Low-Carb Burger Buns and the Great American Eclipse

Good afternoon, all! I am actually making it back to the blog before too many weeks have passed since the last time I was here! I tell ya, life gets busier and busier!!

Since I posted last, my little man turned 1!

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We have picked over 50 pounds of figs from one tree! Yes, that is correct! This particular tree is 19 years old and has always produced well. I think it has out-done itself this year though! I quit weighing them once we reached 50 lbs. Thankfully, we are about done with the picking. The honey bees are enjoying what is left.

Speaking of the honey bees, we have also gotten some honey from our first-year hives! We have hives in 5 different locations and have discovered that honey from those hives tastes different! The honey from one of the locations reminds us all of butter pecan ice cream!

 

We here in the south are anticipating the Great American Eclipse coming in less than 48 hours now. My hometown happens to be in the path of totality, so we are expecting kaboodles of extra people on Monday! Actually, they are already arriving. Traffic is heavier than normal for a Saturday; hotel rooms are booked over 70 miles out; and eclipse glasses are no where to be found! I read an article today about the 12 busiest cities along the line of totality for the eclipse…the 12 cities that will see the largest influx of people for the eclipse. Three of those 12 cites are in my state! I think I will just stay home on Monday!

Since last night, I received Face Time calls from 3 of my 4 kiddlets! I love this modern technology! It is just so amazing to be able to see them at the same time I am speaking to them, even though they are so very far away.

Surprise!  Last night I actually tried a new recipe! I know…it has been forever since I did that! But I’m really trying to get back on the THM wagon and stay there! This low-carb bread is amazing. I decided to divide the dough into 8 small pieces which were the perfect size for burger buns…sliders to be exact. I made my burger patties to match the size of the buns. By adding burger toppings, we had a great meal.

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Yes, that is a jar of honey with some honeycomb in the back ground. This bread would be amazing  with some local honey drizzled over the top! You can find the recipe here.  Enjoy!

 

Life Happens and Taco Seasoning Mix

Here I am again, months after I should have written a new post, finally taking the time to do so! Oh well! Life happens!

We had a wedding since I wrote last! If you have ever been the parents of the bride or groom, you will know that there is this flurry of activities leading up to a busy weekend when every moment is itemized so that nothing is forgotten. And then you have the days following where you crash and wonder how it all got done! Yes! That was us!

Friday held a bridal luncheon hosted by a very special friend of our family. It was a relaxing time in between the decorating of the church and setting up the centerpieces for the rehearsal dinner.

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The rehearsal dinner went off without a hitch, but the time spent setting up the centerpieces did not! Let’s just say that I dropped a box of glass vases which broke into a gazillion pieces and leave it at that.

The wedding went great, though, and we are thrilled with our newest family member!

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Little Miss Mia performed her responsibilities as flower girl very well! Her first time down the aisle during rehearsal left a lot to be desired (she ran the whole way!), but after quite a bit of practice her confidence grew and she knew exactly what she was to do. She did an amazing job during the wedding! Shortly before the seating of the mothers and the processional, she worked her way out of position by the bride and ended up near the front of the line where she loudly proclaimed, “I’m getting married today!” It definitely gave us the laugh we all needed and helped us to relax!

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Several weeks (months??) ago, my sister and brother-in-law were in town for a week, and I had done some meal planning and shopping in advance of their visit. I had decided to have tacos on Tuesday, and for the sake of time and convenience, decided to purchase 2 packets of taco seasoning mix. I remember getting them off the shelf and crossing it off my list. However, those packets evidently did not make it to my house. I was already browning the beef for the tacos when I realized that the packets were missing. Here we are weeks (months?) later, and I still haven’t found them. Who knows where they ended up.

Any way, I found myself in need of some taco seasoning very quickly! Thankfully, I found a recipe and had all the necessary ingredients on hand. I used the entire recipe for about 1-1/2 lbs of beef. Everyone thought that the tacos tasted much better than when using the purchased seasoning! And it is so incredibly easy, I really don’t know why I ever bothered using the ready-made seasonings in the first place!

Mix all these ingredients together and store in an air-tight container. Use in recipes to taste.

  • 1 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp. ground red pepper–more if you like it spicier
  • 1/4 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tbsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper

You can also use dried red pepper flakes if you prefer.

 

Family Happenings and Blueberry Scones

It’s been a crazy last few weeks which has contributed to my negligence in writing another blog post! I’ve been mentally writing this several days, and have really tried to get it here on the blog. This is the second time that I have sat at the computer to try to complete a post. I keep getting interrupted! You’d think that with just 2 of us in the house the majority of the time that I should be able to do this without interruption.  Guess I’m just not doing it at the right time. Maybe now I can get it done!  🙂

Here is what’s been happening with the family.

For Father’s Day this year I decided to replace our old tried and true automatic drip coffee maker. The old one was a gift to us for our wedding 29 years ago! I think that it is the last of the small-appliance-wedding-gifts that we received. I have burned out more crockpots, toasters, and hand mixers than I can count. The large appliances are are anywhere from 15 years to 25 years old, but the coffee pot has stuck around for 29! But not the carafe! We’ve replaced that more times than can be counted, too!

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My sweet Little Man is rapidly approaching his first birthday! His latest accomplishment is crawling!! Time for my girl and her man to baby-proof the house!

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Little Miss Mia is loving summer by playing outside in her pool and by jumping on the trampoline. She is doing pretty well as a big sister to sweet little Gracie Mae! Both the girls and their mommy are adjusting to life without Daddy for awhile as he serves our country. We pray daily for him while he is gone.

We are just 18 days out from the Big Day for my officer and his lady! I have my dress and shoes; the venue for the rehearsal dinner is reserved and menu chosen. I’m working on the center pieces for the tables and finalizing the number for the caterer. I can’t believe that this wedding is just around the corner!!

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For a few weeks I found myself falling off the THM wagon and realized that I was just not feeling well. Three weeks ago I got back on that wagon and have worked hard to keep the bad carbs out of my diet. It always amazes me how much better I feel when I eat the THM way!

I discovered this recipe not long ago and knew that I had to give it a try. The original recipe called for strawberries, but last week a friend gave me lots of blueberries! Using blueberries instead of the strawberries made a wonderful scone! Try it yourself using any of the berries. You will be glad that you did!

Easter Weekend and Berry Breakfast Crisp

Hello, everyone! I am finally taking the time to sit down and write a new post…this time including a new recipe!

But first—Easter weekend! I was thrilled that Barbi and her sweet little family were able to drive here for Easter! They not only got to spend time with us all, but they got to meet Baby Gracie! The only disappointing part of the weekend was that my 2Lt was not able to be here since he is still half-way across the country in training!

Here are a few obligatory pictures from the weekend!

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This morning I decided to have something different for breakfast than my usual sunny-side up eggs and fruit. I have been trying hard to get back on track with eating in a healthy manner since the guys brought in lots of sweets and other carbs over the weekend. And of course, I served our traditional Pavlova for Easter dessert!

This recipe makes one serving. It calls for baking it in the oven, but I used the microwave for about one minute. Either way is just fine.

  • 1 cup mixed berries (frozen or fresh)
  • 3 tbsp. low-carb flour blend (I used my own flour blend of oat, almond, and flax)
  • 1 tbsp. unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • dash of salt
  • 1 tbsp. sweetener (I used Pyure)
  • 1/2 scoop protein powder
  • 1-1/2 tbsp. coconut oil, melted

Place the berries in the bottom of a small baking dish. Mix remaining dry ingredients in a small bowl and then stir in coconut oil until it is a crumbly mixture. Sprinkle over the top of the fruit. Bake at 375 degrees for about 25 minutes, or put into microwave for about one minute or until the berries burst.

Serve topped with about 1/4 cup Greek yogurt.

Family News and Bacon-Wrapped Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Three weeks have passed since I last posted here. I can’t believe it has been that long! I seriously try to write more frequently, but it seems like 3 weeks is the norm these days! Here is what’s been happening on the home front.

Last week we did indeed get the freezing temperatures that I was afraid of. Most of the gorgeous blossoms that I showed in the previous post froze when our spring-like temperatures dropped into the 20s for several nights in a row. Our plum trees had bloomed a few weeks earlier than the peaches and were already showing tiny plums. They also froze and turned black in the freezing temperatures.

We had a bridal shower for Ben’s lady. I am so glad my sister was able to come for it! And we had a birthday party for Little Miss Mia’s daddy! She really wanted to blow out all the candles by herself, so he had to discourage her!

But the best news of all was that my girl’s man came home safely from his deployment! I just love this picture!

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Now for the recipe! I had never made stuffed chicken breast before this try, and the guys loved it! It was not as hard as I had thought it might be. I didn’t follow a recipe, but just went by what I have read online about stuffed chicken breasts. I am sure that there are people out there who know tricks to make it easier!

  • 3-4 boneless chicken breasts
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2-3 tbsp. heavy cream
  • several large hands full of fresh spinach (sorry! I didn’t measure!)
  • salt and pepper
  • 12-16 slices of bacon

Carefully slice open the chicken breasts making a small pocket in the side of each.Be careful not to slice all the way through. Set aside. In a mixing bowl, combine the two cheeses and the heavy cream and mix well. Lightly steam the spinach to soften. Squeeze all the moisture out of the spinach and stir it into the cheese mixture. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon the mixture into the chicken breasts. Wrap each chicken breast with bacon, using about 3 slices per piece of chicken. The amount of bacon will depend on the size of each chicken breast. Place wrapped chicken in a slightly oiled pan. Bake at 350 degrees until juices are no longer pink and the bacon looks crispy, about 40 minutes. Again, baking time will depend upon the size of the chicken breasts. Thicker pieces will require longer baking time. Serve with a green salad on the side!

 

 

 

She Said, “Yes!”

No recipe with this post, just good news from my 2Lt and Citadel grad! We are super excited to announce that there will be a wedding in 2017!

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I’m thankful to Julia’s mom for sharing this reenactment picture of the proposal!

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As we close 2016, we look forward to the blessings coming in 2017. We will now have a wedding as well as a new grandbaby!

And I promise new recipes will be coming in 2017, too!

Cranberry Apple Pie

Hello, and welcome to the Christmas season! I can’t believe that it has been a month since I wrote my last blog post! These last few weeks have just flown by, and now Christmas is just a week away.

This post is #400! It has taken almost 6 years to get this far, but I have persevered and have  had 22,760 views to the blog in that time. Who knows? Maybe I’ll get to 23,000 by the end of 2016!

I love Christmas, but I am also often a sentimental puddle of mush during the season. My fondest memories of my dad are from Christmas. I miss him the most during this season. Actually, I miss my mom, dad, and brother the most during Christmas.

Christmas will be a little strange since there will be only 3 of us together. Our family of 10 going on 11 will be spread out from Chicago to Philadelphia to Orlando this year. However, I am very thankful that I had 9 of our 10-almost-11 here at Thanksgiving! This is what life is all about! We spend years training our kids to become independent adults, capable of surviving life without us! It is such a blessing to see our kids marry and become parents and begin new traditions with their own little families! I have two favorite passages of Scripture concerning children. One has also been my mother-in-law’s favorite…Isaiah 54:13–“All thy children shall be taught of the Lord, and great shall be the peace of thy children.”  The other is verse 4 of the little 3rd epistle of John–“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.”  If these are true of my children, then I feel that I was a successful mom, for this is what matters most!

Here are a few pictures that we had taken at Thanksgiving.

Now to this amazing pie recipe! Tomorrow evening we are having our special Lessons and Carols service at church. We always have a fellowship time after this service, and this year we are all supposed to bring side dishes and desserts. I had an extra bag of fresh cranberries that I needed to use, so I did a little searching for a cranberry pie. I found one on the Food Network web page that sounded really good! As usual, I made some changes by adding apples and using pecans instead of walnuts.  It is not THM-friendly, but could easily be adapted. Delicious!!

  • 2 c. fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1/2 cup sugar (I used 1/3 cup Truvia baking blend)
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Topping:

  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp. almond extract

Spray a 10-inch pie pan to prevent sticking. Spread the cranberries in the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle with chopped pecans and sugar. Let sit while mixing the topping.

Cream the butter with the eggs and sugar. Add the flour and almond extract to the mixture until blended. This mixture will be thick. Spread the topping over the cranberries and nuts. Be sure to seal the edges. Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes or until a knife inserted comes out clean.

Serve warm with whipped topping or ice cream!

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