Monday, March 18, 2019

Keto Reuben Skillet

Following a keto plan has been pretty easy thus far; specially with super easy dishes like this one. 
With only 5 ingredients, it is fairly inexpensive AND it literally takes 15 minutes to make. THAT'S IT! I made it for about the 110th time for St. Patrick's Day - corned beef and all that...
Even if you aren't following keto this is a great meal for those busy weekdays or for on the weekend when you don't want to have to do a lot of prep! 
According to MyFitnessPal, a serving is (recipe as written is 4 servings): 439 calories, 8 carbs, 28 fat, 39 protein, 4 fiber, and 3 sugar. This, of course, will vary according to what brands you use, etc... But for 8 carbs (plus 4 fiber = 4 net carbs), it is one of my go to keto dinners!

Keto Reuben Skillet

1/4 cup butter
20 oz (about 600 gr) deli sliced corned beef, coarsely chopped
1 jar (20 oz) sauerkraut (rinsed and drained)
2 Tbsp prepared mustard
8 oz Swiss cheese

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add in the chopped corned beef and fry for a few minutes. Add in the sauerkraut and stir to combine. Cook until heated through - about 4 - 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

Drizzle the top with the mustard and then lay the Swiss cheese on top. 

Reduce heat and cover the pan until cheese is melted - about 2 - 3 minutes.

Serve immediately. 

Serve with a few slices of pickle!

Easy to reheat for lunch the next day or freeze and reheat later. 
Super simple, am I right? Can all dinners be this easy and delicious, please?
I'm not even that huge of a sauerkraut fan but I enjoy this for dinner. Something different and filling and easy, what's not to love?

Friday, March 15, 2019

Kilkenny Glazed Doughnuts

St. Patrick's Day always means we break out the Guinness (or, in this case, the Kilkenny Irish Cream Ale) and start baking. I've been on a bit of a donut baking bender lately so I figured making a beer donut would be the perfect thing. I was originally going to use Guinness as that is my go to Irish beer but I saw this lovely new Irish Cream Ale and had to give it a go. 
I think Homer Simpson would be proud of this one. It is probably the lightest and fluffiest donut I've made to date with a hint of the Kilkenny and not as much sweetness as the usual donuts I make. 
I'm filing these ones in the "must make again" pile. I'm thinking of trying it with a good old Canadian beer for Canada Day to see how they stack up!

Kilkenny Glazed Doughnuts

1/2 cup hot water
4 1/2 tsp yeast
4 - 5 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
3 eggs
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup softened butter
1 cup Kilkenny Irish Cream Ale (heated about 1 1/2 minutes in the microwave)

3 cups icing sugar
1/2 cup Kilkenny Irish Cream Ale

Oil for frying (about 1 liter) 

Place hot water and yeast in a small bowl and set aside for 5 minutes to let yeast bloom.
In the bowl of a stand mixer add 4 cups of flour, sugar, and salt. 
Turn the mixer on low and add in the vanilla, eggs, heavy cream, and softened butter. Add in the proofed yeast. Then add in the heated Kilkenny. Turn the mixer to medium speed and mix until dough pulls away from sides of bowl. Add in enough flour so it is not sticky. 
Place dough on floured work surface and knead for about 2 - 3 minutes more. Place into an oiled bowl, cover, and set somewhere warm to rise for an hour. 
After an hour - roll out the dough on a floured work surface to about 1/2 inch thick. Cut with round biscuit or cookie cutters, and then take a smaller round cutter and cut out the center. Reroll the dough scraps for more donuts. Place on parchment paper lined cookie sheets, cover with a clean tea towel, and set somewhere warm to rise for another hour. (NOTE - a handy tip to make things easier: cut your parchment paper into individual squares and it is much easier to lift each donut off the tray and slide it into the oil.) 
At about the 45 minute mark, start heating your oil to cook the donuts in. You want the temperature to be 350 degrees. (If you don't have a deep fryer then a large, deep pot will also work.) 
When oil is ready your donuts should also be risen and ready to deep fry.

Fry 3 or 4 donuts at a time, but don't crowd the pot or it will lower the temperature of the oil too much. It's best to use a thermometer to monitor the temperature of your oil. (Too low and the donuts absorb too much grease, too high and the outside will burn while the inside remains raw.) 350 degrees is where you want to stay. 

Cook for approximately one minute on each side. 
Remove from the oil using a slotted spoon and place on paper towel lined cookie sheets. 

Continue until all donuts are cooked. Let them cool to room temp before applying glaze. 
Prepare glaze - in a mixing bowl, whisk together icing sugar and Kilkenny Ale until smooth. 

Dip the tops of each donut in the glaze...

Then flip and let sit on a tray so the excess glaze can drip off. 

Continue until all donuts are dipped.

They look so glossy.

I can't believe how squishy and light these are. 

The Ale adds a little tang that is a nice contrast to the sweet glaze. 

These also freeze quite well, in case you want to make up a batch ahead of time.
I believe I got about 32 palm-of-your-hand sized donuts from one batch - which is quite a large amount - you could easily half the recipe if you wanted to. (But, really?)

These have earned themselves a top 5 placement on my favorite donuts list. The unique flavor and the amazing texture just can't be beat. Plus... beer + donuts = *fireworks* 
A definite must to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. Sure, they take some time to complete BUT they are totally worth it. 
FYI - If you are going to freeze them: freeze them in a single layer so the glaze doesn't stick them together. 

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Keto Butter Chicken

I loooove butter chicken. I wasn't sure if I would be able to eat it while following a keto eating plan. As luck would have it I found a few recipes that lowered the carbs in butter chicken. I amalgamated a few recipes and threw in my own touches and came up with this version that is only 6 carbs per serving! You can serve this with cauliflower rice (1 cup has 5 carbs) or with Konjac Rice

Konjac Rice has 0 carbs and only 10 calories so is great for a low carb diet. The texture is a little weird but when you serve it with something saucy, like butter chicken, it is fabulous!

Keto Butter Chicken

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or thighs), cut up
1 1/2 tsp tumeric
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp chili powder
pinch cinnamon
2 Tbsp butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 medium onion, finely diced
1 1/2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 cup whipping cream

Coat chicken pieces in spices, set aside. Prep the rest of your ingredients so you are ready to go.

Heat butter over medium heat in a large frying pan. Add in garlic and onion, cook 2 minutes. 
Add in chicken and cook until chicken is done. 
Add in tomato paste and cream. 

Simmer for 5 - 7 minutes. (If you prefer your sauce thicker then continue to simmer until you reach your desired consistency.)
Serve hot with your favorite rice (or cauliflower rice, or Konjac rice!)

Serve side by side or...

Stir it all up! Either way it is super tasty and a great meal regardless of if you are following keto.
Another plus? It only dirties one pan, takes about 10 minutes of prep, and from start to finish is under half an hour. Gotta love quick and easy! 
As written, recipe makes 4 servings but can easily be doubled. 

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Cream Cheese Brownies

You can't go wrong with brownies. I mean... fudgey, chocolaty, ooey gooey brownies warm, with ice cream and caramel sauce....*droooool*. When they bury me it's going to be written on my tombstone: "The brownies finally got her."
I'm okay with that. 
This recipe is a bit of a cheat. We started with a mix and made some additions and ended up with a totally decadent dessert that will impress all your chocolate loving guests. If you are anti-cheat, then by all means you can use your favorite basic brownie recipe to start with!

Cream Cheese Brownies

1 box brownie mix (We used Betty Crocker Fudge Brownie) 
Ingredients on box to prepare brownie

Cream Cheese Swirl
4 oz cream cheese (1/2 a brick), room temp
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla

vanilla ice cream
caramel sauce

Preheat oven to 350. Line a 10 inch pan with parchment paper, set aside. (NOTE - can use a 9 inch pan but you will need to adjust cooking time.)
Prepare brownie as per box instructions and spread into the prepared 10 inch pan.

In a bowl, beat together the cream cheese, sugar, sour cream, and vanilla until smooth, scraping bowl as needed. Drop by spoonfuls over the brownie in the pan.

Swirl the cream cheese mixture through the brownie mixture with a butter knife. 

Bake at 350 until toothpick inserted near center comes out with only a few moist crumbs and top looks "dry"- about 30 - 35 minutes. The cream cheese part will be browned. 

Let cool on wire rack. Use the parchment paper to remove the brownie from the pan OR serve directly from the pan. 

You can serve warm or room temp.... or even chilled if that's your thing. There is no wrong way to serve a rich and creamy cheesecakey brownie.

Ice cream always makes things better, of course. But wait, there's more...

Caramel sauce on top is just the bomb. 
Are we still saying that? Are things still "the bomb"?
Regardless.... this is and always will be. 

Do you enjoy cheesecake and brownies and ice cream and caramel in one stupidly over the top dessert? I do. I really, really do. 

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Triple Chocolate Eclairs

I've never made eclairs before. 
I'm a little embarrassed about that because the only reason I never tried to is I thought they were really complicated to make. I don't usually attempt anything if I don't immediately believe I will be good at it. I know... I know.... That's not how one grows as a person. 
I'm terrible. I get it.
Anyway, I was feeling like I needed a bit of a challenge and Sue assured me that I would be fine making eclairs as she had made them and didn't die. She's very supportive... oh wait... I mean sarcastic... 
After researching a few recipes I decided on this one - I figured if it ended up in the garbage then I wouldn't be out too much moolah. They are actually really inexpensive to make - again, surprising to me, I thought they were super costly. Nope. Not so much.

Triple Chocolate Eclairs

3/4 cup water, boiling
6 Tbsp butter, cut up
1 Tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup flour
1 Tbsp baking cocoa
3 eggs

2 cups whipping cream
1 box instant chocolate pudding
1 Tbsp cocoa powder

1 cup chocolate chips
1 tsp coconut oil

Preheat oven to 425. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, set aside. 
Prepare dough - In a medium saucepan over medium heat, stir together water, butter, sugar, and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and stir in the flour and cocoa powder. 
Return to heat for 1 - 2 minutes - until smooth and forms a ball. Remove from heat again and let rest 5 minutes. 
Beat in eggs, one at a time, making sure it is smooth and glossy between each addition. 
Scoop dough into a piping bag and pipe into 1 X 4 inch strips. (You should get approx 12.) 
Bake at 425 for 5 minutes. Then, reduce heat and to 350 and bake for 30 minutes. Shut off the heat and let rest in oven for another 10 minutes. 
Remove from oven, poke each with a toothpick (to release any remaining steam) and let cool completely. 

When cool, carefully cut in half diagonally and set aside.
Prepare cream filling - Pour whipping cream into a bowl and add the pudding mix and cocoa powder. Beat until stiff enough to pipe. 
Pipe onto the bottom half off each eclair.

Prepare glaze - in a flat bowl, or plate with sides, melt the chocolate chips and coconut oil and stir until smooth. Gently dip the top half of each eclair into the glaze and shake off any extra. Place back on top of the cream.

Chill until ready to serve.

The chocolate glaze on top will solidify so it won't get all over your fingers!

I had so much fun making these. Granted, my piping skills need a little work. My eclairs were NOT equal at all. That's okay - I plan on practicing more with regular eclairs and playing with all the possible fillings. 

I could just eat a million of these. So light and airy and creamy and delicious. 
Also.... I love cream puffs, which are basically just teeny eclairs, so that is going to be happening as well. 
Should I try going out of my comfort zone more often? Absolutely. Will I? Well, that remains to be seen. Hey, a girl's not going to change overnight BUT I did try making eclairs so I can cross that off my bucket list now. 

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Keto BBQ Ribs

I've been following a keto eating plan since December and, I have to say, I have been having great success. I'm finding I'm not as tempted to snack between meals as I used to be. Keto isn't for everyone but these ribs definitely are. 
I love the fact that there is limited prep involved and the flavor is amazing! It's a little more work than just brushing on store bought BBQ sauce BUT it's totally worth the minimal effort involved! 
I finished these off under the broiler but you could finish them on the grill for even more flavor (plus those pretty grill marks). 

Keto BBQ Ribs

2 lbs pork ribs, membrane removed
2/3 tsp salt

BBQ Sauce
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1/3 onion, finely diced
3 Tbsp water
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cumin
dash of cayenne pepper
1 tsp salt
1 can (10 oz) whole tomatoes
1 1/3 Tbsp cider vinegar

Place ribs in a large pot and cover with water. Add in the salt. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and let ribs simmer for 2 - 3 hours. 

Prepare sauce - In a large pan over medium heat, stir together oil and tomato paste. Add in the onion and stir until onion starts to soften. 
Add in the water and spices and stir to combine. Add in the canned tomatoes and vinegar. Simmer for 15 - 20 minutes, stirring every so often, until sauce is thickened. 

Use an immersion blender to process until smooth. (You can also place in a blender and process). Set aside until ribs are done. 

When ribs have finished boiling, brush with about half of the sauce (on both sides of the ribs) and place in fridge, covered, until ready to cook. (They should marinate for at least 4 hours, up to overnight.) 
After marinating, preheat the broiler. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and place ribs on it.
Brush the bottom of the ribs with a little more sauce and broil for about 5 minutes.
Remove from oven, flip over, and spread the remaining sauce on top of the ribs. 

Broil an additional 5 - 10 minutes, until sauce is heated through and you start to get blackened spots. Watch it carefully so it doesn't burn! 

Serve immediately!

I have made these several times now and the whole family (even those not doing keto) love them. 
I only managed to snap one photo of the ribs after separating them...
Sorry for the quality, it was with my phone!

So tender! They just fall right off the bone. 
I entered the recipe into MyFitnessPal and the nutritional counts per serving are as such: 291 calories, 4 carbs, 21 fat, 49 protein, 1 fiber, 3 sugar. (Recipe as written makes 4 servings)  So that's 3 grams of net carbs. If you are doing keto then these make a great addition to your food plan. If you are not doing keto, they still make a great addition to your meal plan. :)