Feed me, Seymour!

Been a while since I put in a Keto update…

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I had a rocky 3 month anniversary on Keto.

I couldn’t get full.

No matter what I ate, an hour later I was starving.  The two block walk to get to my car was once again making me out of breath.  My knee was grumbling over the stairs again.  I could feel a tightness around the shoulders & chest, and I couldn’t think my way out of a paper bag with the end cut open.  It was like going through keto-flu all over again, where my body was demanding glucose and throwing a hissy fit when denied.

Imagine the frustration – an entire week, yelling at my digestive system, demanding to know WHATINHELL you want???  It was almost frustrating enough to order a large, hand-tossed, extra cheese, double EVERYTHING pizza and eat the entire thing on the spot.

Don’t worry – I behaved.  I drank chicken bouillon like water, ate a lot of cheese, and attempted to mollify the demands of my gut with bacon, sausage & nuts.

I think I finally figured out WHY my body went crazy on the 3 month mark.

Protein.

I had been averaging around half of my macro’s recommended 100 grams of protein a day.  Yes, I had been warned.  The dire prognostication of ‘OMG, you’re going to lose MUSCLE!’ is quite common on a lot of the Keto sites, and a lot of the threads I’ve seen on reddit fairly scream “Go eat a gahd-damn steak, ferkristssake!”

But, up until this point, I felt great on keto, so I figured the doom & gloomers were just blowing fear out their rear.

Guess I still gotta learn some things the hard way.  I now know what happens when your body starts to cannibalize proteins from within…

The breakthrough finally came Friday.  After 5 days of intense hunger-pangs, I bowed to the inevitable, and picked up some Quest Vanilla Milkshake protein powder.  Now, when I ran to the store after work, I was almost desperate enough to grab any old tub of powder, but I still reviewed nutrition information, and the Quest stuff seemed to be the best.  23 grams of protein per serving, 2 net carb, not a shit-ton of dietary fiber (which sometimes give me those ‘never trust a fart’ moments with the Quest bars), and a mix of whey protein (fast acting) and casein protein (slow-to-digest).

I’m finally back to my ‘I really don’t have much of an appetite,’ happy-on-keto self, and slowly working through the last echoes of protein-deprivation.  The knee has ceased threatening to go on strike, at least…

And it’s pretty damn tasty mixed like this:

 

Iced Quest Coffee

3/4 scoop Quest Vanilla Milkshake (about 1.5 T)

2.5 T Heavy Cream

Cold Coffee

Pour heavy cream in the bottom of a standard drinking glass (around 20 ounce).  Pour quest powder on top of cream, fill the glass with cold coffee, leaving room for ice.

Drop a wire wisk into the glass, and spin between your palms while simultaneously raising and lowering the wisk until everything is well mixed.  Add your ice, and caffeinate yourself into wakefullness.

 

I might just try blending it into full frothiness next…stay tuned!

Batman & Robin copy

 

 

Oui, mes oignons sont le français

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Why, yes…my onions HAVE been French-ified.  Thank you for noticing!

Anyone else love French Onion Soup?  Thick beef stock, freshened with Thyme & Basil, crammed full of caramelized onions, topped with crusty bread & melty cheese?

Oh…yum.

Sadly, French Onion soup isn’t exactly keto-friendly.  First – onions.  They may be a low glycemic index food, but the sheer volume of onions in a good French Onion soup is going to pack onto any daily carb count.

Second – caramelizing those onions.  There are different schools-of-thought on caramelized onions.  Some diabetics will experience a blood-sugar spike (thus needing more insulin) when consuming prepared onions, far more of a spike than when eating them raw, so their (diabetics and the nutritionists who advise them) thought is, caramelizing onions concentrates the sugar in the vegetable, recommend DO NOT CONSUME.

The other camp disagrees – using logic:  You can’t make more sugar (and therefore, more carbs) than the raw vegetable already has by cooking it.  They believe that caramelizing the onions has more to do with portion control than sugar concentration.  A cup of raw onions is a lot less vegetable matter than a cup onions that have spent the better part of an hour having their fibers broken down and a portion of their water content removed with the application of heat and friction.

Me?  I’m in the portion control camp.  It’s easy to overeat the caramelized carby goodness that is onions in their fully broken-down state.

And, let’s face it – French Onion soup is ALL about overeating decadence…

Third – the type of onion.  For a good French Onion soup – all the recipes suggest using sweeter onions such Walla Wallas, Mahis, Sweet Spanish, Yellows and Vidalias. Not only are these bred to be huge, they’re modified to be less astringent, milder, and sweeter than their more natural counterparts, such as greens, whites, and shallots.  Of course, when you take away some of the sulfurous compounds and force the bulb to create more sugar, you increase the carbs right along with it.

What is it with us humans???  Take a perfectly good plant and muck about with the genetics to favor sweetness.  No wonder we’re addicted to sugars.

Fourth – a thick slab of crusty bread topping the individual serving.  Bread?  ‘Nuff said.

What brought on this daydreaming of French Onion souper-stardom?  An overabundance of onions picked up at the local farmer’s market this weekend.

I can’t resist good deals on locally-grown produce!

I had to do something  –  it would be a sin to bring all these beautiful white orbs into the house and let them rot… So I broke down about half of them, and set to cooking.

I feel the need to apologize to my neighbors – the early stage of caramelizing onions never stays in a single apartment!

Pot o soup

 

Once nicely bronzed, the onions were paired with a good beef stock, thyme, basil, and a generous shot of pepper.

 

Letting the heat do its thing, turning this pot of stuff into a dinner of legend, I searched for something keto-friendly to top the soup with – bready, but not carby.

 

I found:   these.

I gotta thank Sugar Free Mom for sharing her wonderful recipe for low-carb English Muffins.  You struck gold (nut butter) with this one!

I did make a tiny alteration – I switched out the almond milk for half water, and half heavy cream.  I simply couldn’t justify buying an entire container of almond milk in what could very well have turned out to be a catastrophe.

My earlier experiment with mug cakes left me cautious, OK???

 

I needn’t have worried – these were perfect for the soup.  They had a distinctive baked-good texture to them, not so much nook & cranny-y like wheat-based English muffins, but denser, like a good cake – and (vitally!) missing the grainy bits that come from ground flax or hemp protein powders.

Once slathered with butter and toasted under the broiler, they didn’t disintegrate when floated on top of the hot broth, held up under the weight of the good provolone cheese I topped the crock with, and even retained their weight and texture after the broiling was completed.

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Unlike some wheat-based products I could mention…

Dinner.  Was.  GOOD.

I even had leftover bread to pair with bacon & eggs in the morning!

Brekky

 

 

 

 

I only hope the bacon forgives me for upstaging it’s glorious salty goodness for the bread…

Adventures in Geometry

I consider geometry the unholy spawn of some sadistic individual’s desire to force an horrific mating of math and art.

Why else would the number of the Devil from the Christian bible be 666?

I remember Geometry class in high school.  Back then, it was required in Sophomore year – everyone took it.  Not everyone enjoyed it.  Not everyone survived it, and not everyone passed the class.  (OLD school – you actually had to demonstrate understanding of a subject to receive a passing grade…).  All the different formula and equations were required memorization – you learned the formula, plugged in the numbers, and let the final result tell you this 3×3 box has 9 cubic feet of air trapped inside it.  The shapes were raped (boxes and triangles and circles), the line drawings abused (angles, parallels, curves).  Everyone was forced away from viewing pleasing visuals, and into considering their base numerical equivalents.

Even at this adolescent and prone-to-fanciful-thinking age, I could see that Geometry was the antithesis of great art, and I fought this tooth & nail.

hqdefaultGeometry demanded equal columns of numbers marching in lockstep without deviation – I wanted to put a pyramid on top of a box, add some cubes, balls and curved brick walkways to create a visually-pleasing home in the woods.   I didn’t CARE that my home had 1357.27685 cubic feet of air trapped inside, with additional insulating air of 339.3192125 cubic feet trapped under the roof, and a capacity to lose 33.78% of the warmth generated in the field stone fireplace through the insanely large windows – IT looked like a inviting and secluded cabin where I could get some SERIOUS artwork done.

Apple Pi

Finally, I’ll never forgive them for forever ruining Pie by dropping the ‘E’ and giving me, not only an endless chain of numbers to really mess with my mind, but another goofy line drawing.

Mmmmm – pie… 

Although I did enjoy the single day our educator stepped away from the rote formula-learning, and gave us a math/word game.  Given each letter in the English alphabet a consecutive number (a=1, b=2 and so on up to z=26) – what’s the highest number you can make from a 5 letter English word?   (Fuzzy, for the record, was our best at a value of 104)

I DO understand Geometry has a place in this world (after all, my cabin in the woods would need to be built using geometric formula if I wanted it to stand) – but I’d prefer to move in after the paint has dried on the walls and the plumbing is working.

Now here’s the weird part.  I do pretty good with simple mathematics, and actually enjoy the lockstep logicality in finance. (I work in accounting, after all…)  I especially enjoy finding and backtracking errors that Corporate AR puts into the books, and request they fix them with a long adding machine tape of evidence to back up my claims.

Floating Fucks

Just another day on the job

Because I’m good at these simple monetary maths, I traditionally earn more than I spend in a month – although my recent purchases of jump rings & jewelry displays made this month a bit more spend-y than save-y.

But geometry?  Nope – nope – nope.  Not going there…not even as a tourist.

Now, the SQO will tell me that I’m good at higher, more complex maths.  He’ll mention some of my drawings (bring on infinite perspective!) my origami, glass-etching, and chainmaille.  The way I automatically frame photographs into the rule of thirds, and all the computer work I’ve done in Photoshop creating abstract arts.

 

He is right, in that all these artistic creations have a healthy dose of complex mathematics behind them.  I don’t see the numbers, though, and I have no interest in calculating them out.  I just see the forms and feel the perfection in the patterns.

 

 

This weekend, I finished a chainmaille project I’ve been hungering to complete for a long time.  I made a ball.

on desk

12 completely identical sides, each side sharing it’s mirrored construction with another side.  12 pentagrams of 5 sides each curled around into a mathematically-correct ball.

I knew going into this one that it wouldn’t be a quicky project – I didn’t realize that it would take an estimated 6 hours, repeated slips of the pliers resulting in skinned knuckles, poked legs, a near-blister on my ring finger and near-miss to my cheek.  I didn’t realize it would take building and tearing out a portion of it over and over and over again until I got it right.  I didn’t realize it would eat up most of my stock of stainless steel 6.9 AR rings (I’m estimating around 400 rings).

I didn’t realize how FUN it was to put this thing together.  The real question is:  do I want to keep this Geometrical Construction on my desk as a tribute to higher maths, or do I want to sell it on Etsy?

 

first third

This is 4 ‘faces’ into the project

 

 

Maths feature in Keto, too.  I decided to give Keto an honest shot once I had a spreadsheet constructed (what did I do before Excel???) to track exactly what I was putting in my mouth in terms of fat, carbs, and proteins.  Started keeping track of what the nutritional content was for my brand of bacon, butter, beef and veggies.  Added additional tabs for the recipes I’ve tried, and a 3rd tab for those recipes deemed ‘a catastrophic failure.’  All my eating, broken down into lockstep columns of marching numbers.

My Geometry teacher would be so proud!

I also started actually reading those nutritional guidelines listed on the backs or sides of some of my favorite snack foods.  That was an experience in pure horror, I’m telling you.  My favorite cheese chips have 19 grams of ultra-processed carbohydrates in just 18 crackers.

As if I could stop at 18 chips?  I used to eat these by the bowlful, if not straight outta the box!

Being low-carb, although it presents some interesting challenges, and was a right royal pain the ass to get used to, is totally worth it in how my body now feels.

This week- I whipped up a chicken-cabbage salad to take to work.  Here’s how I made it.

Chinese Chicken Cabbage Salad
The Stuff
1 small head green cabbage
6 TBS extra virgin olive oil
5 TBS rice vinegar
1.5 TBS Soy Sauce
1 TBS ground ginger
t tsp Cinnamon
2 medium clove garlic, pressed
4 oz cooked chicken breast, finely chopped
The Execution
Chop cabbage into long strips, removing the core.  Place in a large bowl with the
chopped chicken.
Add oil, vinegar, soy sauce, ginger, cinnamon and garlic in a deep bowl or
2 cup Pyrex measuring cup.  Whisk extremely well until all ingredients are
incorporated and the oil no longer separates from the rest of he wet ingredients.
Pour dressing over salad, toss to coat.

Flower Power

I may have mentioned my recent obsession with little jump rings…

RT Flower

I’ve discovered orbitals.  For those of you who don’t know anything about chainmaille patterns, an orbital is when you have two (or more) rings in connection with each other, with a third (or more) ring circling that connection point.

orbital

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Like this ——->

Within my exploring on the WWW – I found a YouTuber who put out a video showing how to make a flower pendant with orbitals.  The result … is PRETTY.  She calls it the ‘Reverse Tao’ flower, and the tutorial is one of my new favorites – simple, with the focus on the hands and the rings and how to combine them.  No extra flashy graphics in the front, no long-winded intro speech before you get to the meat of the tutorial, no loud hip-hop or pop or rock music.  Just the build.

I like a tutorial that simply gets down to business without all this nonsense of ‘gettin’ down B4 Bizniz’.

I did have to do some tweaking to this pattern.  The ring size as listed in the tutorial created a form that was rather too loose for my liking, so I scaled the AR down to a tighter 6.9, and I added some additional rings to really firm things up.

I like my chainmaille things tight 😀  and I’ll be listing a few of these lovelies on my Etsy shop this weekend.

I’ve found yet another pattern which uses my favorite ring size.  I use these particular rings for

The Centipede Necklaces

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my whirly pendants

A Whirly

the turbine pendants

model close in

and they make a great, quickie bail.

So I finally bit the bullet and ordered a huge amount of them in a variety of metals – I even found them in Niobium, which equals bright, shiny colors.

Colors – squeeeeeeeeeee!

I got some serious maile-ing to do over the next few weeks, because I have my first ever show coming up.  Now, granted, this show is at a vape store grand opening, so I don’t exactly ‘fit in’ with what the rest of the vendors will be offering – but I’ll happily take the exposure.

 

In the keto world, I’ve been exploring cheesecake.  My mousse fluff mimics the filling in a cream puff, but I’ve never been really interested in the cream puff shell – so my explorations went to the next cool and creamy dessert-type thing that came to mind.   And – again thanking the technology that allows people all across the planet to share out interesting ideas – Keto cheesecakes are EVERYWHERE on the web.

I tried a simple recipe for cheesecake fluff first, which brought some sour cream to the party for the tang in real cheesecake – but was left unimpressed.  Not only did the sour cream add the WAY wrong tang, the mixture didn’t blend quite fully, leaving me with little nodules of cream cheese which felt really strange when eating the thing.

Cheesecake should be full-on creamy, rich, and sweet, with just a hint of tang as it spreads across your tongue.  Cheesecake should NOT be LUMPY.

Only the crust is allowed to have a lumptastic texture.

So I’ll be trying some different recipes – and already have them flagged.

Keto Cheesecake Tarts from KetoKrate Blog

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Blueberry Cheesecake squares from DitchTheCarbs

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No bake Lemon Cheesecake also from DitchTheCarbs

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Now I just gotta find the TIME to play in the kitchen 😀

Mousse & Squirrel

Hey, hey Rocky – watch me pull a fantastic dessert outta my hat!!!

rocky bullwinkle copy

 

Yea, I’m dating myself again, quoting a cartoon I watched when I was a kid a few more than 29 years ago.  One of these days, I’ll have to update my fictional age to a more believable number…

And no – I did not make a dessert out of squirrel.  I’ve never been one for weird meat.

Yea…I went there…

This weekend was the Independence Day holiday – the weekend of the year where Americans of all ages go to their local fairgrounds and eat WAAAAAAY too much really bad for you, insanely expensive, questionable foodstuffs, drink WAAAAAAAY too much over-priced, watered down alcohol, go on WAAAAAAY too many spinney-type rides, stopping the frivolity only long enough to visit a conveniently-placed waste barrel to empty their stomachs in the worst possible way.

I once tried to convince people to avoid the middle-man by offering to punch them in the stomach for $50.00 (still get the pain, but no stinky, smelly puke breath), but nobody took me up on the offer, not even when I offered to roll them down a hill for the dizziness effect.

Entrepreneurs have it tough in this country.

How do we end this celebratory dine & purge fest?  We blow stuff up.

Yea, I could wax nostalgic on the whole ‘rocket’s red glare, bombs bursting in air,’ but it sounds better my way – it’s very ‘Murikan! to blow stuff up.

Boom

I don’t go to the fairgrounds over the 4th holiday – my family has a yearly reunion at Dad’s home on Lake Reinhart.  We gather, bring a dish to pass, swim in the lake, socialize in the shade, and let the kids (mostly my younger nephews & nieces) do what kids do best.

Dad usually has sandwich stuff and cold salads (macaroni, potato, etc…) along with fresh veggies & dips for lunch, because we all tend to arrive (hungry) at different times.  For dinner, we do those salads & veggies again, a sugar-rush of desserts, and the ‘Official Summer Meat of Wisconsin’ fresh off the grill-altar.

If I have to say brats…you need to read more of my posts 😀

At lunch, the first thing that was mentioned was the woeful lack of bread or carb products on my plate.  I filled up instead with the veggies & dip, and some cold ham & sausage from the available meats.

Which gave me the perfect opportunity to explain keto to the family.

My dish to pass for the event emerged at the evening meal.  Now, I made 2 desserts, actually.  One with real sugar for everyone else, and one with just enough sugar substitute to satisfy my rather blunted sweet tooth.

Berries and creamMousse & berries.  This stuff, with real sugar, tastes exactly like the cream filling they pipe into cream puffs up here.  And pairing out fresh blackberries and raspberries made it the perfect 4th of July celebratory dessert.  Good Ole’ Red, White & Blue.

Here is the recipe:

Keto Mousse & Berries
The Stuff
3 TB each  Marscapone cheese and heavy cream
2ish TSP Erythritol
1.5 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 C fresh raspberries
1/4 C fresh Blackberries
The Execution
Blend Marscapone cheese and heavy cream until well combined
add sweetener and vanilla
Blend until well thickened
Split the raspberries inbetween 2 tall fluted glasses
Pipe half the cheese mixture into each glass on top of the berries
Split the blackberries between the two glasses on top of the cream

EAT WELL.

Here’s the weekly Keto update:

Wednesday – Tried an experiment with almond butter, coconut, cream cheese & caramel syrup.  Not terrible, but I probably won’t repeat.

Thursday – My first ever work-sponsored-lunch-on-Keto.  They brought in pizza, garlic bread, and salad.  I nimbly avoided the garlic bread, scraped the toppings off 2 slices of pizza, and loaded up on the salad.

Friday – Chicken & Salsa soup.  ’twas FANTASTIC, crammed full of black olives & green cabbage.

Saturday – Fine dining on good Wisconsin brats & my berry mousse.

Sunday – Movie night.  The SQO was rather hot to see this movie called ‘The Purge:  Election Year.’

If you haven’t already guessed, he’s REALLY a Cinephile.  

As the movie was a dystopian future flick, I was on board, as that’s one of my favored genres.

 

This is a strange film.  The premise is that, for one night every year, the citizens of the US are allowed to commit any crime they wish without legal issue.  All crimes, for the one night, are LEGAL.

The commentary in the film makes it painfully obvious that this sanctioned night-of-chaos is part of the 1%-ers plan to eliminate as much of the poor and lower-class populations in the easiest way possible – let them kill each other.

For the first time, government officials are no longer exempt from the Purge – because a senator running for the Presidency with some establishment-busting ideas is actually WINNING in the polls – and this is the establishment’s ‘bid’ to eliminate her.

It’s gruesome – this film. Rather disturbing in the way it violently shoves the unpleasant darkness residing within all humanity down your unwilling throat.  But I’ll probably go see it again 😀

Buzzed…

For the record, I am the Worlds Greatest Alcoholic Lightweight – which is quite the accomplishment being a native of a state that only runs when fueled with fermented hops.

Don’t believe me?  The last study done of the ’20 Drunkest States in the US’ listed 12 cities in Wisconsin.  Not only did we breach the 50% mark on the list, we DOMINATED the top 10.  We are, in every sense of the word, a beer state with a Green & Gold Problem…

Wisco drinks copy

I place the blame for my personal anomaly regarding Wisconsin’s #1 leisure activity on the 1st adult mistake I made, which was getting married before any of my siblings so I’d have bragging rights.

…It ain’t easy being a middle child…

The man I selected as my compatriot in this disaster came from a long line of slightly-functioning alcoholics.  It was quite the eye-opening experience for the young and idealistic (OK…stupid) me to find out that some people simply canNOT behave responsibly with liquor.

Being the sober one in a mentally-abusive alcoholic relationship makes one learn how to NOT want to drink…so, naturally, I’m out of practice.

2015-new-hot-sale-ipop-toilet-stickers-carved-removable-wall-stickers-english-toilet-stickers-for-toiletsAlthough I do occasionally have an adult beverage or two…it takes me decades to ramp up to an evening getting full-on drunk-as-a-skunk – because these occasions invariably end with me clutching the Porcelain God…who’s personal name is Ralph…

…I prefer the other end of me closest to the business end of a toilet…

Here’s where alcohol ends up in the Keto world…

  1.   It’s the ‘4th’ macronutrient – with 7 calories per gram, 2nd only to fats, with 9.  But this nutrient is an empty one, as it only produces a slight energy uptake with no real nutrition, and hasn’t much lasting power.
  2.   As alcohol is a poison, your body recognizes it as such, and immediately begins to process ‘that damn stuff’ OUT of your body.  This is why drunks get drunk – that woozy feeling is the body going into overdrive to metabolize the stuff.
  3.   This is also why you have to pee so much when you’re drunk, because the kidneys don’t want that stuff in residence any longer than necessary.
  4.   Alcohol in the body is ‘cushioned’ by glycogen stores in the liver (glycogen being the storage-mode of sugar and carbs) in a normal diet.  In keto, we’ve depleted those stores by eating minimal carbs – so we have no cushion to pad the hit of the booze.

 

So – long story short – when you drink on Keto, you get drunk…FAST.

I did an experiment this weekend – a shot of Captain Morgan within a glass of diet Coke.  I started to feel the effects of the booze as soon as I walked into the liquor store.

I like to bring shame to my state whenever possible 😀

Here’s the weekly Keto update:

Thursday -The SQO was feeling a bit down over his work situation, so after work I made an emergency trip over to Milwaukee to offer support & dinner.  We ended up at the Denny’s next to his store. Sit down dining doesn’t have to be a carb-zilla experience.  I filled up on a sweet ham & cheese omelette,  putting the toast on D’s plate, and shoving aside those hash browns.  For a side…a salad.

Friday – I found some freezer sausage patties that were flavored with maple (sweet & savory meat – one of my favorite combos) with only 3 net carbs per serving.  Paired those with the (read this in a low-pitched, loud & echo-y voice) ULTIMATE salad bar.

As I had extra bodies eating dinner, what I did was get a huge bag of a pre-chopped lettuce salad blend.  Chopped some leftover chicken, ham, peppers, bacon, onions, olives, pea pods, assorted shredded cheeses, and left all the toppings on the counter in individual little bowls.  Served true salad bar style – everyone got a bowl, and assembled their own salads just the way they wanted.

Paired those huge salads with baked potatoes (for everyone else, not for me…) so they could load them with the salad toppings as they saw fit.  And – extra sour cream in the fridge to play with throughout the week.

Saturday – Wheeeeee!!!!  I got drunk for science – but not drunk enough to visit Ralph.

Sunday – Hmmm.  That single glass of booze last night has me hungry today – almost like I’ve been punted out of Ketosis.  Keeping the faith, though – with a scramble comprised of various stuff left over from the salad bar, and some bratwurst patties for dinner.

Monday -Strange that I’ve been fighting hunger for the last 2 days – it can’t be JUST because of the drink.   So – I did a search on the one little thing that I changed up.  The Mio water enhancers.  Turns out, Sucralose (the sweetener in these little drops) can cause some people to experience hunger, because the sweet flavor tricks your stomach into believing there is a sugar-laden carb bomb on the way down, so it prepares for it.

I have to believe that pairing these drops with heavy cream, though, does not induce the hungry, because the body has something to digest.

Soooo – back to the unsweetened iced tea for me – I’ll keep the water flavorants for my morning drink (2T heavy cream, 1 squirt orange Mio in a travel mug filled with ice & water).

Tuesday – Tonight is Marcus Theater’s special $5 admission night – any movie you want to see, all seats are a measly $5.  The SQO wanted to go see The Awakening 2, so dinner was a scramble.  I ended up with a pair of hot dogs along with a plateful of pan fried green beans (plenty of garlic & onion in dem beans…).   With dinner being so light, I was a bit peckish at the movie, but I nimbly avoided the popcorn once again, and celebrated the carb-avoidance with some extra egg salad when I got home.

And the movie?  Crazy bizarre & scary.  It’s based on a real-life couple who did a lot of paranormal research in the 70’s, and their encounter in a haunted house in England.   It made me give out involuntary exclamations (but no screams) in 3 separate occasions, which may be a record.  Usually…I giggle at the bits the rest of the audience is jumping out of their skin over.

If you’ve got a taste for scary ghost movies…go see it.

 

 

 

 

She’s such a BRAT!

Brats

The Pinwheel of Deliciousness

Keto update again.

OK..I may have mentioned I live in Wisconsin.  Besides beer & cheese, the next thing that Wisconsinites worship as a divine foodstuff is Bratwurst.  In this state, the grill isn’t a backyard appliance, it’s an altar.

Baby Beer Bottle

Now, beer isn’t a problem for me, as I was one of the few children in this state who DIDN’T have fermented hops in their night-time bottle, so I dodged what some of the Keto bloggers out there have called the ‘liquid bread’ bullet.  Lucky me, eh?

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Cheese is also not an issue on Keto, although I did have to learn a little something about this thing called ‘portion control.’  Whodathunk an entire brick of Brick was MORE than a single serving???

Crazy, I know…

But brats?  Now that’s something I can really get behind…because while the rest of the world is quaking in terror over this fat content of this glorious, spicy, thick tube of pork and beef…

**I love this bit!**

It’s just the kind of meat that’s encouraged in Keto. 🙂

Granted, I can’t easily get my FAVORITE brats, as they reside in a mom & pop store about an hour away, but I can get the commercially-available next-best-thing.  I still have yet to find a local butcher who’s sausage-making comes close to  Glenn’s Meat Market‘s meat-art.

If you want the best Wurst in South-Central Wisconsin, you should check out his shopping page.  He’s got a brat to fit every taste.  Seriously.

I can highly recommend:

Packer Brats (green pepper & cheddar cheese)

Greek Brats (you can REALLY taste the lamb)

Philly Cheese (motz, onion & peppers)

Beer, Garlic, Cheese…the list goes on and on.  He’s even got some new ones now – corned beef and Ruben.  Damn…I may have to make a road trip!

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And, if you’re in the little town of Watertown, WI on any given Saturday, summer afternoon, Glenn will be happy to cook you up one (or more) of his fantastic sausages in his Brat Haus. (proceeds of the Brat Haus go to local charities, schools & organizations).  He runs his grill every Saturday afternoon from Memorial day to Labor day.

JUST FOLLOW YOUR NOSE!

Here’s my weekly Keto check in:

Thursday – Found yet another sweet experiment that didn’t quite work.  I blended some heavy cream with Mio Lemonade drops – WAAAAAAY too much of the flavorant.  I think I’m still puckering a week later!

Friday – The star of today’s show is two-fold.  Breakfast burritos for dinner (I’m non-traditional, what can I say) and the END of the damn heartburn!  It was the summer sausage I’d been eating, not the egg salad.  We’re crossing that little foodstuff OFF the grocery list!

For the breakfast burritos, scramble around a dozen eggs, brown a 12 oz tube of sage breakfast bulk sausage, and mix the two fully cooked proteins together.  Put a spoon of these mixed proteins in a soft tortilla shell (I use the 5g carb ones), add a bit of raw onion, a bit of chopped green bell pepper, a sprinkling of dark green leafy’s of your choice, a few sliced black olives, chunky salsa & sour cream to taste.  This was one of my pre-keto favorite meals, and I’m over the moon to know with a simple modification I can still have it.

Saturday – Egg salad (thankfully heartburn FREE!!!) and not-quite-Glenn’s brats.

Sunday – I really gotta stop experimenting with insanely weird stuff.  I picked up some hemp protein powder, chocolate flavored, blended it up with some water & heavy cream, and….EWWWWWW.  The stuff was grainy.  I spat out little bits of hemp fiber the rest of the day.  But it was OK, because I ended up not leaving the house all day.  In fact, I didn’t even bother to change out of my jammies.

The reason I didn’t leave the house?  I didn’t know that the Park & Rec department had sponsored a bike race from 11am to 9pm on Sunday.  I also didn’t know that the parking lot I usually keep my car was smack dab in the middle of the race route.  But…a little sunshine with this setback was I got to watch, from my living room windows,  extremely-well toned men (and women) race down the street like demons.  Front Row Balcony seating (with air conditioning) for the kids race.  The various sets went on All Day Long.

 

Monday – I.  Wanted.  Chicken.  So I got one of the good, marinated chicken breasts from the local Pick & Save, roasted it up, paired it with more sauteed green beans.  Killer Dinner!

Tuesday – F*&&^^!!!!  –  S*+^&^%$#!!!!   –  A@#$#$!!!!  –  B@$%&#$@#!!!!

I’m a little frustrated with work – so it felt good to let off a little steam.  Sadly, booking a ticket for the next flight to the left coast so I can kick my boss in the butt (REAL hard!!!) is unrealistic and would get me fired, so the next best thing is comfort food.

In my book up to this date – comfort food equals carbs, which will derail my ketosis.  Hmmmmmmmmm.

I settled on a walk, down to one of my favorite bar & grills in the downtown area:  Mainstream.    While I’m fairly familiar with their menu, I took a quick browse through the online version, to plan out exactly what I’d be putting on the bunless burger I needed.

Swiss Cheese

Lettuce

Tomato

Pickles

Bacon (definitely a requirement tonight!)

Fried Onion

Bell Pepper

And a generous shot of Spicy Brown Mustard.

The waitress was a bit taken back when I placed my order – but, then again, I was 1) ordering more stuff than can reasonably be piled between 2 pieces of bread without making a huge mess, and 2) I worked up the the finale of my order  with “OK…now here’s where it gets a bit weird…” before I asked her to have the grilled bun and the home made chips put in a take out container (I can’t eat these, but everyone else in the household can – so why da hell not???)

The waitress understood once I told her “I don’t do carbs…but everyone else at home does…”  That’s all it took to get complete understanding.

What was presented to me for dining was delightful.  The cook spread the lettuce on a real plate (usually, they serve in those plastic basket-thingies) centered the burger on top, and then piled on the ordered toppings.  She spaced the pickles out in a ring around the edge of the plate.  And added the mustard in a plate-spanning star shape.  It was BEAUTIFUL!  And filling.  And the comfort food I really needed.

My only regret?  That I didn’t bring my phone to snap a quickie shot of the plate before I dug in.  The presentation deserved to be shared on the WWW.

Next time (and there WILL be a next time, believe me!) I’ll rectify that.

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