Showing posts with label Product Reviews. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Product Reviews. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

The Best Keto Pizza Crust Mix With 0 Net Carbs

A good keto pizza crust is one of the things people who follow a very low carb lifestyle dream about. Until recently, making your own fathead dough keto pizza crusts from scratch by blending melted shredded mozzarella, cream cheese, eggs and almond flour or coconut flour was the best option. But, while many people love it and it does make a pretty good "holder" for tasty low carb pizza toppings, neither my husband nor I found it a satisfying substitute for conventional pizza crusts made with wheat flour and semolina flour.

Fortunately, more and more keto pizza crust alternatives have been coming on the market and I have started working my way through the most promising looking ones, as I explained in my recent review of The Best Quick and Easy Low Carb Keto Pizza Recipe featuring vegetable-based frozen Kbosh keto crusts

I have made two pies so far using Scotty's Everyday Keto Pizza Crust Mix and my husband and I liked them so much that we have added this mix to our Amazon Subscribe & Save auto-deliveries.

When you taste it, you will be shocked that this excellend keto pizza crust mix has 0 net carbs per serving!

Main image: Quick, Easy & Delicious Scotty's Everyday Keto Pizza Crust Mix 0 Net Carbs Per Serving!

A Tasty Keto Pizza Crust With Just 50 Calories, 3.5g of Fat and 0 Net Carbs!

Fathead dough pizza crust recipes usually have several net carbs per slice as well as a lot of fat from the mozzeralla cheese, cream cheese, eggs and almond flour! When I first saw that Scotty's Everyday Keto Pizza Crust Mix has just 50 calories, 3.5g of fat and an amazing 0 net carbs per serving, I was pretty skeptical. With macros that low, how could it not taste like cardboard (like so many disappointing low carb and keto baking mixes and baked goods on the market)? 

On the other hand, I liked the first mix I tried from the company, Scotty's Everyday Keto Cupcake & Cake Mix, which is remarkably good for something with 0 net carbs. You may remember it as the cupcake mix I used for The Best Quick & Easy Low Carb Keto Shortcake Cupcakes Recipe. So, I decided to give Scotty's Everyday keto pizza crust mix a try as well.

Nutrition Facts

Here are the full nutrition facts for Scotty's Everyday Keto Pizza Crust Mix, prepared according to the package directions with 3/4 cup water and 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.

Amount Per Serving (serving size 1/12 prepared keto pizza crust mix):

Calories

50

Total Fat

3.5g

  Sat. Fat

  0.5g

  Trans Fat

  0g

Cholesterol

0mg

Sodium

320mg

Total Carbohydrate

15g

  Dietary Fiber

  15g

  Total Sugars

    0g

    Added Sugars

    0g

Protein

2g

Net Carbs Calculation
15g total carbs –15g dietary fiber = 0 net carbs

Enjoy a Slice (Or Three) Guilt-Free!

With so few calories and 0 net carbs, there's no need to limit myself to just one small slice when I make a yummy keto pizza with Scotty's Everyday Keto Pizza Crust Mix. Even though the stated serving size is 1/12 of the prepared dough, I usually cut my baked pies into quarters and then eights and serve two of these generous slices each (i.e., 1/4 of the pie) to my husband and me, along with a fresh, colorful side salad.

Reheated pizza slices made with Scotty's Everyday Keto Pizza Crust Mix
I reheated some leftover keto pizza tonight for a quick, delicious dinner that was ready in minutes!

We refigerate the remaining four slices (1/2 pie) and reheat it for a super quick and easy dinner or lunch on another day. We have found that pies made with this keto pizza crust mix reheat beautifully! And who doesn't love leftover pizza?

Non-GMO, Vegan, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free Pizza Crust

I really like the use of clean, non-GMO ingredients in this mix. More importantly, people with certain food allergies or other dietary restrictions will appreciate being able to eat a delicious pizza crust that is vegan, gluten-free and nut free.

Scotty's Everyday Pizza Crust Mix dough in pizza pan
Prepared Scotty's Everyday Keto Pizza Crust Mix in a lightly oiled 12" stainless steel pizza pan

Quick and Easy to Prepare

Scotty's Everyday Keto Pizza Crust Mix is quick and easy to make. Just mix it with water and olive oil until combined and then knead the dough for 3 minutes, either by hand or in a stand mixer with a lightly oiled dough hook (which is what I use). Unlike conventional pizza dough made with yeast, there's no need to wait for the dough to rise. Just stir in the water and oil, knead the mixture, and it's ready to roll!

Place the dough on a large, lightly oiled surface and roll it out to a 10"–12" circle, depending on your preferred size of pizza crust. Then just transfer it to a lightly oiled pizza pan, brush the top of the crust with a little more olive oil, top with your favorite low carb pizza toppings, and bake in a preheated 425 ℉ oven for 15–18 minutes and cool for 5 minutes before slicing.

Keto pizza with mushrooms, tomatoes, ham and fresh basil before baking
My first pie made with Scotty's Everyday Keto Pizza Crust Mix and topped with mozzarella, fresh mushrooms, tomatoes, ham, fresh basil leaves and freshly grated Parmigiana-Romano cheese, ready for the oven...

Baked keto pizza with mushrooms, tomatoes, ham and fresh basil
...and after baking. You can see how the thin edges of the crust were so crisp that they cracked a bit when I tried using a spatula to lift the baked pie out of the pan and onto a cutting board for slicing.

Surprisingly Good Taste and Texture

Low carb, keto-friendly macros and ease of preparation are all well and good. But, of course, the big question is, how does it taste?

Realistically, no low carb dough is going to be as good as a Bertucci's pizza crust! That said, I find that Scotty's Everyday Keto Pizza Crust Mix produces one that is much more similar to a wheat-based pizza crust (and also much sturdier) than fathead dough or vegetable-based Kbosh keto crusts (which my husband and I also enjoy in my quick and easy low carb keto pizza recipe, especially on busy weeknights).

My pies tend to be loaded with lots of toppings including wet ones like pizza sauce and ricotta cheese, which can make even a conventional crust a bit soggy. However, we were pleasantly surprised at how firm our crusts made with the Scotty's Everyday mix and baked on the lower rack of the oven came out. The exposed edges had a delightfully crunchy exterior and slightly chewy interior.

Next time I plan to try rolling the dough thinner and building up a slightly thicker rim.

If you have tried other low carb pizza crusts and been disappointed, I think you'll be very pleasantly surprised by this high-quality mix!

Baked keto pizza on cutting board
My second pie made with Scotty's Everyday Keto Pizza Crust Mix, topped with pizza sauce, ricotta cheese, portobello mushroom slices, diced ham, shredded mozzarella and freshly grated Parmigiana Romano cheese

Try This (Or Any) Scotty's Everyday Mix Risk-Free

I love buying from companies that stand behind their products. Scotty's Everyday mixes are backed by a 365-day guarantee: If you're unhappy for any reason, contact them and "we'll make it right."

High quality keto baking ingredients cost more than conventional, less nutritious ones like wheat flour. Naturally, high quality, low carb baking mixes also cost more than mixes from big-name brands made by big, multinational corporations.

You may want to start by ordering just one package of this keto pizza crust mix to see how you like it. However, the price is significantly less expensive per package if you order a 3-pack of Scotty's Everyday Keto Pizza Crust Mix, and you'll save even more if you choose Amazon's Subscribe & Save option.

Either way, you can feel confident placing your order, knowing that you can contact the company for a refund if you aren't happy with the product(s) you purchased.

Baked keto pizza sliced with rocker-style stainless steel cutter
It was quick and effortless to slice this 12" pie with my razor-sharp KitchenStar 14" stainless steel rocker-style pizza cutter. If you look closely, you can see part of the black blade cover at the far left.

Helpful Kitchen Tools for Making Homemade Pizza

I make pizza for dinner frequently find that having the right tools for the job makes things a lot easier. Here are some of the kitchen tools I use most often for this purpose, whether I'm making a traditiona-crust or keto pizza.

Large, Nonstick Pastry Mat With Printed Measurements

I love using my HIC Harold Import Co 18 x 24-Inch Pastry Mat to roll out all types of dough. It's extra large, nonstick, easy to clean, extra large and rolls up neatly into a lidded plastic storage tube when not in use. Best of all, it is printed with helpful measurements for rolling out doughs for pies, tarts, and up to a 16-inch pizza crust. I also appreciate that the printing of the measurements is durable. I've owned my mat since 2012 and it still looks almost new. 

Although I didn't expect to when I purchased it, I've found that I much prefer it to my old, traditional cloth pastry mats, not only for low carb baking but also for conventional doughs, since the nonstick surface doesn't need to be coated in flour to keep pie crust or other doughs from sticking (which can make them tough if they absorb too much extra flour during rolling). 

Cordeirite Pizza Stone

Baking your traditional or low carb crust on a preheated pizza stone makes a world of difference in terms of crispness and even baking! The best results come from baking directly on the preheated stone or on parchment paper placed on top of the stone, but that requires a pie peel, which I finally ordered but have not yet received. Even if I build my pie on an oiled or parchment lined stainless steel pizza pan, I still place the filled pan on the preheated stone for baking. 

Since we now have a large countertop oven but no wall oven, the pan sizes I can use are limited. I love my durable cordeirite 12” Round Pizza Stone that can withstand temperatures up to 1400 ℉ without cracking and can even be used on a grill.

Stainless Steel Pizza Pan

A stainless steel pizza pan may not result in as crisp a crust as baking directly on a pizza stone, but it makes building and transferring your pie into and out of the hot oven a lot easier. It can also help protect your stone from drips and stains (as can baking parchment). This set of two stainless steel pizza pans costs less than $15 (at the time of this post's publication) and my pans have been in use nearly every week since I got them.

Precut Baking Parchment Sheets

If you have read some of my other recipe posts, you'll know that I am a huge fan of precut, flat baking parchment sheets. I have them in several sizes and shapes and use them all the time.

I have been cutting down 16" x 12" sheets, but I just found these 12" round flat unbleached baking parchment sheets that are the perfect size for my low carb pizza crusts and immediately ordered a package.

Sharp, Rocker-Style Stainless Steel Pizza Cutter With Protective Blade Cover

Rotary pizza wheels are small and convenient to store and do a fine job of cutting pies. However, I have always found them a pain to clean, especially since I like to made "loaded" pizzas with lots of layers of toppings and lots of gooey melted cheese, which tends to cling and leave a greasy residue that can get stuck between the round cutting wheel and the riveted arms that attach it to the handle. Even though many claim to be dishwasher safe, I prefer to wash knives and other kitchen tools with sharp blades by hand to avoid dulling the cutting edge.

Earlier this year, I finally decided to try a different style of pizza cutter, one that made it extremely quick and easy to cut an entire pie into neat slices with straight, clean edges in just seconds with minimal effort. The first time I tried it, I was so thrilled with it that I immediately retired my old rotary-style cutting wheel.

I chose the KitchenStar 14" Sharp Stainless Steel Rocker-Style Pizza Cutter With Blade Cover, which is the perfect length for cutting my 12" pies. (It is also available in a 10" length for smaller pies and 16" and 18" lengths for larger pies.) It's a beautifully made, sturdy, heavy-duty cutter made from 18/0 food grade stainless steel and has thick, perforated plastic blade cover to protect the razor-sharp edge (and your family's fingers!) when not in use. The extremely sharp cutting edge cuts through even vegetables and meat toppings cleanly and easily, and the very comfortable, ergonomic, integrated rolled handle provides excellent leverage and control.

I'm planning to use this fabulous rocher-style slicer for many other kitchen uses as well, such as cutting sheet cakes, brownies and bar cookies into even strips and rectangles.

Tip: To protect your pizza pan, pizza stone and slicer blade, I highly recommend transferring the baked pie to a large cutting board before cutting it into slices.

Help Make a Low Carb or Keto Pizza Lover's Dream Come True
Order 3-packs on Amazon and save!

A tasty keto pizza crust that's quick and easy to prepare, has a firm yet chewy texture and just 50 calories, 3.5g of fat and 0 net carbs per slice really is a low carb pizza lover's dream come true! 

If someone you know is trying to follow a keto diet or low carb lifestyle or a vegan, gluten-free or nut-free diet, they might love to receive a bag of Scotty's Everyday Keto Pizza Crust as a gift. To make it even more special, consider putting together a gift basket or box with a few packages of this mix and one or more of the pizza making tools and supplies I've recommended in this review. 


The Best Keto Pizza Crust Mix With 0 Net Carbs by Margaret Schindel


Posts About My Keto Diet Journey

My First Year on The Keto Diet

Preparing to Succeed on the Keto Diet, Part One

Preparing to Succeed on the Keto Diet, Part Two

Low Carb Muffins & Cupcakes: Treats to Enjoy on a Keto Diet

Low Carb Keto Chocolate Yogurt Granola Chip Pudding Recipe

Good Dee’s Keto Cookie Low Carb Baking Mix Review

Hamama Microgreens Growing Kit Review & Success Tips

My Favorite Hamama Microgreens Seed Quilt Accessories

Keto Cheddar Cheese Biscuits With Chives Recipe

The Ultimate Keto Hot Chocolate Recipe

The Best Low Carb Keto Gift Ideas: Keto Gift Guide

The Best Low Carb Keto Cinnamon Muffins

Wholesome Yum Keto Bread Mix and Yeast Bread Recipe

The Good Chocolate 100% Organic No Sugar Dark Chocolate Review

The Best Advice to Maintain Your Keto Diet Weight Loss

My New Irresistibly Delicious Keto Cheese Crackers Recipe

Luscious Low Carb Keto Triple Peppermint Cheesecake Brownies Recipe

Quick & Easy Livlo Blueberry Scones Keto Baking Mix Review

Snack Better With The Best Healthy Keto Cookie Dough Bites

The Best Quick and Easy Low Carb Keto Pizza Recipe

The Best Quick and Easy Low Carb Keto Shortcake Cupcakes Recipe

Comparing the Best Keto-Friendly Chocolate Hazelnut Spreads - No Added Sugars

The Best Low Carb Keto Sandwich and Burger Buns Mix

Blueberry Biscuit Scones — New, Easy, Low Carb Keto Recipe

The Best Keto Pizza Crust Mix With 0 Net Carbs


Reviews of the Keto Diet by Barbara C. (aka Brite-Ideas)

My Personal Keto Testimonial

How I Stayed Committed to the Ketogenic Way of Eating


Read More Food Reviews by Our Review This Reviews Contributors

Read More Product Reviews by Our Review This Reviews Contributors

Read More Reviews About Health and Wellness by Our Review This Reviews Contributors






Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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Monday, August 15, 2022

Reviewing the Octopus Kite from the Hengda Kite Store

I had so much fun flying my new Octopus Kite from the Hengda Kite Store that I knew I had to share it with you today. I was very skeptical ordering a $10 kite online. But with over 3,000 positive reviews, I took the chance. I'm glad I did.



During different periods of my life I have flown kites. I am not an expert on kites, nor do I understand much about the different styles of kites and why they fly better on different speed of winds. But whether it was flying kites with my sons when they were young, flying kites as an adult on the beautiful Assateague Island in Maryland, or the few times I've tried to launch a kite up here on my ridge in West Virginia, I do know that I love flying kites. And good kites make the experience almost magical.

Octopus Flyer Kite from the Hengda Kite Store

My preferred type of kite is the Delta style. I find that they are easy to fly in a variety of wind speeds. I have flown parafoil kites but have never owned one. Until now.

The "Software Octopus Flyer Kite" is a parafoil style kite. That means, there are no "sticks" to assemble - no cross bars that we are familiar with in the diamond style and delta style kites. Parafoil kites are only the material, sewn in cells - or tubes - that help catch the wind and keep the kite aloft. 

Information from the Henga Kite Store page:

  • no kite sticks; soft [parafoil] style 
  • strong, durable, and lightweight polyester 210 material
  • measures 31" wide and 157" long
  • comes with a plastic handle and kite string
  • made in the International Kite Capital, Weifang, Shandong, China
  • Hengda has been manufacturing kites for 20 years

My Experience with the Octopus Kite

The Octopus came with a length of kite string on a handle. But I prefer to use my own kite string on a wooden spool. So I attached the hook from my string into the end of the strings attached to the kite, and off I went.

An internet search showed that I probably should have chosen a day with more wind for my kite's maiden flight. 

"Deltas, Diamonds and Dragon kites fly well in light to medium winds (approximately 6-15 mph) while Box Kites and stickless Parafoil kites fly better when the winds get a little stronger (approximately 8-25 mph). 
                                                            -- NationalKiteMonth

But I was too excited to wait another day. With my weather app showing winds of 2 miles an hour at the most, and feeling that there were periods of no wind at all, I headed up to the top of my hill to give this kite a try. 

It flew! Sluggishly on the very low wind day, it flew. And when it came down I had to wait for the next puff of breeze before I re-launched. But it flew. And I loved it!



This Octopus Kite is HUGE, bright, and interesting.  I purchased it for an upcoming visit with my grandkids and I can barely wait to see them and fly it with them.

The Kite Loft in Ocean City, Maryland - A Brick and Mortar Kite Store

I mentioned having spent time on Assateague Island, Maryland flying kites. Whether it is Assateague Island or nearby Ocean City... beaches are the best place to fly kites in my opinion. There is a store in Ocean City called the Kite Loft. If you enjoy flying kites, this store is a must-see. 

This specialty store is located beach-front that offers top-of-the-line kites. They also host a variety of festivals and kite-related events; including the SunFest Kite Festival. It is quite a sight to behold seeing the sky above the beach full of intricate and interesting kites. 

This year the SunFest Kite Festival is September 29 to October 2, 2022. If you love kites and have any chance of attending, I strongly encourage you to go. It is a fantastic event. If you cannot attend, you could get a feel for it on the Kite Loft Beach Cam.  The cam can be viewed any day and I often take a peek just to see what the ocean front looks like that day.

I purchased my favorite kite from the Kite Loft - a Delta style kite with a Kokopelli and lizard design. I have since misplaced that kite during moves or someone decided they wanted a fantastic kite. I'm not quite sure what happened but I miss that kite.

While kites at the Kite Loft have a larger price tag they are completely worth the investment. 

Related Links:

Our BarbRad took us to visit Moonstone Beach in Cambria. In that review, she enjoyed watching a family flying stunt kites. Stunt kites have 2 lines and you hold one in each hand. This gives you the ability to control the kite and cause it to make turns and loops. I was never able to master the art of stunts kites because they are very responsive to small movements and I wasn't coordinated enough. I enjoyed watching the video in her review - maybe you will too. 

Visit the Hengda Kite Store link on Amazon here.




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Friday, August 12, 2022

Keurig K-Mini Coffee Maker - A Mini Keurig Single Serve K-cup Coffee Maker for Travel Reviewed

Keurig K-Mini
Many years ago, I purchased a small travel coffee pot that accommodated ground coffee and required a coffee filter. I was happy to have my own coffee pot when we traveled. It didn't make a lot of coffee, but it was portable and pack-able, which made it essential for travel. 

I stopped taking it everywhere when hotels started putting small coffee makers & packets of ground coffee in every room.  However, I have noted that many hotels have, once again, stopped providing the little coffee makers in the room since the pandemic began.

I need my coffee when I first wake up. I prefer to have it before I dress for the day. That requires having a coffee pot & coffee in the room. I also like being able to make hot tea in my hotel room any time of the day without having to order room service.

I don't mind taking my own coffee and coffee maker. Frankly, it is probably cleaner for me to use my own personal coffee maker, water, and coffee.

After our last trip and a hotel room that didn't have a coffee maker, I went in search of a new portable coffee maker. I was thrilled to find a mini Keurig coffee maker that uses k-cups. That is even more convenient than the travel coffee makers of begone days.

I love my new Keurig K-Mini Coffee Maker!  I have only discovered one downside to my K-Mini. I can't remove the water reservoir to wash it. However, there is a Keurig K-Mini Plus Coffee Maker that does have a removable water reservoir, but is more expensive. The Plus version also has a storage unit that holds 9 k-cup pods and stores in the opening for the mug when packing for travel. 

I purchased a tote bag for my Keruig K-Mini Coffee Maker that has a zipper pocket on the side for k-cups. In my case, I would rather be able to pack my personal ceramic coffee mug in the opening used by the storage unit on the Plus version, but I realize that is a personal preference.


 


The Keurig K-Mini Coffee Maker

This miniature version of the Keurig coffee maker is very easy to use. You simply add water in the reservoir using your mug. That way, you won't overfill it. Add your k-cup, close the lid, and push the button.

It takes a little longer for the mini to produce a hot cup of coffee because it doesn't start heating the water until you push the larger brew button (not the small "on" button). 

 


 

I do recommend cleaning your new k-mini coffee maker right out of the box with vinegar & water to remove any manufacturing dust or debris that may be inside the coffee maker.  

To Clean: Pour vinegar in the reservoir to the minimum (6) marked on the reservoir, add water to the maximum (12) fill line. Place a mug below the empty k-cup holder (the brew head), push the brew button and let it go through a complete cycle.  Then, brew a full reservoir of clean water only at least 2 times behind the vinegar to cleanse.

I washed every piece that was detachable, plus wiped down the unit with a soapy cloth. 




The Keurig K-Mini or K-Mini Plus Coffee Maker is the perfect travel companion for brewing coffee, tea, hot chocolate, etc.  In addition to traveling, it is great for a small kitchen.




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Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Review Of Wolf Garten Shears For The Garden


Good quality tools are necessary when working in the garden. I prefer to use manual tools whenever possible in our garden. I find it more peaceful to use manual tools, better for wildlife and much quieter for ourselves and our neighbours. I also feel more connected somehow to our garden plants. 

Sometimes power tools are necessary for the garden, but using manual tools rather than electric ones is an even greater consideration now for us that electricity prices are so high. 

We find these Wolf Garten Shears easy to use with no energy costs at all, apart from your own physical power. 

We do like tools that are easy to use and do not require too much effort. I would also rather buy quality tools that suit our needs and aim to buy tools that are longer lasting.  



Wolf Garten Shears

Wolf is one of the brands I trust for gardening tools and are one of the brand of tools I use on a regular basis to keep our garden looking at its best. We also have secateurs of the Wolf brand and you can read my Review Of Wolf Garden By Pass Secateurs here. They have also proved a really great purchase. 

The shears are used in our garden for cutting back shrubs, perennials and herbs such as lavender and geraniums where we need to cut a larger area of foliage. We use them to cut back annual flowers and any straggly growth as well. 

Important aspects of garden shears are that they are sharp and cut cleanly. That it is easy to use with an ergonomic grip, a buffer to reduce jarring and pressure on our hands and wrists and it has a smooth action. In my experience, the Wolf Garten shears excel in all these areas. 




I do think for the price and the quality that Wolf Garten Shears are excellent shears.


Cutting Back And Pruning Plants With Shears

 Perennials require cutting back in late autumn after flowering has finished and when they are dying back. Equally, we can leave them until the following Spring. A Spring cutting back means that we leave the hollow stems and cover for our wildlife.

 


 Lavender is best cut back after flowering but it is important to not cut back into old wood as it may not regrow. We need to cut so you can still see green shoots. This cutting back ensures a more compact shrub that will have the best chance of flowering well the following year and we can also use the cut flower stems as decoration in the home. 

Hebes can be cut back lightly or some can be shaped into topiary-like balls as you prefer. 

Our Laurel hedge gets cut back a few times a year to keep it looking neat and manageable. 

Geraniums need cutting back after flowering. If we do this it tidies it up and also there is an opportunity that it may flower again. It will look bare for a week or two but the new regrowth is fresh green and lovely. 

 


 For any perennial you are cutting back it is important to cut close to the crown of the plant but above any new growth. We need a tool that will cut cleanly and not tear the plant.  

I love the way that these shears cleanly and easily slice through our thick lavender borders and cut our small conifers cleanly. In my experience, they do not pull or injure the plants. We do not want to be tearing or pulling on plants that need cutting back and these shears just make this job so much easier and quicker to complete. 




For a long time, I used my Grandads shears for these cutting jobs. While I love them because they were my Grandad's and are a link to a wonderful man I never knew as he died shortly after I was born, they are not easy shears to use for a long time. 

I will always love and treasure my Grandad's shears, when I hold them I feel a part of history and closeness to my Grandad. In addition, all these decades on they are still in great working order. However, I do believe these Wolf Garten shears offer an added level of comfort and features that I do appreciate these days! 

 


Good Qualities Of Wolf Garten Shears

  • When I use my Wolf Garten Shears I find they are so much easier on my hands and arms and are of good solid quality. I find they are the nearest shears to the robust, quality and feel of my Grandad's shears but with the added level of modern comfort!

  • Nonstick coated blades mean they rust a lot less and are much better when using them to cut plants with sticky sap. I clean them with a damp cloth and sometimes WD40 and a cloth. 

  • In my experience, they cut stems cleanly and sharply which is much better for the plants. 

  • Comfortable handles make the task of cutting back so much easier. They are simple to use and not hard on the hands or arms. 

  • They have a solid quality comfortable feel to the product which is important to me.  

  •  Good bright points of orange-red colour mean they are not easily lost in the garden. This is essential for me as I am always putting down tools in the garden, getting distracted and forgetting where I left them! 




There is a range of Wolf Garten shears, some normal sized for general cutting jobs, others about half the size developed for topiary hedging and smaller work, it all depends on your garden and what you need your shears for. 


Here Is A Selection Of Wolf Garten Shears




I personally would not attempt to cut a very large hedge with these shears but for tasks such as cutting back herbs and perennials, smaller hedges, smaller conifers, some topiary, annual flowers and general everyday pruning these manual Wolf Garten Shears are a great tool to purchase and wonderful quality addition to a useful garden tool collection.  

 

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Monday, August 8, 2022

CORQUE Marshmallow Roasting Sticks Review

 Did I hear S'more? Did I hear outdoor fire pit? Did I hear grilling season? This is the handy tool you didn't know you needed and will be so happy to use. Marshmallow Roasting Sticks will bring smiles to the faces of your guests and make s'more making so much easier whether it be in the backyard or campsite.


Colors & Size

Jumbo sized and so much fun! Oh sure, back in the day we just used branches. Which is not to devalue the practical branch as a tool for your marshmallow roasting, but....

I thought these Jumbo roasting sticks would be a slight upgrade for guests. Not that browsing for branches is not fun in the middle of winter... but perhaps better left for the younger guests as an adventure.

The adults appreciated these Jumbo Roasting sticks! The kids appreciated the cheerful colors.

Each of the eight sticks is marked with different colors for easy identification. No double dipping! The sticks come with a convenient nylon carrying case for easy storage.

Outdoor fire pits both large and small have increased in popularity tremendously the past few years. In our house no fire pit is complete without a christening of making s'mores. The marshmallow sticks were a hit with all and hint hint - would be a perfect gift for fire pit owners. 

Gift Ideas

I also gifted a set to friends who are fervent campers and the sticks were again a big hit. The kids used the sticks for marshmallows and the adults also used the sticks as skewers for campfire cooking. Win win for all.

I also plan to gift a set as a housewarming gift this summer. The marshmallow sticks fill the I'd love to have them, probably would not buy for myself, but love to receive as a gift lane.






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Sunday, August 7, 2022

My Plunge Into the TikTok World for Marketing, Business and Fun!

Stumped Riddles TikTok

I reluctantly took the plunge into the TikTok marketing world.

Out of pure stubbornness, I vowed to avoid that particular social media platform. However, I had a come-to-reality moment, encouraged by my son, that my riddle business would be served well by that platform.

In quite a short time, my son has nearly 27,000 followers and over 263,000 likes, all with approximately 40 personal video uploads. That's not easy to do and quite impressive!

His TikTok handle is @charles.mackenzie if you want to take a peek. Just an added note, in all fairness to us mere humans, my son has a knack for being in front of the camera. However, as I detail below, you don't have to be on camera to benefit from TikTok.

I'm A Newbie TikTok User for Business - The Basics

Since I'm a newbie, I can't give you any big secret tips, but I can provide those of you with a business, some of the things I've learned so far as it relates to my own riddle business:

  • Go to the APP Store on your cell phone, and download the Tiktok App
  • Yes, you can log in to your TikTok account on your laptop; however, I found all the creative features more accessible via my cell phone.
  • When you download the App, you're on the service, not registered yet to use it. You can scroll through the videos and have fun. Oh yeah, it's a bit addictive.
  • Create your account to set yourself up to use TikTok for business. I won't go through the steps; simply follow the instructions and prompts.
  • I converted my account to a Business Account. There's no charge for that. Here are TikTok's instructions on how to do it; it's easy.
  • In your profile, you tell TikTok your interests so that videos that align with your taste are displayed on the front "For You" page. In my case, I selected media/entertainment, inspirational (or something like that), home decor, and a few other topic areas.
The "For You Page" on TikTok

What I've learned about the "For You Page" is that every user who opens the App is immediately connected to their For You Page to watch and start scrolling videos. 

You can like, comment, save, share, or scroll past videos. This differs from other platforms in that you go directly into the content. Content is presented to you; it's not something you choose (except via the interests you indicated in your initial profile sign-up).

I've learned that the "For You" page is a powerful marketing tool. Everyone wants their videos to land on everyone else's "For You" page. 

In fact, you'll notice that some people use the hashtag #foryoupage or #fyp to try and encourage the TikTok algorithm to place their video on other people's "For You Pages." I have no idea if that works or not.

I discovered via the Analytics area that many of my own videos were put on other people's "For You Pages" before I started using or even knew about the For You Page hashtags.

The Bottom Bar Appearance When Logged In to TikTok
  • HOME: (that's where you get to all the fun and sometimes hilarious videos to scroll through -um, be careful, it's so addictive!)
  • FRIENDS: (that's where you can quickly access the videos of your friends that you've connected with)
  • + Plus Sign: (That's your prompt to start the upload process of videos or images - yes, you can upload images)
  • INBOX: (That's where you get notified that you have responses to your videos or new followers)
  • PROFILE: (That's your personal profile that features your content, and your logo/image and blurb about you)
I Avoided TikTok Because I Had No Interest Or Desire to Put Myself on Any Videos!

You don't have to put yourself on camera or even make videos.

You can upload a static photo/graphic and enhance that page with fun sticker elements and commercial-free music provided by TikTok.

For my business, static Riddle Graphic photos are perfect for this! 

I've already created nearly 1000 photo riddles for my website and books, so uploading them to TikTok with music and some fun sticker elements is a perfect marketing fit.

The TikTok Voice-Over Feature

If you decide to type text on static photos, you can ask the TikTok AI Voice-Over feature to read the text! You don't have to use your own voice! It's easy to use. 

How Am I Doing So Far? 

I started using TikTok on August 2, 2022, and today, as I'm typing, it is August 6, 2022

In 4 Days:
  • I've uploaded 11 riddles
  • I've had 5,441 video views (mainly on the "For You" pages)
  • I've had 29 profile views
  • I've had 43 Likes
  • I've had 17 Comments
  • I've had 13 Shares
  • I've had 5 Follows
I'm delighted with the potential TikTok offers for my Riddle business. Perhaps it's something that could work for you as well?

The Biggest Problem:

Other people's videos can consume your time - especially the funny ones. Seriously, some are hilarious!



Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Blueberry Biscuit Scones — New, Easy, Low Carb Keto Recipe

Recently I decided to bake a batch of low carb blueberry scones using my favorite mix, the Livlo Blueberry Scones Keto Baking Mix I reviewed in December. It was nearly bedtime and I was tired and not paying close enough attention, and just after I incorporated the small cubes of butter into the Livlo Baking Mix with my pastry blender, I realized that I had added an entire stick of butter (1/2 cup) rather than the half stick (1/4 cup) that was called for. This low carb keto baking recipe is the result of that happy accident, after I turned this "lemon" situation into "lemonade."

Although I didn't have a second package of the blueberry scones mix in the pantry, I did find a bag of Livlo Biscuits Keto Baking Mix, which calls for the same added ingredients in the same quantities and the same baking instructions. By adding it to the bowl with the scones mix and butter cubes, then adding four eggs instead of two and stirring in a cup of fresh blueberries, I not only salvaged the situation but invented a new low carb, keto baking treat.

My husband devoured two as soon as they came out of the oven and dubbed this biscuits and blueberry scones hybrid "biscones." His tongue-in-cheek quip has become their official name in this household.

I promptly ordered more of both Livlo keto baking mixes so I could make another batch of blueberry "biscones" last night. Although the texture is different from either drop biscuits or blueberry scones made with wheat flour, these tender, tasty treats are delicious. 

Anyone who follows a low carb or keto diet will love the macros for these delightful baked goods. Each blueberry biscuit scone has just 184 calories, 2.6g of net carbs, 3.6g of fiber, 17g of fat and 5.6g of protein. 

This recipe makes 20 yummy blueberry "biscones," enough to share with others. They don't have to be watching their calories or carbs to enjoy them! 

Quick & Easy Blueberry "Biscones" Recipe Low Carb Keto-Friendly

Recommended Tools and Equipment for Making Low Carb, Keto-Friendly Blueberry "Biscones"

In addition to basic baking tools and equipment like baking sheets, cooling racks and a measuring cup, here are some of the other items you will need to make this recipe, including my personal product recommendations.

Silicone Baking Mats or Unbleached Baking Parchment Paper

You will need either silicone baking mats or unbleached parchment paper to line your baking sheets to keep the biscones from sticking. (I often use a silicone baking mat topped with a sheet of parchment to help keep my baking trays clean.) The Katbite Silicone Nonstick Baking Mat Set of 3 is inexpensive, works well and is a great value. In addition to two 11 5/8" x 16 1/2" mats for lining half sheet pans, it also comes with a bonus 11 1/2" x 8 1/2" mat for lining a quarter sheet pan, which I use in one of my toaster oven baking trays. As of this recipe's publication date, the price for all three mats is less than $15 on Amazon with free Prime delivery. 

I use unbleached baking parchment and love the convenience of flat, pre-cut sheets. Before I discovered them, I used to hate trying to wrestle with the stubborn, curling edges of the sheets torn from a roll! I can recommend the Baker's Signature Precut Non-Stick & Unbleached Parchment Paper Baking Sheets which come in a variety of shapes and sizes.

Large Mixing Bowl

Since you will be making two batches of baking mix batter or dough in one bowl (one each of the Livlo keto blueberry scones mix and one of the Livlo keto biscuits mix) and adding an extra cup of fresh blueberries, you'll need to use a large mixing bowl. Whenever I'm mixing a batter or dough by hand, I prefer using the appropriate size bowl from my OXO Good Grips 3-Piece Stainless Steel Mixing Bowl Set, which includes 1.5-quart, 3-quart and 5-quart bowls, rather than the bowl from my KitchenAid electric stand mixer. The round interior bottoms of the OXO bowls make it easy to stir and scrape ingredients cleanly, and the non-skid exterior bottoms prevent the bowls from sliding even when they are tilted at an angle. For this recipe, the 5-quart bowl is the perfect size. 

Silicone Spoon Spatula (AKA "Spoonula")

One of my favorite silicone cooking and baking spatulas is the GIR Premium Silicone Ultimate Spoonula, Ultimate 11 inch, a combination silicone spatula and spoon with a deep, spoon-like "bowl" and a thin, flexible edge that scrapes up every last bit of dough or batter easily. I love my pretty teal GIR "spoonula," but it also comes in other colors and sizes.

Pastry Blender AKA Pastry Cutter

I started baking when I was a kid and was taught to make biscuits by "cutting in" the butter into the dry ingredients with two knives, using a scissor-like motion. It was only later in my years as a baking enthusiast that I discovered the joy of using a pastry blender, also called a pastry cutter. It makes quick work of cutting the chunks of very cold butter into small, "petite pea-sized" bits while coating them in the flour mixture and distributing them evenly throughout the dry ingredients. 

Two years ago, I bought a new pastry blender that works much, much better than any other I have used. The Spring Chef Dough Blender Large Pastry Cutter is a heavy-duty, professional grade pastry blender with sharp yet thick, sturdy blades and a comfortable, wide, soft-grip handle. It comes in a choice of 3" and 4" sizes (I bought the larger, 4" model) and a range of grip colors. I recommend it highly to anyone who makes biscuit dough, pie crusts, etc., by hand rather than in a food processor.

Spring-Action 4-Tablespoon Stainless Steel Scoop

I have a collection of trigger or spring-action stainless steel scoops that I use constantly for baking and cooking, for everything from portioning cookie dough and cupcake batter to making evenly sized meatballs. Most of mine are made by Norpro, which are excellent quality, very durable and easy and comfortable to use and measure accurately.

By trial and error, I found that my Norpro 56mm 4-Tablespoon Stainless Steel Scoop is the perfect size for dividing the blueberry biscuit scones batter evenly into 20 nicely shaped mounds. Being able to easily make all the biscones the same diameter, height and volumes helps ensure that they bake evenly at the same time. It's also helpful if you are tracking the calories, carbohydrates, and other nutrition metrics of the food you consume.

Low Carb Keto Blueberry Biscuit Scones Recipe (AKA "Biscones")

Baked blueberry "biscones" on plate on lace tablecloth
These 10 fragrant, freshly baked low carb, keto blueberry biscuit scones are just half the recipe's yield; the other 10 have been frozen to enjoy in the future.

These keto-friendly, low carb blueberry "biscones" are quick and easy to make, thanks to two delicious Livlo Keto Baking Mixes with clean, wholesome ingredients. Just add cold butter, eggs and fresh blueberries!

Servings

20

Ingredients

Instructions

Ingredients for Low Carb Keto Blueberry Biscuit Scones Recipe
Setting out and preparing the ingredients makes everything go even quicker.

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 ℉. Line two full-size baking sheets (or four smaller baking trays, if baking in a countertop oven) with silicone nonstick baking mats or unbleached baking parchment sheets. Cut the butter into 1/4" cubes, beat the eggs lightly and rinse and dry the fresh blueberries.
Cutting the butter cubes into the dry baking mixes with a pastry blender
My large, sturdy pastry blender makes cutting in the butter cubes a snap!

  1. Empty both the bags of keto baking mix into a large mixing bowl. Stir the cold butter cubes into the dry ingredients with a silicone spoon spatula (spoonula), then use a pastry blender to "cut in" the butter into smaller pieces and distribute them evenly throughout, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl and the blades of the pastry blender as needed.
Biscones dough in mixing bowl after adding beaten eggs
Stirring in the lightly beaten eggs creates a stiff batter or dough.

  1. Stir in the beaten eggs with the silicone spoon spatula to form a thick batter or dough, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl.
Biscones dough after adding fresh blueberries
Adding fresh blueberries ensures that every bite is filled with juicy, flavorful berries!

  1. Stir in the fresh blueberries until evenly distributed.
Mounds of raw keto blueberry biscuit scones dough on lined baking sheets
A 4-tablespoon scoop makes it easy to portion the dough into uniformly sized and shaped mounds.

  1. Use the 4-tablespoon stainless steel scoop to portion the dough evenly into 20 mounds on the lined baking sheets or trays.
  1. Bake until the tops of the blueberry biscones are golden, approximately 15 minutes. Do not overbake!
Baked blueberry "biscones" (biscuit scones) on cooling rack
Make sure to let them cool on the baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring the biscones directly to the cooling rack.

  1. Transfer the baking sheets to cooling racks and let the biscuit scones cool for a few minutes before removing them from the pans. (Lifting them off the baking sheet while still hot makes them prone to crumbling.)

Nutrition Facts

The following was calculated by entering the nutrition data for each of the ingredients into a "custom recipe" in the Carb Manager app. 

Amount Per Serving (1 blueberry "biscone" (1/20 recipe))

Calories

184

Total Fat

17g

  Sat. Fat

  0.5g

  Trans Fat

  0g

Cholesterol

0mg

Sodium

5.1mg

Total Carbohydrate

9.2g

  Dietary Fiber

  3.6g

  Total Sugars

  1.5g

    Added Sugars

    0g

  Sugar Alcohols (Erythritol)

  3g

Protein

5.6g

Net Carbs
9.2g total carbs-3.6g dietary fiber-3g sugar alcohols = 2.6 net carbs

2.6g net carbs


Recipe Notes

These blueberry biscones are delicious as is, but even better if you split, butter and lightly toast them or drizzle them with a bit of glaze (the instructions for making a glaze are on the Livlo Blueberry Scones Keto Baking Mix package). 

They're great for breakfast, brunch, dessert, or as a low carb snack with a cup of tea or coffee or a glass of cold nut milk or other low-carb, plant-based milk.

Since this recipe makes 20 biscuit scones, I like to freeze some of them to enjoy at a later date.


Blueberry Biscuit Scones — New, Easy, Low Carb Keto Recipe by Margaret Schindel

Posts About My Keto Diet Journey

My First Year on The Keto Diet

Preparing to Succeed on the Keto Diet, Part One

Preparing to Succeed on the Keto Diet, Part Two

Low Carb Muffins & Cupcakes: Treats to Enjoy on a Keto Diet

Low Carb Keto Chocolate Yogurt Granola Chip Pudding Recipe

Good Dee’s Keto Cookie Low Carb Baking Mix Review

Hamama Microgreens Growing Kit Review & Success Tips

My Favorite Hamama Microgreens Seed Quilt Accessories

Keto Cheddar Cheese Biscuits With Chives Recipe

The Ultimate Keto Hot Chocolate Recipe

The Best Low Carb Keto Gift Ideas: Keto Gift Guide

The Best Low Carb Keto Cinnamon Muffins

Wholesome Yum Keto Bread Mix and Yeast Bread Recipe

The Good Chocolate 100% Organic No Sugar Dark Chocolate Review

The Best Advice to Maintain Your Keto Diet Weight Loss

My New Irresistibly Delicious Keto Cheese Crackers Recipe

Luscious Low Carb Keto Triple Peppermint Cheesecake Brownies Recipe

Quick & Easy Livlo Blueberry Scones Keto Baking Mix Review

Snack Better With The Best Healthy Keto Cookie Dough Bites

The Best Quick and Easy Low Carb Keto Pizza Recipe

The Best Quick and Easy Low Carb Keto Shortcake Cupcakes Recipe

Comparing the Best Keto-Friendly Chocolate Hazelnut Spreads - No Added Sugars

The Best Low Carb Keto Sandwich and Burger Buns Mix

Blueberry Biscuit Scones — New, Easy, Low Carb Keto Recipe

Reviews of the Keto Diet by Barbara C. (aka Brite-Ideas)

My Personal Keto Testimonial

How I Stayed Committed to the Ketogenic Way of Eating

Read More Recipes by Our Review This Reviews Contributors

Read More Product Reviews by Our Review This Reviews Contributors

Read More Reviews About Health and Wellness by Our Review This Reviews Contributors






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