Monday, December 11, 2017

Celebrate - life, love, home (a Blog With Friends post)

Welcome to this month's Blog With Friends post. A group post where we as bloggers share our take on a theme. Each month the theme is different, this one is Celebrate.

Celebrate...I have so much to celebrate. Moving, a new life, new love, new lease on life, a husband (yes I got married last month) children who are grown with busy lives and doing well, grandchildren whom I love dearly, see the list goes on and on. 
However, when I thought about the theme celebrate, I thought LIFE, LOVE, FAMILY, HOME. These are the things that make me smile, that give me breath, that make each and every one of my days happy and full.
Do I sound love sick? Maybe. But it's the best kind of sick and I'll take it over anything else. (Especially since I've been down in the bed sick for almost 2 weeks now.)

Like I said, I was married last month to my soulmate and best friend. We are starting a new life. My family is complete. We have a new home. I celebrate those each and everyday. Now with the holidays approaching, we are about to celebrate those as well. New traditions, new memories, new ways to celebrate that make US happy and that celebrate us and our new life.

Also, having moved 3 times in the last 3 months, yes you read that correctly. That's another who post, or might be, I need to decorate. I wanted it to celebrate US, our taste, our live, our love, not just what I like and what I want to look at.

We have a mantel and fireplace, which I LOVE. Having several things to place on it is not a problem, but I wanted something different. Something unique, guessed it. US.

My plan was to decorate the mantel but I changed my mind. LOL I can do that ya' know. So I decided to make the same thing, but different color and place it in the bedroom. Since I have NOTHING in there and oh yes, we are moving AGAIN! In a few weeks, we've decided on a color scheme for each room and the bedroom will be purple, grey, taupe, pale blue colors from a beach photo. This one!

Here is what I came up with, now I'm not that brilliant. I saw this in a FB group and then adapted it to my own style. At least our colors, well, let's be honest. My colors...purple is my favorite if case you didn't know and my hubby is very accommodating in indulging me in whatever I want to do.
Oh shoot! Wrong picture, that's the work in progress picture.

HERE is the finished product.
And here are a few other options:

A few notes, spend the money and buy the spray paint. I didn't want to spend $8 on a can of paint for a project, well I should have. Painting with craft paint on glass bottles...well it took 4 coats and it took forever to dry.
Also, when you have an idea and see something that will work, BUY it! Don't wait and then go back 2 weeks later. You will NOT find what you are looking for. I searched high and low trying to find the original bottles I had seen weeks before. I should have purchased them but I didn't. So I had to improvise. I am not thrilled with the results but I ran out of time for this post. I WILL be doing this again, well, IF I can find the bottles I saw to begin with and I WILL be using spray paint the next time.
So I used Mexican soda bottles: 60 cent each
DMC embroidery floss: 40 cent each
thread flowers I found on clearance at Michael's: $2.59
stickers from the Dollar Tree: $1
craft paint from Wal-Mart: 80 cent
wooden letters from Wal-Mart: $2.97
paint for the letter: nail polish I had
tacky glue from Michael's: on sale $2

Not difficult, the options are endless, as you can see below, a few I saw online:
I would give credit for the crafts and photos but have no idea as each one I found doing a google search with no traceable links.

Be sure to visit the other sites to see what "celebrate" means to them and how they are showing it.








Saturday, December 9, 2017

Sausage Balls - revamped - KETO version

With the holiday season upon us, I normally do a lot of baking and goodie making. Yes those are words and terms. Party time, entertaining, holiday family meals and it is also football season, which means game day food. Ugh, alas, keto is not exactly friendly when it comes to these things.
One of my favorite things the last couple of years has become sausage balls. I know you are thinking this is not healthy. Well, cheese, meat and biscuits, what's not to love? Oh yes, the biscuit part, dough, flour, bread, carbs that evil 5 letter word. With that, I set about revamping my favorite little treat so that I may continue to enjoy them for snacks, breakfast, parties, football games, etc.
I did it, it worked and they were wonderful, even cold out of the fridge over the next several days. No I didn't heat them up. Do you heat up pizza the next day? NO!
Sausage Balls - revamped Keto version
1 lb bulk pork sausage
1 1/2 cups shredded cheese
1 egg
1/4 cup almond flour
Mix thoroughly and drop 1 heaping teaspoon size into a mini muffin pan and bake at 350 degrees for 16 minutes. The mix made 48, two batches.
Since there is no flour to soak up the fat from the sausage, it is a must to bake these in a mini muffin tin, if you use a cookie sheet the fat will run off into the bottom of your oven, NOT something you are going to want to deal with. Also, there is less breading so they will be smaller. You could make these without the almond flour all together but it gives it texture.
If you are interested in the biscuits seen above, you will find them HERE and yes, they are keto! and very yummy.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Keto Garlic Cheddar Biscuits

Since I switched and began the keto way of eating, one thing I miss is biscuits. I mean come one. I'm a Southern gal and we LOVE our biscuits. I saw this recipe, which I tweaked a bit, online and said HALLELUJAH biscuits! 
I served these biscuits with my new keto version of sausage balls which will be on the blog soon. OH man were they good! I also had the biscuits as part of Thanksgiving.
Keto version: Garlic Cheddar Biscuits
4 1/2 TBSP melted butter
1/3 cup coconut flour
2 TBSP full fat sour cream
4 eggs
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
2 garlic cloves minced or 1 tsp garlic powder
1 TBSP Italian seasoning
1 1/2 cup shredded cheese (I used a Colby blend)

I mixed the wet ingredients together: melted butter, sour cream and eggs. To this I added the coconut flour, salt, baking powder, garlic, Italian seasoning and mixed well, lastly I stirred in the cheese.
2 TBSP dropped into a muffin pan, I wasn't sure if they would spread too much on a cookie sheet. This kept them a nice even size.
Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. The cheese and garlic are so wonderful and you do not taste the coconut flour, which is good. I was concerned.

See how pretty? And tasty too! They heat up nicely in a toaster oven or split and laid in a frying pan. Great the next morning with a cup of coffee.


Thursday, November 30, 2017

Tex Mex Turkey Soup - keto friendly

Thanksgiving is done and most of us have a ton of leftover turkey to deal with. You can freeze it, make salad, use it in recipes to replace chicken or make yourself a good ol' turkey sandwich.
I for one am very thankful for the leftovers especially since my husband and I have both been sick for the last week. Again I am thankful that he was not as sick as I have been. You may think that sounds crazy but see he still has work everyday, I on the other hand have the luxury of staying home. So, if one of has to be worse off, I'd rather it be me.
He was a real trooper, feeling like crap and working without complaining. With leftovers he could still have a hot meal.
I did must up enough energy 3 days into being sick, to throw together this soup. It was a delicious way to use leftovers, and veggies before they spoiled, have a hot meal and not have to stand over the stove. Win win in all cases.
Some may argue that this is not keto since it has black beans, since keto does not recommend eating beans, but, being sick and needing added protein, I calculated the carbs and felt it was worth it, plus it added to the Tex Mex flare of the dish. So if you are still about your carbs or lack of and want to remain strick keto, leave the beans out. It's your dish, fix it the way you prefer, this really is more of a guide.
Hope you'll try it and if you do, let me know how you liked it.

12 servings
Net carbs 8.9 per serving
Serving size 1 1/2 cups

7 cups water
3 chicken bouillon cubes
1 16oz can fire roasted tomatoes
1 14oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
3-4 cups diced leftover turkey
3 small sweet salad peppers, diced
1/4 sweet onion diced
6 medium size button mushrooms, diced
2 celery ribs, diced
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp garlic powder
fresh cracked pepper to taste
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp oregano
1 TBSP parsley flakes
1 tsp cumin
Super simple meal, dice the vegetables and toss into a large pot. Bring to a boil and reduce heat, simmer for 1 hour.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Sugar Free Cheesecake Swirl - keto AND a NuNaturals Give away!

Need a dessert you can enjoy for the holidays without feeling deprived? How about this brownie cheesecake swirl?? It was a great treat and will satisfy your sweet tooth and keep you off the sugar high.
That is important to me. I am down 31 pounds since I began the #keto way of eating and at times I miss certain foods, especially with the holidays approaching but I'm trying, yes trying, to stay the course.
As a general rule I don't miss sugar or carbs but Thanksgiving and Christmas mean, family, love, celebrations and carbs. Mashed potatoes, rice, rolls, corn, sweet potato casserole, the list goes on and try as I might, I know I will slip a tad but I don't want to totally fall in to the carb coma.
I made this up as I went along, adding a little of this and a little of that. One thing that remained and that was the use of NuNaturals products. I love them!
If you haven't tried them, here is your opportunity. Enter to win! I have been using them for around 4 years now. Ron and the staff are wonderful.
After the recipe you'll find the ENTER TO WIN section. No I wasn't paid for this post, I am offering this give away because Ron is generous and I enjoy their products. Nothing to buy but once you try it, you'll keep going back. I add the flavors and syrups in my coffee, all made with Stevia and Monk fruit, no artificial chemicals. 

Sugar Free Brownie Cheesecake Swirl
4 oz cream cheese
1 egg
vanilla- I used 1 full dropper of NuNaturals vanilla extract
2 TBSP More Fiber Stevia Baking Blend
3 TBSP half n half
If this is too thick, add 1/8-1/4 cup of unsweetened original almond milk
Blend all of this well in a mixing bowl and set aside.

2 oz cold brew concentrate coffee (optional)
5 oz half n half
1 TBSP More Fiber Stevia baking blend (this adds fiber and sweetener without sugar)
3 TBSP cocoa (Dutch Process NuNaturals)
1/2 cup organic high fiber Bob's Red Mill coconut flour
1/2 cup unsweetened original almond milk
1 egg
Blend well and pour into a nonstick round pan or a greased ceramic pan, 9-10 inches. Pour the first mixture on top and swirl.
Bake in a preheated over at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.
Allow to cool, store in the fridge. Slice and serve with a drizzle of NuNaturals cocoa syrup on top and fresh whipped cream or leave plain. Either way it's delicious.

We are awarding (4) four readers one bottle of the Vanilla Alcohol Free NuStevia Liquid, a bottle of our NEW SUGAR-FREE COCOA SYRUP, & a package of the NEW COCOA POWDER, PLUS a 50 pkt. box of our NuStevia NO-CARBS Stevia Packets.  
In addition, each of the 4 winners will also receive a FREE BONUS  item. The total retail value of each package is $ 70.00.
 NuNaturals WILL SHIP DIRECTLY to the winners.
WE CAN NOT SHIP TO P O BOXES. We need full name, specific address, & EMAIL address so we might advise all winners regarding the status of their award shipments.

When the winners are chosen I, Dawn, will email you and inform you that you won, then Ron will ship your products directly to you.

Be sure to visit their website to check out ALL the great products they have available.  NuNaturals
When you get to the check out, IF you are purchasing, you can receive a discount based off of your visit here and entering to win. Just use: DISCOUNT CODE of  :  BLG1217  and they will receive a  -15% DISCOUNT on their entire order. ( NOT to be combined with any other discounts. ) This discount remains EFFECTIVE UNTIL December 31, 2017.
Online ordering customers may also receive FREE SHIPPING to the CONTINENTAL U.S. on all orders exceeding $ 35.00 after discounts.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

** Our winners are:

Eileen Boyce
Ancilla Jagdeo
Tasha Cain
Stacey Trim
Congrats! Ron will be emailing you for your addresses. NuNaturals will ship directly to you.

Friday, November 17, 2017

A Keto Day - Omelette with Fly On The Wall

Fly On The Wall

Oh much has happened in my life until I feel the "fly on the wall" at my house has gotten dizzy and most likely fell off! LOL

I left my job and home in NC and moved to GA the end of September. Then I moved again the end of October. Now...yep you guessed it. I'm getting ready to move again. But this time because my husband, yes husband, was promoted and they company is moving us.

Oh yeah!! I got married!! I am over the moon happy but you know they say happiness is contagious, well it's just not so.
I was in the grocery store the day after getting married, yep I is back to normal, and this lady said "how are you today, you look happy" and I said "thank you I am AWESOME I got married last night!" She looked at me like I had 5 heads and walked off. hmmp
The cashier, this young Haitian guy, who is a doll, said to me "some people are always grumpy, congratulations and I hope I am lucky enough that one day I get married and my wife is as happy as you are, your husband is a lucky man" to which I replied, "you dang skippy he is! LOL but we are blessed thank you" he laughed too.

I began the keto way of eating on 1 July, I am down 30 lbs! My current goal is 30 more, then I will set another goal.
Basically, keto is low or no carb. No rice, potatoes, pasta, high starch veggies, no sugar and very little fruit. I love my fruit and honestly that has been the most difficult. But, there are days where I say "hang it" and I eat an apple. Maybe it will take longer to take off the weight but such is life. I refuse to be miserable and deprived. So if it takes longer, it takes longer.
So simple, eggs, cheese, ham, olives, pimento, black pepper BAM done! This is a normal breakfast for me, minus the grapes. Those are a treat, as Keto is not big on fruit due to the sugar content.
We were at the courthouse applying for our license, on the application we skipped question 6. When we approached the counter, the clerk said, you didn't answer question 6. I said "well, the question wasn't clear, so we left it blank", she laughed, and said "well, are y'all kin? Blood relatives?" We both said "NO" she laughed and said, okay write it in block 6.
Which only left us to believe, that it's okay to be kin and get married. WHOA

At the courthouse, in the same office, you apply for not only marriage license but also gun permits. LOL gives new meaning to shotgun wedding!

After getting married I sent my boys a text...and just for the heck of it I included my daughter. Now if you don't know, two of the five are adopted. So this makes it even funnier. Yes, we are warped.
"You'll be happy to know that you are no longer illegitimate, I married your dad tonight"
For those of you behind on things, I married my ex husband, my kids father.
They each replied.
JR: that's good to know, thanks
J: ummm okay, didn't know I was ever illegitimate
JF: I'm so happy for you both
Steph: I love you mom!

My youngest son sent me a text just a few hours before the wedding: " congratulations to you both, I wish I could be there, I love you both"
I replied "It's okay, you missed the first one too"
His reply was "well yeah, there's that"
LOL I don't know if my kids appreciate my humor but my husband and I get a kick out of it and their responses.

My oldest sent a text " sorry I can't be there for the wedding and to celebrate with y'all"
I replied "sorry you'll miss the wedding but if you were here we would not include you in the celebration, we don't like an audience."
He replied "LOL love you mom"

The day of the wedding we went out and obtained our license, then went to lunch. We are sitting at our table and I look to my right...
There's a guy standing RIGHT next to my face, a HOLE in his jeans, butt shining! NO drawers! OMG I said, I'm taking a picture and send my Sissy! So I did. Here ya go...

Two year old twins and a 10 month old
Bless this young man. (one of my neighbors)
In 10-12 years his house will be overflowing with teenage hormones!

Our new neighbors wifi cracks me up!

Tamara I thought you'd like this unusual Starbucks. Less than a mile from my house.

The family that naps together...

I've seen some crazy things, but onesies for grown men??? I think not.

While traveling we saw a "Dwarf" Chic Fil A... I was like, huh? SO I looked it up. The founder of Chic Fil A actually started with the Dwarf restaurant, then it became the CFA later on. Here in Atlanta, the original dwarf house is still open, right now they are renovating. It even has a little dwarf door for the kids to go through. How cool is that?

Baking In A Tornado
Menopausal Mother
Searching for Sanity
Spatulas on Parade
Never Ever Give Up Hope
Bookworm in the Kitchen
The Blogging 911

Monday, November 6, 2017

Fall Favorites - Blog With Friends

Welcome to the November 2017 edition of #BlogWithFriends. This month our theme is "Fall Favorites" and in that, each blogger has chosen their own way of sharing favorites with us. Recipes, crafts, DIY and teaching. I hope you'll visit each one.
I have a love for Fall. Cooler weather, sweaters, hoodies, hot cocoa, bon fires, roasting marshmallows, wrapping up on the couch in front of the fire reading or watching a movie, sleeping with the windows open and feeling a cool breeze, going for a hike and not sweating to death. The list goes on and on. 
One of my true favorites is that the holidays will be here soon. Halloween just passed and we are quickly approaching Thanksgiving and then way too quickly Christmas will be here.
Turkey, stuffing, pies, cakes, sweet potato casserole, collards, the list is endless of my Fall favorite recipes!
Here is a quick little cupcake I whipped up last week.
Chocolate Faux Peanut Butter (because I use WOW butter due to a peanut allergy) with cream cheese frosting. Yummy
I will edit this post later if possible, as I have misplaced my recipe I was working on. Red face, shame on me! I wrote it on a scrap of paper and am afraid I threw it out. LOL Who hasn't done this, right? Please tell me I'm not alone.

Here are the others:

Alicia at TaylorLife

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Beef Soup #keto

For the South, we had a cold snap. It was a big old 45 degrees, but hey it is November. Of course that didn't last but a few days, so while it was cooler I decided to test out a few new soup ideas. Keto friendly of course!

Beef Soup Keto Friendly
3/4 lb angus beef stew meat,Cut into bite size pieces
4 green onions
1 1/2 cups chopped button mushrooms 
1/2 sliced carrots 
2 cloves minced garlic 
1 cup fresh chopped green beans 
Pepper, fresh cracked, to taste
Paprika, 1 tsp
Parsley flakes, 1 heaping TBSP
32 oz beef broth
3 cups water
Saute the meat until medium rare, add the veggies and seasonings/herbs. Pour in the broth and water. Cover and simmer for at least an hour or you could pour it all in a slow cooker on low for 4 hours to enjoy later.
This is filling but not heavy. A delicious meal with very little effort.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Egg Roll In A Bowl

i am a serious Chinese food loving Southern gal and lately it has been heavy on my heart. Yes, my heart and mind. So I decided I wanted egg rolls, but seriously they are NOT keto friendly at all.
Wait, why not make the filling and then just eat it out of a bowl??? Ingenious! So that is what I did. It was delicious, quick and a lot less messier and no where near as much clean up!
Again, a win win! YAY for keto!!

3/4 lb bulk pork sausage
Carrots,chopped about 1/2 cup
Cabbage, shredded 1 cup maybe a little more
Green onions, sliced I used 4
Celery, 2 stalks/ribs as my mom calls them
Ginger powder,1 tsp
Garlic, 2 cloves smashed and minced
Fish sauce, 1 TBSP
Soy sauce, 2 TBSP
This is super simple. Cook the meat, add the veggies and spices. Once the veggies are to your preferred tenderness, it is done.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

3 minute Individual #keto Cheesecakes

Since I began the keto way of eating, I have not had any sweets. That is an amazing feat in and of itself, especially for me! Because you all know, I've been a sweetaholic since birth or it feels like it anyway.

However, lately I had been craving cheesecake. That's okay, it's keto approved as long as you don't use sugar. NO SUGAR?! Yuck... but wait. I have NuNaturals and a ton of ideas. Ron over at NuNaturals is a great guy and very supportive. Their products are wonderful and extremely helpful when you want to go sugar free but still like for things to be 'sweet'.
Aren't they beautiful? Oh my, and yes, delicious. My honey took one bite, looked at me and said, you can't eat this. I said why not? He said, "no way this is keto" I said oh yes it is otherwise you wouldn't be eating it either. LOL

4 oz cream cheese
2 Tbsp sour cream
1 tsp vanilla NuNaturals
1 tsp Lemon
2 individual pkg of Monk fruit or a sprinkle to taste
2 eggs
**note the second time I made these, I used the NuNaturals Vanilla Syrup instead of the monk fruit and vanilla. I liked it better.**
This made two small individual ramekin cheesecakes. So you can half the recipe if you just want one. Or double it for 4 which I did the second time.

Whip up the ingredients in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave 30 seconds. Stir. Repeat 3 times. Sprinkle ground almonds in the ramekin and Spoon mix into ramekins. 6 TBSP was perfect for each one of mine. Depends on the size. Now sprinkle ground almonds on top. Chill for 4 hours.
Drizzle NuNaturals cocoa syrup on top.(which by the way I use EVERYDAY in my coffee instead of sugar or another sweetener. LOVE IT)
Slice 4 strawberries and spread on top.
Whip 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream and place a dollop on top. I also used a tsp of the vanilla syrup in the HWC for that added wonderful sweet vanilla flavor.

You could enjoy them plain or top with whatever you prefer. Strawberries are keto friendly and the entire dish has a total of 6 carbs, now that is what I can a WIN WIN!