Happy Holidays!


Now that I have stopped working for the year, I have time.  Time to do whatever I want.

Whether you finished celebrating your holiday, are just about to, or it is coming soon, please accept my very best wishes for a very Happy Holiday!

Many new things will be appearing here soon, so stay tuned.

What is your favorite thing about this time of year?


Brown Rice Risotto

I love risotto!  When I married SpecialK, I learned he also loved risotto.  I had yet to find short grin brown rice, but was ecstatic when I learned Sprouts sold it by the pound.

I found this recipe, and decided I would need a Dutch oven to make it.  We bought one, and haven’t looked back.

This last weekend, we had friends over for dinner.   SpecialK really wanted more of this risotto, and we had talked about making it a complete dish by adding chicken breast to it.

We finally did just that, added chicken breast to the risotto!  In our space age cooking lab, I placed the 3 boneless, skinless chicken breast in a gallon bag, covering the chicken with water and adding more salt than I want to think about (30 g).  An hour late, I drained and rinsed the chicken breasts, patted them dry with paper towel, and poured some EVOO Caesar Dressing into the bag.  Back into the fridge for an hour.  Then onto the trivet in the Instapot, a cup of water in the bottom of the Instapot,  5 minutes of pressure, then let sit in the pit for another 5 minutes.  (Next time, I will remember to oil the trivet!)

Once cooked, I cut the chicken breast into bite sized pieces, and added to the risotto after it had cooked, with all the other ‘add-ins’.  We didn’t have any fresh oregano, so we skipped it.  For the mushrooms, I use 2 1/2 bags of Trader Joe’s Mushroom Medley, which is found in their freezer case.


Since this was made hours early, we added some extra white wine and chicken broth to the risotto, to make sure the creamy texture  remained.


It was a hit at dinner, not just with SpecialK and I, but also with our guests.

Coming soon, soups!

What are you winter dishes?  The fill your belly with warmth type dishes?

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  If you live outside the US, Happy November 23!

I have been working very hard, basically non-stop for the past few weeks.  I am a substitute teacher in the local school system, and wow, it’s nice to have a day off.

Things I am greatful for this year:

SpecialK – the man I married.  ‘Nuff said?

I am grateful that cousin Jan found out what has been so painful this year.  Now let’s get her well.

I am grateful that I am able to work, and that the people have been so kind.

I am grateful for all the basics of life, and that I haven’t lost sight of what they are, for me.

What are you grateful for this year?59BE4881-9966-4C85-9769-8C168462F480

Birthday Cake

Tomorrow will be a) very cold and b) SpecialK’s Birthday.

I offered him a choice of cakes, and he decided I should use the Aldi cake mixes he bought.  I consulted with my gluten free baking consultant, and followed his recommendation to add sour cream to the batter.

I spread reduced sugar Strawberry Jam between the layers, frosted the cake with a hot cocoa frosting from Dollop.

I added some candy sequins on top, because it’s a birthday cake.  SpecialK may not celebrate his birthday, but he eats cake.

Happy Birthday to my husband, and have a piece of cake.



How do you celebrate birthdays in your home?

Woman Down, but not out.

A bit over a week ago, I had an accident.  My new car remains unscathed, as I was NOT In a car accident.  I had a problem at home.

Whilst getting my steps done comfortably early last Tuesday morning, in a home that was 72 degrees, I was exposed to 35 degree air.  As it was comfortable in our home, I felt chilled from the colder air.  Upon completion of my steps, I took a hot shower.

Woman down!  I came to on the floor of the shower.  I may have passed out again in the bathroom after the shower.

Leaving the bathroom, I saw two spots of blood on the tile floor.  When I returned to look in the mirror, it began a tumble of medical issues.

The cut, above my eye, is healing.  Every test I was given for my heart, I passed.  (The steps are working).  SpecialK has been traveling a lot this month; I have been the weekend wife.

Here’s hoping  the scar is minimal, and fades quickly.

What have you been up to?

Zucchini Bread

When I started eating low carb, we had zoodles frequently.  I joined that bandwagon wholeheartedly.  Then I got my bloodwork done, and I was happy.  Immediately followed by the best zucchini avoidance game since early childhood.  I couldn’t fathom eating that vegetable.

To keep up the look, I bought zucchini.  Then I made Valentine’s Vegetables for SpecialK. Several servings were frozen, for lunches at the office.

Have I mentioned SpecialK travels for business?  He’s been gone most of the past two weeks, reappearing for a week in the middle.  Before his first week of absence, I made him a zucchini bread.  He sliced it up, packed it as Elana recommended, and took it with him. After a few days of traveling, with air travel and different hotels every night, he told me the bread had fallen apart, and “by the way,  it was a tad undercooked in the middle”.

I was quick to see a solution.  Muffins!  They don’t need to be cut in advance, individually packaged as the are. That will use the last of the zucchini’s to be found here.

I made generous sized muffins, which resulted in only 11 muffins being baked.


”They’re good’ he said.  Phew!  Then he said they weren’t quite right for him.  I don’t understand…

Zucchini Muffins

Do you love zucchini? What is your favorite vegetable?


Low Carbish Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Pineapple is not the lowest carb fruit.  Berries, like my beloved blueberries, are amongst the lowest carb fruits.

SpecialK keeps buying fresh pineapples, so he can use the pineapple tool we own.  He buys more fruit than he will eat, and expects me to finish the rest.  Sorry, dear, that is not happening.

I had made this cake, and a cobbler previously, and really enjoyed the cake.  I have thoughts of how I will use the cake base, and it occurred to me to try pineapple upside down cake.

I made the cake base, skipping the blueberries, the cream cheese and the crumbs on top.

I oiled the Pyrex pan I was using.  With our tool to cut pineapple, you get a slinky-like piece of pineapple, which Special K then cuts.

I put 1/4 C of my Xylosweet/blackstrap molasses mixture in the bottom of the pan.  I laid pieces of pineapple on top, and the cake batter on top of that.  I baked it according to the directions for baking the cake, until a tester came out clean.

I let it cool in the pan for a while, then put a plate on top of the cake, and flipped it.  One piece of pineapple remained in the pan, until I coaxed it out and out it back in it’s place on the cake.


SpecialK declared that this cake tasted like pineapple upside down cake.  Success!


What is your favorite dessert?

Beef and Cabbage

“Mu Shu without the pancakes” he says.  He forgets that I made this last year, while recipe testing for Michelle DeBarge of http://www.glutensugardairyfree.com.

I tested many recipes for her cookbook, IMG_5918and have offered to continue as long as the recipes fit with how we eat. This recipe does not disappoint.

Michelle has granted me permission to share this recipe with you.  I do so gladly

Beef and Cabbage

Two notes for you:

  1.  I shred the cabbage by “slicing” it in the food processor.  I have tried doing it by hand, and I wasn’t enjoying the long strands of cabbage I encountered.  Of, course, it’s your choice.
  2. SpecialK can’t consume very spicy, and I don’t enjoy very spicy, so I left out the garlic chili paste.  Again, it is your choice.

Farm Fresh Eating

Once upon a bowl of soup, I learned while visiting a friend in Western Massachusett, that I liked vichyssoise, the potato leek soup of an earlier time.  Having picked fresh leeks during our visit to the farm, I wanted to see what other recipes I might enjoy with leeks.

A quick web search, and I found this recipe.  I cut the leeks and cleaned them well, and then the magic began.


Of course, I could still make potato-leek soup, but right now, I am loving this dish.

Do you like leeks?  What would you cook with them?

Farm Fresh

While at a farmers market several weeks ago, we learned of a farm that was in the same town where SpecialK works.  10 minutes from his office!

We learned that we could go to the farm to get more fruit and vegetables.  We went to visit.

Most of their products are pick your own..  SpecialK was not happy about berry picking.  Pick your own blueberries?  Yes, please and thank you!  I only picked the plumpest, dark blue berries.  The little ones, no thank you.

The raspberries were mostly golden , and a little bitter.  I decided another week of sun might help them grow a bit sweeter.

On the vegetable side, we picked tomatoes, both salad tomatoes (for SpecialK) and plum tomatoes for me.  He picked a small eggplant, and decided to try purple peppers.*

For me, he helped pull two leeks out of the ground.

We also bought a quart of peaches, so large the five peaches in that bucket did not fit in the bucket.  “Please no handling the peaches” the nice lady on the other side of the table requested.

With all of the blueberries we now had, it was time to bake.


Low carb Blueberry Cheese Danish Cake on the left, Lowcarb Blueberry Crisp on the right.

I made a blueberry crisp and blueberry cheese danish cake. Oh, yes, I did bake both of those dishes.  They were delicious, and I will make both again.


Look at the inside of this cake!  SpecialK has declared it his favorite cake, more than the lemon cupcakes, orange cake, clementine cake or chocolate cake.  This cake has now upped my cake success to 5/6.  (The carrot cake recipe we tried was not a winner.)

We went back this weekend, picked more blueberries, 4 more leeks, and these adorable cherry tomatoes.


SpecialK bought twice the number of peaches he bought the week before.

What would you bake with blueberries?


*Red peppers are SpecialK’s favorite bell peppers. I don’t like any of them.