Saturday, December 7

Requested Keto recipes

Keto Salisbury steak with mushroom gravy
Low carb and gluten-free remake of the classic Salisbury Steak! Quick and easy, the patties are baked in the oven making this a great weeknight meal the whole family will love!
For the Salisbury Steaks:
2 lbs ground chuck (80/20)
3/4 cup almond flour
1 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 cup beef broth
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp dried onion flakes
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
For the gravy:
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp bacon grease (or butter)
2 cups sliced button mushrooms
1 cup sliced yellow onions
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup beef broth
1/4 cup sour cream
salt and pepper to taste

For the Salisbury Steaks:
Combine all of the steak ingredients in a medium-sized bowl and mix well.
Form into 6 oval patties, about 1 inch thick, and place them on a cookie sheet.
Bake in a preheated 375 degree (F) oven for 18 minutes.
For the gravy:
Melt the butter and bacon fat (if using) in a large skillet.
Add the mushrooms and cook on medium-high heat until golden brown (about 3 minutes per side.)
Add the onions and cook for 5 minutes over medium heat, until golden and soft.
Add the broth and the Worcestershire sauce, stir and cook for 3 minutes, stirring to scrape any bits off of the bottom of the pan.
Add the sour cream, stir well, and remove from the heat. (if you want a thicker gravy you can cook it on low for 5 extra minutes to condense it.)
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve over the warm Salisbury Steaks with extra parsley for garnish if desired.

Keto Tuna salad 
My go-to recipe every time I'm too lazy to think of anything or to cook anything special:
1/3 cucumber (diced)
5-6 cherry tomatoes (quartered)
1 green onion (chopped)
1/2 cup of cottage cheese (with chives)
1 tuna can (in olive oil)
1-2 tbsp French Dressing (homemade or store-bought check sugar content)
a handful of roasted peanuts
Mix everything in a salad bowl and enjoy! Best Tuna salad you'll ever have. I can eat this literally every day.

Fat Bombs
Advice on the Fat Bombs. I would limit myself to 1 or 2 a day. Make sure all of your ingredients are at or above room temperature before mixing. I put the dark chocolate in the blender and pulsed it to break it up into small bits. I have found over time and experience that I prefer Monk Fruit sweetener. And I bought some at Costco that I think is the best. If you have a friend with a Costco card ask them to pick you up some.
Made this today and I thought they were quite good. Butch ate one too.

Peanut Butter and Dark Chocolate Cheesecake Fat Bombs
Prep Time
5 mins
Total Time
5 mins

Peanut Butter and Dark Chocolate Cheesecake Fat Bombs are an easy keto-friendly, a no-bake treat made with just 4 ingredients. Super rich but not super sweet, they are the perfect afternoon pick-me-up or quick and satisfying dessert. Store in the fridge or freezer.
Course: Snack
Cuisine: Anytime
Keyword: chocolate cheesecake fat bomb
Servings:  Fat bombs (depending on the shape made)
Calories: 149 kcal
1 cup dark chocolate broken into squares (check ingredients: see notes)
1/2 cup cream cheese
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter (check ingredients to make sure no added sugar)
2 tbsp granulated Swerve (I prefer Monk Fruit sugar)
Combine all of the ingredients, except the chocolate, into a bowl and mix thoroughly
Place all of the chocolate squares into a food processor and pulse until they are in small pieces, but not too fine
Roll the peanut butter mixture into rough 1 inch balls (about 2cm) and then roll in the chocolate pieces
Place finished chocolate balls onto some wax paper (I use reusable beeswax wraps to prevent waste) on a plate, pan or flat surface to place in the freezer
Once frozen, store in the fridge or freezer in an airtight container. Should last in the fridge for 1-2 weeks or in the freezer for a couple of months
Recipe Notes
The peanut butter and cream cheese are easier to mix if they’re at room temperature.
Be sure the chocolate you use is keto-friendly as not all dark chocolate is. You’ll want at least 60% dark chocolate as this is better for you in general.
Go for an all-natural peanut butter or you can even use almond butter which is even better.

Other Fat Bomb recipes:

Fat bombs are easy to prepare, with no baking required. Simply beat together all of the ingredients, fold in any chunky additions, dollop out, and freeze!
To portion, you can simply drop a teaspoonsful of the prepared recipe mix onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. For a prettier presentation, you can fill mini muffin liners with a teaspoon of mixture, load a mini silicone muffin mold, or use an ice cube tray to portion your treats.
All of these fat bomb recipes can be kept in the freezer in an airtight container for up to a month. If you’re taking them as a snack on the go, be sure to keep them in an insulated bag or else they’ll melt!

1. Cheesecake Fat Bombs
All the rich flavor of New York cheesecake with none of the carbs—this recipe is a total win! For a decadent touch, add a strawberry, blueberry, or dab of sugar-free fruit preserves to the top before freezing. This will add a few extra carbs, but you may find that a single blueberry is an acceptable addition to your snack.
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 stick (½ cup) grass-fed unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 tablespoons powdered monk fruit sweetener
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  1. Using an electric mixer, beat together all ingredients until well combined.
  2. Portion and freeze for at least one hour before eating.

2. Cookie Dough Fat Bombs
Chocolate chip cookies are one of the ultimate comfort foods…and the best part is sneaking some of the cookie dough out of the bowl! Get that same experience guilt-free with these satisfying frozen keto cookie dough bites.
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 stick (½ cup) grass-fed unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons almond butter
  • 3 tablespoons powdered monk fruit sweetener
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup almond flour
  • ¼ cup golden flax meal
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup stevia-sweetened chocolate chips (try Lily’s) or 4 squares unsweetened baking chocolate, chopped fine
  • ¼ cup toasted, chopped walnuts (optional)
  1. Using an electric mixer, beat together all ingredients up to the salt until well combined.
  2. Fold in the chocolate chips and walnuts (if using).
  3. Portion and freeze for at least one hour before eating.

Bulletproof coffee, full of omega-3 fatty acids from grass-fed butter and coconut oil, is a keto breakfast of champions. But you can freeze this tasty treat, too—it makes a perfect mid-afternoon pick-me-up!

4. Almond Joy Fat Bombs
Just because you’ve gone low-carb doesn’t mean you have to give up your favorite candy bar flavors! Try these coconut-almond fat bombs to get the flavors you’ve been craving alongside a mega-dose of healthy fats.
  • ½ cup full-fat coconut cream (not creamed coconut)
  • 4 ounces (½ package) cream cheese, softened
  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil
  • ¼ cup almond flour
  • 3 tablespoons powdered monk fruit sweetener
  • ½ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • ¼ cup toasted almond slivers
  1. Using an electric mixer, beat together all ingredients up to the salt until well combined.
  2. Fold in the coconut flakes and almond slivers.
  3. Portion and freeze for at least one hour before eating.

5. Mint Chip Fat Bombs
Mint chocolate chip ice cream is a refreshing summer treat, and these individual bites really hit the spot. You won’t taste the avocado at all—but you’ll get all the benefits of its heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids and saturated fats.
  • 1 avocado, pitted
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • 1 ½ teaspoons peppermint extract
  • 3 tablespoons powdered monk fruit sweetener
  • ¼ cup stevia-sweetened chocolate chips (try Lily’s) or 4 squares unsweetened baking chocolate, chopped
  1. Use an electric mixer to beat together the avocado, coconut oil, monk fruit sweetener, and peppermint extract until well combined.
  2. Fold in the chocolate chips. Mix well.
  3. Portion and freeze for at least one hour before eating.

6. Chocolate Peanut Butter Fat Bombs
Chocolate and peanut butter are a classic pairing for a reason—sweet and salty just complement each other so well! Plus, when you make your own treats, you can choose your favorite texture—crunchy or smooth. Here's the recipe!

7. Lemon Chiffon Fat Bombs
Tart and tangy, lemon desserts feel light and refreshing rather than weighing you down. Perk up your taste buds with this citrusy frozen version that comes together in minutes!
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 4 tablespoons grass-fed unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 3 tablespoons powdered monk fruit sweetener
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (from about 1 lemon)
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest (from about 1 lemon)
  1. Using an electric mixer, beat together all ingredients until well combined.
  2. Portion and freeze for at least one hour before eating.

Bonus: Cinnamon Roll Fat Bombs
This week of fat bomb recipes is only the beginning! The sky’s the limit—you could try a different taste sensation every day for a month. This recipe is a sneak peek at the keto-friendly delights that await in our Sweet Treats cookbook, which contains a whopping 77 low-carb dessert recipes.
  • Fat bombs:
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 stick (½ cup) butter, softened
  • ½ cup smooth almond butter
  • ½ cup powdered monk fruit sweetener
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup walnuts, finely chopped
  • Frosting:
  • 1 tablespoon heavy whipping cream
  • 1 ½ ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 teaspoons powdered monk fruit sweetener
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Use an electric mixer to beat together all fat bomb ingredients until well combined.
  2. Refrigerate mixture for 30 minutes.
  3. Form the mixture into balls, place them on a tray lined with parchment paper, and freeze for 45 minutes.
  4. Make the frosting by combining all ingredients until smooth.
  5. Drizzle on top of the fat bombs and serve.

Snowmen from Vases

You know those vases we all receive regularly? Well, I ran across this idea on how to repurpose them and being a lover of snowmen I perked right up. It looks to me like a rather simple crafting project. Now, where might I find a vase...


Friday, December 6


Yesterday Butch and I went on a visit tour. We stopped to see Susan VanHouweling in Magnolia Park and I helped her set up her new tablet. Really we had to wait for it to update and get used to being an operating machine but we did what we could. Then went to lunch at Subway where I ordered my usual chopped salad. It was good but that girl sure made work out of putting it together! When we dropped off Susan we saw that 4 more mobiles were being delivered to the park. A lot of mobiles have gone out of there but even more, are coming in. The place feels cramped and maze-like to me.

Then we stopped at Donn and Peggy's and got caught up.
Donn Gordon's papaya trees.
Peggy tried to help Donn out by picking a ripe one and she put too much pressure on the branch. You can see where it broke off. Apparently, they do not have much flexibility.

Hollow inside- didn't know that!

 Also visited with our old neighbors Jay and Joyce Kelly who recently arrived at the park.

Then we moseyed over to Trails End and used up the remainder of our visiting time with Dave and Julie Krauth who we know from our years in Cumberland. They live in nearby Massena. It seems most of our visiting time was spent trying to remember the names of people we haven't seen for over 20 years! If it had been filmed it would have been a hoot!

The evening was polished off coming home to Trophy and playing cribbage with Liz and Dave. Just another beautiful day in sunny south Texas!

Thursday, December 5

RV newsletter

Butch and I were full-time RVers for 10 years. We still consider ourselves 1/2 timers. But in those 10 years, we relied on this website for all kinds of things. This is today's newsletter but if you sign up for their newsletter it will keep you up to date on all things RV.

Check out the funny pictures of kids.


It isThursday.  Do you know what that means? It is time to check-in on and read Colleens Column. I try to make it a routine.

A sure cure

~a column by Colleen O’Brien
I have a friend who, in a great depression, could not get off the couch. She could not read, take a shower, eat, even watch TV.
And then the cleaning lady poured out the potpourri that had been stewing lightly in a crockpot for a week. Two problems: 1) one of the ingredients in the potpourri was a small orange, called a “clementine”; and 2) she poured the little orange into the toilet with the potpourri – and flushed.
The little orange stuck in that “S” track of the plumbing that you can see from the side of the toilet.
Whatever my friend tried did not dislodge it. She contacted several neighbors, pals, and acquaintances for either equipment or help. No one could fix it. The most adept fellow said he’d have to take the toilet off the floor and go in from the bottom. But he couldn’t do it right then because he needed to find somebody heftier than him to pick up a toilet. He never called back.
She was getting depresseder.
She looked up Angie’s List for plumbers in her area. She typed out her story and before she pushed Send, three calls came through. Each plumber, apparently sitting on Angie’s site, couldn’t wait to get there. $179 in the door, $300 out. Maybe more.
The despond worsened. All she wanted to do was pull the covers over her head and sleep. For one thing, she wasn’t sure she could ask another neighbor for use of a bathroom.
But being propositioned by three plumbers to the tune of $300 raised the ire from somewhere deep inside her.
First sign of a lifting sadness.
My friend went to homeowner’s paradise, AKA Home Depot, and spent half an hour in the plumbing aisle, reading labels, looking at plungers and other esoteria of the toilet world. Finally, she snagged a clerk, who suggested an auger and Liquid Plumber. My friend spent about $20, went home, read the directions on the liquid poison and learned never to use it in a toilet. What it was doing in the toilet aisle was a question that would have to wait.
Things weren’t looking good, including life itself. There were no instructions at all on the augur, which she thought odd. It took her seven minutes to get it out of its plastic. Why is something you’re going to put in a toilet protected from germs? She was getting pissier.
She started auguring, winding the spiral of the augur through the potpourri to the hilt. She unwound it, brought it up, out of the depths.
Nothing happened for the first three tries. But…on the fourth try, she came up with orange pulp!
Her depression flew out the window. She was suddenly euphoric, making her wonder if she’d developed the manic side of depression, something she’d never experienced before. She plunged on. By the eighth auger, the auger came up clean, she flushed, the water flowed in and flowed out. She flushed 10 times, at first to make sure the orange had moved on, then because it was fun to see the toilet empty and fill, just like a toilet should.
This is kind of a long and mundane story to come to this point: work can get you out of a depression. Especially if it’s the kind of work that has a Hurrah! ending.
My friend is back from her long day’s night. She’s normal, going to work, doing her crosswords, inviting her friends for dinner. She jokes about having a sign made for the side of her car:
[Not for hire]”
She said she had learned this lesson before, that work is a savior, a denier of sadness. But once in the throes of depression, one forgets, she added.
One forgets especially that leisure time will not help you through a low period. Work will.
If, having fallen into the slough of despond, you don’t happen to have a toilet to fix, or something you’ve been putting off for a long time like alphabetizing your spice cupboard, try writing it all down and selling it to your local newspaper.

Wednesday, December 4

I have a new job

Deon and I have been asked to keep the trophy gardens blog active and up to date. Good thing we both enjoy it. It will be pleasant to be able to keep things upbeat for a change. We all need a break from the unpleasant experience of our last park. So add the new one to your list and become acquainted with a whole bunch of new winter Texans.

Day filled Up

Deon and Jim Spangler landed in Trophy Gardens this past weekend. Some of you will know who I am speaking of but some may not. Jim and Deon are former Magnolia Park residents too. Deon and I worked on the Magnolia directory together. It is nice and a little strange to see familiar faces on the streets of our tiny town. So I went to the park meeting with them to offer that communication method and to see them get introduced. I do not always go but wanted to sneak in a trivia promotion.

Trivia!!: We are growing. Last night we had 4 teams. I knew it would. We are still meeting in the big hall because no one is taking that space just yet. The acoustics are not good in the sunrise room so as long as we can use the big hall we will. Don't they say, "Possession is 9/10ths of the law"? We will go with that as long as we can get away with it.

Yesterday afternoon a neighbor stopped for a visit. Renie Stinson. I am sure as time goes on her name will pop up now and then as we hit it off at first meeting.

We are having a very foggy morning but the weatherman promised a week of near-perfect weather coming up. I love it when the weather is a non-issue. We never seem to get much of that in Iowa but in years past we have had a lot of it here.

Tuesday, December 3

Today’s thoughts

"This should be every days thought."-Barb

“Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit. Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset.” – Saint Francis de Sales

Sunday, December 1

Keto On!

Chicken Spinach and Mushroom low carb oven dish

6 thin-sliced chicken breasts
1 container green onion cream cheese
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 Large package sliced mushrooms
1 small bag fresh baby spinach
1 dash Weber Herb and Garlic Seasoning
1 dash pepper
8 oz shredded mozzarella cheese
In a 9x13 pan, lay out the chicken in a single layer, top with spinach and mushrooms. Then sprinkle the seasonings over the top.

Soften cream cheese and whisk in olive oil and chicken broth. Pour over mixture. Lay piece of foil over the top but do not seal.

Bake at 375°F for 20 minutes remove foil and bake uncovered for another 20-25 minutes, then sprinkle Motz Cheese on top and Bake uncovered for another 10 minutes or until starting to brown. Let cool for 10 minutes and serve.

Not much

We haven't eaten out much in the last few months and I was hungry for an IHop Spinach, Mushroom Omelet so we indulged on Friday night. We had a nice visit with Susan VanHouweling in Magnolia Park afterward.

Butch isn't overly fond of IHop so last night we went to our most favorite place to eat, the ElDorado in Alamo. They let us down a year ago and I do not know what they changed back again but last night they were EXCELLENT. We asked Candy and Rick to go with us and a good time was had by all.

I ran across this picture of me a couple of years ago.

And this one the other day in Mexico. I can see the difference.
But more importantly, I can FEEL the difference. I honestly do not know what the scale currently says and since it has sabotaged me a time or two in the past I do not care what it says. Maybe after Christmas I will take a peek.