Thursday, May 22, 2014

Coconut Lime Cream Cheese Squares - Low Carb

On May 3rd, we went to a Kentucky Derby party at our nephew's house. Besides bringing my low carb Maple Walnut Chocolate Chip Biscotti (recipe not updated yet) we also brought this low carb dessert. I could have made a pie, but since there were a lot of people I went with squares and cut 16 small pieces out of this 8 by 8 pan. I cut them in 4 one direction, then turned the pan and cut into another 4 pieces.
I use my favorite go-to crust recipe from Carolyn Ketchum.

1.     Preheat oven to 350°F.
2.     For the crust, combine almond flour, GF all purpose flour, Swerve, xanthan gum, and salt, in a food processor. Pulse to combine.
3.     Sprinkle butter in, and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
4.     With processor running on low, add ice water 1 tablespoon at a time, until dough begins to clump together. 2 Tbs worked for me.
5.     Cover work surface with a large sheet of parchment paper and sprinkle with almond flour. Turn out dough and form into a square (or disk for a pie).
6.     Sprinkle with additional almond flour and top with another piece of parchment, then carefully roll out in all directions to form a 9 by 9 inch square (or 10-inch circle for a pie).
7.     Place in 8 by 8 pan (or a pie tin).
8.     Poke some holes in the bottom of crust with a fork.
9.     Bake 13 to 15 minutes. If you can cover the crust edges with foil after they have browned, you can add more time to let the bottom of the crust get slightly brown. Cool on rack when done. 

Ingredients for Filling
  • 12 oz cream cheese (full fat) room temperature 
  • 1 Lime, juiced 
  • 9 Tbsps Swerve or granular erythritol 
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1.     In a bowl, beat the cream cheese, lime juice, and sweetener, with a hand mixer until smooth.
2.     In a separate bowl, whip the heavy whipping cream.
3.     Fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture.
4.     Scoop into the cooled down crust. Refrigerate for 2 hours or more.

Top with toasted coconut before refrigerating. On a sheet pan, spread out 1/4 cup of unsweetened fine coconut. Toast for 2 to 3 minutes in a 350° oven. Be careful not to burn the coconut. Remove from oven and let it cool. After it has cooled, place in a bowl and add 1 to 2 tablespoons of cold water and mix until moist. Add 1 teaspoon of powdered erythritol and 1 drop of E-Z Sweetz liquid sucralose and mix well. Whatever amount doesn't get used, keep the remainder in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Total carbs is 33.6g for the entire recipe. If cutting into 16 squares, each square would be 2.1g. If making a pie and cutting into 8 slices, the carb count would be 4.2g per slice.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Cheese Crookies

You're probably thinking, what the heck is a 'Crookie'? It's my version of a cross between a cracker and a cookie. It has the texture and taste of a cheese cracker, but the look and shape of a cookie. I intend on modifying the shape to be square and flatter, and then it will be a true cracker. The taste of these are awesome, so cheesy!
I adapted a recipe from Trisha Yearwood's Cheese Straws on the Food Network. I tried her method of using a cookie dough press, but the mixture was just too dense and difficult to work with in a press. Next time I make these I'll make some adjustments to get them to work in the press. I went out and bought one specifically for this recipe. I might have to resort to just using it for cookies.

15 ozs. of shredded sharp cheddar room temperature (or Colby Jack)
1/2 cup butter softened
2 cups Jen's bake mix (Splendid Gluten-free Bake Mix 3)
1/4 tsp. xanthan gum
3/4 tsp. salt
pinch pepper
pinch cayenne
pinch paprika
pinch garlic powder

Preheat oven to 325°F.
Put the softened cheese and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the paddle attachment, beat it for 15 to 30 minutes.
In a medium bowl, sift 1 and 1/2 cups of Jen's bake mix with all of the spices. Gradually add the seasoned flour to the cheese mixture by large spoonfuls, beating well after each addition. Now, gradually add the remaining 1/2 cup of the unseasoned bake mix until the dough is somewhat stiff but still soft enough to the touch. You will not need to add all of the bake mix. I ended up using only 1/4 cup and returned the balance to its canister.
I use non-stick parchment paper in my trays. With this amount you might need 3 or 4 trays. Bake at 325° for 15 to 20 minutes. Any thin areas will bake quicker and probably burn, so be careful to have consistent thickness.
I rolled the dough into 1/4 inch balls and flattened them with a fork. I may adjust this recipe to be softer to be put into a cookie press to make cheese straws, or fill a plastic bag and cut the tip to pipe the dough on.

Yield: 110 Crookies
Serving Size: 5 Crookies are 2g  net carbs.

Optional: Sprinkle some salt on them as soon as they are out of the oven.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Mushroom Saute with Wine (REVISED)

I've been making this side dish for many years, often with a few tweaks here and there. My Mom used to make this, and I could never get enough of it. She wasn't Italian, but could cook as good as any other Italian in my Dad's family!
I'm pretty sure that she used a Red Wine that my Grandfather made in his wine cellar, but I'm using a Merlot wine. So, I would assume that any dry red wine would work here. I have such great memories playing under my Grandfather's grape vine that provided a shady place out of the sun. My grandparents had the biggest vegetable garden that I had ever seen for a residential area. Grandma grew tomatoes (the best taste ever!), green beans, eggplant, and they had a fig tree. I'm sure there were other vegetables but I can't remember them all. I remember the chicken coop, and still have disturbing memories when Grandma slaughtered the chickens. If my memory is correct, the hens in the coop were for laying eggs. She went on a bus into Paterson, New Jersey to get live chickens, that would later become dinner.
Grandma made the best pizza from scratch, topped with her crushed tomatoes, fresh garlic, and some freshly grated Locatelli Peccorino Romano cheese. Sometimes she would add some anchovies, yum! There was NO mozzarella on her pizza anywhere, and it really didn't need it. Everything she made was from scratch, and a lot of it came from her garden.
Okay, moving on to today's recipe!

an 8oz. pack of Baby Bella OR White mushrooms sliced
1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Extra Light)
1 Tbsp Butter (REVISED)
1/4 tsp Fine Sea Salt
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (or less)
1/2 cup Merlot wine

First thing is to make sure your mushrooms are cleaned. Add olive oil and butter to a medium saute or frying pan. Have the burner set to medium high heat and add the mushrooms to the pan. Toss them with tongs for about 2 minutes. Lower the flame to medium. Next, add the salt, pepper, and garlic powder, then toss the mushrooms to distribute the spices. Add the crushed red pepper and toss again to mix. Finally, add the Merlot wine (or any dry red), turn the heat up to high until the wine has cooked off. Keep tossing and coating the mushrooms with the wine until the wine has completely disappeared. That's it!

I have always winged it with the spices before measuring them out today. I adjusted the final measurements in the Ingredients list above. I didn't have enough salt (for my taste), and the red pepper was so hot on my tongue that I cut that back. Even the wine wasn't enough, but like I said the amounts have been adjusted in the Ingredients.
I like to have this as a side along with my morning scrambled eggs. It is also a good side for some beef dishes. Since I'm the only one that eats mushrooms in my house (hubby doesn't like them at all), I only used the one pack of mushrooms. If you have a bigger family, go ahead and double or triple them, but you will need a bigger pan.

Adding butter to the oil in the frying pan has made this an irresistible side dish! Once I tasted them, I couldn't stop eating them and I ate the whole bunch of mushrooms!! 
Based on the ingredients used the entire recipe is approximately 4.5g net carbs. It should give you around 1 and 1/2 cups of mushrooms for the full recipe.
Serving size = 1/2 cup with 1.5g net carbs

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

"Not So Impossible" Coconut Pie

Five slices remain after my husband, Frank, got a taste of it. I had 1 slice, and he had 2!
This morning when I went into the kitchen, I saw a note from Frank with a happy face ☺saying "The pie was GREAT!". To get a note, he must really like it!!
He's my recipe tester, if he likes it, everybody will like it. He's very difficult when it comes to eating healthy, the low-carb way, but he's slowly getting there.
I adapted this recipe from Barbo's Kitchen (a friend of Jennifer Eloff). I tried it a couple of days ago by making 1/2 the recipe and putting them in a muffin tin. They tasted good, so I knew I would be making it again really soon, but in a pie plate with the full recipe.
My sister reminded me that our Mom used to make the original Impossible Pie using Bisquick mix. I do remember eating it, but cannot recall how it was made.
At 1.2g carbs per serving, my version works really well as a low carb dessert!

1 cup of Better than Eggs (or 4 eggs)
3 Tbsp melted butter
3/4 cup of heavy whipping cream
1 and 1/4 cup of water
a Pinch of Sea Salt
1/4 cup Biscuit Mix from LC Foods Corp
1/4 tsp Liquid Sweetener (I used E-Z Sweetz liquid Sucralose)
2 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup unsweetened finely grated coconut

Preheat oven to 350° F.
Using a blender, put all EXCEPT the coconut in and mix until smooth. Add the coconut and stir into batter. Spray a  9" pie plate with a cooking spray. Pour the batter into the greased pie dish and bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until custard in the center is firm.
Once it's cooled down, place it in the refrigerator to store it. Whipped Cream goes nicely on a slice of this pie!

The entire pie is 9.5g carbs, based on the ingredients that I used.
If you slice into 8 servings, each serving would be approximately 1.2g carbs.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

WINNER of the Giveaway!

Before I announce the winner of our Cookbooks both Vol-4 and Vol-5, I want to thank all of you who have entered and taken the time to browse my recipes here on this blog!
ONE winner is receiving both cookbooks, and they will come directly from Low-Carbing Among Friends publisher, author, and well-known in the Low Carbing community, Jennifer Eloff!
I want to personally thank Jennifer for sponsoring this Giveaway, without you there wouldn't have been one.
There are 5 Volumes (a 6th is in the works) and you can purchase any one of them HERE.
So, I won't keep you in suspense any longer, and would like to congratulate our Random Winner!

#73 - Christine Messere
Christine, you will be hearing from me shortly via email. I will ask you in the email for your physical mailing address, and as I said above, your books will arrive from Jennifer Eloff, the Publisher.

Saturday, February 1, 2014


If you haven't ordered Low-Carbing Among Friends cookbooks, Vol-4 and Vol-5, you have a chance to win them in this Giveaway if you live in the Continental USA! The Giveaway runs from Feb. 1st to Feb. 26th, ending at 1:00 P.M. Eastern Time.
I have all 5 volumes, and I have to admit that Vol-4 and Vol-5 are the best cookbooks ever! I especially like that they now have a Color Photos section for some of the recipes. Let me tell you, one look at those photos and you will want to try them out for yourself!
All of the recipes are gluten-free, sugar-free, wheat-free, and low-carb, written by some of the most well-known and respected authors in the low-carb world. The books are organized by category.
There are 7 categories:
Appetizers and Beverages
Salads and Soups
Main Courses and Sides
Breads, Muffins, and More
Sweet Endings

Most importantly, I want to thank Jennifer Eloff for putting this Giveaway together. I've made many of her low carb dishes and love them all. She is also responsible for getting all of these cookbooks edited, organized, and printed
You can find Jennifer's recipes in all 5 volumes in addition to her blog and the Low-Carbing Among Friends' hugely popular Facebook page:

So, are you in it to win it? For your chance at winning both volumes, there are just a few things you need to do. It's really Easy Peasy, so let's get on to the requirements:

1- 'Join this site' located to the right on the sidebar!
2- 'LIKE' Low-Carbing Among Friends Facebook page!
3- Leave a 'Comment' below telling me which one of my recipes on this blog, you either want to try OR have already tried it. If you tried it, would you make it again?
4- You must live in the Continental USA to enter.
5- Lastly, enter your name and email in the Inlinkz link below (blue rectangular box with words 'Add your link'), after completing all 4 requirements. You do need to enter a valid email address, in the event you are the winner I would email you to get your Continental USA mailing address for sending the cookbooks to. If anything is unclear, my Email info is on the sidebar to the right.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Low Carbing Among Friends Cookbooks

If you haven't ordered Vol-4 and Vol-5 yet, you are missing out on 2 super cookbooks! I'm excited to announce that a recipe of mine for Chocolate Ice Cream, was published in Vol-4! What a thrill for me to see it in print. Plus, the Color Photo section has a picture of my results. I have changed the sweetener that I use for it, since I mostly use Swerve now. Occasionally I add EZ-Sweetz liquid sweetener, but only a few drops.

Both volumes each have:
- Almost 200 recipes
- 25-30 Color Photos
- They can be ordered as Coil (spiral) bound, or Perfect (softcover) bound
- George Stella (contributing author), 1 Doctor and Friends' recipes
- PLUS 4 other authors:
Vol-4 has Jennifer Eloff, Carolyn Ketchum, Judy Barnes Baker, and Karen Sorenson
Vol-5 has Jennifer Eloff, Maria Emmerich, DJ Foodie, and Lisa Marshall
- Special Foreword by George Stella, our team's coach for these books
- Great medical advice from our Guest Doctors
- A $17.77 base price, Coil-bound optional
- BIG S&H discounts on multiple books