6/28/21

Chipotle Lime Marinade for Grilled Chicken

I posted once before, but it's a favorite.  Posting again with the amounts I typically use (I play with amounts and ingredients based on what I have on hand and by taste).
 
 
 
 
Chipotle Lime Marinade
 
1 T fresh lime zest 
1/4+ c fresh squeezed lime juice 
2 T avocado oil
2 t minced garlic
2 t dried cilantro 
1/2 t salt and 1/4 t pepper

Marinate chicken thighs or breasts.  Grill.  Serve on low carb tortillas with sour cream, cheddar cheese, salsa, guacamole.  Side: Garlic Riced Cauliflower with a bit of tomato paste/sauce.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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6/25/21

Tips to Ensure your Tattler Canning Lids Seal Perfectly! (Canning onions with Tattler lids for photos)

  

If you follow me on Instagram, you would have seen these photos posted yesterday - I was canning onions and using Tattler lids


Now, first off - onions are something I don't regularly can (in case you were wondering).  
 
Onions normally keep perfectly for a couple months in when kept in a cool, dry, dark place and I have a large open air crock where I keep ours. But we have more than enough onions for family use over the next month, and I had a huge bag leftover from the family reunion last weekend that wasn't even touched.  I normally would dehydrate or freeze them.  Neither of which are needed right now as we have both on hand and both of those storage ways limit what I can use the onions for because of the change in texture, taste and size, etc.
 
Yesterday I decided I wanted to can them - so I could use them in things like fajitas, roasts, etc. And I used my Tattler lids.   It was only after posting on Instagram that I decided to save the pictures and do a quick post on An American Housewife about the lids.  This is it!
 
THE LID CRISIS:  If you are already a home-canner or you started to learn the process during the Covid quarantines, then you know there was a HUGE canning supply shortage last year.  You couldn't find water bath nor pressure canners; you couldn't find canning jars for love nor money and finding the metal sealing lids was utterly impossible.  The thing is, it still is.  Jars and pots and canners are back on the shelves for the most part, but lids are still incredibly difficult to find.  Enter the Tattler lids.

Tattler lids have been around since 1976 but never as popular as they are becoming now as more and more people turn to them to replace the metal lids they can't get their hands on.   Many home canners have been using them for 30+ years and love them; others tried them, had failures and proclaim to anyone listening that they don't work and they hate them.

Mostly... that's user error.

 

Tattler lids are plastic lids (BPA FREE) with rubber gaskets that can be used over and over and over for years and years until they show wear like drying out or cracking.  

Many people don't actually read the instructions that come with them and try to can with them just as they do the metal lids they've been using for years.  With that, comes failure.  There are also two versions of Tattlers, the newer versions say EZ on them.  Read the instructions that come with your Tattlers and you'll do fine - and more than likely not have any (or very few) fail to seal.

Note:  if you do have any fail to seal, just re-process them again and if you still didn't get a seal, just put that one in the refrigerator and use it up first over the next week or so.

I'm not going to give directions on the canning PROCESS because I'm not a canning expert and I don't play one on the internet.  What I DO want to mention is a couple TIPS FOR USING TATTLER LIDS that might help you with your canning success using them.

TIPS TO REMEMBER WHEN USING TATTLER LIDS


1) Bring your lids and rubber rings to a boil on the stove, reduce to a low simmer and let them simmer while you pack your canning jars.  Use them hot.

2)  Be sure to wipe the canning jar edges with vinegar to remove any grease or food drops/spills even if you think you didn't splatter anything on the rims.  They need to be clean for the rubber to seal.

3)  Leave more headspace than you do with metal.  Metal lids only need about 1/2 - 1 inch headspace.  Tattler lids like more.  1 - 1 1/4 inch. 

4)  Do NOT tighten the lids down with the metal rings like you do traditional metal lids.  Lay your lid and gasket on the clean edge.  Put the ring in place.  Hold the lid and the jar in place with ONE FINGER on top.  Now using your other hand to start to tighten the metal ring.  When your jar starts to turn with the ring - STOP.   If you've canned before, your instinct is to think it's 'too loose!' and you need to finger tighten the lid!  YOU DON'T.  As soon as that jar starts to spin with the ring, it's tight enough.  Even if you don't think so. Even if you think it's sure to come open during the canning process.  You cannot tighten them to finger-tight like metal lids or your jars will blow their tops or even break.
 
Process your jars as directed for the foods you are canning.  There is just ONE more tip.
 
5)  After removing the jars from your canner, let them sit for about 2-3 minutes and then using a towel to protect your hands and fingers, tighten each lid down on your jars.  NOW is when you use your regular "just finger tight" twist that you WANTED to use when you first put the lids/gaskets on.   
 
After you finger tighten them after processing, let them sit and don't disturb them either overnight or until the next day.  Basically, just let them sit for 24 hours.  Then you can remove the metal rings and slowly pick up each jar by the seal to make sure they all are sealed tight.  The lid will also be concave so you can see it sealed - but make sure you pick them up to test.  If your lid comes off, then it's not sealed and either re-process or just use it up first.

___________________________________________________

Just some photos of canning with the Tattler lids....

 24 hours later....

Metal rings removed and seals tested - beautiful!


 

 

I ordered all my Tattler lids directly from their site (reusablecanninglids.com) but if you prefer ordering from Amazon they offer them there as well.

 

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6/24/21

Homemade CopyCat Kraft Mac and Cheese - The Cheesy Powder to Make it - and the best thing? Homemade LOW CARB macaroni and cheese like Kraft! Yay!

Although I already posted about this once before, I'm so in love with this yummy meal and planning on having it either today or tomorrow for lunch so I am posting again.  Hopefully if there is even one person out there looking for the secret to yummy homemade style Kraft Mac and Cheese, they will see this.  

Here's the deal:  We eat sugar free and low carb and/or keto almost all the time and obviously macaroni and cheese is something you can't have.  For the past twenty years we've been eating this way, the only option was faux mac and cheese made with cauliflower.  Which is NOTHING LIKE MAC AND CHEESE.  I love cauliflower with cheese sauce and I've eaten it my whole life, so when low carb and keto eaters try to tell me it's a great substitute for mac and cheese, I know differently.   It's great and I love it but no, it's not mac and cheese.

This is.

How?  Because I use my keto pasta which is crazy-close to the real thing, which wasn't available back when we started low carb around 2002.  But we have SO MANY OPTIONS now in 2021 that were unheard of back then.  I use the Great Low Carb brand when I make this but it does have a few carbs and the cheese sauce has 2 grams of sugar because of the milk powder - but for a 'once in a while' comfort meal, it's worth it.  Totally worth it.


To make it more low carb/keto you can use Palmini pasta or 
your favorite keto noodle substitute.  They are both good (we've done the 
spiral zucchini, Palmini and although I have tried various shirataki or Miracle noodles 
I can't stand the texture so even with zero carbs, I don't use them 
- although I know a lot of people love them. 

Macaroni: Although I buy some items from Amazon, most of them come from Netrition.com however you can get the cheese sauce from Amazon and you can get the Great Low Carb Bread Co. pastas from both places.
 
This is the "Easy" Mac version.  You only add water.  You know the little cups that you remove the cheese packet, fill the container to the line with water and microwave for 3 minutes?  Then you stir in the cheesy sauce, and let it set for a minute and it becomes your "Easy Mac"  Kraft Macaroni and Cheese.   For this version but low carb, just boil your keto macaroni, drain so you leave a little bit of water in your pan, and add some of this powdered mix.  The secret is that it is 3 powders in one:  Cheese, Milk and Butter.  All you have to add is some salt and pepper if you desire.  The amounts are kind of up to you, which you can play with a little bit to make it more cheesy or thicker, or more liquid, etc.  
 

Hoosier Hill Farm EASY Daddy Mac Mix, JUST ADD WATER, Contains Real Butter and Milk, No Artificial Colors, Gluten Free, Made in the USA (1 lb)

  • JUST ADD WATER to your cooked noodles for a great MAC AND CHEESE - Already contains Real Butter and Milk....makes a delicious and creamy Macaroni and Cheese dish
  • Perfect for Easy Dinners, Easy Camping, Easy Travel, Easy anywhere.
  • No need to add Milk or Butter like other Mac and Cheese mixes, EASY DADDY has all you need.
  • No Artificial Colors, ALL Natural Cheese Mix. Customize your dish add as much or as little as you wish, for a light or super CHEESY dish!

 

 

 

 

I bought all THREE powders as I was playing around with making "make ahead instant meals" including a low carb version of Hamburger Helper Cheeseburger style, and the 'blue box' style Kraft Macaroni and Cheese.  For that version you can use either of these powders!  I love the taste of these!  

YES it tastes like the blue box cheese!

BLUE BOX VERSION:   For the Blue Box version, this is the 'cheese packet' which you add to your macaroni, along with fresh milk and butter.  If you are doing it low carb, you'll want your low carb pasta, and heavy cream instead of milk to cut down on the sugar, and then of course, your real butter.

 Hoosier Hill Farm Premium Cheddar Cheese Powder, No Artificial Colors, Gluten Free, Made in the USA (1 lb)

 

 

 

Hoosier Hill Farm Big Daddy Mac Mix, 1 Pound

 

 

This is the same thing, but without the orange coloring added.  If you want the flavor and taste but don't need or want it to look like the Kraft version's bright orange, then use this one.  Remember, this cheese powder is just cheese - you need to add your fresh milk and butter to your drained pasta.

 

Hoosier Hill Farm Big Daddy Mac mix, No Color Added, 1 lb, 1 lb

 

 

That's it.  That's the way to make your own Kraft mac and cheese... it's all in the powders.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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6/13/21

From Yesterday's Instagram: The best SUGAR COOKIE - simple, classic and traditional

 

 

Such a classic and simple traditional sugar cookie, but one of the best!

Baking for a family get-together so I'm using flour and sugar and WHAT A DIFFERENCE.  Oh I miss good old flour and sugar cookies.  I'm so used to baking with almond flour and natural sugars that I'd forgotten what flour smells like.  Yes... smells like.  I'd forgotten what normal, wheat flour based cookies smelled like.  Ha ha.

These are... heavenly.  I did have one yesterday (vanilla sugar cookies are my favorite cookie ever).  It was 15 carbs and 8 sugars but worth every last one.  After the cookies were cooled I packed them up and put them in the deep freezer for next weekend.  I really did only have one! 


SUGAR COOKIES

1 c Crisco
1 1/2 c sugar
2 eggs
2 t good quality vanilla
2 1/2 c flour
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt

Line baking sheet with parchment.  Beat shortening and sugar 2+ minutes until smooth.  Add eggs and vanilla.  Beat again and then add the dry ingredients.  Drop cookies 2 inches apart and bake at 375 for  9-11 minutes.  Let cool 2 minutes and then remove to wire racks to cool completely.




  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Unbleached Food Grade Parchment Paper Roll Baking Paper by Baker’s Signature | Silicone Coated & Unbleached – Will not Soak Through or Burn – Non-Toxic








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6/12/21

Keto Supreme Pizza (sausage, pepperoni and more)

 

My husband won't typically eat pizza if it has sausage on it, but he loves this one - with the exact same sausage in it.  He would be content if I just always made him a pepperoni and mushroom pizza - I like all different toppings or kinds of pizza depending on what mood I'm in and what sounds good.   He hates onions and will pick them out and off anything I make, while I love onions - but again - he eats them on this particular pizza!  Go figure?  The only thing I can figure out (because his brain works this way...) is that by making the supreme pizza into a 'sheet pan' style instead of a round pizza crust style, he doesn't view it the same.  He loves this pizza - onions, sausage and all.

The dough is just another version of the typical keto mozzarella dough, but it works for everything and tastes great so....

Keto Supreme Pizza

Use your favorite mozzarella keto dough
(typically 1 c mozzarella, 2 oz. cream cheese, 1 c almond flour, and 2 eggs but also add 1/4 c coconut flour and 1/4 c parmesan to it). 
Mix in about 1 cup Italian sausage, uncooked
1 1/2 t oregano or Italian seasoning

Toppings:  Use what you like - mix and match to your preference
                    1 T avocado or olive oil    
                    1 onion, sliced
                    1/2 green bell pepper, diced
                    Fresh garlic
                    Pepperoni
                    Mushrooms
                    Black olives/green olives
                    3/4 c low sugar/low carb/keto pizza sauce
                    Mozzarella Cheese and Cheddar Cheese

Mix your mozzarella dough and the sausage, and press into a greased sheet pan about 10X12 or 9X13.  Bake 15 minutes at 375.  Saute' the onions and green peppers in the olive until they are beginning to soften.  Take off the heat and add the garlic.  Stir.

Remove crust from oven and top with the pizza sauce, then the toppings - ending with the cheeses.  Bake again until the cheese is melted and it's starting to turn golden (about 25 minutes or so).

 

  

Pressing it into the sheet pan....



Softening the onions and peppers a bit


Topping with onions, peppers, garlic, pepperoni....




Out of the oven.... piping hot

 

Literally took this photo quickly right before eating it!



 

You might also be interested in some of the products related to this post available through Amazon:

Various sheet pans are available through Amazon if you need one

 

 

I make my own homemade pizza sauce but I know many people on low carb/sugar free ways of eating use Rao's.  I can find this at my local grocery store and have bought it when I didn't have pizza sauce made and frozen for future use.   

Rao's Homemade All Natural Pizza Sauce -13 oz (Pack of 2)

 

 

I'm not a fan of coconut flour and use it very little - but it does need to be in some recipes to 'help' the almond flour get the right consistency.  My favorite brand of coconut flour isn't made any longer but I'm looking at Anthony's for my next purchase as it's really, really popular with people.

Anthony's Organic Coconut Flour, 4 lb, Batch Tested Gluten Free, Non GMO, Vegan, Keto Friendly

 

I typically buy this almond flour (Blue Diamond) at my local Sam's Club but recently they've not carried it and have another brand in place - it's still available through Amazon though.

Blue Diamond Almond Flour, Gluten Free, Blanched, Finely Sifted 3 Pound bag 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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6/11/21

Homemade Keto Cream Horns - (Sugar free, low carb cream horns and filling)

 

Ahh... one of the VERY few dessert/sweets I love.  Cream Horns!  Give me a cream horn, a cream puff or a plain vanilla sugar cookie and I'm happy.  Keep your everything else.  However, those goodies are not good to eat when you are trying to follow a low carb, sugar free way of life, right?  So of course we come up with ways to make them sugarfree and low carb.

Enter the mozzarella dough... again.  Yep, from pizza crust to bread sticks, bagels to bars... the mozzarella dough is used for pretty much everything in keto baking isn't it?  This too.

Relatively simple, yet time consuming. 

You can use your own favorite version of the mozzarella dough.  They are all basically the same, except some add a bit of baking powder and an egg, and others don't.  

Here is one of my many items made with a mozzarella dough;
my low carb bagel recipe - LOW CARB BAGELS

And the LOW CARB HOT DOG AND HAMBURGER BUNS
using the mozzarella dough.

 

For the keto cream horn pastry I used this basic version:

1 3/4 c shredded mozzarella cheese
2 T cream cheese
3/4 c almond flour
1/4 c natural sweetener mixture (I usually blend erythritol, allulose, monk fruit)
1/2 t vanilla
1 egg

Microwave the cheese mixture until melty, add the other ingredients and mix well either with a food processor pulsing with an S-blade, a kitchenaid type mixer with the paddle attachment or by hand.  When it all comes together, roll out your dough on parchment (I sprinkled some Longivity flour and almond flour on the parchment to help it not stick).  It also helps to divide your dough into half or thirds and only roll one part at a time.

Make sure to spray your cream horn molds lightly with Pam (etc.) or grease them.

Cut your dough into strips with a pizza cutter.  Roll strips around your cream horn molds and lay on parchment paper or foil lined baking sheets.

I always sprinkle my cream horns with sweetener before baking - optional.

Bake at 350 until puffy, and golden.  (About 15 ish minutes).

Remove and let cool about 2 minutes, then carefully slide off the molds to cool completely on racks before filling.  

Fill with your favorite sugar free frosting, whipped cream or pudding.  

I opted to use my favorite "non low carb, sugar free" frosting but made it into a sugar free, low carb version.  

Here is my ORIGINAL (non sugar free or low carb) version of
Cream Horns and the Filling:  2007 Post for CREAM HORNS and FILLING

 
Cream Horn Filling (made into sugar free by substitutions)

1/2 c Crisco
1/2 c butter 
2 c powdered sweeteners (I use a blend of erythritol, allulose, monk fruit)
2 t vanilla
1/2 package sugar free marshmallows, melted in the microwave (LINKS BELOW POST)

Cream the Crisco and butter. Add the sweetener gradually and then the marshmallow and vanilla. Beat well until it's smooth like whipped cream. Fill cooled or chilled cream horn forms.
 

 


 










 


You might be interested in related products;

Cream Roll Horn Molds, Set of 6
Norpro 6 Piece Cream Horn Case Set

If you don't want to have to bake in 'batches' because you don't have enough molds, consider buying this 16 pc set or double order the 6 pc because I can tell you it's not fun to have to wait and bake them all in batches using just 6 molds. 

Cream Horn Molds EURICA 5-inch Large Size Cream Horn Forms Pack of 16  

 

 

Normally you can use marshmallow fluff for the filling but I always have LaNouba sugar free marshmallows on hand in the pantry so I just grab a pack and melt them to make my own.

 

  La Nouba Sugar-Free Marshmallows 2.7 Oz (6 bags) 

 

As for the sweeteners, regular readers know I just keep a container in the pantry where I 'mix' at least 2 or 3 versions for best flavor.  I use monk fruit, eyrithritol and allulose and just keep adding to the container as it goes down with use.  

 

 

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6/8/21

What I did this past weekend... I had a pity party... errr... a pitting party! Yep, I canned some cherries. 9 pints of fresh cherries home canned.

 

If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen my little 'pity party' photo... tongue in cheek.  It was a pitting party!  But it was just me at the party.  Still, I dug in, pitted 9 lbs. of cherries.  While I was cleaning them I still hadn't made up my mind whether I was just going to freeze them or can them.  Honestly I usually just freeze them.  I LOVE frozen cherries.  You can use them for almost anything or just snack on them - and you don't have blanch them or do anything special.  You can simply and easily just freeze them.

 

However, I decided this time to put up some fresh cherries into cans because it's really so easy, and they only need a water bath canner; not a pressure canner.

I already did the hard part.

Pitting them all.

(Not hard, just time consuming... but once you get the process down and you lose yourself in your thoughts, it goes by really quickly.)



Wash your cherries. You'll need about 2 - 2.5 lbs. per quart.
Pit them and if you want to, you can put the pitted cherries in a bowl of water with fruit fresh or a teaspoon of citric acid in it to help the color stay bright.  If you do this, just drain your cherries when they are all finished and ready.
You can do a hot pack, raw pack or make cherry pie filling of them before canning. 
I oped for raw pack.
You can pack in water or a simple syrup.  We don't eat sugar so I was going to opt for water packed, but in the end, I used a simple syrup made with natural sweeteners.
In a pan of water add your sweetener/sugar for as strong/thick of a syrup as you wish.  I went with a very lightly sweetened syrup/water to pack - I used about 6 c water to 3/4 c sweetener.  You can find more light to heavy syrup ratios here:  link
To each hot, sterilized jar I added 1/2 cup light syrup.
Pack with cherries.
Added more liquid to fill, leaving 1/2 inch headspace.
Used a chopstick to debubble the jar, removing air.
Checked for headspace again. Filling if needed.
Wiped rims with a papertowel dipped in vinegar.
Topped with a lid from a lightly simmering pan of water.
Screwed on the lid.
Processed in a water bath according to the time for my altitude.
Removed them, let them cool overnight on a towel on the counter.
Checked seals (all sealed perfectly) and put up all 9 pints in my emergency storage pantry.

 



National Food Center for Home Food Preservation

Procedure: Stem and wash cherries. Remove pits if desired. If pitted, place cherries in water containing ascorbic acid to prevent stem-end discoloration. If canned unpitted, prick skins on opposite sides with a clean needle to prevent splitting. Cherries may be canned in water, apple juice, white-grape juice, or syrup. If syrup is desired, select and prepare preferred type as directed.

Hot pack – In a large saucepan add ½ cup water, juice, or syrup for each quart of drained fruit and bring to boil. Fill jars with cherries and cooking liquid, leaving ½-inch headspace.

Raw pack – Add ½ cup hot water, juice, or syrup to each jar. Fill jars with drained cherries, shaking down gently as you fill. Add more hot liquid, leaving ½-inch headspace. Adjust lids and process.


  Process at Altitudes of:
Style of Pack Jar Size 0 - 1,000 ft 1,001 - 3,000 ft 3,001 - 6,000 ft Above 6,000 ft
Hot Pints 15 min 20 20 25
Quarts 20 25 30 35
RawPints or Quarts25303540




Granite Ware 21.5-Quart Porcelain Canner with Rack

 

Ball Regular Mouth Pint 16-oz Mason Jar with Lids and Bands (Pack of 24)

 

MSC International Joie Blossom Cherry Pitter, 4"

 

Cherry Pitter, Cheery Pitter Tool, Olive Pitter Tool, Red

 

Cherry Pitter Tool, Olive Pitter Tool,Black

















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