Wednesday, April 22

Amazing low(ish) carb and gluten free Peanut Butter cookies!

Pardon me while I dust away the cobwebs around here, it seems as though I just abandoned the blog sometime in February. For that, I apologize. This whole gestating experience has been fairly all consuming! My doctor has put me on a sick leave for the remaining of my pregnancy until my maternity leave starts, so I find myself with time on my hands. I don't do particularly well with time on my hands, but this morning I found myself itching to be the beautiful diabetic and endeavored to create something blog worthy in the kitchen!

Before I got pregnant, I had been actively pursuing a very low carb lifestyle in an effort to control my diabetes. It was really working well, and my blood sugar numbers were quite impressive. Sadly, the words 'pregnancy' and 'low carb' do not get along. My low carb lifestyle, along with my wine drinking, were the first two things my doctor made me give up. I didn't grieve for long, as I now had an excuse to eat BREAD again, so all was good.

Fast forward 7 months and I stumbled upon one of the jewels of the low carb world wasting away in my pantry:

Yep, Organic coconut flour. Word on the low carb street is that this stuff is magical. It has ZERO carbs, which is NIRVANA for any self respecting low carber. It also tastes great and is gluten free. There were several recipes I had wanted to try using it, but as my raging hormones dictate what I make these days, Peanut Butter cookies had been weighing heavily on my heart for about a week.
So, this morning, I decided to try to make peanut butter cookies with coconut flour. There are alot of recipes online for coconut flour, just google it. Here is the one I based my cookies on:

Peanut Butter Cookies

For these cookies, use natural peanut butter, without hydrogenated oil or added sugar. The oil in natural peanut butter usually separates and rises to the top of the jar if allowed to sit for any extended period of time. Mix this oil into the peanut butter. Do not pour it out. If you do pour it out, replace it with an equal amount of melted coconut oil. Maintaining the original fat content of the peanut butter produces the best results with this recipe.


½ cup sifted coconut flour
1 cup natural peanut butter
½ cup peanuts, coarsely chopped (optional)
1½ cups brown sugar
4 eggs
½ teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon salt


Mix together peanut butter, peanuts, sugar, eggs, vanilla and salt. Stir in peanuts and coconut flour. Batter will be runny. Drop by the spoonful 2 inches apart on greased cookie sheet. Bake at 190 Degree C (375F) for 14 to 15 minutes. Cool slightly and remove from cookie sheet. Makes about 3 dozen cookies. (bakers note: HA! 3 dozen? If you like tiny cookies, yes. I got 15 good size cookies out of this recipe)

Yes, that does say 1/2 cup of coconut flour! Coconut flour is very dense and you don't need a lot of it. I started with the organic peanut butter:

And followed with the eggs, salt, vanilla and sugar:

See the white stuff? You know, the granular stuff that looks like evil white sugar?? It's not! It's another one of my low carb superstars:

That, my friends, is a little something called Erythritol. It's an amazing product. Has a GI of ZERO, so it has no effect on bloodsugar, so it's great for diabetics, and it is also a sugar alcohol, but has NO adverse affects on the bowels, so it's also great for people who can't normally handle sugar alcohols or Splenda and the like. It is usually derived from melons and it does tend to have a slight 'cooling' or minty taste. I enjoy it, you may not, but try it and see, as anyime you can eliminate processed sugar from your diet, it's a good idea. The recipe called for 1 1/2 cups of brown sugar, so I did half and half. I find the Erythritol does best when blended with another sweetner, and being pregnant, I don't like to consume mass quantities of Splenda.

Finally, I added my miniscule half cup of coconut flour. You will be amazed at how it thickens when you add it. I stirred everything together really well to ensure even distribution of the flour throughout the rest of the batter and then dropped it in large spoonfuls onto a baking sheet lined with parchment. I also have a sick obsession with macadamia nuts lately, so I chopped up a bunch and added them to the top of the cookies:

Popped them in the over and sat back to see what would happen. I am a fan of crispy cookies in general, with all of the egg in these cookies, I had my doubts about what their degree of crispiness would be. I waited the reccommended 13-15 minutes and then added 2 more minutes and took them out of the oven to let them cool:

My verdict? They are actually really GOOD! They are a cakey cookie, but the flavor is excellent.

Managing diabetes and other food intolerances is a journey. You have to be willing to try new things and adapt your expectations and tastes and try strange ingredients that you never would have considered had it not been for an unfortunate diagnosis. Hang in there. Don't let diabetes or food intolerances steal your joy in food, instead, find ways around it.

These peanut butter cookies with a tall glass of cold milk could just be the perfect start to your new journey:


Sunday, February 22

Tacos! The Breakfast of Champions.

I think I have been pretty lucky thus far in the pregnancy as far a crazy cravings go. I don't crave anything weird, like pickles and icecream, I just crave things I have no hope of possibly getting here in Norway. Some of the cravings are so intense that I actually SHAKE a little when thinking about them! In no particular order, I have craved:
  • Chik-fila combo number 1 with extra pickles
  • Arby's roast beef sandwich
  • Tater tots from Sonic with a diet cherry limeade
  • Whataburger with cheese and jalepenos
  • Thin and crispy pepperoni pizza from Pizza Hut
  • ANYTHING tex mex
Luckily, or unluckily, I cannot get any of that in Norway, so I have an apple or an orange instead and as a result, have only gained about 14 pounds in 22 weeks of pregnancy! Which fits into the whole 'slow and steady' approach to weight gain!

Now, I can't get the restaurant quality tex mex I crave here, but I can make some pretty good homemade concoctions here thanks to my spice collection from Texas, and lately it seems like I cannot get enough of breakfast tacos. I love breakfast tacos, and coming from Houston you have a wide range of possibilities to procure them from Whataburger to the local mexican food stand. Breakfast tacos are easy and tasty and don't require any special culinary skills beyond being able to scramble eggs and microwave tortillas, so they are a great quick breakfast!

I always have bacon in mine. Good crispy bacon:

I also had some leftover chorizo in the freezer from the time I tried to make my own from scratch. It wasn't BAD, but it wasn't GREAT either, but it would work great in tacos, so I cooked it and then added it to the scrambled eggs:

Then to assemble your tacos, heat up a tortilla, add some cheese, put the eggs and sausage mixture in, top it with a strip of bacon, some cilantro and spicy green salsa:

Roll them up and enjoy!! They are so tasty and somehow they always manage to hit that proverbial spot:

I could eat these all the time and never get sick of them!

Good eatin'.

Monday, February 16

And then there were three

Well, once again I find myself apologizing for being such a bad blog updater. I have so much admiration for people who update their blogs on a daily, or at least REGULAR, basis. Sadly, I am more of a sporadic blogger, despite my intentions otherwise.

But, this time, I think I have what is at least a somewhat legitimate excuse! Around early November things took a stunning change of direction here in our household, all thanks to a magic little stick:
Yes, that's right! I'm PREGNANT! For most of October and November, we were just in shock and I was really not well. I wasn't throwing up, but I really suffered from sheer exhaustion. To the point that I honestly do not remember parts of November and December. It was weird.

Then on January 22, we went to the doctor and came face to face with the fruit of our loins:

That my friends, is my 95% certain little GIRL!! I cannot describe the emotion when that grainy image appears on the screen above you. To see perfectly formed fingers and toes. To see her putting her fingers in her mouth like the picture above. To see an amazingly long leg like this:
I mean, it's just overwhelming!!! I'm pregnant with a she-child and I am still just in SHOCK!
But it's fun, and it's challenging and it's an entire new journey that we are going on.

My diabetic needs have changed and I have begun using insulin which has revolutionized my life! I can't wait to tell you about that another time, but insulin has really given me back my quality of life that I had been missing for a few years now. In a nutshell, insulin ROCKS.

So, that is what is going on here in Norway. It's cold, it's snowy and I am just gestating away and in about 18 weeks, we will have a little mini-us joining our little clan for a whole set of new adventures!

It's quite amazing really.