From my Instagram Story Today: Low Carb & Sugar Free Zucchini Bread

If there is a recipe that I think any 6 or 7 year old child who is interested in baking could and should make, this might be it.  

Things with zucchini in them tend to be really easy, quick and no-fail recipes. As with almost any quick-bread, it's better to slightly overbake it than to underbake and have it gooey and undone in the center.   Make sure the center is 'done', fairly firm, and doesn't jiggle and sink before you take it out of the oven.

This will make 2 loaves.  Use a regular 9X4" bread pan, lined with parchment and lightly greased.

Zucchini Bread

1 c scooped almond flour, not packed down
3/4 c good quality coconut flour
1/4 c unflavored or vanilla flavored whey protein powder
(You can skip the whey protein and use a full cup coconut flour if that's what you have)
2 T baking powder
1 c - 1 1/4 c sweeteners (I like to mix at least 2 granular natural sweeteners for best flavor)
4 eggs
2/3 c melted butter
2/3 c sour cream
2 t vanilla
3 t cinnamon
1/2 t sea salt
2 c shredded zucchini

Mix all the ingredients with a wood spoon or spatula until moistened and well mixed.  Separate into two prepared loaf pans and bake in a preheated oven at 350 for approximately 1 hour until done.  Remove and let cool about 20 minutes in the pan before removing and pulling away from the parchment paper too cool completely.  I like to wrap all my quick breads (pumpkin, zucchini, banana breads)  in plastic wrap as soon as they are mostly cool, then wrap in foil, and place in the freezer for 24 hours.  After that either they stay stored there until I need them, or I remove them and thaw to serve.  I keep mine in the refrigerator because I like cool breads personally and just don't like quick breads at room temperature.


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Homemade Vanilla Pudding

Flashback Post!  This morning I had a fleeting thought; "I wonder what some of the first recipes I posted were?"  

So I clicked back to some random 2006 posts and saw this one for homemade vanilla pudding.  The funny thing is, I actually remember the conversation that started this post.  One of my daughters was just 10 years old at the time and was craving vanilla pudding.  She was hoping to just make an 'instant' pudding with no work but since I rarely kept that on hand in the pantry, we didn't have any. (I don't like the chemical taste nor the texture of instant puddings.)  We did have a cook-n-serve version, which I taught her to make but since we had 5 members of the family eating dinner that night, I whipped up some homemade to add to it and taught her to make homemade.  I actually recall our conversation in the kitchen and teaching her how to make pudding that evening. 

That little 10 year old is now 23 and a newlywed.  Oh, the memories!  Another perk of having my recipe collection blog for so many years.  Lots of memories are tied up in An American Housewife since it's start in 2006.


3/4 sugar
1/3 c flour
3 c milk
4 egg yolks, beaten
1 T vanilla
1 1/2 T real butter

In a saucepan combine the sugar and flour, stir with a whisk. Turn on the heat and stir in milk. Cook over medium heat until the mixture is thick and bubbling. Cook for 2 minutes at a slow boil. Drizzle 1 cup into the beaten egg yolks while whisking the whole time. When incorporated, pour the egg mixture back into the saucepan with the rest of the pudding. Stir in the butter and vanilla, and cook over a low/medium heat at a simmer while stirring. Pour the pudding into a large bowl or smaller serving bowls. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the pudding surface while it cools if you don't want a 'skin' on the top of the pudding. (Or just eat it right away like I do, while it's still warm!)

You can slice ripe bananas into this pudding for a heavenly banana cream pudding that can't be beat!

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Bacon and Potato Chowder - Thick, rich, homemade and oh so good!

It's cold.
It's raining.
It's dark and gray outside.

It's day just calls for a hot, comforting, homemade soup.
And homemade bread.

And since we still have house guests this month and we have found it almost impossible to stick to low carb and certainly impossible to do keto... I'm giving in today and going all the way.  A thick, delicious, hearty homemade Potato and Bacon Chowder.  It's soup obviously, but so thick and rich and chunks of yummy bacon, potatoes and some onions and celery... oh it's a heavenly chowder.

Yep, it's a blurry photo.  Ha ha.  But as I always state here on An American Housewife - this is a food and recipe blog.  Not a photo blog.  It's about the food.  Good, real food.  Not how great the photos are.

Bacon and Potato Chowder

As usual, I don't measure and don't use precise amounts.  I'll give an approximate and basically, use a little more or less depending on what you like.  Do taste tests.

2 cups dehydrated hash browns, reconstituted OR about 2-3 potatoes, diced, OR about 8 small little potatoes, diced up
1 cup water to cook potato dices (don't have to use if you are using reconstituted hash browns or about 2-3 cups frozen hashbrowns)
2/3 c bacon crumbles (grab about 6-8 strips)
1 medium onion or about 3 or 4 green onions, diced
1 or 2 stalks celery, diced small
1 can cream of chicken soup  (You can make your own homemade version if you refuse to use a canned cream soup.  But you know, the homemade version isn't much different ingredient wise!)
1 c sour cream
1 1/4 cup of half and half, cream or whole milk (I opt for half and half or cream... always)
salt and pepper
optional - onion powder

You can dice your bacon up and then cook it or you can cook it first and then crumble it.  If you have 'real' Hormel bacon pieces on hand and no actual bacon... go for it.  But I wouldn't use bacon bits (imitation unless I had to.  You can, but it won't taste like real bacon).  Cook the bacon until done.  Add the diced potatoes if you are using them, and the onion and celery.  Add the cup of water to the pan (with the bacon and drippings) and cook about 10 minutes until the potatoes are tender. 

If you are using hash browns (I use both real, diced potatoes for chunks and hash browns for a nice thick, hearty soup) you can add them with their re-hydrating water once the potatoes/onions/celery are soft.

Now you add the rest of the ingredients and you continue to cook, and stir until heated through.  The amount of cream or half and half is going to be relative to your soup/chowder.  Figure about 1 1/4 cups and then as it cooks through, especially if you've used hash browns, you might need to add a cup or two more.  It's all according to you.  How thick do you want it?  Taste it too!  Salt and pepper to your tastes.  I'd say about a teaspoon of salt and 1/8 pepper.  Parsley is 1/4 cup dried... more or less.

Just heat through and serve.  It's one of those things you can't really get wrong.  It tastes good no matter what I think.

I serve with homemade bread - which you can find a ton of recipes for here on An American Housewife - just use the search box to the right or at the top of the page.

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Homemade Breakfast Bars (like Nutrigrain Bars!)

Originally posted in January, 2007

Fruit and Oatmeal Breakfast Bars (Easy!)

These remind me of the Nutri-Grain bars you buy at the store. Only for the price of ingredients, you'll get a whole pan of them for the price of one box of 6!

1 box yellow cake mix (dry)
2 1/2 c oatmeal - quick cooking
1 1/2 sticks butter
1 c (or a 12 oz. jar) of strawberry or cherry preserves, heated to melt
1 T water

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9X13 " pan. Combine the dry cake mix with the oat meal in a large bowl. Add the melted butter and stir until crumbly. Pour half the mixture into the pan and press firmly to cover the bottom. Combine the preserves and water. Sprinkle remaining crumb mixture over preserves. Pat firmly enough to make the top even. Bake 18-23 minutes until the top is golden brown. Cool in pan before cutting into bars. Makes about 4 dozen depending on the size you cut.

*You can make these into a delicious dessert by serving them topped with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

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Homemade Copycat Entenmann's Coffee Cake Style Loaf - Cinnamon Coffee Cake Loaf and OH MY IT'S GOOD! (Originally posted in 2007)

Originally posted in February, 2007!

Reposting in 2019 and adding the note that you can make this into cupcakes too!  I haven't made this in a really long time since we are doing more low carb and sugar free now, however, we've been off the bandwagon since some disruptions in life with the wedding, house guests, having houseguests staying with us this month, etc. so really, now would be the perfect time for me to make this again.  Not only is it an incredibly yummy recipe, but it's a nice 'Autumn' coffee cake, and since we are eating some flour baked good items right now anyway, it's an idea that is on my 'baking radar!'.

Entenmann's Style Coffee Cake Loaf

3 3/4 c flour
1 3/4 c sugar
1 T baking powder
1/2 t salt

Mix in a large mixing bowl and then remove 2 cups of the dry mix to reserve for later.
Now to the rest of the flour in the mixing bowl add;

1 stick butter (not margarine)
2 eggs
2/3 milk

The batter will be thick, spread this into a greased and floured pan (I use a little of the reserved flour topping mix to flour the pan). Now, you are wondering what size aren't you? Any size you want. If you use a 9X13 pan, you will have a thin cake, a 14 inch square would be nice, a 9X9" square will be a thick cake. I personally like to use a bread loaf pan. I like mine as a 'pound cake'. Spread the batter into your pan.

Now, to the reserved flour mixture add;

1 stick butter
1/4 c brown sugar
2 t cinnamon
dash of salt

Mix this together with your finger tips until it forms pea sized crumbles. Cover the entire cake with this topping. If you chose to use a loaf pan you will only use half the topping. Freeze the rest in a baggy to use on muffins at a later date!

Bake at 350 degrees - a 9X13" pan approximately 30 minutes or a loaf pan it will have to bake at least 60 minutes. I bake mine about 1 hour and 15 minutes until a sharp knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

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Sitting in a DRAFT FILE SINCE....... 2007!? A baked Southern Peanut Butter Pie

This afternoon I decided on a whim to look back in my files to see what I was cooking on this day but years ago.  At random I started clicking through 2008 and 2007 and oh my goodness!  I came across a ton of recipes I saved to my personal files in 2007 and they've never been tried or published...  just sitting there silently waiting for me to remember they existed!

I apparently saved this one to my files in November of 2007 and I smiled a tiny little smile because at the time, I would have lived waaaaaay up North in the frozen tundra (only dreaming of the South) and today, I DO live in the South and this is a "SOUTHERN Peanut Butter Pie" y'all!  Ha ha.  (I don't know that it's actually Southern... but it's called that.)  And the interesting thing about this recipe is that it calls for it to be baked.  The only peanut butter pies I've ever had or made are all 'ice box' style that don't use eggs or call to be cooked.  It looks similar to a pecan pie to me except it uses peanut butter and no pecans.

So just to give light to some of these poor, neglected recipes from 2007 I'm hitting the publish button... that way I can find them quick and easy in the future with my 'search' feature!


1 c corn syrup
1 c sugar
3 eggs, slightly beaten
½ t vanilla
1/3 c peanut butter
1 unbaked 9 inch pastry shell
1 c whipping cream

Combine first five ingredients, mixing until thoroughly blended. Pour into prepared pastry shell. Bake in hot oven 400° for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to moderate 350° and bake 30 to 35 minutes longer. Filling should appear slightly less set to center. Chill. Top with whipped cream.

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Homemade Egg Rolls - Perfect if you have cabbage or use up!

Originally posted on An American Housewife in October, 2016

Amounts for this recipe are really quite similar to the ingredients list...  it's a use what you have within reason kind of thing and taste-test it to your own personal tastes.

Egg Rolls

Shredded cabbage or cole slaw mix
Green Onions (chopped)
Mushrooms (chopped)
Water Chestnuts (canned, drain & chop)
Bamboo Shoots (canned, drain & chop)
Bean Sprouts (canned, drain)
Ginger - powdered
Soy Sauce
Shrimp, pork or chicken - optional (chop or grind)
Oil to cook them in
Water or an egg white beaten with a bit of water to seal them
Soy Sauce or favorite sauce to serve with

I wanted to use shrimp in my egg rolls, and shrimp cooks so quickly, I chose to chop it and add it to the mixture as it was.  If I had chosen chicken or ground pork, I would briefly cook it first, let it cool a bit and then add it to the mixture.  

In a large bowl, place all the ingredients you want to use except the meat or seafood;  shredded cabbage, chopped fresh mushrooms, bean sprouts, water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, etc.  Add 1-2 tablespoons soy sauce and 1-2 teaspoons ginger.  Taste test it and add more soy sauce if you wish.  You can also use some salt and pepper if that's your thing - and some people use corn starch but I never do.  You could also use 1/2 teaspoon of sweetener if you are more partial to things have a bit of sweetness to them.  When you are happy with it, add your cooked ground pork or chicken or your chopped shrimp.  Stir.

Place about 2 -3 tablespoons of the mixture onto an egg roll wrapper.   See the photos for how I roll mine.  I choose to lay my filling corner to corner.  I use a pastry or basting brush to quickly brush the edges of the egg roll wrapper with water or an egg white beaten in a small cup with a bit of water.  This is what seals the edges of your egg roll.

I take the bottom corner and fold it up over the filling.  Fold in both sides, covering the filling. It almost looks like an envelope.  Now roll up the egg roll.  It seals itself because you had dampened the edges with egg white/water.  You can brush the tops with a sweep of egg white if you wish.   Heat your oil until hot - it will sizzle if you drop a drop of water or a piece of egg roll into it.  You want it about 350 degrees or I use the #6-ish setting on my glass stovetop (0-10).   Fry the egg rolls, turning often to make sure they are golden brown all the way around.  If your oil is TOO hot, they will instantly get pretty dark and the insides won't be cooked, so take it slow, adjust your heat and each batch of egg rolls should cook for about 5 minutes total. Drain on paper towels. Serve with soy sauce, plum sauce, duck sauce, mustard - whatever you like - or eat plain.

*** I completely cooked half of mine to serve right away and partially cooked the other half.  For the partially cooked; after letting them drain and cool on paper towels, freeze them to cook later just like you would any frozen egg roll from the store.  I seal mine in airtight packages with my food sealer (but don't suck all the air out!  They will be squished.)  Just press some of the air out with your hands and use only the 'sealer' portion to make a seal and then freeze. 

 Cabbage, green onion, mushrooms, shrimp, water chestnuts and more....

 The filling on the egg rolls and read for me to seal the edges and roll up
 It looks like an envelope.
 Roll it up!
 Ready to cook in hot oil - drain - and serve or freeze

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Emergency Storage Food: Bacon Flavored Potato Chowder - For camping, food storage, or just a meal!

Although I don't talk about it on An American Housewife as much as I really planned to, I am a huge proponent of having emergency food storage on hand.  Food, water, power sources, cooking sources that don't involve powder, skills and more. With that in mind.....

Two years ago I decided to camp from the eastern border to the western border of South Dakota.  During this trip, I decided to stock up on freeze-dried and dehydrated foods so we (my daughter and I) didn't have any concerns about meals! I ordered a lot of pouches and cans of emergency storage food ahead of time that I knew I loved, as well as some new ones like this Bacon Flavored Potato Chowder.  I opened the cans and food-sealed the freeze-dried vegetables, fruits, mushrooms, and dehydrated butter powder into smaller portions. Then I fit everything into one small suitcase that was our 'food' case for our 2 week trip.

When my daughter and I had this soup for dinner one evening, it was fabulous.  We absolutely loved it and finished off the whole pouch, which is basically 4 cups of chowder.  But since I don't use our food storage for our everyday meals (that would be expensive!), I've not had it since.

Until now.

I kept out a pouch and today, decided we would have it with dinner tonight.

This is actually a photo I took of the product on that camping trip... we were serving it with freeze-dried corn.

And here is a close up I took on that camping trip, because apparently I really, really loved it!

So how did it measure up to my memory???

At first... it didn't.

When I added the hot (almost boiling) water to it and gave it a stir, I was thinking it was watery and smelled... chivey?  Chives or onion was about the only smell it had.  But I knew it would thicken up upon setting so I waited the 7-10 minutes it takes per directions.

However, it still wasn't all that thick.  It does best with boiling or almost boiling water, and in a container you can seal (like the pouch it comes in).  Because I was only making 1 cup, I popped it into the microwave for 75 seconds.  And it thickened right up!

And?  The first bite was fine.  The second bite was... fine.  The third bite... wow, this really is good.  The rest of the bites?  Oh yes... I remember now why I loved this one!!!  Yum!

The bacon flavor is faint, so it's not overwhelming at all.  The chive/onion I thought would be too strong also mellowed out once it was thick and heated through.  It was just so, so good.  Great for a cold or chilly day or night.

Is it healthy?  Depends on what's important to you.  My answer is 'not really' because I mostly eat fresh, unprocessed foods.  This is made with sunflower oil, corn syrup solids and modified corn starch in the ingredient list. I also don't eat sugar, and this has 3 grams.  But I don't plan on eating this every night for every meal!  Camping trips, emergency storage, and quick and easy, no work on a cold winter night?  Sure!

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'Everything' Flavored Low Carb Almond Crackers

Although I thought I already posted this one, I did a (very) quick search and didn't see it so I'm going to post it again.  It's a low carb almond cracker but I use different flavorings (spices, herbs) depending on what I'm in the mood for or what I want to use them for.  So, feel to play with the spice mixture.

Sometimes I use baking powder in my crackers along with a whole egg, other times I make my crackers with no leavening agent and just egg whites (you'll find both recipes here in the search).  The egg white no leavening is more like a 'wheat thin' - which I've been making since 2002 (?) and we call Almond Thins.  This one is a bit thicker and more cracker like than that one - but you can choose which you like better or what you want to use them for.

This time around I used a spice mixture I bought called "Everything" Seasoning Blend.  Although it was new at the time I bought it, I've since seen it hitting the shelves everywhere and it's become quite popular!  I bought it to make 'Everything' Bagels but found I love (LOVE) it in sour cream as an onion dip... oh my, it's that good.

But this day, I used it on crackers, which were then used in a spinach artichoke dip and in a cream cheese/mild banana pepper dip!

Rosemary Garlic Almond Crackers (Or ANY seasoning you like)

2 c almond flour or fine ground almonds
2 T butter, melted
1 t sweetener of choice
1/2 t baking powder
1/4 t salt (I use sea salt)
1 egg
Everything Seasoning Blend
 - you can mix some of the seasoning blend IN the cracker or just top them with it.  Your choice.

Mix all the ingredients in a food processor or a small bowl. Make sure it's mixed well so all the almond is moist and the dough starts to hold together and form a ball.  You can either mix in the seasonings OR sprinkle them separately on top.  If you sprinkle on top, press them in lightly.

Roll the dough out between 2 sheets of parchment paper or well greased foil.  It is very sticky so you need 2 sheets of parchment or foil or it will stick to your rolling pin.

Roll the dough out with a rolling pin as thin as you can - 1/8 of an inch is what to aim for.  Aim for a rectangle shape to make it easier to score squares.  Peel off the top layer and score with a pizza cutter to make squares either 1" or 2" - your choice in size.  Leave them on the bottom parchment to bake and place it on a baking sheet.

Bake at 325 degree's for 10-15 minutes then check and use a metal spatula, fork or your fingers to gently pry the crackers apart, flipping the ones on the outside to the inside and mixing them up a bit. When all are golden, remove, break apart and let cool completely. Store in an air tight container.

This was from my Instagram or Twitter account so it's a little blurry as it was a 'quick' shot for my story!

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From my Instagram Story: Creamy Spinach Casserole

It's not my typical spinach dip though, which you can find elsewhere here on An American Housewife (just use the search feature).  This one is a yummy 'casserole' sidedish that doesn't use any mayo or sour cream like a regular spinach dip.  Although I want to note and add that you absolutely can add artichokes to this recipe and it would be SO GOOD.  I didn't last night as I don't have any on hand, and my husband isn't an artichoke fan anyway.

Creamy Spinach Casserole (or use it as a dip)

5 T butter
3 cloves fresh, minced garlic
1/2 c - 2/3 c chopped green onions
1 1/4 c heavy cream
dash of cayenne pepper
Spinach - either about 4 cups fresh or use about 2 small bags frozen, leaf cut style
1 c parmesan cheese
4-6 oz. cream cheese
salt and pepper

Preheat your oven to about 400 degrees or you could microwave this as well (but it won't be the nice golden brown on top, nor crisp up on the sides).  Melt the butter and saute' the onions for a few minutes, then add the garlic.  Cook until soft (about 5 minutes).  Add the cream and cayenne while stirring, then add the spinach.  As it wilts and mixes in, then add the parmsean, cream cheese (use as little or a lot as you like...  anything between 3 and 6 ounces) and season with salt and pepper to your tastes.  Pour into a greased dish and bake until golden and bubbly on top - about 15-20 minutes.

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