1/27/13

SO many idea's for Super Bowl (the Big Game) Get Togethers


This morning I was sipping my coffee and thinking about Super Bowl parties, menu's, foods...   I started to come up with menu's except... I kept remembering more and more great recipes I've posted that would be perfect as well.  And too, when I would click on the recipe on my site, I would see the recommended recipes under that post and see yet another one that looked like a great choice.  The list of foods was getting too long to be useful!

In the end, I realized I had too many great ideas.  I've been posting to my website for 7 years.  I have thousands of recipes.  So, in the end, I grabbed a few idea's, put them in the image above to get you started, and thought I would just point out that I have labels in the right side bar to help your search, as well as a site search that you can type in any search word you wish.   I've now made myself very, very hungry. 














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1/26/13

Sugar Free 7 Minute Frosting


This is my favorite style frosting for chocolate cake and cupcakes. It's a fluffy, marshmallow-like frosting and I love the way the flavors meld with the chocolate flavored cakes.  You need to use it right away though, and try to keep it covered with a damp cloth if you can't.  As it dries quickly due to egg whites.   You can make this with pure sugar - as most people do, but it turns out great using a sugar free granular sugar substitute.  I tend to use Swerve or Ideal when I make it.  If you use a powdered Erythritol, you may want to add a few drops of liquid sweetener.


Sugar Free 7 Minute Frosting

2 egg whites
1 1/2 c sugar substitute (like Ideal)
1/4 t cream of tartar
1/3 c cold water
1 1/2 t vanilla (clear if you have it otherwise, regular is fine)

Put everything in a glass or metal bowl that just fits inside a saucepan but is wider on top so the bowl hovers and doesn't sit on the bottom of the pan. Bring a saucepan of water to a slow boil/simmer, place the bowl into the saucepan and let the water simmer under the bowl as you mix with an electric hand mixer. As the egg cooks it will thicken. It will take about 7 minutes of mixing. Sometimes as the mixture gets hot and starts to thicken I remove the bowl from the saucepan and finish mixing it on the counter which seems to work fine too. It's ready when the mixture forms stiff peaks when you lift the beaters. Use immediately to frost cakes or cupcakes. 




Some products I used in the above recipes;


PER THE COMMENTS/QUESTIONS BELOW:

Great recipe! I have one question, the 1/3c of cold water is part of the ingredients or is just for the pan? thanks!!!!


Yes the 1/3 cup water is part of the recipe.  The amount of water you use in your pan depends on the size of the bowl you have and the pan you use.  Usually about 1-2 inches of water in the pan (and if you are not American; then of course centimeters - as many you need)

another question, the t means tablespoon o teaspoon?

In American cooking a little "t" always means teaspoon while a capital "T" mean tablespoon. 
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1/23/13

A Healthier Alternative to Pizza (while we are doing lower carb and sugar free)




If you are a frequent reader of An American Housewife, then you know that for the last 15 years, our family has enjoyed 'pizza night' every weekend that was always coupled with "family movie night".   However, pizza crust is not exactly healthy and is full of carbs. 

While I'm still working to find and perfect a pizza crust recipe that I can use when we are low carbing, (I've tried many but have yet to 'love' one of them)...  I found these flat breads at my local grocery that I think worked perfectly.  I'm thrilled with the results.  I also read all the labels on the pizza sauces available and managed to find one with only 1 gram sugar and 3 carbs so be sure to read your labels.  There are some good ones out there.

The Flat Out flat breads come in a 'light' version and after the dietary fiber is subtracted, it leaves 5 g carbs.  No sugar.  I made individual pizza's out of them (mine has the green olives on it in the photo above - yum!) and half a pizza was more than enough to fill me up!  And although I easily put away 3 or even 4 pieces of regular pizza when I'm really hungry, half of this flat bread pizza filled me up.  I couldn't finish the whole thing - so it is filling and delicious. 



Pizza

Flat breads
mozzarella cheese
pepperoni, olives, peppers, etc. to top your pizza
sauce - lowest sugar and carbs you can find

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Spread a thin layer of sauce over the flat bread.  Top with your favorite toppings.  Place on a pizza stone or pizza pan and bake until golden brown on top and crisp on the bottom, depending on your oven.  Ours ran about 7-8 minutes.




















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1/22/13

Shrimp Taco's or Fish Taco's - I made both (with Low Carb Shrimp Taco Option too!)

Shrimp taco's -the shrimp are hiding under the lettuce! You can only see two here.

Yesterday I opened the freezer compartment and saw 5 bags of shrimp in various sizes and styles.  Like cheese, banana's and coffee, my mind must automatically tell me to pick up shrimp on every grocery shopping trip; convinced we are out and we need it - even if my 'list' doesn't say it.  What's for dinner?  Shrimp it was. 

Although shrimp scampi and shrimp alfredo came to mind, what I decided on was shrimp taco's.   For the recipe, I used the fish taco marinade I blogged about a few months ago, just doing a couple simple substitutions to make it low carb, sugar free friendly since we are doing that right now.  I used about a pound of shrimp and also added 2 filet's of Tilapia so we had a choice of fish or shrimp.   My daughter had regular flour tortillas, while my husband and I used the La Banderita low carb versions (my favorite.  I'll put a link to them in Amazon at the bottom if you can't find them at your local store).



Fish or Shrimp Taco's 

1/4 c olive oil
2 T white vinegar
2 T lime juice
zest from 1 lime  (low carb, left this out)
1 1/2 t honey  (low carb, used 1 1/2 t Xylitol)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 t cumin
1/2 t chili powder
1 t Old Bay seasoning
1/2 t pepper
1 t hot pepper sauce of your choice
1 pound fish - shrimp (cleaned, tail off), cod, tilipia, etc. 
flour tortillas (low carb - use your favorite low carb tortilla)

Whisk the ingredients for the marinade together, put in a Ziploc Baggy (or whatever you use to marinate) and add the shrimp and/or fish.  Refrigerate at least 6-8 hours, flipping every now and then so it's all covered equally.

While it marinates, make the dressing.

heaping 1/2 c sour cream
heaping 1/2 c mayonnaise
2 T lime juice
1/2 teaspoon each of oregano, dill weed, cumin, chipotle powder and ground or crushed coriander
2 small jalapenos, chopped fine (you can use less if you really hate spicy dressings)
2 t dried cilantro or parsley
1/2 teaspoon sugar  (low carb use 5 drops of sucralose or 1/2 t Splenda, etc.)

Whisk ingredients together and refrigerate until it's serving time.

Grill or broil your fish until flaky and done.  This is usually about 10 minutes.  Serve the sliced fish with sides of the sauce, lettuce, shredded cabbage, diced tomato, guacamole, and extra lime slices if you wish.  Enjoy!




These are photos from when I made them in July

I like to marinate in a ziploc as it's easy to flip and mix
Making the yummy sauce


The fish, sauce and cabbage come together... just right.


Fish taco with cabbage and sauce



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1/21/13

Crab Stuffed Salmon with Shrimp - (except I didn't 'stuff' it this time)



A recipe I've made forever is a Crab Stuffed Sole recipe (featured on An American Housewife previously - just type it into the search on the right).  It's a recipe I 'play with' often and change according to my whims or what we have on hand.  This particular time I had salmon patties in the freezer but I wanted shrimp as well.  I used a salmon patty, topped with a simple crab stuffing and then finished it off with a yummy shrimp.  I had everything I wanted;  salmon, crab stuff and shrimp. 




Crab Stuffed Salmon with Shrimp

4 salmon filets or patties 
6 oz. real crab meat
1 T onion, diced fine
1 T chopped fresh parsley
1 T celery, chopped fine
5 T butter
1/2 c cracker crumbs
1 egg
lemon pepper garlic seasoning
4 large raw shrimp, cleaned

Preheat oven to 375. Sprinkle each filet or patty lightly with salt and pepper. Saute' the onions, parsley and celery in 5 T butter. When tender, remove from heat. Add the crumbs, flaked crab meat and egg. Mix and season to taste with lemon garlic seasoning. Spoon a walnut sized mound onto the top of each salmon patty.  Bake 20 minutes, top with a large shrimp, return to the oven to bake an additional 7-10 minutes or until your fish is done.




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1/20/13

January 20th - National Cheese Day - Lots of Cheese Recipes here on An American Housewife!

My creamy Jalapeno Cheese Soup

Back in 2007 or 2008 I did a random post about cheese because I had just returned from the grocery store, put away groceries and realized we always have on average, at least 15 different cheeses in the house.  Domestic, imported, hard, soft... we have them all.  We love them all.  I use at least one or two (if not more) of cheese in some form every day.  When it's just the husband and I around the house at dinner time, it's not uncommon for us to have a simple dinner of various cheeses along with bread (when we aren't low carbing) or meat, olives, etc. 

So today I thought (stupidly, really) that I would feature my favorite 'cheese' recipe.  At first it was going to be my favorite Greek Pizza (using one of my favorite cheeses; feta).  But then I realized one of my favorite foods was my Jalapeno Cheese Soup.  And Cheese Wontons.  And Jalapeno Cheese Wontons.  And cheese balls.  And 4 Cheese Ravioli.  And... and...  well, you can see where this is going!

Basically I just decided to grab a few cheese recipes at random from the past 6 years on this site.  If you would like to search for more just type 'cheese' into the search box to your right and you'll have about 1700 returns on my site.  Ha ha.  

Since it's National Cheese Day, just enjoy cheese some way, shape or form.


 
Homemade Cheese Filled Ravioli

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1/16/13

Lemon Cream Cake


A low carb, sugar free version of a Lemon Cream Cake

Although this cake has been around since our Great Grandmothers were making it, it really seemed to get popular a few years ago when Olive Garden started to offer it and everyone discovered how amazing it is.  Layers of white cake with a tangy lemon filling and a crumbly topping that adds just the right taste and texture. Back in 2008 I posted my own adaption of the recipe for my version of a Lemon Cream Cake.  Most people simply use a boxed white cake, mixed to directions.  I don't like the texture (or taste) of a plain, store bought, boxed cake. What I changed in mine was to make the cake more substantial with additional flour, sour cream, eggs; a little more dense to stand up to a nice, thick, lemony cream cheese filling and a nice hint of almond.

Here is the original post recipe from April of 2008. Lemon Cream Cake.  When making a version of this cake that is sugar free and low carb, the filling and crumb topping are simple to substitute with erythritol, so you just have to make a basic low carb white cake.

Notes:  If you grind your own whole, raw almonds to make almond flour or use natural almond meal or flour, the cake will have the whole grain look to it with flecks of brown.  If you use a purchased blanched almond flour, (Almond Flour)you can get that all-white, pretty cake.  Also, I use a copy-cat Cake Ability in my cake, which used to be available to purchase back in 2002 I think (?) but I believe they stopped making it soon after that.  I have always made my own version and will post the recipe for Homemade Cake-Ability at the bottom.  However, if you wish, you can leave this out.  It's not going to make or break the recipe because there are similar ingredients already in it. I used erythritol. (UPDATE: this post was originally in 2013.  Since then I've used whatever natural sweetener I have on hand - sometimes Just Like Sugar, or most recently, Truvia).


Low Carb, Sugar Free Lemon Cream Cake

1/4 c butter, soft
3 eggs
3/4 c sour cream
2 t vanilla
1/4 c almond milk
10-30 drops liquid sweetener*
2 c fine almond flour
1/2 c erythritol
2 t Cake-Ability (optional)
1/3 c vanilla whey protein powder
1 t xanthan gum
2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt

Place the almond flour, erythritol, cake-ability, whey protein powder, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda and salt into the bowl of a food processor and blend with an S-blade on pulse until completely mixed and smooth.  (About 6 pulses.).

Beat sour cream and butter until smooth.  Add the eggs, vanilla and liquid sweetener.  *If you are using Stevia drops I think about 10-12 would be fine.  I use a product I don't think you can get anymore (discontinued) by SuperRose.  I used about 20 drops of SuperRose.  Add half the dry ingredients, add the almond milk and then add the rest of the dry ingredients.  Mix just until blended.  At this point you can add a few more drops of liquid sweetener to taste if you think it's just not sweet enough.  I added about 6 or 7 more drops of SuperRose at this point myself.

Pour into a greased round or square pan - about 8" or 9" inches.  Smaller pans result in taller finished cakes.  Bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 35 minutes until the center is done.  Let cool.  Turn out to cool completely.

Filling:
6 oz. cream cheese
3/4 c Swerve or erythritol, confectioner's style if you have it
1 1/2 t lemon extract
2 T lemon juice
12 drops liquid SuperRose (less if you use Stevia)
1 c heavy whipping cream

Crumb topping:
1/4 c almond flour
3 T Swerve or powdered erythritol
1 t vanilla powder (or use about 1/2 t vanilla extract liquid)
1 T butter, cold

Place the cream cheese, sweeteners and lemon extract and juice into a mixing bowl and beat smooth.  Add the whipping cream.  Beat on low until incorporated so it doesn't splatter, then on high until stiff peaks form.  Slice the cake in half horizontally with a serrated knife.  Spread 1/2 the fill in the center of the cold cake, top with the second half of the cake, spread the remaining filling on top.  In a bowl, use your fingers to smash the crumb topping ingredients together until it's incorporated and forms crumbs.  Sprinkle on the top of the cake.   Serve chilled. 


Optional;
Cake-Ability substitute popular on the internet

1/4 cup egg white powder (like JustWhites)
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 Vitamin C tablet - crushed

Mix.  Store air-tight.  Use when called for in recipes. 






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NuNaturals Nustevia Alcohol Free Stevia Liquid - A Natural Stevia Sweetener
 Bob's Red Mill Super Fine Almond Flour, 16 Ounce Packages (Pack of 4) 
Now Foods Erythritol, 2.5 Pound 
Truvia Baking Blend Natural Sweetener 24 OZ(Pack Of 2)
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1/15/13

Mixed Reviews on this Low Carb Garlic Butter Biscuit




Buttery Garlic Biscuits


When you cook low carb and sugar free and are willing to try a lot of recipes, you have some that are hits and some are misses... or near misses.  These are biscuits I made last night and there isn't a picture of them out of the baking pan, because soon after the photo above was taken, I tried them and went 'eh' and decided they weren't good enough to add to my collection of blogged recipes.

However, this morning I changed my mind.  Why?  Because I realized I hated them because they use CarbQuik baking mix, which is carbalose 'flour' and I have not liked one single, solitary thing I've ever made with that mix. 

But... other people love it. 

This morning I went to Amazon and found two listings for Carbquik so I could read random reviews.  One listing has about 65 reviews and only one person said;  It tastes terrible.  Another listing had 4 reviews and again, one person commented on the taste.  The rest raved about it.  Said it tasted great.  Just like 'real' biscuits.  Just like Red Lobster.  Just like....   well, you get the idea.  So WHY do I feel like I'm eating cardboard pulp and find the taste revolting?  I'm thinking perhaps I got a bad batch?  Because I've made garlic biscuits, Southern biscuits, dumplings and more from this mix and thought they all tasted terrible.   They look beautiful.  They mix up like 'regular' flour biscuits would.  But they taste like soy to me.  Even if there is no soy in them (I have no idea) but it's that gag-taste to me.

So here is the deal!  I'm going to go with the idea that perhaps I got a bad batch in my box.  That the 99% of the people that like the taste of Carbalose 'flour' are right and I am wrong.  I am even willing to purchase another batch of Carbalose just to test the theory of a bad batch and try again.  So with that in mind I will go ahead and post our garlic butter biscuits from last night and perhaps you will love them.  My husband ate his and said they weren't bad - but he had them drowning in the Goulash I made last night. Give it a try.  See what you think.   And yes, I'll buy another batch of carbalose to see if I just have an odd tasting bag.

Garlic Butter Biscuits

1/2 c half and half, warmed
1/2 c warm water
2 1/4 t rapid rise yeast
1 egg
2 c Carbquik or other carbalose flour
1/2 t salt
1/3 c vital wheat gluten
1/2 stick butter, melted
1/2 t garlic powder
1/4 t garlic salt
2 t dried parsley flakes

In a mixing bowl, add the yeast to the warm water and half and half, stir and let set for 1 minute.  Beat in the egg.  Add the dry ingredients; carbalose, salt and vital wheat gluten.  Cover and let raise in a warm environment (like your oven with the light on) for about 40 minutes or until double in size.  Divide into 9-10 equal portions.  Mix the butter with garlic and parsley in a bowl.  Pull each biscuit into 4 or 5 small pieces, dip them into the butter garlic mixture and place into a muffin tin.  If you have leftover butter garlic, drizzle evenly over the biscuits.  Let raise in a warm place for about 30 minutes and bake at 350 for about 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. 




The dough looks and smells great!  Ready to let rise.

Putting them in the oven to bake!





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1/14/13

Low Carb Chocolate Chip Cookies - (Sugar free too)


 
Having done 'low carb and sugar free' off and on for 11 years now, I know one thing for certain over everything else;  Be Prepared.  It's not just a Boy Scout motto.  When we prepare to do a detox of flour and sugar I know the secret to success is to make sure we have smart food options and products available.  With the influx of incredible choices on the market now, we find eating without sugar and carby white flour to be fairly easy (compared to 8-11 years ago when it was difficult to find good sugar free and flour free options).  However, you are still more apt to eat something bad for you if you are starving and want something to eat now, and there are not healthy alternatives in front of you.

The thing I try to have ready for my husband are protein bars.  Similar to the versions you can buy at the store by Atkins, I make a Chocolate Peanut Butter version and a Coconut version that to me, tastes the same and has the same texture as the Coconut Granola Bars I used to buy that have sugar in them.  I make them and wrap them in saran wrap or place in sandwich baggies and he takes them to work with him to have with coffee on his break.  No more candy bars from the vending machine!  I also know to have something 'sweet' on hand for everyone (including my daughters friends who visit and obviously are used to full-sugar and flour goodies).  Usually this is a batch of low carb, sugar free chocolate chip cookies.

When it comes to chocolate chip cookies, we have always preferred a moist, chewy cookie over dry 'coffee dunkers'.  I have one I have posted a few times that I love, but I always, always say;  PLAY WITH YOUR FOOD.   Always, always feel free to change recipes, do some substituting if you don't have a certain product on hand...  some of the best things you make might be an 'accident' from another recipe.

I used my "normal, regular, real brown sugar, chocolate chip cookie recipe" last night and combined it with what I usually use for the low carb versions.  I was able to substitute the brown sugar and sugar option easily - the real question was what to use in place of my typical 1 3/4 cups flour.  I decided to use a mixture of protein powder (mine is zero carb, zero sugar but all brands are different so check yours for carb counts if that is important to your daily counts), some wheat bran, almond flour of course, and then some coconut flour because it tends to make cookies and cakes a 'drier' texture and I didn't want my cookies to be too moist that they fell apart when you pick them up, or too oily - but I don't like to use a lot of coconut flour because over-using it makes an odd texture and I don't like the flavor of the coconut to be strong. 



Low Carb Chocolate Chip Cookies

1/2 c butter
1 c brown sugar substitute (I used Ideal but it's no longer available - update 2016 - Just Like Sugar is a good substitute)
3 T Splenda
1 egg
2 t vanilla
Scant 1 c Zero Carb Isopure Vanilla Protein Powder
1/4 c wheat bran (or oat bran)
1/4 c coconut flour
3/4 c almond meal/flour
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
Optional:  1/2 c nuts like walnuts or pecans if you wish
1/2 of a bag of Hershey's Sugar Free Chocolate Chips


Preheat your oven to 375. Beat the Splenda butter until well mixed. Add the egg and beat well.  Add the dry ingredients and mix just until blended, then stir in the sugar free chocolate chips.  Drop by tablespoons onto a sprayed/greased cookie sheet or parchment paper. Form into nicely shaped rounds and flatten a bit with your hand. Bake for approximately 11 minutes, let cool on the baking sheet for 3 minutes and then remove to a rack or counter to cool.













Related products are available through Amazon if you can't find them locally....

Shop Amazon

2016 - Ideal Brown is no longer available - but Just Like Sugar is a good substitute

           



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