Cooking · Keto

You don’t have to give up pancakes

Being on keto makes me miss certain things. I have missed the crunch of toast, the glories of brioche, and the lovely smell of pancakes. So it was time to hunt for a keto-friendly recipe for pancakes.

I had to print it on paper because I’ve come too close to tragedy before in the kitchen. I wasn’t about to risk my phone near sloppy pancake batter.

The recipe called for both almond and coconut flour. Luckily, I had stocked up on both from Amazon. I was anxious making the cakes, because nearly everything I’ve tasted from a store that was “keto-friendly” was garbage.

Happy to report – this was NOT garbage. The pancakes definitely tasted different from regular pancakes, but I enjoyed the slight nutty flavor. (I just realized, duh, they’re made with almonds, of course they’re nutty!)

I’m not sure if it was the recipe or my stove, but the cakes seemed to come out browner than usual. And I was so hungry I only got pictures of the first one on the plate! I definitely ate more than one.

A gallery of goodness

Just starting to bubble.
After the flip.
Topped with butter, the foundation of the short stack contrasts beautifully with a blue plate.
Cooking · Keto

Staying on keto…

…When you’re too tired to cook.

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?

Perhaps ham and cheese rollups for supper?

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.

Cooking · Keto

Tools for Keto Living

Making Keto dishes is easier with these.

Keto living means upping your fat intake – and that’s easy to do when you love cheese as much as I do. (One of my friends is giving up cheese for Lent – he’s made of stronger stuff than I am.) I’m eating slices of cheese by themselves, when I’m not grating or shredding cheese into every dish I can. What’s an omelet without cheese?

To make my dishes sing, I’ve been looking for the right tools. That old-fashioned box grater I was gifted from my mother still works beautifully, but it is a pain to clean. After a little looking around on Ebay I found the answer: a Holland cheese slicer, with painted scene on the handle. Both functional and stylish. In the words of William Morris, “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” It doesn’t so much slice the cheese as grates it in thin strips.

I love the handpainted scene of the windmill.

And then there’s the ultimate shredding tool: the Microplane grater. Could I have shredded Parmesan before I got this? Yes, but it was large strips, not the fine shreds I wanted. And zest – forget it. My grocery story zester smushed every peel I tried to zest. If you want quality, yes, you will have to pay for it. But this tool has paid for itself. I love finely shredded Parmesan over salads, soups, and in so many dishes. The Microplane makes it happen.

The perfect shredder/zester, lying against the perfect block cheese slicer.
Cooking · Keto

Planning Keto meals

Didn’t I just plan Keto meals for a week?

It’s that time again … time to set myself up for a good week of Keto Living by planning ahead and shopping conscientiously. It feels like I do this all the time! Now that I’m doing Keto, I’m cooking at home more than ever. So, time to plan out some menus. As always, I’m turning to my new favorite cookbook, Simply Keto.

Shopping my freezer

I’ve got so much meat from my last Butcher Box delivery that I need to use up. More filet mignons mean I’m making Filet Mignon with Gorgonzola Sauce! Other dishes I’m going to re-make this week:

  • Keto Crackers
  • Twice-Baked Cauliflower Casserole (it’s the faux potato dish I love so much)
  • Keto Chili

New recipes I’m going to try this week include:

  • Keto Beef Stroganoff (from the Keto Karma website.)
  • Grilled Parmesan Chicken Wings (gotta use all those wings in the freezer!)
  • Sunny Side Up Burgers

Here’s to a week of happy eating!

Cooking · Keto

Something nice to snack on

Keto crackers

Sometimes, you just have an itch that fat or protein won’t scratch. Another fat bomb won’t do. And eating yet another devilled egg doesn’t appeal either. Sometimes, you just want a cracker. To the rescue – once again, my new Bible of Keto cooking, Suzanne Ryan’s “Simply Keto” cookbook. (Seriously – go buy this book!) I found her Keto crackers recipe – and it offers two ways of making these wonderful snacks. I choose the cheese cracker option. They don’t even need dip. They’re delicious all by themselves. See below for my photo essay of my first attempt to make these crackers.

The ingredients

Garlic powder, almond flour, cheddar cheese, salt. Oh, and you’ll add an egg yolk.
My lack of prep forced me to use the wrong type of paper. You need parchment paper!
As you can see, no parchment paper meant using Pam. And my squares don’t look anything like the book!
But the crackers turned out beautifully – only six minutes in the oven.
Finished! Verdict: Yum.
Cooking · Keto

Keto “faux” potatoes?

Yes, you can!

Ah, the cauliflower. As writer Rod Dreher once said, it’s the “Sansabelt slacks of vegetables” fit only to scoop up dips. But to someone following the Ketogenetic way of eating, the cauliflower is a lifesaver. With just a little prep, you can fool yourself into thinking you’re eating mashed potatoes! Let me show you how my attempt at making Faux Mashed Potatoes – from Suzanne Ryan’s Simply Keto cookbook, turned out. Spoiler: It was delicious.

Measure out your “mash” ingredients (beside cauliflower)

Three cheeses: cream, parmesan, and cheddar.

Time to cook!

Ready for the oven and done

The big finish

Cooking · Keto

Going to the Devil with Keto…

…with delicious Devilled Eggs

I love devilled eggs for many reasons: 1) they’re delicious 2) I’m a Southern lady and I’ve grown up on these and 3) they’re Keto-friendly! Staying with the ketogenic diet after the first flush of enthusiasm is hard. In my search for snacks I could eat without fear (oh, how I miss popcorn and chips) I found that devilled eggs were a good bet. (And pork rinds, but that’s another story.)

Everyone loves it when you bring devilled eggs to a party. They’re one of the first things to disappear, and you never have to worry about carrying home any leftovers. At one of the Christmas parties last season, I took “Secret Ingredient Stuffed Eggs” from the Taste of Home website. They were delicious, if not exactly keto-friendly; the secret ingredient was mango chutney, along with pecans and goat cheese.

I had to get a picture before they were all gone at the party. The eggs went fast.

Eggs everywhere

When I was looking for more devilled egg recipes (you can never have enough) I found entire blog posts related to the history of devilled eggs. Turns out scholars trace them all the way back to the Romans. While I was out looking, I found other bloggers who were coming up with their own wonderful recipes. I can’t wait to try Bandriachuk’s Devilled Eggs (Harissa Option) from the site “A Runny Egg on Top.” Love that name!

One of my favorite cookbooks, packed full of fun anecdotes, is “Being Dead is No Excuse: The Official Southern Ladies’ Guide to Hosting the Perfect Funeral. In that book they use the term “Stuffed Eggs” also – and point out that this snack lets you know a funeral is on the way.

Stuffed eggs are associated so closely with death that any time you see the lady of the house getting down the egg plate, you might well ask, “Who died?”

-Being Dead is No Excuse, page 77.

I tried the author’s Sweet Stuffed Eggs (page 81) with the secret ingredient of Durkee’s Famous Sauce. Yum! Another time I was making just ye old standard stuffed eggs with mayo and Dijion mustard. I found out at the last minute I was completely out of paprika for that time-honored topping. But – I had a bottle of Tajin in the cupboard – and soon I had wonderful spicy eggs!

I went light on the Tajin the first time – next time I’ll add a little more.
Cooking · Keto

Satisfying my sweet tooth with Keto

There’s always room for a sweet

I love how Keto keeps you full and satisfied, but my sweet tooth is the one thing that can cause me to fall off my Keto plan. This past weekend I knew I’d have more time to cook, and I also knew I’d be hungry for dessert. Good thing that Suzanne Ryan’s cookbook Simply Keto has a good dessert section in it. This weekend I chose to make Chia Seed Pudding, Chocolate Chip Mug Cakes and Keto Hot Chocolate.

Chia Seed Pudding

This one didn’t look like much in my dessert dishes, but it tasted spectacular. The key is preparing it the day before; you have to let the chia seeds soak in the almond milk and Swerve (sugar substitute) overnight. When you pull the container out of the frig, the plump chia seeds have settled to the bottom. I put the mix in my Nutribullet jar, so after a quick stir 30-seconds in the Nutribullet made this a creamy, thick pudding. The recipe made two servings, so I have one left in the fridge.

It matches the granite countertop! Not a look you want, but it tasted delicious.

Making homemade mug cake

I love how easy this cake is to make. I pictured most of the steps below. I forgot to take a picture of adding the Lily’s Baking Chocolate Chips because I was hungry and ready to get this in the microwave then in my mouth.

Just add butter, avocado oil and an egg, then the chocolate chips (not pictured!) and microwave for one minute
Finished Cooking! The mug was so big it makes the cake look small.

Delicious hot cocoa

This was the perfect comfort food for a cold, rainy winter night. Definitely my favorite of the three!

Started by stirring the Hershey’s unsweetened cocoa into the almond milk.
This is the result on the stove – doesn’t it look wonderful!
I added a little whipped cream to the top. Delicious!
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.

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.


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