April Fools Day: A Peek at the Cutting Room Floor

Howdy, Folks!

As most of you know, I recently launched a redesign of my old website (HUZZZAH!!). I am still mining, tweaking and polishing many of the details, but I think it’s going to be great!

To those of you who sent me emails or made comments on the site, that was INCREDIBLY kind and generous of you. Thank you! While I knew there was still loads to do, your feedback pointed some fresh new fingers while additionally cementing many of my own thoughts. Lots to do!

While I was wandering through the aged halls of my site and its content, I realized just how much I’d left on the cutting room floor over the years. This deep pile of concepts range from good ideas and bad photos to bad ideas with terrible photos. Some are weird concepts, while others simply grew stale. Some were photographed, but then I learned something new to invalid the recipe. Some may actually appear someday, while others probably shouldn’t even be mentioned here, or anywhere… ever.

Because it’s a substantial pile of photos (you’re only seeing the tip of this particular arseburg), it seemed like it could be fun to embrace the silliness of April Fool’s and marvel at some of my periodic idiocy. But!… before I do… One of the many side effects of moving my site to a new system… I’m now part of a rip-roaring app!

KetoApp

One of the big motivations for updating my site was its ability to work with various popular apps and plugins. I had been invited to join a popular and community driven mobile app, but… I wasn’t compliant. While thrilled to be included in this collection of bloggers… I couldn’t and I was sad. Oh noes!

But… *drumroll please*

… It’s official. I’m in! I’m very excited about it! And, before you groan, like I’m about to sell you… It’s free, there’s nothing scammy/spammy about it… and won’t ever cost a thing! It’s just a great way to pull together a substantial collective body of work in an effort to help people. It’s currently iOS only, but the developers are working on Andriod (to be released in a few months).

This app combines the posts and recipes from…

…. And these are just the ones that updated in the past 2 or 3 days. With constant updates and new additions, there is lots to look forward to! LOTS!

Imagine a cookbook. Your average cookbook probably has about 100 recipes. This free and highly reviewed app already has over 10,000 Keto/Low-Carb recipes articles. That number is growing every day!

For those if you looking to have a nice streamlined selection of free Keto recipes (and you own an Apple device)… learn more, here!

On a personal note: I’m a huge fan of Martina’s, one of the people behind this app. She’s organized a stellar cast of developers. This is already an amazing selection. I can’t wait to see it grow!

Earliest Days

Chicken Salad

This is literally the first photo every taken in my camera. This is about 7 years ago, now. The funny part is… I’ve never put it on the site!

Chicken Salad

A few months later, I tried again. Still not on the site … and I LOVE this recipe!

Ultimately, I realized that when I make this for myself, it’s not how I actually make it. Something about the way I was presenting it always felt a bit dishonest to me. Yet, I felt compelled to make it fancy-esque. Click here to see one of my oldest and absolute favorite recipes, presented exactly as I make it for myself at home!

Pan-Seared Tilapia with a Bacon-Rosemary Cream Sauce

Almost immediately after starting my blog, I experimented and conducted a 30-day zero-carb experiment (ultimately, I was closer to 5-net carbs per day). Here’s a Pan-Seared Tilapia with a Bacon-Rosemary Cream Sauce. While absolutely phenomenally delicious… I hated the photos. Try making it, though. Tasty stuff!

Poached Shrimp Mousse Stuffed Tilapia with Bearnaise Sauce

Still on the zero-carb diet, this is a Poached Shrimp Mousse Stuffed Tilapia with Bearnaise Sauce. Ultimately, I never liked the photo, but I also felt it was too complex a recipe at a time where I was still trying to determine my approach and find my voice. Nowadays, I’d likely turn it into an ongoing series on forcemeats and emulsions!

Chicken-Fried-Steak with Sausage Gravy

That zero-carb diet was an interesting experiment. It forced me to come up with some interesting recipes; some better than others. Here we’re looking at a Chicken-Fried-Steak with Sausage Gravy. As tasty as this was… It’s amongst one of the ugliest dishes and photos I’ve ever seen. Something about judging and book covers seems appropriate to mention, but… I won’t.

Meat Puck

I have no idea what this is, but I have about 100 photos of it. One would hope it was delicious, but… clearly it wasn’t memorable.

Stoneshrimp

Finally, here’s a recipe that I also don’t remember making. I don’t know what’s in it, or where it came from, but I’ve dubbed it Stoneshrimp. It likely involved Ancient Egyptian Aliens from another planet.

Graining Pains: A Mild-Mannered Rant

I keep hearing how we’re all deep in the outrage phase of our existence.

Admittedly, I love to post recipes using taboo ingredients like mango or apple (in small thoughtful dabs), but the frequency by which people attack me for doing so has only seemed to increase as Keto takes over the planet. It’s bizarre how quick people are to insta-judge and condemn, these days.

I have probably 10 to 20 different recipes on my website containing grains. Yep, full blown gluten-heavy wheat-based bread and pastas. I get grilled from time to time by the snooty wheat bashers. I could totally remove them and move on with my life, but it’s so so important to me to present what I believe is true. And what I believe… and what I know is… I lost near 150 lbs. by eating low-carb foods that included grains. I did. No amount of bashing takes that away from me.

In the earliest stages of my weight loss, I tried to mimic the foods I’d grown fat on (pizza, pasta, tacos, cookies, etc.), as much as possible. This meant I used a lot of processed low-carb frankenfoods… things like tortillas, sugar-free puddings, low-carb pastas, Carbquik, low-carb dried potatoes and all sorts of other prepared processed stuff. I was enormously successful by doing this, in large part because I wasn’t slamming my blood sugars with high-carb/high-glycemic foods. Just removing the carbs was enough to make incredible change, even though a lot of it was still “junky”.

Now, ultimately, I cut these foods out because I found that they stalled me, as I got closer to goal. I also found that many of them heavily triggered cravings and transformed me into a relentless grain-seeking zombie.

The interesting thing is, these foods served as a fantastic bridge between the two ways of eating. Were they perfect and clean foods? Nope! Not at all. Would I have succeeded eating only perfectly clean foods? Maybe… in fact, probably. I eat pretty well, but… I probably wouldn’t have even attempted the change. I wasn’t in a place where “eating clean” made sense to me. These weren’t words in my vocabulary. I wanted to lose weight and just eat what would fill that hole. Dreamfield’s Pasta often did it!

As much as my present-day writing revolves around cleaner approaches to eating and keeps things a bit tighter… I almost certainly wouldn’t be doing any of this, were it not for those dirty foods to begin with.

I can’t help but think this is an important perspective to share when people run around shaming other’s dietary choices. Maybe they’re trying and aren’t done evolving, just yet. Give ‘em some room to breathe! Sheesh, People. I’m OUTRAGED!!! *wink*

Chicken Noodle Soup

Here’s a very simple Chicken Noodle Soup. I never posted it because the image is super blah (though, it was certainly tasty!). Now, I consider the concept a bit outside my present-day reach. Also note that garnishing with a wet bay leaf is always fun.

Assorted Frankenfoods

About a year or two later, I read a book about modern wheat. It hit me like a gut punch right square in the Wheat Belly. Unfortunately, I’d read it right after being sent a big gift basket from your friendly neighborhood producer of low-carb frankenfoods. I cooked and baked a huge assortment of treats using their products. After reading that book and thinking about how these foods triggered me… I never wrote those recipes or released the photos. Instead I sent a giant letter of apology to the company who probably still hates me for being a flimsy flakey blogger. Sorry! Your products were tasty, but my Grain Brain had a change of heart!

Pizzadillas

Here’s another casualty of reading too much. Between the time I cooked these fantastic Pizzadillas (Mozzarella, Parmesan, Pepperoni and a skosh of Pizza Sauce in a Mama Lupe’s Tortilla, then served with Pizza Dipping Sauce), I was hit with the idea that these types of foods trigger cravings within me. The recipe was never written.

Speaking of Learning Too Much…

Tamale Pie

Back in and around 2012, there was a very specific product that had been determined to be a low-carb form of hominy, which could be used to make tasty scrummies (like tamales). I used this hominy quite often, feeling it was safe and cuddly, like a good low-carb corn-based grain should be (sarcasm). In mid-2013, I learned that this particular brand of hominy had been tested wrong and the label was incorrect. As a result, I lost this FANTASTIC Tamale Pie!

Cheesy Crunchy Pan-Fried Polenta Cakes

I also lost these Cheesy Crunchy Pan-Fried Polenta Cakes. Needless to say… this was a sad, sad day around the Foodie household.

Wacky Ideas

You know how you know a good photographer? You never see their bad photos…

While I’m sure each of you idolize and bow to my creative prowess, the fact that I occasionally execute bizarre ideas will likely knock you to the floor. Yep! I’m human. For the most part, when I have an idea, I have a very strong sense of what will come of it, but…

… not always.

Green Eggs and Ham

I once did a series of recipes I thought kids would enjoy. One of those recipes was “Green Eggs and Ham”. The trick was making the eggs bright green by Blanching and Shocking spinach, squeezing out the water, then pureeing the neon spinach into eggs. This resulted in the greenest egg-based Frisbee you’ve ever seen! It’s a fun idea, but I simply couldn’t bring myself to turn it into an authentic recipe. Yeah, I don’t know why, either. It’s cute! This is one that I may cook in the future…

confusing-casserole

Here’s one so weird that even the filename for the photo is “confusing-casserole.jpg”. Not my brightest moment. I don’t even remember what’s in this, but it’s clearly a sweet potato puree with ground beef. Moving on…

Ham and Cheddar Cheese pressed into Toasted Mustard Seed

I actually love this idea and feel it’s one of my best ideas, but… potentially one of my worst. I’ve been mulling it over for years and am still not sure. It’s literally perfect cubes of Ham and Cheddar Cheese pressed into Toasted Mustard Seed. It was tasty, simple and fun. Perfect for a lively party! Maybe…

Roasted Carrots

For Father’s Day, I wanted something big, simple, bold, rustic and manly-man. Big Roasted Carrots seemed to suit the Giant Spicy Steak I’d eventually add to it, but the end result was limp, sad and wilty carrots. You can tell I knew I was never going to use this recipe, as you can actually see the raw beef marinating in the back of the photo. Just a bad idea, all around…

Open-Faced Sammie Craze

I love a good open-faced sandwich. It might come from childhood, where a common dinner was “Chipped Beef on Toast”. I love piling stuff onto a slice of bread, slathering it with something saucy or cheesy, and then letting it slide down the gullet.

I’d just baked up a loaf of Paleo Bread (recipe in Taking Out the Carbage). I cut out slices, poked around my kitchen, then loaded stuff onto the various slices. I actually really like these ideas, but… as recipes, they seemed a bit incomplete. In many ways, this silly April Fool’s blog post is a better vehicle, anyway…

Fresh Mozzarella, Basil and Tomatoes on Warm Paleo Toast

Fresh Mozzarella, Basil and Tomatoes on Warm Paleo Toast

Open Faced Sliced Turkey and Hot Dog Sandwich with Melted Cheddar

Open Faced Sliced Turkey and Hot Dog Sandwich with Melted Cheddar

Ham and Pear with Brie Cheese on Warm Paleo Toast

Ham and Pear with Brie Cheese on Warm Paleo Toast

Crispy Pepper Bacon with Dijon, Orange Marmalade and Rosemary... on Warm Paleo Toast

Crispy Pepper Bacon with Dijon, Orange Marmalade and Rosemary… on Warm Paleo Toast

Zucchini Boat Phase

For some reason, I seem to want to put things into zucchini, but later decide against it. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE zucchini and enjoy it regularly, but… filling it/stuffing it with other goodies just kinda bums me out. I find it very meh. I always seem to regret it. I wish I didn’t!

Steamed Ginger Chicken Stuffed Zucchini Stumps

Steamed Ginger Chicken Stuffed Zucchini Stumps

Baked Shrimp Mousse Loaded Zucchini Canoes

Baked Shrimp Mousse Loaded Zucchini Canoes

Bacon Cheddar Zucchini Boats

Bacon Cheddar Zucchini Boats

Total Misfires

There are also times where I’m really pioneering and trying to do something I’ve never done before. This often works out well, but… not always.

Christmas Ham

As much cooking as I’ve done, I’ve never made my own ham. I’ve never cured and smoked my own bacon. These are things I want to do (and likely WILL do), but… not quite yet.

That said, just this past holiday season, I wanted to make my own Christmas Ham. I did it, too. It was glorious! However… I didn’t inject the brine, hoping it would absorb the brine deeply on its own. The outside 80% of the ham was gloriously flavored and colored, but there was a sad gray center that prevented me from ever writing the recipe. I need to perfect it.

Interestingly, I also filmed my first video on this one, fresh and still quite hot from the smoker. The funny part is, the camera was in the way, I was standing all cockeyed and weird and… I didn’t even know where the lens was!

Dark Chocolate Bars

I REALLY wanted to make my own chocolate. Chocolate making is difficult in the home, in that temperature, fat ratios, time, etc. are all part of making a perfectly smooth and emulsified blend of sugar, cocoa powder and cocoa butter. There are big machines that more or less crush and pulverize the cocoa and cocoa butter together, resulting in a very fine chocolate texture. The challenge is… water can break the emulsion. So, no concentrated liquid-based sweeteners. Stevia tends to make chocolate bitter, but I’d hoped that balancing it out with some erythritol would make it tasty. The end result? Like chewing on a chocolate flavored beach! The erythritol crystalized, resulting in a VERY grainy texture. BLAH! This was approaching my 10th attempt, as well. Recently, I’ve been playing with Allulose, though… I think this might just work. Stay tuned. I plan to tackle homemade chocolate. I WILL DO IT!

And speaking of Allulose… I used it for a few other holiday recipes. Maybe next year I’ll share these!

Allulose Glazed Carrots

Allulose Glazed Carrots

Cranberry-Lime Soda

Cranberry-Lime Soda

Then, there’s this…

Nuts

Anyone who has my second book has seen this photo. I was proud of it, thinking it was a clever way to showcase grinding your own nuts.

Smappy

Anyone who has read either of my books knows that I like to refer to erythritol as Smappy. This is the NUTS image’s evil twin. My plan was to spell out Smappy in baked chocolate batter, then coat it with a light and lovely sprinkling of powdered Smappy. Instead, due to the… well. I won’t directly comment on it (chocolate was a bad idea). In the end, I felt like this photo was… not the image I wanted to capture. YIKES!

There are other misfires, ideas and no shortage of awful photography, but the pursuit is always fun, rewarding and tasty… even when it isn’t.

I DO hope y’all enjoyed this silly behind the scenes peek at the cutting room floor. If you didn’t, then… I suppose this April Fool’s Day joke… is on me!

Oops

Happy April Fools’ Day!

Take a look at my books!

The Fakery

An Easy Guide to Grain-Free Quick Breads

The Fakery (Easy Guide to Grain-Free Quick Breads)

Taking Out the Carbage

AKA The Big Book of Bacon

The Fakery (Easy Guide to Grain-Free Quick Breads)

STANDARD FTC DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Please note, I only ever endorse products that are in alignment with my ideals and I believe would be of value to my readers.

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