Keto Chocolate Glazed Donuts & A Little Rebellious Whiskey

Let’s Talk about these Whiskey Rebels! In particular, the book by David Liss.

What a spectacular biographical historical fiction novel! This is my first book by Liss and I definitely plan to read more. This book was set post American Revolution and featured two different story lines that eventually combine. (I love when a writer does that.) You have Joan Maycott – an aspiring novelist married to a war vet. They find themselves with useless war bonds and are swindled into trading those for property “out west” (aka Pittsburg area,) for bountiful land. As you can imagine, they run into what they call “savages,” and thick woods and rough necks with nothing to lose. Then there is Ethan Saunders, a former Captain in the army that worked as a spy but was falsely accused of being a traitor and British sympathizer. He is in love with a Mrs. Pearson and spends his days trying to right his name and win her love. I won’t go into too much detail, because that would totally give the story away. However, there is a lot of historical accuracy in this book, as well as some delicious fiction.

Despite the title, the story actually does not go into the Whiskey Rebellion of 1794. It does however deal with the proceeding years, when a Whiskey tax was placed on distilleries. Obviously, the rebels were very upset with the taxes and went right after Hamilton and the American Banking System. The book introduces us to some real characters in the world during that time and you travel from the woods of Pennsylvania to New York.

READ IT. I loved it. Seriously.

Okay… now for those donuts… the REAL reason you clicked on this page!

Low Carb – Keto Chocolate Glazed Donuts

Donut Ingredients:

  • 1/2 c. coconut flour
  • 1/2 c. Swerve, confectioners sugar
  • 1/3 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1/2 c. unsweetened almond milk (I used Lactaid – Whole milk)
  • 1/2 c. butter, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Glaze Ingredients:

  • 3/4 c. heavy cream
  • 1/3 c. Swerve, confectioners sugar
  • 2 ounces unsweetened baker’s chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Grease Donut pan.

Preheat over to 350 F.

Donuts: Combine all of the dry ingredients in a bowl. Then add the wet ingredients to that bowl. Mix with a hand mixer until smooth.

Pipe into the donut wells to 2/3rds full. Bake 20 minutes, then cool on a rack.

While cooling, make the glaze:

Add cream, Swerve, and chocolate to a double boiler and simmer.

Turn heat to low and add the vanilla and stir until the chocolate melts.

Dip the donuts in the glaze and let cool. (I placed in the frig for an hour or so.)

That’s it! Have a great day!!

Fall is Upon Us and Other Good News

Happy Monday and man oh man, does it feel like Autumn outside! What a fantastic time of year!

First up, I had one of the most relaxing weekends to date! Friday night, Tim and I watched Ant-Man & The Wasp and ate my favorite Keto Pizza Casserole. (If you want the recipe, just click at the top of the blog on the section titled recipes!) Saturday, I spent the day playing with Dorian, cleaning, reading, and I had my Photography Class with the Atlanta School of Photography!

That night, we made wings in the Air Fryer and then sat outside by a fire with Tim’s youngest. It was a gorgeous night, cool wind and clear skies!

The next morning, I got up and realized that the weather was brisk and chilly and immediately woke Tim and up and insisted we go outside and have our morning coffee by the fire. We had some wonderful conversations and just relaxed. Truly relaxed, with each other.

My dog ended up having the best day ever! He gnawed on sticks and chased his Kong squeaky tennis ball. We sat our there from about 9:30 am until after noon.

Then it was nap time for all of us!

Later that night we grilled some steaks and watched Captain Marvel. I can’t remember if I told you guys, but I am on this Marvel Marathon for Tim. He complains that I never watch anything he likes, so out-of-the-blue, I surprised him and said I wanted to see each of the movies, in order of release. His eyes perked up and I knew I made the right decision. Best news – I am actually enjoying it. And in basic Nicole fashion, I ask a ton of questions and Tim loves sharing all of his historical comic book knowledge with me. It’s cute, really, and I am entertained. Just two more to go…… Tonight is End Game and I hear it is a tear jerker. Should be interesting.

Speaking of tear jerkers… man. The Notorious RBG left us. Let’s hope in November we can turn things around.

Okay, I gave this a try. I did NOT like it. I ended up giving it to Tim. BUT… if you are a sweets person, this may be your jam. Tim picked the mint chocolate chip which was only 4g and much, much better than mine. I might try it again, pending my need.

I just had to show off Big Boy at 7 months old! Look at how tall he is. He was such a good boy this weekend. And sweet!

Less land sharkish.

And here is my good news: I am 21 pounds down! Yes, I did it. I met my goal and exceeded by 1 pound. Next up – 10 more by Christmas. Slow and steady wins the race.

I hope everyone has an awesome week! Let’s do this!

Low Carb Cubed Steak & Gravy

Low Carb Cubed Steak with Gravy

  • Package of cubed steak (about 6 – 8)
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp ground pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 c powdered Parm Cheese
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup butter

Gravy

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 block cream cheese, softened
  • 1 can beef broth
  • sea salt & black pepper

Beat eggs in a shallow bowl.

Place the parm, paprika, and cayenne pepper in another shallow bowl and stir well to combine. Divide the parm mix between 2 separate bowls so you can do a dry, wet, dry dipping of steaks.

Dip a steak into the first bowl of Parm, then into the egg mix, then into the second bowl of Parm. Use your hands to coat both sides. Place the coated steak on a plate and repeat with the remaining steaks.

Place the 1/4 cup butter in a cast iron skillet on medium heat. When hot, add the coated steaks, working in batches. Cook for 3 minutes on each side (maybe longer – get to right consistently.) You want them to be golden brown and cooked through. Place steaks on a warm plate and cover.

To make gravy: Melt 1 tbsp butter in same skillet. Add onions and garlic and saute over medium heat. Use a whisk to stir in cream cheese, whisking until there are no clumps and it is melted. Slowly add broth while whisking. Cook, stirring constantly, until mix comes to a simmer and is smooth. Reduce to medium low and continue to simmer, until it thickens. This should take about 2 minutes.

Remove foil off steaks and cover with gravy.

This is a great way to have a little comfort food with low carbs!

Great Reading and Good Eating

One of the newest things Tim and I are doing at home is turning off the TV by 7pm. It’s a new concept for us. We have, for the past 4 years, been escaping into random reality series and binge watching shows on Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime. We realized so many things weren’t getting done.

Just last week, I finished the book, “Ribbons of Scarlet” which you can read about HERE. It took me about a week and I simply could not put it down. Since I am more of the biographical, historical fiction kinda girl, I opted for another great option that kept coming up in my Kindle “You May Like” category. The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris is the one that kept reappearing.

I ordered it from Amazon and downloaded it to my Kindle. While driving to Macon on Saturday for my hair appointment, I finished the Ribbons of Scarlet and thought what a good idea it would be to go ahead and start my new book. Unfortunately, I forgot I needed access to wireless, so I had to wait until we got home from Macon.

That night I got all cozy in my bed and began, what would become, one of my favorite tales from WWII. Incredible story telling and it is all based on a true story.

Without giving away too much, there is a main character by the name of Lale and he is a Jew and is from Slovakia. When the war began, before Jews were officially being taken away and put in “work camps” or “concentration camps” there were actual calls for men to volunteer to go and work in these camps. Lale, due to his family’s circumstances, chose to volunteer. He ends up at Auschwitz (of all places!!)

I remember as a child learning all about concentration camps. For one, my maternal grandfather fought in WWII and had many, many stories to share. My sister performed in a play about the camp. I saw Schindler’s List and visited the Holocaust Museum in DC. And even more importantly, I have a relative, Judge Shake from Indiana, that was a judge at the Nuremberg Trails. My ancestry on my dad’s mom’s side is German and according to my DNA test, I am 29% German. As you can imagine, anything to do with Germany is of interest to my family.

This story shares how Lale, by the grace of God, was given the job of Tattooist at the camp. With this position came lots of privileges, and luckily, Lale was really good at manipulating the system. Yes, he witnesses many atrocities that you will read about in great detail and yes, there is a love connection that is beyond a fairy tale! (To think it is true.) Lale was a very brave man and there were many times throughout the book that I kept thinking to myself, “What would I have done?”

I think that is the beauty of reading. I got a firsthand account of what life was like in a concentration camp and I kept trying to imagine how I would handle the situation.

I just don’t know.

Needless to say, I high recommend this book. And more great news, there is a follow-up book that explore a life of one of the characters by the name of Cilka. It is called Cilka’s Journey. When the Russians came to liberate the concentration camps, Cilka was actually found to be a collaborator with the Nazis (which she was not,) and sent to Siberia to the work camps. I JUST started that book last night and now I find myself in Siberia in the 1940s. Mama mia!

As promised, I wanted to throw in one recipe for you and it is a super easy one!

Chicken Wrap

  • 2 c. shredded chicken (I used the pulled chicken that is frozen from Tyson)
  • 1/3 cup of Ranch (Sometimes I try different flavor ranches)
  • 4 slices of cooked bacon
  • Butter or Boston Lettuce (used for wraps)

Cook bacon.

Cook chicken.

Combine chicken & ranch in a bowl.

Spoon into lettuce leaves. Sprinkle with bacon (and I usually add shredded cheese.)

Boom and done!

Drop It Like It is Hot & Other Recipes

You guys!!!! I have so much to share with you today. Including some delicious recipes to help you have a morning that you start off with “Hey Guys!!!”

I am down 17.6 pounds. That point six may not seem like a lot, but I am getting closer and closer to being down 20 pounds!

How am I doing it? I’m going low-carb!

As promised, I planned to share a few recipes with you, some that are super easy and count as low-carb. I have not included exercise as of yet. I’ve been nursing a torn MCL and wanted to give myself a chance to take some pounds off of my knee and to get this new medication I am using to start working.

Let’s get to the food portion, shall we?

Keto Taco Casserole

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 lbs ground beef (I go for lean)
  • 2 tbsp kosher salt
  • Ground black pepper for taste
  • 2 tbsp taco seasoning
  • jalapenos, chopped (I use a jar of nacho jalapenos.)
  • 6 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro leaves
  • 1 c sour cream (for serving)
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar

Preheat oven to 350 F.

In a large skillet, heat the oil on a medium heat. Add onion and cook for 2 minutes. Add ground beef and brown with the onions.

Sprinkle taco seasoning & jalapenos (as many as you are comfortable with.) Cook another minute.

In a large bowl, whisk eggs, then add the meat. Spread the mix in an even layer in a casserole dish. Sprinkle with cheese. Cook 25 min.

Remove from oven and sprinkle with cilantro & top with sour cream.

DELISH!!

Buffalo Chicken Casserole

  • 1 block (8 oz) cream cheese
  • 2 c. cooked, cubed chicken (I buy the bag of Tyson pre-cooked, cubed chicken.)
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 cup Buffalo Wing Sauce
  • 3 tbsp heavy cream
  • 4 oz. shredded cheddar

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Add cream cheese, buffalo sauce and garlic to a skillet. Heat at medium, and whisk. When the cream cheese has melted, add in the chicken. Mix well and remove from heat.

Spray a casserole dish with coconut oil and spoon in the mixture and smooth it out.

Pour heavy cream over the top and sprinkle with cheese.

Bake for 30 minutes!

These are two super easy recipes to make that most kids will enjoy. Big on flavor, low on carb and easy to make!

Pizza Casserole – Low Carb

As promised, I want to share with you some of the incredible recipes my family and I are experimenting with.

If you will remember, on Memorial Day, I began eating a low-carb diet. As of today, Saturday, August 15th, I am down 17 pounds total. I’m not hungry, I’m not foggy, and I feel incredible.

If you are unsure if your kids or even YOU would enjoy the recipes, I am here to tell you, try THIS one. I have made this pizza casserole about once a week. It reheats like a charm and is extremely tasty, you won’t miss the crust (or have to eat that terrible cauliflower crust.) **Look, I don’t care what you think or have talked yourself into, cauliflower tastes like cauliflower.

Okay, let’s get to it:

You will need the following:

  • Casserole dish
  • Coconut Oil Spray
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • Italian seasoning
  • salt & pepper (I used coarse sea salt)
  • 1 can tomato sauce 29 oz
  • 1 block cream cheese
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 c heavy cream
  • 1 bag shredded mozzarella
  • 1 bag shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions (options)
  • 1 bag pepperoni

Preheat the oven to 350.

Spray the casserole with the coconut oil spray. Then drizzle the olive oil in a skillet. Heat it to medium-hi. Add onions and cook about 3 minutes. Then add garlic and stir.

Place the ground beef in the skillet and sprinkle with Italian seasoning. Then sprinkle some salt & pepper to taste. Use a meat chopper or spatula and break the beef up (as if you were making taco meat.) Brown the ground beef.

Then add the block of cream cheese & 1/2 of the can of tomato sauce. Sprinkle again with Italian Seasoning. Cook this and mix well until the cheese is melted.

Remove from the heat.

In a medium bowl (and you can do this while the cheese is melting,) combine the beaten eggs, 1/2 bag mozzarella, and heavy cream. It will be fairly thick.

Spread beef mix in the casserole dish. Then pour the egg mix over it. I typically sprinkle a little more salt & pepper & Italian seasoning. Then sprinkle the bag of cheddar cheese over the top. Layer pepperoni.

Then sprinkle the rest of the mozzarella over the top and layer again with pepperoni.

Bake 15 – 20 minutes.

Take the other half of the tomato sauce and mix with Italian seasoning. Heat in the microwave for 2 minutes.

When the casserole is finished, cut into squares and pour a little homemade marinara over the slice. DELISH!

Nicole’s KETO Pizza Casserole

Healthier Living Done Better

I’ve done it you guys! I’ve stayed on a “diet” for almost three months now! 16 pounds down and going strong.

It started on Memorial Day. I woke up and saw my husband walking through the house in a t shirt and his boxers. It is no secret he has been doing KETO for going on three years now, however, I really saw the weight loss. Like REALLY saw him. He has lost almost 70-something pounds and looks fantastic. As most mornings go, I shuffled to the bathroom and came face to face with the scale. I thought to myself, “Why not? Just check.”

Dear Lord in Heaven.

I weighed more than I have… like EVER.

I mean, I realize I started purchasing 3xl shirts and that was sort of new. I should have known there was a reason. lol

I walked out of the bathroom sort of shell shocked. I made my way to the bed and sort of sat there. Tim looked at me like I had three heads and asked what was wrong. I said, “This has to stop. I’m going to do it.”

“Do what?”

“Low carb. I’m serious, Tim. This is it.”

He replied, “You know you have my support.”

And that was the beginning.

Best. Decision. Ever.

When I truly make my mind up to do something, I go full force. I ordered some cook books:

  • Southern Keto
  • Air Fryer Keto
  • Keto Comfort Foods
  • Keto Dairy-Free
  • Keto Soups
  • Keto Desserts

I even went so far as to purchase an air fryer and ice cream maker. And my new culinary journey took off.

I’ve tried a variety of recipes and honestly, Pinterest has a ton to choose from. If you are interested in seeing my Pinterest Low Carb list, click HERE.

I’ve had many friends ask what I am doing and what I am buying. You have to know, I am doing a sort of low-carb dirty KETO diet. I still eat dairy, though a heck of a lot less and I continue to eat my bananas, etc. But what I thought I would do is share some of what I buy each week.

Breakfast:

I typically get up and have a cup of coffee, maybe two at the most. I used sugar-free Coffee Mate French Vanilla creamer and 2 Stevia packets. Sometimes, when I want to jazz it up, I put a little sugar-free whipped topping (out of the can) on top and top with cinnamon, ginger, or pumpkin spice.

When I get to work, I will drink an Atkins Caramel Cafe Latte. Some days I might actually make a scrambled egg with a slice of cheese. And then there is a morning or two where I will cook 3 pieces of bacon in the air fryer. It really just depends on how much time I have and how hungry I am.

Lunch:

Lunch is a little different. I have discovered these fantastic “wraps” that are made of cheese. I will add a little Hidden Valley Spicey Secret Sauce and grab a few slices of deli ham, cajun turkey, or bacon and wrap it up. I might eat one or two. I usually have a banana or some unsweetened apple sauce. Then I add either strawberries or blueberries to my bento box. I’ll have a diet soda or bottled water.

If I go out to eat, I just stay away from fries or breaded foods. That leaves a wide variety of options.

Dinner:

Now dinner is the most fun! We’ve tried everything from ribs (with a dry rub) in the air fryer, to brats, to almond flour “air fried” chicken, to so many other delicious options. My goal is to actually share my favorite recipes with you each week.

For dessert I’ve been making sugar-free ice cream, flourless cakes, and sugar-free/crustless cheesecakes. My desserts have been a hit! I use everything from almond & coconut flour, SWERVE and Stevia, and almond milk.

Here are a few pics of choices we’ve made over the past 3 months.

Peel & Eat Shrimp from the Fish House in Americus

We are not afraid to pick up dinners from our local restaurants and low carbing is a cinch! Seafood, not fried, is always an easy and delicious fix!

Homemade Cloud Bread

I was missing my bread options and made something known as cloud bread! Ever heard of it? It is super easy and I promise to share the recipe soon!

Sausage Gravy & Biscuits

Don’t be fooled – the above sausage gravy and biscuits are KETO! Almond & coconut flour & almond milk. It is sooooo filling and delicious. See? I didn’t have to give up much.

KETO Pizza Casserole

This is one of our family’s favorites! It is a KETO Pizza Casserole I found on Pinterest. Super easy, super rich tasting, and low carb!

When we were traveling to Chicago and had to take a bathroom break and to get snacks, I opted for the cheese and little cured meats as a high protein, low carb snack. Any major truck stop carries this.

Omelette with a side of fruit

When eating out and ordering breakfast, just ask for a side of fruit versus hashbrowns or grits!

Fajita in a Bowl!

Our friends wanted to eat Mexican, so I opted for the Steak Fajita with no tortillas!

Chicken Casserole with Broccoli

Casseroles are still a thing. Here is a chicken casserole that is a hit and it is completely keto. Made with cubed chicken, cream cheese, heavy cream, cheddar, onions, & bacon.

All in all, I am doing this. Not going hungry, actually thriving, and the weight is just coming off, a little each week. I do plan to incorporate exercise soon, but I have been nursing an injured knee and it is not easy!

What are you doing to stay healthier? How are you feeling during the pandemic? Who wants to join me on this journey?

Stay tuned for more tips and recipes as the weeks go on!