December 28, 2019

Our favorite low carb, keto hamburger bun!

These are something like 1.3 grams of carbs each (you'll have to do your own ingredient check using your own brands as the brand of ingredients you use can be the difference in 10+ carbs depending on the protein powder; and even have hidden sugars in them. Mine don't.)

These are best used right after you bake them.  Because they are cheese-dough based, they will get hard when cool.  I still like them that way as it reminds me a little bit of a chewy ciabatta, but they aren't good as a 'hamburger' bun at that point.

Low Carb Hamburger Buns

1 1/2 c good quality blanched almond flour
1 T baking powder
1/4 c unflavored whey protein powder
1/4 t salt
1 egg
1 1/2 c shredded mozzarella cheese (I found Sam's Club brand in the really large bag works best)

Preheat your oven to 400.
If you have a pizza stone, leave it in the oven to preheat as well.
Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl while you melt the mozzarella cheese in the microwave until it's just melty, but not cooked or sizzling.  Place an egg in the bowl of a food processor and pulse a couple times, then add the melted cheese and pulse a couple more times.  Add the dry ingredients, pulse until it comes together to form a ball.  If it's too wet, add 1 or 2 tablespoons of almond flour and pulse.  It should come together and form a ball of dough. Sprinkle some parmesan cheese (optional) on a piece of parchment paper and flip your dough on a couple times and knead a couple times, then divide your dough into 5-8 portions depending on how large you want your buns.

Form them into rounds, and flatten just a bit so they are the shape of a regular hamburger bun.  I make them about  1 1/2 inches tall maybe?  I don't measure them obviously.  I get about 5 average sized buns from this.  Leaving them on the parchment paper, transfer them to the hot pizza stone in your oven.

Bake for 10-12 minutes until they are golden brown on the top, and have a crust so they are not squishy.  Now, you should easily be able to flip them over.  Let them bake another minute or two, just until the bottoms are golden, as this helps the almond flour dry and form a light crust so it's not wet, moist or squishy when you take them out to cool/use.  Remove from the oven as soon as the bottoms aren't wet anymore.  Cool briefly on a cooling rack, split and add your burgers (or eat them as a bun  - they are fabulous with a bit of garlic butter!)


YUM!  I ate one straight from the oven just as a roll/bun plain because they were so good, I was hungry, and I just couldn't wait.  But yes, the others were used with our cheeseburgers. 

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December 08, 2019

Recipe for The Spice Sachet for A Crab Boil and the Garlic Butter Sauce too!

Originally posted:  2014

A normal "crab boil' or 'crawfish' boil is typically going to have a bunch of other 'stuff' added to it, like broken corn on the cob and sausage...  neither of which we want.  We just want the seafood, so that's what I make but you can add the traditional corn and sausage.  Without extra ingredients, this comes together super fast too!

I serve this with wild long grain rice and garlic toast (to sop up the garlicky goodness) but serve it with whatever you like.

ALSO:  this meal was just my husband and I so we only used the crawfish and mussels (in the photo above).  I am making this next week when we have family here for the holidays and birthdays.  I will be cooking for about 8 adults so I'm going to double the recipe for the sauce below AND we are using a mixture of;  Crab legs, mussels, crawfish, large shrimp and possibly little baby potatoes.  I'm serving crab cakes on the side as well as garlic toast and long grain wild rice and oyster bisque.

The seasoning is fine for about 5 lbs. of seafood - double if you need more.  The sauce was for 2-3 people - double if you need more.

1 sachet of herbs for the boil
Seafood:  crab legs, mussels, crawfish, shrimp
  • 2 sticks butter
  • 3 T minced garlic
  • 1 T Garlic & Herb Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 T lemon pepper
  • 1 T cayenne pepper
  • 1 T paprika
  • 1 T chicken bouillon

Melt the butter in a saucepan.  Add the garlic and cook about 3 minutes until soft - do not burn or brown.  Add the seasonings and simmer for about 5-10 minutes while the seafood cooks.  Drain the seafood, pour into your bowl or serving container and pour the sauce over all and toss.

Spice Sachet for the Crab Boil

2 T dill seed
4 bay leaves
1 T crushed, dried red pepper
4 T mustard seeds
3 T coriander seeds
1 t Cloves, ground
1 T ground Allspice

Combine in cheesecloth, tie up with string and add to your big pot of water for boiling seafood, along with 1/2 a lemon.  Discard after seafood is done (seafood cooks fast so about 7-10 minutes depending what kind of seafood you are using).

The seasonings

Gather up in a cheesecloth

I don't have kitchen twine so I just used thick thread

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December 05, 2019

The Best Homemade Christmas Ornament Dough


The tree is up and again this year we are doing a 'nature' theme, with cranberries and pine cones.  The only ornaments on the tree this year are some of the homemade ornaments I made on a whim a couple years ago.  They were quick and easy - and although I had ZERO plans when I started the dough, I love how they came out.

I made squares and stars; sending the stars to a family member and keeping the squares with no idea what I was going to do with them.  I decided one day to make a rustic 'reclaimed wood' look out of them as I happened to have some gray, white and black craft paints in my 'junk drawer' in the kitchen.  I had a metallic silver as well - and from that the idea for rustic, farmhouse, reclaimed wood, beach drift wood 'ideas' came to mind.

After I painted them (and loved how they turned out) I realized I had some leftover Christmas cards from the year before with a rustic looking monogram on them, so I cut those out and simply glued them to the ornament.  Adding some jute twine, I hung them on the tree and fell in love with them.

I made this batch into rustic reclaimed wood looking Christmas ornaments

Obviously you can make whatever shapes you wish!  Use your favorite cookie cutters and make Santa's, or nativity scenes, snowmen, snowflakes, reindeer... even press little hands to make handprint ornaments and tie up with a ribbon or even mold the dough into shapes!  You can literally play with it as if it's play dough or soft clay so you can form any shapes you wish.  It will dry hard so be sure you add a hole to hang it by before you dry them.

This dough reminds me of  Crayola Model Magic and dries perfectly white and unlike salt dough, doesn't have salty little gritty crystals in it.  It's perfectly smooth. 

Fun Dough

1/2 c corn starch (I use Argo brand)
1 c baking soda (in the yellow bag/box)
3/4 c water

Blend the cornstarch and baking soda in a pan.  Add the water and stir to mix.  Turn the heat up to medium high and continue to stir.  It will quickly go from looking like white glue to a thick gloop and then suddenly start to come together into a dough (much like cream puff dough).  Turn off the heat as soon as it comes together and push it out onto a flat surface (like a cutting board) to gently start to press it together (*it's hot) to a dough.  Cover with plastic wrap and let it set and cool a little bit.  The plastic wrap keeps the moisture in so it doesn't start to dry out.  After about 5-10 minutes when it's cooled down to work with it a little bit, start to push and pull and knead it back over itself.  When it's completely smooth and feels like a soft play dough, you can wrap it in plastic wrap and let it cool completely for little hands to play with or you can start to use it right away.

Roll it out on a cutting board, silpat, etc. and cut into the shapes you wish.  Use a straw or small round implement to make a hole if you are going to hang them later.  Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake in a 170 degree oven approximately 45 minutes to 1 1/2 hours depending on how thick and large you made your shapes.  Or you can let them set to air dry - although you will need to let them dry about 2 days and even longer if they are thick balls, sculptures or if you live where there is high humidity levels.  (My oven is a digital and the lowest setting it can go to is 170.  That is how I came up with that figure.)  Carefully turn your ornaments over (flip them) about half way through the baking time as the parchment paper under them traps moisture.  This dries both sides.  I placed mine on a wire cookie cooling rack for the last 10 minutes of baking but you don't have to do that.  I did a second batch and air dried completely on a wire cookie cooling rack.

When completely dry, paint them if you wish or glue baubles on it, glitter, etc. String a ribbon or string them to hang or finish however you wish!  If you drop it on the floor they will probably break, but just painting them, etc. is no problem as they are not fragile as long as you are not pressing hard, dropping, etc.

The cornstarch and baking soda in the pan

Adding the water and starting to stir, it resembles white glue

The heat starts to turn it to gloop

It quickly comes to a dough - place it on a heat safe surface and quickly press the hot dough to a ball shape

Cover with plastic wrap and let it cool until you can handle it

Use whatever cookie cutter shapes you wish - have a small utensil to make holes for hanging

Knead it a few times to get it smooth

Roll out as thick or thin as you wish - just like cookie dough

Cut whatever shapes you wish

Don't forget to add holes before baking if you wish to hang them later!

Ready to go into the oven

All finished baking!  Just let them cool completely and decorate as you wish
Painted to look like rustic old wood (before I decided to add a monogram)

Here is a shot of the back of the ornament - I just left them unfinished. There was no need to do both sides.

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November 23, 2019

From my Instagram Today - Artisan Bread

If you follow me on Instagram then you may have seen this (below) photo posted today.  

I've been battling what seems to be 3 different back-to-back colds for over a month now (the first wasn't a big deal, mostly just a cough, the second one following it was a little worse and then my husband returned from a business trip with a whopper of a nasty cold and was more than happy to share it with me... ha ha) so in regards to our normal low carb keto way of eating?  Nope.  We still mostly do low carb and of course, sugar free (always sugar free) but the carbs have been more Atkins maintenance than anything else. 

However, this cold coupled with the rainy, wet, dreary and gray last few days has me just wanting homemade bread.  Although I could easily make one of my regular bread recipes or even just make my 'classic' easy bread dough in the bread machine with no work on my part (all those recipes are posted numerous times already on An American Housewife - just use the search engine) I really wanted a thick, chewy, artisan bread.  The kind with a chewy, crunchy crust, but a thick, chewy center to either slather with butter and eat hot, toast under the broiler for a couple minutes or use to dip into a thick, rich, hot soup for dinner.

That kind of bread.

But I still needed it to be rather easy and no work because this cold has my head killing me with a massive headache, a hacking cough and I'm just so so so worn out I don't have the energy to babysit a dough.  

You can pop your bucket or bowl into the refrigerator after the initial 2 hour raising/falling and use it over the next 10-14 days.  You can get about 4 - 1 lb. loaves from it. Just reach in, cut off a piece of dough, toss it on a floured surface and form a round, let it rest 40 minutes and bake.  So you can be making fresh rounds from it from the refrigerator and don't have to worry about leftover bread.

Artisan Bread

1 ½ T yeast
1 ½ T salt
3 c water, lukewarm
6 ½ c flour
Baking/Pizza Stone

Dump yeast, salt and water into a large bowl, bucket or container.
Add flour.
Mix with a wooden spoon just until the flour is incorporated. No dry flour, no lumps.
Put a loose lid on or cover loosely with plastic wrap. Not air tight.  Let set at room temperature about 2 hours.
Sprinkle bit of flour so your fingers don’t stick. Cut off grapefruit sized piece with serrated knife.
Work in your hands to make a ball, pulling top layer to bottom.  Round and smooth.
Place on cornmeal sprinkled board.
Let set 40 minutes.
Sprinkle with flour, slash the loaf with a few slices.
Bake at 375 preheated oven with an empty pan in the bottom.
Slide on middle shelf baking stone.
Pour a cup of water in the hot empty pan and close door quickly to steam the bread.
Baked till top is golden brown - about 20-25 minutes.
Hard crust and moist, soft bread!

NOTE:  This bread is best served fresh.
I like it warm and eaten the first day.
I personally don't think it 'saves' well the second or third day because the texture changes.
I'd use it for croutons, cube & save for Thanksgiving stuffing, or process for bread crumbs and freeze any leftovers after the 2nd day. That's just my personal opinion though.

Mix it with a wooden spoon

Let it rise and do it's thing

It's ready!

Pull it out and prepare your bread rounds

Small or large - it's up to you! Just chop or pull some dough and form. No kneading.

Ready for the oven!

Crusty on the outside, chewy on the inside. Love this bread with soup!

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Easy Sugar Free Peanut Butter Fudge

If you've read An American Housewife for any length of time, you know I'm not a fan of chocolate.  Or peanut butter.  But my husband is.  And although he's not a big fan of 'fudge' when you are in a snacky mood, it's nice to have items on hand.  I keep this one in the freezer but the coolest thing about it is that having this on hand is perfect for making homemade Peanut Butter Fudge Ice Cream.  (Just make your favorite vanilla or chocolate ice cream and crumble this into the ice cream at the end of the cycle before serving or freezing.)

This recipe is a regular easy fudge recipe like you probably have in any of your 'grandma's' recipes as it's in every church or school or fundraising cookbook.  Any chocolate chip based 'easy fudge' recipe will do and you can make it sugar free by substituting ingredients and then mixing in your favorite sugar free candies (Peanut Butter Cups, Toffee, whatever you wish).

I didn't measure exact but used these in approximate amounts.  I had a partial bag of Lily's chocolates and a partial bag of Hershey's so I mixed those too.

1/2 c butter
Scant 1/4 c cream
1 bag chocolate chips
2 T peanut butter
1 1/2 - 2 c powdered sweetener or sugar (more or less depending on how sweet you like it. Taste it.)
1 t vanilla
Sugar free or regular candies of your choice to crumble or break into it (like toffee or peanut butter cups)

Line 8-inch square pan with aluminum foil, extending foil over edges. Grease foil with butter. Place  butter, cream, peanut butter and chocolate chips in large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave 2-3 minutes or until melted.  Beat in the sweetener and vanilla along with whatever crumbled candies you wish.  Spread into prepared pan and crumble a few candies on top. Chill until firm. 

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Low Carb and Sugar Free Zucchini Trifle? YES! Zucchini BREAD Trifle! With cream cheese frosting and whipped cream

I had this on my Instagram Story and planned on putting the recipe here but... life.  So this morning I'm finally putting the photos up!

When and if you say you made a 'zucchini trifle' it probably wouldn't sound all that great to a lot of a people (I'm guessing).  But what if you say "Zucchini Bread Trifle with Cream Cheese Whipped Cream" or something like that?  So, basically it's a yummy zucchini bread with cream cheese frosting but made into a dessert.

This really doesn't need a recipe... as you just throw it together with your favorite zucchini bread recipe, your favorite cream cheese frosting recipe and some vanilla whipped cream.  This can be low carb and sugar free or not.

I made this one low carb and sugar free using a typical zucchini bread recipe but just substituting almond flour and whey protein powder along with the natural sweetener instead of flour and sugar.

3 eggs
1/4 c butter
2/3 c sweetener of your choice (I used Lakanto this time, which is erythritol & monk fruit)
1 3/4 c almond flour
1/4 c unflavored or vanilla whey protein powder, or oat fiber or a tablespoon of coconut flour
1 t vanilla
1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1 t cinnamon
1/4 - 1/2 t ginger
1/2 t salt
Shredded zucchini - about a cup (I use a 'handful')
Optional - walnuts

I made 2 loaves - one with nuts and one without.  The 'nut' version tended to be a little more crumbly than the 'without' - probably because I used too many nuts!  Ha ha.  So keep the nuts to about 1/2 cup I think. 

Mix the butter and eggs and sweetener with the vanilla.  Add the dry ingredients, mix and then stir in the zucchini.  Pour into a parchment lined and greased loaf pan/bread pan (9X5) and bake at 325-350 degrees for about an hour.  The temperature and and length of time depends on your oven and how dark your pan is.  Anything between 45-65 minutes until it's done in the middle and no longer battery. Let it cool in the pan for about 10-12 minutes before you turn it out to cool completely. 

As it cools mix up a basic cream cheese frosting

I used about;
2 T butter
4 T cream cheese
1 c granulated sweetener (I used Swerve Confectioner's this time)
1 T heavy cream or almond milk
1 t vanilla

Whip about 2 cups heavy cream until it forms soft peaks in a large mixing bowl, add the cream cheese frosting and keep whipping until it's blended and whipped to stiff peaks.  Taste.  See if it's the level of vanilla and sweetness you want.  Add some cream cheese, vanilla, dash of salt, whatever you wish.

Layer the whipped cream mixture and the cut or crumbled up cold zucchini bread in a glass bowl (or any container really, glass bowls are just traditional for trifles to show off the layers). I crumbled the last of the zucchini bread on top. 

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November 18, 2019

RECALL: FDA recalls tuna from Truong Phu Xanh Co. LTD

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said it is currently investigating an outbreak of fish poisoning illnesses that have been traced to yellowfin tuna imported to the U.S. from Vietnam.

The health agency said there were 47 confirmed cases of scombrotoxin fish poisoning reported between Aug. 8 and Oct. 15, which saw Truong Phu Xanh Co., LTD placed on Import Alert.

Additionally, the FDA asked the Vietnamese company to issue a recall for
its imported yellowfin tuna products produced from January 2019 to present day,
but the company has not complied.

“Yellowfin tuna from Truong Phu Xanh Co., LTD with a production date in 2019 should not be consumed because it may have the potential to cause scombrotoxin fish poisoning,” the FDA said in a Nov. 15 news release. “Tuna from this supplier should have been sold thawed or frozen; and could have been sold as ground tuna mea, poke cubes, steaks, or loins; this product could still be within its shelf life.”

According to the news release, scombrotoxin fish poisoning occurs when fish is not properly chilled or preserved and begins to spoil, which creates elevated histamine levels that cannot be destroyed by freezing or cooking. Symptoms of scombroid poisoning can be confused with an allergy or other form of food poisoning. The poisoning can become evident within minutes or within up to two hours of consumption and ultimate result in facial flushing, sweating, burning-peppery taste sensations, dizziness, nausea and headache. Advanced symptoms include facial rash, hives, edema, diarrhea and abdominal cramps.

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November 14, 2019

Easier Than Ever Low Carb (Keto) Mozzarella Sticks - because I made them in the waffle iron this time!

Remember these? (above)  I've posted how much I love my low carb mozzarella sticks more than a couple times now. (Link)   And I usually make a double or triple batch to keep in the freezer because I really (really) hate to bread foods.  I will choose to not make favorite food items just because I hate the messy breading process!

I really love and crave mozzarella sticks dipped in sugar free ketchup and last night that is ALL I could think about and I didn't have any premade in the freezer so I knew it would be a long process of making the keto low carb breading and then breading them and freezing them... and then heating the oil and cooking them.  Sigh.   

When you are hungry, you are hungry... 
and I was not willing to wait up to two hours for freeze time.

So I got the idea of using my normal, regular recipe but skipping the freezing time completely AND then making them in the waffle iron on top of that.  I knew they wouldn't be quite the same as deep frying them, but I actually was kind of excited about that as I usually have to drain them on paper towels to get the excess oil off.  I wasn't sure if they would still crisp up nice for me but guess what?  They did!  And they were SO FAST and SO EASY that I'm actually considering making more of them again tonight since I'll be the only one home for 'dinner' tonight due to schedules.

Here is my regular mozzarella 'stick' made in the waffle iron instead....

If you don't want to use wheat resistant starch (which is totally cool because I know it's usually hard to find except online) just use more Parmesan.  Same with pork rinds.  This time around I did use wheat resistant starch, but added more Parmesan to take the place of the pork rinds that I didn't feel like food processing because... hello?  I already said I was hungry and wanted to eat NOW.  Ha ha ha.

Low Carb Mozzarella Sticks

1 egg, beaten
1/2 c almond flour
1/4 c powdered Parmesan cheese
optional:  1/4 c wheat resistant starch 75
optional:  1/4 c ground pork rinds

(If you don't use the wheat resistant starch 75 or pork rinds just double or triple the cheese)
16 pieces string cheese
2 T Italian Seasoning
1/2 garlic salt

Cut the string cheese in half.
Lightly beat the egg and pour into a small shallow dish.
Mix the dry ingredients in a large Ziploc baggy, dish or jar.
Roll the cheese stick halves in the egg and dip in the dry mix. Press lightly to help it adhere.
Now, you CAN  place the breaded cheese sticks on a baking sheet and freeze at least 2 hours or up to 3 months.  But I made these literally straight from breading to laying it in my hot, and sprayed waffle iron.  Cook them in your waffle iron until the light turns green that they are 'ready' or if yours doesn't have one, about 3 minutes (more or less) depending on your brand of waffle iron and how hot it gets.
Lightly salt to taste and serve hot with low or no sugar marinara sauce or ketchup. 

Because it's crumb-based Parmesan breading, it does get your iron a little messy but obviously that wipes right out with a paper towel when you are done making them.

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