Low Carb Tomato Soup with Ham and Cheese Sandwich

Y’all are going to love this…but first here’s a little history behind the tomato I bet you didn’t even know πŸ™‚

“Although a classic ingredient for many Western European dishes and an absolute must for any self-respecting French woman the tomato did in fact come from South America and didn’t arrive in Europe until the 16th Century.

Originally from Peru and cultivated by the Aztecs the tomato came to Europe via Spanish and Portuguese traders in the 16th century. Back in its native Peru the tomato was known as the ‘Tomatl’ (which was the precursor for today’s pronunciation) however by the time it reached the shores of Europe the Italians had named it ‘Pomo dei Mori’ which directly translated means ‘the Apple of the Moors’. The French misinterpreted ‘Pomo dei Mori’ due to its coincidentally French-sounding phonetics to ‘Pomme d’Amour’ meaning ‘Apple of Love’!

Many Europeans initially feared to eat the tomato due to its bright, vivid colours which many were sure indicated poison. So in many estates the tomato was left purely as an ornamental plant and kept well clear from the kitchen table.

The British unfortunately had other reasons for not indulging in the tomato which reached English shores via France. The Brits picked up on the French name for the tomato ‘Pomme d’Amour’ and unfortunately took the ‘Apple of Love’ rather too literally and in line with the (then) current thinking and religious views refused to eat the tomato in a raw state for fear of arousing ‘unseemly’ passions! For these reasons most early British recipes using tomatoes insisted that it be cooked and it wasn’t until the turn of the 20th century that raw tomatoes became popular as a salad ingredient.”
, Yahoo Contributor Network, Jul 24, 2007

My family LOVES tomato soup, and unlike some of our British ancestors we’re not afraid to eat the tomatoes raw. However, one of the unfortunate things about going lower carb is that you have to give up some of your favorite foods. I grew up loving Campbell’s Tomato Soup as a child, stir in a little milk and top it off with some crushed crackers and grilled cheese on the side. Mmmm, those are some good eats! Now, of course as I’ve gotten older, my taste buds have altered as well πŸ™‚ Along with the rest of me, uh…we won’t go there!

As the cooler weather creeps in along our country, and I emphasize the “creeping”, soups are the stand by meal for many families. I know of many who refuse to make anything from scratch unless it’s got 5 or less ingredients and can be made in one pot. Ok, so my low carb soup has an extra 5 ingredients but it’s worth it in the end! Trust me and the plus side is that it’s made in one pot!

Tomato Soup with Oopsie Roll Ham and Cheese Sandwiches

3 cans diced tomatoes, or 2 1/2–3 pounds of fresh ripe tomatoes chopped

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

2 cups homemade chicken stock, frozen and thawed or store bought

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 healthy pinch of basil

1/4 tsp onion powder

3/4 tsp salt

pepper to taste

2 packets of Truvia

1 packet of Raw Stevia

In dutch oven pot add the first three ingredients and cook on low until frozen stock melts down. Add in the minced garlic, basil, salt and pepper. Let simmer for a few minutes. Use stick blender (aka boat motor) to puree the tomato pieces. I left a few chunks in the soup for some texture. Turn off the burner add in sweeteners and enjoy!

The carbs for this is 3.5 carbsΒ  for one serving and leftovers are amazing…if there are any that is πŸ˜€

Alright, an oopsie roll…what is it and why is it called oopsie? An oopsie roll is a gluten free “bread” option that came about as a boo-boo in one cook’s kitchen while making the Atkins Revolution Rolls. Her mistake, or oops, has changed many lives! No more bunless burgers, breadless sammies, and creamy eggs salads can now be enjoyed again on a bread like replacement. I first discovered the oopsie rolls last October when I had this killer craving for a ham and cheese sandwich. At the time, I had just gone gluten free and was hankering for a bread like substitute. The oopsie roll has been a life saver! Now that I no longer have an issue with the egg yolks, thanks to digestive enzyme pills, I can fully enjoy these rolls again without any worries! Over at Your Lighter Side, (<—please click there) you’ll find the recipe for these unique rolls. For any person needing to live a gluten free life these are a godsend. Truly, and I especially love them when they’re still warm from the oven with cheese and turkey meat. But to serve it up with my tomato soup I decided to kick them up a bit.

I stayed true to the basic recipe, but here’s what I added for a savory flavor:

For Savory:

1 healthy pinch of Italian seasoning

1/8 cup Parmesan cheese

pinch of salt and pepper

After you’ve mixed the cream cheese and egg yolks together that’s when you can add in the savory mix and continue to blend until smooth. (Continue on with the rest of the oopsie roll recipe as before and bake according to directions.)

You talk about lip smackin’ good, son. Sorry, just watched a Duck Dynasty marathon tonight πŸ˜€ I think my southerness is in over drive right now πŸ˜‰ They aren’t everyone’s favorite, my Mom thought they were weird, but she was glad that I could enjoy them without any worries later of it messing me up. Each bun is 1 net carb (excellent in my book) and it is suggested in the original recipe to take two buns and make a sandwich. For a two carb sandwich I’d say that’s a definite keeper!!

In the above picture I used one bun and with a bread knife I carefully sliced it open to make a thin sandwich. You don’t have to be so finicky about it, I only did that because I wasn’t too sure how the yolks were going to affect me. But no worries, since the recipe makes 6 rolls and that spreads out the 3 eggs yolks rather thinly. However, if you’re at all concerned because of your own egg sensitivity may I suggest you take digestive enzymes. They have been a lifesaver for me and have pretty much cured my health issues! Do your own research, ask your doctor what he/she thinks and read up on what Dr. Mercola has to say about taking digestive enzymes.Β 

So there you have it, 4.5 net carbs for an entire meal, excluding any salad that you choose to have on the side, and it don’t get any better than that! It’s a simple meal, full of flavor, great textures, and hearty goodness during the colder months.

Have a blessed day and stay warm!!

 

Recipe Review: Skillet Apple Pie Biscuits

Afternoon folks, hope your Tuesday has been a good one so far! My son and I had a nice school day, he’s been working extra hard at getting all his ice cream scoops up on our bulletin board. He’s got two more to earn and hopefully by Thursday he’ll be able to get all his scoops. It has been a fun way to get him to try harder in school, mind you we have had days where he didn’t care at all if he got a scoop on the board or not. But for the most part it has worked πŸ™‚ For November I found these cute little turkeys that he gets to color the feathers, or a certain amount of feathers, each day according to how well he behaved. It’s an engaging incentive that I found on Teachers pay Teachers. They have so many nice things that are free and created by teachers for (homeschooling) teachers. I’ve tailored Novembers incentive to suit our specific behavioral needs. Be sure to check them out, even if you don’t homeschool and have little ones that aren’t quite ready for grade school, you can still benefit from that site. They have lots of fun holiday themed crafts for all ages!

Over the weekend my Dad and son asked me to make something for breakfast and I wasn’t too sure what they had in mind. So, I got out my iPod, thumbed through my bookmarks and showed them a recipe for Melissa’s Southern Style Kitchen: Skillet Apple Pie Biscuits (say that three times fast). Saturday night after getting G–Man off to bed I got right on it! What I loved the most about this recipe is that I had everything already for it. I wasn’t going to need anything special or make a special trip to the store. That’s my kind of recipe!

Weekend Pics 2013 029

For starters, when a recipe gives you options and a how to in completing said options that recipe has just earned brownie points with me! I love knowing what other possibilities are within the recipe. So, I took her option and made my own apple pie filling. It was crazy easy and tasted so much better than I imagined! Seriously, look at that picture πŸ˜€ Now, here’s my little variation: add some cranberries to this. For a fall flare, the cranberries are going to add a beautiful color and bite to this dish. Adjust your sugar, add some grated orange zest and the juice from one orange. Are you thinking homemade cranberry sauce? Yep, be yummy! If you want to try a different flavor all together, pick any pie flavor that’s out there! Cherry is the next one I’m thinking of trying *grins*

Now, since I wasn’t using a cast iron skillet (ours are ONLY for cornbread) I lined a little toaster oven pan with Reynolds Release foil and placed my partially thawed biscuits on it. Nothing stuck, everything baked up beautifully! I’m fairly sure you could use refrigerator biscuits instead of thawing frozen ones out. Save yourself that extra step if you can πŸ™‚

Weekend Pics 2013 032 Β  Β  Weekend Pics 2013 034

Beautiful rich golden brown color, the sauce from the apples thickened up perfectly, and to my surprise the biscuits did their own spreading out. It wasn’t too bad, it just made for generous portions.

Weekend Pics 2013 039 Β  Β  Weekend Pics 2013 049

I did wait a bit before glazing, since they weren’t going to be eaten till morning I figured it wouldn’t matter, and it didn’t. If you wanted to punch the glaze up a bit you could add some your favorite flavored coffee creamer of your choice instead cream or milk (pumpkin, hazelnut, etc), some cinnamon, and a little melted butter. The butter will give you more of a donut glaze which I know is good all on its own. Needless to say these were a hit and didn’t make it to Monday morning (no joke)!

My son’s only complaint is that he didn’t care for the walnuts. It’s just a 1/4 cup of chopped nuts and can be omitted if desired or substituted with pecans or almonds (cherry almond sounds lovely by the way). I personally loved that nutty texture. Sort of reminded me of the apple rolls my Mom used to make for Christmas every year. If you’re wondering if this could double as a dessert,Β  I would say “most definitely!” Just serve warm with a scoop of ice cream on the side πŸ™‚ That’s all for today, see y’all back here Thursday. I’m cooking up a family favorite that you all won’t want to miss!

***Be sure to leave your reviews of this recipe over at Melissa’s blog!***

Weekend Pics 2013 0091

Have a blessed day!

Update: Onion Cheddar Muffins/Squares and Morning Surprise

Good morning gumdrops!! Hope you all had a fabulous weekend πŸ™‚ We certainly had a nice relaxing weekend, boys got their new fall coats, cat naps all around, and Saturday night I made a scrumdilliumptious breakfast for Sunday morning that I plan to post about later!

Friday night we kicked off our weekend with a meatball bake with pasta, alfredo sauce, and a doubled recipe of Onion Cheddar Muffins/Squares. Only I did something a tad different…since we were having Italian for dinner I decided to make these amazing squares more Italian in flavor! This is for a doubled recipe, add the following:

1 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning

1/2 tsp Sweet Summer Savory

1 TBLSP Garlic Powder

1/2 c Parmesan Cheese, plus extra for topping

1/4 recipe of melted homemade garlic butter

Before you add your wet ingredients with the dry, add in the Italian seasoning, sweet summer savory(this will enhance the Italian seasoning), garlic powder, and 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese. Give a quick stir to combine and add in your wet ingredients. Pour the dough out onto your prepared pan and gently spread out. Pour the melted garlic butter over the batter, top with more Parmesan cheese and cheddar cheese. Bake for 25 minutes for a nice top crust.

The end result…are you ready?!

Weekend Pics 2013 016 Β  Β  Weekend Pics 2013 015

The family was beyond impressed! My Mom said a couple of times that it tasted like the cheddar bay biscuits from Red Lobster. I personally can’t remember how those taste since I’ve only been there once, but these squares are addictive! I bet you can’t eat just one.

Weekend Pics 2013 026

I’m toying with the idea to one day make these into biscuits…yes they are worth it! What about the leftovers? What leftovers?! I think we might have a few in a baggie on the butcher block but that’s it. They’re great to snack on during a game or dip in some marinara sauce. Make up a big pan to take to your next get together and watch them disappear!!

…so, this morning I woke up to a notification on my wordpress dashboard. After not posting anything Friday, Saturday or Sunday I figured it was someone else liking a post from Thursday. I was pleasantly surprised! Ok, floored! I’ve been maintaining this blog since May this year, still a diamond in the rough and I can’t believe that so many folks actually enjoy what I post and share. Y’all are wonderful and make this whole thing worth it every day!

Weekend Pics 2013 054

106 views in one day?! I hadn’t posted since Thursday…I’m happily stunned! Just wanted to share this because it’s all you guys and gals out there who are making this possible! Thank you all so much, you’ve brightened my Monday for sure!!

Have a blessed day!

TBT: Onion Cheddar Muffin/Squares Recipe

Afternoon! Have I got a yummy recipe for you! Over at Flour on my Face, Arlene Mobley, shared her mother–in–law’s recipe for onion cheddar muffins. I’m a huge fan of anything with cheddar πŸ™‚ For tonight’s menu the family is having some of Mom’s amazing chili, it’s the perfect fall/winter soup. Normally we like to serve ours up with tortilla chips, cheese, and sour cream, but for tonight I’m adding another option: onion cheddar muffins/squares. It’s an easy recipe (click here for recipe) to put together, smells amazing and will go perfectly with any soup or maybe even fried chicken–n–gravy!! The only thing I changed was instead of making individual muffins I decided to bake the batter in a square pan. You can put it into a round cake pan if you like and cut into wedges, but no matter what shape you make it into I’m just glad Arlene has shared this recipe for everyone to enjoy!Β 

I’m going to have a square with my alkaline chili, can’t resist the onion and cheddar goodness! Be sure to head on over to Arlene’s blog to give them a try for yourself and be sure to leave her your reviews πŸ™‚

Stay warm and have a blessed evening!

onion cheddar squares 001

Health Check Tuesday: Nutritional Type Eating

Like so many I grew up eating according to the food pyramid. Even went through a time where I was watching my food portions, doing the low fat, no fat, sugar free, low sugar, counting my calories, watching my salt, and the list goes on. However, my weight just kept climbing up.

Yodelay-Hee-Hoo

I didn’t realize at the time just how much damage I was doing to my body. I mean, I was doing everything according to what the professionals were saying and following the health guidelines…so why was I gaining instead of losing? Why did I feel worse instead of better? What was I doing wrong? Quite simply, I wasn’t eating according to my Nutritional Type. Not that I knew that then, hindsight is a pain in the patella. We all get so caught up in what these doctors and health professionals are telling us, making us feel like we’re incompetent when it comes to taking our nutritional health into our own hands. We’re treated like hypochondriac idiots when we share our concerns with our doctors and told that we can’t believe everything we read but we’re expected to trust everything a practicing doctor tells us. Definitely made me go “hmmm”.Β 

More than a decade passed before it dawned on me what I needed to be doing, if not for weight loss then for my over all health. It wasn’t till 2010 when I took Dr. Joseph Mercola’s Nutritional Typing Test and realized that I needed to lower my carbs. I’ve taken the same test three times and always get the same results. Alright, so what is this test? There are 21 questions to answer mostly based foods that you eat, or close enough to what you would eat. Granted it’s not exact, it would be impossible to add every food option for everyone. You kind of have to pick something closest to what sounds like what you would eat or at least sounds appetizing.

For instance, I’m not a breakfast person and never have been. I struggled to answer the first question and had to go with something that seemed like it would be good.

Question #1 If none are applicable, please choose your closest option.

Which meal would typically satisfy your hunger at breakfast?

–Hot or cold cereal, toast, bagel or cereal type bar

–Turkey sausage, soft boiled eggs, and baby spinach with cheese

–Bacon or sausage with eggs cooked in butter

–Egg white omelet with vegetables and cheese

–I have no set breakfast and I may eat a combination within any of the above foods

–I typically skip breakfast

–A protein shake with or without fruit

–I consume a plant based vegetarian or vegan style breakfast on a regular basis

Now, the first time I took this test I automatically chose “I typically skip breakfast” because a few years ago I was real big on drinking three cups of coffee as my breakfast. The second time I took it I chose “Bacon or sausage with eggs cooked in butter”. I ate that way for a year and lost 45 pounds. Then after reevaluating things since going more alkaline I’ve since had to change up my answers, not just for breakfast, and yet I got the same results. Adding some extra veggies during a meal hasn’t changed my nutritional type. So what are the types? There are only three: Protein, Carb, and Mixed. I think it’s safe to say that for a better part of my life I tried living the mixed type and that destroyed my body. It certainly didn’t help my PCOS symptoms, with that said just because I’m a protein type doesn’t mean that every PCOS woman is going to be a protein type. There are other questions within this test that will help determine your type based on how you feel after eating certain foods or skipping meals.

Such as, if I skip a meal I begin to feel jittery, light headed, and if it goes beyond 6 hours I start to break out into a cold sweat. Blood sugar, tricky stuff…this is why an all day fast doesn’t work for me. I’ve learned that skipping meals isn’t good for my insulin receptors either, in fact it has damaged them. This is why a lower carb lifestyle works for me! How can this work for you? Am I telling you that just because you’re a PCOS woman that you too should live a lower carb life? Absolutely not! What I’m advocating, and have been for years, is for you to discover what your Nutritional Type is. Just because you have PCOS that doesn’t mean that you’re going to be a Protein Type, you could be Mixed or be able to handle more Carbs. Not everyone can survive on the food pyramid/plate, consuming and x amount of calories a day, cutting out all fat, and eat a bunch of grains, fruits, and vegetables.Β 

Where’s this test, when can you take it and is it free?

Right here!

You can take it whenever you’re ready!Β  And yes it is FREE! Plus you will get a free cookbook and a free assessment with recipes appropriate for your Nutritional Type. There is no spam or selling of your personal information, Dr. Mercola doesn’t do that. Like me, he just wants to help people take back their health and be in control of their diet. If you want more information about the Nutritional Typing Diet click here to read Dr. Mercola’s article. It has definitely changed my life, helping me to better understand how I can eat to save my life rather than destroy it…think rehab for an alcoholic except for food. That’s how helpful this has been, liberating in fact. Now I can actually feel confident in how I am supposed to be living without worrying what some doctor is going to say. In fact I’ve used it to help teach them that everyone isn’t the same. Granted they think I’m nuts but hey, what else is new?!Β 

Take your health back today, right now this minute! Look at what you’re doing, is it really helping you? Has it decreased your prescription usage? Are you suffering from secondary health issues? If you are then consider reading about Dr. Mercola’s Nutritional Typing Diet and take his test. What is there to lose?Β 

Sunday Morning: Chocolate Chip Pancake Squares

Potato Soup and Chocolate Chip Pancake Squares 020

Chocolate Chip Pancake Squares

Usually we don’t do breakfast on Sunday mornings. Mostly because we’re out the door by 8:40am and on our way to church. My son might grab a bowl of cereal before he gets dressed and Dad might have some buttered toast. But to actually sit down and enjoy a real breakfast…not the norm for us. Today is a bit different because I chose to stay home, allowing my right foot and left knee to recover from last week’s Missions Conference. I did a lot of walking, standing, and while I did try to sit when I couldn’t take much more it wasn’t for long. I’m not complaining, it was a wonderful experience and one I’d do all over again, I just don’t bounce back like most people.

Around 9am this morning I asked G–Man what sounded good for breakfast. His automatic reply…cinnamon roll pancake squares. Oy. I thought a moment, not that I don’t enjoy making those, they’re simple and take no time at all to bake, but I wanted to change it up. His favorite pancake are the chocolate chip pancakes I used to make. When I told him I could make chocolate chip pancake squares he was excited with a resounding “Mmmm”. There is no original recipe for what I made this morning, sure I based it off of the cinnamon roll pancake recipe, but I changed it up so much that the end results were denser, cakey, and rich. If you want to save yourself some calories you don’t have to follow my recipe exactly, but if you’re going to be bad, you might as well go all the way right?! πŸ˜€

Chocolate Chip Pancake Squares

Yields: 12 Squares

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

3 eggs

4 Tblsp butter, melted

2 Tblsp sugar (or brown sugar)

1/8 cup sour cream

2 cups all purpose flour

1 Tblsp + 1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

4–6 ounces of semi–sweet or milk chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a 7×11 baking dish with Reynolds Release Foil, or use preferred cooking spray.

In a large bowl blend together cream, eggs, and melted butter. Add in sugar and sour cream. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt, add to the wet ingredients. Mix until just combined, you don’t want to over mix. The batter is going to be thick and fluffy, carefully spread out into your lined baking pan evenly. Sprinkle with chocolate chips and bake for 15 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool for a few minutes before serving.

Potato Soup and Chocolate Chip Pancake Squares 009

I didn’t want this to brown on top, it did just a little bit around the edges and that’s fine. My son’s suggestion was to melt the chocolate chips and pour it over the pancake squares, you can certainly do that if you wish. Just add a little milk and butter to help thin it out a touch to make a syrup.

Potato Soup and Chocolate Chip Pancake Squares 016Β Β Β Β  Potato Soup and Chocolate Chip Pancake Squares 017

You can serve this up with coffee, tea, milk, and your favorite breakfast meat. It’s dense enough to pass as a dessert, just add whipped cream or ice cream. For a chocolate chip cookie flavor substitute brown sugar for the white sugar. You can add nuts if you like, or use a different chip flavor! I’m more of a butterscotch fan myself πŸ™‚

Hope you all have a blessed Sunday!

Sunshine Award

http://satoyafoster.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/sunshine-award.jpg

I was nominated by Satoya Foster for the Sunshine Award.Β 

β€œThis is an award that goes to writers who brighten other people’s day.”

The rules are:

  • Include the Sunshine Award icon in your post
  • Link to the blogger who nominated you
  • Answer 10 questions about yourself
  • Nominate 10 other bloggers to receive the award
  • Link to your nominees and let them know you nominated them

Here are my answers to Satoya Foster’s 10 questions:

  • Why do you blog?

I’ve always enjoyed writing, but my passion is cooking and I want to help others to see just how easy and enjoyable cooking can actually be. It doesn’t always take everything in the pantry to make a tasty meal or dessert for your family or friends!

  • If you had one clothing item that you had to wear for a month, what would it be?

My sweater! I get cold easily, even in the summer time, so I usually keep something with me in case I get chilly.

  • What is a song you love that would surprise your friends?

Colour of My Love by Celine Dion. I’m not so certain it would surprise my friends, well perhaps a few πŸ™‚

  • Are you a coffee or a tea drinker?

I used to be a big coffee drinker, but after suffering from what I could assume was a stomach ulcer, I had to give up coffee. I now drink mostly water or alkaline lemonade. It has cleared up my stomach issues. I do miss it occasionally but not enough to go back to it.

  • What is your favorite thing about blogging?

I’ll be honest, at first I wasn’t really into it. I struggle with expressing myself where people can understand my words, it’s not my strength. Often times I second guess how I’ve worded something or will completely delete an entire section from a post because I don’t feel like it’s pertinent. Over the last few months I’ve been able to glean a lot from fellow bloggers in learning how to hone my writing style. It’s made the blogging experience a bit more enjoyable for me. I do like being able to encourage others, simplifying something so that someone else will have the confidence to try something new and feel like they too can cook! I guess that’s my favorite thing πŸ™‚ Being able to help folks!

  • If you could only eat one type of food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

PIZZA!! If there has been anything I miss the most since going low carb/alkaline is pizza. Thick crust and lots of cheesy toppings! Love it cold from the fridge the next day πŸ™‚

  • What are 3 things that you love about yourself?
  1. My willingness to try something new, at least once.
  2. Being bold enough to meet new people, which can be uncomfortable for this introvert!
  3. My twisted humor πŸ˜‰
  • Do you ever dance or sing in public?

I used to sing in front of church when I was younger, but not anymore. And I’ve never danced out in public.

  • What is your favorite movie of all time?

So hard for me to choose because I love so many! I do love Arsenic and Old Lace, enjoy it both as a play and a movie!

  • If you had unlimited money to purchase ONE item, what would it be?

An underground house for my parents.

I nominate (in no particular order):

  1. Dinner of Herbs — Love her recipes, they’re healthy without sacrificing any flavor!
  2. Gluten Free Gus — Such an inspirational blog about a mother’s love and dedication in taking charge of her son’s dietary needs and making sure he has safe food for years to come!
  3. Keeping My Eye On The Sparrow — His pictures are inspiring, giving me a new way to look at things.
  4. Healthy and TrueA yummy blog full of deliciously healthy pictures, simple recipes and nothing complicated.
  5. Melady Cooks — A fun site full of tantalizing recipes!
  6. The Kiss of Joy Great blog of inspiration
  7. UK Crochet PatternsI love how she makes crocheting look so easy πŸ™‚
  8. Love, Marriage, Still No Baby Carriage — A touching blog of a precious couple and their struggle to conceiving a child.Β 
  9. A Lot On Your Plate Neat organizational tips, recipes, crafts, and so much more!!
  10. Topic Spill Love keeping up with her recipes, beauty tips, and DIY tips!

My questions for you all are:

  1. Why do you blog?
  2. What are some of your hobbies?
  3. What’s your favorite creative activity?
  4. What is your favorite dish to cook or bake?
  5. What is one positive thing that blogging has brought to your life?
  6. What makes you most excited about fall?
  7. Do you prefer Facebook or Twitter? Why?
  8. If you could go anywhere, where would it be?
  9. What’s your favorite weekend activity?
  10. What is your favorite thing about blogging?

 

Inspiration Week

20131014-090348.jpg

Good Morning!
I know I mentioned I wouldn’t be posting for a few days, but I wanted to make sure everyone gets the message.

Since I’m busy the next few days with the Missions Conference I’m dedicating this entire week to all my followers. I’m calling it Inspiration Week. This is where you all get to flood me with your favorites: recipes, crafts, challenges…anything you want me to try, post it here or on Facebook. Then, over the course of the next several weeks I’ll try each one and post it here on the blog, giving you credit!

So don’t be shy, don’t hold back, and inspire me πŸ™‚

Have a blessed day and week!

 

The Week at a Glance and Recipe

Have you ever woken up refreshed, excited to meet the new day? Yeah, I did that once too πŸ™‚ Not that I didn’t jump out of the bed, I did especially after my alarm went off at 8:20am at a blaring volume that I swear should have woken up my son and nephew! Oy, not the best way to wake up. This week has been great, looking back over it and the memories that were made just gladdens my heart ❀

On Facebook I’ve been participating in a 31 day photo challenge. It’s something fun and different, challenging too. I had no idea something like that could be so tricky, honestly there have been a couple days where I wasn’t too sure about what I would post. You have to really tap into some creativity, think outside the box. On Instagram I share a collage of four pictures at a time of each challenge, if you’ve missed it or don’t have an IG account here’s a look at this weeks photo challenge.Β 

31 Day Photo Collage Days 6 to 11

From Left to Right on the top row: Day 6 was about fantasy, I struggled with this big time, so I colored a picture of sleeping beauty and wrote “waiting for him”; Day 7 was something that starts with P…I went with pecan tree, it’s on the right side of the picture. Day 8 was a quote: β€œThere is no happiness like that of being loved by your fellow creatures, and feeling that your presence is an addition to their comfort.”― Charlotte BrontΓ«, Jane Eyre, so I went with a picture of me and my son, he’s my “fellow creature” that I love very much!

From Left to Right on the bottom row: Day 9 was a good one, black and white. Wrote a quote up on our chalkboard. My all time favorite was yesterdays, Day 10, inspiration. It was a fun day spent doing fall crafts with my boy. Day 11 was another quote:Β  “I love people who make me laugh. I honestly think it’s the thing I like most, to laugh. It cures a multitude of ills. It’s probably the most important thing in a person.”― Audrey Hepburn…who better to make you laugh than George Burns, Gracie Allen, Carol Burnett, and Lucille Ball?! My favorite shows!!

But the week wasn’t just about posting pictures onto Facebook, I’ve done some baking this week both sweet and savory that has all been very successful! Last nights dinner for instance, was quite tasty! Something I literally threw together! I’m calling it Queso Dip Burrito Bake. It’s simple, easy, and takes about 30-40 minutes to bake.

photo(8)

You’ll need:

1 package low carb high fiber tortillas, or your favorite flour tortilla

1 pound ground turkey

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 package of favorite taco seasoning or homemade

1 can refried beans (black refried beans work too)

1/2 can of water

1/2 cup favorite salsa

1/2 can rotel tomatoes

4 ounces Velveeta, cubed

2 cups shredded cheese, mexican blend

Brown ground turkey and onions together. Add in garlic and cook for 30 additional seconds. Turkey has very little fat, you may want to add a little olive oil or peanut oil into the pan to make sure it doesn’t stick or burn. About a tablespoon or two should work. Stir in the taco seasoning, refried beans and water. I used the empty refried beans can and filled it about half way with water. Let simmer on low.Β  Cube the Velveeta and set aside. Pull apart your flour tortillas and get your shredded cheese ready, set aside. Remove mexican turkey meat from heat and bring over to your work area ( I like to work at our butcher block). In a 9x 13 inch pan pour salsa down in the bottom. To assemble burritos: On a tortilla place a healthy pinch of shredded cheese down first. A healthy pinch for me is four fingers full, if you’re using smaller tortillas use less cheese. Next add a healthy spoonful of the meat mixture. Don’t add too much or you’ll have issues when folding. If you’ve never folded a burrito before, here’s a picture to help.

Fold the tortilla according the above picture. Place the burrito seam side down into your salsa lined baking dish. Repeat this process seven more times. For the topping: Spoon half a can of rotel on top of the burritos, juice too, and top with cubed Velveeta and shredded cheese. Cover tightly with foil, bake in 375 degree oven for about 30 minutes. Remove the foil and finish baking for 10 minutes to finish melting the cheese. Do not let it brown. Let it cool for 5 minutes before diving in, unless you like molten cheese scorching the inside of your mouth πŸ™‚Β  Serve with favorite chips, salsa, guacamole, and sour cream!

Knowing that one pan wasn’t going to be enough for us I went ahead and made a second pan. It was killer! You get the best of both…cheesy beef–n–bean burritos, creamy queso dip on top…out of this world! My oldest nephew certainly loved it, and he’s not a ground turkey fan. It’s all about the seasonings and how you prepare it! I hope you all give this a try and let me know what you think. It’s a keeper for my family and hopefully it will be for yours as well. Have a blessed day!

Homemade Strawberry Muffins

Well, I had the best of intentions in getting this post out on Thursday but life took over πŸ™‚ After doing school with G–Man we spent the rest of the afternoon doing fall crafts: 3D pumpkins, creating fally spiders (as he called them), and even created a peek–a–boo picture called Who’s Inside? We didn’t just do that, we had our own little “picnic” in the bonus room too! He was such a sweetie, brought me some lemonade, turkey sausage patties that he warmed up in the microwave and a strawberry muffin I had made that morning. That last part wasn’t low carb but he was sweet to share it with me πŸ™‚ To end our afternoon he finger combed my hair, which reaches down to my waist now, while we talked and I checked my online messages. I wish every day could be as nice as that πŸ™‚ It most certainly won’t be forgotten any time soon that’s for sure!

After I got him off to bed tonight and set about doing the dishes I thought hard about whether or not I should take the time tonight to write this post. With pruny fingers, I sit here thinking about what all needs to be done in the morning, for the weekend, what I will need to get this weekend for the Missions Conference…yet I don’t want to be stingy and not share this amazing recipe with you πŸ™‚ True I’ve been up since 4am and running on fumes, but I promise you this recipe is worth it in the end! I had to try them out on the guys to see if it might be something I could take as a snack for the Conference visitors. I think I hit the nail on the head!

As my Dad was leaving this morning to go to an important meeting, I urged him to take a muffin with him. We went through our usual teasing. I promised him that he would like it, he assured me it would make him puke lol I love him! A few minutes after he had left I get a text from him saying it was very good! S–U–C–C–E–S–S! It’s the way we spell SUCCESS!! No doubt 100 times better than the muffins that were available at his meeting πŸ˜€ But of course, homemade is always better, derp!

Well, since the recipe makes a dozen I’m happy to say there is only one left. My child alone ate four muffins and is wanting more, I’m definitely making more this weekend to take for the Conference snack room (and to leave here for G–Man). I was pleased with their texture, light, fluffy, full of strawberry goodness! Since I originally intended for this to be a Throw Back Thursday post I had a bit of muffin history all ready to share. Don’t worry, we’ll get to the recipe soon πŸ™‚

Muffin itself comes from the word moufflet, an ancient French word that called for bread, moufflet this means soft, muffin is because a softer texture than bread in general.

The word muffin itself was introduced in the early 18th century and became known muffin recipe in the mid-18th century. actually there is always confusion between muffins and crumpets (cake unsweetened) either in the recipe or name. Muffin usually means one of the products derived from bread and distinct from the more toward crumpest pancakes.

Muffin itself became popular during the 19th century when the muffins begin to serve at teatime. In ordinary English muffin is made from yeast dough. Muffins are usually enjoyed in the winter along with a cup of hot tea, muffins are also usually equipped with butter and eaten with jam. In the era of Victoria, muffins, cakes sold by the seller in the streets over the food tray and placed it above their heads, they are also used to ring the bell at the hands of prospective customers to call them.

Meanwhile in North America, a muffin is very different, the material is essentially the baking powder, and muffins are usually made in deep patty (muffin) tins. Even if there is no wheat flour, cornmeal and bran (bran or husk) can be a substitute. Unlike the American serving the muffins for breakfast or as part of the dinner, in the UK which is famous for the tradition of serving afternoon tea muffins for tea. Even the muffins in England known as the “tea cakes”. In English muffin own name unknown origin but there are likely to come from Germany muffe low word which means cake. The word is published in England in 1703 and Hannah Glasse in 1747 wrote a muffin recipe in the recipe book. — Sooper Articles dot com

Who knew that muffins had such an interesting background? We like to think that food such as muffins are a 20th century invention but that just isn’t the case. Dating back to the 1700’s, it figures they would have yeast in them…not even going there. Sugar was precious, honey was used a lot in place of sugar and no doubt in the early 1700’s that’s exactly what they used, especially the poorer folks. My favorite thing to do with muffin recipes is to turn them into mini loaves. For one, it’s less work in greasing and flouring a pan and I prefer freezing loaves instead of muffins, they seem to thaw out better in the end.Β 

I’m not sure if the recipe I used is a vintage or retro, not that that matters. However, I used a vintage filter on my photos to give you that feel of this being a vintage recipe. Have I made you wait long enough?! Are you dying to know how to make these little fruity gems?! Ok, ok here you go…enjoy!!

image (2)

Berry–Smash Muffins (Strawberry Muffins)

1 2/3 cups fresh strawberries
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups Gold Medal all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Heat oven to 425 F.
Put a paper baking cup in each of 12 regular-size muffin cups, or grease just the bottoms of 12 muffin cups.
Slightly smash strawberries in large bowl, using fork.
Stir in sugar, oil and eggs until mixed.
Stir in other ingredients just until moistened.
Spoon batter into muffin cups.
Bake 15 to 18 minutes or until light golden brown or toothpick poked in center comes out clean.
Cool 5 minutes.
Loosen sides of muffins from pan if needed, and take them out of the pan. Makes 12 muffins.
Tip: If you do not have fresh strawberries, you can use frozen strawberries that you have thawed and drained.
I used frozen strawberries, thawed and drained of course. Mashed them up a bit with a fork and followed the rest of the recipe exactly!
image (5)Β 
After cooling for a bit in the pan, they popped right out with ease.
Β  image (3)
Let them cool on the wrack for a bit longer before serving.
image (4)
And yes, they are delicious with a little butter spread on them! I’ve made a few strawberry muffin recipes in the past and this has been the easiest and tastiest one yet! Ingredients list is fairly short, simple and most likely you’ll have everything already in your pantry and fridge/freezer. I wasn’t too sure about the cinnamon at first but was pleasantly surprised that it didn’t overpower the strawberry flavor. You can also try with different fruits: peaches, blueberries, pumpkins, bananas or apples.
Happy Eating!