Valentines Day, 2018

As I mentioned previously, I make something new for dinner every Valentines Day for SpecialK. This year, I had trouble deciding what to make.  I finally decided to make something that we had discussed previously, that he was open to trying.

I made us Lasagna! Ok, to be fair, I made us noodle-less lasagna.  Served with a small side salad, because every lasagna needs a good side salad.  I also made us dessert, because it was Valentines Day.  However, the dessert wasn’t chocolate.  Do I lose any points?

As soon as I can locate the recipe I used, I will update this post.  I made one difference from the recipe.  Instead of a meat base, with cheese on top, I layered this lasagna.  Oh, and instead of making in a pie plate, I used the same glass loaf pan I used to make lasagna many years ago!


Dessert was buckwheat crepes.  I happily found a recipe years ago, which I enjoyed at the time.  I could not locate that recipe, so I dug into my gray binder and found Bon Appetites Basic Buckwheat Crepe recipe.

I served the crepes with some cinnamon apple slices I had canned.  They were not sweetened, and that was why SpecialK didn’t love the filling.  I did put some real dairy whipped cream on top.  The crepes, however, were approved.  I only made a small amount this time, but will make more in the future.

I have tried to search Amazon to give you a link to this flour, but I can’t find it.  It is Anthony’s Organic Buckwheat Flour.  It was a very mild flavor and I absolutely recommend it.

Do you have any rituals for Valentines Day?


Skinnytaste Bagels

Eating gluten free AND low carb, I miss two things the most.  Bagels and brownies.  Okay and sometimes, donuts.

Now I can cross one item off my list.  Bagels have arrived at our home, fresh from our oven.  Using this recipe from Skinnytaste.  I have now made them twice.


First time, seasoned with Trader Joe’s “Everything But the Bagel” Seasoning.


Now, just to say, I think we are the only ones who DON’T love this Seasoning.  We are giving our bottle to a friend.

Second time I made these, I read the post again.  First time, I caught that with gluten free flour, I should up the baking powder to 2 tsp.  Second time I read the post, I read that I should knead the dough.  First time I have ever kneaded gluten free dough, but I did it.  It made a puffier Bagel.  I also realized they are a bigger bagel if you let the dough sit for a few minutes after placing on a baking sheet or in a donut pan.


These bagels were sprinkled with sesame seeds, which I found out after I made them, are SpecialK’s first choice.  Who knew?

At separate points, SpecialK and I shared the same thought, that this would make a great pizza dough.  His idea: some day, we will have carb free breakfast, and share a pizza.

How can I post bagels, and maybe pizza and claim to be low carb?  The recipe says make 4 bagels.  I make them in my donut pan, and I make 6.  All totaled up, one bagel is the same number of carbs as I am allowed for one serving.

What have you been making?


Beef and Cabbage Soup

It’s snowing!  Snow means cold, which makes it Soup Time!  Besides, SpecialK ❤️ soup.

Do you remember, a while back, I shared a recipe for Beef and Cabbage?  When you shred a whole head of cabbage, and there are only two people in the house, let’s just say there are leftovers.  Those leftovers were in the freezer, portioned into lunch servings that I never ate.

Homemade soup time!

I started with some beef broth, or more correctly, beef broth maker. I added one well rounded teaspoonful to 2 quarts of water. I added some tamari, as I remembered SpecialK saying the Beef and Cabbage needed a bit more, for his tastes.


I added some fish sauce, because fish sauce brings the umami to any dish, or so says Michelle Tam at


I added salt and pepper, and offered SpecialK a taste.  He asked me to add more beef broth maker, So I added another well rounded teaspoonful.

I added in some of the frozen leftovers of Beef and Cabbage, which quickly melted in to the pot of soup.

As I sat enjoying a bowl of this soup, I realized that I really enjoyed the cabbage in there, and that the meat was too broken up.


SpecialK didn’t want anymore, because cabbage?

I made a second pot of this soup and I enjoyed it.  Leftover Beef and Cabbage is no more, while I still have a few bowlfuls of soup.

I see more soups in our future, as snow continues to fall.

What is your go to meal for cold evenings?


When Special K travels

SpecialK travels for work, sometimes frequently.

i don’t tend to cook a lot when he travels, so meals often look like this:


I had invited a friend to join me for dinner one night while alone.  She cancelled, which left me with a piece of chicken defrosting in the fridge.

i invited her again a few days later.  In a way, I think I knew she would cancel again.  I brined the chicken, but didn’t marinate it.  I made the croutons for our chicken Caesar salad, but I didn’t wash the salad.  Dessert had not been made.

She did cancel again, leaving me with a piece of chicken to cook.  I learned I love it when coated in flour, so I cut the chicken up, tossed it in a 1/4 cup of flour, and pan fried it.  I then added some chicken stock, and the juice and zest of lemon.  Salt and pepper to season it, and I was rather impressed.


i ate 1/2 of it last night, and the rest of it earlier today.    SpecialK will return later tonight, and I will make soup tomorrow.

What do you make to eat in bone chilling weather?


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?

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

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?

Orange Chicken

Since switching my food consumption to low carb, I have a hard time thinking of how I can have some of the old school food I grew up eating.

Imagine my surprise in finding an “Orange Chicken” recipe on a local store website that I would be able to make.  (Once we bought oranges, of course.)

I don’t often plan to make dinner for more than the two of us.  In simple terms, I was not looking to make leftovers.  Since we wouldn’t eat over a pound of chicken breast, I cut the ingredients in half.

My one question on this recipe was about the ginger.  Of course fresh would be better, but I didn’t have any and used ground.  I wasn’t sure if the measurements were written for fresh.  Additionally, next time I make this, I might try chopped garlic, cooked with the chicken, instead of using dried garlic powder.

Finally, SpecialK suggested cooking the chicken in the sauce.  I might try that too.


Orange chicken, served over tri color quinoa

Original recipe can found here



Vegetarians:  Cook your favorite vegetable, instead of chicken. Broccoli might be a great substitute.

Kosher:  This dish contains no dairy!

Non-meat eaters:  see suggestions for vegetarians, above.

I have not tried this with any substitute for honey.  I am not sure how that would work, as the honey is the component that really creates this sauce.

Do you like proteins combined with fruit?

Turkish Meat Sticks

Sometimes, I overestimate my memory.  I find notes written, only half the information is missing.  I expected I would remember.

I found one such note in the notes on my phone.  This was the note:

“ground beef, pistachios, caramelized onions and parsley formed into a kebab and grilled. Bonus with”

I pasted those words into Google, to see what I might have been thinking. First, I found that it is a Greek dish, Kafta.  But the recipes were not correct.  (Afterwards, I found the exact string of words in this blog.)

Curious, and remembering there was part of a package of ground beef lingering in the fridge, I decided. “Why not?”

There were no quantities listed, so I cut that in half.  A small onion, a handful of pistachios, shakes of the dried parsley bottle.  I cooked a meatball, tasted, added more parsley, salt and pepper.IMG_5695

I covered the bowl with plastic wrap and put it back in the fridge.

Last night I cooked it up.  3 burgers were made, Papa Bear Size, Mama Bear Size and Baby Bear Size.  I served Papa Bear Sized to SpecialK, and Baby Bear sized yo myself.


I asked SpecialK what he thought of this dish.  Should I keep the recipe?  He said, “Sure”.  But the real answer came when I asked him if he would like the leftovers for lunch.  “No”.  Ok, dear, I won’t be making these Turkish Meat Sticks again.

What new recipe have you tried lately?