Much like Peeps marshmallow candy, deviled eggs are polarizing. You either love them or you hate them. We’re in camp Love Them. Deviled eggs that is, not Peeps.
Because they’re are a pain in the butt to make, I usually make a large batch of deviled eggs, 8-10 whole eggs at a time. We eat them until we don’t want to see another one for six months or so.
To make hard boiled eggs: Bring a large pot of water (mine holds 7 quarts) to a rolling boil. Gently, gently lower 8-10 eggs into the water. Don’t crowd them. Leaving the pot uncovered, lower the heat to a medium simmer. Simmer for 14 minutes and transfer the eggs to an ice bath for five minutes. Peel the eggs.
Once the eggs have cooled enough to handle, slice them in half lengthwise and release the cooked yolk into a mixing bowl.
Classic Deviled Eggs For 8-10 eggs, mix 1/2 cup (or so) of mayonnaise, a little finely ground salt and white pepper into the cooked egg yolks. Add a teaspoon of honey, or other sweetener to taste. Mix until the filling has a smooth texture. Pipe or spoon into egg halves and lightly sprinkle with paprika and chopped flat leaf Italian parsley (optional).
Classic Deviled Eggs with Bacon Because bacon makes everything better! Mix bacon crumbles into the classic filling, spoon into whites and sprinkle more crumbled bacon on top.
Guacamole Bacon Deviled Eggs: Not the prettiest deviled egg, but dang, they’re tasty! Serve these babies immediately so that the avocado doesn’t oxidize. My version is loosely based on this one. Instead of making my own guacamole, I take some help from the store and use pre-made. I like the classic guacamole from Aldi.
For 8-10 eggs, I use 6 – 8 oz. of guac. I substitute Cholula hot sauce for the jalapenos, because I never remember to take my contacts out before chopping jalapenos and things get ugly from there. Mix bacon into the filling, sprinkle more on top.
Bring literal deviled eggs to your next Halloween party with little slivers of red bell pepper for horns. So cute! The horns would work well with any of these variations, with or without other garnishes.
Happy First Day of Summer! This post is brought to you by ALL the gluten and sugar. Yes, this is quite a departure from my usual low carb posts, but I have co-workers and family who are willing to taste-test! These cupcakes and cookies are perfect for those summer birthday parties, cookouts and pool parties.
These are the pastry decorators and tips that I used. I prefer the plastic decorator over the vintage, aluminum one, because the plastic handle plunges more smoothly.
Clam Shell Cookies Did you know that clams can make pearls? They are not as prolific as oysters, but they make them as well!
Materials: Shell shaped cookies (two for each completed clam shell), white frosting, candy pearls, blue food color, mini chocolate chips, pastry decorating kit with star tip and medium round tip
Divide the cookies into tops and bottoms. The tops will face up, and the bottoms will face down. Using white frosting and the round tip, pipe dots for eyes onto the top cookies. Press a mini chocolate chip into the frosting circles. Tint the remaining frosting pale blue. With a star tip, pipe the frosting onto the bottom cookie in waves. Pipe a second row of waves on top and a thin row of frosting along the back of the cookie.
Top with the upper cookie, positioning it so that the clam shell appears to be hinged in the back. Place the pearl candy in the frosting on the front of the cookie.
Sea Turtles Materials: Cupcakes in tan papers or sleeves (unbleached parchment papers would be great), white frosting, peach ring candies, assorted gumdrops, candy fruit slices, mini chocolate chips or gummy blackberries, pastry decorating kit with star tip and small round tip
I followed the instructions linked here, except that I do not have a fondant cutter. Any cookie cutter with a small, rounded shape will do. Santa’s sack worked just fine. For eyes, I piped the tiniest dot of white frosting onto each side of the head. Then I pressed on a drupelet (learned a new word!) from a gummy blackberry. https://family.disney.com/recipe/squirt-happy-turtlecakes/
Pirate Ships Materials: Cupcakes in pirate themed papers, 6″ wooden skewers, decorative paper of your choosing, washi tape, scissors, small hole punch, (I found that a regular size hole punch was too large. If you don’t have a small hole punch, you could carefully cut slits in the sail using an x-acto knife.) pastry decorating kit with star tip
Cut scrapbook paper to 2.5″H x 2.25″W. Trim into sail shapes as pictured. Punch small holes into the sails, top and bottom. Fold washi tape over the skewer at the blunt end and press to seal. Trim the tape into triangle flags. Slide the sail onto the skewer below the flag.
Using the star tip, frost the cupcakes. Skewer the ships with the sails toward the front of the cupcake.
Sand Dollars Materials: Round cookies, white frosting, slivered almonds, pastry decorating kit with medium round tip, milk or cream for thinning frosting
Here’s a quick and inexpensive way to add some interest to gift packages. Tie varied knots using lightweight rope instead of ribbon. In addition to being unusual, these embellishments are practical because they will not flatten during transport.
You will need: Nautical theme gift wrap (Maritime designs, maps, paper in beachy, bright colors would work as well) Gift Wrapping Tape Scissors Nylon clothesline or other rope – $2 Spring Link – optional – I call them caribiners – $2 Lighter – optional Large letter stickers and tags – optional
Unless you’re a knot-tying expert, (I’m knot! Get it? Heh.) watch the videos that I’ve linked below. You can play the video and pause when you needed, or click the right or left arrows to see one step at a time.
I struggled with this knot until I realized that the loop looked like a lowercase “g”. Do you see it?
After I tied the bowline knot on one end of the caribiner, I wrapped the rope snugly around the package a few times. Then I tied another bowline knot at the other end of the caribiner. Push the knot close to the caribiner before tightening, so that the rope stays fairly tight around the package.
Careful adults only step: I sealed the cut ends of the rope by melting them with a lighter. If you do this, please don’t set yourself (or anything else) on fire, and take care not to breathe fumes from melting plastic. Don’t attempt to seal the ends of cotton rope. We call those ‘candle wicks’.
One of my goals is to eat real foods as much as possible. I define real food as “made in nature, not in a factory”. If you define it differently, that’s great! Do what works best for your health, lifestyle and budget. We shoot for 90% natural foods and less than 10% factory foods. The products in this post are some of our favorites, and run the gamut from barely processed to very processed.
Almond Flour (Aldi) – Almond flour is our go-to for gluten-free and now keto baking. We use it for muffins, pancakes, biscuits and breads. It’s pricey compared to wheat flour, but very nutrient dense.
Elmhurst Milked Almonds – Simple ingredients; almond and water. This is a good all-purpose milk substitute. We found the flavor to be very mild.
Grass Fed Cheddar (Aldi) – I think that grass-fed cheddar is a hilarious word picture. I imagine little chunks of free-range cheddar just roaming the hills, filling their little bellies with all the grass they can stand! This cheddar is tasty and a great value.
Guacamole (Classic from Aldi) – Purists would turn their noses up at factory guac when it’s so easy to make. But this works in a pinch, and contains only ingredients you would use at home.
Hormel Natural Pepperoni – We love this stuff! No hormones, MSG, nitrates or nitrites added except those naturally occurring in the celery and cherry.
Lily’s Chocolate Chips – Mmmm, Lily’s. Not 100% clean, but pretty darn good. These are tiny, and pack a lot of chocolate flavor without the sugar buzz.
Portofino Yellowfin Tuna in Extra Virgin Olive Oil – We’re late converts to tuna packed in oil, but it’s great for the light, summer salads we’ve been fixing lately.
Sir Kensington’s Mayonnaise – We like the original, avocado oil and organic varieties. The original has a slight tang from the lemon juice, but it’s not overpowering. This is great in homemade dips and dressings. The avocado oil mayonnaise can be a little strong, so use it in dishes with bold flavors.
Tolerant Lentil Pasta – Two ingredient pasta is about as unprocessed as you can get for a factory noodle. When cooked to al dente, the pasta retain their shape and don’t get mushy.
Whole Earth Sweetener – We call this the “Green Stuff”. Low carb without the stevia aftertaste. Dissolves really well in cold drinks. One packet sweetens a 20-32 oz. beverage.
Zevia – We love Zevia because it scratches the soda itch without resorting to zero calorie drinks containing aspartame. Some flavors are caffeinated and some are decaf, but all of the flavors are free of food dyes.
I hope you’ll give some of these products a try. What are your favorite 10% products? Let me know in the comments or via email at: arthurized dot home at gmail dot com
I’m not in partnership with any brands referenced in this post. I simply enjoy their products, and I hope you will too.!
I’ve recently learned that so many of the blooms in my yard are edible: Dianthus, Impatiens, Scented Geraniums, Dandelions (of course!), Apple Blossoms, Lavender, Cherry Blossoms. The list goes on and on.
Edible blooms can be used to simply to brighten up a visually uninteresting meal, like these dianthus flowers in Paleo Egg Roll in a Bowl. It’s been said that we eat with our eyes first, which is a good thing. When taste tested, my husband and I decided the dianthus tastes vaguely like grass!
My lavender plant was battered by recent storms, so I purchased organic culinary lavender and dried hibiscus blooms from a natural foods store (Roanoke Co+op, if you’re local) and began experimenting with them.
“Experimenting” is probably a poor choice of words to describe what I’m doing. I feel very comfortable eating organically grown blooms from my own yard. I’m certain of what they are, and I know they have been grown in a manner that will not poison me.
If you’re concerned that lavender foods will remind you of soap, start by following recipes exactly as written. Most recipes require 1 tablespoon of lavender, or less. Once you’ve determined your own flavor preferences, you can adjust the recipe if needed.
Keto Lavender Scones with Lemon Glaze: These little goodies are so tasty, you’ll forget that they are low carb!
I modified this recipe as follows: Keto Lavender Scones 1 1/4 C Almond Flour 1/3 C Coconut Flour 8 packets Whole Earth sweetener 1/4 tsp Salt 1/2 tsp Baking Powder 1 Tbsp Dried Culinary Lavender 1/4 C Almond Milk 1/4 C Heavy Whipping Cream 2 Tbsp Butter, softened 1 tsp Vanilla 1 Egg In a mixing bowl, blend the dry ingredients together. Mix the wet ingredients in a separate bowl. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix well. On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a Silpat™, form the dough into an 8″ round. Slice into 8 wedges. Bake at 350º for 18 minutes.
You can stop right there and serve these with fresh butter, or for extra credit, make them even more gorgeous and delicious with this glaze!
Keto Lemon Glaze: 2 packets Whole Earth sweetener 4 Tbsp coconut oil, melted 4 Tbsp canned, unsweetened coconut milk cream (not the milk), at room temperature 2 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice Optional Garnish – lemon zest and culinary lavender Whisk sweetener, oil, coconut cream and lemon juice together until smooth and glaze the scones. While the glaze is still wet, garnish with a light sprinkle of lemon zest and lavender, if desired. Refrigerate to harden the glaze. The scones will keep in the refrigerator for a few days, or in the freezer for a month, if they last that long!
What do you think? Do you cook with flowers? Is this something you would try?
Now that school has let out for the summer, it’s time to hit the road for some fun in the sun! Once a year, my family gets together for beach week. Maybe we’re strange, because beach week is spent on the beach; we rarely leave the island. We read, go shelling, run and walk, play in the tide pools, build sand castles, people-watch and doze under the umbrella. The men, nieces and nephews boogie-board for hours on end. We try to solve the Mazematician’s puzzles.
In the evening, we play all sorts of games. Some favorites are Codenames, Telestrations, Exploding Kittens, Apples to Apples and Balderdash. Those with more patience for board games (bored) than I, play Pandemic for hours on end. Our evening Mad Libs sessions on the porch are legendary. Some of our favorite inside jokes and malapropisms are born on the porch during beach week. We plan one evening for the entire 20+ person group to go souvenir shopping at the local gift shop.
Beach week is very casual. Tee shirts and shorts are the order of the day. Because we have laundry facilities in the beach house, we can pack lean and throw clothes in the wash as needed.
Recently, I’ve started packing capsule wardrobes for travel. They’re amazing because they are like Garanimals™ for grown folks! Grab a top and some pants and they coordinate. No thinking necessary, and it doesn’t matter what’s in the wash at the moment!
Here’s how I plan our capsule wardrobe:
Decide on the number of outfits needed. I’ll pack four tops, three bottoms and we’ll wear one of the capsule outfits on our travel day. (Because nudity is frowned upon during family beach week.) With this small capsule, we have the potential for 12 different looks and won’t have to repeat the same outfit during a week long vacation. In case of cooler weather, I’m adding one jersey and one pair of jeans.
Pick a color scheme. It’s red, white, blue and khaki for us this year. Look at the colors you wear routinely. What do you have on hand? Which colors are most flattering on you? If you are able to dress the whole family in the same color scheme, even casual snapshots will be color-coordinated.
Each top must work with each of the bottom pieces. Outfit coordination is easiest if only the tops or only the bottoms are patterned, not both. Pattern mixing in a capsule wardrobe is expert level. If that’s your jam, go for it!
Pack shoes that will work with each outfit. Neutral colored flip-flops and a pair of kicks are all we need for the week.
If you’re fancier than we are, pack coordinating accessories. I’ll pack one everyday necklace and one set of earrings. Maybe throw in a scarf? Hubby keeps his accessories minimal with a leather wrap bracelet.
These bags contain all of our clothes for the week plus bathing suits, cover-ups, running clothes, lounge wear, pajamas, socks and underwear, We had enough room left over to pack hand towels and washcloths in the tote bag.
So, that’s the sum total of my capsule wardrobe knowledge. This makes packing for any trip so much easier. Now, it’s your turn! Will you give this a try? Are you already a capsule wardrobe expert?
Pro tip for flying to your vacation destination: In each piece of checked luggage, pack at least one complete outfit for every member of your family. If the airline misdirects a piece of luggage, you each still have a fresh change of clothes.
Welcome to another week of clean eating! We’re trying out loads of new recipes this week and we’ve already found a couple of keepers! Noatmeal is a nice change to our usual egg-based breakfasts and fun to come up with new topping combinations. Strawberry/Peanut Butter is my favorite combination so far.
I’ll let the pictures of the Chicken Pot Pie and Philly Cheesesteak Skillet speak for themselves.
I mixed up double batches in sandwich bags. Because these have flax seed meal in them, they need to be stored in the fridge. When I empty a bag each morning, I fold it up and put it back into the storage bag; that way we’re not using as many plastic bags from week to week.
Velvety No Bake Keto Brownie Bites – New Recipe! Scroll about halfway down the page to find the recipe. I added a few tablespoons of milled flax seed, so maybe mine aren’t as velvety as the recipe indicates. They’re still tasty, though! I used a 1″ cookie scoop and got 5 fat bombs from a single recipe. The picture below is a triple batch. https://hungryforinspiration.com/keto-brownie-bites/
Now that we’ve made it through our rainy, Virginia springtime; we’re overdue for some outdoor chores. At Arthurized Home, we use cast iron for our everyday cooking. We’re careful to season it regularly so rust is not a problem. However, I just bought a cast iron pot with some pretty severe rust on it. It’s not pitted, so that’s good. Actually, I would have passed on buying pitted cast iron. No amount of TLC can bring that back.
A quick Google search shows countless methods for removing rust from cast iron. The process I’m using is one that I have used successfully over the years. I burn the rust off the cast iron in a fire and then season it in the oven. This method avoids using noxious chemicals and hours (and hours!) of obnoxious scrubbing.
My cast iron is good quality and very serviceable, but solidly average. It’s not rare or valuable. I would not use this method on Granny’s heirloom cast iron. For that, I would get out the steel wool, get to scrubbin’ and develop tendinitis.
I can’t speak to whether vinegar baths, oven cleaner (seems toxic), electrolysis and lye baths work on rusty cast iron, because I haven’t tried those methods.
Cast Iron Care: Take care not to shock your cast iron, which can cause it to crack. Bring the cast iron to temperature along with the heat source. Never place cold cast iron onto a hot stove, into a hot oven or fire. Never place hot cast iron into the fridge/ freezer, cold water or an ice bath. Remember ‘hot with hot’ and ‘cold with cold’ and your cast iron will be just fine.
Pa Kettle decided to get in on the action by providing an actual kettle that he found in his basement when they bought the home. It’s been unloved and in Basement Purgatory for 50+ years. I’m not sure if it is salvageable, because the rust is thick and the pot is severely pitted. But, why not throw it in and see what happens?
This is a good project to start in the morning, as you need several hours for the fire and several hours for cooling. To prepare the fire, I placed a few logs into the fire pit and laid the pots on top. I positioned the pots so that as the logs burned down, they drop toward the center of the fire, not out of it. Then I covered the pots with more logs. The idea is to have the fire reach the entire pot, including the undersides.
Contemplate the meaning of life, sing a few campfire songs and break out the hot dogs or s’mores fixin’s.
Without leaving the fire unattended, burn the cast iron for a few hours (I like a minimum of three hours) and then let the fire die out.
Don’t pour water to extinguish the fire, as that could shock the cast iron.
Once, the ashes cooled, I pulled the pots from the fire pit. See that red stuff? It’s red rust. This is oxidation at high temperature when raw metal is exposed to the air. Not to worry, though. A quick scrub with a paste made of baking soda and a splash of water, will take most of that off. I’ve read that a thin coat of red rust helps the first layer of season to bond. I have no idea if that’s true, but I’ll soon find out!
Thoroughly rinse the baking soda off of the cast iron. If all the old season has been removed and the raw cast iron is exposed, the pot should be matte grey.
I placed a large baking sheet onto the lowest oven rack and put the pot on the top rack. I turned the oven to 300° and left the pan in for about five minutes. This ensures that the pan is completely dry before seasoning.
After drying the pot, let it cool a little, then season with oil or grease of your choice. I spread an extremely light layer of bacon grease over the pot, coating it entirely. Wipe excess grease off with a paper towel and place the pot back into the oven upside down. This allows any excess grease to drip out of the pot onto the baking sheet below. I usually season my cast iron between 375° and 425°, so I crank the oven up at this time.
After about an hour in the oven, I turn it off and let the cast iron cool down. Then I repeat this step. Again. And again. And again; building thin layers of season each time. Once the season is built up on the pot, it is ready for daily use in the kitchen.
A few more tips on cast iron care: Moisture is the enemy of cast iron. Never let cast iron soak in water. After use, and while your pans are still warm, quickly rinse, dry and re-oil your cast iron. If there are food particles cooked on, use a plastic scrub brush to remove them.
Cast iron is for cooking and baking, not food storage. You’ll need some vintage Pyrex refrigerator boxes for that. *winks*
Because our kitchen is small, we stack our cast iron for storage. Scratches can damage the season, so we place a microfiber cloth between each pan.
Take good care of your cast iron and it will serve you for a lifetime. Who knows; maybe the grandkids will fight over your collection one day?
While shopping for deer fence T-posts, I happened upon several racks of clearance perennials marked down to $1 each. Of course I loaded up my cart! Some of the blooms were ready for deadheading, but the leaves looked fresh and healthy. I figured these underdogs were worth a chance.
Perennial flowers are fantastic because you do the work of planting once, and are rewarded with year after year of blooms. Given the right growing conditions, most perennials are easy care, requiring only deadheading and occasional dividing.
We purchased these for the herb garden, because that is the sunniest area of our property. They range in height from 6″ to just over 2′ tall, so they shouldn’t shade other sun loving plants nearby.
Thinking about their mature size, bloom time and relation to neighboring plants, I placed them around the garden. I like to arrange them in irregular shaped, odd numbered groupings of 3, 5 or 7 of the same plant. This gives the garden visual ‘flow’ and is more appealing than planting in straight rows, as you would in a vegetable garden.
Here’s what we planted:
Balloon Flowers – one blue, one white I’ve wanted to try balloon flowers forever. These deer resistant plants are whimsical and fun. They both had tags showing blue flowers, so the white one was a surprise!
Poppy This one is a mystery plant only because I misplaced the tag. Oops! I seem to recall that it is an orange variety.
Darling Daisy™ Shasta Daisy Daisies were my husband’s great aunt Ruth’s favorite flower, so I remember her fondly when I see these. This variety is fairly compact, growing to just 12″ tall. I deadhead these about once a week, and they are blooming their little hearts out.
Dwarf Coreopsis We picked up nine of these, and I’m hoping they will provide a sea of golden blooms. They grow to 12″ tall, and bloom from spring through fall.
Giles Van Hees Speedwell – These tiny flowers bloom in summer. They seem a little finicky and we’ve already lost two of the five that we purchased. (R.I.P., little guys) I’m holding my breath that the remaining three will settle into the garden nicely.
Little Women Daylily – I’m not sure where we are in the bloom cycle, but I suspect that we’re done for the year. I bought three of these for their unusual, peach color which will pair nicely with the nearby lavender.
Hopefully our plants will be happy here, and provide some interest to the garden. They’ve already drawn the attention of neighborhood butterflies, so we think the bees will find them soon as well.
How about you? Do you take pity on the clearance rack plants, and take them home?
This past weekend was a blink-and-you-miss-it blur. We did loads of adulting and gardening. Hubby had a 16 mile trail race, and we spent some time catching up with friends we hadn’t seen in awhile.
Last night we watched a couple of deer work their way through, sampling from the delicious buffet that is our side yard. They completely ignored the herb garden, which made us wonder if they had bumped into the new fence and were spooked by it. Time will tell.
Lunch: We’re having a mixture of cold salads for lunch this week. Mason Jar Spinach Salad – New Recipe! I made four of these salads. I substituted stevia sweetener for the sugar in the dressing. Instead of spooning the dressing into the bottom of the jar, I stored each portion in a tiny container. https://www.theseasonedmom.com/wprm_print/57058
Southwestern Squash Casserole – To make this gluten free and lower in carbs, I’m substituting coconut flour for the wheat flour. UPDATE: Do not do this! The coconut flour did not incorporate well and the casserole was gritty as a result. It didn’t affect the flavor, just the texture. I’ll try arrowroot powder next. https://12tomatoes.com/southwestern-squash-casserole/
Snacks: I’m finding that I need fewer snacks on keto. Pimento cheese and celery, cucumber slices, pickles, walnuts, green pepper strips Beautiful carbs for hubby: Pineapple, grapes, bananas, watermelon, Tiny but Mighty popcorn
Treat: Fresh Strawberries and Homemade Whipped Cream with Lily’s Chocolate Chips on top – If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! I sweeten the cream with a packet or two of Whole Earth. This tasty keto treat is a good substitute for my nightly watermelon.
I hope that you will give some of these recipes a try. If you like them, let me know in the comments or via email at arthurized dot home at gmail dot com.
This is not a sponsored post. I am not in partnership with, nor do I own any of these websites or the recipes linked here.