Noodle-less Lasagna {Low Carb}

My girls love all things pasta. Since my husband and I don’t eat pasta, I usually just leave it out of our dishes and serve it on the side.  It’s a little more difficult to do with lasagna, but I still do.

Here’s how I do it:

2 lbs. sausage (any kind you like), cooked and drained

1 large container (usually 16 oz.) ricotta cheese

2 cups mozzarella

2 cups parmesan cheese

1 package of  provolone cheese slices

2 jars of Rao’s spaghetti sauce (many other sauces have LOTS of sugar. You must read the labels)

Mix the meat with the spaghetti sauce. In a lasagna pan, layer a meat layer then a ricotta/parmesan layer, then slices of provolone. Continue layering. On the last layer, put the mozzarella cheese on top. Bake at 350 degrees until bubbly.

(The provolone is a little thicker and doesn’t melt away like the shredded cheeses.)

Enjoy.

IMG_1151.JPG

Pirate Party and a recipe

Since we always have so many games and trivia during our parties, we always have a prize box of some sort. This time I got a styrofoam cooler for about $2.50 at Target. We spray painted it black and it served as the cutest treasure chest!

IMG_0475

I used pineapples to decorate around the house as well. Most of the decorations were from Target and Oriental Trading.

We played a throw a ring around the hook. It was a fun little game, but I actually think the adults enjoyed it more. We bought the hooks from Oriental Trading and hot glued them on to a piece of cardboard box. The rings were glow necklaces from Dollar Tree.

IMG_0492

As our guests arrived, they were asked to get a pirate name. I had two cups with silly names. One cup was the first name and the second was the last. They then had to wear a name tag with their pirate names on it.  It was fun to see the funny  combinations.

IMG_0490

We played a cannonball game that was the hit of the party. I had my parents bring all their newspapers that they’d normally recycle. The teams were to make balls out of it and throw them to the other side. After 5 minutes we counted who had the most and that team won. Both teams cheated by not making them into balls but it was so fun no one really got too upset about it.

IMG_0545IMG_0552IMG_0553

I made a new dish for the vegetarians. It was a black-eyed pea dip. I made it very spicy, but it was so delicious!

Black-eyed Pea Dip:

one can drained black-eyed peas

1 small can diced jalapeños

1/2 cup salsa

1/4 cup sour cream

2 Tbl. Hot sauce

1 cup hot pepper cheese

1 to 2 cups cheddar cheese (for topping)

Put ingredients in a blender and blend until just incorporated. You don’t want it too smooth. Pour into a greased baking dish. Put reserved cheese on top. Bake at 350 degrees until bubbly.  I served it with chips, but ate it plain. It was very spicy but so good! We named it Blackbeard’s dip for the party.

IMG_0476IMG_0510

Overall, this was one fun party!

Vanilla Cake {keto}

Originally posted on livingandlovinglowcarb

One of the things that can make a person who is living low carb feel sad is not being able to enjoy dessert, especially on special holidays like Memorial Day. I wanted to make a cake that I could throw some berries and whipped cream on top and feel like I was enjoying a decadent treat. I can hardly wait to share this super easy recipe with you!

IMG_0320.JPG

Low Carb Vanilla Cake

2 1/2 cups almond flour

1/2 cup softened butter

1/2 cup softened coconut butter

1 1/2 cup Splenda

1 cup sugar-free vanilla Torani syrup

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

2 tsp. meringue powder

1 tsp. cream of tartar

2 eggs

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Stir together all the ingredients. Pour into a greased cake pan. Cook until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool. Remove from pan and enjoy so many different ways!

 

Scotch Eggs {keto}

This was originally published on my other  website, livingandlovinglowcarb, which is wholly dedicated to the low carb  lifestyle.

On our last trip to Disney World, we tried Scotch Eggs for the first time. They were very good and I knew I would have to try to make a keto version when we got home. Last weekend, I had everything I needed. It was way less intimidating than I expected. Everyone absolutely loved them, and have already requested that I make them again! In my personal opinion, they’re better than the original.

IMG_0391.PNG

Keto Scotch Eggs:

Boiled eggs

sausage

oil

parmesan cheese

2 eggs, beaten

First, boil your eggs to your personal preference. ( I personally cannot eat them even a tiny bit runny). Beat 2 eggs in a separate bowl. Begin heating the oil. Roll sausage around the boiled eggs. Dip into the beaten eggs. Drop into a Ziploc bag with about 2 cups of Parmesan cheese. Shake gently, making sure the egg and sausage is completely covered. Drop into the hot oil. Turn as it browns. Completely cook. Remove from the oil and drain on paper towels. These can be served hot or cool. My family liked them hot,

I hope you like these as much as my family did!

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.

IMG_0241.PNG

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 pinpoint 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.

image

Cinnamon rolls were naturally Leia’s Buns.

image

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

image

The sausage links were Light Sabers.

image

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

image

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.

image

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.

imageimage

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).

chicken salad chick.png

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.

017

033

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.

029

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.

IMG_0095

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).

IMG_9872.JPG