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Wednesday, December 31, 2014



A beautiful, flavorful cheesecake to serve anytime.  This one uses quite a bit of ricotta cheese, thus lowering the calories. One does not often see raspberry cheesecakes.  Usually all kinds of strawberry cheesecakes abound, however, this is a good change of pace.  It freezes well, like most cheesecakes.  Raspberries are also less likely to cause migraines.  Strawberries can trigger migraines for many people, including myself.  I frosted the cheesecake around the rim just for fun, but it is really completely optional and not necessary for this cheesecake to taste phenomenal.

Almond Crust:
1 cup ground almonds, OR almond flour (ground almonds makes a slightly better crust) (250 mL)
1/cup vanilla whey protein (75 mL)
2 tbsp powdered erythritol (30 mL)
1/4  tsp salt (1 mL)
3 tbsp melted butter (45 mL)
2 cups ricotta cheese (500 mL)
8 oz regular cream cheese (250 g)
Liquid sweetener (sucralose or stevia) to equal 1 cup sugar (250 mL)
1/cup granulated erythritol (125 mL)
1 cup sour cream (250 mL)
2 tsp vanilla extract (10 mL)
1/tsp salt (1 mL)
3 eggs
Raspberry Sauce:
12-oz package frozen, unsweetened raspberries (375 g)
Liquid sweetener to equal 1/cup sugar (125 mL)
2 tbsp powdered erythritol (30 mL)
1 tbsp water (15 mL)
1 tsp cornstarch, OR arrowroot powder (5 mL)
Garnish: (optional)
Creme Fraiche, OR Brown Butter Frosting (recipe below)
Grated unsweetened baker's chocolate

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).

Almond Crust:  In food processor, combine ground almonds, whey protein powder, erythritol and salt; process until there are no lumps of erythritol.  Add melted butter; process. Press crust mixture into an 8-inch (20 cm) springform pan (cover with plastic wrap to make it easier). Bake 10 minutes in oven.

Filling:  In food processor, process ricotta cheese until smooth.  Add cream cheese; process.  Add liquid sweetener, erythritol, sour cream, vanilla and salt; process.  While processing, add eggs and process just until well combined.  Pour over crust; bake 1 hour, or until center is softly set.  Set aside to cool.

Raspberry Sauce:  In pot on stove, add raspberries, sweetener, erythritol and water.  Once defrosted, place 2 tbsp (30 mL) liquid from raspberries in small bowl.  Stir cornstarch into liquid and add to pot.  Stir and bring to a boil. Boil until sauce has thickened.  When cool spread over top of cheesecake.  Refrigerate cheesecake.  If desired, frost sides of cheesecake with Crème Fraiche OR Brown Butter Frosting (below) and sprinkle with grated unsweetened chocolate.   

Yield:  12 servings
1 serving
264.5 calories
12.5 g protein
20.3 g fat
2.8 g fiber
6.3 g net carbs 


This is great for snacking, let alone using as a frosting!  It has the consistency of Nutella and is a great sweet treat on a spoon with a cup of tea at my computer! This can cover a 9 x 13 inch cake or top and middle of a cake or the surround of a cheesecake, etc.  I gave the analysis for the entire batch so it’s easy to figure out how many carbs by dividing by the number of servings.

3 tbsp butter (45 mL)
1/cup whipping cream (125 mL)
Liquid sweetener (sucralose or stevia) to equal 1/cup sugar (75 mL)
1/cup powdered erythritol (60 mL)
1/cup whole milk powder, OR (60 mL)
  skim milk powder
1/tsp molasses (2 mL)
1/tsp vanilla extract (1 mL)
1/tsp butterscotch or caramel extract (1 mL)
1 cup vanilla whey protein powder (250 mL)

In frying pan, brown butter.  Watch carefully as you simply want a caramel brown color.  Add to a food processor bowl, along with whipping cream, liquid sweetener, eythritol, whole milk powder, OR skim milk powder, molasses, vanilla and butterscotch extracts.  Process.  Add vanilla whey protein powder and process until smooth.

Yield:  11/cups (300 mL)
1 batch/1 tbsp per serving
1592/88.4 calories
78.4/4.4 g protein
132.8/7.4 g fat
0.0/0.0 g fiber
27.2/1.5 g net carbs 

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Sunday, December 21, 2014



Special enough for company! The flavor can be changed up by the cheese you choose for the cheese sauce.  I used Monterey Jack that was slightly was very good in this dish.  I can imagine Cheddar cheese would be good and would add some nice color too.

Medium head of cauliflower, chopped into
  florets (11 oz; 312 g)
3 tbsp bacon fat, OR olive oil (45 mL)
2/cup finely chopped onion (150 mL)
2/cup finely sliced celery (150 mL)
1 lb fresh mushrooms, sliced (0.45 kg)
Seasoning salt, to taste
 (Use 3/4 cup (175 mL) Monterey Jack cheese, OR your cheese of choice)

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).

In large pot, cook cauliflower florets in salted, boiling water until not quite tender.   Place in 2-quart (2 L) casserole dish.

In nonstick frying pan, in 2 tbsp (30 mL) bacon fat, over medium heat, cook onion and celery until celery is soft.  Scatter vegetables over top of cauliflower in casserole dish.

In nonstick frying pan, toss mushrooms in bacon fat, OR olive oil.  Place lid on pan slightly ajar.  Cook until moisture evaporates.  Sprinkle with seasoning salt and toss.  Stir fry 1 or 2 minutes more.  Place mushrooms on top of cauliflower.

Cheese Sauce:  Prepare Cheese Sauce.  Pour over vegetables and stir to combine.  Place in oven 25 to 30 minutes, or until casserole is hot and bubbly.

Yield:  8 servings
1 serving
203.3 calories
6.5 g protein
17.6 g fat
1.8 g fiber
5.0 g net carbs

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

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Saturday, December 20, 2014



Lovely cookies – thick and substantial!  I like them at room temp, out of the fridge or the freezer.  You’re going to have to decide which you prefer best.  At room temperature, these are soft cookies.  They have quite a different texture when frozen….very yummy too!  This recipe can easily be doubled!  You can color erythritol crystals, if you prefer, rather than use sprinkles, although you can sprinkle very lightly.

1/cup butter, softened (60 mL)
Liquid sweetener (sucralose or stevia) to equal 2/cup sugar (150 mL)
1/cup powdered erythritol (60 mL)
2 eggs
1 tsp unflavored gelatin (5 mL)
1 tsp vanilla extract (5 mL)
21/cups Gluten-Free Bake Mix 2 (560 mL)
2 tsp baking powder (10 mL)
Coconut flour for "dusting" cutting board
3/cup Confectioner’s Sugar substitute, (see below) (175 mL)
2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted (30 mL)
2 tbsp whipping cream, OR as needed (30 mL)
Sprinkles (optional) 

Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).

In medium bowl, combine Gluten-Free Bake Mix 2 and baking powder. 

In food processor or in bowl with mixer, process butter.  Add liquid sweetener, powdered erythritol, eggs, gelatin and vanilla extract; process well.  Add dry ingredients; process on slow speed.  A dough ball will form.  Turn out on a cutting board “dusted” with coconut flour.  Pinch a medium size ball off the main dough and pat/roll in coconut flour as necessary…making sure you can handle the dough without it sticking to your fingers.  Weigh little balls weighing 0.7 oz (about 6 or so of mine weight 0.8 oz).  Roll the dough out into a little sausage shape about 41/4 inches long.  Starting from one side curl the dough around and seal.  It makes a cute shape. Repeat with the remaining dough.  Place on a greased cookie sheet.

Bake in oven about 10 minutes, or until puffed up and golden brown underneath.  Allow to cool on the cookie sheet.  Frost the cookies when cool with the icing.

Icing:  In food processor, process Confectioner’s Sugar Substitute (see below), butter and cream until smooth.  To get the right spreadable consistency, add extra cream as needed.

Helpful Hints:  This recipe would probably make good dough for cut-out cookies as well.  The frosting only adds 0.6 g carbs to each cookie.

Yield:  22 cookies
1 cookie
88.5 calories
3.2 g protein
6.7 g fat
0.3 g fiber

3.2 g net carbs 

Here is a useful recipe to make lovely frostings.

13/cups powdered erythritol, OR (425 mL)
  a combination of powdered erythritol and
  powdered xylitol
3/cup whole milk powder (175 mL)
1/cup vanilla whey protein powder (60 mL)
2 tsp cornstarch (10 mL) 

In blender, place erythritol and xylitol (if using), whole milk powder, vanilla whey protein powder and cornstarch; blend until powdery and well combined.

Helpful Hints:  Keep the confectioner’s sugar substitute in a sealed container in the refrigerator or freezer.  Warning: xylitol is lethal for dogs.  You can use skim milk powder, but it might have a bit more of an overpowering taste.  You could use more whey protein and less milk powder.  I find whole milk powder at the equivalent of Costco here in the tropics.  It comes in a big can which I keep in our chest freezer.

Yield:  21/2 cups (625 mL)
1/cup (125 mL)
114.3 calories
8.3 g protein
5.3 g fat
8.5 g net carbs

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

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Buttery, nutty cookies that make a great addition to a tray of holiday cookies.  Keep in the freezer or refrigerator, depending on the texture that you prefer.  I rather liked them straight from the refrigerator.

3/cup pecans (175 mL)
2 sticks butter (4 oz each; 125 g)
1 large egg
Liquid sweetener (sucralose or stevia) to equal 1/  cup sugar (125 mL)
1/4  cup powdered erythritol (60 mL)
1 tsp vanilla extract (5 mL)
1/tsp molasses (2 mL)
1/tsp salt (1 mL)
21/cups Gluten-Free Bake Mix 2 (625 mL)

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).  Grease a jelly roll pan (not quite the same size as a cookie sheet).  Mine is 15 x 10 inches (38 x 25 cm).  Line with parchment paper.

In nonstick frying pan, dry fry the pecans until they start to smell toasty.  Keep an eye on them.  This will go quickly.  Place in food processor and grind coarsely.

In food processor, or in bowl of mixer, process butter.  Add egg, liquid sweetener, powdered erythritol, vanilla, molasses and salt; process.  Add Gluten-Free Bake Mix 2, page___; process. Stir in coarsely ground pecans. Scoop batter onto parchment paper and spread out to all the edges of the pan (I originally made these 1-inch shy of the pan length, however, I preferred the thinner edges, so I recommend spreading the batter out completely for thinner, crispier cookies).  Bake approximately 20 to 25 minutes or until the edges have turned golden brown.  While warm, cut into square shapes.  Any cookie dough that lifts slightly, press down onto the cookie.  If possible place the whole cookie sheet in the freezer to allow the cookies to harden.  Otherwise leave them to come to room temperature.  Use a flat, metal spatula to carefully remove the cookies. I would be inclined to freeze them on dinner plates first and then place in freezer or refrigerator in a sealed container.  Use pieces of parchment paper in between.

Helpful Hints:  I did not use gelatin or xanthan gum in these cookies.  The egg is enough to keep these cookies together quite nicely.  If more of a shortbread kind of cookie is desired, you can take some of the cookies (after freezing) and place them bottom side up on a cookie sheet.  Bake in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes.  Watch in the last 5 minutes as they brown very quickly.  I liked these kept in the freezer.  My husband did not care for the shortbread version.  I really liked them, so it will be a YMMV thing!

Yield:  35 cookies
1 cookie
94.6 calories
1.4 g protein
9.1 g fat
0.1 g fiber
1.9 g net carbs 

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

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Wednesday, December 17, 2014



Chock full of veggies, chicken and plenty of a super-flavorful thick sauce. You can use leftover turkey instead.  Instead of potato, cauliflower florets are used. If I was a bit more artistic, perhaps this could have looked a bit prettier, however, the taste was awesome!  This is a moderate carb dish, so do keep that in mind when thinking of adding a side. I served it with roasted eggplant, however, green beans would have been good too. I made this recipe with my Flaky Pie Crust, which was excellent, but I think my regular pie crust is fine to use for this purpose as well, and will result in slightly fewer carbs.  Frankly, I like the Flaky Pie Crust, but it is not to be used until pre-maintenance or maintenance levels.  The carbs go up by almost 2 grams per serving with the Flaky Pie Crust.

1 roasted chicken (about 4 cups, cut into bite-sized pieces)
4 stalks celery, sliced thinly
13 oz cauliflower florets, cut small (369 g)
Seasoning salt, to taste, divided
Black pepper, to taste, divided
2 tbsp butter (30 mL)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 lb fresh mushrooms, sliced (0.45 kg)
Mushroom Soup, (click the highlighted text)* (2 x recipe)
  (see instructions below)
Single Pie Crust (SEE BELOW - 2 VERSIONS)
1 egg yolk, for brushing over pastry

Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces and place in 9 x 13-inch (23 x 33 cm) casserole dish.

In frying pan, cover celery with water.  Bring water to boil.  Cook until celery is almost as soft as you would like it to be, about 5 to 8 minutes.  Drain celery in colander and set aside.

In large pot of boiling water, cook cauliflower florets until tender.  Drain in colander and set aside.  Sprinkle with seasoning salt.  Add to chicken.

In nonstick frying pan, fry onion in 1 tbsp (15 mL) butter until turning brown.  Add celery and stir fry until celery is tender. Sprinkle with seasoning salt and pepper. Add to chicken.

In the same frying pan in 1 tbsp (15 mL) butter, fry mushrooms.  Place lid slightly ajar of pan and cook until moisture evaporates and the mushroom start turning golden in places.  Sprinkle with seasoning salt and pepper.  Add to chicken.

Mushroom Soup:  Prepare double the Mushroom Soup recipe.  Use 1/2 cup (125 mL) cream and 1/cup (125 mL) water (to reduce calories) and only 1 tsp (5 mL) onion salt.  Stir into chicken mixture.  Taste and add more seasoning if necessary, stirring to combine well.

Single Pie Crust:  Prepare as directed below.  Form 2 balls each weighing about the same.  On parchment paper, place the dough.  Flatten to a small rectangle with your hands.  Cover with plastic wrap and roll each ball out to 81/2 inches long by 6 inches wide (22  x 15 cm).  This measurement for both balls covered my casserole perfectly.  Place rolled out dough on parchment paper in the freezer for 5 to 10 minutes.  Invert carefully over the casserole, starting at one end.  Gently peel the paper off the pastry.  Repeat with the other rolled out pastry.  Brush pastry with egg yolk (this produces a lovely golden color once baked).

Bake in 350°F (180°C) oven 25 to 40 minutes or until the crust is golden.

Yield:  8 or 9 servings  (Add almost 2 g carbs for the flaky pie crust)
1 serving
417.8/371.3 calories
20.1/17.9 g protein
31.8/28.3 g fat
2.2/2.0 g fiber
11.4/10.1 g net carbs  
This is a lower carb and more substantial crust that tastes great.  

NOTE: For the Flaky Piecrust version, add 2 tbsp (30 mL) Arrowhead Mills Gluten-Free All Purpose Baking Mix (for pre-maintenance and maintenance levels).  If you use this, decrease the Gluten-Free Bake Mix by 2 tbsp (30 mL)...i.e. 1 1/8 cups (280 mL).  Instead of the commercial bake mix, one could probably simply use oat flour.  I made this crust without using the xanthan gum in Gluten-Free Bake Mix #1.  I suspect it will work fine with that bake mix as well, maybe even better.

11/4  cups Gluten-free Bake Mix, (300 mL)
3 oz cream cheese, softened (90 g)
2 tbsp powdered erythritol, optional (30 mL)
1 tbsp butter, softened (15 mL)
1/4  tsp baking soda (1 mL)
1/8  tsp salt (0.5 mL)

In food processor or in bowl with electric mixer, process Gluten-Free Bake Mix, 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 - PLEASE NOTE: I did not chill the dough beforehand for the above recipe) 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:

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Monday, December 15, 2014



All the flavor of juicy Chicken Bakes, similar to Costco Chicken Bakes.  I enjoyed these with some sliced cucumber on the side.  These are very satiating.  The filling and sauce mixture is enough to fill 10 calzones, however, you can make 5 at a time, if desired, and refrigerate the remaining filling for another day. Considering Costco Calzones run about 70 grams of carbs, these are pretty cool.

Note:  These expand and get bigger over all in the oven.  Really amazing!  In addition, for a grain-free version, see the Helpful Hints below. I have subsequently found that I can make 6 calzones with the single batch (12 with a double batch)...that brings the carbs down a bit more.


MIRACLE DOUGH TIPS: - Please note:USE BOB'S RED MILL COCONUT FLOUR FOR ALL MY RECIPES AND ESPECIALLY FOR THIS MIRACLE DOUGH - COCONUT FLOURS DIFFER GREATLY IN THEIR ABILITY TO ABSORB MOISTURE!  There are several variations of this kind of dough on the internet, but mine is different to all the others out there.  I am getting very adept with this dough.  Use a fork to make it come together.  At first it looks impossible (might even have strings of cheese in it), but keep mixing and then turn out on a cutting board.  Knead for a couple of minutes, adding a bit of coconut flour as needed to make a lovely elastic dough. The more coconut flour one can add (usually about 1 tbsp or a bit more), the more bread-like the dough becomes (more substantial).  Since coconut flour is mostly fiber, you're not really adding much in the way of carbs, spread over several servings.  I put the dough ball on parchment paper and cover the dough with plastic wrap and using a  rolling pin (sometimes I use my special small one for pie dough), roll it out with ease.  If at any time the dough becomes resistant to rolling, nuke it approximately 10  to 20 seconds and away you go again!

Here is a pic of the dough ball - lovely, soft and malleable!!

Mozzarella cheeses that I have successfully used with the Miracle Dough and The Sweet Miracle Pastry Dough as well.  I get mine from Price Smart in South America, which is the same as Costco in the United States.

I tried this one a couple of times

I usually grate my own cheese using my 20-year old Braun food processor, which has a ton of gadgets - this is the cheese I use most often - looks like it might be very similar to the one above, however, I think they sometimes add something to their grated cheese to help it last longer.  I could be wrong.  CLICK ON THE PHOTO TO SEE A BIGGER IMAGE.

4 oz regular cream cheese (125 g)
1/cup heavy cream (125 mL)
3 tbsp Parmesan cheese (45 mL)
2 tbsp water (30 mL)
1 tbsp olive oil (15 mL)
1 tbsp mayonnaise (15 mL)
Liquid sweetener to equal 2 tsp sugar (OPTIONAL) (10 mL)
  (just to balance very savory flavors)
2 tsp lemon juice (10 mL)
1 tsp onion salt (5 mL)
1 tsp cornstarch, OR arrowroot powder (5 mL)
1/tsp crushed garlic (2 mL)
1/tsp Dijon mustard (2 mL)
1/tsp black pepper (1 mL)
1/tsp salt (0.5 mL)
3 cups chopped cooked chicken (750 mL)
  (Rotisserie chicken works well)
4 slices, cooked bacon, chopped
1 cup grated Mozzarella cheese (250 mL)
Miracle Dough (double this recipe to use all filling): (Grain-Free version in the Helpful Hints below)
2 cups grated Mozzarella cheese (500 mL)
2 tbsp melted butter
1 cup Gluten-Free Bake Mix 2 (250 mL)
  (no gelatin needed)
1 egg, fork beaten
1/tsp onion salt (1 mL)
1/tsp garlic powder (1 mL)
1 egg yolk, fork beaten

Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).

Sauce and Filling: In food processor, process cream cheese.  Add cream, Parmesan cheese, water, olive oil, mayonnaise, liquid sweetener, lemon juice, onion salt, cornstarch, OR arrowroot powder, garlic, Dijon mustard, black pepper and salt; process until smooth.  Place mixture in large pot on stove and bring to the boil while stirring.  Add chicken and bacon; stirring to combine.  Set aside.

Miracle Dough:  In microwave oven in microwaveable bowl, melt Mozzarella cheese.  This took 2 minutes in my 1200 Watt microwave oven. Remove bowl with oven gloves (be very careful!).  Add melted butter. Place Gluten-Free Bake Mix 2 on top. In small bowl, beat egg with fork.  Add onion salt and garlic powder.  Add to Mozzarella cheese. Stir with a fork or mixing spoon to form a dough ball. 

Measure five little balls weighing 2.5 oz (70 g) each.  Place a dough ball on parchment paper, cover with plastic wrap and roll out into a 6-inch (15 cm) circle. I have a special gadget that makes lovely calzone shapes very easily, but it is not necessary.  In the center of the circle place the filling which will be about 1/4 cup (60 mL) chicken mixture.  Add 2 to 3 tbsp (30 to 60 mL) grated Mozzarella cheese.  Fold the calzone over and crimp the edges with the tines of a fork. Cut three slits spaced evenly apart in the top of the calzones. Brush with egg yolk.

Place the calzones on a greased cookie sheet and on the middle shelf in the oven.  Bake 12 to 14 minutes or until the crust underneath is a lovely golden color (you don’t want to burn them, so check them very closely after 10 minutes has passed).  You can take them out briefly to check the underneath crust.

Helpful Hints:  To reheat, these calzones heat up beautifully (still remaining crispy the first day) in the microwave oven … about 35 to 40 seconds in my microwave oven. You can also reheat them in a moderate oven, I’m sure, and they would be crispy the next day as well. If the dough becomes difficult to roll out (when it has cooled down significantly), place the small balls one at a time in the microwave oven for 10 seconds before rolling out.  This works beautifully.

For a Grain-Free version, use a bake mix made up of 2 cups (500 mL) almond flour and 2/3 cup (150 mL) coconut flour.  Use 3/4  cup (175 mL) of the mixture.  Or, simply use 2/3 cup (150 mL) almond flour and 2 tbsp (30 mL) coconut flour for each batch of Miracle Dough (I have not tested this smaller version, but the Grain-Free Bake mix - yes!). I still prefer the Miracle Dough goodies made with the Gluten-Free Bake Mix, however, this is a very lovely option. (6.9 g net carbs)

Yield:  10 filled calzones
1 calzone
528.7 calories
28.7 g protein
42.2 g fat
0.0 g fiber
7.4 g net carbs

Miracle Dough Analysis by itself:
5 Calzones       6 Calzones  (with Gluten-Free Bake Mix)
320.6                 267.1   calories
15.8 g                13.2 g   protein
25.5 g                21.3 g   fat
0.0 g                  0.0 g    fiber
6.0 g                  5.0 g  net carbs

5 Calzones        6 Calzones (with 2/3 cup almond flour and 2 tbsp coconut flour per batch)
317.8                   264.8   calories
15.8 g                  13.2 g  protein
26.2 g                  21.8 g fat
2.8 g                    2.3 g  fiber
3.9 g                    3.3 g net carbs

Total Batch (with Gluten-Free Bake Mix) = 30.1 g net carbs
Total Batch (grain-free with 2/3 cup almond flour and 2 tbsp coconut flour) = 19.3 g net carbs 

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

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