Categories
Air Dry Dough Christmas Crafts Holidays

Pure White Air Dry Dough Ornaments

 

Holidays are all about traditions for me. I dream of a household full of family, true belly laughing, games of all kinds, reminiscing cherished memories and creating new memories, baking with favorite recipes and trying new ones, holiday crafting for all ages, and just about anything that fills our heart and souls. 

This pure white, better-than-salt-dough dough (or clay) is perfect for all ages to join in. With just a few ingredients, and a few tools you can make stunning custom ornaments, keepsake ornaments, kid designed ornaments, with easy clean up.

A son of my good friend is like a little kindred spirit, and we have hit it off since he was almost 3. He is my little love-a-bug, all boy and lights up when he sees me like no one else. Just fills my soul with joy.  I made is Erupting Dinosaur Cake for his 3rd birthday and he still talks about it!

I wanted to come up with a Christmas craft to do with my friend and her family. There are so many options, and I wanted something younger kids would enjoy. Then I thought of play dough, which led me to salt dough, but I always have an issue with how homemade the salt dough looks. 

I was a bit nervous making this dough for the first time being that you need to cook it on the stove, knead it when it is cool, and I had no clue how young kids were gonna handle the prep time before they had a chance to get hands on. I was pleased to see they were happily watching a holiday cartoon, and my friend and I got to catch up while making this dough. 

While stirring the ingredients on the stove I seriously wondered if it would come together as a whole dough because it seemed to thicken unevenly no matter how much I stirred to incorporated the water. Almost instantly it came together in a dough ball in the pan. I then was apprehensive on how long it would take to cool the dough down enough for the kids to handle and not dry out. It was my first go at this recipe. 

Once again I was pleasantly surprised and quite relieved that after kneading it lightly on the counter, it cooled rather quickly. It was very hot at first, so I just used a spoon to knead it. If I had my dough scraper I would have used that. 

And then it was time to begin the fun! We had various Christmas cookie cutter shapes. We had straws to cut out a hole for the ribbon to hand the finished ornaments. My friend brought out the play dough rolling pins for the kids, which was perfect. It rolled out really well. The dough could dry and get crystally, but I found if you kneaded it all the moisture dispersed and restored the dough. Very straight forward. 

I had a background stamp I used to get a Christmas texture on the cut out shapes that turned out better than I imagined. The kids had a blast, until they were done which left us girls to finish and plenty of girl talk time. As we finished the cut outs, and used the straw to cut a hole at the top, we placed them on a cookie sheet to dry. We estimated about 24 hours to dry, but the thicker ones definitely needed to be turned over and dry another 24 at least. 

The next day I was so pleased with how this dough worked, that I made another batch and my own set of custom ornaments. 

I am OBSESSED! I was impatient and tried to dry these in the oven at 300 degrees F, but it did crack and turn the pure white ornaments somewhat yellowish which did not happen to the air dried ones at my friend’s house the day before. Rather than scrap them, I painted a layer of white craft paint and sprinkled ultra fine white glitter. I added a narrow red ribbon. They turned out stunning. The pictures do NOT do these justice. 

I literally want to batch of bells or stocking cut outs pained red with red glitter, tree shapes that are painted emerald green and emerald glitter, maybe circles or hexagons that are lime green and lime glitter. I am sold on the colors as I always decorate Christmas in vibrant reds, whites, and multiple shades of greens in different finishes, textures, and shapes. This dough just opened a portal to a slew of custom ornaments!

Pure White Air Dry Ornaments

This is surprisingly simple dough, and must be cooked on the stove top in a saucepan for the dough to come together, and then cooled and kneaded before cutting out the shapes. Simple cookie cutter, straw, rolling pin, and cookie sheets to dry are the tools you need. These are also flexible enough to decorate with ink, permanent markers, paint, modge podge, and ultra find glitter. The most important thing is to have fun making your custom ornaments!

2 c. baking soda

1 c. corn starch 

1 3/4 c. water

Add all the ingredients in a sauce pan. Stir on medium heat until all the water is incorporated, and the dough comes together as a ball of dough. It will seem like it is getting thick in some areas and still watery in the rest, then all of a sudden it comes together. 

Knead the dough on the counter with a spoon or dough scrapper until cool enough to handle. It will be ready to roll out when it is not hot, just warm enough for bother kids and adults to handle. 

If you want a back ground texture, once you roll out the dough press a large back ground stamp, repeat a stamp design, or use a background embossing design to press into the dough. Then position your cut out shapes. 

Use a straw to cut out a hole for the ribbon to go through, and place on a cookie sheet to dry for at least 24 hours. You may need to turn them over and let the backside dry for another 24 hours or more. Once the front is dry you can paint, draw, modge podge and glitter to your hears content. 

Some keepsake ides: Use a Christmas tree cookie cutter, have a child press their fingers in a swag design criss-crossing down the tree like a garland. These little finger prints are “light bulbs” and you later can use ink and have the child press different colors in the impressions, and then use a black permanent marker to connect the garland of the light bulbs. 

Hand or foot prints work well too for great keepsake ornaments. Label names and dates as desired. 

Categories
Breads Breads Christmas Holidays Recipes

Classic Caramel Pecan Rolls

I have fond memories of my grandmother making these amazinf caramel pecan rolls. They were perfectly sized, spaced, and set out to rise in her baking dish. I remember when I saw that I knew we would be having these oh so indulgent rolls soon! I couldn't wait. Of course she was much neater of a baker than I. I tend to make big rolls you would see in any quality brunch spot.

Classic Pecan Rolls

These rolls are so gooey, and caramelly, and indulgent I do not make them very often. They are truly a special treat at the holidays and special times of the year to share with the special people of my life. 

It is hard to wait for these to cool enough to eat and not burn your mouth! I always look forward to slathering more butter on the top of the roll. I mean, I was taught the right way to eat one! Haha! You cannot get away with too much butter. 

I would have taken better and more pics, but these babies do not last long with a crowd waiting to dive in! I’m lucky to get one myself…and hide one to save for tomorrow…he he he…

I always remember my Grandma Fonda with these rolls. Truly a family gem passed down from her to me…my mom always said cooking and baking skips a generation! Haha! Thankgoodness I was able to get this recipe. I know my mom loves it when I make these babies, and it reminds her of her mom as well. 

Classic Ooey Gooey Caramel Pecan Rolls

Are you tired of boring, expected cinnamon rolls? Do you love ooey gooey caramel and pecans? Then look no further. This classic recipe will knock your socks off, as well anyone in close proximity. These rolls never last, but if they do they make for an amazing left over you just need to warm up and enjoy. 

Roll dough:

4 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast (or two packages)

1/2 c. warm water (no more than 110 deg fahrenheit)

2 c. warm milk (no more than 110 deg fahrenheit)

1/2 c butter

1/2 c sugar

2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. vanilla

2 eggs

8 c. flour (plus or minus 1/2 c.)

 

Roll Filling:

3 3/4 c. pecan halves or pieces

3 T. melted butter

2 T. cinnamon

1/4 c. brown sugar

1/4 c. sugar

1/2 c. butter, softened

Caramel Pecan Coating:

1/2 c. butter

1 c. brown sugar

1/4 c. light corn syrup 

3 T. heavy whipping cream

 

Roll dough:

1) Sprinkle the yeast into the warm water, milk, sugar, and butter. Let stand until frothy, at least 5 min. 

2) Add the yeast mix, salt, vanilla, eggs, and 3 c. of the flour to a stand mixer. Mix on medium speed for a few minutes. Add enough dough, and mix in between, to make a soft dough. 

3) On a floured surface, knead the dough until it is soft and elastic. Add flour (no more than 8 1/2 c. total) as needed if the dough is still too sticky. About 7-10 min. of kneading. 

4) Place in a greased bowl, cover and let rise in a warm spot until doubled. About an hour. Punch down and let rise until doubled again. 

5) While the dough is rising the 2nd time, preheat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. Toss the pecans in the 3 T melted butter, and bake on a cookie sheet for 10 min. Cool. 

6) Chop about 3/4 c. of the toasted pecans for the filling.

Filling:

7) Mix sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and chopped pecans. Set aside.

Caramel Pecan Coating:

8) In a small heavy saucepan over medium heat, combine the butter, brown sugar, syrup, and cream. Remove from the heat once it starts to bubble around the edges. Grease two 9X13 pans, or 4 8 in round or square pans, and pour an even amount of the caramel sauce into the bottom of each pan. Sprinkle an even amount of the toasted pecans into each pan on top of the caramel sauce. Set aside.

Back to the roll dough: 

9) Punch down the doubled dough, divide in half, and roll out each half into a rectangle (about 10x16 inch rectangle) onto a lightly floured surface. 

10) Spread half of the softened butter on each dough rectangle. Then sprinkle half of the reserved filling on the spread butter over the dough. Roll up tightly from the shorter side of the rectangle. Use floss to cut 8 individual rolls from each dough roll. Place 8 into each 13x9 pan, or 4 in each 8 inch pan. 

11) Cover and let rise until doubled, 30-60 min. 

12) Bake at 350 degrees fahrenheit for 30-35 min for the 9x13 pans, and 25-30 min for th 8 inch pans. Remove from the oven, and let sit for a few minutes. Then invert rolls onto a serving tray or parchment paper. 

 

ENJOY!

Categories
Cookies Frosting Holidays Recipes

Nested Star Sugar Cookie Tree

Who doesn't love Christmas cookie season? I know I sure do. One cookie I cannot do without, is my sugar cookie cut outs with a secret ingredient! These seriously are so delicious, you won't be able to go back to your old sugar cookie cut out recipe. These not only hold their shape, but they simplify the most delicious sugar cookie you will ever eat! I have to pace myself with these! Not only do I have to bake and decorate my famous sugar cookies cutouts, I have to make the SHOW STOPPER! My stacked star sugar cookie TREE! It is simply stunning. SO elegant. I make a couple and add them to our Christmas feasts on Christmas Eve or our Christmas Kick Off party, and them munch on until it is gone. It goes fast!

I’ve wanted to try my hand at royal icing decorated cookies…aren’t there some stunning designs out there? I have always hesitated and I am not one to hesitate because I am scared of “failing”…if I hesitate, it’s because something just doesn’t jive…something just doesn’t fit…something is off…and then it hit me. I don’t make anything I personally will NOT absolutely go to food nirvana for. Royal icing just doesn’t tantalize my taste buds. I’m not into cookies that just look cute, I want to go to dessert 7th heaven so the calories, and what I gotta do to burn them off, is worth it!

Once you have a sugar cookie recipe that knocks people’s socks off–and trust me, you will get loads of people asking for the recipe, because the secret ingredient will set these sugar cookies light years apart of all the rest–the fun becomes how many different ways can you decorate them with buttercream. I feel like buttercream gets a bad rap with regards to sugar cookie decorating since all the gorgeous royal icing decorated cookies hit Instagram. Don’t get me wrong, they are stunning! 

Sugar Cookie Cut Out Tree

Each sugar cookie tree takes a little less than one recipe of my sugar cookie dough, recipe at the bottom. I love to make an impact with these on my dessert table for our holiday feast. I got this nested star Christmas Tree cookie cutter set from Crate and Barrel back in the day, but they don’t have them anymore. I wanted to make sure I had some to gift so I searched high and low. I found out Wilton has a set sold at Joann Fabrics. 

I always bake my cookies on parchment paper. It makes for easy cleaning and removal of the cookies when cooled enough. I also pipe the frosting and add sprinkles on each star layer before adding the next star. I find it makes for a more even design and I can get everything in every nook and cranny. It just looks more polished in the end. I used red, dark green, light green, and white nonpareils. I am obsessed with having at least two shades of green. I cannot just have one. My husband calls me particular. The nerve. Hahaha! So true, and I own it. I also used white (clear?) sparkling sugar, and dark green sanding sugar to sprinkle on each layer. I love the added sparkle and texture it gives. 

I also visually align the next star so the points are centered above the star below before placing. The second to last star I pipe a mound for the last star to stand upright like a tree topper. This time I did add gold star sprinkles all over after it was all assembled. 

How stunning did this turn out? I am in LOVE. I used this Cooked Frosting my mom passed down to me. I have also  cream cheese frosting (found at the bottom of the page). The cookie recipe is below. How are you planning to decorate your Christmas sugar cookies?

The Last Sugar Cookie Recipe You Will Ever Need

Are you tired of boring, almost bland sugar cookies? Don’t even enjoy sugar cookies because they are almost like sweet cardboard? NOT these sugar cookies! There’s a slight tang from cream cheese, flavors pop with vanilla and almond extract, sweet and salty bring the best balance, and the secret ingredient: BROWNED BUTTER.  You cannot go wrong with these cookies. I like mine with a crisp edge, and an aldente but not quite soft texture. 

3/4 c. browned butter (1 1/2 sticks)

1/2 c. cream cheese (1/2 of a 8 oz pkg)

1 1/2 c. sugar

1 egg

2 tsp. vanilla

2 tsp. almond extract

2 tsp. salt

4 c. flour (reserve one cup as needed)

1) In a sauce pan on med heat, brown your butter. Watch the butter as it starts to froth up, and stir as needed. You will notice the froth will go down, and then start frothing again. By the 2nd froth/bubbling I have found this is about the time you want to stop browning the butter. Take the butter off the stove as you smell the nutty richness. Chill the browned butter until solid.

2) Let the browned butter and the cream cheese come up to room temperature. 

3) Cream the browned butter, cream cheese, and sugar until fluffy in a stand mixer, or using a hand held mixer in a large bowl. You will see the color turn light and the mix becomes fluffy. 

4) Add the egg, vanilla, almond extract, and salt. Scrap down the sides with a silicone spatula. 

5) Add 3 cups of flour and mix. Scrape down the sides. Add the remaining flour in 1/4 cup increments as needed. You know the dough is ready when it comes to a ball and is clean away from the side of the bowl. Depending on the humidity and elevation, you will need to be vigilant in how much flour you add, and may not need the extra full cup. The dough is pretty stiff, but not crumbly to where the flour is not incorporated. 

6) Split the dough into two equal parts. Wrap each dough section in cling wrap. Flatten into a rectangle, and chill in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours, overnight if necessary. An alternative step at this point(or just intentionally make a double or triple batch), if you choose to make frozen dough disks (I use an ice cream scoop and flatten the round dough to a puck shape, line a cookie sheet with parchment or wax paper, freeze on a cookie sheet, then place the pucks in a freezer safe ziploc bag to keep frozen sugar cookie dough on hand for in a pinch cookie hankerings–you can bake frozen, just watch the cookies because they may need extra time being baked from a frozen state).

7) When you are ready to roll out, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. You may need to let the dough warm up a bit on the counter, especially if it has been chilling overnight. 

8) Lightly flour the surface, then roll out your dough to 3/8 inch for thick cookies. If you prefer thinner cookies, adjust the bake time down. Cut out your dough, and place on a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Space them at least a half inch apart. The cookies should not spread. If you want to sprinkle sanding sugar on the cookies and not frost them, do so before baking them. These are great cookies to eat without frosting, but I have an even better recipe for sugar cookies if you just want sanding sugar on them, but these work as well. 

9) Bake for 9-11 min. If your cookies are thinner or small cut out, watch them at 7-9 min. A perfectly baked cookie will show golden patches on the bottom, but not dark brown or worse.  Rest on the cookie sheet until cooled enough to move the parchment without damaging the cookies, and cool on a counter off the hot cookie sheet, or in a airtight container. If your first batch of cookies does not have the wonderfully crackled look on top, knead the rest of the dough before rolling out and baking. 

10) Completely cool before frosting. Check out my Cooked Frosting, which I think beats any butter cream frosting on these cookies hands down!

Check out these holiday sugar cookies I have made with this recipe. I love to use my Cooked Frosting as well as my cream cheese buttercream on these. I also love to stripe fruit fillings to add another dimension of flavor and color. I love how all of these cookies turned out! Not only are they adorable, but they are so delicious! I hope I can convince you how cute buttercream decorated cookies are.

Categories
Keto Recipes

KETO Hawaiian Teriyaki Chicken, Grilled Veggies, & Coconut Cauliflower “Rice”

 

I would have to rate this meal as one of my all time favorites!!! Total food nirvana. The flavors are spot on, go so well together, and the coconut cauliflower rice is beyond delicious. The best part of it are all the tasty left overs! I’m salivating thinking about it. Grilling the teriyaki marinated chicken and vegetables brings another flavor dimension, brings out the caramelized sweetness of the veggies, and just overall elevates the whole dish. Fire up the grill, and dive in! Aloha flavor town!

I prefer to marinade (recipe below) the meat for at least a day or two, up to 5 days, and minimum a couple hours. When I am ready to grill up this meal, I will first set out the marinated meat on the counter to come up to room temperature while I prep the veggies and coconut rice. If you have a propane grill, don’t turn on the grill to preheat it until you are basically ready to throw everything on. 

If you have a charcoal grill, you will want to  light the briquettes and wait to throw on the meat and veggies until the coals are white and settled into a constant temp. Plan on a good 20-30 min for this. Don’t throw on the meat right after they turn white because the coals will still be cooler inside, just brown the outside of the meat rather than cooking it through evenly; the quick cooking bell peppers work well at this stage.

While the grill is heating up, I get the grated cauliflower with all the ingredients cooking on the stove, and stir as I am in and out flipping on the grill. 

Veggies to grill: Use sturdy veggies that won’t fall apart to grill without a basket, which I do not have and do not want to monkey with because that just means something else to clean and I love grilling for the lack of pans to clean.

For this meal I choose zucchini, yellow squash, bell peppers, and red onion. You also want to cut them in large enough pieces to easily flip on the grill. You also want to cut veggies of the same kind as close to uniform in size to ensure even grilling time, and large enough not to fall through the grate. I usually cut a medium sized zucchini into quarter size spears the long way. For the yellow squash I cut the skinny part off and in half, then the thicker part into quarter spears length wise. I use a metal skewer for the red onion; I cut the onion in half, the half in quarters, the skewer the sections to keep from falling apart and falling through the grates. For the bell peppers, I start by cutting the bottom off as one section, then with the stem on the bottom I cut the 3 or 4 walls as the remaining sections, discarding the seeds, ribs, and stem. My favorite bell peppers to grill are the red, orange, and yellow peppers because I find them sweeter.

Prepping the meat: I always butterfly the chicken to make sure the chicken through evenly, and it cooks faster as well–4 min on each side for a grill heated to 400 degree fahrenheit. You can also use beef in this meal, which is also so delicious. My favorite cut of beef for this is flank steak. I still do 4 min on each side, then place it on the shelf of my grill for indirect heat while I cook the veggies for the same temp; if using coals move directly off the coals to the indirect heat.

Grilling veggies: After cutting the veggies to grill size, I coat with oil and kosher salt. My favorite oil is avocado oil, but any oil with a higher heat smoke point. The zucchini, yellow squash, and red onion take the longest to grill, and I flip to cook on all sides. The bell peppers I only cook on both sides, start with the skin side down, and only cook about 3 min on the first side to make sure they don’t get too blackened; after flipping they will cook quickly.

Grilling the meat: I always cook the meat first, and put in a 9x13 pan covered in foil to rest–they will continue to cook a bit resting–and start the veggies. As the veggies finish, I have another 9x13 pan ready to put them in and cover with foil which I find they continue to steam. The larger veggies also make easier serving, and can be cut to bite size by each person unless you have kids that need assistance.

KETO Hawaiian Teriyaki Marinade

Are you missing the flavors of Hawaii but are on the KETO diet or you want a low carb alternative to a Hawaiian Teriyaki marinade? Then this recipe is perfect for you. You won’t miss the pineapple with the extract, which also cuts the sugars. The flavors are the perfect Hawaiian-Asian fusion paired perfectly with grilled veggies and coconut KETO rice (recipe below). This marinade is great for any pound of meat you prefer; multiply amounts for more than one pound of meat as needed. 

1 c soy sauce

 2 T garlic, minced

1 T fresh ginger, minced

2 T fish sauce 

1/2 c serve brown sugar, or other sugar substitute

2 limes, juiced or 2 T lime juice

1 tsp pineapple extract (optional)

1/2 c oil, I prefer avocado oil 

NOTE: Marinade meat for at least a couple hours, and up to 5 days in the fridge. This recipe is for 1 lb of meat. 

1) Add all ingredients to a a bowl or zip lock bag large enough to fit the meat. 
2) Set for a couple hours, and turn the meat to ensure even coverage. If grilling or cooking within a couple hours, bring the meat up to room temperature on the counter.  
3) Grill or cook. Let the meat rest before cutting. Svādiṣṭa KETO! That’s delicious in Hindi.

 

KETO Coconut Cauliflower “Rice”

If you love tangy sweet broccoli salad, you will love this keto version which does not skimp on flavor and will keep you burning fat!

4 c grated cauliflower*

*frozen grated cauliflower, or fresh grated cauliflower, approximately 1 head

1 can coconut milk

pink Himalayan salt to taste

 

1) In a dutch over or large pan, add the cauliflower and coconut mile. Cook over medium heat stirring intermittently until desired tenderness is achieved. 

2) Season with the salt to taste as needed. 

 

Try these other KETO, Low Carb, and Sugar-Free recipes.

Keto Beef Broccoli & Keto Cauliflower “Rice”

Categories
Keto Recipes

KETO Indian Butter Chicken & Saffron Turmeric Cauliflower “Rice”

 

Can I just try to tell you how much I LOVE Indian food and starting KETO I was soooo worried about all the food I wouldn’t be able to have I had no idea the variety of food I would be able to have. AND how delicious and satisfying everything would be. I am NOT missing all the foods I was so scared I would AND I’m losing fat eating amazing food. I have been able adjust my fav regular recipes to KETO once I had enough knowledge under my belt. I was making this dish while my husband was out running errands, and he came in and was like “it smells so good, what is it?” You have to understand my husband is not KETO and prefers to get his own meals. He tried my Indian Butter Chicken on the stove and LOVED it! AND let’s talk about the Saffron Turmeric Cauli Rice! SO delicious. Seriously, I do not miss basmatti rice, or any rice like I thought I would on the KETO diet…never mind when I started I had no idea it would become a KETO Lifestyle. I had no idea that losing weight would feel so good, and be able to eat such good food! Seriously still blows me away from all I the false weight loss info that had been crammed down my throat since I was a kid.

The key to this recipe, IMO, is to make sure slow you brown the onions for about 20 min on med-low heat in butter. Browning the onions brings out their sweetness, and are just so delicious. I usually just prep the cauliflower rice and stir the onions throughout the browning process. One change I prefer that is different from most Butter Chicken recipes is that I do not add sour cream. I don’t think it needs it. Seriously delicious. 

Oh, one more thing before I share my recipe…I am not a fan of spicy food so please add cayenne pepper or anything else to achieve the heat you prefer. 

KETO Indian Butter Chicken

The aroma alone of this dish is out of this world. You will never need Indian take away, or ever need to miss out on excellent Indian food eating KETO with this recipe. Serve with Saffron Turmeric Cauliflower Rice (recipe below) and a veggie on the side like steamed buttered broccoli for a complete healthy keto meal. Add this recipe to your keto lifestyle.

4 boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1 in cubes

2 T curry seasoning*

1 tsp pink Himalayan salt

1 tsp garlic powder

 1 T lemon juice

onion, sliced 

2 T butter

1-2 T garlic, to taste

1 T tomato paste

1 c heavy whipping cream

cilantro

*NOTE: Curry seasonings is a blend of cumin, turmeric, coriander, chile, mustard, cardamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, cayenne, cinnamon, black pepper, saffron. My pick is by The Spice Hunter which is salt free. If you do not have this, then use about 2 tsp garam masala**, 1 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1 1/2 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp ground ginger, 1/2 tsp chili powder.

**Garam Masala is another seasoning mix, so if you don’t have this you can add 1/2 tsp coriander, 1/2 tsp cardamom, 1/4 tsp black pepper, 1/8 tsp cloves, and 1/8 tsp nutmeg to the other spices listed in the above NOTE.

1) In a bowl or plastic bag, add the diced, chicken, curry seasoning, salt, garlic powder, and lemon juice to marinade the chicken. Preferably marinade for at least two hours, but it is still delicious and flavorful if you let it marinade while slicing and browning the onions. 
2) In a dutch oven or large saute pan, add the butter and sliced onions. Brown the onions on med-low heat for at least 20 min. This brings out the sweetness of the onions. Stir intermittently, and prep and cook the cauliflower rice (recipe below).   
3) Once the onions are browned, add the spice marinaded chicken and garlic.  Cook the chicken through on medium heat. 
4) Add the tomato paste, and stir until completely incorporated. 

5) Add the cream, stir, and cook until slightly reduced but do not boil. If needed, turn down the heat to simmer.  Serve with cauliflower rice, garnish with chopped cilantro, and enjoy! Svādiṣṭa KETO! That’s delicious in Hindi.

 

KETO Saffron Turmeric Cauliflower “Rice”

If you love tangy sweet broccoli salad, you will love this keto version which does not skimp on flavor and will keep you burning fat!

4 c grated cauliflower*

4 T butter

1 tsp onion powder

*frozen grated cauliflower, or fresh grated cauliflower

a cube chicken bouillon, crushed

1 T turmeric

2 pinches saffron threads (optional)

4 T water

salt to taste, if needed

 

1) Melt the butter in a large saute pan or dutch oven on medium heat. Add the onion powder, chicken bouillon, turmeric, saffron, and water. Stir until combined. 

2) Add the grated cauliflower. Stir until evenly coated with butter mix. Saute until tender. Strain any excess moisture. Serve with your favorite dish. Enjoy!

 

Keto Lasagna

Keto Hawaiian Teriyaki Grilled Chicken, Grilled Veggies & Keto Coconut Cauliflower “Rice”

Keto Mexican Beef Bowl & Keto Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice

Keto Peanut Butter Gelato

Keto Chicken Cordon Bleu & Keto Broccoli Salad

Keto Beef Stroganoff

Keto Pancakes

Keto Pizza & Keto Homemade Pizza Sauce

Keto Broccoli Beef & Keto Cauliflower Rice

Keto Hawaiian Teriyaki Grilled Chicken, Grilled Veggies & Keto Coconut Cauliflower “Rice”

Categories
Keto Recipes

Keto Lasagna

 

One of my biggest fears starting a KETO lifestyle was giving up breads and pasta. I was so uneducated on KETO when I first started, all I knew is that it was high fat low carb and I kept seeing it with connected to IF (intermittent fasting) specifically for women over 40. I had seen many people lose and keep off a ton of fat. I had the biggest weight loss goal of my life, was in my early forties, and nothing was working. I was desperate, and I am not talking DHOBH! I started researching all I could find on KETO and IF. I learned exactly WHY all my efforts were actually making me sicker and fatter! DING DING! It made sense. The science behind it and the role hormones have in losing weight opened my whole world of feeling like I could actually lose weight and reach my goals! Then I was on the hunt for what to eat. About two months after I starting eating a KETO lifestyle and I was loving the cauliflower crust pizza which satisfied any desire for pasta, it suddenly hit me. I could made KETO LASAGNA with thin cauliflower pizza crust as the lasagna noodles! It worked out perfectly! AND it freezes so well!!!

I  literally was so thrilled how it turned out! The KETO lasagna was so freaking delicious! I had zucchini and yellow squash that I layered on top of the ricotta. I was planning to add chopped spinach to the ricotta, but completely forgot in my whole creative process making it, not sure how it would turn out. You do NOT need to add the zucchini, yellow squash, or the spinach. I absolutely LOVE the texture it adds as well as knowing I can squeeze in more veggies. I also used my homemade marinara sauce and it was yummy!

If you do not have a family that will be eating this as a meal(my husband is NOT interested in eating KETO so I am on my own with this one and we do not have kids at this point), I recommend freezing individually portioned slices of lasagna, which I am actually so excited to have in my freezer to pop in the fridge when I am off to work to have for my OMAD meal when I get home, and just throw together a big leafy green salad with NO COOKING required. 

I ended up making two 9x13 pans of this over two days of prep. I basically doubled the recipe, but that was a lot of cooking I have to admit. I used two heads of cauliflower to make the crusts/noodles, that I baked in jelly roll pans. I cut them to the 9x13 pan size for one big KETO lasagna “noodle” which was nice instead of monkeying with a load of individual noodles. I had some left over pieces that I froze for dipping in marinara sauce as needed. 

Keto Marinara Sauce

This sauce is so delicious, easy, and versatile it’s not worth trying to find a bottled version that won’t kick you out of keto. Make a big batch, portion, and store for future meals with no cooking or clean up. Use it as pizza sauce, dipping sauce, marinara for keto “noodles.” You can easily add ground meat to make an Italian meat sauce.

2 T olive oil or butter

1 chopped onion

2-4 T minced garlic

4 T-1/4 c Italian seasonings

4 cans tomato paste

4 can-fulls of water (use the empty tomato paste cans to measure-if you want a thinner sauce, add another can or two)

2 tsp pink Himalayan salt

2 T to 1/4 c sugar substitute 

1) Heat your skillet on medium heat, and add your oil or melt the butter.
2) Once hot, add your onion and garlic. Saute until transparent.
3) Stir in the Italian seasoning, then the tomato paste, and water. Stir until incorporated. Turn down to low to simmer.
4) Add the salt and sugar substitute to taste. Granulated erythritol is a great option. If you use other sugar substitutes, look at the substitution amounts so you do not add too much, or start small and go by taste. The sugar substitute cuts the acidic taste of the sauce.
5) Use right away hot as pizza sauce, marinara sauce, or store in a glass jar or air tight. Portion out and freeze for future meals in freezer bags. It usually tastes so much better after being chilled for a day, and all the flavors come together. Enjoy!

NOTE: You can replace the 4 tomato paste cans with 2 cans of tomato paste and 2 cans of tomato sauce, just reduce the water by half. I also  like adding a couple cans of diced tomatoes to add a more rustic texture and count the liquid from those cans as the water needed for the tomato paste. This can easily made into a meat sauce by browning up a pound or two of ground beef, or a ground beef and ground pork one to one mix. 

 

Keto Cauliflower Crust Pizza Lasagna “Noodles”

With less than 4 g of carbs per serving, a cauliflower pizza crust baked in a jelly roll pan, made extra thin, and cut to fit your lasagna pan make for the perfect KETO lasagna “noodle”. Layer with zucchini to add another dimension of texture, flavor, and packing more veggies to your meals. Chopped spinach added to the ricotta layer also ups the nutritional value of this meal. Don’t forget that the cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable also packed with nutrients and fiber.  This is a great freezer meal ready to feast on when you do not want to cook. This is so delicious and satisfying, you won’t believe it is KETO!

4 c grated cauliflower

4 eggs

 

4 c grated mozzarella cheese

2 T Italian seasonings, optional

 

1) Preheat the oven to 450 degrees fahrenheit. 

2) Line a jelly roll pan with parchment paper. 

3) To grate the cauliflower quickly and easily, use a food processor with a grating attachment. Then mix all the ingredients in a large bowl.

4) Press the mix on the parchment paper to the desired thickness and shape. 

5) Bake for 25 min until browning on the top.  

6) Top with sauce, topping, and more cheese. 

7) Bake for another 10-15 min until the cheese is bubbly and browned. 

8) Let sit for 5 min. Cut and serve. 

Enjoy and get creative!

Keto Lasagna Layering and Baking

3-5 Keto cauliflower pizza crust rectangular “noodles” (recipe above)
Provolone cheese slices
Ricotta Mix:
4 c ricotta
4 eggs
1/4 c grated parmasan
1 c chopped spinach

Browned Italian Meat:
2 lbs ground beef, or a miz of 1 ob ea ground beef and ground pork (increase to 3 lbs if using 4 or 5 “noodle” layers
2 T garlic salt or garlic powder
2 T dried minced onions
2 tsp salt (optional if using garlic salt)
One recipe marinara sauce (recipe above)
Shredded mozarella

1) Preheat your oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit.
2) Trim cooled cauliflower pizza crust “noodles” (recipe above) to the size of your lasagna pans. You will need 3, 4 or 5 rectangle “noodles” depending on how tall your lasagna pan is. If your pan is 2 in deep, I would only use 3 rectangle noodles. If your pan is 3 inches deep, you can go to 4 or 5 depending on how much you layer in between.
3) Layer marinara on the bottom of the lasagna pan (9x13 pan). About 1 cup.
4) Add one rectangle lasagna “noodle.”
5) Layer provolone slices.
6) Layer the ricotta mix. Half the ricotta mix of using 3 keto “noodles”. A third if you are using 4; a qurter is using 5.
7) If you decide to layer zucchini and/or yellow squash (I use both if I have them on hand).
8) Add a layer of the browned meat (half if using 3 “noodles”), and top with 2-3 c marinara.
9) Sprinkle a thin layer of grated mozzarella.
10) Add another rectangle keto “noodle” and repeat the layers in order: provolone, ricotta mix, zucchini/yellow squash, browned meat,  marinara, grated mozzarella cheese.
11) For the last keto rectangle “noodle” layer, only top with marinara,
12) Bake for 50 min.
13) Sprinkle on a final layer of mozzarella cheese and bake for an additional 20 min.
14) Remove from the oven and let sit for 20-30 min to set up before slicing. Serve and Enjoy!
NOTE: You may freeze this dish. I recommend cooking first, and freezing in individual slices/servings by wrapping in plastic wrap or foil, and placing in a large freezer bag. Thaw in the fridge. You can freeze a whole pan, just know that is takes longer to thaw, and heat up.

Categories
Keto Recipes

Keto Beef Stroganoff

 

Who doesn’t miss comfort foods when you are trying to lose weight? I know I do!!! Thankfully you do NOT have to miss out on KETO. I LOVE Beef Stroganoff, and the wheels just started turning to make a keto friendly version of this delicious comfort food. I mean what more do you want? Eat delicious, satisfying meals to burn massive amounts of fat! Yes please! You will love this meal. Before you know it, you won’t be missing the noddles! My biggest fear starting KETO was breads and pasta. I can tell you 6 weeks in, I do not miss it at all! Steam up a head of cauliflower, which is packed with vitamins and fibre, scoop on the Beef Stroganoff, and dig in. It may not be the most photogenic dish on the planet, but it is oh SO YUMMY! Only 4g carbs per serving. Win win!!!

The one thing that was stumping me from converting all my favorite culinary creations to KETO friendly was finding a way to thicken sauces without adding a crazy amount of carbs. I knew I needed a KETO alternative to cream of mushroom or cream of chicken soups which are a main ingredient to many of my favorite dishes. I have since learned that making a cream sauce using a thickener like cornstarch or zanthan gum opened a whole new world of KETO meals for me. 

I know you are wondering how on earth cornstarch could be KETO friendly. Know that there are about 7g of carbs in a tablespoon of cornstarch, and you can use half the amount you would have used flour to thicken a sauce. Xanthan gum is made from vegetable fibers that absorb liquids to thicken a sauce, and have 6-9g of carbs per tablespoon depending on the brand. I did order xanthan gum to try it out, and it is safe to say I will be using cornstarch from now on because it is more cost effective, and thickens just as well. 

Keto Beef Stroganoff  

Wondering how you will be able to give up your favorite comfort foods to lose weight? Well you don’t on the KETO diet! You get to eat very satisfying and delicious meals while converting your body to burn its own fat! AND you will have more energy, sleep better, think clearly, and not get gnarly cranky on a low calorie diet that only reduces your metabolism. KETO actually raises your metabolism too! So many health benefits, so now all you have to do is learn to cook KETO meals. If you love Beef Stroganoff, you will love this recipe. You won’t miss the noodles either. Steam up a head of cauliflower, dish up some sauce, and dig in! So yummy!

2 T butter

1/2 diced onion

2 T or 2 cloves minced garlic

1 lb ground beef

1 c beef stock, or bullion 

1 package sliced mushrooms

4 oz cream cheese (optional to lighten it up)

1 c heavy whipping cream

2 tsp pink Himalayan salt, or to taste

2 tsp cornstarch or xanthan gum

1 c sour cream

1 head cauliflower, cleaned and steamed

1) In a sauté pan, melt the butter on medium heat. Add the onion and garlic to sauté.

2) Add the ground beef to brown with the onion and garlic. Cook through.   

3) Add the beef stock and mushrooms. Cover until the mushrooms are cooked through. Stir intermittently.

4) Add the cream cheese (optional and you can leave out for a lighter dish), heaven whipping cream, and salt to season. Stir until evenly combined. Taste at this point to make sure the seasoning is on point. If the sauce is not rich enough, add more beef bullion or more salt. I personally like adding more bullion.

5) If using cornstarch, add to 1/4 c water to make a slurry before adding to the sauce; stir until thickened. If you are using xanthan gum, just sprinkle on top and stir in. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer until desired thickness. If the sauce if not thick enough, add more cornstarch or xantham gum in the same manner.

6) Serve on top of the steamed cauliflower, and enjoy! 

NOTE: TO freeze this dish, follow the directions but omit all dairy which does not freeze well; once thawed, add the dairy to your dish.

 

Categories
Keto Recipes

Keto Chicken Cordon Bleu and Keto Broccoli Salad

 

Since starting the ketogenic way of eating, and lost 16 lbs in the first month on top of feeling great and enjoying what I can eat, I have been converting my favorite regular recipes into keto friendly recipes and they are turning out so yummy! My most recent one is Keto Chicken Cordon Bleu and Keto Broccoli Salad. Oh man, I am salivating as I type this. AND they are so easy its almost criminal I am losing weight eating this stuff!

I was planning my husband’s birthday BBQ for friends and family who are not eating keto, and of course all the wonderful summer salads came to mind. Now that I have educated myself on keto and the science behind it, I can almost read a non keto recipe and instantly come up with a keto friendly version. Let’s face it, if you can enjoy eating while losing serious fat then the sky is the limit! The chicken cordon bleu was a momentary whim that I was able to throw together, and voila! An easy, delicious, filling keto meal was added to my keto repettoire!

Keto Chicken Cordon Bleu 

If you love the tangy zip of swiss cheese along with juicy chicken and sweet ham, but you don’t want to be kicked out of ketosis, then you don’t need to look any further! This will satisfy your craving and keep you burning fat. This recipe is for one serving, but can be easily multiplied to the desired number of servings. 

boneless chicken breast

2 slices of Swiss cheese

2 slices ham deli meat

2 T butter 

1) Butterfly your chicken breast. Tenderize it between two layers of plastic wrap until it is evenly thin.
2) Layer the cheese and ham on top of the chicken breast. Roll it up with the seam (opening) down.   
3) Heat a skillet on med, and add the butter.
4) Once the butter is melted, add the rolled chicken with the seam down to cook first. Cook without moving for 4 min.

5) Turn the chicken roll to cook on the top for 4 min. Repeat turning so all sides are completely cooked. 

6) Check that the chicken is cooked through. Once cooked, remove and let sit for 3-5 min before eating. ENjoy! 

 

Keto Broccoli Salad

If you love tangy sweet broccoli salad, you will love this keto version which does not skimp on flavor and will keep you burning fat!

4 c broccoli florets, cut to bite size pieces

1/2 red onion, diced

1 c shredded cheddar

1 c bacon, cooked and chopped

1 c pecans, chopped (omit for allergy)

 

 1/3 cup chia seeds (optional)

1 c full fat mayo

1/4 c ACV (apple cider vinegar)

2-4 T granulated erythritol or similar sugar substitute 

 

1) In a large bowl, add the broccoli, cheddar, bacon, pecans (omit for nut allergy) and optional chia seeds. I like to add chia seeds because they are rick in omega-3 fatty acids, but they are not essential. 

2) In a small bowl or larger measuring cup, mix the mayo, ACV, and sugar substitute. Adjust amounts to taste as different sugar substitutes will add a different level of sweetness. Also, if you don’t want as much tang from the ACV, reduce to 4 T. 

3) Mix the dressing to the salad ingredients until evenly incorporated. Cover and chill until ready to serve. Store in an airtight container in the fridge. Enjoy!

 

Categories
Keto Recipes

Mexican Keto Beef Rice Bowl

 

One of the food items I was so worried to give up starting Keto was rice. Finding a rice substitute didn’t cross my mind until weeks later. Hallelujah for cauliflower rice! This Mexican Keto Rice Bowl hit the spot and was so delicious. A guilt-free and healthy keto meal. Start with a perfectly marinated steak, lime-cilnatro keto “rice,” pico de gallo, spinach, lettuce, jack cheese, and guacamole! Ole Keto!

I got the idea when my husband went to go get himself a burrito, and a burrito bowl came to mind. I was surprised I had not thought to create a keto burrito bowl before. A lovely marinated steak on the grill, with fresh pico & guac, shredded jack cheese on a bed of spinach and lettuce sounded beyond perfection. The only thing I had to do was whip it up. I always make extra to cook once and feast many times!

Try the Keto Tortilla Chips too! Ridiculously goood. 

Mexican Keto Steak

This marinade is so fast and delicious that the flavor it adds to steak for a Mexican dish makes it better than restaurant dishes in the comfort in your own home. Perfect for a low carb high fat Keto diet. Pair with Keto Cauliflower Cilantro-Lime “Rice,” spinach, lettuce, Pico de Gallo, shredded jack cheese, and Guacamole. Ole Keto! 

4 lbs steak, portioned into 3-5 oz servings

1/2 red onion

2 T minced garlic

2 T chili powder

1/4 Olive Oil

 

2 T cumin

1 tsp oregano

1 T pink Himalayan salt

I lime, juiced

1/4 ACV (apple cider vinegar)

 

1) Set your steak out as you make the marinade to bring up to room temperature.
2) Add the remaining ingredients to a blender, and blend until smooth. Add water one tablespoon at a time if needed.  
3) Place the steak in a bowl or zip lock bag. Pour in the marinade, and set for at least 30 minutes.
4) To grill: heat the grill to 450 to 500 degrees F. Grill 2-3 minutes per side, up to 4 minutes for a thicker steak. 

On the stove: heat a skillet to med-high heat. Add 1 T olive oil and 1 T butter, and sear both sides of the steak 2-4 minutes per side, depending on thickness and desired wellness. 
5) Take the steak off the heat, and let rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing. FOr a Beef Burrito Bowl, cut the steak into bite size cubes.  Enjoy!

Keto Cauliflower Cilnatro-Lime “Rice”

With less than 4 g of carbs per serving, and no rise time, this delicious pizza crust is so fast, easy, and satisfying. Top with your favorite keto approved sauce and toppings. Bake once, and use for multiple keto meals. Add a large leafy greens salad, and you have a balanced healthy keto meal with no guilt. Half the recipe for a smaller pizza.

4 c grated cauliflower

1 lime, juiced 

 

2 T butter

2 T chopped cilantro

 

1) Grate the cauliflower. To grate the cauliflower quickly and easily, use a food processor with a grating attachment.

2) Heat a pan on the stove on medium heat.

3) Melt the butter, add the cauliflower, and the lime juice. Saute on medium heat, and cover to steam for 5 min. Stir and steam until the preferred texture is reached.

4) Season with pink Himalayan salt to taste. 

5) Serve immediately. Store in an air tight container in the fridge, or freeze for future meals. 

 

Categories
Keto Recipes

Low Carb Keto Pizza: Less Than 4g Net Carbs Per Serving

 

If you haven’t tried a Cauliflower Pizza and you are dying for pizza on keto, you need to!!! You will not miss the original thing. I was so worried, but thought I would go for it. It was amazing! My husband and guests are not keto and they loved it. I was also so relieved I didn’t order a low carb pizza from the local pizza shop because I found out it is made with rice starch, rice flour, and sugar…more gluten free but NOT Keto friendly. Phew, I missed that bullet. AND, the pizza sauce I made doubles as a delicious marinara sauce, and it freezes so well. I make a big batch to minimize my cooking and clean up. I love cooking once, and feasting many times!

I was so nervous starting keto, giving up carbs, the failure of previous “diets”, and so nervous about the cauliflower pizza crust. It didn’t sound appealing, but I was committed and wanted to give it a go. It was so delicious!!! And it was so satisfying. I ended up having enough for multiple meals later. It is easy to freeze as well. I am a big fan of cooking once, and feasting multiple times!  

I love a supreme pizza. I topped my pizza with pepperoni, mushrooms, bell peppers, & black olives. So good! It felt like I was cheating on my keto! I also dipped it with some extra sauce. I’m salivating just writing about it. ANd it is so much easier than a wheat dough crust!

Try the BBQ Chicken Keto pizza too! Ridiculously goood. 

Keto Pizza & Marinara Sauce

This sauce is so delicious, easy, and versatile it’s not worth trying to find a bottled version that won’t kick you out of keto. Make a big batch, portion, and store for future meals with no cooking or clean up. Use it as pizza sauce, dipping sauce, marinara for keto “noodles.” You can easily add ground meat to make an Italian meat sauce.

2 T olive oil or butter

1/2 chopped onion

2 T minced garlic

4 T Italian seasonings

4 cans tomato paste

4 can-fulls of water (use the empty tomato paste cans to measure-if you want a thinner sauce, add another can or two)

2 tsp pink Himalayan salt

2 T sugar substitute 

1) Heat your skillet on medium heat, and add your oil or melt the butter.
2) Once hot, add your onion and garlic. Saute until transparent.
3) Stir in the Italian seasoning, then the tomato paste, and water. Stir until incorporated. Turn down to low to simmer.
4) Add the salt and sugar substitute to taste. Granulated erythritol is a great option. If you use other sugar substitutes, look at the substitution amounts so you do not add too much, or start small and go by taste. The sugar substitute cuts the acidic taste of the sauce.
5) Use right away hot as pizza sauce, marinara sauce, or store in a glass jar or air tight. Portion out and freeze for future meals in freezer bags. It usually tastes so much better after being chilled for a day, and all the flavors come together. Enjoy!

Keto Cauliflower Crust Pizza

With less than 4 g of carbs per serving, and no rise time, this delicious pizza crust is so fast, easy, and satisfying. Top with your favorite keto approved sauce and toppings. Bake once, and use for multiple keto meals. Add a large leafy greens salad, and you have a balanced healthy keto meal with no guilt. Half the recipe for a smaller pizza.

4 c grated cauliflower

4 eggs

 

4 c grated mozzarella cheese

2 T Italian seasonings, optional

 

1) Preheat the oven to 450 degrees fahrenheit. 

2) Line a pizza pan or cookie sheet with parchment paper. 

3) To grate the cauliflower quickly and easily, use a food processor with a grating attachment. Then mix all the ingredients in a large bowl.

4) Press the mix on the parchment paper to the desired thickness and shape. 

5) Bake for 20-30 min until browning on the top.  The thicker the crust the longer baking time. 

6) Top with sauce, topping, and more cheese. 

7) Bake for another 10-15 min until the cheese is bubbly and browned. 

8) Let sit for 5 min. Cut and serve. 

Enjoy and get creative!