Category Archives: In the kitchen

Cheeseburger bombs — & Thanksgiving Dinner Prep

I tried a new recipe from the WW app last weekend: Cheeseburger Bombs.

Messy but delicious!

My verdict: They’re really tasty, but a pain in the butt to make.

The recipe calls for dividing a batch of 2-ingredient dough into six equal pieces … but that leaves very small pieces to stuff.

I think next time I’ll cut the dough into quarters but stuff with the same 2T cheese, 1 T cooked beef & 1 tsp each mustard and dill relish. That should give me more dough to work with, making it easier to make each “bomb.”

Anyway, last week was a good week on the scale — I managed to lose 2.2 pounds. Could the struggle bus be pulling away from the station without me?

I certainly hope so. IF I can keep it up, I might FINALLY get out of the 250s in the next few weeks.

That, of course, is a BIG if, because this is a holiday week—and a holiday that centers on food, no less.

Thanks to COVID risk, we aren’t going to Doug’s parents’ house (even though we live in basically the same town). Not only do we want to avoid putting his folks at risk, my work has asked that anyone who fails to follow CDC recommendations to not celebrate outside your home quarantine and work from home for 14 days after celebrating …

And I DO NOT want to work from home for two weeks after Thanksgiving dinner. Some people might think WFH is their jam, but I’ve discovered I’m TERRIBLE at it. I can’t focus and feel like I’m getting absolutely nothing accomplished.

No thank you. I’ll work from home if forced to, but I’m not going to do so voluntarily.

This means I’m in charge of our Thanksgiving dinner for two. We’re having roasted turkey breast, Stove Top, mashed potatoes, jarred gravy, green bean casserole and a lower-Point version of Peas and Crayons’ Speedy Stovetop Cranberry Sauce. (I use artificial sweetener instead of the large amount of honey her recipe calls for.)

Cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie cupcakes about to be chillin’ in the fridge for tomorrow.

Doug’s mom is dropping off some of their pumpkin pie and the traditional fruit cup today.

I also made a batch of Pound Dropper’s Crustless Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes. I’m about to enjoy one for an afternoon snack, because I got 18 of the suckers out of the recipe. I misread the directions & filled each muffin cup 1/3 full instead of filling each one with 1/3 cup of batter as instructed.

Oops. I’m sure it’ll still be delicious … and still only 1 WW Point per cupcake (all in the flour).

Gigi’s Can opener Soup

Some people–much more chic than I am–call their grandma Gigi. Not me. The Gigi who gave me this soup recipe is my boss, and we’re about the same age.

She promised I’d love it–and she was right.

It couldn’t be easier to make. Just open a few cans, dump them into your soup pot and heat through.

And it tastes delicious.

Gigi’s Can Opener Soup

1 10-oz can chicken breast

1 can Rotel

1 can Ranch Style beans

1 family-sized can chicken & rice soup

Throw together, heat and eat.

Top with sour cream, salsa, cheese, chips and/or avocado.

I couldn’t find a family-sized can of chicken and rice soup, which I believe is 26-ish ounces. I used 3 regular cans instead, totaling 31 1/2 ounces.

When I calculated the recipe in my WW app, I originally thought it’d be 8 servings. But using my 1-cup ladle to dish 2 ladles into the bowl, I only got 5 servings.

So instead of 5 Points a bowl (on #mywwblue), it’s 7 Points. But the 2-cup serving is generous–and filling.

Before I knew the soup itself was 7 Points, I topped my bowl with (almost) all the good stuff–avocado, cheese, chopped red onion and crushed tortilla chips. I subbed fat-free Greek yogurt for sour cream.

The whole delicious bowl totaled 12 Points (adjusted for serving size).

I can see this recipe going into my regular rotation. It took less than 30 minutes from start to finish–perfect for a busy weeknight!

Someday I’ll have busy weeknights again, right? Please tell me this pandemic won’t last forever. I want to get back to working full-time.

Feeding my pizza craving

With Thursday being the last day of my work week, I started the day with only 6 1/4 hours left to work. That meant I was off early enough for a little adventure in the kitchen.

Like many—dare I say all—folks, I LOVE pizza. But now that I’m back on the low-carb wagon, I can’t just order from Domino’s … or even Rosati’s. That makes me a little sad. Rosati’s just opened in Prescott, and it has an awesome Chicago-style thin-crust pizza—cut in little squares with the tiny, crunchy edge triangles and everything. But that’s no longer on the table for me.

*Sad trombone*

The good thing is that there are plenty of low-carb pizza options. One of my go-to’s when my roommate and I went low-carb back in 2003-05 was pizza casserole: browned sausage and mushrooms, pepperoni, the lowest-carb sauce we could find and mozzarella cheese, baked until the cheese was brown and bubbly.

Voila! All the pizza toppings we both liked with none of the crust.

Pizza bites are another option (zucchini rounds or eggplant slices topped with a pepperoni and some cheese and then baked).

But sometimes you just want a good old slice of pie. You know, the triangle of crust topped with all the meats, veggies and cheese.

Enter Fat Head Pizza. I saw this recipe in the 90-day Low-Carb Challenge Facebook group I belong to.


It looked easy enough to put together, and I had all the ingredients on hand … so I decided to go for it.

Spreading the dough onto parchment paper on my pizza stone wasn’t quite as easy as I thought it would be. Probably would have helped if I’d used two sheets to cover more of the stone’s surface. (It seemed like a waste of paper, though.)

Ah well. Live and learn, right?

Another slight issue: My stupid electric stove doesn’t cook things evenly. One side of the crust was dark brown before the other side even got golden. Have I mentioned I hate cooking with electric? I learned to cook with gas, and vastly prefer it. My stove also doesn’t have any freakin’ temperatures on the knob … only Nos. 1-5. So I have no idea what temperature I’m using to cook anything.

No worries. My pizza survived.

Low-Carb Pizza!
Low-Carb Pizza!

It might be slightly misshapen, but it was seriously delicious! I skimped a bit on the cheese topping the crust because the crust itself is mostly cheese. The rest of the toppings included 1/4 cup sauce, 14 pepperoni (1 serving) and 1/2 cup thinly sliced zucchini.

I cut the pizza into quarters, and then each quarter into 2 slices. Each two-slice serving has 4.9 net carbs, according to the LoseIt app, which is where I’ve been tracking my eats.

I was a bit worried that two slices wouldn’t be enough. Usually, when faced with a  traditional pizza, I can eat a half or more. But I only dished up a quarter of the pie.


And you know what? It WAS plenty. I was amazingly satisfied with just two pieces. Adding a small side salad with blue cheese dressing would have upped the satisfaction factor, but it wasn’t necessary.

Chalk up another one for the power of low-carb, high-fat eating.

On another note, remember that snowstorm that was supposed to dump up to a foot of snow on Prescott Friday? I’d made plans to write at home … but when I woke up, there was barely a dusting in the yard, and the streets were fine.

Instead of camping out at my kitchen table, I headed to Starbucks.

This is my kind of snow — flakes in the air, water on the ground.
This is my kind of snowstorm — flakes in the air, water on the ground.

I’ve gotten a whole lot of nothing done so far, but after I finish this blog post, I’ll try to do some actual fiction writing.

Wish me luck. If the snow starts to stick, I’ll have to vacate my Starbucks table and head home.