Feb 19, 2017

Cloudy with the Chance of a Hug

I captured this threatening skyline yesterday afternoon. I did not realize that I was taking a photo of the bank that my son was simultaneously visiting. So, I got a hug as a bonus!


Jan 22, 2017

Three Little Nibbles

With Christmas Break and 9 snow days behind me, I am celebrating an icy, but happy return to my normal routine. Gift cards have afforded Barry and I some memorable dates. 

We stopped in at Outback Steakhouse this afternoon. We split their promotional 35 oz. Tomahawk Ribeye, a wood-fire grilled steak topped with roasted garlic butter. It was succulent, savory, and satisfying! Neither of us were hungry for dinner.

We chose the cheesecake as our "special" extra. I had 3 nibbles due to the sugar content and Barry finished it off. 

It is amazing how sugar doesn't control me anymore.


Jan 4, 2017

Low-Carb Peanut Butter Cookies

In my pre-low-carb days, I could easily eat an entire bowl of peanut butter cookie dough. It usually happened over the course of a day. (I know I am not alone.) I loved dough and sometimes baking just seemed unnecessary

With sugar behind me, finding low-carb cookie recipes has been a challenge. For one, I do not crave sweets like I used to. Further, substitute-sugars will never taste like white table sugar. This is why this recipe surprised me. The cookies look and taste delicious; and it only takes a couple to curb an urge.

NOTE: I prefer them warm, so I heat up cool cookies for 15 seconds in the microwave.

Adapted from a recipe by Laura Hickman 

24 cookies
Total time: 25 minutes

  • ½ cup coconut flour
  • 1 cup powdered Swerve
  • 1 cup Smucker's Natural Creamy or Crunchy Peanut Butter (just peanuts, minimal salt, and no sugar)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pure bourbon vanilla extract (I use Trader Joe's brand)
  • Chocolate chips sweetened with stevia

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Prepare baking sheet with parchment or cooking spray. (I use Pampered Chef Stoneware.)
  3. Mix all ingredients in mixer (or with a hand mixer) until well combined and dough has formed.
  4. Measure the dough with a tablespoon measure. (I use the Pampered Chef Small Scoop.)
  5. Form balls of dough and place them on on your baking sheet or stoneware.
  6. Flatten cookies by making a crisscross mark with a fork. (I use a small bamboo fork.)
  7. Optional: Add a chocolate chip.
  8. Bake for 14-17 minutes till edges are golden brown.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 cookie
Carbohydrates: 4.6

“That’s the way it crumbles, cookie-wise.”
~from the motion picture, The Apartment

Jan 3, 2017


“What I say is that, if a man really likes potatoes, he must be a pretty decent sort of fellow.”
~A.A. Milne

When cravings set in, I seem to go UBER-TUBER! While others are reaching for the seasonal baked goods, I am eyeballing the buttermilk mashed potatoes and potato gratin. I just happen to be enamored with one of the highest carbs on the planet.

Botanically, potatoes are classified as a vegetable, although they are nutritionally classified as a starchy food. Potatoes normally replace pasta, rice, and bread during a meal. With 2 ounces of pasta averaging 14 grams of carbohydrates; a donut, 22 grams; a cinnamon roll, 32 grams; and a whole potato, 64 grams, my food craving adds up!  

I spent this holiday season experimenting with just how much I could indulge with potatoes without gaining weight. So, I welcomed small helpings of starchy spuds. Although my cravings increased, my weight stayed stationary from Thanksgiving to Christmas. I still have weight to lose, so potatoes will need to take a backseat.

My mother, Kathy, makes Pork and Sauerkraut on Mashed Potatoes for New Year's Day. This tradition was especially exciting for my Pennsylvania Dutch husband, Barry. He grew up eating this meal. Now that we reside in Idaho, Barry prepares this himself.

While I admit to having mashed potatoes on January 1st, I swapped out the potatoes for spaghetti squash when it came time for leftovers. I even added parmesan cheese just for kicks. I did not miss those tubers!

Low Carb Breakfast Casserole

As I promised in my last post, here is the casserole recipe that we enjoyed Christmas Day. Andres Regalado has been more infrequent with his blogging in the last year or two, but his site is a trove of ideas.

From Andres Regalado @ TheLowCarb Diet

PREP TIME: 15 mins
COOK TIME: 30 mins
TOTAL TIME: 45 mins

Serves: 8

  • 11 eggs
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • ½ cup onions, chopped
  • 2 cups cauliflower florets, cut into thirds
  • 1 lb breakfast sausage
  • ¾ lb bacon
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  1. Preheat oven to 350 and grease 9x13 inch pan.
  2. Cook bacon and sausage until reaching desired doneness. Crumble both into about 1 inch pieces.
  3. Steam cauliflower for 3-8 minutes until tender.
  4. Sauté onions, peppers and any other vegetables in lightly oiled skillet.
  5. Stir together vegetables, bacon, sausage, and seasonings.
  6. Spread the mixture in the pan.
  7. Lightly beat eggs with hot sauce, pour them into pan and top with cheese.
  8. Bake casserole 30-35 minutes or until the cheese has melted.
Serving size: 1 serving (Total recipe makes 8 servings)
Protein 34.21g, Fat 38.84g, Cals 455, Carbs 5.66g, Fiber 0.80g -- NET CARBS: 4.86g


Dec 25, 2016

Merry Breakfast Cassrole!

It's Christmas morning and it is a crystal clear, wintry Idaho day! There is mirth and merriment here as we prepare for our adventure.

My life has always revolved around potatoes, which, as we all know, are not low-carb friendly. This breakfast casserole curbs my potato cravings by using cauliflower instead. I will share the recipe in my next post.


Dec 24, 2016

Christmas Road Trip!

In a previous post, I mentioned that this Christmas was going to be a bit different. We moved from Southern California almost 6 years ago. Although we adore Idaho, we miss the family we left behind. This included our daughter, Briana, her husband, Brian, and our 4 grandkids. Thankfully, a pastoral position opened up for Brian, so they relocated to Oregon in November. They are now just 5 hours and 18 minutes away! This can mean only one thing. ROAD TRIP!

Our winter journey is even more special because it is a gift from my Uncle Sam. Sadly, he passed away this year. He was a professional cameraman in the film industry and a fascinating individual. His unique legacy has richly blessed the family he dearly loved. We were fortunate to have spent many Christmases with Uncle Sam. He will be traveling with us in spirit. 

Thank-you for your support and friendship here at Everlovin' Low-Carb! Take a moment to leave a comment. I would love to know how you plan to spend your own Christmas.

Stay safe and warm,

Dec 14, 2016

What's on my mind?

Merry Christmas!


Christmas is 9 days away. Our celebration will be a bit different this year, so I am unsure of how much decorating I want to do. I needed inspiration. So, I whipped up a large mug of French press coffee, added some raw cream, a few drops of Cinnamon Vanilla stevia, and voila!


I just finished a slow cooker batch of beef bone broth. First, I poured the finished broth through a mesh strainer to remove bones and seasoning. The broth was then refrigerated in order to easily remove the top layer of fat. Soon the broth will be stored in mason jars and the fat will be used in my cooking. My weight loss is so much more successful when bone broth is included.


Whether you eat lunch at home or pack it for work, I have a resource that offers 50 ideas that will make your midday more exciting. Check it out at LOWCARB LAB.


YakTrax Walk

Slipping on ice is not my idea of recreation. While living in Idaho City, I used shoe-chains or ice traction devices. I never fell. When I moved to Idaho's Treasure Valley, most people were not wearing them, so neither did I. Silly me. I have fallen several times, often on icy playgrounds, and usually on a knee and hip. With too many of my friends having replacement surgeries, I wised up. 

This brand, YakTrax Walk, is far better than my previous shoe-chains. They are also easier to attach. Thankfully, I am back to staying on my feet. 

Standing and stable,

Dec 11, 2016

Garden of Eden | Relax & Restore

Relax & Restore
Whole Food
My low-carb lifestyle is currently in an adjustment phase. My weight loss has slowed down and...uh...elimination has been a bit irregular or constipated. Truthfully, I had been experimenting with just how many carbs I can introduce without interfering with ketosis. I soon recognized that some hidden sugar had snuck in and that even small amounts of potatoes were culprits. I gave myself permission to experiment again later. For now, it is back to bone broth, low carb veggies, moderate meat, and luscious fats.

It is well known that most Americans are not getting enough magnesium. Dr. David Perlmutter, M.D., a brain health specialist, nutritionist, neurologist, and expert in the human microbiome, recommends this powdered supplement for anti-stress, calm, and regularity. Here is what Amazon has to say...
About the Product
  • Supports relaxation and restores optimal magnesium levels while providing a better night's sleep
  • Fizzy drink before bedtime-great-tasting orange dreamsicle flavor (Note: Check out their other flavors)
  • Whole food magnesium made using usa-grown organic peas — well tolerated-no gastric side effects
  • Non-gmo project verified, vegan certified, nsf gluten free certified, dairy free, soy free, sugar free, kosher
  • 50 Servings per container
Product Description 
Dr. Formulated whole food magnesium Relax & Restore powder is a delicious, fizzy drink to help calm and relax you so you can get a better night’s sleep, while restoring your body’s optimal magnesium levels.
If you are like most Americans, your dietary consumption of magnesium is less than ideal. Recent statistics reveal that close to 75% of Americans are consuming less than the recommended daily allowance of magnesium. Magnesium ranks among the most important trace elements in the human diet as it plays a central role in facilitating the function of over 300 critical enzymes. These are enzymes that have important tasks in facilitating our day-to-day metabolic functions as well as manufacturing DNA and proteins and even managing how our cells are able to power themselves from the food sources we provide. 
So it’s no wonder that low magnesium levels are correlated with so many health-related issues. Signs of magnesium deficiency involve all the body’s major systems and include: Irritability, Anxiety, Lethargy, Fatigue, Memory problems, Anorexia, Loss of Appetite, Seizures, Muscle Weakness, Muscle cramps, Tremors, Vertigo, Difficulty swallowing, Irregular or rapid heartbeat. 
So if you’re feeling tired, having problems sleeping or dealing with stress in your life, it’s time to Relax & Restore!
I am getting better sleep and I am smiling.

You can obtain this product at your local health food store or you can order it from Amazon.

Movin' and groovin',

Better Stevia

Beter Stevia Liquid Sweetener
I divorced sugar when I went low-carb. An accidental bite of sugar is now overpowering. Yet, I still crave an occasional treat that is sweet-but-not-sugary. This sounds like a kooky contradiction, but it really isn't.

My memories are bookmarked with delectable desserts. No social gathering was complete without a table where desserts were as decorative as bouquets and crepe paper streamers. There was great anticipation and guests were humming approval. Sweets were a reward, a crescendo!

Well, I am not willing to give up the pomp and indulgence of a sweet treat. It just takes some tweaking. While it is true that no sugar substitute will ever taste exactly like white table sugar, there are some great alternatives.

Better Stevia has become one of my favorite real-food sweeteners. Their website states that "BetterStevia® is the zero-calorie, organic stevia sweetener that's simply better than sugar and other alternative sweeteners." I agree. Although many substitute sweeteners have a bitter or minty aftertaste, I think this natural sweetener mimics sugar the best.

I am currently experimenting with the 3 selections above. Other flavors include: Liquid Coconut, English Toffee, French Vanilla, Lemon Twist, Pomegranate Blueberry, Tropical Fruit, Organic, Original, and Gycerite (alcohol free). These can be purchased directly from Now Foods or on Amazon. Many health stores carry a limited line. A little sugar substitute goes a long way.

Counting my blessings,

The Christmas Tree Napkin Fold Backstory

Romantic Homes Magazine
Catherine left a comment on my eye-dyllic 2007 blog post, An Original Christmas Tree Napkin Fold. She said... 
"We were doing this fold in 1999 at an Army Mess in Australia. Don't think it's your invention."
Catherine's words were a little off-putting. She seemed more intent on challenging me than connecting. Nevertheless, I did state that this was an "original" fold. No one had ever disputed it.

I conducted creative retail workshops in Southern California. I concentrated on developing new ideas, refreshing old ones, and incorporating store merchandise. Tablescapes were a central theme and napkin folding was a favorite activity with my guests.

I "dreamed up" this whimsical Christmas tree — in the mid 1980s — while playing with a traditional fold. I had no help. Nor had I found it within the numerous napkin folding books on the market.

It was in 2007 that I first published An Original Christmas Tree Napkin Fold on eye-dyllic. I still had not observed the fold anywhere and that included periodicals, the web, and TV. That original post attracted a large amount of visitors. In fact, it was after 2007 that I began to see this napkin fold show up in surprising places.

Ecclesiastes 1:9 states, "...and there is nothing new under the sun." The likelihood of someone else dreaming up a similar idea is not improbable. Catherine said she was using the fold in 1999 and I believe her. Then again, I was teaching the fold in the 1980s. The internet can be a form of surrender once something is made public. Regardless of where it came from, this little Christmas tree remains one of my favorite Christmas accessories.

Romantic Homes magazine, recently showcased this charming example of the Christmas Tree Napkin Fold. (I have embellished it with stars, bows, even a keepsake pin.) A Norwex ad used this idea to make rustic, standing Christmas trees made out of folded green washcloths. I have also watched an impressive video tutorial. 

You can find it HERE on "Everlovin' Low-Carb".


Nov 27, 2016

"Low-Carb Holiday Cookies and Bars"

With low-carb-keto bloggers like Carolyn Ketchum, there is no room for boredom. She is the writer and recipe developer behind the success of All Day I Dream About Food. Gestational diabetes became a lifelong challenge, so she created a blog to playfully share her recipes. As her popularity and readership grew, her blogging became a full-time venture. In her own words she is "...a major carnivore and an unrepentant sweet tooth." Unwilling to forfeit her love for cooking and baking, she began to convert her favorite recipes to uncompromisingly flavorful low-carb versions. 

Featured here is Carolyn's Low-Carb Holiday Cookies eBook. I have already purchased and downloaded my own copy. One look at her German Chocolate Truffles and I was smitten! Her eBook can be purchased and downloaded online. It is only $4.99 through Paypal.

  • 21 of the best low carb holiday cookie and bar recipes from All Day I Dream About Food
  • 4 ALL NEW, never-before-seen delicious recipes to make your holidays special
  • 1 bonus recipe for sugar-free eggnog (because hey, it’s the holidays!)
  • Full color photography
  • Nutritional analysis of each recipe
  • Advice on stocking your low carb pantry
  • My best tips and tricks for successful low carb baking

Nov 26, 2016

Low-Carb Bacon Cheddar Dip

We had a bacon binge on Thanksgiving: bacon for breakfast, bacon dip, and bacon in a broccoli casserole (see previous post). There was ham on the menu as well. I guess we ate the whole pig!


  • 1 cup avocado mayonnaise
  • 1 cup organic sour cream
  • 4 slices of cooked bacon, cut into pieces with kitchen shears
  • 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 tbsp. garlic salt
  • Fresh or dried parsley for garnish
  1. Mix mayo, sour cream, bacon, cheese, and garlic salt together. 
  2. Garnish and chill for 1 hour. 
  3. Pair with low-carb crackers, celery, and pork rinds. Cucumber, jicama, and carrots substitute for chips and crackers when sliced diagonally at ⅛ of an inch.

Nov 25, 2016

Cheesy Bacon Broccoli Casserole (Low Carb)

I aim to keep Christmas jolly...without the folly. Let's face it, no one has stress on their holiday checklist. For me, simple starts in the kitchen.

This recipe is adapted from Linda's Low Carb Menus and Recipes. It got rave reviews at our Thanksgiving table. Broccoli has been a family favorite, so why not dress it up with cream cheese, sharp cheddar, and bacon? I doubled the recipe to match the appetites of my 3 guys. I also made the instructions more specific.

Adapted from Linda's Low Carb Menus & Recipes

  • 2 14-16 ounce packages of frozen broccoli florets 
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened 
  • 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded 
  • 8 green onions, chopped 
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste 
  • 6 pieces bacon, fried until crisp
  1. Steam the broccoli 6-8 minutes or until bright green and tender. Allow the steam to escape for 2 minutes. (I steamed the broccoli in 2 batches.)
  2. Place broccoli in a greased 4-quart casserole. (I used my Pampered Chef Rockcrok Everyday Pan.)
  3. Cut the bacon into small pieces using kitchen shears.
  4. Mix in the cream cheese, cheddar, green onion, salt, pepper, and bacon. 
  5. Bake at 350˚ for 30 minutes or until bubbly.
Makes 8-12 servings

NOTE: You can cut this recipe in half for fewer diners, although it is fabulous for leftovers. It can also be frozen.


Nov 22, 2016

The Christmas Tree Napkin Fold

I first introduced this fold in December of 2007 at eye-dyllic, my first blog. I created the fold in the 1980's and was featuring it in my workshops. I dreamed it up without help. I always thought I was its originator since I have not seen it in any of my numerous napkin folding books. Nor had I observed it, prior to 2007, in periodicals, the web or TV. 

Here it is again . . . just in time for Christmas 2016.

One of the benefits of conducting workshops in retail settings is having access to so many lovely linens, as well as a plethora of tableware and decorative accents! What bliss to be able to play and create tablescapes—all in the name of demonstration!

During workshops, my goal is to present fresh material that isn't on a trend of replication in home-themed magazines. Sometimes, having exhausted ideas from my numerous volumes of napkin folding books, I resort to creating folds of my own. The Christmas Tree Napkin Fold (above) is an example of one such inspiration, and I have never seen this idea published. For your holiday pleasure, I would like to share this napkin fold with YOU!

This is one fold where the napkin should not have a wrong side. I used a reversible print to make the fold interesting. Cotton linens—with or without fringe—work extremely well. If you opt for synthetic fibers, try to include cotton in the mix. Also, realize that this is one napkin fold where neatness counts.

Start with a napkin of even measurements and fold it 2 times to form a smaller square. Point the 4-layered corner toward you.

Begin to peel up each of the 4 layers to align with the top point of the napkin. Space each layer about 1 inch apart. Once done, the napkin should look like the photo below.

With hands placed on the top and bottom of the napkin, flip it over from right to left. The fold should resemble the photo below.

Bring the left and right sides together, neatly aligning the top of each panel to form a triangular space at the top of the napkin. The bottom point should be about 1 inch wide. Now flip the napkin over from bottom to top.

Once the napkin has been flipped over, take the top flap and gently peel it up until it forms a neat triangle. It will look sloppy if you allow the triangle to droop. Be careful not to pull the top up too far as this could result in having to start over.

Repeat this step with each layer, tucking the tip beneath each previous fold. Make sure the bottom portion is perfectly aligned with the backside.

At this point the napkin can be arranged flat on top of a plate, or it can be placed upright by pulling the back panels out slightly or leaning it against something. This fold looks beautiful as is, or a metallic star sticker can be placed at the top of the tree. Place-cards shaped like little gifts can be assembled under the tree or tucked under the boughs. I have even placed a pretty pin—as a gift—at the top of the tree, always making sure that it has a backing.

NOTE: Feel free to use this fold for your own Christmas celebration! Please do not use these photos or publish this napkin fold without my express permission. Thank-you.

If you are interested, there are almost 9 years of eye-dyllic posts depicting treasures, pleasures, and faith-filled living.


Nov 20, 2016

Cauliflower Tabbouleh with Pomegranate Seeds

When it comes to Middle Eastern food, Tabbouleh Salad has been a longtime favorite of mine. A dear Lebanese woman, Mama Harfouche, used to make the perfect version. She had finely chopped parsley and mint down to a science; and the lemon was never overpowering.

Traditional tabbouleh is made with soaked bulgar (cracked wheat), flat leaf parsley, mint, cucumber, tomatoes, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Since going low-carb, I have replaced the bulgar with riced cauliflower. It gives the salad more texture.

My usual holiday contribution used to be Broccoli Raisin Salad. I gave this up due to the large amount of added sugar. This Cauliflower Tabbouleh with Pomegranate Seeds is a lovely alternative. It strikes a nice balance between the citrus and pomegranate. Also, the white cauliflower, red pomegranate seeds, and green herbs look quite Christmasy.


Yield: 8 or more servings

  • 1 16-ounce bag of Trader Joe's Riced Cauliflower (in the produce section)
  • 1 large, fresh bunch of organic parsley
  • 1 packaged bunch of fresh mint
  • Seeds from one pomegranate (Trader Joe's carries pomegranate seeds in their produce section)
  • ½ purple onion, chopped
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 teaspoon Mediterranean sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Optional — a couple pinches of allspice and cinnamon
  1. Pulse the parsley and mint in the food processor until finely chopped.
  2. Chop the purple onion (I used my Pampered Chef Food Chopper)
  3. Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl. 
  4. Use lettuce leaves as bowls for the salad.
NOTE: Feel free to add traditional ingredients. This recipe can be cut in half for a smaller gathering.


Nov 13, 2016

Root Vegetable Fauxtato Salad (Low Carb)

Before low-carbing, I was a fiend for potatoes. Okay, I still am. My potato cravings are stronger than those for chocolate! Since potatoes (tubers) are high in carbs, my consumption is cautious, but I still include them from time to time.

The ingredients in potato salad are low-carb friendly as long the potatoes and sugar are omitted. So, I like to experiment with alternatives. I recently made a tasty fauxtato salad using cauliflower. This Parsnip Fauxtato Salad was on the menu tonight and my guys raved about it. The recipe called for turnips, but our Neighborhood Walmart did not have them in stock. I was too lazy to go elsewhere, so I selected parsnips instead. Parsnips are higher in carbs, so I ate a smaller portion. I will have leftovers for lunch tomorrow.

Parsnips | Think Vegetables - UK

I borrowed this recipe, Turnip Fauxtato Salad, from My Life Cookbook. I just exchanged the root vegetable. Turnips are lower in carbs, so I am anxious to use them next time.


Nov 12, 2016

We have a winner...

Thanks to all of you who entered my AUTUMN TEA GIVEAWAY! I loved the fall images that you shared through poetry and quotes. You had me feeling quite fall-ish! 


Congratulations, Renna! You can click HERE to make your selection. Also, tell me if you prefer loose tea or silken sachets. Then message your address to me on Facebook and I will have this sent to you!

Za-atar: A Middle Eastern Condiment

Za'atar | The Spice House

I am returning to normalcy after this crazy election season. It is a delightful day in Idaho. The clouds appear to be raked like leaves. The sky, a soft hue-of-blue, surrounds a sun that is so brilliant I can hardly look in its direction.

I have chicken breasts (skin-on) in the slow cooker. I applied a rub of za'atar to the chicken. Za'tar is also amazing on roasted chicken (skin-on) with a drizzle of olive oil.

Za-atar is a Middle Eastern condiment that, like curry, will be different depending on what region it comes from. It is known for enhancing mental acuity and it adds zest to meals. I am more familiar with the Lebanese version since I first tasted it on something called mana-ish, a global flatbread. The bread was covered with olive oil and za-atar, then baked in a special oven.

Since I am not consuming bread these days (unless it is low-carb), I like to use za'atar to season meat, fish, and vegetables. I mix it with sour cream to make dips. It is awesome on kebabs, meatballs, popcorn, salads, and sprinkled on hummus or yogurt.

I have included a simple recipe for homemade za-atar below. It comes from Alton Brown via the Food Network.


  • 3 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon powdered sumac
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  1. Watch how to make this recipe HERE.
  2. Put all of the ingredients into a spice grinder and pulse until a powder is formed, about 30 to 45 seconds. 
  3. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 months.
NOTE: Za-atar can also be purchased from Middle Eastern stores and online. The photo features za'atar from the The Spice House.

Recipe courtesy of Alton Brown | Food Network - 2010