Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Growing Magnificent Magnolias In The Garden Reviewed

When we moved here many years ago we inherited a gorgeous Magnolia tree. If you have a garden and suitable conditions I would recommend growing a Magnolia.

There are many types from small trees to very large trees. Colours are so beautiful and range from a shell-like pink, dark pink, yellow, purple, red and white. If I could I would have one of each. 

 

The Beauty Of  A Magnolia

It is true that the flowers only last a few weeks or just over a month in Spring but they are so worth waiting for each year and for me signal that Spring is truly here and the poor weather is mostly behind us. It is a sign of hope, of joy and more than once has made my heart full of happiness. 

Nothing lifts my spirits quite like looking out of the window on a spring morning to see our beautiful Magnolia in full bloom its delicate yet robust flowers carried proudly on bare stems.

Magnolia generally flower on bare stems so you just see the beautiful flowers carried on bare branches. As the flowers fade the leaves come in, gorgeous soft green leaves that last all summer and well into autumn.

Winter gives us the bare branches that have their own architectural splendor especially when snow or frost lies on the branches. We drape the bare branches in festive lights which look very pretty. 

Magnolias are fascinating. They are an ancient tree primarily pollinated by beetles. Flying insects and bees may well visit now to take advantage of any pollen, but they are not what Magnolia originally sought to attract. 

However, do not worry you will not be overrun with beetles as you really do not often even see them.

Magnolias come in a wide variety of sizes and colours. They usually carry gorgeous tulip shaped flowers or in the case of Stellata, a star shaped flower.

Most are deciduous but there are a few that are evergreen though these will usually require a more sheltered place. If you want fragrance then there are Magnolias with scent. 



Colours vary from a light blush pink of Magnolia Soulangiana, the deep purple of Magnolia Susan and the delicate white fragrant stars of Magnolia Stellata or the yellow flower of Magnolia Acruminata "Yellow Bird". There are too many to mention here but you can easily find a Magnolia you like.

Magnolias can grow to be very large but we can also buy smaller varieties more suitable for smaller town gardens. It is really a case of checking the full grown size of the tree. 

This is not however a quick growing plant. We will need to have patience for it to grow over ten or even twenty years. However, it is still so very beautiful in its younger years, it is always worth introducing a Magnolia into a garden. 

I know we will be leaving this house and garden in the next few years so I have bought two smaller magnolia varieties which I am growing on in pots that will be ready to plant out in our new garden once we move. 

It may be that we do not get to see them full-grown but they will bring us so much pleasure as they grow from beautiful delicate buds to full gorgeous blooms with lovely green leaves. 

 

  

Magnolia Soil Conditions And Watering

Magnolias love neutral to slightly acidic soil which is free draining. Our soil is slightly acidic but is heavy clay and our magnolia has grown very well. This is perhaps as our soil is very fertile which is also something Magnolias love. 

However, not everyone will have acidic soil so if you have alkaline soil and want to grow a Magnolia you are best to buy Magnolia Grandiflora or Magnolia Delavayi.

It is best to plant your Magnolia in a sunny spot. If it is sheltered as well that is a bonus as the flowers won't be blown off so much by the wind or so damaged by frost. 

 


A good rule of thumb is that the colder the area you live in choose a later flowering variety. That way you will be less troubled by frost and cold winds damaging the flowers or tree. Good varieties for cold areas are Magnolia Apollo or Magnolia Caerhays Surprise.

A grown magnolia takes care of itself with regards to water, in fact, you can do more harm than good watering it once it is well established. Naturally, its roots will go down to seek water so best to leave it alone. The last thing you want is for the roots to grow upwards seeking the water you are providing. 

However, in its first year it will need good deep watering and maybe also in its second year, you can give it deep drinks of water. It is always a good idea to mulch around a Magnolia of any age each year with bark.

 


Pruning A Magnolia

This plant has specific pruning needs but do not be worried by this. If you have planted it in an appropriate area for its size pruning will be minimal. 

Each year after flowering check it over for any broken or crossing branches and prune those out completely. 

Be careful not to prune too much as Magnolias can become stressed and cease to flower. A good rule is no more than a third of the plant is pruned each year. 

Sadly our naturally huge magnolia was planted by previous occupants really too close to the house so we have to prune it rather more than I would like to keep it smaller than its natural size. 

We are careful though to prune only up to a third each year and over the last 20 years have left at least one year in every 3 where we do not prune anything except broken or crossing branches. 

A smaller magnolia or one that has more space to grow naturally may well only need pruning once every few years. 

If you have a Magnolia only ever prune it after it has finished flowering and the green leaves are growing in. Mid-summer is a perfect time. If you prune in the autumn you will cut off many of the flower buds. 



Planting A New Magnolia.

it is a good idea to buy your Magnolia as a mature plant as you can afford. It will establish itself much better. However not too large a plant that it is difficult to plant easily. Also do your research as to variety, so that you know the fully grown tree will fit comfortably into the space available. 

The roots of a Magnolia are surprisingly shallow so you don't need to dig a really deep hole. Do however make it wide enough so there is no competing grass around the plant. 

The planting hole needs to be the same depth as the pot and we should be careful to treat it gently and not damage any roots. Firm in carefully and after watering deeply give it a good acidic mulch. Bark mulch is perfect for this purpose. 



We give Magnolia the best chance if we plant it in Spring or late Autumn. Patience is a virtue though as a young newly planted magnolia may need a couple of years before it flowers well. However, I promise you it is well worth the wait. 


Magnolia Flowers In The Home. 

Each Spring I pick a few whole blooms or take the fallen petals and place them in a large bowl of water. This makes a pretty display. The petals are quite thick and sturdy so are easy to handle and float in the water. sometimes I also place whole flowers in the water to float which is a beautiful display. 



Simply replace the petals every few days or if they start to go brown to keep the display fresh.

It really is a gorgeous way of having Magnolia flowers inside our homes to enjoy all day and evening. 

Spring really is showtime for the Magnolia but it is a beautiful and majestic tree all year round. 

I absolutely love Magnolias, they always lift my spirits after winter and I look forward to seeing their beautiful and exquisite flowers each and every year. 


 

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Monday, May 30, 2022

A Review of Reverse Mortgages



 


If you are like me, you have probably heard the term "Reverse Mortgage" and wondered what that was and how it worked.  I heard snippets of information from commercials, but I never really understood how reverse mortgages work, or had enough information to decide if they were a good or a bad thing.  So I decided to do some research and educate myself on the subject. 

What Is A Reverse Mortgage?

A loan for people over the age of 62 that own their home or are in the process of paying back a mortgage on the home they live in.  The collateral for this load is the home itself and the equity the owners have built up in it. 

 Do You Have to Pay it Back?

We all know there is no such thing as a free lunch, so you do have to pay back a reverse mortgage.  But this loan does not have to be paid back until the last surviving homeowner either:

  •      Passes away
  •      Moves out
  •      Does not live in the home as a primary residence for over 12 months

When any of these three things happen, the estate of the homeowner has to repay the loan, in full, within 6 months, or sell the house to repay the loan.  The good news is, if the home sells for less the balance of the loan, the estate is not liable to pay the difference!  The lending institution takes the loss.  If the house sells for more than the balance of the loan, the estate keeps the difference.  One of the few win/win situations you will ever see in finance!

What If I Already Have a Mortgage On My Home?

This is not a problem and will not prevent you from applying for a reverse mortgage.  You can take out a reverse mortgage and pay off your mortgage, to get rid of that payment every month.  If you qualify for a reverse mortgage that is more than what you owe, you then have access to the rest of the loan amount.

How Much Money Can I Get?

How much the loan will be for depends of a few things:

  •      Age of the homeowner
  •      Current interest rate
  •      Value of the house
  •      Government loan limits

How Will I Get My Money?

There are several ways to receive the proceeds from a reverse mortgage:

  •      Equal monthly payments for a fixed amount of time or for as long as the owners live         in the home.
  •      Lump sum of money, all at once
  •      Line of credit that the homeowner can draw on as needed.

You may also get a combination of any of the above, like a lump sum of a certain amount and the rest monthly, or a lump sum in the beginning and then a line of credit.  The terms of a reverse mortgage are extremely flexible.

Can I Outlive My Reverse Mortgage?

A mortgage of this type is not due as long as the homeowner lives there as their primary residence and maintains the home, no matter how long they live.  You cannot outlive a reverse mortgage.

Do I Have Any Obligations During the Tenure of the Loan?

You must maintain the home in good working order, keep it insured to value and keep the taxes current.  In other words, simply do the things you probably already do.  The house must be kept in good repair, insured and you must pay the taxes. That's all.

Whether or not a reverse mortgage is a good idea for you is something that only you can decide.  The best way to make a decision is to get all the information you can and this article is only a short outline of the basic facts.  It also does not take into consideration that laws differ from state to state and country to country.  If you are considering a reverse mortgage, please make sure to get all the information regarding the laws in your area.*

___________________________________________

*This article is for informational purposes only and is not meant to provide legal advice or information on which to base any financial decision.  The writer is not liable for the result of actions taken from reading this article.

Image Credit:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/miran/6951472582/sizes/l




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Sunday, May 29, 2022

Hard Word Search for Adults - 60 Various Word Find Topics


I'm happy to announce that I've completed my fourteenth activity book, Hard Word Search for Adults.

Some of you already know about this fun self-publishing adventure I've been traveling on since 2019. Yep, the trip continues.

I have a crazy goal of self-publishing 100 activity books, and I have to say, I might be 120 years old when I accomplish that milestone! Honestly, I'm not sure if I can do it! But I'll keep moving forward.

Why It Takes Me Longer To Complete a Book

To date, I've written 7 riddle books, 4 word search books, 1 poetry book, and 2 books on what to write on a card. I started writing activity books in 2019, and as I mentioned above, I plan to continue until I reach 100 books published .... if it can be done?

There are ways to create and publish word search books quicker than the several months it's taking me. However, I prefer to carefully research and choose the words for each puzzle, which takes more time. Also, I personally handle all aspects of the publishing process, not just the writing.

All of the word search books are theme-based, and the words you'll be looking for are related to each of the puzzle topics.


What Does "Hard Word Search for Adults" Include:

  • There are 60 unique word search puzzles.
  • Each puzzle is a challenging topic.
  • You find not only single words but also multiple words.
  • Multiple words are strung together (think Hashtag), offering an additional challenge.
  • Each puzzle has a place where you can put your name and the time it took you to complete the puzzle. You can compete with yourself, or friends and family.
  • The Book is the size of a standard piece of paper, 8.5 inches by 11 inches.
  • The puzzles are easy to read.
Examples of Puzzle Topics:
  • Lost in Space
  • Math is Hard
  • Positively Big Words
  • Weird Animal Names
  • Climb these Mountains
and 55 more.



The Answers Are Included

If you find yourself stuck, you can peek at the answers at the back of the Book.



The Book is the Size of a Standard Piece of Paper, Making it Easy to Read.


You can find the Book via StumpedRiddles.com or Amazon.



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Saturday, May 28, 2022

Review of the 5-Cup Mr. Coffee Mini Brew

My new coffeemaker



I have had many Mr. Coffee coffeemakers over the years and always bought the 12-cup size. Since I am now the only coffee drinker in the house, when it came time to replace my old coffeemaker I decided to 'downsize'. Thus, I purchased the 5-Cup mini brew Mr. Coffee


My purchase decision was based on four things:

Mr. Coffee 5-Cup Mini Brew

  1. Only one coffee drinker living in my house.
  2. The fact that I've noticed I now (usually) only drink two cups of coffee each morning instead of the 4 or 5 I used to drink. 
  3. This coffeemaker brews just 5 cups (25 oz.) instead of the larger 12-cup size, which is just the right amount for two 12-ounce cups of my mug-size cups of coffee at a time. If more is needed, or you have coffee-drinking company, it is quick to brew another pot.
  4. The small size of the Mini Brew coffeemaker fits so much better on my kitchen shelf, taking up less space.



Features of the Mr. Coffee Mini Brew




  • Since I was going to a smaller coffeemaker, which is less expensive than the larger 12-cup version, I decided to splurge on a 'programmable' one. It has some nice features.
  • Brew Later. You can set it ahead to automatically turn on, letting you have fresh-brewed coffee ready when you get up.
  • Auto Pause.  Allows you to grab a cup while the coffeemaker is still brewing if you cannot wait (which I seldom can first thing in the morning!). 
  • As with the larger versions, this Mr. Coffee Mini Brew has an easy to view water window, handy for filling the coffeemaker. 
  • Most important ~ it has a 2-hour auto shut-off feature. It automatically turns itself off if you forget.


The Important 2-hour Auto Shut-Off Feature



Let me tell you how important this feature is in ANY coffeemaker. Years ago I had a non-programmable, standard Mr. Coffee coffeemaker. It worked fine, except you had to remember to turn it off when you were done drinking coffee for the day.


Hubby & I would leave for work after coffee and breakfast and drive 18 miles to the office. At work, the coffee pot in the break room would remind me of my own coffee pot at home. Three different times I was suddenly so convinced in my mind that I had not turned off my coffee pot that I had to call my neighbor and ask her to run over and check my coffee pot. Once I DID leave it on.  After the third time of this 'did I, did I not' turn off the coffee pot, I gave up and bought a programmable one that shuts itself off! It is well worth the piece of mind to have this auto shut-off feature, even if you are now retired and home all day most days. 


Summary


I am very pleased with my new 5-cup programmable Mr. Coffee Mini-Brew coffeemaker


*Review of the Mr. Coffee Mini Brew Coffeemaker is written by Wednesday Elf





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Friday, May 27, 2022

Paddington (2014) Movie Review

If you are seeking a fun and entertaining movie for the whole family to watch, kids included, I recommend Paddington (2014).  The movie was inspired by the book, "A Bear Called Paddington",  written in 1958 by Michael Bond and illustrated largely by Peggy Fortnum.

The movie follows the foundation of the book, which makes a beloved bear from our past, an adored bear in our present.

Through fabulous film animation, the developers have taken the lively bear from our minds and created a very life-like replica of the enchanting Paddington bear.  He is so sweet and respectful that you wish you could snatch him from the screen and give him a hug.

Paddington is joined by Hugh Bonneville (the father in Downton Abbey) and Nicole Kidman to recreate this children's literature masterpiece into a delightful comedy film for all.  I should warn you in advance, it might make you wish to paint trees in the entry of your home and slide down a banister.

Lesson learned: if you invite a bear to stay in your home, you will want to personally introduce him to indoor plumbing and teach him how to properly use it.  Otherwise, you might need additional home insurance.


Paddington Movie Synopsis


 PaddingtonCheck Price When Paddington's uncle is killed and his home in darkest Peru is destroyed by a storm, he and his aunt decide to move to London, which is the home of a dear explorer friend who previously delighted them with stories of his glorious homeland.  Aunt Lucy and Uncle Pastuzo never really expect to accept the explorer's open invitation to visit London, but now it seems the best option.  

When they reach the cargo ships, Aunt Lucy tells Paddington that she will be going to the Home for Retired Bears and that he will travel alone to London where she is certain he will find a new home. After all, it is not time for him to retire.  She places a tag on a string around his neck as she explains how, in the past, Londoner's took in children in railway stations during wartime and provided a safe and loving home.  After placing his uncle's red hat on Paddington's head, Aunt Lucy kisses him goodbye and leaves the little stowaway in a covered lifeboat with a suitcase full of marmalade.

In the London train station, the Brown family is returning home when they pass a bear.  Mrs. Brown turns around and goes back to check on the little bear.  After talking to him and reading the note on his tag, she decides they should help him find a safe place.  That safe place ends up being their home and that is where all the fun begins!

 


This is a movie everyone should watch!  Take the time to fall in love with the little bear in the red hat & blue coat.  You may wish to bring him home too!


 

 

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Paddington (2014) Movie Review by:
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Thursday, May 26, 2022

Mistress of the Ritz-Book Review

 


This book was introduced to me by a friend who read it for her book club.  She said it was a book all the club enjoyed.  After reading it, I can see why.  It has everything I like in a story: history, romance, secrets and true to life characters.  The story is inspired by the true life story of Claude and Blanchette Auzello.  Claude was the French director of the Ritz and Blanche was his American wife.


The Story Line

This compelling novel takes us to the glamor of the Ritz and introduces us to all the wonderful characters who enter its doors.  We see bits with Ernest Hemingway, Coco Chanel, F. Scott Fitzgerald and many more memorable characters from the 1940's.

The story begins in the 1920's when Claude Auzello meets Blanche, an American who has come to Paris in the hopes of becoming an actress.  Claude sweeps Blanche off her feet and they settle into life at the Ritz, where Claude becomes the director.  Life at the Ritz is glamorous and the guests are pampered by Claude and his staff.  Blanche enjoys meeting all of the memorable characters in the Ritz bar.

Life goes along at the Ritz with the glamor of the place and the work of Claude putting a tamper on their marriage.  Blanche and Claude get along but sometimes their differences also draw them apart with each of them living their own lives and keeping secrets.  Everything changes in June 1940 when the Nazi's invade Paris and take over the Ritz as their headquarters.  The Ritz staff is kept but moved to the back of the building and now must cater to the Nazi's every wish, all the while being afraid of every move they make.  

I don't want to spoil more of the plot but the French Resistance plays a big part in the rest of the book and secrets are kept, even from those they are closest to.

The Book on Amazon



My Thoughts on the Book

I really enjoyed the book.  It is the first book I had read by Melanie Benjamin, and I will certainly check out more of her books.  I highly recommend this compelling book.



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Wednesday, May 25, 2022

The Best Quick and Easy Low Carb Keto Pizza Recipe

Pizza is the most popular food in the world, according to TasteAtlas. A 2019 online survey of more than 2,000 U.S. adults ages 18 and older conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of California Pizza Kitchen found that pizza was the #1 food Americans would choose if they could eat only one food for the rest of their lives.

Take-out pizzas from your local pizzeria and ready-to-bake frozen pizzas from the supermarket can be convenient and often tasty. Unfortunately, most are very high in calories, fat and carbs. Homemade keto pizza crusts based on variations of the popular "fathead dough" are a reasonable alternative to traditional pizzas crusts made with wheat flour for someone on a gluten-free or low carb diet. Making your own pizza with high-quality, fresh, wholesome ingredients also lets you control the nutrition of both the crust and the toppings. It can also be messy and, depending on the recipe, possibly time-consuming.

In this review, I’ll share a delicious, quick and easy low carb keto pizza recipe that you can get on the table in just 30 minutes from start to finish, using a frozen KBosh keto crust and your choice of low carb toppings. These gluten-free, keto-friendly frozen crusts are extremely low in calories as well as carbohydrates and come in several different flavors, both sweet and savory. They are also very thin, so they crisp up quickly and allow your favorite toppings to be the center of attention.

This quick and easy low carb keto pizza recipe is intended as a starting point that you can customize to your taste with your choices of KBosh keto crust flavors and yummy toppings.

Photo of Low Carb Pizza With KBosh Keto Crust
This quick and easy low carb keto pizza recipe can be on the table in as little as 30 minutes!

Takeout Pizzas Are Loaded With Carbs and Calories

My husband and I are both pizza lovers and “foodies.” Until a few years ago, getting a large takeout pizza and a couple of big side salads was a frequent mid-week ritual for us. Our favorite was Bertucci’s Sporkie pizza, a wheat flour crust layered with sweet Italian sausage, ricotta, shredded mozzarella, grated Pecorino Romano and house-made tomato sauce, with extra toppings of roasted eggplant and caramelized onions. This scrumptious pie has a fabulous flavor and texture, but the nutritional profile is less than stellar. The large pies are cut into eight slices, and based on my calculation using Bertucci’s May 2022 Menu Nutritional Information, our usual serving (1.5 slices) of a large Sporkie pizza with added roasted eggplant and caramelized onions weighs in at a whopping 840 calories, 13g of saturated fat, 60g of cholesterol, 1,815 mg of sodium, 76.5g of carbohydrates, 6g of fiber, 20 mg of sugar and 28.5g of protein!

After a serious health scare in 2019 gave me the motivation to lose nearly 60 pounds on a ketogenic weight loss diet, I decided to adopt a healthy, low carb lifestyle and find healthier, low carb alternatives to my favorite high-carb foods, and Sporkies became a thing of the past for us. I'm still hoping to perfect a delicious and easy keto pizza recipe with a crust that resembles the ones served at Bertucci's, so I can make a low carb version of our beloved Sporkie with roasted eggplant and caramelized onions. In the meantime, however, I have been experimenting with different, healthier, low carb pizza crust options.

KBosh Keto Cauliflower Crust Nutrition and Ingredients Label
Each KBosh Keto Crust has just 45 calories and less than 1 carbohydrate per serving!

Fathead Dough Keto Pizza Crusts vs. KBosh Keto Crusts

The most popular low carb and keto pizza recipes feature thin crusts made with some variation on "fathead dough," made with mozzarella cheese, butter or cream cheese, egg, coconut and/or almond flour and sometimes additional ingredients. Two good ones to try are the Keto Magic Mozzarella Dough recipe from All Day I Dream About Food and The Best Keto Pizza Recipe (Fathead Dough) from Wholesome Yum. Although I haven't yet found a recipe that produces a low carb pizza crust with the taste, texture and aroma of a traditional, wheat flour-based crust, these fathead dough variations offer a tasty and satisfying alternative for people who are watching their carbs.

KBosh Keto Crusts are made from many of the same ingredients as fathead dough, but they also contain low carb vegetables, such as cauliflower, zucchini, pumpkin, spinach or broccoli, depending on which flavor you choose. This gives them a somewhat different taste and texture than fathead dough type crusts and makes them lower in calories, fat and carbohydrates than regular fathead dough keto pizza crusts.

  • Ready to Use. Keto pizza crusts made from fathead dough need to be made from scratch. KBosh Keto Crusts arrive frozen and don't need to be thawed. Just remove the package from the freezer, gently separate the two crusts and crisp them up in a nonstick frying pan for a few minutes before adding your toppings and baking.
  • Lower in Net Carbs. Fathead dough based pizza crusts typically have 2–3.5 net carbs per serving. All KBosh keto pizza crust flavors have only 1 net carb per serving except the chocolate zucchini dessert pizza crust, which has 2 net carbs per serving.
  • The Entire KBosh Keto Pizza Crust (3 Servings) Has Just 3 Net Carbs and 120 Calories! That's low enough to allow you to indulge in an entire pizza with low carb toppings, if you are so inclined.

KBosh keto pizza crusts are also gluten-free and much lower in calories and carbohydrates than other popular gluten-free pizza crusts, such as Udi's Gluten Free Pizza Crust (200 calories and 34g of carbohydrates per 1/2-crust serving) and CauliPower All About the Base cauliflower pizza crust (170 calories and 28g of carbs per 1/3-crust serving).

Note: I also plan to try a few keto pizza crust mixes and will share any that I can recommend in a future product review.

Homemade Low Carb Ham and Asparagus Pizza on a KBosh Zucchini Keto Pizza Crust
I made this delicious, quick and easy low carb pizza using a KBosh zucchini keto pizza crust topped with sauce, three kinds of cheese, asparagus and ham. Here it is fresh from the oven, ready to devour!

Customize Your Pizza Topping Choices to Suit Your Preferences and Nutritional Macros

Another great thing about making your own homemade pizzas is that you can easily tailor your choices of pizza crust and toppings to suit your mood, the contents of your fridge and pantry, your low carb or keto macros, and the rest of your day's meal plan. 

For example, I can lower the carbs and increase the protein by skipping the pizza sauce and topping my keto pizza crust with whole milk mozzarella, crumbled bacon or sausage, and maybe some fresh asparagus and mushrooms. On days when I can afford a few more carbs, I might add some low carb pizza sauce and fresh red bell pepper and swap out the bacon or sausage for diced or julienned deli ham.

Photo of baked low carb pizza with KBosh pumpkin zucchini keto crust

Quick and Easy Low Carb Pizza Recipe With KBosh Keto Crust

Prep Time:

12-15 minutes

Cook Time:

12-15 minutes

Total Time:

24-30 minutes

Servings:

3 Servings

Ingredients

  • Low carb pizza sauce with no added sugar, such as Rao's Homemade All Natural Pizza SauceYo Mama's Classic Pizza Sauce, or Thrive Market Pizza Sauce
  • Whole milk ricotta cheese
  • Whole or part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded or whole
  • Fresh or frozen, sliced or chopped, raw or cooked mushrooms, asparagus, bell peppers, red onions artichoke hearts or other low carb vegetables, roasted garlic gloves
  • Sliced olives
  • Anchovies
  • Cooked and crumbled ground beef, pork, turkey, chicken, or bulk sausage
  • Cooked and crumbled bacon
  • Cooked low carb breakfast, Italian or other sausage links, cut into coins, half moons, chunks or 1/3" to 1/2" dice OR cooked, crumbled, bulk low carb sausage meat
  • Thinly sliced deli ham, diced or julienned
  • Fresh herbs, such as oregano, thyme, rosemary or basil leaves
  • Freshly grated, aged Parmigiana Romano cheese, as a final topping (optional) and to patch any tears or cracks that may develop while manipulating the fragile crust before it is baked.

Tools, Supplies & Equipment Needed

Instructions

1. If using a pizza stone, place it on an oven rack in a cold oven. Preheat the oven to 425 °F.

Important tip: Never put a cold pizza stone into a hot oven! These stones are usually made of either ceramic or cordierite, materials that can withstand high heat but must be heated gradually to avoid thermal shock, which could cause them to crack.

Toppings prepped for low carb pumpkin zucchini crust pizza
All the ingredients for my KBosh keto crust low carb pizza (excluding the grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and olive oil), prepped and ready to assemble.

2. Set out and prep your choice of toppings.

Browning KBosh zucchini keto pizza crust in a nonstick skillet
I forgot to take a photo when I was browning the KBosh pumpkin zucchini keto crust, but here is the KBosh zucchini keto crust I used for my three-cheese, fresh asparagus, ham low carb pizza.

3. Lightly oil the nonstick skillet with olive or avocado oil and preheat it for a minute or two over medium to medium-high heat. (Read why you should never preheat an empty nonstick pan.) While the pan is preheating, remove the KBosh keto crust package from the freezer. Cut open the plastic sleeve and carefully separate the two crusts. Slide the extra crust back into the plastic sleeve, seal it inside a large zippered freezer bag and return it to the freezer for storage.

Gently peel away the parchment from the remaining frozen crust and use the tip of the knife or spatula, if necessary, to carefully pry off the dessicant packet. Place the crust in the lightly oiled, preheated skillet and and pan-toast each side for 2–3 minutes, using the extra-wide, 6-inch slotted spatula to help you lift the edges to check the color and to turn over the crust after the first side is a rich medium brown. (Using an extra-wide turner to flip the fragile KBosh keto crust helps to lower the chances of causing tears or cracks.)

Tip: The KBosh crusts are very thin and somewhat fragile until they have been browned on both sides. To separate the frozen crusts, I slide the tip of a dinner knife or thin spatula between the parchment paper separators and slowly and carefully work my way around from the edges toward the center.If the crust develops any cracks or tears as you are separating the frozen crusts, prying off the dessicant packet or flipping the crust as you are browning it, see my quick and easy KBosh keto crust tear repair trick, below. Using freshly grated Parmigiano-Romano cheese and heat to "glue" the cracked or torn edges together works like a charm!

Trimming parchment paper to fit a round pizza baking pan
If using a round pizza baking pan, fold the parchment paper in half crosswise, then center the pan on the folded edge and trace around the rim, then trim off the excess, leaving a center gap for tab handles.

4. While the crust is browning, trim the sheet of unbleached baking parchment to fit your stainless steel pizza pan (if using) or fold the sheet of baking parchment in half lengthwise. Center the stainless steel pizza baking pan on the fold and trace around the edges to make a cutting template, leaving a 2-inch gap in the center to allow for tabs that will serve as handles. Trim the parchment along the guidelines as shown in the photo, then unfold the paper liner and center it on the stainless steel pizza pan.

Note: If you are using a dark nonstick baking sheet instead of the stainless steel pizza pan, I still recommend lining it with baking parchment to help absorb moisture from the crust and ensure that it doesn't stick to the baking sheet.

Topping the pizza sauce with large mounds of ricotta cheese
For a solid layer of ricotta over pizza sauce, place large, oval spoonfuls of ricotta in a flower pattern.

Spreading the ricotta evenly over the pizza sauce
Then, with the back of the spoon. gently spread the cheese to fill in the gaps between the "petals."

5. When both sides of the KBosh keto crust have been cooked to the desired doneness, remove the pan from the heat and allow the crust to cool for a few minutes. Then, using the extra-wide slotted turner, gently transfer the cooled crust to the prepared stainless steel pizza pan or dark nonstick baking sheet, centering the crust on the parchment liner. Spread a thin layer of your pizza sauce, pesto or other sauce over the crust, leaving a generous margin of bare crust around the edges, especially if you plan to add a layer of ricotta cheese. You can add small dollops of ricotta evenly spaced on top of the sauce layer or, for a solid layer of ricotta over the sauce, use a larger spoon to scoop and place large, closely spaced mounds and then use gentle pressure to spread the soft cheese and fill in the gaps, as shown.

Unbaked KBosh pumpkin zucchini pizza crust with all toppings added
I topped the sauce and cheese on this KBosh pumpkin zucchini crust with red peppers and Portobello mushrooms, then sprinkled julienned ham across the top, distributing everything evenly.

6. Layer your remaining toppings in whichever order you prefer, taking care to distribute all the toppings evenly among all the slices.

I usually decide the layering order for each pizza based on the specific characteristics of the toppings I have chosen, including whether they are raw or cooked. For example, here is how I layered my toppings on the KBosh pumpkin-zucchini keto crust pizza I made last week while my husband and I were away on vacation. I started with a thin layer of pizza sauce, topped with a thicker layer of whole milk ricotta and then a layer of sliced whole milk mozzarella cheese. The vegetables came next. First, I built a low "retainining wall" from short pieces of fresh red bell pepper strips around the perimeter to help limit the spread of the melting ricotta and mozzarella layers in the hot oven. Then, I arranged fresh Portobello mushroom slices over the cheese in a symmetrical pattern (for even distribution) and tucked more red bell pepper pieces in between. Then I sprinkled julienned deli ham over the vegetables, added a dusting of freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and a light drizzle of olive oil before placing my pan of "loaded" low carb keto pizza into the hot oven, atop the preheated pizza stone.

Baked low carb keto pizza with KBosh pumpkin zucchini crust topped with pizza sauce, three cheeses, portobello mushrooms, red bell peppers, ham and baconom,
This low carb keto pizza with sauce, ricotta, mozzarella, red peppers, Portobello mushrooms, julienned ham, freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and olive oil smelled amazing, hot from the oven!

7. Protect your hands with oven mitts, then open the oven and carefully place the stainless steel pie pan on the preheated pizza stone. Close the oven and bake the pie for 11–13 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and started to brown lightly. Carefully remove the pan from the oven and transfer it to a rack, then let it cool for a few minutes to let the crust and toppings set up a bit. Use the tabs you left on both sides of the parchment paper liner to transfer the pizza onto a cutting board. Use a pizza wheel or, preferably, a rocker-style pizza cutter (which won't drag the melted cheese around as you cut) to cut the pie into four or six slices. Serve each person 2–3 slices, along with a knife and fork if you make a "loaded" pizza with lots of toppings, like the ones in the photos. (The thin, flourless, gluten-free crust isn't sturdy enough to support that much weight if you pick up the slice with your fingers.)

Note: Each KBosh keto crust serves 3, according to the packaging, and 1/3 of a pie is a good serving size. However, since the calories and carbs are so low, my husband and I often cut the baked pie into four large slices and eat two large slices each.

Quick & Easy KBosh Keto Crust Tear Repair Trick

My Secret? Use Freshly Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese as a Strong, Tasty "Hot Glue" for Repairing Any Cracks or Tears!

The two frozen keto crusts usually are stuck together pretty firmly inside the plastic sleeve, despite the parchment paper separators. Being both very thin and frozen hard makes them fragile until they have been crisped up. They may crack (or an edge may break off) when you are trying to separate the frozen crusts or pry off the dessicant packet. Also, when you are pan-toasting a frozen KBosh keto crust, it will remain fragile until it has been properly browned on both sides and allowed to cool and crisp up, (which is why I highly recommend using a 6-inch-wide spatula/turner for lifting, flipping and transferring these crusts from the skillet to the parchment lined pan).

Fortunately, even if an edge breaks off completely, there's an effective, quick and easy fix.

Photo of frozen crust with broken-off edges aligned in preheated skillet
See how one edge of this KBosh keto crust broke off completely? No worries! I started the repair by placing the pieces in the preheated, lightly oiled skillet, aligning the broken edges as closely as possible.

If a piece breaks off the outer edge while you are separating the two frozen crusts, lay both parts of the broken crust in the preheated, oiled skillet, taking care to align the broken edges. Then, sprinkle a generous line of freshly grated Parmigiano Romano along the entire length of the broken edges, as shown in the photos.

Photo of grated Parmesan cheese covering the entire break
Sprinkle freshly grated, aged Parmigiano Reggiano cheese over the entire break and heat (or continue to heat) the KBosh keto crust.

As the crust heats up, within 30–60 seconds, the grated cheese will melt and form a sturdy patch across the broken edges.

Photo of melted cheese repair reattaching the broken edge piece to the crust
After 30-60 seconds, the cheese will melt.

If the crust tears or breaks when you are checking for doneness or turning the crust over to brown the other side, patch the crack or break the same way, keeping the crust in the pan until the cheese has melted fully.

This repair trick works so well that I sometimes sprinkle a light, even layer of freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese across the top of my frozen KBosh keto pizza crust as soon as I add it to the nonstick skillet. This has several benefits. It adds flavor; it helps to reinforce the fragile crust as it is browning (I usually oil the skillet a bit more when I do this); and it helps prevent the pizza sauce from soaking into the crust. Just make sure you flip the crust when you transfer it to the parchment paper so the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese layer is facing up!

Photo of the reverse side of the repaired crust
As you can see, when I flipped over the crust to brown the other side, the melted cheese formed a sturdy patch that made the torn area one solid piece again.

Important: Don't try to substitute shelf-stable parmesan cheese that contains cellulose (basically sawdust - ugh!) as an anti-caking agent. For this purpose, you WANT the grated cheese to stick together so it melts into a stronger, more solid patch over your tear or crack!

KBosh Keto Pizza Crusts: A Delicious Investment in Healthy Eating

Like most keto-friendly prepared foods with healthy, high-quality, nutritious ingredients, KBosh keto crusts aren't inexpensive. But for the price of a takeout pizza, I can have a delicious, hot, low carb pizza made with fresh, healthy ingredients on the table in just 30 minutes, without leaving the comfort of my home.

After a long day, it's well worth it to me to be able to serve my family a yummy, healthy, low carb, high protein dinner with lots of flavor and very little effort.

The Best Quick and Easy Low Carb Keto Pizza Recipe by Margaret Schindel

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