Figs, Figs, and More Figs!

After going through a dry spell this summer, we started getting some much needed rain in the last two weeks or so. The hubby put up a new rain gauge, and it is finally getting some use! This is what it showed this morning–our rain amount for the last 7 days!

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If you look carefully (I know it isn’t the best picture!) you will see the level up above 4″. Over half of this fell during a 2-hour time span yesterday afternoon!

While we’ve been getting rain, the temperatures have stayed on the high side, so it still feels icky sticky outside once the rain stops. It has been perfect for our figs! This year only one of our fig trees has produced figs, but it has R E A L L Y produced!! We are approaching the 30-pound mark! Yes, you read that right! One tree has given us almost 30 pounds of figs, and it isn’t finished yet.

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We have eaten fresh figs (well, the hubby and Ben have). We have frozen them, dehydrated them, sold some and given some away. Over the weekend I made a Fig-Strawberry butter which was amazing! And today, my kitchen come-on is a wonderful smell of Peach-Fig butter currently in the crock-pot!

A friend shared the recipe for Fig Butter which I also found here. I didn’t have any white grape juice on hand, but I did have regular grape juice. I used a mix of grape juice and water. I also used about 4 cups figs and 2 cups strawberries to make up the 6 cups of figs. It was amazing!

I am using the same recipe today except that I have used half figs and half peaches to equal the 6 cups. I also used half cup lemon juice plus 1/4 c. water in place of the white grape juice.

I hope it tastes as good as it smells!

Fruit Pizza

We had a fun July 4th on Saturday and tried to keep our eating on-plan through out the day. Unfortunately, the church picnic is where we fell off the wagon! It is so hard to eat right at a wonderful church buffet! But we are back on track today and hoping for a good week of proper eating habits! Tim and I can both tell a difference in how we feel when we eat the wrong type of foods!

My sweet Mia Joy is 10 months old now! We enjoyed having her and her mommy join us at the picnic Saturday. We missed her daddy who had to work! She was very interested in eating Mommy’s BBQ sandwich! With only 4 teeth, that’s just not possible yet!

027I discovered this amazing fruit pizza recipe several months ago but never made it until Saturday. It tastes wonderful! As you can see, I switched out the fruits from what is listed on the main recipe. I also used my flour blend of almond meal, oat flour, flax and coconut flour instead of using only almond flour. One other change was to add 1-1/2 tsp of Truvia to the cream cheese mixture to give it a little more sweetness.

You can find the recipe here. I highly recommend it! It is very easy to make and is delicious!

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Strawberry Cheesecake Fat Bombs and Overnight Oatmeal

I haven’t felt very creative lately, so coming up with new recipes has not been high on the priority list. Maybe it is because I am feeling the summer slump (no road trip planning going on like last summer) or maybe it is because it is July. July has become a bittersweet month for me over the years. Many of my family members and friends have birthdays in July which make it a fun month, and my parents’ anniversary was July 3, 1956! I just love this picture of them!

Image (54)Back in July of 1972, my parents moved our family and our farm (about 15 goats, 2 horses, 3 dogs, and several rabbits!) from NJ to SC. We often say it was the best thing that they did for us!

July also has its sad memories for me including the death of my dad in 1989, and the loss of our 3rd child mid-pregnancy in 1992. I often find myself a wee bit melancholy during July. I am so very thankful to have the love of my God who does all things well. He is good all the time! All the time He is good.

Today I am sharing 2 recipes that I discovered over on the THM Face Book page. I’m telling you…the ladies on that page are amazing creators when it comes to on-plan recipes! I have a notebook full of recipes that I printed from that page!

The Strawberry Cheesecake Fat Bombs recipe comes from lowcarbsosimple.com. I made these last night and they were a big hit with everyone who tried them! The only change I made was that I used about 1-1/2 tbsp of Truvia as my sweetener instead of the erythritol or liquid stevia since I don’t have either of those ingredients. I also used the coconut oil option instead of the butter. I also used my mini muffin pan since I don’t have candy molds. You can find the recipe here. Give them a try! you will be glad you did!

The other recipe I’m sharing is also delicious! It is called Peaches and Cream Oatmeal and you can find it here. I made the recipe exactly as written except for switching out the peaches for diced strawberries. It is sooo good! I think that the strawberry version can do without the nutmeg, though. Next time I will leave that out.  I also gave mine about 65 seconds in the  microwave to warm it up a bit since I don’t like my oatmeal cold. If you are often rushed in the morning, you definitely want to give this a try! It is great making it up the night before so it is all set for breakfast in the morning!

Measuring Spoons and Chocolate-Zucchini Cake

Have you ever had a favorite kitchen tool that finally became too fragile to use? It’s like saying good-bye to an old friend! My favorite measuring spoons once belonged to my sweet mom. I have no idea how old they are, but since they used to have a pretty copper coloring to them, I imagine that they are about 40 years old. Mom loved the copper color for her kitchen back in the 1970s.  I’ve been using them for years, but noticed a few months back that the tablespoon is getting rather fragile and bending easily. Rather than use them until they break, I decided to put the set away.  I came across the spoons a week or so ago and decided to put them into a shadow box. I’m going to enjoy them for a little while and then send them off to my girl to have in her kitchen!

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We were able to have some long-time friends over for dinner last weekend, and I wanted to keep our meal on the eating plan for the hubby.  And since we were having guests, I wanted a dessert.  Some smart mama shared this recipe on the Face Book THM page a few months ago.  It is wonderful!  My family never realized that it has zucchini in it!

4 tbsp melted butter

1/2 c. Truvia (I used Stevia)

3 eggs

1-1/2 c. shredded zucchini (I used 1 medium zucchini)

2 tsp. vanilla

1/3 c. coconut flour

1/3 c. almond flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

2 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 c. dark chocolate chips (85%)

Blend all ingredients in a blender until well-mixed. Pour batter into a greased 9×9 pan. Bake at 375* for about 30 minutes.  Cool for about 20 minutes and remove from pan to a wire rack. Cool completely.

(I have made this cake twice and both times I have forgotten to add the dark chocolate chips. Tastes great anyway!)

Frosting

1/2 c. whipping cream

2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

4 tbsp. powdered truvia

1 tsp. vanilla

Combine all ingredients in a blender and mix until cream thickens. Spread over the top of  cooled cake.  Store frosted cake in the fridge.  Serves 8

No-Bake Strawberry Cheesecake (THM/S)

This past weekend was absolutely wonderful!! For the first time in nearly 2 years, I had all 4 of my kiddlets around my supper table on Saturday night and then again for Sunday dinner!!!  Back in early January Barbi said that she wanted to come for this particular weekend. I checked the calendar to make sure that nothing was already scheduled, and then penciled in her visit.  As her arrival date came closer I was wishing that our Citadel cadet could come home, too, so that all the kids could be home again at the same time. Unfortunately, he had an important SMI (Saturday Morning Inspection) scheduled for that weekend. He tried to get a pass for missing it, but was told he could not leave.  I was totally bummed!  However, he discovered that he could probably come home after the SMI if he could get a ride.  As it turned out, Sam was still in Columbia on Saturday afternoon, so Ben just needed a ride to meet Sam. And it worked!!! I was one happy mama over the weekend!!

I told everyone to be prepared for pictures because it had been soooo long since they had been together, and we have no idea when they will all be together again.  The only disappointing part was that Barbi’s man couldn’t come!

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There was lots of laughter around the table at supper Saturday night! Even though the meal was over, no one was in a hurry to leave the table. Sons 1 and 2 decided to arm wrestle and got to laughing so hard, that they had to stop!

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I knew that Sunday dinner didn’t need any special planning since we have had the same Sunday dinner for years…beef roast, rice, broccoli, etc.  It’s a tradition the kids grew up with!  However, I needed something for Saturday night supper. I was game for pizza, but that idea got nixed.  We went with chicken tacos instead. Barbi seasoned up some chicken breasts in the crock pot to cook while she and I shopped.  That just left a dessert.  I remembered this recipe for strawberry cheesecake and thought that I had all the ingredients. Well, I didn’t, but with a few substitutions and some quick thinking by the hubby, we got it to work. It was delicious! And the hubby was able to stay on-plan for the meal!

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I made the crust exactly as the recipe says except I used Stevia instead of Swerve. I did have to make changes in the filling since I had no heavy whipping cream or plain gelatin. I tried using half-and-half, but that doesn’t whip up like the whipping cream. The hubby thought that we could gently heat the mixture and stir in a thickener like either corn starch or coconut flour.  This definitely helped! We let it set in the freezer until after dinner, and other than being a little soft in the center, it turned out perfectly!  I chose to drizzle the chocolate ganache over each slice instead of spreading it over the entire cheesecake.

 

On-the-Plan Peanut Butter Cups

As most of you know I’ve been trying to help the hubby to lose weight and exercise ever since September. I am delighted to tell you all that he is just one pound away from 30 pounds lost!! Believe me when I say it has taken lots of hard work!! He has been swimming laps, lifting weights, and walking. We even completed a 5K last weekend!! We didn’t run it or even jog it, but we power-walked it and jogged a little of it. Here we are crossing the finish line:

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We all know that Valentine’s Day is a day for candy and flowers, right? Well, since the hubby has been working so very hard to lose the weight, I did not dare purchase his favorite peanut butter cups for Valentine’s Day. Thankfully, on the Trim Healthy Mama face book page, someone shared a recipe for peanut butter cups that are permitted on the plan. I was so excited to see the recipe!! I knew that I could give my man his favorite treat but not give him a sugar high. I don’t remember who shared the recipe or if it came from a blog, so I apologize in advance for not giving credit where credit is due.  And of course, these don’t taste completely like the name-brand candies that can be purchased at the store, but they still give the delicious peanut butter/chocolate flavor that most of us love.

3/4 c. coconut oil, solid but soft

1 tbsp. natural peanut butter

3 oz. 85% chocolate (I got it at Aldi)

1/3 c. unsweetened cocoa powder

2 pinches of sea salt

1/2 c. sweetener (I used a powdered Stevia and needed a bit more)

1-2 tbsp. heavy cream

1 tsp. vanilla

Combine all these ingredients together in the top of a double boiler. Bring water to a low boil in the bottom part of the double boiler. Whisk until melted and smooth.

Line a 24-cup mini muffin pan with paper liners. Drop about 1 tsp of the chocolate mixture into each liner. Freeze for about 10-15 minutes. Keep the remaining chocolate at room temperature.

While the first layer of chocolate is hardening, mix all these ingredients together until well-blended:

2 tbsp coconut oil, melted, but not hot

1/3 c. natural peanut butter

1/4 c. full-fat cream cheese

1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 c. powdered sweetener

1-1/2 scoops vanilla whey protein isolate

Once blended well, drop about 1 tsp on the top of each muffin paper and smooth it out a bit over the chocolate. Stir the remaining chocolate and pour about 2 tsp. on top of the peanut butter mixture. Make sure to cover the peanut butter. Return pan to the freezer or refrigerator for about 30 minutes. When set, remove paper liners of peanut butter cups from the pan and store in a plastic freezer bag in the fridge. They soften easily at room temperature, so be sure to keep them in the fridge.

You may have extra chocolate and peanut butter mixtures. I lined a glass pan with foil and spread the extra peanut butter blend in it, and then drizzled the remaining chocolate over the top of it. Once it set, I broke off pieces to enjoy!

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Low-Carb, Gluten-Free Cranberry Upside-down Cake

Many thanks to all of you who have patiently read this blog over the years, especially this year of 2014. I had set a goal of 15,000 (total) views to reach by December 31. I’d like you to know that I am almost 1,000 views beyond that as of today!!!  I need fewer than 180 more to reach a total of 16,000! You readers are amazing! I’d love to reach 16,000 by Wednesday night!

Last week I needed to make a dessert for a church gathering. Since the hubby and I have been trying to eat more of a low-carb diet, I didn’t want to make a rich dessert like I used to do at Christmas. I came across this recipe on the THM page and immediately thought it would be perfect. It was! If you like cranberries, this is the perfect recipe for something sweet. It pairs perfectly with a cup of hot tea or coffee.  You can see the recipe here.   I used a teaspoon or two of orange extract in place of the grated orange rind.

If you are on pinterest, you can see the pin here.

Enjoy!