Tag Archives: Low Carb

More Yummy Biscuits…or Scones Depending on Where You Live

Last month I shared a recipe for ‘almost’ KFC biscuits  HERE

Greta van der Rol, who writes Space Opera, takes wonderful pictures, and lives in Australia, tells me biscuits are those sweet morsels (cookies!) and what I shared was scones. Oooo-kay. Scones for me are kind of sweet and a bit flaky. But it’s all good and yummmmm.

A couple days ago on a Low Carb FaceBook page I saw a new recipe for something I might not call a biscuit…it’s so good, it might need its own name. And soooo simple. I’m hoping to find the original recipe so I can give credit to the very clever person who came up with this.

In one bowl mix 1/3 cup coconut flour, tsp garlic powder, 1/4 tsp baking powder. 011
In a small bowl combine 3 eggs and 1/3 cup melted butter.
Slowly mix wet ingredients into dry mixture. Slowly fold in 6 ounces shredded cheddar cheese. Shape into bal
ls onto parchment paper. Bake at 400 15-18 min til edges are golden brown. Cool at least half hour. The longer they cool the denser they get.

Yes, they are good. No doubt they’ll keep well refrigerated if they last that long. I’m thinking a nice white cheese would be good. Or maybe with some different spices. Hmmm.

I have news…SUCH news…to share with you.



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Crack Slaw…Seriously…Low Carb and Yummy #MFRWAutthor

Not a Friday the 13th joke, Crack Slaw is a great low carb dish, which can be used if you’re ‘stuck’ digestively or if you just want something comfort food-y on a chilly night. As you might have guessed the name came about through the “can’t get enough” nature of the dish. Seriously clicks my yummy buttons.

There are some terrific recipes, even some as a casserole.Let’s see: Here’s one Crack Slaw - Low Carb. Photo by medmassage

Since I only cook for me, and don’t generally have ground beef in the house, crack slaw becomes a “hmmm what’s in the fridge” kind of meal. This time I had Napa cabbage, Bok Choy, green onions and chicken from the grocery rotisserie chicken. I used bacon grease (of course!)Everything except the chicken is sliced up and put in an iron skillet, cooked until the cabbages are done. Then I add the hot sauce. For this I use Marie Sharp’s since it’s pretty much the best and hottest I’ve found! Splash in some Tamari (too many soy sauces tend to have wheat added) Then I shred the chicken on top, however much I have on hand. Turn off the heat, close it up while I’m getting something to drink or checking the computer.

Fortunately this keeps well in case you manage not to eat it all at once. And it is better the next day!  Enjoy!

For Valentine’s Day I’ve been tempted to discuss my take on Fifty Shade’s of Gray but Kristen Lamb has said it so much better

So I might bring up a book I read long ago that disturbed me then and now.

In the meantime, grab some cabbage and meat at the store and enjoy your crack slaw!


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Let’s Have Some Fun with Chicken Mole #YourTurnChallenge #MFRWAuthor

I mentioned to my FaceBook friend Jarnell Carter, who breeds incredible Afghan Hounds, that I had found a crock pot Chicken Mole. Since this is usually a labor intensive dish, he asked for the recipe. We’re waiting for a couple more days of snow, and the last

Boo, Biddy, Fire Dragon, snow times a few years ago

Boo, Biddy, Fire Dragon, snow times a few years ago

few blogs have dug pretty deep so let’s do something a bit more fun. I also have to reassure Boo and Fire Dragon that, no, I will not be getting an Afghan Hound puppy no matter how gorgeous they are…and yes they are.

Chicken Mole is a spicy dish combining chiles and chocolate. Yeah, that got your attention! You can tone back the heat or ramp it up, which is much of the fun of making it yourself instead of buying premade mole sauce. Hmm there should be an accent on that last ‘e’. Okay, just think Mo-lay and not ground burrowing rodent. Even if we are coming up to Groundhog’s day.

The original recipe is here: Slow Cooker Chicken Mole This particular recipe is not completely low carb, and I tend to work with what I have on hand, or what I like more. Since I made this last time snow was imminent I knew what I liked best. So I adjusted the recipe a bit.

1 large onion, chopped OR TWO SMALL/MEDIUM
1/2 cup raisins DID NOT HAVE, SO DIDN’T ADD, plus raisins are high carb
3 cloves garlic, chopped OR MORE
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds (optional) DID NOT USE
1 finely chopped canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce OH YUMMY…I didn’t have these for my first batch
3 tablespoons peanut butter A CUP SOUNDED BETTER
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes PLUS A BIT MORE i FOUND IN THE REFRIGERATOR
1 teaspoon sugar NOPE
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon MORE LIKE A TABLESPOON
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander DON’T HAVE, AND MY CILANTRO PLANT DIED
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg YEAH ABOUT THIS MUCH MAYBE 1/4 TSP
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder HEAPING HALF CUP…IT’S CHOCOLATE
1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts I GOT A GREAT BUY ON CHICKEN BREASTS SO I ADDED MORE LIKE 3.5 POUNDS. I’LL BE FREEZING A LOT OF MOLE

I also added the last of my Thai Lime Chile Cashews from Trader Joe’s. If I had more I’d probably have ground up a bunch, and used cashew butter instead of peanut butter. Maybe next time

After the sauce is blended, add chicken

After the sauce is blended, add chicken

Otherwise follow the recipe. It will be five or more hours before it’s ready so I’ll

Push the chicken into the sauce then close it up and let it cook.

Push the chicken into the sauce then close it up and let it cook.

probably have roasted veggies tonight. The sauce is already ultra yummy, can’t wait to try it after a long slow cooking!



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As Promised…A Treat. Almond Butter Cheesecake. #YourTurnChallenge #MFRWAuthor

With the last blog of the My Turn Challenge I promised a yummy dessert recipe. This is easy to put together but difficult to resist.



Fortunately this first time I used small glass ramekins, so I could share with friends. And also so I could avoid that trick of ‘just a tiny slice’ that ends up devouring the entire pie. I’m sure I’m not the only person to try that.

The original recipe was on Buttoni’s wonderful website Buttoni’s Low Carb Recipes, a go to place for delicious low carb ideas.


½ c. (2 oz) Emerald brand roasted cocoa almonds

24 oz. cream cheese, softened

1 c. heavy (whipping) cream

Sweetener of your choice to equal 1½-2 c. sugar  (always add a little at a time & taste)

½ c. water

1 envelope Knox unflavored gelatin

1½ tsp. almond extract

2 T. almond butter

DIRECTIONS:  Process or crush cocoa almonds until evenly crumbly.  Spread all but 1 T. (for topping) onto the bottom of a pie plate as evenly as possible.  Place softened cream cheese into large mixing bowl. Place water in a small saucepan, sprinkle gelatin over the water and heat on medium heat until gelatin is completely dissolved.   Pour gelatin over softened cream cheese and whip with hand mixer until creamy.  Add in almond extract and almond butter and whip another couple seconds until well blended. In a separate bowl, whip whipping cream until thick.  Gently fold that whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture.   Now gently dip up the filling mixture and gently place atop the crumb bottom crust.  Try not to disturb the crumbs any more than is absolutely necessary.  Smooth the top of the cheesecake with a rubber spatula or spoon.  Sprinkle the reserved tablespoon of crushed cocoa almonds over the top and chill for 3-4 hours.  Cut into 8 pieces and serve with or without cherries or strawberries for garnish.

crust with a touch of cocoa

crust with a touch of cocoa

Nutritional information is available on the link above. I saw this recipe a while back but didn’t get around to trying it until the last heavy snow fall. I didn’t have any of those roasted cocoa almonds in the cupboard (really, how long do you think they’d stay?) But I remembered making a sort of graham cracker crumb crust with almond flour. So my crust was 1 cup almond meal, 2 tablespoons melted butter, and some Truvia (what I had in the cupboard…your choice which sweetener you want to use) The proportions I read called for 2 tablespoons, I used one. I also added about 1tsp of cocoa powder. Press this crust into your pie pan or in my case the ramekins. Bake at 375F for 8 to 10 minutes…keep your eye on it, you want it to begin to brown. Let it cool completely since this is a no bake cheesecake.

The touch of chocolate in the crust was an extra yumminess. I plan to make this for an upcoming writers’ meeting so I’ll do something extra pretty for the topping.

I like preparing my own foods. Not only do I avoid the cost and taste of prepared foods I can also control the ingredients. I’ve been known to plot how to adjust standard recipes into something that fits my low carb way of life but this recipe has the advantage of easy adjustment to sugar. You could use a store bought crust (graham cracker or chocolate) and sweeten to taste with your choice of regular sugar. I didn’t use the amount advised since I’m not near as fond of sweetness as I used to be.

And as a friend pointed out, with cream cheese and heavy whipping cream, how can you go wrong??

I love New Mexico

I love New Mexico


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Coffee Cake to Bring in the New Year #Am Writing #MFRWAuthors

Ahhh Snow

Ahhh Snow

Welcome 2015, and right on schedule the year’s first snow fall. Lovely in pictures, isn’t it? Not great for driving of course but it looks like it might clear for a while. In the meantime, what better way to occupy myself than by baking yummies to share with friends?

The foundation recipe is from my favorite site, All Day I Dream About Food, here: Cinnamon Roll Coffee Cake Yes, it does taste as wonderful as it sounds. Being me of course I had to change it up a bit, not adding the cream cheese frosting, reducing the sweetener a bit (partially because I ran out!) and adding pecans. I love the taste of toasted pecans. Instead of a single yummy cake, I made three smaller ones so I could share with friends.

Some to Share

Some to Share

And yes I did share!

The coffee cake is great with champagne, and of course wonderful with coffee. It’s not low calorie but it low carb and very filling. Which means it should last a while. I store in a zipper bag in the refrigerator.

Now I really need to get back to Willow Springs. I just left my heroine having to face her past. Ah the angst.

Happy baking!



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Cookies, Yummmmm #MFRWAuthor

011I’ve been eating low carb for nearly three years. Although I don’t have the amazing results some people report, I’ve done well for myself, losing about a quarter of my weight initially and maintaining for a while. At first I missed some of those foods I was sure I could not live without: bread, rice, potatoes…COOKIES.

I just love those bits of crunchy yummies in so many flavors. Obviously, with sugar and flour off the menu I had to improvise. I have managed, with the help of some wonderful websites, such as http://alldayidreamaboutfood.com/, where I found this great recipe to take to a party: Chocolate Pinwheel Cookies. NOTE: I found they tasted even better when I left the roll of cookie dough in the refrigerator a day or two longer.

Not everyone wants to eat low carb, and I really wanted to take something different to a party. Some recipes I’d seen on FaceBook intrigued me, especially one using rolls in a tube. I figured if I didn’t have the raw cookie dough in front of me I’d be okay, right? What a test of my will power. It helped tremendously when fellow LERA authors took the rest home!

ready to go into the oven

ready to go into the oven

This recipe just looked like so much fun, and dead easy to make, and there were plenty of recipes to choose from. THIS ONE shows every step in pictures, if you want visual aids.  You use Crescent rolls, cream cheese, chocolate chips, and sugar. Sounds simple, and it really is.  I mixed one 8 ounce package of cream cheese with two teaspoons of vanilla extract (homemade!) and 1/4 cup of sugar (I have sugar in the house to feed hummingbirds in the summer) with a hand beater until it was creamy smooth. Then used parchment paper above and below to roll out the dough

All done! And I didn't eat one

All done! And I didn’t eat one

nice and flat. Spread the cream cheese mix on the flattened dough, sprinkle on chocolate chips. Here I deviated by using a full cup of mini chips.

Roll it all up, wrap in plastic wrap and stick in the refrigerator to set up. I found knives didn’t cut the roll smoothly so I pulled out some string. Much better!



I’ll be sharing more recipes in the new year, and welcome other writers who’d like to talk about their books, their lives, and their favorite foods.

Winter Sunset on the High Plains

Winter Sunset on the High Plains


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Today is MY Day

Yeah, I’ve been kind of AWOL. I’ve thought about a lot of things to share with you but the words don’t hit the page! The Saluki and dog world part of my life has been in ascendance  for the past few months and it’s going to take front stage for a while longer. But that doesn’t mean I can’t share the dogs with you as well as the books, does it?

Many of you know I chose a low carb lifestyle after Tom died in 2012, and it’s been so good for me. Someone on one of the wonderful low carb support groups posted this song (new to me) that has helped her keep moving forward when the rest of the world is having donuts for breakfast:

How perfect is this for all of us: Writers, Dog People, those struggling with Low Carb? Especially this line: “Don’t expect more or less, just go out and give it your best”

This is a short blog, getting me back into the swing, and sharing tonight’s dinner of ‘mac’ and cheese, with the ‘mac’ part (of course) cauliflower. The initial recipe is here: Cauliflower Mac and Cheese, giving you comfort food and veggies in one dish. I’m just cooking for myself and I’ve found a 12 ounce bag of frozen cauliflower is more than sufficient for several meals. So I played with this a bit, reduced the extra ingredients, tossed the frozen cauli into the microwave while I was heating up the cream and cheeses…yeah, cheeses, I raided all those partial bits of cheese in the drawer, and decided to substitute Brie for the cream cheese (I’m thinking in terms of a low carb cheese cake for me and friends, so I want to hold on to the cream cheese, plus the Brie had been in the drawer for a while) Of course I added chopped green chilies! Unfortunately I was too hungry to stop for pictures, but here it is with a serving (or so) removed: 081

Was it good? Well heck yeah! Would I recommend it for people on low carb? You bet, and also people who just want ‘better’ comfort food.

We’re gearing up for the Saluki National in June, at Purina Farms. Yes, I’m entered. In fact I’m going to debut the Fire Dragon in Agility…and now I have something else to tell you about, next blog.

Happy yummies!



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Wednesday Brunch with Jami Gray

I spent the day in Santa Fe yesterday, unfortunately most of it trying to find the right county government building.  Sigh.  So no cookies but we’re having Chile Relleno with eggs for brunch, and I’ve picked up some (virtual) Sopapilla for Jami.  Sopas are a light dough that puffs up into a pillow when fried.  Yummm.  Not for Mona, but amazingly the Relleno are since they are green chilies stuffed with a bit of cheese and dipped into a whipped egg batter.  What could be more carb friendly?

So, on to our guest today.  Jami is a fellow Black Opal Books author.  Her tag line  is:  “Urban Fantasy where even the monsters fear what hides in the shadows. Come find me if you dare.”  Dang, wish I’d come up with something that catchy!  Her first book is Shadow’s Edge–more on that later, right now we’re going to hear about Jami’s furry third child.  No, not what you were thinking!

The Canine Equation

by Jami Gray 

(Enter small tornado) Okay, Mona, fair warning, you know I don’t cook unless it involves pushing buttons on a microwave or a phone so no nifty recipe from me, however some hot chocolate spiced with jalapeño wouldn’t be out of place.

(Big sigh as takes seat) Before others can ask, yes, I’m from down where the sun dries everything out to jerky and anything over 115 degrees is just hot, dry heat or not!  No, not hell, people, Arizona! (shaking head)

So the other day I went out into that big black hole of chaos known as Twitter, and fell into a discussion on dog purchasing.  This particular individual was considering an Irish Wolfhound.  Her other half was aiming for a Lab.  I told her to stick to her guns and go for the Wolfhound, but if she lost, she’d love having a Lab.  I can say that because I am the proud owner of an aqua phobic, floor supporting, 110 pound ball of loving devotion known as the Hellhound that moonlights as a Lab.

Long, long ago before the knight in slightly muddy armor and I were blessed with the Prankster Duo, we discussed our canine options.  He was all for a Rottweiler and I was leaning more towards the Irish Wolfhound camp.   Since neither of us were giving in, we tabled the conversation.

When the younger half of the Duo was about five, and the older one six, we decided it was time to add a four legged, tail wagging component to our family equation.  The knight had a co-worker who was looking for new homes for her last litter of AKC labs.  He brought home a picture of the group—two boys, three girls—ranging from the sun touched yellow to this beautiful cinnamon color.

We gathered the Duo and headed over to check out the last two pups—one girl, one boy.  Up till that point, the Duo were understandably cautious around dogs.  Let’s be honest, anything that can stand taller than you and cover your face in one wet swipe was not something you want to mess with.

On the journey over, we had a discussion about our hopefully soon-to-be addition.  The boys already had a name picked out—Stitch.  Didn’t matter if we went boy or girl, the name was a chosen and there was no wiggle room.   Upon arrival, we found out the girl had already chosen her new family so we met the last boy of the group.

It took, maybe, twenty seconds and not only was I head over heels in love, so was my Duo.  So enamored of the furball, I failed to take in the size of small dinner plate paws attached to the sweet, dorky tail wagging, kiss monster that would be coming home with us.  Arrangements were made and we had our newest family member.  Of course the Duo had one complaint at the time, they couldn’t understand why Stitch wasn’t blue.  (Yep, Disney had plastered the Lilo & Stitch movies everywhere!)

It’s been 7 ½ years since the hellhound came home and I can’t imagine what our family would be like without him.  Beyond the body checks that may mean certain paralyzing falls, he is a champion floor holder (the floors never even consider moving when he’s got them covered) and he’s the best foot warmer ever!  Plus, even though he and our pool tend not to see eye to eye, he has no problems providing life guard services when the boys are out swimming.  Even though he doesn’t trip up the stairs like he used to, he still manages to come up every night, stuffed paté in mouth (it’s not a real duck, promise!) and lay guard while we sleep.  The Prankster Duo has grown along side the Hellhound until he’s become our third furry son.  Every morning I’m reminded of why I’m so grateful the knight and I agreed to the canine addition.  I’m a firm believer that pets make you laugh more, love deeper, and show you the true meaning of selfless love.  Even if they aren’t blue!

Shadow’s Edge: Book 1 of the Kyn Kronicles is out now and Shadow’s Soul: Book 2 of the Kyn Kronicles hits shelves Summer 2012.

Website: www.JamiGray.com

Buy Link: www.BlackOpalBooks.com

Blogs: www.JamiGray.wordpress.com or www.7EvilDwarves.wordpress.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/jamigray.author

Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/JamiGrayAuthor


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Wednesday Brunch with Liv Rancourt (Amy Caldwell)

I had hoped to have low carb meringues this morning, found a great recipe. Unfortunately when they say “put in a 350F oven, turn off, and leave overnight,” they don’t mean a counter top convection oven. I tossed out a gooey mess this morning. Sigh. It didn’t help that we had another snow, so the humidity was up.
We’re going to have hot cocoa today, made with heavy cream (low carb!), cocoa powder, with a dash of cinnamon and chili powder. Since the roads aren’t passable this morning I’ll splash some Lady Godiva into Amy’s mug, while she tells us about fitting life into her writing schedule. BTW the portrait and book cover artwork is by Amy’s sister, Liza Rancourt-Fennimore.

Once a friend asked me what was on my schedule for the weekend and I gave her the(rather long) list. When I was done, she said, “I see that you’ve got a typically Caldwellian weekend planned” (Caldwell being my married name). Turns out she coined a phrase, and ever since, when things are, well, normally busy, we refer to it as a Caldwellian day.
And since I’ve got two kids in middle school, things are often in a Caldwellian state. The kids go to different schools, ergo different schedules and vacation days. One plays soccer but the other changes sports with every season, which means navigating shifting practice schedules. They both study instruments and my daughter sings in a choir. Weekends are taken up with games and friends and you name it. Oh, and did I mention I work full time? And I’m a writer.
It’s that last thing that’s taking an increasingly large bite out of my schedule, especially with the release last month of my first book, A Vampire’s Deadly Delight. Now, when I’m not working or driving to lessons or practices, I’m at the laptop working on blog posts or one of the short stories I’ve got in the hopper or maybe the novel I’ve got cooking. My family is amazingly patient and supportive with all of this. Which is a good thing, because you’ll notice I haven’t yet mentioned housework. I’m not doing a whole lot of that kind of thing – too busy – and they’ve been very tolerant of our increasingly chaotic surroundings.
I haven’t mentioned cooking yet, either, except in terms of my novel. I’m more of a microwave goddess even when I do have a lot of time, but lately even that’s been a challenge. Fortunately, my husband does like to cook, and we’ve got the local pizza boys on speed-dial. There are times, though, that it falls to me, and when necessary, I go to http://www.allrecipes.com. I’ve had really good luck finding ideas for fast, easy, and yummy dinners. And easy. Did I say easy? Because that’s key if something’s going to survive the Caldwellian surge.
One recipe I came up with recently was for Salsa Chicken. You basically toss chicken breast in some taco seasoning, put them in a pan, dump salsa over top of them and bake. When they’re done, you put some sour cream and chopped avocado on them and you’re golden. Ready to go. Even I can do that. And it’s SO good. The kids have asked for it more than once. Here’s a link to the actual recipe, in case my description is too sketchy… http://allrecipes.com/recipe/salsa-chicken/detail.aspx
So the next time you’ve got a Caldwellian schedule going on, remember the Salsa Chicken recipe, and know too that your family may well be more flexible than you give them credit for. As long as the health inspector doesn’t show up, you’re probably fine.
Peace, Liv

Amy, thanks for stopping by
You can find A Vampire’s Deadly Delight at:

Black Opal Books


Barnes & Noble


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Wednesday Meet an Author Brunch with Scotch Shortbread and Bev Irwin

The traditional Scotch Shortbread was made with oat flour, which was much more available in Scotland, along with wonderful rich butter and a relatively small amount of sugar. My most successful shortbread has been made with Plugra, a super rich sweet butter (2 cups), oat flour (3 cups), and Turbinado sugar (one cup.) MIx together, press in a pan, bake at 300 degrees for about half an hour.

Since at the moment sugar and flour are on my no-no list, I can only imagine them with fondness, while we prepare for our brunch with Bev Irwin, YA author from Black Opal Books.  Bev is going to talk about what motivates her.


Hello, everyone. I hope you are all comfortable with a nice cup of coffee, or a hot pot of tea for all the tea totlers out there. We have Tim Horton’s here in Canada and I love their French Vanilla Capachino. So I’ll just grab a cup of that and sit back and tell you what inspires me to write.

The muse started visiting me when I was a young child. I liked to write poetry about flowers and nature. I had a poem published about daffodils when I was in grade three. I still love flowers and nature.

And that is why I love my property. I live on a lovely ravine lot in London, Ontario. I have a piece of the country right in the city.

My home is a hundred-year-old farm house, very plain, no character, but it is surrounded by trees. It was added to as the original owners enlarged their family. It even has a well in the basement, and four drains that run somewhere into the property. Not great with all the rain we had last year. My basement flooded four times. Luckily its too low to put a ceiling in so it’s never been finished. Only my craft materials, wool and some old furniture got damaged.

Imagine coming home and finding water up to the bottom step and the kitty litter boxes floating. Too bad my rubber boots were floating along with them. That water was COLD. No wonder my poor cat was meowing. He got stuck down there and he hasn’t graduated his swimming lessons yet.

To say the least, me and the cat are really (not!) looking forward to spring this year. At least we haven’t had a lot of snow this winter so we shouldn’t be having the big thaw we had last year. We’re praying the basement flooding will keep to a minimum.

But despite the basement flooding, I love this place. In the winter, when all the trees are bare, I can look out my bedroom window and see the pond at the bottom of the ravine.

I love water. Being a Scorpio, I come by my affinity for it naturally. So if I want inspiration, I sit on my deck and look at all the trees, flowers and flowering bushes in my backyard. I have a bar table where I sit with my papers, books, and laptop scattered around me. If I need more inspiration, I take my dog for a walk in the woods and along the water.

Where do you find your inspiration?


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