Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Squashbob Baconpants!



Contrary to what I have suggested with the title of today's post, this little blurb is not about a squashy man named bob who likes to put bacon in his pants! (That is another story entirely...)

Instead, I thought I'd write about soup. Soup? Soup. Possibly not as glamourous as our friend Mr. Baconpants, but definitely as yummy! Well, I think it's as yummy, anyways. :)

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with bacon, pepper and parmesan

Today's recipe is based loosely on the recipe for Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Bacon, from the pink book. It was meant to be EXACTLY the recipe from the book, but I totally forgot it at work and therefore, hungry as a mad(wo)man, I felt the need to improvise and just get it done. I have to say, for my first time ever even handling a squash of any sort, I think I did pretty damn well. As for the recipe, I'll let you decide!


- a bit of olive oil (1 tsp will do, but no measuring is required)
- Rosemary (dried is fine)
- One butternut squash, whatever size you like. (but get one you can cut in half easily, not one of the crazy shaped ones.)
- Cream
- Bacon, about 4 strips. More if you like.
- Fresh black pepper if you have, normal black pepper if you don't.
- Grated parmesan cheese.
- Chicken or vegetable stock. as low-salt as you can find.

Ok, let's start cooking!


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Take your squash and cut it length-wise. Make sure not to cut towards you or you might cut yourself badly, should the knife come unstuck suddenly. (I know because I've done this, and it's not cool.)

3. rub some olive oil on the squash, and then sprinkle it with rosemary. It smells nice and adds some extra dimension to the soup!

4. Plop the squash halves in the oven for an hour on a roast pan or cookie sheet. You'll know it's done when they're easily poked into with a fork or knife. Same theory as potatoes. If you're not sure they're done, leave them in a smidge more. Soft is good. :)

5. take them out and let them cool down a bit. you need to handle them, so leave them until they're cool enough to hold. Then scoop out the stringy part where the seeds are, and discard it.

Scoop the rest of the nice squishy squash into a food processor, a bit at a time. Add a 'glug' or two of cream, and then whiz it up so it's a squash puree! Empty the squash into a medium sized pot. Repeat until all the squash has been...squashed.(I really like the word squash.)

I used a magic bullet for this step as I don't have a food processor. It is a bit more work, as you cannot put very much in at a time, and it has a harder time getting all the pieces. So, if you have both a magic bullet/blender and a food processor, I think you should go for the food processor this time around.

5 and a half... While the squash is cooling, throw your bacon into a frying pan. We need the bacon to be small little bits, so either tear it up before you cook it, or cut it up with a knife or scissors after it's done cooking.

6. Take your pot of squash and throw in the cooked bacon. Throw in the parmesan cheese.I used about half a cup, but you could use more or less. I think next time I will add grated cheddar cheese as well, but that is totally up to you. Throw in your pepper - a teaspoon oughta do 'er. mix it all up a bit, and add another pour of cream for good measure.

7. Finally, put the pot on the stove over medium heat. Take your vegetable stock and keep adding it a bit at a time and stirring it in, until the soup reaches a consistency you like. I kept mine very thick, almost like mashed potatoes. This was mostly due to my fear of the dish being too salty for my tastes, but now I know better. It's not salty at all! I could of added a lot more stock to thin it down, as the soup is very hearty and it goes a long way.

Whenever the soup looks good to you, and it's nice and hot, it's done! Serve at once with a pinch more of parmesan ontop, or mabye some parsley! The pink book suggests that if you want to fancy it up, you could add a drop of truffle oil. Most important: enjoy the soup, you've earned it with your hard work!

What I thought...

I liked this recipe much better than the cauliflower mash. Sure, it takes a bit longer to make, but it's frgging cheap (the squash cost me mabye 2 bucks....and I pretty much had the other ingredients in the cupboard/fridge already.) I personally find butternut squash a very rich and strong flavour, so one small bowlful is more than enough for me. It fills you up fast and is pretty satisfying. My one complaint was I didn't cut the bacon up small enough, and it wasn't as crispy as I'd like. I think perhaps if I used a thicker cut of bacon and made sure I cut it up really small, that would work better. I would also add more stock next time.

Will I make this again? most definitely. It's a really great low-carb lunch which fills you up and tastes great reheated! in fact, I liked it the best on the third day! So don't be afraid to make friends with squash. It may just be friendly right back.... to your taste buds.


Monday, November 2, 2009

Faux Cauliflower Mash

Hello once more!

This post I've come to share a little bit of an accomplishment with you all: I have overcome my fear of a certain IPD recipe, namely, Faux Cauliflower Mash.

I have often heard low-carbers go nuts for this recipe, even those who generally dislike cauliflower. I myself am really, not a fan of cauliflower. I just couldn't fathom liking something that would contain this....vegetable.

Also, my mother used to try and pass off smashed steamed cauliflower as mashed potatoes to us when we were younger, and we would wail "These are not potatoes!!" She then would try desperately hard to say "I have no idea what you're talking about, it's mashed potatoes!" with a straight face. She always failed.

Anyways. Without further ado... I give you...
Faux Cauliflower Mash!


- Half a cauliflower
- Butter
- Double cream
- Salt and pepper
- Nutmeg, if you like


Steam the cauliflower florets until very tender. Chuck into a blender. Blend with a generous knob of butter and a glug of cream. Season. Serve.

How is that for simple?

What I thought...

Well. It looks a lot more appetizing when done than I thought it would! And also.... I think it would make for really good and healthy baby food. For us grownups? I'm not sure. I think it might grow on me. When I really want mashed potatoes, it MIGHT get me through my craving. I can still taste the cauliflower (since, well, it is cauliflower). I also added a generous dollop of sour cream to the recipe when it was in the blender.

I also think that you need to leave it for a few minutes to firm up, which it does.

Will I make it again? Mabye. Probably.

I also wonder...if one was to add some minced garlic to it, what would happen? That might just change it from good, to great.

...I'm going to have to try that!!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Pink Book - A Smallish Introduction

Well, here we are again. Another day, another dollar...or is it another pound?

After thanksgiving, I found myself weighing five pounds more than I did the week before. This was a bit of a shock, for sure! One week, many slices of pie and a reasonably large amount of not-quite-low-carb choices had done more dammage than a trip to cuba, and many small slip-ups had the entire summer!

It was time to get serious. So, I turned to the book that started me down this path of low-carb lifestyle LAST year around this time. The book, Neris and India's Idiot-Proof Diet Guide is a fun, entertaining and INFORMATIVE book outlining their rules for a low-carb way of eating.

I think the things I really enjoy about this book are: It's short, It's detailed in as few words as possible, It's amusing, and it talks to you like your friend would, not like a doctor or nutritionist would.

Basically, this book will guide you through 2 weeks of "hardcore"ish low-carbing, and then a phase 2 and phase 3 plan which you will follow as long as it takes, or in my personal case, for the foreseeable future. The first phase can actually be followed as long as you like though, with no scary health repercussions like atkins, or other similar diets. You will still eat veggies, drink milk, take your vitamins, make healthy meals, etc. There are even some fun things like smoothies (Which factor largely in my weekday morning routine) and some really neat lunch and dinner recipes that ANYONE can cook.

Besides all the information, you get a background on neris and india, why THEY had to lose weight (and not just a few pounds..) and there are various diary entries to say how they felt on their weight loss journey. This is probably to me, the most important part of it all. It made me realize that they are real people who just want a freaking piece of chocolate, just like me. They want (And sometimes do) screw it all up, but can show you how to fix things. And how to deal with being bored or lonely or not knowing how to dress, etc. It's like having a friend you can carry around in your purse! (As I said, it's a small book).

You may ask, "Anne, why the hell are you pitching this book to us? Are you getting something for it?"

Er. No, I'm not. BUT! If someone DID want to, you know, drive a dump truck up to my house full of small, unmarked bills....

No, dear readers. I am simply letting you in on a book that has, at a bare minimum, revolutionized the way I think about food and how I can change my habits. I just wanted to share.

It will also help you get a handle for why I have started this blog. I need movtivation, I need a reason to post, and interesting things to think and write down. Because eating and cooking are a daily part of life, and because I am learning a new way of eating...boom! Inspiration strikes. :)

I would like to invite anyone who is interested in checking out this book to click here for or here for It would be cheapest to order it online (I paid about $18 in chapters. It was a very good $18 purchase.) and honestly, if all you get out of it is a chuckle at their story, well, there you go. There is also a cookbook, but you do not need that to get going. Just get the book, read it, and see if it is right for you.

But it might just be the push you need to take the plunge yourself into losing weight in a pretty unrestrictive way. No meetings, no microwave dinners, no real scary kitchen utensils required. Just a little bit of determination to change your circumstances, and a willingness to be open to new things.

I'm getting there. :) I'd love it if you'd join me!!

p.s., In part, this introduction will help you understand something I am going to start doing on this blog...and that is, journalling as well as posting recipes. My life is pretty crazy so often I re-cook things I've already posted. Hence, bigish time gaps between posts. Or, like right now, I'm waiting on my sister to post my photos so I can blog!! Val, hurry uppppp!!*whine*. So, yeah. What that really means is I may sometimes whine on this blog about my way of eating. Ha ha, lucky readers. Er..I mean...enjoy!


Monday, October 12, 2009

Peppered Chicken with Demi-Glace Sauce

Happy Turkey day everyone! (From Canada, that is!)

I just spent the week in Ottawa with my family, completely derailing my diet. I have just realized that my family's roots lie in white bread, potatoes, and pumpkin pie. The main food groups of my parent's house are russet potatoes, overcooked ground beef, kraft dinner and burgers from wendy's.


Back to the real world tomorrow! And back to basics, low-carb style.

Coming up this weekend is Chris' birthday. Christopher is my wonderful boyfriend whom I have been dating for almost 3 years. I am planning quite the 'do' for us both for next weekend, but if he is free on his real birthday and not doing anything, I think a little home cooked meal is in order from his woman.

I was looking through the weight watchers cookbook I bought (and never used), wondering if it had any low-carb recipes...and it turns out it does.

And so, for the birthday dinner, I think I will try a new recipe, Peppered Chicken with Demi-Glace sauce! (Doesn't that sound fancy?) This recipe is featured in Weight Watcher's "My Turnaround Program Cookbook".


1 1/2 teaspoons whole tri-colour or black peppercorns
4 (1/4 pound) skinless boneless chicken breast halves
1/4 and 1/8 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup white wine
3/4 cup demi-glace
1 tablespoon dijon mustard


1. Place the peppercorns in a zip-close plastic bag. With a meat mallet or the bottom of a heavy skillet, crack the peppercorns.
2. Sprinkle the chicken with the 1/4 teaspoon salt. Press the cracked peppercorns onto both sides of each chicken breast half.
3. Melt 1 1/2 teaspoons of the unsalted butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally until softened, about 1 minute. Add the wine and simmer until it is almost evaporated, about 2 minutes. Add the demi-glace and mustard; cook until the mixture begins to thicken slightly, about 3 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and swirl in the remaining butter and the 1/8 teaspoon salt. Serve the chicken at once with the sauce.

WW Tip: Demi-Glace is an intensely flavoured brown sauce that takes a while to cook from scratch. Fortunately, you can find prepared demi-glace in gourmet stores and in the meat department of some large supermarkets.

The recipe makes 4 servings. 195 calories, 7g fat, 4g carbs, 1 g fibre, 26g protein. (And 4 WW points. heh.)

What I thought..

This recipe sounds delicious. Anyone following WW should purchase this book (I bought mine at my local WW centre, I'm not sure if you can get it from chapters but it's worth a look). It has many really delicious family friendly recipes, for every meal and occasion. It is a non-scary approach to cooking, it has neatly organized sections and the graphics are energizing and clean. It also has some great recipe photos, though not every recipe gets a photo. Check it out!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Great Cheesecake Debate Part 1


I am planning somewhat of a surprise for my boyfriends birthday, at the end of October. I've been scheming since the summer (because I like to have exciting things to look forward to) about what we would do, eat, etc.

I am pretty sure he will never find himself on this blog page, but I won't give the specifics away just in case. In any event, I will need a birthday cake of sorts to mark the occasion.

Only he said he doesn't like birthday cake.

Damn. There goes the betty-crocker-in-a-box plan.

So I tried to ferret out of him what he WOULD like, and it was an ice cream cake, or a cheesecake.

Sadly I'm not going to be able to option #1 do to my secret and nefarious plans. But a cheesecake is doable!!

Now here's where the low-carb aspect comes in. I COULD be a good girl and be oh so good at supper, and provide low-carb desserts for the birthday part. (did I mention this is a party for 2? :) I could find a low-carb cheesecake recipe, and I could bring white wine, or low carb coolers for the drinks. (and diet coke, etc.)

OR, I could not...and do a really good cheesecake recipe like this one and just try to not go insane, but you know, enjoy! Not worry about it!

Normally I am definitely in camp #2, which is the "forgeddaboutit, it's a birthday!" camp. But I am also in the camp of...everything tends to turn into a celebration and a cheat day, and therefore it becomes hard to not cheat. I've been stuck at my current weight for way too long after doing so well at the beginning of the year. I know it's because I cheat too much.

Hence the internal debate... To cheat, or not to cheat, that is the question.

Why does it matter you ask? "Stick to the plan!" I hear some of you yell.


Option A: Eat full fat, awesome cheesecake, have what we want for dinner, make some other treats. Suffer the consequences of possible poundage!

Option B: Eat a modified cheesecake (possibly awesome as well, unsure as I've never made one), have good but low carb choices at dinner (I.e. skip the potato) and have low-carb drinkies. Possibly suffer minor consequences, but more importantly, possibly suffer awful, cardboardy cheesecake.



I will make This Strawberry Cheesecake which my friend Mishky touts as the best cheesecake EVAR, with 37 carbs per 1/16 of the cake as your serving.

I will also make this This Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake which is low-carb, and sounds delicious and fancy looking!

And we'll see which one goes over best.

The problem will be to do this when the boy isn't around...

Stay tuned!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Low-Carb Hot Chocolate!

Hi there everybody!

I am a huge chocoholic, and I have been lamenting lately about having to cheat just to get my hot chocolate fix. For example, my normal indulgence used to be Carnation light hot chocolate. However, it has about 12-14 carbs per serving.

On a more thrifty week, I bought some noname hot chocolate, which sums up at 21g of carbs, 17g of sugar.

I also (being a connoseur of such things) received laura secord hot chocolate for christmas, which weighs in at a whopping 28g of carbs and 20g of sugar! Quel Dommage!

However, this afternoon I ran across this easy recipe over at bella online for Low-Carb Hot Chocolate!

Here we go...


  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 2 packets Splenda
  • 1 Tbsp cocoa
  • 1/8 tsp vanilla

Mix all ingredients then microwave for 2 minutes or until hot. Enjoy!
(I personally did this on the stove instead)

Servings: 1
Carbs per serving: 2g

What I thought...

This is a realllly rich, satisfying hot chocolate. It doesn't make a very large amount though. Enough for like, a fancy teacup. So I (being a person who likes to drink huge mugs of hot chocolate) added another 1/3 cup of unsweetened soy milk, so I could have a more normal cupful. This'll only add a few carbs, so it's no biggie.
All in all, I think this recipe is well worth the effort - it only takes about 5 minutes on the stove.

Definitely a good way to keep your little joys without sending yourself into a spiral!!!


Thursday, September 3, 2009

Just a little note...

(Photo borrowed from waltsoph3 on photobucket)

I'm gone away for a bit, will most likely return next week with a new recipe adventure!

Enjoy the long weekend :)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

My new obscession, continued...

So, I'm not sure if anyone but myself and the dust bunnies read/pay attention to this blog. C'est la vie! as Julia Child would say. If you couldn't tell from my gushing review a few posts previous, I really, really liked the movie Julie & Julia. I had never really heard of Julia Child - she is a bit before my time. But after seeing the movie, I wanted to learn more about this wacky, talented woman.

I just finished reading "My life in France" by Julia Child and Alex Prud'homme. It is Julia's life, told from her perspective. (Alex helped her write it but is not mentioned in the book except in the introduction, which is written in his perspective). I think it's a wonderful, "tasty" book that leaves you wishfully wanting more. It also leaves you jonesing for a really great meal! It has recently been released in mass market paperback, so it's an affordable indulgence. Check it out on amazon!

While researching other aspects of The French Chef's life, I came across this article on America's Kitchens and how little time we like to spend in them. Apparently we love to watch others cook and bake up a storm on tv, but when it comes to attempting those feats in our own kitchens.... not so much. Interesting.

I think partially it is because food can be as much a feast for the eyes and ears as well as the mouth. We are at least partially satisfied by hearing the sizzle of the pans, watching the process unfold on TV, and seeing the food plated in a gorgeous manner we think we could never achieve.

The problem there is cooking CAN be therapeutic and very satisfying. So perhaps in future we can learn from Mrs. Child and the time and love she put into her cooking, and treat ourselves to a little love in our own kitchens.


Monday, August 10, 2009

Uncle Frank's Famous Hollandaise Sauce!

When I first started low-carbing, I really needed to friendly myself up to eggs. I am not a fancy cook, so basically the best I could do with eggs was scramble them. But in the real world, no one really wants to eat scrambled eggs all the time. Sometimes you want something a bit more...festive.

So, I turned to my uncle Frank for advice. When you go to my aunt and uncle's house for dinner, it's basically like going to a restaurant. They love cooking, and I love eating!!!

Much to my taste buds delight, he passed me over his yummy hollandaise sauce recipe.

You know, I was always a bit afraid of hollandaise. I mean, it's this weird yellow sauce on eggs that people always seem to love..and yet they describe it as "sweet" which to me, just sounds wrong when you're talking about a topper for eggs. I was very leery to even try hollandaise sauce at first, until one day I went to my aunt and uncle's and lo and behold, they were making eggs benedict. I decided to go hog-wild and give it a try...figuring it wouldn't get better than whatever sauce THEY would make, and I'm glad i did!

It's not "sweet" in a sickly sweet honey-mustard way. (Sorry fans, I just hate honey mustard.)
It's rich and buttery with a hint of lemon which I guess gives it that "sweet" descriptor. It's more like a little someone ringing a bell in your mouth. "Ding! good!"

And here's how you're going to make it:

  • 1/4 cup butter, softened.
  • 2-3 tsp. lemon juice (I used the juice from one of those little plastic lemon bottles rather than juicing a fresh lemon)
  • 4 egg YOLKS
  • 1 tsp water
  • if you have some: cream in case you find the sauce not thin enough!
  • a pot, and a metal mixing bowl that can sit ontop of the pot without falling in!
  • Make sure everything else is done, before you start the sauce!! (i.e. eggs are cooked, etc.)
  • Bring 2-3 inches of water to a boil in the pot
  • Place the metal mixing bowl over the pot of water and then add your ingredients in the order shown above. You want to work quicklyish, so perhaps you should get the egg yolks ready so you can quickly add everything at once.
  • Stir for a minute or two until everything is wonderful and all mixed together!
  • If you find the sauce is a bit thick (sometimes I've had it turn out more whip consistency) feel free to add a bit of cream and stir that in to thin it a bit. Thick or thin, it tastes the same....delicious!
I did not find any crazy drama happened while making this recipe, and hopefully you won't either. It comes in quite useful for saturday morning breakfasts, or a quick, easy way to impress guests!

I generally serve this sauce overtop of a poached egg (or two), sitting on a ham steak or a slice of cottage roll. It's really nice if the ham and plate are warmed up and waiting in the oven for you to just add the sauce. If you poach your eggs and plop them ontop of the ham and then throw it in the oven, it will be all warm and ready for saucing and eating and rejoicing!

Who knew a sauce could make me get so carried away? ;)


Friday, August 7, 2009

Julie & Julia

Let's take a little departure from the recipes for a second to talk about a movie I just got to sneak preview: Julie & Julia.

Chances are most of you have heard of this movie, it stars Amy Adams (Giselle from Enchanted, and also Amelia Earheart from Night at the museum 2) and Meryl Streep (who stars in too many movies to name...recently Mamma Mia!). There are a few other familiar faces as well in supporting roles.

The basic ingredients: Julie Powell(Amy Adams) hates her job as an insurance claim reviewer, working in NYC after 9/11 and is quite bummed out, but really enjoys cooking as it's a great escape from the troubles of the outside world(present day). Julia Child (Meryl Streep) is a well-to-do's wife in the 50's (mabye a bit earlier? I'm not sure) in France, who really would like to learn the art of french cooking, but can't speak french. She embarks on a mission to master cooking at the cordon bleu, and along the way meets some lovely friends who are writing a french cookbook, but need an "american's" perspective, as that is the audience they want to appeal to.

The result: A REALLY REALLY Funny, heartwarming movie. GREAT to go see with your girlfriends for a night out!! You should probably eat first though because there's some pretty yummy things in this movie. :)

For those of you who would like to see the blog which is what this movie is based upon, check out The Julie / Julia Project.

Enjoy :)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Cool Strawberry Cream Pie

Here it comes... everyone's favourite part of the meal (and one that low-carbers don't get often)... DESSERT!

Summers and cottages go together quite well, as most people are aware. I've never really been a winter-sports person, so my main idea of a cottage is a nice little house with a nice big fire pit, some water to play in and lots of old movies. My parents just happen to have such a cottage! So, my friends and I trekked down to enjoy ourselves, and I knew I would be in trouble if there wasn't at least one sweet thing I could eat. (I got into trouble anyways, but that's another story...)

I decided to show off my baking skills to my houseguests by making a pie. Not just any pie...a strawberry pie! How domestic and culinary is that?! Well, let's find out!

Cool Strawberry Cream Pie
Original recipe found at Low Carb Luxury
Serves 8. Carbs per serving: 5g.

Ingredients For Meringue Shell:
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 3 Tablespoons Splenda

Ingredients For Filling:
  • 1 small pkg. sugar-free gelatin (strawberry or raspberry) (I ended up using 2, I will explain later.)
  • 1 pint heavy cream
  • 1 8oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup Splenda
  • 1 quart strawberries, cleaned and sliced

  1. Preheat oven to 275°F. Grease one Pyrex pie plate and set aside.

  2. Beat egg whites until foamy. Add cream of tartar then beat until whites stand in peaks. Add Splenda and beat for an additional minute or two. Spread the meringue evenly in the bottom of the plate and up the sides. Bake 1 hour and 10 minutes in a 275°F oven, then raise the temperature to 300° and bake for an additional 20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool while you make filling.

  3. Dissolve gelatin with 3/4 cup boiling water. Stir in 1/3 cup cold water. Place in freezer for approximately 15-20 minutes (just until it begins to gel.)
    (So far, so good!!)

  4. When the gelatin is ready, whip the heavy cream until stiff (but not dry). Fold in cream cheese and Splenda. Fold in gelatin. Stir in strawberries (reserving a few for garnish if you like.) Pour over meringue shell in pie plate and let chill until firm. — about 2 hours.
    I was a bit worried my filling was a bit runny, so I added another packet of jello. You could just add gelatin if you had that around. Or not. Up to you. (Not sure it helped us any but it didn't harm anything either.)
    Ok. This step is where it all fell apart for me. We followed the directions like...exactly and ended up with this:

    So this is what we think was wrong: a) I left the jello in the fridge a bit too long. However it absorbed in the end, so if this happens to you I wouldn't worry too much. b)....there is no way we could get our softened cream cheese to "fold in" like the recipe says. NO WAY! Next time, I am going at this with an electric beater. I honestly think that if you beat it and then just stirred in the strawberries as the last thing, it will turn out smooth, sexy and sweet.

What I thought...
I thought the thing turned out ok, but as stated above, it really needs to be blended fully. I was a bit weirded out when I got a little lump of cream cheese in my pie piece. On the up-side, it is quite tasty and I thought the crust turned out REALLY WELL. My boyfriend thought it was too 'eggy', but I think that's just because he was in the room while it was cooking. It did smell like eggs cooking. But it tastes more like waffle cone, or McDonald's ice cream cone. I would definitely use that meringue crust again!

Another good thing is despite it's flaws, a few people were brave enough to try it. Did they like it or were they being nice? I'm not sure. But I know next time...everyone will LOVE it.

Good luck and enjoy!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Cheesy Crustless Quiche

This is the story of the quiche which has been months in the making. Some heard rumours of this quiche waiting to be made many moons ago, and yet... nothing ever materialized.

UNTIL ONE DAY... when I finally got my butt to the store and purchased the simple handfull of ingredients this recipe requires.

Then I got home and realized I forgot the baking powder.

UNTIL ONE DAY A WEEK LATER... when I went to the store, and bought the baking powder.

Then I got home and realized that I don't actually have a pie pan.

UNTIL ONE DAY A WEEK AND A FEW DAYS LATER... when my good friend Ana took me to walmart, where I purchased a nice big pyrex pie pan. (ooh. Alliteration.)

And Thus, the Cheesy Crustless Quiche was born!
Original recipe to be found at
For the whole quiche: Cals 1169, Fat 93g, Sodium 2710mg, Carbs 24g, Sugar 5g, Fibre 1g, Protein 51g according to the daily plate. So carbs per serving = 3g!


  • 1/2 stick of butter (1/4 cup) (Mine was unsalted. Not sure it matters.)
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cups milk (I used unsweetened soy milk)
  • 1 cup cottage cheese (NOT light!!)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 5 eggs
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened (NOT light!!)
  • 6 ounces shredded Swiss cheese (I actually used cheddar and mozzarella)
  • 3 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 3 slices of cooked bacon, crumbled (Or those ready-made real bacon bits from the store!)
  • 6 cherry tomatoes, cut in half (Yuck)
Here we go...
(there are some good "In Process" pics on the simplyrecipes page)

1 Melt the butter in a medium saucepan on medium heat. Stir in flour; cook, stirring until bubbly. Gradually add the milk; cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens. Remove from the heat; set aside to cool, about 15-20 minutes.

2 Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine cottage cheese, baking powder, salt and mustard; set aside.

3 Beat the eggs in a large mixing bowl. Slowly add the cream cheese, the cottage cheese mixture and the milk/flour sauce. Fold in the Swiss and Parmesan cheeses. I have to be honest here, and say I was too lazy to find out how much 4 ounces of cream cheese was, so I just grabbed a tub of cream cheese and put the whole thing in. Ditto with the grated cheese - I just put a few good handfulls from a bag of shredded cheese until it "looked about right".

4 Pour into a buttered 10" pie plate. Sprinkle the top with chopped green onions and crumbled bacon. Arrange tomato halves, cut side up, around the top. Bake at 350°F for 40 minutes, until puffy and lightly browned. A knife inserted into the center of the quiche should come out clean. Let rest for 15 minutes, serve. Here, I left out the tomatoes because frankly, tomatoes are gross. Also in my oven, it took an extra 10 minutes to I think that the knife-coming-out-clean method of checking it's ready-ness is really key!

About to go into the oven...

What I thought...

Well. First off, this is only the second quiche I have ever tried in my life and it REALLY Surpassed its predecessor!!! (I once tried the broccoli Quiche at Cultures and it was so gross that even though I was starving, I left half of it there. I haad a coffee for dinner instead. How sad.) ((And it was even more of a piss off, because the damn thing was like...6 bucks.)) This quiche is really quite...creamy I'd say. It's great heated up in the microwave with a dollop of sour cream! I think it has staying power too, so it's a great breakfast or even lunch item. My only down point on this recipe is that because you have to make the "batter" in three parts and then mix them together at the end, it makes a lot of dishes. It does however, make one mother of a big quiche as well, so it's definitely worth the effort!

This recipe showed me why some people go crazy for quiche, and chances are I will make it again in the future :)


Monday, June 22, 2009

New Cookbook!

I hit up pacific mall this weekend and bought a cookbook (which has english AND chinese language in it..) specifically on chicken wings! Kind of neat, eh?

Hopefully the recipes will be good..I'll have to bite the bullet and buy raw chicken wings.

For some reason any recipe that calls for anything fancier/different than "chicken breast" or "ground beef" intimidates me.


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Running around like a chicken and other tales...

ok ladies and gents,

I am a low-carber who has had a glass of wine, so my typing is sure to suffer for it.

But regardless, I'd like to share something with you that I've been TRYING to find the time to cook for at least 1 week. Sheesh. Who thought finding time to make food would be so hard when I don't even have a family to trail after?

Apparently my time-management skills are lacking. (Either that, or I like watching two and a half men more than cooking... but I'm working to change that. :)

This week's recipe is a bit of a downer for me, because I didn't particularly cherish the results...and I have the leftovers in my fridge to prove it. HOWEVER, I am going to show you what I did, where I went wrong and what (I think) you can do to fix it and make this recipe fabulous!!

Here we go...

Chicken with Basil Cream Sauce

(Recipe courtesy of

Calories: 157, 2 carbs, 15g fat, 4g protein.


  • 1/2 cup of chicken broth
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp italian seasoning
  • pinch of salt, pinch of pepper
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 4 tbsp prepared pesto sauce (look with the spaghetti sauce at the grocery store)
  • 2 tsp grated parmesan
  • 4 chicken breasts
  • I added spinach...which was not in the original recipe

  1. Sauté the breasts in frying pan, then lower the heat and cook covered for another 10 minutes until no longer pink inside. (i.e. cook the chicken. lol).
  2. In a large skillet, bring chicken broth, garlic powder, italian seasoning, salt and pepper to a boil. Let it keep boiling until it reduces to about 1/2 volume.

  3. Stir in the cream, and again let it boil until it reduces to about 1/2 volume. (At this step, I added spinach so I got some extra veggies also..)

  4. Whisk in prepared pesto and parmesan. Serve sauce over chicken.

Here's what I did differently:

  1. I misread direction 2, and added the pesto right away. I really don't think this made any difference.
  2. I did not have italian seasoning (honestly I don't even know what it is..) so I used some mrs. dash garlic and herb. That sounds italian-y doesn't it?
  3. Because I have a hard time adding enough veggies to my day, I decided to throw spinach into this recipe as well. I think in cream sauces, spinach is divine. It gets all wilty and wonderful! How often can you say that wilted veggies are wonderful?

The result:

Ok. It was just....ok. VERY SALTY. I am not a huge fan...I think it LOOKS wonderful (despite my bad photography...) and it smells pretty wonderful. But, for a person who doesn't really dig're going to find this dish very salty. I attribute this to the canned chicken broth I used, as well as the mrs. dash, and the pinch of salt, obviously. I also think that the chicken I used was not of the highest quality (I got it in the freezer section of walmart. It was a week for penny-pinching). and possibly there was sodium added to it as well.

What I would do differently:

I definitely think that this recipe can be fixed. What I would do is substitute your favourite white wine for the chicken stock, FORGET adding the salt all together, and use a good quality, fresh chicken breast.

I would also not break my favourite pot lid by dropping it ontop of a can opener...

Sigh :)

Anyways..I'd love to know if someone else has better luck with this recipe than I have had...let me know!!


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Mexican Lasagna

So really, the name of this post SHOULD have been "Chicken with a basil pesto and spinach cream sauce", except I went to the store, bought all the ingredients, came home and realized that the chicken I thought I had did not exist.


Still needing something for dinner though, I fell back to an old standby which uses only a few simple ingredients, but tastes AWESOME!

Presenting: Mexican Lasagna!
(which actually has no noodles in it. And no Mexicans were harmed in the making of this dish.)

  • A package of ground beef. (Use lean or medium. Don't worry about the size much - a $4 pack is going to be ample unless you're doubling the recipe.)
  • A package of taco seasoning. I use Old El Paso, but whatever brand you like. It's with the tacos and salsa.
  • A small jar of salsa, spicyness of your choice!
  • Small tub of regular sour cream
  • Any grated cheese you want! (mozarella works really melts well!)
  • An 8" x 8" square cake pan, or glass casserole dish.
First thing's first. Pre-heat the oven to 350 F.

Take your beef and cook it according to the method on the taco seasoning package. Generally it's just to brown the meat, mix the powder in with some water, and then cook some more. When the meat is done, drain out as much liquid as you can and then spread the meat out in the cake pan so it covers the whole bottom evenly.

Grab your salsa and spoon it overtop of the beef, so that you have a good layer of salsa covering the beef. I generally use the whole little jar or half of a big jar. Same with the sour cream! Be liberal with the sour cream - make sure the whole surface is covered.

Finally, take your cheese and grate it - and then sprinkle it all over the top of the "lasagna" and then stick the whole thing in the oven and let it bake until the cheese is warm and bubbly :)

Oh man is it good. This recipe makes for great dinners OR lunches...and even the most skeptical person will be won over by it's awesome smell and taste!!! That cake pan will make about 4 servings or if you're me - 2 and a half servings. <:}

Sides: Generally when I'm making this lasagna, it's because I'm lazy and don't have much food in the house. So generally I'll just have it with some baby carrots or a small Caesar salad. If you wanted to get a bit more fancy, you could always serve it with some broccoli and garlic bread for guests - but the garlic bread might be pretty tempting for those of us low-carbing, so it's probably best to save that for special occasions only!

As soon as I can find chicken for less than $10 for 2 breasts, I will make that chicken recipe! But until the chicken stock market comes back down, I'll have to find another exciting recipe to feed me for the latter half of this week!

Stay tuned....!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Date Night Chicken

Ok so I want to keep this in my memory, but will not be able to make this recipe right now as I a) do not have a hot date night coming up and b) think this is too much food for me to eat before it goes bad! oh and c)... I don't actually own a casserole dish.

But man, if I have people over...I would love to do this recipe!

Date Night Chicken by Kitchen Parade

Basically it is a chicken casserole with broccoli, cheese and a SUPER yummy sounding sauce. Now...they suggest as an ingredient "egg noodles, tossed in butter". But there is no step where you add egg noodles, so I would just leave them out to make this truly low-carb! Perhaps have this with a caesar salad instead. The site says it is 14g per serving of carbs, but that is including the noodles. I'd say it's 6-8g per serving with the carbs coming from cheese + a bit of mayo.

If anyone makes this, please do post your thoughts...!!!!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Aventures in Fish

So, I will just get this off my chest now: I really, really don't like seafood.

Now I'm not saying there are NO recipes including fish that I don't like...but as a general blanket statement, "I don't like seafood, sorry."

So of course, being an idiot, I fall in love with my lovely BF, who happens to be PORTUGUESE. (i.e., would eat seafood for breakfast, lunch and dinner). On my mission to be a nice (domestic? Peh.) girlfriend, I thought I'd try and find a fish recipe that a) wouldn't gross me out to cook and b) I could possibly enjoy.

Fish is healthy after all, so it would be nice to embrace it, instead of just skipping past all those recipes that deal with the ocean in each cookbook I own.

It will, admittedly, be a slow process.

So! On the recommendation of a colleague at work, I tried a very simple recipe for a white, "neutral"ish fish called Tilapia.

And thus was born: Tilapia Fillets in French Cream Sauce

(Photo is borrowed from Unprose's Photo stream)

  • 4 Tilapia fillets
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup of white wine (your choice but since you're prob. gonna drink the bottle after, perhaps something that goes with fish??) - I used barefoot Pinot Grigio
  • 1/2 Teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (I used a bit less, I am not a salt person).
  • 1 lime or a tablespoon of lime juice. (I used a lime.)
  • 1/4 cup of flour (more carb..) or 1/4 to 1/2 cup of powdered/crushed almonds. (low carb!)
  • A (generous) tablespoon of olive oil
Ok. Here we go. Take a plate and dump the flour or almonds out on the plate, and then coat the fish. (I can't really say "roll the fish around in the flour" because that would break it up, but you get my meaning). I had to use more than a 1/4 cup of the almonds, I think because they are not as fine as flour. Don't worry if the thing does not look exactly shake 'n baked. Coat it as best you can, then set them aside.

Now, heat up the oil in a frying pan on medium heat, and throw the fish fillets in there. (I could only fit 2 at a time in my pan.) Cook the fish for 2-3 minutes on each side. Seriously!

While the fish is cooking, Grab a bowl and mix the whipping cream, wine, salt and pepper together. Once the fish is done cooking on side 2, squirt the lime overtop of the fish, and thenpour the mixture overtop and let it cook for another 5-7 minutes. You may want to reduce the temp by a notch or two. The fish will be a bit flaky if you poke it with the spatula or a fork.

Done and done!

Now this was like, REALLY fast to prepare and cook. So I would suggest if you are having frozen veggies with this, or cooking potatoes for your non-lowcarb dinner buddies, do those first and the fish at the last moment before everything is ready.

I personally made green and yellow beans from frozen, boiled in a bit of water with a "dash" of Mrs. Dash. I also made some sort of rice-from-a-bag for my bf which I will admit, I liberally sampled. Yum. You could also do this with a fresh salad with a citrus dressing! Enjoy a glass of wine as your treat.

My thoughts on this recipe: It was good, but not my favourite. I might make it again though. Let's give it 3 out of 5 squeals of joy. It was super-easy and non-scary to a person who doesn't know anything about fish, seafood, etc. (This was my first time cooking fresh fish). My BF liked it a lot as well, and because you make 4 at once, you have lunch for the next day as well!
The best part: It actually tastes BETTER heated up the next day! Crispier, somehow.

Enjoy :)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Low-Carb Cocktails

Well here it is. As with any new project, you should start off with a bang! Or a drink, or even both! (as you will see...)

Our first two concoctions were very simple, as I think all drink recipes should be. I honestly don't think any recipe with more than say, 3 ingredients is worth the bother. I can't spend that much time on one cocktail when for less money I could buy a case of smirnoff ice.

So after scouring the net (for a grand total of perhaps half an hour), I chose these two drink mixes for their possible tastiness, and convenience of ingredients.

And remember: the best part of these drinks is they are truly LOW CARB!
Here is the mix of ingredients I used to make both drinks...

Diet Rootbeer, club soda, white rum, absolut citron (lemon vodka), a shot glass, a lemon, and some cream. (18%)

Drink #1: Root Beer Float
- Approx. 4g carbs per drink.

  • White Rum
  • Diet Root beer (The one I got was caffeine free as well, which is a bonus.
  • A Tablespoon of 18% Cream
  • A pretty glass :) (I would recommend a tumbler, or something deep. not a martini glass!)
So I found this drink as a note on a forum that just said: "rum, rootbeer, cream. heaven." and was quite understandably intrigued. On one hand, it sounds possibly gross. On the other...possibly GENIUS!

So I started out by pouring a whole shot of rum (provided free in my room when I visited Cuba in April...score!) into one of my stem-less wine glasses. I then filled the glass with the diet root beer about 3/4 of the way up.

And then I decided to get creative. In order to make it more float-y, I was going to take the cream (I started off with 1/4 cup but honestly this would be enough for like 3 I've listed less above) and blend it with 2 ice cubes in my magic bullet blender.. This did not work AT ALL. It made scary, violent sounds and didn't crush the ice I screamed a little, and abandoned that plan.

To make a long story short, you need to VERY SLOWLY add the cream to the drink. The second you do...BAM! The rootbeer fizzes right up, and in my case...all over the counter! careful! And then enjoy. That's honestly it. I know I babbled on and on, but it is as simple as: 1) Shot of rum in the glass. 2) Fill glass 3/4 with the diet root beer. 3) SLOWLY add cream, and then give it a mix!
You could also float an ice cube or two in there to make the drink more cool. I'd suggest throwing the rum in the fridge in advance, as well as the pop so it's nice and cold!

The end result:
(ok...I know it looks a bit gross. But trust me - it tastes like dessert.
The california raisins give it 2 thumbs up, and so do I.)

Drink #2 - Lemon Vodka + Soda (sounds very plain, but bear with me!) - 0 Carbs!

This one is amazingly easy, tasty and fresh! GREAT summer drink.

  • Lemon Vodka (In my case...Absolut Citron. Absolut has no sugar in it, unlike Smirnoff Lemon. But don't be afraid of that if it's all there is.)
  • Club Soda
  • One lemon (or lime, if you prefer those).
  • A fancy glass. This one could use a tumbler OR a martini glass :)
Take a shot of your vodka (I put mine in the freezer to make it lovely cold in advance..) and pour it into your glass, OR into a martini shaker if you have one. Next up, fill your glass up 3/4 way with club soda (or pour the same amount into your martini shaker...about a cupfull). Throw some ice cubes in, and give it a mix! (or a shake! And then strain that into the glass).

THEN to make this more than the average vodka + soda, cut a few slices off a lemon. Squeeze one into the drink itself, and cut a little notch into the other slice so it can sit on the side of the glass as garnish.

Done? Done! Wasn't that easy?

And now for another cheesy photo of the finished product..

(El Torro approves of our Lemon Vodka + Soda)

Until next time...;)

Monday, June 1, 2009

A new day begins...

Hi there, my name is Anne McDonald and I'm creating this blog in order to keep myself inspired and on the "pink path", as it were. (More on the pink path later, if I get around to it).

Basically the main thrust of this little corner of the cyber-world will be to get inspired, to learn, and mabye crack a few funnies every now and then. What am I talking about, you cry?

Cooking, of course! More specifically, Low- Carb cooking. (And perhaps baking, if I can be trusted not to eat the whole delicious recipe in one sitting).

The Rules:

Rule #1: No one talks about fight club. Oops - wrong blog.

Rule #2: I want to learn how to cook better, and inspire other people to take an interest in what I'm doing, and how they can do it too. I'm not sure that's really a rule, more of a goal. But hey... we'll let that pass.

Rule #3: Every now and then, I might cheat a little :)

Rule #4: There are really no rules. Just like there is no spoon.

There are some guidelines though.... I dislike it when Low-Carb recipes suggest things like "here is the recipe. Serve over rice, or a big plate of pasta!"

Like...WTF? That is not low-carb! Now you're giving me a recipe that's making me THINK! (Think about ways to fix it, that is....)

What I will try to do is not pick recipes like that. And if I find that a book or site is made up mostly of dumb recipes like this, I will say so. And wherever I possibly can, I will let you know the carb content + sugar content of the recipe. How does that sound? Good? Good.

I think I can get off my high horse now. Perhaps we should celebrate this post with a drink!

My first foray into the world of low carb will be a cocktail. Ready...setty...go!