Monday, November 28, 2016


I gave away or sold about 100 cookbooks when I moved. If I hadn't used them at all, or was not enthralled with recipes I had used, then if the books were nice, there was a price tag on them, otherwise they went into the pile of a quarter or free.

My new bookcase (part of my birthday present from me to me) is comfortably full, and I have resisted the urge to buy more than the one cookbook that got added to the shelf about a month ago.

Today is a reading type day. While I could spend time in the soap room (need to manufacture pain relief cream, lemon skin renew and triple rose) or cleaning up my office (think large garbage bag), I grabbed a beautiful cookbook from the shelf. It's called Soup - a way of life, by Barbara Kafka. I don't think I have ever cooked a thing out of it, but perhaps today is the day.

I'm making the best of a soggy day, which for once includes a little free time. Hope you make the most of your soggy day, too.

Some days are good, some days are bad, but time heals (I hope)

I have been on an emotional roller coaster since the election. I'm trying hard to see the good that Donald may bring to our country, but it has been hard to ignore the bad . . . the uptick in hate crimes, young men grabbing women's breasts and saying it is okay because he said so, his cabinet picks (mostly appalling!), the effort right here in my home state to rescind laws that were passed to protect the LGBTQ community. Enough said about that. For now I wear my safety pin and live with it. If you don't know about it, click on this link: Safety Pin movement

I was shopping in a local store and the person waiting on me saw my pin. He was so helpful, and our conversation wandered away from sport watches. He had seen the pin, told me he was part of the LGBTQ community and was very happy to see the pin. Before I moved on to another part of the store, we hugged. There is goodness out there.

My old dog Tashi continues to have good days and bad. My mood rides the waves with her. If she eats with gusto, I am happy all day - until the next meal when she walks away and refuses to eat. Tashi developed a hot spot. Benedryl took care of the itching, but it was infected. I went to vet, felt the yarrow cream and Benedryl might not be enough. They trimmed hair away and cleaned it up. She is on a round of prednisone, which some people say is bad for dogs. However, if you have a dog that refuses to eat about half the time, it is a good thing. She is eating better. I am hoping it will change her eating habits, and that she will continue to eat well after the medicine is out of her system. And the hot spot is healing up nicely, no itching at all. She is also on antibiotics. Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. My friends who are into using natural cures thought I shouldn't have gone the prednisone and antibiotic route, but I chose to do it, and so far am happy with her response.

I have been getting kind of pudgy - no weight gain, but very soft around the middle. Depressing. When you quit throwing around bales of hay and hoisting milk cartons into the trunk, you get soft. So I started doing Crossfit. You do not know the meaning of pain and exhaustion until you have done your first Crossfit workout! But the belly is getting flat. No weight loss, but I don't really care. 5:30 am, three days a week. Feeling good!

So that's a summary of my recent ups and downs. There will be more. Tashi is snoring gently at my feet, and I was able to put weight on the bar when doing backsquats this morning. Definitely an "up" day. Hope yours is too.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

NEW RECIPES - three low carb recipes for the holidays

You will not have to feel left out at the Thanksgiving table with these three treats.


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Line a half sheet or cookie sheet with parchment or use a silpat sheet. Put six to eight piles of shredded cheese, evenly spaced, on the sheet. (You can get eight on the sheet if you form them into ovals.) I use about two tbsp. per cracker. Put in the hot oven for 7 minutes. Watch them closely so they don't burn!

Remove from oven and immediately put on cooling rack. Experiment with size, also with types of cheese. Even the brand of cheese will affect the outcome, so when you find one you really like, make note of it for future batches.

6 of these crackers provide ONLY 1 GRAM OF CARBOHYDRATE! And they will stand up to dip.

Faux mashed potatoes:

Boil a head and a half of cauliflower (or two smallish heads) roughly chopped in a large pan of water with 1-1/2 tsp. sea salt. Drain thoroughly. In fact, I put the cooked cauliflower in the sink in a colander and forget about it for an hour or more so it gets good and dry. Put the drained cauliflower back into the pot you used to boil it. Throw in half (or more) of an 8 oz. package of cream cheese. Use a stick blender to thoroughly blend, or use a food processor and do in batches. When ready to use, heat in a heavy bottom sauce pan over very low heat, watching to make sure it doesn't burn. Use like mashed potatoes.

Four ounces of cauliflower provides 3 net carbs, and the cream cheese will add about another gram to that four ounce serving.


The better the stock you use, the better the gravy will taste. I have even used canned broth, and it's pretty good. Start with two cups of broth or stock. Heat it and reduce it by about a fourth to enrich the flavor. Lower the heat and add about a tbsp. (or to reach the consistency you like) of xanthan gum. Beat well with a wire whisk while you increase heat and bring it back to a boil. It takes a bit before it thickens. Start on the low side with the xanthan gum, as it will thicken as it sits. Last thing, add some heavy whipping cream. I put about a half cup of cream in the amount listed here. Bring back up just to the boil and immediately remove from heat.

So now you too can have "potatoes" and gravy on Thanksgiving Day. What a deal if you can get the hostess to give you a bit of turkey stock, a pan and a whisk (bring your own stash of xanthan gum) and make your own gravy. I doubt the diners will know which is the low carb gravy!

Per 1/4 C. of gravy  - less than one carb.

Let's talk dessert:

Forget the pie. Just cross it off your list. But how about a big bowl of whipped cream with vanilla? You can add a tbsp. of sugar free vanilla pudding, or go all natural and add a tsp. of real maple syrup. If you are really, truly minimizing carbs and using little or no artificial sweeteners in your diet, that tsp. of maple syrup will add only 4 carbs and will provide an explosion of sweetness! The cream is about 3/4 grams carbs per ounce. You do the math and decide how much you want to splurge.

For a point of reference, a piece of pumpkin pie has 43.4 net carbs. Does that help you make a choice?

Oh, one last note - a slice of turkey, any size - 0 grams carbs. :)

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

NEW RECIPE - Low carb Belgian waffles

This one is pretty simple, and pretty tasty. I found a recipe for chocolate waffles and invested big money in low carb chocolate whey protein powder from grass fed cows. AND I bought a waffle iron! Big investment. But I really didn't like them. Too much artificial sweetener in them. I wish they hadn't sweetened the whey protein at all and just left it to us to add what we wanted. Oh, well.

So now, there is a waffle iron sitting on my counter, and I have to find a way to use it, of course. And I did. These waffles are much tastier to me, and you add the sweetener to your own liking. I am a firm believer in minimizing even artificial sweeteners, as I do think that sweet taste on your tongue, from whatever source, is apt to make you crave more food, especially sweets.

You will need to invest in a box of Carbquik. (Click on this link for more info:  Carbquik FAQs ) Hopefully you have a waffle iron tucked somewhere in a cupboard. If not, St. Vinnie's, Goodwill and Salvation Army shops are my go-to stores, especially for stuff I am not going to use often.

Low Carb Waffle - single serving (This can be doubled or quadrupled with no problem.)

Turn on your waffle iron. I like mine brown and crisp so I set it on high.

1 large egg, beaten
1/3 C. Carbquik
1/4 C. heavy cream
1/4 C. (or less) water
1 TBSP light olive oil
1 tsp. (or to taste) xylitol for sweetening - or your zero carb sweetener of choice

You can add a spice of your choice. I add about a half teaspoon of Mom's Apple Pie Spice, which is available at my booth. Or just add a healthy shake of cinnamon, nutmeg and whatever sounds good and is at hand. The size of your egg will make a difference, So don't put all of the water in - save a little to thin it more if it is too thick.  It should be fairly thin but not "soupy."

Beat all of the ingredients together. My waffle iron beeps to let me know it is hot enough just about the time I am done with the batter. Pour it into the middle of the iron and put the lid down. It takes about six minutes for mine to be as done as I like.

Put on warmed plate. (Waffles seem to cool down too fast, so a warm plate helps.) Top with about a tablespoon of soft butter, and dig in! If you want to add a tsp. of maple syrup, go for it.  But remember, it's 4.5 carbs per teaspoon, so use with discretion. I really don't think it needs any syrup - just LOTS of butter!!

Here are the nutritional values per waffle.

Calories: 370 / Net Carbs: 3.2 / Fat: 21.8 (not including added butter) / Protein: 12.6 / Fiber: 14 (fiber is already subtracted for net carbs)

Half a waffle - I already ate the other half!

Did a lot of research before purchasing - this is a good machine.