Posted in Canning & Freezing, Cooking, Gardening, Pampered Chef, Recipes

National Sneak a Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Day!

That’s right! It’s National Sneak a Zucchini onto your Neighbor’s Porch Day! AND. If you can’t sneak one onto your neighbor’s porch, let me know, I can get you the address of MY porch!

I’ve been freezing Zucchini the last few days for fall and winter meals (and treats!). If you’ve never frozen zucchini before, it’s SUPER easy! Start by washing/cleaning your zucchinis. Then:

 

Slice  your zucchini. I’ll be using these thin slices for a Zucchini Lasagne this fall/winter. Maybe even these Zucchini Enchiladas. YUM! I can hardly wait! This Vegetable Peeler is ideal for getting thin, wide ribbon-type noodles. If you’ve never used Pampered Chef’s knives or cutters (basically anything with a blade), I’m going to warn you….They are SHARP! Don’t ask how I know this…..

You can also grate your zucchini. I’ve mentioned in a few posts now, but this Multi-Grater & Slicer might be one of my new favorites. (I should probably mention that I’m a Pampered Chef consultant and I don’t love it because I sell it, I sell it BECAUSE I LOVE it!) . Use the grated zucchini this fall/winter in this FABULOUS Low-carb Chocolate Cake Recipe (or just sneak it into soups and sauces).

Now, put your prepared zucchini into freezer bags (or a vacuum sealer is handy too!), press as flat as possible to get out as much air as you can. Label, date and freeze. When you’re ready to use your zucchini, thaw in the refrigerator the night before.

Then you’re all ready to make your favorite casserole (or whatever….). Enjoy!

Posted in Baking, Desserts, Low-Carb, Pampered Chef

A Low-Carb Birthday Cake

Yesterday was my birthday. And. I made this Low-Carb Chocolate Cake. I’m happy to report, it was AMAZING! Worth every one of the 5.7 carbs I consumed!

Grated the zucchini using my Multi-Grater & Slicer (yep! really loving this gadget!).

Mixed all the ingredients up together (in my Kid’s Cookie Baking Set, I use this set all the time….even though I don’t have any kids….). Here’s where I should mention, I cut the recipe in half and I also used Xyla as the sweetener (instead of the Pyure which I didn’t have on hand). I didn’t have any monkfruit either, so I just omitted it (there was NO WAY I was going to town on my birthday!).

Here’s the cake ready to be baked.

And, after it was baked.

I wanted to make a cream cheese frosting for the cake and I figured why even bother looking one up, how bad could I mess this up? That’s probably why it looks a little lumpy.

Here was the “recipe” I used:

  • 8 oz. package of cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup Xyla (Xylitol) sweetener
  • 1-2 Tbsp. warm water

Dissolve Xyla sweetener in warm water (otherwise, I think it would be grainy), then mix into the softened cream cheese (I’m sure I would have gotten a smoother frosting if I had used my mixer, but I didn’t….).

This cake goes perfectly with a cup of coffee!

Posted in Baking, Breakfast/Brunch, Cooking, Low-Carb, Pampered Chef, Recipes

A Birthday Breakfast

Yep! It’s my birthday. AND. I bought myself a new gadget!

This Multi-Grater & Slicer. So far, I LOVE IT! (Here’s where I should mention, I’m a Pampered Chef consultant. And. I haven’t really found a product I don’t LOVE….)

Since I don’t have to work (at work anyway) today, I decided I wanted to make these for breakfast. Hey! It’s MY birthday, I should be able to choose what I want for breakfast. right?

I didn’t have round ham slices (I guess I could have made them round….), so I just cut ham slices in quarters.

Poured in beaten eggs (about 8, I think, I wasn’t really counting….). Topped with my shredded cheese (from my new handy-dandy Multi-Grater & Slicer!).

Then baked at 350F for about 10 minutes (who was really paying attention? Then I wonder why sometimes I burn stuff…..) until the cheese was melted and firm. Oh My! They were SO GOOD!

Want to know what I’m doing later today?  Baking this Low-Carb Chocolate Cake! I’ll let you know how it comes out, but it sounds AMAZING!!!!

Posted in Cooking, Low-Carb, Prep It Up

Prepping for the Busy Week

 

It’s the weekend, and I’m spending a part of it prepping vegetables for the busy week ahead. I mentioned in this post that I’ve done some food changes with the low-carb diet I’m on. One of the changes I’ve made is spending a little time on the weekend to pre-prep some of the food I’m eating so it’s handier to eat good food (instead of grabbing a candy bar for instance).

I have to tell you, chopping vegetables after I’ve gotten off work, is not something I’m fond of. That’s why this prepping on the weekend works so well for me. And. I LOVE these flexible cutting mats, they make the “chore” much more fun (If it’s more fun, I’ll probably do it more often).

This little gadget, the Quick Slice speeds up the whole process of slicing. Getting things done quicker means I have more knitting time!

This Simple Slicer is another one of my favorite slicing tools in my kitchen. Even though I LOVE to cook and bake, I want to get it done as quickly as possible. I’ve probably got TOO MANY things I want to get done in a day…..

Well, there you have it, my Large Cool & Serve is filled with veggies all ready chopped and sliced. Now, I just add them to salad greens for salads through the week! What’s better than that?!?!

(Note: This post contains affiliate links to the products I use. Yes, I’m a Pampered Chef consultant, but as I always say…..I don’t Love it because I sell it. I sell it because I LOVE it!)

Posted in Cooking, Low-Carb, Prep It Up

Low-Carb Diet – Day 30

I didn’t mention it before, but I started a low-carb (keto) diet 30 days ago. I figured I should find out if this was really something I would stick with (if you follow my knit/crochet projects, you know what I mean….). I’ve really only dieted one other time. I had okay success, but I reverted back to my old (BAD) eating habits pretty quickly!

It took me a few days of research to convince myself that this was something I could do. I have to admit, some of the “lingo” had me a little intimidated (Macros, ketones, ketosis, BPC, HTC….WHAT?!?!). And then, there was math and calculating all the net carbs you’d be eating. But. I kept reading the food lists of “keto approved foods” and could see foods that I would be able to eat. Okay. Yes, there are quite a few foods that you can’t eat. Mostly sugars and grains, starchy vegetables and most fruit other than berries (that had me a little concerned….it’s summer fruit season, after all….). But there was also a HUGE list of meats, cheeses, full-fat dairy, low-carb vegetables and berries. AND. BACON! How could you go wrong with that?

There was also lots of Low-carb and Keto recipes on Pinterest. So…..naturally, I added a Low-Carb Board. It’s been a great reference. Has anyone ever wondered how we kept track of blogs, articles and recipes we wanted to refer back to before Pinterest? Just wondering….

I’m not sure the diet I’m on is an actual Keto diet (I might be considered a Keto-cheater….). It is considered a low-carb diet and it seems to be working for me. So far, I’ve lost 4″ in my waist, 1″ in the belly area, 3″ in hips and 1″ in my thigh. AND. I can get into some shorts I haven’t worn in YEARS! YAY! I’m not sure if I’ve lost any pounds, as I don’t own a scale….

I’ve made a few changes to my grocery list and how I prepare food. That way, I have snacks I can eat, ready to go (so I don’t buy the junk they sell as snack food at my work). In some upcoming posts, I’ll share some of my food preparing tips, as well as some of the recipes that are a go-to for me now. Loving this Way of Eating (WOE, if you’re unfamiliar with the “lingo”)!

 

Posted in Gardening, Perennials, What to Grow?

What to Grow? Lavender!

Recently, I posted about the garden re-hab I completed. I’m getting ready to plant. Yes. I know it’s smack-dab in the middle of summer. Probably the worst time of year to plant. But. I know a few tricks (that might be a good post too?)!

Anyway,I mentioned I would post about some of my FAVORITE plants to grow. Naturally, I feel like I should start the list with Lavender (lavandula)! Here’s a few of it’s attributes:

  • Grows in full sun
  • Drought resistant (once established)
  • VERY fragrant
  • Attracts pollinators (bees, butterflies and hummingbirds)
  • Deer (and critter) resistant (that’s a must in my gardens!)
  • Easy to grow
  • LOTS of varieties
  • Some varieties can be used in cooking and baking (lavandula angustifolia)
  • Dried blooms used in many DIY projects (Just check out Pinterest….)

What’s NOT to love about this plant? If you think of anything, let me know……

Posted in Gardening

Garden Rehab

One of the things I enjoy about summer, is my gardens. They’re looking pretty good right now…..

But. I’ve made a mistake or two along the way….

This ribbon grass is the main mistake (we’ll discuss mint another day….). It started out okay. In fact, there was a time it was beautiful. Lately though, not so much. It’s my own fault. As the center started to die out, I should have been digging and dividing the living clumps. But. I didn’t and I ended up with  a lot of this….

Dead patches of the grass mixed with grassy weeds. I was sick of it! Digging all this out seemed like an unsurmountable task. There had to be a better (and quicker) way!

So, I had hubby spray it to kill it. Don’t get me wrong, I COULD have sprayed it. But. He was on a spray kick, so, why not let him do it? Then. Because he was on a weedeating kick, he whacked it down short too….

I covered the area with cardboard to prevent suppress any weed seeds/grass from sprouting.

Put the sprinkler on to wet it down.

Covered the cardboard with a mixture of soil and horse manure (since I have horses, I have lots available!).

Turned the sprinkler on again to wet everything down.

Now, I’m all ready to start planting! Because really? Isn’t that the fun part?!?!

I’ve got some plants all planned out for planting. I’ll let you know my progress. Come to think of it, I’ll share some posts on some of my favorite plants to plant! Until then…..Happy Gardening!