. We’re having a quick supper and then heading out to our high school for one last time – to attend Honors Night. It’s a special recognition program for the seniors to receive their awards and scholarships. I’m excited about going but I’m also a bit sad to think it’s the last time we’ll be going to the high school for one of our children…

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

finally - steamed asparagus...

Good Tuesday afternoon!! Hope you had a great weekend! I sure did. Had a chance to spend some nice quality time with my daughter. On Friday night, we had dinner together & then Lori had an appointment for a haircut. Then we watched a movie together & were at our local Old Navy store on Saturday morning (at 7 AM) to purchase $1 flip flops - we bought 17 pairs! On Sunday during church, Lori, along with the other graduates, were honored.
So, what's been cooking in my low carb kitchen? Well, I finally got around to cooking steamed asparagus. I thought it turned out really well & my husband enjoyed it, too. It turns out my kids didn't even want to try it. That's okay - it just left more for my husband & I. Actually, I never ate a full order of asparagus before trying this recipe. Recently when we were out of town visiting my daughter's soon-to-be college, my husband ordered asparagus and insisted that I try it. I was sure it would be awful but much to my surprise, it was really good. So that's my inspiration for my recipe, which I think turned out just as well.
Whether your fixing burgers, brats, steaks, chicken or fish, this recipe would be a perfect side dish. And it's low in net carbs, too - only 2.1 net carbs per serving. It's also high in fiber.
Well, that's my recipe for the day and speaking of recipes, my husband is in the kitchen cooking - I can't wait to see what he is fixing! I think I need to check on him. Have a good evening & take care! See you tomorrow!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Yeah - it's Friday, graduation soon & chicken curry

Hello & good Friday afternoon to you all!! I am so glad it's Friday - how about you? Even though it is my daughter's last Friday to attend high school. Next Friday she graduates. I'm so proud of her. On Sunday she will be honored at our church and on Wednesday she will be honored at her high school's Honor Night. She has always been such a great student - I don't think I have ever had to remind her to do homework. Her first graduation party that she's attending is tomorrow - I hope she has a blast! There were so many parties this year that she decided she didn't want to have one just for friends. But that's okay, in a couple of weeks we will be celebrating graduation with a party for her and my nephew, Saxton. Too much fun!
As I said yesterday, I've been trying to come up with some quick and easy recipes for the summer. I also like a big variety, too. My family has never been big on having a menu that we follow each week. I know some
families that have spaghetti every Monday, pizza every Friday, etc. But we always like to mix things up! And speaking of mixing things up, I bought some curry powder a few weeks ago and I've been hard at work
researching curry chicken recipes. Here's what I came up with - easy chicken curry. Just a few ingredients - chicken, oil, a little onion, celery & curry
powder. My kids and I also topped our servings with sour cream - just be sure to check the carb count on the sour cream. Everyone really liked it!
So, of course, I forgot about the asparagus once again. I will work on my recipe this weekend and if all goes well, will post it on Monday or even over the weekend. I hope you have a great day & a great weekend. Take care!!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

quick meals, shrimp & no asparagus...

Good afternoon! I hope you’re having a great day! My day is going pretty well, except for the weather : ( Don’t get me wrong, it could be a lot worse and we probably do need the rain. I’m just tired of it being so cloudy & gloomy. But, like I said, we probably need rain because, although it’s been very cloudy & gloomy for the last 10 days or maybe even longer, we haven’t had much rain. In fact, we’ve had to water our newly planted bushes, lavender, tomato & green pepper plants every evening. So it will be nice not to have to water them this evening.
I’ve been on a roll trying to come up with new quick and easy recipes. Usually when it’s warmer outside I tend to spend less time in the kitchen – so I’ve been trying all kinds of new recipes. My latest recipe is for what I call skillet shrimp. It’s a really quick & easy recipe using precooked & cleaned frozen shrimp, butter, seafood seasoning & garlic powder. Just be sure to thaw your shrimp first, if using frozen shrimp.
I like to keep frozen, cleaned, precooked shrimp on hand. First of all, the shrimp has no net carbs – yeah! Second, it’s so versatile – sometimes I just get a serving out of the freezer, thaw it in cold water for a bit and eat it plain, with a tiny bit of lemon juice, with "special" seafood sauce, with horsey sauce, or with shrimp cocktail sauce. I also like to add shrimp to salads or mix up a recipe of dilled shrimp salad. Delicious!!
Oh, I almost forgot – I was going to post a recipe for steamed asparagus, assuming the recipe turned out well. By the time I fixed supper last night, I completely forgot about the asparagus! So I will shoot for making it tonight. I’ll let you know how it goes. Thanks & have a great afternoon & evening. See you tomorrow! Take care!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

rain, rain, go away & super easy pepper steak

Good afternoon! Another very cloudy, dreary day here… I am so ready for some sunshine! Even if it’s just a couple of hours in the evening. When I woke up this morning I actually thought I had overslept because my living room was so sunny. But, by the time I left for work – it was cloudy, dreary and looked like rain was in store for the day. I just need some sun!! The forecast calls for clouds today, rain this evening, rain tomorrow, thunderstorms Friday and SUN on Saturday. I can hardly wait! Of course it’s supposed to get really warm, too.
So what’s been cookin’ in my low carb kitchen? Well, Monday night I decided to try something a little different. I came up with this super easy pepper steak recipe. I purchased very thinly sliced round steak at my grocery store, so this cut down on some of my prep work for this recipe. I used a little onion, a medium green pepper & celery. It turned out really good. My husband was so excited he said this was the best thing he’s eaten for a long time! He ate 2 helpings and finished my serving, too. Last night he was hoping there were leftovers for supper. He looked so sad when I told him that he had eaten it all the night before. Too funny!
I think tonight I’m going to try steaming asparagus. I didn’t used to care for asparagus at all but recently tried some freshly steamed and it was really, really good. I’ll let you know how it turns out.
Well, it’s time for me to go. I’ll catch back up with you tomorrow. Have a good afternoon & evening! Take care!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

recycling, cheesy chicken cauliflower casserole & a walking advertisement

Good afternoon! Hope you had a nice weekend! We did, despite the rainy weather. I think it has rained for about 2 weeks although we did have a little bit of sunshine on Saturday afternoon. During the drizzly morning rain on Saturday, my husband, a friend and I made a nice bench for our deck using recycled materials from our old pergola – it turned out really well. It looks like a nice spa bench and the cost was $0. I was then inspired to recycle some other materials to make flower pots. After all of the work we did on Saturday, by the evening we were beat! We ended up watching movies with my daughter, Lori.
The weekend first started out with a new recipe on Friday night. When Lori came home from school she said she wanted some type of a casserole for supper and would I make it if she went to the store to get any necessary ingredients. We discussed what we thought would be good – she wanted a hash brown type of a casserole but made with cauliflower or turnips. She decided turnips would be good but they didn’t have any at the store. So she brought home cauliflower instead, along with chicken, cheese, bacon bits & a few other ingredients. The recipe for cheesy chicken cauliflower casserole turned out really well! My son, Bradley, had said he wasn’t going to eat but quickly changed his mind when he saw the casserole. His reaction to his first bite was “Holy crap! That’s good! I’m eating!” My husband and daughter really enjoyed it, too. I think it turned out a lot better than what Lori had expected. She ended up eating leftovers for breakfast on Saturday morning and I think she also had some for lunch on Saturday.
On Sunday, I talked my husband into going to the grocery store with me. The first person my husband ran into was someone that used to work for him, years ago. Long story short, he started talking about how he’s been trying to lose weight and nothing seems to work, that he’s healthier than a horse but he keeps gaining weight even though he is eating lots of fruit & veggies. So my husband told him about his blog and our website. He said he’d check it out. It’s like my husband is a walking advertisement, especially after losing 65 pounds! When people have sent him for a while their first reaction is “wow, you are so skinny!”
Next we ran into a man we go to church with. He couldn’t wait to share a recipe with my husband – ground beef mixed with dry ranch dressing seasoning to make ranch burgers. No additional seasoning or condiments are needy with these tasty burgers. I can’t wait to try them. Then my husband shared “his” spicy pork loin recipe – it’s his recipe now since he made it for Mother’s Day : )
Last but not least, we ran into our neighbor in the check out line. He started talking to my husband out low carb and how he has a coworker that needed to lose weight - so he suggested she try low carb like one of his neighbors had. He said 2 days later our newspaper article came out and he shared it with his coworker. Now he also tells other people about low carb and our website.
It’s just great being able to help other people! Well, it’s time for me to go. I’ll be back with you tomorrow to share a recipe for something my husband said was the best thing he’s eaten in months. Have a good day & take care!

Friday, May 14, 2010

lunch boxes, very low carb [vlc] & pork patties

Good Friday afternoon! I am so glad it’s Friday & I’m really looking forward to having a weekend to get lots of yard work done. The forecast for this week has predicted rain & storms each day but so far I think we have only had a few sprinkles. I’m really hoping the rain stays away for the weekend!
I’m trying to go very low carb for a while - especially to make up for my weekend of splurges last week. During my work week, I bring my breakfast, lunch & a snack to work with me. I’m fortunate in that I have a kitchenette in my office, with a full size refrigerator. I carry a nice little lunch “box” that is big enough to hold about a 6 pack of canned drinks. It has several zippered pouches & the top even has a way to convert to a larger lunch box if needed. If I am going to be out of the office, I have freezer packs that I can throw in to keep my food cold. If you are low carbing, I suggest trying to take your lunch and investing in a decent lunch box.
So what’s in my lunch box? This week, since I have gone back to very low carb or VLC, I’ve had scrambled eggs cooked with sharp white Vermont cheddar cheese or boiled eggs, slices of cheese and shrimp. I buy a $5 package of cooked shrimp with the tails on, that is frozen. I usually have 2 servings per bag – which turns out to be a pretty good size serving. I simply thaw the shrimp in a bowl of water while I make my morning coffee. When it’s partially thawed, I put it in a plastic bag. The shrimp makes a nice, easy 0 net carb lunch. You can add homemade shrimp cocktail sauce – it has a few carbs but a lot less than the prepackaged stuff. For a snack, I’ve been having pork rinds or pork rinds with melted cheese on top. What’s not in my lunch box – peanut butter. I’ve been eating a LOT of low carb peanut butter and when I started adding up the carbs, I decided to eliminate it from my daily routine for a while. If you’re packing your lunch to work with you, what’s in your lunch box?
Last night for supper, my husband took a turn cooking in our low carb kitchen. He cooked pork patties – another great buy from our local supper store. A box of 8 patties for less than $6 – you can beat that. As a side, my husband had turnip greens – definitely not my favorite or anyone else in our house for that matter! Just ask my son Bradley – he definitely does not like turnip greens but he did give them a try. My daughter had her pork patties in a low carb tortilla and she had a side salad. I just stuck with cheese & pork patties, with a little mayo. A very nice meal indeed…
So what’s cooking my kitchen this weekend – I’m not too sure. Although I know that we have enough leftovers for tonite, so we’ll have a quick and easy meal. Well, it’s time for me to go. I hope you have a great weekend! Take care!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

my low carb coworkers & fried chicken strip salads

Good afternoon! Hope you’re having a great day so far. I’m glad it’s Thursday because I’m really looking forward to this weekend. We’ve had so much going on lately that I plan on getting lots of stuff done in yard. Hopefully the rain will hold off… the weatherman has been calling for rain with a possibility of very strong storms but so far I think we have only had a few sprinkles, lots of wind and way too much humidity!
So things are getting interesting at work with so many folks starting a low carb eating plan. One of the girls I work with has lost over 15 lbs. Another said she has lost over 2 inches on her waist and that her weight is just falling off & her 16 year old is dropping the weight off too, along with watching her carbs very closely. We discussed recipes, where to find low carb products, etc. I love being able to share info with them! After our discussion, I had a great low carb lunch – shrimp with shrimp cocktail sauce. Yummy!
And speaking of yummy, we had a great supper last night – not much cooking was going on in my low carb kitchen, thanks to my leftovers from the night before : ) We had salads made with prepackaged lettuce mix, cheese and leftover fried chicken strips, cut into bite size pieces and served cold. Of course we all like our salads a little different – I had Caesar dressing, my daughter had a combination of Caesar & Ranch dressing & my husband topped his salad with olive slices and bleu cheese dressing. Supper was ready within 10 minutes, thanks to my leftovers!
So what’s cooking in my kitchen tonight – I’m not quite sure. Maybe breakfast, maybe burgers… we’ll see. Time for me to go, have a great afternoon & evening. See you tomorrow! Take care!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

employee appreciation, freebies & chicken strips

Good afternoon! Hope you’re having a good day! We had a free lunch at work today – yeah! This week is “Employee Appreciation Week” and our hospital has something special planned for each day this week. Monday was free pancake day – yuck! Tuesday was free chips & soda day - so I had a free diet soda. Today we hit the jackpot – free outdoor grill. Hamburgers, hot dogs, chips, baked beans, sodas and lots of condiments. Several of my coworkers have recently started following a low carb plan. As I was standing in line they came by with their plates – filled with hamburgers, cheese & pickles – I cheered them on for their great low carb choices & no buns or bread or carbs! I’ve also been pleasantly surprised this week as several of my coworkers have asked for our website address. I wish them all the best of luck!
I spent about an hour in my low carb kitchen cooking last night. I made fried chicken strips. I started with frozen chicken strips, which I thawed about ½ way in a bowl of water, changing the water twice. Because the chicken was already cut into strips, this saved a lot of prep work & it didn’t take too long for the strips to thaw. I used 2 skillets for frying – this helped reduce my cooking time too – I cooked twice as many strips at one time. I think I cooked 3 to 4 pounds of chicken. Each of us had 3 to 4 strips, along with ranch dressing for dipping. Yummy!
After checking this morning to make sure I still had leftovers, I placed on note on the kitchen table asking my family to stay out of the chicken because we are having the leftovers for supper tonight. I purposefully, cooked twice as many as we could eat so that I would have leftovers for tonight. I am really hoping they stay out of them today. We’ll see!
By the way, I’ve shared this chicken recipe with many of my friends and coworkers & they all love the recipe. I hope you give it a try!
Well, I’ve gotta go now. Hope you have a great afternoon & evening! See you tomorrow. Take care!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

graduations, Mother's Day & the guys take a turn cooking...

Good afternoon!! Sorry I’ve haven’t blogged since last week… But, I’m back! We had a really busy week last week – working on our deck and in our yard. My daughter is graduating from high school in a few weeks, so we’ve been busy with prom, college stuff and graduation stuff. Not to mention the other graduations in our family & get togethers to celebrate graduations, Mother’s Day & birthdays.
So what’s been happening in my low carb kitchen lately? Well, this year for Mother’s Day, my sister-in-law, Missy, decided it would be nice for the guys to take control of the menu planning. Thank you, Missy!! My husband put 2 hot & spicy pork loins in the slow cooker on Saturday evening so that they would be ready for early Sunday afternoon. My brother-in-law, Craig, grilled burgers & hot dogs. My brother-in-law, Brad, made a pasta salad with just a little pasta & lots of veggies & olives. And my brother-in-law, Mark, made a broccoli cauliflower salad & he also made a green bean casserole, that he forgot to cook! I was surprised when he sent me a text message asking for the salad dressing recipe! The meal turned out really good. In fact, it was so good that we told the guys they could cook again for Father’s Day. The only thing is, we don’t get together with this side of the family for Father’s Day. Too bad!!
Yesterday, things were finally getting back to normal and I was glad to be back in my low carb kitchen. For dinner, I fixed sweet Italian turkey sausages – although these sausages (similar to brats) are labeled “sweet”, they only have 1 net carb per sausage. I sauted a few onions, some green pepper & mushrooms to use as a topping for the sausages. We also used horsey sauce, mustard and grated cheese for toppings. As a side I fixed green beans. The kids & my husband couldn’t wait to eat! Seriously, I had to tell them that we were waiting to eat until everyone was ready. Don’t you just love it when you cook a meal and everyone gets really excited about eating? I know I sure do!!
Well, it’s time for me to go. I’ll catch back up with you tomorrow. Have a great afternoon & evening! Take care!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

another beautiful day, bike rider & a quick meal made with leftovers

Good afternoon & what a lovely afternoon it is here in the Ohio River Valley!! The sun is shining, there’s a nice breeze and the humidity has dropped a bit. A perfect day to spend some time outdoors, go for a walk, or a bike ride. For the last couple of evenings, we’ve been enjoying the nice weather in the evening while sitting on the front porch. We’ve also been watching the cutest little boy – he’s probably 4 or 5 – as he rides his bike up and down the sidewalk across the street for hours at a time. He’s always by himself, but that doesn’t seem to bother him. He rides fast, jumps off his bike, does little tricks, makes motor noises with his mouth, etc. Two evenings ago, our neighbor gave him a handful of candy. So he’d ride, then stop for candy, then ride, then stop candy… He reminds me of my oldest son, Matt. He was just like that!
On to my low carb kitchen. Last night, using my leftover tangy slow cooker pork roast, I made 2 different meals for me, my husband & my daughter. First of all, my daughter wanted her pork roast in a wrap. I topped a low carb tortilla with shredded pork roast, shredded cheese & ranch dressing. She also had ½ of an apple, cut into slices, with the seeds removed. My husband and I had shredded pork roast topped with pickled banana peppers & salad dressing – he had bleu cheese, I had ranch. We also had creamy coleslaw and slices of cheddar cheese. A nice cool supper, with no cooking & everyone really enjoyed their meal. I also had a little snack of pork rinds with peanut butter – this may not sound very appetizing but it is a really good snack.
I’m not sure what I’m fixing tonight, but I’m sure I’ll be fixing enough food for 2 meals so that I will be able to fix a meal really quickly tomorrow night. Have a good afternoon & evening. See you tomorrow. Take care!!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

sunny skies, beautiful weather & slow cookers

Good afternoon! It’s a beautiful day here – sunny and pretty warm, too. Hopefully it will be sunny this weekend. We’re hoping to go watch a friend’s band play at a local barbecue festival on Saturday & I’m pretty sure they’re playing outside. It’s going to be another busy weekend – my niece is graduating from nursing school on Friday – I’m so proud of her! And Sunday is Mother’s Day [don’t forget!] – we normally have a family get together, which usually includes a cookout. But no one has made any plans, yet.
Speaking of plans, I planned ahead this week – my plan is to cook enough on 1 night for 2 meals. That way I will be cooking every other night – we’ll see how that goes:) Yesterday I made a tangy slow cooker pork roast. I love using my slow cooker! Since I was planning on putting the roast on prior to leaving for work and since I’m usually in a hurry in the morning, I decided to do my prep work the night before. I sliced my onion & put it in a plastic bag. Then I made the sauce & put both the sauce & the onions in the refrigerator. I also got my slow cooker out of the pantry and put it on the kitchen counter. Combining the ingredients into the slow cooker took me just a few minutes.
When we were just about ready to eat, I cooked some green beans – I like to drain the water from canned green beans, rinse them well, then cook with real butter and pepper. Yummy and very low carb. My husband added additional hot sauce to his pork roast. I added a mixture of sour cream & guacamole – 1 tablespoon of each – to my pork roast. My daughter fixed a low carb tortilla stuffed with pork roast & cheddar cheese.
Tonight we will be having something made with the leftover pork roast, but I’m not sure what. I’ll let you know tomorrow! In the meantime, have a good day & a good evening. Take care!

Monday, May 3, 2010

prom, pork chops & a quick meal idea

Good afternoon! What a beautiful afternoon it is! We had rain all weekend, including Friday. I think we had about 4 inches, but we are lucky compared to our neighbors in Tennessee – some areas had 12 inches of rain. Wow! That’s a lot of rain. I’m just glad to see the sun shining again and things drying up a bit. In spite of the rain, my daughter, Lori was able to have a great time at her senior prom on Saturday. I haven’t blogged in the last couple of days because I’ve been so busy trying to help her get ready. We spent several hours at the beauty salon on Saturday morning. Then had to find a nail salon that could airbrush her nail tips because she said they looked dirty. And speaking of nails – she said she took all of them off this morning because they were bugging her. But that’s okay – she had a great time before, during and after prom – so that’s what counts! After what we went through for prom, I can only imagine what it will be like when she gets married…
I have been doing some cooking in my low carb kitchen, so I do have a couple of recipes to share. The first recipe is for pork & chicken soy & Dale's seasoning marinade. The second recipe is for marinated baked pork chops, which uses the marinade/sauce recipe listed above. My husband said that these were the best pork chops he ever put in his mouth! The marinade includes only 4 ingredients – it’s really more of a sauce because you can just use it prior to baking – no need to marinade ahead of time. Anyway, I suggest giving it a try – its really good!
Need a quick low carb meal in a hurry? Yesterday instead of having a big breakfast at lunchtime, my husband and I opted for a quick low carb meal. We split an apple (about 5 net carbs per 1/2) and had assorted cheeses & lunch meat. Just be sure to check the net carbs on the lunch meat. For supper last night we had breakfast – thick sliced peppered bacon & eggs. Delicious.
Well, it’s time for me to go. Hope you have a great day and a great evening. See you tomorrow! Take care!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

a sunny day - yeah!! and something good to eat, too

Good afternoon! What a beautiful afternoon! It’s finally sunny here – yeah! But tomorrow it’s supposed to be cloudy again and then rain for the end of the week, this weekend & early next week. I’m going to be optimistic and hope that the weather forecast is wrong.
Yesterday was a really busy day for me. I ended up working late so my wonderful husband offered to cook supper. When I finally made it home, he was in the kitchen, just finishing our supper - crispy fried tilapia. This is one of his favorite things to cook. For a side dish, we each had a big salad, made with prepackaged salad mix & assorted toppings, including cheese. We use a lot of the prepackaged lettuce mixes – lettuce & spinach are both low in net carbs and you can create a salad in a matter of minutes. We each prefer different types of salads, so for most meals, we assemble various toppings, including different types of dressings & different types of cheeses.
Here’s an idea I’d like to share – sometimes breakfast is a challenge for me. I’m usually in a hurry in the morning, fixing my coffee & trying to get out of the house quickly in order to get to work. When we have cooler months, I tend to prefer eggs or hot milled flax seed cereal. But I like to mix things up, so my latest breakfast idea is a couple of spoonfuls of peanut butter & a couple of slices of white Vermont cheddar cheese. I absolutely love peanut butter & cheese – which is why I love this combination so much. I also take cheese for a snack to work.
Well, it’s time for me to go! I hope you have a nice afternoon & a wonderful evening. Take care & I’ll catch back up with you tomorrow!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

another rainy day & another pretty quick meal idea

Good afternoon! I hope you had a great weekend. On Saturday, I took my daughter, Lori, shopping for prom accessories – shoes, jewelry and makeup. We also had a practice run at the beauty shop so that she knew exactly how she wanted to get her hair fixed. On Saturday night, I went to watch my husband play at a concert. By Sunday I was so worn out from shopping & cleaning house, that I spent the afternoon on the couch, reading & napping. Our weather has been so rainy & gloomy that I really didn’t have the desire to do anything else. And it’s still raining & very gloomy… I need sunshine!
So yesterday I had to break down and go to the grocery store. I really don’t like to go to the grocery store on Monday after I get off work, but if I wanted to cook anything in my low carb kitchen, I figured I better get to the store. Sometimes when I’m not really in the mood to go to the store, I just grab the essentials and figure out what I’m going to do with them later. So my entrees for this week consist of rib eye steaks, pork chops, chicken and fish. I also picked up lots of eggs & cheese.
After going to the grocery store, I wanted to come up with a nice meal. I also needed something quick because my daughter & husband had waltz practice for prom – so I had a limited amount of time to get everything ready. I decided to fix steaks and a salad. The rib eye steaks were on a special – 6 prepackaged steaks for less than $10. Too good of a buy for me to pass up. They were very easy to fix, too. First of all, they were frozen, so I put them in cold water for 30 minutes. While they were thawing, I boiled 4 eggs for our salad. When the steaks were thawed, I added a little oil to 2 skillets, seasoned each steak with a little salt, pepper & garlic powder, and divided the steaks between the 2 skillets.
As the steaks were cooking, I prepared a simple salad with balsamic vinegar & olive oil dressing. When the eggs were hard cooked, I peeled and sliced them. Then I placed them in the freezer for a few minutes in order to cool them quickly. By the time the steaks were ready, the salad was ready, too. Each of us had a large serving of salad and a steak. Another yummy & quick meal without too much fuss or prep work.
Well, it’s time for me to go. I’ll be back tomorrow with another recipe or two, maybe even three… have a good evening and take care!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

birthdays, cravings for sweets & chicken with bacon & ranch

Good afternoon! Hope you’re doing well. I didn’t get a chance to blog yesterday. We had a busy day and then we went to my brother-in-law’s house to celebrate my niece, Brayden’s 7th birthday. She is so darn cute. My son Bradley spied her practicing with her presents – she would hold up a present and say “thank you so much”, then she’d put that present down & pick up another & practice saying “thank you” again. Brayden also met each female, whether they were old or young, at the door with a beaded necklace for them to wear during her party. When it came time for her to open presents, she was so excited and her thank-you practicing really paid off – she would thank everyone so nicely for their gift – even if she didn’t quite know what it was!
And yes, I will admit, I had a piece of birthday cake. It was about 3 or 4 bites of cake. I used to eat 2 pieces of cake but now just a sliver goes a long way. I haven’t had a piece of cake this year, I’m sure. Last year, I might have had a couple of pieces but I’m not sure – maybe I didn’t have any. That’s truly living a low carb lifestyle! But I don’t miss it, either. If I’m craving a dessert or a sweet, I’ll make one of the low carb dessert recipes I’ve posted or I’ll have a piece of low carb chocolate.
Okay, time to get back to recipes. My latest low carb concoction that I came up with, in my low carb kitchen, was inspired by an advertisement I saw for a chicken, bacon, ranch sandwich at a local fast food restaurant. My little twist was to add cheese because I love cheese and as you have probably noticed, I tend to use it a lot! I just cooked the chicken in a skillet, then added bacon & a little olive oil. When it was finished I added ranch dressing & cheese. Here’s the recipe if you’d like to give it a try.
Well, it’s time for me to go. Gotta run – hope you have a nice evening. Take care & see you tomorrow!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

busy as a bee, prom, tuxedos & menu planning

Good afternoon! Hope you’re doing well! Busy as a bee – that’s how I feel. Sometimes we just have so much to do… I guess that's because we’re getting ready for prom, graduation, graduation parties and college stuff. Speaking of prom, we met my daughter’s date for the prom last night and helped him pick out a tuxedo & accessories. He seems like a really nice guy!
When we finished taking care of the tuxedo, everyone was hungry and we only had about 45 minutes until waltz practice for the prom. I was really glad that I was able to whip up something in a hurry in my low carb kitchen! On Sunday, I made a bacon wrapped pork loin. When I picked out the pork loin, I made sure to get one that would be large enough for 2 meals. For supper last night, I decided to slice the remaining pork loin into about ½ to ¾ inch slices. Then I browned the meat until it was a deep golden brown in melted butter in a skillet. While the pork was cooking, I opened 2 cans of green beans, drained the liquid and cooked them on the stove with butter & pepper. The meal turned out really good and everyone had seconds, except me.
So tonight, I need to come up with a plan to make something that will work for a meal tonight & tomorrow. I’m thinking some kind of chicken but I’m not really sure. My husband will be in a hurry tonight, tomorrow & Thursday for band practice. Tomorrow we have my niece’s birthday get together & my daughter has church youth group. I think possibly on Friday, we might be able to enjoy a quiet evening at home without everyone having some place to be in a hurry.
Whew! The weekend – I can hardly wait. Although, at this time, we don’t have a very good weather forecast for later in the week and the weekend but as we know, that’s always subject to change. Well, it’s time for me to go. Have a great evening and I’ll catch back up with you tomorrow. Take care!

Monday, April 19, 2010

roadtrip snacks & bacon wrapped pork loin

What an awesome weekend! My husband & I took my daughter, Lori, to NKU to accept her scholarship and register for fall classes. I can’t believe our baby will be leaving home in August. I am going to miss her so very much! But I really like the school and the program she is getting into. We left late Friday afternoon – we were supposed to leave as soon as Lori came home from school, but we wanted to look at her yearbook first. She has been on the yearbook staff each year since she has been in high school & this year she was honored to be chosen as the editor. Her work is only just amazing! From the scheme to the layout & design – I don’t think it could be any better!
We stopped on our way out of town to pick up some low carb treats – diet drinks, water, peanuts, cheddar cheese sticks and string cheese. Oh, and of course, chocolate. Low carb chocolate treats! We had plain milk chocolate bars, caramel pecan clusters & chocolate covered toffee.
Then we munched on low carb snacks, while driving in the pouring rain for 3 & ½ hours. By the time we ended up in Cincinnati, the rain had stopped. We stayed in the middle of downtown & watched as the kids dressed for prom walked by. They looked so cute. We ended up getting a bite to eat at the hotel and then retired for the night.
The next morning we had to be at the college early, so we stopped at a Subway for a quick breakfast – bacon, eggs & cheese. Lunch was served at the college in an Italian restaurant. When I found out they were having an Italian lunch, I thought that we’d be having pasta. I was pleasantly surprised when I realized we’d have a nice low carb selection – chicken breast, steamed veggies & salads. It was a really good lunch.
Yesterday, I was glad to be back in my low carb kitchen! For lunch we had what I call a bacon and egg skillet – chopped bacon, fried with eggs and cream cheese – yummy! About mid afternoon, while we were working in the yard, I cooked a bacon wrapped pork loin. I only spent a few minutes in the kitchen, prepping and browning the pork loin – then into the oven it went so that when we were ready for supper, it was ready, too. We also had slices of Vermont sharp white cheddar cheese. A nice, simple, low carb meal without a lot of fuss. Actually, I think we were too tired to eat anything else after spending so much time working in the yard and cleaning house!
Well, it’s time for me to go. I hope you had a nice weekend & a good Monday, too. See you tomorrow! Take care!

Friday, April 16, 2010

festivals and leftovers...

Good afternoon! What a week… I am so ready for the weekend – how about you? So far, we’re still having beautiful weather and I’m so glad. We’re leaving this afternoon to take my daughter to Northern Kentucky University for a visit. Tomorrow she will attend a welcoming reception with the honors fellows, be honored with a scholarship and register for classes. I am so proud of her! When we’re finished tomorrow, we’ll hurry back home so that we can go to our annual Tri-Fest. Lots of fun, food, music, games, rides, etc. One of my favorite parts of the festival is seeing lots of friends and checking out the entertainment.
I also get a little break from my low carb kitchen. Instead of cooking, we’ll be finding lots of low carb foods to enjoy. I’m sure my husband will get his favorite – polish sausage with a few peppers & onions topped with mustard and hold the bun. Not exactly my favorite! I like the grilled pork chops or the grilled ribeye sandwiches, minus the bun, of course. And the big, juicy burgers – don’t forget to hold the bun. It seems to me they have some kind of fried cheese or jalapenos stuffed with cheese – again, not too bad for the carb count. But there’s lots of other items, too. Like chicken and tenderloins. Okay, I just realized I haven’t had lunch yet! All this talk about food is making me hungry!
One more thing I wanted to talk about today is leftovers. Don’t forget to use your leftovers this week for a quick meal in a hurry. We’ve had leftovers several times this week. One thing we like to do is have a big salad and pull all of the leftovers out of the refrigerator. Then we decide who wants what, warm them up, if needed, and we’ve got a nice, quick meal in a matter of minutes. I’m just saying, again, don’t forget to use your leftovers!
Well it’s time for me to go. I hope you have a great evening and a wonderful weekend! Take care!

festivals and leftovers...

Good afternoon! What a week… I am so ready for the weekend – how about you? So far, we’re still having beautiful weather and I’m so glad. We’re leaving this afternoon to take my daughter to Northern Kentucky University for a visit. Tomorrow she will attend a welcoming reception with the honors fellows, be honored with a scholarship and register for classes. I am so proud of her! When we’re finished tomorrow, we’ll hurry back home so that we can go to our annual Tri-Fest. Lots of fun, food, music, games, rides, etc. One of my favorite parts of the festival is seeing lots of friends and checking out the entertainment.
I also get a little break from my low carb kitchen. Instead of cooking, we’ll be finding lots of low carb foods to enjoy. I’m sure my husband will get his favorite – polish sausage with a few peppers & onions topped with mustard and hold the bun. Not exactly my favorite! I like the grilled pork chops or the grilled ribeye sandwiches, minus the bun, of course. And the big, juicy burgers – don’t forget to hold the bun. It seems to me they have some kind of fried cheese or jalapenos stuffed with cheese – again, not too bad for the carb count. But there’s lots of other items, too. Like chicken and tenderloins. Okay, I just realized I haven’t had lunch yet! All this talk about food is making me hungry!
One more thing I wanted to talk about today is leftovers. Don’t forget to use your leftovers this week for a quick meal in a hurry. We’ve had leftovers several times this week. One thing we like to do is have a big salad and pull out the leftovers out of the refrigerator. Then we decide who wants what, warm them up, if needed, and we’ve got a nice, quick meal in a matter of minutes. I’m just saying, again, don’t forget to use your leftovers!
Well it’s time for me to go. I hope you have a great evening and a wonderful weekend! Take care!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

smothered chicken strips & smoked fish spread

Oh what a beautiful morning, oh what a beautiful day… another lovely day here in the Ohio River valley. They’re also forecasting record-breaking heat. Don’t get me wrong, I’m definitely not complaining. I’m ready for warm weather and all the fun that comes along with it. How about you?
With all the fun and extra activities that seem to come hand in hand with warmer weather, I’d like to take a minute to talk about leftovers – again! I know some people say they won’t even touch leftovers but there are so many ways they can be used. If you have the time to cook, why not double the recipe to use later in the week?
Last night, in my low carb kitchen, I made smothered chicken strips. This recipe uses fried chicken strips. If I would have thought about it earlier in the week, I would have made a double batch of fried chicken strips so that we could have had 2 meals. Unfortunately I didn’t think about that & I didn’t have time to make a double batch last night. Basically, it’s chicken strips topped with mushrooms sautéed in butter & smothered with your favorite cheese. The hospital I used to work in served this dish about once a month & we enjoyed it so much, that I was inspired to create my own version. My family loved it!
I was also inspired to create another recipe - smoked fish spread - from an appetizer that’s served at our favorite seafood restaurant in Florida. We have been going to this little restaurant for over 25 years. It’s such a cute little place – at Ponce Inlet, just south of Daytona Beach. It has a great view of the water. We went there on spring break and got to watch the funniest little ducks that would dive underwater and not come back up for what seemed like a very long time. Anyway, we love this restaurant and we always have the smoked fish spread while we watch the inlet for wildlife & enjoy each other's company. Good times!!
Well, it’s time for me to go. I hope you enjoy the rest of the day! Have a great evening and I’ll see you back here tomorrow! Take care.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

herb baked salmon & salads

Good afternoon! Hope all is well with you this afternoon! It’s another beautiful day here in the Ohio River valley – sunny, warm, spring flowers sprouting everywhere. I hope you're enjoying beautiful spring weather, too.
Last night, we ended up having a late dinner due to my daughter and husband attending waltz practice at school. Our high school prom starts out with students waltzing with their parents, while their families are allowed to watch. It’s a pretty cool tradition. In addition to getting to see all of the kids in the prom attire, we get to see all of the decorations and everything setup for the prom. We also take lots of pictures & we bring home a lot of memories, too. Anyway, in order to waltz, you have to attend practice twice a week for 3 weeks. I think my husband is having a little bit of a problem with last night’s lesson, so I’m guessing they’ll be doing a little practicing tonite.
Okay, let’s get down to my newest recipes. While my husband & daughter were gone to practice last night, the first recipe I whipped up in my low carb kitchen was herb baked salmon. This recipe takes about 5 minutes of prep work, 1 hour or so to marinate & 35 to 45 minutes to bake. It was absolutely delicious! I left the skin on the bottom of the salmon until after baking – the fish was so tender the skin peeled off very easily. By the next time I make this recipe, maybe I will be able to cook the fish on my new grill.
Along with our salmon, we had a nice fresh spinach salad topped with feta cheese & balsamic vinegar & olive oil. The two new recipes went very well together and made an excellent meal. My husband & daughter both had dessert, too – low carb frozen fudgsicle – yummy! Only 3 net carbs.
Since my daughter is not a big fan of fish, even though she did try the salmon, I made something special for her. A fried chicken salad made with my fried chicken parmesan recipe. I only cooked one chicken breast using less olive oil & parmesan cheese than what the recipe calls for & I also cut it into large bite size pieces. The chicken cooked quicker than it would have if cut into strips and it was easier to eat in a salad. I don’t know about you but I don’t really care to have to cut my salad into bite size pieces in order to eat it. I placed the chicken on a bed of fresh spinach leaves topped with feta & ranch dressing. She loved it!
I’m not sure what I’ll be making tonight but I hope my family likes whatever I decide to whip up as much as they like what we had last night. I just love when we’re sitting down to eat and I hear the nice compliments and the oooo’s and ahhh’s. Hopefully, my oldest son, Matt will be joining us tonight for dinner. Well, it's time for me to go. I hope you have a nice evening! See you tomorrow! Take care!

Monday, April 12, 2010

nice weather & fast food

Good afternoon! What a beautiful spring day! It’s so nice – warm & sunny – and no rain forcasted for a good while. I can’t wait to spend some time this evening sitting outside! Hope you had a great weekend and a good Monday, too!
Since the weather is getting warmer and most of us tend to be pretty busy as the weather warms, I wanted to share with you some things I do for a quick meal. Like yesterday… as I was leaving church, my husband asked me to stop & pick up bacon & eggs for lunch. (We drive separately because he plays music for most of our services & by the time he comes home from the third service, I have normally lunch ready.) We planned on working in the yard all afternoon so I decided it would be nice just to stop on my way home and pick up a quick lunch. Normally when I do this on Sunday, I stop at a restaurant that mainly serves a buffet. I normally fill 3 to-go containers with a variety of low carb items like eggs, bacon, sausage links, sausage patties, cheese and omelets. I usually throw in a few strawberries and some melon, too.
I guess everyone had the same idea yesterday because they didn’t have much of a selection left of breakfast type items. Maybe it’s because they’re running a special – if you bring in your Sunday church bulletin, they’ll give you 10% off of your meal plus they keep a count of all of the church bulletins. Whichever church has the most bulletins at the end of the month – they’ll send the pastor/minister/priest 2 free meal tickets. Anyway, due to the limited selection, I ended up with chopped steak patties, steak, fish on a bed of spinach, smoked sausage, Mongolian beef & broccoli, baked chicken & a few other items including strawberries.
The nice thing I have found about doing this is that we have enough food for 2 meals for the 4 of us in our family. In fact, I don’t think all of the food was eaten yesterday. Another nice thing about getting food to-go from a buffet is that I think it is easier to make sure you stick to your low carb items. Yes, you may choose a few items that might have a few more carbs than usual, like the Mongolian beef & broccoli that I picked up yesterday, but you are not tempted by rolls brought to your table or by dessert, when you’re watching other people pile desserts on a plate. We also tend to eat a whole lot less if we simply bring the food home.
Here are a couple of additional ideas for food to-go – our local Cracker Barrel has a lot of different low carb meals, including at least 4 different low carb breakfast meals. You can check out their menu on-line, call & place your order and it will be ready when you get there. We also have a nice little diner that makes a great western style omelet – loaded with several meats, a little bit of onion & green pepper and stuffed with cheese. Another idea – most places that serve chicken have a roasted or baked chicken. They usually have a chicken meal with 2 sides & a roll. We ask for a double serving of green beans and hold the rolls. Last but not least – have a favorite fast food burger restaurant? How about ordering a couple of breakfast sandwiches and removing the biscuit? Or ordering your favorite burger and removing the bun or replacing the bun with low carb bread?
There are so many low carb items available - you just have to think about your options. After awhile this all becomes a habit. Sometimes people will tell me it is so hard to eat low carb but I totally disagree with that. It just requires a little thought. And I can eat at most restaurants and be able to easily find something low carb to eat on their menu.
I hope I’ve given you some “food for thought”. Have a good afternoon & evening! Take care!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

yard work & quick recipes using leftovers

Good Sunday morning! What a beautiful day - sunny with a high of 76 degrees. We did a lot of yard work in our front yard yesterday & today we'll be working in our back yard - it's great to be outside when the weather is so nice. Although I worked so hard yesterday that I can hardly move today, but that's okay too. It feels good to have a nice workout.
Yesterday, I whipped up something really good for my husband for lunch, in my low carb kitchen. As I have said before, I like cooking a little extra so that there are leftovers to use later in the week. Using my leftovers from the very tender steaks recipe that I made earlier in the week, I made bleu cheese steak wraps. The wraps are assembled quickly using all premade ingredients. I'll soon be adding a category on the web page for wraps, since I have so many recipes to share.
And for supper, we had leftovers again. We had baked country style boneless [pork] ribs - I sliced the ribs into thin pieces and served them cold with Chinese hot chili sauce. This sauce contains only 1 net carb per teaspoon. I can't imagine that you would want to use more than 1 teaspoon per serving because this stuff is really hot. But the flavor is delicious. Be sure to serve the sauce on the side, if you try it! We also had freshly shredded cabbage topped with sweet mayo dressing. This was the perfect easy supper to enjoy after working so hard in the yard all day.
Well it's time for me to get busy ~ laundry, church, lunch & then yard work. I hope you have a great day!! I'll see you tomorrow. Take care!

Friday, April 9, 2010

country style ribs, barbeque sauce & hot dogs

Good afternoon! If you live in my area - hasn't today been a gorgeous spring day? If you don't live in my area - I hope you've had nice weather, too! Isn't it strange - during the fall & winter it seems we tend to anticipate and look forward to cooler weather & sometimes even snow. But as soon as spring turns the corner, we tend to get so excited about sunny, warmer days... well at least that's how I am.
Speaking of warmer days, I'm going to have to get a new grill & I'm really looking forward to it! But you don't have to have a grill to cook up something that you might traditionally grill. Last night I made baked country style boneless [pork] ribs. These ribs are cooked in the oven and although I cooked them for almost 2 hours, it only took about 10 minutes to prep, preheat the oven and begin cooking. You could also grill the ribs.
I've been doing some research on making a low carb barbeque sauce and after reading so many different types of recipes and suggestions - I decided to try a sauce based on what my mother used to make. She used ketchup, mustard & worchestershire sauce. I decided to use liquid smoke in place of the worchestershire sauce because it has, in my opinion, too many carbs - 1 per teaspoon. Whereas liquid smoke has 0 per teaspoon. I also added some additional spices - here's the link to the mild barbeque sauce, if you'd like to give it a try.
Speaking of grilling, I think for supper this evening were gonna have something else you might like to grill but you can also cook them quickly on the stove. Cheese hot dogs, need I say more? The brand I buy contains less than 1 net carb per dog - not too bad. You can also fry them in a skillet with a bit of olive oil or butter - slice them first, straight down the middle - then fry on the cut side first. We like to put our hot dogs on a plate and top with lots of low carb toppings, including reduced sugar ketchup, mustard, mayonaisse, onion, cheese and whatever else you might be in the mood for.
Last but not least - if you're having a late night craving for something crunchy and salty - how about trying one of my son, Bradley's, favorite low carb snacks? Pork rinds dipped in low carb peanut butter. I've been buying natural peanut butter that contains only 4 net carbs per tablespoon. Usually the natural peanut butter is a little runny - so it's perfect for dipping. Here's a couple of the brands I purchase.

It's funny, when Bradley has friends over he'll get some out to snack on. Then he'll ask if they want some & "make" them try it. So far, they've all really liked his snack.
Well I hope you have a wonderful evening. It's time for me to head to my low carb kitchen & then have a little family time. See you tomorrow. Take care!!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

fried pickles, shrimp salad & wraps

Good afternoon! How are you doing today? I hope well! I’m ready for some more warm spring weather. We had storms last night and today it’s been pretty cloudy this morning. The sun has been peaking out a bit this afternoon but the wind is pretty brisk – it’s much cooler. Tomorrow we’re in for a very sunny, much warmer day. Yeah! And our weekend forecast is even better – it looks like we’ll be working in the yard!
I can’t wait to tell you about what I whipped up in my low carb kitchen last night. My first recipe is fried dill pickles. Many of our local restaurants serve this yummy appetizer. Anytime we have any kind of outdoor activities with food booths, at least a couple of booths feature fried dill pickles. I decided a few weeks ago to come up with my own low carb version. I frequently use grated parmesan cheese in place of breading for frying fish & chicken. So, I decided I should be able to use parmesan cheese as a breading. It worked out just great! I’m going to start trying it with other fried appetizers and vegetables, too. I’ll add the recipes as soon as I try them out. One tip – be sure to use the kind of grated parmesan that comes in a jar – I don’t think freshly grated parmesan would work or would work as well.
My next recipe is dilled shrimp salad. I love seafood salad but most of the time, imitation crab meat is used and most of it, that I have seen, is fairly high in net carbs. So I decided to substitute the imitation crab meat with shrimp. For an extra fresh kick of flavor – I added dried dill weed. I think the result is better than regular seafood salad.
You can serve this salad by itself, on a bed of lettuce, or on a low carb sandwich. How did I serve it? I made dilled shrimp salad wraps. I highly recommend giving them a try. I frequently use low carb tortillas for wraps – I like them a lot better than some of the low carb wrap products that are in our local grocery store. Some of the wraps tend to be pretty grainy or have a slightly weird taste. So I buy low carb tortillas that have almost the exact same texture as flour tortillas.
What will I whip up next? Who knows? Not even me! It depends on what we’re in the mood for tonight but I guarantee it will be something delicious! I can’t wait to get back in the kitchen tonight! I hope you have a good evening! Take care!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

celebrating our anniversary with family & the letter S

Good afternoon, hope you’re doing well & having a great day. If you read my blog yesterday, you might remember that my husband and I were celebrating our 31st wedding anniversary. He had asked if I wanted to go out for dinner. After thinking about it, I decided I really just wanted to cook and celebrate at home with my husband and kids. After being gone for spring break & not seeing my son, Bradley, for over 2 weeks, I just couldn’t wait to get back in the kitchen! I have all kinds of new recipes that I can’t wait to try!
So, since we were eating at home, I wanted to make sure I came up with a very nice, restaurant quality meal. Here’s what I decided on whipping up in my low carb kitchen - a simple fresh spinach salad, shrimp with cocktail sauce, tender broiled steak and, for dessert – fresh strawberries with a whipped cream sauce. The meal was delicious !
One of my husband’s favorite things to eat is steak, so that’s why I decided on as a main course. Although, I must admit I didn’t think I had ever made a very tender steak – so I did a little research on how to cook a tender steak. I found the funniest web site that had an acticle called something like “cooking a hunk-of-cheap meat into a great steak” or something similar! It even had pictures. I won’t go into all of the details, but the idea was to completely cover the steak with salt and let it sit for 15 minutes to 1 hour prior to cooking. You then wash the steak well & pat dry before cooking. I had my doubts, but I gave it a try…
While the steak was ‘marinating in salt’, I prepared our salad ingredients, shrimp & strawberry dessert. I wanted to make a large salad but since my family is little picky in regards to toppings & dressings – we just each made our own salad. Ingredients included fresh spinach leaves, olives, feta cheese, montery jack cheese, mushrooms and ranch or chunky bleu cheese dressing. I bought one of those nifty little frozen shrimp ring packages from the grocery store – so all I had to do was slightly thaw the shrimp, throw away the cocktail sauce and make my shrimp cocktail sauce recipe since the packaged stuff is loaded with carbs!
While the shrimp thawed, I worked on my dessert – first I placed a cup of heavy whipping cream in the freezer to get it really cold. Next, I washed and sliced my strawberries into halves. After cleaning the strawberries, I prepared my whipping cream sauce in a small mixing bowl . My whipping cream didn’t develop “heavy peaks” but that was okay with me, I just wanted a cream sauce. If you want to try the recipe and you’d like the “heavy peak” consistency, I would suggest trying to add a little cream of tartar. That should help somewhat.
Our meal turned out really nice. The steaks were absolutely the best I have ever made and they were very, very tender. Since the salads were made to our individual preferences – they were great, too. The cocktail sauce was just right – my daughter even liked it! And the strawberry dessert was very good – although we were so full from our meal we waited until later in the evening to enjoy it. Best of all, it was great just being able to spend some time together with our family!
Speaking of spending time with family – I was just about heart broken last night when I signed my daughter’s housing application for college, next year. I admit I shed a few tears and my daughter asked why I was upset – I told her it was because I was signing papers for her to live somewhere other than with me and that really made me sad! Well, I can’t wait to spend another evening with my family tonight! I have a couple of new recipes to try out on them. I hope you have a great evening, too! See you tomorrow!
PS - funny thing, after typing my blog, I realized all of our meal last evening consisted of foods that started with the letter S!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

spring days, fresh spinach & spicy deviled eggs

Good day! I hope you’ve had a great day so far! I think we have had the most perfect spring weather today – it’s very sunny, fairly warm for this time of year and the wind is pretty strong. Actually, our area is under a high wind advisory and a fire advisory for the day. Even with the advisories, it is absolutely wonderful outside today. Just don’t try to burn anything outdoors, if you are in our area! And you should be prepared for strong spring storms tomorrow. I hope it’s nice in your area today, too!
In my low carb kitchen, we’ve been whipping up a few new recipes. One of my new favorites is a recipe my husband developed cooked fresh spinach. It’s made with spinach, bacon, onion & garlic. I really think my husband could live on bacon alone. He also loves to cook with it, too. We’ve been using fresh spinach for most of our salads lately. One of the reasons I’ve been using it so much is because a 9 oz bag contains only 4 net carbs. Another reason – spinach is really, really good for you. And fresh spinach really doesn’t taste anything like the canned spinach my mother used to make – yuck! Sorry, Mom!! Spinach is also very versatile – in addition to salads, you can use it on a low carb sandwich, in low carb wraps or you could try this delectable recipe for creamed spinach, which I had previously blogged about. Still, it deserves mentioning again because it is absolutely wonderful!
So, do you still have leftover boiled eggs from Easter? Or are you looking for a spicy recipe for deviled eggs? Either way, I hope you’ll give this recipe for spicy deviled eggs a try – it’s made with my new horsey sauce recipe. You can make this recipe ahead of time for your spring & summer get togethers – barbecues, picnics, etc. As I said yesterday, I just love horseradish, although I used to not be a big fan of it. Isn’t it funny how your taste buds change? Anyway, I’ve been thinking of all kinds of different ways to spice things up! Stay tuned for some more spicy recipes to be posted later!
I hope you have a nice evening. I’m posting a little earlier than usual today because tonight I will be celebrating my 31st wedding anniversary with my husband. Happy anniversary, honey!

Monday, April 5, 2010

starfish, sand dollars & spring break

Good afternoon! Sorry for the long break from blogging. We just returned from our little spring break vacation on Saturday. Although I had the best intentions of blogging and adding recipes while on vacation, I just couldn’t tear myself away from all the pool time and beach time! Speaking of beach time, I was so excited to find a starfish & an almost-whole sand dollar. We had absolutely beautiful weather, although the ocean temperature was only estimated at about 69 degrees. But we braved the chilly water the last day we were there – we lasted for about 2 minutes!
Last night, our sons’ band returned from their tour and we were so glad to have everyone back at home again. I’m so proud of them. This was what they are considering to be their first successful tour – they were able to eat well, enjoy themselves and return with money in their pockets. Yeah!!
Well, on my little break from my low carb kitchen, I must admit I didn’t do any cooking all the while I was gone! Not cooking was pretty strange, considering how much I tend to cook now days. My breakfast consisted of a protein shake every morning because I had to get down to the pool quickly in order to reserve our poolside table & chairs. If you are ever in a hurry and need a quick breakfast or snack, I highly recommend protein shakes. You can find protein shake mixes or protein shakes at many grocery stores, including your local Walmart. Also, just a reminder, don’t forget to check the net carb count – some may be loaded with lots of carbs. I have a shaker type of container that I use in order to mix a shake thoroughly. I like to use a vanilla shake mix with coffee and ice – then shake (or stir well). You can also whip up all kinds of different varieties like chocolate cream shake, orange dream shake, & root beer shake.
While we were on vacation, our lunch usually consisted of a couple of slices of deli meat, some cheese, and sometimes a small piece of fruit. I like to roll slices of deli meat by themselves or roll a slice of deli meat around a slice of cheese. If you like horseradish, you might want to try serving slices of deli meat & cheese with my new horsey sauce recipe. You can also serve the horsey sauce on burgers, with steak, pork loin or anything else you’d like to add a little kick to. How about a spicey egg salad made with the horsey sauce? Actually, I could eat this sauce on just about anything!
Well, I hope you’ve had a good day and continue to have a good evening. I’m glad to be back sharing my recipes and little stories with you! See you tomorrow! Take care!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Mediterranean omelets and knife & fork burgers

Rain, rain, go away, come back some other day! Like the day after I leave for spring break!!! No, I don't wish the dreary rain on anyone else... I'm going to have to get busy packing at some point but I'd rather watch TV and think about what I'm going to do on our break...
Tonight my husband spent a good bit of time in our low carb kitchen. He fixed a really nice meal. Mediterranean style omelets with 2 cheeses, spinach & chopped green onion - my omelet was yummy. For a side, we split a nice crispy apple, cut into slices. I absolutely love sour apples especially when they're sprinkled with salt and topped with the new peanut butter I've been buying. This was a great meal that would be perfect for any meal.
Speaking of my husband, one of his favorite things to eat is burgers. He calls his burgers "smothered burgers" but I heard another term for them on the Rachel Ray Show the other day - knife & fork burgers. I like that name! She explained that her mother used to make them & that's what she called them. So what's a smothered burger or a knife & fork burger? Burgers with no bun or bread, piled so thick with low carb toppings that you have to eat them with a knife & fork. Delicious!
Another thing my husband made this week was something a little special for my daughter. When our kids were much younger, he used to make roast beef sandwiches smothered with melted cheddar cheese. He says is secret is cooking the roast beef in butter & I agree with him on that - they are absolutely great even without the bread.
So I'll leave you with this thought - have you ever considered your favorite sandwich & thought about coming up with a low carb version? You could use low carb bread, or 1 slice of low carb bread for an open-faced sandwich, or no bread. We do this often with all kinds of sandwiches - I prefer no bread or sometimes 1 slice of low carb bread cut in half. By eating this way you kind of wean yourself off of the bread rollercoaster and you appreciate the toppings much more. The meat & cheese are usually no carb or very low carb and there are a lot of toppings that are also no carb or very low carb.
I'll be posting the recipes later for the omelets & the roast beef "sandwiches". Time for me to go. Hope you have a nice evening! Take care!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Easter eggs, egg recipes & scotch eggs

Good evening! I certainly hope that you’ve had a great day so far! The weather here is so much better today. The day started out very overcast, chilly & extremely foggy. Now it’s a beautiful, sunny day. Welcome Spring!
Well, let’s get down to business – I can’t wait to tell you what I made yesterday in my low carb kitchen. My husband was so darn excited, he couldn’t hardly contain himself!
First of all, do you ever wonder how in the world you could eat all of the Easter eggs you end up fixing? When our kids were growing up we explained to them that we would dye Easter eggs and leave the door open so that the Easter Bunny could come inside, get in our refrigerator and take the eggs outside to hide them. We told them that we were helping him out by providing our own eggs and also that he would like to see all the eggs we dyed. Speaking of all the eggs we dyed, we always let each of our kids dye at least 1 dozen eggs and then some more, too. Normally we dye, 3 to 4 dozen eggs. Yes, that may be overdoing it, but our kids, including us adults, are pretty artsy and we really enjoy the “artwork” we create.
The eggs were normally outside for just a few minutes, so we’d put them back in the refrigerator. Then we’d try to eat them all up before we ended up throwing a good majority of them away later in the week. Prior to this year, we’ve mostly used the eggs for egg salad and deviled eggs. But this year I’ve been on a quest to come up with some ways to use all the eggs. So whether or not you dye eggs or even celebrate Easter, I’m determined to share with you some nice recipes for boiled eggs. The first recipe I posted a couple of weeks ago: jalapeno-spiced egg salad for 1. You can double or triple this recipe for more servings.
My next recipe is what I made for supper last night and my husband was so excited! So here’s my new recipe creation - scotch eggs. My husband has begged and begged for me to try to come up with a low carb version of this recipe. So I gave it a shot and the eggs turned out really good – just ask my husband and daughter! So, you may be wondering what in the world is a scotch egg. Well, it’s a hard boiled egg, that is basically wrapped with ground breakfast sausage and baked. I also made a Dijon cream sauce for dipping, that was really good – especially with a few drops of hot sauce. So if you’re looking to try something a little different I would definitely suggest scotch eggs. If you have big plans for the Easter holiday, you could make these eggs ahead of time and warm them prior to serving. They would be great for breakfast or as an additional side dish for a meal.
Stay tuned for more recipes tomorrow. Time for me to get ready to watch American Idol - we can’t wait to see what’s in store this week. I’ll be back tomorrow. Have a good evening & take care!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Spring, Easter traditions & ham

Good evening! Hope you had a great weekend! I’m so glad that spring is finally here as is the lovely spring rain. I think it’s been raining for 2 days, but it’s supposed to be sunny tomorrow. With the new season comes a whole new list of recipes that I’d like to share with everyone.
Since Spring is here it also means that Easter is just around the corner, too. I’m really looking forward to Easter although my [immediate] family won’t be getting together for the holiday. I think maybe we’ll have our own little holiday celebration the weekend after Easter. We’re not getting together this year because my sons’ band is on tour and they won’t be getting home until late in the evening on Easter. But of course, they’ll still get an Easter basket!
When I was a child, Easter was always a big celebration for our family. My mother normally did a lot of sewing of Easter dresses for me & my 2 sisters. I remember the last Easter dress my mother made for me – I was 16 or 17 and the material was a light blue fabric with a tiny raised flower design. The dress was a sun dress and she also made a very short jacket to go with it, which was almost sleeveless. On the Saturday night before Easter we got about a foot of snow! I still have the picture of my mother & I in our new dresses and sandals, standing in the snow.
Speaking of my mother, the first “Easter” recipe I’m going to share with you, I learned from her. Easy baked ham marinated with diet cola. Although my mother always used a regular cola for marinating. It’s very easy and I always get a lot of compliments on the recipe. Whenever someone asks for my recipe, they always look at me funny when I tell them what it is but it is very, very good. I like to serve this ham for Easter and I also like to make this for our New Years Eve party, whenever we get the chance to have one.
Another recipe I’d like to share with you today is strawberries & cream jello dessert. We used to grow strawberries in our backyard when I was very young. My mother always said they had to get rid of them because the kids wouldn’t stay out of them – we’d eat them straight from the plant. I think strawberries or just about any other kind of berries are my favorite fruit, they're also one of the most low carb fruits. This recipe is made from jello, strawberries & heavy cream.
I hope you add these recipes to your recipe collection. Stayed tuned for some more recipes tomorrow. Hope you have a nice evening! Take care!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

busy, quick & easy

Good evening! I don't know about your household, but sometimes mine just seems pretty darn hectic. My sons are getting ready to go on a tour with their band, so they've been trying to practice as much as possible. One of the band members just flew in 2 days ago, they leave Friday so they need to practice, practice, practice. My youngest son lives at home, he always gets a little nervous before they leave. But I think the rest of the band does, too. So they're trying to do a bunch of different things at once - including building a new bench seat for their van & attaching regulation seatbelts.
And then there's my daughter, Lori - she's a senior. Tonight she went with one of her friends to look at prom dresses and to go out for dinner. She's also been applying for scholarships & talking with colleges. She's been studying a lot, too. And planning for spring break & working on a fund raiser - which reminds me, why do they always have to do that darn cookie dough fund raiser at schools? I hate to even ask anyone to by that sugar laden stuff! Oh, but wait they have sugar-free chocolate chip cookie dough this year... that even makes it worse - it's labeled as "sugar-free" but I guarantee it's not low carb.
So, anyway, I'm sure you have times that you're really busy, too, and the quicker you can put together a meal the better. Eating low carb doesn't mean you have to cook a big meat meal every night. In fact, with the warmer months just right around the corner, we tend to eat a lot of meals that are quick and easy. Some require no cooking - like tonight's meal. My husband picked it up on his way home. Peppered turkey breast, cheddar cheese, slaw mix, pork rinds, apples and blueberries - just so that we could have a variety and because he wasn't sure who might be here for supper. So he and I both had peppered turkey breast, cheddar cheese, a quick slaw made from slaw mix, salt & mayo and some pork rinds. Less than 5 net carbs for each of our meals. Blueberries are low carb, too, and if we eat an apple we normally share a smaller one, so that's only about 5 to 6 net carbs per serving.
So, in summary, eating low carb can be quick, easy and require practically no preperation. I hope this gets you to thinking about your preferences and some quick and easy low carb meals that will suit your family.
Now that we've finished our supper, all band mates have left for a bit and my daughter is at church, it's time for a little rest, relaxation and TV watching with my husband. Hope you have a good evening! Take care!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

the boys are back in town

So happy tonight:) My sons' band, Be My Doppelganger, is going on tour on Friday. Their drummer moved about 2 months ago - from Evansville, Indiana to Reno, Nevada. We sure have missed him! He flew in yesterday so that they could all practice for a couple of days before heading out on their 2 week tour.
So they all met here this afternoon to get in some practice time. They also brought my favorite daughter-in-law with them. Okay, she's my only daughter-in-law and I love hanging out with her. Also, Dave from St. Louis is here - he's going on tour with the boys.
We love it when the boys come over to practice. I call them boys although the youngest is 21! I really enjoy hanging out and visiting with them and I love to cook for them, too. Normally, in my low carb kitchen, I fix something ahead of time - usually one of their favorites like spicy pork loin - it's cooked in a slow cooker with jalapenos. Between the 4 of them, they can devour a 4 to 5 lb pork loin in a matter of a couple of hours.
But, I didn't plan ahead today, so instead I made easy baked pork loin, sauerkraut, a tossed spinach salad & creamy mock mashed "potatoes" made with cauliflower. I added a couple of handfuls of shredded cheddar cheese to the cauliflower after one of the boys in the band, Ryan Dunn aka Fun Dunn, asked if I was making the cauliflower with cheese - he was so excited. They all loved the meal including my husband and daughter. I think they all went back for seconds.
Now that they're finished eating I better go check on the state of the kitchen and get it cleaned up. Have a great evening! Take care!

Monday, March 15, 2010

corned beef & cabbage - St. Patrick's Day is Wednesday!

Good evening! Hope you've had a good day! What a busy weekend. Saturday was especially fun - got to watch my husband play drums & sing with Natasha Neely. She did a great job. And the band sounded absolutely awesome! One of her backup singers, who also sang a couple of songs by herself, was on the soap opera "The Young & The Restless" when she was a child. How cool is that?
When we came home Saturday night, I headed straight for my low carb kitchen to get my brisket cooking. Oh, I forgot - first we had to stop on the way home to pick up a beer for the recipe. I was hoping to use an Irish beer, but they were all out. So I settled for another dark beer. Anyway, the recipe calls for beer but you can also use a non-alcoholic beer.
So with only 2 more days until St. Patrick's Day - I have finally added my latest recipe in honor of the special occassion. If you're looking for an Irish recipe for St. Patrick's Day I highly recommend this recipe for corned beef & cabbage.
My next series of recipes will be in honor of Easter. Traditionally, my family's main course is almost always ham & I have a great, easy recipe for baked ham. I learned this recipe from my mother. And speaking of my mother, after I got married & my parents were left with an empty nest, my mother started making homemade Easter candy. Solid chocolate eggs, peanut butter cups, white chocolate delicacies, and many more delicious treats. I inherited all of her molds so I'm thinking about trying to use them to create some low carb treats!
I wonder what I'll make... be sure and stay tuned for some treats that will be sure to satisfy your candy cravings! Well, it's time for me to go. Hope you have a great evening!!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

green dream dessert & no/low carb snack ideas

Good Saturday morning! I hope your weekend is getting off to a great start! We have big plans today - my husband is performing (playing drums & singing backup vocals) with an up-and-coming country artist - Natasha Neely. I'll be going tonight to watch them, along with some of our family and friends. They'll be performing at Goldie’s Best Little Opryhouse in Owensboro, Kentucky at 7 p.m.
For the last couple of days I've been trying to figure out a computer problem, so I haven't spent too much time in my low carb kitchen. The computer problem is finally resolved - yeah! And I have a couple of new recipes for you. First of all, as promised here's my 3 ingredient green dessert that kids young and old are guaranteed to enjoy - St. Patrick's Day green dream dessert. Sugarfree jello, water & heavy whipping cream go together in less than 5 minutes, so there's not much prep time. I hope you give this a try & you enjoy it, too. Isn't it pretty?!
If you're looking for a "sweet" no carb snack, how about jello? I buy a package of 12 premade single serving, assorted flavors, sugar-free jello from my local grocery store. It's normally found in the dairy section. It's a quick, easy no carb snack. During the warmer months, I also use sugar-free jello frequently for other no/low carb desserts. I'll be posting some of these recipes soon.
I don't know about you, but I love jello - eating it kind of makes me feel like a kid again. I don't know if schools still serve jello, but as a child I remember our schools served it frequently. Although, I didn't particularly care for the jello with the shredded carrots in it... I think someone thought up that idea just to get kids to eat their carrots.
Speaking of kids, my daughter Lori, came up with a new recipe last night and it was so good, I've posted it on the website - pork rinds with pepperoni & cheese. Pork rinds are such a versatile no carb snack [be sure to check labels, some flavored pork rinds contain carbs.] When we first started our low carb lifestyle, we craved a crunchy, salty snack! I had never eaten pork rinds before but I decided to give them a try. At first, I'd have them with melted cheese or a dip because I wasn't really a big fan of them. Now, I really like pork rinds and always keep them on hand for a quick snack.
Well it's time for me to get a few things done this morning. I will be posting my corned beef & cabbage recipe later this weekend - just in time for St. Patrick's Day, which is this coming Wednesday. Have a great day!!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

like a boy scout (or girl scout, in my case) - [almost] always prepared...

What a beautiful day! I was so excited to get off work a 1/2 hour early today to enjoy the beautiful weather - 70 degrees and very sunny. It was so sunny that I bypassed the kitchen and headed out on a lovely walk with my husband. We only live a few blocks from the downtime area & when the weather is nice, we like to walk.
Speaking of the weather being nice, I'm not sure about you, but when it's nice outside I tend to spend less time in the kitchen and more time outdoors. Even if you typically spend less time in the kitchen when the weather is nice, it doesn't mean you have to sacrifice a nice low carb meal. So I wanted to blog about what I keep on hand so that we can fix a meal in a jiffy!
We keep the following in the freezer - chicken breasts, fish fillets, beef patties & pork patties. Sometimes I have chicken wings & shrimp, too. Tonight, my husband wanted to cook, so he whipped up a really nice meal - fried pork patties & leftovers (creamy coleslaw and Irish heritage cabbage). I like to keep frozen meats & fish in the freezer because that ensures we almost always have something on hand for a quick meal. I know some people never eat leftovers, but I truly appreciate being able to have enough extra for another meal. Sometimes we have our leftovers for another dinner meal or one of us eats it for lunch or a snack.
We also keep the following in the refrigerator for quick meals - fresh spinach leaves, cabbage, cauliflower, cheese, cheese and did I mention cheese? If you keep these items on had you can also fix something from the freezer along with a salad, slaw or maybe even just slices of cheese. We just love cheese!
Because I keep stuff in the freezer & refrigerator, it makes taking my breakfast & lunch to work very easy - in fact, it's much easier than trying to go out to grab a meal. For breakfast, I fix either some type of eggs or my hot milled flax seed cereal. Most of my work lunches consist of a cooked fish fillet (microwaved in the morning, sprinkled with lemon pepper) and a large fresh spinach salad. My version of spinach salad is so easy - parmesan cheese, olive oil & balsamic vinegar - and only 1 to 2 net carbs.
I think you get the idea, the more prepared you are the easier it is to follow a low carb lifestyle. Before we began this lifestyle, I assure you I wasn't very prepared for meals and like many other families, we ended up eating lots of meals outside of the home because either we didn't have anything or enough ingredients on hand to make a meal. Or we ordered pizza because that was so easy! When we started our low carb lifestyle, that curbed our restaurant eating because it was easier to eat at home. That also helped me learn that it's much easier to be prepared than to have to stop at a grocery store on the way home from work - this is one thing I hate to do but I used to all the time before our low carb lifestyle.
I hope these low carb ideas help you! If you ever have any questions, just let me know. Oh, about the low carb St. Patrick's day dessert that I said I'd post tonight - sorry, but you'll have to wait until tomorrow for the recipe. A long leisurely walk with my husband took priority tonight! Hoping you have a nice, relaxing evening...

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

pelts in the fridge, pelts in the fridge, looking like a fool with your pelts in the fridge

I've had a pretty good day & I hope you have, too. This morning was pretty strange, though. I work in a large cubicle area - the office space is pretty big & the cubicles are very big, too. Our cubicles are separated by dividers that are about 6 feet tall. So you can't see all the way through the room. So, not everyone knew what occurred but I guarantee by the end of the day the word got out!
My desk area is 3 rows of cubicles away from our kitchenette. Typically in the morning there is a lot of traffic flowing through our kitchenette with folks getting coffee and whipping up a little breakfast. I was just working away this morning when I overheard one of my coworkers saying something to another coworker and at first I thought she was kidding. Until she said something like I'm not kidding and something about this being an office or workplace.
Being my normal curious self, I had to figure out what was going on. So here's what all the commotion was about - one of my male coworkers brought in a large plastic trash sack that was about 2/3's full of animal pelts. And yes, I did say animal pelts. The problem was, he decided to place them in our freezer!! Yuck!! Long story short, the pelts were almost immediately removed from the freezer and returned to the owner, in order for them to be removed from the premises.
What a day! But one of the best parts of my day is that my husband was more than willing to whip up a new recipe tonight for supper. Okay, he did say as long as it wasn't some kind of "crazy" recipe. I think to him "crazy" means lots of prep and steps involved. The recipe was for Irish pork & cabbage soup. The recipe calls for pork breakfast sausage & while that was browning, my husband chopped the vegetables. As soon as the pork was browned, you simply dump in the liquid, spices and veggies. The soup only took about 25 minutes to cook and the flavor was delicious. Sorry, folks, no pictures tonight. We were too hungry to eat!
I think tomorrow night, I'll probably be in my low carb kitchen cooking up another recipe for St. Patrick's Day. I think I might try a dessert that will please even the most finicky kids & it'll be green, too. And, of course, it will be extremely low carb but the kids won't even notice. I also guarantee it will be super easy with only a few ingredients. Are you intrigued?
I hope so! It's time for me to go. Hope you have a nice evening!