Friday, November 28, 2014

Best Bun-less Beef Burgers Ever! Best Grass-fed Burgers! BEST BURGERS!

This is my husband's recipe for bun-less burgers. They are so delicious that I have stopped craving buns for my burgers. Seriously, this is the bomb; the best tasting burger ever. Served with a fried egg on top and sometimes avocado... it makes my mouth drool. Sometimes, if we have them, he uses duck eggs. When you break the yolk on top, it is like a delicious sauce. I don't even use mayo or mustard on these.

*variations: Mushroom-swiss.  Omit egg and throw in 8 ounces sliced mushrooms with the onions and use swiss cheese.

Eric's Incredible Bun-less Burgers
serves 2

1 medium yellow or sweet onion
4 Tablespoons bacon grease
around 1 lb grass fed beef, divided into two 1 inch thick patties
2 chicken or duck eggs
slices of cheddar cheese, or whatever kind you like
avocado, sliced (optional)
sea salt and pepper
cast iron skillet
metal spatula
oven mitt (seriously)

Slice onion into rings. Melt all the bacon grease in the skillet and add the onion rings. Sauté over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until soft and caramelized. This takes about a half hour. Scoot caramelized onions to the side of the pan and add the patties. Salt and pepper the top to your liking. Cook until blackened on bottom and flip. Do NOT press down the burger with your spatula, this makes it less juicy. Salt and pepper this side. Cook until desired temperature, we like them medium rare. Turn off heat. Top burgers with cheese and put skillet under broiler for just a few minutes until melted. USE AN OVEN MITT to take our your pan. Remove burgers onto plates and top with onions. Still using the oven mitt, fry 2 eggs in the skillet, careful not to break the yolk. Top burgers with fried egg and avocado if you wish. Serve immediately.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Savory Winter Squash Tart with Kabocha Squash

Kabocha Squash
This is my Thanksgiving side dish. I absolutely love the taste of Kabocha squash.  If you don't have one, you could use acorn squash, butternut squash or another similar native squash with a sweet dark flesh. You could even use canned pumpkin with a little pumpkin pie spice.  But I love this tart exactly the way it is.

**I roasted two medium sized Kabocha squash for this recipe, which made about 4 1/2 cups.  I may use the rest of the puree with butter, salt and pepper as a side dish, similar to mashed sweet potatoes.

Savory Kabocha Squash Tart

1 savory crust recipe (see below)
2 & 1/2 cups roasted** and pureed Kabocha squash/substitute (written above)
5 organic or farm eggs 
1/2 cup cream
2 teaspoons sea salt
1/8 teaspoon or dash ground white pepper (optional)

** roasting squash** Preheat oven to 375˚F. Cut your squash in half horizontally with a large knife.  Scoop out seeds and strings and discard (or save seeds for another recipe).  Place face down in a cookie sheet that has a lip.  Spear the rind/outside with a fork a few times, to let steam escape.  Put into oven, and then when it is already on the rack, pour enough water so that the bottom of the whole sheet has 1/8 - 1/4 inch water in it.  Bake about 30 - 50 minutes, until flesh is soft.  It may also lose its round outer shape, which is great.  Pull out of oven- careful not to spill the water on your hands (make sure no kids around you). Cool, then puree.

Preheat oven to 375˚F. Place the squash in bowl and blend, adding eggs one at a time.  (TIP: Always crack your eggs in a separate bowl first so you don't get eggshells in mixture).  Add cream, salt & pepper (if using).  Bake around 35- 50 minutes, until set or almost set... it is okay if a very small center is not quite set because you don't want to dry it out... remember it's an egg dish.

Almond Flour Savory Crust
adapted from the Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook by Elana Amsterdam (buy it!!)

1 1/2 cups blanched almond flour (any kind)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons minced onions, shallots, or scallions
4 Tablespoons butter, or coconut oil
1 tablespoon water
9 or 10" pie or tart pan

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line your cupcake tins with liners.
Melt in a small saucepan on very low heat your butter, or coconut oil (if needed), until just melted, then remove from stove top.
In a large bowl, combine the almond flour, salt, onions, and baking soda. Add the butter and water and mix together. Press into tart or pie pan, and keep pressing it up the sides until it is uniformly thick all over.
Bake for 5 - 10 minutes until golden brown. Remove and let cool.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Low Carb Vanilla Cupcakes with Pumpkin Spice Icing

I made these for the lovely Fall season... and they are yummy!  I am back to low carb erythritol and stevia mix (although I ran out of erythritol right before I made the icing so I just used stevia). This is an older vanilla cupcake recipe so I happen to have the carb counts on the cupcake itself, although I am sure you have seen that I don't do them anymore.  I'm just too busy, and this is only my hobby.  I hope you enjoy these!
The cupcakes have 3.15 ECC each. The only ingredient I worried about in the icing was the canned pumpkin but it only had 3 ECC's (effective carb counts) in the entire 1/4 cup. I personally don't count carbs, I look at the ingredients instead and only use good ingredients.

Vanilla Cupcake

6 TBLS butter, room temperature or High Quality Expeller Pressed Coconut Oil, semi melted or soft
6 eggs, separated
2 TBLS whole milk or half and half
½ cup erythritol or 1/2 cup coconut palm sugar or mix of two
½ teaspoon NuNaturals stevia or ¼ teaspoon of another brand
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ cup coconut flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
parchment paper or silicone muffin pan

Use a silicone muffin maker or line your muffin tin with cut out parchment paper pieces, oiled or buttered on both sides. You can use a pen to mark where it touches the sides of each indention then cut them out to make it fit perfectly (do one, then use it as a guide). Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F (205 C).
Whip egg whites in a clean and dry bowl until soft peaks form, set aside. In a separate bowl, whip butter or oil. Then add the egg yolks, milk, erythritol or coco sugar, stevia, salt, and vanilla and blend.
In a [gf] flour sifter, combine coconut flour and baking powder and sift into ingredients. Mix well to ensure no lumps. Beat in a 1/3rd of egg whites to soften the batter, then fold in rest.
Pour batter into a well greased muffin pan or well greased paper liners and bake at 400 degrees F (205 C) for 15 minutes. Cool.

Pumpkin Spice Icing

2/3 cup heavy cream
4 ounces organic cream cheese, soft
4 Tablespoons pureed organic pumpkin
3/4 teaspoon NuNaturals Stevia or 3/4 cup sugar sub
1/2 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice (make your own here)

Whip cream, then set aside.  In another bowl, whip cream cheese, stevia, and spice.  Add pumpkin, mix well.  Fold in whip cream, or mix lightly with a rubber spatula. Taste and adjust sweetness and spice.  Spread on cooled cupcakes.  Store these cupcakes in the fridge if they last the day.  But, EAT THEM at room temperature because all that coconut gets hard in the cold fridge.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Product Review: Arctic Chill silicone ice ball makers

Arctic Chill offered to send me a box of their ice ball makers and I said yes.  I am under no obligation to write anything but an honest review.  But, I love them! They are easy to use, are made of silicone (no plastic! yay!) and pretty easy to peel off and put them in your drink.  They would be awesome for cocktails. I have been using them for tea or ice water and my 3 year old loves them too.  I use them to make drinking water more exciting, ha! They do last way longer than regular ice cubes, and I just have to say, they are fun.  You can buy them at Amazon for $10.20 for four* or $4.99 for two*, which is a pretty good price.

Just follow the directions on the outside of the box... pretty simple.  I run a little water on the ball to open it, then on the ice ball to loosen it before I plunk it into my glass. This glass pictured are my favorite new Anchor Hocking lead-free glasses* I use for everything, including coffee. (Don't make the mistake of thinking all glass is lead free! These new Riedel glasses tested for 30% lead here.)

* Affiliate Links help me pay for ingredients at no cost to you. Thank you.