companion blog to the e-book the 24/7 Low Carb Diner

Companion blog to the e-book
Available at http://www.247lowcarbdiner.com

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Dueling Peppers Chicken

My oldest son tells me they  put green chile peppers on most everything in New Mexico. They ought to like this dish then. My son's girlfriend is from Albuquerque, and while she loves green chiles, she does not do jalapeno peppers. For me, I would have had an all out battle with all sorts of peppers in this sauce, but since it is just the two, it must be a duel. Add more heat if you want, but that might hide the green chile flavor.

The sauce is flavorful, but not spicy hot. The cream cheese and green chile powder blend so well. Good stuff--and quick. One of the musts for hot summer weather! This goes together really fast if you have chicken cubes thawed. With all the painting and room changing we have been doing, I didn't do any prep work last weekend. I need to restock the freezer there. I bought a lot of chicken at the grocery this week, so I will get to that soon. It sure helps in the summer. But for tonight's dish, the chicken was poached from fresh. Add some cooked rice if you are serving carbies.

Dueling Peppers Chicken


1 1/2- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 sliced green bell pepper
8 ounces cream cheese
1 1/2 teaspoons green chile powder (or use a can of diced chiles)
1/2 tsp xanthan gum


Poach the breasts and pepper slices in the broth in a covered skillet. ( If using chicken cubes, simmer the chicken in the broth to heat and cook the bell pepper) Remove chicken from pan and cut into thick slices. While cutting the chicken, place cream cheese into the skillet to melt. Add chile powder and stir the sauce to incorporate. To thicken sauce, put xanthan gum in a salt shaker and sprinkle over the sauce, stirring as you sprinkle.


This sauce would be great with diced green chile peppers as well. I special ordered the powder from New Mexico, but it is a little hard to find. I recommend buying the really large cans of green chile peppers, and then freezing them in ice cube trays. That makes it really easy to use and is so much cheaper than buying those little cans!

I am busy getting the newsletter ready to mail out tomorrow. With all this heat, it features many new salad recipes. I have been researching all month, trying to find some new ideas to make cold salads a feature on our summer menu. If you would like my recipes, be sure to order the newsletter from the website.  I even have a great new kitchen gadget that is going to make it easy to have fresh, crisp salads everyday for over a week. It really works and is really easy too.







Sunday, June 26, 2011

Layers of Lemon Dessert and Z- Sweet



Citrus lovers need to get ready for a tastebud roller coaster ride! I made the first attempt at this recipe last week, but found the time to perfect it today. It is a fabulous summer dessert. No heating up the oven--that is a winning idea. Even better is the contrast between the creamy white layers and the eye opening tartness of the lemon curd. Because this dessert is made with creamed cottage cheese, it offers a good protein boost too.


When the nice folks over at Z-Sweet offered free samples on their Facebook page, I jumped at the chance. When I explained about my blog, they sent all three of their products for me to review. I admit that I am sold. Before trying ZSweet, when I used erythritol, I had to play around with combinations of stevia and other sweeteners. I depended on the dish, but erythritol generally needs a boost from another sweetener.  So far, though I love the blend available in this product. They have added stevia to the erythritol for me. I have been able to substitute cup per cup without tasting to check the sweetening power. And don't you just hate tasting the finished product to find that is is not sweet enough? 


This week, I have been busy. We are redoing one room for an extra bedroom for my number two son. It is just too hot to sleep in our gameroom, and he and his older brother seem to not like the idea of sharing a room any longer. Just that college boy independence. So, we have been throwing away old stuff, and painting, decorating, cleaning, organizing and such. Pearson chose a chocolate brown paint, so I have been craving chocolate since every brushfull of paint looked like melted dipping chocolate. I think we will forever call it the chocolate room now. So-- that is what I have been doing instead of inventing new recipes. My freezer meals and crock pot dinners have been very handy! I have enjoyed the packets of ZSweet in my coffee. It is good both hot and iced. I have made blueberry brownies, and they were tasty...recipe later. I accidentally added an extra scoop of coconut flour to that one and made them a bit too dry. It is so hot here, I have not summoned the courage to turn on my leaky old oven to try out that recipe again since. And despite some early problems with the first recipe for this lemon dessert, I now have the formula! No oven required!


The only problem is something that is common to all erythritol products I have ever tried. Crystalization. It seems to take a chemist to overcome gritty desserts. In some recipes, the granular formula is fine. It was great in the creamy cottage cheese layer of this dessert. For some applications, making a simple syrup with water and erythritol does the trick. I tried this with another brand for the chocolate coating for my Cheesecake Dibs and it worked fine. I have been experimenting with some simple syrups with ZSweet, but I am not sure if they are necessary. The trick I found to making a smooth lemon curd for this recipe is to use the ZSweet Powdered version. It blended easily into the egg yolk. The crystal version did not blend as well, despite to heat applied in making the lemon curd. Although it did blend, it recrystallized upon chilling. I tasted great, and we still ate it all, but the texture was wrong. That is why I needed to make this recipe again. With the powdered sweetener, it is perfect. My lemon curd stayed smooth and glossy.


Layers of Lemon


White Layer:
1 cup whole milk cottage cheese
3 Tablespoons ZSweet granular
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons lemon zest, divided use
Lemon Curd:
2 large egg yolks
1/2 cup Powdered ZSweet
1/3 cup lemon juice
2 Tablespoons butter


Begin by making the white layer. In a food processor, or bowl with an immersion blender, process cottage cheese until smooth. Add the sweetener and lemon juice and process again until creamy and smooth. Stir in one teaspoon of lemon zest. Chill this mixture while making the lemon curd layer.


To make the lemon curd, or yellow layer, Set up a double boiler, and begin to simmer the water on the stove. Separate the egg yolks from the whites. Set the whites aside for another use. In the top unit of the double boiler, or in a separate heatproof bowl, combine the yolks with the powdered sweetener,  mixing until well incorporated and free of lumps. Add the lemon juice and stir until the mixture is smooth. Place the bowl over the simmering water, stirring continuously. Heat and stir until the egg mixture thickens well enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Remove from heat immediately and stir in the butter. Let the lemon curd cool to room temperature, then chill. 


When ready to serve, choose 4  small dessert dishes, or 6-8 cordial glasses for dessert shots. The glass in the photo is sized for a votive candle. Begin with the white cheese mixture, then layer lemon curd. Repeat the layering procedure until all cups are filled. Top each with a sprinkling of fresh lemon zest.


If you don't want to cream the cottage cheese, you can substitute ricotta cheese instead. This is the perfect sweetness for me, but your mileage may vary, so feel free to substitute. I love the contrast between the super charged sweet and tart flavors in the curd and the ultra creamy cheese layer, only lightly sweetened and lemony. It is very rich and a little will go a long way! Unless you do like I did, and grab a spoonful every time you cruise by the fridge...This recipe serves four at 141 calories, and 4 carbs. Be looking for more recipes from me using ZSweet. Since it is 0 carb, 0 calorie, it makes low carb living easy. Check it out at http://www.zsweet.com


This is one of the recipes included in my new cookbook project, Low Carbing Among Friends.
This recipe is available in the book, along with over 60 additional 24/7 Low Carb Diner recipes. By ordering the book, you get more than 300 favorite gluten free recipes from four other well known low carb cooking experts…Jennifer Eloff of Splendid Low Carbing cookbook fame, Kent Altena, the Atkins Diet Geek and You Tube star, nutritionist and author Maria Emmerich of Maria’s Nutritious and Delicious Journal, and popular blogger and food stylist, Carolyn Ketchum of All Day I Dream About Food. Unlike any other cookbook you may own, this one is a compilation of mini cookbooks featuring the talents of these well known low carbers. Think of it as a “best of” project.
Low Carbing Among Friends also features recipes from numerous other talented low carbing friends and recommendations from the medical community who recognize the health benefits of low carb, gluten free living. To preorder your copy, visit http://www.amongfriends.us The official release date is 11/11/11, so pre-order now for a discount.



Get more great recipes at the Low Carbing Among Friends Facebook Page:               https://www.facebook.com/LowCarbingAmongFriends

Order our books at: 

http://amongfriends.us/24-7-LCD.php

Love the recipes I share on this blog? My ebook helps you plan and prep to stay healthy 24/7.   http://www.247lowcarbdiner.com

Monday, June 20, 2011

Coconut Apricot Chicken

Sweet and savory combos have always been my favorite. If you like fruity sauces, you are gonna love this one. All my guys did. Serving it to carby boys, I just added some rice.

I purchased some sugarfree apricot jam to make the basting sauce shared by my friend Bridget over on Sweet Enough Personal Chef. We loved the flavors in that baste, so I figured I could do more. I had seen some similar recipes several places on line. All those recipes use sugary jams and flour to fry the chicken, so I did some adaptations to suit our low carb lifestyle. Personally, I think my version is better--easier and healthier too.

Coconut Apricot Chicken

This is one of the recipes included in my new cookbook project, Low Carbing Among Friends.
This recipe is available in the book, along with over 60 additional 24/7 Low Carb Diner recipes. By ordering the book, you get more than 300 favorite gluten free recipes from four other well known low carb cooking experts…Jennifer Eloff of Splendid Low Carbing cookbook fame, Kent Altena, the Atkins Diet Geek and You Tube star, nutritionist and author Maria Emmerich of Maria’s Nutritious and Delicious Journal, and popular blogger and food stylist, Carolyn Ketchum of All Day I Dream About Food. Unlike any other cookbook you may own, this one is a compilation of mini cookbooks featuring the talents of these well known low carbers. Think of it as a “best of” project.
Low Carbing Among Friends also features recipes from numerous other talented low carbing friends and recommendations from the medical community who recognize the health benefits of low carb, gluten free living. To preorder your copy, visit http://www.amongfriends.us The official release date is 11/11/11, so pre-order now for a discount.

I did the nutritional analysis. In Mastercook, for 5 servings, I get 210 calories per serving with a net carb of 4 grams. French cut green beans on the side for us, no rice. Delicious stuff.

I am busy working up some fancy desserts. I nudged my way in the door at Z-Sweet and got them to send me some samples of their sweeteners. I am impressed so far, but I am still working out a way to get rid of the crystallization you get with erythritol. I heated a lemon curd, but it recrystallized as it cooled. Still a work in progress, but be watching for some good stuff really soon! Now back to the kitchen. The lemons are calling.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Coconut Almond Black and Whites

I do love contrast--both in color and flavor.  I think these black and white treats are really awesome! Very rich and wonderful right out of the freezer. Being based on coconut oil, they will melt in your fingers a bit, especially in the summer heat, so be sure to keep them cold! They are really pretty though, and look great on the stand I just made out of burner covers from the Dollar Tree. (Yep, it is summer and I have time to indulge the crafter in me)

Coconut Almond Black and Whites



This is one of the recipes included in my new cookbook project, Low Carbing Among Friends.
This recipe is available in the book, along with over 60 additional 24/7 Low Carb Diner recipes. By ordering the book, you get more than 300 favorite gluten free recipes from four other well known low carb cooking experts…Jennifer Eloff of Splendid Low Carbing cookbook fame, Kent Altena, the Atkins Diet Geek and You Tube star, nutritionist and author Maria Emmerich of Maria’s Nutritious and Delicious Journal, and popular blogger and food stylist, Carolyn Ketchum of All Day I Dream About Food. Unlike any other cookbook you may own, this one is a compilation of mini cookbooks featuring the talents of these well known low carbers. Think of it as a “best of” project.
Low Carbing Among Friends also features recipes from numerous other talented low carbing friends and recommendations from the medical community who recognize the health benefits of low carb, gluten free living. To preorder your copy, visit http://www.amongfriends.us The official release date is 11/11/11, so pre-order now for a discount.




24 ought to be enough to satisfy a sweet tooth for quite a while! I don't have to think about dinner tonight because we have buy one get one free salads at our favorite pizza place. What to do with all the extra time--except to make these of course!



Monday, June 13, 2011

Chocolate Coconut Ice Cream

This is just the fix for a very hot, very frustrated hubby. I made this for my darling after he spent the afternoon working on the van. ( I think I mentioned our vehicle challenges yesterday) He liked it--full of rich chocolate and coconut flavors. Kinda like a Mounds bar...but cold. That is extra nice considering that he was toiling in 97 degree heat. This time, I added some delicious coconut oil chocolate chips. They remind me of the tiny little chocolate pieces in the chocolate chip ice cream I always ordered as a child. In fact, they are so small, you can't even see them in the photo. But take a bite, and you will know they are there. They add the perfect contrast in texture. They almost crisp on the tongue, and give an intense burst of chocolate coconut flavor. That coconut taste will come through if you choose an unrefined coconut oil. The refined type will not carry that coconut flavor, but would work well if chocolate is the star. You can make tiny chunks like I did, or let the chocolate chill in a bowl to create thicker, larger chunks. This time, I just wanted small, flake like chips like I remember.

Chocolate Coconut Ice Cream


1 can coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
3 Tablespoons cocoa powder
1/3 cup sweetener ( I used a combination, as I always do with chocolate, it eases the bitter tendencies)
4 egg yolks
Chips: 
1 Tablespoon cocoa powder 
1 Tablespoon coconut oil
1 packet sweetener


Whisk or blend the xanthan gum into the coconut milk. Stir in the cocoa powder and sweetener. Adjust the sweetener to your preferences, remembering that it will taste less sweet once frozen. In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks. Stir them into the ice cream mixture until well incorporated. Transfer this mixture into an ice cream freezer and process until it reaches a soft serve consistency. 


While the ice cream is processing, make the chips to add in. Melt the coconut oil in a small bowl. Combine the cocoa powder, coconut oil and sweetener. Pour onto parchment or a silicon mat. Freeze. When fully frozen, break into small chunks and keep cold. 


When ice cream reaches the soft serve stage, add in the chocolate chunks and stir in. You may enjoy it at this stage, or transfer it to another container and freeze until it is firm enough to be scooped. This took about an hour in my freezer.

What a great treat in this heat. I am so glad I picked up a Cuisinart Ice Cream maker at Goodwill. No cranking anymore for me. I waiting until today to post so I can report on how this recipe performs once the ice cream is frozen overnight. I still love it. After removing it from the freezer, I popped it into the microwave for thirty seconds, and that did the trick. Perfect consistency again. Maybe the egg yolks help. I might try it again without for those who are leary of uncooked egg. Perhaps I will make another batch without the chips to make frozen fudgesicles.  That will make summer better!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Mac Attack Burger


The hubs grilled out today. Love that man! He knows I am in a bad mood and wanted to give me a break in the kitchen. Not that he shouldn't be in a bad mood too. My car broke down for the third time in two weeks. All three different problems too. No wonder I am a grouch. We just paid the repair bill of over $500, and that was with the work done at a discount...if not free. (It is good to have friends, yes?) This time, it is still road worthy, but ummm... I will have to be desperate to get somewhere. The air conditioning went out. That is bad news during summers in Oklahoma. Worse, two of the windows do not roll down. That is just downright mean, and brings us to a family with 5 vehicles, none of which have working air. I tease my hubby that he is road rage man, but if I have to drive in a 130 degree car, I am betting I would become road rage woman in no time! Yes, we do make a habit of driving clunkers. Getting out of debt is more important than having a good car! Sometimes, it is no fun, though. I am thinking this will be my summer of being a hermit. Good news is, I will have more time in the kitchen. Bad news is, I may never have groceries.

So on to the comfort food. The guilty pleasure of a McDonald's Big Mac. The taste is all there. Now if you are having a Mac Attack too, and don't have any secret sauce, here it is. Guiltfree.

Mac Attack Sauce

2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon dill pickle relish
1 teaspoon low sugar ketchup
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 packet sweetener

Stir it all together and spoon it over a burger.


I ate my double patties over lettuce, and added cheese slices, sliced onion and some bacon crumbles. Better than the real thing.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Pepperoni Cups



Another quick What's for Breakfast solution. I used the extra large pepperoni (I get mine at Dollar Tree). Just line a muffin cup with the pepperoni. I use one egg per two cups. Today I stirred in some pesto, black olives and a bit of cheese. Cured a pizza craving! Baked them up and topped with a little more cheese. I do love cheese. I like mushrooms in there too, but the fridge was bare today.

These are fun. I have always liked eating breakfast with my fingers! Of course, they are good for snacks, lunch or even a dinner with a nice salad.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Fried Chicken



Take 2. I am still trying to update my blog, but I seem to have managed to delete half of my last entry. Yesterday I wrote about two plain meals and how hard it is to get seen out there on the blogosphere. Today I loaded the new editor, tried to upload a new photo, had problems with my computer, and managed to lose half that blog...probably just as well, as I was just whining anyway! Thanks to those of you who commented with support. Those messages did make me feel better. Just don't stop commenting, you here?

I actually was just trying to add this photo. So I will put it here anyway. Some on Facebook had asked how I fried the chicken, so I will give you my method for this dinner. I know I have put some similar recipes in the newsletter, but I can't recall which one right now. I get hand me down computers from my kids, and I have Diner newsletters stored on three different machines. Real life again. The kids call my laptop "ghetto" if that explains anything.

Easy Fried Chicken Nuggets
(NOT a recipe just a method)

Chicken Breast, cut in chunks
mustard to coat
a sprinkle of paprika, salt and pepper
Coconut flour to coat

First I coat the chicken with mustard and sprinkle it with spices. Then stir in several tablespoons of coconut flour to coat. Fry in coconut oil.


Really that is all. I have a deep fryer, but these were just the skillet version. While I was frying them, hubby came home and dropped a double 18 pack of eggs in the floor. Needless to say, I made an extra large batch of pancakes last night too. And having an egg loving Schnoodle helped clean the egg goo from the floor. Yep, that is real life. But it was nice to have maple brown sugar coconut flour pancakes already to go for breakfast this morning!

Still working on the invisible thing. I'll let you know if I figure it out. Until then, be sure to send your friends over here. I do love company.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Banana Split Muffins


I felt like experimenting today with some coconut flour based muffins and my tiny little toaster oven. We are in a heatwave and I don't want to use my oven for anything. Well maybe for storage...

So this is a small batch. I hardly ever do that. Why waste the time and dirty dishes baking only six muffins. We could easily finish those off in 90 seconds. Like I said this was an experiment. I am a little of a mad scientist in the kitchen sometimes.

I had this bottle of Capella flavorings that was just not my favorite. It came in a combo set, so I didn't exactly choose it. I am not a big fake banana fan. You would never find me eating the banana popsicles. No. These muffins? Yes. A big Yes. I found a good use for my Banana Split flavor drops.

Not being a big fan of the banana, I decided to go with the buddy system. Although I have never in my life eaten a banana split, I decided it might make a good muffin. You see, in my family of little women, little though I am not, a lady would never think of consuming all that food at once. I mean three dips of ice cream? Three toppings? The idea would be scandalous! But I did borrow the flavors by adding some chocolate, like the chocolate sauce in the original sundae. I also opted for strawberry "topping" and a little filling too. To my utter enjoyment, the flavor combo works!

Sure, we don't get the joy of the cold creamy ice cream contrasting with the hot fudge sauce and the piles of whipped cream. But we also don't have to try to cut a banana half with a spoon, and the melting ice cream will not drip down our chins. There, I feel much more virtuous now.

I will post the recipe here, using banana flavoring rather than the Capella drops because I am thinking they just may be a little too much of a specialty item to do you much good. I am, however, guestimating on the amount to use, so YMMV.



Banana Split Muffins

3 eggs
2 Tablespoons oil (your choice or melted butter)
2 Tablespoons cream
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon banana flavoring
1/2 cup equivalent sweetener of choice (I used brown sugar Ideal)
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
6 teaspoons sugar free strawberry jam

In a medium bowl, mix the eggs, oil, flavorings and sweetener. Stir well. To that bowl add the coconut flour, baking powder, and salt. Whisk until well combined. Let the mixture set 2 minutes to thicken. Reserve 1/4 cup of batter. To the reserved batter, stir in the cocoa powder. Mixture will be thick.

Spray muffin pan, silicon muffin cups or use paper liners. Fill each of 6 cups with a tablespoon of plain batter. Set remainder aside. Using a half teaspoon, drop a dollup of strawberry jam in each muffin cup. Take the reserved plain batter and put a spoonful over each drop of jam. Set remaining batter aside. Drop chocolate batter onto the plain batter using a 1/4 teaspoon as a dropper. ( about three drops per muffin)Use the last of the plain batter to top off the muffins, leaving a chocolate and vanilla pattern on top.

Bake at 325 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes, then top with a 1/2 teaspoon dollup of jam. Makes 6 muffins.


I hope these turn out for you. I have been having some trouble in the kitchen as of late. Nothing seems to work right. I have three fails just since yesterday afternoon. Lucky for you, THIS one, I liked.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Bacon Wrapped Chicken--2 Ways


Eating good at our house tonight. I saw a photo of this amazing chicken on Pinterest. I love finding cool stuff over there. Lots of great ideas floating around, and a great way to capture and keep some of the things I get inspired by online. Check it out. This particular great idea comes from the blog, Salad in a Jar. The how to's are here.


I had a couple of diners tonight who do not appreciate the jalapeƱo. For them, I substituted some sun dried tomatoes. I got great reviews for both kinds. Here it is after midnight and I still have dirty dishes. We have been gone all day. I have been garage sale shopping at my mom's condo wide sale. I did find some great deals on antique linens and some odds and ends I like to use with my photos. But all that shopping meant dinner was not ready until ten p.m. It was worth it though. We found a propane grill--a huge one for just fifty bucks. Our sweet middle son bought it for his dad. What a guy. I really hope that means John will grill even more. I have plenty of recipes for him from the June Diner newsletter ...hint...hint...

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Sunbaked Tomato Basil Sauce and Notato Gnocchi


It has been a day of experimenting--both in the kitchen and the front yard. Mixed reviews. My tastebuds are happy. My man, well, not his favorite. The difference? I love cheese way more than he does--especially Parmesan. I also happen to adore the complex sweetness of balsamic vinegar. Him? Well, he is a ranch guy who hates vinaigrettes.

But maybe, just maybe, you are more like me. Maybe you will think this meal is nothing short of manna from heaven. So here goes anyway.

I have been thinking about a gnocci recipe for months. I had seen some on the SCD sites for a pumpkin and almond flour gnocci. Reviews say the plump little pillows of dough fall apart in the boiling water. Who wants to waste time and expensive ingredients to end up with a pan of goo? The Italian originals, which call for potatoes, have all that starch to bind them. Low Carb? Can it be done?

Well, I just got several new bags of coconut flour, so I am stocked and ready to have some kitchen chemistry fun. Knowing how absolutely sticky coconut flour can be, I took the plunge. So glad I did. I think these are awesome as a stand in for pasta. Amazingly, they are not too hard to make, either.


Notato Gnocchi

This is one of the recipes included in my new cookbook project, Low Carbing Among Friends.
This recipe is available in the book, along with over 60 additional 24/7 Low Carb Diner recipes. By ordering the book, you get more than 300 favorite gluten free recipes from four other well known low carb cooking experts…Jennifer Eloff of Splendid Low Carbing cookbook fame, Kent Altena, the Atkins Diet Geek and You Tube star, nutritionist and author Maria Emmerich of Maria’s Nutritious and Delicious Journal, and popular blogger and food stylist, Carolyn Ketchum of All Day I Dream About Food. Unlike any other cookbook you may own, this one is a compilation of mini cookbooks featuring the talents of these well known low carbers. Think of it as a “best of” project.
Low Carbing Among Friends also features recipes from numerous other talented low carbing friends and recommendations from the medical community who recognize the health benefits of low carb, gluten free living. To preorder your copy, visit http://www.amongfriends.us The official release date is 11/11/11, so pre-order now for a discount.


I made my test batch of gnocchi this morning. They did not dissolve--just lost a little in the boiling water. If you take the time to roll them into actual balls, you get almost no loss to the water. I left them with the rough edges from the cutting of the ropes. That shape is more interesting and more like a traditional gnocchi. It is rather hard to decide when they are done. Unlike the potato counterpart, it is not when they float to the surface. Have a timer handy. 3-4 minutes is good enough. I wonder what would happen if you just keep on boiling? I dunno. I did try roasting them in the toaster oven too, but I really prefer the boiled gnocci. More like a pasta and less like a bread.

Then I had to decide on a sauce. I remembered a no cook tomato sauce I loved back when the boys were really little. It was something I made just for me--they never were big on fresh raw veggies. That recipe was long gone, but luckily the internet is full of them. It seems that lots of people love this sauce. Maybe not my hubby, but lots of people out there. Maybe he is the weird one. I saw one comment from a woman whose family always made a sauce in the summer sun like sun tea. She did not leave the recipe, but I took her idea and ran with it using my memories of my old recipe. Well, that and what I have in the kitchen. If you like sweet and tart, this will be a light summer sauce you can love. No heating the kitchen--if you already made the gnocci! I am taking advantage of lots of herbs growing like crazy in my garden right now.

Sun Baked Tomato Basil Sauce

5 fresh Roma tomatoes
1/4 cup olive oil
1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
1 packet sweetener
2 teaspoons chopped fresh garlic
1 teaspoon black pepper
16 basil leaves
6 oregano leaves
2 chives

Finely chop tomatoes, reserving juice. Place them all in a quart sized jar. Add olive oil, vinegar, sweetener, garlic and pepper. Chop all the herbs very finely and add to the jar. Stir to distribute the herbs. Set the jar in the sun for several hours to warm and develop the flavor.


Now dinner is done. A little chicken and some salad. More experiments to come!