Darn Good Cook

I’ve been a lot of things in life, wearing and filling a lot of different shoes: a carhop, construction worker, stay at home mom, adopt-a-school volunteer, PTA office holder, room mother, retail manager, auto oil & Lube manager, writer, Publicity Director, Home schooler, Tattoo artist & Studio Owner, Race Horse owner & Breeder, Rancher and through it all and most importantly, ONE DARN GOOD COOK!

I truly believe that the key to being a really good cook is simply to love doing it. I have a deep love connection to the kitchen. Some of my warmest memories are centered there. I grew up in the presence of great cooks, my grandmothers.

My mothers mom’s kitchen was the center of my world, a stovetop ladened with cast iron skillets and a glass percolating coffee pot. Her mother, my great grandmother, lived just behind her, with white glass front cupboards and a cherry pie at the ready for me at all times. My great grandmother on my grandpa’s side, made chili in a pressure cooker and fig preserves from a tree in the backyard.

On my fathers side, a great cook himself, was his mom and stepfather. This grandmother cooked with deep south tex-mex flavor, scrambling eggs with chorizo and served with homemade refried beans, fried potatoes with onions and peppers, and grandpa Carl’s melt in your mouth flour tortillas.

All of them cooked with such grace and ease, an instinctual knowing of just how much went into a dish….a handful of this and a pinch of that. And, every kitchen and waist, had an apron. I suppose that’s why I have a love of aprons as well and collect them.

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But, we are dieting (Clay insists that it’s because I’m a good cook) so what can a lover of good food and cooking do? Luckily for us, we began the keto diet that allows me to cook food that people still want to eat and with a bit of creativity and a few alterations, we’re eating like kings!

Breakfast:

Slices of leftover smoked ham, fried with fresh eggs.

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Lunch: Chicken Salad over Ice berg Lettuce served with homemade Keto Crackers.

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Chicken Salad

2 cans White Meat Chicken, Drained
2 Stalks Celery, Finely Diced
1/4 c. Diced Red Onion
1/2 c. your choice of toasted walnuts, pecans or Almonds
1/2 c. dried cranberries
1 cup mayonnaise
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
Salt & Freshly ground pepper to taste

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Keto Crackers

2 Cups Cheese of your choice (I used a Parmesan-Romano mix along with mozzarella and cheddar)

1 cup Duper Fine Almond Flour
1 egg
2 oz Cream Cheese
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon Rosemary (or a seasoning of your choice such as basil, chives, garlic, thyme, oregano etc…)

preheat over to 450°
Mix all the cheeses (including the cream cheese) along with the almond flour in a microwave safe bowl and cook it for exactly one minute.
Immediately stir the ingredients until the almond flour and cheeses have combined fully. You want the cheese to be partially melted.
Allow this to cool for a few minutes.
add the egg, sea salt, and seasoning of your choice.
Mix it together until all the ingredients are fully combined. If you cheese has gotten too hard or it’s too hard to mix, you can microwave your cheese for another 20 seconds to get it soft again.

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place the ball of dough between 2 sheets of parchment paper and roll out very thin. remove top paper and cut into squares. I used a pizza cutter. place the cut crackers with parchment onto a baking sheet. Bake for 6 to 7 min, flip then bake additional 6 – 7 min, until golden brown. sprinkle with coarse salt and enjoy.

Dinner: Thick Cut Chops with Mustard Cream Sauce and Sauted Fresh Green Beans

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Thick Cut Pork Chops

  1. Heat skillet over medium high heat. Once hot, add olive oil and butter. The butter produces a beautiful golden crust plus crazy flavor.
  2. Sprinkle salt, garlic and cracked pepper to one side of the chops. When the butter has melted and started to foam, add the chops to the skillet seasoned-side down.
  3. Season the other side.
  4. Allow the chops to sear for 5 minutes, and then flip the chops.
  5. Continue cooking them on the second side for 10 minutes, and then flip the chops one more time. Cook for 5 minutes more, and then remove the chops to a plate to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

To the skillet, add about a cup of heavy cream. Loosen the drippings from the sides and bottom of the skillet. Season with salt, pepper and grainy brown mustard to taste. Simmer until it thickens to a creamy sauce. Ladle over chops and serve with favorite sides.

I served mine with sauted fresh green beans. Fry 2-3 slices of thick cut bacon til crisp. Remove from pan. Add finely diced onion and tsp of minced fresh garlic and saute until tender and fragrant. Add trimmed green beans, tossing to coat. Allow to cook until they begin to tender. Add a small amount of water or chicken broth, just to cover the bottom of the pan, cover and simmer for about 5 min. Uncover, add crumbled bacon, toss and serve.

Dessert: Cheesecake!

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What’s life without a bit of sweetness?

Low Carb Sugar Free Cheesecake

Crust

1 c. almond flour

3/4 c. coconut flour

2 tsp Cinnamon

3 Tbsp Sweetener

1 tsp Vanilla

1/2 c. (1 stick) butter, melted

Filling

3 (8-oz.) blocks cream cheese, softened to room temperature

1 c. sour cream

3 Tbsp. Sweetener ( Taste test as sweeteners may vary)

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1 Tbsp Lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350°

Mix dry crust ingredients together then add melted butter and vanilla until fully incorporated. Press into the bottom of a springform pan and bake for 5 min. Remove and allow to cool.

Meanwhile, beat cream cheese and sour cream until creamy. Add vanilla, lemon juice and sweetener to taste. Spread onto crust.

I topped the cheese cake with a mixture of 1 cup sour cream, sweetener and vanilla. For a lightly sweet and tart, topping.

Eat well & Enjoy!

24 comments

      • Really funny how that happens. I really didn’t know Angel was one for you until about 2 months ago when you mentioned us both in one of your posts. Both of you are so kind, gentle, encouraging, genuine and real. Traits rarely seen. You both have had a profound influence on me. Both strive to make me a better person/blogger. And both are incredibly important people in my story.

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  1. What great ‘homely’ sounding memories you have. After living with fussy eaters for decades, I am starting to feel quite liberated that I’m not with them anymore. Hubby and I love growing and foraging fresh ingredients in season, and exploring how we can best utilize and store them to last the year. I love your recipes. I’m not being familiar with ‘tinned chicken’ but will substitute that for real chicken 🐔. I also do that with tinned pink salmon for sandwiches, but you could hold the bread?!
    I now believe cooking is a real form of creativity.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh yes! Fresh chicken is always best! Here we have tinned white meat chicken just as tuna, salmon etc but left over chicken, a store bought rotisserie or grilled, would only be more tasty!
      I have found serving it atop a green salad, a hulled tomato or wrapped in lettuce leaves, filling a seeded cucumber etc, is still a lovely and delicious option.
      Picky eaters are difficult cook for, egads! Love that you grow your own. So much healthier. 🤗

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  2. we always do leftover ham with eggs ( for breakfast for supper)
    my dad was the best cook, skills he learned from the army I’m told
    and Chirico is oh sooo yummy for breakfast. Our local Portuguese bakery carries a Chirico deli meat, we fry it up and make egg sandwiches on English muffins with it.

    also wanted to drop by and let you know I’ve nominated you for the mystery blogger award
    https://dandelionbouquets.ca/2019/04/26/mystery-blogger-award/

    Liked by 1 person

    • Omgoodness! How wonderful! Thank you so very much for thinking of me! 💕🤗
      I love love love, breakfast for dinner! It’s one of my fav’s certainly. Though my great grandmother made the cherry pies for me, she used my great grandfathers recipe. I understood that it was he, who was the cook of the family and too, learned in the army. I suppose it was him, who taught my grandmother to cook absolutely everything!
      Though I’ve not see chorizo in a deli meat, I can only imagine how wonderful it must be on an egg sandwich! Yimmy!!!!
      Again, thank you so much!
      Laura💕

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  3. Laura!!! That was beautiful to read and so tantalizing. I said a thankful murmur for my midnight snack of 1 cup of popcorn. If I hadn’t had it right here, this post would have driven me downstairs to cook some bacon.

    You are and will always be my number one. (Proscenium is number two.)

    Liked by 2 people

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