Seasonal, Uncategorized, winter blahs

Keeping the Wintertime Blahs Away and a Springtime Lemon Scone Recipe (GF and Low-Carb) yes

 

Post by Nancy Gordon

Forgive me for complaining, but winter seems to last forever,and I get tired of the overcast skies. I know I shouldn’t complain, especially since I am a Southerner. Ive heard how harsh the winters are in the North.  I am glad to live where I do for that reason.   But are you feeling this way too?    I am over always being cold and going out into the frosty air.  My once cute sweaters and boots that looked so inviting way back in the Fall, now look tired, boring and dull. But instead of wallowing in self-pity I have decided to do a few simple things to change up my routine and scenery.  I’ve written down a few of the things I do to keep my wintertime blahs away. 

Below I share them with you.  

*For starters, fresh flowers are a must. Nothing says springtime like flowers.  They brighten any room.   Aldis had half a dozen lovely roses for just 3.99.  I bought a some pretty white and pink ones.  I stuck them in a vintage blue mason jar, set it on my kitchen table, and every time I look at them, I smile. 

*I also keep Christmas lights up until day light savings time.  Yes, I have a nice long strand of white lights strung in my bay window.   We eat breakfast and dinner when its dark outside, this bring cheeriness to our breakfast nook.

*I’ve discovered it’s a good time of year to look for house plants at your local hardware store.  I found tropical plants on sale there for only five dollars!  I bought a cool spider plant and a tall cane tree.  The greenery is just what these empty spaces in my home needed.  Tropical plants are easy to care for as they don’t require a lot of watering.  They like dry soil and bright light, so I have mine near windows and they seem to be doing just fine. And they remind me of warm, island days!

*I wear pink.  It reminds me of spring flowers such as pink hyacinths and peonies.  Get out of your everyday black.  Maybe pink isn’t your color of choice, but it’s one of my favorite colors.   I wear lots of it, especially this time of year.  And I’m so glad it’s a popular color this year.  I bought a really warm, pink chenille sweater back in December and have worn it so many times.  It never fails to make me happy.  What’s your favorite pastel color?  Baby blue or pale green, there are so many choices out there. Buy one and wear it on those dreary cold days and it will be sure to make you happy.

*This is the time of year for short day trips, such as a visit to the nearby art museum.  There you can bask in the Impressionist paintings of lakes, blue skies and green trees.  The still life paintings of flowers and the landscapes of oceans and fields remind us that warmer days are coming. We are fortunate to have the coast nearby.   My husband and I were recently invited to go to the beach and to stay with friends.  While the weather was still cold and overcast, it was the beach.  There’s something about walking on sand and listening to the ocean that soothes the soul.

*Bake something citrusy and light.  I love lemon scones with crème fraiche or lemony chicken breasts.  If you don’t enjoy baking buy a nice loaf of homemade bread and a jar of marmalade.  Feast on that goodness and think warm thoughts.

*My daughter and I are going to sign up for a yoga class.  Classes are a great way to keep fit in the wintertime, if you don’t like to brave the cold outdoors.  Or maybe you do, then bundle up and try a new hiking trail.  Once I get moving, even I start to warm up and it’s fun to look for signs of spring.  Maybe some bushes are beginning to bud in late February, at least they are in the mid-south.

There are so many other things you can do to brighten your day and your outlook in the midst of these short days and bare trees.  I know for some people seasonal blues is a more serious issue and I’m not trying to trivialize it.  Hopefully theses ideas will foster even more ways to bring springtime inside your home.

And the good news is that Spring always comes.  Solomon, a very wise King in the Bible, once said, “See, the winter is past;the rains are over and gone.  Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come; the cooing of doves is heard in our land. The fig tree forms its early fruit; the blossoming vines spread their fragrance” (Song of Songs 2:11-13a).

I look forward to those days of new life when the earth awakens from its long nap.  The daffodils and forsythia will bloom and brighten my yard with their sunny yellow blossoms.  And I can pack away the sweaters and boots until the chill in the air forces me to bring them out again.  But today I will patiently wait for springtime.

Here is my lemon scone recipe.

 

 

 

Low Carb Gluten Free Lemon Scones

1 cup blanched almond flour

¼ cup coconut flour

3 TB granular sweetener, I use Pyure

½ tsp baking powder

¼ tsp Himalayan salt

2 TB melted coconut oil

1 egg

1/4 cup almond milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp fresh lemon zest

2 TB fresh lemon juice

Glaze

1 TB melted refined coconut oil

1 TB granulated sweetener, I used Pyure

2 TB fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350 and line baking sheet with parchment paper.

In one bowl, combine dry ingredients together, almond flour through salt.

In a small bowl, whisk together coconut oil, almond milk, vanilla, egg, lemon zest and lemon juice.

Fold the wet mixture into the dry until a dough forms.  

Place dough on lined baking sheet and form a circle about 1 inch thick.  Cut into 8 wedges and move apart about 1 inch.  Bake for about 18- 20 minutes until golden brown.  Scones firm up as they cool.  Do not overcook.

To prepare the glaze combine all ingredients in a blender and puree.  Let scones cool before drizzling the glaze on them.

 

 

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Iris and Hart Yummiest Creamy Chicken Soup
In the Kitchen: Recipes and More, Seasonal, The Creative Home

Yummiest Creamy Chicken Soup

Soup is a staple in our house as the cool weather is upon us.  For some reason I like to eat warm, comforting food in the fall and winter.  Even smoothies don’t appeal to me as much.  Maybe its because I am cold natured and I like my insides to be warm too!  So here’s another soup recipe for you.

This is an old favorite soup recipe that my sister, Kellie, made for us years ago.  It’s so simple, yet so filling and nourishing. And a bit rich because of the cream cheese, which makes it the perfect soup for company or for pot lucks or to take to a family in need of a good homecooked meal.

Here’s the way I make it.  I cook a whole chicken either by boiling it in a pot full of water or roasting it in the oven.  I know Cate does the latter.  Either way you cook the chicken the soup tastes the same.

While the chicken is cooking, begin to cook the rice.  Then gather soy sauce, 2 or 3 garlic cloves, Jane’s Crazy Salt (found in the spice section at the grocery store), and 8 ounces of cream cheese.  These ingredients you will blend together before adding to the soup.  I use a stick blender and a deep bowl to accomplish this task.

Once you have a pile of cut up chicken, cooked rice and blended cream cheese mixture add all to 3 quarts of chicken broth. Let simmer, do not let it boil.  Sprinkle with chopped chives and enjoy a bowl of upscaled chicken and rice soup!

Jane’s Krazy Salt on Amazon!

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THM Version (E)

My Version: I like to separate my carbs and fats when I eat (most of the time), which keeps it in the E mode if you are a THM!

So I made this same soup for myself but I did not add cream cheese to the blending part. I added a bag of cooked cauliflower rice instead and then I thickened the soup with glucomannan . So follow the same steps as above but substitute cauliflower rice for the cream cheese, adding the seasonings and blending it together. Then add ½ ts of gluccie to the soup in pot. It was just as delicious, I thought, not quite as rich, but very flavorful. Cate said she preferred my way best! Try it and let me know what you think.

P.S. Glucomanan is a water -soluble dietary fiber that is derived from the Konjac root.  It has so many health benefits.  Here are a couple we like.    The high fiber content helps one feel full longer, thus can help with weight loss.  Since it is a water-soluble fiber it also has a beneficial effect on cholesterol.  Gluccie, as THMers call it,   helps relieve constipation and improves the health of your skin. The Japanese and Chinese have used konjac traditionally in their cuisine (ex. jellies) and medicine.  We love it for all  of these reasons. Give it a try! Click image below to be taken to amazon.

Iris and Hart Recipe Iris and Hart Addicting No Tomato ChiliIris and Hart Recipe Iris and Hart Addicting No Tomato Chili
In the Kitchen: Recipes and More, Seasonal

Addicting No Tomato Chili

My family enjoys a good hearty bowl of soup. As the temperatures drop outside, my thoughts turn to filling my soup pot once again. It’s so nice to make a big pot early in the week for leftovers . I love it when lunch is already figured out.

Sunday we had to go somewhere that would bring us home around supper time. I got busy pulling veggies out of the refrigerator, seeing what i had. I really wanted to make chili but i don’t eat the nightshade vegetables due to inflammation. I had zucchini and yellow squash that needed using, plus a big butternut squash that had been sitting on the counter for awhile. In the pantry were black beans and i had a pound of frozen organic ground beef in the freezer.

I combined all these ingredients together and let me tell you, this stew was delicious!! It had the taste of chili and no one missed the tomatoes. It was rich and thick. I put it in my crock pot and out the door we went.

Here’s the recipe:

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