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Paprika App… Did you know they have a desktop version?!

Spoiler alert: Paprika Recipe Manager is awesome.

Imagine a traditional paper recipe box (or a recipe binder, or an untidy pile of curly, food-stained recipe cards). Now imagine that you can tag each recipe by meal, ingredients, dietary nuances, or any other category you require… and then search by keyword or category when you need something specific. And imagine if you could immediately add new recipes you find online, from emails, or from offline sources. Imagine if you could tap several of those cards and immediately a grocery list would appear with combined totals of what you need, which you could easily edit to remove items you don’t need to buy, and then imagine that this list was also on your phone so you don’t even have to print it.

Other amazing things it can do:

  • Keep notes about any changes you personally make to the recipe
  • Include nutrition information, if you like
  • Email recipes in a nice, usable format to non-Paprika users, with an attachment for instant import into Paprika if they also use it
  • For the intense home professionals, it allows you to keep an inventory of food on hand and will cross check when creating a shopping list
  • Paprika will keep your device awake while cooking, so your raw-chickeny fingers don’t have to touch the screen
  • It has a calendar for meal planning which you can use to produce a very specific grocery list
  • Built in timers
  • Ability to check off ingredients and highlight current steps as you go
  • And the list goes on…

Paprika is wonderful if you love to cook, and also wonderful if you hate to cook but have to cook anyway. I learned earlier this year that they offer a desktop version… sounds like a sanity-saving gift for myself! Purchasing a single desktop version allows it to be installed on up to 3 computers, which is great since I jump between two computers, and device app versions can be shared among family share plans as well (I haven’t tried this yet myself, but I’m told you can… super handy when those college kids leave the nest but want all your recipes).

screenshot of Paprika iPad app

Allow me to say that this is NOT an affiliate post. I have been a very happy Paprika iPad app user since 2012, having purchased at full price the iPad app literally days after my iPad was delivered by the stork. And I am still crazy about this app! It has revolutionized my kitchen life, and it deserves credit for the fact that I now cook a much wider variety of recipes, and regularly try new ones with ease, and am a more organized grocery shopper. It has made my life better in many ways, and I highly recommend it. It has great support, regular updates, and has never caused me angst.

As of this writing (April 12, 2017, but scheduled for November 17, 2017), the regular cost of either Windows/Mac desktop app is $19.99. That’s less than the cost of many cookbooks! Such a great value for what you get. It syncs with your other devices (those apps are sold separately, but regularly only cost $4.99 for iPhone/iPad/Android/Kindle).

I am posting this today, specifically, because in the past 5 years, Paprika has has offered their products at half off on this day of the month through the end of November as part of their Thanksgiving sale. So go check out their blog and see if they’re offering it again…

Happy recipe hoarding!!

low carb bagel sandwich

Bagels, Made of Mozzarella? Yes.

My SE Michigan residence is not presently air conditioned. Not a complaint… I did not grow up with AC, and we have a pool. And, around here, there are not too many days that are truly miserable without AC. The real problem of not having AC on super hot, humid days is that it makes using the oven a decidedly undesirable thing to do. So in the summer I don’t tend to bake nearly as much as I do in the Fall through  Spring. And that is a little bit sad! Fortunately we’re slated to replace an aging furnace with something that will provide at least partial AC, and I’m looking forward to baking year round again 😉

I have always loved to bake, and still do quite a bit of conventional baking for my family. But now I am slowly discovering more keto-friendly recipes that are both low-carb and tasty, as well as, at a minimum, reminiscent of traditional baked goods. I recently came across the Fathead Pizza Dough recipe, and am still living on cloud 9. This recipe, despite being made primarily of mozzarella cheese, makes a dough that can multitask in your low carb diet and really, really tastes great. And acts surprisingly like bread as well.

I first made this dough in the form of bagels. It was a shockingly successful debut… they puffed, they browned, they were riddled with small chewy air pockets, cut well, and toasted like a dream. I used them on their own, with cream cheese or butter, and in meat and cheese bagel sandwiches. My non-low-carb family keeps asking for them too! Definitely a keeper!

The one drawback, if you can call it that, is that these things are so nutrition dense that they are VERY filling. The recipe makes bagels that are smaller than store bought (see the sandwich pic for reference), but if you use them as a sandwich base, they will eliminate the need to eat for a long time. You’ve been warned.

Fathead Bagels

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups almond flour (not almond meal)
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp xanthan gum (optional but helpful)
  • 2 1/2 cup (10 oz) shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 oz cream cheese, cubed
  • 1 large egg, beaten

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or silicone mat.

Mix dry ingredients thoroughly. Set aside.

Melt mozzarella and cream cheese in a separate bowl in the microwave, stirring every minute or so until completely melted and well incorporated.

Combine dry ingredients and egg with the melted cheese and stir until very well mixed. It will look like a sticky dough. Using wet hands (and re-wetting them as necessary to keep dough from sticking to you), divide dough into 6ths and form them into bagel shapes. I had good luck making 8″ logs, then joining into a ring and plopping it onto the baking pan. Unlike wheat dough, you do not need to be very careful in joining the dough into a ring… in the oven it will meld it together and it will stay well attached. When all your bagels are formed, you can top them with poppy or sesame seeds or anything else you want. Bake in the preheated oven for 10-14 minutes until firm and golden. Err on the side of overbaking since the moist fatty dough will not dry out quickly.

Serve hot or cold, toasted or not. Store in the fridge or freezer.

(Note: If you omit the xanthan gum, the bagels may bake up flatter and wider… this might be a good thing depending on what you plan to do with them.)

keto pancakes

Keto Cream Cheese Pancakes

So, you know those gorgeous food blog posts with tantalizing images of deliciousness you can barely help from licking the computer screen? Yeah? You won’t find that here today. This was a last minute meal where I realized, a few bites in, that I should have documented it. Enter the phone camera. Also, no garnishing or staging. The food was real, yummy, and gone too quickly 😉

My big sister sent me a link to this recipe a while back, and I just didn’t get to making it for over a month with all the craziness going on in May and June. But then, one evening, my kids reminded me that I had promised “breakfast for dinner” and they wanted pancakes. So I mixed up some regular Betty Crocker recipe pancakes and remembered this recipe. Mixing it up was quick, so I just made the cream cheese pancakes when  I was done making the rest. I ate them with a standard sugar-free pancake syrup, and they both looked and tasted just as I hoped. Really not a compromise in the world of sugarless substitutions, and very easy.

The recipe comes from kitchn, made by me in the keto-friendly fashion they suggest.

Cream Cheese Pancakes

Serves 2, makes about 6 four-inch pancakes

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup flour, such as almond, coconut, or all-purpose
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt

Directions

Place the cream cheese, eggs, flour, baking powder, and salt in a blender and blend until smooth.

Heat a large nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Coat with cooking spray or butter. Once the butter is melted, pour in 2 to 3 tablespoons of the batter. Cook until deep golden-brown on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Flip and cook until the second side is golden-brown, 1 to 2 minutes more. Transfer to a plate.

Repeat with remaining batter. Serve with butter, sugar-free syrup or fresh berries.