Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Let's talk about food....

Hello, everyone!  I am making one of my rare appearances.  I never intend to neglect this site it just sort of....happens.  I think I'm a bit over the idea of putting my every thought, experience and food creation out there for the world to see.  It's easy to get so distracted in cyberspace that you neglect the real world.  I've been enjoying the real world.

That having been said, I also realize that a lot of people enjoy this site!  The Holy Grail Pizza Crust is an enduring favorite, and I am so thankful for the many people who have enjoyed that recipe.  I'm even glad it's been found on other websites.  I have this thing about not "owning" a recipe.  My great-grandmother Grannie Kay had this AMAZING recipe for sweet rolls.  They were sweet but not too sweet, sticky but not too sticky, savory and perfect in every way - and when she passed, she took the recipe with her.  I am forever left with memories of these incredible sweet rolls that I can never have again (and yes, I've tried, and gotten close but.....they're just not the SAME.)  So I just don't care to have secret recipes, I'd rather share the love and that's certainly how it's worked out with the pizza crust.

A recipe is MEANT to be shared.  I developed mine from other people's recipes, and I see others that have taken my recipe and adapted it further.  That's the nature of these things.  Many thanks to my faithful viewers, and I'm truly just happy that so many people have been able to find and use that crust.  I know it was a game changer for me.

So, I want to talk about food for a minute.  (DUH, that's the point of the website).  Food for me has always been a passion, and at the risk of sounding cliché, something of a journey as well.  As a kid I was extremely picky, and skinny as a rail.  In my teens I developed a penchant for eating ALL THE THINGS, and while I didn't really become overweight, I certainly lost some slimness.  Youth worked in my favor until my late 20s, when the eating started to get the better of me.  Some health issues stepped in, and over time I found myself 40lbs over a healthy weight for my build.  40 pounds.  I swore I'd get it off, which is how I discovered keto - which is very effective, but difficult to maintain.  I tried exercise (which I HATE, not gonna lie), and that worked too - but the underlying health issues interfered again.  I always ended up back in the upper regions of my weight range, and I hated it.

Eventually I realized that it wasn't the food.  It wasn't my metabolism.  It wasn't even my health problems, though those certainly played a part.  It was ME.  There was something inside myself that WANTED to overeat.  Something driving me to hurt myself with food.  It wasn't conscious, but it was overwhelming.  And I couldn't "will" myself past it.

That was not a fun realization to come to.  Understand, I'm not blaming myself per se.  Truth be told, I needed to admit to myself that there was something here that was more than I could fight.  Something beyond the physical and rational.  Something that was out to hurt me, and it was winning.  To add to this, I have also suffered from some pretty severe depression over the last few years.  Ugly depression.  I don't cry when I'm depressed - I RAGE.  Being in that bottomless pit AND realizing that the overeating is actually a drive that goes beyond metabolism and food was actually a bit of a watershed moment.  Because it made me face the fact that I was in over my head.  I needed something outside of myself to step in, something stronger.  And I needed to believe, truly, that that something was out to help me, not to hurt me.

I understand that in AA, it's crucial to realize that your addiction is bigger than you.  That no matter how hard you try, you cannot overcome the addiction without help.  I came to that understanding with food.  I needed to stop trying to overcome the undefeatable, and turn to Someone who CAN defeat it.

So I did.  I know a lot of AA attendees have a hard time calling that higher power God, Jesus, etc.  I don't have that problem; but there is a value is stepping away from all the trappings and traditions that accompany those familiar terms and just placing yourself in the hands of something Greater.  Something bigger than yourself.  Something bigger than your addiction.  Something bigger than your understanding of the world.  Something bigger than depression.  Something - and this is key - that WANTS TO HELP YOU.  Something big and kind and helpful that is not out to hurt or destroy you.

The trick is believing that such a Person exists.  It's so much easier to believe the opposite.

I've been walking with Jesus for nearly a quarter of a century, but I am just now coming to accept that He is KIND.  He is the GOOD GUY!  He WANTS to bless me, and free me from chains of hopelessness.  He doesn't just walk with you through the valleys, He leads you to still waters, He makes you lie down in green pastures.  He restores your soul. 

He has restored mine.


So, how does this relate to food?  Well, I'm realizing that food really is not the problem.  Yes, making healthy food choices is an essential part of taking care of this body I was given.  And yes, some food choices are never really "healthy."  But....I am seeing that "skinny people" eat anything.  Everything. They just don't eat ALL the things.  Skinny people eat cake - just not ALL the cake.  Skinny people eat French fries - just not ALL the fries.  My Higher Power is not out to deprive me of these things - He is out to show me how to enjoy them without being ruled by them.

I can also see how every step along the way - crash diets, keto diets, exercise diets, gluten free diets, diets for gastric reflux, even vegetarian and vegan diets - have all played a part in achieving the balance that I am finding now.  I have learned how to live without sweets and processed foods.   I have learned how to become accustomed to new tastes and textures, even if they were unappealing at first.  I have learned how to be OK with going to bed a little bit hungry (because I love sleep even more than I love food, and with my reflux issues being hungry was better than waking up choking at 3am).  I have learned that the "rules" for health are flexible, each diet having something to offer but none able to offer all the answers.  All of those pieces were in place before I got to where I am now.  My Higher Power wasn't holding me back until I learned my lesson; He was guiding me to freedom while I will still a slave.

Food is a WONDERFUL gift, y'all.  It's amazing.  SO many flavors, textures, tastes...it's virtually endless.  I am thankful for that gift.  I am thankful for keto.  I am thankful for birthday cakes and French fries.  I am thankful for Holy Grail Pizza Crust.  I am thankful for all my readers, who stick with me even when I go ages between updating my posts.


And I pray that you all come to where you can be in on this thankfulness too.

God bless!

Monday, February 16, 2015


Ok, these things are awesome.  AWESOME.  They're like crack.  Seriously.  You will not be able to eat enough of them.  I've been eating them for weeks. They go with everything. They reheat for lunches.  They're better than potato pancakes, better than french fries.  Even people who don't like veggies enjoy them.  They just might be the perfect food.

Go easy on the flour if you want to keep them low carb.  This recipe will work with gluten-free all-purpose flour as well as traditional.  Try them.  Tonight.  You will thank me for it.

Oh, and don't skip on the dip.  Seriously, DON'T.

1 cup broccoli florets
1 cup cauliflower
1/2 cup grated carrot
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp Nature's Seasons
1 tsp onion powder (or chopped chives/green onions)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 - 1/2 cup flour (gluten free or wheat)
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
1 - 2 eggs
1/2 cup parmesan (can be freshly grated, or use the stuff you buy in a can in the store)
Frying oil (vegetable oil is fine)

1) Cut the broccoli and cauliflower into bite-sized chunks.  This is a great time to use the more stemmy parts of the plant, as they work very well in this recipe.  Steam or boil for 5 minutes; drain and add in carrots.  Let sit a few minutes.

2) Now you need to coarsely chop the steamed veggies.  You can do this with knives, or you can use a pastry cutter.  Be careful not to mash the veggies; they should still be somewhat firm and maintain their shape.

3) Add in the dry ingredients and toss to coat.  Now this part is important: TASTE the mixture before adding the eggs.  The flour and the veggies can really absorb flavor, so you may need to add more seasonings before you add the eggs.  You will need 1 - 2 of them, depending on size.  The important thing is to get the right texture: mixture should be sticky enough to hold together when you squeeze it in the palm of your hand.  This can be tricky if you're trying to go easy on the flour, so be patient.  As long as a handful will hold together, you should be fine, but you may need to bite the bullet and add extra flour if it's being stubborn.  In a pinch, you could use 1/4 tsp xanthan gum, but I've never needed to.

4) In a deep frying pan or small sauce pan, heat the oil to 180 degrees.  Take a small handful of the veggie mixture, just big enough to fit in your palm, flatten into a disc shape, and slide it into the oil.  BE CAREFUL not to splash the hot oil on yourself!  You can use a large spoon to help with this process.  I usually get five or six fritters into the oil, then watch them closely because they like to stick to the bottom of the pan.  Fry till golden brown, flipping at least once.  Remove with a slotted spoon to a plate with a paper towel on it.  Continue until all the veggie mix has been shaped and fried.

Now you have your fritters.  DO NOT STOP HERE.  You can fix the dip while you're frying the fritters up, so there's no excuse not to take the time to make this. 

1 package cream cheese
1 cup sour cream
1 package ranch dip mix
1/2 tsp garlic powder
dash salt

1) In a small saucepan, warm the sour cream on low heat.  Cut the cream cheese into chunks and mix into the sour cream; stir till consistency is smooth.  Whisk in remaining ingredients.  Mixture will thicken as it cools, so reheat gently if needed.

OK, now you have your fritters and your dip.

Now you dip the fritters into the dip and eat them.

You're welcome.

I'll post pictures the next time I make these.  Which won't be long, because they're seriously addictive.

Friday, November 7, 2014

More fun with Avocados

I'm on a roll with the avocados right now.  (If a post in March and a post in November count as a "roll.")

See, I love salads.  But it's gotten quite nippy outside of late, and it's hard to want to eat a chilled dish when your hands are already half numb.

So what's a gal to do?

Top the salad with something warm and melty, of course.

Steak Salad with Avocado

Lettuce mix of your choice
Shredded steak (see below for more details)
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella

1 tsp oregano
3 Tbsp mayonnaise
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil

In small frying pan, drizzle oil and heat till shimmering. 

I'm going to say a quick word about the meat here.  This is a great place to use leftover steak.  Just cut into small chunks and toss into the pan with the oil.  If you don't have leftover steak, then ground beef is a very acceptable substitute.  At the moment, I have a lot of unseasoned ground pork which actually works very well too.  So there's a good bit of flexibility based on what you have in the fridge.

Add the oregano, salt and pepper.  I like lots of pepper.  You can also add onions, green pepper and mushrooms for a Philly cheesesteak effect.  I'm a bit of a purist, so I stick to the meat and seasonings, but hey, whatever floats your boat.

While your meat is sizzling nicely (and putting off mouth-watering smells), fill a bowl with the lettuce mix of your choosing and add the shredded cheese.  Also chop the avocados and set aside.

Once the meat is nicely warmed, add to the top of the salad.  Now while the pan is still nice and hot, toss the avocado in long enough to warm it up.  It'll pick up the seasonings too, which is just awesome.  Pile on top of the meat.

Now here's the crazy part.  The mayonnaise.  Glop it right on there.  It's called "dressing" for a reason, and you're going to use it as exactly that.  The meat will make it warm and melty, and when you mix it with the cheese and lettuce....let's just say it's like a gooey steak sandwich without the bread. 

All you need now is a fork.

Who says you can't have salad on a cold day?

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Fun with Avocados

OK, so I know it's been a while since I posted anything new.

In fact, it's been like a year.

OK, OVER a year.  Sorry about that.

Truth is, it's hard to keep up a blog after the initial fun of posting everything you think of.  Eventually real life starts taking up your time again (as it should), and suddenly your last post has a 2013 date on it and you want to cringe.

Also, not gonna lie, I kind of fell off the low-carb wagon for a while.  REALLY fell off.  I'm back in my fat pants and feeling lousy, so the motivation I haven't been able to find for a while has finally rematerialized.  I've been back on keto for 2 weeks now, and feeling better than I have in many months.  It's amazing how good it feels to actually BURN the fat, instead of putting it on.

So anyway, thanks to keto and my California-loving sister, I am learning to love avocados.  Like, REALLY love avocados.  Yeah, they're weird-tasting, and oh so very green, but like all odd foods, they kind of grow on you.  And they're VERY keto friendly, full of fats and with a creamy texture that's hard to find in low-carb cooking.

My newest favorite concoction is an egg scramble, with steak and avocado.  Hey, don't knock it till you try it.  I'm pretty much obsessed with it at the moment, it's SO tasty and filling, and good on fiber and carb count.  I estimate total carbs for this recipe to be about 5grams, give or take.

So here you go, for all you adventurous (and excruciatingly patient) readers.  Your tastebuds will thank you. 

Avocado Steak Scramble
1 small steak (any kind, it can be cheap if your budget is strained)
1/2 avocado, peeled and cored, diced
2 slices swiss cheese
4  eggs
2 Tbsp heavy cream
drizzle olive oil
Natures Seasons seasoning mix

Cook the steak on low till medium-to-well done.  You can season it with salt and pepper while cooking if you like, but we'll season it again later anyway.  (PROTIP: this is a great recipe for using up leftover steak in the fridge!)

Combine the eggs and cream; beat till smooth and frothy.

Now cut the steak into bite-sized pieces and toss it in a frying pan with the diced avocados and olive oil.  Season it generously with the Nature's Seasons.  If you haven't ever used this mix before, it's pretty amazing; you should be able to find it in the spice section of the grocery store.  Once nice and warm - but before the avocado gets mushy - set aside in a separate bowl.  Return the frying pan to the stove.

Scramble the eggs in the pan with what's left of the seasoning and oil.  Once the eggs are done to your taste, you need to melt the swiss over top of it.  You can do this in the frying pan if you like, with a lid; or you can transfer the eggs to a plate and microwave it for about 45 seconds.

Top with the steak and avocado bits, and be prepared to have your tastebuds go frantic.  It's just that good.

I am having problems with transferring pics to my computer at the moment, but I will try to post one as soon as I can get it sorted out.  It will make your mouth water, I swear.


Saturday, September 21, 2013

Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

OK, these are not low carb.  At least, if you were to substitute Splenda for the sugar they probably would be, but I haven't done any calculating of carbs to back up that assertion.

However, these ARE gluten free, and oh so very tasty.  So I'm posting these here for your enjoyment (and so that I don't have to keep searching the internet for the recipe.  This is my online recipe book.)

  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate morsels
  • Parchment paper


  1. 1. Preheat oven to 350°. Stir together peanut butter and next 4 ingredients in a medium bowl until well blended. Stir in chocolate morsels.
  2. 2. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto parchment paper-lined baking sheets.
  3. 3. Bake at 350° for 12 to 14 minutes or until puffed and lightly browned. Cool on baking sheets on a wire rack 5 minutes. Transfer to wire rack, and let cool 15 minutes.

Recipe courtesy of:  http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/flourless-chocolate-chip-cookies-50400000108779/

Personal note: Be careful not to make these too big.  They "poof" quite a bit in the oven, so when you drop them onto the baking sheet make them smaller than you think you should.

Also, I think I'm going to use brown sugar for part of the white sugar portion, and I might add a dash of vanilla.  I'll let you know if it doesn't work out.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Fun With Cheese

I found these great Parmesan Cheese crisps at the store the other day: they're these round crispy treats made entirely with parmesan, so they are zero carb.  They were also insanely expensive - almost $7 for a small container.

As I was munching on this indulgence, I thought to myself, "I bet these would be pretty easy to make at home."

I was right.

Cheesy Parmesan Crisps
Finely grated real parmesan cheese (NOT the powdered kind)
Italian seasoning blend

Line a plate with parchment paper, if you have it; if you don't that's OK, it just makes removing the cheese crisps easier later.

Sprinkle a generous pinch (about a tablespoon or so) in a small pile on the plate; make several such piles all around the plate, keeping them at least an inch from each other - the piles will spread when they melt.  Also, don't make the piles too tall, you want the crisp to be thin and fairly even all the way through.

Sprinkle each pile with a dash of salt and italian seasoning.  Microwave at high for 30 seconds; open the microwave door to let the steam vent out.  Then microwave for 25 seconds more.

Remove the plate from the microwave and let the crisps cool. 


If you used parchment paper, just bend the paper away from the crisps to remove; if you didn't use the paper, use a fork to gently pry the crisps off the plate while they're still a bit warm.  Finish cooling once they've been pried loose.


And enjoy!!  These are super easy and quick to make, have plenty of good fat in them, and if done right they should help satisfy that need for something crispy and decadent.  Even if they turn out a bit chewy, they are so darn good you can't really call that a flaw.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

I've been wondering this same thing.  This kind lady did the hard work, so I thought I'd share.