Good afternoon, all! I am actually making it back to the blog before too many weeks have passed since the last time I was here! I tell ya, life gets busier and busier!!
Since I posted last, my little man turned 1!
We have picked over 50 pounds of figs from one tree! Yes, that is correct! This particular tree is 19 years old and has always produced well. I think it has out-done itself this year though! I quit weighing them once we reached 50 lbs. Thankfully, we are about done with the picking. The honey bees are enjoying what is left.
Speaking of the honey bees, we have also gotten some honey from our first-year hives! We have hives in 5 different locations and have discovered that honey from those hives tastes different! The honey from one of the locations reminds us all of butter pecan ice cream!
We here in the south are anticipating the Great American Eclipse coming in less than 48 hours now. My hometown happens to be in the path of totality, so we are expecting kaboodles of extra people on Monday! Actually, they are already arriving. Traffic is heavier than normal for a Saturday; hotel rooms are booked over 70 miles out; and eclipse glasses are no where to be found! I read an article today about the 12 busiest cities along the line of totality for the eclipse…the 12 cities that will see the largest influx of people for the eclipse. Three of those 12 cites are in my state! I think I will just stay home on Monday!
Since last night, I received Face Time calls from 3 of my 4 kiddlets! I love this modern technology! It is just so amazing to be able to see them at the same time I am speaking to them, even though they are so very far away.
Surprise! Last night I actually tried a new recipe! I know…it has been forever since I did that! But I’m really trying to get back on the THM wagon and stay there! This low-carb bread is amazing. I decided to divide the dough into 8 small pieces which were the perfect size for burger buns…sliders to be exact. I made my burger patties to match the size of the buns. By adding burger toppings, we had a great meal.
Yes, that is a jar of honey with some honeycomb in the back ground. This bread would be amazing with some local honey drizzled over the top! You can find the recipe here. Enjoy!
It’s been a crazy last few weeks which has contributed to my negligence in writing another blog post! I’ve been mentally writing this several days, and have really tried to get it here on the blog. This is the second time that I have sat at the computer to try to complete a post. I keep getting interrupted! You’d think that with just 2 of us in the house the majority of the time that I should be able to do this without interruption. Guess I’m just not doing it at the right time. Maybe now I can get it done! 🙂
Here is what’s been happening with the family.
For Father’s Day this year I decided to replace our old tried and true automatic drip coffee maker. The old one was a gift to us for our wedding 29 years ago! I think that it is the last of the small-appliance-wedding-gifts that we received. I have burned out more crockpots, toasters, and hand mixers than I can count. The large appliances are are anywhere from 15 years to 25 years old, but the coffee pot has stuck around for 29! But not the carafe! We’ve replaced that more times than can be counted, too!
My sweet Little Man is rapidly approaching his first birthday! His latest accomplishment is crawling!! Time for my girl and her man to baby-proof the house!
Little Miss Mia is loving summer by playing outside in her pool and by jumping on the trampoline. She is doing pretty well as a big sister to sweet little Gracie Mae! Both the girls and their mommy are adjusting to life without Daddy for awhile as he serves our country. We pray daily for him while he is gone.
We are just 18 days out from the Big Day for my officer and his lady! I have my dress and shoes; the venue for the rehearsal dinner is reserved and menu chosen. I’m working on the center pieces for the tables and finalizing the number for the caterer. I can’t believe that this wedding is just around the corner!!
For a few weeks I found myself falling off the THM wagon and realized that I was just not feeling well. Three weeks ago I got back on that wagon and have worked hard to keep the bad carbs out of my diet. It always amazes me how much better I feel when I eat the THM way!
I discovered this recipe not long ago and knew that I had to give it a try. The original recipe called for strawberries, but last week a friend gave me lots of blueberries! Using blueberries instead of the strawberries made a wonderful scone! Try it yourself using any of the berries. You will be glad that you did!
Happy Monday, everyone! I can’t believe that we are on the last full week of January already! Time is flying by!
We enjoyed a bit of winter weather on Friday and Saturday. Now, I realize that we didn’t get the 14-38 inches of snow that our northern friends received, but here in the south, a few inches is a big deal. New-fallen snow seems to put everyone in a good mood, and what’s great about living in the south is that we can enjoy our few inches of snow and a day off of school or work and then go right back to our temperatures of 50-60 degrees within a day or two! We can enjoy the beauty of new, clean snow without the trials that come with northern snows!
The one thing that we have missed the most while trying to eat a low-carb diet is cinnamon rolls or coffee cake. My sons reminded me of this over the weekend! I used to make sourdough coffee cake every Sunday morning. However, since it just doesn’t suit our eating plan, and we would eat way too much of it, I don’t make it at all any more.
I saw this recipe over on the THM Facebook page the other day and decided to give it a try. We all enjoyed it! Using mozzarella cheese in the dough is absolutely brilliant! The guys thought that the icing needed to be a little bit sweeter, so when I make it again I will add more truvia. I love the way Briana made brown sugar using a little bit of molasses. I think that I would double that for this recipe next time.
I love lemon-flavored breads and desserts especially in the summer! My mom made the BEST lemon meringue pie, and I find that I often crave it during the hot summer months. She was a pro at making pies and pie crusts! Last night we were remembering Mom and her wonderful baking skills. While I remembered her lemon meringue and pecan pies, the hubby remembered her peach pies! It really didn’t matter what kind of pie Mom made. They were all delicious!
I needed to take some muffins to a brunch last weekend and desired to make something lemony. After doing a little bit of research, I realized that there are tons of recipes for lemon or lemon-poppy seed breads and muffins. I found a basic recipe and then tried my best to make it THM friendly. While they didn’t rise like I would have liked them to, they tasted fabulous and received rave reviews!
1/2 c. butter, softened
2/3 c. truvia-blend sweetener
1-1/3 c. flour (I used a mix of oat flour; almond flour, and coconut flour)
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 tbsp. poppy seeds
zest from 1 large lemon
1/2 c. Greek yogurt (sour cream or buttermilk is fine, too)
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. vanilla
36-40 fresh blueberries
Place paper liners into a 12-cup muffin pan. In a large mixing bowl cream butter and sweetener. Add eggs and beat well. In a separate bowl, combine all the dry ingredients including the lemon zest and the poppy seeds. Combine the Greek yogurt, lemon juice and vanilla. Mix well. Add half the dry ingredients to the butter/sweetener mixture and blend well. Then add half the yogurt mixture and blend well. Repeat using the remaining dry ingredients and yogurt mixture. Spoon into the prepared pan. Drop about 3 blueberries on top of each muffin. Bake at 350* for about 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool and enjoy!
Here in the South we are experiencing what my mother always called the January Thaw. While we had seriously cold temperatures not long ago, and then 6 days of dreary skies with no sunshine last week, today was beautifully sunny and close to 60 degrees! Unfortunately, the wind has a bite to it, but I have enjoyed the warm sun today!
Last week I decided to make some low-carb waffles. I discovered the recipe back before Christmas, but just didn’t get around to making these waffles. They are absolutely delicious! You can see the recipe here. The only change I made was to use oat flour instead of oat fiber. I also made up half the recipe because I didn’t want lots of left overs if the hubby didn’t like them. That was a mistake! We both loved them! Give them a try! You will love them, too!
I’ve been learning a lot by following the Trim Healthy Mama Facebook page, and it is not just about recipes! The ladies on that page come up with wonderful ideas to help make life easier as they try to lose weight and get healthy. My favorite tip so far has to be this creative way to make pouring those half-gallon Mason jars full of wonderful beverages.
Isn’t this a great idea? I just cut around a pour spout from a carton of almond milk and used it as the flat lid with the ring to my Mason jar. Seriously, why didn’t I think of this? I’m telling you, these ladies are absolutely brilliant!
One of the favorite recipes in our home at Christmas is this delicious cherry nut bread. I first discovered this recipe while I was still in college. I baked it for my parents who just loved it. Once I got married, I made it for the hubby and for friends as gifts. You can read the recipe here.
Now that we are trying to eat a low-carb diet, I had to figure out a way to make this recipe without all the carbs, so that we could still enjoy it. While it doesn’t taste the same, it is a good substitute. I followed the basic recipe but made these substitutions:
1. I replaced the 2 c. flour with a combination of almond, coconut, and oat flours. I used 1 c. almond flour and 1/2 cup of each coconut and oat flours. I think when I make this again, I will switch the amounts of oat and almond flours.
2. I used stevia as my sweetener instead of sugar.
3. I used 1 cup of tart pie cherries instead of maraschino cherries.
We liked the flavor of this bread, but it is rather crumbly. I made the recipe into 16 muffins so that I could try to figure out the carbs per serving. If I did my math right, it comes out to 7 carbs per muffin. For those following the THM plan, these would be an S.
This recipe began as an experiment and turned out amazingly well! I saw the basic recipe on line but decided to make some changes just because I could. I loved the results, and the hubby did, too! I used a 3-inch diameter glass to cut out the biscuits instead of a regular biscuit cutter.
2 c. all-purpose flour, divided
1/2 c. almond flour
1/2 tsp. salt
4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 c. coconut oil, softened but not melted
3/4 c. almond milk
1-2 tbsp. soft butter
Mix 1-1/2 c. all-purpose flour, almond flour, salt and baking powder in a large mixing bowl. Cut in the coconut oil. Add almond milk and stir until blended and a soft dough forms. Using the remaining flour, knead the dough a few times. (I just kept the dough in the bowl and turned it with my hands.)
Press dough out on a floured surface to 1/2″ thick. (Again, I just used my hands instead of a rolling pin.) Cut out using a biscuit cutter or inverted glass.
Place on baking sheet. Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes. Brush with butter and bake for another 3-4 minutes or until golden. Serve with your choice of jam or honey! Using the glass to cut out the biscuits yielded 7.
The May Marathon finally ended last week when I had to say good-bye to two precious people…my “baby” boy as he went of to AF BMT and the Best Aunt Ever as I got her home and I flew back to my family. I really do not like saying good-bye, especially when it is for a lengthy period of time. The whole family except my dear daughter went with Sam to the airport to catch his flight out to San Antonio. After we saw him through security, the BAE and I began our journey to Omaha while the others drove home.
I am so thankful that God orders our steps and keeps us in His care. When we were first discussing the May Marathon, we were planning for me to fly back home on June 3. Before I could buy my tickets for the flight to get the BAE, Sam received his orders for BMT. He was to arrive there on June 3. This created a bit of a problem, so we decided that I would fly back on the 5th instead. Did any of you happen to hear about the weather on June 3 out in Omaha?? The area got more rain on that day than they ever had, there was strong wind and hail the size of baseballs, the airport was closed…flights canceled. Yes, God knew I needed to fly back home on the 5th, not the 3rd!
The hubby and I have several recipes that we’ve tried recently, so I will try to get them posted here this week. First is a muffin recipe that I modified on Saturday. Initially, I planned to make this recipe, but I realized that I had no apples or applesauce or raisins. I did, however, have some ripe bananas in my freezer that I needed to use. I also had dried cranberries, some dried coconut, and some mini chocolate chips. I used the basic recipe for the Oatmeal Apple Raisin Muffins and made these changes and additions:
1 c. mashed bananas instead of applesauce
1 c. dried cranberries instead of raisins
1/3 c. mini chocolate chips
1/3 c. shredded coconut
1/2 c. almond flour and 1/2 c. whole wheat flour instead of 1 c. all purpose flour.
Make sure you click on the original recipe in order to see the other ingredients. This recipe is amazing!! I know I will make it again!
The other day I was helping to prepare a meal for my nephew and his wife who recently had their first baby, and then had to move to a larger apartment quite unexpectedly. I remembered this recipe for yeast bread that I first made when I was in college. Even though it is a yeast bread, it makes up very quickly because it rises only once. Because the dough gets rolled up to fit into the bread pan, it is light and fluffy, and oh, so yummy!
2 pkg yeast
3/4 c. warm water
1-1/4 c. buttermilk
4-1/2 to 5 c. flour
1/4 c. shortening or butter
2 tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. salt
Grease a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan. In a large mixing bowl dissolve yeast in warm water. Add buttermilk, 1-1/2 c. flour, shortening or butter, sugar, baking powder and salt. Blend about 30 seconds on low speed of mixer, scraping bowl constantly. Beat 2 minutes on medium speed, scraping bowl occasionally.
Stir in remaining flour. Dough will remain soft and sticky. Turn dough onto well-floured board; knead 5 minutes or about 200 turns. Roll or pat dough into a rectangle 18×9 inches. Roll up from the short side. Press each end to seal. Fold ends under loaf. Place seam side down in pan. Brush with soft butter. Let rise until double, about 1 hour. Using the lowest rack in the oven, bake at 400 degrees for 30-35 minutes. Remove immediately from pan and cool on wire rack. Brush with more butter.
Options: 1) Use the bread hook attachment on a stand mixer for the entire process to eliminate the kneading step. 2) Brush with soft butter before rolling up the dough. 3) Make 2 loaves instead of one by using 2 smaller pans instead of one large one.
Today is day 2 of our southern winter storm. The snow started again around 7:30 this morning and has been falling ever since. This time we are also having wind. And sleet. And a build-up of ice on trees and power lines. All the local weather forecasters and radio talk show hosts are saying it is just a matter of time before we lose our electricity and that we need to be prepared for…not if we lose it, but when we lose it. The last time we lost our electricity during a winter storm, it was out for about 5 days!
This is the view outside my kitchen window today. It is hard to see, but there is snow falling…tiny little flakes!
Today is also February 12, the day my sweet mom was born back in 1921. Mom was my baking inspiration, and I miss her much! I am so thankful that my memories of her are always happy ones!
When my kiddos were small and we had snowy days like today, I enjoyed baking special treats for them to enjoy when they came back inside after playing in the snow. I would still like to bake, but with fewer people in the house these days, lots of baking just doesn’t appeal to me any more. Today I browsed through my new-to-me Better Homes and Garden cookbook and found a very easy recipe for Mexican Doughnut Strips. Since the recipe makes just 12, I knew it should be good for my smaller family. As I finished making them, I realized that they are very much like the churros we used to get at Uncle Berto’s, the Mexican restaurant Barbi worked in for her very first job.
2 tbsp. butter
1-1/2 tsp. sugar
1/2 c. water
1/2 c. all-purpose flour
Shortening or cooking oil for deep frying
In a small saucepan, bring butter, 1-1/2 tsp. sugar, and water to boiling. Add flour all at once, stirring well with a wooden spoon. Cook and stir until the mixture forms a ball that doesn’t separate. Remove from heat and cool for 10 minutes. Add egg; beat until smooth.
(Oops! forgot to rotate that picture!) Spoon dough into pastry bag fitted with a large star tip. Pipe dough into 3-inch strips onto a lined baking sheet. (I used wax paper.) Freeze about 15 minutes or until the paper can be peeled off. (Do not freeze firm.) Fry, a few at a time in deep hot fat (375 degrees) for 4-5 minutes or until golden. Drain on paper towels. Roll in sugar and serve warm.
Tip: Make sure your oil or shortening is at the proper temperature. A few of mine seem a little doughy on the inside while golden on the outside!