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

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

The Best Quick and Easy Low Carb Keto Pizza Recipe

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

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

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

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

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

Takeout Pizzas Are Loaded With Carbs and Calories

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

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

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

Fathead Dough Keto Pizza Crusts vs. KBosh Keto Crusts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Quick and Easy Low Carb Pizza Recipe With KBosh Keto Crust

Prep Time:

12-15 minutes

Cook Time:

12-15 minutes

Total Time:

24-30 minutes

Servings:

3 Servings

Ingredients

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

Tools, Supplies & Equipment Needed

Instructions

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

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

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

2. Set out and prep your choice of toppings.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Quick & Easy KBosh Keto Crust Tear Repair Trick

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

KBosh Keto Pizza Crusts: A Delicious Investment in Healthy Eating

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

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


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

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

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

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Friday, May 6, 2022

Luscious Lemon Cake with Lemon Cream Frosting Recipe

For my birthday this past year, my husband decided he wanted to make me a birthday cake. He said that I bake cakes for everyone else for their birthdays and he thought I should have the gift of a specialty cake too.  When he asked me what kind of cake I wanted, I told him I wanted something I had never made or eaten before.  I wanted a lemon cake that actually had lemon in the cake, not just a white cake topped with lemon frosting.  

Did it deter him that I did not have a recipe for him to use?  No, it did not.  If anything, he got really excited about baking a cake that no one we know had ever made before.

He searched high and low, through my recipe books and I think even online for a lemon cake recipe. Truthfully, I didn't realize I had given him such a difficult task.  I am the only family member who loves everything lemon.  When it comes to cakes, most of the family prefers either German chocolate or chocolate cake.  For many years, my mother has made me a lemon meringue pie for my birthday, which is her specialty.

I went to visit my parents the day before my birthday.  When I returned home, my husband had made me a luscious lemon cake with lemon frosting.  He even sprinkled lemon zest on the top! It is one of the best gifts I have ever received and most definitely the best cake I have ever eaten.  I truly appreciate his thoughtfulness and determination.  What makes it even more special is that it is the first cake he had ever baked.  He has helped me prep for cakes before, but he had never been the cake chef before. 

He agreed to let me share his lemon cake recipe here, but I won't share my baker.  


Lemon Cake with Creamy Lemon Frosting Recipe

Prep Time Cook Time Ready In Yields
1 hr. 35 min. 3½ hrs.
1 Cake

     Note:  Before you begin, set out your butter. It needs to be a room temperature 

Lemon Cake Ingredients 

  • 2¼ cups Swans Down Cake Flour
  • 1 Tablespoon baking Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 
  •  4 large egg whites
  • 1¼ cup buttermilk (we like the Bulgarian buttermilk)
  • 1½ cups sugar 
  • 8 Tablespoons unsalted butter - room temperature
  • 2 Tablespoons grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon pure lemon extract

 

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350° 
  2. Butter & flour two 8" cake pans
  3. Set 8" cake pan liners in pans and butter them   
  4. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together buttermilk & egg whites (set aside buttermilk mixture)
  5. In a large bowl, combine the cake flour, baking powder and salt.  (set aside flour mixture)
  6. In a separate large bowl, combine sugar & lemon zest by rubbing them together with your fingers until moist.  Add the butter and beat on medium speed for 3 minutes.  Beat in lemon extract.
  7. Gradually mix flour mixture and buttermilk mixture into your sugar-zest mixture, alternating the flour & buttermilk mixture & beating well after each addition until batter is smooth 
  8. Bake at 350° for 35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean
  9. Let Cool for 5 minutes, remove from cake pans.  
  10. Remove cake pan liner by gently rolling it off the cake
  11. Let cool completely, approximately 1 hour
  12. In the meantime, set out cream cheese & butter for lemon frosting recipe so they can warm to room temperature

 

Lemon Frosting Recipe

  • 8 ounce cream cheese - softened
  • 8 Tablespoons unsalted butter - room temperature
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 ¾ cups powdered sugar - sifted
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice - freshly squeezed
  • 1 Tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Using a mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth
  2. Slowly add powdered sugar, salt, lemon zest, 1 Tablespoon lemon juice, vanilla extract
  3. Beat on high speed for several minutes, then add the remaining 1 Tablespoon to lemon juice if desired for taste 
  4. Frost the cake, decorate with lemon zest if desired & serve
 
This cake should be refrigerated 
 

 

Cake Pan Liners

 
I started using cake pan liners several years ago with my German chocolate cakes.  I found that they allow me to remove the cake easily from the pan and they keep the cake from breaking apart during removal.  
 
To remove the liner, after I place the cake layer on a plate (bottom side up) I gently roll the liner off the cake.  In spite of what advertising claims, the liner will stick slightly, which is why I choose to roll it (like cowboys roll cigarettes) instead of pulling it off.


     


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    Lemon Cake with Lemon Cream Frosting Recipe Written by:
    House of Sylvestermouse





    © 2021 Cynthia Sylvestermouse
     



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Monday, May 2, 2022

Reviewing Why I Make and Recommend Bannock

Bannock, a type of bread that is made in a skillet or pan on the stovetop or open fire, has been something I have made off and on over the years. But recently, Bannock has been in the forefront. Between being an integral part of a book series I've just read and being what I'm making for breakfast this morning, I thought I'd share with you.



What is Bannock?

After a Google search, it seems that Bannock (with a variety of spellings) was a Gaelic word meaning "morsel" and is believed to have originated in Scotland. It is a flat, unleavened bread and it is thought to have been introduced to North America by Scottish immigrants. 

You'll hear the words fry bread and bannock use interchangeably at times. The Indigenous people of North America make an unleavened fry bread. I believe that the original Scottish bannock used oatmeal and the North American fry bread originated with meal made of corn or nuts. At some point in time, both versions began using flour.

For my personal use and definition, Bannock is a yeastless bread that is made of flour, baking powder, and a liquid and is cooked on an almost dry skillet.  Fry bread is similar but "fried" with a larger amount of oil. I am sure others have their definitions, but this is mine. Bannock is something that hikers, campers, and hunters can easily make while on the trail.

Bannock for Breakfast

Today has turned cold and stormy. Thunder claps and lightning had me rushing to check on the outside animals before crawling back under the blankets. I felt too lazy to make breakfast but I was hungry. When I finally got up and moving, I made bannocks and scrambled eggs with sausage crumbles. 



During the moving process from the apartment to my land, my best friend was helping at one point and made a crack that I had "several" cans of baking powder. When I told him that I planned to be able to make Bannock if I get snowed in on the mountain he understood completely. He is an avid outdoorsman who has also made bannock while camping.

I started making bannock when I was camping in "The Shack" on my land. With only 4 ingredients, it was an easy thing to have on hand in off-grid conditions. As the house build began, I camped in the little shed and conditions were more austere. The shed was such a very small space for camping and storing supplies. But I could make bannock on my single camp stove burner.

I use the version by Liz Thomson. The ingredients are:

  • 1 c flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 TB olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/3 c warm water
  • herbs such as rosemary are optional (I use the most minuscule shake of Mrs. Dash)
I use this version because it is the smallest recipe and makes 3-4 small biscuits. I found that olive oil kept well in my off-grid camping situations. There are versions that use butter, lard, bacon grease, and so on. While those version often have more flavor, those ingredients were more difficult for me to make sure I had on hand. 

Not only did I make bannock while I was camping I also made bannock at the apartment. During quarantine and supply chain situations, I sometimes made bannock in lieu of bread. I also made homemade bread that required yeast and time to rise - because I had that time. But bannock is much more quick and easy to make. It was great to have with a can of soup. And as I told my friend, I made sure to buy some (okay, many) cans of baking powder ahead. Now that I've moved to a rural area (a mountain ridge in West Virginia) I could easily be snowed in for a long period of time. Bannock is something that I can make in a pan on top of my woodstove if I am without electricity. So I'm set in that regard.

I highly recommend that people try making bannock in the event they want or need an easy-to-make bread at home or on the trail.

Bannock in the Books


I mentioned that I just read about bannock in a fictional series I was reading. I love to read. It takes my mind off of the issues at work. But I don't have much spare time, focus, or energy. So I need the story to grab me and keep me immersed. 

I am so glad that I read a series that was reviewed by Sylvestermouse Cynthia here on Review This! The series is the Tales from the Highlands series. Book 3 in that series written by Martha Keyes is The Innkeeper and the Fugitive. Ana MacMorran flees her home and an arranged marriage. She does not want to marry the villainous laird of Benleith. During her criminal escape from this contract, she finds herself at Glengour Inn. There she secretly assumes an identity of another in order to try to hide.

At Glengour Inn, travelers stop for a bit of bannock and drink before continuing on their travels.

I enjoyed the Tales from the Highlands series immensely. If you'd like to know more about the series, check out Cynthia's book reviews:








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Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Air Fryer Crispy Chicken Wing Recipe

 My air fryer crispy chicken wing recipe and method reviewed

Air Fryer Crispy Chicken Wing Recipe

Everybody in our family likes crispy chicken wings. I have never quite mastered crispy wings until I made them in our Ninja Foodi Grill and Air Fryer. So, if you like your chicken wings crispy this is the way to do it.

We had a crowd the day we made these so I used a 5-pound bag of chicken wings. Normally I would do about 2-pounds.

How I prepared the chicken wings:

one gallon zip lock bags
2 tablespoons olive oil per bag
3 to 4 tablespoons baking powder per bag


Seasoning:

1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon brown sugar

All of the above ingredients are per one bag of 15 or 20 wings. The first thing I did was, rinse the wings with cold water and pat them dry with a paper towel.

You can really use any already made chicken seasoning, just add a generous amount to each bag. Place the wings in a zip lock bag, add all the ingredients and mix well. Set the bags in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.

I sprayed the air fry pan with non-stick cooking spray. Then, I set the air fry temperature to 390 degrees and the timer for 22 minutes. When the air fryer was preheated I added the wings, fitting about 12 to 15 wings in the pan. After 11 minutes I turned the wings over for the remaining 11 minutes.

Preparing the hot sauce:

1 stick of butter (melted)

Mix this together well in a large bowl. If you really like your wings hot add a dash of cayenne pepper. For me, the hot wing sauce is hot enough. Toss the crispy wings in the sauce and enjoy.

Air Fryer Crispy Chicken Wings

These crispy wings are perfect anytime for a snack or party. Your family and friends will love these air fryer wings.


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Sunday, March 27, 2022

Homemade Italian Chicken Bow Tie Soup for a Large Family

This soup recipe is basically an assembling of flavors that I know my family likes.

I frequently purchase ready-made roast chicken from Costco and other grocery stores. Our family is large, so I usually buy three chickens.

When we're done with the chickens, I use the carcasses to make chicken soup broth. You can use any chicken broth. However, I've prepared enough food for two days by purchasing or making three roast chickens and then making soup.

A Bowl of Italian Chicken Bow Tie Soup

Italian Chicken Bow Tie Soup Ingredients for a Large Family

  • Chicken Broth (from leftover cooked chickens, or you can use 7 boxes of store-bought chicken broth)
  • Chicken pieces cut up from the above-cooked chickens, or use 3 separate chicken breasts, and oven bake them (don't let them brown), then cut up into small biteable pieces
  • Hot Water
  • 6 Bouillon Chicken Cubes
  • An Entire Medium Sized Bag of Carrots
  • Full stock of Celery
  • 1 Large Onion
  • 7 Garlic Cloves
  • 1 Green Pepper
  • 4 Tablespoons of Butter
  • 500 grams of Pasta Bow Ties (about a box and a half, with a box holding 340grams)
  • 5 Bay Leaves
  • 3 Teaspoons of Oregano (or whatever amount you prefer)
  • 3 Teaspoons of Basil (or whatever amount you prefer)
  • 5 Teaspoons of Parsley (or whatever amount you prefer)
Step One - Get the Broth Ready

In a large pot, prepare the following: (I use about a 14-quart soup pot - seen below). I fill the pot to about 3/4 with homemade soup for our big family.

This big soup pot feeds our large family - I fill it 3/4 full with homemade soup
  • Boil the leftover whole chickens, then screen the meat out through a strainer. Put the meat aside so you can pull off all usable bites to go back in the soup. I let the chicken meat cool, then put it in the soup near the end.
  • If using the chicken carcasses to make the broth, I boil it for several hours.
  • If you're using store-bought chicken broth, put 7 boxes of broth in the pot - you could even use more!
  • Add 6 bouillon chicken cubes
Step Two - The Carrots

I add the carrots next because they take longer to cook. I use a whole bag of medium carrots. Scrape them, cut them into biteable pieces, and then add them to the soup broth.

Step Three - Lightly Fry These Ingredients

In a frying pan, melt 4 tablespoons of butter, then lightly fry:
  • An entire stock of celery, chopped into biteable pieces
  • A large green pepper, cut into biteable pieces
  • A whole large onion, chopped into fine, ground pieces (I use a mini-chopper)
  • 7 whole garlic cloves chopped fine (I put them into the mini-chopper as well)
I usually fry them on medium heat for about ten minutes, constantly stirring. Put the entire mixture into the soup broth. 

Step Four - The Pasta Bow Ties
  • Boil the pasta bow ties separately until nearly fully cooked
  • Drain and rinse the pasta in cold water
  • Put the pasta in the soup broth
I always cook the pasta separately, then rinse them to reduce the amount of starch in the soup.

Step Five - Add the Chicken
  • Use the chicken from the carcass that you set aside or the chicken you made in the oven. If you're using oven-baked chicken, don't let it brown - you want the color of the soup to be light.
  • Be sure to cut the chicken into small biteable pieces
  • If you're using chicken from the carcass, double-check that there are no bones! I catch bones while pulling the meat away from the carcasses and when I cut it into small pieces. The bones reveal themselves when cutting. Take your time, and be extra careful.
Step Six - The Flavoring

I never measure this part; I simply add the amount I think makes the soup taste right for my family. The measurements below are merely for your own guidance.
  • Add 3 teaspoons of Oregano (or whatever amount you want)
  • Add 3 teaspoons of Basil (or whatever amount you want)
  • Add 4 teaspoons of  Parsley (or whatever amount you want)
  • Add 5 Bay Leaves for flavor (don't eat them)
  • Salt to taste (optional - I don't salt, I allow each person to salt their own bowls)
Step Seven - Add The Boiling Water

At this point, I boil water using my tea kettle and pour the boiling hot water into the soup pot until it reaches about three-quarters full from the top of the pot.

Leave it on the stove on low heat, and let everyone eat soup all day long!

Homemade Italian Chicken Bow Tie Soup for a Large Family






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Friday, March 25, 2022

Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Brownie Mix with Chocolate Chips in the Mix Reviewed

Brown Mix
I recently tried Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Brownie Mix made with a special ingredient and loved it!  

My sister, sister-in-law and I went shopping together before Christmas.  When I spotted the Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Brownie Mix, I commented that I would like to try it because it included the chocolate chips.  While I rarely use baking mixes, I thought using the mix might make the Christmas baking a little easier.

The sales associate of the kitchen shoppe offered to make a batch of her brownies so we could taste them.  She had a special ingredient she added that she thought we would want to try.  I am so glad we accepted her offer.  They were the best brownies I have ever eaten.  

Needless to say, we left the shoppe with several gift bags that included the brownie mix and the shoppe's special ingredient, blood orange olive oil.

 

Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Brownie Mix

 Ghirardelli Brownie Mix, Dark Chocolate, 20 ozCheck PriceThe #1 reason I wanted to try the Ghirardelli mix is because it included chocolate chips and required only 1 egg, water and olive oil to make.  Those are ingredients that are always in my kitchen.

Using the newly discovered blood orange olive oil gives these delicious brownies an extra punch with a slight taste of orange. Everyone in my family loves them!  I definitely look forward to using the blood orange olive oil in additional recipes.

We don't all agree on whether brownies should be iced or not, so I make a small recipe of icing.  Those who want the icing don't agree on whether it should have nuts or not, so I divide the icing in half and mix walnuts or pecans in half of the icing.  Therefore, one batch of brownies makes 3 different treats.  Add a scoop of ice cream and you have the perfect dessert.

 

Easy Brownie Frosting Recipe

Brownies
*Baking Products are Linked in recipe so you can see recommended product packaging. 
However, prices are based on shipped products. 
Most likely, the items will be much less expensive in your local grocery store.
  1. In a medium mixing bowl, stir powdered sugar and cocoa together.  
  2. Heat butter & milk together in a small saucepan to melt the butter.  
  3. Gradually beat (with a hand mixer) the butter & milk into the cocoa/sugar mixture until smooth.  
  4. Stir in pecans or walnuts, if desired.


Brownies
Pampered Chef Brownie Pan for Perfectly Shaped Brownies

 

A Note about the Specialty Shoppe We Visited

As far as I know, the Bazaar Orange Olive Oil that we purchased is only sold at the Bazaar store in Collierville, Tn, located in the historic Collierville Town Square.  Sadly, I couldn't find an online resource. 

If you love to cook and are ever in Collierville, Tn, you should definitely plan to spend a few hours in this store.  It isn't a big store, but it is packed with fabulous unique kitchen items, including their specialty oils and vinegars.  I love this kitchen specialty store and their extremely helpful sales associates! 



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Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Brownie Mix with Chocolate Chips in the Mix Reviewed Written by:
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© 2021 Cynthia Sylvestermouse
 



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