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

Companion blog to the e-book
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Sunday, December 21, 2014

Buckeye Brownie Bites

I have this friend who is a huge Ohio State fan. She's not huge, but her loyalty to the Buckeye state sure is. I saw this on her Facebook feed and decided we could low carb something similar. The original recipe is inspired by the one she pinned at Inspired by Charm. I have seen plenty of similar recipes, so I honestly have no idea for the original. But most of those use brownie mixes and lots of sugar. Mine are low carb and sugar free. Totally yummy too. I mean, who doesn't love peanut butter and chocolate?

This recipe is in the December Diner News. I have been so crazy busy with the school, I just haven't had time to create something new like I had planned this week. So I am sharing this cookie. When I made them a few weeks ago, I froze half the batch. I can say that they freeze beautifully. This close to Christmas that might not help for holiday entertaining. But, if you plan to get serious about limiting treats in the coming new year, go ahead and make a batch to pop into the freezer. Then you can thaw and warm one or two cookies at a time for a a no-guilt indulgence. Smart.

Buckeye Brownie Bites

2 cups almond flour
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup vanilla whey protein powder
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3 eggs
3/4 cup powdered erythritol blend
1/2 cup lightly flavored oil or melted butter
1/3 cup almond milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup natural, smooth peanut butter
1 cup powdered erythritol blend
2 oz unsweetened chocolate
2 tbsp powdered erythritol blend
2 tsp butter

Combine almond flour, coconut flour, whey, baking powder and salt in a bowl.

In a smaller bowl, beat the eggs with the powdered sweetener. Stir in the oil, almond milk and vanilla. Combine the wet and dry ingredients in the larger bowl. Use a cookie scoop to make approximately 48 rounded cookies. (This may vary with size of scoop) Press each one in the center with a thumbprint. Bake on a lined sheet for 10 minutes.

While the cookies are baking, combine the peanut butter and powdered sweetener. Form into balls, the same number as cookies baking. Remove cookies from oven and top with peanut butter balls.

Melt chocolate and butter. Stir in powdered sweetener. Drizzle chocolate glaze over peanut butter balls

2 cookies: 200 calories  3 net carbs

We still have a few days for those holiday cookies, so be sure to add these to your list! Merry Christmas!

Get more great recipes at the Low Carbing Among Friends Facebook Page:     

 Order any of our great cookbooks at

Order my original e-book or the latest version for couples and singles, 
A Table for Two here.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Abuelita's Chocolate Truffles

This weekend I got to babysit my grandpuppy while my oldest came into town for a party with old friends. In a way that makes me a grandma--an abuela. Call her little and it becomes abuelita. My maternal grandmother was always "Little Grandma" to me. She was a pint size powerhouse. She gave me no Mexican heritage that I know of, but these little truffles celebrate Mexico. And what a delight they are!

Mexican chocolate often has hints of other flavors. For today, I chose cinnamon, coffee and roasted peanuts. Hubby just doesn't do the chile pepper influence, and I had better not plan on eating the whole batch of these all alone. Although plain chocolate truffles are a treat, these are over the top. They are incredibly easy to make too. As long as you don't mind getting your hands all chocolatey when you roll them into balls.

 If you don't like that, you can try them as a pie filling. So rich, you had best plan for mini pie shells like I did. I make a batch of these and keep some in the freezer for quick desserts. I like them both ways.

Abuelita's Chocolate Truffles

3/4 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup powdered erythritol blend
1 tsp sugarfree smooth peanut butter
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp instant coffee granules
1/8 tsp chocolate flavored liquid stevia (or plain)
3 oz unsweetened chocolate, roughly chopped
1/4 cup granulated sweetener 
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

In a small saucepan, combine cream, erythritol, peanut butter, cinnamon, coffee and stevia. Heat, stirring constantly until peanut butter is melted and milk is just beginning to simmer. Remove from heat and stir in chopped chocolate. Stir until chocolate is melted and incorporated. Pour into mini pie shells or chill mixture until firm, about 30 minutes.

While chocolate is chilling, combine granulated sweetener and cinnamon in a small bowl.

 Use a scoop to form 18 balls. Roll in your hand to make a smooth ball shape. Transfer truffles to the cinnamon sweetener mixture and toss to coat. For a pretty presentation, serve each truffle in a mini cupcake liner.

Each truffle has 61 calories and 1 net carb

I like dark chocolate, and these are intensely chocolaty. One thing I don't like about the truffles that are rolled in cocoa powder is the initial bitterness. The cinnamon sweetener coating on these fixes that problem. Cinnamon and chocolate is such a brilliant combination. The coffee is subtle, and frankly, I didn't notice the peanut butter, but I am sure it adds something.

Add these to a cookie tray for a party, or wrap them up as a gift for someone you love who adores chocolate but does not need that sugar overload. They will think you are amazing. And you are! Enjoy those holidays and don't deny yourself some treats. These will fix any cravings for sweets.

Get more great recipes at the Low Carbing Among Friends Facebook Page:     

 Order any of our great cookbooks at

Order my original e-book or the latest version for couples and singles, 
A Table for Two here.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Chicken Parmesan Soup

Crazy busy at your house? This is not a glam recipe. No one will be dazzled by the beauty of it. No special Christmas cheer,,,but it is really tasty. It reminds me of Italian Wedding Soup--the one with those little meatballs. With some shortcuts you will appreciate, it gets you out of the kitchen and on to those holiday festivities. Afterall, not every holiday meal is a showcase!

My shortcuts include my electric pressure cooker. Love that thing. With it, I can take these delicious Chicken Parmesan sausages from Sprouts--straight from the freezer, mind you-- and have a fantastic soup on the table in about half an hour. I am thinking about doing some blogs about gifts that would be loved and used by low carbers like us. This is certainly one. My version of the electric pressure cooker is also a slow cooker and sells for about 75 bucks.  This vegetable soup tastes like it simmered all day, and you can do it that way if you want. Not me, at least not today.

But if it is another one of those "I'm so busy how can I think about dinner?" kinda days, then this pressure cooker could save your life. Well maybe not your life, but at least your diet. Shortcut number two: I keep a selection of Sprouts sausages in the freezer. Sometimes I am so lazy I don't even re-wrap them from the lump they come in from the butcher department. I just stick them in there, paper wrapping and all. The problem is, the sausages are harder to thaw in a big lump. Bad for a conventional method of cooking, but no problem at all in the pressure cooker. They will steam cook or boil, you choose, in about 9 minutes cooking time. You do have the additional time of bringing the pot up to pressure, but still, not much time. If you are cooking them stovetop, better plan on half an hour and check them to break the big lump at the midway mark. See why I love my electric pressure cooker? When time is up and I have released the pressure the fast way, they have separated and are cooked through. Woohoo.

For this soup, I just used my kitchen shears to "slice" them up. So fast. The slices are tender and delicious. Like I said, they remind me of the meatballs in Italian Wedding Soup. Lots easier to make though. No comparison on ease of prep! Plus, the time the sausages are cooking is not wasted. That is when I chop the fresh vegetables to add in. Efficient, no? Once the sausages are sliced, add in the fresh veggies of choice and back to cook under pressure. A mere 5 minutes on high pressure and you are done. Tender veggies that retain a little character, but blend so well with the chicken flavor.

In my last time saver, I use a can of petite diced tomatoes (S&W Premium) that already have the garlic and Italian seasonings added. Watch for sugar added on some brands. This comes in at 3 net carbs per half cup serving. If you can't find one, just add in your own garlic, basil and oregano to taste. Now ready for the recipe?

Chicken Parmesan Soup

3 Chicken Parmesan Sausage Links (>2 carbs each)
14 oz can diced tomatoes with Italian seasoning
3 cans water (42 oz)
6 oz sliced portabella mushrooms
4 cups finely diced cabbage (could sub fresh spinach)
3 ribs celery, diced
1 small red bell pepper, diced
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup shaved fresh Parmesan Cheese

Place the sausage into the pressure cooker along with the tomatoes and water. Bring up to high pressure and cook for 9 minutes if sausage is frozen, 5 if thawed. Chop vegetables while the sausages are cooking. Release pressure using the quick release method.

Remove sausages and slice into bite sized pieces. Return to pot. Add chopped vegetables and salt. Return to high pressure and cook 5 minutes. Let the pressure drop naturally for 5 minutes, then use quick release. Ladle soup into bowls and top with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.

For a conventional cooking method, thaw sausages. Combine all ingredients except cheese and simmer in a dutch oven on the stove top for an hour or more. Remove cooked sausages and slice. Return to pot. Ladle and top with cheese.

Serves 6:    136 calories   5 net carbs (9)   15 g protein

This is super low calorie. Good if you have been indulging a little too often this holiday season. If not, it gives you lots of room for some fattier low carb treats, like a nice hot cocoa or a fat bomb or two.

For me, the leftover servings are going into mason jars for lunches this week. That makes this a Multiply Meal for us. I know I am going to appreciate this hot meal later this week at school.

Get more great recipes at the Low Carbing Among Friends Facebook Page:     

 Order any of our great cookbooks at

Order my original e-book or the latest version for couples and singles, 
A Table for Two here.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Cinnamon Roll Cookies

I have been baking up a storm. Busy days in the kitchen. Not for Thanksgiving...well that too...but for the Holiday issue of the Diner News. I have so much good stuff in this month's issue! Lots of new cookies, great dips and appetizers too. Some fun drinks and sweets will make the mood festive.

These Cinnamon Roll Cookies are wonderful. They are soft and tender, without being heavy. They have that cinnamon goodness and the extra sweetness of the creamy glaze. So good.  I tried a few thicker cut and a few thinner. We really liked the thicker ones better, so that is how I wrote up the recipe. If you want more cookies, feel free to make thinner slices. They both work well.

Cinnamon Roll Cookies 

2 cups almond flour
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup vanilla whey protein powder
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3 eggs
3/4 cup powdered erythritol or equivalent
1/2 cup lightly flavored oil or melted butter
1/3 cup almond milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup granulated sweetener
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp cream
2 tbsp powdered erythritol

In a medium bowl, combine almond flour, coconut flour, whey, baking powder and salt.

In a smaller bowl, break the eggs, separating the white from one egg in a cup. Beat the eggs with the powdered sweetener. Stir in the oil, almond milk and vanilla. Combine the wet and dry ingredients in the larger bowl.

Line two 8 inch square pans with parchment paper. Press half the dough into each one. Cover the top of the dough with additional parchment and make a smooth, even surface on the dough. Chill for 30 minutes.

Remove top layer of parchment. Brush the dough with the egg white. Combine the granulated sweetener and the cinnamon. Sprinkle it over the egg white. Cut the dough into 16 strips in each pan. Roll into spirals and place on lined cookie sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Combine cream and powdered sweetener. Drizzle over cooled cookies.

2 cookies: 170 calories    2 net g carbs

If you want all my new recipes for your fabulous low carb holidays, be sure to order the Diner News.

Take a look at some of the offerings this month:

Buckeye Brownie Cookie Bites

Cheeseburger Appetizer Meatballs

Cream Cheese Cranberry Dip

Cranberry Salsa

Gingerbread Cheesecake Dip with Cinnamon Lavash Crisps

Champagne Veggie Dippers

Fudge Filled Mocha Cookie Cups

Hot Cocoa Bar

Maple Glazed Brunch Sausages

"Star of Wonder" Lemon Jellies

That is just a sampling of the recipes you get this month. You gotta have the holiday issue!

Get more great recipes at the Low Carbing Among Friends Facebook Page:     

 Order any of our great cookbooks at

Order my original e-book or the latest version for couples and singles, 
A Table for Two here.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Candy Bar Treats

It is getting close! It is almost Christmas candy time. I am already up to my eyeballs in sweets, because I am putting together a really fun issue of the Diner News. I have one whole page of candies. These are my favorites so far. If you like Snickers, you are gonna flip for these.

The chocolate is the real thing. The creamy center is a cream cheese and peanut delight. I know the caramel layer is inside on a Snicker bar, but for me, it is a little dollop of caramel dip on the top. The taste is so there, and the caramel won't pull out your fillings! I don't have any fillings, but I do remember when my oldest son couldn't eat caramel because of his braces. These will work!

I know a guy who used to keep Snickers bars in his freezer. This is really close to that. Just keep em cold. One is so rich, you won't need more! I made these in my square silicone brownie bite pan, but mini muffin cups will work just as well. You can even put them in cupcake papers if you want. I just wanted to be able to see those beautiful layers of yumminess.

Candy Bar Treats

Chocolate Layers:
3 oz unsweetened chocolate
2 tbsp creamy natural peanut butter
1 tbsp unflavored coconut oil
1/4 cup powdered sweetener

Creamy Layer:
4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
2 tbsp powdered sweetener or equivalent
1/4 tsp vanilla

1/4 cup chopped peanuts
3 tsp Walden Farms Caramel Dip

Melt chocolate over low heat. Stir in peanut butter, coconut oil and sweetener until smooth. Pour half of the chocolate mixture into 12 mini muffin cups or silicone molds. Chill in the refrigerator or freezer until firm.

While that is chilling, combine the cream cheese, sweetener and vanilla. Mix until very smooth. Remove chocolate from freezer and divide the cream cheese mixture among all the cups. Press the peanuts on top of the cream cheese.

Spoon the remaining chocolate mixture over the peanuts. Chill again until firm. Top each candy with 1/4 tsp Caramel Dip.

each candy is 119 cal.    2 net g carbs

Yep, it is pretty easy. Not much effort for a great taste. One word of advice. Use whatever sweetener you like the best. Chocolate is often tough to sweeten. Lots of people think sucralose just doesn't do a good job of sweetening chocolate. I tend to use a lot of Swerve, but I often throw in a little of another type of sweetener. I think they work together well in combination. You will be able to use liquid stevia or sucralose here too, but too much can seize the chocolate. Granulated erythritol often does not melt into chocolate well, so go with powdered. Judge with your taste buds and don't be afraid to experiment a little.

Thanksgiving is almost upon us. I have two meals to help prepare this year, one at school. Lots of turkey breasts baking at my house this week. Our family holiday is going to be pretty small. Only one of my sons is going to be with us. That is so hard on a Mama's heart. I am finding it hard to scale down the food and even harder to not cry over missing my boys. I had better just be super thankful for the loved ones who will be there. I still have my amazing mom, and my hubby gets part of the day off. Maybe we will see a niece or two.  I hope your holidays are blessed. Be sure to love on people wherever you are! That is more important than the food anyway.

Get more great recipes at the Low Carbing Among Friends Facebook Page:     

 Order any of our great cookbooks at

Order my original e-book or the latest version for couples and singles, 
A Table for Two here.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

4 Amazing and Easy Hot Drinks

Peppermint Cocoa

We are getting our first snowfall of the season here. It is the perfect day to cuddle up under a blanket and sip something sweet and steamy. I have 4 different ideas for you--and I have treated myself to one of each this weekend. They are easy to make and are really just as good as any high carb original.

The first two recipes use So Delicious Coconut Milk Beverage in a carton. I have the unsweetened vanilla variety. You could also use almond milk or any coconut/almond blend. Just remember that this is not the coconut milk in a can. I also used a bit of canned whipped cream as a topping. I know it is the lazy way and has some sugar, but I just use a bit--1 -2 carbs at the most. You can sweeten to your tastes. I think my sweet receptors have dulled over the years, as I tend to need more sweetener than some recipes call for. It is always easy to start with less and add more if you need it. For my versions this weekend, I used mostly stevia, and I seem to need more of that. It is easy to overdo though, so use caution.  As usual, your mileage may vary!

Peppermint Cocoa

3/4 cup unsweetened vanilla coconut milk beverage
1 tsp cocoa powder
1/8 tsp peppermint extract
Sugarfree sweetener to taste (I used the equivalent of 4 tsp or 2 packets)
Canned whipped cream for garnish

Heat the coconut milk in a pan or microwave. Stir in the cocoa powder, peppermint extract and sweetener. Top with whipped cream and enjoy.

Serves 1:  64 calories    <2 net carbs

Coconut Cream Pie Hot Sipper

This is an unusual hot drink. No chocolate, no tea, no fruit. It tastes like vanilla and coconut, reminiscent of coconut cream pie. The tiny shake of salt and sliver of butter make a big difference in that pie like flavor. It definitely counts as dessert!

Coconut Cream Pie Hot Sipper

1 cup unsweetened vanilla coconut milk beverage
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp butter
small pinch salt
Sugarfree sweetener to taste (I used the equivalent of 4 tsp or 2 packets)
1/2 tsp toasted shredded coconut
2 tbsp canned whipped cream

Heat the coconut milk in a saucepan or microwave.  Stir in the vanilla, butter, salt and sweetener. Adjust sweetener to taste. Top with whipped cream and shredded toasted coconut.

Serves 1:  130 calories  3 net g carbs

Hot Orange Spice

This cirtusy hot drink tastes amazingly like the Hot Russian Tea mix my mom made in the eighties. The main event there was Orange Tang and instant tea. This one has no tea. The wonderful orange flavor comes with a packet of True Orange. Love that stuff. Then some common spices and you have a terrific drink that warms you up but doesn't cost you the calories and carbs!

Hot Orange Spice 

3/4 cup water
1 packet True Orange
1/8 tsp cloves
1/8 tsp pumpkin pie spice
Sugarfree sweetener to taste (I used the equivalent of 4 tsp or 2 packets)

4 calories 1 net g carb

Pumpkin Pie Spiced Coffee

I love spiced coffee. What I don't like is having 3 or 4 bags of flavored coffees open at once. We really don't have to buy a specialty coffee to get a wonderful spiced flavor. Using my coffee press, I make just a single cup of coffee and add the spices directly to the grounds. Voila!

Pumpkin Pie Spiced Coffee

1 cup water
1 tbsp ground coffee
1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tbsp half and half
Sweetener to taste

In a single cup brewer, place coffee and pumpkin pie spice. Brew as usual. Add creamer and sweetener as desired.

Serves 1:   23 calories   1 g carb

So there you have four ways to keep warm and happy this winter. Be sure to adjust the calorie and carb count to match the beverage you use to make milk, and the sweetener you choose.

Get more great recipes at the Low Carbing Among Friends Facebook Page:     

 Order any of our great cookbooks at

Order my original e-book or the latest version for couples and singles, 
A Table for Two here.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Cream Cheese Lasagna

This stuff is amazing. So yummy. I made it a long, long time ago with Dreamfield's Lasagna noodles--before all the hoopla about their real carb content. I don't bother to buy it anymore (although I never did much, as I had already discovered that it raised the hubby's blood sugar). But forget that! Who needs the pasta anyway? This one uses eggplant slices to replace the pasta. Not quite the same texture, but superb flavor!

The thing that makes this dish so special is the cream cheese. Most lasagna recipes rely on ricotta cheese or cottage cheese. This has so much more flavor. Can you say creamy? True that it looks a little weird before it bakes. The tomato mixed in with the cream cheese looks pink. Fear not, when baked the pink is gone and all is well! I used sausage for even more flavor, but it is good with beef too. In the original recipe, I made a larger lasagna, and used half sausage and half beef. This recipe is easy to double, so do that if you have a crowd.

Cream Cheese Lasagna with Eggplant and Sausage

1 lb pork sausage
1 eggplant
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil
8 oz cream cheese
14.5 oz canned diced tomatoes, undrained
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp Italian seasoning
5 oz frozen spinach
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (or any of your choice)

In large skillet, brown sausage. Cut the eggplant into thin slices. Cut larger slices in half.  Place slices on a cookie sheet. Sprinkle with salt. Let sit for 10 minutes. With paper towels, press the moisture off the slices. Brush each with olive oil. Place in a preheated 400 degree oven for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and flip each slice. Bake another 5-7 minutes until lightly browned. Remove from oven.

While those are baking, combine the cream cheese, diced tomatoes, garlic powder and Italian seasoning. (If cheese is cold, heat it a bit before adding tomatoes). Place 1/3 of the sausage, along with a bit of the pan drippings, in the base of an 8 inch square dish. Top the sausage with a layer of eggplant slices. Spoon 1/3 of the cream cheese mixture over the slices. Top with half of the spinach. Repeat layers of sausage, eggplant and cream cheese. Add the remaining spinach. Add the last of the sausage and cheese mixture. Top lasagna with shredded cheese. Bake 30 minutes. Let lasagna rest 10 minutes before cutting.

Serves 6:   464 calories    6 net carbs      38 g fat

Carb counts can vary with cream cheese, so watch. Neufchatel would lower the calories and fat a bit, but some have higher carbs. My Fitness Pal had the Neufchatel version 2 carbs per serving higher. I can't see how that can be. I hate how different software programs give you different figures. Grr. Just go with this is somewhere between 6 and 8 net carbs per serving.

The eggplant does not exactly stay in obvious layers like the pasta counterpart. It is really tasty, however. This is nice reheated, so go ahead and make a double batch if you want. Divide it up for lunches or freeze an extra. The busy upcoming holidays will be a time you will appreciate having those frozen meals waiting for you!

Get more great recipes at the Low Carbing Among Friends Facebook Page:     

 Order any of our great cookbooks at

Order my original e-book or the latest version for couples and singles, 
A Table for Two here.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Rhineland Green Beans and the November News

Are you planning your holiday dinners yet? Even though my family tends to like to old favorites from year to year, I always like to come up with something new. This green bean dish is a creation from a couple years ago for me, although its origins are somewhere else back in antiquity. The old country flavors with mustard and vinegar, onion and bacon. I am a huge fan. Although this was featured in the Diner News November 2012, this one is so good it also made it into Low Carbing Among Friends, Volume 5 pg. 113.

The Diner News for November is all about food for the family gatherings of the season. Here in America, Thanksgiving is on the calendar. For those of you everywhere else on the globe, I have to ask if there is any bad time to share your table with family and friends? The Diner News has pages of ideas for special gatherings. No matter where you call home. Some of the recipes are real show stoppers--look at the Delicata Squash Rosette. Beautiful presentation! Others are a taste sensation. Try the Tarragon Cream Spaghetti Squash. Yum. Others are delicious and gorgeous--like the Fondue in an Acorn Squash Cup. You will be the hostess with the mostest! (or host with the most)

Rhineland Green Beans

2 lbs frozen green beans
1 tbsp plus 3/4 tsp salt
8 slices bacon
1/cup thinly sliced red onion
3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
3 tbsp whole grain mustard German-style
2 tbsp olive oil
1/tsp coarsely ground black pepper

In large pot, bring water to a boil and add 1 tbsp. salt. Add green beans and cook until just tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain and transfer to a serving bowl. Fry bacon until crisp and transfer to paper towel-lined plate. Let cool, then break into pieces. Reserve 2 tbsp  bacon drippings from skillet and return to medium heat. Add sliced onion and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Stir in vinegar, mustard, oil, remaining 3/4 tsp  salt, and pepper. Add this to green beans, along with bacon, and toss to combine. Serve warm or chilled.

8   servings      218 calories     3 net carbs   18 g fat

So if you want even more ideas for holiday meals, be sure to get this month's Diner News. Here is a sampling of what you will find.
Delicata Squash Rosette

Onion and Sage Roasted Breast of Turkey

Balsamic Glazed Buttercup Squash

Spaghetti Squash in Tarragon Cream

Pioneer Style Green Beans

Fondue in Acorn Squash Cup

Spinach and Shrooms

Cranberry Crumble

Hungarian Cabbage Bake

"Honey" Balsamic Green Beans

Salted Caramel Pumpkin Cheesecake Shot

And of course, there is more. This issue will be the perfect start to your low carb holiday season! To order a year of the Diner News, go to

Get more great recipes at the Low Carbing Among Friends Facebook Page:     

 Order any of our great cookbooks at

Order my original e-book or the latest version for couples and singles, 
A Table for Two here.