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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

CANDIED BACON PANCAKES





CANDIED BACON PANCAKES
I loved this mainly because I am a huge fan of combining sweet and savory flavors, and for breakfast, especially.  Breakfast is important for many people, but for those who don't have the luxury every morning of making a fancy breakfast, keep this idea for the weekends, when you want something a little more special and different.

8 slices bacon
1/cup powdered erythritol (60 mL)
Pancakes:
4 oz regular cream cheese, softened (125 g)
3 eggs
2 tbsp coconut flour (30 mL)
2 tbsp vanilla whey protein (30 mL)
1 tbsp certified gluten-free oat flour (15 mL)
1 tsp baking powder (5 mL)
1 tsp gelatin (5 mL)
1/tsp vanilla extract (1 mL)

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).  Line a cookie sheet with foil.

Place bacon on foil. Sprinkle bacon with erythritol.  Bake 30 minutes, turning the bacon after 15 minutes. Depending, you may need to cook your bacon longer.  The bacon will crisp up more as it cools.  Break or cut into little bits.  Keep some aside for garnishing the pancakes.


Pancakes: In food processor, process cream cheese.  Add eggs, coconut flour, vanilla whey protein, oat flour, baking powder, gelatin and vanilla extract; process.  Stir in bacon bits. Drop batter in 2 tbsp (30 mL) amounts onto lightly greased, nonstick frying pan (if you have metal pancake rings, they will keep the pancakes a uniform size and shape) over low medium heat.  Cook until bubbles form and carefully flip when the topside is a little more set.  Make sure the pan is not too hot and reduce heat when necessary.  Serve with sugar-free pancake syrup and garnish the pancakes with a few bacon bits.

Yield: 10 pancakes
1 pancake 
108 calories
8.8 g protein
6.3 g fat
1.7 g net carbs

For other great Low-Carb, Gluten-Free recipes by the team & me:
Support your team, buy Low-Carbing Among Friends cookbooks at: 


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Saturday, April 26, 2014

CELERY CRUNCH CASSEROLE


CELERY CRUNCH CASSEROLE

I am not usually a fan of celery and few of my recipes will use this vegetable.  However, I know I will keep making this side dish often.  I was surprised at how incredibly tasty it was. I think the Bread Crumb Topping is what helps make this dish so incredibly tasty!  I couldn't stop eating it and made another casserole a couple of days later.  My friend, Jan Ballas, of many years (we started out as dieting buddies) sent me this interesting blurb about celery.  I kept it in the back of mind and the next minute found myself buying celery!  Stranger things have happened! ;)  Using the Bread Crumbs recipe (very simple ... just almond flour and water to moisten...baked! I have this on hand all the time now - so useful.), makes for a superb crumb topping with the Parmesan cheese (the kind in a can).

"Celery is a strongly alkaline food that helps to counteract acidosis, purify the bloodstream, aid in digestion, prevent migraines, relax the nerves, reduce blood pressure, and clear up skin problems. Celery contains compounds called coumarins which are known to enhance the activity of certain white blood cells and support the vascular system. Celery’s rich organic sodium content has the ability to dislodge calcium deposits from the joints and holds them in solution until they can be eliminated safely from the kidneys. Celery is a well known natural diuretic and has ample ability to flush toxins out of the body. Celery also has significant anti-inflammatory properties making it an essential food for those who suffer from auto-immune illnesses. It also contains significant amounts of calcium and silicon which can aid in the repair of damaged ligaments and bones. Celery is rich in vitamin A, magnesium, and iron which all help to nourish the blood and aid those suffering from rheumatism, high blood pressure, arthritis, and anemia. Fresh celery juice is one of the most powerful and healing juices one can drink. Just 16 oz of fresh celery juice a day can transform your health and digestion in as little as one week."

1/cup butter (60 mL)
4 cups thinly sliced celery (1 L)
1 cup canned mushroom pieces (250 mL)
1/cup each chopped red, green (60 mL)
  and orange peppers
Seasoning salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
“Bread” Crumb Topping:
3/cup “bread” crumbs (175 mL)  If you prefer, use my bake mix or simply ground almonds!
1/cup grated Parmesan cheese (60 mL)
2 tbsp butter, melted (30 mL)

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). 

In nonstick frying pan, in butter over medium heat, cook celery, mushrooms and red, green and orange peppers about 5 minutes, or until tender-crisp.  While cooking sprinkle with seasoning salt and black pepper, to taste.

Prepare Cheese Sauce.  Stir in vegetables.  Pour into a medium-sized casserole dish.  Sprinkle top of casserole with topping.

“Bread” Crumb Topping:  Combine “bread” crumbs, Parmesan cheese and melted butter.

Bake 20 minutes, or until topping is lightly browned.

Yield:  6 servings
1 serving
377.8 calories
10.8 g protein
35.5 g fat
4.4 g net carbs



For other great Low-Carb, Gluten-Free recipes by the team & me:
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Thursday, April 24, 2014

BACON ZUCCHINI QUICHE




BACON ZUCCHINI QUICHE
This quiche is worthy of company!  You can serve it is as a side with a main meal or for breakfast alongside a fruit salad.  I remember when quiches became popular in Canada.  I think I was still in my twenties - so that's a long time ago now ... over thirty years ago (ugh, am I dating myself?  Anyway, you get to a point in life, I think, where age doesn't really matter so much...it is just a number and it's more important how one feels.). I think quiches are still quite popular all these many years later!  

1 Pie Crust, below  OR Alternate Crust
6 slices bacon
5 eggs
1/2   cup whipping cream (125 mL)
1 tsp dried parsley (5 mL)
1 tsp crushed garlic (5 mL)
1/tsp salt (2 mL)
1/tsp seasoning salt (1 mL)
1/tsp black pepper (1 mL)
1/tsp basil (1 mL)
1/tsp oregano (1 mL)
2 cups shredded, unpeeled zucchini, (500 mL)
  (approx. 13 oz (368 g)
Seasoning salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
1 small onion (3 oz), chopped (85 g)
2 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese (500 mL)

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).

Prepare Pie Crust, page___ and line a 9-inch (23 cm) pie dish.  Bake 10 minutes. 

In large bowl, beat eggs with fork.  Stir in whipping cream, parsley, garlic, salt, seasoning salt, black pepper, basil and oregano. 

In nonstick frying pan, fry bacon over medium low heat until crispy.  Pour off excess bacon fat into a container.  Saute zucchini 5 minutes.  Sprinkle with seasoning salt and black pepper, to taste.  Set aside.  In some reserved bacon fat, fry onion, until soft and browned. To egg mixture, add chopped crispy bacon zucchini, onion and Monterey Jack cheese.  Stir well.  Pour into prepared pie crust.  Bake 40 minutes, or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.  Allow to sit 10 minutes, before serving. 


Yield:  8 servings
1 serving
328.5 calories
20.0 g protein
24.1 g fat

7.2 g net carbs
SINGLE PIECRUST
This is a lower carb and more substantial crust that tastes great.

11/4  cups Gluten-free Bake Mix 3 (300 mL)
3 oz cream cheese, softened (90 g)
2 tbsp powdered erythritol, optional (30 mL)
1 tbsp butter, softened (15 mL)
1/tsp baking soda (1 mL)
1/tsp salt (0.5 mL)

In food processor or in bowl with electric mixer, process Gluten-Free Bake Mix, page 71, cream cheese, powdered erythritol (if using), butter, baking soda and salt until mixed.  Form a ball with dough using your hands and cover with plastic wrap.  Chill dough about 1 hour or freeze for quicker chilling.

Roll dough out (if crumbly, chill longer) between two sheets of plastic wrap to fit shallow 9-inch (23 cm) glass pie dish.  Remove top sheet of plastic wrap.  Pick up sheet with dough and invert over pie dish.  Remove plastic wrap.  Use small rolling pin or small cylindrical object in pie dish, if necessary, to further roll dough.  Patch dough where required.  A straight edge up the sides is practical.  Push down slightly from edge onto dough with thumbs and this will make a slightly thicker border for the crust.  Bake in 350°F (180°C) oven 10 minutes.


Yield:  10 servings
1 serving
101.3 calories
3.1 g protein
8.3 g fat

3.2 g net carbs


For other great Low-Carb, Gluten-Free recipes by the team & me:
Support your team, buy Low-Carbing Among Friends cookbooks at: 
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Friday, April 18, 2014

BANANA CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES



BANANA CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
Do you love Chocolate Chip Cookies?  So do I!!  Chocolate doesn't really love me and hasn't for about a dozen years since entering peri menopause and now full-fledged menopause....I get migraines.  However, a chocolate chip cookie here or there, I can usually get away with and that makes me very happy.  Also, the threat of a migraine enforces some self-restraint, which is not all bad.  I do make white chocolate sometimes, so that I don't feel too deprived.  

These make a TON of cookies that you can keep in the freezer for a long time.  There are probably as many varieties of chocolate chip cookies as there are pancakes!  It's the same for low-carb chocolate chip cookies.  Dozens of them out there.  I will share my Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies soon as well.  For me, in the cookie world, chocolate chip cookies are the ultimate comfort food cookies. 

31/4  cups Gluten-Free Bake Mix 1 OR Gluten-Free Bake Mix 2 (need 1 1/2 tsp gelatin) (810 mL)
1 tbsp baking powder (15 mL)
1 tsp baking soda (5 mL)
1 egg
1 cup butter (250 mL)
1 cup mashed banana (250 mL)
Liquid sweetener (sucralose or stevia) to equal 3/cup sugar (175 mL)
1/cup granulated erythritol (125 mL)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup chopped pecans, OR walnuts (250 mL)
  (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).

In large bowl, combine Gluten-Free Bake Mix 1, baking powder and baking soda.

In food processor, process egg, butter, banana, liquid sweetener, erythritol and vanilla extract.  Add dry ingredients and process.  Stir in chocolate chips and pecans, OR walnuts, if using.

Drop by tablespoonfuls (15 mL) onto greased cookie sheets lined with parchment paper.  Make sure there is enough space between cookies to allow for a little spreading.  Bake 12 to 14 minutes, or until golden brown underneath.  Allow to cool on cookie sheets and transfer to a large plastic container.  Layer cookies with parchment paper in between.  Keep in the freezer or refrigerator once firm.

Yield:  72 cookies
1 cookie
70.9 calories
1.1 g protein
5.4 g fat
2.0 g net carbs


For other great Low-Carb, Gluten-Free recipes by the team & me:

Support your team, buy Low-Carbing Among Friends cookbooks at: 

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

CHEESY SCALLOPED EGGPLANT CASSEROLE


CHEESY SCALLOPED EGGPLANT CASSEROLE
This easy casserole is surprisingly good. I will make this one many times.  I used Japanese eggplant that were going over slightly (getting wrinkly) and they were perfect in this dish. Never will I feed eggplant to the jungle around me again!  Seriously, how do I hide the fact from my hubby that I've let my eggplant go past their date?  My hubby hates to see food go to waste!  That's what I do...the jungle enjoys my eggplant!  I'm surprised I don't have eggplant growing there by now. 

1 lb thinly sliced Japanese eggplant, (0.45 kg)
  about 6 cups (1.5 L)
1 tbsp bacon fat (15 mL)
1 medium onion, chopped
12 oz grated Monterey Jack cheese (340 g)
1/cup Gluten-Free Bake Mix, (60 mL)
  page___
2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped (30 mL)
2 eggs
1/cup whipping cream (60 mL)
1 tsp salt (5 mL)
1/tsp black pepper (1 mL)

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).

In pot of boiling water, cook eggplant until tender about 8 to 10 minutes.  Drain well.  Place in large bowl.

In nonstick frying pan, over medium heat in bacon fat, fry onion until browned and tender.  Add to large bowl, along with Monterey Jack cheese (withhold some to sprinkle on top of the casserole), Gluten-Free Bake Mix, page___ and parsley. 

In small bowl, beat eggs with a fork.  Stir in whipping cream, salt and black pepper.   Add to eggplant mixture and stir well to combine. Scrape into 2 qt (2 L) baking dish


Bake 25 minutes, or until firm in the center.

Yield:  8 servings
1 serving
236.7 calories
13.5 g protein
17.8 g fat
5.9 g net carbs


For other great Low-Carb, Gluten-Free recipes by the team & me:
Support your team, buy Low-Carbing Among Friends cookbooks at: 
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Monday, April 14, 2014

CHOCOLATE RASPBERRY PECAN TORTE


CHOCOLATE RASPBERRY PECAN TORTE

This pie could not be simpler to make.  It is so good that low-carbers can bank on the fact that non low-carbers will not know it is low-carb.  It tastes so naughty, that you can keep this treat for times when you know sweet treats and chocolate you cannot indulge in will abound - like the holidays!


"Graham Cracker" Crust:
1 cup “Bread” Crumbs, OR almond meal* (250 mL)
1/4  cup vanilla whey protein powder (60 mL)
1 tbsp powdered erythritol (15 mL)
1/3  cup butter, melted (75 mL)
Liquid sweetener to equal 1/2   cup (125 mL)
  sugar
1 tbsp water, if necessary (15 mL)
Filling:
1/cup raspberry fruit spread (125 mL)
3/cup sugar-free chocolate chips (NEW!!) (175 mL)
40 pecans

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).    

"Graham Cracker" Crust:  Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).  In medium bowl, combine “Bread” Crumbs, vanilla whey protein powder and powdered erythritol.  In small bowl, combine melted butter and liquid sucralose. Sprinkle water over crust ingredients, if needed.  Using plastic wrap, press crust ingredients into 9-inch (23 cm) pie dish and up the sides.  Bake 8 minutes.  If using almond meal, bake 10 to 12 minutes.  Allow to cool.

Filling:  Spread fruit spread carefully in bottom of crust.  Sprinkle with chocolate chips and arrange pecans on top.  Bake 15 minutes.  Serve chilled.

Helpful Hint:  Almond meal is preferable to almond flour in crusts, I find.  The crust made with the "Bread "Crumbs will be firmer upon chilling than the crust made with almond meal, but it will still be very good.

Yield:  8 servings
1 serving
282.3 calories
6.3 g protein
23.1 g fat
5.6 g net carbs

For other great Low-Carb, Gluten-Free recipes by the team & me:
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"GRAHAM CRACKER" CRUST


“GRAHAM CRACKER” CRUST
This crust can handle very moist fillings and remain firm after refrigeration.  It doesn’t become soggy.  I think that is a big breakthrough.  Typically crusts with almond meal work better than with almond flour, however, in this case toasted blanched almond flour (“bread” crumbs!) works extremely well.

1 cup “Bread” Crumbs* OR SEE BELOW in Helpful Hints (250 mL)
1/cup vanilla whey protein powder (60 mL)
1 tbsp powdered erythritol (any little lumps removed) (15 mL)
1/cup butter, melted (75 mL)
Liquid sweetener to equal 1/2   cup (125 mL)
  sugar
1 tbsp water, if necessary (15 mL)

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).  In medium bowl, combine “Bread” Crumbs, vanilla whey protein powder and powdered erythritol.  In small bowl, combine melted butter and liquid sucralose. Sprinkle water over crust ingredients, if needed.  Using plastic wrap, press crust ingredients into 9-inch (23 cm) pie dish and up the sides.  Bake 8 minutes.

Helpful Hints: I find I have to put my powdered erythritol in my coffee bean grinder to get a fine grind.  The commercial product always has lumps and bumps in it.  

*If you don't want to use the "Bread" Crumbs, you can use almond meal (better than using almond flour) in this crust.  Bake a little longer, about 10 to 12 minutes.

Yield: 8 to 10 servings
1 serving
156.5/125.2 calories
5.1/4.1 g protein
14.7/11.8 g fat
1.6/1.3 g net carbs

For other great Low-Carb, Gluten-Free recipes by the team & me:
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"BREAD" CRUMBS

Using ground almonds (almond meal) - I make my ground almonds in a coffee grinder.  I didn't process this batch in a food processor, so you can see it is more coarse, but it works great either way!  Almond meal doesn't look quite as attractive as the bread crumbs made with almond flour, but it's the taste that counts, and it is a heck of lot cheaper, which is why I'll be using this more often.  My Honeyville Grains almond flour is too expensive and too hard fought to bring into the country for me to squander it too much.  I keep it primarily for using in my bake mix for baking.



Using almond Flour - I briefly processed the crumbs in a food processor, but it is not necessary.



"BREAD” CRUMBS
This simple method to produce bread-like crumbs will surprise you. It tastes remarkably like bread crumbs, only better and more flavorful. These bread crumbs will work like real bread crumbs when it comes to breading veggies or meats, binding meat loaves and hamburgers or for using as a bread crumb topping with melted butter for casseroles. It makes a wonderful Graham cracker-like crust as well for pies, squares and cheesecakes.  No more soggy crusts.  The crusts made with this product remain remarkably firm.  You can pour fairly thick liquid fillings in the crust and as long as you're going to refrigerate your pie and serve it cold, the crust will still be firm and not soggy.  Find my "Graham Cracker" crust recipe here.

These "bread" crumbs are incredible for so many applications, so I keep them handy in the cupboard in a sealed Tupperware container most of the time nowadays.  I don't even wince too much that I'm using my fancy Honeyville almond flour.  It's so good made this way that I can eat it by the spoonful.  Try doing that with raw almond flour.  I don't think one could easily.

Here is an example of where I made a "Bread Crumb" topping for a casserole.  Yum!  It just made the casserole and now all of sudden this late in my life, I can say, "I like celery!" LOL  It's too funny!

Here is another idea (click)

1 cup blanched almond flour, OR homemade almond meal (cheaper!) (250 mL)
  (finely ground)
Several tbsp of water, as needed (15 mL)
  
Preheat oven to 300°F (150°C).  Spread almond flour out on a dry cookie sheet.  Sprinkle with water and work in lightly with your hands.  The almond flour should be moist, but not soggy*.  Form little clumps here and there.  Bake about 25 to 40 minutes until a light golden color (keep checking!).  Allow to cool.  Then with sharp blade in place in food processor, process almond crumbs briefly to get a more uniform consistency.  Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one month or more. 

Helpful Hint:  *I store my Honeyville® Grains almond flour in a big plastic bag (the one it came in) in the freezer, so it tends to be a little moist already when I take it out (normally I just process it in my food processor first, before using it in my bake mix).  You may need a little more water than I used as a result, if your almond flour is quite dry already.

Yield:  4 servings
1/4 cup (60 mL) per serving
160 calories
6.0 g protein
14.0 g fat
3.0 g net carbs


For other great Low-Carb, Gluten-Free recipes by the team & me:
Support your team, buy Low-Carbing Among Friends cookbooks at: 
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Sunday, April 13, 2014

IMPOSSIBLE PUMPKIN PIE


IMPOSSIBLE PUMPKIN PIE
The Crème Fraiche is not optional for this pie.  It makes this pie special.  It is not exactly pumpkin pie season, however, I like pumpkin pie anytime.  I know if my son, Jonathan, was still living at home, I'd be competing with him for the last slice!  He loves pumpkin pie.  This pumpkin pie is quite solid compared to some recipes.  I love pumpkin pie with Creme Fraiche, but if you like you can just serve slices with sweetened whipped cream.
2 eggs
1 cup whipping cream (250 mL)
14 oz can pumpkin (397 g)
Liquid sweetener to equal 1 cup (175 mL)
  sugar
1/cup granulated erythritol (75 mL)
1 tbsp butter, melted (15 mL)
1 tsp vanilla extract (5 mL)
2/cup Gluten-Free Bake Mix, (150 mL)
  page___
1 tsp baking powder (5 mL)
1 tsp cinnamon (5 mL)
1/tsp ground ginger (2 mL)
1/tsp ground cloves (1 mL)

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).

In food processor, process eggs.  Add whipping cream, pumpkin, liquid sweetener, granulated erythritol, butter and vanilla extract; process.  Add Gluten-Free Bake Mix, page___, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger and cloves; process.  Pour into greased 9-inch (23 cm) glass baking dish.  Smooth surface.  Bake 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until an inserted knife comes out clean.  Cool.

Prepare Crème Fraiche.  Spread over cooled pumpkin pie.  Refrigerate.

Yield:  10 servings
1 serving
243.5 calories
4.4 g protein
22.1 g fat
6.7 g net carbs

For other great Low-Carb, Gluten-Free recipes by the team & me:
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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

ISLAND PORK CURRY


ISLAND PORK CURRY
This is a favorite supper for my eldest son, Daniel.  Obviously, if you're super low-carb, you're not going to have the cantaloupe, however, for moderate low-carbers on the fruit rung already, it's a lovely addition to this meal.  This recipe is in Volume 1 of Low-Carbing Among Friends.

2 tbsp olive oil, divided (30 mL)
1 cup chopped onion (250 mL)
2 tbsp chopped, fresh ginger (30 mL)
1 tbsp crushed garlic (15 mL)
1/cup mild curry powder (60 mL)
2.2 lbs pork fillet (tenderloin), sliced (1 kg)
1 cup coconut milk (250 mL)
1 cup water, OR (250 mL)
  remainder of coconut milk
Sweetener to equal 2 tsp sugar (10 mL)
11/2 tsp salt (7 mL)
1 tsp chicken bouillon powder (5 mL)
1/tsp black pepper (1 mL)
1/tsp Thickening Agent, page 53 (1 mL)
2 tbsp lime, OR lemon juice (30 mL)

In large nonstick frying pan, heat 1 tbsp (15 mL) oil and add onion, ginger and garlic.  Saute until onion is translucent.  Stir in curry powder. Set aside.

Heat remaining oil in pan; add sliced pork and stir-fry about 10 minutes.  Stir in the coconut milk, water, OR remaining coconut milk, SPLENDA®, salt, chicken bouillon and black pepper.  Bring to boil.  Stir in onion mixture, Thickening Agent, page 53 (mix it in some sauce and add) and lime, OR lemon juice; simmer approximately 15 minutes, or until sauce has thickened sufficiently.  Serve over Cauli-Fried Rice, page 50 with low-carb chutney.* If desired, skip the cauli-rice and chutney and serve with sour cream and chilled, sweet cantaloupe.

Variation:   Island Chicken Curry:  Use chicken. (6.1 g net carbs)

*Helpful Hints:  It is a snap to make chutney by using a jar of low-carb peach or apricot jam.  Stir in a little white vinegar and Worcestershire sauce to taste and you have yourself some instant, awesome homemade chutney. One way to make cauli-rice a little more substantial is to stir in some cooked quinoa.  I cook quinoa the same way I make regular rice. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). In large pot, bring 4 cups (1 L) water to boil.  Add 2 cups (500 mL) quinoa (or you can halve this recipe), 2 tsp (15 mL) chicken bouillon (or seasoning salt) and a little turmeric; stir and bring to boil again.  Place lid on pot and cook quinoa in oven about 25 minutes.  Fluff with fork and stir some quinoa into your Cauli-Fried Rice, page 50.  Quinoa is lower on the glycemic index than rice and is great for maintenance levels.

Yield: 6 servings
1 serving
351.1 calories
41.5 g protein
17.4 g fat
6.1 g net carbs


For other great Low-Carb, Gluten-Free recipes by the team & me:
Support your team, buy Low-Carbing Among Friends cookbooks at: 
http://amongfriends.us/Jen.php (Paypal/Amazon) - SALE priced!