Hi everyone! I’m back! I took a week off from posting due to a heavy work schedule, being out of town last weekend, and oh heck, let’s blame it on the time change. I’m back to sharing Keto deliciousness.
It’s been mostly cold this week in S.C. – where did Spring go? I decided today to make myself a hearty cold-weather dish – meatloaf. But no breadcrumbs, thank you very much. When I turned to keto options, my first thought was my favorite Suzanne Ryan cookbook and guide, Simply Keto. But alas, no recipe for meatloaf. (It’s probably in her second book which I don’t have yet.) So off to a web search, and I found a recipe with Easy in the title – just my speed. Here’s the complete recipe for Easy Keto Meatloaf on KetoConnect.com.
It earns the 4 1/2 stars
This article isn’t just the recipe – it’s also a good guide to all the replacements you can use for breadcrumbs. This recipe uses chicharrones, which is a fancy way of saying pork rinds. They’re carb-free and surprisingly delicious. The recipe itself – yum. I just had it for lunch and I have to say, it earns the 4 1/2 star rating on the website. I’d give it five.
What do you do when your willpower flags and fails? Do you get right back on the Keto way of eating, or do you wallow for a bit, then gradually make you way back to it? Me: I’ve done a little bit of wallowing over the past three days. Day 1, I had a small slip. Day 2, I said to heck with it at lunch and had a roll. Then snacks off the snack table at work. Then I threw Keto out entirely and chowed down on bread, bread and more bread at dinner, waking up the next day feeling awful. Day 3 – yesterday: I got it together and once again got back on my program.
Dust yourself off, forward ho!
That was a much quicker recovery than I’ve ever experienced before! In all my years of trying new diets, staying on diets, falling off diets, and getting back on diets – I’ve NEVER been able to get right back on my program the day after a big slip. What is helping me is realizing how much I like this way of eating. Plus, ketogenic eating, when done right, does suppress your appetite. All that fat satiates you!
In recovering this time, I decided to do something positive and scour the Web for inspiration. I chuckled at these memes, which I’m sharing below. The first is a good reminder from Mechelle Sellers:
I adore these “liturgical mysteries.” They’re not about the dogmas or doctrines of the church; they’re about all the crazy characters in a small N.C. mountain town. Everyone from a small-town police chief/choir director who dreams of being the next Raymond Chandler, to the belly-dancing waitress/town mayor. It’s a hoot. This one is perfect for the lead-up to St. Patrick’s and during Lent – because the characters are going through the same season.
What did you recently finish reading?
I’ve loved each book I read in the Liturgical Mystery series. “The Organist Wore Pumps” is the eighth time organist/choir director Hayden Konig gets to investigate a crime – when he’s not trying to write hard-boiled detective fiction in the manner of Raymond Chandler. Oh, and he’s also the town’s chief of police. It all works out with a cast of characters every bit as lovable and eccentric as those in Mitford. It’s a cosy read, just perfect for relaxing with after a long day at work.
This wonderful book has caused me to rethink the way I eat. I posted a full review earlier this week.
What do you think you’ll read next?
I am trying to get to around to reading Dante’s Purgatory. But I’ve just not been ready to put aside my cosy mysteries. Perhaps next week!
To stay as keto-friendly as possible, I’ve put away my beautiful KitchenAid Artisan Stand mixer in Empire Red away for the time being. It no longer lives on the countertop, encouraging me to create cakes or just mix up a batch of biscuits. I’m focusing on meats, chicken, fish, green veggies and healthy fats during this season of Keto focus. The wonderful creations from my kitchen using that mixer are giving way to ever-more elaborate omelets. I’ve started playing with herbs to flavor my food as well. And the steaks – oh, the steaks. There will be an entirely different post for that.
All images by Dall-E
Dedicated Keto bakers have engineered some Keto-recipes for making Keto-friendly biscuits, bread, and cakes. I might just have to try this recipe using almond flour and cheese to make a Southern biscuit. But I’m afraid if I start making all these delicious-looking goodies, I’ll done two things:
Blow my budget on almond flour, and
Blow my daily caloric allowance on bread, instead of veggies and healthy meats.
Letting others do the baking
In the meantime, today is my mother’s birthday, and I’ve decided to surprise her with a cake from one of my favorite bakeries in town: Kudzu Bakery. Their cakes are beautiful and not too sweet. They did a wonderful job on my dad’s birthday carrot cake in January. Her chocolate mousse cake will make a lovely dessert for after the birthday supper. Happy Birthday, Mom!
In the past few weeks I was overwhelmed with responsibilities both at work and at home. Besides that, I was getting ready for two trips on two consecutive weekends. I didn’t leave myself time at all to carefully plan my meals and cook them. That manifested in my plea to readers a few days ago for quick and easy meals.
In the last two days, I’ve started reading the book I bought at All Good Books, our new bookstore in town (only 4 miles from me.) “We Are What We Eat” by Alice Waters, owner and chef at the famed Chez Panisse, is subtitled “A Slow Food Manifesto.” I’m only halfway through the book and I’m already inspired. Waters makes you want to slow down, to break the cycle of our fast food mentality and culture, and draw pleasure from the craft of making our daily sustenance.
The Fast Food Culture
Waters devotes the first half of the book to outlining seven terrible aspects of fast food. By that, she doesn’t mean just our reliance on chain restaurants offering burgers and tacos, but any way of providing food that is mass produced, in factory or industrial settings, with herbicides and pesticides. Fast food is its own culture, and like any culture, it has certain values. After reading this first half of the book, I can sense she thinks of them almost as seven deadly sins to healthy eating: Convenience, uniformity, availability, trust in advertising, cheapness, “more is better” and speed.
Convenience – ever since the first Swanson frozen TV dinner was introduced in the 50s, every food manufacturer has been selling us convenience. And convenience does have a place: Waters released this book in 2021, during the 2nd wave of the COVID pandemic, and people were relying on all sorts of conveniences: UberEATS in particular. But the uniformity of mass-produced food has led us all to be suspicious of the local, the new, the unfamiliar. And availability: today, we think all foods should be on hand everywhere, at all times! Seasonality is a foreign concept. Our way of cooking in America has relied on a trust in advertising, that we accept that these factory-produced foods are actually good, and the producers have our best interests at heart. Hah! Cheapness and “more is better” – can there be any values that typify the biggie size fast-food meal?
All of these resonate, but the last spoke to me in particular. Why are we trying to save so much time by not cooking? By not shopping for our own food? I’ve learned over the past few months, as I’ve prepared Keto meals, that cooking can be a relaxing time. By spending time in the kitchen, I’m not spending time on my phone, doom-scrolling as I wait for the Uber EATS delivery person. I can control what I eat and how I cook it. I’m learning to be more creative in preparing my meals. None of this, rightly approached, is a burden. Instead, it is a return to “slow living” after the hectic pace of my day. I’m so looking forward to finishing this book; to finding out how Waters describes the international slow food movement and read of her discoveries in being part of it.
Confidential to all my new followers looking for Keto posts: Don’t worry – there will be another post about a Keto recipe tomorrow! In the meantime, enjoy my other main interest: finding good books to read.
This week a new bookstore opened in the Five Points shopping village of Columbia. I immediately had to go and spend money on more books. Even though I have approximately eleventy-million unread books at home I want to read. Besides, I supported them in the Kickstarter to make this bookstore happen. I have a vested interest in making sure All Good Books succeeds.
When you walk in the quote about all good books from Hemingway greets you.
Lots of books and comfy chairs
The new bookstore has a LOT of room – I was trying not to attract too much attention with my pictures, so I didn’t get photos of the adorable kids’ area and the cafe. Or the patio out back. There’s a communal study table in one of the back rooms. And there are lovely places to curl up with a book throughout the store – like the window seat in the front, or chairs scattered throughout the shop.
I picked up a copy of We Are What We Eat: A Slow Food Manifesto by Alice Waters. She is the famous chef behind Chez Panisse. I also picked up a copy of On Booze, a collection of writings on what else, alcohol, by F. Scott Fitzgerald. That will make the perfect birthday gift for a friend of mine who is a noted connoisseur of cocktails. I’m already planning my next trip!
Today was a wonderful day to take off and work in the yard. I’ve been telling myself for SO LONG that I will do something about the miserable, sad, overgrown, messy area around my mailbox. Today I made it happen. I picked up all the half-buried brick edgers, scraped away all the pieces of tarp, magnolia leaves, and junk, and put a new system of faux rocks in a ring around the mailbox. Next up: buying some nice new numbers for the mailbox, then in April transplanting part of the lantana in the backyard to grow in the circle. And maybe, just maybe, doing something to allow a morning glory to grow up and down the mailbox pole. We’ll see. One step at a time!
Moving to next project
By the time I got the mailbox done (and toting and hauling all those heavy bricks) I was pooped. And I had accumulated almost 10,000 steps by 10 a.m.! But I did have enough energy left to overhaul the bare hanging flower basket on the fence leading to the backyard.
Lately my work schedule has been so vigorous that I’ve come home exhausted from the office. On work-from-home days I’ve trudged wearily down the hall to the kitchen at dinnertime. Tonight was a good example; fortunately, I had leftover burger patties with cheese melted on top. But sometimes, you’re just too tired to cook. I’ve done deviled eggs to death; I’ve snacked on hunks of cheddar cheese, and when I’m tired, I don’t even have it in me to pull together a salad.
Readers: What do you suggest?
What are your quick Keto go-to’s on those days when you’re too tired to cook? How do you keep from scarfing down potato chips or anything else full of carbs? I’m at the point where I’m starting to think skipping dinner is good – and I’m sure that will just cause me to overdo at the next meal. Please let me know your suggestions for very quick keto-friendly dinners in the comments.
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the first seven books in the Liturgical Mystery series, and now I’m happy to finally get back to it. “The Organist Wore Pumps” is the eighth time organist/choir director Hayden Konig gets to investigate a crime – when he’s not trying to write hard-boiled detective fiction in the manner of Raymond Chandler. Oh, and he’s also the town’s chief of police. It all works out with a cast of characters every bit as lovable and eccentric as those in Mitford.
The Gentleman Farmers read like a cosy, but without a murder! So I suppose it wasn’t a real cozy after all. The heroine, Maggie Kingsbury, is the narrator of the tale. Actually, the book is presented as her diary or journal – she’s continually saying she’ll burn the manuscript after she says something embarrassing about a family member. The novel begins in the “Old World” – upstate New York of recent years, beset by falling home prices, rising crime, and worsening quality of life. Maggie recounts how she’s spent her life in her hometown, which is turning into a slum. After being mugged, Maggie’s sister Molly and her husband, Maggie’s friend Kevin, set off for the “New World” – a gentleman’s farm outside Asheville, N.C. The second half of the book focuses on how the three, with Molly and Kevin’s children, set up on their 10-acre “family compound” with hens, sheep, and goats. Everything that can go wrong does – and then, Maggie is accused of being a Nazi, because she defends a monument of Robert E. Lee. How the sisters and Kevin become true “Gentlemen Farmers” will captivate and charm you.
Robert Velarde imagined an ill man, lying in a hospital bed, suddenly seeing and having conversations with C.S. Lewis. The story borrows elements from Dicken’s Christmas Carol, as Lewis serves the protagonist as his Spirit of the Past. Lewis takes Clerk through scenes from his life, into scenes from his imagination – Narnia, Purgatory, and even Hell. All throughout he talks with Clerk, an atheist, and presents to Clerk his beliefs in the Christian faith. A beautiful work of apologetics – one any Christian could lend or give to an atheist or agnostic friend.
What do you think you’ll read next?
Long ago I read Dante’s Inferno. Then I put started Purgatory and put it down at the seventh canto. I figured Lent is a good time to finish it.