1/19/21

From my Instagram: Homemade Taco Sauce (I also recycle and refill Taco Bell Taco Sauce Bottles)

 

I've been watching the bottle of taco sauce in the door of the refrigerator go down lower and lower...  I planned to make Mexican style foods tonight for dinner and although we have a lot of homemade canned salsa on our pantry shelves, the entree' I'm making is really best and tastes fabulous with my homemade Taco Bell style taco sauce and I can/could eat this stuff with a spoon so it was time to make more.

No worries.  It takes less than 10 minutes and I can make 4 bottles worth in one recipe!  

I've been making this for 20 years. I used to put it into small mason jars or re-purposed dressing jars, iced coffee bottles, etc.  but a number of years ago they started to sell Taco Bell sauce in the grocery store and once in a while I'd buy it.  I then save the bottles and reuse them.  

I'm doing this from memory but it's so easy and follows a 4-3-2-1 pattern, I'm sure you'll memorize it in a minute as well!


Taco Sauce

3 c water
3 t corn starch

Place in a sauce pan on the stove, turn on the heat to medium high and whisk. When it's all mixed in, add;

1 - 6 oz. can tomato paste
4 t chili powder
3 T white vinegar
2 t salt
1 t cayenne pepper powder

Whisk over medium high heat just until it starts to bubble and thicken, turn down to simmer and simmer for a few minutes before removing from heat and letting cool down before you pour it into whatever containers you wish.

 

There is a video on my story on Instagram today that includes me whisking and stirring the taco sauce on the stove.

Here are some random photos I took quickly with my cellphone of me whipping up a batch quickly while the baby was playing and giving me a few minutes to do so! 

  

 

Sauce is done - filling the bottles






 _____________________________________

 

If you prefer to purchase your taco sauce and typically buy it through Amazon, or you need to buy bottles to put the sauce in, please consider using an affiliate link?  Actually, if you are planning to shop for anything (seriously, anything!) at Amazon - please consider using my link!  Thank you so very much! -- American Housewife at Amazon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Print Friendly and PDF

1/18/21

A basic homemade sugar scrub recipe and two ideas for scents that I used: Lemon Orange and Apple and a jar of my favorite - Vanilla Peppermint

 

 

 

This morning I had 10 minutes free so I decided to quickly whip up some sugar scrub for the shower.  Originally I didn't plan to put it on my recipe site so I didn't even have my phone with me in the kitchen.  At the last second I decided I might want to, so I grabbed my cell phone and snapped pictures - these are those.

Although there is a very basic 'idea' recipe for sugar scrubs... you don't really need a recipe.  What you need is a few basic products (only two really... the rest are all optional) and other than that, additions are completely up to you and your nose.

A Basic Sugar Scrub

  • 1 c white granulated sugar
  • 1/2 c oil of your choice (olive, coconut and almond are popular choices) 
  • Essential oils 
  • Extracts 
  • Almond Oil 
  • Tea Tree Oil 
  •  Dried orange/lemon peel 
  • Himalayan Salt
  • Coffee Grounds
  • Lavender etc. or spices like cinnamon

Blend the sugar and oil - add 15-20 drops of your favorite essential oil scent, and/or 1/2 t of your favorite extract and mix.  Smell test and add according to your personal likes.  If you think it's too dry, add a tablespoon of oil, if it's too moist, add a tablespoon of sugar, stir, and add until you are happy with the texture.   

Spoon in to a jar with a tight lid.  Small wide mouth mason jars are perfect.

_______________________________________

Here is when I first started to grab items from my kitchen.

I chose coconut oil for one blend because I have a lot of it and I really don't like cooking with it.  I am low carb/keto and a lot of recipes call for it but I am one of those people who can taste coconut  in anything... even if it's a small amount.  I like some coconut candies but I really really don't like using coconut oil or coconut flour for the most part.  So I decided to use it as the base of a sugar scrub.

 

 

To the coconut oil sugar scrub I wanted to use something with orange and lemon.  I would have loved a lavender orange or lavender lemon but I don't have lavender oils or dried real lavender right now so instead, I went with....

 

 

1/2 c warmed coconut oil, a half cap full of dried lemon peel, a half cap full of dried orange peel, 1 cup of white sugar, and 1/2 t apple extract.  I added the apple after pondering the lemon/orange/coconut.  It needed one more thing to offset it just a touch and I decided apple was perfect.

It was. If I had to describe this one... it smells similar to an orange Julius drink.


 

I love the bits of dried lemon peel and orange peel.  It's really pretty!

  ________________

But now, my favorite!

My personal favorite is vanilla peppermint.

I didn't want to use coconut oil for this one so I used avocado oil as it was right in my pantry.  I have peppermint oil on hand and I used the Watkins (good) vanilla from my cupboard.  I used sweet almond oil in this one and would have loved to use the sweet almond oil for the whole base, but it's expensive and I didn't want to use my entire little bottle up, so I opted to use just 1 T.  I also added a tablespoon of himilayan salt to this one.  It has healthy properties but honestly I was hoping the pink salts would color the scrub as well; it didn't really, and I don't want to use food colors in my natural scrubs so I left it as is.

My Peppermint Vanilla Scrub

1 cup sugar, just shy of 1/2 cup avocado oil, 1-2 T sweet almond oil, 25 drops peppermint oil, 1/2 t vanilla extract and 1 T Himilayan salt.




 

NOTE:  the difference in the consistency and texture.  The top is more whippy and thick as it's made with a coconut oil base.  The bottom is more liquid as it's an avocado and almond oil base. They make no difference in use, but you may prefer one over the other.

 

 

You might be interested in some of the products I used

For containers to put it in, any jar with a cap will do.  Mason jars work great (I used an 8 oz. wide mouth mason jar above, with a screw top lid) but because of Covid, Mason and Kerr jars got hard to find and the price went up.  I still can find them once in a while at my local grocery store or Walmart, etc. But you can also find all the jars, lids, extracts, essential oils on Amazon of course. 

I got the orange extract you see in the photo above on Amazon actually.


 8 oz widemouth jars on Amazon 

 

 

Print Friendly and PDF

1/16/21

Keto Lemon Supreme Pie - Low Carb and Sugar Free version of my Favorite Layered Lemon and Cream Cheese Whipped Cream Pie (and a fruit option for those who don't like lemon)

 

Our family has never, ever been one to regularly go 'out' to eat.  Going to a restaurant or even getting fast food and bringing it home was a special treat reserved for birthdays and anniversaries or a 'once in a great while' thing.  It's just never been a priority for us and seems more of a hassle to go 'out' than stay in. (And this is long before Covid fears were a thing.)  

But when the kids were little we lived near a restaurant that was known for their pies and after having a slice of their lemon pie during one of our meals 'out', I was smitten.  

I started to make it at home.  Now we didn't start doing sugar free and low carb until the Spring of 2003 and even then, with 3 young children and no health issues that made LC and SF a requirement; I used to make this pie the traditional way with a flour based crust and sugar in the fillings and whipped cream.   There are also were very few options available for low carb and sugar free baking and cooking back then so when I made the pie in the early days it was this one:

My original version (posted in 2009)

1 store bought or homemade baked pastry crust
1 1/2 c sugar
6 T cornstarch
1/2 t salt
1 c water
2 T real butter
2 t grated lemon peel or 1 t dried
2/3 c lemon juice
12 oz. cream cheese
3/4 c powdered sugar
3/4 c heavy cream, whipped
1 T lemon juice or 1/2 t vanilla

Combine the sugar, cornstarch and salt in a saucepan on the stove. Stir in the water and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat and cook and stir for about 2 minutes until smooth. It should be thick and clear. Remove from heat, stir in the butter, lemon peel and lemon juice. I like to add 2 drops of yellow food color to the curd at this point to give it a nice yellow color. Cool to room temperature (about an hour). In a mixing bowl combine the cream cheese (softened) and powdered sugar and beat until smooth. Fold in the whipped cream and lemon juice or use the vanilla - I make it both ways. Save about 1/2 - 3/4 cup of the whipped cream for garnish. Spread the rest into the baked and cooled pie crust shell. Top with the lemon filling. Chill at least 6-8 hours. Pipe stars on the top with the reserved whipped cream.


___________________________________________________

 

FAST FORWARD to low carb and sugar free days...

Just recently I posted my recipe for an old fashioned chocolate fudge pie in which I said of the crusts; "if you are going to make one... make two!"  and save it for a future dessert.  That was in this post.

I made a simple almond flour pie crust using 1 1/4 almond flour, 1/4 c zero carb vanilla whey protein powder, 1/4 t salt, 1/3 c sweetener and about 1/4 plus 1 T melted butter; mix in bowl until it comes together and press into a glass or non-stick pie tin.  Pre-bake about 12 minutes or until gold brown at 350 degrees.  Let cool completely before either using or tucking away into the freezer for a future recipe.

I used that one because I already had it made and in the freezer; but I really love my other pie crust for this pie as well;  If you want more of a traditional crust I have another favorite pie crust post here: pie crust.

My lower carb version 

1 pre baked pie crust (just above)
1 1/2 c natural sweeteners
6 T cornstarch
1/2 t salt
1 c water
2 T real butter
2 t grated lemon peel or 1 t dried
2/3 c fresh lemon juice
12 oz. cream cheese
3/4 c powdered sweeteners
3/4 c heavy cream, whipped
1 T lemon juice or 1/2 t vanilla

Combine the sweetener, cornstarch and salt in a saucepan on the stove. Stir in the water and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat and cook and stir for about 2 minutes until smooth. It should be thick and clear. 

Remove from heat, stir in the butter, lemon peel and lemon juice. Cool to room temperature (about an hour). In a mixing bowl combine the cream cheese (softened) and powdered sweetener and beat until smooth. Fold in the whipped cream and lemon juice or use the vanilla - I make it both ways. Save about 1/2 - 3/4 cup of the whipped cream for garnish. Spread the rest into the baked and cooled pie crust shell. Top with the lemon filling. Chill at least 6-8 hours. Pipe stars on the top with the reserved whipped cream.


Making homemade lemon filling

I took the pre-made crust out of the freezer and let it set on the counter while I made the rest of the pie

Mmmm.... the whipped cream and cream cheese part of the recipe


Spread the whipped cream and cream cheese layer on the crust

Topped with the lemon filling and then the reserved whipped cream either dolloped on top, spread on top or pipe some whipped cream stars on top.


Fresh lemon juice gives this pie a lovely bright flavor but of course you can use bottled lemon juice as well.


**Note: For people who don't love lemon 

My husband does not love lemon like I do so when I bake lemon goods I either have to be sure to make them when others are at the house to help eat it or I end up putting 3/4 of it in the freezer and taking some out 'here and there' when I want it.  But when it comes to this pie I often do something else.

This pie and the cream cheese whipped cream filling is the same that I use for my 'cherry pie' that everyone that has ever had it loves.  But to make it sugar free I either have to make my own cherry pie filling or sometimes I buy the 'no sugar added' version in the store when I can find it.  It's gotten harder and hard to find though so I haven't picked any up to keep in the pantry lately.
 
When you make this pie you can put the first layer down and then use half the lemon curd for filling and fill the other half with the cherry pie filling.
 
This time, I had cranberries and blueberries in the freezer so I whipped up a sugar free filling using the both of them.  I lifted off the lemon filling from the center of the pie, filled with the sugar free cranberry blueberry filling and served it that day as a 'new' pie.  The lemon filling is under the whipped cream stars only; while the berry filling is over the rest. 
 
Since I love pie crust, lemon and whipped cream, I enjoyed the edges, while my fruit filling loving husband loved the center.  
 
It was a win/win situation.

I didn't take a photo of the filling by itself but I had taken a video and posted it on my Instagram account so I screenshot a quick photo from it.  Blurry, but you can see it in the making.  It's basically a sugar free cranberry sauce recipe with blueberries for part of the cranberries.





I used to be able to find this at my local Walmart grocery but about 6 months ago they stopped carrying it... apparently it's still available online through Amazon though.


Duncan Hines Comstock No Sugar Added Pie Filling & Topping 

 

Instead of the Comstock brand they used to always have their own brand in stock but even that has been out lately so I have none on hand right now - which is fine - I just make my own, but admittedly sometimes it's nice to have a quick and easy canned version on hand.

 

  Great Value Pie Filling or Topping, No Sugar Added, Cherry,20 oz (Pack of 10)     

 

And of course the staple to most keto and low carb baking... almond flour.  I can buy this exact one in our local Sam's Club for the same price (right now as of this post) as Amazon is selling it.

 

Blue Diamond Almond Flour, Gluten Free, Blanched, Finely Sifted 3 Pound bag




Print Friendly and PDF

1/13/21

Low Carb and Sugarfree 'pop tart' Review - Legendary Foods Strawberry Tasty Pastries

  

Tasty PastryThis morning I received delivery of an order that included a couple low carb/keto items.  I have been anxious to try these, but the cost is outrageous so I put it off and said 'no way' until I finally caved and added them to an order I was placing through Amazon anyway.  

I'm sure many of you who eat keto or low carb and buy online have seen advertisements for the Legendary Foods Tasty Pastry - which is basically a Pop-Tart but a lower carb, sugar free option.  The three I see most often are brown sugar, strawberry and blueberry although they have hot fudge and cake too.  

You can find Legendary Foods at Amazon or Legendary Foods Tasty Pastry at Netrition.com - although I've never seen them in my local food stores (yet).

Because you are probably here wondering what they look like - I'll jump to the finish line and show you the inside of a toasted strawberry pastry.


Now some thoughts.

Although the package says net carbs are 4 grams, that really depends on how you count your carbs.  They have 21 grams, and most people do minus the fiber - which is 8 grams, leaving you with 13 carbs per 'pop tart' style pastry.  If your way of counting/eating includes the erythritol and allulose counts then you can take off 9 more however, in our family we don't subtract those so for my personal count, I would count these as 13 carbs each; which is pretty much my personal limit for the day.  That is STILL much better than a regular toaster pastry that would give you 38g of carbs and 16g sugar!


 


Straight out of the package.

A little sticky and a weird smell.  Cut is 'off' and not straight. 

Generally speaking though, not bad for presentation.

 


Here is the underside of the pastry

   

I do not love 'raw' pastries and when I would rarely eat a Pop-Tart I always had to make sure they were toasted until the edges were brown and crisp.  I liked the flavor much better than 'raw' straight out of the package as many people are willing to eat them.

I had read in reviews that people said the icing would slide off if you tried to make them in the toaster, but when I ordered my own pastries, the package clearly stated they were toastable so I did.

And I was pretty happy with them.  No, the icing didn't slide off so much as 'bake into' the pastry a bit?

I preheated my toaster while opening the box and package and then dropped a pastry in.  It does bubble and sizzle and warp a little bit but I was happy with it.  I knew I wouldn't personally like them microwaved so my other option would have been to put it under the broiler in the oven and I didn't want that hassle.

Nope.  Toaster works FINE.


Straight out of the toaster


Another review talked about lack of filling.  I disagree.  There was plenty of filling and it was good!

The pastry is a bit chewier than a flour based crust obviously because they are made with almond flour, but it was much better than I expected and toasting it until it was nice and golden brown helped the crisp factor.

I shared with my husband to get his opinion and he agreed; we both give these a thumbs up.

Currently I paid a whopping and crazy price of $24.99 for 10 single packaged pastries in a box.  I see they also offer a package of 14 pastries for $34.99.  These are extremely overpriced (as are most keto and low carb products) and at $25 for 10, it's not something I would often buy.  However, I really did want to try them and they were really good so if the price point ever comes down to a more manageable amount, I'd be happy to keep these on hand for a once-in-a-while grab and go snack or breakfast item.

 



 _______________________

 

You might be interested in these affiliate links to the products mentioned above.  As of yet I've not personally seen these in any local store but only online.  I ordered mine from Amazon this time because I was already placing an order for some toys so I added it to it, but my next purchase will be through my favorite Netrition store.

 

 

From Netrition...

Tasty Pastry Legendary Foods Tasty Pastry 

 Legendary Foods Tasty Pastry in Blueberry, Hot Fudge or Strawberry



 

 

 From Amazon....

  Strawberry

 

 

 

  Hot Fudge

 

  

  Cake Style

 

ALL flavors by Legendary Foods at Amazon- including blueberry!

Print Friendly and PDF

MY AMAZON PICKS