July 25, 2014

Low-Carb Blueberry Cheesecake Bars

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When I think of blueberries, I think of Justin.  My oldest son loved blueberries when he was a little one.  He takes after his mom in that field!  I could have sat and eaten the whole container of bluegerries, but since I wanted to make a treat with them, I refrained :)  These Low Carb Blueberry Cheesecake Bars were worth the restraint!
Low Carb Blueberry Cheesecake Bars #blueberry #cheesecake #lowcarb
I found this particular recipe on Diabetic Living.  I've been perusing their website a lot lately because I really wanted to stick to a lower carb diet and they have some great recipes.   I subscribe to their magazine on my Nook and I absolutely love being able to carry all my favorite magazines and books around on that handly little device.  I think it was about the best thing ever invented.  :).
Low Carb Blueberry Cheesecake Bars #blueberry #cheesecake #lowcarb
I know sometimes it seems like I bake a lot, but believe me, when I do bake, I don't normally keep the entire batch of goodies here at home for us.  In reality, I don't bake anywhere near as much as I used to.  I seemed to have lost some energy or else I just have a much more demanding day job!  I tend to probably think its a mix of the two.  Sometimes when I bake, I do stupid things, like put what I want to take to work in the fridge in our garage.  Then forget for a week straight to grab it before I go into the office.  I did that with my Blackberry Cupcakes.  It was sad having to toss those beauties out.  However, while these bars made it in our garage fridge, they did not get thrown out.  They did take us a week to get through and Grumpy probably did most of the eating.  The garage fridge is definitely a good method of making ME forget there is yummy food lying around!
Low Carb Blueberry Cheesecake Bars #blueberry #cheesecake #lowcarb
I was entirely impressed that a good portion of the crust of this recipe had nut meal in it.  I never would have thought of using nut meal in the crust as a substitue for some of the graham carkers.  I loved it.  I also went with the SPLENDA® rather than sugar so I could lower the carb count more.  

Low Carb Blueberry Cheesecake Bars

Published 07/25/2014
Low Carb Blueberry Cheesecake Bars


  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup finely crushed graham crackers
  • 1/2 cup gluten free flour
  • 1/2 cup flaked coconut
  • 1/2 cup pecan meal
  • 1/4 cup Splenda
  • 12 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon brandy
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries


  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 13x9 inch baking pan ith cooking spray.
  2. Stir together graham crackers, pecan meal, and splenda. Melt butter in small saucepan and cook until just browned. Stir buter into pecan meal mixture until just combined. Press into bottom of prepared baking pan. Bake 10 minutes.
  3. While the crust is baking, in a medium sized mixing bowl, beat cream cheese with 1/2 cup splenda until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add brandy and vanilla and mix until combined.
  4. Pour batter over crust and spread with a spoon to distribute evenly. Sprinkle with blueberries. Bake 20-25 minutes or until center is set. Cool in pan
  5. Cover and chill up to 3 hours. Cut into bars. Store in covered container in the refrigerator.
Yield: 32 bars
Prep Time: 00 hrs. 20 mins.
Cook time: 00 hrs. 25 mins.
Total time: 45 mins.


  • Totalcarbs: 7

Tags: blueberry, low carb, sugar free, diabetic recipe

July 20, 2014

Sunday with the Grumpy's 7.21.14

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Where do I start? I thought for certain I would have no post yet again this Sunday. I had no luck with photos this week. Then, I realized, the photos on my phone weren't bad at all so your getting a Sunday with the Grumpy's post after all!

I guess I'll start at the weeks end.  Thursday was not a good day for Grumpy.  He was having one of those bad unemployment moments.  Friday, when I left for work, I had already decided I was going to do something to try and help him get out of the bad vibe.  I decided we were due for a date night.  Last minute plans, I took him to Grappa 72 over on Central Avenue in Albany.  It was a beautiful night and we sat outside for our meal.  That was probably the best part of that visit.  I was so anxious to take him there because I had gone there with my friend Jill for lunch and was blown away at how good our meal was.  Dinner was not as mind blowing.  I probably won't be going back.
Part 2 of our date, Grumpy was of the mind I might actually be taking him to a strip club.  ha ha.  Nope.  I took him someplace better.  I took him to visit our best friends in town, the Bullards.  Lilly was very happy to see Grumpy.  I think Brian was sulking in the background.  ;)
Jill and Me.  I love this lady and she is the best neighbor we have ever had.  She is also the caretaker of our pets when we travel.  I couldn't ask to have found a better friend when we moved here.  Jill and Brian's family have become our family away from home.  This was a much needed night of friends hanging out.
At the fire pit
With good wine.
And the best friends a couple could ask for.  That visit really brought Grumpy out of the dumps.
Saturday morning breakfast.  Very thin Pepperidge Farm wheat bread, swiss cheese, tomato - broiled.  One of my favorites.  Low carb, high protien and yummy :)
Saturday morning texting with Christopher brought about mention of the recent Allrecipes.com magazine that we both get.  I took a photo of mine to share with him to see if we were talking about the same magazine.  This is a boy after my own heart.  :)  He has a special friend visiting him this weekend and then not long after, he will be moving back this way for a few months before he makes his final move to Florida.  I miss that boy and can't wait to get some hugs.  
Its been a while since I shared some morning cuddles with my cuddle bug Rudy.  He is the most loveable affectionate cat and I am so happy he is mine.  ALL mine.  Hear that Grumpy?  ;)  

Until next time....

July 15, 2014

Blackcap Upside Down Cake and a Kitchen-Aid Giveaway!

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Today is a very special day for two reasons! First, my oldest son Justin turns 29 years old today! Wow, I cannot believe he is 29. It seems like just yesterday he was a cute little tot that I couldn't resist hugging on. Of course, I still love to hug on him, but he's a grown man now, so mom has to show restraint. But to me, he will always be my little first born man. Happy Birthday Justin!
Today is also my friend Michele from Flavor Mosiac's 1 year blog anniversary!  I'm so proud of Michele and so happy to be her friend.  I met Michele through the Allrecipes Allstar program and became fast friends with her along with a few others in the program and we talk on a daily basis.  She is an amazing cook and photographer and is so willing to share with other bloggers.  She recently did a guest post for Bang Bang Chicken for me when I was on vacation and what a delicious recipe she made for us all!

Since it is Michele's 1 year blog anniversary, a few other blogging friends got together with her to share the love and offer a giveaway in celebration!  Several of us have shared a recipe with you also in honor of Michele!  Be sure to enter this amazing Kitchen-Aid Giveaway by entering via rafflecopter just below the recipe for this amazing Blackcap Upside Down Cake I am sharing with you in her honor!  Happy Blog Anniversary Michele!

Blackap Upside Down Cake

Adapted from allrecipes.com
Published 07/15/2014
Blackap Upside Down Cake


  • Topping:
  • 1/4 cup Brown Sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups fresh black caps (or blackberries)
  • Cake:
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Pre-heat oven to 359. Melt butter and brown sugar over medium heat in saucepan. Add blackcaps and toss to coat. Let cook 1 minute. Remove from heat and pour into a 9 inch cake pan sprayed with cooking spray.
  2. Beat 1/2 cup sugar and butter together in a bowl with electric mixter until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs.
  3. Place flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium sized bowl and stir to combine. Add vanilla extract to milk and alternately stir flour and milk into butter mixture, beginning and ending with flour.
  4. Spoon batter over top of blackberry mixture in cake pan.
  5. Bake cake in preheated oven until cooked through. 35-40 minutes. Let cool on in pan on rack at least 30 minutes. Loosen cake from pan by sliding a knife along the inside edge of the pan. Place cake plate over top of pan and flip. Lift pan slowly to release cake from pan. Serve warm with whipped topping if desired!
Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 00 hrs. 15 mins.
Cook time: 00 hrs. 45 mins.
Total time: 60 mins.
Tags: blackberries, blackcaps, cake, birthday, dessert, giveaway, allrecipes

Whoohoo! Let's Party! Why? It Flavor Mosaic's 1st Blogiversary this month!
To say thank you to our wonderful fans we are giving you the chance to win a beautiful KitchenAid Mixer! It has been one of the most popular prizes in past giveaways. It is probably one of the most essential kitchen appliances you can have. Plus it will look fabulous on your kitchen counter!
To bring you this giveaway, I have partnered with several bloggers, many of whom have been mentors to me this first year.
Flavor Mosaic - http://flavormosaic.com
Life Tastes Good - http://ourlifetastesgood.blogspot.com
The Life and Loves of Grumpy's Honeybunch - http://www.grumpyshoneybunch.com/
Renee's Kitchen Adventures - http://www.reneeskitchenadventures.com/
That's My Home - http://thatsmyhome.com
Canning and Cooking at Home - http://www.canningandcookingathome.com/
Carlsbad Cravings - http://www.carlsbadcravings.com/
Simply Sated - http://www.simplysated.com/
The Magical Slow Cooker - http://themagicalslowcooker.com/
Seasonal Holiday and Recipe Exhange - http://seasonalandholidayrecipeexchange.weebly.com/
From Valerie's Kitchen - http://www.fromvalerieskitchen.com
Love Bakes Good Cakes - http://lovebakesgoodcakes.com
a Rafflecopter giveaway

July 08, 2014

Blackberry Cupcakes with Blackberry Buttercream

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I decided to participate with some faceless recipes from Allrecipes.com this month. I happened to be on vacation, Monday was my last day, and I happened to also be home! So besides doing laundry and picking berries, I made cake. Cupcakes to be exact.
Every month a group of us who love to cook from allrecipes.com participate in a "faceless frenzy" event. We even have a pinterest board dedicated to the faceless recipes we have made!  I haven't been the greatest at participating in these faceless events because my life tends to be so busy but this month I decided I was going to participate no matter what!  I found this recipe for Blackberry Jam Cake II and since I had what I needed on hand, I went with that particular recipe.
With there just being Grumpy and me in the house to eat any goodies that are made, I decided I needed to halve the recipe because the original makes 3 layers.  Then as I read the ingredient list, I also decided I needed to make a few other changes in order to fit our flavor profile such as reduce the amount of some of the spices and cut back on the sugar.  They turned out great!  After Grumpy and I both had one I put them in the gararage fridge so I could grab them in the morning to take to work.  Then last night, Grumpy went looking for them.  Sign that it was a tasty recipe for certain.  :)  

Blackberry Jam Cupcakes

adapted from allrecipes.com
Blackberry Jam Cupcakes


  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon almond milk
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1-1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup seedless blackberry jam
  • Blackberry Buttercream
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 tablespoons crisco shortening
  • 1/2 cup seedless blackberry jam
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar


  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Add the vinegar, almond milk, and sour cream in a glass measuring cup. Set aside. This is your "buttermilk" mixture.
  2. Mix dry ingredients (baking soda through flour) together in a small mixing bowl and set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in vanilla extract.
  4. Add the flour mixture alternately with the "buttermilk" mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture.  Stir in 1/2 cup blackberry jam.
  5. Scoop about 1/3 cup of batter into 12 paper lined cupcake cups. Distribute evenly any remaining batter (there won't be much if any).
  6. Bake for 20-23 minutes, until cake tester inserted into center of cupcake comes out clean. Cool completely.
  7. To make frosting cream together butter and shortening. Add 3 cups of powdered sugar and blend well. Blend in seedless blackberry jam. Blend in vanilla extract and more powdered sugar if needed. Frost cooled cupcakes with buttercream.
Yield: 12 cupcakes
Prep Time: 00 hrs. 30 mins.
Cook time: 00 hrs. 25 mins.
Total time: 55 mins.
Tags: #facelessnomore, allrecipes, baking, Blackberry, Buttercream, cupcakes, Frosting,

July 07, 2014

Venison and Chicken Skewers

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Today is our Secret Recipe Club Reveal day. When I received my assignment I knew I was going to be happy. My match was Swansan, Chef in Disguise. Swansan has an absolutely beautiful blog. As I did more searching on her blog for this reveal, I realized that she makes a lot of sourdough and has several tutorials including one for string cheese. Swansan totally impresses me and inspires me to actually try doing so myself - her instructions are excellent. I've bookmarked these pages because I have to make sourdough in order to make some of her other delicious recipes on her blog!
Swansan also uses oregano often.  This is an herb I don't find myself using all that much, so when I saw her recipe for Honey Oregano Beef Onion Skewers, I knew that would be my choice and I was going to use venison.  At the last minute I decided to do some chicken tenders also.
When I made these, I decided to go ahead and buy some fresh oregano to use so I could try these Yeasted Oregano Cheese Muffins also.  They will make it on our table in the next.  When I put this marinade together I not only used fresh oregano but also added some red pepper flakes.  I'm so addicted to heat that I could not resist!
I really enjoyed reading Swansan's blog and was glad to finally get to reciprocate with her for SRC as she had my blog already.  Not only did she inspire me to want to make cheese and sourdough, she shares beautiful photos of her country.  The views are peaceful and make you want to visit and view the beauty in person!

Be sure to visit the links below the recipe to see what others made for the Secret Recipe Club reveal this month!

Venison and Chicken Skewers

adapated slightly from Chef in Disguise Blog
Venison and Chicken Skewers


  • 3 onions, cut into wedges
  • 1 lb venison, cubed
  • 1 lb chicken, cubed
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh grated gingerroot
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons fresh orgeano, chopped fine
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes


  1. Mix all ingredients together in measuring cup (I used a 2 cup glass measure)
  2. place cubed venison and chicken in ziploc quart bags (I placed venison in one and chicken in another) and pour 1/2 the marinade over each bag. Marinate at least 3 hours.
  3. Soak the wooden skewers in water at least 30 minutes prior to assembling the skewers.
  4. When ready to cook, alternate meat on skewers with onion. Cook on the grill, marinating each skewer a few more times making sure to coat the onion well. Cook meat to your desired level of doneness for venison and chicken until no longer pink.
  5. Note, time does not include time of meat marinating.
Prep Time: 00 hrs. 05 mins.
Cook time: 00 hrs. 10 mins.
Total time: 15 mins.
Tags: venison, chicken, skewers, kabobs, marinade, oregano, secret recipe club

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