Lemon Blueberry Bread {Low Carb}

I love lemons and blueberries together. For our annual Mother’s Day brunch I decided to bring a low carb lemon-blueberry treat since I knew there would be lots of foods there I shouldn’t eat. I was a little worried about bringing a new recipe without trying it out first, but I was very pleased with the result.

Next time I make it, I will make it a couple of days in advance because it actually gets moister the longer it sits.

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Low Carb Lemon Blueberry Bread

4 cups of almond flour

1 1/2 cups of Splenda (or sweetener of your choice)

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

zest of one lemon

1 tsp. lemon extract

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/4 cup blueberries

6 eggs

1 tsp. cream of tartar

2 tsp. meringue powder

Put all the ingredients into the mixing bowl except for the blueberries. Mix it all until thoroughly mixed. Then gently fold the blueberries into the batter. Pour the batter into a greased loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes or until a knife pierced through the middle comes out clean. Let cool and remove from the pan. Slice and enjoy!

 

 

 

 

May the 4th Be With You Dinner

I’m busy planning and gathering supplies for May 4.  I’m still trying to pinpot exactly what I want to serve for dinner. I’m thinking of 7-Leia Dip, Trooper Scoopers (scoops chips), Wookie Cookies, and Death Star Doughnuts, Fruit Light Sabers OR Hans burgers, Leia’s buns, Wookie Cookies, and Obi-Wan fruit kebabs.

This is what we did last year. I have to say that the children really do enjoy this kind of a dinner. It takes planning and a little more effort than a normal dinner, but I do love to hear how they plan on doing the same kinds of things when they have families of their own.

Here’s last year’s post:

We ended up with breakfast for dinner. This is not unusual. We usually do this once a week on our more hectic nights.

The eggs were the Twin Suns.

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Cinnamon rolls were naturally Leia’s Buns.

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We had bacon and hashbrowns, which were a pretty terrible looking  “Chewbaccon”. At least we got a good laugh out of it!

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The sausage links were Light Sabers.

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I made Yoda Soda which was basically just a lime sherbet float.

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I made Chewy cookies from Little Debbie Star Crunch cookies and added candy eyes and a frosting mouth and nose. I got that idea from Pinterest.

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I purchased Star Wars plates and napkins. I also got some Star Wars fruit snacks for little treats. The children all thought everything turned out really cute and I think they love a themed dinner as much as I do.

I made all the signs and the framed “May the Fourth Be With You” sign using DaFont’s Star Jedi font.

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I’ll try my best to share what I actually end up doing on Thursday. I hope it turns out to be as much fun as last year!

Low Carb Fast Food {Chicken Salad Chick}

In the south there is a franchise called Chicken Salad Chick. It specializes in a variety of chicken salads (big surprise). They are mostly low in carbohydrates with just a few exceptions. They also serve things like macaroni and cheese, deli sandwiches, soup and cookies. The nice thing about this restaurant is that so many of their items are low carb and don’t need this or that omitted.

It has become a favorite lunch spot for my husband. We also like to grab some different ones to share at parties or get-togethers.  There are so many varieties that one is sure to be the favorite.

If you’re ever in the south and need something fast, low carb, and delicious, stop by Chicken Salad Chick (but not on Sunday–they’re not open).

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photo credit: Chicken Salad Chick

April Fool’s Day Dinner

I’m planning an all new April Fool’s Day dinner for this year, but wanted to share last years for now:

My kiddos love a good prank. April Fool’s Day has been one of their favorite days as long as I can remember. We usually try to do at least one thing to make the day memorable. Last year I fooled them into thinking they were eating an undercooked lasagna, when it was actually a yummy dessert. This year, I pulled off a Crazy April Fool’s Day Dinner which was actually breakfast for dinner. It definitely takes some advance preparation and quite a bit of work (at least with as many people as we have in our family) to pull it off, but it is so fun! I’ve done a dinner menu like this before and I feel like breakfast items are a lot easier. I used the basic idea and the menu course printables from Dixie Delights. I made some changes, but the general idea came from her site.

To do this, I gave my family a menu of 16 items with funny names. They also had 4 different menu course sheets. On each sheet they had to put four items that they wanted for that course. Each item has to be picked once so that all items are ultimately chosen. They had to pick for all of their courses before I even started cooking; because I didn’t want to give them any hints with the smells in the kitchen.

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I had one more trick up my sleeve. Number 9 was the CAFD Special. It looked like an egg, but was really just whipped cream and an apricot.

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I pulled out a few Christmas plates to serve this. I also found some “Welcome to 2000” napkins that had never been opened in my party stash. We used those as the Mini Magic Carpet.

Overall, we had lots of laughs. April Fool’s Day is just another good excuse to have a little fun together.

I printed out my menu using Waltograph font from DaFont 

Crazy April Fool’s Day Disney Dinner

1. Mickey Mouse                                         2.Gaston’s Tavern Treat                        

 3. Dinoco Motor Oil                

4. Sugar Rush Icing component        

5. White Rabbit’s Tale                                

6. Three Little Pigs                                      

7. Capt. Hook’s Plank                                

8. Mike Wazowski                                      

9. CAFD Special

10. Pluto’s dinner

11. Merida’s hair

12. Elsa’s bad day

13. Rafiki’s staff

14. Cruella’s hair

15. Dinglehopper

16. Mini Magic Carpet

Here’s the real deal menu:

  1. Mickey Mouse waffle
  2. Cinnamon Roll
  3. Syrup
  4. Powdered Sugar
  5. Whipped Cream
  6. Sausage
  7. Bacon
  8. Egg
  9. Apricot in whipped cream
  10. cereal
  11. orange juice
  12. ice
  13. straw
  14. salt and pepper
  15. fork
  16. napkin

Spicy Tennessee Deviled Eggs {Low Carb}

While waiting for a flight in the Nashville airport, my husband and I stopped in O’Charley’s to grab a quick bite. We were looking for something fast and low carb. They had Tennessee inspired deviled eggs on the menu. We ordered them and quickly decided that this was a flavor we would need to replicate at home.

I had to search around for the ingredients but after I found them all, I was able to copy the flavor almost exactly.

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Here’s my recipe:

2 boiled eggs

2 tsp. mayo

1 Tablespoon Tennessee Chow Chow

drizzle of Historic Lynchburg Habanero Hot Sauce

4 pickle slices

Boil eggs. Let cool. Peel eggs. Cut the eggs in half and take out the yolk. In a bowl combine the mayo, chow chow, and cooked yolks. Mix until mostly smooth. Place pickle slice under each egg. Put the yolk mixture into the egg. Drizzle the hot sauce on the top.

Enjoy!

Chocolate Covered Strawberries {tips and tricks}

Over the weekend we attended a baby shower for my niece. It was a brunch (which is my favorite kind of shower). It was beautifully done by her sister. I contributed chocolate covered strawberries.

Strawberries are not a favorite of mine, but throw chocolate on top and they are just downright gross to me. I know I’m a lone wolf when it comes to this opinion.

Since they seem to be a universal favorite (with me as an exception), I make these “treats” for many occasions. I’ve learned a few things through my experiences making them.

Here’s a few things I know:

The strawberries must be completely dry.

Do not soak the strawberries to clean them. They will actually take in water and become disgusting.

Ghiradelli melting chips are the best. They don’t take more than 2 minutes and become so super smooth.

Take the strawberries by the leaves and dip and swirl them in the chocolate.

Let them dry on parchment paper lined cookie sheets.

Do not refrigerate. If you do, when you bring them back to room temperature, they will “sweat” and be way less appetizing.

Overall, chocolate covered strawberries are a quick and easy dessert. Just follow these tips and tricks and it’ll be easy as pie (which I would prefer, but that’s just me).

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Low Carb Brownies {Recipe}

I haven’t shared a low carb recipe in awhile. I tried out a few recipes that weren’t share worthy, but finally made one that I just HAVE to share.

I am not the biggest fan of cake but I love cookies and brownies. I feel like a have a good handle on  low carb almond flour cookies but haven’t really been brave enough to try brownies until now.

These brownies truly taste as good as the full sugar, flour version. They are low carb, no sugar, and gluten free. They stayed moist for a full week without having to be tightly wrapped. So, without further ado, here’s the recipe:

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Loved in the South’s Low Carb Brownies

3 cups blanched almond flour

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 cup olive oil

1 cup sweetener (I used Splenda)

1 cup Torani sugar-free caramel syrup

2 eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Mix all the ingredients together until smooth. Pour into a greased pan. Bake 35-40 minutes until a knife inserted in the middle comes out dry. It may have a little bit of soft brownie stuck on it, but it should be cake-like, not runny.

Enjoy!

Easy Breakfast

Some mornings I just need to make something fast so we can get started on our day. This morning, I made Easy Cinnamon Sugar Crescents. I had all the ingredients I needed already on hand. It’s simply a tube of crescent rolls and Land O Lakes cinnamon sugar butter. I rolled out the crescent rolls. I spread the butter all over them.

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Then I rolled them up and baked them in a preheated oven for about 10 minutes. Voila. Breakfast done.

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Vegetable and Fruit Diet Challenge

I’ve been doing a lot of reading about the raw food diet. I don’t feel comfortable doing it myself. The main reason is that certain foods like cabbage can affect the thyroid negatively, if not heated.

Here’s a quote from Livestrong about it:

“Cruciferous Vegetables

A goiter is an enlarged thyroid gland that indicates hypothyroidism. A goitrogenic food contains a substance that can affect your thyroid, slowing hormone production. Cruciferous vegetables all contain goitrogens. These include all types of cabbages, such as napa cabbage, bok choy and Brussels sprouts; broccoli, cauliflower and kale; and collard, mustard and turnip greens. If you have normal thyroid function and consume adequate amounts of iodine, these compounds will have no effect on your thyroid. The Institute of Medicine has established the recommended dietary allowance, or RDA, for iodine at 150 mcg daily. One tsp. of table salt contains 400 mcg of iodine.”

Since I have hypothyroidism, I will be cooking my broccoli, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts. The raw food diet does have the major benefit in that it is very rich in nutrients. This is where I feel like my previous diet was lacking.

I know I have shared that I have a very slow metabolism, and that my body has done well on a lower carb diet. The problem is that I have steadily gained weight over the past year and that my allergies and asthma have flared up again.

I am starting a 60 day challenge for myself. This challenge is my own creation and is my way of experimenting on myself to see if this way of eating will help me feel better and lose the weight I’ve gained.

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My guidelines:

Lower carbohydrate fruits: eaten after a workout.

apple

peach

plum

blueberries

blackberries

Vegetables:

broccoli

cauliflower

peppers

avocado

cabbage

onion

okra

green beans

lettuce

spinach

peppadew

radish

asparagus

Brussels sprouts

Protein:

eggs

chicken breasts

shrimp

fish

turkey

Fats:

grass-fed butter (Kerrygold is my very favorite)

Heavy Whipping Cream (for my coffee–1 Tablespoon a day)

almonds

pecans

Extras:

Red wine (5 oz. per day)

Tea

Coffee

My goal is to eat mostly vegetables. I will eat fruit in limited amounts only after workouts. I will eat lean proteins a few times a week. The fats will be limited to my morning coffee and with vegetables.

I will stay away from all added sugars, grains, and all processed foods.

I look forward to sharing my results with you. I’d love to hear if anyone out there wants to join me or has any suggestions for me as I start this challenge.

Carrot Cake Dip {Recipe}

It’s finally getting a little cooler down here.  Each day after school, I have a snack ready for the children once their work is done.  I know that a few of my children really enjoy carrot cake, but they would probably eat one slice and I’d throw the rest away. Since cinnamon is one of the official scents of the season, I thought that cinnamon sugar pita chips with a carrot cake dip sounded like something they would enjoy.

image.jpegThere was a race to lick the spoon-a sure sign of success.

This is how I did it:

Loved in the South’s Carrot Cake Dip

1 container of Philadelphia brown sugar cinnamon cream cheese

1/2 cup of heavy cream or half and half

1 large container of Cool Whip

1 box of carrot cake mix

Put the cream cheese in a large bowl and mix until creamy. Add the cake mix and heavy cream. Mix well. Once well mixed, gently fold in the Cool Whip. Serve with cinnamon sugar pita chips or any other sweet cookie.

Enjoy!

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