Sunday, August 20, 2017

Low Carb/Keto Capered Chicken Recipe with video

My husband challenged me to make a Yucatanean Meal, then added, "but of course, you can't make it low carb."  Huh. I showed him.



 The recipe I've linked to in this post was the entree. I will also be sharing the other recipes I used in that meal.


All the recipes I used were:

  • Capered Chicken (Pollo Alcaparrado) from Rick Bayless
  • David Sterling's sautéed chaya with smoked bacon: Chayas fritas / Tsajbil chaay
  • Pork Rind Tortillas 1 carb each
  • Achiote-Rubbed Butternut Squash Tacos


This Capered Chicken recipe came from Rick Bayless, and actually needed only one change to make it keto, and that was leaving out the raisins. I made a few changes to use what I had on hand or what was in season, however. And it turned out great!  A very successful dish. I'm sure I'll cook it again.





Rick Bayless is a TV chef and cookbook writer, who has traveled in the Yucatan. We've watched him on YouTube.  

Here is his website: http://www.rickbayless.com/

And here is the link to the recipe for Capered Chicken: http://www.rickbayless.com/recipe/capered-chicken/

And finally, here's a link to the video I made about cooking low carb Capered Chicken:  https://youtu.be/WqNsOT8-5i4

Happy Eating!!!

Here are some of Rick's cookbooks:
(with links to where you can purchase them)







This post may be sponsored or contain affiliate links. My opinions are always my own. If you purchase a product through an affiliate link, I make a small commission – at no cost to you – which helps keep this blog running, my recipes free, and supports our efforts to bring information about the low carb lifestyle and the experience of moving to Mexico to you.  






Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Mexican American Pavlovas for the 4th of July: Recipe

I eat and cook low carb. I have high blood sugar that I control with diet. I'd like to lose weight, but that hasn't really happened, but I am not gaining.... At 64, I guess I should feel lucky about that.

So when we were invited to a 4th of July pot luck, I faced a challenge. I know other people need to eat low carb too, so when I attend events such as this, I try to contribute something that all low-carbers can enjoy without breaking their diets.



This time I chose a dessert idea that I learned about in Australia: The pavlova. Yes, it's named after the ballerina, and New Zealand and Australia squabble about who invented it. It's really just a meringue topped with whipped cream and fruit, but it's great for hot weather and fairly low-carb. If you don't add a lot of sugar, which I don't.

I use Swerve as my sweetener of choice. It's not 0 carb, but low carb. It's made from 100% monkfruit, which is sourced in Europe to keep it GMO free. It tastes great. Just don't overdo it.

Here's the recipe for the Pavlova shell.

Ingredients:
•  6 eggs whites
•  ½ cup Swerve
•  2 ½ cups heavy cream
•  A dash of vanilla
•  A dash of lemon of lime juice


1.   Preheat oven to 250°F.
2.   Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
3.   Separate eggs, and put egg whites into a metal or glass (not plastic) bowl.
4.   Beat until soft peaks form.
5.   Gradually add Splenda and beat until mixture is thick and glossy - at least 5 minutes.
6.   Spoon heaped teaspoonfuls of the meringue onto baking sheets. Use a large spoon to make bowls.
7.   Bake for 20-25 minutes or until crisp and just lightly browned.
8.   Cool in the oven with the door ajar.
9.   Top meringue with whipped cream, and decorate with berries.
10. Serve immediately.  They will last about an hour before they start getting soggy.

I used fun little American and Mexican flag picks on mine, which I purchased on Amazon.  

 

Here's the YouTube video I made of creating these cute little desserts:


So have fun cooking low carb!



This post may be sponsored or contain affiliate links. My opinions are always my own. If you purchase a product through an affiliate link, I make a small commission – at no cost to you – which helps keep this blog running, my recipes free, and supports our efforts to bring information about the low carb lifestyle and the experience of moving to Mexico to you.  

Monday, August 7, 2017

From Cubicle Rat to Digital Nomad

What a whirlwind.

I lost my job.  It was inevitable. The company was bought and sold three times in three years. The final company who bought it to keep it rather than to just repackage it to sell to someone else "restructured," and they already had a forty-person communication team in Palo Alto or somewhere, so I was, they determined without even consulting my supervisor, "redundant."

Do I sound bitter?  Eh, not really. I want to become a digital nomad anyway. So I can work from Mexico or wherever. I never want to be a cubicle rat again.

Well, maybe just a little bitter.  I did post this when I was near Palo Alto the other day

A certain company, located in Palo Alto, CA., really pissed me off recently, although they may have actually done me a favor in the long run. Anyway, here I am, one hour away from their corporate headquarters, and my buddy, Dino, insisted on making a very significant gesture in their general direction. I really appreciate that gesture, but the hotel room really stinks now ! 
So why was I near Palo Alto when I live in Oklahoma and plan to move to Mexico? How did I get so far off my planned route?  Two days after the "big news," my husband woke up with a brilliant idea. We've wanted to take a trip out to California to visit my stepson for ages. I didn't want him making the drive without me, so here was our opportunity.

And what a trip it was!  We planned it in four days. We worked out a timetable and made all our hotel reservations. We even made dinner reservations at the Grand Canyon.  The trip took two weeks. We drove approximately  5,000 miles!!  We saw many places that one or both of us had never seen before.


We packed up our trusty BMW X3 with all the goodies we thought we'd need, and it worked out well.


And we packed our dinosaurs, which was a really great idea. I ordered them on Amazon, and they were well worth the price for fun travel photos. They will travel with us from now on. 


Our other great purchase for this trip was a plug in cooler. OK. I'll admit it. We bought it because we wanted cool wine when we got to our hotel rooms at night.  It worked great!  We kept it plugged into the car while we were driving and unplugged it if we turned off the car for any period of time, and plugged it in in the hotel rooms at night. 

And it came in handy for other stuff. In California, where we stayed three days, we bought some supplies and took leftover meat and cheese and tortillas along with us when we left, which came in really handy for a road lunch and even a light dinner when we pulled into Taos really late and didn't want to bother with a restaurant. We just wanted to sleep. And drink chilled wine, of course.  We think this cooler has a bright future, including accompanying us on our drive-down trip to Mexico when we move.


But now we are home and it's time for me to start figuring out how to be a digital nomad.  I have so much to do. 

  • I need to re-brand the novel I already have published. I let my husband convince me it wasn't a romance. It is. And it needs to be labeled as one and look like one.
  • I need to post some of the YouTube videos I made on our trip.
  • I need to find a new home for my online art.
  • I need to finish my new webpage.
  • I need to write this blog more often!!!  (I will write some blog posts about the places we visited on this trip. It was a fascinating ride!)
  • I need to really pay attention to our diet and create some "Fine dining with KETO" videos and post some recipes. 


So here goes!  Cubicle Rat to Digital Nomad.  THAT'S ME!!!!




This post may be sponsored or contain affiliate links. My opinions are always my own. If you purchase a product through an affiliate link, I make a small commission – at no cost to you – which helps keep this blog running, my recipes free, and supports our efforts to bring information about the low carb lifestyle and the experience of moving to Mexico to you.  

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Road trips, dinosaurs and lenses

So we are going on a two week road trip through the western USA, starting next week. We are visiting Santa Fe, the southern rim of the Grand Canyon, driving over the Golden Gate Bridge, stopping in Mendocino, staying in a Victorian Inn in Ferndale, CA., visiting friends in Willow Creek, CA, then driving up into Idaho to visit Ketchum where Hemingway spent the last two years of his life, where he killed himself and is buried. From there, well drive through Salt Lake City, and stop to see the lake, then drive over the Royal Gorge Bridge and then down to Taos for a couple days on the way home. That's almost 80 hours of driving with a few days here and there to catch up with ourselves and rest in very cool places.
I had never heard of the Taos hum until an Australia friend asked about it (Thanks Stace Irving), but I guess we'll have to check that out.


I didn't know all my lenses for my new EOS 80D when I went to Mexico, so I played around with them a little tonight to get ready for this road trip.  First, I bought some dinosaurs to take some fun pictures with. Can you imagine them at the Grand Canyon?  And they are poseable!!!

So I am experimenting with all my lenses and my dinosaurs to know how to use my camera better on this trip. Here are my results:

Regular lens all the way in


Regular lens zoomed all the way out


Regular lens with telephoto in


Regular lens with telephoto zoomed out


Zoom lens all the way zoomed out



Zoom lens all the way in

Regular lens with wide angle zoomed out


Regular lens with wide angle zoomed in



So what do you think? I think we are going to have FUN and come back with awesome photos and videos!!



This post may be sponsored or contain affiliate links. My opinions are always my own. If you purchase a product through an affiliate link, I make a small commission – at no cost to you – which helps keep this blog running, my recipes free, and supports our efforts to bring information about the low carb lifestyle and the experience of moving to Mexico to you.  


Saturday, July 8, 2017

Beautiful Sisal

One of our goals for our trip to the Yucatan last month was to explore the beach towns. The map below shows the stretch of beach from Sisal to Telchac. You can drive along the beach to Telchac but you have to go through Merida to get to Sisal.


We stayed in Progreso, on the Malecon.  The picture below is of the two mile pier where the cruise ships dock.  Our hotel was a couple blocks from there.


We drove east to Telchac and West to Sisal. Telchac is nice. We are considering it, but we REALLY love Sisal. It's a long way out there....through a village. But then you get to Sisal and it's what we'd been looking for since we'd arrived in Mexico.


We drove through the town. It was clean and cute.  We found a cute beach restaurant and had ceviche and Sols.




Then we found the road that led past the beach homes and out onto the beautiful beach.


The houses were beautiful and even the second row was nice The palm trees are tall, which indicates they don't have bad hurricanes there.  The palms are taller there than any other beach town we saw.


The day was really windy. I'd like to see the ocean on a calmer day. People were in the water near the restaurant and the pier, but I thought it looked pretty scary out in the water down where we were. But the beach was beautiful. And deserted. Such white sand and so deserted. Just us.


We are really fascinated with Sisal. When we first move down, we will rent for six months at least, and we plan to rent in Merida. But we're going to be seeing a whole lot more of Sisal during that time and we just may end up living there.

I found this great drone video of Sisal that I'll share with you, too....  Dreams are made of this!!





This post may be sponsored or contain affiliate links. My opinions are always my own. If you purchase a product through an affiliate link, I make a small commission – at no cost to you – which helps keep this blog running, my recipes free, and supports our efforts to bring information about the low carb lifestyle and the experience of moving to Mexico to you.  

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Where we are right now on our journey to Mexico

We returned from our trip to Mexico just a little over two weeks ago, and we sat down this weekend to talk about that trip and where we feel we are right now.

Actually, we're pretty excited about our plans. We just don't know yet if we want to end up at the beach or in Merida.  Merida is exciting and the beach is....OMG it's the beach. And so beautiful.

As I process the pictures (about a thousand) that I took down there, we'll make some videos and write some blogs about each place we visited and what we think about them. That'll be coming up soon.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

The Container Mindset: What will we take to Mexico?

Every time we buy something, we ask ourselves and each other, "Will this go to Mexico?"  We often look at something we already own and ask the same question. Recently, for some reason, I've acquired some nude decorative pieces. They just called to me. And yes, they are going to Mexico. I think they will fit into our home there.

 

But we have so many decisions to make. We've done a "big move" once before. Well twice. To Australia and back. Of course, we knew that was only temporary. And we kept a storage shed here for those two years. So we had a backup for things that didn't fit in. This time is not temporary. And we are not planning for a backup storage shed.

But the big point of a container is that you make up your mind what size you are going to get and then, whatever fits inside that all costs the same amount. So you have decided on a price and you fill it up as strategically as you can.


This was our container moving back from Australia. One thing we learned is that the movers make all the difference. When we moved before, we had no choice but to let the movers pack because Australia is very picky about what goes in and out, and for them to be able to certify the contents, they had to pack it. The movers who moved us from Tulsa were awful. The movers who moved us back were awesome. Too bad OSS does not move from the U.S. to Mexico.


The problem with Tulsa is, it turns out, even if you get quotes and choose one company over another, they all contract out to the same movers. That's going to be a problem because we are moving from Tulsa again. At least this time we know enough to get in writing exactly WHO will be loading the container. Not sure we'll have a choice, though. We'll have to see about that.


But once you have a company selected and know what size you are going to use, it's all about the packing. It all costs the same amount. So how much can you get in there and what choices are you going to make? What items are valuable and delicate and need to be crated, like televisions and art? Those do cost a little more to prepare. 

OSS did a much better job for us. They got in a sofa that we didn't think would fit at all, and it's the one we're bringing to Mexico, actually.


I'm not sure if we'll have the option to do some of our own packing, coming to Mexico or not. I hope so, because I have already started. This picture is of our home in Australia, but after last Christmas, I packed all our Christmas things for the move. And I'm not unpacking it until we get there, either.  We saved a lot of our OSS boxes. They are awesome strong and durable. We need to find out more about how packing works between the US and Mexico.

But the point is, I guess, when I ask on the expat boards about some items we are thinking about bringing, some people always pipe up, "We only brought two suitcases. It costs too much to bring your stuff and you can buy everything here." The same thing happened when we moved to Australia. I guess it depends on your stuff. And if you are a nest builder or are perfectly happy with plastic chairs from Walmart or Target or what. 

We have picked out our "stuff" carefully. Some is valuable, Some is not. But we like it. When our kids visited us in Australia, there was a comfort factor. It was still Mom and Dad's house on the other side of the world. We also felt comfortable with our stuff. Lots of it has history and stories. It makes us happy.

So our latest take it or leave it conversation was about tools. We were surprised how strong the opinions were to take them. Probably not a lawn mover or weed eater. Yard help is extremely reasonably priced and your employees will probably have their own tools...maybe machetes...but yes to hand tools, ladders, wheel barrows, and generators. Oh yes, and shop vacs. Those things are not cheap down there and they are often not high quality. You are better off taking your own. Pack tools in a drawer or something. Don't waste space and it won't cost you anything to take them. A generator will take space, but it sounds like it's well worth it. Ladders won't take much room if you have good, strategic packers.

So the adventure continues.  





Saturday, July 1, 2017

Not waiting until Mexico to get healthy: Keto biscuits

On an expat board, I asked how expats' lives changed when they moved to Mexico. We don't see ours changing that much. I mean, we lived much the same in Australia as we do now in Tulsa, Oklahoma. One soon-to-be expat explained that she saw their lives changing a lot. For one thing, they are looking forward to a healthier lifestyle.

To some extent, we too are looking forward to a healthier lifestyle, but we aren't waiting until we get to Mexico to make changes. In fact, we've been trying to live healthy for many years now.  For one thing, we eat very healthy food. I have high blood sugar, and don't want to take medication for it, so we eat a very low-carb diet. It doesn't keep me skinny, but I'm not fat either.

We eat very few processed foods and NO fast food. Most of our meals are cooked at home. This summer we have a great crop of tomatoes, peppers and basil. We also have apricot and an peach trees.

This Saturday morning, the first day of a four-day 4th of July holiday weekend, I am trying a new recipe for low-carb biscuits. We're going to have it with some homemade apricot jam (spoiler-it's not really keto because it's fruit, but it's sweetened with Swerve, so much better than anything we could buy.)

Here's the link to the recipe: https://snapguide.com/guides/make-low-carb-biscuits/

I didn't have sour cream, so I used a softened package of cream cheese. That made them a little firmer, but I put them in muffin pans anyway.  Also, since I wanted them for jam, I added a pinch of Slap Yo Mamma seasoning instead of the salt and garlic powder. You couldn't really taste it, but I guess it gave them just a little spicy edge. I also used mozzarella cheese. Cheese is optional in the recipe.

I cooked them in the toaster oven, and left them in just a tad too long. Maybe 400 that the recipe calls for might be a little hot. I'll probably try 375 or 350 next time.  The recipe made twelve muffins.

They were a success. Nice texture and tasty Great with my apricot jam.  I think this recipe is a keeper.







Thursday, June 29, 2017

Our Mexican Adventure: A Trip to the Yucatan

"I think that was the most interesting vacation I've ever taken," exclaimed my husband.


Well, yes. We didn't sit on our butts around a pool or on the beach ordering margaritas in an all-exclusive. We didn't even visit museums or tourist attractions.  We didn't ride buses to where tour guides wanted us to go.

Years ago, we'd been told that it was dangerous to get out on our own in the Yucatan.  Hogwash. We rented a car and took off through villages and to beaches we'd always wanted to see. We drove down country roads. We ate in tiny Mexican cafes. We roamed the streets of Merida. We met the people who live there and we saw a little bit of Mexico. And we are in love.


One of our missions was to visit all the places we've read about. The city of Merida in the center of it all and I will talk about this fantastic colonial city in another post. The rest of the places that interest us are beach towns.

Progeso is the largest beach town. It's where the cruise ships dock. It has the longest pier in the world, I think. It's two miles long because of the shelf off the Yucatan. They had to go out that far to get deep enough for the ships to dock. It's about 30 miles from Progreso. That's where we stayed for four nights while we explored east and west.

West of Progreso are the small fishing villages of Chelem and Churburna. Many expats live there. Then much farther out is Sisal. Ah, Sisal....

East of Progreso is the fishing village of Chexalub, then much farther out is Telchac.

So that was our range, this trip. We visited all of those places. We don't think Progreso or the "3 C's" are for us. They were a bit shabby and dirty, but beach towns everywhere are. The ocean and the elements take a toll on the buildings. But they just didn't feel right to us. Unfortunately, they probably have the best internet and the best medical facilities.  We need the internet to work and we aren't getting any younger. Progreso also has good grocery stores and some decent restaurants. The Malecon is pretty cool.
Image may contain: sky and outdoor


The towns we liked best were the ones way out to the east and the west: Telchac and Sisal. But they have very few if any medical facilities and we are extremely uncertain about the quality and reliability of the internet connectivity.  We get mixed reports. 

Telchac:


Telchac is a clean, cute little town and the beaches are much better than the villages nearer the pier. It has a lot of beach houses. That is one of its biggest advantages. It seems to have more houses than Sisal, and may be a little less expensive. Also, it has pretty good roads to Merida.  But the trip between both Sisal and Telchac and Merida is a little over an hour. 

And then there is Sisal. We love Sisal. It was the prettiest place we visited in our whole trip.  Its as cute as a bug and the beach just takes your breath away. The day we were there, the wind was high and I would NOT have gone out into that ocean, but I'm sure it's very nice on less windy days.  The palm trees are very tall and beautiful, indicating that it doesn't get many hurricanes.



We also loved Merida, and were privileged to visit several home there. It has very modern stores and malls, but also totally charming colonial squares and cathedrals and homes and barios. We were charmed. We stayed in some very nice hotels there. We won't discuss where we stayed in Progreso in this post. But we will in another. Not so great. 





So, what we learned from this trip is that we might end up in Telchac or Sisal, but we are going to start out in Merida. We plan to move down next spring, and rent for about six months and explore further while we are there. At this point, we'll get serious about making decisions.  

In the meantime, we need to get our house in Tulsa ready to sell. We have lots and lots to do. We hope to make another trip later this year, and we need to really work on our Spanish!

So our Mexican Adventure continues.  

Follow us here and on 
and on 

And soon we'll also have a website to pull it all together.

So....I have a lot to do!