Sunday, May 30, 2010

"I-Can't-Believe-This-Isn't-Cheating" Cream Cheese Balls

You might think I'm exagerrating but I'm not. Whenever one of these cream cheese balls touch my lips, my brain sends out an alarm: CHEATING! CHEATING! CHEATING! But I, of course, know that the nerve endings in my brain are just spazzing out from the deliciousness that my tongue is experiencing.

I first met these balls whilst reading a thread on LCF about what to do with 18 blocks of cream cheese. Since my hubby hoardes Philly cream cheese blocks like it's going out of style (but seriously, we don't find them so easily in our neck of the woods so hoarding is a great idea, moreso because of this recipe). “didi” posted,“Keto Balls! They can live in the freezer.” Followed by the link to the recipe.

Now... Keto balls sounded... vile, like something you'd find living in the socks you wore to the gym once and forgot to throw into the washer because it managed to crawl BY ITSELF under the bed only to be found when you were looking for your flip flops. It sounded nasty and gross. But since I like living on the edge, I clicked the link. And boy was I happy to be the adventurous clicker that I am. Because this recipe is anything but vile or nasty or gross. It is divine and easy and oh-so-good you'd forget, your brain will actually forget, that it's LEGAL.

You may find the original recipe here. The one below is a double batch and with a minor tweak.

See the lovely flecks of green from the pistachios?


Cream cheese, 2 (8 oz) blocks
Unsalted butter, 2 sticks or 1 cup
Splenda, 1 cup
Nuts of your choice (I used ½ cup of pistachios)

1.Make sure the cream cheese and butter are at room temperature. This will make it easier to mix. With an electric mixer, blend the cream cheese and butter well. Add the Splenda and mix some more.
2.For the nuts, I chose to incorporate them into the mixture rather than cover the balls. I only had ½ cup of pistachios that I crumbled and crushed into smaller bits, not powdery though. I gently folded the nuts into the mixture.
3.Refrigerate for at least an hour.
4.Scoop the mixture onto a cookie sheet lined with cling wrap or parchment paper. I used my small ice cream scooper which can hold 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon. Then I stuck toothpicks into the little balls before putting the cookie sheet into the freezer. You can certainly roll after scooping, but I didn't want to deal with the mess. I made about 30 balls with this batch.
5.After freezing, transfer the cream cheese balls into a covered container and keep in the freezer.

Just a couple of notes: I have recently gotten sensitive to sweeteners and the 1 cup of Splenda used here is too sweet for me. Next time I will use less Splenda, maybe start with half a cup and take it from there. Second, make sure you use UNsalted butter so that the flavor of the cream cheese remains the star of the show. Third, with the nuts this is obviously NOT for Induction but you can just omit the nuts and I bet it will still taste good and you'd feel like you're cheating. Lastly, didi is right. These will live in the freezer... but not for too long. I have to constantly remind myself that I can only have one ball a day. So thanks to didi for linking this and to MandyM for posting the recipe on LCF.

Summery Vegetable Salad

Pretend you're me and it's a rainy Sunday afternoon so you left the confines of your bedroom for the first time since you woke up to rustle up a meal. You open the refrigerator door, one hand on your cocked hip, give the contents a once over then close the refrigerator door. You do this two more times before letting out a big dramatic sigh that implied, “Okay, I give up! The contents of the fridge won't magically change every time I open it, so I'll just make a summer vegetable salad (even though it's raining)!” So you gather all the ingredients and proceed to make the following salad.


Sweet bell peppers
Onion (optional)

Chicken breasts, cooked
Bacon strips, fried til crispy

Mayo, 3 to 5 tablespoons
Lemon juice from one lemon
Splenda, 1 packet
Salt and black pepper

**Basically anything in your fridge that you need to use up before it gets too squishy**

1.Prep the veggies. Since you're me, you steamed the broccoli until they were a little soft, but not too soft, crisp tender is the term you're looking for. Slice the bell peppers and cucumber into thin rings. See the remaining half of the onion you used to make something you forgot about a couple of days ago? Dice it up.
2.Prep the meat. Roughly chop the left over chicken breasts that your hubby fried for dinner two nights ago. Crumble up some of that bacon, too.
3.Make the dressing. Add all the ingredients you THINK make up a decent dressing and mix them all up, making sure you dip your pinky in a few times to gauge the taste. Add salt and pepper if you must.
4.Toss the salad. Put everything in a big bowl and armed with two plastic ladles, toss the vegetables, meat and dressing until everything is lightly coated with the dressing. Refrigerate until serving.
5.Serve to sick hubby.
6.Accept compliments.

Now stop pretending to be me and you make this salad.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Low Carb Philly Cheese Steak Pizza

There are a lot of things I missed when I started doing low carb. But then I started reading an amazing blog by an equally amazing woman. There I found recipes upon recipes of the things I thought I could never have again. One of them was pizza. I was so glad that pizza hadn't gotten on that bus and left me standing by the highway in a swirl of dust. Cleochatra's Cauliflower Pizza Crust looks just like the real thing. She even turned them into bread sticks! Bread sticks!!!

So when my hubby insisted to have pizza for the nth time, we decided to look for cauliflower. Alas, the poor quality produce that Gaisano Mall's grocery provided left us empty handed. Weeks passed with still no cauliflower and I thought pizza had really gotten on that bus.

Then another recipe made our pizza dream come true. The recipe can be found in a thread at and was thought up by NancyElle.

We used 2 cups mozarella cheese and 1 cup cheddar cheese. We had trouble flipping the pizza because it stuck to the tin foil. Next time we'll just bake it on the cookie sheet, no more foil.

For the toppings, hubby made cheese steak by cooking sliced beef tenderloin, onions and sliced bell peppers until everything was cooked. He seasoned with salt and garlic powder.

After the crust baked, I spread cream cheese on top and then distributed the cheese steak topping evenly over it. Shredded mozarella was sprinkled on top and we turned on the broiler and left the pizza under it until the cheese melted.

This was really as amazing as we imagined it to be. Depending on how you slice it, you can get up to 12 servings. I used a cookie sheet so the pizza was rectangular. This is quite filling too.

And before I go to sleep tonight, I will open our refrigerator door and peek inside just to check if the pizza is there. Just to be sure it's not going anywhere near that bus.

Next in line... bread sticks!!!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Peruvian Style Beef Steak

What do you do when you text your beloved husband what he wants to do for dinner and he replies, "It's up to you, honey!"? I type the only thing I can think of that's not frozen into Google and look for a recipe. So I typed beef tenderloin and got lots of results. I settled on a version of Peruvian beef steak but of course, I did it my way. I added bacon because well bacon makes everything better!

This was really interesting because it reminded me of the Tagalog Bistek, which I love. The vinegar replaces the kalamansi juice and makes it a tad sweet. I didn't mind the sweetness factor; it was just unexpected. This would be great with cauliflower rice but I just had it by itself. I only had four pieces but it's quite filling.

Peruvian Style Beef Steak
*Adapted from this recipe. Serves 4-6.

600 grams beef tenderloin, sliced into serving pieces

3/4 c white vinegar

3 tbsp soy sauce

1/2 stick butter, more as needed

1 onion, sliced thinly

2 small tomatoes, seeded and sliced thinly

3 strips bacon

1/4 t cayenne pepper, optional

salt and pepper

1. Mix soy sauce and vinegar in a bowl. Marinate the beef pieces for at least an hour.

2. Cook bacon until slightly crispy. Remove from pan, cut into 1/2 inch strips and set aside.

3. Add a little bit of butter into the pan. Fry the beef pieces until browned and cooked. Reserve the marinade. Set aside the beef pieces.

4. Add more butter as needed into the pan, saute the onions until translucent. Add the tomatoes. When the tomatoes are soft, add the bacon strips. Saute until bacon is heated through. Add the beef pieces.

5. Once the beef is heated through, pour the marinade into the pan. Season with salt, pepper and cayenne pepper, if using. Let it reduce uncovered.

6. Serve.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

NOT IHOP's Pancake Cheesecake Stacker

I know it doesn't look as good as this but it's really, really, really good.

I made a cheesecake mousse which is very easy and put that between two of SFS's Pancakes! Delicious! Awesome! If you're past Induction you can even add strawberries and it will look just like the real thing.

I didn't make a real cheesecake because I thought it would add to the carb count. But please bear in mind this is so decadent and so rich that you should only have it during special days. Unless you have the self-control not to eat more than 1 "stacker".

Besides if I baked a cheesecake it would've taken longer and I was DYING to make this. Also, if the filling was an actual cheesecake then I wouldn't have gotten this adorable picture.

This is the closest I will get to an IHOP. *sigh*

Cheesecake Mousse

*The recipe I found asked for 4 oz cream cheese but I needed more cream cheese-y taste so I used an entire 8 oz. block. This makes a LOT. You have been warned.

8 oz cream cheese at room temperature, DO NOT SOFTEN IN MICROWAVE
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
2 T Splenda, granulated
2 t vanilla extract

Whip all ingredients until stiff. I don't know if it was our hot weather here or the fact that I doubled the cream cheese amount and left the cream the same but it never got stiff, just semi soft. It kept its shape and that's good enough for me.

Put mousse in well-sealed bag and keep in the fridge until ready to use.

SugarFreeSheila's Amazing Induction Friendly Pancakes

Chicken Wings

Not too long ago there was a thread on LowCarbFriends that introduced me to the awesomeness that is chicken wings. Unable to control my craving for something I have never made before, I urged my hubby to buy some chicken wings so we can make our own.

Now my hubby loves BBQ sauce but unfortunately for me I wasn't able to find a low carb recipe (I have found one since then that I'm going to try next time)so he made his own high carb BBQ and I just mixed a tablespoon of Emeril's Creole Seasoning mix and some Splenda into soy sauce and dipped the deep fried chicken wings right after they got out of the fryer. My chicken wings did not look as good as his but they tasted great (his tasted awesome but they're PURE EVIL!) and I will gladly make them again. YUM!