SMOOTHIE TIME!

Good afternoon!  I hope that you are well. I tell you what, it is so Hot here.  The humidity is at 71%.

 Although that is not very high for Mobile, Alabama, it makes it really hard to take our afternoon walks.

So today when I got off of work (it was my 1/2 day) I went and got my hair cut then headed to my local grocery store and got a few items to make smoothies.

I have looked for a good smoothie recipe that I could use as a nice breakfast or even a refreshing dessert.

I really could not find anything that fit the bill for this Banting Diet, so I kind of just mashed a few together to create my own.

Strawberry/Raspberry Smoothie

1/2 cup raspberries

1/2 cup whole milk

1/2 cup plain whole fat Greek yogurt

1 tsp vanilla extract – I use my homemade vanilla!

1 tsp of sugar-free strawberry jello

about 4 ice cubes

put all in a blender and blend away

Pour and Enjoy!

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Not the best photo but it shows the products!

This was so refreshing after a long 4 mile walk. Now time to figure out what’s for dinner!

Until Then,

Wende

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Season’s Harvest

As the days grow increasingly HOT and Humid, I am proud of the little plants that I  have managed to keep alive this season.

Last summer I planted some herbs, peppers, tomatoes, broccoli and okra.

Most did pretty well but being a first time grower, I had and still do not have any idea what I am doing.

The best producers have been my peppers and the basil!  They just keep going.  Today I picked about 8 peppers.

Yum

I realized that there were some green onions in the fridge that were on the verge of needing to be tossed.

 I stuck them in an empty pot of soil and what do you know… they have started taking up just fine and there is already new green coming up.

 It makes me happy to grow things.

 I have noticed that there are ants living in all of my planters and I have no idea how to remedy this.

I do not want to use any chemicals on my little garden but I need to do something.  Every time I pull weeds it disturbs the ants and they go every where.

I mentioned last post that I did not take photos of the first few recipes that I have tried on the Banting diet.

I have started taking them but the next few recipes will be basic and photo free.

So the recipe this evening is a Hamburger casserole.

Cheeseburger Casserole

INGREDIENTS

1 pounds ground beef (I used ground Turkey)

1 large garlic cloves

1/4 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 pound bacon, cooked and chopped

4 eggs

1/2 of a (6 ounce) can tomato paste

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon ground pepper

6 ounces grated cheddar cheese, divided

INSTRUCTIONS

Brown ground beef with garlic and onion powder

Drain excess grease and set meat aside

 Stir bacon pieces into cooked beef

In medium bowl, whisk together eggs, tomato paste, heavy cream, salt, and pepper until well combined

Stir 4 ounces grated cheese into egg mixture

Pour egg mixture over beef and bacon

Pour this into the meat and make sure it is mixed well

Pour this into an 8×8 pan

Top with remaining 4 ounces of grated cheese

Bake at 350°F for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown on top

Mushrooms, onions, are great add-ins!

If you have any ideas about keeping the ants out of my planters I would love to hear about them!

Until Then,

Wende

Changes in Life

Well I went and did it again.

 I totally dropped off the face of the earth when it came to blogging.  All I do is work (like most people)  and it is so tiring.  I do have some new stuff to talk about though.

 To start, for years I have had some stomach issues. Dr.’s like to call it IBS  (irritable bowel syndrome) Without going into much detail, lets just say that it wreaked havoc on my life.

My Dr. recently told me that I should try to cut out the gluten in my diet to see if it helps.

So my husband looked at a few diet/lifestyles that fit into the plan and on May 23 we began our journey on what is called the Banting Diet or LCHF diet.

Briefly, this means no carbs, no sugar, starch!  So no bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, ALCOHOL!!!

I have looked up many recipes and tried a lot of them. I have not been disappointed yet.   I did not take photos like I should have but I will post the few recipes that I have tried.

I promise to start taking photos again!

 In the 14 days we have been on this diet I have lost 1.5 inches and 5 pounds! Also my IBS issues have not flared up once since we began.

I have gotten to the age where my actual # weight is not important but how I look and feel in my skin and clothing is the key.

 I had written back in February that I had joined the gym AGAIN!!!

Well, I canceled my membership when we started this diet and we are now walking 4 – 5 miles every afternoon when I get home from work and 2 times a day on the weekends.

 I sleep better at night and just feel better all around.

I have to say that I have seen the fastest and most positive results on this new Lifestyle change than with any other diet, pill or workout in my entire 43 years of life.  And it is so easy to stick to.

I have wanted some pizza but not so bad that I broke my diet.  Our personal goal was to start this change on May 23 and to stay very strict with no goof ups until July 19.

The date we chose is my 44th Birthday. We want to see just how much has changed with our bodies and health!

Wish us LUCK!

So to start the recipes out I will leave you with a breakfast recipe that is also great for an on the go snack.

LCHF  Omelet Bites

Ingredients:

 6 eggs

 1 – 2 scallions finely chopped

 3 oz. uncooked bacon

 4 oz   shredded cheese

 1 tablespoon pesto, green or red

(optional) salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 350°F

 Chop  onion and bacon

 Whisk the eggs together with seasoning and pesto

 Add the cheese and stir

 Place the batter in greased mini muffin tins and add bacon

 Bake for 15–20 minutes, depending on the size of the muffin tins

Let cool just a bit and Pop’em in your mouth and

ENJOY!

Until Then,

Wende

Focaccia Anyone?

Good Day fine friends.

  I have found myself in a bread making frenzy.   I can not get enough of the wonderful smells and delicious flavors.  With the Fall season on or heals it make me happy to be in the kitchen baking again.

I have to say my front door has been decorated for the fall season for 2 weeks now. I could not wait any longer.

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Here in the South, we do not get much fall weather as you have heard me say many times.  I am determined to be ready for the day it shows up!

 While looking through my emails the other day I found this simple and delicious recipe for Rosemary Focaccia Bread and I had to make it!!!! So get ready because you will want make this as soon as possible.

Rosemary Focaccia Bread

1 (1/4-oz.) envelope active dry yeast

1 2/3 cups lukewarm water (100° to 110°)

4 1/2 cups bread flour

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon table salt

2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves, divided

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon kosher salt

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Stir together yeast and warm water in bowl of a heavy-duty electric stand mixer; let stand 5 minutes.

Add bread flour, 1/4 cup oil, and 1 Tbsp. table salt to yeast mixture. Beat on low speed, using paddle attachment, 10 seconds or until blended.

 Increase speed to medium. Beat 45 seconds or until dough is smooth. Add 1 Tbsp. rosemary.

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Replace paddle attachment with dough hook; increase speed to medium-high, and beat 4 minutes. (Dough will be sticky.)

Turn dough onto a floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic (about 1 minute).

Place in a greased bowl, turning to coat. Cover dough with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place (80° to 85°), free from drafts, 1 hour or until doubled in bulk.

Press dough into a well greased 15- x 10-inch jelly-roll pan, pressing to about 1/4-inch thickness.

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Cover with a kitchen towel, and let rise in a warm place 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 475°. Press handle of a wooden spoon into dough to make indentations at 1-inch intervals; drizzle with 3 Tbsp. oil.

Sprinkle with kosher salt and remaining 1 Tbsp. rosemary.

Bake 14 to 16 minutes or until top is light brown. Remove from pan to a wire rack, and cool 10 minutes.

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This made so much bread! I was able to give my wonderful Sister in Law a gallon bag full. And I still had tons left.

I am working on a few projects so look forward to seeing them soon.

Until Then,

Wende

Meatball Subs!

Good afternoon,

I hope all is well.  I have some exciting news. . .  after a year of pursuing a new job I was finally offered a position with the medical office right down the road from my house!  I never gave up. I applied 3 times.  At my current job I was lucky enough to meet many wonderful people who also work at the medical office.  They got to know me and 3 of them personally emailed or called human resources on my behalf.  I am so thankful for the time and effort that they put in for me.  I start my new career September 31.  I am excited and very nervous.  But I know that it is all going to be great.

In honor of my new job, I decided to make something homemade.  I settled on turkey meatball subs.  I did not make the bread but the meatballs are homemade.  Easy and sooooo delicious.  You will want to run out and get supplies today!

Turkey Meatballs

1 pound ground turkey

1 egg

¼ cup Parmesan cheese

¼ cup breadcrumbs

1 tablespoon dry Italian seasoning

1 teaspoon salt

Tomato Sauce

1 28 oz can  basil garlic & oregano crushed tomatoes

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2 teaspoons minced garlic

2 tablespoons olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

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Heat olive oil in a large wide skillet on medium heat.

Add the olive oil and minced garlic and allow to gently simmer for 2 minutes or until garlic begins to turn golden in color.

 Add the can of crushed tomatoes and can of tomato sauce.

Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste, cover and allow to simmer for 10 minutes.

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While the sauce is simmering, combine all the ingredients for the meatballs in a large mixing bowl until a soft dough like texture if formed.

Form into 1 inch balls using a scoop or by hand.

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Gently place the meatballs in the tomato sauce while it’s simmering

(do not stir).

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Allow to simmer for 15 minutes

 Gently shake the pan and simmer for an additional 10 minutes.

Serve with spaghetti, on rice or alone with bread.

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How’s that for a slice of fried gold?

 Yeah Boy!

I must now go and eat up this goodness!

Until Then,

Wende

Fall Is Around the Corner!!!

Here in the south it takes a bit longer for the fall weather to show up.

So in the spirit of FALL and the subtly cooling breeze, I am making Beer Bread!

Sorry that there are no photos. My computer will not coöperate with me today!

5 Ingredient Beer Bread

YIELD: 1 LOAF

INGREDIENTS

3 cups flour

4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 cup brown sugar, loosely packed

12 ounces of you favorite beer (for this one I used pumpkin ale)

1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a 9×5 loaf pan with nonstick spray.

Add the flour, brown sugar, baking powder and a pinch of salt to a mixing bowl.

Pour in the beer and stir with a mixing spoon until just combined.

Pour the batter into the loaf pan.

Bake for 45-55 minutes or until the top of the bread is lightly browned and the middle is set.

Allow to sit 15 minutes before serving.

Serve warm and ENJOY!

Until Then,

Wende

The season is upon us!

Well September is finally here which means cooler weather, crisp breezes, sweaters, falling leaves and wine on the porch with friends.

I am so excited and in the thrill of the new month I made some delicious cookies. Get this, only 2 ingredients! You heard correct, 2.

 

Pumpkin Spice Cake Cookies

1 box of spice cake mix

1 can of pumpkin purée

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Pre Heat oven to 350

So here comes the hard part

Put the cake mix in a bowl

Add the pumpkin to the cake mix

Stir until completely mixed

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On a parchment lined cookie sheet spoon scoop the

cookies about 2 inches apart

(I used 2 different size scoops to see how they turned out)

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cook for 13 – 15 minutes

These cookies are really cake like, so they  did not spread like a normal cookie

They rose like a cake

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Let them cool or eat them warm.

These cookies will be amazing with a hot cup of coffee or hot tea.

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I am sure that these cookies could be made with any flavor f box cake. I was thinking a white cake would be good. Maybe add some cinnamon and spice. This way you can control the spices!

Well I hope that  you enjoy this little recipe. I know my husband did.

Until Then,

Wende