Bacon Wrapped Chicken Wings and Drumettes on the Grill

Although this can be a great appetizer, I found that if I make a big batch of them, it's a yummy dinner for us!  There is no real recipe - just wrap strips of bacon around chicken wings and drumettes and then salt and pepper them.  Pop them on a grill and cook over medium heat, turning often until the bacon is crisp.

By the time the bacon is nice and crispy, the chicken is done too.  I've made these 3 times in the past two weeks - one time I brushed hot wing sauce on them at the very end of the grill time.  Another time I brushed them with my homemade spicy watermelon bbq sauce (if you missed that one, just do a search for it in the search box to your right in the sidebar).  We actually found we love them without any embellishment or sauces!  Just straight from the grill.  I had blue cheese and ranch dressings on the side to dip but they are incredible even without any condiments!

Wrap bacon around the chicken drummies & wings.  Salt and pepper.  That's it!

Grilling over medium heat until the bacon is crisp and the wings are done

Serve as is or with dipping condiments - or brush them with your favorite sauce

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Re-posting from 2012.... A healthy, low carb, sugar free Waffle and Pancake Mix

Low Carb Waffles 2012

If you follow me on Twitter, you know I have 'waffles' on the brain this morning.  I went back in my recipes to find my waffle and pancake mix, and was surprised to see I posted it way back in 2012.  That doesn't seem like very long ago until you realize, that was 3 years ago already! 

I need to mix up another batch of this myself so I thought I'd re-post it - and I am adding some links to Amazon for some of the food ingredients in it.  You don't have to use the brands I do...  I know people use many different brands of whey protein powder.  The only kind our family uses is the Nature's Best Isopure brand.  I assume other brands will work as well, but this is the only kind we use (zero carbs and zero sugar) and I know how it works in our recipes. Another thing I want to mention is that I really love Ideal Sweetener - and I link to it below as I buy mine from Amazon because I can't find it locally.  But they raised their prices in the last few weeks and I'm SO not happy about that.  It's still a pretty affordable option compared to some brands of sweeteners, but I'm still bummed. As they've gotten more popular, they seem to be raising their prices to be more competitive with similar products.  I plan on stocking up this morning with another order before it goes up again.  (But... I wish I would have ordered a month ago before they raised it.)

The pictures on this post are pretty bad...  I laughed at them when I saw them, but I've said before - this isn't a foodie 'photo' blog.  It's a website I started almost 10 years ago for my own personal use that grew a life of it's own.  These pictures are not doing the recipe justice, but sometimes I'm just too lazy to take new ones.  *grin*

Waffle and Pancake Mix

2 c finely ground almonds or Almond Flour
1/2 c Oat Bran
1 c Creamy Vanilla Protein Powder
2 T wheat bran flakes
2 T wheat germ
2 T Vital Wheat Gluten w/ Vitamin C
2 1/2 T baking powder
1 1/2 t salt

Blend ingredients in a food processor with a S blade.  Pulse a couple times until well blended.  Store in a Ziploc or other air tight container in the refrigerator or freezer.  Makes about 4 cups.  


Use 1 cup of your dry almond waffle mix
2 t sweetener of your choice (like Ideal No Calorie Sweetener)
1/2 c half and half
1 egg beat with 1/4 c oil

Stir all together in a bowl while preheating your waffle iron.  Only stir until everything is moist, do not over stir.  Bake according to your waffle iron directions.  Serve with butter and syrup or cinnamon, splenda, whipped cream, or whatever you wish!  This is going to average about 6 carbs per waffle.

Mix just until blended

Bake in your waffle iron
Top with your favorite toppings
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To the women who are "just a housewife" - Happy Mother's Day! Feature: "My Wife Doesn't Work"

My Wife Doesn't "Work"
By Gary Lautens

Is there anything more embarrassing today than being married to a woman who doesn't "work?"
Take Jackie.

She weaves, spins wool, attends classes twice a week at art college and is currently putting together a seven- foot tapestry she designed for the living room. She also whips up a hundred meals a week, irons a dozen shirts, waxes and washes the floors, walks the dog and throws a dinner party once a week.

But she doesn't "work."

She feels a minimum of two foreheads a week (to see if they're warm), listens to enough homework to get a degree from Oxford, runs the family budget, finds things in the basement no other living human being can find, reminds Richard to comb his hair every morning, cheers up Jane when she gets a zit on her face and refinishes furniture.

She does the shopping, locates the bargains, washes gym stuff, keeps track of everybody's underwear, answers family mail, makes certain nobody leaves a ring around the bathtub and takes care of minor medical problems.

But she doesn't "work."

She cuts hair, cleans the filter on the furnace, clips the dog's nails, provides waltz lessons for male members of the family, vacuums, puts treats in school lunch bags for a noonday surprise, hangs up coats, rubs feet when they get cold, provides laughs whether needed or not, removes splinters, gives instruction on the application of eye shadow, announces if it's a boot day, smiles through the recounting of old Monty Python skits and files class photographs.

She doesn't let anyone out of the house without a hug; she tucks Jane into bed every night (even though Jane is fourteen and almost as big as her mother); she knows the postal rates, moves sofas, listens solemnly when someone in the house says he or she is going to be Prime Minister, a famous athlete or just an astonishing detective (Richard's current ambition); she hangs pictures (eighty on our one wall), sews on buttons, visits art galleries.

But "work"? I'm afraid not.

Jackie lengthens jeans, unplugs plumbing, remembers to serve spaghetti once a week (the kids' favorite), picks out newspaper items that might make columns, does thirty sit- ups every morning to stay trim, explains patiently to Richard why he can't wear the same shirt eighteen days in a row and makes Christmas cards.

Mind you, she doesn't jog three times a week now, act as lifeguard at the Y, or take German at night school, and her university class on great books is over.

But she did broadloom Jane's bedroom, make our front- room coffee table (from an old dining-room suite), and (just last week) figured out how to replace the bulb in our slide projector when Daddy had failed.

That is, unfortunately, beside the point.

Jackie does not go to an office, perform brain surgery, drive a truck, belong to a union, type up letters, sell real estate, host a TV show or even wrestle.

In short, she doesn't "work."

Mind you, she did "work" the first three years we were married and trying to get a start, but she quit a month or two before she had Stephen.

So she's just a homemaker, wife and mother now.

Perhaps one day when the kids are a little more grown up, Jackie will "work" again, but in the meantime, I'm afraid she's too busy.

Thanks for checking in - and Happy Mother's Day to all the Mother's out there!!! Print Friendly and PDF


Mexican Lasagna that fits perfectly in my round baking pot! (Graniteware pot that came with my Sun Oven)

I have made this recipe a thousand times... and I've posted this recipe a handful.
So why post again? 
Because I'm an idiot for not thinking about this sooner and just realized this week (after making this forever and forever) that it fits perfectly in my round Graniteware baking pot!

It's 8.5" inside and rim to rim is 9.75".   So I decided to post this not only as a reminder to me to start using this pan for my Mexican Lasagna -  but if anyone else could use this hint - there ya go!

Mexican Lasagna

1 - 2 lbs. ground beef, chicken, turkey, etc.
1 envelope taco seasoning
1 t seasoned salt
2 cups diced tomatoes (or use canned if you prefer)
1 T jalapeno's, diced fine (optional if your family hates them)
1 T onion (another option!)
1 - 6 oz. can tomato paste with 3 empty cans of water OR use 15 oz. can tomato sauce
1 1/2 c sour cream  OR  ricotta or cottage cheese
2 eggs
10 flour tortillas (any style - low carb, etc. is fine too) (Only 5 if you use a round pan!)
2 1/2 - 3 c shredded cheese

Cook the ground beef (if you are using) and drain.  If you are using already cooked beef, chicken, etc. place it in a large pan on the stove top.  When hot, add the taco seasoning, salt, tomatoes, paste and water or tomato sauce, jalapeno's and onions if you are using them.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce and simmer about 10 minutes while you mix the sour cream OR ricotta/cottage cheese with the eggs in a bowl.  Preheat the oven to 350.

Spread half the meat mixture in a 9X13 inch pan.  Cut your flour tortilla in half.  Layer about 5 of them over the meat.  Spread half the sour cream or cottage cheese mixture over the tortillas.  Sprinkle with half the shredded cheese.  Repeat the layers with the rest of the meat, tortillas, sour cream or cheese mixture and top with the rest of the shredded cheese.  You can now use green olives or black olives on top if your family likes them.

Bake uncovered about 20-30 minutes until golden brown, bubbly and hot.  Let it stand 10 minutes to 'set up' for easier cutting.  You can serve this as is or offer sour cream, guacamole, salsa, etc.

I used cooked, leftover chicken for this one.  But you can make this with ground beef too.
If you are making it in  a traditional rectangle pan - slice the tortillas in half to layer

Your flour tortillas become the 'noodles'
If you are making it in your round pan and the diameter is 9.75" from rim to rim, the regular sized tortillas fit perfectly!

Here I am layering the meat and cheese between the tortillas (that turn into noodles once cooked)

This version in the traditional pan was topped with olives.  One of a hundred options.  Play with your food!

Let stand about 10 minutes for easier cutting

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Basic Homemade Bread

Although my body is happy and healthy when I'm not eating flour in any form, especially store bought bread (!), I do find that I can eat homemade bread without the bloating and pain that store bought bread brings.  I've done research into this, and I think I know why, but that is a post for another day.   Today, I mention it because this week I was craving homemade bread so I made a couple loaves.

Usually I make my normal, regular, tried and true recipe that I've posted more than a few times on An American Housewife and uses dry powdered milk.  However, this time I used one almost exactly similar except you use liquid milk.  I didn't bother to take a bunch of new photos because really, how many times can you take the same pictures of homemade bread?

I like to add about 1/2 cup whole wheat flour to my white flours so you can see a bit of grain in the photos I've posted.  You don't have to though - regular bread flour is just fine.

Basic Homemade Bread
Makes 2 - 9-by-5-inch loaves

2 1/4 teaspoons (1 packet) active dry yeast
1 cup warm water (about 110°F to 115°F)
2 T unsalted butter
1 c milk
2 T granulated sugar
1 T salt
4 1/2 to 6 1/2 c bread flour

In a bowl of a stand mixer, combine yeast and warm water. Let sit 5 minutes until yeast is dissolved.

Heat the butter and milk until the butter melts and it's just warm (about 110 degrees). Stir in sugar and salt.

Add milk mixture to bowl along with 2 cups flour. Using the dough hook attachment, stir mixture to form a dough, adding enough of remaining flour as needed to form a smooth, soft, elastic and only slightly sticky dough.  Knead about 5 minutes with the dough hook.

Shape dough into a ball. Lightly grease a bowl with oil, then transfer dough to bowl. Turn dough once to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let dough rise in a warm place 1 to 1 1/2 hours until doubled.

Deflate doubled dough and divide in two pieces. Shape each piece into a ball and place on a lightly floured surface. Rest 10 minutes. Shape dough into two equal loaves. Carefully transfer to two greased loaf pans. Cover pans with a towel or plastic wrap and let rise 1 hour until dough begins to rise above tops of pans.

Heat oven to 375°F. Place loaf pans on center rack about 3 inches apart. Bake 30 to 40 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking. Remove loaves from pans and transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.  You can brush the tops with butter while hot to keep a soft crust top or let them cool as they are for a hard top.

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Homemade Canvas Food Dehydrator Tray Liners

I didn't purchase a food dehydrator of my own until my husband saw them on sale at Lowe's for just under fifty bucks, so it's probably not a surprise I certainly am not going to pay the high price companies want for food dehydrator trays!  However, they are needed!  The holes of a food dehydrator let tiny pieces of dried food fall through them and believe me, diced carrots get tiny! (And peas and blueberries and many other dried goodies!).

The first thing I did was march down to a local store and buy a few sheets of clear plastic canvas.  Walmart has them, but Michaels was closer to me that day so I got mine there for about $.59 each.  If you don't have a store near you, I'll link to a couple random options from Amazon at the bottom of this post.

I simply laid two canvas pieces out on the counter, drew around them with a marker (I used a highlighter first, as it was right next to me in a kitchen drawer and I was too lazy to walk through the house to the office to get a Sharpie.  However, I realized if I wanted to let others know how to do this, I better use a marker that showed up on the photos!  So I did grab a Sharpie for a couple of the pictures.)

Lay the canvas side by side on the counter.
You can tape them in place in the corners if you find they are moving too much on you to trace.
Trace around both the outside of the tray and then the inside circle as well.

Use scissors to cut the canvas into half circles.
Cut on the *INSIDE* of the line around the larger outside circle.
Cut on the *OUTSIDE* of the line on the inner circle.

Fit to your tray.
You may have to trim some of the edges to make it fit.
When it lays flat inside your tray, both flat around the outside and inside edge, your are done!

Washable, sturdy, and will allow your fruit and vegetables to dry without falling through the holes of the dehydrator trays.

Use sheets of plastic canvas.  I chose clear so there is no color added.

Laying the two canvas pieces side by side and placing the dehydrator tray over them - equal on both sides, directly down the center - to trace both the outer edge and the inner circle.

Trace around the outside edge - being careful the canvas doesn't move around - so you get a perfect half circle.
You will cut around the INSIDE of this trace line.

Carefully trace the inner circle as well.
You will cut around the OUTSIDE of this smaller trace line.

After you make your first trays you can actually use them as a pattern to trace additional liners and not have to use the tray to trace around each time.  This makes it a little easier.

Remember to cut inside the line as it needs to fit INSIDE your tray -  You will probably have to try to fit, trim, fit, trim, to get it to fit perfectly.

Two liners placed on the dehydrator tray!

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Packing and Storing Dried Foods - Diving into Dehydrating!

Dried foods are susceptible to insect contamination and moisture reabsorption and must be properly packaged and stored immediately. First, cool completely. Warm food causes sweating which could provide enough moisture for mold to grow. Pack foods into clean, dry insect-proof containers as tightly as possible without crushing.

Store dried foods in clean, dry home canning jars, plastic freezer containers with tight-fitting lids or in plastic freezer bags. Vacuum packaging is also a good option. Pack foods in amounts that can be used all at once. Each time a package is re-opened, the food is exposed to air and moisture that can lower the quality of the food and result in spoilage.

Pack food in amounts that will be used in a recipe. Every time a package is re-opened, the food is exposed to air and moisture that lower the quality of the food.

Fruit that has been sulfured should not touch metal. Place the fruit in a plastic bag before storing it in a metal can. Sulfur fumes will react with the metal and cause color changes in the fruit.

Dried foods should be stored in cool, dry, dark areas. Recommended storage times for dried foods range from 4 months to 1 year. Because food quality is affected by heat, the storage temperature helps determine the length of storage; the higher the temperature, the shorter the storage time. Most dried fruits can be stored for 1 year at 60ºF, 6 months at 80ºF. Vegetables have about half the shelf-life of fruits.

Foods that are packaged seemingly "bone dry" can spoil if moisture is reabsorbed during storage. Check dried foods frequently during storage to see if they are still dry. Glass containers are excellent for storage because any moisture that collects on the inside can be seen easily. Foods affected by moisture, but not spoiled, should be used immediately or redried and repackaged. Moldy foods should be discarded.

Conditioning Fruits

The moisture content of home dried fruit should be about 20 percent. When the fruit is taken from the dehydrator, the remaining moisture may not be distributed equally among the pieces because of their size or their location in the dehydrator. Conditioning is the process used to equalize the moisture. It reduces the risk of mold growth.

To condition the fruit, take the dried fruit that has cooled and pack it loosely in plastic or glass jars. Seal the containers and let them stand for 7 to 10 days. The excess moisture in some pieces will be absorbed by the drier pieces. Shake the jars daily to separate the pieces and check the moisture condensation. If condensation develops in the jar, return the fruit to the dehydrator for more drying. After conditioning, package and store the fruit as described above.

Determining Dryness of Vegetables

Vegetables should be dried until they are brittle or "crisp." Some vegetables actually shatter if hit with a hammer. At this stage, they should contain about 10 percent moisture. Because they are so dry, they do not need conditioning like fruits.

This document was extracted from "So Easy to Preserve", 5th ed. 2006. Bulletin 989, Cooperative Extension Service, The University of Georgia, Athens. Revised by Elizabeth L. Andress. Ph.D. and Judy A. Harrison, Ph.D., Extension Foods Specialists.

Weston Food Dehydrator, 4-Tray
Waring Pro Professional Dehydrator
FoodSaver  Vacuum Sealing System

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