Mel’s Chocolate-Goodness Zucchini Loaf

If you have read this blog at all, you know one thing about me.  I love dark chocolate. I eat it daily for breakfast (after my two boiled eggs) because it satisfies my sweet tooth. However, on occasion, I want something different so bingo, Mel’s Chocolate-Goodness Zucchini Loaf to the rescue!

chocolate loaf

In fact, I have an entire Pinterest board dedicated to “Healthy, Healthy, Healthy” and this recipe is resting there immediately after I post.  While it isn’t gluten-free, or keto-friendly, it is considered healthy in my book and certainly very delicious.

Ingredients:

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup unsweetened Hershey’s powdered cocoa

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chips

2 large organic eggs

3 small shredded zucchini (after peeling… I used small shredder.)

1/4 cup of olive oil (yes, olive oil!)

1/4 cup of low carb yogurt (I used Carbmaster, Cinnamon Roll flavor)

1/4 cup of Stevia in the Raw

2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon

Canola non-stick spray

Berries for slices

Shred zucchini after peeling. Spray a small loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray.  Mix all the ingredients in a bowl until smooth.  Then, pour into loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour (based on oven differences.)

IMG_2571
Small shredded zucchini
IMG_2573.jpg
This is the type of yogurt I use for my baking loafs.
loaf slice
The final slice of yummy!
c and m
These two love smelling the loaf baking.

Cool for approximately 10 minutes before slicing and serving. Serve with your favorite berry.

Enjoy,

Mel

 

 

 

 

Keto Strawberry Cake (with Surprise Center)

IMG_9033

While in Georgia, I was able to create a new recipe for Keto Strawberry Cake to take with us to the beach. My sister graciously asked her sweet friend Cherie if we could stay at her Mexico Beach condo for a long weekend get-away while I visited. Thus, I figured having a keto sweet treat in the refrigerator there would be great to avoid temptation. The recipe is listed below. I discovered I will make a few minor adjustments on my new attempt at this recipe but have went ahead and included these for you so your outcome will be optimal.

Keto Strawberry Cake with Surprise Center
Cake:
2 cups almond flour
1 ½ cup coconut flour
½ cup coconut-almond milk
¾ cup of powdered Swerve (or other erythritol confectioner’s sweetener)
¾ cup butter (softened)
7 large eggs
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
1 ½ tbsp. baking powder
Strawberry sugar-free gelatin packet 8.5 ounces*
Coffee bean grinder
Three cake pans (or use 2 as detailed below)

Cream Cheese Frosting:
16 oz. cream cheese (softened)
2 sticks butter (softened)
1 1/3 cup of powdered Swerve (or another brand of confectioner’s erythritol)
½ teaspoon of vanilla extract
Fresh Raspberries and Strawberries

First, preheat the oven to 350⁰. Next, use a clean coffee bean grinder to grind your almond flour in a soft cake-like flour. (This takes several steps if your grinder is small like mine.) Then, add this cake-like flour to your mixing bowl. Add coconut flour, baking powder, and strawberry gelatin packet to the almond flour. Stir. Then, in another bowl, add Swerve and butter, beat until well mixed. Add eggs, slowly, and blend. Then, add coconut-almond milk along with vanilla extract. Mix well. Then, add your flour mixture, slowly, to the butter bowl. Blend.

IMG_9017.jpg

IMG_9018.jpg
Swerve, butter, and adding eggs slowly

Then, you will want to add 1/3 of cake mix to the three different pans. Bake for approximately 25 minutes (check periodically as oven times vary). If you only have 2 cake pans, you can cook the first two layers and then bake the last pan afterwards.
While the cake layers are baking, prepare the cream cheese frosting. Also, take the warm cake layers out of the pan and place on cooling racks within 5 minutes of taking out of the oven. Plus, if you want a surprise fruit center, as soon as the cake layers are taken out, cut the center out with a small cup by pressing firmly and removing the center from the layer. Allow the layers to cool before frosting. Enjoy!

IMG_9021
My mom had disposable pans and those work just as well.  This is the second bake (the first two layers are already done.)
IMG_9022
Due to the gelatin in the cake mix, the holes from the fork (while checking for doneness), stay behind very clearly.
IMG_9032
This is how small the cup was that I used to make the surprise center.
IMG_9028
The cream cheese frosting is almost ready.

keto strawberry cake
Hugs,
Mel

*If I could have located some stevia sweetened strawberry gelatin, I would have used it. GramZero is one brand that makes this. However, I didn’t visit a store that had this option.

Items to purchase in order to make the cake are listed below:

 

A Keto Snack: Coconut Maple Tea-Based Latte and Strawberry Shortcake Candies

index

It is almost time for Christmas!  My family and I have been watching Christmas movies for weeks now and I LOVE our cozy and festive home.  Looking out and seeing snow falling while sipping a warm beverage is blissful.  Also, curling up under a blanket, enjoying some wonderful tea, and having a snack after exploring the cold outdoors is comfortable.  Thus, I wanted to share my newest favorite “cozy time” drink and snack.

Normally, I drink Mighty Leaf whole leaf teas because of the many flavors and high quality (which is why you see this link featured on my website.)  However, as I was perusing the grocery store aisle for ingredients to make a fabulous keto dessert for Christmas dinner, I came across a Bigelow brand tea that caught my eye!  It is the Toasted Coconut Almond Bark flavor.  I immediately thought – tea latte!

IMG_8720
McKinley loves watching Christmas movies too.
IMG_8570
There are unlimited possibilities for the shape of your candies.
IMG_8567
I like using 85% Dark Chocolate on some of the candies.
IMG_8590
These candies turn out like a chocolate covered strawberry shortcake when you add chocolate.
IMG_8706
Don’t forget to make your latte!

So, if you are looking for a wonderful afternoon winter tea and snack, the below coupling is pretty splendid.  I recommend trying both of these whether you enjoy together or not.  Happy Snacking!

IMG_8722
I hope you enjoy your snack!

Coconut Maple Tea-Based Latte

2 coconut maple tea bags, brewed

1-2 TBSP of Sugar Free Maple Syrup

¼ cup of Heavy Whipping Cream

Strawberry Shortcake Candies

1 17g Box of Sugar-Free Strawberry Jell-O (I can’t seem to find natural flavored gelatin here so may need to order online, but in the meantime, I have an option even though I don’t prefer foods with any artificial ingredients.)

1 28 g Box of Unflavored Gelatin

2 cups of heavy whipping cream

85% dark chocolate bar

Your favorite candy mold containers

For the latte, you will simply mix all ingredients together and sip.  For the candies, you will put the whipping cream in a pot over medium heat.  Add the Strawberry and plain gelatin and stir until mixed well.  Then, immediately pour into the molds of your choice. For an extra bit of heart healthy dark chocolate, leave a little room in the top of some of your candies to pour 85% -90% dark chocolate!  Put in refrigerator for approximately 10 minutes to harden and then place in your favorite glass jar in the refrigerator for quick snacking any time.

Options for shopping:

Merry Wishes,
Mel

A Christmas Towne Adventure with a Keto Pizza Meal

IMG_8563
Oh boy, Oh boy, excited to share this recipe with you!

There has been so much going on recently that I’ll have to combine two topics and share the others with you next week.

First, I’ll discuss Christmas Towne!  (By the way, I literally just said that in my best movie trailer announcer voice.) In my former small town in Georgia, I always looked forward to a fun community Christmas celebration that occurred the first Saturday of December.  It was always top-notch with special performers, amusement rides, local dancers and singers, and more Christmas cheer than can be put into words.  The kick-off was a Christmas parade and the entire thing was FREE, well, except for the vendors.  Last year, my daughter and I prepared a thermos full of hot cocoa and sat on the street, along with hundreds of other people, and watched the parade.  Initially, I thought our move here in Alaska would end that.  However, I got a surprise when I discovered an event for local communities that lasted more than one day.

Last weekend, we went to a Boy Scout camp turned Christmas Towne in Chugiak, Alaska. I thought it would be a fun outing for the family since there were supposed to be free crafts for visitors to create, reindeer, and a Santa Clause. When we arrived, we began strolling through the village to eventually get greeted by a lady.  She asked us if we knew where we were going or whether we needed help.  Of course, we answered that we needed help.  She pointed out things that were going on in the Towne.  Since we went with our neighbors down the street, we had company too, which was nice.  There were definitely crafts for children (and adults) to create in the main building where Santa was located.  Caris and I wanted to take a picture with Santa, which we did, but Santa ended up not being very nice.  In fact, he mocked my southern accent, openly, and with a laugh.  I almost allowed my good-spirit to fade away and comment how Santa shouldn’t do that, but decided it was pointless.  Instead, I decided it wasn’t worth him crushing my spirits and moved on cheerfully to the next location.

IMG_8433
Our crafts are in the bag! P.S. Santa doesn’t like southern accents.
reindeer
This reindeer was so beautiful!
IMG_8420
This was the location of the snow ball play.
IMG_8432
A local restaurant after Christmas Towne… Yes, he is hungry!

After we finished crafting, we met a reindeer.  Caris really enjoyed it.  The wonderful lady who was responsible for the reindeer told a great story about her job as the oldest elf and intrigued us all.  We also had a snowball fight!  There was a huge field of synthetic snowballs that wouldn’t melt and we all spent about 15 minutes playing around with those.  Another feature at the Towne was a Smores making area where anyone could spend time warming up and, if desired, make some smores.  All-in-all, it was a very fun day and it was FREE!

Now, to change subjects, you know I can’t leave you without a wonderful keto recipe creation.  Yesterday, I made a delicious keto pizza with a cauliflower-pesto crust.  It really tasted amazing with our bacon topped side salad.  The recipe is below.

Keto Pizza Dinner

Ingredients

2 bags of cauliflower florets

1 TBSP garlic powder

1 TBSP of your favorite pesto

A clean kitchen towel

½ cup of Mozzarella cheese

¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Your favorite pizza sauce

Your favorite pizza toppings

Steam cauliflower with the smallest amount of water needed to do so.  Drain.  Then, put cauliflower in Vitamix (or whatever mixer you own) and make into a smooth paste like texture.  (I received a Vitamix over 5 years ago from Micah and it is the best machine for kitchen creativity.  I have nothing but wonderful things to say about mine. There is a link below if interested in checking it out.) Then, dump cauliflower onto the middle of a clean kitchen towel.  Start getting water out of the paste.  I pull together like a bag and push out as much as I can.  My towel held so much water it began dripping!  So, I opened it up and used some clean paper towels to get the remaining fluid off.

IMG_8555
You need to take off the stems because these aren’t needed for the crust. Steam.
IMG_8556
Blend in your mixer until you get a smooth texture. (This isn’t smooth yet.)
IMG_8558
This is what my pizza looked like after draining and adding garlic and pesto.
IMG_8560
This is the what my pizza looked like after the first bake.

Next, preheat oven to 450 degrees and put cauliflower paste into a bowl.  Add the garlic powder and pesto to mixture and mix well by hand.  Once mixed, put cauliflower mixture onto a non-stick sprayed tinfoil covered pan.  Shape the mixture into the pizza shape you like.  (I always prefer a circle.)  Make sure it isn’t too thin, but you definitely don’t want it too thick or it won’t be crispy.  I sprinkle a little more garlic powder on it at this stage.  Bake for 12 minutes until starting to look brown on edges.  Take out of oven and spread a thin amount of pizza sauce onto paste.  Add meat (if you want.)  I added ground turkey.  Then, top with a generous amount of mozzarella cheese.  Bake for 7-10 more minutes, based on your oven’s cook time until top is brown and cheese looks bubbly.  Serve with a side salad. Our side salad had mini bell peppers, diced boiled eggs, cheese, and bacon on it.

Warm wishes,

Mel

Give me some fries, please!

IMG_8370

One of my favorite meals of all time is a hamburger and French fries. Yes, I said that. The sometimes coined “All American Meal” is one of my favorites. There are certainly some combos that aren’t worthy of eating but I always like the hamburgers I make at home. While I typically do not need a bun or any type of bread to make that meal complete, I do always feel that fries are needed. So, when I started thinking I wouldn’t be able to have fries very often because potatoes are certainly a no-no for a keto-eater, I was admittedly a little sad. However, I started thinking that vegetables could serve as a decent substitute. I looked in the refrigerator and the only vegetable in the crisper were carrots. I thought to myself that these little wonders could be transformed into something crispy and delicious, couldn’t they? Even though carrots do contain some carbohydrates, these little crispy snacks are healthy and there would be a daily limit. (Shew!)

keto favorite

The first night I made these fries, we ate salmon and mashed cauliflower with them.  My son came home from work and said, “Mom, I thought you weren’t eating any potatoes.  These sweet potato fries are good.”  I giggled and then quickly told him he was eating carrot fries.  He was genuinely shocked.  I was genuinely happy! So, without further delay, the recipe is below.  I will likely play around with different vegetables and different spices in the near future and will be certain to share the successes with you.

Ingredients:

5 medium carrots

4 TBSP of olive oil

1/2 cup of grated Parmesan

1 TBSP of dried mustard

2 TBSP of McCormick Salad Supreme seasoning

This recipe is the very simple.  You will put the oil, Parmesan, mustard, and seasoning in a bowl and mix well, Then, put the cut carrots (in the shape of fries) in the bowl and mix until thoroughly covered.  Put the covered carrots on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes, flip the fries.  Then, cook for another 20 minutes or until the desired crispness is reached.  (I like mine very crispy.)

Hugs,

Mel

Mel’s Yummy Winter Soup with Cheese Crackers (Keto Approved)

IMG_8379

The other night I had 16 oz. of organic ground sausage and 16 oz. of organic ground beef in my refrigerator. I also had plenty of fresh vegetables so, I thought… soup time! Growing up, my dad would always throw together some ingredients with ground beef (think rice, vegetables, and tomatoes) and sometimes make his delicious grilled cheese sandwiches as a side (my friend Teresa can vouch for how good these were growing up) and we would have “vegetable soup night.” Even though mom cooked most of the time, my dad could make some mean grilled cheese sandwiches and would cook for us when mom was at work on a 12-hour shift.

Also, I know this is completely off topic, but I must share. My mom was super-human back then. I don’t know how she did everything. Literally, this woman would work long shifts, manage to attend our school events, keep our clothes immaculately ironed, and clean the house every Saturday like clock-work. In fact, the first time I read the book, “The Second Shift: Working Families and the Revolution at Home” by Arlie Hochschild for a Sociology class, I immediately thought of my mom. She did so much and sacrificed a lot for us. So, mom, I love you. You are appreciated even to this day and I know you pulled the second shift, time and time again. I was so unaware before I took those classes.

Okay, back to the wonderful soup recipe we ate to warm us up on a cold night. The recipe I am going to share with you is very delicious. My daughter and I even went back for seconds, so it definitely is a good one. The recipe is below and is approved for a keto diet, at least for mine it is!

IMG_8389
This is how random I chop my vegetables.  It really doesn’t matter if these are uniform.
IMG_8294
I love carrots and celery in soups!
IMG_8300
Spinach is another favorite soup addition.
IMG_8305
Almond milk and whipping cream make this soup “souper” delicious.
IMG_8295-2490751217-1512707833884.jpg
I like the spicy Italian sausage in mine but you can use plain.

Mel's Yummy Winter Soup

Ingredients for Soup:
1 medium sweet onion
Olive Oil
½ – 1 Orange Bell Pepper (based on your love of bell pepper)
5 chopped carrots (see image for size)
3 celery sticks (pull some of the “strings” off before cutting)
3 cups of bone broth (I used my homemade bone broth.)
2 cups of water
2 full (packed) cups of spinach
1 cup of heavy whipping cream
16 oz. ground sausage (organic)
8 oz. ground beef (organic)
1 cup of almond milk (unsweetened version)
1 cup of cheddar cheese

Cheese crackers ingredients:
Shredded Cheddar Jack Cheese
Non-Stick Cooking Spray

In a large pot, add 3 TBSP of olive oil and chopped onions and bell pepper. Soften these and lightly brown… Then, add the sausage and beef and cook until well done. After done, drain the grease. Then, add the bone broth (I prefer my bone broth), water, chopped carrots, heavy whipping cream, and almond milk. Simmer until carrots are almost tender. Add spinach and cheddar cheese while carrots finish cooking.

While this is simmering in the last stages, make some cheese chips as a side by putting shredded cheddar cheese on a non-stick sprayed pan in a cracker form. (I like mine in circles.) Bake at 350⁰ until the edges are brown and the cracker looks lightly brown in the center. Serve on the side.

IMG_8317

Warm Wishes,
Mel

Chocolate Pecan Bites – Keto Friendly

 

Bites -Keto

Keto foods are delicious if you love butter, heavy whipping cream, and coconut.  Since I love all of these items, I really enjoy eating keto-friendly, low-carb recipes.  Most recently, I created a delightful chocolate pecan bite that isn’t too sweet, but can be sweetened to your desire with a little extra sweetener.  I use monk fruit sweetener but you could use Stevia if you prefer. These little gems aren’t difficult to make and can really jazz up your dessert options without causing too much stress on your time schedule.  I made a small batch and we ate after a Chicken Cauliflower casserole.  (I will share this recipe later.  In fact, due to adding so many keto-friendly foods, I have decided to create a category on the website to ensure those who are interested in these recipes can find them all at the click of a few selections.)

Ingredients:

2 heaping tablespoons Bob’s Red Mill Almond Flour

1/3 cup Coconut Flakes (Organic and unsweetened)

2 Tbsp. Salted Butter

1 heaping tablespoon Hershey’s Cocoa

1/2 cup Creamy Natural Peanut Butter (nothing added but peanuts and salt)

3 oz. Cream Cheese

9 Pecan halves (for the top)

Monk Fruit Sweetener (with Erythritol) 2 Tbsp. (You can add more if you want a sweeter version.)

This is the easiest recipe ever!  You will add melted butter and cream cheese together.  Cream.  Then, add all other ingredients except for the pecan halves.  Mix well.  Make into round balls.  Then, top with pecan halves and push down to desired thickness.  Put in refrigerator until ready to eat.  Enjoy! This recipe should make 9 bites.

IMG_8042
Coconut Flakes are so fluffy and yummy!
IMG_8045.jpg
I like using this stuff for desserts.
IMG_8056.jpg
Calories per bite: 105, Fat per bite: 12.5, Carbs per bite: 3.5

Items you could purchase to make yours are listed below.

 

Chocolate dreams,

Mel

 

 

Squash-Artichoke Casserole (Keto-Approved)

flye

A few months ago, I wasn’t sure how the Thanksgiving holiday would be without being near my parents and sister. After all, I have never spent a holiday away from them in my life. I woke up and kicked it off like I normally do. I had a light breakfast and started baking the centerpiece of our meal: a glazed pork shoulder roast. I cooked the hen and assembled the chicken dressing the night before so all I needed was to bake it before dinner. The pies (pumpkin and peppermint) were already prepared. (Connor made the peppermint pie and I made the pumpkin.) This only left the squash-artichoke casserole remaining.

So, I kicked back while texting “Happy Thanksgiving” to all of my friends and put on the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade. Eventually, I did feel a little sad. I cried a little and picked up the phone, again. Even though I love my husband and children, I have never gone through a Thanksgiving without seeing my parents and sister. I was a little overwhelmed, but speaking with them once more made me feel much better.

Thus, today’s blog is about verbalizing how thankful I am for all of my family and telling them they were missed! I also want to share a new recipe for the casserole I previously mentioned with you. It is keto-approved and since I am about to embark on a keto lifestyle change, I figured I would start creating keto-approved recipes for the future.

Squash-Artichoke Casserole (Keto-Approved)
5 medium zucchini squash
5 medium yellow squash
1 medium onion
½ stick butter
2 cans artichoke bottoms, drained
3 eggs
2 cups cheddar cheese
1 cup Italian cheese
4 oz. cream cheese
1 tbsp. Garlic powder
½ cup Heavy Whipping Cream
Grated parmesan
Water
Salt
Pepper

IMG_7944
Sauté onion and butter
IMG_7945
Chop squash
IMG_7947
Put all ingredients together in the pan and mix well before putting in casserole dish

IMG_7963

Chop onion. Put ¼ stick of butter in pan with onion and sauté. Wash and chop squash. Add squash, 1/3 cup of water, chopped artichoke bottoms, cover, and cook until tender. Stir occasionally. Once tender, drain liquid off and cook until squash mixture turns light brown. While still in the pan, mix in eggs, Cheddar, and Italian cheese. Mix. Then, add cream cheese, whipping cream, ¼ butter, garlic powder, 1 tsp salt (or to taste), and ½ tsp pepper (or to taste). Mix well. Move to casserole dish. Top with a thick layer of grated parmesan cheese. Bake for 350 for 60 minutes. Then, broil top until brown. Enjoy!

Thankful,
Mel

What the heck is bone broth? Why do I need it? How do I make it?

IMG_7854
Bone broth may help a person manage symptoms of autoimmune disorders and much more.

My family enjoys my cooking, most days.  They love my savory dishes, my sweet dishes, and little snacks I create, just because I get the urge to create something. However, the one thing they do not like is the smell of my bone broth cooking.  Why?  It is likely because I have to cook it a minimum of 48 hours (if chicken bones) and 72 hours (if beef bones) and after a while, the smell does become a little overwhelming.  However, the benefits are well worth it.  I guess the point of all of this is if you end up deciding bone broth is something you want to make, you may want to find a safe spot in your carport, back porch, or barn to slow cook it if the smell bothers you.

I have been hearing a lot about the benefits of bone broth for a while now.  Back in March, I had a neck injury that really got me down.  I started researching the best things for spine health.  After all, I have always been very active and I don’t necessarily need to be a 20-year-old gymnast, just a happy mobile 40-year-old mom.

This homework led me down a path that opened my eyes to many things, but I will start with my bone broth discovery.  The benefits I knew about from before the injury were: it helps leaky gut (my daughter is autistic and they typically have leaky gut syndrome), helps promote healthy bones, and is supposed to make your skin glow.  However, after some research (some in my own home natural health books), I started making discoveries.  Bricklin (1976) told a story in his Natural Healing book about a woman who came in with arthritis in her knee for over a year.  She said it was so bad she could not sleep at night and could barely walk.  She started taking vitamin C, vitamin E, BONE BROTH, and dolomite.  In two weeks, the lady had very little pain and was walking “freely” in one month (Bricklin, 1976, p. 26).   There was another story in that same book that really hit home with me where a man came in with an arthritic neck for many years and after traction and painkillers, nothing worked.  He thought BONE BROTH wasn’t for him.  The author writes, “He did not believe that bone meal or anything else could help him because he had spurs on his cervical spine, but after beginning the bone meal regimen, the nurse reported the pain was 50% better in just five days” (Bricklin, 1976, p. 27).  Okay, I thought, this all sounds good.

Another one of my resources was Dr. Amy Myers book.  She is known for her book, “The Autoimmune Solution” where she discusses reversing inflammatory symptoms and diseases (Myers, 2015).  I personally think if you live long enough, you’ll eventually have some minor issues or major issues associated with autoimmunity.  Our environment has been tainted with chemical spills, pollution, GMOs, and too many other things to discuss here for even the purest eater to not have any exposure to something dangerous.  If you didn’t know, autoimmune disorders can be everything from lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, to multiple sclerosis and skin disorders. (If you haven’t read her book, you must get it. It is a great resource for anyone.) She has a recipe for bone broth on p. 226 but my recipe is much simpler that I’ll share with you in this post.  But wait, did you get that?  She mentions this recipe in her book on autoimmunity!  There must be something to this stuff! (Her book is below.)

If you think about your grandparents, or great grandparents, or even great-great grandparents, depending on your age,they cooked full meals.  They cooked chickens with bones in them and didn’t order a quick boneless chicken nugget meal made with GMO meats.  Granted, life was much harder physically, back then, but still they didn’t seem to have all these autoimmune issues that we’re having today.  I like to say, “remember the good parts, leave the bad parts” when thinking about past occurrences.  Use this same philosophy with foods from our ancestors.

All I can say is I have noticed when I drink bone broth regularly that my skin looks healthier, it has a nice color and a healthy amount of softness too, so that is a bonus.  I also feel overall much more energetic, so there must be something to this stuff.  And…I can’t say my neck is perfect every day, but it definitely helps.    My easy recipe is below. I hope you enjoy it.

IMG_7747
This organic chicken isn’t going to be wasted! Boiling the raw chicken starts this process.
IMG_7753
Meat in one bowl.  Bones on a plate.
IMG_7763
Onion and garlic are great for this recipe
IMG_7765
I cut my onion in large chucks to make it easier to strain.
IMG_7809
This is what it looks like after day 1. You can add another cup of water if needed.
IMG_7832
This is how rich the color is after day 2.
IMG_7836
I am straining out the broth from the chicken mixture.
IMG_7839.jpg
McKinley approves of these soft bones!
IMG_7843
My first cup was a good one.

Chicken Bone Broth

1 organic whole chicken (you do not want to eat minerals from a genetically modified chicken, get the good stuff)

Chicken broth from cooked organic chicken

Garlic cloves

1 medium – large onion

¼ cup Apple Cider Vinegar (with the mother)

Carrots (optional)

In a large boiler, add chicken and water to cover chicken.  Boil until done.  Debone chicken and make something fabulous with the meat.  (You won’t need the meat for this broth recipe so this actually makes a meal!) Add bones to a large crockpot with enough water to fill crockpot about ¾ full AFTER adding the juice from the cooked chicken, an onion, 3-4 garlic cloves, and apple cider vinegar. Get this mix to boiling by putting on the highest setting for a few hours.  Then, cut to lower setting for duration of cooking (for chicken, this will be 2 days).  If you want carrots, I would add after 24 hours of cooking. Plus, you’ll stir once at the end of day 1 as well.  This is literally a “set it” and “almost forget it” recipe.

After 48 hours, turn off crockpot and let cool.  Once cooled, strain the broth.  The apple cider vinegar you added to the water initially is what helps the wonderful nutrients such as collagen, glucosamine, and chondroitin to leech out.  However, there may be some minerals left in the bones.  I typically eat a few right after cooking and save the rest for my dog.  The bones are so soft that there isn’t an issue with splintering.

Lastly, I do my best to drink 6-8 ounces a day.  If I can’t make it, I have been known to buy.  The purchased broth is never as good to me.  It is similar to a canned soup versus a homemade soup in regards to depth of flavor.  Also, please consult your physician for any medical recommendations based on your personal circumstances.

Hugs,

Mel

References:

Bricklin, M. (1976). Natural healing., Emmaus, PN: Rodale Press.

Myers, A. (2015). The autoimmune solution. New York, NY: Harper One.

Bone Broth_1

Granny’s Cathead Biscuits

IMG_7678

When I was little, I remember visiting my grandmother’s house like clockwork every holiday.  (Okay, that sounded fancier than what we really said, which was “We are going to granny’s house!”)  On the drive home from their house during Christmas, my dad would always suggest my sister and I look up at the sky because he saw Santa Clause.  We believed him.  Our parents were the best parents anyone could ask for.  They were loving and protective.  They were also the most awesome Christmas elves ever.  We always had great holidays.

I have tried to follow in their footsteps and create fond memories for my children too.  My children will repeat the process when they have children (I hope!)  One of the things I ask my students about in class pertaining to the holiday (especially if taught during the fall semester), is how (and if) Santa displays Christmas gifts at their houses.  This is something passed down through generations and typically becomes a ritual.  My Santa Clause always had all the presents out, unwrapped, in a designed space in the living room for me.  “He” (yes, my mom was Santa) also had my sister’s in another place.  We would wake up all sleepy-eyed and quickly rush to our designated spots to scan the loot.  It was a magical time.

One of the things I cook that always reminds me of Christmas (my granny’s house and those fun rituals) is Cathead Biscuits.  Any time we visited her (literally, day or night), she always had biscuits on the table and sweet tea in the refrigerator.  I remember her saying my papa would drink an entire pitcher of tea in one day.  He would snack on those biscuits too.  The recipe is so easy it is almost shocking at how yummy something so simple is.  I have changed the recipe slightly to make the biscuits richer, but will make the original if I do not have heavy whipping cream.  The two recipes are below.

Original Recipe

2 cups self-rising flour

1 cup milk

3 heaping TBSP mayonnaise

Mel’s Richer Recipe

2 cups self-rising flour

1 cup heavy whipping cream

1/4 – 1/2 cup of water to make more mixable (add slowly and stop when mixable)

3 heaping TBSP olive oil mayonnaise

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Drop biscuits (9 biscuits) in heaping spoonfuls on sprayed baking sheet. (They will expand quite a lot.) Bake for 30 minutes. If not brown enough on top, broil to brown tops of biscuits.

I sometimes make two batches to make enough for savory french toast biscuits the next day.  We don’t prefer sweet french toast at my house so I just mix eggs and put the biscuits (on both cut sides) in the egg mixture.  Then, I cook until brown.  I serve with fresh fruit.  However, if you like sweet french toast, you could add syrup on top.

IMG_7613
Self-Rising Flour is a must have.
IMG_7614
I like the new olive oil mayonnaise options.
IMG_7616
This is how big I make my biscuits.
IMG_7619
This is the cooked biscuit with raspberry jam inside.
IMG_7635
Cut open the biscuit and put in the egg mixture to make French toast biscuits
IMG_7657
The next morning’s breakfast is very delicious. This is a great breakfast for Christmas morning!

 

Christmas Breakfast

 

Hugs,

Mel

 

P.S. If you thought there was an actual cat used to make these biscuits, I am sorry for the visual image.  I was told because these biscuits are spoon-dropped without being cut, and typically have little spikes on the top from the drop, they resemble cat heads.  Also, just so you know, I have added some flour to the final mixture, put out some wax paper, floured it, and cut uniformly too.