6 Keto Recipes Rocking my January.

I’m linking up with Mama Kat’s World Famous Writer’s Workshop this week. All the cool kids are doing it. Head to her blog to see more posts about the following topics this week:

1. Share a favorite recipe you’ve been loving lately.
2. Write about what helps you stay motivated during these unprecedented times?
3.  Write a blog post about something that made you smile this week.
4. Write a blog post inspired by the word: enough
5. Write about the last argument you witnessed (could be a silly one)…did you take a side?
6. Share a memory about something you did as a child that made a family member angry.

Dan and I both agreed halfway through the month of December that we needed to jump start our diets in the new year. We’d both been living that 2020 Slump Life and eating like a couple of unguarded six year olds at an ice cream buffet for basically a whole year and being actual probably grown ups we knew we couldn’t do it indefinitely. Since quarantine life continues whether we like it or not, it was time to stop acting like life has no rules anymore.

Dan has had tremendous luck with Keto in the past so it was no surprise that he chose to jump back on the well working wagon. And after a couple of years of cooking for his diet, I felt capable this time around of joining him, for at least a month.

There are different types of Keto lifestyles, I’d say ours falls somewhere in the Lazy Keto / Dirty Keto corner. He’s much stricter about his carb levels than I am, but I’ve still managed to do enough in the last two weeks to keep myself from cracking and to keep my sugar level at a much more manageable state. I’m shocked at how few calories I’m consuming when I stick to it and keep enough fat and protein in my diet. So far so good. Here are some of the newer recipes and old favorites that are making this whole thing work for us.


I decided early on that I wanted to find a way to make a breakfast smoothie that was Keto friendly because like 48 hours before starting the diet I had one of the best smoothies of my entire existence at a local coffee shop and I was heartbroken that I wouldn’t be able to drink it again anytime soon. True story, I’m a real piece of work. So I started with this recipe at thebigmansworld.com and tooled around with different flavors and combinations and eventually settled on the following stupidly simple recipe:

Jen’s Keto Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie


  • 1 cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter or almond butter if that’s your bag
  • 1 cup of Quest chocolate protein powder (it has a less carbs than other powders I looked at. I’ve used Olly, too and only used a half serving to cut down on carbs)
  • cinnamon to taste


  1. Add half the almond milk to your blending device of choice and then the remainder of the ingredients. Then add in the rest of the almond milk.
  2. Blend until all ingredients are well mixed in and it’s the desired consistency.

Sometimes I add powdered instant coffee, too.


Thanks to my terrific husband working from home, most days he makes me some variety of bacon, eggs, and cheese. Sometimes he scrambles, sometimes they are fried. I am seriously digging this breakfast for lunch life and it’s an easy Keto friendly meal.


I’ve been making this slow cooker Keto take on zuppa toscana for ages now and I honestly prefer it over the potato version. This recipe subs in cauliflower instead and the result is very tasty. Multiple members of the family have informed me that it’s one of their favorite meals. You can use fresh or frozen veggies and whatever level hotness you like in a sausage. Seriously I make this even when nobody is dieting.


I was perusing this article on Good Morning America last week and was super intrigued by the Taco Pie recipe. We usually just throw our taco meat on a salad and enjoy our quick taco nights but I felt like trying something new but relatively easy and this was just the ticket. The whole family dug into it and my husband and I immediately started dreaming about how to reimagine other meals in this quichey pie dream world. Tonight I’m going to turn another family favorite, hamburger casserole from Cast Iron Keto, into a Hamburger Pie.


But what about dessert, asks every sweet tooth in the room. I said a lot of big talk early on about how I wasn’t going to succumb to silly fake desserts while doing Keto this month and I made it about one day under that notion. We have found a few Keto ice cream bars and pints that hit the spot, but this no bake cheesecake recipe from Kalyn’s Kitchen was lick the beaters good. Like where have you been all my life let’s get married and live in creamy, cheesecakey bliss forever good. And it was so stupidly easy to make that it kind of felt like maybe things will be okay after all. This one still definitely qualifies as a sometimes treat, but what a treat it was.


I’m also still loving this awesome keto cheese cracker hat trick. I found the recipe at kaseytrenum.com and it’s so simple guys. I just cooked up a huge batch today. Each “cracker” is one slice of cracker barrel sized cheese, so three crackers is equal to 1 ounce of cheese. That’s it. This time I sprinkled half with her quasi spicy spice blend and the other half I used garlic powder, basil, and a little parmesan cheese for good measure.

Anyone else living that Keto life? I’d love to hear about your favorite go to recipes in the comments section!

Let’s Talk About: Candy

One of the prompt’s for this week’s Writer’s Workshop (hosted by the always brilliant Mama Kat) jumped out at me as being of critical importance. It’s timely and perhaps controversial but now more than ever we have to talk about… candy. I know – it’s bold of me to even go there and act like I could just casually name 8 of my favorites like why would Rolos be more important than Peppermint Patties – who am I to make these judgments? But guys we have to talk about this stuff – it’s imperative that we are clear and honest with each other about what candies we want and what candies we don’t want. If I don’t tell you my needs, how can you ever hope to meet them?

So I’m going to talk to you about what I like and if you want to keep this conversation going then meet me in the comments section. Tell me what you like and what you dislike. Let’s get real with each other… about candy.


Eight of My Favorite Candies.

  1. Nama Chocolate “Au Lait” by Royce Chocolates | I first had these while on vacation in Vegas with my hubby and they quite plainly blew my mind. Like “Why has chocolate been lying to me my whole life?” kind of mind-blowing. These need to be refrigerated when you aren’t gorging yourself on them so plan ahead and save me some, okay?
  2. Good licorice | I won’t lie – I’ll go to town on any old stale bag of Twizzlers after a long day but they pale in comparison to actual licorice. I like a nice soft licorice and typically prefer the red to the black licorice but I’m unlikely to turn down either if it’s the good stuff.
  3. Toffee | My teeth are in an abusive relationship with toffee. I try to keep them away from each other but once or twice a year they seem to find their way back to each other. It’s a torrid affair.
  4. Marzipan | This stuff rocks my world. Pretty much almond paste, in general, completes me – I like the cute little candies that look like tiny fruit or the chocolate bar with a layer of marzipan in the middle. And those princess torte cakes wrapped in marzipan? hold me.
  5. Reese’s peanut butter cups or pieces | Or frankly any combination of chocolate and peanut butter. It’s like my guaranteed winning combo.
  6. Kinder Chocolates | My grandfather used to send me these from Germany and I still light up when I see them at my local World Market. There is something magical about these little chocolate bars.
  7. Homemade truffles | There’s this little coffee shop down the street that I sometimes stop in pretty much ONLY to get one of the little chocolates that the owner’s wife makes for the store. I mean their coffee is good, too, but that little piece of 25 cent candy is on another level shut the front door good. Sometimes I want to buy the whole tray and have a moment.
  8. Cookie Dough Bites | These are my movie theater candy of choice and for some reason, nobody else ever seems as excited about them as me which is great because more for me. Some days when I’m feeling healthy or something I go for raisinets because fruit but truthfully this just ends in me wishing I’d gotten cookie dough bites.

So those are my eight – what would be on your list?

Tell me your faves in the comments section!

What I’m Into: December 2017


It’s been a busy month here – we’ve been enjoying Christmas Tree farms, piano recitals, cookie baking, parties with friends and all the usual fun stuff that goes into a month. Aside from the family fun, here are some of the things that have been keeping me occupied in those in between moments.

On My Bookshelf


I’ve been reading Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick this month and really enjoying it. I’ve always loved Anna’s movies and her amazeballs singing voice but reading the book and getting to know her as her actual person has been so fun. I’m only mostly delusional when I say that OMG we could totally be BFFs in real life!!

In My Kitchen

 I’ve been baking up a small winter storm as one tends to do around Christmas. Not everything was a winner but these three recipes need to be in your life.

This FUDGE recipe is so easy it almost feels like cheating. You only need three ingredients aside from salt and no candy thermometer or savvy candy making skills are required. You really just need the patience to let it set on your counter without eating it before it’s ready. I made the same recipe using peanut butter chips and that came out awesome, too. My waist line is fearful about how easy this was.

I made these RUM BALLS for my husband and he cannot stop eating them. They are potent as heck and way too delicious. Also super easy to make. These taste better the longer they chill out in your fridge so I recommend making them a couple of days before you need them. Because you definitely need them.

Okay if you are feeling like you want to step up your cookie baking game, I made these FRUIT CAKE SHORTBREAD COOKIES from Martha Stewart’s website and mylanta. This isn’t a difficult recipe but there are a lot more steps involved than I normally willingly get myself into. You’ll be chopping dried fruits, macerating them in terrific smelling booziness for a few hours, softening two sticks of butter and then making the cookie dough and shaping it into a triangular log. Then letting the dough chill for an hour in the fridge. Then slicing the log into super cute cookies and baking them. Then the hard part – not eating them all before your guests arrive. Real bakers probably read this and thought it all sounded easy but my fellow half assers know what I’m talking about. This recipe was a real test in will power and commitment but oh so worth it because:


So good.

On My TV

THE MIDDLE’S FAREWELL SEASON has been stringing me along all fall. Somehow this season turned me into a squealing fangirl shipper when it comes to Sue. Wasn’t she an awkward little tweenie bopper like a minute ago? I’m going to miss this show when it’s over but I also do think they are ending at the right time. What family sitcom should I pick up next?

AUSTRALIA’S NEXT TOP MODEL is streaming on Hulu and it’s filling the void that Tyra Banks left in my life when America’s Next Top Model ended. The formula is pretty similar but a bit different and the Aussie slang is kind of giving me life right now.

STRANGER THINGS SEASON 2 was all the things that season one delivered and maybe even just a little more. We probably waited longer to finish it than most people but it was still one of the best shows Dan and I watched this fall and I’m already missing it like crazy.

On My Phone

I’ve downloaded a few new to me games worth mentioning recently like:

DRACONIUS GO which is basically the same premise as Pokemon Go but it actually runs on my phone. My husband got me hooked on this one and it has resulted in a lot of family walks and drives around town looking for arenas. Yeah, we’re those people.

KNITTENS! is only available as a prerelease app right now but it shows a lot of promise. It’s a match three game that has you collecting yarn and patterns to “knit” outfits for your in app kitten. Seriously. It’s the most adorable game ever.

BACKPACKER is a kind of Travel Trivia geography game that tests your knowledge of the world as your character backpacks around the world, picking up odd jobs and doing favors, answering trivia questions and more. I’m far, far too into this game.

What have you been up to lately?


Here’s what I’m currently…


7826803Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel for my book club on Wednesday. I’m only 1/3 through the book so my odds of finishing on time are not looking great. It took me awhile to get into this one but after the first 100 pages or so it starts to pick up. I’m still not crazy about the narration and sometimes the subject matter borders on too heavy for night time reading.

On nights when I need something lighter, I’ve been picking up John Green; I’ve read a couple chapters of An Abundance of Katherines as well as Paper Towns but have made little progress with either as I really am trying to focus on the book club pick.


We took the kids to see the new Cinderella and it was fantastic. I thought they did a good job of honoring the original but still bringing something new and untold to it. Lily James was an outstanding Cinderella and I loved Holliday Grainger and Cate Blanchett and Helena Bonham Carter and basically everybody. It was fun picking scenes out from the original Disney cartoon version and seeing them come to life and the twists and turns were wonderful. Funny, heartfelt, all the things.

literallyWe’re watching Season Seven of Parks and Rec on demand right now. The menu for U-Verse’s On Demand is horrendous but getting to binge watch for free without waiting for the season to make it’s way to Netflix is worth it. I’m a little misty eyed at the thought of the show just being over but my DVR is all like “hurry up, I’m running out of room while I wait for you to move on from this addiction.” So.

I rented Lucy and The Other Woman this weekend. My thoughts:

Lucy has a fascinating premise and of course Scar Jo is always fabulous and really the obvious choice for a “perfect woman” – I was impressed with her portrayal of a creepy intelligent super person as well as the nervous wreck normal girl she was at the beginning. And everyone loves Morgan Freeman and yes obviously he was terrific. But something about the story was almost too lofty to permeate. Like it didn’t really leave me feeling anything so much as observing.

The Other Woman is an absurd chick lit romp with Cameron Diaz at her finest and Leslie Mann and Kate Upton are also fantastic. For any girl who has ever been the other woman or found out about the other woman or who can simply commiserate based on being a human being with feelings – this one is funny, touching, inspiring, silly, smart, ridiculous. I’m not saying it was AMAZING but it was VERY GOOD. I’m not sure if your male significant others will appreciate it – maybe save it for a girls night so you can enjoy it without them.


20150227_203126I made apricot baked french toast using a recipe from Sheet Pan Suppers by Molly Gilbert. Being a family of four, there was more than enough for one meal. I thought it came out pretty good but I think I poured the milk a little too heavily.

We were on vacation for most of last week and found ourselves eating out a lot and eating a lot of convenience junk and amusement park food so our diets could use a bit of a cleanse right now. Also our refrigerator is filled to the brim with random leftovers, beverages and just random stuff so I am hesitant to buy any real food as I have nowhere to put it. I’m trying to turn all that random into meals so I can clear out space for healthy food.


I broke down and designed new business cards on moo.com today – I’m terrifically pleased with the end result but assume that this means that some key piece of information about me is now going to change and render them unusable because that’s how this goes, right?

51rN7BEu4nLI just ordered book five of the Underland Chronicles for MM’s 9th birthday: Gregor and the Code of the Claw by Suzanne Collins. He is obsessed and fanboying all over the place and I couldn’t be prouder really.

MM has reached a new rite of passage. Last week we took him in for an eye exam and then bought his first pair of glasses. He’s still a little apprehensive about it but I’m just swooning over how adorable he looks in them. Damn right, my kids are rocking Ray Bans.


41dFCedGRPLWe’re still seriously considering buying a color laser printer and saying good bye to our ink jet. My husband didn’t really “get” why I was so angsty towards it and agreed to sit and look at it and maybe fix the issues it was having. 30 minutes later I think he wanted to chuck it out the window, too.

Color laser printers are not all a great deal and there are a lot of different models and options out there, some more affordable than others. We’re currently leaning towards this one by Brother that seems to have decent PPM and has toner that gets an impressive yield. We’re still balking a little at the price but seeing how many pennies we can pinch together to make it happen. Because it isn’t an All in One, we’re considering either keeping the ink jet as a copy machine / scanner or maybe getting something like this. Or none of these things. You know.

What are you into right now?


weekly geekly links: 1.23.15


Behold: three geeky links for your weekend:

CBS is working on a Supergirl tv series and they’ve cast the lead role.  The idea of an actress from Glee starring in a super hero show honestly doesn’t thrill me but I’ll try to keep an open mind. Though super hero tv shows are popular, they usually don’t hold my interest long anyway. Am I alone in this?

Geek Mom shared where to find the geekiest teas. I’m supremely intrigued by Adagio Teas selection of fandom inspired teas created by their customers. I might have to look into this further around the holidays unless someone wants to buy me some now. ::hint hint::

Have you seen the previews for the new show Backstrom (or even watched it?) Apparently some people at Entertainment Weekly are equally skeptical about Backstrom and they’re equally tired of the toxic anti heroes that have permeated our culture for a long time now. Don’t get me wrong – I’m a big fan of snarky sarcastic jerks (Iron Man, Sherlock, Craig Ferguson) when it feels fresh and right and is written to perfection but it’s become so common now that I’m almost over it.


the only football news i could get excited about:

captain america vs star lord