Keto Cheesecake from Buttertogetherkitchen.com

Switching to Keto was a tall order, but low sugar deserts help make it a breeze!

Just a week ago I dove head first into a new food lifestyle that has helped me drop a huge amount of water weight in a week and just generally made my body feel better.  For those of you not familiar with Keto; it is method of eating where you consume very low amounts of carbohydrates, ideally just from fruits and vegetables, in an effort to get your body to use ketones for fuel instead of glycogen.  This way of eating has been embraced by those with diabetes and those that are working on their overall health and fitness.

One of the hardest things for me to give up has been all of the sweets that find their way into my life either at work or kids parties.  I have a monster of a sweet tooth so I decided that I better treat myself to some goodies that were still within the parameters of the eating plan that I was on.

This week I’m eating some mini cheesecakes from ButterTogetherKitchen. I whipped these up on a Monday night and found the receipt to be very simple, although I still managed to mess it up a bit.  The texture of the cheese cake is spot on to what you want and expect from a treat.  My mistake was how I handled the crust of the cheese cake as in I forgot to cook it before adding the filling.  I will be making this recipe again and will take a lot more time and care with the crust, I’ll probably try toasting the butter and almond meal crumbles before packing them into the cups.  I did one substitution and used Stevia instead of Monkfruit sugar, and it was OK but I’ll definitely try it with the Monkfruit sugar next time since I ordered some on Amazon.

While this cheesecake by itself is less than 1 net carbohydrate, I upped my desert game with some lite coolwhip and blue berries which came to 204 calories total and 10 net carbs.

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Recipe: https://www.buttertogetherkitchen.com/best-keto-mini-cheesecakes/

Meal Prep Sunday!

I’ve been obsessed with meal prepping for the week since I discovered /r/MealPrepSunday on reddit.  I’ve been making lunches for my husband and I for our work week on and off for a long time now and since being enlightened to the genious idea of preparing everything for the week IN ONE DAY my life has been changed for the better.  Since its our busy season with work and activities I started preparing the majority of our meals for dinner as well all on Sunday before the work week begins.  I love being able to come home after a long day at work and not have to make decisions about what to cook and then spend the next 40 minutes cooking.  Sometimes I just want to get home and sit down and when the villagers need fed I wave in the general direct of the fridge and everything is magically ready to eat.  Fantasies aside, I’ve been spending most nights NOT cooking dinner and instead I play with my daughter for an hour after work and when the hubby gets home we all sit down and enjoy a meal.

 

Here are 5 reasons why you should meal prep:

  1. Portion control – it always seems like we are watching what we eat, I’ve been tracking my food intake with MyPlate and since I measure everything out evenly into each container I know how much I am eating each day.
  2. Cost Savings – On the weeks that I don’t prep our lunches, the hubby and I can spend up to $150 in a week on eating out at work.  I spent about $30 on salad ingredients so that’s a pretty substantial savings.  Eating out every day vs. bringing from home is a cost savings of $6,240 of the course of a year!
  3. Saves Time – If I’m going to go through and chop everything up I might as well finish the job.  I know it’s normal to make your lunch either the night before or the morning of before heading out for the day.  I save myself the 10-15 minutes in assembling a meal.  In the morning I just grab my pre-made lunch and hit the road!
  4. Better Quality – Since I am the one who hand picks out our food for the week and I create our meals with care and attention to details, our food is so much better.  Its fresher and prepared how we like it!
  5. Eliminate Food Waste – This is a big deal for me since I both hate throwing out food and over buying things that we won’t use.  Of course I got to this point after a lot of trail and error.  I found that if I leave a little bit of salad greens in the fridge, they will get overlooked and thrown away after spoiling, but if they are already in a salad those greens are much more likely to be consumed.

 

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Bonnie’s Amazing Salad Recipe

  • 2 cups of mixed salad greens
  • 1 hardboiled egg
  • 1.5 oz of cooked chicken
  • 4 cucumber slices
  • 3 cherry tomatoes
  • 6 kalamata olives
  • 3 slices of picked beats
  • 1 oz goat cheese crumbs

Pack separate for each meal, or just take the whole bottle with you to work

  • 3-4 table spoons of your favorite salad dressing

Shelf Life – 6 days, depending on the freshness of your ingredients

Dinner Prep

  • Cooked chicken – chopped into cubes
  • Raw broccoli – to be cooked later
  • Raw brusselsprouts – to be cooked later
  • Raw zucchini – for snacking

Shelf Life – 10 days

I hope that you enjoyed my Sunday routine.  Stay tuned for more of my life!

Cleaning and Organizing the Garage

I have a dirty little secret.  My garage is a disaster.  I’m extremely proud of the majority of my house but, our garage is a room that I usually skip when giving the tour.  I want to tackle this problem area and want you all to see my progress as I work through this.  I’m normally bad at remembering to take a “before” picture so here is one now:

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Of course this is really only half my garage and the other half I had already worked on for a couple of hours before I remembered to take a picture.  My goal is to get my garage cleared out of all of the things that are currently being stored but that I don’t anticipate needing.   Today I filled up my trunk with stuff to send to Goodwill.

  • 2nd Snow Shovel – we live in the south now!  I think one shovel will do
  • Large laundry basket – it was a gift received but way too big for our needs
  • 20 old college books and novels
  • a wierd glass dome thing left from the previous renters…not sure why I didn’t get rid of this sooner
  • 4 board games, 2 of which are still brand new and unopened
  • Odds and ends: Tennis racket, extra measuring cups, sponge mop

One of my goals for this space is to get as much stuff as possible up off the floor.  I have a lot of long handles on cleaning and lawn care tools.  I picked up a few items that would hold some heavier items.  I got these hooks that would hold my large push broom, rakes, and our folding lawn chairs.

Garage Hooks

The tools that I needed to install these was my power drill with drill bit, screw bit, a small level, and a hammer to tap in the wall anchors.  My two year old seemed to always need something from me as soon as I climbed up on the stool to drill into the wall.  After a couple hours, a walk to the park and several trips hauling things to the trunk of my car, I got 3 of my hooks up on the wall and half of our tools off the floor.

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I used one of the hooks to hang our lawn chairs which get so dirty on the garage floor.  I swear, everything sticks to them.  We use these chairs a few times a year when we go to the beach or if we go to any type of outdoor event where we are able to sit on the ground.  Of course I can’t live without my push broom, and having it sit on the floor was causing the brush bristles to curve.  We have almost all hardwood on our first floor, so we use this broom a lot.  I also organized this corner with a small shelf.  There are a lot of paint cans for the different rooms in the house, which I would normally get rid of after a year or so, but since we are renters we need to keep these somewhere.

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This was the first of many weekends working through this.  I got a small portion of this area the way that I like and will keep you all posted as I continue.

To be continued…

Fresh eggs!!!

Since moving further south I’ve been fortunate enough to have CO-workers that keep chickens. Let me tell you – there is nothing like fresh eggs. They taste so much better than anything you get from a store. So what is it about the eggs that makes them taste so good?

I set out to educate myself. The first place I stopped was a blog post from HCsummer which tells me that the eggs that I buy from the store are at least 6 months old. Is this true? That seems like an absurd amount of time for eggs to get from chicken to my store. And so I research further…

The American Egg Board states that eggs get from farm to store within 72 hours. This makes much more sense than the 6 months that the other blog claims and I’m curious as to where this information came from.

So what makes the farm fresh eggs taste better? Is it the chicken’s diet? Is it their stress levels? It seems that the answer is yes! All of the above. I found this post to be well done about some differences between free range chickens and those raised in chicken houses.

All of this reading has me wondering: what does it take to keep your own chickens?

Children’s closet organizing

When I first found out that I was pregnant with a little girl I was committed to a frugal upbringing.  One of the first things that I started searching for was second hand clothing and shoes.  As I collected pairs of shoes for later use I needed a way to stay organized and know exactly what shoes I had in each size.  I took a shoe organizer and labeled each pair by size and took a picture.  Over time, the organizer filled with shoes and my daughter grew up.  We past through size 4 and 5 shoes and now as we are in size 6 1/2 I wanted to update the organizer so that I could continue to know what sizes I still need to look for.  I found the majority of these shoes at our local Goodwill for $3.50 a pair.  A few of the other pairs were found at the odd flea market and garage sale.  I definitely had way more shoes in the smaller sizes, so clearing out those and boxing them up helped clear the area.

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Once I finished the shoe project I got on a roll and began going through all of the clothes in my daughters dresser and boxing up the ones that were starting to become just a little bit too tight.  I cleared up all of the unopened diapers and baby wipes to donate to those in need.  Once I got the dresser drawers in a semblence of order I moved on to the closet which was driving me crazy lately.  I pulled out a lot of the items that we were storing for Baby #2 and those were bagged up and put in the garage to keep the high chair and baby swing company.

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I also restacked all of the boxes of baby clothing on the upper shelf so that it fit a bit better.  I know that storing clothing is not totally minimalist, but I’m also trying to be mindful of how I spend my money and choose to hold on to these items so that I will not need to replace them in the near future.

All of this took about 2 hours to do and I was pleased with the results.  I organized the clothing in the closet by size and type.  These are all clothing that is not currently in rotation.  So it is all of the 2T long sleeve shirts, 3T long sleeve shirts, 3T dresses and then 3T short sleeve shirts, and then the 4T and size 5 items.

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On the bookshelf we have our swimming and beach items, an emergency escape ladder for if we ever need to climb out the window and a basket of doll clothes.  My daughters room isn’t quite picture perfect since I would like to have some small decorations on the walls.  Anyone else work on their children’s closets lately?  Share your method and pics!

Meal Plan for September 23rd – 29th

Breakfast: Banana Muffins, Cold Cereal

Lunch: Salads for me and the hubby, Daughter gets lunch at daycare

Dinner:

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Grocery List:

  • Whole Chicken
  • Peas
  • Broccoli
  • Quinoa (already have)
  • Soft Taco Shells
  • 2 Avocados
  • 2 Tomatoes
  • Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • Sour Cream
  • Eggplant
  • Curry Sauce
  • Green Squash
  • Pizza Sauce
  • Mushrooms
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Strawberries

Salad stuff

  • Salad Greens
  • Cucumber
  • Goat Cheese
  • Eggs

Pantry Replenish

  • Flour
  • Sugar
  • Table Salt
  • Sandwich Bags
  • Gallon Storage Bag
  • Cashews
  • Almonds

Ambitious Sunday Goals

Last week end we had a big storm that swept through North Carolina that gave us some power instability, closed roads and a curfew in my area.  We spent the whole weekend with my sister in law’s family so that if we got stuck somewhere with no power we would at least have some company 🙂

Today I’m trying to get back on track and tackle some projects that I have had on my to-do list.

Oil Change – My car is over due and I’ll get this done today.  Gotta eat your frog first right?

Make Pizza Dough – I’ll mix up, portion and freeze a bunch of pizza dough which saves us from ordering pizza on Fridays.

Bake Banana Muffins – One of my daughter’s favorite breakfast foods.

Grocery Shopping – I made a quick and easy meal plan for the week and grocery list of what I need.

Roast Whole Chicken – We will use the breast meat for salads, eat some of the dark meat for dinner tonight and then use the rest of the meat in 2 more meals during the week.

Work Lunches – We are doing salads this week for lunch.  I’ll make 4 for each of us and assume that we’ll eat out lunch at least once this week.

Laundry – folded and put away – I might delegate this to my husband

Clean Dishes, wipe down fridge and counters – Its great to start the week with a clean kitchen.

I have a lot to do today.  Time to get started!