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The Best Gluten-Free and Keto Loaf Bread

on March 30, 2018
Keto Bread, gluten free bread, ketoon, keto, grain free bread

The Keto way of eating has been the easiest “diet” I have ever tried… and boy have I tried a lot!

Bacon, Cheese, and avocados… oh my!

But let’s be honest, Eventually, a burger needs a bun. A BLT needs bread, and how in the world was I supposed to make a panini? Can’t exactly sub that out for cauliflower, lol. In a later post I will share my top 5 breads I have tried. Of the 5 successful recipes, this “loaf” bread has been my favorite. It doesn’t mask itself with cheese, it doesn’t have a ton of ingredients, and it is the closest I have found to normal bread.

Let’s get started. Before I get my bake on, I always set the mood. What better way to try out a new recipe than with a little T-swift in the back ground. So, I turned on my Pandora to my Taylor Swift station and gathered my ingredients. Taylor swift, ketoon, gluten free bread, keto bread, keto

 

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 6 large eggs separated
  • 4 tbsp butter melted
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 pinch of salt

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It is so much easier for me to bake when I have everything laid out in front of me to work with. I hate having to stop and measure things or dig through my pantry looking for ingredients when I have already started a recipe.

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Separate the egg whites from the egg yolks. I started out with a strainer and tried to simply crack the eggs into the strainer over a bowl. Let’s all take a minute to laugh together at how that went. Yolk was everywhere. I resorted to the harder way of using the egg shells to separate the eggs. I recommend having a yolk bowl, a whites bowl, and a bowl just for separating the two over. That way if you mess up you don’t potentially waste all of your hard work. Kitchen aid mixer, kitchen aid, egg whites, ketoon, gluten free bread, keto bread, keto
  3. Mix the whites and the cream of tartar in your electric mixer. You can do this by hand with a whisk, but you better be a very quick whisker. They must be mixed until they come to a foamy white texture.
  4. In your food processor, or in my case- my Ninja Mixer with the sharp blade attachment, mix the remaining ingredients. Once they are fully combined you can add the egg whites. Ninja mixer, ketoon, keto bread, gluten free bread
  5. Once everything is mixed really well and lump free, pour your mix into your VERY WELL GREASED/SPRAYED loaf pan.
  6. Put in to your pre-heated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes. Make sure to check it at the 25 minute mark.
  7. Once you remove it from the oven, let it cool for a good 20 minutes.
  8. ENJOY!!

 

Keto Bread, gluten free bread, ketoon, keto, grain free bread

 

Now, is the best part! What all am I going to do with this delicious bread? Toast for breakfast? PB&(sugar free) J, my aforementioned beloved panini? D all of the above!! The options are endless and at only 2 carbs a slice, I think I will have my bread and eat it, too!

 

 

ketoon, keto bread, gluten free bread

How to make Keto Oreos

on March 28, 2018

Who doesn’t love a delicious Oreo dunked in milk? There is something especially satisfying about spreading an Oreo apart, licking the icing out of the middle and putting them back together before submerging the chocolate deliciousness into an ice cold glass of milk- just long enough for the bubbles to all come to the surface and pop. Is your mouth watering for that chocolate cookie, yet? Mine certainly is! When we made the decision to go keto I knew I would have to give up certain things, like Oreos. That was perfectly fine with me. Charles, on the other hand, NEEDS some Oreos in his life from time to time. Have you looked at the nutrition on those babies? 8 carbs per cookie!! WOAH!

With keto, we are allowed 20 carbs per day. No way was I letting him eat 3 cookies, go over his carbs for the day, and only consume just enough to tease him really. He would have been grumpy, and I would have been annoyed that he cheated. As usual, off to pinterest I went. There’s got to be a way for me to make these keto friendly. I found an abundance of Oreo-like recipes. Some were too sweet, too chocolatey, not chocolatey enough, too crumbly, etc. So I sought out to make my own version.

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Ingredients:

FOR THE KETO OREO COOKIES:

  • 1 1/3 cup almond flour
  • tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt 
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon espresso powder–or instant coffee (optional)
  • 5 1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 8 tablespoons Swerve
  • 1 egg

FOR VANILLA CREAM FILLING

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch kosher salt
  • 1/21 cup Swerve confectioners

 

Start by gathering all of your materials. It is easiest for me to lay out all of my measured supplies.

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Add almond flour, cocoa powder, xanthan gum, salt, baking soda and espresso powder (optional) to a medium bowl. Whisk it all together then set aside. If you have little ones helping, this is an excellent way to keep them occupied.

  2. Cream the butter until smooth with an electric mixer, or by hand if you don’t have one. Add in your sweetener and continue until it i mixed together really well and all of the sweetener has dissolved.

  3. Add in egg.

  4. Slowly add your flour mixture at this time. Add a little, mix, add a little, mix to make sure its all even.

  5. Next place the ball of dough onto some syran wrap, wrap it up and refrigerate over night.

  6. The next day (or if you are impatient like I was you skipped step 5) Preheat oven to 350°F and get out your silipat. If you do not have one of these magical mats you can get it here. I use them for all of my baking! No spray, your baked goods never stick, and they are dishwasher safe.

  7. Roll your dough out on parchment paper until it is as thin as you’d like. Get out a small circle shaped cookie cutter (Or if you are like me and cant find your correct size cookie cutter, you improvise and use a shot glass to cut your dough) and cut out as many circles as you can. Re-roll your dough over and over again to keep cutting out circles to get the most cookies out of your batch.

  8. For best results, I found it was best to pop the cookies in the freezer for 5-10 minutes to stiffen back up some before they go in the oven.

  9. Bake for 8-10 minutes.

  10. Allow to cool completely before spreading the cream filling on them.

  11. To make the vanilla cream filling, cream butter and coconut oil (or more butter) in a small bowl.  Cream in the vanilla and salt until it is completely mixed well. Next, add is a little powdered swerve to taste.

  12. You can spread the icing onto the cookie with a knife, or make it more decorative and use a piping bag.

  13.  Enjoy! If they last that long, store the cookies in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

     

    Some tips- I did not find that the cookies tasted great with unsweetened vanilla almond milk. You may want to experiment with different alternatives.

Oreos, Keto Oreo, ketoon, keto dessert, keto recipe, low carb oreo,

After many trial and errors, these were a huge hit in our house. My husband gobbled up 6 of them, and at only 1 carb per cookie, he was able to stay under his macros for the day, even with a delicious dessert.

February 2018

on March 1, 2018
home school, preschool, brain quest, pre-k

Wow! Another month down. February was insanely busy with Girl Scouts. Here in the Nashville area, this is peak Girl Scout cookie season. My little Daisy/Brownie troop of 11 (13 now) girls hustled those cookies! We had a lot  of really great booth spots (cough, cough, KROGERS!) and some spots that were definitely more lesson learning opportunities. Over all my first-year troop sold just shy of 1800 boxes of cookies of our 2500 box goal. I think I was a little over ambitious as a first time troop leader. Either way, I am super proud of these girls. They worked through the hot, the cold, the pouring down rain, and the mild sprinkling, all with very few complaints. With some more careful booth choices on my behalf, I think we can reach that 2500 goal next year.

Girl Scouts, cookie season 2018, walk about patch, girl scout cookies, sisters

On top of having a fabulous first cookie season, my girl scouts also were trained in the art of Victorian tea etiquette. We had the wonderful Raina Van Setter come by and teach the girls the proper way to hold a tea cup, eat finger foods, and set like little ladies at a tea party. It was a huge hit. All of the girls loved smelling and touching the different types of tea Raina brought and learning her vast array of knowledge!

Girl scouts, tea party, Victorian tea Etiquette,

 

It is safe to say that Girl Scouts took over our February in the best way possible. It was such a wonderful month with so many positive lessons learned.

Carley had a very eventful month on her own. She entered her very first science fair and we made a paper mache horse for all of her Valentine’s Day cards. Originally, we had planned for her to make an interactive volcano that we found inspiration from on Pinterest. We had all of the supplies on hand and the project was going to cost $0.00 to make. What an awesome blog post, I thought. In girl scouts I was planning to teach the girls about recycling next month (coming soon!) I was super excited to incorporate that into her science fair project. Then, paper mache happened. The boxes we tried to re-purpose into the volcano supports weren’t quite strong enough. The paper mache paper we chose (packaging paper from an amazon prime delivery) was a little too heavy. In the end, her volcano was sunken in and not quite at all like the inspiration I had found for her to recreate. No worries, onto the next project…. A solar system! This project wasn’t quite as budget friendly as the previous, but Carley still rocked it! We found an old blocks box that wasn’t being used in the play room. The only thing we had to buy was the solar system balls. Thankfully, Walmart is open 24 hours and just 15 minutes away! Charles did the drilling in the box, I ran the wire and hung the planets after they were dry. Carley did all of the rest. She really loves all things science and she really shined with this project.

Solar system project, second grade, science fair

On top of her science fair, Carley had a daddy daughter dance with Charles and Kenzie. The girls picked out their prettiest and frilliest dresses, we did hair and make up, and they were treated like princesses for the night by their daddy. I called around, just hours before, the dance in hopes of grabbing them up corsages to add a little extra something to their outfits and make them feel special. I received quotes of any where from $25-$45 EACH. Oh no no no! Not in this house! Off to walmart I went, again. For just $3.99 I grabbed up a beautiful pink bouquet of little flowers. I added a little floral tape and some wire (the same wire that was reused in the science fair project), a help of a friend, and boom. We pumped out 3 corsages and had enough materials for a good 5 more… all for about $15.

Daddy daughter dance, girl scouts, sisters, corsages, diy.

Both girls had a blast and slept in extra late the next morning.

Kenzie’s month wasn’t quite as exciting as Carley’s. She spent the month with an awful ear infection. We go March 5th for her third set of tubes. Hopefully, this will be her final set. She has suffered through so many ear infections in her short little life. She’s had MRSA, staph, regular ear infections, and now ecoli…. in her ear!!! We spent this month concurring the letters A-D and counting to 15. I went with a friend to Costco a couple weeks back and got Kenzie a brain quest pre-k workbook. This has by far been her favorite book. It breaks things down and doesn’t get too advanced for her too quickly. I think we will be all ready for kindergarten in the fall!

home school, preschool, brain quest, pre-k

 

As for me, I have some pretty exciting news! Last month I touched on New Year’s goals and resolutions. I was very proud of my 2lbs I had lost. This month was even better! I discovered the Keto way of eating. What is Keto? It is a high fat/ low carb diet. Whaaa? does that mean bacon? Yes! lots and lots of bacon, cheese, avocado, sausage, and other healthy fats and high protein meals. We have now subbed out regular milk for unsweetened almond milk, gotten all unhealthy carb rich food out of our house, and I have started baking and cooking a whole lot more!!! This way of eating has completely changed my life for the better. I feel amazing, I’m losing tons of weight, I’m still enjoying some really yummy food. So, I don’t feel like I am missing out on “junk” what so ever. I do, however, really really miss orange juice. Fruits, although super nutritious, are very high in carbs. Once I get down to my goal weight I will reestablish fruits into my diet. Until then, Charles and I are both keeping our carb count under 20 grams a day. I have read several studies about women with very similar health histories and medical reactions as mine being able to completely go off of their meds with this way of eating. Every aspect of it makes me hopeful for a better and healthier future. I love that Charles is so on board with it and is being the best support system! I am down 19 lbs in the month of February alone!

Listening- I am in love with the new Luke Bryan song, I believe all people are good. This really speaks to my heart and as naive as I may be, I believe the same. So many of the lyrics are spot on. Don’t go by the nightly news or you will lose your faith in mankind. There is so much hate and horror in the world and the news just amplifies it. Watch your children play… see a child share a toy with a little kid of a different ethnicity. They see no color. They know no hate. They see a friend. We can learn so much from children.

Eating- Bacon…. so much bacon. Sausage and cream cheese mixed together have become a favorite. I will soon be doing a post on Fathead pizza dough. oh my yumminess. It is delicious.

Drinking- We have given up cows milk and all things sugar. To get in plenty of electrolytes, I have been drinking a lot of powerade zero.

Wearing- I am down to a very comfy size 18 pant. I started in a tight 22.

Feeling- really good. Staying busy and feeling like I have purpose really helps with my bipolar disorder. My husband feels like I take on too much with girl scouts, wedding planning, volunteering, home schooling, etc… The busier I am, I feel the healthier I am mentally.

Weather- Ha is this a joke? The weather in the south has been crazy this month. One weekend we are bundling up in multiple layers freezing our tushes off. The next weekend I am debating whether or not to let the kids wear shorts. I can’t wait for spring to come and stay.

Wanting- a Kitchen aid mixer!

Enjoying- life. I am now 28 years old. I am a mother to two amazing and beautiful little girls. I have the most supportive and fantastic husband I could ever hope for. I have an amazing support system of local friends that I love like family. I am one insanely lucky lady.

 

How my girl scouts earned their use resources wisely and make and make the world a better place petals in one meeting!

on February 22, 2018

February is a crazy busy month for Girl Scouts in the South. My troop of Daisies and Brownies pushed through nearly 10 booths and sold almost 1800 boxes of cookies this year, as a first year troop! To say I am unbelievably proud of these girls is an understatement. They concurred the snow, the cold, the hot, and the wet (welcome to Tennessee, right?) to sell these boxes. My girls concurred their fears of talking to people and several of them shined like little rock stars who clearly have futures in advertisement!  In addition to all of the cookie booths, we had our regular bi-weekly meetings.

Earning the use resources wisely and make the world a better place petals are incredibly easy to knock out in one meeting with a lesson on recycling.

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Like every meeting, we started out with the Pledge of Allegiance and the Girl Scout Promise. Not only do these instill wonderful characteristics and morals in the girls, it is a small way for them to work on their magenta (respect authority) petal as well. To earn both of these petals in one meeting we talked to the girls about what exactly recycling is and how it helps the environment. All of the girls were super intrigued. Next we played an amazing recycling game I found on Pinterest. https://www.adventure-in-a-box.com/printable-recycling-game/

Use resources wisely petal, make the world a better place petal, reduce reuse recycle, two petals in one meeting, girl scouts

This game was such a hit with all of the girls. Our original idea for this was to collect actual trash for them to sort into recycling boxes. This idea was quickly exed when we thought about how much trouble and the level of grossness sorting everyone’s trash would bring. Being a troop leader should never be difficult or gross. This game was an excellent replacement. We printed off the free printable, cut everything out, and labeled it within minutes. The hardest part was cutting out the little circles of trash. Thankfully, I have amazing girl scout parents who are always willing to jump in and help whenever I need them to. The girls took turns drawing their “piece of trash” piece and sorting it where they thought it belonged. The girls who are our stronger readers worked on their yellow (Friendly and helpful) and Violet (be a sister to every girl scout) petals during this activity by reading the recycling bin labels to the other girls. It is such a wonderful thing to be able to watch my girls grow in becoming better and stronger little ladies through girl scouts. They are always so proud to show off new reading and other skills they have learned with one another.

After everyone had had a few turns we got down to the glue and sticker filled messy craft project. All of our meetings include at least one activity, one arts and craft project, snack, and opening and closing activities. We keep it simple and try out best to stay on a schedule. Sometimes this happens, sometimes we set back and laugh at ourselves for expecting it to happen. As long as the girls all have fun and learn something we just wing it and go with the flow.

I don’t know about your girls, but every girl I have ever met LOVES bracelets. This carries right on over to girl scouts. They are always asking to get into the beads and string to make friendship bracelets for one another. I love how their bonds have grown to want to do this. Many of my girls who were complete strangers when they met have become very close friends through girl scouts. But, where do all of those bracelets go? I had been keeping all of my own daughters’ in ziplock baggies. I wanted a more personalized option. Off to where?…. Pinterest I went! I came across a wonderful post to make egg carton jewelry holders.  I first reached out to friends and neighbors to see if anyone had a collection of egg cartons lying around. Thankfully, one of my girl friends had a huge stash she was willing to part with. We had a lot of the materials on hand- markers, stickers, glue, paint, etc… but a quick trip to the dollar tree added even more stickers to our stash. Kids love their stickers!

On art projects, I like to give the girls the directions, and set back and see what they create. We have some very creative and art-loving girls in our troop. We also have a few that prefer to keep it more simple and dont like to get their hands dirty. So, the results were very diversified. Some of the girls planned to keep their jewelry boxes open. Those girls chose to decorate the inside of their boxes primarily. Others chose to decorate the outside. There were tons of stickers and a vast variety of beautiful decor among them. I loved seeing all that they came up with.

reduce reuse recycle, make the world a better place petal, use resources wisely petal, girl scouts . egg carton jewelry box

After everyone was finished, we cleaned up, had snack, and did the girl scout friendship hug. Both of my girls have their jewelry boxes setting on their dressers and proudly use them over their wooden much nicer ones. They are so proud of what they created themselves.

How to DIY string art

on December 15, 2017

With Christmas right around the corner we are all searching for that perfect gift to give our child’s teacher. There’s the coffee mug, the Starbucks gift card, and of course the classic gift basket. I don’t know about your child’s teachers, but C’s are PHENOMENAL! They have brought her leaps and bounds this year. I wanted to do something extra special for them, but, what? Although they all deserve a luxurious spa day, that was not in my budget! Off to Pinterest I went for some inspiration. Coffee cup, coffee cup, crayon art, wreaths, gift cards…. then bam, an apple string art! I located a local mommy friend and got a quote to have her do it for me. $45 each. Yikes! I was hoping for something around the $10 range that feels like it came from the $45 range! Then, I thought, “I can do this myself!” After a little youtubing’ blog reading, and pinterest surfing I was ready to teach myself how to diy string art!

My shopping trip was going to consist of The Home Depot and, my personal favorite, Joann’s Fabric and Crafts! Shopping list: Wood, nails, and string. That’s it. I also needed stain and rags to apply the stain, but I had those at home left over from previous projects.

When I got to The Home Depot I headed straight for the wood section. The Home Depot has a “scrap” wood cart that is 70% off. These are left over cuts from projects that other people had cut or just weren’t up to standards. You can usually find some really great treasures. Little tip- the best finds are usually on Mondays after everyone has worked out projects over the weekend.
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I was able to snatch up a $15 piece of wood for just $3! I had them cut the wood plank into 5 pieces. (That’s enough for 5 gifts!) Next, I grabbed the nails (about $2.) I chose black and one inch nails for starters. The black would compliment the colors of string I had in mind for the apple, and the one inch nails gave me plenty of room to work with as a beginner.

Next stop, Joann’s. Because I subscribe to their emails and get text message updates, I had a 25% off my total purchase coupon!
joanns, diy, coupon, mommy blogger, do it yourself, frugal
I strolled back to the embroidery floss and grabbed two cherry reds and a leafy green. In hind sight, I should have grabbed a brown and did the stem in a different color than the leaves, but hey, beginners mistake! Because they are much easier to unravel and don’t get tangled up like the bundles, I grabbed a roll of each color rather than a bundle. The bundles get all tangled and you will spend half of your time fighting knots in the string and gritting your teeth with frustration. Spend the extra money. Save some sanity. Get the rolls! The string was the most expensive part. Three at $2.59 each came out to be about $6 after my 25% off coupon and taxes.

Supplies:
Wood planks
1 inch black nails
string in colors needed
stain
old rag
hammer
tweezers
computer (google and paint/word art)
old towel or something to work on
paint clothes
favorite music to work to.



Once I had all of my supplies ready my first step was to stain the wood. I love a dark stain, and I had some left over from when I made my kitchen table, so it was perfect. If you have never stained wood before, it is super simple! Dip your rag in the stain, rub it on the wood, and wipe until its no longer wet. Let the first coat dry, then apply as many coats as you’d like to achieve your desired level of darkness. I personally love the wood look, so I only did one coat on this project.

Now for the fun part- googling! Whatever type of design you are working on you want to find a very simple outline. I searched for “apple outline.” After a few minutes of scrolling I found the perfect one. If at all possible you want it to be an outline with out shading or color so to save your ink. I saved the image, opened it to word, stretched it, and made my page margins as small as possible so that I could get a large image. Edited to add- I later learned that I was doing it the hard way. I now open my images in paint and print on pages 2×2 so that I can be in full control over how large of an image I want. This will take a little playing with on your behalf. I usually resize to 75% for most images, then print 2×2 and its perfect. This may not work for everyone.

After I print my image out I cut away all excess paper so that I can see the edges of the board and know exactly where to and not to hammer. Align it in the center of the board, and tape down your edges so that it doesn’t move when you begin to hammer.

This was my first project, so I hadn’t learned all of the little tricks, yet. Originally, I taped it down, then put a nail in each corner to secure it, then hammered in one nail at a time directly across from another nail as to make sure everything was even and neat…. Don’t do this! It is a waste of time. Start with your inner most nails and just go in a circle spacing them about a thumbs length apart. Then, go to your second inner most circle and do the same. Repeat. Repeat, until you are done. This way you don’t “hammer yourself into a corner” where its hard to squeeze your fingers into an area to hold the nail. You WILL end up hammering your thumb and man does that hurt! All of the nails do not have to be perfectly spaced apart and even. Just make sure they are hammered deep enough into the wood so that they don’t pop out or wiggle when you start wrapping string. Try to get them all at equal depths as possible. Once you are done hammering it will look something like this…

Now, take the paper and gently rip it all away from the nails. There really is no right or wrong way to do this part. Just rip it out then use the tweezers to get all the little pieces that were left behind.
After this, take your string and make a little loop to secure the nail in. You will then begin to loop and wrap, loop and wrap in a zigzag pattern back and forth between all of the nails. I like to go over the whole thing once in one direction, back over again in a different direction, then go across. You can do it any way you like. Remember to keep the tension in the string, or it will slip off the nails and you will have to undo and redo a lot of work- which is a pain! Once you are satisfied with how full your image is, you want to outline it. This not only helps define your image, but it secures the string in place so that it won’t slip off. Just wrap around the nails and always go on the outside of the nail with your wrap, like so… You can go as basic as you want with your border, or as intense as you want. I like to put an outline border on some of mine, then go back and go inside, outside, inside, outside back and forth around the whole image to give it a little depth. You will learn to play with it and make each piece your own.

In recap- $3 for wood (5 pieces), $3 for nails, and $6 for string. For just $12 I was able to purchase enough supplies to make 5 teacher gifts! That is just over $2 a piece for a gift that they could tell put time, thought, and love into… thankfully no blood. But I sure did get myself with that hammer a time or ten! Ouch! But, the final product was worth it and all of her teachers loved it! PS: I even got a couple of orders for string art from local friends which paid for my supplies, plus some! Win win!

“Kindness is free. Sprinkle that stuff everywhere” -Anonymous