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. 

This is hands-down my favorite unflavored whey protein powder.  I add it to my almond flour to give it a better texture in baking.  I usually get the huge 3 pound container from Netrition or Amazon but I think you can also find this at your local GNC if you have one near you.  

Isopure Zero Carb, Keto Friendly Protein Powder, 100% Whey Protein Isolate, Unflavored, 1 Pound

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December 11, 2019

I tried the new Palmini (Hearts of Palm) Fake Pasta Linguine.... and what do I think?

I don't watch television, (no, not at all) and I don't visit cooking blogs or read magazines so I had never heard of the product "Palmini" before, which apparently was a featured product on the TV show Shark Tank.  I happened to see one tiny little ad for it as I scrolled through my Instagram story feed and caught the image of a yummy looking alfredo sauce... and it was served over this new low carb faux 'pasta'. 

Palmini Low Carb Pasta

"Palmini is 100% made out of Hearts of Palm, so if you eat it straight out of the can it will taste like Hearts of Palm. Prepared with a regular pasta sauce and properly rinsed, the resemblance to regular pasta is remarkable."
I wouldn't say it's 'remarkable' but it was good!

You simply drain Palmini and rinse with water, then you can eat it any way you wish, in any recipe or with any sauce.


I've tried many of the 'faux' pastas that are known as Miracle Noodles, Shirataki Noodles, Keto noodles of all brands made from the konjac yam, and I CANNOT eat them.  I gag. I have to force myself.  

They are basically like chewing on rubber bands and worse?  I can't get over the fact that I feel like I'm eating tape worms.  Which, unfortunately is often what they look like after they make their way through your system.  Pieces of tape worms in your...  anyway!  So yes, I've bought them and tried them when I was desperately craving carby pasta like Tuna Casserole but honestly, it's a huge mental and texture block.  I actually threw the last package out into the trash unopened because I couldn't stand the thought of the feel of them in my mouth - no matter how strong the craving for 'noodles' was.  I would prefer to give in an have a carb-fest of real pasta than eat tape-worm looking and feeling things.

But since I DO like to try new 'fake pasta' products, I was game to try these and I knew I'd probably find them at my local Publix grocery store.  And I did!

Hearts of palm tastes and feels like bamboo shoots (you know them from your favorite Chinese food or other Asian dishes perhaps).  The thing is, I've always liked them and I like the taste so I figured I'd be ok with trying them in noodle form as a pasta, but I also knew I'd want them a little more soft and I'd like to try to get rid of the bamboo/palm taste if I wanted to think of them as 'pasta'.  Some people say they can't taste them at all, but I can!  (I genetically have a crazy good nose and therefore, taste buds, thanks to my olfactory system.)

I read their advice of boiling them 5-10 minutes if you wanted a softer noodle (I do) and I thought that would help with diminishing the taste too.  It did.  It actually was difficult to let them boil 5 minutes as I kept thinking they would be too soft and fall apart.  They don't! They were still a bit too al dente (firm to the bite) at 5 minutes and next time I'm boiling them 10 without fear.

I served them with my homemade spaghetti sauce and keto almond flour cheesy garlic biscuits. 

Will I buy them again?  Yes!  I've already tried!

I was at Walmart yesterday and specifically looked for them but my local store doesn't carry them (*yet).  But my local Publix does and although a bit pricey ($3.48 a can last weekend when I purchased these) it's something I'd like to keep on hand when I'm in the mood for 'pasta' but want to do something other than spiralized zucchini noodles, etc.

Apparently they sell these in pouches as well as cans, although I didn't see pouches at my local store.  I did find them available online though.

Palmini Low Carb Pasta - 4g of Carbs - Pouch 12 Oz.

You can also purchase the Palmini Low Carb Lasagna style, which I did see at Publix but I wasn't sure I wanted to try that one yet.  I thought I'd try the linguine style noodles first.  I'm pretty happy with my other faux lasagna noodle options right now, and I also thought that these might taste and 'feel' more like planks of hearts of palm (or bamboo shoots) to me, which would make it hard for me to enjoy the 'lasagna' I made with them.  However, since they are available locally to me, I do plan to purchase them on my next shopping trip and give them a trial run.

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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

You might be interested in some related products;


Mrs. Anderson's Extra-Fine Cheesecloth
Farberware Classic Stainless Steel 8-Quart Covered Straining Stockpot
Stainless Steel Stock Pot, 20 qt. with Lid
Uncle Ben's Long Grain Wild Rice
ZATARAIN'S Crawfish, Crab and Shrimp Boil, Pack of 12)

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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!  It's SO SOFT AND EASY TO WORK WITH!  I LOVE LOVE LOVE this dough!  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.

Related products available through Amazon affiliate links;
Crayola Model Magic
Wilton Snowflake 7-Piece Cookie Cutter Set
Acrylic paint 12 Set by Crafts 4 All For Paper,canvas,wood,ceramic,fabric & crafts.Non toxic & Vibrant colors. Rich Pigments With Lasting Quality - For Beginners, Students
Crayola; Acrylic Paint; Art Tools; 6 2-Ounce Bottles; Assorted Bright, Bold Colors
Wilton Holiday 18 pc Metal Cookie Cutter Set, 2308-1132
Wilton Holiday Grippy Cookie Cutters, Set of 4



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