Friday, July 28, 2017

Stuffed Pepper Explosion Keto Style

Since switching over to the keto way of eating, I have been going through some of my old recipes. Looking for things that I really enjoyed that could easily be converted over. The "stuffed pepper explosion" was one of the first! It was super easy to convert and so delicious. My son did not even know that I had made a "substitution" LOL
The substitution was instead of rice I used cauliflower. You can purchase "riced" cauliflower in the frozen foods section at your local grocer or you can do what I did and make your own. Whichever is better for you.

Stuffed Pepper Explosion Keto Style
2/3 lb ground beef
large bell pepper diced
1 can fire roasted tomatoes
1 tsp garlic powder, paprika, onion powder, Mexican oregano 
1 TBSP parsley
1/2-1 cup cheese, shredded
1 1/2 cup cauliflower, riced
I used less ingredients due to making a smaller less dense casserole since it is just myself and my son (part time). This recipe did make 5 good size portions. I also did prepare this in the 13x9 pan.
Cook the ground beef, when it is almost done, leaving some pink is okay since it does go in the oven. Add your diced bell pepper and spices. For a larger casserole use a whole pound of meat and 2 whole peppers.
Saute the meat and pepper. Then add in the can of tomatoes.
While the meat is cooking prepare your cauliflower rice, if you did not purchase a bag of frozen. I used had of a bag of frozen cauliflower florets and soaked them in water, drained well and placed in my food processor. I hit pulse until the cauliflower looked like rice, about 5 times. Now add this to the meat/veggie mix and stir well.
Pour in to a greased casserole dish and top with cheese.
Bake for 10-15 minutes at 350

** Sissy did it!! She made the Keto version of the stuffed pepper explosion. She sent me pictures and gave me permission so I put them in a collage and here is hers! Beautiful and they loved it.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Faux Mashed Potatoes #keto friendly

When you say faux your mind might conjure up pictures of fake fur or a faux finish on the walls, you know where you spend hours making your walls look like denim  only to grow out of that phase in a few short months.
So faux mashed potatoes? yes...looks like lumpy mashed potatoes, taste even better but without the starch/sugar and carbs!What?! Yes! FABULOUS mashed potatoes without the guilt. Using what you ask...well fasten your seat belts, it's cauliflower! YES that unsung vegetable hero that no one seems to know what to do with because it really is tasteless. BUT like tofu it absorbs the flavors around it.
Faux Mashed Potatoes Keto Friendly
1 - 1 lb bag of frozen cauliflower
2 TBSP oil or butter, I used chicken drippings from baked wings (don't judge me!)
2 TBSP butter
salt and pepper to taste (I use sea salt so it is added at the end and fresh cracked pepper)
1/3 cup water
cook until done, about 8 minutes, then add a splash of cream along with
1/4 cup Parmesan Regigano grated cheese
Stir and allow to cook until the cauliflower breaks down and the liquid thickens.
Next pour into a bowl and add 
2 TBSP cream cheese vegetable spread
Stir well and "mash" the cauliflower as smooth or chunky as you like.
It really is that simple!

Now I did make 2 Marco Polo videos while making these. Sent to my Sissy and I thought about adding them to this recipe, BUT I could not figure out how to transfer the videos. I did manage to figure out downloading and saving the videos, just not how to get them into the blog. IF at a later time I figure it out, I MIGHT add them, but they SERIOUSLY need editing! LOL

Monday, July 24, 2017

Keto - low carb - high protein - new way of eating

Here's an update on where I am. I mentioned recently that I was going keto, well let me explain, I am not going 100% and my reason why is this...Keto WOE (way of eating) is when you put your body into ketosis. My middle son is type 1 diabetic and when you say ketosis I think ICU. He has been there far too many times due to being in DKA. AND with my family history, my father passed from renal failure, the last thing I want to do is to put myself into ketosis. So I am low carb, extremely low, good fat, high protein, no potatoes, corn, bread, starchy veggies and minimal fruit.

Previously what my weekly meals looked like:(see bread all the time or potatoes, rice and pasta) however I had started to cut back...
Now, what I am doing is DRASTICALLY cutting out carbs, ramping up my protein and adding good fats. In doing so, I am at the 3 week mark and have lost 8.2 lbs. I have also been walking a LOT more than before. I am sure this is helping as well. Along with eating more during the day. I am preparing foods and taking to work. Before I had fallen into the not eating all day, coming home late and eating everything in sight. NOT a healthy life style.

what my meals look like now...well food prep anyway

On Sundays I am prepping food so that each morning I can grab and go because let's be honest, at 0300 the last thing I care about is food or packing a lunch or breakfast for that matter. Now I reach in the fridge, grab my bag and walk out the door.
My carry-to-work foods are easy, non messy, high protein, low carb finger foods. Diced cheese, diced chicken, boiled peeled egg, kosher dill pickle, sunflower seeds, all portioned out and of course several bottles of water. This list I found at 

Over the next...who knows how long, you'll find my recipes change. Low carb, high protein, keto friendly. I hope you find them helpful and enjoyable.

Here is a list if you're curious of what is a Yes No food...

this I found at
This last chart is SUPER helpful to me, I was getting major cravings prior to going low carb and my doctor had said I was LOW in magnesium, potassium and B  vitamins, well that explains some of the cravings! 

Friday, July 21, 2017

Orange You Glad Drink and FOTW July

A little back story, when I was growing up there were several things I hated. Coconut, shrimp, okra, squash and raw tomatoes. Fast forward oh let's say 30+ years, yeah I know more than that but humor me. I love all of the previously mentioned things. LOVE them I tell ya! Funny how our taste changes over the years.
So I said all that to say this, recently I was introduced to Malibu Coconut Rum, oh sweet mother of pearl! WHERE has this been all my life? Okay, there was the 25 years that I didn't drink a drop of ANYthing alcoholic, so I guess it came out during that time. It is my new favorite thing.
Previously I was a vodka or tequila person. No dark liquor and definitely not a beer person. ICK!
I've been experimenting with the rum and various "frozen" drinks. Just throwing things in my blender and seeing how it taste. Here's the newest:

Orange You Glad #SpatulasOnParade

Orange You Glad (yes, yes I am!)
3 scoops of orange sherbet
6 oz Mango Pineapple Orange blend from Dole
2-3 oz Malibu Coconut Rum
Blended and poured into a chilled glass. You can then sit it in the freezer for about 20 minutes to allow it to thicken up again IF you can wait. Sometimes I make two, one for the freezer and one for, well while I wait. LOL
I had to pick up a call at 0530 one morning. It was to a very expensive exclusive condominium area in the historic downtown region of our town.
Upon arrival these two guys walk out and you can tell they are toasted. One comes over to the drivers window and wants to know if I am there to take his friend home. I told him yes.
He says "WOW you're a woman!"
I laughed and said, yes when I got dressed this morning I was and I'm sure it hasn't changed.
Just before I leave he wants me to drive him back up the ramp because he's too drunk to walk up it. Can you hear my eyes roll? I told him no. So then he asks me for a favor.
He says "when you drop my friend off can you give him sex, he's really good"
I said "sir you have called the wrong company, that is a service that we do not   provide".
He says "well can't blame me for trying" (actually I can)
OMG are you kidding?!?!
On the way to drop him off, he says "what did my friend ask you?"
I told him and he was very apologetic and says "I'm too drunk anyway"
Good grief (hear my eyes rolling?).
I asked him for the address and he says "I can't remember but I know where it is".
We get close and he says "it's a dirt road up here on the left and runs deep into the woods by the river, I promise my house is down here and I won't hurt you"
I said "well 1 you're drunk, 2 I'll cut you, 3 I promise if you try anything you'll regret it forever"
He says "I promise I'll be good"
Lort habe mercy(in my best Madea voice) these early morning drunks. Thankfully these type of fares are few and far between.
So I'm in my local grocery and see a new display. Local beers, having dealt with the sloppy drunks the other morning I stop to look at them. I had to take photos to share with you. Would you drink these based on name only?
VooDoo Ranger
Hoptical Illusion
Mother Trucker
White Zombie

My friend Becky posted on FB...she's at the grocery with her grand-kids in line and she says "WHAT?"
she said, my hearing must be going because I swear she said "which bitch is skinnier" when what she really said was, look at the fidget spinners.
Athena, my grand pup. LOOK at those ears!! she looks like a bat! But she is the sweetest pit baby ever.
Beau, my big love bug. You can tell I've worked a LOT of hours lately. I come home and he literally wraps around me. Poor kitty.

My co-worker and I are super close. He is a great guy. 31 yo same as my oldest son and they actually went to high school together. His wife says I am his "work wife" which is funny because I was thinking he was my work kid but anywho. 
He comes in the other week telling me about his daughter. She just turned 5. A few funnies she has said lately.
"Daddy, pee eww, the dogs ass stinks"
"Daddy, did you see Shadow?! He's licking his butt!" YES honey, that's why I tell you NOT to let him lick your face. "OMG Daddy that's nasty!"
"No Daddy I can't pick up my toys, it's too exhausting".
Gotta love kids.

My middle son comes home from work furious. He says there's this little old woman that comes in the store all the time and always gives him a tract. (religious pamphlet) So he's stocking shelves and down in the floor on his knees filling the lower shelf. She walks in and goes straight to him. She says "Son while you're down there why don't ya do some praying".
NEVER judge a book by it's cover. Yes he is covered in tattoos, 27 to be exact, yes his ears are gauged to over 1 inch, yes he has 6 facial piercings BUT he has a heart of gold and will do anything for his friends. He is a very sweet, kind hearted, loving young man. Her attitude will not allow her to see this. Very sad.

Buzz around, see what you think, then click on these links for a peek into some other homes:

Baking In A Tornado        
Menopausal Mother           
Searching for Sanity       
Go Mama O                    
A Little Piece of Peace       
Never Ever Give Up Hope         
Bookworm in the Kitchen           

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Quick Simple Italian Baked Chicken

These days work is keeping me very busy. I work 75 hours a week sometimes more and that is done in 5 days. So when I get home, I'm too exhausted to cook. Which is a crime because cooking has always been my creative outlet and stress reliever. Being that I'm too pooped to pop my meals have to be super easy. Breakfast food is a main staple as is salad and sandwiches.
I have a few previous meals and recipes that I'll be sharing from the last month however, when those are complete, you'll begin to see new recipes. I am attempting to go Keto/Low Carb. It is not easy as I love fruit and sugar. Keto does away with both. I can tell you now I will not do this one hundred percent perfect or as recommended. I need fruit!
A key for me is food prep. If I don't have things quick and easy to grab I will tend to gravitate to drive thru, which is not budget or diet friendly. So I'm dicing, chopping, separating and packing foods for quick snacks and meal time. I'll let you know how it goes.
Quick Simple Italian Baked Chicken
Sliced zucchini (1 medium size)
Diced butternut squash (1 cup)
Chicken breast (2 large boneless skinless, butterfly open)
Place the veggies in the baking pan, I used a ceramic 9x9 square pan.
Place the chicken on top. Next...
Sprinkle parsley, oregano, paprika, garlic powder and onion powder on top.
Pour Italian tomato sauce over the chicken.
Cover the chicken with 1 cup of Parmesan cheese
Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

Serve with butter garlic noodles and a side salad or whatever else you choose.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Clay Pot Lighthouse: Hot Fun #Blogwithfriends

Welcome to another #Blogwithfriends post, that time each month when we, several diverse bloggers, get together and with one theme come up with many ideas to post on the same day. This month our theme is "hot fun" because, well dang, it's HOT!
Now when my kids were younger and would go to camp, the first rule they were given upon arrival was this: it's hot, we all know it's hot, so please refrain from telling us it's hot. Did they listen? Yes, because if not, you were given KP duty. Wish I had of thought of that!
So this month I did something totally different. My hot fun was a day with my mom. For my birthday we had a "craft day". Something I have never done with my mom. Now I used to craft all the time and my mom is a very accomplished seamstress. However, we've never done a "project" together except for yard work, ie..her flower beds.
I had seen a cool idea on FB where they used clay pots to make lighthouses and since I collect lighthouses I thought this would be a fun idea and something totally out of the box.
My mom was game, which shocked me, she's an inside the box person, where I am out. Anyway, the original one was BIG and was in the yard. Since I didn't want my mom to break the back I thought we'd do smaller versions and then we could each place ours on our perspective decks.
After a delicious lunch, pork tenderloin, gravy, homemade mashed potatoes, garden peas and lemon meringue pie, we set out for the craft store.
I gather the supplies we would need, then we headed home with our bounty.
My mom was kind of hesitant and waited for me on each step but about half way through she gathered her confidence and took off.
They are not perfect and we had a few blunders or blobs of paint but we had an enjoyable time and plan on doing more projects together.
Here are the finished products and simple directions. OH be sure to check out all the other projects!!
Purchase 3 clay pots in sizes that will sit inside of each other, upside down, but leaves a space where you see the pots. Not where they sit flush. We used a 6,7 and 8 inch
1 tray large enough for the pots to sit in and leave room for the "water or rocks"
Applecrate acrylic paint in red, white and blue
1 lb of small rocks, this is enough for two lighthouse projects IF you do a small one.
Solar light, purchased at the dollar tree, pop the stick off the bottom
Gorilla glue or an epoxy that will hold outside to a clay pot
We used sponge brushes
Clay pot sealant spray, this protect the lighthouse from drying out

Paint each pot red, trim in white, it is not necessary to paint the inside as isn't seen. Trim in white. The inside of the tray in blue.
Allow each to dry, which only takes a few minutes in between coats.
This process is very quick.
Once dry, place the largest pot on the bottom, the middle on top and then the smallest. We placed a small dab of glue in each one to hold them together.
Place them on the tray and add a dab of glue as well.
Next fill in with rocks or shells if you like.
Lastly pop the stick off the solar light and glue it to the top. IF you are using large pots the solar light will fit in the hole in the bottom of the pot, since we used small pots we glued ours to the pot. 
Then last but not least OUTSIDE, spray the finished project with the sealant. Once the smell hits you, you'll understand why it says "use in a well ventilated area".