I’m very pleased to share with my regular followers that one of my readers just informed me the old theme on my website for many years did not allow her to download directly to her MasterCook® software. Not sure why though. The new site theme installed a couple months ago is now allowing her to download my recipes to her MasterCook®! She is very happy and so am I! I changed themes to get more colorful/visible links, as they were dark green on the old theme and a little difficult to see until you hovered directly over them with your mouse. The new coral colored links embedded in my recipes now stand out quite nicely the minute you open up the recipe! All goodness for all of us.
Category A FEW HELPFUL NOTES
My Staple Pantry Baking Items
I often get asked for a list of what ingredients I keep stocked in my pantry for baking. I’m not a big sweets eater, but my husband is, so I try to bake him something once a week……….LOW-CARB, of course. 🙂 These are the ingredients I have found over 6 years of low-carb baking experiments that I just MUST keep in my baking pantry at all times. The first 4 items in red will probably last you about a year, so don’t let the price of a bag scare you off. Other items will last varying lengths of time, depending on how often you bake and size package you buy.
If you are new to low-carbing, you can spread the cost out over time by buying just 1 or 2 each month. Eventually you’ll have your pantry stocked with what will cover most of your low-carb baking needs. I order most of the hard-to-find ingredients from Netrition.com, as they offer flat-rate shipping. However I order my coconut flour and bulk almond flour at Honeyvillegrains.com as they have the finest grind I can find for those two items, resulting in nicer textured baked goods in my opinion. I store the overage in my chest freezer in large Tupperware® containers.
Oat Fiber (NOT oat flour or oat bran!)
Glucomannan Powder (also called Konjac powder)
Einkorn Whole Wheat and Einkorn All-Purpose White Flours (I order from Jovial Foods.com)
Plain Whey Protein Isolate (unflavored, unsweetened)
Oat Flour (I grind from whole oats myself)
Carbquik® Bake Mix
Jennifer Eloff’s low-carb Splendid Gluten-Free Bake Mix (click for the recipe recipe)
Golden Flax Meal
Dark Flax Meal
I currently calculate my nutritional stats at MyFitnessPal.com. Not fond of the site, but FitDay no longer has a food logging feature. Foods that are not in their database, I key in myself from the nutrition label on the product. When I list nutritional info for my recipes, as a rule, I only include calories, fat, carbs, fiber, net carbs, protein and sodium. I used to calculate other macronutrients but it just got to be too time consuming and so many readers told me they don’t really look at that detail anyway.
Printing My Recipes
TO PRINT A RECIPE:
1. There is a convenient Print Friendly icon at the bottom of each recipe. It is the little printer icon just to the left of the red Pinterest icon. I know the hover-over message says “Click to Share” but it really means “Click to Print”. Some programmer at WordPress designed the theme I use here and sadly I have no control over the script wording. However, the print feature WORKS like a champ! When you click that little icon, a Print Friendly window opens up. You can change the size of the print, eliminate photo images and even eliminate entire lines and paragraphs of text from the print job. I love that part. 🙂
2. If that doesn’t work for some reason (Print Friendly software could be incompatible with your printer drivers), you can always do a File, Print from your browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox or Chrome). Click File up on the toolbar and then click Print. I recommend specifying on your printer’s popup screen you want to just print pages 1-2, to avoid getting bunches of reader comments. What can I say, browsers don’t know when to stop. LOL
3. If that doesn’t work, you can always do a Windows Copy and Paste of the recipe onto a blank page in Microsoft Word or Notepad and print the recipe from there.
Please remember recipes (and photos) are intellectual property. Publishing them on the internet affords them protection under copyright laws, as well as the photographs published with the recipe. It is perfectly OK to print my recipes on paper or to store a copy on your computer for your own personal use collection. You may post/share my recipes on the internet by name and/or photo, with a link back to my site for your readers to obtain the full recipe, as one does when one pins a recipe to Pinterest or as is done in a Facebook “share”. 🙂 However you may not publish them fully (as written) on another internet blog or Facebook page/group without my express permission. And even if shared with proper link back to my site, it should not be done on a massive scale. It’s not right to reap advertising profit/benefits from someone else’s hard work.
Some of my recipes published here (about 50 of them) appear in Jennifer Eloff’s Low Carbing Among Friends cookbooks. Those recipes are clearly noted in the narrative as “appearing in” a particular volume of this series of cookbooks and are henceforth the copyrighted property of Eureka Publishing. They may not be shared on other websites without the express permission of Eureka Publishing. Contact Eureka.Publishing@Gmail.com if you have questions regarding or wish to use those particular recipes.
My readers often ask “Can I freeze this?” In my personal experience, I haven’t found very many foods that don’t freeze well, but there are a few discussed below. I often just wrap food up well and stick it in the freezer and find out by trial and error. I freeze most casserole leftovers in 1 or 2 portion containers. Those come in very handy when hubby is out of town and I don’t feel like cooking just for me alone. Nice to be able to pop out an already cooked meal I can just defrost in the microwave and be eating in under 15 minutes. Just make sure foods are properly wrapped to seal out air. Store in proper freezer bags, freezer containers with tight lids meats in waxed white freezer paper.
Perhaps the most important thing to remember about freezing food is that once you throw it in there, DON’T FORGET ABOUT IT! Label/date them and keep the foods you need to use up first at eye level or in top baskets of chest freezers. That old saying “out of sight, out of mind” applies here. 🙂
Do not keep foods frozen beyond recommended lengths of time for that food. My freezer book recommends the following storage times: Bread under 1 month; baked goods up to 4 months; beef and lamb 6-8 months; pork just 4 months; chicken 2-4 months; turkey 2-4 months, vegetables 1-2 months depending on packaging. The food won’t necessarily spoil for longer periods of freezer time, but food moisture, nutrients and overall quality is diminished greatly beyond these recommended time limits.
FOODS THAT DON’T FREEZE WELL:
The few foods that I don’t like to freeze and why are discussed briefly below. Please note that this is just my knowledge gained from 1 freezer book and personal experience over 50 years of freezing foods in a chest freezer. It is not gospel and you may have good experiences freezing some foods I prefer not to freeze. 🙂
Pumpkin, whether fresh or canned, bleeds water after thawing in all but pumpkin baked goods. This simply ruins a dish for me. As we low-carbers often substitute pumpkin into sweet potato recipes, bear this “water bleeding” issue in mind before freezing a recipe made with pumpkin.
Rice gets mushy on the surface and the grains break down a bit into the surrounding food/soup when frozen. Flavor of the dish is still OK, but texture is off-putting for me. Of course, low-carbers rarely eat rice, so this may not be important to you. Wild rice freezes a little bit better than white or brown rice.
White and red potatoes (cooked) will get mealy and break down in soups and make the stock “grainy”, which just ruins it visually in my opinion. The flavor will not be affected, however. Interestingly, cooked sweet potatoes freeze quite nicely!
Cream cheese tends to break down or separate when frozen. This can really spoil the smooth texture you expect cream cheese to bring to a dish like a cheesecake or sauce. Makes it look kind of like curdled milk. Fortunately, cream cheese keeps a very long time just in the refrigerator if unopened, so I just choose to not freeze it at all, even if I buy large amounts.
Cheesecakes made with cream cheese don’t freeze well for the reason just discussed. The baked ones fare better than the unbaked, but there is still a tendency to break down. I just try to make and consume my cheesecakes the week I make them to avoid freezing them, but that’s never a problem in my house. 🙂
Heavy cream and milk I prefer not to freeze, but some say they freeze OK.
Low-carb breads can be frozen for 1 month, but my experience is that they deteriorate in flavor and dry out a lot after just 2 weeks in the freezer. I, personally tend to not freeze breads of any kind.
Low-carb cakes, sweet breads, muffins and cookies freeze fine for about 1-4 months, as they have higher oil content than breads.
I highly recommend investing in a good freezer book that will give you recommended lengths of time for holding specific foods. I have used Farm Journal Freezing and Canning Cookbook for over 40 years. A real gem, that one, giving info for blanching and freezing specific veggies, fruits, meats and other foods as well. It also has canning tips, instructions and wonderful recipes. But it’s no longer in print. Copies can still be found out there on the web if you Google. I’m sure you’ll be able to find newer publications on freezing as well.
The Most Cherished Post On My Website
I still can’t believe it! My blog has hit over 19,000,000 hits currently!! Five years ago my friends on the Atkins community Forums (where my weight-loss journey all began) asked me, several even begged me, to set up a website where they could get to all my recipes more easily. Suffice it to say, search engines do not always find what we are looking for. Who knew it would take the direction it took? Never in my wildest dreams did I think there was enough interest in low-carb cooking to make a go of a low-carb recipe blog. My brother, a professional chef before retirement, didn’t think there would be enough interest to make it worth my time and effort either. Well, we were both wrong! Thanks to all my wonderful readers you’ve made it clear that you ARE interested in my low-carb creations. Many take the time to come back and tell me so. As long as I live I will never forget the touching, appreciative thank you letter from reader Lynne Daniel, administrative assistant to Dr. Eric Westman (co author of The New Atkins for a New You,) and his low-carb diet support group at Duke University. It truly brought tears to my eyes. Whenever I think to myself “Is this blogging really working?”, I come back to this Pesto Sauce post, read her kind comments and am reinvigorated:
Lynne Hi, Peggy!! OMG……you totally have a “fan club” here and I’m definitely self-appointed president!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you for all you are doing!! (Just shared your site with an endocrinology resident/MD and nutrition fellow/PhD who were in meeting with me this morning at Duke. Both wanted/needed low carb recipes, as they’ve recently started low-carbing themselves…so I promptly sent them both links to your site, as we conversed (thank God for Blackberry!). Please don’t ever doubt the power of your posts…the gift you give all of us everytime you create and post another recipe out there for us. You are changing lives, helping others improve health and quality of life through all that you have done and are doing. And I am so grateful!! Please let me know if you’re ever coming back to North Carolina for a visit…would love to have you visit with us in our Low Carb Support group here anytime (Dr. Eric Westman is our group leader……. I wanted to let you know that your beautiful recipes have been a huge reason why I’ve been able to lose 130 lbs. since November 2009. You are a godsend and I just wanted to say “Thank you!!” from bottom of my heart for all you have done and are doing for all of us out here who are making life-saving changes in our diet and nutrition choices. I help lead the low carb support group here at Duke, and your wonderful recipes are always topic of conversation at our monthly meetings. We ….. love your recipes!! (I include your blog link in our monthly meeting recap, too…so hopefully, there are others from the group signing on, too – there are at least 50 other “low carbers” here locally following you…not to mention about 10 of us from my office here!). It’s a joy to see what you’re going to post next…and I believe I speak on all of our behalfs when I say your “low-carb labors of love and deliciousness” in the kitchen could not be more enjoyed or more appreciated!! I’ve got a ton of basil growing at home right now, too…so guess what I’ll be doing in the kitchen this evening!. Thank you so much again!! And best and brightest blessings always – you and your wonderful recipes are treasures and blessings to a lot of folks! Lynne
I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank ALL my readers who have been supportive and who come back to the site again and again. I love your feedback, whether positive or negative. Reader reaction to the flavor of my food is why I do this and that alone makes it enjoyable for me. HAPPY COOKING to all of you out there. You truly are seeing to it that this blog is a busy, happy and most enjoyable endeavor. 🙂 I couldn’t be more pleased my recipes are clearly reaching the greater low-carb community now, and not just my buddies on the Atkins Community forums. 🙂
The search engine here at WordPress is a VERY good one! So if you’re looking for recipes that use a specific ingredient, just type it in the search box at the top of the sidebar at the right and only those recipes with that food in the title, listed as an ingredient or mentioned in the narrative as a possible variation on the recipe will be pulled up for you to review. It rarely makes mistakes, unless there is a typo in the keyword (which renders a merciless “No matches found” response).
To search for a recipe title, type the title (or close to it) into the search box and WordPress will attempt to find that particular recipe for you. I confess sometimes I use hyphens in titles; sometimes I don’t. So if searching Beef Eggplant Casserole and you get “No Matches Found”, type it again as Beef-Eggplant casserole and the search engine might just find it. 🙂 It has been pretty good on that function also, but the title must be entered pretty close to the actual title or have a part of the title accurate for that to work. It is merciless with typos/misspelled words and will quickly respond with a “No Matches found”.