THE Premier Low-Carb store .. .. AND Meeting Place

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

ALMOND CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES






ALMOND CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
These cookies are chunky, substantial cookies.  You can increase the almond extract, if desired.  The amount used is barely perceptible in the cookies. For me chocolate chip cookies spell comfort food.  I can only have one or two, as the chocolate catches me (migraines), but it's good to be able to do that even.  I'll take it!  Anyway it's certainly will power built in.  There seem to be fifty million different types of chocolate chip cookie recipes out there, but most people when they think of these cookies, they probably think Toll House Cookies or Hershey's Cookies...there are just a ton more than that.  Same could be said for low-carb chocolate chip cookies.  They are almost as prolific as low-carb pancakes!  That said, "Who would like a chocolate chip cookie?"  Some people like milk with cookies (Try this one: Carolyn's Low-Carb Milk).  Goodness knows where that tradition came from?  I certainly didn't grow up with that concept, nor did I ever have homemade cookies...just store bought occasionally.  I wasn't allowed to create in the kitchen as a child or teenager.  My prowess in the kitchen was dismal when I married Ian.  He had to teach me to make hot dogs even.  It was bad! LOL  To my credit, I taught myself to cook and even Chinese cooking, which Ian loved.  I often packed him a Chinese lunch for work.  Chinese cooking is a lot of work though.  However, that said, I had to follow recipes exactly and was not very adventurous in changing up a recipe.  Ian would always tell me to change this or that, and I would insist on sticking to the recipe.  Weird that, considering my career about 15 years later!  As a result, I think my gift is a gift from God to help others on their special diets.  I always used to pray that God would use me to help others.  I quit praying that prayer once I started writing my cookbooks. ;)

2 eggs
1 cup butter, softened (250 mL)
Liquid sweetener (sucralose or stevia) to equal 11/2  cups sugar (375 mL)
1/3  cup granulated erythritol (75 mL)
2 tsp vanilla extract (10 mL)
1/2  tsp almond extract (2 mL)
31/4  cups Gluten-Free Bake Mix (300 mL)
1 tsp baking soda (5 mL)
1/8  tsp salt (0.5 mL)
2 cups sugar-free chocolate chips (500 mL)
1 cup chopped almonds (250 mL)

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). 

In food processor, process eggs.  Add butter, liquid sweetener, erythritol, vanilla and almond extracts.  In large bowl, combine Gluten-Free Bake Mix, baking soda and salt.  Add to wet ingredients; process.  Stir in chocolate chips and almonds.

Place heaping tablespoonfuls on parchment-lined baking sheets.  Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until firm to the touch and golden-brown underneath.

Helpful Hint:  To help parchment paper adhere to baking sheets, first spray with nonstick cooking spray.

Yield:  52 cookies
1 cookie
113.0 calories
2.3 g protein
9.1 g fat
2.0 g net carbs

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Monday, February 27, 2017

SOUR CREAM CHEESECAKE WITH LEMON ACCENTS








SOUR CREAM CHEESECAKE WITH LEMON ACCENTS

This cheesecake is useful for using up sour cream that is on the edge or is in danger of spoiling soon. It uses quite a bit of sour cream. Lemon accents the cheesecake, but it is very subtle.  You can use whatever fruits you like to top this delicious cheesecake (the texture is amazing!!).  Most people would think that apricots are off limits on a low-carb diet...these were canned in water and sweetened with sucralose, and as you can see the carbs for this cheesecake are pretty normal.  I loved this cheesecake with the apricots, as I hadn't had apricots in such a long time.

Graham-Cracker-like Crust:
1 cup Gluten-Free Bake Mix 2 (250 mL)
1/cup ground almonds (125 mL)
1/cup butter, melted (75 mL)
Liquid sweetener (sucralose or stevia) to equal 1/cup (60 mL)
  sugar
1/tsp almond extract 0.5 mL)
Filling:
16 oz regular cream cheese, softened (500 g)
24 oz sour cream ( 680 g)
Liquid sweetener (sucralose or stevia) to equal (375 mL)
  11/2  cups sugar, OR to taste
2/cup powdered erythritol, OR (150 mL)
  16 coffee sweetener  packets 
1/cup lemon juice (60 mL)
1-2 tbsp oat flour, optional (15-30 mL)
1 tsp vanilla extract (5 mL)
2 eggs
1 egg yolk
1 tsp finely grated lemon rind (5 mL)
Fruit Sauce: (use any fruit such as cherries, peaches, fruit cocktail or
  Frozen unsweetened raspberries or strawberries)
1, 14.75 oz can unpeeled apricot halves* (418 g)
  packed in water, sugar-free (reserve liquid) - see Helpful Hints below
1/cup reserved liquid
1/tsp cornstarch (2 mL)

Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).

Graham-Cracker-like Crust:  In medium bowl, combine Gluten-Free Bake Mix 2, page___ and ground almonds.  In small bowl, combine butter, liquid sweetener and almond extract; stir into crust ingredients.  Spread in an 8 or 9-inch (20 cm or 23 cm) springform pan.  Bake 10 minutes.  Set aside.

Filling:  In food processor, process cream cheese.  Add sour cream, liquid sweetener, powdered erythritol, lemon juice, oat flour (if using), vanilla extract, eggs and egg yolk; process until smooth.  Stir in lemon rind.  Bake in oven 45 to 55 minutes, or until just set.  Switch off oven and allow to cool inside to room temperature.

Fruit Sauce:  In small saucepan, place apricot halves and reserve one nice-looking apricot half.  In small bowl, combine a small amount of the reserved liquid and cornstarch.  Stir until cornstarch dissolves.  Pour this mixture and remaining liquid into saucepan and bring to the boil.  Allow to cool to room temperature before pouring over the cheesecake. Garnish the edge of the cheesecake with Crème Fraiche rosettes or use whipped cream, if desired.  Place an apricot half in the center of the cheesecake.  Chill well before serving.

Helpful Hint:  The can of apricots is produced by Food Club®, sweetened with SPLENDA®/sucralose.

Yield:  12 to 16 servings
1 serving
348.6/261.5 calories
9.2/6.9 g protein
30.8/23.1 g fat
0.5/0.4 g fiber
8.6/6.5 g net carbs 


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BACON CHEESE SPREAD


BACON CHEESE SPREAD

One of my favorite appetizers because it tastes wonderful, is popular and so very easy to make.  You can make this up to 5 days ahead and keep covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated. Your friends might beg you for this recipe!  This one is ALWAYS a hit!  Place in the oven until the cheeses are all molten and soft...just ready to spread on pork rinds or low-carb crackers or Monterey Jack Dipping chips or slices of English Cucumber, celery sticks, carrot sticks, etc.



8 oz light cream cheese, softened (250 g)
1/cup mayonnaise (125 mL)
11/cups Cheddar cheese (375 mL)
2 tbsp chopped chives, OR  (25 mL)
  green onions
1 tsp dried parsley (5 mL)
1/tsp garlic powder (1 mL)
8 crisply cooked bacon slices

In food processor with sharp blade or in blender, process cream cheese and mayonnaise until smooth.  In medium bowl, combine cream cheese mixture, Cheddar cheese, chives or green onions, parsley and garlic powder until well combined.  Spread evenly in 9-inch (23 cm) glass pie dish. 

Place bacon on bacon rack and cover with two paper towels.  Microwave on high power 7 to 8 minutes.  Cut into small pieces with pair of kitchen scissors.  Garnish top of cheese spread with bacon pieces.  Bake in 350°F (180°C) oven 15 minutes and serve with low-carb crackers. See my easy Crisp Nutty Crackers (pictured below), or serve with Taco Chips.  You can use low-carb wraps and cut 'em and bake in an oven or you can serve this with sliced English cucumbers.

Yield:  12 servings
1 serving
176.4 calories
7.5 g protein
15.7 g fat
1.1 g carbs

Find these wonderful crunchy crackers for dipping or spreading with butter and topping with grated cheese over here:  CRISP NUTTY CRACKERS  These are strong crackers - perfect for dipping!


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Sunday, February 19, 2017

APPLE CUPCAKES




APPLE CUPCAKES

These delicious cupcakes didn’t last too long.  A lovely, tender crumb on these.  Great for breakfast, or in my case for tea dates with my husband.  I love those!  The beauty of working at home is having those tea dates!  I like to watch the birds feeding at the bird feeder, the Titi (Jeoffroy Tamarin) monkeys that visit in the nearby bougie and the squirrels pressing their faces against the window or screen door, in hopes of having a piece of banana being handed out to them.  Every day the squirrels run around my feet, completely unafraid.  Unfortunately they can be annoying at times as the grey squirrels like to eat my hibiscuses and now I have a very few bushes left, and I loved those flowers so much.  They are like the roses of the tropics.  The red squirrels don't bother with them, thankfully.

3 eggs
3 tbsp butter, softened (45 mL)
Liquid sweetener (sucralose or stevia) to equal 1 cup (250 mL)
  sugar
1/cup almond milk (125 mL)
2 tsp vanilla extract (10 mL)
2 cups Gluten-Free Bake Mix 2 (500 mL)
2 tsp ground ginger (10 mL)
11/tsp baking powder (7 mL)
1/tsp salt (1 mL)
2 cups diced apple (500 mL)
2 tbsp water (30 mL)
Cream Cheese Frosting:
8 oz cream cheese, softened (250 g)
Liquid sweetener (sucralose or stevia) to equal 1/cup sugar (125 mL)
6 tbsp unsalted butter, softened (90 mL)
1 tbsp whipping cream, OR almond milk (15 mL)

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).

In food processor, combine eggs, butter, liquid sweetener, almond milk and vanilla extract; process.

In medium bowl, combine Gluten-Free Bake Mix 2, ginger, baking powder and salt.  Add to food processor and process to combine well. 

In microwave-safe dish, place apples and sprinkle with water.  Cover and nuke 2 minutes.  Stir into muffin batter.  Fill 12 to 15 muffin cups.

Bake muffins 15 to 20 minutes or until a knife inserted in one comes out clean.

Cream Cheese Frosting:  In clean food processor bowl, process cream cheese, liquid sweetener, butter and whipping cream, OR almond milk until smooth.

Yield:  12 to 15 cupcakes
1 cupcake
145.8/116.6 calories
4.7/3.8 g protein
10.3/8.2 g fat
0.4/0.3 g fiber
7.3/5.9 g net carbs 

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GOUDA CHICKEN A LA QUEEN CASSEROLE

BEFORE GOING IN THE OVEN




GOUDA CHICKEN A LA QUEEN CASSEROLE

Creamy delicious with layers of chicken, sauce and Gouda cheese slices.  We loved this easy , quick supper.  Sometimes time is a factor, and it is good to have a few easy casseroles to turn to when that is the case.  Even although normally I love to cook and bake most of the time; sometimes it can be a chore.  I'm sure it is the same for most people.  I have lots of casseroles that I've created and prepared over the last few years.  I guess I feel that way more often than I care to admit. :P

P.S.  Gouda cheese is loaded with vitamin K, essential for strong bones!

2 tsp bacon fat, OR olive oil (10 mL)
1 lb mushrooms, sliced (0.45 kg)
Seasoning salt, to taste
2 tsp bacon fat, OR olive oil (10 mL)
1 rotisserie chicken
  (about 4 cups (1 L) chicken, cut into
  bite-sized pieces)
1 tsp Montreal Chicken Seasoning® (5 mL)
Creamy Sauce:
8 oz cream cheese (250 g)
1 cup whipping cream (250 mL)
1/cup water (60 mL)
1/cup chicken stock (60 mL)
1 tsp Montreal Chicken Seasoning® (10 mL)
1/2  tsp cornstarch, optional (2 mL)
1/tsp white pepper (1 mL)
12 Gouda cheese slices
Paprika for garnish

Preheat oven to350°F (180°C).

In frying pan, in 2 tsp (10 ml) bacon fat and over medium heat, cook mushrooms until turning brown in spots.  While cooking sprinkle with seasoning salt.  Set aside when done.

In same frying pan, in 2 tsp (10 mL) bacon fat and over medium heat, heat chicken and sprinkle with Montreal Chicken Seasoning® .  Set aside

Creamy Sauce:  In frying pan, add cream cheese (cut up), whipping cream, water, chicken stock, Montreal Chicken Seasoning®, cornstarch and white pepper.  Whisk until boiling and thickened.

Glaze the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch (2 L) casserole dish with a little bit of the Creamy Sauce, then half the chicken, mushrooms and 6 Gouda cheese slices to cover, half the remaining sauce, chicken, mushrooms, Gouda cheese slices and remaining sauce.  Sprinkle the top generously with paprika.  Bake 25 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings
1 serving
441.5/331.1 calories
34.1/25.6 g protein
31.2/23.4 g fat
1.0/0.8 g fiber
5.2/3.8 g net carbs

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Saturday, February 11, 2017

CHOCOLATE PIE





CHOCOLATE PIE

Here is a delicious plain chocolate pie that you can dress up with whipped cream or Crème Fraiche and perhaps if you want to get fancy, some chocolate curls on top of that.  The tiny bit of almond extract in the crust gives it a better flavor.  The carob powder option is for those who cannot have chocolate.

Graham Cracker-like Crust:
1/cup ground almonds (125 mL)
1/cup butter, melted (75 mL)
Liquid sweetener (sucralose or stevia) to equal 1/cup sugar (60 mL)
1/tsp almond extract (0.5 mL)
Chocolate Filling:
1/cup powdered erythritol (125 mL)
1/cup Gluten-Free Bake Mix 2 (75 mL)
1/cup cocoa, OR carob powder (75 mL)
1 cup whipping cream (250 mL)
1/cup water (125 mL)
1/cup butter, melted (60 mL)
Liquid sweetener (sucralose or stevia to equal 1/cup sugar (125 mL)
4 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract (5 mL)
1 cup Crème Fraiche (250 mL)
  for the top, OR whipped cream (optional)


Preheat oven to 325°F 160°C).

Graham Cracker-like Crust:  In small bowl, combine Gluten-Free Bake Mix 2 and ground almonds.  In another small bowl, combine butter, liquid sweetener and almond extract.  Stir into the dry ingredients.  Press crust, using plastic wrap, into a 9-inch (23 cm) glass pie dish.  Bake 12 minutes.

Chocolate Filling: In double boiler, combine erythritol, Gluten-Free Bake Mix 2, cocoa, OR carob powder.  Whisk in whipping cream.  Then add water and whisk in.  Add butter and liquid sweetener; whisk.  Add egg yolks one at a time, whisking in well each time.  Cook until thickened.  Stir in vanilla extract.  Pour over prepared crust and smooth the top.  Bake 20 minutes, or until set.  Once at room temperature, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.  The next day cover with Crème Fraiche, OR whipped cream, if desired, and chocolate curls for an even more decadent and gorgeous treat!

Yield:  10 servings
1 serving/cocoa/carob
291.4/299.3 calories
5.7/5.1 g protein
27.7/27.5 g fat
1.9/1.2 g fiber
4.6/6.3 g net carbs 


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CRÈME FRAICHE




CRÈME FRAICHE
Lovely sweetened whipped topping for serving with desserts or for garnishing desserts like cheesecakes and pies. It holds up much better than plain whipped cream, and tastes way better as well. It is probably not the same as real Creme Fraiche, but believe me, you'll like this.  I've been using this for years top desserts such as pies, cakes and cheesecakes.
 You can add cocoa and make a frosting for cakes.  It's a very versatile recipe.  It lasts long in the refrigerator as well - at least 1 week.  You can use nonfat sour cream if calories are a problem for you.  Normally I don't suggest nonfat dairy, but in this recipe, it actually works very well.  This is a VERY useful recipe. I typically buy shelf-stable cream these days so that I always have cream on hand, but fresh whipping cream is very good in this recipe, too.   If using shelf-stable cream, make sure it is chilled overnight and that the bowl and beaters are placed in the freezer overnight.  Then you will have the best results.

1 cup whipping cream (250 mL)
1/4 tsp cream of tartar (1 mL)
Liquid sweetener (sucralose or stevia) to equal 1/2 cup sugar (125 mL)
2/3 cup regular sour cream, OR nonfat sour cream (150 mL)
  (the latter for calorie-conscious people)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (2 mL)

In cold bowl of mixer with cold beaters, process, process whipping cream with cream of tartar, if using, until thickening.  Add sweetener. Process until getting stiff. Add sour cream and vanilla extract; process on medium high speed just until combined. It will keep at least one week or longer in the refrigerator.

Helpful Hints:  If you would like the Creme Fraiche to be even more stable, use a tiny bit of xanthan gum as it thickens - can use up to 1/2 tsp (2 mL). This recipe may easily be doubled or halved. Half this recipe will suffice as a topping for a cheesecake. 

Nutritional Analysis: 
2 1/8 cups 525 mL)
2 tbsp (25 mL) per serving
56.8 calories
0.6 g protein
5.8 g fat
0 g fiber
0.9 g net carbs


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Friday, February 10, 2017

CHOCOLATE BREAKFAST CAKES








CHOCOLATE BREAKFAST CAKES

Sometimes we just want to indulge for breakfast with a sweet treat. Not just any sweet treat, but chocolate cake!  This one is easy and if you don't want to bake in an oven, you can use your microwave oven.  See Helpful hints.  These are cake-like and not sponge-like, if you know what I mean.  They taste good!  

3 tbsp cocoa, OR carob powder (45 mL)
2 tbsp Gluten-Free Bake Mix 2 (30 mL)
1/tsp baking powder (2 mL)
2 tbsp butter (30 mL)
2 tbsp peanut butter (30 mL)
2 tbsp whipping cream (30 mL)
2 tbsp cream cheese, softened (30 mL)
  (optional)
1 egg
Liquid sweetener (sucralose or stevia) to equal 1/cup (75 mL)
  sugar, OR to taste
1 tbsp powdered erythritol (15 mL)
1/tsp vanilla extract (2 mL)
  (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).

In small bowl, combine cocoa, OR carob powder, Gluten-Free Bake Mix 2 and baking powder.

In another bowl, melt butter and peanut butter together in microwave oven.  Stir in whipping cream and cream cheese (if using).  Whisk in egg, liquid sweetener, erythritol and vanilla extract.  Whisk in dry ingredients.  Scoop into two small, greased ramekins and push chocolate chips in the middle or sprinkle on top.

Bake 20 minutes for a softer, pudding-like cake or 25 minutes, until set.  If not using cream cheese, the baking time will be about 5 minutes less.  You can eat these warm or at room temperature. Refrigerated they become denser.

Helpful Hints:  If desired, these breakfast cakes can be nuked instead for around 45 seconds or more depending on the wattage power of your microwave oven.  For a change of pace, a sweet cream cheese frosting or whipped cream can be used as a topping.

Yield: 2 cakes
1 serving
327.8 calories
9.7 g protein
29.5 g fat
3.8 g fiber
5.7 g net carbs 


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Saturday, February 4, 2017

BEST HAMBURGERS WITH SAUCE



BEST HAMBURGERS WITH SAUCE

Here is a delicious and easy hamburger recipe with a mayonnaise-based sauce, along the lines of McDonald’s Big Mac. The bigger hamburgers were great on my Sandwhich Thins.  These Sandwich Thins are great as bread and, therefore, make good hamburger bun stand-ins.

4 lbs ground beef (1.8 kg)
3 tbsp Montreal Steak seasoning (45 mL)
1 onion, chopped
4 slices, cooked bacon, crumbled
  (reserve bacon fat)
Sauce:
1/cup mayonnaise
1/cup Greek yogurt, OR sour cream (60 mL)
1 tbsp mustard (15 mL)
1 tbsp low-carb ketchup (15 mL)
1 tsp crushed garlic (5 mL)
  (the bottled kind)
1/tsp paprika (2 mL)

In large bowl combine ground beef, Montreal Steak Seasoning, onion and cooked bacon bits.  Use two ice cream scoops per hamburger for very large hamburgers.  In two large frying pan, over medium heat, in some bacon fat, fry hamburgers on both sides for about 4 or 5 minutes each side.  They will still be pink in the middle.  Place in a 350°F (180°C) oven and bake 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the size of the hamburgers (cut one open to check that the hamburgers are no longer pink inside for well done).

Sauce: In medium bowl, combine mayonnaise, Greek yogurt, mustard, ketchup, garlic and paprika; mix well.

Yield:  16 LARGE servings
1 serving
312.0 calories
22.9 g protein
23.2 g fat
0.3 g fiber
1.2 g net carbs 

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