Saturday, March 17, 2018

Happy St. Patrick's Day Breakfast - Corned Beef & Sprouts Hash

Happy St. Patrick's Day! This morning we awoke to a cool and dreary morning. It rained overnight and it's supposed to rain more later this afternoon. That didn't stop me from making a bright and sunny breakfast though! Last night I made a simple dinner of grilled boneless chicken thighs and I roasted a tray of sliced fresh Brussels sprouts and some grape sized red skinned potatoes for hubby. I had a bowl full of leftover roasted sprouts that I decided to use for breakfast this morning. I also had about 1/4 pound left of thinly sliced Boars Head Corned Beef that I used earlier in the week to make my Reuben Roll-ups. I cut the leftover corned beef into thin strips, added 1 teaspoon of olive oil to a nonstick skillet and browned it. When it was browned and had begun curling up (much like bacon), I added my leftover roasted sprouts and tossed them around until everything was heated. While my sprouts and corned beef were getting cozy in the pan, I fried eggs in a separate skillet with a bit of Kerrygold butter. I plated my Corned Beef & Sprouts Hash and topped it with a fried egg and a generous grind of black pepper. For my hubby, I tossed in the few tiny red potatoes that I halved into the skillet with the remaining sprouts and corned beef and served his "potato-sprouts-corned beef hash" alongside his eggs. Everybody was happy...including Spike who had his own fried egg and a few little bites of corned beef. I must say that even though I am not a big corned beef fan, slicing it into strips and browning it was absolutely delicious and I will actually use it in the future to toss in with other roasted veggies for flavor. Try it transforms into a milder bacon when prepared that way. It was the perfect breakfast for St. Patty's Day. Check it out below. Enjoy!


Thursday, March 15, 2018

Greek Style Spinach-Feta Pie - How To Get Your Green on for St. Patty's Day Tomorrow

I know this may sound a bit silly, but this evening I made my Greek Style Spinach-Feta Pie to work some more green into our menu for St. Patty's Day tomorrow. I know it's a bit silly to be going Greek to celebrate an Irish holiday...but food never discriminates!  LOL Plus, I really miss this dish. I have a number of different variations of this pie, but my favorite is made with my buttery almond crust. To save time, my crustless version is also good. It's also good if you have leftover bacon to add as well, just be careful about adding too much because feta is a saltier cheese. I used the remainder of the pound of Olivia's Organic Baby Spinach that I had leftover from the chicken soup I made earlier in the week. Since I had so much spinach to use, I added a couple of extra eggs to my pie this evening (I usually put 5 eggs in the filling but this evening I used 7). With all the spinach, I could have added a couple of more eggs and been good, but since it's just hubby and I, I didn't want to make too much. I used green onions instead of regular onions so this was a super green pie with over 3/4 pound of chopped spinach, dill, and the green onions. There won't be any pinching going on in my house for sure! So, if you are one of those non-corned beef people, then this pie might be the perfect dish to make to cover you in the green department for Saint Patrick's Day tomorrow.

Check out tonight's Spinach-Feta Pie below. You can find the recipe with more photos here:  Greek Style Spinach-Feta Pie. Enjoy!



Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Check out my Cool Deli Reuben Roll-ups

This evening, I made deli "Reuben roll-ups" for dinner. Who said Reubens had to be eaten warm or served on bread? I had some Boars Head corned beef thinly sliced at the deli and also some of their lacey Swiss cheese. I rolled up several thin slices of corned beef with the cheese after scattering them with Bubbies sauerkraut and a teaspoon of Cindy's Kitchen Thousand Island dressing (from Fresh Market). I served them on large leaves of savoy cabbage. We enjoyed our roll-ups alongside a bowl of leftover Chicken soup from last nights dinner (shredded unseasoned roasted chicken from Sprouts Farmers Market, organic free range chicken broth, diced carrots, and fresh organic baby spinach) that only took about 20 minutes to make last night. Nothing like chicken soup alongside corned beef roll-ups, right? It was actually good! So, if you are looking for another easy idea for Saint Patty's you go! Enjoy!


Monday, March 12, 2018

Corned Beef Recipe Ideas for Saint Patrick's Day - Low Carb

I haven't decided yet what I'm going to make for St. Patrick's Day. I'm not a huge fan of corned beef, but I don't mind having it once in awhile. Are you one of those folks that loves corned beef or one who can't stand it? Or, maybe you're like me, and can take it or leave it, but enjoy it on occasion in small doses. Regardless of what side of the corned beef fence you are on, I decided to go back through the years to see some of the various ways I have prepared it for St. Patrick's Day.

One of the easiest ways I like to use corned beef is to make a simple "sandwich" using quality deli-style corned beef (like Boars Head). I get it sliced thinly and also pick up some thinly sliced Swiss cheese, and add some Bubbie's sauerkraut  (which also adds a healthy dose of fermented food) to make a low carb version of a reuben sandwich. I like using my grain free quesadillas for these. In order to keep it super simple, you can make them as roll-ups without any bread. I like to use my grain free quesadillas to make "Reuben-dillas". You can check these out here:  Reuben-dillas

Or...if you are looking for a more traditional Corned Beef & Cabbage, check out this recipe that I did in my crock pot (I cooked the cabbage separately on the stove). You can find the easy recipe for it here:  Corned Beef & Cabbage

And lastly...if you are looking for a way to use up extra corned beef or just want something a bit different and non-traditional, you might like this Brussels Sprouts & Corned Beef Hash Topped w/ a Poached Egg. Check out my easy directions here:  Brussels Sprouts & Corned Beef Hash


Sunday, March 11, 2018

My Official Comeback Tour & Irish Soda Bread

Long time, no see! I know that some of you have probably wondered why I seemed to drop off the face of the earth these last couple of months. I didn't intend to disappear for that long; things just worked out that way. Trust me when I tell you that I needed that time off. This past year has been a difficult one for me and my family. It actually began a couple of years ago when my mother suddenly passed away after a brief illness. Almost immediately, I packed up and sold our house while shopping for and purchasing a larger home so my brother could move in with us...all the while still grieving, working full time and continuing my almost daily blogging (which involves cooking, creating and writing up recipes, photographing, responding to emails, social media, etc.)...all things that I love, but are time consuming. Blogging, cooking and creating recipes are a passion and love of mine. As many of my regular followers know, last year my husband was injured when he fell down our basement stairs and required surgery. He was unable to work or drive for 2 months which left all household responsibilities to me. Things did not work out here for my brother, so he decided to move back home leaving us with this huge house to maintain for just the two of us. Please know that I'm not complaining about it, just trying to help you understand some of the reasons for my unexpected absence.

As if there wasn't enough to deal with already, another very difficult family situation arose this past year involving one of my grown children that I won't get into the specifics of because it is an extremely private and painful matter. Our family was tested by someone that did unthinkable and inexcusable things to one of my children; things that hurt our family very deeply. What this person did was dishonest, cruel and unforgivable and I will leave it at that. There is nothing someone could do to hurt me more than to hurt one of my children, regardless of how old they are. Fortunately, our family is strong and resilient and we continue to move forward from this nightmare. My goal now is to get back to the things that I love and that bring me cooking and blogging. I want to do this...and more importantly, I need to. So, this is step one of that process. If you wrote to me or tried contacting me these last couple of months, and I didn't respond, I am sorry. I've been taking baby steps and posting a bit on Facebook and Instagram...but my blog is where I share myself as well as my recipes with you. So, be on the lookout for me to begin showing up in your feeds again. Thank you for your patience and understanding while I took this necessary break. I have missed blogging and my interactions and communication with so many of you over these past almost 6 years now. Although we have never met, I feel like I really know so many of you and I'm excited and look forward to returning to my real world. I'm BAAAAACK!

On another note, I know Saint Patrick's Day is coming up and many of you in the past had requested I make a grain and gluten free version of Irish Soda Bread. I created a traditional version several years ago. There were several variations...traditional with raisins and then for those that don't like raisins, I created one with dried cranberries and/or blueberries instead. I also created smaller individual Irish Soda Bread Rolls. So, here you go, below is the recipe for my Irish Soda Berry Bread (just replace the berries with 1 ounce of raisins if you prefer).  The links to the other recipes are in the bolded links in this paragraph. Enjoy!


Irish Soda Bread Rolls

Irish Soda Berry Bread

1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons Swerve Sweetener (or other granular sweetener)
2 tablespoons diced chilled butter
1/2 teaspoon xanthum gum
3 to 4 tablespoons dried cranberries or blueberries, finely chopped
2 teaspoons coconut flour
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 large egg


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease an ovenproof skillet.

In a medium bowl, add almond flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, sweetener, and whisk until well combined. Using a pastry cutter/dough blender, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal. Whisk in xanthum gum. 

In a small bowl, toss chopped berries with coconut flour until lightly dusted (this keeps them from sticking together); stir berries into dry mixture.

In a glass measuring cup, add buttermilk and egg and lightly beat. Make a well in center of dry mixture; pour wet mixture into dry ingredients and mix together with a rubber spatula just until dough pulls together into a soft ball. Shape dough with hands lightly dampened with water into a rounded loaf and transfer to a lightly greased 10-inch cast iron or oven proof skillet, baking sheet or cake pan. Use a sharp serrated knife to score top of loaf with "X-shaped" 1/2-inch deep slashes. 

Bake until golden brown, about 32-35 minutes. If bread begins browning too quickly, lightly tent with a piece of aluminum foil. If additional browning is desired, reduce heat to 325 degrees and bake an additional 5 to 7 minutes longer. Bread is done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 5 minutes; carefully transfer bread to a wire rack to cool. Slice and serve with butter or jam at room temperature, or lightly toast sliced bread in a 350 degree F oven for a few minutes.

*Note: If adding raisins, finely chop a 1-ounce box of raisins. If preferred, do not add fruit and enjoy bread plain, or substitute chopped nuts of your choice.


Monday, November 20, 2017

Thanksgiving Recipes: 12 Breakfast Ideas, 12 Side Dish Ideas, and 16 Dessert Ideas

Well, it's that time of year again for sharing my Thanksgiving recipes. I'm a bit late this year because things have been a little crazy around here. This will be my 6th low carb, wheat free Thanksgiving. It's hard to believe. It just seems so "normal" now that I don't stress about it or worry about what to make since I've recreated so many of my favorite recipes over these last 6 years. I still make a few things for the family that I don't eat but I really don't mind at all because I have plenty of dishes to choose from. If this is your first wheat free Thanksgiving, you might feel like you will never be able to eat your old favorites me, you will. There are so many options and choices available and so many wheat free recipe conversions of your old favorites. I'm sharing some of my favorites that I have made and enjoyed over these past 6 years.

I've attached 3 different collages of recipes below; 12 Thanksgiving Breakfast Ideas, 12 Thanksgiving Side Dish Ideas, and 16 Thanksgiving Dessert Ideas. To get to the page where you can have access to the recipes via links under each individual enlarged photo...simply click on the 3 headings over each collage below. That will take you to the blog page where you can scroll through enlarged photos of each dish with a link in the caption underneath each photo to that particular recipe. Certainly you should be able to find something you'd like to try or something you worried you would never be able to enjoy again. I hope you find some new favorites to put on your Thanksgiving table this year. These recipes also work for Christmas dinner, too. From my table to yours....Enjoy!

12 Thanksgiving Breakfast Ideas

12 Thanksgiving Side Dish Ideas

16 Thanksgiving Dessert Ideas


Monday, October 23, 2017

Low Carb Cheese Head Pizza w/ Pesto Crust

This evening I used my Cheese Head Pizza Crust recipe to make a delicious basil infused crust. It was so good! I omitted some of the spices in the regular crust and folded in Mezzetta's Homestyle Basil Pesto into the dough as well as brushed additional pesto on prior to baking the crust. It turned out absolutely delicious! This crust would make the perfect base for focaccia, too, if that's something you're longing for. I topped our pizza this evening with Muir Glen pizza sauce, Boars Head pepperoni, and Del Destino's grilled vegetables packed in oil that I find at Costco. I used what was left in a partially used jar in my fridge; grilled baby eggplant, piquillo peppers and a big artichoke. This mixture usually includes zucchini, but I had used all of that for something else. This is such a simple crust to make and it is super filling. I cut this pizza into 6 huge slices and could only eat one. I snapped a few photos and included the recipe below. Enjoy!

Crust ready to bake

Crust fresh out of the oven - can be transformed into focaccia, if desired

Topped w/ sauce, cheese, pepperoni, grilled artichokes, piquillo peppers and baby eggplant



8 ounces (2 cups) shredded mozzarella (whole milk or part skim)
3 ounces brick style cream cheese
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan (powdery style)
1/8 teaspoon salt, optional
3 tablespoons basil pesto, divided (I used Mezzetta Homestyle Basil Pesto)
1 large egg
1 tablespoon olive oil (to press out dough with hands or rubber spatula)
Desired toppings (pizza sauce, pepperoni, cooked peppers, onions, mushrooms, additional cheese, etc.)


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet or pizza pan with parchment paper.

Place mozzarella and cream cheese in a medium bowl. Heat cheese in microwave on high for 45 seconds; stir and heat an additional 30 to 45 seconds or until a hot melty mass of cheese is formed. Fold 2 tablespoons pesto into hot melted cheese with a rubber spatula.

While cheese is melting in microwave, stir almond flour, Parmesan, and salt in a small bowl. Add flour mixture and egg to bowl of hot melted cheese. Working quickly, fold and stir mixture together with a rubber spatula until a ball of dough is formed (make sure cheese mixture is hot before adding flour and egg).   

Place ball of dough in center of parchment lined baking sheet or pizza pan. Pour 1 tablespoon olive oil on top of dough and press dough out with rubber spatula (or hands), into the desired shape (round, oval or rectangular) until about ¼-inch thick. Thinly brush or spread remaining 1 tablespoon pesto over top of crust. Prick holes all over crust surface with a fork to prevent crust from bubbling up. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly golden (be careful not to overbake so it doesn't burn when returning to oven to bake with toppings). Remove crust and top with pizza sauce, additional cheese, and any desired toppings. Reduce oven temp to 400 degrees F and bake an additional 5 to 7 minutes or until cheese is melted and heated through. 


Thursday, October 19, 2017

Pumpkin Pecan Coffee Cake - A Fall Favorite

It's throwback Thursday and I'm re-sharing a recipe for Pumpkin Pecan Coffee Cake that I created 2 years ago. It's most definitely a fall favorite of mine. This coffee cake makes a perfect addition to your Thanksgiving breakfast menu. It’s rich, moist and oh so pumpkiny!  Your house will smell amazing while it’s baking, filling it with the aromas of pumpkin and spice that will waft through your kitchen as its baking. I love this time of year. It's delicious for either breakfast or for dessert. I like adding a dollop of whipped cream or scoop of vanilla ice cream when enjoying it for dessert. The pecan topping has a touch of molasses mixed into the sweetener to create a brown sugar substitute and is combined with butter and pecans to make a delicious streusel-like topping. It is absolutely amazing with a cup of coffee. If you love pumpkin and you love coffee cake...this recipe will satisfy both. Try it, you won't be disappointed. I've included some photos and the recipe below. Enjoy!

Ready to pop in the oven
Fresh out of the oven

Pumpkin Pecan Coffee Cake


For the pecan topping:
1/2 cup granular Swerve sweetener (or other granular sweetener)
1 teaspoon black strap molasses
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch sea salt
2 Tablespoons diced cold butter
1 cup chopped pecans, lightly toasted

For the batter:
1/4 cup coconut flour, sifted
1 1/2 cups Swerve granular sweetener (or other granular sweetener)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Dash ground nutmeg
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 (15-ounce) can pure pumpkin
6 Tablespoons melted butter


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9" x 13" baking pan.

To make the pecan topping, combine sweetener, molasses, cinnamon, and salt in a small bowl; add diced butter and cut in using a pastry cutter/dough blender until mixture is coarse and crumbly (or the mixture can be pulsed until combined and crumbly in a small food processor). Stir in toasted pecans and set aside.

To make the batter, whisk almond flour, ground flax, coconut flour, sweetener, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg in a large bowl until combined.

In a separate bowl, beat eggs, vanilla, buttermilk, pumpkin and melted butter together until smooth. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix together, beating with a rubber spatula or hand mixer until a thick batter is formed. Pour batter into prepared pan and spread evenly with a spatula. Top with pecan topping and bake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack.

*Note:  To toast pecans, spread in single layer on a baking sheet and bake in oven at 350 degree F for approximately 5 to 8 minutes, stirring frequently until lightly toasted.