Keto

Day 5 of a Keto Week

Leftovers everywhere!

The dishes I made this week gave me a LOT of leftovers. I’ve still got Keto Chili, Egg, Bacon, Broccoli and Cheese Muffins, Baked Chicken, homemade Caesar Dressing, and even Roast Beef. The Keto Chili is even better two days later. So today – I didn’t make anything new; I just enjoyed leftover Keto Chili. So, no new pictures today: look for a new dish review tomorrow!

Cooking · Hobbies · Keto

Day 4 of a Keto Week

It was a great day…

Today I had the luxury of working at home, and enough time to make a delicious lunch and dinner. Lunch was lovely – another Chicken Caesar salad with homemade Caesar dressing. I chopped everything up so I could easily gobble it up. Dinner was a little more “done” – I made a homemade Alfredo sauce to go over my cooked chicken. (I didn’t have any basil, so the Creamy Pesto Sauce was a non-starter.) Let me take you through the steps, to the finished process. Oh, and it goes without saying that this wonderful recipe for Alfredo Sauce came from the indispensable cookbook, Simply Keto. (It’s my new cooking bible!)

First – the cast of characters for this lovely dish. Doesn’t everyone partition their butter by tablespoon? Next to that, cream cheese, half and half, garlic, parmesan, oregano and All ‘Round Good Grinder Blend.
First step, after chopping garlic: brown the garlic briefly in melted butter.
Next, take the cubes of cream cheese and melt that in the butter/garlic mixture.
After you’ve constantly stirred and stirred, the cream cheese starts to break down.
Next, add creamy half and half. It’s hard to take a picture of that while you’re doing it. So, please make do with this shot of what the sauce looks like as you add the freshly grated parmesan.
Finally the seasoning: add oregano and salt and pepper – or Good Grinder Blend, like me!
The delicious final dish. (My attempts at plate artistry need work.)

Verdict: a winner

This Keto-friendly sauce made my chicken the perfect comfort food for a cold winter night. I may need lessons in plate artistry, but the sauce was creamy, buttery, cheesy, and oh-so-comforting. And what you see on the plate is 1/4 cup – the recommended serving! I have so much sauce left over in the fridge. I can’t wait to try it on zoodles, broccoli, and as the base for a creamy pesto sauce! This was a 10. I heartily recommend it to you.

blogging · me · Gratitude · Hobbies · Keto

Day 3 of a Keto Week

And a note to my new followers

If you’ve just subscribed or followed; Hi! Delighted to have you along. I must explain my plan behind this blog. Not every post will be about cooking or the Keto way of life. Keto is just one of three sections of this site, as you see from the top navigation menu:

I’m also very much into Books and Gardening. And in the weeks to come, I’ll probably add a Writing section as well. So, if later today you see a post that isn’t about Keto at all – well, just skip over that if you want! Or enjoy – up to you.

Day 3 – Danger!

Today could have been better, but it also could have been MUCH worse. I took my Keto Chili to work and that was delicious. But work ran long, and I got home late – with only about 15 minutes to spare before Bible Study group with the ladies of my church. There, I succumbed to the lure of pigs-in-blankets. And two munchkins (donut holes.) It could have been so much worse, but not by much! Ah me. Tomorrow is a new day and a new attempt to eat and live the Keto way.

Keto · Uncategorized

Day 2 of a Keto Week

A little bit harder

I should know better than to even look at the snacks at a work event. But when I saw the huge spread for our division’s annual meeting, I immediately started filling my plate with pita chips, spinach dip, and a couple of pigs in blankets. BUT: I did not drink any full-calorie soda (and oh, was I tempted.) Small victories!

Some victories too

Like yesterday, I made my Bullet-Proof Coffee last all morning, until noon. It’s so filling I don’t even feel hungry until noon. And the best victory today was taking a new recipe to work: Broccoli, Bacon, Cheese, and Egg Muffins. Sorry, no link – you’ll have to go to the Simply Keto cookbook to get this recipe. (The book is SO worth it!)

The recipe makes six muffins, and they are filling and delicious! Two muffins make a serving, so you have plenty. I just put the leftovers in a ziplock bag in the frig so I can enjoy them later. 9 out of 10; definitely recommend! And you can find many other ideas for keto breakfasts on Suzanne’s Simply Keto website, including this list of five Keto Breakfast ideas and especially this one, which I’m going to try: BLT Breakfast Salad.

Hope you’re all having a wonderful Keto week! Tomorrow, I think I’ll be enjoying some Keto chili leftovers for lunch (yes, just checked the menu plan) and a lovely Creamy Pesto Chicken.

Cooking · Keto

Day 1 of a Keto Week: Delicious

It wasn’t hard at all to get back to eating the Keto way when the dishes I made today were so good. Prep yesterday on Sunday afternoon made all the difference. But first I kept my fast going by enjoying only my special coffee.

Bullet-proof coffee

At 5:30 a.m. I’m not thinking about taking pictures of my BPC. Because I forgot, I’ll just post a picture below from the lowcarbyum website, with its own BPC recipe. Unlike that one, all I add is MCT oil and butter. I finish it by frothing with a milk frother (so much fun!) Then I enjoy.

Lunch – Light for a workday break

Today I took some of the chicken I cooked yesterday and made a terrific Chicken Caesar Salad from the Simply Keto cookbook. I even made the dressing from scratch. The addition of avocado adds needed fats as well as creaminess, and the homemade dressing was a creamy pleasure. I will follow the optional recommendation of adding 1 tsp of MCT oil to thin the dressing a bit the next time I make it. Score: 9.5 out of 10 – would recommend!

Dinner: warm and perfect

The Keto Chili recipe from Simply Keto was full of yummy pork sausage and ground beef. I loved the mix of cumin and chili powder and didn’t miss beans at all. The recipe makes six portions, and I think I helped myself to two portions tonight in one very large bowl – it was so good! Adding some sour cream and grated cheddar made it even better. This is a home run. Definitely recommend – 9 out of 10.

Snacks

Nothing special today; I didn’t have time! Instead, Atkins peanut butter cups (1 net carb each) to the rescue.

Cooking · Keto

Keto Prep is tiring…

…Or maybe I’m just not fully recovered from my cold last week. But I’ve been cooking all afternoon to get at least some of my recipes ready. I also cooked a grass-fed eye of round roast for lunch today. Now I have extra food for the week!

Besides the roast, I prepped Keto Chili, which is full of beef AND pork, tomatoes, bell peppers, onions and garlic. It’s now simmering away in the crock pot. Can’t wait to try this. Click the link above to go to the recipe on the creator Suzanne Ryan’s site “Keto Karma.” I also did prep work for the Creamy Pesto Chicken and Chicken Caesar Salad. Actually, I’ll just be having Creamy Alfredo Chicken – as I was making my shopping list I realized: it is February; I’m not getting fresh basil unless I want to pay an arm and a leg. I’ll save the pesto sauce for this summer when I can just walk outside into my herb garden and pick my own.

Pictures to come of my lovely meals this week!

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Pexels.com
Cooking · Keto

Planning a Keto Week

It is time to get serious. I have had so much success with Keto, but frankly, January has been a bust (so far.) I’m putting on my project planner hat and getting organized. I’m mapping out five days’ worth of meals, starting next Monday, that will help me be stay on this way of eating. Each meal has to be pleasing, delicious, and fixed fast.

We don’t need no stinking breakfast

This is my modified form of intermittent fasting: I have a 17-hour window between my last meal of the previous day, and the first meal of the next. I finish dinner around 6:30 p.m., so my lunch is at 11:30 a.m. If I leave it till noon, I get cranky. All I have in the morning is Bullet-Proof Coffee (which is also a good lip moisturizer. All that MCT oil!)

Something easy to grab at midday

On the two days a week I go to the office, I like to think I’m going to grab a salad from the salad bar, but often I don’t. What makes me happier (and much more satisfied) is bringing in a dish from home. It can be leftovers from last night, or something I’ve made special for lunches. Anything full of protein is good!

Dinner has to be easy too

Let’s face it: I’m not going to come home and start cooking an intricate meal that takes an hour to prep and longer to cook. I need something that’s no more from 30 minutes from start to plate. I’ve learned over the years: cook ahead of time and reheat. Or cook double recipes. Do something that shaves time off nightly meal prep when I’m tired out from the day at work, and I have more things going on at night.

Let’s plan it out

BreakfastLunchDinnerLate Snack
MondayBPCChicken Caesar SaladKeto ChiliKeto Hot Chocolate
TuesdayBPCBroccoli, Bacon & Cheese
Egg Muffins
Filet Mignon w/Gorgonzola SauceAtkins snack
WednesdayBPCKeto ChiliCreamy Pesto ChickenChia pudding
ThursdayBPCChicken Caesar SaladBroccoli, Bacon & Cheese
Egg Muffins
Atkins snack
FridayBPCCreamy Pesto ChickenParmesan-crusted Salmon BakeChocolate Chip
Mug Cake
I don’t plan out Saturday and Sunday because I have more time to cook on those days.

Check back for how I did!

I can’t wait to make these dishes. They just sound fun, filling, and tasty. Every dish above (except for the Atkins snacks, of course) is from my new cookbook, Simply Keto, by Suzanne Ryan. I’ll be posting lots of pictures and text about how each dish turned out.

blogging · Hobbies · Writing

The Joy of Writing

Isn’t that a book already? Actually it is – a memoir by Pierre Berton. I hope he gave a tip of the hat to Joy of Cooking author Irma Rombauer for the inspiration.

Expressing yourself

Writing has always been my favorite way of communicating. I like it better than even speaking on the phone to someone. I think better when I’m either putting fingers to a keyboard or setting a pen to paper. It gives me the opportunity to think linearly and logically, when I wish to write non-creatively: pick the topic, add sentences supporting your position or thoughts, give evidence, persuade or inspire.

But I also love playing with words. I was one of those funny kids who loved learning about words in school – where did they come from; how did they get their present shape? When I discovered the Oxford English Dictionary, with its complete etomology of each and every word in the language, I was transfixed. Why do we use certain synonyms? I loved learning all the different flavors of a word. I can hear my friends now saying, why do you have to use the word frank when the word candid will do? Or any of the other synonyms that convey open, sincere, honest, or plainspoken? Because! I’d shake my head – don’t they understand the connotations? Don’t they hear the music of the word? Sometimes you need one, sometimes the other.

How I got started

It was in third grade that we all starting writing stories for our English class each week. Our teacher would give us a topic or question, and we’ll all write a page. (A ‘prompt’ in writers’ jargon.) I’ll never forget one essay I composed: I wish I had a money tree. I kept it for years, along with all my other papers, thus getting a jump start on my lifetime of hoarding books. Looking back at it I was appalled at my sheer greed and sloth: I ended the page saying I would just eat and read all day. Actually, that does sound like my idea of heaven right now!

Later on, I kept writing – both for the high school newspaper and the college paper. The only story from those years I remember is the feature I did on the ducks that lived on the Thomas Cooper Library pond at USC. Later there were freelance articles in newspapers and magazines in Columbia and Savannah. Then I spent two glorious years writing for a small weekly paper, before I went on to be an editor at a daily.

Starting this blog

Over 20 years ago I went corporate, starting by doing communications work. Then I got into the web game, and corporate life became a string of projects, analysis, testing, and usability work. Shortly after completing a masters in 2010, I decided it was time to start a blog so I could write again. At the beginning, it was random day-to-day happenings, more diary than journal or newsletter. And lots of cat pictures.

Fits and starts

I kept it going fairly regularly for about four years; then, life got in the way. Back in 2022 I re-started and did fairly well. But this year: this is the year I’ve dedicated the blog to only four topics, all revolving around my special interests: Books (including writing, literature, and just plain fun reads); my new Keto Journey and my love of cooking (with lots of fun pictures!), and Gardening. I’m dedicated different areas of the top navigation to those categories, and I’ll be blogging more frequently on each topic.

Next up: Masterclass

My newest strategy: taking lessons from some of the world’s best. My membership in Masterclass is giving me access to some best-selling authors. I want to explore how do they handle the problems of fleshing out a character in fiction? How do they write compelling openings, that draw a reader in and make them want to spend time with the people in the book? When you’re reading, it’s as if you’re entering that character’s world, or as if you’ve invited that character to come over to your house, sit on your couch and chat for a while. How can I make people want to spend time with my characters? So off to Masterclass I go. Now, my biggest question – do I choose Judy Blume‘s or Amy Tan‘s class? Or perhaps Neil Gaiman? Good thing the membership is for a year. I can and will do all three.

Introspection · Keto · me

Restarting Keto

Isn’t life just one step forward, two steps back?

Stopping Keto for even the two feast days of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day blew up my keto success. I was doing so well! But the carbs of Christmas came calling… and didn’t stop calling through Epiphany. And then I got sick, sick, sick for over a week – and all I could stand to swallow was cool refreshing orange juice, ginger ale, and moose tracks ice cream. None of which are on any Keto plan.

Today, though – I finished the last of the ginger ale. The last of the orange juice disappeared yesterday. I threw away so much bad stuff getting the trash ready for pickup this week. And tomorrow morning – I set out again on this Keto journey of 22 grams of carbs a day. My poor chubby body will go into shock.

Fortunately, a friend recently sent me a new cookbook full of keto recipes – Simply Keto by Suzanne Ryan. I have an accountability partner – I can do this! Anyone who says otherwise doesn’t realize what I’ve already accomplished. It’s not over – I’m just beginning again.

Books · Hobbies · Introspection · just plain fun · me

The Joy of Book Club

Yes, you read that right. Book Club! (Or as I misspelled it in a DM to a friend, “boom club.” That did make it sound more enticing!) I joined my current group about a year or so before the Big Disruption – COVID-19. That shot our monthly meetings all to heck and gone – we didn’t meet again for over 18 months, I think. Days, weeks, months, all flow together in my brain.

A focused group

I love that that the group I joined goes in depth on the works of a select few writers: C.S. Lewis, J.R.R.Tolkien, Hugo Dyson, Charles Williams – all the writers that met together as “The Inklings.” The Columbia book club is named “The Inklings” in homage to them. This winter we started reading The Magician’s Nephew, from the Chronicles of Narnia series. I loved reading these books, and can’t wait to see how we’ll draw on the themes that this book begins to illuminate even in the first two chapters: a person’s character, honor, our responsibility to others, and more. Plus, the color illustrations by Pauline Baynes in the 2001 edition are beautiful.

The color plates inside are delightful.

Junk reading: the cotton candy of the brain

Of course I don’t read only literary fiction. I’m not finishing up some of the weighty tomes that I listed in a previous post last summer. In fact, I’m buying trashy non-fiction and fiction books and gobbling them up like popcorn and Milk Duds at the cineplex.

And I’m not fooling anyone by hiding them on my Kindle. In fact, that’s one of the two reasons I bought a Kindle. I first decided to buy one after I started running out of bookshelves, counter space, end table space, and floor space to stack books. Once I had it, I realized I could hide those unauthorized celebrity biographies, wacky sci-fi, dystopian end-of-the-world fantasies, polemical screeds, and the Twilight series on the Kindle. Oh, how I wish I was kidding about that last one. Several hours of my life that I’ll never get back.