Friday, May 27, 2016


I have good memories of when I was first engaged to my husband of almost 42 years now, of eating at Perkins restaurant and having their Monte Cristo Sandwich.  I was hooked on it.  Many times I've tried to replicate it since being low carb. This was a delightful reminder of it and tasted so much like what I remembered.  Sometimes food brings good memories to us.  We tend to associate food with certain feelings and happy thoughts, so that food somehow ends up sort of a comfort food to us.  This is one of the hardest thing for dieters, or anyone having to change their diet and lose those certain foods.  It's not that I cannot be happy without food, or that I HAVE to have it, but I believe God gave us food to enjoy and even to commemorate certain times in our lives. If not, why did He give us taste buds?  One more proof to me of His love for His own.  And memories are important and should be kept. We had many delightful times of getting to know each other over a Monte Cristo sandwich.

I've made some Monte Cristos in the past but none as good as this one. I hope others will find it a delight to their taste buds and a help to their diet, as I have.  It made a very filling lunch for me, and I needed nothing else.

I used Walden Farms Strawberry syrup which claims zero calories, and carbs both, which I cannot comprehend, but I love the taste of this syrup nonetheless.  If you don't like to use this kind of product you can make your own syrup easily enough by using just frozen strawberries and thickening the berries and juice over heat with either arrowroot powder or xanthan gum. Or just use plain strawberries sweetened with your favorite sweetener.





2 tablespoons  Parmesan cheese -- (fresh grated or from the can)
1 tablespoon  almond flour - Honeyville
2 tablespoons  Pyure Sweetener -- (OR equivalent of 1/4 cup sugar)
1 teaspoon  psyllium husk powder -- (I grind fresh husks in coffee grinder)
1/4 teaspoon  baking powder
1 egg
1 tablespoon  Silk unsweetened almond milk, vanilla -- (Can use any liquid but this gives it the vanilla flavor as well)
3 slices  chicken breast, Lunch Mate Premium
3 slices  hickory smoked deli ham slices, Lunchmate (aldi's)
1 slice  Smoked Gouda, Happy Farms deli sliced
                        BATTER FOR DIPPING
2 tablespoons  heavy cream
1 teaspoon  vanilla extract
1 egg
1/2 tablespoon  Pyure sweetener -- (OR equivalent of 1 tablespoon sugar)
1 large  strawberry -- sliced
2 tablespoons  Walden Farms Strawberry Syrup

In small bowl add Parmesan cheese, almond flour, Pyure sweetener*, psyllium powder, and baking powder.  Whisk together.

Add egg and almond milk and whisk until well combined and creamy smooth.

Pour into square microwaveable container and microwave on high approximately 1 min. 40 seconds, but your microwave may vary.  Make sure it is done in the middle but not over done on the sides.  My microwave is 1000 watts.

Remove and let cool.  Slice horizontally in two.  On one half add 3 slices of chicken breast, 3 slices of ham, and top with smoked Gouda slice. Cover with other slice of bread.

In a cereal bowl add heavy cream, vanilla extract, egg, and Pyure sweetener. Whisk until smooth and well blended.

Dip sandwich into batter and let sit on one side for a few seconds to absorb.  The flip over onto the other side and let sit a few more seconds to absorb the liquid.  You will have some batter left, so the exact count will be somewhat different if you don't use all the batter.  I put the full count of the batter in the nutritional information, but you can adjust as you need to.

Melt a tsp. of butter in frying pan.  Place dipped sandwich into frying pan and cover.  Cook on one side about a minute on medium low heat.  Make sure it does not burn.  Flip to the other side and do the same.

Place on a serving plate and top with strawberry topping. Pour a little more syrup over all if desired.  Sprinkle with powdered Pyure or erythritol, as desired or top with whipped cream.

STRAWBERRY TOPPING: In small bowl add strawberry slices.  Add syrup and stir together.

  "© Ginny Larsen, 5/27/2016"
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1 Serving: 530 Calories; 39g Fat (65.5% calories from fat); 34g Protein; 11g Carbohydrate; 5g Dietary Fiber

NOTES : 6g net carbs

*Pyure Sweetener is a combination of stevia and erythritol and is available at Walmart and most grocery stores. It measures twice the sweetness of sugar so if you would use 1 tbsp sugar you would use 1/2 tbsp of Pyure.

Monday, May 2, 2016


I love bacon cheeseburgers so why not make it easy and do it all up in a pie plate?  I wasn't quite sure how to go about it.  I thought of the "Impossible Cheeseburger Pie" recipe from Bisquick and thought maybe I'd try to take that and do a low carb version.  Then I thought of my bun recipe and thought why not just make the batter for that and pour it on top?  That's what I ended up doing and I love the way it turned out.  Then the burger part...what do I like on my burgers?  Plus, ya gotta have that smokey grilled flavor right?  So all in all I put it all in a pie and loved the way it turned out and so did my family.  I hope you'll enjoy it as well. The pictures were taken in haste as an after thought, unfortunately when most of the pie was gone already!  So they aren't tops, but you get the idea of what it looks like.


                        BACON CHEESEBURGER PIE

Recipe By     :Ginny Larsen
Serving Size  : 8  

6  strips  Center Cut Bacon, Specially Selected
1  pound  ground beef, Simply Nature, 100% grass fed
1/2  cup  diced onion
1/2  cup  dill pickles -- diced
2  tablespoons  reduced sugar ketchup, Heinz
1  teaspoon  worcestershire sauce
1  teaspoon  apple cider vinegar
1  teaspoon  Wright's liquid smoke
1  cup  Sharp Cheddar, Finely Shredded, Happy Farms
6  tablespoons  Parmesan cheese
3  tablespoons  almond flour - Honeyville
1  tablespoon  psyllium husk powder
1  tablespoon  nutritional Yeast Flakes, NOW brand
3/4  teaspoon  baking powder
3  eggs
3  tablespoons  liquid -- (I use marsala cooking wine, for the flavor and aroma, you can use any liquid of choosing.)

Preheat oven to 400F. Grease 10-inch pie plate or 9 x 9-inch square pan.

In skillet, fry bacon slices, drain, and set aside.

In skillet break up beef and add and onion.  Cook stirring until meat is browned and onion is cooked. Drain fat and stir in pickles.

In small bowl add ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, and liquid smoke.  Stir together and stir into meat.

Pour mixture into pie plate or square pan.  Break up bacon in pieces and sprinkle on top. Sprinkle cheese over the top.

TOPPING: In food processor add Parmesan cheese, almond flour, psyllium husk powder, nutritional yeast flakes, and baking powder. Process for a few seconds to sift together.

Add eggs and liquid and process until smooth. Pour evenly over the pie.  Bake 25 minutes or until lightly browned on top.

  "© Ginny Larsen 4/22/2016"
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Per Serving: 271 Calories; 19g Fat (61.6% calories from fat); 21g Protein; 5g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber

Serving Ideas : Wonderful served with just a side salad

Sunday, April 3, 2016


I was talking to a friend in church this morning about my coconut bombs that I have been making for my hubby.  So I decided it's time again to come home and make some and share the recipe.  Coconut is great for Alzheimer's and any brain issues, or memory loss.  We still are not sure what he has is truly Alzheimer's or if it is not caused by another source.  But we've actually been seeing some improvements.  He does Lumosity every day and has improved his scores.  His last appointment at the memory clinic at the VA his score improved by 1 point.  I didn't think much of that until she told me most with his diagnosis (Mild Cognitive Impairment-possible Alzheimer's) show a steady decline by at least 2 points each 6 months that they come in to be tested. So it was VERY encouraging that he actually has for the last 2 times improved 1 point each time.  She did not want to put him on the medicines because of the serious side effects since he is showing improvement with what we are doing.  What are we doing?  He's receiving Vitamin E which has been shown to improve memory issues in studies that were done.  He's receiving MCT oil along with a B12 complex, plus MSM which also has been shown to clear plaques in the brain.  His last Cat Scan showed plaques in the brain, so this is essential.  He's also taking Magnesium Threonate, a special type of magnesium that helps brain function, Krill oil, a strong source of Omega 3, and CoQ10, Vit. D, a cognitive formula and a probiotic.  We definitely see improvement when he takes these regularly, and we definitely see problems when we've forgotten them some days.   And, I give him these coconut bomb treats now and then as well as trying to use coconut oil in anything I can.

There are many versions of coconut bombs all over the internet, and I decided not to look at them but just to create my own version.  So if it is similar to someone else's it is purely by accident.  Great taste buds think alike. This is my version, and we love it.  It's very rich and one is very filling.


 1/2  cup  coconut oil
 1/4  cup  Pyure -- powdered (equivalent to 1/2 cup sugar)
 1/4  teaspoon  stevia extract, GV brand from Walmart (1/4 cup equivalent)
 1/2  teaspoon  coconut extract
 1/4  teaspoon  rum extract
 1/2  cup  shredded coconut, unsweetened, Bob's Red Mill


 1/4  cup  coconut oil
 2     tablespoons  cocoa powder
 3 Tbsp Pyure -- powdered (1/3 cup equivalent)

In a small bowl combine coconut oil, Pyure, stevia extract, coconut extract, and rum extract. Whip together until fluffly with electric mixer.

Add shredded coconut and mix in completely.

With a small 2 tbsp meatball scoop, scoop out 10 balls and place in container lined with wax paper. Freeze for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile make Chocolate coating: In saucepan, add coconut oil, cocoa powder, and sweetener. Heat just untl melted, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and place in a small bowl.

Dip each ball into chocolate and place back onto wax paper and chill in refrigerator.

Variation: For a quicker chocolate coating, melt sugar free chocolate chips or semi-sweet chips. 200 cal., 20g fat, 7g carbs, 1g fiber per piece.

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Per Serving: 170 Calories; 19g Fat (95.3% calories from fat); trace Protein; 2g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber

Check out my other blog: Living Scriptures Devotional blog

Wednesday, March 9, 2016


My husband likes cookies. I like cookies. My son likes cookies.  Cookies can be a problem, because they usually add unnecessary sugar, and bad fats to your diet.  They usually put on weight. They usually make you feel really crummy for having eaten them - unless you use healthy fats that are actually beneficial to you and healthy sweeteners so you are not spiking your blood sugar. We love peanut butter and we love chocolate.  Chocolate chips tend to be not so good on a low carb diet, unless you find some that are truly sugar free (meaning no malitol or bad sugar alcohols or other hidden types of sugar), or unless they are dark chocolate and low enough in sugar that you can take a small amount, put them in your food processor and make them into smaller chips.  I did that with Nestle's dark chocolate morsels which have the same amount of carbs of every "sugar free" type of chocolate chips I've least the ones that are affordable, easy to find, and you don't have to pay an exorbitant price for as well as shipping. Hate that.  Gets so that it costs a small fortune to have a treat if you are low carb and gluten free sometimes.

I miss the days when you could easily throw together easy to get, cheap to buy ingredients and make a quick treat.  Well, maybe it's just as well, because treats, whether low carb, or not, are supposed to be just that - treats! Meaning, once in a while, not every day, every meal.  So before I go rambling on anymore, here is a video I put together to show how I converted a very classic peanut butter cookie recipe and made it simply low carb.  I realize it is not ingredients everyone has on hand, but if you are a low-carber by lifestyle, you will have these ingredients on hand.

I used Jennifer Eloff's bake mix in this recipe which you can find here
If you don't use it you can just use more almond flour instead.

View on YouTube:


1/4  cup  Spectrum Organic All Vegetable Shortening, non-hydrogenated
1/4  cup  butter
1/2  cup  natural peanut butter
1/4  cup  Pyure Sweetener -- OR 1/2 cup equivalent to sugar
1/2  cup  erythritol
1     teaspoon  blackstrap molasses
1     egg
1     cup  almond flour - Honeyville
1/4  cup  Jennifer's bake mix
3/4  teaspoon  baking soda
1/2  teaspoon  baking powder
1/4  teaspoon  salt
3     ounces  Nestle Dark Chocolate Morsels

To make brown sugar substitute: Mix erythritol and blackstrap molasses in a food processor, pulsing until it is combined and looks like brown sugar.

Preheat oven to 375F. In mixing bowl add shortening, butter, peanut butter, Pyure, brown sugar mixture and egg.  Beat together until smooth.

Add almond flour, bake mix, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  Mix together with wooden spoon.

Place chocolate morsels in food processor and process until they are small pieces.

Stir morsels into cookie dough until well combined.  Scoop by 2 tbsp. size scoop on parchment or silicone lined cookie sheet.

Bake 8 to 9 minutes or until golden brown around the edges.  They will be very soft when they come out and not look done.  Do not try to move them! Let them cool completely on cookie sheet and they will get crisp.

When completely cooled, transfer to plate with spatula or keep in ziplock bag or storage container.

  "Ginny Larsen, 3/9/2016"
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28 Cookies/Per Cookie: 106 Calories; 9g Fat (76.9% calories from fat); 2g Protein; 4g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber

Check out Living Scriptures Devotional blog for inspirational writings

Monday, February 22, 2016


Hello peoples, once again!  I'm here with a little update about where I'm at in life, and a recipe to share.  No, I'm not back in full action as far as recipe writing/creating.  I am retired, and enjoying it.  Still low-carbing, as always, but not working on recipes to share as I once did. However, I made the decision, that once in a while, as something special happens in the kitchen, I may like to share it again.  I do love sharing all good things when I can.

What's happening in my life?  My husband was recently diagnosed with possible Alzheimer's disease. This has been very difficult for us to face, accept, and get our brains to wrap around.  In fact I still think I may be in a state of denial?  I cannot see this happening to my dear sweet hubby who has been my soul-mate for 40+ years.  When I even so much as try to read about the stages of Alzheimer's I cannot go there, because it is just too much to picture him going down that road and becoming like that.  I can't see it.  Right now he's in the stage of mild-cognitive impairment...which is stage 2 in the 7 stages, if indeed he does have Alzheimer's.  He has yet to have an MRI and a full blood workup, but with the testing they have done so far the neuro-psychologist believes this is what he has.  This Friday we have another appointment.  Needless to say, this as well as other things in my life/family take precedence over cooking, creating recipes, etc. 

I'm doing more research on Alzheimer's these days, and how to treat it.  I'm giving him MCT oil and making him coconut bomb treats now and then.  It does seem to improve his memory and concentration on the days he takes all his supplements and oil.  On the days we forget or are too hurried, he has more trouble, he repeats things to me more, he loses things more, and so forth.  I know that a ketogenic diet is something that has been known to help, and have read Dr. Mary Newport's writings, however, my husband has a will of his own and tastes of his own and has never found my low-carb lifestyle to be something he can incorporate into his own diet.  I respect his likes/dislikes and tastes. It's his choice. He loves his carbs. So with the low-carb meals I make he does eat lower than he would, but he adds his carbs when he wants them.  We work together. Yet even with the carbs in his diet, I believe the oil and supplements help.

So anyhoo, that's just a little bit of what has been happening in my life.  I'm relying on the Lord daily to see us through this time in our lives.  In everything, He intends to work something greater and higher in our lives, through every hardship or difficulty.  They just show us in the long run, His greatness and love and glory. I each day find the encouragement and strength I need in His Word, in prayer, in His indwelling presence which strengthens my heart when it wants to fail me, so that I can keep going on and being there for my family and friends. I am also working on another blog that I share the inspiration that God gives through the lessons in life, if you are like-minded, or seeking such, you can check it out here:

I'm turning on comments again for the blog, but please be patient if I do not answer a comment that you post or a question you may have.  I'm needing to spend less time on the computer. (*Updated this 2/24/2016 to say I tried turning on comments and for some reason it isn't working. Sorry about this. I'm trying to get to the bottom of it. So far blogger has not given me a good answer or solution. Will keep working on it.)

If you notice, I do have ads on my blog.  If you click on them, I get some monetary compensation from them for each click through.

Now, here is the recipe for these lovely buns that I have been making lately, which work great to take with if you are eating out at, say, Burger King, which is where we like to go now and then, and order a low carb burger with no bun, and then just bring these along and use instead.  Works great.  I also use them in the morning for breakfast and toast in my toaster oven and make a nice egg, bacon and cheese sandwich.  Works great for any kind of sandwich you may want.  I use a muffin top pan to bake these in.
Chicago Metallic Non-Stick Original Muffin Top Pan

It really is the best for size and texture that you'll come out with. These are a spin-off of my cheese and wine bread on this blog, and an adjustment/change to the hamburger buns I originally made from that recipe. I like this one much better.  But you can decide. I have not found a bread/bun recipe that I like better so far.  I always come back to this.


6 tablespoons  Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons  almond flour - Honeyville
1 tablespoon  psyllium husk powder
3/4 teaspoon  baking powder
3 eggs
3 tablespoons  water -- OR other liquid such as wine, almond milk, broth, etc.

In small bowl* add Parmesan cheese, almond flour, psyllium husk powder and baking powder.  Whisk together.

Add eggs and water and whisk until smooth.

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease 4 muffin top tins.  Pour batter evenly in each.  Bake 15 to 17 min. or until done.

Let cool completely. Slice each bun in half

*HELPFUL HINT: I put all the dry ingredients into a coffee grinder and grind for about 12 seconds to sift together and get out any lumps.  This makes a really nice texture to the buns.  You don't have to do this step but I love the way they turn out when I do.

OPTIONAL: For added "yeasty" flavor, add nutritional yeast flakes, 1 tbsp. to dry ingredients, if desired.

  "© Ginny Larsen, 2015"
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4 servings: Per Serving: 131 Calories; 9g Fat (58.3% calories from fat); 9g Protein; 5g Carbohydrate; 4g Dietary Fiber

NOTES : 1g net carb per bun

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