LC/GF Chocolate Cake & Buttercream Frosting Review

Hey everybody!

If you are following the Night Owl Kitchen Blog on Instagram and/or Facebook then no doubt you know where this post is going to go. 😏

Friday was a busy cooking day here, mostly because of G-Man. Those of you who have been following since the beginning know that I’m a control freak in the kitchen and really don’t let kids (mine or anyone elses) help that often. But I gave in since he was so determined to make anything. He had my Memaw’s olf Pillsbury cookbook out asking if he could make a thick crust pizza. I kept telling him no, that’s not low carb. Finally I told him, ok, you can help me make dinner. He wasn’t too interested in in what I had planned until I showed him some Googled images. That’s when his eyebrows shot up and he said “whoah”. But that’s for another post! 

He didn’t want to stop after helping with dinner. No, after getting dinner into the oven he asked me if we could make a dessert. Kid you’re killing! He asked me to make REAL brownies, you know high carb, one bowl Baker’s chocolate brownies. Yeah those. So we compromised, I pulled out the low carb family cookbook that mom and I have spent the last few years putting together. These are mostly tried and true recipes that we’ve been making since 2011, and there are some recipes in there that are waiting to be made. This low carb chocolate cake was that recipe!

Let me preface this by saying, this cake is crazy good! This was my first time making a low carb double layered cake complete with a low carb frosting. Most of the desserts I make are simple(i.e. brownies, fruit desserts, coconut pound cakes, etc.). G-Man helped with every part of this recipe, which original credit is giving to Tropical Traditions. We did have to make a little change to the original recipe, in order for this to be truly low carb we swapped out the sugar and used granulated stevia, which measures cup for cup. We don’t keep much liquid dairy in the house anymore, so for that we measured out half a measurement of heavy cream and made up the difference with water to simulate half n half. But you can certainly use whatever you have on hand. 

G-Man measured out the ingredients, while I whipped up the wet he stirred together the dry. Of course, the reward for such amazing help is getting to lick the beaters and batter bowl. Family tradition around here! πŸ˜‰ I waited for his seal of approval and boy did he give it! The little fiend even pinched a few bites of batter right out of the cake pans!!! Apparently he liked it A LOT! Thank goodness, he is so hard to convince sometimes but I guess letting him help out with the whole process made it worthwhile for him. 

So, where’s the recipe?

I haven’t received permission from Tropical Traditions to share it here on my blog. But you can click HERE for the original recipe, just remember to swap out the sugar for a low carb granulated sugar option. We buy the Great Value brand of Stevia in the Raw, it’s actually pretty good! Have yet to notice any bitter aftertaste and it measures cup for cup, which makes it easy to use.

Overall, the cake recipe is easy to put together. G-Man got to experience measuring out coconut flour, Dutch processed cocoa powder, and learned that sometimes you have to get creative with a thick batter. Indeed this stuff is thick, but that’s the nature of coconut flour. Surprisingly it wasn’t a suck all the moisture out of your mouth kind of dry cake. But you can tell that it is made with coconut flour and that’s why the next time I make it(yes there will be a next time) I’m gonna add a spoonful of sour cream and replace some of the coconut flour with almond flour. It’s not an unpleasant cake at all if you’re used to using coconut flour in baked goods, or you’re so desperate for a low carb dessert you don’t care! LOL! I know that feeling, when you don’t really care what it is as long as it’s low carb and pretty good you’ll eat it in order to kill that craving! This cake recipe will take care of that and then some!

Once we got the cake into the oven we talked about “frosting options”. Which let’s face it, when you’re doing low carb you’re pretty much left with maybe one or two ideas. And he didn’t like either one. So that’s when I took to Google and found this incredible low carb buttercream frosting that blew us away. It tastes like the real deal only better because it’s not going to send your bloodsugar through the roof or make you feel guilty later on for eating a large piece. Truly, there is no judgment here, I will serve up large pieces if that’s what you want. Just saying. πŸ‘πŸΌπŸ‘πŸΌ Low Carb Yum (<–click for recipe) came through for us with flying colors! Again we had to fudge our way through it, no pun intended. We used only granulated stevia as our main sweetener and wound up adding an extra 4 tablespoons of stevia to cut through the bitterness of the cocoa. If you can, use two different sweeteners to help sweeten the cake and frosting. Just like the cake, it’s an easy recipe, comes together quickly, and is so rich! Didn’t feel like I was eating something low carb, it felt absolutely sinful. 😈😜

I sincerely hope you all give this cake a try, it really is a wonderful dessert would be perfect for a birthday, anniversary, get togethers, or just because! Because we mamas need some cake without all the guilt, so get to it!! 

Happy Baking!!

Low Carb Sheet Pan Stir-fry

Let me preface this recipe by saying, this is not an induction friendly recipe. But why label it a low carb recipe? In truth it is a lot lower than if you were pair it with pasta, rice, and crunchy egg rolls. Right?! However, it is better suited for those who are maintaining, or those who can handle higher amount of carbs. I still think, though, any recipe can be altered to fit anyone’s dietary needs, and I will share some induction friendly options for this recipe.

To keep this induction safe, meaning for those who are just starting out on a low carb lifestyle, you will need to skip over the prefabbed Asian vegetable packs with a sauce at the store. I know, it’s easier to just grab something that is already made for you, but trust me a lot of the time those premade packs are full of sugar, msg, and other carb loaded vegetables that you really don’t need when you’re just starting to cut back your carb intake. Instead, opt for frozen broccoli, cauliflower, a little sliced onion, and maybe green bell peppers. This combination of vegetables is a safer option with fewer carbs and with less of a chance of your blood sugar going through the roof. Stay away from most jarred sauces as well, fermented soy sauce is fine, make sure it’s low sodium, and if you want to add a touch of sweetness to your meal use a little Stevia in the Raw. Not much, maybe a teaspoon or until it is to your liking. 

For a while yet you will want to avoid snow peas, carrots, water chestnuts, and copious amounts of Asian sauces. After your induction phase, you may begin to add, slowly, certain vegetable back into your meals. This is when you should pay close attention to what is truly beneficial and what you should stay away from. While most people can enjoy a wide variety of delicious vegetables, when living a low carb lifestyle one must be mindful to not indulge or over indulge in certain vegetables simply because it is deemed healthy. What works for one person does not necessarily mean it will work for you.

I personally cannot eat a lot of tomatoes, carrots, mushrooms, onions, snow peas, corn, or sweet peppers. I can have them on occasion but not often. The vegetables I absolutely avoid are beets and potatoes. I’ve had to learn where to draw the line for myself after recognizing how I feel after consuming those foods. This is of course after years of trial and error with the low carb lifestyle, it wasn’t something I picked up on right away. I don’t know, maybe I’m slow. πŸ˜‰ Just pay attention to how food is affecting you and adjust your meals accordingly. You’ll feel better and be more successful with your new lifestyle!

Now, for this recipe I must say it was certainly easier to do in the oven than on the stove top. Ok, here’s how not with it I am…I don’t even have a wok! It’s alright, I’m a grown woman, shame me all you want, but normally when I make stir-fry for the family I just use a dutch oven pot. 

Are you still with me? (Listening for crickets…)

I know, I’m just full of all kinds of shock lately…first I use a recipe from a can for my guacamole, and here I am outting myself that I don’t even use a wok when I cook Chinese food…and now I’m baking it in the oven! Before anyone kicks me to the curb, hear me out and give this recipe a try, because it is the ONLY way I am going to make a stir-fry ever again! 


(That’s an extea piece of chicken thigh meat there in my bowl.)

What you’ll need:

2 pounds chicken, cut into 1-inch pieces

2 pounds of frozen vegetables, I used Members Mark Asian Stir Fry Mix from Sam’s Club, with sauce pack

1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce

1/2 cup Robert Rothschild Farm Roasted Pineapple and Habanero Glaze & Finishing Sauce, optional

Directions: 

Heat oven to 425*F, line sheet pan with non-stick foil(shiny side down, dull side up). Set aside

Begin by chopping up chicken so that the pieces are roughly 1-inch in size. Add to a large bowl with defrosted vegetables, sauce pack, soy sauce, and Robert Rothschild sauce. (This is why this is not an induction friendly meal, but it is optional to use.) Stir to combine and pour contents out onto lined pan. Bake uncovered for 25-30 minutes. Serve immediately. 

Nutritional Information: 1/6 serving(according to MyFitnessPal)

Calories: 327

Fat: 1.7g

Carbs: 33.7g

Fiber: 3.3g

Net Carbs: 30.4g

See, this is why I say this particular recipe is not safe for anyone just starting out with a low carb lifestyle, and it is certainly not recommended for those with diabetes. I used Robert Rothschild Farm sauce because for one it is absolutely amazing!! It rarely ever gets used in our house unless I make a stir-fry(which isn’t often) and two it’s a hold over jar from Christmas Eve when we made a mass batch of pork eggrolls. Yeah, not winning any brownie points, am I? πŸ˜• If you choose to forego the sauce, but you still want to add heat, add in some diced jalapeno or habanero, a teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes, or a teaspoon of cayenne pepper. 

Well, all I can say is, if you’ve been good all day and had less than 10g net carbs then splurging a bit with this meal isn’t going to set you back too much. That’s why it’s not a good idea to eat this particular meal too often. Once every few months is fine, but not every week. In fact, keep it for special occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries, or family get togethers. This way you won’t feel guilty in indulging because hello, birthdays, anniversaries, and get togethers are when carbs, calories, and fat don’t count! πŸ˜‰

So tuck this recipe away for special occasions and enjoy the time you’ll save in making this amazing meal! Oh, and if you’re wondering where you can find the Robert Rothschild Farm Roasted Pineapple and Habanero Glaze & Finishing Sauce(say that fives fast), click the picture below. You can also find it at Walmart and Sam’s Club(check online first to see if it you can find it locally). 


Hope you all have a blessed weekend!!

Keto Bread (Review)

Hey y’all!! I know I haven’t done a recipe review in a while and with this particular recipe I will admit I was a tad leery of it. Mostly because I have had the oopsie bread and numerous others like it in the past. The one thing all these recipes have in common are eggs. There’s no escaping it, when you remove gluten from any recipe the go to ingredient to add in its place are eggs. I am still on the look out for a low carb bread that is soy free and still looks like bread with a similar texture. I know, wishful thinking perhaps, but a girl can dream! πŸ˜‰

This Keto Bread recipe provided a nice addition to our Friday night meal of meatball casserole and caesar salad. Click HERE to get the recipe for this bread and to see their scrumptious pictures. Right off the bat what sold me on trying this recipe was that all the ingredients were items that I already had! Almond flour, eggs, baking powder, butter, salt, and cream of tartar. I didn’t have to have psyllium, tapioca, rice or oat flour. The second thing that sold it for me is that it’s 1.3 carbs per slice! That’s a HUGE difference from 11 carbs per slice of store bought bread.

All week I spent a little time each day looking through the reviews seeing if anyone had any questions, concerns, or possible ideas on how to take this basic recipe and do other yummy things with it. That’s when I decided to turn it into cheesy garlic bread, cutting it into sticks was something on the fly at the moment when I realized loaf slices wasn’t going to happen for me.

After checking all the loaf pans in my possession, I discovered that I didn’t have an 8×4 loaf pan(that is going to be remedied soon), instead I had an 8-in round cake pan, which I then lined with Reynolds Non-Stick foil. The recipe said to butter the dish, personally I prefer to reduce the amount of dishes I have to do. But you’re welcome to flour the pan if you prefer. Don’t let my laziness deter you! πŸ˜‰ Resolved on the pan I plan to use, I set about following the recipe to the T! For me baking is something I don’t take lightly, ingredients are expensive(especially almond flour) and this is why I measure carefully. Always. The only time I relax on not measuring ingredients exactly is when I’m cooking, which is totally different.

It really is an easy recipe from egg separating, egg white whipping, to the making of dough. Which you can either usea food Β processor or a hand mixer(I chose the latter, gee wonder why?!). The only part I was remotely concerned about was when I had to incorporate the whipped egg whites into the almond flour dough. My concern was that I was going to lose all that wonderful air, thankfully I didn’t. After letting it bake for 30 minutes, I removed it from the oven and let it cool on the stove top.

After letting it sit in the pan for 30 minutes I sliced off a sliver and was not surprised at the familiar taste or texture. Eggy bread, but not too bad. It was definitely something I could work with! That’s when I began to slice the round “bread” and then each slice was cut in half to make short bread stix.(Yes, I spelled it like that on purpose!) See below…


Those who follow my blog know that I make my own garlic butter(click HERE) by the pound. It’s great to keep on hand, perfect on steaks, in soups, sauces, and shrimp scampi. After I sliced the keto bread, I placed it on a half sheet pan, again lined with foil, and proceeded to dress the stix with garlic butter and mozzarella cheese.

At this point I was still iffy about the final results, with my bread loving family I knew it might be hard to sell it to them. Fingers crossed, little prayers sent up, and dinner was finally ready. Who was first to the trough, why none other than G-Man! Shocked me, this child has come a long way. Just this week I made a chicken parmesan and he ate it without hesitation!! He Β dove into the keto garlic bread and right off he said, “this is like cornbread.” That made me nervous, I hesitated at first and asked him if that was a good thing or a bad thing. Mind you this child is a hard nut to crack, he will like something completely or hate it vehemently! He took another bite and he said……”it’s good!” SUCCESS!!!!!! I felt like Sebastian from The Little Mermaid, “thank you, thank you!”

The rest of the family thought it was ok. Dad was expecting something thicker, crispier just like with regular bread. Mom concurred its texture was a bit like cornbread. And JJ, well I haven’t heard from him yet. Usually he walks through and will tell me “Amanda do good!”

For me…I am pleased, I mean it is what it is, but when you’ve gone for so long without bread it’s a welcomed substitute. It’s definitely a keeper in my book since I can eat it without worrying about it messing up my ketosis or aggravating my lower intestines. I think the next time I make this bread I’ll used my square silicone baking cups and make keto bread muffins. Something I can keep on hand in the freezer and pull out when I want a small breakfast sandwich or a roll to go with a hearty soup. This keto bread recipe would make a decent grilled cheese sandwich, pb&j, or toast it to enjoy with eggs and bacon.

As for making this dairy free, all I can say is try it out and let me know how it goes. I’m still new to the dairy free baking realm and lack the expertise. However I am eager to learn since it is better for me to be as lactose free as possible. I welcome suggestions, as long as they are soy free.

Hope this review has been a blessing to you and perhaps persuade you to try it out! Have a wonderful weekend!!

Low Carb Biscuit & Review

  
Good morning everyone! This morning I decided to try a new recipe and write a review. 

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups almond flour

1/4 tsp kosher salt

1 tblsp baking powder

2 tsp Stevia in the Raw

2 large eggs

1/3 cup sour cream

4 tblsp butter, melted

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees, line 8×8 square baking dish with non-stick foil. Set aside.

In a medium bowl whisk together the dry ingredients and then combine with wet ingredients, don’t over mix.

Scrape out bowl completely into prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown on top. Serve with cooked egg, ham, or favorite low carb preserves. 

Review:

This is an extremely easy recipe to put together. I only dirtied up a bowl and whisk which is great for those who like to minimize their dish load in the mornings.

The texture of these biscuits are a tad spongy, but the trade off is 2.5g net carbs per biscuit. They are extremely light in texture, but they held up to my egg and ham very nicely. Next time I will back the leavening off by a teaspoon to see if that will help. It does resemble cornbread, but the flavor is reminiscent of buttermilk biscuits due to the sour cream. 

These are very filling! I ate two and felt pleasantly full, it made for a refreshing breakfast! I love biscuits, it’s the southern side in me. Baking in an 8×8 baking dish yielded 9 square biscuits, if you want a dozen you could use a muffin pan and add two heaping tablspoons of batter to each well. Just be sure to prep your han with non-stick spray. The carb count will be lowered a little more.

Unfortunately these are not dairy free. The sour cream is a must, it aids in the leavening and adds a “buttermilk” flavor without all the carbs. I suppose you could try leaving it out if you absolutely needed to and replace the butter with melted expeller pressed coconut oil. Let me know how it turns out if you do this! 

Hope you all enjoy and have a blessed day!!

  

LC/GF/DF St. Patrick’s DayΒ 

  

πŸ€I trust everyong has had a fantastic day, filled with amazing food, fun activities, and made some new memories!! πŸ€

So what exactly is there to eat when you’re living a low carb life? It’s hard, especially when recipes such as colcannon and yummy soda bread keep popping up in all the search results. It gets even harder when you have to factor in gluten free and dairy free needs. There are some ingredients I don’t have access to, such as psyllium powder, and other ingredients I can’t use like tapioca starch and rice flour. I felt defeated thought I would have to finally accept that I wasn’t going to get my traditional soda bread to eat with a creamy potato chowder. It’s ok, I’m not pouting…that’s when I decided I could still have potato soup and bread, but with a twist! 

  

LC/GF/DF Potato Soup and Savory Zucchini Bread

Soup:

1 onion, chopped

3 stalks celery, chopped

3 carrots, peeled and chopped

32 oz frozen cauliflower, thawed and chop the bigger chunks

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 pound bacon, chopped and fried (reserve bacon grease)

Salt and pepper to taste

8 cups homemade chicken stock or broth

Directions:

Cook and drain bacon, set aside. Add half of the hot bacon grease to a large dutch oven soup pot, to this you’ll sweat onions, celery, and carrots. Once they are tender pour in chopped cauliflower, minced garlic and cook covered for 10 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and pour in the stock or broth. Lower temp to simmer till the vegetables are soft. Reseason if needed before serving. 

Bread:

2 cups zucchini, peeled and shredded

6 eggs

1/2 cup coconut oil, melted

2 tsp vinegar(apple cider if you prefer)

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp sweet summer savory or 1 tsp drief thyme

1 tsp baking soda

3/4 cup coconut flour

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and either use coconut oil to grease a loaf pan or line with Reynolds non-stick foil. 

Peel and shred zucchini, do not squeeze out moisture with paper towels. Set aside.

In a medium bowl combine eggs, melted coconut oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and sweet summer savory or dried thyme. Use a handmixer to thoroughly mix together. Stire in shredded zucchini. Set aside.

In a small bowl mix together coconut flour and baking soda. Add into wet ingredients and stir to combine. Mixture will not be loose. Spoon into prepared loaf pan and make sure it’s spread even. Bake for 42-50 minutes, depending on your oven. Start checking it after 42 minutes with a knife in the center. If it comes out clean with no gooey uncooked dough stuck to it then the bread is done. Let it cool for a few minutes in the pan before turning out onto serving platter. Serve warm.

To serve:

Ladel the mock potato soup into bowl, add a slice of zucchini bread, and a chunk of kielbasa or Irish sausage. 

For me, I personally LOVED the zucchini bread in the soup. I tried a piece as soon as it came out of the oven and even though there were all those eggs and oil in the dough, the nature of the coconut flour still came through…very drying. It sucked the moisture out of my mouth. This is why I ate it with my soup broth and it was πŸ€perfectπŸ€!! This is my new favorite soup and bread! I will update this post later with carb counts, I think the bread is a little over a carb per slice. Will make sure to double check. 

Let me know if you try this and what you think! I enjoy hearing feedback, however in order to comment below you have to sign up with WordPress. It’s free and you don’t have to have a blog in order to have an account. You can also sign up to follow my blog, it’s free as well! You’ll receive an email with my latest post every time I put up something new! 

All righty gang, stay safe, and see you all later! 

πŸ’šLove and blessings to allπŸ’š

  

Another Year Older!

It’s true, I’m another year older as of Sunday and had a wonderful day! As a family we celebrated Saturday night, nothing grand just kept it simple. I think in six years I’m going to have an epic party, you only turn 40 once πŸ˜‰ Might as well go all out! 

The highlight of the evening was of course the time spent with the family, but what’s family time without…you guessed it…FOOD!! Yeah, I made my bday dinner and dessert, no worries though I thoroughly enjoyed doing it. We kicked dinner off with stuffed shells…

  

And ended with a red velvet cake ice cream. 

  

No joke, the BEST ice cream ever! Crazy easy, the base of the ice cream is just three ingredients…yep, the same one I’ve used before 😁 You can use this basic ice cream to make any flavor you want, just add your favorite fruit, cake, colors, nuts, caramel sauce, chocolate sauce. Even pie! Oh yes, coconut cream pie is on our list to try! Remember when Blue Bell used to make it?! I miss that flavor and the little chunks of pie dough. So what made me make the red velvet cake ice cream? Because I wanted it! Lol!  Well, long story short, I didn’t know what I wanted to do for my birthday and it was a last minute decision…and yes, I wanted it hehe!! We no longer buy ice cream from the store, not when it’s so easy to make. Plus, there’s no churning involved! 

Ingredients for Ice Cream Base

2 cups heavy cream

1–14 oz can sweetened condensed milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions

Begin with a chilled metal bowl and beaters. You can set it in the freezer for a few hours or overnight. Add heavy cream and start whipping. I like to over whip it a little bit, just avoid making butter. 

Pour sweetened condensed milk and vanilla extract over the whipped cream, fold in gently. Set aside.

Now, you can freeze this as is and just enjoy vanilla ice cream once it has sat overnight in the freezer. 

Red Velvet Ice Cream

2 cups baked red velvet cake(homemade or boxed mix), chopped 

Cream cheese frosting(homemade or canned)

1 recipe for ice cream base

In a regular loaf pan spoon in half of the vanilla ice cream base, smooth out. Sprinkle one cup of chopped red velvet cake over the ice cream and add dollops of cream cheese frosting over it evenly. With a knife, gently swirl this layer around a bit(this step is optional). Repeat with the remaining vanilla ice cream base, red velvet cake, and cream cheese frosting. Swirl again if desired, cover with plastic wrap making sure to gently press it into the top layer of the ice cream. Try to avoid air bubbles as much as possible, otherwise you’ll get frosty crystals. Freeze overnight and enjoy! 

You will have extra cake and frosting leftover, just frost the cake and store in the fridge until ready to serve! 

General consensus:: Amazing! It’s definitely a keeper and I’m making more this week for a Galentine’s Day get together that I’m hosting this Saturday. 

The possibilities are truly endless when it comes to the 3–Ingredient ice cream. Check out Amazon to see the various flavors of cake mixes, blue raspberry and key lime sound awesome! Would be a lot of fun for this summer, even funfetti would be great for your child’s birthday party! Let your imagination soar and let memknow what you think about this ice cream recipe! 

Please feel free to share this post with your friends and family on Facebook.

Have a blessed day!!

Seriously Sharp Cheez-it Crackers

These are seriously the EASIEST crackers you can ever make! And I truly believe that the sharper the cheese the better the flavor! I use the recipe from The Brown Eyed Baker blog, in the past I have used the food processor to combine all the ingredients. Which works perfectly, something to consider when you make this recipe. 

Pay close attention to the amount of ingredients. I made this today, after not making them for two years, and did not add enough flour. So, needless to say my batch did not turn out right. That’s ok, sad but it was still edible. I have another brick of cheese in the fridge and will be making more this weekend…and maybe some sausage balls πŸ˜‰ These are so much better than the store bought crackers, hands down! 

Hope you all enjoy! 

  

Ingredients:

8 ounces extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

ΒΌ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 to 3 tablespoons ice water

Directions:

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix the cheese, butter, and salt on low speed until combined. Add the flour and mix on low until pebbly. Slowly add 2 tablespoons of the water and mix as the dough forms a ball. If needed, add the additional tablespoon of water a little at a time until the dough forms. Pat the dough into a disk, wrap with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 1 hour.

2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Divide the dough into two pieces and roll each into a very thin 10×12-inch rectangle (the dough should be no more than β…›-inch high). Using a fluted pastry wheel, cut the rectangles into 1-inch squares, then transfer them to the baking sheets.



3. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes, or until puffed and browning at the edges. Immediately move the crackers to wire racks to cool completely, then store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
NOK Tips:

*If you don’t have a fluted pastry wheel, a pizza cutter will work just well. 

*My nephew, JJ, had the idea of making jalapeno cheez-its. Now my suggestion would be to use 8 ounces of a pepper jack cheese. 

*Add in a little cayenne pepper for heat.

*Garlic powder and parmesan cheese would make a yummy addition to these crackers. Use an herb butter as well!

~Homemade Bisquick Mix~

Oh it’s been a busy month so far, but it’s been a good one! Last night I had a few folks ask me at church about the homemade sausage balls I made for our 3’s&4’s Christmas party. I’ll be honest, I haven’t purchased Bisquick mix in years. It’s pointless to do so when the only thing I use it for are the sausage balls and I don’t make those with any regularity! Enter in the homemade mix version! It makes a little over 4 cups worth of mix but that’s at least two batches of sausage balls(about 2–3 dz per batch depending on the size you make).Β 

There is a difference in texture and overall flavor when you make the mix from scratch. It’s a great way to remove the chem–lab flavor from this holiday party staple. I have some not so fond childhood memories of sausage balls, normally they were dry, really hard, and kind of blah in flavor. It was usually one of those things that when you’re moving through the buffet line you’re looking at all the yummy delights until your eyes spy a platter of sausage balls. My heart would sink every time, so when I decided to make these for last night’s party I was determined to not over work the meat mixture and treat them no different than the meatballs we make and freezer. I seriously think it’s all in how you handle the mixture, there’s no need to mix and mix to the point where it becomes stiff. Trust me, you will know and the end result will be a firm unpleasant sausage ball.
Before I get into the recipe I want to first give cred toΒ  Myra over at My Blessed Life for posting this recipe back in 2013. I’ve tried other homemade bisquick recipes in the past, but this has become my go to recipe every time! Be sure to check out her blog to check out her other awesome recipes, diy projects, life hacks, etc.

homemade bisquick mix

Homemade Bisquick Mix

3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 Tblsp salt(I used Kosher)
1 1/2 Tblsp baking powder
1 stick cold butter, sliced

Place all ingredients into a food processor and pulse for a minute. Done.

See! EASY! Now if you don’t have a food processor, Myra says you can use a fork or a pastry blender tool. I cannot guarantee that using either of those will get the desired results that you see above in my picture, which is a super fine powdery mix. Using a fork or pastry blender may result in a more crumbly texture, in which case just be patient while working it and don’t fret too much if it’s not the same as mine. You’ll be incorporating it into the meat so no worries!

And I love her recipe for the sausage balls. It’s simple, easy and delicious! I’ve come across other recipes in the past where they add other seasonings and spices…for me Myra’s Three ingredient recipe wins the blue ribbon every time! Here’s what you’ll need::


2 cups bisquick mix(from above)
1 pound mild sausage
1 generous cup of cheddar cheese, shredded

Mix by hand(I wore gloves) but don’t over work the mixture. I used a melon baller to portion out the meat mix. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 20 minutes. Let them cool and store in an air tight container until you’re ready to serve.

I don’t have anymore, the evidence of their existence is gone! LOL! Yes, they are THAT good! I will be making more for my family next week, per G–Man’s request, and will definitely take a picture then! πŸ˜‰ In the meantime, you can click HERE to see Myra’s picture on her blog!

Anyway, I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year!

Vegetable Beef Soup

It’s been a chilly day, you get home and all you want to do is get the fireplace going and enjoy a bowl of hot soup and melt away the damp chill that has consumed you. 

With all the rain we’ve been having and now the cold has moved in, all I wanted was to feel warm and cozy again. Inspiration hit me whilst looking up recipes for an up and coming Christmas party I’m throwing with a couple of my friends for some very special kids. While scrolling, I saw a recipe for beef  soup, which called for stew beef(not a fan of). Remembering that we had a package of ground beef in the fridge I decided to make a soup from my childhood! Mom would make vegetable beef soup with ground beef and after living in Brazil we switched over to a vegetable chicken soup. Whichis absolutely scrumptious, but tonight’s soup brought back so many wonderful memories! After letting it simmer for 20 minutes I felt like a little girl again. Flavor train had pulled in and I was totally on board!! 

  

Vegetable Beef Soup

2 Lbs ground beef, cooked, drained

1 large onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

3 tsp beef bouillon granules

1 1/2 tap kosher salt

1 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp dried basil

2 bay leaves

2 cans of diced tomatoes

2 cans beef broth or stock

1 10 punce package frozen mixed vegetables(I used Asian mixed veggies)

1 can yellow corn, drained

1 cup filtered water, optional

In a large dutch oven pot over med/high heat, brown ground beef with onions and garlic. Drain fat if desired. Stir in beef bouillon granules, kosher salt, pepper, dried basil, and bay leaves. Pour in beef broth/stock, frozen vegetables, diced tomatoes and drained corn. Stir and reduce temperature till soup is just simmering, cover for 20 minutes. Adjust seasonings if needed and add water if too thick. Serve with your favorite salad, crackers, cornbread, or dinner rolls. 

This recipe will easily serve 8–10, perhaps more if you choose to serve 1-cup servings. This soup will also freeze well and will make enough for another meal. Which is great on a night when you don’t want to cook but want a quick meal!  G–Man is not a vegetable fan, he did enjoy the broth and bits of meat, making sure to eat around pieces of tomato and pepper of course. He even went back for seconds! Being able share this dish with my son makes it even more special and perhaps one day he’ll get his aversion to vegetables! πŸ˜‰ 

Hope you all enjoy this soup, stay warm and have a blessed evening! 

Butter Pecan “Ice Cream” Dessert

Good morning, we’ve made it this far in the week and Friday is almost here πŸ™‚ Boy I tell you, it’s flying by, before you know it Christmas will be here!! Don’t groan, hehe, in October I’ve got some posts planned that will help get you ready for your holiday baking. Planning ahead for it will help you have a more enjoyable holiday season! You don’t want to miss out πŸ™‚

I hope you all have been enjoying the frozen dessert posts this week, especially with all this hot weather having something cold on hand is a blessing. I’ve shared before a childhood memory of my Memaw and Papaw making homemade ice cream with the old hand cranked ice cream maker. Of course now you can get electric motor models which I guess do a good job in making ice cream. I’ve never used one though, but I am partial to the no machine way of making “ice cream” πŸ™‚ It’s so easy and QUICK!! Dad was asking me a couple of nights ago if it took long to make the “ice cream”, which of course it doesn’t. The only time it really takes is to whip up the heavy cream, which that can vary from batch to batch. If you put your bowl and beaters in the freezer 15 minutes before whipping then it will help cut down the time.
I’ve done it both ways and I guess I’m lazy enough to where I don’t mind using room temp bowls and beaters. My advice, do what works best for you πŸ™‚

Since discovering a homemade butter pecan “ice cream” recipe, my Mom refuses to eat any other kind now! Well, homemade is better after all, and since yesterday was her birthday I decided to not only make her a butter pecan frozen dessert, but to kick it up a notch with Heath Bar Toffee Bits and Breyers Caramel Sauce. Even I was impressed!

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The key to this recipe is toasting the pecans. This helps to release the oil in the pecans and intensify the flavor!

Butter Pecan “Ice Cream”

2 cups heavy cream, whipped
14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
3/4 cup pan toasted pecans
3 Tblsp butter, melted
1/2 cup Heath Bar Toffee Bits
1/2 package Breyers Caramel Sauce

In a large bowl, whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
Toast chopped pecans in a dry skillet for a few minutes. Stir occasionally. You will know when they are done when you can smell a nutty toasty scent. They will burn easily, so don’t toast over a high heat or flame(gas ranges). Set aside in the bowl with sweetened condensed milk. Melt butter and add to the pecans mixture, stir to combine and add in the Heath Bar Toffee Bits.
Fold in the whipped cream until everything is mixed completely. Pour half of the mixture into your loaf pan and spread evenly. Drizzle with caramel sauce and with a knife swirl the caramel around. Sprinkle a small handful of toffee bits over the caramel and top with the remaining “ice cream” mixture. Drizzle more caramel sauce on top and top with more toffee bits and pecan pieces if you like. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for 4 hours or overnight before serving.

 

This is my Mom’s favorite now, we no longer buy the stuff from the store. It’s super creamy, rich, and has a fresh flavor without all the chemicals. It’s definitely a keeper!

What’s your favorite ice cream or frozen dessert? Leave a comment below and who knows, I just might get a wild hair and make it!!!

Have a blessed day!!