Coffee Monday

Good morning!

I stumbled across a new to me trend in footwear.  Custom socks.  Yes. It’s a thing.  Since this IS Coffee Monday,  I will keep with coffee themed socks.  The first one can actually be left up to your interpretation.

if-you-can-read-this-bring-me-coffee-by-winealittlegifts

Found on Etsy – Wine A Little Gifts

Perfect for weekends or anytime you want to subtly suggest that you need coffee. 😉

Or there is this one

if-you-can-read-this-bring-me-coffee-by-custombuffalochic

Found on Etsy Custom Buffalo Chic

And last but not least, these cute socks I found on Pinterest which led to their Etsy shop.

if-you-can-read-this-bring-me-coffee-by-sockprints-socks

Found on Pinterest Sockprint Socks

or their Etsy shop  Shop Sock Prints

 

Dragon Thursday

I love Pinterest for finding ideas for Dragon Thursday.  This week I would like to share the Etsy site of Kerribeads.  They have some of the most beautiful beads I have seen.  In addition to having the dragon bead that caught my attention, she also offers tutorials on making the lampwork beads.  Here is more about the artist on her About section of the store:

Hello and welcome to my shop!

My name is Kerri Fuhr and I am a full-time glass bead artist, happily making beads for over 12 years here in beautiful British Columbia, Canada. My specialty is creating miniature glass “paintings”, which are ornate glass focal beads that feature landscapes, animals and dragonflies….and anything else that captures my fancy! My newest work also features bead sets with my intricate tapestry-inspired scrollwork.
While I enjoy creating jewelry collections from my beads my focus is to create beads for other jewelry designers for their own unique creations. I am happy to consider requests for certain colors and styles so please feel free to convo me with requests!
Thanks for taking the time to drop by and please check in at the end of March when I re-open the shop to see the new beads I’ll have in store for you!…

Now for the Dragons 🙂  (Click photos to go to the Etsy store)

This is the bead I found on Pinterest.  It has sold, but look at that beauty.  Gorgeous work. 

new-lampwork-dragon-focal-bead-by-kerribeadsDescription from the store:

…This sly character is rich in detail and perfect for anyone who loves the mystical, fantastical world of dragons! Set against a glossy black background, this detailed dragon strikes a dramatic pose and has a rather mischievous expression! This one of a kind focal would look great with a variety of gemstone accents – every dragon’s dream!…

This bead is handcrafted with Italian glass and wound on a 3/32″ mandrel. The dragon is made from thin glass “stringer” and is melted directly into the bead. All of my beads are made fresh daily and are annealed straight from the torch in a digitally – controlled kiln for lasting durability.

focal size: 42mm x 39mm

If you want to try your hand at creating these lampwork beads, the artist sells tutorials on how to make them.  The dragons shown are exquisite. (scroll through the photos on the link to the tutorial. )

lampwork-bead-tutorial

Please take a look at her Etsy store. She has some wonderful tutorials for sale.

Living Low Carb – Satisfying my sweet tooth with Chocolate Brownie Mug cakes

Eating low carb does not mean giving up foods that satisfy my sweet cravings.   I know eating low carb should help curb those carb cravings but I love a bit of something sweet occasionally.   One of my go to desserts is this recipe for Chocolate Brownie Mug cake that I found on Pinterest.  The recipe is from a website titled ibreatheimhungry.com        I love the name!

I have found many wonderful recipes on Pinterest pinned from this website and the Chocolate Brownie Mug Cake below is one of my absolute favorites.  The standard recipe makes two mug cakes.  I tend to double the recipe so I can have emergency sweet tooth treats on hand and it allows me to share with my family.   These cakes are meant to be eaten warm.  It does make a big difference in taste to me if they have been refrigerated, they seem a little dry.   I heat the ones I have leftover a bit in the microwave before eating.  Yum!  I do not add the chopped chocolate to mine but I do use the pecans and add whipped topping which is surprisingly low carb – 1 carb per 2 tbsp.

The recipe indicates using a granulated sugar substitute.  I have tried several different low carb  sweeteners.  I have used Swerve ( I use the granular for the brownies), a stevia extract, and Monk fruit.  I like the monk fruit blend the best and I have adjusted the amount used to less than the recipe calls for because it was a bit too sweet.  I have found that with sweet low carb recipes it is a matter of personal taste and what type of sugar substitute I use that determines the amount of sweetener.

Let’s get started:  Almond flour, coconut flour, sugar substitute, salt, unsweetened cocoa powder and baking powder and chopped pecans in one bowl.  Eggs, melted butter, and vanilla in another. So quick and easy. (This picture is my doubled recipe)

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Brownie Batter

Doubled recipe batter divided between four dishes. Ready to pop into the microwave.

Chocolate Brownie Mug Cake after cooking in microwave for 1minute and 15 seconds. I cook two bowls at at time.

Now to enjoy:

Chocolate brownie mug cake heaven.

Sometimes I like drizzling  Stevia chocolate syrup on the whipped topping to make it seem like a  really decadent chocolate treat.  I found it on Amazon. Click image for more information.

 

 
Warm and comforting, this is the quickest way to low carb brownie bliss there is!  (I whole heatily agree)
Serves: 2 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 3 Tbsp almond flour
  • 1 tsp coconut flour
  • 1½ Tbsp granulated sugar substitute
  • ¼ tsp vanilla
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 square Lindt 90% chocolate, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp pecans, chopped (optional)
 
Instructions
  1. Melt the butter in a small microwave safe bowl (about 30 seconds in microwave). Add the remaining ingredients and stir until combined. Pour batter into 2 small greased mugs or ramekins. Microwave for 1 minute. (add another 30 seconds if necessary). Serve with whipped cream or sugar free vanilla ice cream.
 
Notes
Approximate nutrition info per mug: 230 calories, 23g fat, 3g net carbs, 6g protein

 

Let me know what you think.
Enjoy!
Melyna
Albert Phineas Drache

Dragon Thursday

My friend has shared some of her Zentangle drawings on Facebook.  I did not have a clue what it was. Then I came across a  Zentangle Dragon on The Dragon Obsessed Facebook page that linked back to Pinterest and It started my search for what this is all about.

Here is what I found on my Pinterest search Zentangle Dragons

There are so many lovely drawings!

I found a website for the Zentangle Method.  It seems to be a meditative drawing method.  Here is the link if you would like to explore this more  Zentangle Logo

Zentanle Dragon 1

 

Zentangle Dragon 2

I am not sure I will ever have time to try this but it looks interesting.  Please let me know if you use this method and what you enjoy drawing.

Melyna

Living low carb – Guilt free low carb chips.

Since adopting a low carb lifestyle, I have missed having chips and salsa and chips and guacamole. I made some from baking low carb tortillas but they were not really satisfying and I got very few chips for the carbs.    Pork rinds do not fill this gap, so I went looking for an alternative.

I found a recipe for Paleo Dipping Chips on Pinterest from a site called beautyandthefoodie.com

The article states that the chips are more like crackers.  These are not the thin, light restaurant tortilla chips I used to eat but they are very tasty.   I have made them twice.  The first time I rolled them out to the thickness of a thin cracker.  The second time I rolled them out even thinner and they baked fine and were not overly delicate.  To achieve a hardy chip for dipping, I would leave them a little bit thicker.  That said, they  satisfied my craving for chips, salsa and guacamole.  The nutrition information states that the recipe makes four serving with a net 2.5 carbs per serving.  I split the entire batch with my husband and felt pretty good at having only 5.0 net carbs for the chips.  It makes a lot of chips.

I gathered my ingredients and got busy! (forgot the olive oil in the pic)

Chip ingredients

Everything is mixed in one bowl (which is nice)  It doesn’t look like it makes much, but remember it is rolled out pretty thin.

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Place the dough on a sheet of parchment the size you will be baking it on.  Place another sheet on top and roll out to desired thickness.

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Carefully remove top sheet of parchment from the dough.  Mine stuck in some places.  I found that if I lightly wet my fingers with water, I could ease the dough off the parchment and put it back in place.

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Next, score the dough into the shapes your want with a pizza cutter or knife.

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Place on baking sheet and either spritz with an olive oil mister or use a pastry brush and lightly oil the top of the dough (this is what I used).  The recipe states to make a mix of the spices and salt again then sprinkle on top before baking.  Bake in a preheated oven (350 F) for 10 minutes.  Check to see if it is browning.  If not continue to bake and check frequently until it is a golden brown.  (Some of the thinner edges were a little crispier but tasted fine)

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Let them cool for a few minutes and break apart.  Eat with your favorite dip. Yummm!

First batch of chips that I left a little thicker than the second batch.

First batch of chips that I left a little thicker.

Close up of first batch of chips

Close up of first batch of chips

 

Second batch of chips with Guacamole.

Second batch with guacamole

closeup of chips.

IMG_7589

Please let me know if you try this recipe and your thoughts on it. 🙂

Melyna

Albert Phineas Drache

 

Living Low Carb – Coffee and cheese danish for breakfast? You bet!

On my quest for low carb recipes, I am always drawn to the sweets.  I admit that I have a sweet tooth.  I have found that if I can satisfy it with something low carb it helps me from cheating.  I found a recipe for Low Carb  Cheese Danish on Pinterest.  It is on a website called Up Late Anyway (love the name!) This recipe is similar to the Fathead Pizza dough that I blogged about on Friday.  It uses mozzarella cheese in the dough but this one is definitely sweet.  I had the ingredients on hand although not exactly like the author of the recipe suggests. (I soon found out that this is very important)

You can find the recipe and instructions here:  Cheese Danish

So, I gathered my ingredients:

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Ingredients for low carb danish

 

Next is measuring and mixing the dough.  I whisked together the almond flour, coconut flour and baking powder in a bowl until well mixed.  Then in a separate bowl, I melted the butter then added the vanilla and sweetener to it and mixed well. (I used  4 tablespoons Monk fruit blend by Health Garden) I placed the shredded mozzarella in another bowl and melted it in the microwave per instruction.

low carb danish

 

I then beat the egg and mixed all of the ingredients together and mixed with a spatula.  My dough was too wet and a bit stringy, so I added about one half tablespoon almond flour to the parchment I was rolling it on and on top of dough.  I placed another sheet of parchment on top of the dough and rolled it out.

low carb danish dough before rolling

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low carb danish rolled out

It was a bit thin and not very pliable.  It wanted to stick to the parchment.  I used a very thin spatula to lift the edges to fold into the center per instruction.  As you can see, it does not look like soft pliable dough.

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Folded corners – kind of.

The author states this in the comments section in response to the stringy, sticky texture:

This has happened to me before a couple of times the first of which is when using pre shredded cheese that is 1 carb per 28 gram (1/4 cup) serving. It should be <1 g carb per serving on the label. What happens I think is there are extra starches added to the cheese to keep it from clumping which accounts for the extra carbs there and it messes with the recipe. The other possibility is that it just wasn’t hot enough and needed to be reheated. If it was sticky and straggly though I’m guessing it was the cheese. The other thing I find that makes it much easier to melt is using a shredded cheese that is a regular shred. Finely shredded cheese doesn’t work out well. The only other thing I can think if is measurements and so I’ll add that I use a regular tablespoon measuring spoon to measure out the flours and always a level scoop. 

I should have read those comments first. 😉

I prepared the cream cheese filling and placed a small cookie scoop amount of filling in the center of each square.  (I had some filling left over).  I flattened it slightly and baked it for about 13 minutes. For the filling I used a Stevia/Maltodextrin blend from Central Market (Local grocery) Here is a similar one on Amazon

Low carb danish with filling

I checked it a 10 minutes as the author suggested as it can burn easily.  Mine did get a little brown on the bottom but I liked the crispness in contrast with the soft cream cheese filling.

Here is the results before frosting.

Finished product before frosting.

Finished product before frosting.

I made the frosting and piped it on the Danish pastries.  (I used a powdered Swerve sweetener for the frosting) I used my husband and son as my non low carb eating taste testers.   It passed the test and I had a request for more  in the future.  I will buy the exact ingredients and give it another go the next time we have a sweet tooth. 🙂

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Ta Da

Melyna

Albert Phineas Drache

 

Living low carb – low carb pizza

When I am eating low carb, one of the foods I tend to say goodbye to is pizza.  I tried making a pizza with a cauliflower crust, but it didn’t taste like I wanted it to and the texture was wrong.  Then one day on Pinterest I found a recipe for low-carb Everything Bagel Dogs at The Primitive Palate and they mentioned that the crust was basically like Fat Head Pizza dough. Huh?  So back to Pinterest I went.

I found a recipe at Ditch the Carbs called  Fat Head Pizza – The Holy Grail

This was what I was looking for.  The crust is very easy to make.  The directions say to mix gently but I found that it took a bit more mixing to get the melted cheese mixed in evenly with the other ingredients.  I did knead it by hand lightly (wet hands very slightly with water to keep it from sticking.)  Once mixed, transfer to parchment paper, top with another sheet and roll into your desired shape.  Peel off top sheet and it is ready to bake. I baked mine on a perforated pizza pan.

My dough made a very thin 12 inch pizza crust.   The recipe says to bake it 12-15 minutes.  Mine needed a little longer.  The recipe has a tip for making it crispier by flipping it after the top is golden brown.  Check it to make sure it doesn’t burn though. I did this and the crust was nice and crispy.  Unfortunately, I did not take photos of it after it came out of the oven.

 

Nutrition Information from Ditch the Carbs website for the crust only (They indicate it serves six)  Serving size: 1 slice (base only) Calories: 203 Fat: 16.8g Carbohydrates: 4g Sugar: 1g Fibre: 1.6g Protein: 11g  (for full recipe and instructions click link in red above)

I chose veggies I has on hand for the toppings.

While the crust was baking I cooked the vegetables I planned on using for toppings.  The original recipe states any meat needs to be pre-cooked because once you have the toppings and cheese, it only needs five minutes in the oven to melt the cheese and warm the toppings.

I will caramelize the onions next time and maybe only slightly sautee the peppers.  The vegetable need to be fairly dry since it is a thin crust and the cooking time is limited.

After the crust had baked, I used 1/2 cup lower carb pasta sauce on the crust, then applied the cooked vegetable, then some pepperoni slices, sliced pickled jalapenos and black olives.

Added some shredded Italian blend cheese and it is ready to bake.

I baked my pizza for longer than the recipes five minutes.  I kept checking the pizza every few minutes until the toppings were melted.

It was hard waiting for it to cool enough to slice. 🙂

It was amazingly good and is definitely a recipe I will make again.

 

 

 

Enjoy and let me know if you try it.

Melyna

Albert Phineas Drache

 

 

 

 

Back on track. Low carb living redux.

Last year I started working on my health after I had some issues that made me reevaluate my lifestyle choices.  I was faced with possible surgery on my foot and told I was prediabetic.  I went to see a chiropractor and had a nutritional consult.   I blogged about it in four parts.  Here is part one: Taking a Different Approach Part One

I lost 14.8 pounds during the cleanse, avoided surgery and decided to go low carb after the cleanse.  I lost 7.5 more pounds, then the holidays hit and birthdays and I gained five pounds.  I admit that I am a carbohydrate addict.  Once I eat sweets or breads, it is all downhill and the cravings start.

Now that the holidays and majority of birthdays are out of the way, I have decided to get back on track.  I still have 14 pounds to lose to reach my goal.   It was time to get serious and creative in my menu planning and bring the family on board with food that they also enjoy.

Pinterest has been a huge help in finding low carb recipes.  I have been able to satisfy my sweet tooth and find new recipes that both my family and I enjoy.   I have started a low carb board simply titles as Low Carb .  I have not tried all of the recipes that I have pinned, but I have tried quite a few.  In an attempt to help me stay focused, I plan on posting some of the recipes that I have tried and enjoyed.

This morning I decided to make a breakfast frittata with ingredients I had in the fridge.   (No recipe – just threw it together) It included, ham, spinach, Swiss cheese, eggs and cream with some seasoning.  It was low carb and filling.  A great way to start the day.

I found a recipe on Simply Recipes for a spinach frittata that sounds good and would be fairly low carb here: Spinach Frittata 

Breakfast Fritatta

Next time – Low carb pizza (yes – there is such a thing and no – there is no cauliflower involved)

Albert Phineas Drache

 

 

Melyna