Showing posts with label Recipes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Recipes. Show all posts

Friday, February 12, 2021

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls Recipe and Review

These homemade cinnamon rolls are delicious! 


Cinnamon Roll Recipe
I wish I could say they are fast, but they do require time for raising.  I have not found a way to start the cinnamon rolls in advance and bake them later.  This is a recipe you will want to prepare and bake on the same day.  Therefore, you either need to serve them for brunch, or get up before sunrise to start the dough.  Either way, these cinnamon rolls are worth it!

It looks like a lot of instructions when you read the recipe below, but they are still fairly easy to make.  I simply give enough details that even the inexperienced baker will have success with the recipe. Please do not let the appearance of difficulty or length keep you from baking these divine cinnamon rolls.

I will warn you in advance, the recipe makes 12 cinnamon rolls, but most of us can only eat one.  They are that big and filling.


Homemade Cinnamon Rolls Recipe 

Dough Ingredients 

  • 2 ¼ teaspoons (1 pkg) active dry yeast 
  • 3/4 Cup Warm Whole Milk
  • 1/2 Cup of Buttermilk  
  • 1 Cup Warm Water 
  • 2 Tablespoon Softened Butter 
  • 3 Tablespoons Sugar 
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons Salt 
  • 6 Cups All Purpose Flour (plus extra for flouring work surfaces)

  

Instant Coffee Packets

Filling Ingredients

  • 1/4 Cup Melted Butter 
  • 1 Cup Packed Light Brown Sugar 
  • 4 teaspoons Instant Coffee Granules – mashed with spoon to fine powder 
  • 2 teaspoons Ground Saigon Cinnamon 

 

Simple Icing Ingredients  (If prefered, click here to jump to cream cheese alternative icing recipe)

  • 1 ½ Cup Confectioner’s Sugar 
  • 2 Tablespoon Softened Butter 
  • 2 Tablespoon Whole Milk 
  • ½ teaspoons Vanilla Extract 
 
 

Set-up for Baking Success


Set out 1/4 Stick (4 Tablespoons) of Butter to Soften plus a little more to grease baking pan & bowl (should set out about 30 minutes before needed) 

Set out the mixing bowls & other supplies you will need.  I use the following:

  • Deep bowl for mixing (flour tends to blow when mixing, so use a deep bowl)
  • Large glass bowl for raising  
  • Hand Held Mixer
  • 13 x 9 Baking Pan 
  • Cutting board for kneading 
  • Clean the counter top for rolling out dough to 18" x 12" size  (Note:  I have a 18 x 12 glass microwave plate from an old microwave that is perfect for this.  If you can find one, it will save a lot of mess and clean-up time. Otherwise, I recommend the pastry mat with measurements featured below)

Preparation
  • Grease large glass bowl for raising
  • Flour Cutting Board for kneading
  • Warm Milk & Buttermilk in microwave (stir every 15 seconds to avoid burning)

Directions 

  1.  In a large, deep mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water
  2. Add warm milk, warm buttermilk, sugar, softened butter, salt and 4 cups of flour.  Beat (mixer) on medium speed until smooth. 
  3. By hand, spoon or fork, Stir in remaining flour to form a soft dough (dough will still be sticky) 
  4. Turn onto a floured cutting board surface, knead 6-8 minutes. (Dough should be smooth and elastic.) 
  5. Place in a greased bowl, turning over once to grease top of the dough ball. 
  6. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour
  7. After the hour, Grease 13 x 9 baking pan
  8. Flour clean counter or rolling surface & rolling pin
  9. Melt 1/4 Cup Butter in microwave
  10. Combine Brown Sugar, Instant Coffee Granules and Cinnamon
  11. Punch Dough down, turn onto floured surface and roll out to 18" x 12" rectangle. 
  12. Brush with melted butter 
  13. Sprinkle brown sugar mixture over buttered dough to within ½” of edges.  Use all of the mixture
  14. Starting with long edge, Roll up Jelly-roll style and Pinch seam to seal 
  15. Cut into 12 slices 
  16. Place rolls, cut side up, in greased baking pan 
  17. Cover and let rise 30 minutes (will double again) 
  18. Preheat oven to 350 – Bake 25 – 28 minutes until golden brown
  19. In a small bowl, beat icing ingredients until smooth and spread over rolls 
  20. Serve your delicious homemade cinnamon rolls


 


  
Ingredients 
  • 2 ounces cream cheese, softened 
  • 7 Tablespoons butter, softened 
  • 2 Tablespoons milk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract  
  • 1 ½ cups confectioners' sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt  
Instructions:  Beat softened cream cheese and butter together with an electric mixer in a large bowl until creamy. Mix in the milk and vanilla, then gradually mix in the confectioners sugar and salt until smooth.



There are a few things in this post that may cause questions or uncertainty. Therefore, I am featuring a deep mixing bowl that I recommend for mixing dough. It won't keep the flour from "blowing", but it will keep more of it contained in the bowl. Also, saigon cinnamon is not the average, everyday cinnamon most of us have on our spice rack. It is a bolder, stronger tasting cinnamon that really gives the cinnamon rolls the needed "kick" that sets them apart from others.






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Homemade Cinnamon Rolls Recipe & Review Written by:
House of Sylvestermouse





© 2021 Cynthia Sylvestermouse
 



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Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Ninja Foodi Grill Review

 

Ninja Foodi Grill Review

Our daughter got this Ninja Foodi Grill as a Christmas gift and I just have to tell you how amazing this kitchen gadget really is.

Fran and I are both retired but we both work part-time jobs. On the days that we work, we don't always prepare a meal for when we get home. 

With the Ninja Foodi Grill, we have a nice hot meal in 30 minutes or less. You can grill, air fry, bake, roast, and dehydrate with the Foodi Grill. Take foods from frozen to grilled juicy perfection in 30 minutes or less.

Ninja Foodi Grill Features and Settings:

Grill Control, Low, Medium, High, and Max

Time Setting button in minutes

Air Crisp Setting

Dehydrate Setting

Roast and Bake Settings

Ninja Foodi Grill accessories

Above is a photo of everything in the Ninja Foodi Grill box:

Recipe Book
Quick Start Guide
Owner's Guide
Foodi Grill
Splatter Shield
Removeable Cooking Pot
Grill Grate
Crisper Basket
Cleaning Brush

The recipe book has 15 great recipes for you to try. There are also charts for grilling, air frying, and frozen food. The charts give you the amount of food, preparation tips, Cooking temperatures, and recommended cooking times. 

Sausage and Grilled Peppers

We made these Sausage and Pepper Grinders, the recipe is on page 26 of the included recipe book. 

Grilled peppers and onions

First, Fran cut 2 bell peppers and one onion and tossed them in a plastic bag with 2 tablespoons of canola oil. 

Then, insert the grill grate and close the hood. Select Grill, set the temperature to low, and set the time to 28 minutes. Then, select start/stop to begin preheating. The unit will beep to indicate that's time to add the food, I love this feature it really takes the guesswork out of preheating. 

Add the peppers and onions on top of the grill grate and close the hood. The timer will begin to count down. Grill the peppers and onions for 12 minutes, when the timer counts down to 16 minutes lift the hood, place them in a bowl and cover with tin foil for later.

Grilled Sausage

Add the sausage and close the hood, the timer will begin to count down again. We cooked the sausage for 7 minutes per side for a total of 14 minutes. The recipe cooks the sausage for 6 minutes per side but I added 2 minutes at the beginning of the process knowing that I wanted my sausage cooked a little more.

Lift the hood and remove the sausage. There will be 2 minutes left on the timer, add your sausage rolls on the grill top and close the hood for the last 2 minutes. Now you'll have nice toasty rolls for your sandwich. These sausage grinders were delicious, I went a little overboard and ate 2 of them myself.

I like the fact you can cook your whole meal by setting one time. We've also made shrimp and fish fillets in the air crisper from frozen to perfection.

Last week I made a couple of ribeye steaks. I brushed them with canola oil, seasoned them, and grilled them for 6 minutes per side, they were a perfect medium-rare. Let's say someone in the family likes their steak cooked medium, all you have to do is leave one steak on the grill and add another minute or two.

So far this has been a great addition to our kitchen gadgets. We've been having a lot of fun experimenting with different foods and time settings.

By the way, the splatter screen, removable cooking pot, grill grate, and crisper basket are really easy to clean.

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Friday, January 8, 2021

Chocolate Hot Cocoa Bombs Recipe & Review

Hot Cocoa Bombs Recipe


When Wednesday Elf introduced me to Hot Cocoa Bombs in her Cocoa Day review, I knew I would be making them soon! 

I enjoy trying new recipes, especially when they are decorative and fun to make.  I have always referred to that as Fun Food created while crafting in the kitchen.  It combines my two favorite things to do:  cooking & crafting.

I decided to make the Hot Cocoa Bombs as a special treat for my family on Christmas Eve. They were fantasic! Truly the best hot cocoa or hot chocolate I have ever tasted and we all enjoyed watching them "explode" inside the mug.

This delicious hot drink would be a wonderful treat for any holiday party, gathering, or just for fun!

 

Hot Cocoa Bomb Recipe

I looked at several existing recipes before I decided to combine ideas instead of using just one. 

To start, I liked the idea to create a round ball by "gluing" two pieces together.  I promptly ordered 2 sets of large sphere shaped silicone molds which would make 12 round hot cocoa bombs.  I have worked with silicone molds many times and love them!   

An alternative to gluing two pieces together would be to simply cover each filled 1/2 sphere with a layer of melted chocolate chips. I will try this at some point in the future.  Decorating a flat surface would be fun and would still provide the same tasty treat. 


Preparation Time Using 1 Set of Sphere Silicone Molds

Set your silicone molds on a cookie sheet for easy moving!  Use a microwavable glass bowl

   
Prep Time Microwave Time Ready In Yields
30 minutes 45 seconds,
then 15 sec intervals to melt
1 hour 30 min. 6 servings

 

Ingredients for My Hot Cocoa Bombs

 
  • 12 ounce bag Chocolate Chips
  • Hot Cocoa Mix  (I used 2 packets of Hershey,s
  • Mini Marshmallows, chopped peppermint, chopped toffee (for filling)
  • Sprinkles or Chocolate shaving for decorating

 

Directions for Making Hot Cocoa Bombs

  1. Melt 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips in the microwave in 15 second intervals, stirring in between cook times until fully melted
  2. Chocolate Hot Cocoa Bombs
  3. Using a spoon, smooth 2 teaspoons of melted chocolate (for each cavity) up the sides and around the bottom  (save any leftovers and don't wash your bowl yet)
  4. Set in the refrigerator for 30 minutes
  5. Lay the silicone mold face down on a cookie tray and carefully "roll" the silicone cups from the chocolate bomb pieces one at at time.  (take your time!  You don't want to break the chocolate bomb pieces)
  6. Fill 6 cavities with 1 Tablespoon hot cocoa mix, 6 or 7 mini marshmallows and/or other selected fillings
  7. Melt about a teaspoon chocolate chips and use this as the "glue" to attach the top sphere to the lower filled sphere
  8. Set in the refrigerator for 30 minutes
  9. Decorate your cocoa bombs with sprinkles, chocolate shavings, chocolate drizzle, etc.
 

To serve, pour hot milk over the chocolate bomb and watch for melting drama to unfold! Of course, you will need a spoon to stir the ingredients the bomb has "exploded".

 

I found that melted chocolate chips were not a great consistancy for drizzle and did not make beautiful thin drizzles, but since the hot cocoa bombs are so big, it didn't really matter. If you want a pretty thin drizzle, I recommend buying melting chocolate and using a drizzle spoon.






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Chocolate Hot Cocoa Bombs Recipe & Review Written by:
House of Sylvestermouse





© 2021 Cynthia Sylvestermouse
 



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Tuesday, December 8, 2020

The Ultimate Keto Hot Chocolate Recipe

Today, I'm delighted to share my review of my luscious new hot chocolate recipe, just in time for Christmas and other winter holiday celebrations and the long, chilly weather during the months that follow them. 

Once you taste this decadent cold-weather treat, you'll never want to settle for ordinary hot cocoa again! It's so rich, thick, intensely chocolaty, and indulgent, no one who tastes it will ever guess—or even believe—that this fabulous beverage is also sugar-free and very low in carbohydrates. That means you can enjoy it with your family and friends, even if some of are following a ketogenic diet. 

My carb-loving husband and I, both serious hot chocolate snobs, agree that it's The Ultimate Hot Chocolate Recipe, keto or not!  

Main image - mug of cocoa against snowy background, overlaid with text "The Ultimate Keto Hot Chocolate Recipe"
©2020 Margaret Schindel, all rights reserved

Gourmet Hot Chocolate Any Chocolate Connoisseur Will Love (Just Don't Tell Them It's Keto!)

'Tis the season for hot chocolate! During Christmas and other winter holidays, and straight through the cold weather months, hot cocoa a welcome indulgence, warming us from the inside out after we come in from the cold (and especially after we've been playing outside in the snow...or shoveling it!). Unfortunately, for those of us who follow a low carb or ketogenic diet, most keto recipes for low carb hot chocolate just aren't all that tasty or satisfying. 

After trying and being disappointed by five or six different keto recipes for hot cocoa and a couple of low carb hot chocolate mixes, I finally realized the only way to find a keto hot chocolate recipe that would live up to my very high expectations standards would be to develop one myself. 

It took a lot of experimentation, but the final result definitely has been worth all the time and effort I invested into the process. In fact, this is the closest thing I've ever sipped to the gold-standard chocolat chaud L'Africain at the world-famous Angelina café in the Rue de Rivoli in Paris (where I had the good fortunate to enjoy a cup once, many years ago). 

That's why I'm confident that my recipe truly is worthy of the title, The Ultimate Keto Hot Chocolate Recipe. In fact, second only to Angelina's iconic L'Africain, I think this may well be The Ultimate Hot Chocolate Recipe, period.

Photo of two large mugs of keto hot chocolate, sitting on a pink and ivory flowered cloth placemat
©2020 Margaret Schindel, all rights reserved
High carb or keto, hot chocolate doesn't get any more sumptuous than this recipe!

Hot Chocolate or Cocoa? Both!

As my fellow Review This Reviews contributor Wednesday Elf explained in her recent review of National Cocoa Day (which is just five days away, on December 13), although both terms for this beloved beverage are often used interchangeably, the main difference is whether they are made with real chocolate (often ground) or with cocoa powder. 

As I experimented with different combinations and proportions of ingredients for my recipe, I found that mixing my favorite Dutched cocoa powder, sugar-free chocolate chips, and Good Dee's Sipping Chocolate low carb hot cocoa mix resulted in the perfect, intense, dark chocolate flavor I wanted.

Combining the cocoa and dark chocolate with macadamia milk (instead of the more commonly used almond milk), heavy cream, and 1/8 teaspoon per serving of xanthan gum, and then using a handheld immersion blender (aka stick blender) to emulsify all the ingredients and thicken the mixture, worked synergistically  provided the rich, creamy taste and smooth, luxurious consistency that other low carb hot chocolate recipes and mixes I had tried lacked. Salt and pure vanilla extract to complement the dark chocolate flavor that, together with the smoothness and creaminess  rounded out the flavor profile, smoothing out the intense, dark chocolate flavor with to create The Ultimate Keto Hot Chocolate. 

Regular, Mint, and Salted Caramel Keto Hot Chocolate

Once I had perfected the recipe, I decided to take this challenge to the next level, creating low carb versions of my husband's favorite hot cocoa flavors that we could both could enjoy: keto mint hot chocolate and keto salted caramel hot chocolate. 

I hadn't thought this recipe could get any better, but I was mistaken. The mint and salted caramel variations turned out to be even more delicious than the original version!

The Ultimate Keto Hot Chocolate Recipe

You Don't Have to Follow a Low Carb Diet to Love It!


Years ago, I developed a fabulous sugar, fat, and calorie-laden hot chocolate recipe for my husband, and it spoiled us both for any other hot cocoa. I never wrote down the recipe or measured the ingredients; it was all in my head, and I just tasted and adjusted the amounts and proportions as I went along each time I made it.
©2020 Margaret Schindel,
all rights reserved

Unfortunately, after I made the decision for medical reasons to follow a ketogenic diet, I stopped making my husband's favorite winter treat because I could no longer taste and adjust the flavor during the process (because of the sugar). And we both missed it a lot. 

So, I challenged myself to come up with a new low carb hot chocolate recipe that would taste as rich and decadent as my original recipe, and could meet or exceed my husband's extremely high standards for his favorite beverage. 

I succeeded beyond either of our wildest dreams. Now, I'm sharing the recipe so you and those you love can enjoy it, too, whether or not they are watching their sugar or carbohydrate intake. 

Prep Time:  
10 minutes

Cook Time:
10 minutes

Total Time:
20 minutes

Recipe Yield:
Four servings
(approximately 6 fluid ounces per serving)

Calories:
136 kcal
per serving

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Measure the dry ingredients (Good Dee's Sipping Chocolate, Ghirardelli Majestic Premium unsweetened cocoa powder, granulated BochaSweet sugar replacement, xanthan gum, and salt) into a small bowl. Mix well (pressing out any lumps of cocoa) and set aside. 

  2. Pour the Milkadamia unsweetened vanilla macadamia milk into a 2-cup Pyrex glass measuring cup and microwave for 60 seconds or until hot. Remove from microwave.

  3. Place the sugar-free chocolate chips and ghee or butter into a 4-cup Pyrex glass measuring cup. Microwave on high for 45–60 seconds, depending on how powerful your microwave is. Stir the mixture well to melt as much of the chocolate as possible, then repeat, stirring until the chocolate is completely melted.

  4. Stir the hot macadamia milk into the melted chocolate mixture in the 4-cup Pyrex measuring cup until well incorporated. Then, microwave for another 60 seconds. 

  5. Stir in the dry ingredients, and then use an immersion blender (without any attachments) to blend the contents of the measuring cup. (I find it helpful to glide the immersion blender slowly over the bottom of the cup and tilt it slightly in different directions.) 

  6. Add the heavy cream, then blend with the immersion blender for 20–30 seconds, until the mixture thickens slightly. 

  7. Microwave on high for 30–60 seconds, or until very hot, and stir in the vanilla extract.

  8. Divide evenly among four small mugs or two large mugs. Top with optional whipped cream, if desired. Serve immediately. 

Keto Mint Hot Chocolate Recipe Variation

For the best peppermint or mint hot chocolate you’ve ever tasted:
  • Replace the vanilla extract with 3/8 to 1/2 teaspoon (to taste) of pure peppermint extract or pure mint extract. 
I highly recommend using either Watkins Pure Peppermint Extract or Watkins Pure Mint Extract (which contains a blend of spearmint and peppermint oils). Either one will let you enjoy the fresh, minty flavor of a traditional candy can stirrer in your hot cocoa, but without all the sugar, corn syrup, and artificial flavoring and food coloring. 

Keto Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate Recipe Variation

Transform this beverage into a keto salted caramel hot chocolate so divine, it will make you close your eyes and purr with pleasure when you take your first sip! Just make these simple tweaks to my original recipe:
  • Increase the amount of salt to 3/4 teaspoon.
  • Increase the vanilla extract to 1/2 teaspoon.
  • At the end of step 4, blend in 4 tablespoons of ChocZero Caramel Sugar-Free Syrup to the hot chocolate mixture.

Optional Whipped Cream Topping

This sumptuous hot chocolate is even better topped with a dollop of lightly sweetened whipped cream. Here's how to make a delicious low carb version. 
  1. At least 30–60 minutes before you plan to make this Ultimate Keto Hot Chocolate Recipe, put some heavy whipping cream in a mixing bowl, stir in a few drops of vanilla, mint, or peppermint extract, and sweeten to taste with your favorite keto-friendly, natural, powdered sweetener (confectioner's sugar replacement), such as powdered BochaSweet, powdered monkfruit allulose blend sweetener, or powdered allulose. Place the mixing bowl with the flavored cream in the refrigerator to chill, along with a wire balloon whisk or the whisk attachment of your electric mixer. 

  2. After making the hot chocolate recipe through step 6 (before you heat the hot chocolate mixture for the last time and stir in the extract), whip the cold, flavored, lightly sweetened cream in the chilled bowl with the chilled whisk.

  3. Finish preparing the hot chocolate recipe (steps 7 and 8), topping each mug with a cloud of freshly whipped cream. Finish the whipped cream topping with a light dusting of unsweetened cocoa, if desired.

Recipe Notes

  • Good Dee’s Sipping Chocolate is a key ingredient in this recipe! You can order it, as well as the Good Dee’s Dark Chocolate Chips, either on Amazon or on the Good Dee’s website. Consider adding some of the delicious Good Dee’s keto cookie mix flavors I’ve reviewed previously to your cart while you’re at it. After all, what’s better than cookies and hot cocoa on a chilly day, especially around the holidays?

    Note: If you don't get Amazon Prime free shipping, or the Good Dee's products you want are out of stock on Amazon, or you'd prefer to shop the full selection of Good Dee's products, you can save 15% off your total purchase price any time you use my Good Dee's website affiliate shopping link and enter my unique discount coupon code GOODDEES15MRS during checkout. 
  • Using Ghirardelli Majestic Premium Cocoa makes a big difference in the taste of this decadent hot chocolate. The more expensive nib-alkalization process gives it a richer, smoother, better flavor. Even though the generous 2-pound (32-ounce) canister looks as though it would be a lifetime supply, I use this extraordinary cocoa powder so often in this and other recipes, such as my luscious low carb keto chocolate yogurt chip pudding parfait recipe (my favorite quick and easy breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, or snack when I’m in the mood for something sweet), that I have to replenish my supply a few times a year.

    If you are unable to get the Ghirardelli Majestic Premium and need to substitute a different brand or formula, please make sure to choose a high-quality, unsweetened, alkalized or Dutch-processed cocoa powder. Although your hot chocolate won't taste the same as my original recipe, if you use a different brand of alkalized or Dutch-processed (aka Dutched or "Dutch"), it should still be delicious!

  • Making this hot beverage in a large, flat-bottomed Pyrex glass 4-cup measuring cup lets you can see what's at the bottom of the hot mixture, so you know whether the chocolate chips have melted completely and, if so, whether all the melted chocolate has been incorporated into the hot macadamia milk and melted butter mixture. 

  • Using an immersion blender on medium speed creates the perfect consistency. If you don't own one, you can use a regular blender, and use a slim silicone scraper to make sure you get all of your delicious hot beverage out of the container. My decades-old stick blender was a gift from someone who knew how much I enjoy cooking and baking, and that model was discontinued long ago. However, if you're looking for a good one, the powerful Müeller Austria Ultra-Stick 500 Watt 9-Speed Stainless Steel Immersion Blender has more than 20,000 5-star ratings on Amazon.

Nutrition Facts

I entered this recipe and its variations into Carb Manager to help me calculate and track the calories, macros, and other nutrition data, based on the specific ingredients and brands I used. I usually drink one-quarter of the recipe, while my husband prefers to indulge in a larger portion. So, here are the nutrition facts for both the smaller, typical serving size (6 fluid ounces) and a double-size serving (12 fluid ounces).

The Ultimate Keto Hot Chocolate Recipe (Original, Mint, or Peppermint) Nutrition Facts

One quarter of this recipe (6 fluid ounce serving) contains 1 net carb, 136 calories, 4.7 grams of dietary fiber, 2.8 grams of protein, and 13 grams of fat. 

Half the recipe (12 fluid ounce serving) contains 2 net carbs, 272 calories, 9.4 grams of dietary fiber, 5.7 grams of protein, and 26.1 grams of fat. 

The Ultimate Keto Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate Recipe Nutrition Facts

One quarter of this recipe (6 fluid ounce serving) contains 1 net carb, 136 calories, 4.7 grams of dietary fiber, 2.8 grams of protein, and 13 grams of fat. 

Half the recipe (12 fluid ounce serving) contains 2 net carbs, 272 calories, 9.4 grams of dietary fiber, 5.7 grams of protein, and 26.1 grams of fat. 

The Ultimate Keto Hot Chocolate Recipe by Margaret Schindel


Posts In This Series About My Keto Diet Journey

The Best Low Carb Keto Gift Ideas: Keto Holiday Gift Guide 2020

The Ultimate Keto Hot Chocolate Recipe

Keto Cheddar Cheese Biscuits With Chives Recipe

My Favorite Hamama Microgreens Seed Quilt Accessories

Hamama Microgreens Growing Kit Review & Success Tips

Good Dee’s Keto Cookie Low Carb Baking Mix Review

Low Carb Keto Chocolate Yogurt Granola Chip Pudding Recipe

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

Preparing to Succeed on the Keto Diet, Part Two

Preparing to Succeed on the Keto Diet, Part One

My First Year on The Keto Diet


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 Reviews About Health and Wellness by Our Review This Reviews Contributors





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Saturday, November 21, 2020

Reviewing Regional Thanksgiving Dinners



Thanksgiving dinners in America, and the dishes we serve, may seem to be the traditional dinner everyone eats on this most thankful day of the year. Not so.  What each family considers to be the perfect dishes on this 'turkey day' may be completely different to someone living in a different part of the country. What is traditional for you depends on where you live and also the culture you grew up in.  Let's explore a few different regions and see what is commonly served for Thanksgiving dinner. 


*A few recipe links are sprinkled throughout the following food descriptions if you want to try adding them to your Thanksgiving menu. 


Turkey or Other Main Meats


  • Baked turkey with stuffing is the traditional Thanksgiving Day main dish.
  • Fried turkey is popular in the South, especially in Texas.
  • Ham is often served in addition to turkey, especially for large gatherings.


Stuffing


Image Source: Pixabay


  • The South prefers cornbread stuffing with their turkey
  • In the New England states you will find clams or oysters mixed with the breadcrumbs in the stuffing.
  • In the Northeast, the stuffing is made with sausage.
  • The Southwest is known for their Tex-Mex style stuffing due to their large Latino population. A favorite one is Blue Cornmeal Chorizo Stuffing, which includes Chorizo sausage and serrano peppers in the blue corn bread crumbs.


Side Dishes


Image Sources: Pixabay & AllRecipes


  • Creamed onions made with pearl onions and heavy cream is a tradition in New England.  
  • Saurkraut is a staple for Thanksgiving dinner in Maryland, particularly in Baltimore due to their large German-American population. And Maryland crab cakes and corn-on-the-cob is often served.
  • Italian-Americans in New Jersey & parts of New York State traditionally serve Manicotti (ricotta-stuffed crepe pasta topped with marinara sauce) before the turkey is served. Or lasagna and baked ziti with meatballs are known to grace the table as well. 
  • The Northeastern quadrant of the country insists on homemade cranberry relish or sauce with this holiday dinner. 
  • The West and Southwest states serve a sweetened, fruity pasta salad which is made with pasta, pineapples, mandarin oranges, Cool Whip, and marshmallow topping. It's called Frog Eye Salad.
  • In Utah, Jell-O salad is an important side dish for Thanksgiving dinner.
  • The most traditional side dish in the Midwest is Green Bean Casserole.
  • In the upper Midwest, German Potato Salad is a favorite side dish. 
  • In Minnesota and Wisconsin, wild rice casserole is a tradition. Ingredients include mushrooms, pecans, and onions, and other variations. 


Desserts


Image Source: Pixabay


  • Pumpkin pie always seems to be the traditional Thanksgiving dessert, but this is actually a mainly Northeastern states dessert. 
  • The South is famous for their Sweet Potato Pie. 
  • New England is known for it's Hasty Pudding (originally known as Indian Pudding), a delicious and simple dessert made with cornmeal, molasses, brown sugar, and spices. It's usually topped with whipped cream or scoop of ice cream.  
  • The Midwest Region favors Cherry Pie over Pumpkin.


Other Regional T-Day Dinner Traditions


Source: Pixabay


  • In New Mexico and other Southwestern states, the food word is 'spicy'.  It's popular to add chile to everything, gravy, stuffing, and even a chile-rub for the turkey. 
  • Southern traditions include a large variety of foods for the Thanksgiving table, including several types of macaroni and cheese, okra pickles, cornbread, and sweet potatoes with marshmallow topping. And, of course, lots of collard greens. 


Happy Thanksgiving

What is your favorite dish or combination of dishes for Thanksgiving Dinner?

Whatever your Thanksgiving menu includes, the contributors of ReviewThisReviews wish you a Happy Thanksgiving.


More Thanksgiving Holiday Recipes and Reviews on ReviewThisReviews



*Regional Thanksgiving Dinners written by (c) Wednesday Elf (11/21/2020)






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Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Keto Cheddar Cheese Biscuits Recipe With Chives


Today, I'm pleased to share my review of my quick and easy low carb cheddar cheese and chive biscuits recipe, whose not-so-secret ingredient is HighKey Keto Buttermilk Biscuit Mix.

I've enjoyed putting my own spin on my baked goods ever since I was a kid, whether I'm making them from scratch or using a high quality packaged mix as a shortcut. So, when HighKey Snacks, one of my favorite keto food brands, came out with a delicious keto-friendly buttermilk biscuit baking mix, I couldn’t wait to start playing around with my own ingredient add-ins. One of my favorite variations so far is this quick and easy, 5-ingredient recipe for keto cheddar cheese buttermilk biscuits with chives. They're so buttery and delicious, everyone in your family will ask for more, and they'll never guess these treats are keto-friendly. This is now one of my go-to low carb recipes, and I usually bake a dozen every two or three weeks, depending on whether my omnivorous husband is in the mood for some. 

Main image - photo collage with text "Keto & Low Carb Cheddar-Chive Buttermilk Biscuits"
Tender, flavorful, cheddar cheese keto biscuits with chives, ready in 30 minutes or less

Enjoy Big, Buttery Drop Biscuits, Even on a Keto or Low Carb Diet

I have tried—and loved—every baking mix in HighKey’s keto-friendly, low carb product line. So, I was really excited when the company announced it was coming out with a new keto buttermilk biscuit mix. I was confident that it, too, would be a winner, and I wasn’t disappointed! 

Since making a traditional flaky biscuit requires using wheat flour or other another grain, the texture of those made with HighKey’s buttermilk biscuit baking mix makes them more similar to traditional drop biscuits. Just add eggs, They’re extremely versatile and taste great, whether you eat them plain, toasted and buttered, or in sweet or savory dishes, from keto strawberry shortcake (with fresh berries and whipped cream) to sweet or savory low carb sandwiches.

Even though this biscuit mix has great buttermilk flavor, I was surprised to learn that it contains no buttermilk. In fact, it’s dairy free and soy free, and has no added sugar or artificial ingredients, so it’s a great option for people with those dietary restrictions, regardless of whether they’re following a ketogenic or low carb diet.

Photo of two baking pans of freshly baked keto cheddar-chive biscuits
Tender, low carb, keto-friendly cheddar cheese biscuits with chives, just out of the oven

My Quick and Easy Keto Cheddar Cheese and Chive Biscuits Variation

Using HighKey Buttermilk Biscuit Baking Mix

Variety is the spice of life, especially when your food choices aren’t free of limitations. Both my husband and I are huge fans of cheddar cheese bread. These days, however, the yummy, carbohydrate-laden cheese bread we used to buy from our local bakery is now off-limits (for me, at least). My husband also loves chives. So, one of the first ideas I had for varying the original HighKey buttermilk biscuit mix recipe was to add sharp cheddar cheese and chives. 

I had to experiment with the proportions bit to get the prominent cheddar flavor I was looking for. Increasing the amount of cheese also made the biscuits somewhat less crumbly, which means I can also use them as hamburger buns. And, while I love having a slice of hot, gooey, melted cheese on my burgers, using these cheddar-chive keto biscuits as a bun gives me that great cheeseburger flavor even if I don’t add any additional cheese. 

I usually prefer to use fresh chives in my dishes. For this recipe, however, I decided to go with freeze-dried chives, since I would need only a small quantity, and I no longer eat mashed potatoes (which I always make with plenty of fresh chives) now that I follow a ketogenic diet. Fortunately, freeze-dried chives work fine for these cheddar cheese biscuits.

One of My Favorite Keto Bread Options

With or without chives, these cheddar cheese biscuits are not only delicious but also versatile. Even though they are moist, rich, and yummy just as is, I also I love using them to add extra flavor to a sandwich or burger, as a filling side dish to turn a soup or salad into a satisfying, high-protein, low carb meal, or just sliced, toasted, and buttered for breakfast (or a hearty snack).  

Just be aware that you may want your burger with a knife and fork if you serve it in one of these tender biscuits.

Photo of hamburger on a biscuit, served on a plate
Last night's dinner: this juicy burger on a keto cheddar-chive biscuit,
served with a big, colorful, pretty and nutritious salad

Low Carb Keto Cheddar Cheese and Chive Buttermilk Biscuits Recipe 

These quick and easy keto biscuits are sure to become one of your favorite low carb recipes.

Photo of keto cheddar-chive biscuit on a small plate
Prep Time:

15 minutes

Cook Time:

15 minutes

Total Time:

30 minutes

Recipe Yield:

12 large biscuits

Calories:

257 kcal


Ingredients


Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 ℉. Line one or two baking sheets with parchment paper. 
  2. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the baking mix, shredded cheese, and chives.
  3. Stir in the chilled butter cubes, then cut in the butter with a pastry blender until it resembles coarse crumbs. 
  4. Stir in the eggs to form a soft, sticky dough.
  5. Scoop the dough onto the parchment-lined baking sheet(s) in 12 equal mounds, spacing them well apart to allow for spreading.
  6. Bake for 14–15 minutes, until the tops and edges of the biscuits are a light golden brown.
  7. Let them cool for a minute or two, then remove them to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Screenshot of recipe nutrition information in Carb Manager app on iPhone screen
Nutrition Facts

If you're on a keto diet and counting your macros, here's what the Carb Manager app calculated. Although it's based on the specific brand of extra-sharp aged cheddar cheese (and eggs and butter) I used, the calories and macros should be very similar, regardless of the brands of ingredients you use.

These big, delicious cheese biscuits are extremely filling. Each contains 2.6 net carbs, 257 calories, and just over 23 grams of fat, 9 grams of protein, and 6 grams of dietary fiber. 


Helpful Baking Tips for Making Keto Cheddar and Chive Buttermilk Biscuits


Make the Entire Package of HighKey Buttermilk Biscuit Mix at a Time (and Freeze What You Don't Need For Later)

The first time I prepared a bag of HighKey Buttermilk Biscuit Mix, I measured out 1-1/3 cups of the dry mix and combined it with 1/4 cup of butter and two eggs to make 6 biscuits as directed on the package. Unfortunately, when I started making my next batch, I discovered that there was only about a cup of leftover dry mix in the package! Subsequently, I have seen comments on Facebook and Amazon from people who had the same experience after following the package directions. Now, I always make a dozen buttermilk biscuits at a time, using the entire bag of mix. Fortunately, like most baked goods, these biscuits freeze beautifully, and thaw quickly at room temperature.

Use a Pastry Blender to Cut in the Butter

When I was a girl, my grandmother taught me to cut fat into dry ingredients by scissoring it into the flour mixture with two sharp knives. That experience definitely has made me appreciate the ease and efficiency of using a pastry blender instead. In addition, this handy tool, also called a pastry cutter or dough blender, creates more uniform bits of butter for more even distribution throughout the dough. It's also possible to use a fork, but that tends to mash the butter into the flour, rather than chopping it into nice little individual flour-coated bits. So, although the HighKey Buttermilk Biscuit Mix package directions give you the choice of using a pastry cutter or a fork, I strongly recommend using the former.
Spring Chef Dough Blender on Amazon

I recently replaced my dull, 40-year-old pastry blender with a Spring Chef Dough Blender, and it turned out to be a major upgrade! It has sturdier and much sharper stainless steel blades, as well as a wide, comfortable, soft-grip handle. Both these features make it a pleasure to use, especially since this high quality, heavy-duty cutter doesn't feel heavy in my hand. In addition to cutting butter or other fat into dry ingredients, I also love using it for other cooking and baking tasks that my previous pastry blender would not have been up to, such as chopping nuts and making salsa and guacamole.

Use a #14 Scoop to Portion the Dough Evenly

Dividing any dough or batter evenly into equal-size portions is always desirable, since it enables all the biscuits, cookies, etc., to finish baking at the same time with the same degree of doneness. If you are baking for yourself or others who are monitoring their food intake, whether tracking macros on a low carb or keto diet or counting calories, protein, fat, carbohydrates, fiber, cholesterol, sodium, potassium, or other nutrients for a medical, health, or weight loss reason, portioning equal servings of a recipe becomes even more important. Over time, I have assembled a collection of high quality Norpro stainless steel scoops in several different sizes, the largest of which is the 4-tablespoon (#16) Norpro scoop with a comfortable, soft-grip handle, none had the right capacity to measure out 1/12 portions of this keto buttermilk biscuit dough, with or without added cheese. Guesstimating how much to overfill  the #16 size always left me with too much or two little dough for the last few portions, and I was spending more time weighing each mound and shuffling around bits of dough to equalize the portion sizes than I did preparing it in the first place.

Eventually, I managed to find a #14 stainless steel scoop with a capacity of 4-3/4 tablespoons, which turned out to be the perfect size for portioning this keto biscuit dough into twelfths. It's a huge time-saver, makes nice, rounded mounds, and has a sturdy spring-action mechanism for the scraper blade.

Don't Skip the Baking Parchment Paper

These drop biscuits will likely stick, and stick badly, to the baking pan if you try to grease it instead of using baking parchment. I prefer using unbleached, precut sheets of parchment paper, which are less toxic than bleached baking parchment and don't curl like paper sold in rolls. If you are trying to cut down on single-use disposable products, a reusable silicone nonstick baking mat is a great alternative.

Consider Making Them With Extra-Sharp Cheddar 

The first time I made these, I used regular sharp cheddar, and only half an ounce. (I also left out the chives.) They tasted good, but weren't as cheesy or tangy as I had hoped. So, for the next batch, I not only doubled the amount of cheese, and used aged, extra-sharp cheddar. It made a huge difference! So, if you enjoy the taste of extra-sharp cheddar, I encourage you to try using it in these biscuits.

My Favorite Brands of High Quality, Low Carb and Keto Baking Mix Products

One of the keys to my successful keto diet journey, which helped me lose nearly 60 pounds and, more importantly, has enabled me to maintain that weight loss, has been finding keto-friendly versions of my favorite baked goods. Although I’ve always loved to bake (and still do), I also wanted to spend less time thinking about food, which meant spending less time cooking and baking, especially during the first six months of my new, healthy eating lifestyle after switching to a ketogenic diet. So, while I absolutely love using the recipes in Carolyn Ketchum’s The Ultimate Guide to Keto Baking (my keto baking bible) and my go-to low carb and keto blogs and websites, more often than not I’ve been using the excellent baking mixes from HighKey Snacks, Good Dee’s, and Keto and Co, which not only taste great but are also made with wholesome (and, for the most part, minimally processed) ingredients. You can learn more about these brands’ high-quality baking mixes in my review of homemade low carb keto cupcakes and muffins.


More Reviews of Low Carb and Keto Baking Mixes and Recipes


Keto Cheddar Cheese Buttermilk Biscuits Recipe With Chives by Margaret Schindel







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