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

Got-To Keto Avocado Ranch Dressing

 

Avocado’s healthy fats are pretty widely known, but do you know about the healthy fats in Sardines? Can’t fathom eating sardines? I know I couldn’t, but knowing their nutritional value, I wanted to find a way I could add them to my meals.  I love a good avocado ranch salad dressing, and figured it would be worth getting the best of both worlds with this dressing inspired by fresh Caesar salad dressing and a healthy keto diet…and it is so versatile you can use it for a burger sauce, and a Keto BBQ Ranch dressing. So yummy. 

I added a sugar free ketchup to this dressing which made an out-of-this-world delicious burger sauce for my Keto In-N-Out-Style Protein-Style Burger with all the benefits you get from eating avocados and sardines.

This dressing on a bed of spinach, cucumbers, tomato, and parmesan cheese is the perfect compliment to a perfectly pan seared filet of wild salmon and al dente asparagus. A ridiculously delicious and satisfying healthy keto meal wiht spot on fat-protein-carb ratios to promote fat burning.

It is also perfect with a sugar free BBQ sauce to make a Keto BBQ ranch salad with a bed of spinach, parmesan croutons for a great crunch, succulent grilled lime chicken, fresh tomato, creamy avocado, shredded jack cheese,  and diced red onion. This is one delicious complete meal healthy keto salad! You gotta try it. 

How healthy are sardines?

 First off, knowing how important Omega-3 fatty acids are may help motivate you to add more sources regularly in your diet. It’s important to get the right amount of fats for all your cellular membranes,  your brain, nervous systeoum, chemical reactions, stress and sex hormones, bile, fat soluble vitamins, eyes…the list goes on and on. Omega-3 Fatty acids can help fight anxiety and depression. They are also vital fats to transition from being a sugar-burner to a fat-burner on a healthy Keto Diet. For example, MTC’s are great for immediate and short term ketosis, but Omega-3’s provide the longer term bell curve ketosis.  GIven the importance of Omega-3’s for your body and becoming fat adapted through ketosis, sardines are a rich source worth finding ways you will be able to add them to your meals.

Literally, if eaten whole, sardines contain just about every nutrient your body needs. Knowing this fact still doesn’t make it palatable for me personally to eat these bad boys whole. A classic Caesar salad dressing that uses anchovy paste inspired me to make a dressing using sardines to boost my nutrients in my Keto meals. 

Keto Avocado Ranch Dressing

Avocado is such an important source of healthy fats, have you considered how nutrient dense sardines are? Consumed whole, they are packed with literally all the nutrients your body needs. The only issue may be how to work them into your nutrition if eating them straight is not appealing. This Avocado Ranch Dressing is inspired by a classic Caesar dressing, only adding sardines to take advantage of their jam packed nutritional value. This is also very versatile and can add sugar-free ketchup for a tasty burger sauce, or a sugar free BBQ sauce to finish off a yummy BBQ Chicken Salad. The sky is the limit!

1/2 onion or 1 shallot 

1-2 T minced garlic

2 avocados

canned wild caught sardines in olive oil (depending on your palate, you can use a whole can, half of a can, 2-3 sardines, play with the amount that works for you)

1 c full fat mayo (1/2 c each mayo & sour cream

 

1/4 c milk or milk substitute

1-2 tsp pink Himalayan salt

2-4 T buttermilk powder (4 is my preference)

1/2 c fresh parsley or 1/4 c dry

1 T fresh dill or 2 tsp dry dill

1 T fresh chives or 2 tsp dry chives

1/4 c ACV (apple cider vinegar)

1) Add all the ingredients to a blender or food processor. Adjust ingredients to taste. Start with a smaller amount of an ingredient, and increase as you test it–I love a full flavored, tangy, creamy dressing. 

2) Blend or process until smooth and everything is incorporated. 

3) Store in a glass canning jar or other air tight container. Chill in the fridge. 

Enjoy and get creative!

Categories
Keto Recipes

Keto Gelato: Best Fat Bomb Ever

 

Are you on Keto and do you dream of Velvety Chocolate Peanut Butter Gelato? Or are you so sick of other “fat bombs?” You will LOVE this velvety Keto Chocolate Peanut Butter Gelato! There is not better way to use 15 egg yolks and 6 cups of heavy whipping cream! I promise it is so worth it! AND it is perfect for summertime. This batch will make enough so you can have gelato on hand when you need creamy froszen dessert. You can also eat it chilled, not frozen, as a rich mousse or pudding that just satisfies that hankering for a decadent dessert that doesn’t taste Keto-forced, if you know what I mean. A little goes a long way…and this is coming from someone who could polish off a whole tub of ice cream before starting Keto and getting my hormones balances, burning fat, and feeling satiated after eating rather than being OBSESSED with food…AND shedding pounds of fate!!! How about Gelato? Um, yes please!

 

When I think of gelato, I FONDLY think of the gelato I had in Lahina on the Hawaiian island Maui, a hot day in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, or the gelato we had on a freezing day in Vail, CO. Freezing or not, gelato in a warm indoor french cafe was magnifique! I’ve had gelato just about everywhere I travel, including stay-cations I’ve spent touring the Strip here in Vegas. 

Only the Hawaiian Coconut Pudding Gelato, better known as Haupia, actually stands out as memorable in terms of the gelato itself. I’ve had plenty of my favorite flavors at various locations, and while the gelato is always yummy, the actual gelato never stand out as memorable.

If you are familiar with Marcy’s Ice Cream & Candy Store in Torrance CA, which is quaint ma and pop shop in the South Bay of LA that rocked locals by closing around 2010, then you KNOW how dand good their Chocolate Peanut Butter ice cream was. I haven’t been able to quelch my Marcy’s Choc PB fix since the last time I was there before they closed their doors forever. The closest I have gotten is Golden Spoons Chocolate Peanut Butter frozen yogurt. Not even 31 Flavor’s or any other store bought tub of Chocolate Peanut Butter can come clase. This may seem like blasphemy to some of you, but it is my reality…UNTIL I made this gelato!!!

The funny thing is that for at least a month straight after we got back from our trip to CO for Christmas, my husband would bring up getting this new gelato and ice cream machine almost DAILY! To say I was getting irritated is putting it mildly. First of all, between the two of us before getting married, we had two ice cream machines that were very similar and I used mine maybe twice. It simply did not make the making ice cream experience memorable for me, and I had mine since 2000. Hence it did not get used, and hence I was not keen on getting yet another ice cream machine promising gelato as well. We just got rid of both of our previous ice cream makers not too long ago. Then one day he came home with said ice cream and gelato maker in hand, much to my immediate displeasure…only to commence frequent, though restrained, pleas as to when I was going to make gelato. Grrrr….not that I already had a full plate, heck my plate is always over flowing!!!

The closer Valentine’s Day got, my icey-gelato-making-heart melted, and I couldn’t think of a better present for my husband to show my love for him than to give in to his frequent pleas for homemade gelato; it mean it was what he had been asking me to do for almost 6 weeks straight. Then the research started, because yo, I CANNOT just simply make gelato on the first recipe I come across, which happened to be the recipe booklet that came with the Cuisinart Cool Creations Ice Cream Maker. I read tons of recipes, and there is a certain foundation or formula to each variation of recipes. Once I get a grasp on the similarities in each one, I can decipher what I can do to start “playing around” and making my own custom, and memorable recipe that I will love and go back to every time.

I cannot tell you why Marcy’s Chocolate Peanut Butter ice cream popped into my head as I researched recipes, other than through the multitude of recipes I saw a ton of chocolate gelatos, which I am not drawn to straight up chocolate ice cream or gelato, but my husband is. However, dang it, if I am gonna be the one to make it, I sure want to be one of the ones to enjoy the fruits of my labors.

So. Chocolate Peanut Butter it is…and we are not talking chocolate from cocoa powder either. I find cocoa powder has a chalky chocolate taste I have an aversion to and can tell right away if it is the main, or only, chocolate ingredient used in something I eat. We are going for the real deal, high quality chocolate I use time after time, Ghirardelli because I can get it at my local Costco in bulk. The only question remained is what type of chocolate do I use?

The dark chocolate that my husband prefers over all other types? Milk chocolate that pairs well with peanut butter? Or the middle of the road semi-sweet? I can assure there really is not a wrong choice here, because each type of chocolate chip will change the flavor profile just slightly to momick the chocolate chosen. If you prefer dark, use dark. If you prefer milk, use milk chocolate chips. Use whatever your taste buds fancy. I was tending towards the dark chocolate, because as you can see in the picture to the right of our gelato in Vail, CO, my husband goes for the triple chocolate and cookies and cream variety, while I go for the exotic fruity scoops. Not only do I love this photo for the memory of it, but the irony that despite it being a ridiculously cold but clear and stunning day in Vail the first thing we got was gelato! Cracks me up everytime.

“Life’s Uncertain. Eat dessert first.” 

    Bloomy

Do you see how gorgeous the gelato presentations are? It’s almost as beautiful as the scenery that day walking around the Vail town center. Ahhh, it is so fun to be momentarily transported back to Vail through these pictures. I hope you get a moment to live vicariously through them in a delicious moment of escaping your current reality. I have to point out the itty bitty taped up sign warning all patrons that they are limited to ONE sample. Really? REALLY? I mean, ok, I can see that would get pretty tedious and irritating to those waiting to be served…but really? Oh, and I must tell you the final chocolate decision that ended my internal debate…semi-sweet. Yes, I went with semi-sweet because I really didn’t want to go for the sharpness of dark chocolate having the memories, and hence cravings, for Marcy’s Chocolate Peanut Butter ice cream strongly present in my psyche at that moment, AND I felt the milk chocolate would be a bit too sweet for what I was going for. Too sweet as in you’ve had one or two too many Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups and the pleasure is override by the sickeningly sweet aftertaste. Yes, there is such a thing as too many. One last thought, gelato is a frozen custard so it is richer than ice cream, and doesn’t have the same crystallization when frozen so it is softer than ice cream. Because it is so rich, the point is to savour the heavenly, velvety, frozen confection in a reasonable serving at one time. That is why the gelato cups you get are customarily smaller than what is available at most ice cream shops.   

One final thought, I LOVE this ice cream/gelato/frozen yogurt machine!!! SO much so I take back all my goals and immediate irritation when my husband first got this beauty. I didn’t know how amazing it was until I made the Chocolate Peanut Butter Gelato, which I did more out of the giving spirit of Valentine’s Day to show my love knowing this is something he REALLY REALLY wanted that I did do give this machine a go. I was not interested after my previous ice cream maker experiences..at all! This machine is a dream, and seriously makes me want to stand over the stove stirring the custard base for the 15-20 minutes it takes to make more gelato. I do really need, and now can’t wait for the right time, to make both ice cream and frozen yogurt on this puppy. It has a larger capacity, which always irked me about the older versions, and digital controls with automatic shut off timers that obnoxiously beep when done so I don’t ever forget to go get before it melts again…I hate wasted efforts especially with how busy I get multi-taking on the regular. You definitely want to transfer the completed gelato to an airtight container, and then place in the freezer; I do not recommend putting the machine tub WITH the gelato in the freezer. Ya, ask me how I know that bit of information! 😉 The last thing I recommend doing is cleaning out the machine’s freezer bowl and placing back into the freezer to be ready and waiting for your next frozen delight hankering!

This machine is so easy to use! 

Velvety Chocolate Peanut Butter Gelato

Are you ready to have premium gelato at home? Without the crowds? Without the retail markup? If you have a hankering for a satisfying serving of frozen custard that is ready and waiting for you at a moment’s notice in your own freezer, then this is recipe for you. Hold on to your taste buds, because this gelato will give you an off the charts, food-gasmic response. If you love gelato, but haven’t had a specific flavor that stands out and is memorable, this will definitely be a recipe you go back to every time…unless you have a peanut allergy…and in that case, omit the peanut butter all together and load up on the dark, milk, and semi-sweet chocolate chips to make a Triple Chocolate variation on this gelato.

15 egg yolks

6 c heavy whipping cream

 1 1/2 c erythritol, or preferred sugar substitute

 

1 T Himalayan pink salt

1 c semi-sweet stevia chocolate chips

2 T vanilla

1 c creamy sugar free peanut butter

1) Add 3 c cream-reserve the rest, and the sugar substitute to a saucepan (a thicker pan is best to avoid scorching), and give it a quick wisk. Simmer over med heat, stirring constantly until the sugar substitute disolves and it is hot, but do not let boil. 

2) In a sturdy bowl, I recommend a 8 cup glass measuring cup, wisk your egg yolks. Whisk in a 1/2 c of the hot dairy to the egg yolks; this tempers them to avoid curdling.  Whisk in the remaining hot dairy mix at 1/2 c increments until combined. 

3) Pour back into the sauce pan. Cook over low heat for about 15-20 minutes, constantly stirring, or until the custard thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Do not allow the custard to boil to avoid curdling.  

4) Stir in salt, chocolate chips, and peanut butter. Stir until creamy and completely combined.  

5) Pour into a large bowl, add the remaining 3 c cream, and stir until completely smooth and combined.

6) Place a film of plastic wrap on the surface of the custard and securely around the bowl to prevent a skin forming on the custard mix as it completely chills.

7) Chill for 4-6 hours, or over night. *Once chilled, it is perfectly good to eat as custard, or pudding.* You want the custard mix to be  completely chilled before adding to the ice cream/gelato making machine. I recommend this one for its large capacity, and easy programming.  

8) Pour the chilled mix into the set up ice cream maker’s freezer bowl, set on the gelato setting, and forget it for 30 min. Enjoy your velvety custom frozen custard!

Keto Pancakes

Categories
Cookies Holidays Recipes

Super Cute Bunny Butt Sugar Cookies

 

You probably already know I am obsessed with super cute bunny butts this spring and Easter season. I am so excited about these super easy and super cute Bunny Butt sugar cookies! Aren’t their sprinkle tails just the cutest?!!???!!! Not only are they so adorable, but they are so delicious everyone has a hard time eating just one. This sugar cookie recipe has a secret ingredient that you do NOT want to miss. These cookies are so tasty and stand out from all the rest of the sugar cookie recipes out there. In fact with a side by side taste test, the other sugar cookies will taste like sweet cardboard compared to these sugar cookies!

 

I also just love these bunny cookie cutters I found on Etsy. I love the different floppy ears! The sprinkle cotton tails are super easy. I used this set of Wilton bunny on this cake, and noticed I had more bunny tails than sets of bunny feet. These extra tails inspired me for this design. I also had a bunch of super cute spring sprinkles I was dying to use, and if you have seen my gold accented wood Easter egg mantel you know I love a coordinating variety of colors!

 

I am pretty sure the Wilton bunny tails are made of hardened royal icing, and if I had a mold I would make my own. BUT convenience won and helped to make this a super easy project. I opted to use my Perfect Ratio Dreamy Cream Cheese Frosting, but I always am torn and love to use my Cooked Frosting as well. The cooked frosting is whiter than the cream cheese frosting, but I do not mind the off white bunnies either. I think they are pretty darn cute.

I didn’t use a piping tip for the bunny bodies and ears; I just used the open end of a piping bag. I love the effect piping the bunny bodies have with no piping tip. I basically outlined the different areas of the bunny bodies. I used a single line I piped “up-then-down” almost like it was in one single motion, and then I used my fingers to pinch off the tip of the ears to get a point at the end. Super easy.

For the sprinkle bunny tails, I took the pre-made plain white tails and ran them under water to wet them. I set them on a paper towel to sop up the extra water on the back sides, and any that may drip off the domed fronts while I got out a plate and the sprinkles I wanted to use. I then placed the wet bunny tails, that were sticky at this point, on the plate and I squished the sprinkles I wanted on each tail. I already had my bunny bodies frosted, and I am not patient so I risked positioning the sprinkled tails on the cookies right away. In retrospect, I am glad I did that so that the sprinkled dried on the sticky bunny tail surface in place. I’m not quite sure if I left them on the plate to dry that they may have ended up sticking to the plate and possibly damaging them to get them off.

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!

Categories
Cakes Recipes

Star Trek Nebula Cake

 

Do you know any Star Trek super fans? I sure do, and if I understand correctly there are two main groups of fans: the fans of the Next Generation Star Trek, and the original Captain Kirk series from the 60’s. I am the latter, as well as the most recent movies–and BTW if you love William Shatner and you haven’t already seen the series Boston Legal, I HIGHLY recommend it. I knew I would be making a cake for a super fan of the Next Generation Star Trek series for a few months, and I knew I wanted a design that is classic that I would be able to put my heart and soul into, but also appeal to any Star Trek fan…especially since I regret I do not know much about the Next Generation except from a co-worker I knew years ago would rave about Patrick Stewart, who is the captain of that series and he is a classically trained actor! I always think of that when I see him acting in anything now!

 

Aren’t these photos stunning! These were taken by a student in photography at my school.

For a while now, I’ve been dying to do a galaxy cake, and I have seen various techniques from pouring mirror cake effects, to a watercolor frosting effect essentially marbling colored frosting such as black, purple, and blues. I have also seen using thinned food coloring gel to paint on fondant or a chilled buttercream. Being that I am not a fan of fondant taste wise, I opted for the marbling colored frosting effect. 

I used black (see recipe below), navy blue, red, orange, yellow, pink, purple, and plain white frosting to get a marbling effect with the final coat of frosting after chilling the crumb coat. Of all the galaxy cakes I’ve seen, the colors used are predominantly black, blues, and purples. I get easily board from redundancy, and crave unique and artistic designs; this is why I opted for the colors I have seen in stunning photos of nebulas from satellites in space.

For the watercolor frosting effect, I applied splotches of the various colors in a random pattern onto the chilled crumb coat. Then I used my XL metal bench scraper and icing smoother with the cake on a cake turn table to get a smooth frosted finish, that also marbled the colors. It took a number of passes to get the colors to come out since the black is very overpowering and I put the frosting splotches on too thick…but it was my first time. Once I got it to my liking, I still felt the overall effect was lackluster. I needed more punch, more color pop to satisfy the image I had in my head.

I have this luster dust kit that popped in my head to get the color pop I’m looking for. I typically use luster dust for gum paste flowers to get a pearl sheen in various colors. I had never seen nor heard of the technique I used used to finish this cakes. Using my experience dusting gum paste flowers combined with techniques I’ve seen where people have “painted” with food coloring on fondant or chilled buttercream, I came up with the idea to “dust” the chilled buttercream frosting. I matched up colors of luster dust with the areas that corresponding colors of frosting showed threw from what I previously described for the outside coat of frosting. I also added some metallic colors like gunmetal and copper. I also used light pink and light blue to add the depth and color pop as if I was painting. Now, you might laugh, but I did not use a brush to do the luster dust effect. I used paper towels I tore off pieces to make a “powder puff” I dipped into the various luster dust containers, using clean “puffs” for each color.

I was OBSESSED!!! I was so in love with the overall effect, and it matched what I had in my head from all the gorgeous nebula photos I love to oooooh and aaawwww over. The colors popped, and were vibrant, and had the depth and breadth to add dimension and interest so the finish of the cake was not flat or uninteresting. There was just one thing missing…the masses of tiny stars you see in nebula photos. I took the white pearl luster dust, mixed in some cheap vodka to get a “painting liquid” similar to how I add gold details, but instead of using a brush, I used my finger dipped in, and flicked the white pearl liquid to create the star effect I was looking for…AND I didn’t need to clean another tool! Win-WIn!!! This literally brought the cake to life! It was so realistic, I was in awe and so ridiculously excited that this new technique worked out so well!!!

The last detail I knew I needed was the Starfleet Insignia. Again, I was going for a clean, elegant, stunning design so I didn’t want anything complicated. I used my trusty gum paste, rolled out a thick even layer, and free-hand cut the shape using my exacto knife I use for gum paste flowers. I recommend letting thick gum paste dry for at least 24-48 hours to be completely hard. I did not have that time, so I placed it on my finished cake with a little sugar glue I use for my gum paste flowers on the back of the insignia, and put the whole cake in the fridge to chill overnight before delivery. It worked out marvelously! 

I also wanted to post what this cake looked like after I filled and stacked it, and before I added the crumb coat. I used 3–6″ round cake layers I cut in half; two were white chocolate vanilla sponge (recipe below), and one was a dark chocolate sponge (recipe here). This is where the 6 layers you see came from. The cake layers are filled with my Perfect Ratio Dreamy Cream Cheese frosting (recipe at the bottom), which I also use to pipe my designs on previous cakes, and my Razzleberry fruit filling (below). 

I cannot tell you how THRILLED the surprise cake was for this super Star Trek Next Generation fan!!! The squeals of pure joy and excitement I got from her was so gratifying!!! I LOVE over-delivering on a design, and taste of my cakes!!! The funniest part is that this surprise happened to be on the perfect Star Trek fan day, First Contact Day. It just added to the overall bliss this custom cake brought. I love the pics the super fan sent me!

You can also see how I stack a tall double barrel cake, with a cake board in the center, and supports in the first three layers underneath. I do this to make serving the cake easier so that the servings are cut from each half of the barrel cake. This way of stacking not only creates an extra sturdy cake structure, but it is easier to cut manageable cake slices to serve without a huge mess or the tall cake slice tumbling as you pull it out. No one needs that mess. With 6″ rounds, I cut the top layer in half, then cut perpendicular sliced to the first cut I made for each serving. It is similar to how a large cake layer is cute, except for cake larger than 8″ inch rounds, it is best to cut the cake in thirds (3 big even sections), and then cut perpendicularly to cut each serving. It makes for a clean, neat, and even service.

Prepping your pans and my Quick-Release Cake Pan Prep Mx.

Now let’s talk prepping your cake pans before we get to the recipe. I cannot stress how vital this is…vital to NOT losing all your time, effort, and gorgeous, high quality ingredients to a mass of torn cake because a good chunk of it is sticking to the pan. SO NOT PRETTY AND SO AGGRAVATING! Growing up, it was the “grease and flour” step of making a cake. Now I just keep a pre-made mix of flour, lard, and oil in a 1:1:1 ratio to make my Quick-Release Cake Prep Mix (yes, yes it’s long winded, but that’s Bloomy’s Dictionary sometimes). It is important to use a vegetable oil, or any oil that has a high smoke temperature. Olive oils have a lower smoke temperature which means it will start to smoke or burn at lower temperatures than other oils; since you are baking cakes at high temperatures, you do not want smoke ruining the high quality flavors you worked so hard to put in your cakes. I will keep a mix of 1 c. flour, 1 c. oil, and 1 c. lard in an airtight container in my refrigerator. Being it works in this ratio, you can use the same measurements of all three ingredients in any amount. There have been times I have been in a pinch, and needed to whip up 1/2 cup or 1/3 cup mixes of this if I am out of my pre-made mix in the fridge. You will prep your cake pans and bunt cake pans with this mix. Or use the traditional grease and flour method to prep your pans before you add any batter, however, if you take my word for it, this old-school method is a lot more time consuming and can be a lot messier! I use a baster to slater on my Quick-Release Cake Prep Mix; BUT you don’t want it pooling or gobbing on your pan. A nice even coat is sufficient. I also ALWAYS use parchment paper on the bottom of my pans, and for time sake I prefer the precut ones. I will use my quick geometry teacher skillz and can cut out a free-handed circle of any size pretty quickly by folding a section of parchment paper into quarters, and then eighths, and again if not too thick, and essentially cut half the length of my circle pan (half the diameter, or half the radius for y’all who remember your geometry).

White Chocolate Cake

Nothing Bunt Cake…I don’t think so. This is White Chocolate Raspberry done right…aka White Chocolate Razzleberry Cake! Love those well-known bunt cakes but not the price? Or wished they looked more elegant? This recipe not only taste BETTER than those bunt cakes, but you can CUSTOM design your own masterpiece with a few simple steps. You are not limited to making this cake in a bunt cake pan, but have the flexibility to do so if you would like.  Check out the Perfect Ratio Cream Cheese Buttercream Recipe that is easy to decorate with AND tastes amazing with this cake. NOTE: I always use wet (but wrung out) cake baking straps on all my pans, and I wrap up the baked and cooled cake layers I am not immediately using in plastic wrap, and freeze for up to 3 weeks. Freezing cakes like this keeps them moist when thawed and ready to use.

1 white box cake mix

4 eggs

1 package white chocolate instant pudding

1/2 c sour cream

 

1 c milk

1/2 c melted butter

1 to 1 1/2 c white chocolate chips, optional

 

1) Pre-heat the over to 325 degrees F; bake your cakes low and slow (may need to add to baking times–use a toothpick or cake tester to see if done in the middle). 

2) Prepare your layer cake pans AND bunt cake with my Quick-Release Cake Prep Mix(see recipe in post) mix or grease your pan with lard (or butter) and dust with flour, and a parchment liner on the bottom(optional but i do not risk all my efforts to possibly having the cake stick to the pan).  **Even if you have a non-stick pan, it is worth greasing your pans with lard/butter and dusting with flour, or just having a batch of the Quick-Release Cake Prep Mix (see recipe in post).

3) Mix all the ingredients except the white chocolate chips and fruit filling in a stand mixer, or a large bowl and hand mixer until smooth. It will be thick. Do not over mix

4) Stir in the white chocolate chips and mix by hand with a spatula or spoon. 

5) Divide your batter between your prepared cake pans.  Level your batter in the pan (I knock the cake pan on the counter top to get rid of air bubbles) before baking. 

*For a 3″ layer in a 6″ round pan, use 3 cups of batter, and bake for 35-40 min.

*For a 2″ layer in a 6″ round pan, use 2 1/4 cups batter, and bake for 28-36 min.

*For a 3″ layer in a 8″ round pan, use 5 cups of batter, and bake for 35-40 min.

*For a 2″ layer in a 8″ round pan, use 4 cups batter, and bake for 28-36 min.

*For a bunt cake, use the number of cups your bunt cake pan is sized by. If you overfill your bunt cake pan, it will overflow in the oven and create a huge mess to clean up…and ani’t no one got time for that! Don’t forget to grease and flour your bunt cake pan. 

BAKING TIP: If you are baking 3″ layers with an 8″ pan or larger, use a metal rose piping pin inverted in the middle of the pan to get heat and bake the center of the cake evenly with the outside; or use a baking core. I do this with 2″ layers for pan 10″ or larger as well. 

To get flat cake layers, use these baking belts. I stand behind these and always use them!!! It saves me from having to cut the cake layer for a flat top. I wet and wring out the baking belts before I put them on the cake pans, and then put them in the oven to bake. 

 

 

Razzleberry Fruit Filling

3 c fresh or frozen mix of blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries 

1/2 c lemon juice

 

1 c sugar

4 T corn starch, mixed in 1 c cold water

 

1) Add all the ingredients except the corn starch & water mix in a sauce pan on med heat. 
2) Mash all the berries, sugar, and lemon juice with a potato masher. As the mix heats up and starts to boil, the berries will give off more of their juices and the sugar will dissolve. 
3) After the mix has had a chance to heat through, the berries give off their juices, and the sugar is dissolved, pour the mix into a blender. Blend until smooth and even. 
4) Strain the juice back into the rinsed pan through a metal sieve using a metal spoon to circulate the seeds to get all the juice through. Discard the seeds.
5) Bring the seedless berry mix to a boil.
6) Add the corn starch and water mix, and let boil stirring constantly until thickened.
7) Let the fruit filling cool before adding to an airtight dish to chill in the refrigerator. DO not use to fill cakes or to add to frostings until completely chilled. 
8) To fill a cake: frost the bottom layer with an even coating of frosting, pipe a frosting “dam” around the boarder of the frosted cake, then dollop a general tablespoon or two depending on the layer size, and spread evenly to the dam before topping with another layer of cake; and repeat until the top layer.

Note: Let’s get real. I love to cook once and use multiple times. This recipe is modified from using a full 48 oz. bag of organic mixed berries consisting of blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries from my local bulk store. 

Quick-Release Cake Prep Mix

In a 1:1:1 ratio, mix flour, lard or shortening, and vegetable oil. Mix until evenly incorporated, and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. For example, I use 1 cup of each ingredient to mix up and have on hand to prepare all my cake pans before adding batter, and then baking. Cakes will come out clean and easily, with no sticking. I coat my pans with this mix using a silicone baster brush. I also add a cut parchment paper to the bottom of any flat bottomed cake pan I use.