Monday, March 31, 2014

Product Reviews: LC-Foods Raspberries and LC-Chow Chow

I tried two products in the past few days and both are from LC-Foods. You can read my reviews and view the nutritional information on my main site:
LC-Chow Chow

Friday, March 28, 2014

Menu for the week of 3/30 thru 4/5

Layered Nacho Dip
Leftover Mock Rice Pudding

Seoul Chicken
Asian Vegetable Mixture

Basic Almond Flour Muffins

Mushroom Burger Scramble
Cheese Quiche



Deep Dish Pizza
Cauliflower & Ham Salad

Perfect LC Pancakes or Cinnamon Maple Waffles

We have too many leftovers in the fridge right now so I moved the Layered Nacho Dip from tomorrow to Sunday. I'm not sure if I've got enough dishes planned for later in the week next week so I may have to add something to the menu if necessary. I can make a batch of tuna salad or egg salad if we need some fillers. There is also the chili in the freezer that I took off this week's menu. I can thaw that overnight for Jerry if I need to.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Shopping List - Week of March 23 - March 29

HEB (Tuesday):
  • 5 green peppers @ .59 each - $2.95
  • 2 bags pork rinds @ 1.49 each - $2.98
  • Quart heavy cream - $3.56
  • 2 diet gelatin @ .34 each - .68
  • 5 packages ground pork (marked down 25%) - $9.43
TOTAL - $19.60

ALDI (Tuesday):

  • 2 cans mushrooms @ .59 each - $1.18
  • 3 8-ounce Swiss cheese @ 1.99 each - $5.97
  • 8 ounce marinated mozzarella - $2.49
TOTAL - $9.64

KROGER (Tuesday):

  • 2 liter soda (minus 10% discount) - .87
  • 9 CARBmaster yogurt @ .40 each (minus 10% discount) - $3.24
  • 8 ounce colby cheese @ 2.50 (minus 10% discount) - $2.25
  • Diet ice tea mix @ 1.87 (minus 10% discount) - 1.68
TOTAL - $8.01

TRADER JOE'S (Tuesday):

  • 8 ounce chopped pecans - $3.99
  • 8 ounce slivered almonds - $3.69
  • Coconut oil - $5.99
  • 16 ounce frozen 3-pepper blend - $1.69
  • 2 24-ounce frozen thin French green beads @ 1.99 each - $3.98
  • 16 ounce frozen strawberries - $1.69
  • 2 16-ounce almond flour @ 4.99 each - $9.98
  • Gouda cheese - $3.30
  • Blue cheese - $3.29
  • Double Gloucester with onions & chives - $3.32
TOTAL - $40.92

WALMART (Thursday):

  • Coffee - $2.98
  • Decaf - $2.78
  • Dishwasher gel - $3.22 (with tax)
  • Roma tomatoes - .41
  • Jowl bacon - $1.96
  • 18 eggs - $2.88
TOTAL - $14.23

KROGER (Thursday):

  • 24 ounce cottage cheese @ 1.99 (minus 10% discount & .40 coupon) - $1.39
  • 3 CARBmaster yogurt @ .40 each (minus 10% discount) - $1.08
  • Iceberg lettuce - .99
  • 1 carrot - .24
  • 18 ounce peanut butter @ 1.88 on sale (minus 10% discount & .50 coupon) - $1.19
  • 8 ounce sour cream @ .99 (minus 10% discount & .40 coupon) - .49
  • Sugar free hot cocoa mix @ 1.50 on sale (minus 10% discount) - $1.35
TOTAL - $14.23


As you can see, I had a big splurge at Trader Joe's this week which put me way over my budget. When I did my shopping today, my goal was to at least stay under $100 for the week and I just made it. When we went to Trader Joe's I told Jerry that he could pick out a couple of fancy cheeses to snack on. He'd been complaining that the only cheeses we usually have on hand are colby and American. He picked out the Gouda and blue cheese. I chose the Double Gloucester with onions and chives. I've never had it before but it sounded good. I might eat some of the Gouda but Jerry is on his own with the blue cheese, LOL. I wanted to get some of Trader Joe's nice frozen Brussels sprouts but they didn't have any. Thankfully they had the almond flour in stock because that was the main reason for going there.

Jerry requested that I buy him some hot cocoa mix. Even though he's technically eating low carb now, he still occasionally eats some of the remaining high carb foods that we still have on hand. He'd been drinking regular full-sugar hot cocoa but I told him that I'd only buy more if I got the sugar free kind. I actually didn't buy the kind that Kroger calls "sugar free" because that has more carbs in it than the one labeled "Fat Free". The fat free kind only has 3 net carbs per packet. I don't recall how many the sugar free kind has but I think it may have been 9 net carbs per serving.

Hopefully I won't need to buy much next week to make up for what I spent this week. Of course the food that I got this week will last me quite a while. I've got enough meat in the freezer too that I shouldn't have to buy more of that for a while either.


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Tuesday's Shopping

I had a major splurge today. I was doing pretty well after going to Aldi, HEB and Kroger this morning but then Jerry and I drove out to Trader Joe's. He'd never been there and it had been quite a few months since I went there last. I decided to stock up on almond flour and a few other staples. I'm afraid that I really blew the budget for this week by spending around $40 just at Trader Joe's. 

I think it was worth it though just to get some more almond flour for about half the price of anywhere else. The price has gone up though. For many years a pound of it was $3.99 at Trader Joe's but now it's $4.99. I was happy to see though that a bags of pecan pieces are now a dollar cheaper than they used to be. I got some slivered almonds and chopped pecans to make some Coconutty Crunch sometime. 

I'll post the details and total cost for the week on Thursday or Friday.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

New Recipe: Low Carb Chicken "Noodle" Soup


I just tried a new soup recipe today and it was very good. Click HERE for the recipe. I was going to try a new gelatin dessert recipe today as well but the raspberry gelatin that I bought was defective. They forgot to add the sweetener and the gelatin to the mix. All I got was a box of red maltodextrin with a hint of raspberry flavor. I'll have to try the recipe another day and call Kroger on Monday about the problem with their product.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Menu for the week of 3/23 thru 3/29

Sausage Quiche
Roast Chicken
Green Beans
Leftover Raspberry-Raspberry
Leftover Chicken Noodle Soup

Basic Almond Flour Muffins

Sloppy Joe Stuffed Peppers

Ham Quiche

Sweet & Sour Pork

Mock Rice Pudding

Layered Nacho Dip

The chili on Saturday is some that high carb chili that's been in the freezer and needed to be used. Jerry can eat that and I'll make the Layered Nacho Dip for myself. I'll make the Sweet & Sour Pork with some roast pork cubes that I froze the last time I made a big pork shoulder roast.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Shopping List - Week of March 16 - March 22

FOOD TOWN (Tuesday):
  • 5 8-ounce Kraft cream cheese @ .99 each - $4.95
  • Tomato - $1.00
  • Fresh mushrooms - $1.35
  • 1 carrot - .19
  • 1 zucchini - .34
  • Garlic - .42
  • 1 onion - .60
  • 1 pound pork sausage - $1.99
  • Colgate toothpaste - .88
TOTAL - $11.78

HEB (Tuesday):

  • 2 liter soda - $1.00
  • 3 12-ounce cans tuna @ 2.07 each (minus buy 2/get 1 free coupon) - $4.14
  • 8 ounce Colby-jack - $2.38
  • Quart heavy cream - $3.56
  • 2 bags pork rinds @ 1.49 each - $2.98
  • Passion fruit drink mix - $1.88
TOTAL - $16.18

WALMART (Thursday):

  • Panty liners - $3.88
  • Clear Passage strips - $6.67
  • Face scrub - $1.97
  • Nightie (on clearance) - $5.00
  • Shower spray - $1.97
  • Coleslaw mix - $1.75
TOTAL - $22.85

KROGER (Thursday):

  • 9 CARBmaster yogurt @ .40 each (minus 10% discount) - $3.24
  • 2 bags Community coffee @ 3.99 each (minus $3.00/2 coupon) - $4.98
  • 2 16-ounce bags shredded cheddar cheese @ 2.99 each (minus 10% discount) - $5.38
  • Diet raspberry gelatin @ .37 (minus 10% discount) - .33
  • 2 liter diet soda @ .87 (minus 10% discount) - .78
  • Mustard @ .85 (minus 10% discount) - .76
TOTAL - $15.53


I went over my budget by quite a bit this week but I really needed a new nightie with long sleeves for when it's cold and I figured that this was the best time of the year to get one marked down. The other night I put my hand through the shoulder seam of the one that I've been wearing for many years. I have plenty of summer nighties but only the one with long sleeves for cold weather. I found one at Walmart today on the clearance rack. It was marked down to $7.00 on the tag (orig. $11.96) but it rang up for only $5.00. I don't know yet if it will fit because it's a size 12/14. That was the smallest size they had but I'd rather it be a little roomy than too tight. For the price I'm sure it will do.

I also had quite a few household and personal items that I needed to stock up on such as the panty liners and Clear Passage strips, etc. Those strips really take a bite out of my budget every month and I had to knock several items off my list to keep the cost down for the week as much as I could.

I did splurge on the coleslaw mix. I'm going to make coleslaw tomorrow and I was going to buy a head of cabbage. But, they all looked really bad or they were gigantic and it was over 40-cents per pound. Rather than risk having to pitch most of a half-rotten head of cabbage, I just got the pre-shredded stuff. It probably would have cost me over a dollar anyway for one of the large heads that didn't look as scruffy as the smaller ones.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Tuesday Shopping Bargains

I've added something to my menu for this Saturday. I'm going to make the Chicken Noodle Soup from Elana's Pantry blog. That's what the zucchini and the carrot in the photo are for. Elana diced her carrot but I'm thinking that I might julienne mine just like the zucchini. I'm not sure yet if I'll use my julienne peeler to make the "noodles" or my spiral slicer that looks like this:
I really wanted to get a yellow squash for the noodles but those were too expensive and they looked half spoiled. The Mexican calabazo "zucchini" were half the price per pound and looked fresh. Come to think of it, I will have to use the julienne peeler because the squash may be too small for the spiral slicer. I may use it for the carrot though so that they won't take as long to cook in the soup. 

By the way, the cream cheese and the tuna were both great bargains. The cream cheese was on sale for 99-cents at Food Town and HEB had a coupon for buy two 12-ounce cans of tuna and get a third one free. Their small 5-ounce cans were 70-cents each (14-cents per ounce). With the free can, the tuna I bought works out to 11-cents per ounce. The large cans were $2.07 per can so normally it would have been cheaper to buy the small cans, if not for the free one. The Jimmy Dean sausage wasn't on my list but it was only $1.99 at Food Town.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

New Recipe: Carrot Cake

I just posted a new Carrot Cake recipe on my main site. It's pretty good but I don't know yet what my husband thinks of it. I'll post an update later to let you know how well it goes over with him.

UPDATE: Jerry is having a piece of cake right now and he gives it a 7 or 8 out of 10. His only complaint was that it's a little heavy. He said he'd give it a 10 if it was a choice between this cake and NO cake, LOL. 

Friday, March 14, 2014

Menu for the week of 3/16 thru 3/22

Tijuana Quiche
Chicken Lazone
Leftover Carrot Cake
Leftover Quick Asian Pork Stir-Fry (if there is any left)


Tijuana Quiche


Tijuana Quiche
Sliced tomatoes, onion and other burger toppings

Sausage Quiche
Tuna "Rice" Casserole


Sausage Quiche

Sausage Quiche
BBQ Pork Steaks
Broccoli Salad

Sausage Quiche
Raspberry-Raspberry (new recipe)


Thursday, March 13, 2014

Shopping List - Week of March 9 - March 15

Once again I managed to stay under $60.00 for the week. I've gotten very good at estimating how much I'm going to spend when I shop even when I don't stick to my shopping list exactly. I keep a running list of how much the things that I buy cost and I update that list as prices change. Of course I don't know until I get to the store what the prices will be that day. When I shopped today, as I often do, I ended up not getting a couple of things that were on my list but I also bought a few things that I hadn't planned on buying. Plus a few things weren't the prices that I'd estimated. I bought a big package of ham pieces which was a little over $4.00 and that wasn't planned. I also spent a dollar on a bottle of soda which wasn't on my list and also a pair of kid's scissors to use for my beading and those were a dollar. Then, I found a box of Atkins bars in the clearance bin at Kroger and those were another $2.49 that I hadn't planned for.

To make up for the extra expenses, I bought cheaper lettuce and tomatoes than I would have liked. Instead of expensive grape tomatoes, I got a few Roma tomatoes for a fraction of the price. I also bought iceberg lettuce rather than romaine. The iceberg looked better and it was about half the price of romaine which looked very brown. The furniture polish I got was a dollar less than I'd figured and the toothpaste was about 30-cents cheaper than I thought. The only thing that I decided not to buy was a 4-ounce can of mushrooms which only saved me 63-cents. I didn't factor in my 10% Kroger discount either so I saved a bit more with that.

So, to make a short story long, I'd estimated that I would spend about $31.87 today at Walmart and Kroger and I ended up spending $31.70. How's that for close???

Here's the break-down for the week:

FOOD TOWN (Tuesday):

  • 8 rolls Fiora paper towels - $2.99
  • 12 rolls Fiora toilet paper @ 2.99 (minus 55-cent coupon) - $2.44
  • 1 pound carrots - .50
  • 10 ounce Kikkoman soy sauce @ .88 (minus 55-cent coupon) - .33
  • 4 bottles VO5 shampoo and conditioner @ .77 each (minus $1.00 coupon) - $2.08
TOTAL - $8.88

HEB (Tuesday):

  • 3 boxes facial tissue - $3.57
  • 2 bags pork rinds @ 1.49 each - $2.98
  • Quart heavy cream - $3.56
  • 2 boxes Atkins bars (on clearance) - $7.00
TOTAL - $17.40

WALMART (Thursday):

  • Aquafresh toothpaste - $1.67
  • Decaf coffee - $2.78
  • Furniture polish - $1.97
  • 4 ounce chiles - .58
  • Pork sausage - $2.98
  • Iceberg lettuce - $1.14
  • Roma tomatoes - .61
  • Scissors - .97
  • Ham pieces - $4.19
  • 2 liter Diet Dr. Pepper - $1.00
TOTAL - $18.22

KROGER (Thursday):

  • 4 CARBmaster yogurt @ .40 each (minus 10% discount) - $1.44
  • 16 ounce cottage cheese @ 1.25 (minus 10% discount) - $1.12
  • Dozen eggs @ 1.50 (minus 10% discount) - $1.35
  • 3 8-ounce bags shredded cheese @ 2.00 each (minus 10% discount) - $5.40
  • Diet lemon ice tea mix @ 1.87 (minus 10% discount) - $1.68
  • Atkins bars (clearance) - $2.49
TOTAL - $13.48


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Tuesday's Bargains

Just a little teaser from today's trip to the store. Details later in the week. 

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Menu Change: Carrot Cake instead of Jello Poke Cake

The more I thought about it the more I realized that it would be foolish of me to spend so much money on almond flour to make the Jello Poke Cake next week. But, I've come up with an alternative that will only require buying a carrot or two. I have all of the other necessary ingredients on hand and I've been wanting to try the Chicken Lady's Carrot Cake recipe for a while. I also found two other similar recipes online which gave me some ideas for additions and substitutions.

There is THIS one at Lauren's "Healthy Indulgences" and THIS one on Vanessa Romero's "Healthy Living How To" blog.

Vanessa's is her adaptation of the Chicken Lady's recipe. She used fresh carrots, instead of frozen ones, so I know that will work. She also uses home-ground almond flour so I think that my plan to use half unblanched Trader Joe's almond flour with half home-ground coconut flour should probably work. I have enough almond flour for the recipe but I'd like to save some of it for making muffins for my husband. I have a huge bag of fine unsweetened coconut that I found at Big Lots so I thought I'd cut the almond flour with some coconut flour.

I don't have any pecans so I'll just leave those out. I will add a little blackstrap molasses like Lauren used in her recipe. Lauren also added 1/8 teaspoon of xanthan gum so I'll try that. She doesn't say what that does for the recipe but I figure it can't hurt and might help keep it moist.

I won't be using any sugar alcohols so the texture of my cake will probably be a bit more spongy than any of those recipes. All three of them used at last part sugar alcohols in their cakes but I don't use them.

I'll be making half of the Chicken Lady's recipe for a cake that's half the size of a 9x13" pan. I've got a pan that's exactly that size or 8.5 x 6.5 inches.

I was going to try my Clouds recipe for the frosting on the Jello Poke Cake so I'll just use the same recipe for the carrot cake. I will go ahead and make a whole batch so that I don't end up with half a package of cream cheese sitting around in the fridge. I figure if there's too much to ice the cake with, I can make a few Clouds with the rest.

Here is an estimated nutritional count for my version divided into six servings:

With granular Splenda:
Per Serving: 649 Calories; 61g Fat; 11g Protein; 18g Carbohydrate; 5.5g Dietary Fiber; 12.5g Net Carbs

With liquid Splenda:
Per Serving: 625 Calories; 61g Fat; 11g Protein; 12g Carbohydrate; 5.5g Dietary Fiber; 6.5g Net Carbs

It's only an estimate because I'm not sure yet how much the almond flour and coconut flour will weigh and I'm not sure yet how much frosting I'll put on the cake.


Friday, March 7, 2014

Menu for the week of 3/9 thru 3/15

Leftover Meatloaf
Not Pea Soup
Smoked sausage
Quicker Tuna Casserole Quiche

Deep Dish Pizza

Low carb pancakes or waffles

Pot Roast
Mashed Cauliflower

Ham Quiche

Quick Asian Pork Stir-Fry

Orange Jello Poke Cake with "Cloud" Frosting

The soup is a new recipe that I'll be trying and I'm going to make a few changes to the recipe. I will add some smoked sausage to it instead of ham. I'm not sure yet if I'll make the pancakes/waffles on Tuesday. It will depend on how many leftovers there are on hand. I thought I'd try Kent's Jello Poke Cake recipe with orange Jello this time and with a different frosting. I thought I'd try using the "Cloud" recipe as frosting and see what happens.

I don't make my Ham Quiche quite the same as the recipe that I linked to. I usually make it with about 8 ounces of ham, 8 ounces of cheddar cheese, 1/2 cup of heavy cream and about 4 eggs. Oh, and a squirt of Dijon mustard. I suppose I should add it as a new recipe on my site but I just now realized that it wasn't there.

I don't have any blanched almond flour on hand so I might either use unblanched, which will make a very ugly cake, or splurge on some blanched almond flour from Walmart. We'll see about that because a bag of Bob's Red Mill almond flour would use about 1/5 of my weekly grocery budget. Maybe I should order a large bag of it from Honeyville. Now that Jerry is eating low carb, I'll probably be making more muffins and that kind of thing for him.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Shopping List - Week of March 2 - March 8

I didn't do any shopping on Tuesday this week because we were having an ice storm. Today I went to three stores to make up for it. Here's the break-down:

  • 3 bags pork rinds @ 1.49 each - $4.47
  • 6 pkgs. ground pork @ 1.70lb (marked down 25%) - $9.14
  • 1 quart heavy cream - $3.56
  • 1 jar salsa - $1.98
  • 1 bag Community coffee ($1.00 store coupon) - $3.99
TOTAL - $24.98


  • Clean Shower spray - $1.97
  • Mini post-it notes - $1.87
  • Spiral notebook - $1.68
  • 18 eggs - $2.88
  • Mildew spray - $2.88
  • 2 cans green beans @ .48 each - .96
  • 1 pound carrots - .78
  • Tax - .69
TOTAL - $13.71


  • 18 ounce jar peanut butter @ 2.34 (minus 10% discount) - $2.11
  • Napkins @ .97 (minus 10% discount) - .87
  • 1 can tuna @ .78 (minus 10% discount) - .70
  • Maybelline brow pencils @ 2.62 on sale (minus $1.50 coupon) - $1.12
  • 4 ounce can mushrooms @ .62 (minus 10% discount) - .56
  • 3 bags frozen Asian stir-fry vegetables @ 1.00 each (minus 10% discount) - $2.70
  • 8 ounces shredded cheddar @ 2.00 (minus 10% discount) - $1.80
  • 8 ounces shredded mozzarella @ 2.00 (minus 10% discount) - $1.80
  • 8 ounces colby cheese @ 2.00 (minus 10% discount) - $1.80
  • 16 ounces cottage cheese @ 1.25 (minus 10% discount) - $1.12
  • 6 CARBmaster yogurt @.40 each (minus 10% discount) - $2.16
  • Tax - .16
TOTAL - $16.90


I did a little better than last week. I would have spent a little less if I hadn't found that ground pork marked down at HEB. Because I spent extra on that, there were a few non-food items that I decided not to buy and will get them next week.

The green beans and carrots are for a recipe I'll be trying on Sunday. It's called Not Pea Soup from Dana Carpender's "Every Calorie Counts". It's on page 462, if you have the book. It calls for two cans of green beans so I bought the cheapest ones I could find. They're broken pieces so they were only 48-cents per can vs about 59-cents for Walmart's brand. It doesn't matter because they're going to be puréed in the soup anyway. I'll use one carrot in the soup and make Skillet Carrots to go with meatloaf tomorrow.


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Favorite Recipe: Salsa Sausage Quiche

This is such an easy quiche to make and only contains four ingredients: pork sausage, cheese, eggs and salsa. You don't even have to get out the salt and pepper to make this. Click HERE for the recipe. 

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

A peek inside my pantry...

There's actually one more shelf at the top that you can't see in the photo above. There's no food up there, just my large baking sheets, roasting pans and muffin top pans, etc. Jerry inserted two pieces of dowel on the shelf so that my pans would stand up without falling over. It works great but I do have to be very careful when I pull down the larger roasting pans.
Here's a bonus shot of my overflow pantry which is in the bottom cupboard of the microwave cabinet. It's looking rather empty now without all the sugar, flour, pasta and other high carb stuff that I had my son take with him when he moved.

Monday, March 3, 2014

New Recipe: Coconut Bars

I just tried MMorris's Coconut Bars. Click HERE to view the recipe.


A peek inside my freezer...

I have a large upright freezer out in the garage where I store my stash of meat and other stuff that doesn't fit in the fridge freezer. As you can see, I'm not very good at keeping it defrosted but that was actually a blessing a few years ago. There was a hurricane here in Houston and we were without power for two days. I'm pretty sure that the thick layer of frost kept my meat from thawing. The ice was actually much thicker that time than what you see in this photo. I didn't lose any of the food in there but I did lose everything from the fridge and fridge freezer that we couldn't eat by the end of the second day. Thankfully we were able to cook and reheat leftovers on our gas grill that time. Much of Houston was without power for weeks so we were very fortunate.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

A peek inside my refrigerator...

You'll notice that there is a loaf of bread in the freezer. That's my husband's and I won't be buying more when it's gone. The crazy thing is that he is already losing weight since our son moved out even though he's been eating toast every day. That's a man for you. He has lost about seven pounds in the past couple of weeks. The only way that I can account for it is that he's not eating ice cream and chips anymore. He was eating cereal for several days though until that and the milk ran out last week sometime.
You may be wondering what the little blue tags are on some of the stuff in the fridge. Whenever I make something, I put a tag on it with the name of what it is and the date that I made it. That way Jerry knows what's in the container and I can tell how long something has been in the fridge.


Saturday, March 1, 2014

A peek inside my spice cupboard...

I finally had a chance to take a few photos of my kitchen cupboards and pantry, etc. and I'll be posting them over the next few days. Today's photo is a view of my spice cupboard and a list of the spices I have on hand.
Bacon Salt
Cajun seasoning
Ceam of tartar
Celery seed
Celery salt
Chicken seasoning
Chili powder
Chipotle chile powder
Cinnamon-Splenda mixture
Crushed red pepper
Curry powder
Dry mustard
Dry onion
Fennel seed
Freeze-dried chives
Garlic salt
Garlic powder
Ground fennel
House Seasoning (homemade) 

Italian seasoning
Jambalaya seasoning (homemade)
KFC Seasoning (homemade) 

Liquid smoke
Low Carb taco seasoning (homemade)

No-salt seasoning (homemade)
Old Bay
Onion powder
Poultry seasoning
Prairie Dust (homemade)
Seasoning salt (homemade)
Smoked paprika
Spicy seasoning salt (homemade)
Toasted dried onion
Whole nutmeg