Saturday, March 24, 2018

Keto Cinnamon Roll in a Mug...

Watching March Madness requires some snacks. In fact sitting in front of the tv at night to watch anything makes my "snack buds" kick into gear. I'm constantly reminding myself that snacking is a habit and I'm not really hungry. Being on Spring Break makes our schedule more relaxed, and the "want" to snack is through the roof.

So I went outside the box with this recipe and I was not disappointed. Thank you, Fit Mom Journey, for this cinnamon roll in a mug. You can click HERE to read the total nutritional info, but in one mug cake there is 6 g of carbs. My husband and I split it so that count was cut in half. We also broke up some pecans and sprinkled them over the top....after I took a picture.

This. Is. Delicious!! Try it out!

Keto Cinnamon Roll in a Mug

What You Will Need:

  • For the Cinnamon Roll--
    • 2 Tbsp butter, melted
    • 3 Tbsp Almond Flour
    • 1/2 tsp baking powder
    • 1 tsp Cinnamon (less if desired)
    • 1 Tbsp Sweetener
    • 1 egg
  • For the Butter Glaze:
    • 1 Tbsp Butter, melted
    • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
    • 1/2 Tbsp Sweetener
  • For the Icing:
    • 1 oz of full-fat cream cheese
    • 1/2 Tbsp Sweetener
    • splash of vanilla (optional)
What You Will Do:
  • Melt 2 Tbsp of butter in a large mug or small Pyrex dish.
  • Add in almond flour, baking powder, cinnamon, sweetener, and egg. Mix well.
  • Microwave on high for 90 seconds. The mug cinnamon roll will puff up.
  • When the microwave beeps, use a fork to loosen the cinnamon roll (it will have pulled away from the sides, so focus on the bottom) then flip onto a plate.
  • Melt the butter for the Butter Glaze, then add the Cinnamon and sweetener to it and mix well. Pour the glaze over the mug cinnamon roll for added sweetness, texture, and moisture.
  • In the mug (or Pyrex bowl), microwave the cream cheese for 30 seconds on half power, or until you hear the cream cheese start to crackle. Add in the 1/2 Tbsp sweetener (and splash of vanilla if you want) and mix well. Then top the the mug cake with this cream cheese "icing".
  • Enjoy warm!
If you give this a try, please come back and let me know your thoughts!

Friday, March 23, 2018

Frenzied Friday...

If you've ever been around young children, you know of their propensity to ask the question: "Why?" Their little minds are working and they are certainly curious about how the world works around them. As parents we get creative on exactly how to answer this never ending merry-go-round of questioning.  My reply, after exhausting every explanation I can think of, has become a standard statement: "Because....that's just the way things are."

Blessed silence. Then they'll spot something else "uh-mazing" and it begins all over again.

On Thoughtful Thursday last week I shared a peek at one of the workshop classes I'll be teaching at our Ladies Array coming up in a couple of weeks. You know the one: "Master, the Tempest is Raging"....a title that seems to sum up my life with three young kids.

During Spring Break this week I've been finishing up the outline, handouts, slides....all the goodies of this class, and have been meditating on a point in my outline. It deals specifically with having the faith to trust the Lord with those "What Ifs", "If Onlys", and "Whys" of life.

Since my youngest is just coming out of the "Why" phase, I've taken notice of  the correlation between the parent/child relationship and my personal relationship with my Heavenly Father. It's in the times when I just don't understand exactly why God is working the way He is working, that I turn into my four year old asking my Heavenly Father: "Why?"

Habakkuk of the Bible had the same situation happen to him. You know the little minor prophet between Nahum and Zephaniah. He's one of many Old Testament prophets who had nothing good to say about the nation of Israel because of their sinfulness. "Oh Lord, how long shall I cry...even cry out unto thee of violence and thou wilt not save!"

The Lord answered Habakkuk, just not with news he wanted to hear. Sure the Lord was going to deliver His people from the wickedness around them...but He was going to do so by delivering them into the hands of the Chaldeans: "that bitter and hasty nation.....They are terrible and dreadful."

When the Lord says they're dreadful and terrible it means they're the ones behind the definition in the dictionary.

Can you picture Habakkuk's mouth hanging open? This was not at all how he thought the Lord was going to deliver His people. So he reminds the Lord at the end of chapter one: "Shall they...not spare continually to slay all the nations?" I mean really....isn't that going from the frying pan into the fire?

The Lord turns around to Habakkuk in chapter two with a reminder that "Hey, Habakkuk. I'm still in control." The just shall live by their faith and the Chaldeans will have their own judgement. To Habakkuk's "why?" He reminds: "But the Lord is in His holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before Him." In other words, "Because, Habakkuk... I'm in control."

We should be reminded that if God was in control back then, and He hasn't changed in the years leading up to today (I change not!), He's going to still be in control tomorrow.

And Habakkuk? He caught on a whole lot quicker than we sometimes do. After praising the Lord for His strength and greatness, Habakkuk ends his little book with this statement: "Although...." Although things are going to get tough before they get better: "Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds' feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places."

I don't know what hard situation you are facing, My Dear Friend; but rest assured that He IS still in control. By simply joying in our salvation, He will give us the strength to endure and the feet to walk in high places.

"Why" you may ask? Because He said so.

Simply Studying,

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Instant Pot Low-Carb Cauliflower Soup...

After looking over my food posts, I've noticed that most of them are sweets! I'm here to rectify this error by sharing with you a mighty, tasty soup. It's made with cauliflower but once it's pureed and then combined with melted cheddar cheese, cream cheese, and cream, it has the consistency of potato soup...minus the carb overload!

There are two ways to make this recipe: one in the Instant Pot (I want to personally thank whoever invented these!) or on the stove. Head on over to Kalyns Kitchen to print the recipe with stove top directions.

An Instant Pot cuts down the cooking down in half as compared to cooking on the stove. But the results should be the same.

So here we go...

Instant Pot Low-Carb Loaded Cauliflower Soup

What You Will Need:
  • 1/2 onion, chopped small
  • 2 T butter or olive oil
  • 1 large head of cauliflower, leaves and stems removed and the rest coarsely chopped (About 7-8 cups chopped cauliflower. You can use the core.)
  • 3 cups (24 oz.) chicken stock plus a little more to thin soup if needed.
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt (I used Himalayan salt)
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, cut into cubes
  • 1 cup grate sharp or extra sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup half and half, cream, or milk
What You Will Do:
  • Peel onion and chop into small pieces. Cut away the leaves of the cauliflower and some of the stem, keeping the core part. Coarsely chop cauliflower into pieces.
  • Turn Instant Pot or pressure cooker to SAUTE and melt the butter; then add the onion and cook 2-3 minutes. Then add the chopped cauliflower, chicken stock, garlic powder, and salt. Lock the lid, use the MANUAL setting and cook on HIGH PRESSURE for 5 minutes. Quick release the pressure.
  • While the coup cooks, prepare the cream cheese cubes, grated sharp cheddar, and cream (or half and half). Also cook and crumble the bacon, dish up some sour cream and extra grated cheese, and slice the green onions for toppings (optional--I did not include these on mine).
  • Check to make sure the cauliflower is very tender; then turn the Instant Pot to KEEP WARM. Use and immersion blender, blender, or food processor to puree the soup. Check the thickness of the soup and add more stock if you want it thinner or simmer a little to reduce if it seems too thin.
  • Add the grated cheese and cream cheese cubes and let them melt, the stir to combine. Add the cream, heat through, and season with salt and fresh-ground black pepper. (Taste before you add more salt.) Serve hot with grated cheese, sour cream, crumbled bacon, and green onion to add at the table.
Thank you, Kalyns Kitchen, for the recipe! If you get a chance to try it out, please come back and let me know what you thought!

Simply Yum!

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Happiness Is...

There are many things in life that bring happiness. My salvation, for instance, makes me happy. There is nothing like knowing your sins are completely forgiven and death is no longer something to be afraid of.

My husband makes me happy. He knows exactly what to say or do to get me to laugh. And I don't mean just laugh. It's the snorting kind of belly laugh.

My children make me happy. I really don't know how to contain myself when they obey, do their chores, mind their manners, make good grades, and get along with each other. It doesn't happen often but we're working on that.

Students who study, pay attention and participate in class, do well on their work, and think outside the box on their projects...make me happy. (Is this really too much to ask?)'s research paper season and I'm trying to pump myself up to grading them.

Coffee makes me happy. Like "curl up with a warm, creamy cup of coffee and a good book" kind of happy.

My new Bath and Body Works "Coconut Lime Breeze" scent makes me happy. The smell makes me want to eat a bowl of sherbet or enjoy some sun and a good book on a secluded beach somewhere.

Probably should add that reading a good book makes me happy. There's nothing like being so totally engrossed in a fictional world that you don't even realize what's going on around you.

And then there's this....
My brand new Dyson makes me happy.

I know what you're thinking, but I'm here to tell you that I did NOT spend a fortune on this little piece of machinery. In fact, this package of happiness was purchased at almost 60% off the regular price! The reason? The box had damage to it. Not quite sure when the condition of a box caused the value of something to plummet  60%, but I wasn't complaining!

So here's how happy I was at my find: I vacuumed my bedroom four one day. And still the collection cup had lots of stuff in it. Shows me just how little my regular vacuum was picking up each week.

I'm pretty sure I was sucking up dirt from my crawl space. It's never been cleaner.

In my exuberance I mentioned to my husband that I'd never go back to a "cheap" vacuum. He was, however, not as thrilled as I was. I'm sure he was thinking about how much a regularly priced Dyson would cost. "I don't think I could stomach spending $400 for just a vacuum," he said.

So what makes you happy? When you think about it, just the simple things of life can bring about some of the greatest happiness. Do share some of that happiness with me!

Simply Uncomplicated,

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Best Low Carb Cookies...

Cookies, cookies, cookies....

I do believe I'm Cookie Monster in disguise. I LOVE cookies: freshly mixed and the dough. While pregnant with our second child, I would keep the cookie mix packets on the shelf for when a craving would hit. They were pretty much all chocolate chip mixes.

In the last couple of weeks I've tried several different recipes for low carb  cookies but had not found one that I liked. Remember the epic fails mentioned before? They were 90% chocolate chip cookies while 10% were peanut butter. And before you say, "Aren't we eating enough sweets?" Let me tell you, it's make, try one, and give the others away. We're coutnin' carbs here and I'm not going to waste them on sweets! Even my family has gotten on board....either that or their just humoring me.

But check this out: I found a couple of recipes that I actually like! They even look like what a cookie should look like but are a less carb version of the regular recipe. Give it a try and see what you think.

Ready? Here's one...
Best Low Carb Chocolate Chip Cookies
What You Will Need:
  • 2 cups blanched almond flour
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 ounces dark chocolate finely chopped (about 1 cup...although I used sugar free chocolate chips)
  • 1/2 cup powdered erythritol sweetener
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 3 Tbsp salted butter softened to room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
What You Will Do:
  • In a mixing bowl, use an electric hand mixer to beat the egg until well-mixed, 1-2 minutes on low. Add softened butter, erythirtol, and vanilla extract, then beat together for 1-2 minutes.
  • In a separate bowl, combine almond flour and baking soda, stirring until well-mixed.
  • Combine wet and dry ingredients and beat together until just starting to form a cohesive dough. Add almond milk and stir with a wooden utensil until the dough absorbs the milk and becomes moist.
  • Stir chocolate chunks into the dough until even distributed. Refrigerate the dough for about 20 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 F. Prepare a sheet pan lines with parchment paper or non-stick baking mat.
  • Shape the dough into 20 balls about 1-2 inches in diameter, using your hands to roll them into smooth balls.
  • Place them on the pan 1-2 inches apart from each other. Flatten the balls into cookie shapes.
  • Bake at 350 F until the cookies start turning lightly brown on top, about 20 minutes. Start monitoring after 15 minutes of baking and remove when done.
  • The cookies will be soft when they come out of the oven so let them cool for 10 minutes before serving.
Head over to Savory Tooth for printable recipe as well as nutritional information.

Keto Peanut Butter Cookies (Low Carb)

What You Will Need:
  • 1 cup creamy salted peanut butter
  • 2/3 cup powdered erythritol sweetener
  • 1/4 cup blanched almond flour
  • 1 large egg
What You Will Do:
  • Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  • Prepare a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a baking mat.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and stir together until well-mixed. The resulting dough should be thick and dense.
  • Scoop about 1-2 tablespoons of dough and form into a small 1-inch ball, placing the ball onto the baking sheet. Repeat until the dough is used up, resulting in about 18 balls.
  • Arrange the balls on the baking sheet so that they are about 2 inches apart from each other. Flatten each ball by pressing down using a fork and rotating 90 degrees to press down again, forming a criss-cross pattern. Repeat for all balls until they are flattened.
  • Bake at 350 F for 10-12 minutes or until the edges of the cookies are browning.
  • Let the cookies cool before serving.
For nutritional information head on over to Savory Tooth. Good stuff!

Simply Eatin' Cookie Dough,

Monday, March 19, 2018

Measuring Monday...

Only one candle this week. It's been a bit more challenging in the weight loss department. Thankfully the scale is still heading in the downward whole pound!

Time restraints led to shorter workouts and I actually found myself so snacky in the evenings.I may have eaten one fat bomb too many. (Everything in moderation!)  I've also had symptoms of the Hashimotos and I believe it's due to the beginnings of a sinus infection that I began taking an antibiotic for. Usually this means I would have nothing to celebrate or I'd actually have gained a pound or two.

On Sunday we were invited out to eat and I really, REALLY had to practice self-control. It was a Mexican restaurant after all. No chips and salsa or beans and rice for this girl! I may have also snuck in a package of the low carb tortillas to switch out for my taco. Don't laugh...I'm doing some serious things for some serious weight loss!

But here's something the scale can't measure: inches! My clothes are fitting looser, and hello there! I have hipbones!  It's been a long time!

Spring Break is this week! I'm writing from the comforts of my warm covers as the rain pours down outside, just waiting until I can get my first cup of coffee! Maybe then will I be motivated to get up and do...well, anything!

So Happy Monday to you wherever you may be! May your week bring goal-reaching success!

Simply Trudging On,

Sunday, March 18, 2018

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