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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Low Carb Talapia with Grilled Shrimp

Ingredients:
1 large or 2 small talapia fillets thawed and season with cajun spices on both sides
6-8 Frozen cooked shrimp thawed or fresh shrimp and season with cajun spices
Fresh salsa - adjust quantity to preference (See recipe on this site)
1 tsp mayo

Directions:
-Cook talapia in skillet with a little oil and brown well on both sides
-remove talapia from pan to plate
-Add shrimp to pan and cook on high for about 1 minute until brown slightly

1/4  cup of salsa or more mixed with 1 tsp mayo. Pour over talapia.  Add shrimp on top.

Delicioso!!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Low Carb Talapia with Lemon Garlic Butter Sauce

Talapia with Lemon Garlic Butter Sauce



Ingredients:
4   talapia fillets
1/4  c.  butter, melted
1  Tbls.  lemon juice
2   cloves garlic, minced
1   tsp  paprika
1/4  tsp.  parsley flakes
1 tsp.   basil, chopped
1  tsp. chicken bouillon seasoning
1/4  cup dry white wine or water
salt and pepper to taste

Place talapia in oven proof skillet.  Mix all ingredients except salt and pepper and pour over fillets.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.   Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes.  May broil  1 to 2 minutes at end of cooking to brown fillets slightly.  Add a little water to sauce left in the skillet, stir to deglaze the pan.  Spoon sauce over the talapia fillet to serve.




Monday, February 13, 2012

Low Carb Taco Soup

Low Carb Taco Soup



I had a really busy and fun weekend with family and friends and the weather definitely turned colder around here.  This taco soup really hit the spot. 

Ingredients:
1    lb.  lean ground beef
1    pkg. taco seasoning or create your own spice blend
1   can pinto or chili beans
1   can diced tomatoes
shredded sharp cheddar cheese
sour cream
salsa

Cook beef in skillet until done, add taco seasonings, beans, and tomatoes.  Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.  If it is not as thick as you like, blend or mash some of the beans and mix for a thicker soup.  Top with cheese, sour cream, and salsa.



Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Blue Cheese Chicken Salad

Here is a quick and easy chicken salad recipe with a little different taste that is great for taking to work or school for lunch.  Add a little lettuce or spinach with sliced tomatoes and enjoy!

Blue Cheese Chicken Salad


Ingredients:
1 cup chicken breast, diced (great way to use leftover roasted chicken)
1/4  sweet red pepper, diced
1  celery stalk, diced
1  Tbls. parsley, chopped
1  tsp.  red onion, chopped
1/4 cup blue cheese, crumbled
2  Tbls. mayo
2  tsp. white wine vinegar
2  Tbls. chopped walnuts, pecans, or almonds (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together.


Friday, February 3, 2012

Greek Spinach Frittata

This Greek Spinach Frittata and a glass champagne are a perfect combination for some catch up time with good friends! They will never know it is low carb unless you tell.

Greek Spinach Frittata



Ingredients:  Serves 6 to 8

6  slices of pancetta or thick sliced bacon

1  red onion, diced
2  cloves garlic, minced
1  Tbls. chopped parsley
1  Tbls. chopped basil
3/4 cup  mushrooms, chopped
6  oz. fresh baby spinach leaves

7  eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup feta cheese
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
salt and pepper

Dice pancetta or bacon and cook until crisp.  Remove from pan to add later.  Leave 2 Tbls. of bacon grease in pan, add vegetables and herbs and cook until tender.

In bowl mix eggs and then add milk, cheeses, and seasonings.  Add bacon and vegetable mixture.  Mix all together well and pour into an 8x8 baking dish.  May sprinkle with additional parmesan cheese.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes or until firm and lightly brown on top.

Serve with a side salad or sliced tomatoes.

Bon Appetito!









Crock Pot Beef Bourguigon

Crockpot Beef Bourguignon

Soup from extra veggies and broth
Ingredients:
1   lb. lean beef roast
6   slices of thick cut bacon

2   Tbls. Worcestershire Sauce
2   Tbls.  tomato paste
2   large leeks, sliced
1   package of cherry tomatoes (or 2 large tomatoes diced)
1   package of mushrooms
3   cloves garlic, minced
2   Tbls.  chopped fresh thyme (I use kitchen scissors to finely chop)
2   cups beef stock
2   bay leaves
salt and pepper

red wine (optional)  1/2 cup to 1 cup according to your preference


Cook bacon until crisp,remove from pan, and crumble.  Brown all sides of beef roast in the bacon grease.  In crock pot add next 10 ingredients.  Add crumbled bacon and beef roast on top of vegetables.  Pour wine over the top.

Cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 4-6 hours.


* It is best to saute the mushrooms and add an the end of the cooking if time allows but you can add everything at once and let it all cook so dinner is totally ready when you get home.

Remove roast from crockpot, slice, and ladle vegetable mixture over beef slices.  Serve with mashed cauliflower or side salad.

______________________________________________________________________

After I cooked this today there was a lot of broth and vegetables left so I made a really delicious cream soup.

Bonus Soup Recipe:
3 cups of vegetables and broth from the Beef Bourguignon
1/4 cup cream
2 oz. cream cheese

Put all in a food processor and blend to the consistency of your choice.



Low Carb Blue Cheese Dip

Just in time for the Super Bowl weekend events here is a recipe for a great Blue Cheese Dip.  I have served it several times to friends and everyone loves it, even those who aren't watching carbs.


Ingredients:
1        cup of sour cream
8 oz.  crumbled blue cheese 
1/2     block of cream cheese
1/8 tsp.   cayenne pepper (vary amount depending on how hot you like)
8-10      slices of bacon
3        cloves minced garlic
celery sticks or crackers 


Cook bacon until crisp and crumble.  Combine sour cream, blue cheese, cream cheese, garlic, and cayenne pepper in food processor until well blended.  Add all bacon except for 1-2 tbls. to sprinkle on top and blend just until mixed.  Refrigerate and serve with celery sticks and crackers for noncarbers. 




Monday, January 30, 2012

Italian Burger

Italian Burger with Tomato Spinach Sauce
A low carb lifestyle doesn't mean you cannot enjoy a delicious Italian cuisine.   Italian food is delicious and healthy and while pasta is good the flavor most of us really love comes from the sauce and combination of vegetables, cheeses, and meats.  There are some good low carb high fiber pastas on the market when you really must have pasta but try to create a variety of dishes without the added carbs from pasta.  
Tonight's dinner is a simple Italian burger served on a bed of sauteed cherry tomatoes and spinach and then topped with a freshly grated good Parmesan cheese.
Ingredients: serves 1
6 oz. lean ground hamburger


salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano

1 tsp. olive oil

2 cloves minced garlic

½  cup fresh spinach leaves
½ cup sliced cherry tomatoes or diced roma tomatoes

fresh grated Parmesan cheese



Season hamburger with salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano and cook until desired temperature.

While the burger is cooking in a small saute pan cook minced garlic in olive oil for about 1 minute.  Add tomatoes and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add spinach leaves, salt, and pepper and cook until wilted.  Place onto dinner plate and top with the hamburger.  Place a spoonful of tomato mixture on top of burger and add grated Parmesan cheese.


Bon Appetito!














Sunday, January 29, 2012

Chocolate Peppermint Flourless Cake

Today's recipe is in response to my daughters' requests for a good chocolate dessert.  I personally try to avoid or limit sweets even those made with a sugar substitute.  Experience has taught me that even these desserts can tempt one to overeat and increase cravings for something sweet.  But there are times when we all just have to enjoy a good chocolate dessert and I think this Chocolate Peppermint Flourless Cake can satisfy that sweet tooth and still stay low carb.  This cake is not a really sweet cake but may be adjusted with more stevia or splenda for a sweeter cake. 


Ingredients:
* 1/2  cup of unsweetened cocoa
*1/2 cup crisco, melted
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
*1/2 cup of stevia or splenda sweetener
(Depending on what stage of Low Carb you are on, you may use semi sweet morsels equal to 15 oz. but be aware carb count will be higher.)

1/2 cup water
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup stevia or splenda
You may substitute the water for 1/2 cup of expresso

6 eggs
1 cup unsalted butter , diced
1 tsp peppermint extract (optional or you may increase for a more intense peppermint flavor)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Grease one 8 inch or 10 inch springform pan.  Wrap outside of Springform pan in aluminum foil.  

*Most recipes for flourless chocolate cake call for semi sweet chocolate but there are still significant carbs even in semi sweet chocolate chips.  Cocoa, shortening, and sweetener can be substituted for semi sweet chocolate chips. The cocoa, crisco, and stevia in this recipe is equivalent to 15 oz. of chocolate.  Melt crisco in small sauce pan.  Stir in cocoa, vanilla, and sweetener.  Set aside.

In a glass measuring cup heat water  in microwave and dissolve salt and stevia OR substitute expresso.  Set aside.

Beat 6 eggs in electric mixer for about 3 minutes until foamy and tripled in volume.  Pour into mixing bowl and set aside.

Pour chocolate mixture into electric mixer bowl, add water mixture OR expresso, and  butter pieces.  Mix until thoroughly blended.  Add peppermint flavoring and egg mixture and mix for 1 min.

Pour batter into a 10 in. springform pan that has been greased and the bottom lined with parchment paper.  Place pan into a 2 inch deep pan and pour one inch of hot water into the pan.  Bake at 300 degrees for 45 minutes.

Remove from oven, cool, and refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.  Remove from springform pan, invert onto a cake plate,  and serve with optional whipped cream.


 








Saturday, January 28, 2012

Balsamic Chicken with Creamy Mushroom Sauce

Balsamic Chicken with Creamy Mushroom Sauce


Ingredients: 2 Servings
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
Salt and Pepper
1/2 tsp. basil
1 tbls. butter or olive oil
2 Tbls. balsamic vinaigrette 
1/2 cup fresh mushrooms sliced
1/4 cup sliced onions
1/4 cup chicken broth
1 Tbls. whipping cream or half and half
1 Tbls. cream cheese


Pound chicken breast to about 1/2 inch thick and put salt, pepper, and basil on both sides.  Brown both sides  in an oven proof skillet with butter, drizzle 1 tbls. of balsamic vinaigrette on each chicken breast,  and bake in 350 degree oven for 20 minutes.  Remove chicken and add mushrooms and onions and cook for 3 minutes.  Deglaze pan with chicken broth and add cream cheese and whipping cream.  Serve mushroom sauce over chicken.

Serve with roasted vegetable or side salad.

Enjoy!






Friday, January 27, 2012

Low Carb Asian Chicken

Asian entrees can be enjoyed on a low carb eating plan as long as you leave off the white rice.  Here is a simple and quick low carb Asian Chicken Stir Fry that can be varied with your choice of low carb vegetables.  You can also get a sweet and sour taste by adding more splenda.

Low Carb Asian Chicken


Ingredients:  Serves 1
1 boneless skinless chicken breast cut into slices
1/2 cup broccoli florets
1/4 cup sliced sweet red pepper
1/4 cup sliced red onion
1 tsp of chinese 5 spice seasoning (or make your own using ginger, pinch cloves, pinch cinnamon, s&p)
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper (optional)
1/2 tsp. splenda
2-3 Tbls. Soy Sauce
sesame oil

Mix all spices and crushed red pepper together and mix with chicken slices.  Stir fry chicken in a hot skillet with 1 Tbls. sesame oil for 3 minutes.  Add red onion, sweet red pepper, and broccoli and stir fry for additonal 3 minutes.  Mix soy sauce and splenda and pour over chicken and vegetables.  Stir fry another minute.  

Enjoy!


Monday, January 23, 2012

Brie Bruschetta - Low Carb

Brie Bruschetta - Low Carb

I have not only survived the weekend but I  thoroughly enjoyed our family weekend culminating with the celebration of my Mother in Law's 90th birthday.  It has been a wonderful weekend full of family, friends, cooking, cleaning, juggling sleeping space, meals, meals, and more meals, and at times the noise level had to have exceeded safe decibel levels.  But all of this is an affirmation of the many blessings this family is so fortunate to have received.  Life is truly good.

Today's recipe is a simple, quick, and yet delicious recipe that is wonderful for lunch or as a low carb appetizer. Again, experiment with different cheeses and toppings for a variety of tastes.  Hope you enjoy it!


Brie Bruschetta - Low Carb Style



Ingredients
2 slices of low carb bread
1 roma tomato diced
olive oil
1 clove garlic finely chopped
brie cheese
1 roma tomato diced
fresh basil or basil pesto 
1 Tbls. grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and Pepper


Brush each slice of bread with olive oil and spread with chopped garlic.  Place in 375 oven for about 3 minutes or until very lightly toasted.  Remove from oven and add brie cheese that have been pressed flat. ( For each slice of bread I used 2 slices of brie and flattened with the palm of my hand on a cutting board.)  Then put the diced tomato, basil, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper on top of the cheese.  Return to the oven and cook until cheese is bubbly.  You may want to broil for about 1 minute.  For this recipe I used basil pesto that I had frozen from this summer's herb garden. 

Bon Appetito!



Thursday, January 19, 2012

Chicken Cordon Bleu - Low Carb Style

Chicken Cordon Bleu - Low Carb Style

This recipe for Chicken Cordon Bleu comes at the request of my oldest daughter.  She and her family arrived for a visit and the house is once again filled with the sounds of children's laughter, boy's horseplay, and the pitter patter of my favorite 3 year old little girl.  This Chicken Cordon Bleu is excellent and although it is a low carb version the calorie count is fairly high and should be eaten only on special occasions.  Hope you enjoy it as much as we did for dinner tonight.

Chicken Cordon Blue

Ingredients:
4   boneless skinless chicken breasts
4   slices of lean ham
4   slices swiss cheese (may use mozzarella, Gruyere, or your choice)
2   tsp. paprika
salt and pepper
2  Tbls. butter or olive oil ( or you may use bacon drippings if you are making a side spinach/bacon salad)
2  chicken bouillon cubes or 1 Tbls. chicken seasoning
1/4  c.  dry white wine or chicken broth
2  Tbls.  light cream cheese
3/4  c. milk (may use half and half or cream for a richer sauce but will add more calories)

Pound chicken breasts very thin and sprinkle with paprika, salt, and pepper.  Place a slice of cheese and ham on each piece and roll tightly.  Secure with a toothpick. Brown all sides in a skillet with the butter or oil of your choosing.  When brown add chicken bouillon and wine into the pan.  Cook in a 350 degree oven for 20-30 minutes.  Remove chicken from pan and stir in the cream cheese and milk and bring to a simmer.  Slice chicken and pour sauce over the chicken. 

Bon Appetit !









Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Veggie Frittata

Veggie Frittata 

I woke up early this morning and was inspired to make a good breakfast to start the day.  My youngest daughter called last night asking how to cook a breakfast casserole without the bread cubes called for in the recipe.  So today's post is in honor of her and her desire to cook and eat low carb.  This recipe can be made with any low carb veggies and you may even add bacon, ham, or sausage.  Different combinations will yield a different and delicious taste each time.  A  Frittata is great for breakfast or lunch and is good warm or cold!.  Use your imagination and taste buds and start creating your own perfect Frittata.




Low Carb Veggie Frittata



Ingredients
6 eggs
1/3 cup of milk
salt and pepper
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 cup asparagus cut into 1" pieces
1/2 cup sweet red pepper cut into 1" strips
2 slices of red onion cut into 1" strips
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 roma tomatoes sliced

Saute asparagus, red pepper, and onion in a skillet with a little olive oil just until slightly tender.  Remove from heat and let cool slightly.  Mix eggs, milk, salt, pepper, and nutmeg in bowl.  Add veggie mix to egg mixture and pour into an 8x8 baking dish sprayed with a little olive oil.  Sprinkle cheese on top and add tomato slices.  Salt and pepper each tomato.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.



Buon Appetito!








Monday, January 16, 2012

Blackened Talapia Fillet with Salsa - Low Carb and Low Calorie

Blackened Talapia Fillet with Salsa - Low Carb and Low Calorie

Blackened Talapia
I think Mondays in general are the least favorite day of the week but I really loved this Monday since it is the MLK Holiday I did not have to work and enjoyed some much needed R & R.  I really wanted a good dinner but did not want to spend a lot of time prepping or cooking so here is tonight's creation.  I keep individually frozen talapia portions in freezer and I had the Salsa I made on Friday. It really took only about 15 minutes in the kitchen and I was ready to eat and oh so good too! 


Ingredients and Cooking Instructions:
1 frozen talapia fillet 
Blackened Fish Seasoning ( I use Louisiana Cajun)
salt and pepper, optional

asparagus
sweet red pepper

Thaw  talapia in package in cold water for about 5 minutes. Remove from package, pat fish dry with paper towel, and season with your favorite blackening seasoning, salt, and  pepper.
Cook in small saute pan on med high heat with just a drizzle of olive oil in the bottom for 3 minutes on each side.

Top with Fresh Salsa (I warm the salsa in the  microwave for 30 seconds to take the chill off) or just a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

While fish is cooking in a second small saute pan stir fry asparagus and sweet red pepper with a little salt and pepper for about 3 minutes and leave in pan until ready to serve.

When both are done plate, grab a glass of unsweetened tea or a glass wine and


Buon appetito!  (Italian)













 





Sunday, January 15, 2012

Greek Burger with Mixed Grilled Vegetables

Sunday is such a busy day especially when your paying job is working for a church.  A little late with dinner tonight since I cooked dinner for our youth group but this Greek Burger and Grilled Mixed Vegetables was well worth the wait!   Please give this a try.  I think you will love it and who needs bread or carbs!

Greek Burger with Mixed Grilled Vegetables


Greek Burger -  Makes 1 serving
5 oz ground chuck 
6 or more leaves of fresh baby spinach
1 slice of mozzarella cheese
1 roma tomato
1/2 oz.  Parmesan cheese
1 Tbls. feta cheese
salt, pepper, garlic powder
fresh basil leaves

Make a burger patty with ground chuck.  Season both sides with salt, pepper, and little garlic powder. Cook in skillet until med well or your preference and add mozzarella cheese on top.  Place spinach leaves on plate, salt and pepper, a drizzle or spray a little olive oil.  Place cooked burger on top of the spinach leaves.  In the pan the burger was cooked in place 3 or 4 slices of roma tomato and grill on high for about 1 minute.  Put tomato slices on top of burger add basil leaves and feta cheese on top. 

Mixed Grilled Vegetables 

4 fresh asparagus spears cut into 1 inch lengths
2 Tbls. Chopped fresh mushrooms
2 strips of red bell pepper sliced on diagonal
1 slice of red onion cut into fourths
3 slices of zucchini cut into small pieces
(Use whatever you have on hand or really like.  Some of these vegetables were left from yesterday's salad.)

Drizzle a little olive in bottom of a small skillet and add all vegetables.  Cook on high heat for 1 minute, stir, cook 1 more minute on high,  add salt and pepper and reduce heat to med for 2-3 more minutes.


Delicioso!





 






Saturday, January 14, 2012

Wilted Spinach Salad, Sauteed Mushrooms


Petite Grilled Sirloin, Sauteed Mushrooms, Sweet Potato and Wilted Spinach Salad

Welcome to day two of my new venture into blogging.  I had planned to cook and post another one of my favorite low carb dinner recipes but to my pleasure I enjoyed a lunch and movie day with friends, so on to plan B.   With any healthy eating plan whether low carb or other another plan flexibility and planning are a must for success.   My first suggestion is to always go online and check out the nutritional menu and select several choices that will fit your eating lifestyle.  This is a good idea to do for all restaurants you frequently dine at and you will always be prepared with several choices. 
This year in addition to eating low carb I am committed to focusing on how to save money while still enjoying dining out.  Today’s lunch date was at Ruby Tuesday’s Restaurant.  To accomplish these goals I chose the grilled petite sirloin with broccoli and salad bar and then added a jumbo shrimp skewer.  Voila…. lunch and dinner for today and enough salad for a side dish tomorrow.
   
For dinner I add a baked sweet potato and sauteed mushrooms to the steak I brought home.  Warm Bacon Balsamic vinaigrette for the salad  and a little fresh grated Parmesan for the broccoli added a special touch. Use what you have on hand at home and go with your imagination.
Success…..stayed on low carb and saved money!    Life is Good! ! ! ! !

Cheers,   Kathy 


Wilted Spinach Salad
Wilted Spinach Salad
      
Baby Spinach Leaves
Thinly sliced red onion
Feta Cheese 
Crumbled Bacon
Warm Bacon Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing


Semi Homemade Warm Bacon Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing
1/4 cup of Sugar Free Fat Free bottled Balsamic Vinaigrette ( I prefer Maple Grove Farms)
1 slice of bacon
Bacon fat or 1/4 cup of olive oil
1 tsp. Splenda
Cut bacon strip in half and cook in a small saute pan until crisp.  Remove bacon from pan and remove pan from heat.  Stir 1/4 cup or a little more of  the Vinaigrette  and 1 tsp. of Splenda into the remaining bacon fat just until blended.  You may drain bacon fat off and add a little olive oil or even water if your prefer. 
For an individual serving drizzle 1 or 2 tsp over spinach leaves and then other ingredients.


Sauteed Mushrooms
1 cup of sliced mushrooms clean and dry (I used baby portabello)
1 spring onion sliced thinly
1 Tbls. butter
salt and pepper
1/4 cup of wine or less ( red or white)
Melt butter in skillet, add mushrooms in a single layer (Julia Child always said never to crowd the mushrooms) and cook 3-4 minutes on med high heat.  Add spring onions, salt, and pepper and cook another couple of minutes.  Remove from heat and add a splash of wine to deglaze pan.  Serve over or beside steak.

Baked Sweet Potato 
So good, so sweet, so simple.
Wash sweet potato and pat dry.  Cut in half and place cut side down onto baking sheet with a very little olive oil to prevent sticking.  Bake at 400 for about 30 minutes until soft and caramelized (cooking time will depend on size of the sweet potato).  
I love this plain hot from the oven but you could add salt, pepper, pat of butter, or sprinkle of splenda and cinnamon.  Sweet Potatoes are a healthy low carb choice but I limit to only once or twice a week.
Eat Well, Live Happy!













Friday, January 13, 2012

Mex Chicken with Fresh Salsa

What a fun and delicious day!  The Mex Grilled Chicken with Fresh Salsa was delicious and guilt free for my new low carb life style.     Enjoy!  Disfruten!



Ingredients  for  Mex Chicken:  Serves 2
2  boneless, skinless chicken breast
½ cup of black beans
4 Tbls. Shredded Cheddar Cheese
4-6  Tbls. Salsa
2 Tbls.  Sour Cream
Spices:  salt, pepper, chili powder, onion powder
Season both sides of chicken with spices to taste.  Grill 1 min on both sides on high heat to sear and then cook on medium heat 6 – 8 minutes or until done.  Will depend on thickness of chicken.
Remove from skillet and place on serving plate. 
Add ¼  cup warm black beans on top of  each chicken breast
Sprinkle 2 Tbls. Shredded Cheddar Cheese on top of beans
Add 2-3 Tbls. Fresh Salsa  (recipe below or may use your favorite jar Salsa) on top of cheese
Top with 1 Tbls. of  Sour Cream





Ingredients for Salsa
3  Tbls. chopped red onion
2  cloves garlic minced
3 large ripe tomatoes – peeled, seeded, and diced
1-2  chili peppers seeded and finely chopped – I use jalapeno
2 -3 Tbls. minced fresh cilantro
1 ½ Tbls. lime juice
Salt and pepper

Combine onion and garlic in small glass bowl, cover, and microwave for 45 seconds.  Combine and mix well all ingredients.  Allow to marinate in refrigerator at least 4 hours prior to using.  Keep fresh salsa in refrigerator.
Feeling a little proud of myself getting my new blog online and formatted!  Now off to the grocery store to pick up a few items for tonight's dinner featuring grilled chicken and fresh salsa.  Recipes and photographs of tonight's creation will be posted soon!