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

Companion blog to the e-book
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Saturday, July 28, 2012

Cinn-a-stacks--a Copy Cat recipe from IHOP Fame

The 24/7 Low Carb Diner News for August is all about Copycats! I am taking favorite dishes from well known restaurants and creating low carb versions of those favorites we wish we could have. Fun stuff.

This morning's breakfast was simply amazing. Super sweet and cinnamony. Better than a cinnamon roll, better than pancakes. I swear it is low carb and gluten free. How can it be?

First, dig out your favorite pancake recipe. I tried out a new one this time based on Heather Eats Almond Butter's recipe that promised a fluffy pancake from almond flour. Mine were not so fluffy. The mixture felt like air, but they deflated after cooking. Try it if you want, or use your own. The cakes themselves taste great, and are not too hard to make. The recipe calls for seltzer water. Don't rush out and buy it. I don't know if those bubbles lasted. Since I own a Soda Stream machine, making bubbly water is no big deal for me. I do remember that some of my recipes from George Stella use carbonation too. I am still on the fence about the results. I think my coconut pancakes would be good here too.

What makes this meal is the Cinnamon Sauce. OMG amazing! I am so making this for donut holes and muffin icing. I used a brown sugar substitute from Ideal. That is xylitol. It made the sauce wonderful. At first I thought it was going to be too clumpy and not dissolve well. The addition of the half and half made all the difference in the consistency.  Update: I now use Swerve for this sauce. The "brown" doesn't seem to make a difference since the flavor is all spice! I adjusted the recipe as well to use Swerve.

For the cream cheese icing, I used powdered Swerve. It worked really well.

Copy Cat IHOP’s Cinn-a-stacks

 Pancake recipe of your choice (Low Carb)
Cinnamon Sauce
1/4 cup butter
3/4 cup Swerve granular or powdered
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp coconut flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground cloves
3 tbsp half-and-half

Cream Cheese Icing
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup powdered Swerve
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Cinnamon Sauce:
Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in Swerve, cinnamon, salt, and cloves and cook while stirring constantly until mixture is smooth. Whisk in coconut flour until well combined. The mixture may be lumpy. Cook 1 minute whiles stirring constantly. Add half-n-half, one tablespoon at a time, whisking until smooth and thick. Remove from heat.

Cream Cheese Icing:
Combine all ingredients for cream cheese icing in bowl. Spoon icing into a piping bag.

Make your batch of pancakes. To assemble cinn-a-stacks, spread a layer of cinnamon sauce on top of each pancake. Pipe the cream cheese frosting over that. Repeat with each pancake.

If serving 4, the toppings only are:   229 calories    22 g fat    2 net carbs  
Be sure to add in the stats for your favorite pancake.

So there you have a sneak peek into the August Diner News. There are some wonderful recipes in there!

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Friday, July 27, 2012

Cantaloupe Smoothie for Summer Survival

It is too hot. Unbearably hot and no signs of improvement. Highs of 108 degrees? Noooooo...she whines. Especially since this girl now has two electric bills to pay. This is about the only food substance that makes sense. Cantaloupe is amazing this time of year. So sweet and flavorful.

This morning's version is a smoothie. The yogurt added in gives some protein to keep us full a little longer. Delish too. Creamy and melony and sweet. Most of all, cold! My measurements are approximate here, since the blade fell out of my immersion blender, causing me to go in after it, and subsequently drop half the smoothie down the sink. Intentional run on sentence, btw. Yep, one of those days. I added more back in, but lost all exact measurements. You get the picture.

Cantaloupe Smoothie

1 1/2 cup cubed cantaloupe
1/2 cup plain unflavored yogurt
1 packet sweetener of choice
1/2 cup crushed ice
1/2 cup water

Combine all ingredients in a blender or quart sized jar if using an immersion blender. Blend well, pour into glasses and serve. 2 large servings or 4 as a breakfast side.

If you love melons, this simple smoothie is wonderful. The flavor really shines through. I have seen several recipes that included vanilla. My cantaloupe was so sweet, I didn't think it needed it. Hubby won't eat melons, but I will! Cantaloupes are a little heavy on the carbs, but low in calories. One cup of cubes has 13 net carbs, so be careful how much you use. Adding in the yogurt and icy water helps spread out those carbs in a healthy way. Enjoy.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Among Friends Thursday--Maria's Yakisoba Chicken

So with all the fuss, I missed a deadline or two for my cookbook review recipes. Today I got back on track, plus I have some super exciting news for you. But first things first. Yakisoba Maria style. I have never tried this before. Generally we stay away from soba noodles. In this recipe, Maria replaces those with shreds of cabbage. Seeing that hubby and I love cabbage, that was a good idea for us.

When Pearson came in, he said the kitchen smelled like Chinese food. I said that I was pretty sure this was Japanese. Turns out we were both right. The Japanese borrowed the Chinese Chow Mein and reinvented the dish with their own twist. Guess I am not the only one who does that!

My guys liked this dish, although I did sub some actual noodles for the boy who is an avowed cabbage hater. The main parts of the dinner were the same, though, so that wasn't too much trouble.

What I loved most was the addition of the peanuts. I love peanuts tossed into Kung Pao chicken, and this was similar, just no sweetness. The meal went together really quickly. The only change I found I needed to make was to add more coconut oil to my skillet after browning the chicken. There just wasn't enough left to stir fry the cabbage. Very good. Thanks, Maria. The recipe is on page 110 of volume 1 of Low Carbing Among Friends.

Now to the good news--that involves Maria too. Our new cookbook, Low Carbing Among Friends is nearly ready! We authors get to spread the news to our followers of some special savings on preferred customer advance orders. Just visit this page and choose the book binding you prefer and place your order. Our U.S. friends are scheduled to get their books by the end of August. By pre-ordering using Paypal from the publisher, you can save on on the new book and save on on shipping and handling too--you can even order multiples of books and save even more on shipping. Also you can order the newer coil binding so the books stay open on the counter while you cook. Our first book is great, and the second has added some amazing new cooks, and promises to be wonderful as well. I can honestly say I don't cook from any other low carb cookbooks. If I am not creating my own recipes, I go to my Low Carbing Friends.It is that good!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Cinnamon Danish Doughnut Holes

I managed to get a slight upgrade for breakfast today. Lately it has been lots of pre-cooked sausage patties. I have been running out the door with an insane life lately, dealing with getting my school house renovated and dealing with the death of my father. Hard to prioritize recipe creation in there.

This one is not so much a new recipe either--but it is a new adaptation of an old recipe. Since I have received several snotty comments lately about not posting every recipe, I will include this variation along with the original. I want to take a minute to thank those of you who sent notes of support to me. I do get hurt when readers get all bent out of shape about my promotion of my cookbooks. Afterall, I do say that this blog is a companion to my Diner e-book. It is a companion to our Low Carbing Among Friends series as well. I certainly don't promote my blog as a free recipe page, although there are hundreds of free recipes. Go figure. I suppose turning on my computer after a tough day, it is even harder to see those comments. Thankfully I have my faithful followers. Your nice comments keep me going.

These were tasty. Like my original recipe, these are made with coconut flour. They make the texture really similar to those packaged Gems. I made doughnut holes this time, but if you want to turn on the oven, the doughnut pan would work too. I used my little cakeball machine this morning. Quicker and less heat. Over hundred again here. I hate summer heat.

The secret ingredient today was the addition of Cinnamon Danish Swirl flavoring drops by Capella. This is one of my favorite flavors. I add it to my coffee sometimes too. Especially if I have a second cup. You can omit this, and add any flavoring you like. This is a very versatile recipe.

Cinnamon Danish Doughnut Holes

1/4 cup coconut flour
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp baking soda
2 packets sugar substitute 

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon 
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 tbsp any favor Da Vinci® Sugar Free syrup (30 mL)
1/4 cup coconut oil warmed (60 mL)

25 drops Capella Cinnamon Danish Swirl Flavoring


2 tbsp powdered sweetener
1 tsp water
5 drops Capella Cinnamon Danish Swirl Flavoring

Preheat cakeball maker. Spray with cooking spray or coat with melted coconut oil.

In a small bowl, combine the coconut flour, salt, sweetener, baking soda and cinnamon. Stir the eggs, syrup and coconut oil into the dry ingredients. Mix until combined.If your eggs are cold, place the mixture into the microwave oven for 20 seconds to remelt the coconut oil and thin the batter.
Spoon half the batter into the cakeball maker. Close the lid and bake for 5 - 7 minutes.
Make the glaze by combining the powdered sweetener, water and flavoring drops. Dip the holes into the glaze, then sprinkle with additional cinnamon.

John really appreciated these this morning, even though I did serve them with a side of pre-cooked sausage. Again. I thought I should share a bit of my newest project with you. Here at the end of the post, so that if you don't give a hoot, you can just move on. This is the project I was working on at the school yesterday. It is for our literature room and library. The mural is flanked by couches so the teens can sit and read or hold book discussions. It reads, "Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none." Seemed fitting for today. Thanks, Shakespeare.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Broiled Tomatoes with Pesto and Egg

I don't know what meal of the day these are best for. We had them for breakfast, but any time would be amazing.

It helps that I used fresh, homegrown tomatoes. When my son got married, not only did a beautiful girl enter my family, but also a wonderful in-law with a green thumb and an organic garden. While all my plants are withering away, hers is bountiful enough to share these beauties with me.Thank you Teri! She has also be a huge help getting the school together. Sometimes God sends you blessings in the form of friends.

If you have some gorgeous tomatoes waiting for the special treatment, try this recipe. It will not disappoint!

Broiled Tomatoes with Pesto and Egg

2 large tomatoes
1 egg
3 tsp pesto

Cut across the base of each tomato if it does not sit firmly. With a small knife, cut the core from each tomato, removing  a bit of the flesh as well. There is no need to completely hollow the tomato. Add 1 tsp pesto to the tomato. Lightly beat the egg. Pour it into the tomato cup. Place into a broil pan with sides in case of leakage. Broil for 5-8 minutes or until browned on top and egg is cooked.

Some egg may leak out. After broiling, I simply scooped that part back into the tomato. Top with an additional half teaspoon of pesto.

I used my own home made pesto, and the flavor was fantastic. This is definitely a worthy tribute to the homegrown tomato.

Friday, July 13, 2012

The Original Diner Frittata: Philly Cheese Steak Style

So I missed my Among Friends post. Sorry. Thursday the 12th was outrageously challenging. Ever have one of those days that everything seems to go wrong? I had it. New recipes were just not happening. Then there was dinner. Glad that was planned leftovers--roast beef as part of a Triple Play Meal. I borrowed my technique from the E.Z. Fix section of my book, which is the basic frittata recipe. I added some sauteed onion and yellow bell pepper to the roast beef and egg. When the eggs were set, I added the cheese.  Yum. Tasty and easy. I promise, planned leftovers from a Triple Play meal can save your life on tough days.

Tomorrow we move furniture into the school house. Very exciting, but really tiring too!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Bento Cube Lunch to Go

I haven't done a lot of Bento style lunch features lately. Taking a short break from working on the school house today--got to let some polyurethane on the floors dry well. So I have a minute or two to show the lunch I am sending off with the hubby.

He gets 4 lunchmeat roll ups. Granted, not the healthiest of meat choices, but better than what he might end up with on his own. Two have cheese in the slice, and the others are salami wrapped around dill spears. Then he gets an assortment of veggies--leftover steamed broccoli, celery sticks, grape tomatoes, and yellow pepper rings (NOT hot). I also added a cup of sliced chicken breast to boost the protein content a bit. He keeps some dipping goodies in the fridge at the office.

What I love about Bento is the way those containers help me to add more variety to a meal. Once you get going with the colors and flavor matching, you get a better meal. Plus, the small portions allow for better use of leftovers too. Although some people hate leftovers, they are among my favorite things ever!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Among Friends Thursday--My Hickory Sauce

Sometimes life is just too much to be a good blogger. This is pretty much one of those seasons.

In the midst of launching a new business, with building out delays on our location, I got the phone call. Of course, everyone dreads the call advising you that a loved one is gravely ill. But sometimes, they do come. Although my father and I have had a troubled relationship over the years, emotional ties remain. I willl spare you the details, but life is bound to have a little more turmoil for me the next few weeks. My father lives about a hundred miles away, so everything is complicated.

I realize that I am not alone in having a complicated life. The posts may be fewer, as they have been, but I am not giving up. This is tonight's dinner. I didn't try out any of my co-author's recipes, as I often do. Instead, stress is best dealt with by serving the meals I can assemble without a thought. Two of my man pleasing favorites. Like the plate says, no meal is an accident. We do still have to think about what we feed ourselves, especially under stress. This meal is Hickory Sauce from page 255 of Low Carbing Among Friends and Nana's Coleslaw with a Kick from page 225. No brainers. The  hickory sauce in the photo is stirred into some Freezer Favorite roasted pork I packaged up about  6 weeks ago. See how freezer prep can save your life? Today, I tried a new flavor of my favorite brand of liquid smoke. The Wright's Applewood flavor is very good too. I think I still prefer the Hickory, though. With pre-packaged coleslaw mix in the fridge, this easy meal did not add to my stress levels at all. With the holiday plans, news of my dad, my obligations to back-breaking work at our educational program, and a radio show to put together, I am betting my stress levels would measure off the charts. Funny how even when that happens, families still need to eat. We have eaten out more than I would prefer, but sometimes, the world is just too much. I am betting we have all been there from time to time, as no one is perfect. If I didn't have these freezer meals, my kitchen would be totally overwhelming right now.  I covet your prayers and thank you for the support and love I feel from so many of my blog friends.  ~  Lisa