Breakfast Casserole, THM style!

Things have been pretty quiet around here this week. My little grand darling and her parents are away for a week of family vacation with her other grandparents. I miss that little girl like crazy!! I can’t believe she is almost 2 years old! It won’t be long until she is in “First Day of School” pictures like I’ve been seeing on my Face Book news feed this week. Those children are so adorable!

This is also the time of year for colleges to begin again. It is hard for me to believe that my Citadel grad is starting his second year out of college! I have remained a member of some of the Citadel parent pages on Face Book in order to encourage parents who are new to the 4th class system of a military college. Back when Ben was a knob, I wrote this blog post about mailing packages to him. It is my most viewed post…over 2500 clicks on that post alone! I am amazed!

And of course, my heart misses my newest bundle of love! I can’t wait to see him (and his mommy!) again in September!

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Last week I saw this recipe come through my news feed and realized that I could make it low-carb with no trouble at all. The original recipe called for 1 lb. of hash brown potatoes. I switched that out for finely chopped cauliflower, and it worked great! The hubby even took seconds! This recipe makes 6 large portions.

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Mix these ingredients together in a mixing bowl.

  • 1 lb. chopped cauliflower
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 1 tsp. paprika

Cut  7 slices of bacon into bite-sized pieces and fry them in a skillet. Drain on paper towels.

Mix these ingredients together in another bowl.

  • 6-7 eggs
  • 1/3 c. heavy whipping cream
  • the fried bacon pieces

Lightly oil a baking pan. I used one that is 7 x 11 inches. Press the cauliflower mixture into the pan on the bottom and part way up the sides. Pour the egg mixture on top of the cauliflower. Sprinkle with grated cheddar cheese and 1 tbsp of  chopped, fresh chives.

Bake at 350* for about 40 minutes or until the eggs are firm. Serve with a spoonful of fresh salsa. Enjoy!

 

Fig Cookies

Once again, we have had an abundance of figs on our fig tree! I thought that we had a lot last year, but I think that we have even more this summer. I have a bunch in the freezer to use in smoothies; we have dehydrated quite a few pounds; the hubby has been eating them fresh; we have sold some; and we have given some away. And I still have several pounds in the fridge!

A friend shared this recipe on Pinterest the other day, and I thought that it sounded pretty good. I don’t necessarily eat Paleo, but this recipe is very good. I tried making fig cookies several years ago, but I struggled with getting the cookie just right. This recipe is better, but still a little crumbly. Next time I might use some oat flour with the almond flour.The flavor of the fig filling is amazing! I really like it since there is no added sugar!

Mine didn’t turn out looking as pretty as hers did, but I think that it is because I should have used more figs. The recipe calls for 10 ounces of dried figs. I didn’t weigh the figs, so I probably didn’t use enough. All my figs were fresh, so I dried some in my dehydrator for about 2 hours. That process took out most of the moisture without making them too dry.

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Zucchini Pizza Slices

We always eat our main meal on Sunday after our morning worship service. And we always have the same foods! There is something comforting to having the same big Sunday dinner each week. Our kids grew up with beef roast, gravy, rice or mashed potatoes, and broccoli with cheese sauce each week. It was something they looked forward to! They still do if they happen to be home on the weekend! I mean, really! Sunday dinner is just not the same without them!

Having the main meal in the middle of the day means that I don’t cook anything fancy after our evening church service. Often, I make flat bread pizza for the hubby and myself. Yesterday, though, I wanted to try something different. And I did have a zucchini in the fridge that needed to be used!

This is based on a recipe that I saw on a cooking video over on Face Book. Unfortunately, I can’t remember which group shared it! I thought it was from Tasty, but when I did a search on their page, it did not come up. I really do want to give credit to the creator of this amazing dish, but, alas, I can not!

We’ve been eating a lot from our garden in recent weeks…fresh tomatoes, hot peppers, figs, peaches, basil, green onions, and garlic…to name just a few items! I even got some tomatoes canned this afternoon! The zucchini has not been as prolific this summer as it usually is, but we did get a few. The most recent one was rather large! It was about 2 inches in diameter and about 10 inches long! Usually, the large ones don’t taste as tender and delicious as the smaller ones, but this one was fine for the pizza slices!  I had my doubts as to whether the hubby would like this recipe, but he loved it! I had no leftovers!

As usual, I don’t have actual amounts for the ingredients. I just created the pizza slices with the pizza toppings that I had on hand. Use your own creativity to make yours! I love that it is THM-friendly!

  • Pizza Sauce
  • Pepperoni slices
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
  • Onion and garlic powder
  • Oregano
  • 1 large zucchini

Wash and slice the zucchini. I cut mine about 1/4 inch thick. Lightly spray a cookie sheet and place the zucchini slices on the pan. Spread about 1 tbsp. of pizza sauce on each piece of zucchini. Place one slice of pepperoni on top of the sauce. *The video showed the pepperoni being cut into tiny circles. That seemed like too much work for me! One large slice of pepperoni one each zucchini slice works well! Sprinkle each slice with the cheeses and the spices.

Bake for about 20 minutes at 400 degrees.

Fresh Salsa…and a new Grand Baby!

So here we are in August again! We have been having a very hot, very dry summer. We had at least 6 weeks of daily temperatures above 90 degrees!  The hubby has been needing to water not only his garden but also his bees! I have learned much about bee keeping since he has started this particular hobby. One thing I have learned is that bees need a water source just like dogs, cats, and other animals do. If there is no water available for the bees, they will go searching for a water source. And since a neighborhood pool was built behind our property several years ago, we certainly do not want our bees to make their way over there when they get thirsty!

Last Friday my daughter, the other Mrs. G of this blog, gave birth to her first baby…our first grandson!  I was blessed to be able to make it to the hospital several hours after he arrived. He is a sweet little bundle of joy!! I miss him like crazy! Mommy, Daddy, and Sammy, III are doing well and adjusting to each other! I am so so proud of Barbi and her man! It is really quite amazing to see your firstborn holding her own firstborn!! Barbi is a great mom, and my son-in-law is a great dad!! I loved watching him be a hands-on new daddy!

Now to that fresh salsa recipe! Even though we’ve had to water the garden quite a bit this summer, we’ve been blessed with fresh veggies! When I made this recipe yesterday, I used our own tomatoes, green onions, garlic, and hot peppers! My hubby loves this salsa fresh, but it is also good cooked. If I make extra, I usually just simmer it for several minutes and let it cool. Once cooled, I put it into freezer bags and freeze it to have the fresh summery taste during the winter months!

  • 10 medium tomatoes
  • 1 lg. bunch cilantro (I use half)
  • 1 bunch green onions
  • 1 medium/large red onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 green bell pepper (yellow, red, or orange bells work, too)
  • 8-10 hot chili peppers (or whatever variety of hot pepper you enjoy)
  • 1 lemon
  • pickling salt to taste–about 2 tbsp.

Process all vegetables coarsely in food processor. Mix together in large mixing bowl.  Squeeze the juice of the lemon over mixture and add the salt.  Stir together.   Makes about 2 quarts.   Keep refrigerated and use within a week or so.

Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers

Wow! It’s been several days since I’ve been here on the blog! I just checked the views and we are at 20,998! Almost to 21,000. I know that is just small stuff to those who are really into the blogging world. But for little old me, that is amazing!

Last weekend we had all the family together again!!!! I was so glad that it worked out for my girl and her man to come as well as son #2 and his favorite lady friend. It has been since last Labor Day that we were all together, and with one of my Blue Stars heading overseas for several months, and another one of my Blue Stars also leaving soon, it will be a while before we can all be together again. I cherish the times we can all be under my roof and around my supper table!

We decided to have our 4th of July celebration on Saturday since my girl and her hubby would have to travel home on the 4th. Saturday was such a fun day!! While some of the guys went for a run, the girls and I  went shopping! Seriously, what else would we do, right?  In the afternoon  and evening we played some bocci out in the yard, played several very loud rounds of Scattergories, ate some amazing food, set off some fireworks, and laughed–a lot!

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In addition to grilled steaks, we had potato salad, baked beans, tomatoes, hummus and salsa with chips, watermelon, etc. You know, all the good stuff that goes along with 4th of July! For dessert I had gotten a birthday cake for Barbi, but she decided that it would be better to celebrate all the July birthdays instead of just hers. Our combined ages equal 106!

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On the spur of the moment I decided to put together some jalapeno poppers to add to the meal. These are very easy to make, and all the guys loved them! I really don’t have a recipe that I follow, but I will try to give close estimates on the amounts. They are THM-friendly, too!

The jalapeno peppers that I used were huge! Our local Aldi had them in a package of 5 for less than 75 cents! The bigger peppers are much easier to work with than smaller ones.

5 jalapeno peppers

2-3 oz. cream cheese, softened

1 wedge of garlic and herb cheese (got mine at Aldi)

Sprinkles of onion powder, garlic powder, salt (to taste)

5 slices of bacon

Cut the peppers in half length-wise and remove the seeds. Combine the cheeses and spices and mix well. Spoon the cheese mixture into each pepper half, using all of it.

Wrap each stuffed pepper half with a slice of bacon and place on a jelly roll pan.

Bake in 350* oven for about 15-20 minutes. The bacon should be getting crispy. Enjoy!

 

Coconut Fudge Brownies

Here we are at the end of June! We are half-way through 2016 already!! I can’t believe that we are heading towards another 4th of July. I am pretty excited about this coming weekend because, if all goes as planned, I will have ALL four of my kiddlets under my roof once again…for about 48 hours! Hey, I’ll take what I can get! I have no idea when we will all be together again because one of my blue stars will be leaving in early July for the other side of the world. This makes me sad! I’ve never been so far away from any of my kiddos as I will be for the next 3-4 months. And before he returns, one of my other blue stars will be leaving as well. While my momma heart will worry about them, I  understand fully that this is what they are called to do at this time. I will pray for their safety while they are gone and for their safe return.

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Now to the recipe. I took a recipe featured in the new THM cookbook and made some changes ( read “experimented”) and came up with this pretty amazing recipe. Keeping it in the fridge helps keep it fudgy until it is all eaten…which won’t be long, I can assure you! I have made these brownies several times and none of the guys in my family know that there is okra in them! And as a bonus…they are low-carb!

BROWNIES::

1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 c. peanut butter powder

3/4 c. coconut oil

3/4 c. butter

1-1/2 c. sweetener (I use Pyure)

2 tsp. vanilla

1/4 – 1/2 tsp. salt

1 c. oat flour

1 c. unsweetened dried coconut

1-1/2 c. okra (I use frozen. Let it thaw slightly before using).

6 eggs

ICING:

2 oz. cream cheese

2 tbsp. butter, softened, but not melted

1/4-1/3 c. heavy cream

4 tbsp. sweetener

1/2 tsp. vanilla

For the brownies: melt the coconut oil and butter in a small saucepan. Add the cocoa powder and peanut butter powder. Stir well.  In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Set aside.  In your blender, combine the okra, eggs and vanilla. Blend completely so there are no particles of okra seen. Pour the cocoa mixture and the okra mixture into the dry ingredients and stir well.

Pour the batter into a lightly oiled 9 x 13 pan. Bake at 350 degrees for about 25-30 minutes. Let cool.

Combine the icing ingredients in your blender or food processor. Give it a taste and add more sweetener if needed. Spread on cooled brownies. For a garnish, grate an 85% chocolate bar over the icing.  Refrigerate for several hours before serving.

Honey Bees, the Hubby’s New Hobby

I can’t believe that it has been a month since I last posted here on the blog! Where in the world has the time gone? I know that I’ve been busy, but seriously? A month? I do hope that I can do better in the coming days!!

During this last month, the hubby has been researching honey bees, purchasing needed equipment, and actually setting up hives. He planned to start with 2 hives, but last week, he decided that 2 were not enough. He now has 5 hives set up–complete with bees! This picture is of hives 1 and 2.

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While I am not a fan of bees of any kind, I am a firm believer of local honey helping with allergy issues. (I know that some people think that this is just crazy, and others are adamant that it does work.) About 3 years ago I began a regimen of 1 tbsp. of local honey a day (in my morning tea) so that I could wean myself off of OTC allergy medicines. I never had allergy issues while I was growing up; however, as an adult, I have had lots of issues with seasonal allergies. Several friends told me to take local honey to help with the allergies. One told me that I wouldn’t see it helping for about a year, but to take it anyway. I have done so, and no longer take the OTC allergy meds. So, I look forward to having our  very own local honey…hopefully by next year!

I promise to try some new recipes and share them with you here. Thanks for your patience with me!

Looking ahead–my girl should be having her baby near the end of July!! Can’t wait to meet my grandson!