Homemade Sugar Free Almond Joy Bites

Originally posted in 2012 - repost for 2020

My husband teases me that I'm the only person on the planet that likes Almond Joys.  I know that isn't true because I only buy Almond Joy candies at Halloween in one mini-bite sized bag and I know that one purchase isn't keeping them in business!

Right now I'm cutting out all sugar and ironically, even though I never crave sugar or chocolate - knowing I can't have it just makes me want it.  I don't like chocolate.  I can go six months and not even think about it.  But... decide to go completely sugar free and my brain starts to crave it just because I can't have it.  Silly brain.

So today I whipped up some Almond Joy Bites.  Sugar Free and quite easy.  It's funny though, after I mixed them up and made 8 bite sized candies to set on foil, I scraped the last of the chocolate mixture out of the bowl (about a half teaspoon), ate it....  and had no craving for any more.  See?  It's all mental.  :)

Sugar Free Almond Joy Bites

1/3 c Hershey's Sugar Free Chocolate Chips
1/4 c Shredded Coconut  (Unsweetened)
1 t Torani Sugar Free Vanilla Syrup
1/4 c Almonds, Unroasted & Unsalted 

Amounts are up to you.  This is approximately what I used and it made 8 little inch rounds or bites.  If you added a bit more or less coconut or almonds or even vanilla syrup, you can adjust it to your personal taste.

Chop the almonds either by the edge of a rolling pin in a ziploc or with a chopper.  Place all ingredients in a microwave safe bowl and microwave 1 minute, stir.  If it's not quite melted, give it another 15 seconds.  Stir again.  Drop by spoonfuls onto foil.  You can leave them free form or shape them a bit with your fingers to make them round.  Let them set to harden for about an hour or put them in the refrigerator for a quick set.  I got 8 rounds from this amount.

*If you don't care about sugar; just use regular chocolate chips.  Enjoy!



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Cast Iron Keto Cornbread - sugarfree, low carb

I knew I had posted this recipe on An American Housewife previously (because this site is actually my personal space to save and collect recipes - but I leave it public for everyone else too).  I knew it.  But I'll be darned... I couldn't find it in my search box.

Finally I went back to my editor 'post' list and skimmed through the titles of my posts and?  There it was.  Posted in February.  But for whatever reason, Google didn't index it so it's hard to find.

I'm posting it again.  Because I make this all the time but I look for my handwritten index card each time and I wanted to be sure it was on my site.  It is.  Twice now.  But it's twice as good as you would expect for a keto, lowcarb, sugarfree cornbread, so there's that.

Almond Flour Corn Bread
1/2 stick butter, melted
3 eggs
1/4 heavy cream
2 c almond flour
2 T ground flax seed
2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
2-3 t granular sweetener of your choice
1/2 t vanilla
1-2 T cornmeal (optional) or 1/2 t sweet corn extract flavoring (also optional) 

Melt your butter in a bowl in a microwave.  Pour about 2 T of it into your skillet, swirl it around and place it in the oven.  Preheat your oven to 375 degrees with the pan in it.  Meanwhile, add the eggs, cream, vanilla and the extract (if you are using it) to the rest of the butter in the bowl and whisk to blend.  

In a 'dry' bowl, place your almond flour, flax seed, baking powder, salt, sweetener and the cornmeal if you are using it.  Blend it and then stir into the egg mixture.  If it seems too thick, just add about 2-3 tablespoons of water to thin a little bit so it's a nice thick batter, not a dough.  

Pour into the hot skillet and return it to the oven to bake about 25 minutes until golden brown and a crust forms on the top.  Serve hot or cold with butter, syrup, whatever you wish!

The batter spread in the hot skillet
Into the oven with you!

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National Ice Cream Day - sugar free and low carb, keto version of my favorite COFFEE ICE CREAM, starting with a KETO SWEETENED CONDENSED MILK

Today I got a text from one of my siblings saying he hadn't found a keto 'sweetened condensed milk' option he liked so he made up his own today by using cream, butter, vanilla, sweetener and a bit of xanthan.  I laughed, opened my refrigerator, pulled out two jars of my keto 'sweetened condensed milk' and took a picture to send him.  "Great minds...."  he replied.

What do I use it for?  Mostly, for certain versions of cheesecake bars, key lime bars, iced coffee flavoring cream!  Lots of yummy, soft ice cream.

Do you know the version of 'easy no churn ice cream' that was a fad about 10 years ago?  It made another fadish round on social media in 2018/2019, maybe you caught it then?

Here is one of my posts regarding this 'recipe' - from 2018 - which is not a low carb or sugar free version.

Homemade Ice Cream
No machine or bags of ice needed!

16 oz. heavy whipping cream  (2 cups liquid)
1 can sweetened condensed milk  (not evaporated milk)
*optional items for whatever you flavor you like

Whip the heavy cream just to stiff peaks.
Fold in 1 can sweetened condensed milk.
Any flavorings or additions you like.
Place in a freezer safe container.  Freeze til firm.  Serve! 

Vanilla:  Add 1-2 t vanilla extract
Chocolate:  1/2 c chocolate syrup, 1-2 squares melted Baker's chocolate
Caramel:  1/2 c Caramel syrup
Cherry Nut:  1 t almond extract, fresh chopped cherries, chopped walnuts or pecans
Chocolate Mocha Nut:  1/2 c chocolate syrup, 1 melted square Bakers unsweetened chocolate, 1/4 c strong coffee, 1/3 c toasted chopped almonds
Cookies and Cream:  1 c crushed or chopped Oreos, 1 t vanilla extract
Lemon:  1 t lemon extract
Try:  Marshmallow creme, mini chocolate chips, candies, crushed cookies, nuts, butterscotch, strawberries, raspberries, maple extract, mint extract with mini chocolate chips, 1/3 c dry cake mix with colored sprinkles, espresso, melted caramel with a sprinkle of sea salt, bits of chopped brownies or cake, spoonfuls of cheesecake, bits of apple pie filling and a sprinkle of cinnamon, chopped candy bars... the options are endless!!!!

More posts about ICE CREAM on An American Housewife:

Coffee Almond Fudge Ice Cream - (sugar free, gluten free and low carb option)
Irish Cream Ice Cream - 4 recipes for 4 different versions and flavors!
Homemade Ice Cream - without an ice cream machine (made in a Ziploc Baggy)
Homemade Shamrock Shake like McDonalds


Lately, my favorite go-to ice cream recipe is based on the one above... only sugar free and keto.  By keeping some homemade sweetened condensed milk (keto, sugar free) on hand, I just add that to 1 1/2 - 2 cups of heavy whipping cream that I've whipped with about a tablespoon or two of sweetener, some extract or flavoring of choice, and a dash of vodka to keep it from turning to rock in the freezer.

1 1/2 cup heavy cream
1/3 c sweetener of choice mixed with a second 1/3 cup sweetener of choice
2 T butter
dash of vanilla
dash of salt
xanthan gum (about 1/4 teaspoon or about 2 tablespoons isopure why protein powder to thicken)

Mix all in a saucepan on the stove over medium high heat.  As soon as it almost boiling, turn down the heat to low and simmer for about 15-20 minutes.  Be sure it's a constant simmer, adjust heat as needed to keep it simmering.  This thickens it up by reducing it a bit.  Let it cool about 10 minutes before pouring into a mason jar.  Leave the lid off and let it cool to room temperature before putting the lid on and popping it into the refrigerator to keep for whenever you need to use it.

To make ice cream (I made coffee ice cream, as you can tell from my site that coffee ice cream and vanilla ice cream are my two favorites).

To the batch of homemade sweetened condensed milk add 1 tablespoon vodka.
Let that set while you whip about 1 1/2 - 2 cups heavy cream with a tablespoon of instant espresso powder, a half teaspoon of vanilla and about 1 1/2 tablespoons powdered sweetener of choice.
When it's reached soft peak stage, add the homemade keto sweetened condensed milk/vodka mixture.  Whip briefly to blend.  Either place into a freezer container and freeze for 6 hours, then scoop to serve, or if you are in a hurry for ice cream and have an ice cream maker, churn according to the directions.

Here is my coffee ice cream starting to church in my Cuisinart Ice Cream maker.


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Spiralized Zucchini to Substitute for Spaghetti (a low carb, keto, Atkins option)

There is no 'recipe' as all you need is fresh zucchini.

Spiralize as much as you wish (keeping in mind it will cook 'down' for your dish).
To 'cook' your faux pasta, you can simply put it in a microwavable dish and microwave it as-is for a minute or two (depends on how much you are cooking) or my favorite way; a brief boil.

Simply heat some water to boil, add the zucchini, cook for a minute, and strain in a colander.

That's it!  Ready to use with your favorite spaghetti or alfredo sauce, or any dish that calls for pasta that you are making low carb or keto.   


The only thing I'd note is remember NOT TO COOK THEM TOO LONG.  You don't want them mushy.  And if your dish is going to be baked or cooked after adding the zucchini noodles, you don't have to heat them first at all.  Just add to the dish and bake as usual (like for lasagna.  You could use your ribbon spiralizer blade, a sharp knife or a potato peeler to slice... add to the dish as you would pasta and then bake).

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Quarantine Cooking: Yesterday was grinding and sealing ground beef and homemade chicken sausage

We are currently in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic and most of us are under either 'shelter in place' or 'self-isolate' mandates, others are self-quarantined.  You would think this would be a great time to focus on my cooking website and post with a lot of recipes and photos but meh.  I've not been motivated to update the site to tell you the truth.  But yes, I'm still obviously cooking!

The past month I've been venturing out to the grocery store once a week or so but as of this point, the number of Coronavirus positives in our area is on the rise and my immediate plan is to not venture out for 1 month.  My last grocery trip to Sam's Club did not have a long list of groceries, but I did have some priorities and plans.  One of those was I wanted to see if they had roasts in stock and available (they did - about 9 packages that day) and chicken (they only had about 4 or 5 packages of chicken at that moment but had a full case of chicken thighs, wings, and drumsticks).  I got a package of chicken breasts and a package of chicken thighs, then headed over to grab a container of fresh spinach.  I knew I already had feta at home.

The other items I got for our freezer were added to the cart before checking out but chicken and spinach - that was my 'main' mission as I wanted to make a double batch of my homemade chicken sausage for the deep freezer!

Yesterday I ground beef and made the chicken sausage.  My freezer is stocked with this yumminess and many different 'quarantine meals' will be made from them in the upcoming couple weeks!

My Homemade Chicken Spinach and Feta Sausages

4-5 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts - cubed (can also mix thighs and breasts)
1 lb. fatback or 'salted pork' (I found this at Walmart - it adds the moisture you need in this recipe)
1/2 pound or about 6 slices bacon (use more or less as you wish)
1 T ground coriander
2 t salt (start with 2 and adjust after you taste test.  I like to use 3)
1 T garlic, minced
3/4 c feta cheese, crumbled
3/4 c spinach - more or less - up to you. I usually use a couple 'handfuls' of fresh spinach
1/4 c olive oil
dash or two of a lemon lemon pepper
Meat Grinder (electric or manual - and even a cheap one is fine. There are also KitchenAid attachments to grind meat and poultry)

Grind the chicken, fatback and spinach into a large bowl.  Add the rest of your ingredients to the ground mixture in the bowl.  Mix well.  Taste test by cooking a small patty of your mixture on the stove in a bit of oil or microwave a bite sized bit.  Adjust the flavorings to your liking and test again.  When you are happy with the cooked taste of your sausage, continue.

(Note: I originally would grind the feta and spinach with the meat but I like seeing the crumbled feta chunks instead of just incorporating them into the sausage link or patty so I stir that in last.  If you are using frozen, thawed spinach, you can add that in at the end as well and not grind it - but if you are using fresh spinach leaves, grind those with the chicken as they are just too big.  If you use a lot of spinach, it will taste wonderful, but your sausages will be quite green.)

You can use casings and stuff your sausages (as I've posted about a couple times already here on but a quicker and easier way is to make a sausage patty or just freeze as ground sausage in your Ziplocks or sealer bags.

I used to make sausages and patties but more often than not now I simply freeze in food sealer bags in 1-2 pound portions.  When thawed, I either make a patty out of them to grill and serve on buns (this is a huge family favorite in our home... my husband says I can make these every week and he'd never get tired of them) or you brown it in a pan like you would ground beef and use it in many dishes - especially those that call for pasta, tomatoes or a tomato based sauce; those with an alfredo based sauce or my favorite?  You'll  find recipes here on the site but basically just add diced/sliced zucchini, yellow squash, some diced onion and some red/yellow/orange peppers.  Use olive oil in your pan and for seasonings it only needs salt and pepper.  When heated and ready, I top with crumbled feta.  Oh my goodness.  SO good.

First yesterday, I used two chuck roasts and ground them and packed them for 'ground beef' in our deep freezer.

Then I got to the yummy chicken sausage!  A huge family favorite in our entire family.


 Sealing the packages for the freezer. 

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Pantry Pandemic Cooking: Black Bean and Corn Salsa (or as a Side Dish)

This morning I'm really not in the mood to post, and this is actually a recipe I've posted on An American Housewife many times in the past 14 (15?) years.  So this is a quick picture I had posted on my Snapchat yesterday just to some friends and family; but I decided it might be a good idea to post here as a reminder of not only how yummy this is, but it's also easy to make and uses a lot of ingredients that you might already have stocked in your pantry and/or freezer during this Coronavirus pandemic!

We normally eat low carb so I don't have corn or black beans on hand but my local Walmart had black beans stocked this week when I did a grocery run, and my Sam's Club had a bulk box of 12 cans of corn in stock so... in the middle of a pandemic, you buy what your stores have stocked and you plan meals around it, right?  So... low carb be damned, we enjoyed this old family favorite with tortilla chips last night.  I think there is a little bit leftover; I hope so because I plan to have it for lunch!

Black Bean and Corn Salsa (or as a Side Dish)
Almost all ingredients are optional based on your preferences - add or delete and adjust the amounts to your tastes or what you have on hand!  Serve as is, with tortilla chips or with flour tortillas.

2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can or  1 1/2 cups petite diced tomatoes
1 can yellow corn
1 can white corn
4-5 green onions, sliced thin
1/2 small red onion, diced
1/2 avocado, petite diced
1/2 red or green pepper, diced
1-2 t minced fresh garlic
1 small can diced green chili
1 small jalapeno pepper, diced fine
1 bunch cilantro - chopped
Juice from 1 lime  (about 2 tablespoons)
1 1/2 t cumin powder
Salt to taste (start with a teaspoon and taste test)

Mix together in a bowl.  Serve right away or chill 2 hours before serving.  Serve as a side dish, with tortilla chips or with flour tortillas.

This recipe was also included in an old post where I gave you 6 different yummy, fun recipes for salsa:  Six Salsa Recipes

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Quarantine Keto Cake - Chocolate Crunch Cake - sugar free and low carb

 It's called Epic Chocolate Crunch Cake and it's from the low carb cookbook: Keto For Life.

2 c erythritol, granulated
1 3/4 c unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 c butter, melted but not hot
6 eggs
2 oz. unsweetened Baker's chocolate, melted
2 t vanilla
3 c almond flour - good quality, fine, blanched
2/3 c coconut flour
2/3 c cocoa powder
4 t baking powder
1/2 t xanthan gum
1/8 t salt
2/3 c cocoa nibs ground with 1/4 c erythritol

- frosting

Preheat oven to 350.  Grease and line with parchment, 2 - 9" round baking pans.  Place the sweetener, almond milk, butter, eggs, melted chocolate and vanilla into a blender and blend smooth.  Place the rest of the dry ingredients into a bowl and blend.  Add the liquid to the dry and mix.  Divide to the two pans and bake 35-50 minutes until they are done in the center.

Remove from the pans and let cool completely.

Pulse the cocoa nibs and sweetener for about 30 seconds in a small food processor.  Using your favorite sugarfree frosting, put a layer on top of one cake, sprinkle with most of the cocoa nibs and then top with the second layer.  If you have enough frosting, frost the whole cake, or just frost the top layer as I did in the photo if you are using less frosting or just one small batch.  Sprinkle with the cocoa nib/erythritol mixture.  Store in the refrigerator or the freezer.

The book says this is about 20 g carbs per slice (1/12)  with 13 g fiber to deduct. 

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Santa Fe Roast - and leftovers are fabulous for tacos the next day!

This marinade is one I usually use on chicken.  It's the marinade for our Santa Fe Salad, which uses grilled chicken.  About a week ago I used half a large chuck roast, and put the other half into this marinade and popped it into the freezer.  A couple days ago I took it out, popped it frozen into the crockpot, and after a few hours on high, poured off the excess (now liquid) marinade and continued to cook the roast until it was fall-apart tender.

Leftovers made great soft-shell and hard-shell tacos the next day - as is, or mixed with some refried beans for a beef/bean burrito or taco.

Santa Fe Roast


1 cup water
2 T soy sauce
1 1/2 T sugar (or natural sweeteners for lower carb diets)
1 T salt
1 T vinegar
1 t powdered chipotle pepper (could use 1/2 t cayenne, if it's all you have)
1 t hickory smoke flavoring
1 t paprika
1 t garlic powder
1/2 t onion powder
1/2 t round black pepper

Place your beef or chicken in the marinade and either marinate for at least 4-8 hours in the refrigerator, or place the whole thing into the freezer until needed for an even stronger flavor.  Grill or cook your chicken or beef as usual.


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Homemade White Castle Style Mini Cheeseburgers (or Sliders) - can be made lower carb too

In January of 2008 I posted my recipe for mini cheeseburgers.  Much like White Castle or what people also call 'sliders'. 

January 2008 photo - still making them in 2020

I used to always make my own homemade buns for these, which are so delicious, and filling but eating low carb changes that so now, we do a couple different things for the buns.

Now, in 2020, there are low carb hot dog buns available - which makes it much easier to make these low carb.  Yes, these are cheeseburgers, but they are the perfect size to cut a hotdog bun into thirds.  Each bun makes 3 mini sliders or cheeseburgers.  These are similar to White Castle burgers.

If you don't want to order buns, or you are ok with using regular store bought buns, the Nature's Own brand of hot dog buns are a good low/no sugar brand to try.

NOTE:  Although you can purchase low carb or keto bread crumbs, I simply use my failed keto breads as bread crumbs.  And if you do low carb or keto baking very often you are bound to have 'bread' you aren't all that happy with. It happens!  Ha ha.  When I make a low carb or keto bread, and it is too crumbly or doesn't raise enough to use it for 'bread' I just crumble it and freeze it in a ziplock to use for breading, fillers, etc. later.  You can also purchase keto bread (my hotdog link above will lead you ALL kinds of keto breads - including hamburger buns, bread, bagels, pizza crusts and more).

If you don't have any of those options, just use regular bread, half the amount, use about 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed meal instead or any option you want to try.

Mini Cheeseburgers

2 lb. ground beef
1 c soft bread crumbs (I use keto bread ground to bread crumbs)
1/4 c mayonnaise
1 egg
1/3 c finely diced onion (I used green onion in the photos for this post)
1 t garlic salt
1 t Italian seasoning
fresh ground black pepper
salt to taste
1 c shredded cheese (I've used mozzarella and cheddar blends)

Combine everything but the cheese and mash and mix together well either either with a wooden spoon, food processor, mixer or your hands. Press into a large jelly roll pan (about 15X10 inches). Do not press all the way to the edges, leave one (1) inch between the meat and the edge of the pan for drippings to bake away from the meat and not run over your pan.

Bake 25 minutes, top the meat with the cheese and continue baking 8 minutes more until the meat is done and the cheese is melted. Remove and let set 3-4 minutes and then using a pizza cutter, slice the meat into squares. Place a square on each mini bun. Serve with condiments - pickles, mustard and ketchup.

I do not have a GOOD finished picture because frankly?  I was HUNGRY and wanted to eat ASAP.
So I snapped this picture on my phone right before it went into my mouth.  Hot from the oven, and I hadn't even put ketchup or pickles on this one yet!

You can find the keto bread and buns at your local grocery store now (woohoo!)  or you can look for options on Amazon or your local retailers.


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#WhatsForDinner? Low Carb Bacon and Jalapeno Pizza! Oh, and (yawn) pepperoni and green olive pizza too.

Although I've got a number of low carb pizza crust recipes on this site (keep in mind this site goes back to 2006 or so and we've been low carbing since 2003 so yeah... a lot of recipes) the one I've been making since last year so far is our favorite. I don't make it exactly, precisely every time but the basic idea is there and I'm pretty happy with it. It's a version of the popular fat head dough, but everyone has their own little tweaks.

I don't care for coconut flour and I can taste it in foods made with it, even if it uses very little.  So, although I use it once in a while, mostly I do not. But I usually use psyllium husk powder and an egg in mine, along with some whey protein powder. 


1 1/2 c almond flour
1 T baking powder
1/4 t salt
1/4 c unflavored, zero carb, zero sugar whey protein powder (isopure)
1 t psyllium husk powder
1 egg
1 1/2 c mozzarella cheese

Toppings of your choice

The photo above uses;
6 oz cream cheese, softened
1 c mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 c Mexican blend cheese (cheddar and others blended, or use just cheddar)
diced jalapeno
bacon crumbles - real, cooked bacon, crumbled

Preheat your oven.  400 ish.  I use a pizza stone - kept in the oven so it gets hot when your oven does.

Place the dry ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to blend.  Add the egg and pulse to blend just a few times until it's a bit crumbly.  In a bowl, place the mozzarella cheese and microwave until it just starts to melt.  Add this to the food processor bowl and pulse a few times, but stop as soon as it comes together to form a dough.

Divide into 2 pizza crusts.  Roll each between two pieces of parchment.  Slide the pizza still on parchment, into the hot oven on the pizza stone.  Bake until it's golden - about 8 minutes.  Remove.  Bake the 2nd the same way.  While the second one is baking, top the first one with your favorite ingredients.  If you are making the jalapeno bacon version in my photo, just spread the cream cheese on the crust, top with the other cheeses, crumbled real bacon pieces and diced jalapeno (I use store bought in a jar as I have those on hand always). 

Take the 2nd pizza out and put the first back in to cook for 5-8 minutes more until it's golden and melty on top.  While it's baking, top your second pizza (today our second was pepperoni and green olive - my husbands favorite).  Remove the first, pop in the second for 5-8 minutes.


Another 'note' is that sometimes for a more crisp crust, I remove it from the oven after the first bake, and then flip it over so when I put the toppings on, I'm putting them on the underside.   I also place mine in cardboard pizza boxes.

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Spinach Dip - Low Carb and Sugar Free - Served with Parmesan Chips

I add more/less simply because I don't actually measure.  It's that kind of recipe.  If you don't have one of the ingredients... it really doesn't matter.  Want to add something else to it you like?  Do it!  Want to bake it instead of microwave it?  Yep.

Most of the time we do a can of un-marinated artichokes, but my husband isn't a fan of artichokes, and my artichoke loving family members weren't here last night to eat it with us so I left them out and just made 'Spinach' Dip. 

Spinach Dip
*amounts are all approximate, ingredients can be added to or left out as you wish

4 oz. cream cheese, softened in the microwave
1/2 c real mayonnaise (not miracle whip!)
1/2 c sour cream
1 1/2 t minced fresh garlic
optional:  artichoke hearts, chopped
1/2 t onion powder or add about 2 diced green onions
1/2 c fresh shredded Parmesan
1/2 c mozzarella cheese
10 oz. frozen chopped spinach, thawed

Stir all well.  Put into your baking dish.  Heat through either by baking at 350 for 20 minutes or so, or in the microwave for about 10-12 minutes.  Serve with thick tortilla chips, or pita chips if you aren't eating low carb.  Serve as a side dish to dinner or with parmesan crisps if you are eating low carb.

*A note about Parmesan Crisps....

I have twice bought the bag of these at Sam's Club.  They are good... but very, very strong tasting.  I don't love them, and the price is a bit high, so I don't normally buy them.

There is another brand and smaller bags available at Walmart but they are almost $4 for a tiny little individual sized serving bag.  Good but so expensive I just can't do it.

 Aldi's have the small bags - which are still expensive at almost $3 per bag, but it's a buck cheaper than Walmart.  So... if you have an Aldi's, look for them.  If not, you CAN buy them on Amazon, but obviously, 100% cheese crackers are expensive. 

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Low Carb and Sugar Free Corn Bread - Almond Flour 'Corn' Bread - So Good I Said the Blessing Twice!

I love cornbread, but when we are adhering to low-carb and keto, it's off the menu unless it's made with almond flour.  But, this one is made with almond flour, so it's all good.  And because I've been craving (SERIOUSLY CRAVING) cornbread for about 2-3 months now, when I finally found time to make it, I was so thankful, I blessed it twice!  

Some people actually add a couple tablespoons of pureed sweet corn to theirs.  We never have corn on hand as I don't buy it, but we do have a small amount of cornmeal always on hand.  MAYBE I'll get around to buying the extract some day.....  maybe.

The last thing to mention is that I've loved cornbread my entire life - literally since I can remember.  But it's made different ways across the USA and I've lived in so many different states, that I've seen it and had it made all different ways.  My favorite way is how they make it 'up North' which is a basic cornbread (no jalapenos or bacon or cheddar added) and it's just a tiny bit sweetened.  Absolutely amazing with just a smear of real butter, or butter with some yummy sugar free maple syrup!

Almond Flour Corn Bread

1/2 stick butter, melted
3 eggs
1/4 cream
2 c almond flour
2 T ground flaxseed
2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
2-3 t granular sweetener of your choice
1/2 t vanilla
1-2 T cornmeal (optional)
or 1/2 t sweet corn extract flavoring (optional)

Melt your butter in a bowl in a microwave.  Pour about 2 T of it into your skillet, swirl it around and place it in the oven.  Preheat your oven to 375 degrees with the pan in it.  Meanwhile, add the eggs, cream, vanilla and the extract (if you are using it) to the rest of the butter in the bowl and whisk to blend.  

In a 'dry' bowl, place your almond flour, flaxseed, baking powder, salt, sweetener and the cornmeal if you are using it.  Blend it and then stir into the egg mixture.  If it seems too thick, just add about 2-3 tablespoons of water to thin a little bit so it's a nice thick batter, not a dough.  

Pour into the hot skillet and return it to the oven to bake about 25 minutes until golden brown and a crust forms on the top.  Serve hot or cold with butter, syrup, whatever you wish!

The batter spread in the hot skillet

Into the oven with you!

I blessed it twice... and had third helpings!

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Zucchini Stir-fry - chicken, feta, peppers.... low carb and sugar free


This one isn't even a real recipe, it's just something I throw together every once in awhile, and it's a huge hit every time.  

I use leftover chicken, zucchini and feta cheese as the 'must have' list and other things if we have them or I feel like it.  I use all sorts of leftover chicken, depending on what we have.  I think some leftover grilled chicken is the best, but any leftovers will do.  Seasoned or not.  If you don't have leftovers, just quickly cook a chicken breast or two, whichever way you like.  Microwave, grill, instant pot, even boil.  Adding a little seasoning will be best - even if it's just salt and pepper but anything you like is fine.

Zucchini Stir-Fry

2-3 zucchini, sliced, diced or chopped
Green onion or onion, chopped, sliced
mushrooms, sliced
yellow or orange peppers, sliced or chopped
oil of choice (olive oil, avocado oil, etc.)
Options:  fresh minced garlic, leftover cooked chicken pieces, celery, etc.
feta cheese, crumbled
salt and pepper

In a pan on the stove, heat a dash of oil and add the zucchini and green onions, peppers and mushrooms if you are using them.  Cook over medium high heat until they start to soften a bit, add a little fresh garlic to your own taste preference.  Add the cooked chicken, heat through and season with salt and pepper.  If you wish to add some dried red pepper flakes to this dish, you can - add them with the oil and vegetables at the beginning.  We've found we like simple olive oil, salt and pepper for the only flavorings. Top with crumbled feta, stir in a bit, and then serve!
Keep in mind your personal carb counts to determine how much garlic, onions, mushrooms and pepper you wish to use. 

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Chocolate Trail Mix - Sugar Free and Low Carb

Sorry to say this isn't a specific recipe for those of you who like to be told exactly, precisely how much to use, down to the half teaspoon.  The amounts are guesstimates and you can change them up a little to what you like.  It's not rocket science.  Play with the recipe and use what you like and how much of some of the ingredients that you like. Also note the brands of ingredients you use will effect your carb and sugar gram count.  Look for zero sugar on your labels.

My husband LOVES this chocolate trail mix to snack on at work and on his hour plus long commute to work and home again every day. 

Chocolate Trail Mix

3 cups salted mixed nuts
2 cups whole cashews
1/2 - 1 cup sugar free, all bran cereal (the sticks kind, to add some crunch to the mix)
1/2 c sugar free coconut flakes
*whatever kinds of nuts or other items you wish to add - keep carbs & sugar free in mind
10-12 ounces sugar free chocolate chips (I used a mixture of Lily's Milk Chocolate and Hershey's Sugar Free)
2 T butter
1/2 - 3/4 c natural sweetener - confectioner's or whirl granulated in your food processor first
3/4 c peanut butter - lowest sugar content brand that you love
1-2 t vanilla extract

  • Lay a piece of foil out on your countertop.
  • In a large bowl place all your dry ingredients; the nuts, coconut, cereal and anything else sugar free and low carb you like in your mixtures.
  • In a microwaveable bowl place the butter, peanut butter and chocolate chips.  Microwave about a minute, stir.  If the chips are still quite hard, microwave another 30 seconds and stir again.  The heat from the butter and peanut butter will start to melt them.  Stir until melted, microwave another 20 seconds at a time if you need to but don't overcook the mixture.
  • Add the sugar substitute sweetener and vanilla.  Stir smooth.Taste and see if you want more sweetener, vanilla, etc.  If you want less peanut butter flavor, melt more chocolate chips with a little butter and add it to the mixture.  Stir and taste again.
  • Pour this over your mixed nuts/coconut/cereal in the bowl and stir until it's evenly distributed.
  • Dump out on the foil and spread it around.
  • Depending on how much chocolate mixture used compared to how much dry mixture you had, you might have a heavily covered mixture or a lightly covered mixture.  (Mine is light - you can still see the nuts through some of the chocolate).

If you want small pieces you grab by the handful, spread it apart.
If you want to have bite-sized chunks of the mixture, either press it with your hand or with a second piece of foil on top so the mixture is pressed together (like mine).

You can let it harden on the counter, or place the foil in the refrigerator or freezer to speed it up.  I grabbed small walnut sized portions, gently pressed them together a bit and dropped them into the empty mixed nuts container.  When it was filled, I placed the top back on and placed the whole thing in the refrigerator.  This way it's in both chunks and pieces, the way my husband likes and he can take the whole container to his office with him and keep it stored easily.

You can keep this on the counter or in the refrigerator.  If it's summer time or your house is kept really warm, you'll want to store this in the fridge.  If you've used a high ratio of peanut butter or butter compared to the chocolate, it won't harden as much as if your chocolate chip ratio is higher.  So a higher peanut butter/butter ratio would be best kept in the refrigerator so it stays hard.   

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Lemon Muffins - Low Carb and Sugar Free 2020 version

About two weeks ago I bought a container of ricotta cheese intending to make a keto lemon cake, but... life.

So last weekend I used half the container to make a keto lasagna and hoped I'd have time to get around to the cake this week.  Which, I didn't.  But yesterday I realized had about 30 minutes free to whip up 'something' yummy to snack on for the next couple days and using up the ricotta cheese was my goal.

Although I wasn't in the mood for a cake and my husband isn't a 'cake' eater at all.  He loves cake, but it never occurs to him to eat it.  Ever.  If it's out of sight, it's out of mind and also, as sad as it sounds, he thinks "cutting a piece of cake" is just too much work.  But he will eat cupcakes (and muffins), if they are front and center, on the counter, where he can't miss them and can grab one or two 'on the go'.

Lemon Muffins
Great to use up leftover ricotta

2/3 c ricotta (I used about 1 1/2 cups)
1/2 c granulated sweetener (I used 1 c So Nourished brand erythritol w/ Monk Fruit)
3 eggs (I used 4)
1 t grated lemon zest (I use 2 t dried lemon zest)
3/4 t lemon extract (I used about 2 heaping capfuls)
1/2 t vanilla extract (I used about teaspoon, didn't measure)
2 c almond flour (I used 3 cups)
1/4 c coconut flour (I used about 1/3 cup)
1 T baking powder (I used about 1 1/2 tablespoons)
1/4 t salt (I used about a teaspoon)
2-4 T water (I didn't use at all)

Preheat oven to 325.  Line your muffin tins with paper liners.  The original recipe made about 12.  My version made 18.

In a food processor bowl, place the ricotta cheese, sweetener, eggs, lemon zest, extracts and blend.  Add the dry ingredients and process again just until smooth.  Wait about 30 seconds to see how thick your batter is as the coconut flour thickens the batter as it absorbs moisture.  If you need to add a little water you can do it now and blend again.

Fill your muffin tins. Bake 25-30 minutes until the tops are firm when you gently touch them.  Cool in the pan for about 15-20 minutes and then you can remove to cool on a wire cooling rack (to keep the bottoms from getting soggy).  

You can top with a simple glaze if you wish - mix about 1/2 cup powdered natural sweetener with about 2 T lemon juice and drizzle.   Mine in the photo are plain. 

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Keto (low carb, sugar free) donuts ...

Mini Donuts... one of the pan versions I made

This was my favorite pan - a mini fluted pan - not a bundt pan, more like a thick cookie or little cake

Is it a donut or a muffin? Or a little cake?  I decided to bake my donuts in 3 different pans instead of just my mini donut pans like I usually do.  I used a mini muffin pan, a mini donut pan and then a pan I had no idea what to call it... a fluted mini muffin pan?

The regular mini donut pans are just too difficult to get the donuts out of, even with a lot of butter or oil.
After about 10 years of dealing with the little donut pain-in-the-butts, I decided to grab two other pans that were in the cupboard, and that is how I found I really liked the other two pans even better than the little donut pan.  So much easier to get out, but I also loved how the had a little crisp to the outside of them!  Not just a completely moist and soft almond flour baked good like you usually get with almond flour goodies.

You can play with this recipe:  These donuts can be flavored however you wish.  LorAnn oils are my ultimate favorites and I have a whole ziploc full of different flavors from grape to apple, from peppermint to chocolate to bubble gum and more.  They last for years and years (and years) and are good quality, strong and very easy to use.  The apple cider in this version is because I used apple flavored oils.  With blueberry I leave that out and replace with a teaspoon of lemon juice and/or vanilla.  For cake donuts, it's vanilla extract. Play with whatever flavor you like.

This one is apple cinnamon... keto, sugar free and low carb of course.


2 c almond flour
1/2 c natural granular sweetener (I used Lakanto classic)
1/4 c unflavored whey protein powder (I use Isopure exclusively)
2 t baking powder
1/2 t sea salt
1/2 t cinnamon
2 eggs
1/3 c water
1/4 c butter
1 1/2 T apple cider vinegar
1/4 t apple flavored LorAnn Oils

Whisk together the dry ingredients; almond flour, protein powder, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.  Add the eggs, water, butter, apple cider and flavoring.  Fill about 24 mini donut or muffin tins that you've greased very well with butter.  Bake at 325 for about 17 minutes.  So they are firm and not still jiggly.  Let them cool in the pan at least 10 minutes before removing to cool completely.

Top with a mixture of cinnamon and natural sweetener (I used Lakanto) - about 1/4 cup sweetener to 1 teaspoon cinnamon.  Heavier if you really like cinnamon.  If the tops of your donuts or mini muffins aren't sticky enough to grasp the cinnamon/sweetener, you can brush them with melted butter first.

My favorite shape was the fluted mini cake pans.  Almost like thick muffin tops - but bigger than a muffin top. 

This is the pan I'm not sure what it's called.  I bought it and a Madeleine cookie pan at the same time years and years ago - on clearance in some random cake and decorating shop in Minneapolis that doesn't exist anymore.

The tops are dipped in a mixture of granular natural sweetener and cinnamon.  For blueberry donuts or vanilla cake donuts I'd use a simple glaze.  I would for chocolate donuts too but I hate chocolate so I probably won't be making those any time soon.

These were made in the mini muffin pan. Most people have this pan or have easy access to it.  They do come out of this pan much easier than the mini-donut pans!

When you can get them out of the pan in one piece, the mini donuts do turn out cute!

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