Category Archives: Desserts

Suzy Q Cake

Last year for my birthday I had a hard time picking between the Italian Cream Cake and the Ding Dong Cake by Carolyn Ketchum of All Day I Dream About Food. I opted for the Italian cream cake because the ding dong cake used a boxed Swerve cake and that wasn’t available to us.

Well, this year I got the brilliant idea to use the THM Trimtastic chocolate cake in place of the cake mix. It is an easy recipe and is made in a food processor. (I only use an inexpensive one.) It whips up quickly.

Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook pg 296 or on the THM membership site.

It is healthier because it has zucchini in it. :) Yay! Veggies that taste good!

You start by processing the zucchini a bit, to break it up a little. Then you add the remaining ingredients and blend until the zucchini is not detectable. :)

We didn’t get a picture of how it looked in the processor when done. But here it is in the pan. Because we are going for a Suzy Q-like cake, we baked it in a 9×13 pan. Then cut it into two pieces. We’ll use parchment paper next time though, as some part of it stuck almost every time. ;)

You can still see some bits of zucchini in this one that Tiffany made and it still turned out delicious!

Next we followed the cream and “frosting” directions here. Now, Tiffany is the one who prepared this and she doesn’t quite have the frosting down yet but it was still yummy in spite of how it looked.

You could make any of your favorite chocolate low carb cakes for the cake part. We love the moistness of the Trimtastic. And you could make it in round pans, as Carolyn did on the swerve site for a ding dong cake. Or you could make it in a sheet pan, spread the cream on top and roll it up and then pour the ganache all over it for a swiss cake/ho-ho style cake. So many delicious presentation options. :D

We have enjoyed this cake so much that we have made it three times in a week!

I believe this is the cake Tiffany wants for her birthday in a couple of weeks, so hopefully I will remember to get some more pictures. ;)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

PS. For those wanting to try this with standard sugar, just substitute a devils food cake for the cake layer and powdered sugar in the same amount as the swerve confectioners in both the cream and the glaze layers; I think that will work but taste to be sure. ;)

Christmas 2019 Baking

Wow! Yesterday was a busy day. Today we will have Christmas 1. :) It’s so exciting! Brian, Lauren, and Liam will be here shortly and we’ll open presents! :p Then we’ll spend some time with my sister and her family (and we may even pop in and see my parents for a few minutes on our way home).

Yesterday Tiffany and I did a slew of baking. It started off with pies . . . our regular Apple Crumble Pie for the family, followed by an apple pie that is considered a crossover by Trim Healthy Mama eating plan. Then she also made the pecan pie from Cookie Keto with Kristie. And rounded out the pie category with Pumpkin Pecan Slab Pie–this is the third time I’ve made this since Thanksgiving and we love it.

I made the Cinnamon Butter Bundt cake again, along with the smaller one that is nut and flax free for Tiffany.

The breakfast wraps really worked well for Thanksgiving and were delicious, so I’m going to make those again for tomorrow morning. :) I have to make my sourdough pizza dough tonight yet, and put it in the refrigerator for tomorrow’s pizza dinner with family. :) We voted for Christmas dinner and pizza won but if tacos would have been declared up front, it just may have won out. ;)

We’ll be having hamburgers and fries at my sister’s later today. I bought sweet potato fries and some thin burgers and cheese slices. It’ll be a crossover meal but hey, it’s Christmas time and at least it is mostly on-plan. ;) (Unfortunately as I write this, I haven’t yet made the buns to go with this meal . . . so tired . . . mostly because I worked out last night and my shoulder muscles are sore :D . . . and I must get them done before I go to bed.)

Let’s see, I also made four batches of Pay Off Day Candies. I put it all into a 9×13 pan and will cut it into pieces and bag some up to give as gifts. :) People love those candies!

Well, it’s an exciting day around here. I hope you are having fun times this week. :)

Until next time, Merry Christmas Eve,

Michele ºÜº

Chocolate Chip Cookies Sugar-Free, Dairy-Free, Gluten Free

Lately Tiffany hasn’t done well with egg yolks or flax or peanut butter or chia and an abundance of cheese. It has made it difficult to make special treats but thanks to google search, we can generally find something we can work with.

I’m so thankful for this recipe, although it did need a few tweaks. We subbed cashew butter for sunflower or tahini butter, psyllium husk powder for flax seed meal, and gentle sweet for coconut sugar.

So let’s get to it.

We start by mixing together the coconut oil, cashew butter, and sweetener (we use THM Gentle Sweet).

I found that you can substitute powdered psyllium husk for the flaxmeal, thus making a psyllium egg instead of flax egg. This is important for us since Tiff is currently sensitive to egg yolk.

So next add the “egg”, vanilla and mix again. And then finally add the baking soda, salt, and coconut flour.

Now the recipe calls for chopped dark chocolate but Tiff usually just used chocolate chips. Looking at the pictures on the original webpage makes me want her to use some chopped chocolate instead of the chocolate chips.

Now Tiffany is usually in a hurry and doesn’t chill at all; she immediately drops them on the parchment cookie sheet and then bakes.

Then we bake, cool, and eat. :)

Of course, it only makes 12 cookies.

So follow the directions one bakerita.com and use 3/8 cup Gentle sweet in place of the 2/3 cup coconut sugar. Check out the recipe because they look amazing! I am going to have to push to have these made “the proper” way for similar results. ;)

Until next time,

Michele ºÜº

Low Carb Pumpkin Bars

Last week I decided to give one of my old holiday favorite recipes a makeover. I was encouraged to do this by a family friend who had done it herself using almond flour and coconut sugar. So I thought, if she, who is only 24, had the courage to make some substitutions in the recipe, then I would too.

I got the pumpkin bars recipe 23 years ago from a church friend who had served them at a homeschool lunch. They were so delicious I asked for the recipe and have made them ever since. Until the last couple of years, that is, when we started a low carb lifestyle.

I researched and found that THM Baking Blend can be substituted nearly cup for cup for regular flour (just make it a scant cup instead of a level cup). Of course I had the sweetener conversion chart from THM, available here (scroll to the bottom of the page and it is on the left side of the page). The other major change was the amount of oil; the original recipe called for an incredible full cup of oil. I looked at the recipe I linked to last week from My Montana Kitchen and decided I could do a mixture of water and oil, so I did 1/4 cup oil and 3/4 cup water.

We made this again last night. Since Tiffany was going to eat this one and she is sensitive to egg yolks, of which there are 4 in this recipe, we decided to cut back on the whole eggs and add extra whites thus changing it to 2 whole eggs and 1/2 cup egg whites. I suggested that she beat those egg whites a little bit to make them a bit fluffier.

Combine wet ingredients well.

This picture was from last week, not this week with the frothing of the egg whites.

Add dry ingredients

Blend well.

Pour into lightly greased jelly roll pan (15x10x1 ish measurement). We lightly greased the pan since we reduced the amount of oil and didn’t want it to stick. ;)Bake at 350º for 15-30 minutes. I recommend taking it out earlier rather than later to keep it nice and moist. :)

When it is cooled, add the frosting.

Our problem last week was the frosting. We put way too much Sukrin Melis (icing “sugar”;) in our butter and cream cheese mixture and it was not good. As a matter of fact, we all ended up scraping the frosting off and just ate the cake. :D It was so moist I didn’t even miss the frosting. However last night we are added more butter and cream cheese to what we scraped off the cake, so as not to waste the ingredients. :D And, it turned out nice!

Just beat the room temperature light cream cheese (neufchatel) and softened stick of butter (1/2 cup) until well combined. Add the powdered alternative sweetener a little at a time, tasting for desired sweetness.

So here is the new, low carb pumpkin bars recipe. I hope you’ll enjoy them. :)

Low Carb Pumpkin Bars

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup egg whites
  • 1 scant cup gentle sweet
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 (15-16 ounce) can PUMPKIN
  • 2 scant cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Frosting:
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3 ounces cream cheese, softened we used neufchatel cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup powdered sugar substitute (we used Sukrin Melis/Icing sugar alternative)

Instructions

  1. Whip egg whites a bit (a little more than frothy but less than soft peaks 😉 )
  2. Beat together eggs, gentle sweet, oil, water, and pumpkin.
  3. Stir together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda.
  4. Combine the wet and dry ingredients thoroughly.
  5. Spread batter in a lightly greased 15x10x1 pan.
  6. Bake at 350º for 15-30 minutes
  7. Cool completely.
  8. Frosting:
  9. Cream butter and cream cheese.
  10. Stir in vanilla.
  11. Add powdered sweetener, a little at a time, blending well until mixture is smooth, adding more if needed.
  12. Spread evenly on cooled pumpkin bars.
http://lifeofjoy.me/low-carb-pumpkin-bars/

I hope this is helpful to you. I know I’ll be making it this way again soon (Christmas is coming ;) ).

Until next time,

Michele ºÜº

Thanksgiving and Cinnamon Bear ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Thanksgiving Food 2019

So this year I am taking the Cinnamon Butter Bundt Cake to my sister’s for breakfast. They’ll probably have donuts and such. ;) Before THM I sometimes made Bubble Bread on Thanksgiving morning but this is definitely not THM. ;)

Breakfast Burrito ~ Lifeofjoy.meI am considering a sausage breakfast dish too because I don’t do sweets only, very well. I like savory much better with a dash of sweet. :) Something like this Sausage Veggie Breakfast Burrito or this Sausage Rice Dish but with caulirice instead. ;)

For dinner Mom and Dad will provide the ham, turkey, and side dishes. In times past, I’ve brought a variety of THM foods but this time I think I’m just going to bring some spelt rolls and enjoy the food available with a healthy dose of pleasure or vitamin P, as Pearl and Serene call it. I’ll probably ask if we can bake a few sweet potatoes plain because that is how Sean and Tiffany prefer them.

Sukrin Gold Pecan Pie ~ Lifeofjoy.meIt’s dessert where I usually bring the most. I used to bring a couple pies and a couple cakes and ask for some pudding. ;) But now I have learned the joys of pecan pie and love it. I make the one Kristie Sullivan created; it’s on youtube here.

I’ll make a standard sugar laden apple crumble pie for the other family members. I haven’t decided if I will make these  pumpkin bars for Thanksgiving or the day after, when I make our turkey dinner here, because I love leftovers and turkeys are cheap meat this time of year. :D

I have yet to decide if I’m going to make a pudding. I usually prefer a light dessert on Thanksgiving because I used to eat so much mashed potatoes and ham noodles. But between the pie and the cake I think there will be enough dessert. Of course, there’ll be some ham and turkey leftover to snack on too.

Well, I’m looking forward to a fun day with family. I hope you will be able to spend the day with people you love too.

Until next time, Happy Thanksgiving,

Michele ºÜº

Chocolate Fix

So, after conference last week, I’m a bit tired. I’m not feeling like doing much of anything today. (Truth be told, I’m writing this Monday afternoon and I’m hoping Tuesday will be better since we have to prep for Michael’s birthday this week.) I’m also craving some chocolate and we are out of sugar-free chocolate chips. :(

In my desperation, I opted to make something chocolatey. We had two options: 1) make skinny chocolate with cocoa powder, coconut oil, and sweetener or 2) melt down some unsweetened chocolate and add some sweetener. Tiffany looked at the calories of the coconut oil versus the unsweetened chocolate and deemed the unsweetened chocolate the winner.

So Tiffany was a sweetie and made the sweets, melting down the chocolate in a double boiler.

If you don’t have a double boiler, you can put a heat safe bowl over a pot of simmering water. Add sweetener to taste,  to the melted chocolate. Keep it over the water until the sweetener dissolves. (Taste for sweetness.) We used about a third of a cup of xylitol but I think I would have preferred it a bit sweeter. ;)

Then we spread it out on parchment paper and put it in the freezer to firm up quickly.

Remove when firm and break off pieces.

I decided it could benefit from a bit more sweetness and a little salt, so I put some powdered sweetener and salt in a bowl and dipped the chocolate in it before eating it. :)

This cured my chocolate craving without adding too many calories to my day. :)  I hope it helps you too.

Until next time,

Michele ºÜº

Jello: Easy, Homemade, and From Scratch

When I made that delicious healthified version of Strawberry Pretzel Salad for Independence Day, I remembered that I really like Jello and gelatin desserts. Thing is that I don’t want the bad-for-you sweeteners and bad-for-you ingredients, so I hadn’t considered making it. But part for part of that dessert you use plain gelatin (which is very good for you) and fruity tea to make a gello to pour over the strawberries. That’s when this idea was born.

My biggest struggle was to get the amounts of ingredients right. I did a little search to find other people that made homemade gello and found some that used fruit juice. Well, that will not do for me, as I need this to be low calorie and low glycemic. :)

I decided to go with the Wild Berry Zinger tea from Celestial Seasonings for my flavor. When I make something, I like to make enough that I’m not going to be having to make it or something else again the next day. :) I started by boiling a pot of water.I placed four tea bags in a measuring cup and added four cups boiling water.Meanwhile, I put 1/4 cup cool water in a bowl, added two tablespoons of plain gelatin and stirred to soften the gelatin.

I was doing two batches: one wild berry and the other peach.

Then added 1/4 cup just-off-the-boil water to dissolve it.

When the tea is as strong as it is going to get or as strong as desired, remove the tea bags and add sweetener. I used 1/2 cup Gentle Sweet. Stir to dissolve it in the tea.

I did not get a picture adding the sweetener to the wild berry one. ;)

Then add the dissolved gelatin to the tea. Just pour it in and stir it to mix it all together. At this point you can pour it into individual containers. When it is cool enough, put it into the refrigerator to firm up. It will take a few hours to do so.

Jello: Easy, Homemade, and From Scratch

Ingredients

  • 4 cups of boiled water
  • 4 tea bags, desired flavor
  • 1/2 Gentle Sweet or sweetener preference
  • 1/4 cup cool water
  • 2 Tablespoons plain gelatin
  • 1/4 cup just-off-the-boil water

Instructions

  1. Steep flavored tea bags in the 4 cups boiled water (about 15 minutes or so)
  2. Put 1/4 cup cool water in a small bowl
  3. Add 2 Tablespoons plain gelatin to cool water and stir to soften
  4. Add 1/4 cup just boiled water and stir to dissolve gelatin.
  5. Remove tea bags and add sweetener
  6. Stir in gelatin and cool about 15-30 minutes
  7. Refrigerate until set (a few hours)
http://lifeofjoy.me/jello-easy-homemade-and-from-scratch/

This is a nice sweet snack that will help cool you off a bit during the brutal heat of summer. ;)

What is your favorite fruit flavored tea?

Thanks for stopping by,

Michele ºÜº

Healthy Fruit Pizza Cookies

Thanksgiving and Big Stuff ~ Lifeofjoy.meFor the rest of this month, in honor of Christmas in July, Tiffany is putting her book on sale! If you’d like to read a fun cozy murder mystery (that reads like a romantic comedy at Christmas time), go check out my daughter’s first book, Murder Mystery and the Gingerbread Cookies available on Amazon (and a few other places I can’t recall right now ;) ). She started writing it when she was 12 years old. We published a few years ago in ebook and finally jumped through all the hoops to get it into paperback this past February. If you like ebooks, grab that as it is a better deal for both you and her. ;)


Earlier this month I promised to share the yummy desserts I made for Independence Day and I had forgotten about it, until the other day.

I remember, years ago, someone made a fruit pizza and I really enjoyed it. It had a sugar cookie base. I don’t remember what the frosting was but then it was covered with a variety of cut up fruit. It was really good.

Well, I saw this Healthy Fruit Pizza Cookie on facebook and it looked so good, I was willing to make a second dessert on the fourth.

It was really easy. It’s a quick cookie base, which can be made up ahead of time (think: in the cool of the day). Then it is just a matter of mixing up the cream cheese frosting and adding the fruit.

This one is definitely a keeper here, even though some of our cookies didn’t make it. :D The tray of freshly baked cookies slid off the pans it was resting on when it first came out of the oven and most of them became a crumbled mess.

Of course, that didn’t stop us from eating them. They just weren’t nearly as pretty and couldn’t be eaten by hand but they were still just as good.

So, hop on over to Taryn’s website and get the recipe to make these very soon. I’ll probably make these again soon myself, especially with the plethora of delicious fresh berries available right now. But I’ll be making the cookies in the morning when it isn’t so hot.

I hope you’ll enjoy this dessert as much as we have.

Until next time,

Michele ºÜº

Summer Dessert We’ve Loved

For a while now, I’ve been craving the Strawberry Pretzel Salad. I never had this when I was young but loved it several years ago when I had my first taste. The saltiness of the pretzels really paired well with the sweetness of the rest of the dessert.

Well, I saw a keto version of this deliciousness several months ago and decided I needed to make it. Independence Day seemed like a good excuse to make it. ;) The creator said the pretzel layer was her favorite in the original dessert and so she had to get it just right. I believe she nailed it! We loved it!

My Tweaks

I made two tweaks to her recipe.

  1. I used Wild Berry Zinger Tea because I don’t like raspberry. I know, sad but true. However the Wild Berry Zinger Tea worked great for me. This has some raspberry in it but it isn’t blaringly obvious, thus tasted great.
  2. I used Neufchatel, which is a lower fat cream cheese, because I am desperately trying to lose weight and appreciate a few less calories where I can manage it.

That’s it. This deliciousness is easy to make. I made the crust early in the day because it does require baking the three ingredients in the oven for 10-15 minutes.

The cream cheese layer is no-bake and very similar to my no bake cheesecake recipe. Very simple ingredients. Just remember to get the cream cheese (or Neufchatel) out when you make the crust so that it softens by the time you are ready to make the cheesecake part.

The top layer is just sliced strawberries with a small amount of ‘jello’ to hold it all together. I refrigerated my bowl of jello and set the timer to stir it after five minutes and then forgot to reset the timer for the last five minutes and it was a solid mass. So I had to do that part over again but I just reused the same two tea bags from before. (There’s something to be said for not cleaning up after yourself immediately. :D )

I hope you’ll give this dessert a try. It really tastes great! Hubby said, “I think I know what I want for my birthday dessert.” :) My 26yo son said it kind of tasted like a pecan pie wanna be. :D He has a sweet-tooth and added more sweetener to the top of his piece the next day and liked it better; he said the strawberries were too tart/bitter. He’d never had Strawberry Pretzel Salad before so had no idea ‘context’ for what this dessert was trying to recreate. However, in the last couple of years we’ve found that we love pecan pie thus his pecan pie comment. ;) We all loved it! Kudos to Jacinda.

Until next time,

Michele ºÜº

 

Cinnamon Trifle Cake

For Tiffany’s birthday last year she requested THM’s Tiramisu recipe for her birthday dessert. I don’t like coffee, so I made myself a smaller one using Cinnamon Cuffin mixes and eliminating the coffee extract from the pudding or cream, whichever it was in. She tasted both and loved both. So this year she made it easy on me and said I could just do the cinnamon version.

I used 5 cuffin cinnamon cuffin mixes for the cake. We’d gotten several boxes on sale and it is nice to have them for quick things or to make a longer recipe shorter. :)

I fixed up the pudding layer making it vanilla and then the cream layer adding vanilla and butter extracts following the directions in the THM Trim Healthy Table for tiramisu trifle cake on page 387.

Then I simply layered them in the bowl and added a few chocolate chips on top for decoration. Well, that and the fact that Tiffany loves chocolate chips and adds them to so many things. ;)

She loved it! Which is what is important, since it was her birthday dessert. I think I may use either cinnamon butter bundt cake or a pound cake next time though.

This is a nice, light, refreshing dessert. I hope you enjoy it.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº