Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus with Cream Cheese

Yes, you read that right.  In a past life I lived in Italy for almost 5 years, along the coast near Naples.  Prosciutto is to Italians what bacon is to Americans you might say.  But I digress... what does a girl do when faced with short time and serious hunger?  This is the result...

Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus with Cream Cheese
Serves 2 in my house :)

Sorry for the picture quality, we were starving!

8 slices Prosciutto
1 pound Raw asparagus, rinsed and dried
8 oz cream cheese
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Lay out two sheets of prosciutto side by side on a paper towel.
3. Microwave approx 8 oz of cream cheese.  I use Philadelphia.  Because it's awesome.
4. Mix the nutmeg with the cream cheese, along with salt/pepper to taste.
5. Shmear (love that word!) 1/4 of the cream cheese mixture on half of the prosciutto.
6. Lay a bunch of asparagus (6 - 8 stems) lengthwise along the end of the prosciutto where you shmeared the cream cheese.
7. Roll up the asparagus in the prosciutto and lay on a greased cookie sheet with the loose end of the prosciutto slices down to begin with (aluminum foil would work well too, and help with clean up!)
8. Repeat the shmearing and rolling procedure 3 more times to use up all ingredients.
9. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, rotating each bunch halfway through the cooking time.

Keto Waffles or Pancakes

Awhile ago I embarked on a Ketogenic (Keto for short) way of eating to try to help control my blood sugar.  Full disclosure:  I was diagnosed with diabetes at the ripe age of 17, and after all of these years this old body and the meds are not as compatible as they used to be. To avoid the inevitable additional oral meds or injectables, something had to change.

Of course when I went Keto, my husband went Keto by proxy when we eat at home.  After a few weeks of seeing pretty significant weight loss on his part, he decided to hop in full throttle.  We both missed eating pancakes and waffles, probably my  husband more so than me since pancakes used to be a food group on their own for him.  Thus began my hunt for the perfect Keto waffle/pancake recipe.  And I've found it and decided that the world needs to know, so here it goes:

Keto Waffles (& Pancakes)
Serves 3
Adapted from https://zuzkalight.com/nutrition/low-carb-breakfast-waffles-fm/
The WAFFLE served with Benton Bacon.  Never had it?  
Look it up, trust me, you'll thank me later :)

3 oz. full fat cream cheese
3 whole large eggs
2 Tbsp heavy whipping cream
1/2 Tbsp Kerrygold butter
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp caramel extract (maple would be better if you have it, I didn't)
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup almond flour (I use Honeyville Grains brand)
3 Tbsp erythritol (granulated Swerve)
1/8 tsp xantham gum
Non-stick spray

1. Preheat your waffle maker or griddle while you make the batter.  I used a Griddler with waffle irons set at 325 degrees.
2. Combine all ingredients in a blender.  Start out on low and then speed it up to whip the batter to make it lighter and fluffier.  Let it sit for a minute, then do it again.  This allows the baking powder to percolate a little and the xanthum gum to thicken up.  Feel free to add more heavy whipping cream at this point if your batter looks too thick.  It will vary based on the brand of almond flour you use.
3. Spray the waffle maker with non-stick spray of choice. Pour the batter into the waffle maker, be careful not to overfill.  Close waffle maker and bake for 4 - 5 minutes until steam starts to rise. I was able to open it to peek, and baked them until golden brown.
***If making pancakes, follow the same procedure but pour your batter in 3 - 4 inch circles on a hot griddle. Cook until bubbles appear, then flip.

Stats according to MyFitnessPal:
356 calories per serving
30 g fat
13 g protein
10 g carbs

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Wheat-free, Sugar-free Pumpkin Spice Muffins

These were a spur-of-the-moment, lets-see-how-this-works experiment while my husband was rooting around for a snack on a lazy Sunday afternoon.  Super-simple recipe with delicious fall flavors, and they are very moist, not overly sweet, and have a delicious, almost custard-like texture.  I use Honeyville Grains brand almond and coconut flours, and cannot vouch for how the recipe will work with others.

Wheat-free, Sugar-free Pumpkin Muffins

Makes: 24 Regular Muffins

1 29-oz. can of pumpkin (NOT Pumpkin Pie Mix)
4 large eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil (or substitute unsweetened applesauce)
1 Tbsp vanilla extract (or vanilla bean paste)
2 cups blanched almond flour (Honeyville Grain brand)
1 cup coconut flour (Honeyville Grain brand)
1/2 cup Stevia baking mix (or equivalent of your choice of baking mix)
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp baking soda (you could use gluten free to make the whole recipe gluten free)
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix together wet ingredients with a hand mixer.  Mix together dry ingredients in a separate bowl with a wire whisk to break up any lumps.  Add dry ingredients to wet 1 cup at a time. Spray muffin pans with nonstick spray. Spoon mix into cups until 3/4 full (these will not rise much). Bake for 20 - 25 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  These will be moist and delicious!

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Almond & Coconut Flour Chocolate & Butterscotch Chip Cookies

In my quest for yummy foods that do not make my blood sugar go haywire, I have been introduced to the wonders of almond flour and coconut flour. I combined this quest for sweets with my husband's love of the perfect chocolate chip cookies (see original Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe), and found and adapted this recipe from the internet.  Link to the original recipe is at the bottom of the page.

1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/4 cup liquid coconut oil
3/4 cup brown sugar (or stevia sweetener)
2 Tbsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups blanched almond flour (Honeyville brand is my favorite)
1 cup coconut flour
3/4 C Semisweet chocolate chips (or other chip of your choice)
1/4 C Butterscotch chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2.  In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter, oil and brown sugar.
3.  Add vanilla extract and eggs and mix until incorporated.
4.  Mix the dry ingredients in a separate bowl.  Add dry ingredients 1 cup at a time to the wet ingredients in the stand mixer, mixing all until smooth.  Stir in chocolate chips.
5.  Form dough into even sized balls, place three inches apart on parchment, and smoosh down with a flat-bottomed glass (these don't spread too much). 
6.  Bake 10 - 14 minutes, until golden brown on the edges.  Remove from oven and allow to cool.

Honey likes these with the butterscotch chips, but I prefer them with straight chocolate, thank you very much! I found that these freeze very well.  Reheat in 10 second increments in microwave (30 seconds is about right in mine.) Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from : Meaningful Eats
My favorite blanched almond flour source: Honeyville Grain Almond Flour
Coconut flour can be found there, too: Honeyville Grain Coconut Flour

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Dill Pickle Deviled Eggs

Deviled eggs are a quintessential part of the Easter feast each year, well besides the chocolate smorgasbord and traditional Bunny cake, and are definitely a highlight of holidays for me.

Here's a recipe for all of you other pickle lovers out there.

Dill Pickle Deviled Eggs

8 Hard boiled eggs (I used size large)
2 Tbsp Minced Dill Pickle or drained Dill Relish (I prefer Claussen's)
4 Tbsp Mayonnaise
1 Tbsp Spicy Mustard
1 Tbsp Honey Dijon or Honey Mustard
Salt and Pepper to taste

Half your eggs and scoop yolks into a bowl.  Add pickle, mayo, and mustards.  Whip with a hand mixer for a stiffer texture, or mash with a fork for a creamier texture.  Taste mixture, and season with salt and pepper to taste.  With this recipe I usually use no salt, but like to add pepper.  Spoon into ziploc baggie, cut off tip, and fill eggs. If I'm feeling fancy I will use a pastry bag and tip.  Sprinkle paprika on top for flavor and color.  These are yummy and salty in the BEST way possible.  Enjoy!!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Homemade Chili Seasoning

One of my most relaxing hobbies is cooking, and this season calls for chili. Hot, simmered all day in the Crockpot CHILI! Cruising my Pinterest a few weeks ago, I saw a recipe for homemade chili seasoning, and thought hey, that's a great idea!  I am a diabetic, so that allows me to control the sugar, salt and preservative content so that I know exactly what's in our food.  It was SO easy and turned out great!   Here's the recipe:
4 Tbsp chili powder
2 Tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (or more to taste if you like it spicy!)
3 tsp white pepper

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, using a whisk to break up clumps.  Store in an airtight container until ready to use. 
Adapted from a variety of recipes found on www.allrecipes.com.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Pennant Banner Tutorial

The trendiest decoration at parties right now seems to be those cute pennant banners with "Welcome Baby So-and-So" on them.  So of course I had to get on the bandwagon.  Here is my quick and easy tutorial using 12x12 scrapbook paper and ribbon. 

1.  Get 12x12 scrapbook paper in the color you would like to use for the background of the pennants in the banner. Cut each one in half, so you will have two 6x12" pieces of paper for each piece of scrapbook paper.

2. Mark along one of the long sides on the non-patterned side of the piece of paper with a pencil.  On one long side mark the paper at 3", 6" and 9".  On the other long edge mark at 1.5", 4.5", and 7.5". 

3. Cut with a straight edge or scissors from the corner edge of the paper to the 1.5" mark on the other side. If you need to label these to make it easier, it's fine, because no one will see this side!

  4.  Then, cut from the 1.5" mark to the 3" mark on the other side.  Ta-da!  Your first pennant :)

5.  To make pennants from the rest of the paper, continue with the followings cuts: from the 3" to the 4.5" on the opposite side, the 4.5" to the 6" on the opposite side, 6" to the 7.5" on the other side, 7.5" to 9", 9" to the 10.5" and finally the 10.5" to the final edge.  Continue to do this until you have enough pennants for the letters, a space between each word and one for each end.

6.  Punch out background circles.  I used a 2" punch to do this.

7.  Next up, use a color printer to print out the letters in coordinating colors.  Punch these out with a 1.5" circle punch or scissors if you don't have one of those.

8. Put it all together!  I used an adjusted 3-hole puncher to make the holes at the top of each pennant, and then use double-sided tape to assemble.

9. Put the words together with coordinating ribbon.  I knotted the ribbon before and after each pennant so that they would stay in place when hung. 

10.  The finished product:

Please let me know how it works for you in the comments!