companion blog to the e-book the 24/7 Low Carb Diner

Companion blog to the e-book
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Monday, December 26, 2016

Happy Birthday Muffins

It is my hubby's birthday tomorrow. He hates having it so close to Christmas, so I always treat him special. He has been very good this holiday season, not giving in to sugary treats. So these peanut buttery muffins will be his birthday cake. They really are easy to make, and remarkably good for you. Since these are not as sweet as traditional cupcakes, you may want to add just a touch more sweetener. We like them this way, though.

The frosting is so simple--no messing with lots of butter or cream cheese. A nice Greek yogurt thickened with peanut flour. We really liked it! The original recipe is from the June 2015 issue of the Diner News.

It features my baking blend. I will add that recipe below. I really do use my baking blends often. They work better than any flour substitute alone. Plus, it is less expensive to make up your own baking blend rather than buying a commercial blend. The initial cost is there, purchasing specialized ingredients, but they will last a long time, so you will end up saving.

Peanut  Muffins

2 eggs
2 tbsp erythritol / stevia blend
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup Master Mix (#2)
1/4 cup peanut flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp MCT or coconut oil
2 tbsp cashew milk

1/4 cup Greek yogurt
1 tbsp peanut flour
1 tbsp erythritol / stevia blend
1/4 tsp vanilla
1 pinch salt

In a medium bowl, beat eggs. Stir in sweetener and vanilla. Add master mix, peanut flour, baking powder, oil, vanilla and salt. Stir until smooth. Add cashew milk one spoon at a time. Fill 4-5 muffin cups with batter. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes.

To make frosting, combine all ingredients. Top cooled  muffins.
Serves 5: 129 calories  2.5 net carbs   10 g fat

This is a great recipe that makes a small batch. Sometimes, you just don't want to overdo. He will be eating a big steak dinner too, so this is just about right to share with our smaller family. Just one son home for Dad's birthday.

Master Baking Mix #2

1 1/2 cup coconut flour
1 1/4 cup oat fiber
3/4 cup almond flour
3/4 cup whey protein powder
1/2 cup flaxmeal
1/4 cup ground psyllium husk
2 tbsp glucomannan
2 tbsp beef gelatin

Combine all ingredients in an air tight container.

18   - 1/4 cup servings  116 calories 2 net g carbs

 This is the mix I use for heartier muffins and breads. It is slightly less expensive than my Mix recipe #1. Either would work if you have one already made up. Now I am off to celebrate his birthday and work on the January edition of the Diner News.

Get more great recipes at the Low Carbing Among Friends Facebook Page:     

 Order any of our great cookbooks at

Order my original e-book or the latest version for couples and singles,  A Table for Two here.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Candied Christmas Mints

These little cuties are a quick little holiday sweet that pleases anyone who loves chocolate and mint together. And how festive!

The case is a cream cheese mint--yes just like those served at weddings. Tinted with some red and green for Christmas. I remember making dozens of these in pink and green for my sister's wedding back in the seventies. Those chocolate candies in the center are the trickier part. Those are Atkin's sugarfree chocolate candies. If you can find them, they make these so special. The package comes in assorted color m & m type candies, and I just picked out the red and green ones. I happened to find these at Big Lots the other day. No promises on you finding them at your local store, you know how that goes. You can order them through Amazon too.

Candied Christmas Mints

4 oz cream cheese, softened
2 tbsp butter, softened
1/4 tsp peppermint extract
2 to 2 1/2 cups powdered erythritol / stevia blend or other confectioner's style sugar substitute
food coloring
2 pkg. Atkins Chocolate Candies, red and green only
optional: 1/4 cup powdered erythritol / stevia blend

Beat together cream cheese, butter, peppermint and vanilla. Add powdered sweetener, one half cup at a time. Divide the mixture and tint with food coloring. Chill for 1 hour. Roll into small balls.  press a candy into the center of each ball. Keep chilled. If serving these at a party, you may choose to dust each ball with additional powdered sweetener before pressing the candy in. This will make them less sticky to the touch if they get a little warm.

Makes approximately 36 candies. Each mint has about 20 calories and less than half a carb.

I have an approximate measurement on the sweetener, because the stiffness of the mint mixture will vary by brand. I have used powdered xylitol with this recipe and found I needed a bit more. Remember, if you don't have confectioner's style, you may grind it yourself in a blender. Just watch the cloud of dust when you open the lid. Don't ask how I know this!

These are perfect to keep in a small container in the fridge. Perfect for a sweet tooth and a drive by snack. They would be wonderful in a little candy paper cup as an after dinner mint.

Christmas is fast approaching. With married sons, my holidays are all over the place. Rather than having the boys all at home, they are all over the country, visiting with the bride's families. To get it all in, we will exchange gifts three different times. Sad, but a mom of boys will take what she gets. I am finding it much harder to get into the holiday spirit. Now that my boys are grown and our nest is so empty, John and I are trying to put more emphasis on serving. Yesterday, we battled  single digit wind chills to ring the bells at the kettle for Salvation Army. We will volunteer at several services at our church too, and of course I have all my kids at school. I miss Christmas with little ones, though. My prayers are that next year I will have my family all together in one place--and perhaps a grandbaby to love.

Get more great recipes at the Low Carbing Among Friends Facebook Page:     

 Order any of our great cookbooks at

Order my original e-book or the latest version for couples and singles,  A Table for Two here.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Cinnamon Swirl Cheesecake and all the Parties

So many events this time of year. I would like to say that I have been baking up a storm for you, but alas, I have not. This year seems to be a little more on the crafty side for some school projects. But no bother, I have chosen one of my favorite desserts that I have never featured here on the blog. It  was a star in the December '15 Diner News. I took it to my Lifegroup party last year and it was a big hit--even among those who would never be low carbers, simply unable to give up sugar! Since I just got home from this year's party, I decided to share it with you now. Tonight I took my Roasted Delicata and Cranberries. I got raves on that dish too!

This is a big, rich cheesecake. Great when you have a crowd to feed. It is prettier than it looks in the photos. The flavor is rich and decadent. So full of the cinnamon flavor, and perfectly complimented with the pecans. That cinnamon sauce is awesome--you might want to make more for other goodies!

Cinnamon Swirl Cheesecake

1 cup pecan meal
5 tbsp butter, melted

Cinnamon Sauce:
1/4 cup butter
3/4 cup stevia/erythritol blend equal to sugar
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp coconut flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground cloves
3 tbsp half-and-half

5 (8 oz) blocks cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cup stevia/erythritol blend equal to sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 egg yolks
5 eggs

24 pecan halves for garnish

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium bowl, melt butter. Stir in the pecan meal and mix until the nuts are moist. Press into the base of a 9 or 10 inch springform pan. Butter your fingers to rub an inch along the base rim of the spring form pan. Bake for ten minutes. Remove crust from oven and change the oven temperature to 500 degrees.

    Meanwhile prepare the Cinnamon Sauce: melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in sweetener, cinnamon, salt, and cloves and cook while stirring constantly until mixture is smooth. Whisk in coconut flour until well combined. The mixture may be lumpy. Cook 1 minute while stirring constantly. Add half-and-half, one tablespoon at a time, whisking until smooth and thick. Remove from heat.

   In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese until fluffy. Incorporate the sweetener 1/4 cup at a time. Add in the salt, cream, lemon juice and vanilla. Beat for 2 minutes. Add the egg yolks and beat until incorporated. Add the eggs, one at a time, continuing to beat between additions. Pour the cheesecake mixture into the pan. Smooth the top and tap for air bubbles. Spoon the cinnamon sauce into circles on top of the batter. Drag a knife through in one direction to make swirls.

   Bake on a lower middle rack of the oven for exactly 10 minutes. At the ten minute mark, turn the heat down to 200 degrees. Do not open the door. Bake for 1 1/2 hours. (If top is browning too much, place a foil guard loosely around the edges.) Remove from oven. The cheesecake should be firm around the outer edges and still slightly jiggly in the center. Let cool for 5 minutes, then run a knife along the edge to loosen it and help prevent cracking. Let cool at room temperature for an hour, then transfer to the refrigerator for several hours.

Serves 16:  351 calories    3 net g carb

You may, of course substitute almond meal for the crust, and use the sweetener of choice. This is one of those recipes that makes the holiday events special. Hope your season is blessed and your hearts are full of love.

Get more great recipes at the Low Carbing Among Friends Facebook Page:     

 Order any of our great cookbooks at

Order my original e-book or the latest version for couples and singles,  A Table for Two here.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Amaretto Snowfall Cookies and the December Diner News

Amaretto has an odd meaning in my clan. Sure, it is a sweet, almond-flavored, Italian liqueur. But in my family, it is a sign of deep emotion. As we are not drinkers, this is about at hard as we get. A sip of Amaretto is our admission of the need for a little relief from a moment of intense sadness. But that is just the liqueur itself. We love the Amaretto flavoring in coffees and desserts--no emotional trauma necessary.

Not that this past month has not be traumatic at our house. A son undergoing two cancer surgeries will do that to a mom. Not to mention extended family issues at Thanksgiving, and my sweet dog having a medical emergency Thanksgiving night. Then I had to go and have that dreaded birthday that qualifies one for free senior coffee. Just a little stress! Things are looking up, though.

My sweet JP is on the mend. No more treatments until after New Year. My pup is doing better too. Trying to get the newsletter out and get into the holiday spirit. The Amaretto flavor in these cookies helps. They are almondy and sweet and simply GOOD. The crescent shape is traditional for an almond cookie. I went the extra step by adding Amaretto flavoring by Capella to really amplify that flavor. So delicious and therapeutic as well. No alcohol content necessary.

Amaretto Snowfall Cookies

2 cups almond flour
1/3 cup erythritol/stevia blend
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 large egg
2 1/2 tbsp butter, melted
¾ tsp vanilla extract
30 drops Amaretto flavored Capella drops or ¼ tsp almond extract
1/8 tsp stevia extract
2 tbsp dried coconut milk powder or powdered erythritol /stevia blend
1 tsp powdered erythritol / stevia blend

Combine almond flour, sweetener, baking powder and salt together in a large bowl. Stir in egg, butter, vanilla extract , Amaretto flavoring and stevia extract until dough comes together. Use a small cookie scoop to measure out a ball of dough. Roll into a log and turn ends into a crescent shape. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for about 12-15 minutes. Remove to cooling rack. Combine coconut milk powder and powdered sweetener into a mesh strainer or salt shaker and dust the top of each cookie.  36 cookies. 

A serving of 3:  127 calories 2 net g carb

 These are perfect cookies for a holiday cookie tray. I took a batch to school and the girls really loved the flavor. Very hard to tell they are sugarfree!

The snowfall is especially pretty. You can use powdered erythritol, but I really like the combination of dried coconut milk powder with a little sweetener. The consistency really does look like snow and it stays without disappearing into the cookie. It doesn;t really taste like coconut at all, so go ahead. I haven't tried it yet, but I hear you can make your own dried coffee creamer with this stuff. I rodered that and my Capella flavorings from Netrition.

Take a look at some of the goodies in this Christmas issue of the Diner News. Order here.

Snowflake Salad

Irish Cream Holiday Nog

White Christmas Stew

Pomegranate Pistachio Goat Cheese Log

Mint Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Dessert Cups

Smoked Mozzarella Hot Dip

Christmas Tree Appetizer

Pecan Pie Bars

3 King's Cauliflower

Mini Irish Cream Desserts

Smoky Creamed Kale

Maple Dijon Christmas Ham
Get more great recipes at the Low Carbing Among Friends Facebook Page:     

 Order any of our great cookbooks at

Order my original e-book or the latest version for couples and singles,  A Table for Two here.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Thanksgiving Bundle--Get Your Holiday Planned!

Let's face it. Thanksgiving takes some planning. Especially if you don't eat all the sugar filled treats, bread based stuffings and mounds of mashed potatoes. Every year, I go to great lengths to make wonderful sides that real celebration foods themselves. Something more special than the day to day fare.

I also create healthy desserts that will make sure my hubby does not feel deprived when the others pass the pumpkin pie. I make things that even the carbivores among the family will enjoy. No diet food corner of the table. Healthy low carb foods are good for everyone.

I have also, over the years, included several ways of approaching the traditional bird. This year I divided camps between the dark meat lovers, with an Herb Brined Turkey Leg recipe, and the devotees of white meat, with a cranberry glazed Breast of Turkey. So many choices over the years, with both roasted and crockpot recipes. Last year I made my slow cooker Herbed Turkey Breast 4 times for different events. Everyone loves it.

So my dear one and I have bundled all the Thanksgiving editions of the Diner News, so you can have all my favorite ideas for Thanksgiving celebrations. This is truly my favorite issue of the year(s).

For just $6 you can download all the Diner News November issues from 2009-2016. Wow, I have been doing this a long time!   I promise you, we eat good on Thanksgiving. It is a tough decision on which recipes to make! Although not all my older recipes have calorie and carb info, they are all low carb and it is easy to run exact counts on My Fitness Pal.

To purchase, just look for the image above on the Diner News website, and follow the link!

Get more great recipes at the Low Carbing Among Friends Facebook Page:     

 Order any of our great cookbooks at

Order my original e-book or the latest version for couples and singles,  A Table for Two here.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Cranberry Breast of Turkey and the November Thanksgiving Diner News Special Edition

Thanksgiving has been happening at my house for a couple of weeks now. That's life with a blog and newsletter--always a little ahead. So today, while everyone else was planning a costume for some Halloween fun, I was slaving away in the kitchen. In fact that is where I have been all weekend. (except for several grocery stores and church) It doesn't matter that it is in the mid 80s here and my kitchen is hot. I am now happy dancing that I got it all done. My mom did come over to help. What a saint she is! (And she doesn't even like squash and cranberries. I adore them both, so I am now wondering if I am adopted.) Plus, when my wonderful son came over for dinner, he had a Thanksgiving feast awaiting! It pays to look at the bright side, yes?

This is what I fed my boys for dinner. Mama had tasted every dish and declared she was full.  I got it all together while my son answered the door for trick-or-treaters. We had a weird night blending holidays! Most importantly, he liked the meal. I can't heal him, but I can feed him, right? This fabulous Cranberry Roasted Breast of Turkey, and about 7 or 8 of the dishes you will see listed below were all on our table tonight. If you want all of those recipes, you will just have to order the Diner News!

The roasted turkey is sweet and savory all at the same time. Mellow herbs and the tart surprise of cranberry now and then. I love the flavor combo. I buy the frozen breast of turkey from Aldi. I have made at least a dozen of these and they have been excellent every time. No bones. Tender and juicy both in a crockpot, my older recipe, and roasted, like I did today.

Cranberry Roasted Turkey Breast
1 1/2 cup fresh cranberries
1/4 cup water
1/3 cup erythritol / stevia blend
1/2 tsp orange extract
1 thawed breast of Turkey, boneless
2 tbsp butter
2 tsp poultry seasoning (3 if turkey has strings holding it together)
1 rib celery
1/2 cup chicken broth

In a small saucepan, heat cranberries, water, sweetener and orange extract. Cook, stirring until berries burst. Mash the berries and cook until sauce thickens. Remove from heat.

Place thawed breast into a casserole dish. Rub softened butter all over the breast. Sprinkle the seasonings on all surfaces. Cut the celery into three sticks. Place them under the turkey breast to lift it off the baking surface.
Spoon half of the cranberry mixture onto the breast of turkey. Place into a heated 375 degree oven. Pour the broth into the dish. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove turkey and spoon the remaining cranberry sauce over the top. Cover with a tent of foil and bake an additional 20 minutes or until an internal thermometer reads 175 degrees.       
                                                                                                   Serves 6:  269 calories  4 net g carb

Because the Kirkwood breast of turkey has string binding it, I use additional spices. I also saved some cranberry sauce to baste after removing the string.

I have one last day of my fall break from school. Now that this Diner News has been put to bed, I will enjoy it best as I can. No doubt, I now need to jump into Christmas preparations. Don't forget that I asked you to help out by sending your favorite Christmas recipes. With my precious boy having surgery to remove his cancer, I will be a little busy and stressed. Maybe a lot stressed? Trying to keep the faith.

Now time to put me to bed too. Here are some of the gorgeous recipes in this month's expanded edition of the Diner News. The hubby and I are also putting together a bundle of all my November issues of the News. These are among my favorites. So many incredible side dishes. Be watching for the chance to pick that maybe I do still ave a little work to do on the last day of my fall break.

Bourbon Kabocha Whip

Sweet Bacon Hot Slaw

Grandma's Holiday Frosted Cranberry Jello Salad

Sage Stuffing

Cranberry Butternut Bowl 

Cranberry Bacon Jam

Mini No Bake Pumpkin Chiffon Cup

Bourbon Braised Green Beans

Cranberry Curd Dessert Minis

Waffle Grilled Squash

Cranberry, Walnut and White Cheddar Cheeseball

Herb Brined and Roasted Turkey Legs

Heritage Pie

Autumn Jewel Salad

Garlic and Parmesan  Delicata

Harvest Salad

Pumpkin Vinaigrette
 Surely after feasting your eyes on these, you want to order the Diner News, right? It is good to enjoy all these wonderful foods!  Just head over to the website and order with Paypal.

Get more great recipes at the Low Carbing Among Friends Facebook Page:     

 Order any of our great cookbooks at

Order my original e-book or the latest version for couples and singles,  A Table for Two here.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Harvest Salad and Holiday Happenings

I am working on the Thanksgiving Diner News. That is quite an undertaking. I try very hard to find wonderful side dishes to make your holiday meals really special. This is a terrific salad. I did take a shortcut though by using a pre-bagged salad mix as the base. I love the variety out there these days. This one is a Fresh Express Sweet Kale Salad. Not too much kale, but a base of cabbage and other healthy stuff. Plus, some roasted pumpkin seeds. I give away the sweetened cranberries  and sugary dressing and add my own. You can too.

I also cut up and bake a squash to use in several recipes. That is a time saver too. To make my Kabocha easier to cut, I pierce it with a fork and cook it in the microwave oven for 5 minutes. It will be hot, so plan on leaving another half hour before you cut it up. You can save time by using pre-cut Butternut squash as well.

Harvest Salad with Pumpkin Dressing

2 cups squash cubes (Kabocha  in the photo)

1 cup whole fresh cranberries
1 tbsp melted coconut oil or butter
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp erythritol / stevia blend
2 bags Fresh Express kale salad mix (from Aldi)

Toss squash cubes and cranberries in oil or butter. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sweetener. Place on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Roast at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Pumpkin Dressing:
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup pumpkin
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp  erythritol / stevia blend
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp MCT oil

    Whisk together water and pumpkin puree. Add sweetener, salt, pepper and spice. Slowly beat in the oils. Chill.

    Place the kale mix (reserve the included dressing and sweetened cranberries for a friend) on a serving platter. Add squash and cranberry mixture over the greens. Drizzle with Pumpkin Dressing. Sprinkle with the pumpkin seeds that came in the salad mix.

Serves 8:  132 calories  7 net g carb

 The roasted cranberries, in  my opinion, are so much better than the sweetened dried. I simply adore the combination of tangy berry and smooth sweet squash. Add the texture of the crunchy veggies and the super crisp roasted pumpkin seeds. Spectacular salad!

The dressing. Pumpkin, of course. What else, this time of year? The sweet vinaigrette is perfect. Remember, when you have small amounts of pumpkin left over from recipes, you can freeze it in ice cube trays then use it for this dressing, protein shakes or hot drinks all season long. Don't let that can go to waste in the back of the fridge!

I am planning to have most of my dear family home for Thanksgiving this year. That is something to celebrate. At the same time, it is going to be a very stressful season for me. I would covet your prayers the next few months. My dear, sweet, wonderful, amazing son, Pearson, has been diagnosed with thyroid cancer. The mama in me wants to freak out. The child of God knows to have faith. Right now, while the news is fresh (Yes, it has been quite a week at our house, with the stolen recipes going on all at the same time) I seem to bounce between the faith and the panic. My boy is only 26. We have no answers. I can't fix this, but I am ready to help him fight. We are looking at surgery in November, with some more exploration with his salivary glands before that. Without complications, thyroid cancer has one of the best cure rates, so that eases my mind a bit. 

That said, I may have a tougher time getting the December issue of the Diner News ready before the December 1 deadline. So, if you have any original recipes that are Christmas favorites, and would like to share, I would love to publish them in the Diner News. I did that back a few years ago when my roof was blown off our home and my kitchen was a disaster area. My readers were great! Now my house is fine, but my family life is the challenge. I will have to continue at school, but any help I could get which would allow me more time next month to help with my boy would be such a blessing...he is the single one with no wife to care for him. But he will always have a mom to love him. Hopefully, he will have your prayers too.

2 Corinthians 4:8-10 We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.

Get more great recipes at the Low Carbing Among Friends Facebook Page:     

 Order any of our great cookbooks at

Order my original e-book or the latest version for couples and singles,  A Table for Two here.