TTO Thursday

The TTO Show was a popular radio show in my area when I was growing up.  It was a hodgepodge of happenings and interesting topics, and it was always fun and informative, as the hosts had a great sense of humor.  Sadly, the show has been off the air for decades now, but I’ve decided to go with that theme in today’s post.

In case you’re wondering, TTO stands for “This, That and the Other.”  Today’s focus will be “Words of the Week.”

“I think I re-injured it again.”

I recently shared these words with my hubby.  Back in September 2010, I took a nasty fall in our yard and injured my rotator cuff in my right shoulder, and it seems that once again, I’ve reinjured it while lifting heavy boxes during my sister and brother-in-law’s recent move to their new home on the farm.  Unfortunately, I am right-handed, so this is just not good.  There are times in my life that I don’t have all that much that needs to be done, but this is not such a time.  Once again, I’m relying on prescription Naproxen and my little arm sling for relief while trying to get the things done that must still be done.

“I’m a country girl now!”

That’s what she said.  (lol)  Well, that’s what my sister said to me on the evening after we helped move them to their new home on their oldest son’s farm last week.  Yes, I lifted way too many heavy things, but it’s done now.

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Sis’s new house

I’m laying low for the next two weeks while her boys get things ready for the estate sale at their former home.  Parting with most of her possessions is going to be hard on her.

The trustee wants the keys to the house by the end of this month to start some repairs and get it ready to list with a realtor to get those funds back into my sister’s trust.  The trustee had some hard words with my sister’s middle son about how all this works, and that’s unfortunate.  Her son wanted to take a couple of months to get things ready, but that is just not remotely reasonable in this situation.  I will be so glad when the estate sale is over and all this stuff can finally start settling down, especially since the move was especially hard on my brother-in-law, who has Parkinson’s Disease.

“It has to be done, hun.”

These were my words to my hubby as the time to start our spring yard work was upon us last weekend.  With all the activity from the move, we were behind on doing yardwork, and I wasn’t able to help due to my shoulder.  Over breakfast on Saturday, as we discussed what all needed to be done and whether we should try to just hire someone to do it all this year, I uttered these words to him to bring him back to reality on the situation.  Bless his heart, he worked his tail off scalping the yard, too.  The worst is behind us with that task completed, and hopefully we will have some good spring rains to help get the yard off to a good start soon.

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I’m so happy to see our tree survived the borer attack last fall!

I’m glad to report that our tree in the backyard is once again blooming in full after a nasty attack by borers last September while we were gone to New Mexico for a week.  From now on, we will treat that tree every Spring (and maybe every Fall, too) to prevent this from happening again.

“I miss you so much!”

On Monday, I enjoyed a nice lunch with my dear friend who now lives in Utah while she was back on a quick visit to see family here.  I shared these words with her, and it is the absolute truth.  She is such a dear friend, and I miss having her nearby.  We had a good lunch visit with another mutual friend, and it refreshed my soul once again, as well as my tummy as we dined on wonderful Mexican food.  I need to plan a trip to go see her up there some time this year, preferably when it’s miserably hot here this summer.

Oh wait, it’s already hot!

“It’s 96 degrees right now at our house!  I’m ready to move to Alaska.”

I shared these words with the hubby yesterday when he inquired as to what the weather was at home.  It was pretty incredible to have such heat in mid-March yesterday, and I was totally unprepared for it in my jeans and long-sleeved shirt.  While the official high temperature here was only 92, we frequently register a few degrees warmer at our house than what’s registered at the official site.  I’m not sure I want to know what’s ahead for us as far as summer heat this year, but I hope and pray it’s not another 2011 again because I really don’t think I can handle another summer like that one right now.

“I can’t believe we have to buy this thing.”

I said this to an employee at Best Buy earlier this week.  A few days ago, Uverse and our local NBC affiliate failed to reach an agreement on the continuation of services between the two, and we lost our ability to watch that station on our televisions at home, since we are Uverse subscribers.

We hoped the disagreement would be quickly resolved, but it now seems that it is going to be a permanent thing.  I hear of these types of disagreements more and more these days and not just with our cable provider.  So, after some discussion, we decided to just go to Best Buy and purchase HD antennas to get our local stations going forward.

If it had been any other local station, we probably wouldn’t have bothered to take this step right now.  But our local NBC affiliate is everyone’s “go-to” news station for local news and weather, and with severe weather season soon to be upon us, maybe even later this week, we didn’t want to be without that resource.

The big winner in all this is anyone who sells HD antennas.  $75 later (for three of these things), we are good to go once again.  I’m not all that displeased that we opted to go this route either because we now have a little backup in case we lose cable signal.  We’ve lost signal on a few occasions when the weather was pretty bad, although not nearly as often as when we had satellite cable service years ago.

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Our new HD antennas

“This is sooo good!”

One of my favorite foods right now is Firecracker Shrimp, and I recently made tacos with them, similar to a dish served by our favorite Mexican food restaurant.  I’m pleased to share that I got really close to what the restaurant serves, and the words above were pretty much what we thought of this tasty dish.  I’ve already made it a second time because it’s a quick, easy and tasty dish that works well on my low carb plan, since I bought Mission tortillas that are only 4 net carbs each.

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My take on Firecracker Shrimp Tacos with fresh mango pico de gallo purchased at a local grocery store, cole slaw mix, cherry tomatoes and a low carb tortilla was so good!

“I’m ready to go again!”

When driving down a nearby neighborhood street a few days ago, we saw an RV in a driveway with people loading supplies in it, probably for a spring break week vacation.  It made me realize just how ready I am to go camping in our RV once again, although it looks like we won’t be going anywhere until sometime in April now.  Hubby is slammed at work and probably needs to just stay put until things slow down a bit.  We agreed that we are both ready to go again, too.

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Sunrise at Fort Richardson during our February camping trip

Well, that’s about it for this episode of TTO!  Who knows what the next week will bring.

 

The Best Low-carb Pizza Crust

After much searching, here is a great, low-carb pizza crust recipe!

In a previous post on Tuesday, I shared a photo of our very first “keeper” recipe for a low-carb pizza crust.  This crust is made from riced cauliflower and grated cheese with a variety of spices that makes the flavor of the crust complimentary to the other ingredients added on top.

Prior to trying this recipe, I made a couple of recipes that used almond flour as the primary ingredient in the crust.  Neither of us cared for these crusts, as the almond flavor didn’t seem to work with the savory pizza toppings that we like so much, and we also did not care for the consistency.  We actually just scraped off the toppings and left the crust on our plates.

Over the past few weeks, I have been searching for a low-carb crust recipe that might actually work for us.  I knew that a cauliflower crust would most likely work with our personal tastes, as long as the consistency and flavor worked with our pizza toppings, too.  On Monday, after narrowing down the search to two basic recipes that were almost identical, I decided to give it a try.

I bought a large head of cauliflower with the intention of making two pizza crusts, rather than just one.  While I was giving this a try, it made sense to make one crust, then make a second one with some adjustments if I felt that the first one wasn’t quite up to our expectations.  If both turned out well, we would have a spare crust to freeze and use for another meal later on.  This was a good strategy, and thankfully, the first one came out very well.  I simply repeated the process for the second crust, and it turned out nicely, too.

One of the most important things to do in this recipe is to drain as much liquid from the cooked cauliflower as possible before adding the other ingredients.  This takes a few minutes, but it is an essential step.

I followed the directions and used a kitchen tea towel.  I measured out the cooked, riced cauliflower and used three cups in each crust, and I highly recommend measuring it out, rather than eyeballing it.  I didn’t pack it down, just spooned it into the measuring cup.  I also did not add the optional tablespoon of almond flour, since my goal was to keep the almond flavor out of the crust completely.

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The first crust s ready to go in the oven. I pressed it out to about 10″ in diameter, and that is as thin as I would recommend for one recipe. I actually dried out the cauliflower a little more for the second crust. Practice makes perfect! 😉

 

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The first crust s ready to go in the oven. I pressed it out to about 10″ in diameter, and that is as thin as I would recommend for one recipe. I actually dried out the cauliflower a little more for the second crust. Practice makes perfect! 😉

The crust turned out pretty much perfect, and even though I didn’t give it a try, I think this recipe might even make a nice faux flatbread to cut and eat with another entrée, especially one with Italian flavors.

We topped our lovely pizza with a quick sauce that I made by mixing a regular can of tomato sauce and a tiny can of tomato paste, since I never buy pre-made pizza or spaghetti sauce anymore.  I did not have sugar-free tomato sauce, so I just used the sauce a little sparingly.  Also, not listed in the original recipe, I sprinkled some Italian seasoning over the sauce before adding the other pizza toppings, then added a layer of grated mozzarella cheese.  We then added sliced pepperoni, a little crumbled sausage, black olives and a sliced fresh jalapeno, seeded.  Finally, we topped off our pizza with some fresh grated parmesan.  I love to have both mozzarella and parmesan cheeses on a pizza.

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Our tasty pizza is ready to go back in the oven for about five minutes at 450 degrees.

Since the crust was already baked, the pizza with toppings only needed to bake about five more minutes in the 450 degree oven.  I added the fresh basil leaves to the top after removing it from the oven.

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Lastly, we topped our delicious and healthy pizza with some fresh chopped basil.

It was pretty funny as we sat at our dinner table and tasted our new pizza at the same time.  I wanted to wait to share my own reaction and thoughts until I saw what Hubby thought of it.  Bless his heart, sometimes he will compliment my cooking even when he probably shouldn’t, so I wanted to try to get an honest reaction from him.  It didn’t take long, maybe two bites, before he shared that he really liked it!  I agreed, and we proceeded to eat the whole thing, along with our side salads.  If I had made the second pizza, we might have eaten it, too!  It was that good, and we have definitely missed eating good pizza.  I honestly believe that we would not have known this was a low-carb option if we judged it only by the taste, especially since we like the thinner crust anyway.

Next time, I may try to put the baked crust under the broiler for a minute or so, just to crisp it up a bit more, since that is how we tend to like our crusts, thin and just slightly crisp but not overcooked.  I may also try adding a little more grated parmesan cheese to the crust batter.  The other recipe that I found was pretty much identical to this one but had 1.5 cups of this cheese, not just 1/4 cup.  I don’t think it needs that much cheese, but a little more might just make it even tastier!  (Grated parmesan cheese baked in the oven makes tasty snack crackers that are perfect on a low-carb diet.  I buy them at our local deli.)

One more nice thing about this crust is its low cost.  I calculated the cost of each crust right at $1.  I’m all about saving a little money where I can, for sure.

Here is the link to the original site where this recipe was posted on The Lucky Penny Blog.

The BEST Cauliflower Pizza Crust

This recipe has also turned up on Pioneer Woman’s “Tasty Kitchen” site, with a reference back to the original post. This crust, or a variation of it, honestly seems to be one of the more widely used low-carb pizza crusts now, for good reason.  While it took me a little more time to make it on this first attempt, it will definitely go faster next time.

Going forward, I will make several crusts at once and freeze the other baked crusts for future use.  If I had to make a crust from scratch like this every time we want a pizza, I probably wouldn’t go to the effort, but making several at once makes perfect sense.  I can’t wait to actually have pizza on one of our future RV trips, too!  What a treat that will be for us.  I also plan to experiment with this recipe as a standalone flatbread, too.

Where there is a will, there is usually a way, and I’m glad that I kept searching for such a great pizza crust option that works for us.

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