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Cream of Tomato Soup

You don’t get easier than tomato soup, and as the weather cools, I like lots of soup. You can make this with a variety of herbs for added flavor, or keep it plain for those super-tasters.

4 cups – chicken broth
2 tomatoes- chopped
1 tsp onion or garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup heavy cream

Optional: 1 tablespoon of basil or tarragon or cilantro–any green herb you like.
2 tablespoons sour cream

Bring all the ingredients to the boil, then pour into a blender, or use a stick blender, to puree. Return to the pan, or crockpot, and let simmer for as long as you like. Add cream before serving. Top with a dollop of sour cream.

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Apple or Pear and Spinach Salad

Some flavors just belong together, and the apple/pear with spinach and bacon is exceptionally tasty. I got the basics for this recipe somewhere long forgotten, but as it stands it exists with my tweeks. While I eat only small amounts of fruit, this salad is one place where I live dangerously.

Apple/Pear Spinach Bacon Salad

(serves 2)

For the Salad:
4 cups organic baby Spinach
1/2 small red onion, very thinly sliced
8 oz. Fresh Mozzarella, sliced or diced (feta is good too)
1 apple or pear thinly sliced
1/4-1/2 cup pine nuts, walnuts, or pecans– toasted
4 slices bacon crisp then crumbled

1/4 cup bacon dripping
1/4 cup olive oil (walnut or macadamia nut oils are also good)
4 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
2 Tbsp sherry vinegar or any light vinegar                                                                                                                                 5 drops stevia                                                                                                                                                                       1 tsp dijon mustard

Salt and pepper to taste

Combine spinach leaves and red onion slices in large bowl.
Blend oil,vinegar,mustard, salt & pepper together–then add bacon drippings and oil and whisk until blended.
Toss the ingredients in the bowl with some dressing to lightly cover. Salt and pepper to taste.
Plate each serving and arrange apple/pear slices on top.
Add mozzarella, bacon and pine nuts to each serving.
Drizzle with additional dressing.

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Stuffed Pork Chops Milanese

Giada, of Italian cooking fame, makes a version of this recipe using veal chops, but I don’t use veal; so followed the basic part of the recipe using thick pork chops. Chicken breast will work as well. Instead of traditional bread crumbs, I used finely ground pork rinds.

First, cut a pocket in the side of the meat about 2×3 inches.  Place the meat between sheets of plastic wrap and pound out thinner and relatively even. Salt and pepper to taste.

Stuff the pocket with fontina or gruyere cheese. .

Dip the meat in beaten egg, then coat with finely ground pork rinds.

Fry in an inch of fat, like bacon dripping and/or coconut oil.

Serve with pickled onions, and a green salad; or try marinara sauce, zucchini or Napa cabbage “noodles” topped with shredded parmesan cheese.

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Breading? With Ground Pork Rinds You Can!

I have been reading about using ground pork rinds for breading or crumbing for quite  a while, but somehow it didn’t sound that great to me. But I had seen a recipe I really wanted to give it try, but it called for the old breading method; so I found a product called “pork dust” aka ground up pork rinds on Amazon. They are over-priced, but it was worth it for the convenience for a trial. These ground rinds are nearly tasteless, so work beautifully for making foods like chicken parmesan, or stuffed chops, among many others. I heartily recommend this method of “breading/crumbing”!  

I am going to make my own ground pork rinds from now on since it will be cheaper by far. The key is to get the plain type. Process them until they are very fine. Store them in the freezer.

I have recently made both stuffed pork chops and chicken parmesan, and thought they were good enough to fool a non-low carber, which is my test for good taste.


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Caramelized Onion Cheese Spread

I recently bought this cheese spread at a local gourmet shop, and it is too simple not to make myself. This is good for topping my flax crackers, celery, or a dollop on a steak or omelet, or anything else that strikes your fancy.

1 cup cheddar cheese

1/2 cup boursin or cream cheese

1/4 cup caramelized onions

pinch of garlic powder and salt

Bring the cheese to room temperature, sauté 1/2 a medium onion until lightly browned/caramelized to get about 1/4 cup cooked yield. Mix together in a food processor or by hand. Store in the refrigerator.

Serving Size: 1 tbsp

Amount per Serving

Calories 47

Calories from Fat 30.9

Saturated Fat 2.3g

Sodium 115.91mg

Total Carbohydrate 0.74g

Dietary Fiber 0.09g

Protein 3g

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Low Sugar Jam

If you have tried some of the no-sugar jams or preserves you know they are pretty awful in the main. I do find Jok n’ Al’s brand pretty good, but they are low-sugar, not no-sugar. As she loves jam, I decided to let my grand-daughter make some jam while she was visiting that would be low sugar and still taste good. To my surprise using 1/7th of the sugar called for in the recipes for regular jam, she made a very good–I am not biased in this!–blueberry jam.

I used the grocery store pectin (Ball liquid pectin). Looking in my cookbooks the recipes are all about the same. The recipe was in the pectin recipes inclosed in the box. MAKE SURE TO FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS IN ALL BUT THE AMOUNT OF SUGAR YOU USE.

We used

3 cups fresh blueberries, slightly mashed.
1 cup of organic evaporated cane sugar
1 packet of pectin
2 tablespoons of lemon juice.

This gave us approximately 3 pints of jam. I sterilized the jars, then after filling the jars, placed them in a hot water bath for 10 minutes to seal the jar lids. You will hear the pop as they seal, telling you they are done and can be left unrefrigerated, Refrigerate or freeze any jars you open, or don’t get sealed.

We also did same with strawberries, and I think I let it stay on the boil too long for we got strawberry sauce, which she loved for the low carb ice cream I make, and other uses. Lesson being, you really can’t ruin what you make short of burning a batch, it just may be thicker or runnier.

The carb count was less that 2 carbs per rounded tablespoon.

Note: You can make this with Truvia or some other sweetener like erythritol and stevia.

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Make Your Own Butter

I was lucky to grow up with milk from the cow next door (next farm). More specifically, the cow my aunt and uncle kept for their home milk supply and which also supplied my family. One of my earliest memories is of making butter. My mother would give me a pint jar with some cream in, and tell me to shake it until it turned into butter. As a very little girl, it seemed like it took an awfully long time for that cream to do the magic and become butter, though it usually takes no more than 5-10 minutes. Yet, when the cream suddenly went from “slosh, slosh” in my jar, to a “whack, whack” sound, I knew I had done the magical trick, and would have my very own little tub of butter.  I have since taught my grandchildren how to make butter, and every year when they come to stay that is one of their first requests.

Making butter is very easy, what is less easy is to come by some very good quality cream. Any cream will do, but the butter won’t be as rich and tasty as that made from good rich jersey or guernsey cream, preferably un-pasteurized. A pint of heavy cream is good to start with, but you can always make any quantity for butter freezes well.

Put the cream in a clean glass jar with some room to spare (a pint of cream in a quart jar is good; I put  a cup of cream in a pint jar for the kids), and let it sit out for 1-2 days to allow the milk to lightly clabber/sour; while this is not absolutely necessary (children do not like to wait for this step), it does make for better tasting butter in my opinion. When ready, shake-shake-shake. Shake until the slosh begins to make a whack sound; that is when the cream has begun to gather. When the cream has gathered enough you will see a ball of butter which has separated from the whey.

The next step is to drain the whey off, but don’t throw it out, you can cook with it or drink it.

At this time you will want to add salt to taste if you prefer salted butter.

The most important step in making butter is working the remaining liquid whey out the fat of the butter; you can do this by pressing with a spatula, turning the butter over and over until most of the whey is out. Or, you can place the butter into clean piece of cloth or a tea towel, then gather the material at the top so you can tie it and let the butter hang over a bowl to allow the excess liquid drain off.  This might take several hours. The butter can remain unrefrigerated if the weather is cool.  After the draining is complete, find a lidded container in which to keep your butter, and if the weather is warm store it in the refrigerator, but you don’t need to in cooler weather.

Then enjoy your own homemade butter, which of course tastes better because you made it.

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Lemon Butter Sauce

This is a version of the classic French buerre blanc sauce, a very useful sauce to keep on hand as it is good on fish, chicken, meats, vegetables, and to sauce a casserole. You can adapt to your taste by using more or less of lemon juice, and using onion instead of milder flavored  shallots.

Lemon Butter Sauce

1 cup dry white wine

1 lemon, quartered and chopped

1 tablespoon minced shallots/onion

1/2 cup heavy cream

2 sticks plus 1 teaspoon unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1 teaspoon kosher/sea salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh/dried parsley

Combine the wine, lemons and shallots in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until reduced by half, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally and mashing the lemons with the back of a spoon to break up into pieces. Add the cream and cook until reduced by half, about 3 minutes.

Whisk in the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, adding each piece before the previous one has been completely incorporated. Continue until all the butter is incorporated and the sauce coats the back of a spoon, removing the pan from the heat periodically to prevent the sauce from getting too hot and breaking. Add the salt and pepper, and whisk to blend.

Remove from the heat and strain, pressing down with the whisk, through a fine mesh strainer, into a small bowl. Fold in the parsley and serve immediately or cover to keep warm.

(adapted from recipe at:  http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/fish-en-croute-with-lemon-butter-sauce-recipe.html?oc=linkback)

Nutrition Information: Makes 10 servings


Serving Size: 1 servings
Amount per Serving
Calories 253
Calories from Fat 244.8
Total Fat 27.2g
Saturated Fat 16.8g
Cholesterol 80.96mg
Sodium 141.02mg
Total Carbohydrate 1.59g
Dietary Fiber 0.11g
Sugars 0.28g 
Protein 3.61g

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Bacon Brussel Sprouts

I love brussel sprouts, and enjoyed a recipe last night I will be making soon. “Very simple, verry easy” as Chef Tell used to say.


3-4 cups/45kg of brussel sprouts, cut in half

3-4 strips bacon (or use 2 Tbs/28kg bacon dripping)

1/2 cup/113g Mexican Cotija or similar salty cheese

1/4 cup/57g  minced onion or shallot


Fry the bacon until browned, remove and cut into pieces; using the same pan, sautè onions in bacon fat, then add the brussels. Cover and cook until desired doneness. Dish up and add crumbled cheese over the top along with the bacon pieces.


Serving Size: 1 cup
Amount per Serving
Calories 93
Calories from Fat 49.3
Total Fat 5.48g
Saturated Fat 2.95g
Cholesterol 16.25mg
Sodium 150.25mg
Total Carbohydrate 7.01g/ <5g net carbs
Dietary Fiber 2.39g
Sugars 1.93g
Protein 3.25g
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Spicy Sausage & Bok Choy Soup

If you want a very low carb and low calorie filling meal, you might like this soup made with bok choy, which is the lowest carb of the cabbage family, and can of course be made with other cabbage or kale at a somewhat higher carb-cost.  This is also an inexpensive meal.  The sausage gives the rather bland bok choy a lovely flavor.

For medium spicy choose a sausage like andouille or chorizo, for mild use a Polish or Italian type of dense sausage.

12oz (or more) of sausage

2 Tbs dripping

1/2 cup diced onion

1 large head bok choy (about 10 cups)

4 cups beef or chicken stock

Opt: 1/2 tsp pepper flakes

Saute the onion and sausage until the sausage in the dripping or other fat until it is a bit browned, then add the bok choy and saute a further 3-4 minutes before adding the stock. You might need to add some water if you want more soupy soup. The flavors should be nicely combined after 30 minutes.

I pour the whole thing into my slow cooker and let it simmer for several hours.


Amount per Serving
Calories 159
Calories from Fat 103.4
Total Fat 11.49g
Saturated Fat 4.4g
Cholesterol 31.08mg
Sodium 445.92mg
Total Carbohydrate 5.18g
Dietary Fiber 1.54g
Sugars 2.24g 
Protein 8.42g
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