Monday, May 30, 2016

Happy Memorial Day!

Wishing everyone a Happy Memorial Day!  Today's post involves flowers, not food...and a reminder that sometimes we need to stop and smell (or admire) the flowers, for we are able to do so because of the brave men and women who fought and died for our country. I took some photos of what's currently blooming in my yard because everything is so colorful and beautiful right now. My viburnum and azaleas bloomed weeks ago and my magnolia tree is almost done blooming as well as my wisteria which was gorgeous this year. My butterfly bushes have begun blooming and we have lots of crape myrtles that should begin blooming in the next couple of weeks for another explosion of color. Right now the roses, daylilies, Gerber daisies, gardenia, Endless Summer hyrdrangeas, and lacecap hyrdangea are absolutely gorgeous. Check out a few of my photos below. Enjoy!




















Sunday, May 29, 2016

Hash Brown Omelet Breakfast Sandwich - Low Carb

This morning I actually slept in until after 10:00. I can't even remember the last time that happened, but it has been years for sure. I wanted to make a hearty brunch that would hold me until dinnertime. I had a plateful of my Sesame Seed Sandwich Buns on the counter staring me in the face. I thought about reheating a burger from last night's dinner but I was feeling more breakfast mode than burger mode. Then the idea crossed my mind; a Hash Brown Omelet Breakfast Sandwich...caramelized red bell peppers, Vidalia onions, eggs, bacon, and cheese on a lightly toasted bun. While I could have easily cooked and stacked those items together, I knew they'd be sliding all over the place, falling out of my bun as I ate it and this morning, I just wasn't in the mood for sloppy.

I thinly sliced about 1/4 of a red bell pepper and a small wedge of Vidalia onion and sauteed them in a tablespoon or so of olive oil in my 10-inch nonstick skillet. I cooked them over medium-high heat to soften and then begin caramelizing. After a few minutes, I added 2 strips of diced bacon to the peppers and onions and continued cooking the bacon, peppers and onions until they were softened, golden and the bacon crisped. I made sure everything was evenly spread across the bottom of my skillet, then poured 2 beaten eggs over them and cooked it until the eggs were done and the peppers, onion and bacon mixture was embedded in the eggs and everything was a beautiful rich golden brown. I topped the entire hash browned omelet with diced bits of red hoop cheddar cheese and a few grinds of black pepper. I cut the omelet into 4 wedges and then stacked each of the wedges on top of my lightly toasted bun. Cooking everything that way kept it all together and nothing fell out or slid around on my bun when I bit into it. My Hash Brown Omelet Breakfast Sandwich was amazing! I snapped a few photos below. Enjoy!




            

Saturday, May 28, 2016

It's National Hamburger Day - Served on Low Carb Sesame Seed Buns

Happy National Hamburger Day! Did you know that's what today was? It worked out nicely because I had already planned to grill burgers this evening before I realized it. I made big juicy hamburger patties and seasoned them on both sides with McCormick's Spicy Montreal Steak Seasoning. We topped our burgers with a variety of Sargento's baby Swiss, colby jack and pepper jack sliced cheeses. I used both the colby jack and pepper jack on my burger, sliced ripe Campari tomatoes and sandwich sliced pickles. I made a batch of my delicious low carb, grain and gluten free Sesame Seed Sandwich Buns to serve them on. I also made a batch of my Easy Coleslaw to go with our meal and we grilled some Boars Head hot dogs as well. It was the perfect way to enjoy National Hamburger Day as well as to kick off the Memorial Day Weekend. I snapped a few photos of our delicious meal below. To get to the recipes for my coleslaw and sandwich rolls, simply click on the colorful links above. Both the rolls and the coleslaw are must tries if you haven't already. Enjoy!






            

Thursday, May 26, 2016

NEW RECIPE - Easy Breakfast Bites - Low Carb & Delicious

I've got a new recipe for you today. It's for Easy Breakfast Bites! They are nutritious, filling and most important...delicious! They are a cross between a mini quiche and a savory muffin (more muffin-ish) and contain all your breakfast favorites packed into a single little bite sized gem; eggs, bacon, and cheese. 

The almond flour helps gives them their bread-like texture. The kiddos will love these, too. They make a perfect portable breakfast to pack and take along with you to eat in the car or on the run and can easily be made ahead of time. You can switch them up and make them your own by substituting sausage for bacon, or toss in some diced sauteed peppers and onions, add different cheeses, or whatever your little heart desires. I love these little bites and plan to start taking them with me to work so I can take a break from my daily yogurt for breakfast. They are ridiculously easy to make. I love them and hope you do too. Check out the photos and recipe below. Enjoy!

P.S. - Honeyville has lowered prices on their blanched almond flour! You will be pleasantly surprised!  Check it out --->  NEW LOWER PRICED ALMOND FLOUR








Easy Breakfast Bites
Makes 2 dozen

Ingredients:

Olive oil or coconut oil spray
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup cottage cheese
1/3 cup cream or milk
2 Tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese (powdery style)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2/3 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
8 strips crisp cooked bacon, crumbled

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Lightly spray or grease a 24 cup mini muffin pan with olive oil or coconut oil spray; set aside.

Combine eggs, cottage cheese and cream in a 4-cup glass measuring cup or medium size mixing bowl. Add almond flour, Parmesan, and salt and pepper, to taste; whisk together until blended.  Divide cheddar cheese evenly between mini-muffin cups. Divide crumbled bacon evenly and add on top of cheese. Pour or spoon batter mixture evenly among muffin cups. Top with a pinch of additional cheese, if desired. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until golden brown and puffed. Makes 2 dozen.

*Note: Using a glass measuring cup instead of a bowl to mix batter helps make it easy and neat to pour egg mixture into mini muffin cups.


           

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The Burgerwich - Easy & Delicious Low Carb Fare

This evening I made a super quick and easy, delicious low carb meal. We had a particularly warm day here today with temps in the mid-80s which felt pretty hot after we were spoiled this past week with unseasonably cool and breezy days. We grilled burgers for dinner. I considered making a batch of my delicious Sesame Seed Sandwich Buns but I didn't feel like putting the oven on, so instead I sliced up the big wedge of Red Wax Hoop Cheese (which melts so beautifully) that I had picked up at Costco and placed a thick slice of it between 2 grilled burgers along with a couple sliced pickles. I melted another slice on top of the burger stack and added some sliced ripe Campari tomatoes and a generous squeeze of yellow mustard...and "ta-da" I had the most beautiful "Burgerwich" sitting in front of me. I didn't even miss the bread at all. Now, if you prefer your burger on a bun, I have the perfect low carb bun recipe for you. You can find it here: Sesame Seed Sandwich Buns. I snapped a quick photo of my Burgerwich below. Enjoy!


            

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Wild Alaskan Halibut Pan Seared in Brown Butter & Creamed Parmesan Spinach

This evening we enjoyed the most delicious meal. Our Sprouts Farmers Market had beautiful fresh Wild Alaskan Halibut available in 6-ounce pieces (for $8.99 each). I was so excited to prepare and eat it. It is so very easy to make and takes only about 6 minutes to cook. I pan seared it in brown butter and seasoned it only with a little pink Himalayan sea salt, freshly ground black pepper and a squeeze of fresh lemon. To go with the halibut, I made delicious Creamed Parmesan Spinach with the pound of fresh organic spinach I had in the fridge. It was also super quick and easy to make as well. I made it extra rich and creamy and added Parmigiano Reggiano for a punch of flavor. It went beautifully alongside the fresh wild halibut. I sliced a ripe Campari tomato and dinner was served. It couldn't be any more fresh, simple or delicious...unless of course I was eating it freshly caught in Cordova, Alaska (like I did last summer)! LOL I snapped a few photos below and included the easy peasy recipe for the halibut and the creamed spinach, too. Enjoy!





Wild Alaskan Halibut Pan Seared in Brown Butter

Ingredients:

2 6-ounce portions of fresh wild Alaskan halibut
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons butter (I used Kerrygold butter)
1/2 lemon

Directions:

Gently pat halibut fillets dry with paper towels. Season both sides with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil and butter in a medium 10-inch nonstick skillet just until butter begins to sizzle and turns light golden brown. Place fillets in skillet and cook for 3 minutes; turn fillets and cook remaining side for 3 minutes or until light golden brown. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over fillets. Remove from heat and cover and allow to sit for about 5 minutes. Spoon brown butter over top of fillets when serving.

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Creamed Parmesan Spinach

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound fresh baby spinach
2 tablespoons butter
1 ounce cream cheese (brick style)
Salt and black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons cream (I used Organic Valley heavy cream)
Dash of nutmeg
3 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese, divided

Directions:

In a 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add spinach and cook until wilted. Drain off any excess liquid in bottom of skillet and return to heat. Push spinach aside, making a well in the center. Add butter and cream cheese and mix around until it begins to melt, combining with the cooked spinach. Stir in cream, nutmeg, and 2 tablespoons of Parmesan. Heat until blended, creamy and combined. Divide creamed spinach between 2 small oven-proof ramekins. Top with remaining tablespoon of Parmesan. Place under a preheated broiler and broil 3 to 5 minutes until lightly browned and bubbly.

         

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Sunday's Mixed Grill - Easy Low Carb

Today was an absolutely gorgeous day here. It was breezy, bright and sunny and didn't get much above 70 degrees. It was actually cold when I stepped out early this morning to water my potted flowers. Since it was so gorgeous out, we took advantage of grilling out for dinner. I seasoned steaks and chicken breasts with my favorite McCormick's Chipotle & Roasted Garlic Seasoning and cut up red, yellow and orange bell peppers as well as green Poblano peppers and skewered them to make veggie kebabs. I also cut up a Vidalia onion and skewered it as well. While the meats and veggies were cooking, I made the guys baked potatoes and sauteed sliced mushroom in Kerrygold's Garlic & Herb Butter for me. Earlier in the day I made a batch of my Easy Coleslaw. It was a simple and fresh meal. I snapped a couple of photos below. Enjoy!



        

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Grilled Chipotle Chicken Thighs & Veggie Kebabs - Easy Low Carb

This evening we made a quick and easy grilled meal. It was just too hot to cook inside and heat up the kitchen. I had a package of boneless and skinless chicken thighs that I spritzed with olive oil and seasoned with McCormick's Grill Mates Chipotle and Roasted Garlic Seasoning. I cut up some Vidalia onion, red and yellow bell pepper and a green Poblano pepper into chunks and threaded them on skewers and spritzed them with a bit of olive oil. I also threaded some mushrooms on a skewer for me. We grilled everything for about 15 minutes or so; it was quick and easy. I snapped a couple of photos below. I also snapped a photo of the delicious dinner my children treated me to for Mother's Day on Sunday at the Atlanta Fish Market. I had their pan seared wild halibut with butter and olive oil sauce and haricot verts that they served alongside mashed potatoes. It was a delicious meal. It reminded me that it's almost Copper River Salmon time as well which I'm looking forward to. Enjoy!


My delicious Mother's Day Pan Seared Halibut

Grilled Chipotle Chicken

Ingredients:

2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
Olive oil spray
McCormick's Grill Mates Chipotle & Roasted Garlic Seasoning
Smoked paprika

Directions:

Spray both sides of chicken thighs with olive oil spray. Season both sides of chicken with chipotle seasoning and smoked paprika. Grill over a hot grill (approximately 400 degrees F) for about 6 to 7 minutes per side, or until done.

*Note: These seasonings can usually be found at most local grocery stores and supermarkets.

        

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Saturday Breakfast - Easy Low Carb & Gluten Free

This morning we started this beautiful bright and sunny day with a big breakfast to last us throughout most of the day. I scrambled some organic eggs and added lots of "Three Alarm Colby Jack Cheese" (by Great Midwest) that I found at Sam's Club not long ago. If you like spicy cheese, you will love this cheese!  I served it along with crispy strips of bacon and my Strawberry & Cream Biscuits. It's the perfect way to begin this beautiful May morning...now I'm off to seize the day. Enjoy!




          

Friday, May 6, 2016

It's Friday Night CHEESE HEAD PIZZA Night - Low Carb & Delicious

This evening I made my Cheese Head Pizza for dinner...it's the perfect Friday night meal in my opinion. I've been extremely busy these past few weeks working on several big projects (which is why you haven't seen a lot of me on here) and just decided to take tonight off to enjoy doing one of the things I enjoy best...cook and eat a yummy meal in my kitchen. I have many different low carb pizza crust recipes to choose from but my most recent favorite has to be my Cheese Head Pizza Crust. It is so much like regular pizza dough and crust that I honestly can't tell the difference between them at all whatsoever. Hubby and I shared the same pizza with pepperoni and Kalamata olives on his half and pepperoni, red bell peppers and onions on my half. My brother enjoyed plain old pepperoni pizza. We all have plenty of pizza left to enjoy for another meal tomorrow (maybe even breakfast). If you haven't tried my Cheese Head Pizza Crust yet...you definitely need to do so. You won't believe it's grain and gluten free; I promise. I snapped a few photos below. The recipe for the crust can be found here: CHEESE HEAD PIZZA. Enjoy!





            

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Strawberry & Cream Biscuits - NEW RECIPE!

I've got a new recipe for you today that I shared on my guest post for Honeyville. It's for Strawberry & Cream Biscuits. They are rich, delicate and bursting with fresh strawberry flavor and remind you that summer is just around the corner. They're a cross between a sweet roll and a biscuit and can be made even more decadent by topping them with the optional vanilla glaze I made. I've enjoyed them both glazed and plain and they are yummy either way. They go great with a cup of coffee and would be perfect to serve for Mother's Day breakfast, too. Check out some photos of them below. I hope you enjoy them! To get to the recipe, please click here: Strawberry & Cream Biscuits. Enjoy!