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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Try My Delicious Low-Carb Recipe For Corn Fritters - Perfect Summer Side Dish!

Following a low-carb diet makes me feel so much better.  My blood sugar levels are close to normal again, and the weight is coming off steadily.  I'm excited to keep going with this low-carb way of eating! It's such a healthy lifestyle choice and my body is truly happy when I follow it.  I did take some time off last week while on vacation, but getting back to my healthy, low-carb eating plan now.

For the 4th of July, I made burgers and chicken, but I sure was craving corn fritters as a side dish. However, corn is usually avoided on a low-carb diet, as it is a starchy vegetable.

Looking in my freezer and cabinets, I came up with this recipe using the ingredients I had on hand. Adding a minimal amount of corn gave it the flavor and texture I wanted, and cauliflower rice is such a great low-carb vegetable.  Along with the eggs, the "rice" held the batter together.   Although it's not my favorite vegetable,  I'm learning that cauli rice is a great ingredient to keep on hand.  I'm so happy that these turned out to be tasty and satisfying! And the carb count is wonderful per serving size. This recipe also includes healthy fats if you use coconut or avocado oil for frying.

This recipe made approximately 16 small fritters. I've popped the extras in my freezer and hope they still taste good later!


Low Carb Cauliflower/Corn Fritters

3 eggs, beaten
1 12 oz bag frozen Trader Joe's Organic Cauliflower Rice, thawed and drained in colander
3/4 cup canned corn
1/2 c shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 to 3/4 c almond flour (start with 1/2 cup, add more if needed, until your batter is thickened to your liking)
salt to taste
pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together. Add by heaping Tablespoon to a hot skillet (I fried these in butter, but you can also use healthy fats such as coconut or avocado oil) These take a little longer to cook than traditional fritters, so wait until the edges are very firm to flip them. Cook until browned on both sides. Serve warm.

Toppings:  For a savory treat, you can add a dollop of sour cream or coconut cream with more sea salt or even a dash of cayenne pepper on top.  Try dipping in some sugar-free maple syrup if you want a sweeter treat!  I also tried a little Balsamic Vinegar on one of these and it was fabulous too!



Batter for the fritters



Still not ready to flip!


Cauliflower/Corn Fritters!


Recipe/nutritional counts calculated with first 5 ingredients only,  and calculated with 1/2 c of almond flour.

Per 4 fritter serving:

230 calories
14.1 g fat
174 mg cholesterol
308 mg sodium
11.46 g carbs
4.25 g fiber
6.23 g sugar
14 g protein

7.22 net grams carbs per serving













Thursday, July 4, 2019

My Favorite Keto products and Low Carb products!

So I'm back on the keto/low carb bandwagon.  I'm not going to let my health suffer because I make poor choices anymore!

Low carb with a lot of keto choices is my best way to lose weight, lower my blood sugar and improve how I feel.  It's been two weeks and I'm finding some new-to-me favorites that are making it easy to stick to this way of life!

Affiliate links ahead - if you choose to purchase from my link, I'll receive a small commission. 

1.  Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Quest Bars! I've only tried two of them, but these are already a must-have.  I prefer to heat them in the microwave for about 15 seconds.  Then I eat it with a fork - it's soft and a little fluffy, like cookie dough!  Edited to add: Ok - add the chocolate sprinkled doughnut flavor to my favorites - it's incredible!



2.  Quest Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Protein Cookies - I heat these up just like the bars.  The soft, warm cookie is such a delicious treat, and it really fills you up!


3. Slim Jims - these meat sticks made of beef, pork and chicken give you a boost of protein, a satisfying snap when you bite into them, and a delicious, slightly spicy flavor.  I usually have one or two in my purse!  If you are in a pinch, most Dollar Tree stores carry a four pack that is a perfect on the go burst of protein!

4.  Kerrygold Irish Cheddar - the BEST cheese I've ever had! Sharp, rich and smooth, it's awesome melted into eggs or eating it alone.  Super delicious! I got mine at Sam's Club.

5.  Member's Mark Oven Baked Parmesan Crisps.  I was missing the crunch of crisp crackers and these fit the bill perfectly! I got mine a little cheaper at Sam's, but if you don't have a membership, you can get them here.

6.  Frank's Red Hot Buffalo Chicken Dip - I get this at Sam's, too.  I am not linking to Amazon because their price is outrageous!! Head to Sam's or ask a friend to pick it up for you.  Really good heated up, but just as tasty right out of the fridge!

7.  Aldi Elevation Bars - these are only available at Aldi. They are really tasty and they fill you up for a while!

8.  Justin's Cinnamon Almond Butter - this is pure heaven in a little packet! Cinnamon and almond butter combine for the perfect snack on the go.

I'll be adding to this list as I find new things I can't live without on my journey to getting healthy. Hope this helps give you ideas for different snacks and food while on Keto.  I am finding the more prepared I am with easy to grab foods, the less chance for me to mess up!

What are your go-to Keto or Low Carb snacks?  Please leave yours in the comments below.


Thanks for stopping by!





Monday, July 1, 2019

Red Oak Lavender Farm ~ Dahlonega, GA

I love using herbs, botanicals and essential oils.  Especially lavender! I have a sleep mist, linen spray, bath salts, bath bombs and more that use this flower's calming fragrance.  It's definitely a favorite scent!

Three years ago, we first heard of Red Oak Lavender Farm.  I took my son to visit in the summer of 2016 and it was all I could have hoped for!  Beautiful gardens with rows of lavender, and the most amazing gift shop with homemade goodies and more!  Spending time out with the lavender is so peaceful and calming! Butterflies are everywhere and there are so many photo opportunities!

We took lots of pictures, and I knew wanted to come back soon.  However, an allergy to bees and other stinging insects made my son nervous to come back - bees are all over the farm, doing their thing!  So I didn't get to visit for a while.

Last summer my friend Katherine visited Atlanta from Houston.  She, like me, loves lavender and other essential oils.  So I knew she would appreciate a visit there.  She traveled with her one year old, and I think he enjoyed it too - lots of room to walk and explore!

This farm is not like the huge ones you see pictured in France or the Pacific Northwest with row after row of lavender.  Georgia does not have the ideal climate for lavender, but these folks have made it possible with a lot of hard work!  They have approximately 2.5 acres of lavender - about 60 rows that are 100 feet long.  They grow over 20 varieties of lavender on the farm.  It's really amazing, considering this plant should not grow here due to our humidity, clay, and other factors.

The family that owns the farm lives in the house attached to the gift shop. Not only do they harvest the lavender to sell, they distill the oil from plants to make pampering treats for you.  There are also culinary treats like Lavender Sugar, Lavender and Pink Himalayan Salt, and Herbs de Provence.  Those busy bees out by the lavender make the most delicious lavender honey.  You can get it fresh from the farm here!

I've purchased linen sprays, lavender-filled bookmarks, bunches of dried lavender, lavender soap, lavender honey, and a few other wonderful gifts there for myself or family/friends. The prices are great and the products are lovely.  Please check it out when you go!

Here it is, summertime again.  I'm ready for another relaxing trip to Red Oak.  I hope you will give them a visit, too!  There is a $5 fee for adults to visit during June, but now that it is July, entry is free!  From my home in NE Gwinnett, it was less than an hour drive to get there.

Check out this video I made on our visit last year!

And here are some of my favorite pictures from both visits...
D back in 2016.  He's grown up since then - now he is tall and skinny! 

Baby Lennox got his picture taken in this adorable butterfly chair last summer.



Sign from 2016 - they grow double that, now! 

Bee Hives!



Parking is in the front yard or along the driveway.  For special events, they offer parking at a neighbor's farm across the street.

Don't forget to visit the gift shop!





It smells so lovely, too - the scent of lavender is everywhere.



Here's what you need to know to plan your visit!

Red Oak Lavender Farm
2882 Red Oak Flats Road
Dahlonega, GA 30533
Phone: 706-974-8230 during business hours
March 1 - December 15 ~ Wednesday - Friday 11 - 3  Saturday 10 - 4
Closed on July 3 & 4, 2019
Email: RedOakLavender@gmail.com


Thursday, June 27, 2019

Delicious food from Talmo Market Grill ~ Talmo, GA

A little over a year ago, my sister, mom and I met for lunch.  They asked me to meet them at Talmo Market Grill.  I had no idea where Talmo was, but I agreed!

Turns out that Talmo is not that far from my neck of the woods in NE Gwinnett county.  It's a sleepy little place that feels like the middle of nowhere, yet it only takes me about 20 minutes to get there.

Located across the street from the railroad tracks, you can either park in the small parking area, or over by the tracks.  Get there early - this is a small place and you might have to wait on a table otherwise!

The food here is simple and delicious - burgers rule the menu, (hand formed and made with grass-fed TALMO RANCH beef) but they also offer other items like chicken salad, pimento cheese, BLTs, Frito pie, or salads.  Sides include fries, potato salad, pasta salad or chili.

For dessert, there are daily specials, plus shakes, floats and rice krispie treats.



There are a few tables at the front of the restaurant, where you will place your order.  There are more in the back room, down the hall.   The building is older, and the decor is vintage to match.  It's such a comfy, cozy place to eat!

I've had a burger there, which was delicious.  The chicken salad has become my favorite thing, though!  The fries are freshly cut, hot and so good!  My sister has had salads and a burger there and they were both great.  My mom loves the burgers, too.

We shared a dessert on one visit, I think it was a cherry turnover ala mode.  It was perfect!!

Burger with pimento cheese - yum!! 








my sister's salad - she topped it with a burger patty



They also offer breakfast and it's as good as you'd imagine!! Biscuits are huge and filled with eggs, bacon or sausage - the perfect start to your day.  We got there when they opened and that was a great time to be there - it was filling up by the time we left! 


the back dining room 

Order at the front counter 

Check this board for dessert options and daily specials! 

Talmo Market Grill is located at 558 Main St. Talmo, Georgia and their hours are 7 am to 2 pm, every day but Sunday. (Closed on Sunday!)  UPDATE:  They are closed the week of July 4th, 2019! Reopening on July 8

Check out their Facebook page here!

Have you been to Talmo Market Grill?  Tell me what your favorite thing is there!


Sunday, June 9, 2019

A little taste of Hawaii in Georgia - Truett's Luau Chick-fil-A

The kids and I have taken so many day trips around Georgia over the years. I have thousands of pictures on my laptop, so I'm going to work hard to get these here on the blog this summer!

One of our favorite discoveries was Truett's Luau in Fayetteville!  It was opened by Chick-fil-A founder Truett Cathy in 2013, when he was 92.  This was his last project, and he put his heart and soul into it! He handpicked most every piece of decor, and he tested menu items as they were developed so that he could be sure a little bit of Hawaii was brought to Fayetteville, Georgia through the menu at this restaurant.

At 8000 square feet, this is a MASSIVE Chick-fil-A!  And it's beautiful - inside and out.   There are tropical plants, beautiful furniture, even ukeleles to take and play at your table!  This is the coolest place to spend time with your family, enjoying amazing food and a fun, family-friendly atmosphere.






Choose to eat in the fast food dining room on your left, which is like any Chick-fil-A, or choose table service in the beautiful dining room to your right! We've only eaten in the table service side, which is pictured above.  It's bright, airy and absolutely lovely in there! Some of the tables are made of the most beautiful wood, as shown in the last picture.  That picnic-style table with benches is huge!

The menu has your favorite CFA items, but it also offers amazing Hawaiian specialties.   Appetizers include Calamari, Hawaiian Pork Nachos, and Tropical Nuggets (in an awesome sweet chili sauce!)
Appetizer Sampler with Lava Rocks, Sweet Potato Waffle Fries and Tropical Nuggets 


























Hawaiian Pork Nachos 

For your entree, you can try a Kalua Pork plate, Mahi Mahi, Maui Shrimp or even Teriyaki Chicken!

They even have a burger!! The Luau burger is topped with fresh pineapple, bacon and colby jack cheese on a King's Hawaiian bun. Yum!! Or try an Awapui BBQ chicken sandwich or a Kalua pork sandwich.  So many choices!

Sides include Asian pasta salad, sweet potato waffle fries (my favorite!), pineapple fried rice, and stir-fried vegetables.  They also have the usual CFA salads, plus a Hula chicken noodle bowl.

Desserts here are something special.   Try a Frosted Pineapple (similar to the Frosted Lemonade, but with pineapple juice), or a Pineapple Macadamia milkshake.  Or the King's Hawaiian Bread Pudding, Skillet Cookie or Lava Cake.  Deliciousness!

Outside, the curb appeal is just as great as the decor inside!  Lush greenery, rocks, plus the typical landscaping care that is evident at all Chick-fil-A's make this place look beautiful.

I've gone with my kids, and I've also taken my sweet friend Katherine when she visited from Texas.  The service is perfect and the food is like nothing I've ever had in Georgia.  It's a long drive from NE Gwinnett, but it is surely worth the stressful Atlanta traffic - I promise!  I can't wait til our next visit!

Some of our favorite choices here are the pork nachos, tropical nuggets, teriyaki chicken, those delicious sweet potato waffle fries, and the frosted pineapple!!  Everything we have tried is delicious and freshly cooked to order.  If you have time to make that drive, you've absolutely GOT to give Truett's Luau a try!!

Their address is: 600 West Lanier Ave., Suite 103
Fayetteville, GA 30214
(770) 461-5828

The website is here.  You can see the menu items here!
Thanks for stopping by!


Have you been to Truett's Luau?  If so, what did you think?  What is your favorite item on the menu?









Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Travel - Things to do in the Outer Banks, part 1

After spending a long weekend in the picturesque villages along the Outer Banks, I can't believe it took me this long to visit!  Yes, it is a 10-hour drive from the north side of metro Atlanta, but it is truly worth every minute it takes to get there!  We only went for 4 nights but we should have stayed at least a full week - there was so much more to see!

On our first day, we went to Fort Raleigh National Historic Site, which is located on Roanoke Island, in Manteo.  It was about a 15-minute drive from Kill Devil Hills. 


Earthen walls are all that remain of Fort Raleigh


Fort Raleigh is where the Lost Colony was last seen.  If you don't know this story, it is fascinating.  And over 400 years later, it is still America's longest unsolved mystery. 

Schedule your visit to the site so that you can take part in the Ranger talk.  The Ranger has great information about the history of the Fort and shares some of the possible theories of what happened to the Lost Colony.  You can walk out back and see the ruins of the original earthen walls of the fort.  The Visitor's Center has a wonderful exhibit about the history of the area, as well.  We spent about 2 hours there and enjoyed it so much! 

Down by the water, if you're there during the season, you can watch a live performance of The Lost Colony.  This Friday, May 31, they open for their 82nd season!  I hope to go back in the next year or two and see this! Here's the FB page for the play.

While you're on Manteo, visit the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island. It's really close to Fort Raleigh.   The prices are affordable, and it's a great aquarium! We really enjoyed the Turtle rescue/hospital area, and the sting ray touch tank!  The jellyfish and sea horses are always my favorites at every aquarium, and this one didn't disappoint!  There are plenty of interactive displays for both little and big kids. 







Outside there is a long pier to walk on, a dinosaur fossil dig, and other cool things to see! A great place to visit for a few hours, for sure!!

I hope you enjoyed these fun things to do! Click the links for pages or websites to get all the information!

I'll post more of our favorite activities from the OBX next week. 


Thanks for stopping by!












Friday, May 24, 2019

Let a robot serve you lunch at Big Bang Pizza!

My son just completed his first year of high school, so yesterday we went out to celebrate!

I saw Big Bang Pizza on Good Day Atlanta several months ago, and put it on my list of places to check out.  So glad we did!

Located at 3043 Buford Highway in Brookhaven, the building is in the back of a parking lot, sort of behind another building.  We missed it the first go round and had to u-turn and go back.  When we walked inside, we were greeted by a small robot named Pepper.  She is adorable, and you can choose different things for her to do from the tablet on her chest.  She can tell you a story, dance for you, or even take a selfie with you!



Order at the counter, and then pick a seat and put your number on the table.  A few minutes later, one of the larger server robots will deliver your food on a tray right to your table!



The dining room is large and bright, and they play fun, upbeat music.  If you order a fountain drink, Jones Soda Company sodas will be your choices!  David got Berry Lemonade and I had Root Beer.  For our lunch, I chose the pizza with a side salad, and he just got pizza. 



My pizza had meatballs, pepperoni and green olives and it was so perfect! Crispy crust, just the way I like it.  My side salad was loaded with veggies and had creamy Italian dressing.  David had cheese pizza and proclaimed it to be amazing! 





Before we left, we refilled our drinks and purchased ice pops from a little freezer by the door.  We both got the Oreo pops and oh my goodness were they ever refreshing!  It was a great lunch at a fun little place!! I hope we can go back again this summer!






Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Travel - Where to eat in the Outer Banks off-season, part 1

I've been home from our trip for two weeks now, and my heart still yearns for the beauty of the Outer Banks.  So to help, I'm revisiting our trip here on the blog!

Because we went during the off-season, a lot of places were closed.  But we were able to find some great places while we were there!

My son and I don't eat seafood, but my husband does.  I researched restaurants online before we went so that I could find places that would have food we would all enjoy!



Our first night, we planned to eat at Barefoot Bernie's.  They were PACKED!  So, we went across the street to a little place called Max's Pizza Co.  So glad we decided to try them out!  The owner was so friendly and told us everything is made homemade from scratch.  My husband ordered a calzone, I tried a club panini, and our son had pizza.  It was delicious! And we shared tiramisu for dessert.  Yum!!  Check them out: https://www.maxspizzaobx.com/Home


The next day we were able to visit Barefoot Bernie's. Yay!! It was as good as the reviews I'd read promised!  We started out with a side of crispy onion tanglers. Delish!  For dinner, I had a Nashville Hot Chicken sandwich with fries, my son had a chicken sandwich and my husband had the El Chupacabra tacos. The food here was different and tasted fantastic! The menu has lots of fun offerings, sure to please everyone!




Click on pics to see larger image! 




You can find more about Barefoot Bernie's here! (Literally located right across the street from Max's Pizza Co!)  The vibe here was beachy and fun.  We really enjoyed it!

That's all for today - more later this week!  Thanks for stopping by!