Showing posts from August, 2013

Cheese Crisps, the perfect complement

So you can't have a breadstick. So what. Here's something better.
Take a handful of grated cheese, full fat, hard cheese is best. But any kind will work, except maybe Mozzarella. That won't work too well.

So take a handful of cheese and place it in the middle of a hot skillet. Pat it down a little bit. Season it if you like with a bit of garlic or onion powder.
Let it cook until the bottom begins to bind itself and brown. Now flip it over and finish cooking. Remove from heat, and while it's still soft, roll it (you can use the spatula if it's hot) and set on a paper towel so any excess oils can be removed.

Wait a few minutes if you can, and enjoy your cheese crisp. It's fabulous.

Some Days require a fudge fix.

I realized too late, I was out of dessert. And quite stressed from work, this could have sent me into a panic attack. Almost did.

But my brain kicked into high gear. I had Ghirardelli Chocolate. I had heavy cream. I had Confectioners Swerve and finally, I had walnut pieces. And I thought, my truffle squares are fabulous. But would take too long. But wait. They're so fabulous they don't need the crust. And without a crust, it would just be fudge. I love fudge.

3/4 cup cream, heated almost to boiling.
4 ounces Ghirardelli 100% Cacao unsweetened baking bar, broken in pieces in a bowl.
1/4 cup powdered swerve
1/4 cup walnut pieces (or any nuts you have laying around)

Pour the warmed cream over the chocolate, let stand 10 minutes until melted, and stir. Add the Swerve and mix gently. Fold in the walnuts, and pour into a small baking dish lined with parchment.

Shove it in the freezer for an hour, or as long as you can wait.

It's fabulous. Better than valium. Better than a glass …

Update! Miller Kitchen Candy has arrived!

The candy mold arrived. And so did my confectioners Swerve. My new go-to natural sweetener with no calories or carbs or things that make your tummy rumble. So, having just come from the dentist where it was determined my teeth and gums were healthy,  I felt it was the most appropriate time to attempt chocolates. Not chocolate bark. Not some weird looking blob on a tray. But chocolates. I have scoured the internet without success. I am beginning to suspect that the famous chocolatiers out there do not want to share their secrets. Fine. I'll create my own. Wait... that's it! Make your own. So I did.

Yep. Like that. They are a little sweet, so next batch I'm upping the cocoa and lowering the sweetness.
1/2 cup Cocoa Butter  1/2 cup high quality cocoa (maybe 1/3 cup is better if you like it a little less dark) 1/4 cup Sweetener/sugar/whatever you use. I use powdered. better texture.  1/2 teaspoon vanilla
One 30 piece silicone candy mold. 
Sift the cocoa and sweetener into a me…

New York Cheesecake is sacred.

I have my Swerve. I've mentioned it in my last post. I can't explain it to you, so visit their site at and read about it. It looks and tastes like sugar. It's natural, not artificial. It doesn't create "gastric discomfort" which anyone with any experience in sugar free commercial foods knows is code word for "where's the restroom?"

It also bakes and cooks like sugar. That's really the importance of it. As the title suggests, I take my cheesecake seriously.
Cream Cheese. Sugar. Vanilla. The real deal. Now since I don't eat grains, and we need to keep it low carb, I do have to lose the graham cracker crust. So I'm going with a coconut crust instead. Just to give it a bottom to stand on. 
I don't often eat cheesecake since I left New York. It's always smooth and creamy or custardy. Doesn't have that dryness it requires to be true to itself. Everyone is always adding Sour Cream or milk or some such non…

Homemade Chocolate Bars. You will never go back.

So I received my special order yesterday. Organic Cocoa Butter. No, I am not going into the beauty bar business... too late for me. All the beach and baby oil pretty much set my fate. But I've earned every line on my face.

Back to food. That's my thing. If you can't tell I'm a chocoholic. There. I said it. My name is Mary and I live and breathe for chocolate. But I'm diabetic. Soooo. They do have sugar free chocolate. Typically made with commercial grade artificial sweeteners which, if you eat too much, like one piece, acts more like, let's be honest, a laxative. 
So once again, my thanks to Google, I have scoured the earth and found the secret. First. Swerve. Fabulous natural based sweetener with no side effects. Then, the cocoa butter. It's important because it not only has to be organic, it has to be slave free. You do realize that the problem with most chocolate is it's ingredients are coming out of places that are using child and slave labor. Compa…

Entree Schmantree. It's all about the before and after.

Just look for a moment at these beauties.

Ok. Now these.

So do you really care what I had for dinner?
Chez Miller's was hopping in the kitchen, while the Tucson Monsoon was raging outside. Sorry, I didn't take any photos outside, Too busy taste testing.

So the recipes. If you watch your fat intake, don't try these at home. Or anywhere else. For the rest of us... enjoy. The beauty of a low carb, grain free life. We get to eat this stuff.

Appetizer Mozzarella Sticks. You can cheat and use string cheese, but I used some good pasteurized chunk Mozarella. Sliced into 1/2" strips. I made 12.  Take 1 cup of Chickpea Flour divided into 2 bowls, 1/3rd in one, 2/3rds in the other. In between these two bowls, place a bowl with one beaten egg. In the large bowl of flour, add 1 tbsp of onion powder, 1 teaspoon red pepper, 1 tsp parsley and whisk till well blended. If deep frying, set oil to 350 degrees. Or use deep skillet. Dredge cheese sticks in plain flour, then coat in egg, an…

this is soooooo good

Right now I'm just sitting at a kitchen table, with an absolutely heavenly smell emanating from the oven. I have no idea what it will turn out to be. Total experiment. But anything that smells this good has got to taste even better. 

I don't know anything about the science of cooking. Never went to culinary school. Don't have a professional photographer to doctor up my blog photos. They are what they are. But since I do this for nobody  but me, and my friends and readers who still love to eat but wonder what's left in the nutritional cupboard that won't kill them... I don't have to concern myself with those details. 
So this is all about that work in progress I've got going. I want a snack bar. One packed with protein, and a little chocolate, that tastes yummy and won't hurt me. Sure they sell them in the stores. But I cannot pronounce the ingredients, let alone define them. So no way. 
So here's what batch one looked like. 
Then batch 2
Then batch three…

The good life

For years, the sage advice to those who wanted to trim down was to eat dry toast, lose the butter. Have egg substitute from a carton. Better yet, live on controlled portions from the freezer section at the supermarket. Hey I tried all of it. Sure I'd lose weight. For awhile. But of course it wasn't sustainable. I was hungry, and the longer I did it the hungrier I got. And when the dam burst loose I would gain it all back and then some. Some of you know what I'm talking about.

I tried Atkins once, for a while, it worked, for a while, but it seemed a bit more focused on the foods you could eat instead... like the processed snack bars, of course with the Atkins label. And then I got sick. And then he died.

So I was faced with the challenge of keeping my blood sugar in check. Cholesterol in check. Blood Pressure. Geesh. Eat this don't eat that. Couldn't take it anymore. After 8 years I gave up. I'd gained 20 pounds. My labs always looked good but I was miserable. 8…

If grains make us fat, could a plant make us thin?

Almost half of the U.S., geographically, now permits medical marijuana. 20 states. DC too. Obviously this dreadful scourge on society turns out to be nothing but. Sure it makes people silly. Like opiates pumping through an IV at the hospital don't? Lots of medical professionals who slammed it before are sort of taking it all back now.
Now I don't have cancer or any other proscribed illness or even chronic pain, so at this juncture I have no need for a prescription. And that's a good thing. I'm a huge proponent of this though, because as most of us have known someone who has suffered the effects of chemotherapy or chronic, horrific, pain... marijuana, nature's remedy, is just as effective a medical treatment as any pill they can create to alleviate this kind of suffering.

But wait. Turns out there's a new twist. According to recent research, people who smoke pot actually aren't fatter, you know, from eating too much because pot causes you to have uncontroll…

Can you possibly ruin good chocolate?

If you don't know about my previous foray into truffle squares, you may need to visit my alter ego blog for a moment. Murphy's Chocolate Truffle Squares

Now with any fabulous new twist on a recipe, there's always a few transformations. For us the lightbulb went off with my daughter's upcoming return to college. She's been eating like a nutritional champ all summer. But what to do about those midnight cram session snacks? Or the flight back? What to snack on? Well, chocolate is always a good answer. Yes, even for us low-carb grain-free zealots.

But this time all did not go as planned. So let's refresh shall we?

This is what we were aiming for, but on a grand scale. Full cookie sheet size, thicker bar, less chocolate since it's not supposed to be dessert. Yum.

So we started with the Coconut Macadamia Crust. I added some chopped pecans for good measure. And a little almond butter too. Now I didn't use it the first time due to our friend's allergy to Al…

Murphy's Decadent Truffle Squares

I'm debating whether even to share this with you. And if you are looking for a quick and easy chocolate fix, this isn't it. At least the blog isn't. You have to read the whole damn thing to get to the good part. If you aren't willing to at least make that effort, I'm not giving you the secret. You see, last night it was a chocolate cream pie so amazing you would never ever believe it's part of a grain-free, gluten-free, low-carb au natural eating regimen.

That was yesterday. Murphy stopped by. I'm not making this up. Murphy took a perfectly perfect chocolate cream pie, low carb, gluten-free, egg-free, and to die for good, and messed with it overnight.

Now you could say it's my fault, I'm no Martha Stewart. Thank God. I don't particularly like that woman. But the thing is, Martha Stewart is one fabulous cook. She has a ridiculously great coconut chocolate cream pie recipe and I wanted to bake it for a friend who is in need of the aforesaid gluten…

Buffalo or Asian, Chicken Wings are scrumptious and healthy

Wait. Healthy? I know what you are thinking. That's ridiculous. First, they have to be deep fried. Second, the sauce? Hello?

Ok. I don't like Buffalo wings. I prefer honey wings. I can't have honey, so I created my own sauce. An Asian-inspired glaze.

But mi familia, well, they needed their buffalo style. So happy compromise - we made both.

First, the wings. I had no idea how to prepare the wings for cooking. Something about removing wing tips and cutting them in two.

My go to guy, Alton Brown? He's got it on YouTube. Of course he has a different way to cook them. It's the chicken prep I'm concerned with. So if you've never dealt with wings, watch at least the first 6 minutes. While you're at it, watch all his stuff! You get a great education on the science behind the food plus some really good techniques.

Now he's not going to fry his wings. And that's cool. But for me? That wonderful crisp chicken without the muss and fuss? I'm going to the…

The irony of toxic feed.

Tyson is preparing to boycott cattle fed with toxic drugs. Yippee you say! Thank goodness they will stop poisoning our food supply.

Oh wait. They don't give a damn about our food. It's the cattle they are worried about. They seem a little sick before they get butchered.

Don't poison the cattle before they're slaughtered

It's really important that you read the article, but here's a quote from the above:

Tyson Foods Inc. says it will no longer buy cattle fed a supplement that's designed to bulk them up before slaughter, citing experts who suggest the drug may be causing animals to become lame. So, they weren't worried about it harming the people who eventually EAT the cattle... just the cattle themselves? Or is their concern that if the animals are sick, people might get sick too. Perhaps... they just didn't talk about the people who eat their products. They only talked about the cattle. So it makes you wonder if they worry that the cattle will die too …

Work Study. Academics never tasted so good.

Work Study is an integral part of many students' lives. It helps them financially get through school, and is an opportunity to gain some incredible job skills. Oh I know there are a bunch of yahoos in DC who want to deeply cut funding for work-study. But I'm a big fan. It's a damn good program.
But seriously... my daughter's first year assignment? The main Dining Hall. Now you might think woo hoo. She gets to clear off tables and wash a few dishes.

But this was a hell of a lot more than that. First, the dining hall was in her dorm. One floor down. So early morning shifts were no big deal.. roll out of bed and slide down those stairs. Secondly, she was in the kitchen. Yep. Learning valuable life skills that she brought home with her.

Now this is where it pays off. I got a deep fat fryer for my birthday. Now don't get started on the whole "that's not healthy" thing. Because now that we're eating real food, fat is our friend. Not in ridiculous amount…

Political foodie

I'm thinking of renaming my blog. Yes. Because even though having the last word on everything is quite important to me, a number of people have questioned my combining my political rants with my food rants.

I'm sorry. Did someone make up a new rule? If you are outspoken politically, you must shut up about food? Or, worse, if you love food you can't discuss politics?

It's true food and politics aren't really great bedfellows. All those dinner party rules... business lunch rules... and church picnics... god forbid you talk religion or politics at a food event.

Well, guess what. Time's are changing people. I will eat and talk politics and yes, religion, without feeling one bit of etiquette guilt.

Because mostly I eat with people I love to discuss these topics with. Mostly I eat with people I at least have a strong affection for. There's the occasional business event where I tend to just eat to keep my mouth shut. That's true.

But here in my space, on my bl…

Low carb birthdays can be delicious

Most years, birthdays are a reason to eat really bad food. And justify it. And feel guilty about it. And ultimately regret it. Not this year. I was hell bent on not going off the new eating healthy plan, yet still having my cake... yes I'm going to say it... and eating it too.

My grandmother, like most grandmothers, had some pretty good family recipes. Whether she got them from The Joy of Cooking or her own mother actually handed them down we'll never know. My mother said she didn't have my favorite of those recipes, Hungarian Nusstorte. So, as noted in my previous blog entry, Murphy was obviously still hanging around... trying to screw things up. Hmmph. Really? The thing is, I figured with Google at the helm, I'd find the same recipe somewhere. And when I landed on one that said "Hungarian Nusstorte" I figured bingo!

I was wrong. It was NOT my grandmother's Nusstorte. Maybe it was Hungarian... and maybe it was a nusstorte... but a really bad Hungarian co…

My dear friend Murphy

It was supposed to be a fun-filled relaxing weekend... extended of course with a few days off of work. Supposed to be. My dear friend Murphy showed up.

First up, the concert we were all going to attend, The Airborne Toxic Event, a particular favorite of ours, turned out to be a 21 and over venue. We were going with friends, had everything arranged. Now our friends are somewhat known to TATE, and typically, we enjoy perhaps a personal meet and greet and maybe a chair or two in the SRO space. But. We didn't want to chance the youngest member of our party not being able to get in, so we did the responsible adult thing and opted out. After all, we'd just been to their show in Burlington a few months ago. Fabulous by the way.

Event night rolls around. Sitting in the kitchen, having a light supper, ruminating on the fact that we should be elsewhere getting ready to have a blast... and my friend calls and says they can get us in, 21 or not... hop in the car and go!

But hubby had alre…