A Shorty …
Hello, everyone! Today is a super shorty. I somewhat backed myself into a corner, by scheduling some extra cooking sessions this week (5 of the past 7 days!) … I had some ideas that I wanted to capture, and figured … hey … what the hay?! I’m going to cook! So, I’ve been cooking like mad!
I’ve been working on a variety of fun things, from stunning roasts, stuffed poultry, a wide array of cookies, tons of Shrimp recipes and much more more! I simply cooked myself out of time to blog anything compelling, but I also don’t want to send “nothing”, seeing as I’ve got lots of great recipes in this post, as well as showing some more upcoming recipes!
Before we get into the coming attractions … we have a WINNER!!!
Angie H from Mississippi has … taken the cake! That is to say, she’s won a cake “Kit” … or … the Bakin’ Package from last month’s giveaway!
Before I get into Angie’s story, I have a quick one of my own …
As most of you know, this was my first giveaway. I didn’t really heavily promote it, I didn’t ask other bloggers to share it, etc. It was my first and it was mostly just a test. I wanted to see how it all worked!
In setting it up with a company called “Rafflecopter“, I built a fake giveaway just so I could see how it works. Once I felt good about it, I built the REAL giveaway that you all saw. That giveaway ran for 2 weeks, at the end of which … Rafflecopter sent me an email asking me to press the magic button, which would then randomly select the winner!
It was a special moment. As I brought up the page and saw the gleaming green button reading, “PICK A WINNER!”, I went and baked up some bacon, so I’d have something to crunch on, while I pressed the button. Finally, after crunching and wondering what would happen when I press the button … I pressed it with one swift click of the mouse. The page started loading …
The winner? ME!!!
Yep! There were about 700 people that entered to win, including myself! For all tends and purposes, it’s a randomly generated winner, and I wanted to test the real giveaway … so … of course I entered myself.
Maintaining a healthy level of disbelief, I HAD to assume it was an error of some kind. So, I zeroed in on the green button, once again gleaming away. I clicked it, gingerly, and waited for the page to load, one more time.
The winner? ME!!!
Something is rotten in Denmark! It’s just GOT to be! What gives?! Did lightening really strike twice?!
Then … lightening really DID strike, as I realized I was just selecting the winner … over and over again … for the very FIRST test giveaway I did, where the only contestant was … ME! DOH!
As I realized this, I drooled a little on my chest and became even more aware of how much empty space exists between my ears.
I was super curious to know a bit about the winner, so I asked her a few short questions. I COULD NOT BE MORE THRILLED with her response!
She wrote back, “Hi DJ, OMG!! I can’t believe I won! It’s so awesome! About me?
Hummm….A friend I worked with started the low carb diet and after a couple of weeks I could really tell she was losing. So, I had to try it,I had tried everything else…why not this?? Lol
I’m not sure what I weighed in the “before” picture but when I started low carbing I was at 260 lbs.
I started slowly (I think I really didn’t believe it was going to work) but the pounds started coming off!! I got SERIOUS then. I started walking a mile on my lunch hour (until it was too hot) and a couple miles after work and eventually up to 4 miles a day total, and added Debbie Seibers 10 minute Slim & 6 pack workout twice a day. And that was that….105 lbs later… a size 8 and happier than I had been in years!!
I’ve had some personal issues in the last couple years and have gained about 20 pounds back…and they are stubborn. I’ve read about the low carb”Golden Ticket” but I refuse to let it beat me!! I hope with these product to bake up some goodies to help me get back to where I was…I won’t give up!!
THANK YOU SO MUCH!!
Isn’t that just the most incredible thing ever!! I LOVE LOVE LOVE that it’s someone that takes this way of life seriously!!! CONGRATULATIONS ANGIE!!!!
Your Bakin’ Package prize is in the mail, as we “speak”!
And now … coming attractions!
Colorful Asian Slaw
Garlicky BBQ’d Kale
Sausage & Pesto Salad
The Famous Mock Danish
I started my own personal journey into this way of eating several years ago. At the time, I didn’t have a microwave. Actually … I was living in an apartment in Mexico and the apartment came with a MASSIVE microwave … that totally didn’t work! It took up a huge amount of space and … near as I can tell … this was its only real accomplishment. As a result of starting down this road without a microwave, I had never tried things like the One-Minute-Muffin, or … The Famous Mock Danish!
Both of these are recipes that exist and are handed down from one low-carber to the next … and onward and onward. Now, it’s MY turn to share this tasty treat!
Funnily enough, when I made this … it’s only the second time I’d ever made one. I have ZERO idea if this is what yours look like, when you make them, but … this is how MINE turned out.
I SHOULD point out that the FIRST time I made it, I didn’t soften up the cream cheese first and wound up with a weird chunky egg-puck. FAR less inviting than this second, warm, smooth and sweet cheesecake-like creature.
It seemed only appropriate to smear some sugar free jelly on it, as … this whole thing is about recreating the center of those tantalizing cream cheese and jelly Danishes!
Origin Note: I don’t know who originated this recipe, but I WILL say that … it wasn’t me. Because I think Kent Altena is just a wizard … I’ll link to a video of him nuking one up!
Yep! I’m doin’ it! And … I’m doing it WELL, too! THIS banana bread was nothing short of spectacular! It was beyond moist … almost “creamy” in texture. Like it’s distant cousin, the Zucchini Bread, it was also almost not entirely unlike a banana pudding, but … a baked one … shaped like banana bread! IT WAS FANTASTIC!!!
See, the thing is … bananas aren’t evil. They’re high in potassium, they’re TRULY yummy and … they even come in their own unique little packages. An almost perfect food! The issue comes in, in that they ARE quite high in sugar, while also being quite high glycemic. A perfect-ish food, but … also one to quickly mess with blood sugars. HOWEVER! When selecting a banana, select one that’s still a bit green. I know that banana bread is a GREAT use for those soft black bananas, that have almost turned to candy, but … we’re trying to get the banana flavor before a lot of that sugar develops. Using them a bit on the green side will help. Also combined with other ingredients, the sugary banana-ness of it is diluted. I personally add a bit of banana extract to it, as I find that helps carry over some of the stronger tastes and aromas. However, I also find that banana oils, emulsions and extracts have a sharp flavor if used too much. I included it in the recipe, but … recognize that it’s TOTALLY optional.
In the end, by using a bit less than an ordinary banana bread, using green bananas and then stretching the flavor with emuslsions, extracts or oils … well … you’ll get something just as good as the real thing! (It’s been years since I’ve had the real thing, but … Scout’s Honor … I thought this was even BETTER than any I’d ever had before.) TRULY delicious!
I love chia seeds. That’s it! I have little else left to say. They’re awesome! I resisted trying them … for YEARS! … Sometimes being a stubborn human works against me. I admit it. (don’t tell anyone, though!)
This stuff continues to prove its value to me. I recently ground some up and used it as a flour substitute. IT WAS AWESOME!
So … here we have a Chai seed based Warm Morning “Oatmeal” approximation. It’s full-on yum, too!
This stuff is SOOO much like an oatmeal, you won’t believe your taste buds! Normally, a chia pudding is along the lines of … well … a “pudding”. There’s just an oat-iness that seems to be missing. There are also some textural issues. My remedy to this is to add some nut meal to the chia, as it absorbs the moisture. This helps the texture. Then, I ALSO tend to add some toasted nuts to it, to further bring the texture along. Then, to give it that morning oatmeal flavor … I add some cinnamon and nutmeg. The warmth from the milk just ties it all together into a super simple and comforting breakfast delight!
Some notes: Using white chia seeds tends to give it more of an oatmeal appearance; as does a bit of actual dairy. So, a skosh of cream is a nice touch! I also use some sugar-free pancake syrup to drive that morning vibe just a bit further. For those that want to go a bit more natural, here’s a xylitol pancake syrup option. Finally, I’m a big fan of the defrost mode on my microwave. It’s more of a mellow nuke. If my fauxtmeal cools down too much, I just stick it into the defrost mode of my nuker and tell it that it’s a 1/4 lb piece of meat. Sounds silly, but … it’s perfect! Finally, if you’re someone that must have raisins with your fauxtmeal … chop a few up and throw ’em in there. Just … not too many!
Thai Pumpkin Custard (Sankaya)
Here’s a sort of interesting one. A while back, I assembled a “Thai” week, with some interesting little recipes. In the midst of all that, I stumbled across a vegetable commonly known as the Kabocha Squash. A little more research turned up a common Thai dessert, which just looked AMAZING to me!
Now, before you give up on this one … it’s ACTUALLY really quite easy to do, serves several people and has an UNBELIEVABLY taste and texture. Give it a shot. You will not be sorry. I promise you!
Ahem … as anyone who has hung out here for long knows, I’m a lover of pumpkins. Really … all squash, to be honest: butternut, acorn, pumpkin, delicata, spaghetti and … the kabocha! This Cambodian squash is much lower in carbs than most, but … appears to pack in just as much flavor as its cousins. With an edible rind and growing popularity, this squash is worth the hunt. I can find them year round at various Asian markets in the Seattle area. They can also be found in the winter-time, at many farmers’ markets. While somewhat obscure, they are ABSOLUTELY worth tracking down!
Essentially, the top of the squash is popped, the seeds are scooped out and then the cavity is filled with a sweetened coconut-egg mixture. Then, the whole thing is steamed in a steamer. Then, it’s split into wedges and served!
If you could see me typing as I write this … I’m making yummy sounds and smacking my lips as I type. I REALLY get into my work, some of the time!
So … here’s where this unusual dessert recipe becomes … a slightly bigger challenge. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have a giant steamer lying around. If you do … GREAT! You’re MUCH further ahead than I am! I don’t have one … so I had to improvise. I kind of wish I’d taken a photo of this, but … it didn’t occur to me, at the time. It’s the same thing I did with the Pork Tamales. I have a large, deep, wide pot. I put water into it and brought it to a boil. Then, I have a metal colander. I placed this into the pot. The metal handles hold it suspended at the top of the pot. Then, I put the pumpkin into it and covered the whole thing with foil. Poke about 3 holes in it … STEAMER!
Oven Note: Apparently this can be done in an oven, as well. I steamed it, but you can fill it and bake it at 350 F for about an hour to an hour and a half. When the center of the custard starts to rise, it’s done. Remove it and let it cool for a good hour before slicing. Good chilled, as well.
Nutrition Note: Kabocha info is based off of 4 cups of kabocha cubes, for 2/3rds cup per person. Nutrition info is not in USDA database. It is an educated guess, but one which is close and honorably presented.
(I’m going to go hide, now)
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.