9 Low carb breakfasts!

My real-life breakfasts. I often make double or triple portions to make my life easier through the week.

Sliced tomatillo, sautéedd spinach & kale w/a Parmesan chive omelet
Leftover braised beef (not perfectly low-carb, it happens sometimes), spinach and a fried egg
Sautéed cabbage & cauliflower with salsa, avocado and a fried egg
Leftover braised beef, scrambled eggs with salsa and avocado
Cheesy scrambled eggs, bacon and sautéed cauliflower
Scrambled eggs with salsa, cheddar, bacon and Romaine.
Sauteed zucchini with some mushroom and sausage frittata.
Eggs scrambled with a little leftover spaghetti sauce, Parmesan cheese and sauteed greens.
A breakfast hash! Zucchini, a little onion, sausage. kale, mushrooms and…nutmeg!

I made a giant batch of ^this^ and ate it all week. Some days I added an egg on top or some almonds on the side.


Braised beef with Tortelloni

I never have to go to Olive Garden again! This is the best thing on their menu and now I can make it at home without the alcohol. I combined two copycat recipes and used a mixture of good apple juice, apple cider vinegar and honey to replace the Marsala. The result was awesome!  

*Naptime tip: Braise the beef while you’re kid-free, re-warming it and cooking the pasta when you’re ready for dinner.



Using these two sites as guides, here’s what I did:

3 Tbsp. olive oil
1/4 C. flour
2 lbs boneless beef short rib
1 white onion, finely diced
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried oregano
8 oz baby bella mushrooms, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups Simply Apple juice
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
approx. 20 oz cheese tortelloni (or tortellini if the larger tortelloni cannot be found)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tomato, diced
8-10 fresh basil leaves, chopped
(adapted from Mommy Savers)
Dredge beef in flour and sear hot and fast in olive oil in a large skillet.  Remove when browned. Add a little more olive oil if necessary and sauté the onions and mushrooms over medium heat until softened. Add garlic, dried spices and salt and pepper then cook for 30 more seconds. Stir together the apple juice, apple cider vinegar and honey. Pour into the pan. Add the browned meat back in then cover and reduce heat to low. Braise for 2 1/2 to 3 hours until the sauce has thickened and the meat is tender.   Stir occasionally, adding more apple juice if necessary.
10 minutes before the beef is finished, boil the tortelloni in salted boiling water for 3-5 minutes. Toss tortelloni into the pot with the beef for 5 minutes. Make a slurry with the balsamic vinegar and corn starch and add to the sauce. Cook until thickened. Stir in the heavy cream and season with salt and pepper. Finish with diced tomatoes and chopped basil.

Spicy stewed beef w/cheesy grits

This is one of our favorite dinners and it freezes great! The Pioneer Woman makes it CRAZY spicy! I only use about 2/3 of the called-for chipotle peppers and serve this with plenty of sour cream. I tried cutting the spice level in half but the sauce gets runny and sad. The Pioneer Woman’s grits are great too but the full recipe feeds an army! Anyway, it’s a keeper recipe for sure!

*Naptime tip: Use this time to get the beef braising, and chop the veg and grate the cheese for the grits.

(Slightly adapted from http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/spicy-stewed-beef-with-creamy-cheddar-grits/)

20 Minutes

3 Hours
12 Servings


  • 2 Tablespoons Canola Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 3 pounds Stew Meat Or Diced Chuck Roast
  • 1 can (7 Ounces) Chipotle Peppers In Adobo Sauce, finely chopped
  • 4 cups Low-sodium Beef Broth, More If Needed
  • 5 cloves Minced Garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon Cumin
  • 2 teaspoons Chili Powder
  • 1 whole Onion, Diced
  • 1 whole Red Bell Pepper
  • 3 whole Chilies (any Variety, Hot Or Mild) (I’ve never used these)
  • 4 cups Stone Ground Grits
  • 6 cups Low Sodium Chicken (or Beef) Broth
  • 3 cups Water
  • 2 cups Half-and-half
  • 2 cups Grated Cheddar Cheese
  • Green onion or parsley for garnish


To make the meat, heat 1 tablespoon oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a large pot over high heat. Throw in stew meat and brown for 1 minute, then add chipotle peppers, beef broth, garlic, cumin, and chili powder. Stir, then bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, then cover and simmer for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, or until the meat is fall-apart tender and the liquid is thick. (Watch the meat occasionally and add more beef broth as needed.)

In the last hour of cooking time, make the grits: Heat remaining 1 tablespoon of both oil and butter. Add diced onion, bell pepper, and chilies and cook for five minutes or so. Pour in grits, then add chicken (or beef) broth and water. Stir, then bring to a boil . Reduce the heat to low, then cover and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. After 30 minutes, add half-and-half. Cook for another 20 to 30 minutes, or until grits are tender. Remove from heat and stir in grated cheese.

Serve pile of grits with stewed meat (liquid and all) over the top. Sprinkle on sliced green onion for color.

Pink lemonade cupcakes

I got a lot of compliments on these fun, summery cupcakes when I brought them to a multi-ward luau. It’s lemon cupcake, with a tangy lemon curd filling, strawberry buttercream and fruit roll up decoration! I blitzed some freeze dried strawberries in my spice grinder to give the frosting a real fruit flavor without any added moisture.

Thanks to Risa at Baked Perfection for this one! Here’s her recipe:  http://www.bakedperfection.com/2012/03/lemon-cupcakes-with-strawberry-frosting.html

Here’s where I got the topper idea from:


Grapefruit curd pie

A nod to my sunny California days. I made a curd with grapefruits from my friend’s tree! I added corn starch to solidify the microwave curd, poured it into a homemade graham cracker crust and topped it with an almond-flavored whipped cream and candied grapefruit peel. It was light, fresh and fantastic!

Thanks to Trish from Mom on Time Out for the microwave curd I’ve used over and over again! It works with any citrus.

*Naptime tip: Candy the peels and whip the cream while they sleep, then put those little fingers to work on pressing the crust into the pan.

(Slightly adapted from http://www.momontimeout.com/2014/01/homemade-microwave-lemon-curd/)

Eating outside in the winter in the Bay Area was the best!

For the curd:

Makes about 1 pint OR 2 cups
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 1¼ cups granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 cup fresh citrus juice
  • zest from 3 lemons or limes or 1 grapefruit (candy the rest of the peels)
  • 2 tsp. corn starch mixed with 2 tsp. water
  1. Melt butter in microwave, set aside to cool slightly.
  2. Whisk together sugar and eggs in a medium-sized microwave-safe bowl.
  3. Whisk in grapefruit (or other citrus) juice and zest.
  4. Finally whisk in the butter.
  5. Microwave on 50% power for one minute. Stir.
  6. Continue microwaving at 100% power in one minute intervals, stirring after each interval until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. (The curd will thicken as it cools.)
  7. If using curd for pie, pour in corn starch slurry and whisk to combine.
  8. Strain curd through a fine-mesh sieve to remove zest.
  9. Pour curd into a jar for later use or directly into a pre-baked graham cracker crust.
  10. Refrigerate for 2 hours or until set.
  11. Serve cold with sweetened almond-flavored whipped cream and candied peel.