Eat, Briefly – Taste It! Broomfield

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Thursday evening was the Taste It! Broomfield, a food and drink event sponsored by the local chamber of commerce.
For the second year, The Hub and I helped out our friends from Big Choice Brewing with set up and tear down.
Of course we we also ate and ate and ate- delicious bites and plates from local restaurants. These bison strudels from the Omni Interlocken we my favorite. So much yum:
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Andplusalso, we drank and drank, enjoying local beer, wine, infused spirits, and even moonshine! I did NOT watch my macros. Nope. This was how I started the evening:
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It was a great night, a great crowd, and Big Choice took home “best beverage” honors too!!

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Eat, Briefly- Steak Quesadillas (and the salsa I practically drink!)

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Wednesday was a looooong day at the office and I wanted something quick and comforting.
These quesadillas are filled with chopped up steak leftover from our last delicious grilled london broil (thank you, freezer!) and plenty of shredded cheddar. I brush the carb balance tortillas with coconut oil and bake for 10 minutes at 350, then broil for 2-5 minutes until the top is a little brown and crunchy.

The Hub had sour cream with his, which is fine, but I slathered mine in my favorite store-bought  salsa EVER Santa Barbara  Salsa Taqueria!  It’s got a fresh, spicy flavor that I love. Try it on eggs, cheese crisps, cucumbers, and cardboard  (j/k….. kind of. I’d probably eat it, if I had enough salsa.)

All that spice needs a refreshing drink to cool things down. Margaritas are yum, for sure, but I haven’t found a lower carb version I love l, andplusalso I wanted something easy!
Hello, Spiked and Sparkling!

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These little beauties are new to our market, and DELISH. Spiked sparkling water with a hint of fruit – my fave so far is the Grapefruit and Pomelo. Refreshing, fizzy, and not sicky sweet or heavy. Also 100 calories and only 2 carbs!  My only complaint is that I wish they came in cans, because these would be perfect for pool days! (Don’t be the jerk with glass at my pool!! I will hunt you down and rip you!)
Tonight we have a fun event that I will happily let blow my macro numbers… can’t wait to share it with you tomorrow!

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Eat, Briefly – Grilled Pork Chops with Brie

Last night’s dinner – grilled pork chops stuffed with Brie, and whipped cauliflower with bacon and cheddar.  So yummy.
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I made NONE of it last night.  You know Keri is all about the prep-cooking, and Jr’s evening T-ball schedule is making that prep pay off even more!

Almost every time I get the grill going to cook something, I load it up with extra chicken breasts or pork chops or even burgers, to be cooked until  JUST done. Then I cool them, seal them in zip-locks, and label them for the freezer.

Tossing whatever we will need into the fridge the night before means that we have food ready to be quickly heated and served for maximum taste in minimum time during the busy evening run-around.

For this meal, I cut a pocket in the side of the already-grilled chops and stuffed each with a smear of brie. (But long time readers know that Keri has long been a fan of stuffing a chop – hello 2009 blast from the past.)

Then I just heated it in the oven next to the whipped cauliflower I had steamed, whipped, and mixed with bacon and cheddar on Monday (always my big prep cooking day.)

Add more Vinho Verde and Tah-Dah – dinner on table after 10 minutes in the oven.

Later in the evening during our weekly viewing of Scream, the TV Series (yes, I know that MTv is not age appropriate viewing for our old ass selves, but we love a good Summer thriller,) we shook up some dirty martinis* with blue cheese olives.  Because you have to have a drink to choke on when the killer bumps off his/her next victim, can I get an amen?
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*sidenote – we are Tito’s vodka fans now.

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Filed under Be- Briefly, Cocktail Time, Eat, Eat - Briefly, low carb, Meal Prep

Eat, Briefly – Grilled Chicken Ceasar Salad

I could eat Ceasar Salad every dang day.
It’s so simple and yummy and perfect.

For last night’s dinner I made this dressing, and added a little extra flavor by grilling the romaine for a few minutes.

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This is the secret behind the extra yummy grilled shrimp Ceasar salad at one of my absolute favorite local restaurants (shout out to Big Mac and Little Lu’s- Paul and his staff are AH-MAZING at what they do!)

NOT TOO LONG ON THE GRILL!!  Just mark up each side a bit for some extra char-flavor – it is SO GOOD with the dressing!!

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Sidenote- if you have leftovers of the salad, it is perfect the next morning with an over easy egg on top. (Sadly we did not have one morsel left last night, so none for me this go around.  ::pout::)

I had a glass of delicious Vinho Verde to go with dinner last night. It’s long been a favorite summer wine for me, and BTW, it’s fairly dry, which = lower carbs!

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2 carbs per 5 ounce glass!!

Tonight is a T-ball practice night for Jr, so I rely on my pre-prepped freezer stash of delicious proteins, and a little extra work that I did for a side dish last night – when we come home tonight we have a legit meal that will be on the table in under 10 minutes!

(But we will chat about that tomorrow.)

 

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Drink – Low Carb Revolver

Ok look….

It isn’t that there hasn’t been plenty of Eating, drinking, and being Keri of late.

It is that there hasn’t been much writing about it.

Truthfully, new recipes have been few and far between – low carb laziness has set in.

Lots of ginormous slabs of meat grilled or sautéed in butter or coconut oil.  Piles and piles of salads.  Eggs all ways, for days and days.  Zoodles until I fear repetitive motion syndrome might cripple my wrists forever.

Dry white wine, dry white wine, martini….  Repeat.

Not so much with the exciting, blog-worthy meals and drinks.

EXCEPT – that isn’t totally true.

Because let’s face it – ALL FOOD IS AWESOME!!

Andplusalso – WHO DOESN’T LOVE A NICE DRINK?

So, with that in mind – and in horror honor of my last week as a not-40-year-old (DEAR GOD,)  I give you:

KERI’S FINAL WEEK OF PRE-OVER-THE-HILL DINNERS AND DRINKS!!

Excited?  Of course you are not.

We are now officially within 7 days of the actual date, so I figure that I am entitled to get the last week of my 30s started off with a bang.  Keri’s favorite cocktail EVER is, of course, the Revolver. Alas, I will be saving any potential for higher carb cheats for closer to the momentous occasion. (After all, this celebration is a marathon, not a sprint people.)

So to keep my hankerings at bay, I have concocted a handy faux version that shares a lot of the same flavors, without the Kahlua carb bomb.

Presenting, the Low-carb Revolver.

WHAT YOU NEED AND DO:
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3 ounces Bulleit (or bourbon of your choice)

1 tablespoon sugar free caramel flavored syrup

1 dash bitters

1 or 2 tablespoons cold coffee (optional)

Combine all ingredients into shaker filled with ice and shake well to mix and chill.  Pour into a chilled martini glass.

mmmmmmm.
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That gets things started right, I’d say.  Tomorrow I will fill you in on what I am whipping up for dinner tonight.

 

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Eat – Ground Pork Two Ways

Oh hey, guess whose house has been infected with an unending late  Spring funk FROM THE DEPTHS OF HELL for the past month!?

Yup – Jr got sick within a week of his end-of-March birthday, and I swear one (or more) of us has been cowering under a mountain of blankies of the sofa ever since.

But (knock on ALL the wood,) it appears that we are all on the mend, and I have some goodness to share with you.

A few weeks ago I found a ridiculously good price on ground pork, and (in between rounds of it being me on the sofa whimpering,) so I give you not one, but TWO fabulous ways to use ground pork.

They are both Low Carb, if you happen to be riding the Keto-friendly/LCHF/Atkins/South Beach/It’s carbs or my bikini/ other low carb-ish Train with Keri, but even if that isn’t your groove, you won’t miss anything with these delicious recipes.

  1. Taco-Stuffed Bell Peppers:

WHAT YOU NEED:
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1 or 2 bell peppers – (we use ½ a pepper for each serving and stuff it to VERY overflowing, resulting in 2 servings.  You can easily divide the filling into 2 split peppers and get 4 good servings from this recipe)

1 lb ground pork

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 ½ teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon (or to taste) ground cayenne pepper

1 cup shredded cheese of your choice (Colby Jack used here)

Avocado

(Other taco fixings/toppings of your choice would be totally tasty as well!)

WHAT YOU DO:
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Preheat oven to 350 degrees

-In a skillet brown the pork and drain the majority of the fat (I don’t like the pork TOTALLY dry,  but not drowning in grease either, so I drain off what I can easily get and leave the rest.)

-Sprinkle in the seasonings and mix to coat all of the meat.

-Add ½ cup of the shredded cheese to the mixture and stir to distribute evenly.

(BTW, at this point you can totally stick this mixture into the fridge or freeze in a zip top baggie until you are ready to use.)

-Clean and cut pepper(s) in half lengthwise, removing seeds and stem.

-Place pepper halves open side up on a baking dish (it should be big enough so they don’t touch each other so air can circulate all around the peppers.)

-Fill each half with the filling mixture and overfill generously.  If there is extra mixture I just let it spill into the pan around the peppers.

-Top each piled-up pepper with the remaining cheese

-Bake the peppers 20 minutes (add 5 minutes if you are using the filing mixture cold from the fridge.)

Eat up!

Meatballs and Marinara

WHAT YOU NEED:
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MEATBALLS:

1 lb ground pork

½ lb spicy sausage  (removed from casing if needed)

½ cup shredded parmesan cheese

1 egg yolk

SAUCE:

29 ounce can plain tomato sauce

1 clove minced/pressed garlic

½ teaspoon dried oregano

½ teaspoon dried basil

WHAT YOU DO:
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Preheat oven to 375 degrees

-In a large bowl, combine all ingredients for meatballs and mix thoroughly (your very own hands work best for this, folks, get in there and give your mix a good smoosh and squeeze.)

-Place mix in freezer while you get the sauce assembled and simmering, This firms it up a bit so it is easier to work with.

– In a large, deep sided pot (I use my dutch oven) over medium low heat, add the minced garlic and cook just until you start to smell garlic in the air before adding all other ingredients.  Stir to combine, cover and bring to a simmer.

-Turn the heat for the sauce to low

-Remove meatball mixture from freezer and create 1 ½ inch balls on foil-lined, sprayed baking sheets.

(My sicky self was bad about taking pics of these recipes as they came together this time around, but I DO have this one – you can see they are a bit um, free form.. BUT FEAR NOT, they cook up beautifully.)
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-Pop them into the oven for 20 minutes.  Rotating them halfway through cooking time will keep the shape more uniform but it isn’t mandatory or anything.

-Remove from oven and add the meatballs to the sauce.  Turn heat up to medium and allow sauce and meatballs to simmer together for 5-10 minutes.

DIG IN.  These go great with pasta, or zoodles, or on bread or oopsie rolls as a hearty meatball sandwich.

But all that just gets in my way – I just want a pile of piping hot meatballs with shredded parmesan sprinkled on top most of the time.  Because yum.

So there you have it – Keri rises off her sofa, like a phoenix from the ashes, to answer the call of the kitchen.

Like you would expect that ANYTHING else would ever be my motivation.

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Eat – SO EASY Hollandaise Sauce

Hollandaise sauce.

People have funny reactions to Hollandaise sauce.  Some people think it’s disgusting. If you are one of those people, I have two things to say to you:

  1. This post is probably not for you.
  2. We maybe can still be friends, but you cannot besmerch the good name of the Hollandaise, or it’s gonna get ugly fast.

Annnywayyy…

For those who know a good thing when they taste it enjoy Hollandaise, it can still be kind of a love/hate relationship.

Hollandaise, I’m afraid, gets a bad rap.  The reasons are two-fold, it seems – but I am here to clean up this sauce’s reputation, or at least strongly  plead its case.

“It’s fattening.”

Well….  it has a high fat content.  I will give you that.  There are some calories in there, for sure.  (My recipe has 182  a serving which isn’t insignificant, I get it.)

BUT for those of us partaking in a Ketogenic- Low Carb/High Fat nutrition plan, it is actually kind of a dream sauce.  It has the fat content that we rely on to keep us  feeling full and satisfied, AND burning fat as fuel.  Butter and eggs?  Those are LCHF staples!!

Regardless of your nutritional preferences, there is room in there for some fat.  You will enjoy what you eat, you will feel satiated for longer periods, and fat is important for keeping our bodies functioning properly. Come on, live a little.  Have the Hollandaise.

“It’s too hard to make.”

Yeah, nope.

I get it, in culinary school I was terrified making Hollandaise – it seemed SO complex, and so easy to screw up.  All of that double-boiler/ bain marie bullshit, trying to whisk like hellfire and stream in the butter.  AND WHAT IF IT DID CURDLE!?

THE PRESSURE!!!!

Except not at all – it is super simple and (I swear) actually pretty well foolproof – and I am a Grade A fool, so we can say it is “Keri Proof” if you do it like I do.  Here we go:

WHAT YOU NEED
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4 egg yolks

1 stick of butter (1/2 cup)

½ – 1 tablespoon lemon juice  (pardon my squeezy lemon, it was all we had)

Pinch dry mustard (optional)

Pinch cayenne pepper or dash of hot sauce (optional)

Hot Water (as needed)

*Makes 6 servings (but no one will judge if it doesn’t go down that way at your house, I promise.)

WHAT YOU DO

Place the egg yolks and lemon juice into the blender.  I start with 1/2 tablespoon of lemon juice because I don’t like a really lemony sauce.  If you do, you can easily adjust when finishing, but once you have over-lemoned, there is no unringing that bell.

I like a pinch of dry mustard in my Hollandaise, just to give it a little extra something in the background.  BUT, just a pinch.  I don’t want it to actually taste like mustard.  Some folks prefer to add a little cayenne pepper for a bit of a kick.  I am a traditionalist, but you do you – add either of those now if you would like:
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Cover and give the contents of the blender a pulse – 5 seconds or so.

In a measuring cup (or other microwave safe container with a pouring spout,) melt the stick of butter until it just starts to boil.

Remove the center of your blender top, turn the blender on to a low to medium-low setting, and slowly stream in the hot melted butter:
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Oh yeah.

People tend to over think this step – don’t be too fussy, let it all stream in, then let the blender run for 30 seconds or so and you will be good to go.

If it is too runny, let it sit a bit and it will thicken…  if it gets too cold, microwave for 10 seconds (it will curdle a bit, but see the next sentence to solve that problem.)   If it is too thick, or if the butter has caused the eggs to curdle up, then add warm water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and give it a good whisk.  It will come right back together and thin right out. I pinky swear.

Give it a taste to see if you want a bit more lemon, and then start finding stuff in your kitchen to drown in it top with the golden goodness.

This morning I actually used the whites that I had left over from separating the eggs, fried with a little bacon and one full egg to make a quick scramble.
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Hello, you beautiful sauce, you.

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