lunch

Jen’s Loaded Nachos

I These started out as a great alternative to traditional recipes of tacos, enchiladas, Doritos casserole. They make a great meal, snack, or game day favorite too.I wash mine in the dishwasher and reuse at parties, on special occasions and if it breaks it was disposable to begin with.

Ingredients

2 lbs minced beef or chuck
1 medium yellow onion diced
1/2 medium bell pepper chopped
2 Roma tomatoes diced
Sour cream (we like Daisy in squeezeable application)
Chucky salsa (we like taco bell mild)
1 – 16oz fiesta blend shredded cheese
Guacamole if desired
1 lg bag Tostitos Scoops (you can use any kind of totilla chip you prefer these just make handy cups)
2 pkg McCormick Taco seaoningChopped jalapeno, black olives, melted cheese sauce, are optional.
You can make to many variations to list, including chicken, steak, salsa verde, lime, and anything else you can dream up.  I make mine like our family taco night.Farberware 22001 Buena Cocina Deep Nonstick Frying Pan / Fry Pan / Skillet with Lid and Helper Handle - 12 Inch, Black  by Farberware  Farberware 22001 Buena Cocina Deep Nonstick Frying Pan / Fry Pan / Skillet with Lid and Helper Handle – 12 Inch, Black.    by Farberware

Directions

  • In medium pan, brown ground meat.
  • Drain excess fat
  • Add 1/2 cup water and taco seasoning stirring well to coat meat.
  • Continue over medium heat until water has evaporated.
  • Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  • Chop or dice vegetables as needed. I found a few great shortcuts if there is no one around to help.  You can get shredded iceberg lettuce like the restaurants use in the produce section at your local Walmart. If I don’t have the time the also have pico de gallo instead of dicing onions and tomatoes yourself. They add cilantro and typically Serano peppers. 
  • Spread chips or cups on big tray. 
  • Evenly sprinkle with cooked, seasoned meat, vegetables, cheese and toppings as desired. 
  • Feeding a diverse crew?  Set everything up and let them add their choices as they like them.  This concept also works well for parties and game days too.


Try with a virgin or real margarita and maybe Tres Leche cake for dessert.

NATIONAL CROISSANT DAY – January 30


In the United States, National Croissant Day, recognizes a wonderful flaky pastry enjoyed at every meal.  Croissants are  buttery, crescent-shaped rolls that are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.  

7Days Soft Croissant, Chocolate, Perfect Breakfast Pastry or Snack, Non-GMO (Pack of 24)

by 7 Days
7Days Soft Croissant, Chocolate, Perfect Breakfast Pastry or Snack, Non-GMO (Pack of 24)

by 7 Days


The key to a perfect croissant is laminating the dough. Laminating the dough, also used in puff pastry, is a process by which butter is folded into the mixture creating multiple thin layers of butter and dough. The result is a mouth-watering flaky crust and airy body.

Croissant Cutter- Roller Slices Perfect Shaped Pastry Dough for Homemade Croissants in Minutes

by Good Cooking
Croissant Cutter- Roller Slices Perfect Shaped Pastry Dough for Homemade Croissants in Minutes

by Good Cooking


Legend surrounds this pastry, as is often the case with a popular, worldly treat. What is known, is that crescent-shaped breads have been found around the world for ages. One of these was the Kipferl which originated in Austria as far back as the 13th century. This nonlaminated bread is more like a roll.

Credit for the croissant we know today is given to an Austrian military officer, August Zang. In 1939 he opened a Viennese bakery in Paris introducing France to Viennese baking techniques.

August Zang and the French Croissant: How Viennoiserie Came to France - 2nd edition Kindle Edition

by Jim Chevallier 
August Zang and the French Croissant: How Viennoiserie Came to France – 2nd edition Kindle Edition

by Jim Chevallier 

HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalCroissantDay

Stop by the bakery for a fresh, warm croissant. Be sure to give your baker a shout out, too! Of course, you can always try baking your own. This Recipe is from Allrecipes.com

Use #NationalCroissantDay to post on social media.

Valentines Day is coming!
Get a head start for your Valentine.

NATIONAL KETO DAY

On January 5th kick off your New Year’s resolution with The Keto Diet. The easiest change, and best thing you can do for you and your family.

Okay we’ve all made those resolutions about diet an exercise, now what? I know there are a lot of choices out there. Me I’m staying with what works the best and easiest for me. I lost over 150 lbs after back surgery. My Dr loves this diet now, as I have not only lost weight it keeps my diabetes under control. My husband also a diabetic for years has shown the clinical proof to his Dr as well.

Introducing Prime Pantry - Everyday Essentials Delivered to You
Introducing Prime Pantry – Everyday Essentials Delivered to You

While we are usually, more low carb than strict Keto but so many of the products and recipes work for both. According to the blood work it keeps our overall cholesterol down, bad cholesterol even more and good cholesterol goes up. Blood sugar numbers drop significantly and stay down. In my case it has reversed my type 2 diabetes. Not forgetting the weight loss. One quick note there is a big difference between types if diabetics so please be aware of what type you are, and consult you dr. What works for type 2 could produce bad situations for type 1.

DIRTY, LAZY, KETO: Getting Started: How I Lost 140 Pounds Paperback – September 4, 2018

by Stephanie Laska  (Author), William Laska (Editor)
DIRTY, LAZY, KETO: Getting Started: How I Lost 140 Pounds Paperback – September 4, 2018

by Stephanie Laska  (Author), William Laska (Editor)
Kodiak Cakes On The Go Cups -Variety Pack 12 Different Cups - Try Them All - Plus Unique Magnet

by Kodiak Cakes
Kodiak Cakes On The Go Cups -Variety Pack 12 Different Cups – Try Them All – Plus Unique Magnet

by Kodiak Cakes


So here’s the good news.  You can have things like chicken, steak, eggs and cheeses, some types of vegetables,  even dairy and things like Dark chocolate.  The bad news is just say “no”, to most breads, pasta, sugar, cake and cookies.  There is a small selection of convenience foods out there.  Here in the south one of the biggest complaints is no macaroni and cheese.

With recipes like Garlic Butter Steak bites, and tons more, chances are they won’t be missed as much as you thought. Even Lasagna can be converted to low carb and Keto Friendly. Veggies like cauliflower, zucchini, broccoli, spinach, take over for potatoes and pasta. Be sure to check My Recipes Page often for new culinary creations.

As we do a none strict version we have learned to change out certain ingredients to make them more friendly. Buy Yukon gold or red potatoes instead of Idaho russets, whole wheat pasta for spaghetti, and with store like Amazon Fresh Groceries we are no longer limited to only what’s on your local shelves.

My best secret is join some groups who share their tips and recipes. Choose the version of Keto that works best for you. Your family will join the bandwagon without major tribulations. Most children only notice the absence of sugary sodas and snacks. Best of all these changes will set them on a path to a much healthier, happier life. Try one of our family favorites and start changing your health. Check out some of the great foods now stocked at Walmart.  Zoodles, Whisps, Veggie Tots by Green Giant, Sweet Potato Fries, Kodiak Frozen Waffles and Pancakes, Crepini Egg Thins Cauliflower, Caulipower Frozen Pizza.

I suggest these groups on social media. Some of my favorites on Facebook: Keto for Beginners, Keto for Women Only, Keto Recipes for beginners, and lots more just search for them on your favorite platform.

Find these and other great meals on my Recipe page. They are not all Keto diet but if you just have to cheat or treat yourself you can find a great one here too.

Mushroom Swiss Chicken
Mushroom Swiss Chicken
Garlic Butter Steak bites
Garlic Butter Steak Bites
Deviled Eggs
Deviled Eggs
Jen's Easy Chili
Jen’s Easy Chili

Information provided by National Day Calendar. Check out this and other great holidays throughout the year.

Two of the most significant perks seen with the keto diet are weight loss and healthy blood sugar support. In fact, studies have shown improved glycemic control for those with type 2 diabetes while adhering to a ketogenic diet.

Other health benefits of a keto diet may include healthy cholesterol and blood pressure support. It may also be beneficial for those with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.

National Day Calendar
Benefits

Two of the most significant perks seen with the keto diet are weight loss and healthy blood sugar support. In fact, studies have shown improved glycemic control for those with type 2 diabetes while adhering to a ketogenic diet.

Keto Plan

How does the diet work? By eliminating carbohydrates, your body will use up its store of glycogen first. Then it will move into ketosis and begin burning fat.

Primarily, a keto diet consists of healthy fats, like eggs, avocado, olive oil, and sustainably-raised meat. Nuts, seeds, dairy, and low-carbohydrate vegetables such as asparagus, broccoli, and green peppers are also easy to incorporate. Coconut oil, grass-fed butter, and ghee add fat and flavor to a keto diet. Occasionally, small servings of berries are added to the menu.

Eliminate these foods if you are considering a keto diet:

  • sweets, sugar, sodas, baked goods
  • grains, whole grains, and starches
  • fruits, starchy vegetables
  • hydrogenated oils, vegetable oil
  • diet foods, including low sugar, sugar-free, low-fat foods

NATIONAL MICROWAVE OVEN DAY

On December 6th, National Microwave Oven Day honors one appliance that changed the way we use the kitchen. 

Quite by accident, self-taught American engineer Percy Spencer discovered a way to heat food safely with microwaves. While working with an active radar in 1945, he noticed a candy bar in his pocket was melting. The high-powered microwave beams created a heating effect ideal for cooking. Spencer deliberately attempted cooking popcorn with the microwaves. Next, he tried cooking an egg. The egg test was less successful than the popcorn. It exploded in his fellow engineer’s face! However, we can cook eggs in microwave ovens. Try poaching one. 

This is the closest my husband gets to cooking. If you can’t do it in the microwave, he needs extensive instruction and supervision. Try a mug treat from Betty Crocker too. They make a late more brownie only a few buttons away….

Toshiba EM131A5C-BS Microwave Oven with Smart Sensor, Easy Clean Interior, ECO Mode and Sound On/Off, 1.2 Cu.ft, 1100W, Black Stainless Steel

by Toshiba
Toshiba EM131A5C-BS Microwave Oven with Smart Sensor, Easy Clean Interior, ECO Mode and Sound On/Off, 1.2 Cu.ft, 1100W, Black Stainless Steel

by Toshiba

Spencer, employed by Raytheon, continued experimenting with different methods of heating food safely with microwaves.

  • Raytheon filed a United States patent application for Spencer’s microwave cooking process on October 8, 1945.
  • In 1947, Raytheon built the first commercially available microwave oven. It was called the “Radarange.”
  • An estimated 90% of homes in the United States have a microwave in them.
Panasonic Compact Microwave Oven with 1200 Watts of Cooking Power, Sensor Cooking, Popcorn Button, Quick 30sec and Turbo Defrost - NN-SN67KS - 1.2 cu. ft (Stainless Steel / Silver)

by Panasonic
Panasonic Compact Microwave Oven with 1200 Watts of Cooking Power, Sensor Cooking, Popcorn Button, Quick 30sec and Turbo Defrost – NN-SN67KS – 1.2 cu. ft (Stainless Steel / Silver)

by Panasonic

HOW TO OBSERVE #MicrowaveOvenDay

The microwave oven is more than an elaborate popcorn popper. Use this celebration to explore the many uses of the microwave oven. We’ve provided a few suggestions to get you started, but we also encourage you to share your favorites, too!

  • make crispy bacon (and you won’t get burned either)
  • melt chocolate for all that holiday dipping
  • heat rice or bean-filled hot pads for achy muscles
  • steam vegetables
  • soften brown sugar
  • dry herbs
  • loosen labels from jars
Colonel Popper Microwave Popcorn Maker Air Popper Silicone Bowl - Use any Kernels, Salt, Oil (Blue)

by Colonel Popper
Colonel Popper Microwave Popcorn Maker Air Popper Silicone Bowl – Use any Kernels, Salt, Oil (Blue)

by Colonel Popper

While testing these ideas out, take some time to clean your microwave, too. Steam a wet cloth for a minute on high and let stand for another minute. The steam softens any build-up. Then, wipe your microwave down with a little hot soapy water to remove any greasy splatter. 

Angry Mama Microwave Cleaner - Microwave Oven Steam Cleaner, Angry Mom High Temperature Steamer Cleaning Equipment Easily Crud in Minutes Steam Cleans and Disinfects with Vinegar and Water for Kitchen

by mixigoo
Angry Mama Microwave Cleaner – Microwave Oven Steam Cleaner, Angry Mom High Temperature Steamer Cleaning Equipment Easily Crud in Minutes Steam Cleans and Disinfects with Vinegar and Water for Kitchen

by mixigoo

Use #MicrowaveOvenDay to post on social media. 

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

With the fall season change, we get cooler temperatures and football.  We also get cold and flu season.  At some point in your life, I’ll bet you’ve heard chicken soup is the popular choice when a cold or flu comes home with you. Turns out there are health benefits to this comfort food that can help you recover. Cozy plush warm robeI recommend making your own and stocking it in the freezer. As my husband is both diabetic and on a low salt diet, it’s easier to control the ingredients.  It’s great on a just a winter evening or battling a bug. So here is my favorite recipe.AmazonBasics Enameled Cast Iron Covered Dutch Oven, 6-Quart, Blue  by AmazonBasics  AmazonBasics Enameled Cast Iron Covered Dutch Oven, 6-Quart, Blue

by AmazonBasics

Homemade Chicken Soup

2-3 lbs chicken breasts or thighs

2 tsp olive oil

3 Tbsp fresh minced garlic
3 tsp grated ginger
1 medium onion diced
1 cup diced fresh carrots
1/2 cup diced celery
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp black pepper
Pinch of red pepper flakes if desired.
2 cups uncooked egg noodles (use low carb options here if prefer)

Optional ingredients are 1 cup mushrooms, 16 oz fresh spinach, 2 cleaned and chopped leeks, 2 tsp turmeric, and 16 oz white beans.  I only add some or all if making a more hearty main dish. Stick with less if using for cold and flu.

  1. Cut chicken into 1/2 inch cubes.  In a Dutch oven add 2 tsp olive oil and chopped chicken.
  2. Cook over medium-high heat until chicken is seared.  (I like mine golden color for flavor).
  3. Add onions, garlic, and ginger.  Reduce heat to medium.
  4. Add carrots, Italian seasoning, celery, and both black pepper and red pepper flakes if desired.
  5. Cook about 10 minutes stirring frequently.
  6. Add chicken broth.  Reduce heat to low and cover.
  7. Simmer on low heat for about 30 – 45 minutes until carrots are tender.
  8. Add cooked pasta. Cover. Let simmer 10 minutes.
If freezing put in yogurt cups or red solo cups on a sheet tray in the freezer. Once frozen remove cups and put in a gallon freezer bag. Now it’s perfectly portioned for single servings.Make extra soup, then ladle it into red Solo cups to freeze. Grab one or two cups' worth to defrost anytime you need a quick dinner.  Make extra soup, then ladle it into red Solo cups to freeze. Grab one or two cups’ worth to defrost anytime you need a quick dinner.

October 4th, World Smile Day & Taco Day

World Smile Day

The first Friday of October every year is celebrated around the globe as World Smile Day. The unofficial holiday encourages people to do acts of kindness to spread good will and cheer.

Smiley face
Smiley Face

First started in 1999 by the creator of the smiley, Harvey Ball, the holiday celebrates the intent behind the now universally recognized icon – to bring a smile of the faces of people around the world. The purpose of the holiday was the move away from the commercialization of the smiley and to use it as a symbol of kindness and affection.

Morale Booster

The smiley made its debut in 1963 as a way to increase the morale of the employees of a life insurance company. Today, it is one of the most popular nonverbal ways to convey joy, happiness and cheer. The smiley face began as a bright yellow circle with two dots to represent eyes and a black line that represents a smiling mouth.

Emoji, emoticons, smiley face
Emoji

Today, there are many different versions of the smiley, representing many other human emotions such a sadness, surprise, worry and laughter. In modern texting smileys are used to express emotions in online conversations on a smartphone or on a computer. The practice has its origin in Japan, and the smileys and other icons are known as emoji.

Women's Fun Colorful Crew Sock 6 Packs
Women’s Fun Colorful Crew Sock 6 Packs

How to Celebrate?

  • Make people around you smile.
  • Do a random act of kindness. Buy a stranger a coffee. Compliment someone. Give your seat up to someone on the bus.
  • Surprise someone in your family with a visit, cook a meal for them, or do something special for them.
  • Volunteer your time and/ or money at a local nonprofit organization.

Did you know?

…that babies are born with the ability to smile?

National Taco Day

National Smile day and national taco day
Smile for Tacos!
Our Family Taco Night Recipe
Our Family Taco Night Recipe

Taco Day is a celebratory day that promotes to consumption of tacos. In the United StatesNational Taco Day is celebrated on October 4.

Taco Bell
Gift packs

The National Taco Day Gift Set is back. In Taco Bells all over the US – and that is a fact. It includes four tacos of the iconic variety: two crunchy and two with even more notoriety. We’re speaking, of course, of the beloved DLT. The gift set carries two that are flavored Nacho Cheese.

Eat it all up or bestow it upon a friend, because for only $5, there’s no wrong way to spend. If your loved one lives far, there’s no need to fret. We’ve got other ways to gift, on that you can bet. Send a digital gift card for five dollars plus tax, even add a personal message to include with the snacks.

Our taco recipe
Our Taco Night Recipe

Growing up and even just two days ago Tacos are a fun easy dinner. Get our homemade recipe here.

Family Tacos Night

Ingredients


  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 pkg taco seasoning
  • 1/4 c water
  • 1/4 medium onion diced
  • 1/4 medium green bell pepper diced
  • 1 – 2 tomatoes chopped
  • 1/2 head iceberg lettuce chopped
  • 1 pkg  flour tortillas
  • 1 pint sour cream 1 8oz jar of your favorite salsa.
  • Cheddar or Mexican blend shredded chesse
Tostitos Chunky Salsa - Mild, 15.5 Ounce  by Tostitos  Tostitos Chunky Salsa – Mild, 15.5 Ounce

Directions

  1. Brown fround beef over medium heat. Add pkg taco season and 1/4 c water. Cook another 5-7 minutes allowing water to evaporate.
  2. Cut all vegetable toppings and place in separate bowls.
  3. Open pkg of tortillas and warm for 1 minutes microwave.
  4. Leave spoons in each ingredient to add to tortillas.In our home each person layers the ingredients on the tortilla as they like it. (I like mine full of equal parts veggies and meat. Topped generously with salsa and sour cream. If available I enjoy a bit of guacamole as well.)
  5. If you fill tortilla to full, you will need a fork and plenty of napkins.
  6. Roll tortilla tucking ends as you go.  They are less likely to break or tear if warmed. 
  7. Enjoy.  We eat holding bottom firmly in place.  Be cautious when setting down or they can unroll.
  8. Juices may leak from seams so keep a napkin close by.
Mission Carb Balance Soft Taco Whole Wheat Tortillas | Low Carb, Keto, Whole Grains | High Fiber, No Sugar | Small Size | 8 Count  by Mission Foods  Mission Carb Balance Soft Taco Whole Wheat Tortillas | Low Carb, Keto, Whole Grains | High Fiber, No Sugar | Small Size | 8 Count
by Mission Foods

These are an easy substitute to go low carb or keto. 

There are so many options you can use with this basic idea. Substitute chicken, fish or steak, for ground beef.  Avocado, refried beans, black beans, corn salsa, rice, cabbage.  Any kind of cheese you like.  Or use tortilla chips, top and warn for ultimate loaded nachos.  Skip the tortillas entirely and add more lettuce for a great salad option.  These make a great party food as well.  Try some until you find your favorite.  Try a new variation for Cinco de Mayo, or make it a game day treat.  It’s really fun to try them all.
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