Live music streaming, virtual tip jars, home cooked meals to-go, and bar madness – how the restaurant industry in Baltimore is handling the recent crisis and what to do if you want to support local!

It’s been a mere 16 days since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the recent Coronavirus as a global pandemic. It’s shifted lives, businesses and general daily practices to a new level of ‘normal.’ As much as I like to joke and use more informal lingo on my page, it’s serious business when we consider that vast majority of our U.S. and global population awaits puzzled as news and updates are provided on an ad hoc basis.

Those that know me personally, know my hubby owns and operates a local bar & restaurant in the historic Federal Hill neighborhood of Baltimore, MD. It’s been a tough learning experience for us, and equally as tough, if not even more impactful for our fellow hospitality friends. 

I encourage those reading to do what you can to support those striving to maintain an income – whether it be via moral support [ [ check in on those you love! ] ] , or financially if your situation allows.

In this entry, I’m providing a number of fun and creative ways you can support local!

  1. Live Music Streaming

Musicians alike, have been severely impacted by government mandates to suppressed gathering, closed bars and restaurants, postponed weddings, and the like. In response, and frankly not a surprise from these innovative folks, a number have launched live music streaming initiatives to not only engage with their fans, but also provide a positive and uplifting activity for those being responsible and bunkering down in their homes.

TONIGHT, I’m plugging my all-time favorite: Chris Diller. Catch his live stream on Facebook at 9PM sharp by clicking on his profile!

2. Virtual Tip Jars

Shout out to local cocktail enthusiast, bartender and DJ pioneer herself, Abby Hopper, who led the charge in setting up the Baltimore Tip Jar for enabling patrons to continue support of their favorite bartenders! You can access a full listing of Venmo handles for individuals employed by the hospitality industry that have been impacted by the recent economic change. Various campaign initiatives have been circulating – from dedicating (2) tips a day to (2) random bar staff on the list, to a variety of other ideas and cadences.

3. Home Cooked Meals & Drinks To-Go

If there’s anything learned through the transition of working from an office to home atmospheres, it’s that it’s been [ [  T O U G H  ] ] to keep up with the expectation of providing dinner and general meal prep with no breaks in what’s now non-stop home life. In response, a number of restaurants have stepped up to provide more creative means of their offerings to go for continued enjoyment at home:

Blue Agave Baltimore:

Is offering their famous house and spicy guavarita mixes! You can stop by their location at 1032 Light Street and pick up your favorite. The house sour mix is just $10 for a 28 oz size that makes about (7) margaritas. The spicy guavarita ( ( my favorite! ) ) also comes in the 28 oz size, and includes tequila for just $35! UMMM… YUM!! And, you’re welcome for this Friday celebration tidbit!

Don’t Know Tavern:

Let’s be honest – working from home, PLUS grocery shopping, PLUS meal prepping/planning, PLUS cleaning the house, PLUS dog walking, PLUS homeschooling kids that have been suspended for yet another month before returning to school… can be ROUGH. Don’t Know Tavern is offering a different pre-prepared platter daily on special that serves 2-4 for just $20! Just pop it in the oven for 15-20. While demand fluctuates, availability is driven by preorder/demand, so be sure to call to reserve yours in advance!

4. New Swag!

HUGE shout out to Matt Berry, who has helped SO many local businesses advertise NEW t-shirts via the Baltimore Neighbors page. You can find a slew of bars/restaurants to support including:

NOTE: For every t-shirt purchased, Matt is generously donating $10 BACK to that business throughout the shutdown!

5. Bar Madness

First off, let me give the biggest shout out of this entire post to @bmorebetches, who over the past few days, have quite nearly, [ [ shut. down. instagram. ] ] They’ve owned the social media game in the Federal Hill, Fells Point, Canton, and other surrounding neighborhood network – some comments reigning in from across the country! All orchestrated by their setting up a March Madness-like bracket of 16 local bars and basing round advancements off of tagged business comments!
Have you been following your favorite bar through the brackets?! If you’re looking for a little fun & local competition, tune into their page to see who ‘takes all/wins all’ in their ‘BAR MADNESS’ competition here. Next up: the final championship round!

P.S. Throw in a vote for Don’t Know Tavern if you can, haha 😉

Anddddddd, that’s a wrap! I’ll be sure to monitor and post new ideas and ways to support in the coming weeks.

Talk soon!
xoxo
Brittany

Foraging At Its Finest

I’ll be the first to admit …

I’m not the most ‘adventurous’ eater in town. So, I was a little nervous (but also SUPER excited) to try out Foraged: A Hyper-Seasonal Eatery in Hampden to celebrate our friend’s birthday! And, boy did I have ZERO clue what I was in for…

For ONE, I learned what foraging is! Turns out, Foraging is the act of finding and harvesting wild foods. Some call it “gathering.” It most commonly refers to mushroom hunting – who ever knew there was such a thing? However, I also learned that “mushroom hunting” is something only people practiced in the fine and delicate art of mushroom identification should engage in.

Onto TWO – the restaurant. Everything from the advertised hyper-seasonal apps and entrées to the cozy setting, UBER awesome service, courtesy of Nico Bustos, and secret dinosaur decor search (can you find them all?! 🦖🦕) was absolutely incredible. I’m not the best at food photography, so most definitely not going to even attempt in that arena, but earmarking this as a place for all to check out for sure!!!

🍄

P.S. check out that handsome crew – HAPPY BIRTHDAY MATT !!!

What are your secret restaurant spot recos?!
Talk soon!

xoxo
Brittany

Cheery & Charming’s Traveler’s Guide: 10 MUST See Places When Visiting San Juan, Puerto Rico

Well, well, well . . . Puerto Rico – like other islands we’ve had the blessing to visit, was absolutely beautiful. The sunsets were stunning, the food was amazing and the culture of Old San Juan was priceless! I wish we had the time to visit all the reco’s we received before visiting, but with a jam-packed, short four days, I’m posting my personal, favorite finds here:  

1. Serafini Beach Hotel
This spot was absolutely STUNNING. Talk about feeling like you’re on the edge of the ocean – a quaintly designed infinity pool, waves crashing and live jams. I was super bummed to have stumbled here on our last day, as we weren’t able to take full advantage of the amenities, but the staff was warm, welcoming and nice enough to hold onto our luggage while we explored during our last day – even with not having stayed there!

2. Cochina Abierta 
Umm… YUM. That’s all I have to say. Although, to be transparent that it was definitely more on the pricey side of the meal options we had while in San Juan, it was worth it for sure. Wanting to try everything on the menu, the four of us went family style, which also made it feel like we got a lot more ‘bang for our buck.’ They have a seasonal, farm-to-table menu, but in the event you see any repeats, here we the table favs!

– Croquettes filled with porcini mushrooms, truffle oil & tomato chutney
– Octopous causa over a bed of purple potatoes, black olive “crema,” & hibiscus pickled quail egg
– Fresh local catch ceviche seasoned with chiles, cucumber & tropical fruits
– Goat cheese and ortica leaf ravioli over charred tomatoes Passata, parmesean cheese & roasted pine nuts
– And accompaniments Gratin of creamy yucca and cauliflower + Ember roasted veggies


… is your mouth watering yet?!

3. Tacos & Tequila by Patron – inside the Condado Vanderbuilt Hotel
Yet ANOTHER breathtaking spot. This gem, located inside the Condado Vanderbuilt Hotel is another space we stumbled on during our last day that I wish we had more time to enjoy. The views were incredible and they had multiple areas to lounge in the ocean-side, shallow infinity pools & hot tubs.
But, one thing we WERE able to enjoy were the giant margaritas and delicious tacos! I had (2) crispy fish tacos and (1) pork belly taco – some had (3) of all different kinds! It was fun that you can order all three the same, or mix and match what’s on the menu.

4. Alambique Beach Lounge – NEXT DOOR: “For Lifeguards Only”
The day we visited Isla Verde Beach, we were in search of… you guessed it… even MORE tacos! While the Alambique Beach Lounge was hopping, we decided to try the smaller, more intimate spot to the side of it called “For Lifeguards ONLY,” and SO happy we did! In recapping our trip, this place, hands-down, had the BEST fish tacos we had the entire time we were there. The staff made you feel like family as they graciously served you tacos OVERFLOWING with goods and crisped to perfection. Deliciouso!!

5. Piu Bello Gelato & Restaurant
Being a firm believer that you can’t let any vacation go without the local ice cream and/or gelato, Piu Bello was great! We ended up having a great chat with the owner, who coincidentally used to live in Baltimore! What a small world!! Oh, and the gelato was delightful. I mean, who doesn’t like a sprinkle cone?!

6. La Placita de Santurce
Definitely a must see! This is the “party-scene” of San Juan – a full “block-like” plaza square of everything you could imagine having in one spot:
music, dancing, clubs, some food, nightlife, fine dining and casual bars and restaurants alike. While we were there on a Wednesday, it wasn’t quite as “hopping” (which was honestly sort of nice), but it was cool to pop around a number of spots without having to jump back into an uber or cab.

7. Barrachina 
Eeeee! One of my favorites!! Barrachina is most well-known for a traditional Spanish bartender Don Ramon Portas Mingot, who in 1963, created what became one of the world’s most famous drinks: the Piña Colada.  With the reputation of 50 years in the business, they certainly did not disappoint. Look at that beaut!

8. Isla Verde Beach 
While we had a beautiful view and beach where we stayed, at Condado Del Mar, I think everyone agrees that you shouldn’t spend an entire vacation in one spot. SO, this is my top beach pick for the places we were able to make it to during our time in San Juan. There are a number of beach bars, convenient to the beach so you can grab a quick bite to eat, without losing too much beach time. Plus, it’s always fun to immerse yourself in more of the local culture – everyone we encountered here was friendly and welcoming. Then again.. who wouldn’t be on a nice day at the beach? 🙂

9. Fortaleza Street – Old San Juan
A bustling street in Old San Juan full of shops and boutiques! I really can’t place enough emphasis on the true, authentic sense of San Juan’s culture you receive by visiting here. From handmade treasures to uniquely manufactured Puerto Rican finds, there’s an array sights for everyone to see – including my favorite – Fortaleza street, which is lined with parasoles! And, depending on when you visit, they’re always different colors, so no visit is ever the same.

10. Di Zucchero
And, finally… DiZucchero! This was our first night’s dinner adventure and WHAT an adventure it was – CHECK. OUT. THAT. FISH. Located across from the San Juan Condado Mariott, this final “must see” could very well be listed first. The food was incredible, the drinks amazing (they’re know for their fresh squeezed/crushed daiquiris) and our server was the best! It was a great kick off to our trip, and an awesome way to close out this post 🙂

And that’s a WRAP! I hope you enjoyed scrolling through my reco’s and feel compelled to share some of yours!

Until next time…

xoxo
Brittany

Cheery & Charming Traveler’s Guide: 8 NEW Places to Visit in New York City

As always, New York was a whirlwind! Up and back in 2-days, via the Vermonter & Acela Express made for a jam-packed, fun and exciting adventure for our Valentine’s Day this year. Aside from my first time at Madison Square Gardens + seeing Billy Joel live, we covered a TON of ground and visited a slew of new spots!

Whenever I find fun, new spots, I’m always pressed to share! So, I’m quickly jotting down my top 7 favorite places we visited for any of you who may be looking for a cool, trendy or cozy new spot to check out next time you’re in the area!

  1. Hanoi House
    We had dinner here Thursday night and let me tell you – it was I-N-C-R-E-D-I-B-L-E. Placed appropriately on the historical, adventure seeking, 119 St. Mark’s Place, you’ll arrive in a (not-so-surprisingly-small), delicately quaint, romantically dimmed, intimate spot in East Village. But – don’t let the size fool you. Hanoi House is known for “The Absolute Best Pho in New York,” “The Absolute Best Octopus in New York,” “The Absolute Best Vietnamese Restaurants in New York,” and more. I mean . . . WOW!!! Once you’ve had a moment to take in the eloquent details, brace yourself as you’re about to be spoiled with a breathtaking, unbelievable, well-cultured, imaginative display of Vietnamese cuisine! From the Crispy Crab & Pork Spring rolls (Nem Ran), to the Spicy Octopus (Bach Tuoc Ca Ri) – delightfully displayed over roasted sweet potatoes, coconut curry, charred scallion and shishito peppers, to the Hanoi Style Beef Pho Soup (Pho Bac), – a classic 16-hr broth with heritage Black Angus filet mignon, brisket & rice noodles AND an add-on option of bone marrow (must have!) on the side, our dinner was simply divine. The only thing that will leave you feeling disappointed after this visit, is the wish that you could fit everything on the menu in your belly!
    P.S. make sure you get there early!! They don’t take reservations and the place was nearly filled upon our arrival, 15-minutes post their opening at 5:30.
    P.S.S. our dear friends own this place, so go. check. it. out. !!!
    EF61B86E-4C09-40E7-9612-14570BCC0983
  2. Joe & Pat’s Pizzeria NYC
    I don’t know about you, but I know that when I visit New York City, I’m not leaving until I’ve had a proper slize of za 😉
    Joe & Pat’s Pizzeria is more formally known in the Staten Island area of New York. Wanting to break in and make their presence known in the Manhattan area, they opened their NEW location at 168 1st Avenue. Priding themselves on a secret Neapolitan recipe for a special thin crust pizza that has made their restaurant famous, I was so glad to have enjoyed this gem during our trip! We sat at the antiquely pounded copper counter top on the corner of the bar and enjoyed catching up with friends and admiring the original, characteristic stained glass windows before, quite literally, demolishing our pizza. Looking for the perfect NY fold? You found it!! Can’t decide which kind to try when you visit? Psst… if you order a large, they allow you to do half and half! But, they also have a smaller, personal 10” option as well. Not to mention – the bartender and staff were  amazingly warm and welcoming, making for a fun, social lunch break on Friday!
    CEA67D20-4551-4B50-B179-580E605ADB0F
  3. C&B – East Village, Thompson Square Park
    I’ll keep this one short and sweet, just like this shop! Seriously one of the cutest little coffee shops in East Village! We stopped in for a quick espresso (always needed!) and loved seeing the kitchen staff live, in action, flipping, kneading and pounding their homemade dough!! I mean, you just can’t get that just anywhere in Baltimore! Plus, you can take your coffee/espresso/latte and enjoy a casual stroll around Thompson Square Park after, which is right across the street!
  4. Tacombi
    SALT! SALT! SALT! LOVED this Mexican spot we found on 267 Elizabeth Street. And come on … a old school, authentic Volkswagen Bus as the taco-making station?! We only stopped in for a quick taco (or two…) and kept on our exploring, but the atmosphere was so traditional and genuine, it’s definitely worth a visit and some cliché photos! P.S. the tacos were awesome too!
    98608197-82DC-40F3-A6C1-9663EDDC2A0A
  5. L’AMICO
    This is probably one of my favorite spots in NYC – although a little more ‘commercial,’ in feel, the atmosphere is to die for and this is going to sound weird, but I love their bathrooms! Haha! While separate male and female, the hand-washing station connects the two via a shared wash-sink area with a reflective, stained glass like mirror for separation. It’s a great spot for a casual happy hour, quick bite at the bar (they have amazing selection of appetizers, wood-burning pizzas, fresh pastas, and selections of charcuterie), or in our circumstance, a late night cap for topping off Saturday evening after the concert. We stayed in the hotel above it – The EVENTI, which I would TOTALLY recommend if you’re ever seeing a show at Madison Square Gardens. It was about a 5 minute walk from the concert!
    IMG_2869
  6. BUA Bar
    Cute and friendly spot to stop to get a snack or drink beforehand if you try our Hanoi House! It’s right across the street and felt so intimate. The space is decorated with countless lit candles that grace spaces in the walls where bricks have intentionally been removed. Candles also delicately and artfully line random fashion behind the bar liquor bottles, shelving, and pretty much anywhere you look!
    D8F76F48-40BD-409C-9037-711DBE94B10B
  7. Westside Market
    Talk about a local food market!! I WISH we had something like this in our small town, Federal Hill! Then again, I get we may not have the same volume to sustain this type of operation 🙂 It felt like I had walked into the Costco-version of a market! Never-ending, colorful supply and variety of fruits, vegetables, sandwiches, deli meats, cheeses, traditional grocery, flowers and more! Super cool spot to stop by, take in the colorful spreads and patronize a local business (with some salty and sweet snacks while you’re there!)
    CF495A66-9F8E-4F25-87A7-A4D5EE205F3B
    F0B76988-FD6D-4269-B310-52AF16EFBB30

  8. The Pennsy Food Hall
    Last, but not least – and definitely not a big secret as it’s right above Penn Station, but this is a great, vibrant and convenient spot to grab-and-go a snack before you catch the train ride home. It’s more of an incubator-type feel with a variety of small eateries, so there’s a little something for everyone. From sushi, to tacos, to bar food, to sweet treats, ice cream and more! Plus, they sometimes have a DJ that slings throwback songs and top beats to get you boppin’ and grovin’!

Do you have any favorite spots or gems to share? I’d love to hear! Ping me in the comments below!

Talk soon!

xoxox
Brittany

I Did It All for the Cookies… NEW: Keto Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Being on a diet, a NEW diet at that – it’s natural for your sweet tooth to perk up! Especiallyyyyy when you’re telling yourself something is off limits. You just want it EVEN MORE. Amiright?!

Well. Say goodbye to those nasty cravings, because I have a 100% Keto approved chocolate chip cookie recipe for you to try! That’s right folks – I said C-H-O-C-O-L-A-T-E  C-H-I-P  C-O-O-K-I-E-S !! You don’t have to deprive yourself on every diet! These  cookies contain all the Keto necessities: coconut oil, butter, almond flour and . . . you guessed it . . . chocolate!!

For the purposes of the Keto diet, we’re choosing a 100% cacao baking chocolate bar, unsweetened. NOTE: By itself it’s extremely bitter, but mixed in with the other ingredients, it creates the perfect balance!

Keto Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup golden monk fruit sweetener OR sticky sweetener of choice
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/2 tsp pink Himalayan salt
  • 3 cups almond flour
  • 3 oz. 100% cacao baking chocolate bar

Directions:

  1. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together coconut oil and butter.
  3. Next, add eggs and vanilla extract
  4. Add sticky sweetener of choice, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt
  5. Slowly, while mixing, add almond flour to cookie mix
  6. In a separate bowl, microwave chocolate pieces until just barely soft. Use a utensil to separate chocolate pieces into smaller bits before transitioning to mix
  7. Pour chocolate pieces into bowl of dough and mix until combined
  8. Form dough into balls and place on cookie parchment paper
    REMEMBER: Allow room in between cookies for cookies to spread during baking
  9. Bake cookies for 18-20 minutes, until edges are golden brown.
  10. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before serving.
  11. Enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 191  Fat: 18g  Carbohydrates: 11.5g (Net: 1.9g)  Protein: 4.3g

img_1780.pngcheery and charming_keto_chocolate chip cookies_2cheery and charming_keto_chocolate chip cookies_1

Mamma Mia! NEW: Keto Italian Stuffed Meatball Recipe for the Books

For some, odd, I can’t-explain-it reason, I was so intimidated by the idea of making meatballs. I know . . . call me weird. But, it felt like everyone had their own “special” or “secret” recipe, sometimes dating back generations of family. BUT – it turns out, most of those recipes don’t fall within Keto diet guidelines anyway!

While traditional meatballs are not keto, I’m here to help you with an awesome, SUPER easy, Italian Stuffed Keto Meatball alternative.

Typically, meatballs contain bread/crumbs as their main ingredient. This helps the balls maintain their shape. The presence of bread is a direct keto violation, but here’s a solution! (don’t be scared away by the number of ingredients – you just end up combining everything together! 🙂 )

Servings: 4

Split equally into 4 portions

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lbs Ground Beef
  • 1 tsp Oregano
  • 1/2 tsp Italian Seasoning
  • 2 tsp Garlic
  • 1/2 tsp Onion Powder
  • 3 tbsp Tomato Paste
  • 3 tbsp Flaxseed Meal
  • 2 Large Egg
  • 1/2 cup Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • Salt & Pepper Sprinkled for Seasoning

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 400F
  • Mix meat and all other ingredients together
  • Form into meatballs
  • Lay on a foil covered baking sheet
  • Bake for 20 minutes
  • Serve over spinach with sprinkled mozzarella cheese on top
  • Enjoy!

Nutrition
Calories            594
Fats (g)              44.8
Protein (g)        36.8
Net Carbs (g)    3.8

Seriously… HOW FLIPPING SIMPLE?! Great for lunches on the go, hearty dinners and for satisfying your favorite Italian food cravings! And these are delicious . . . I PROMISE you!

cheery-and-charming_keto_italian-stuffed-meatballs-recipe-3.jpgcheery-and-charming_keto_italian-stuffed-meatballs-recipe-4.jpgcheery and charming_keto_italian stuffed meatballs recipe 2cheery and charming_keto_italian stuffed meatballs recipe 1

Give them a try and post your review/comments below 🙂

Talk soon!
xoxox
Brittany

 

What Did the Buffalo Say When His Son Left for College? . . . “Bison.” NEW Keto Recipe: Brown Butter Buffalo Bites

Okay, okay, okay, so there’s technically no “buffalo” in this recipe outside of the sauce (although there mayyyy be a recipe on that coming soon . . .  😉 ) BUT – in the meantime, who says you have to dine out to enjoy delicious cauli buffalo bites?! Now, you make them in 30 minutes – right from home!!

They’re the perfect 30-minute prep snack you can grab and go all week long, OR an awesome munchable addition to your Super Bowl spread in the coming weeks!

I’ve grown to LOVE  what some call the “ghost” version of broccoli, see hilarious meme below. There’s so many ways to get creative using this low carb potato substitute – even in place of noodles/rice. There are only 2.9 grams of net carbs in an entire cup of this clean veggie, making it a clear winner on a Keto diet!

cheery-and-charming_broccoli-ghost.jpg

Keto Brown Butter Buffalo Bites

Ingredients:

  • 1 head of cauliflower (approx. 3 cups of florets)
  • 1/4 cup Frank’s Red Hot
  • 2 tbsp. Butter
  • 2 garlic cloves OR the equivalent minced
  • Pinch of salt

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400F
  2. Melt butter in a small skillet on medium heat
  3. Bring to a simmer until browned. Meanwhile, cut your cauliflower into florets.
  4. Pour florets into a large bowl
  5. Add minced garlic to your melted butter and let simmer
  6. Remove the butter and garlic mixture and pour it over the cauliflower
  7. Add in the hot sauce and gently toss to coat thoroughly throughout
  8. Move the florets to a sheet pan
  9. Bake the cauliflower for 20 minutes
  10. Remove from the oven, transfer to a serving dish. Drizzle with remaining sauce.
  11. Garnish with crispy bacon and serve with ranch or accompanying sauce of your choice for dunking
  12. Enjoy!

Nutrition
Calories: 175  Fat: 11  Carbohydrates: 10  Protein: 4

cheery and charming_keto_brown buffalo bits cauliflower_4cheery and charming_keto_brown buffalo bits cauliflower_3cheery and charming_keto_brown buffalo bits cauliflower_1cheery and charming_keto_brown buffalo bits cauliflower_2

Did you like this recipe? I’d love to hear!
Email or tag a friend and share the Keto loveeee!

Talk soon!

xoxox
Brittany

NEW Keto Recipe: Chicken Nuggets

Woo hooo! Feeling not only FULL, but also fully re-energized after last night’s bake sesh of Keto meals for the upcoming week and even MORE eager to share them with you!

I never knew going into this how much I would love reading, learning and understanding so much about the Keto diet, the general process and the overall impact it has had on my attitude and lifestyle so quickly.

I’m addicted!

I love having a more structured and routine eating regimen, I love that I’m eliminating sugars and limiting complex carbs/foods that aren’t entirely good for my digestion – both from a daily perspective and for ongoing weight management and healthy living. I even more so love the ritual of researching & discovering new, fun recipes and ideas for tweaking, testing (taste-testing is the best part – amiright?!) and making my own!

Scroll on to see this week’s tasty delights: a  NEW variation on my Pizza Chips – Hellooooo Salami! + what you’ve all been waiting for . . .  Keto Chicken Nuggets


NEW Variation to my Keto Pizza Chips – Helloooo Salami! 

While you may have read my original Keto Pizza Chips recipe here utilizing pepperoni, I found when I was snacking, that I couldn’t help myself but wonder if it would still be as tasty if I swapped up the meat and cheese combo in order to to have more variety throughout the week.

I tried it – and yep! Still. Just. As. Tasty!

Ingredients:

  • Boars Head Genoa Salami
  • Kraft Natural Cheese Cubes – Natural Colby Jack
  • Paprika Powder

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Take out some cookie sheets. You may need 2-3.
  2. Arrange salami and place cheese cubes on top – don’t worry, they’re not going to expand like cookies. They can be close together!
  3. Bake for 10 minutes
  4. Lay the chips onto paper towels to soak up any excess grease.
  5. Let sit for 3-4 minutes to cool off and crisp up even more.
  6. Enjoy!

Nutrition:
Fat: 15g  Protein: 15g  Net carbs: 1g

cheery and charming_keto_new salami slices_1cheery and charming_keto_new salami slices_2

Now . . . the moment you’ve all been waiting for . . . KETO CHICKEN NUGGETSSSS! DUN DUN DUNNNNN!! I have to say – when I uploaded photos of these little fried dreamboats to Instagram, I couldn’t believe all of the comments and asks I have for the recipe! So, here we go!

Keto Chicken Nuggets

The easier way to do these is likely via a deep fryer . . . but given not everyone has one of those (myself included) . . . I made do with the below steps and I LOVED how they turned out 🙂

PLEASE NOTE: I’m 99.9% sure I scared the living $%!#  out of my pups while making these – LOL! If you’re not careful to keep a lid on your simmering oil, it does create a decent amount of smoke. Be sure to crank a door, a window, anything, if you possess the lack of coordination that I do.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Chicken Breast
  • 1/2 oz Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 2 tbsp Almond Flour
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 Eggs
  • 1 tbsp Water

Directions:

  • WITH DEEP FRYER:
    1. Start by heating your deep fryer to 375F
  • WITHOUT DEEP FRYER:
    1. Cook a chicken breast (I cooked (3) at once for approx. 20 – 25 minutes)
    2. Pour ¼ cup avocado oil into a deep skillet/pan and set to med – low to bring oil to a simmer
    3. Pull chicken from oven. Cut chicken into cubes. (Don’t worry if your chicken isn’t cooked ALL the way – this is what you want! The battering and frying in the oil will finish it off just right, without allowing it to be overcooked or dry out)
    4. Mix the grated Parmesan, almond flour, and baking powder
    5. Add the egg and whisk
    6. Add the water and whisk
    7. Roll the chicken breasts in the batter until they are fully coated, then use a fork to drop them into the frying oil
    8. Cook until the batter turns golden brown
    9. Transition chicken bits to a sheet of paper towel to drain excess grease, cool and crisp
    10. Enjoy!

Nutrition:
Calories 166  Fats (g) 8.0  Protein (g) 23.0  Net Carbs (g) 1.0

cheery and charming_keto_chicken nuggets_1cheery and charming_keto_chicken nuggets_2cheery and charming_keto_chicken nuggets_3

Let me know what you think of this recipe! Try it at home, tag a friend, or pass it along – share the Keto loveeeee!

Stay tuned for more recipes throughout the week!

Psst… sign up/subscribe to my blog and you can get all of my awesome recipes delivered right to your inbox 🙂
Talk soon!

xoxo
Brittany

Eat Your Veggies . . . with ELK!

Today’s new, fun and easy Keto recipe comes to you via Keto Elk Stuffed Peppers With Cauliflower Rice!

If you’ve always been one who is curious to try a more “gamey” meat, this is DEFINITELY your opportunity! Plus, you can be extra healthy while experimenting.

Elk meat is a nutrient-dense food, meaning that it’s low in calories but contains a concentrated amount of many vitamins and minerals. It’s low in carbohydrates and fat but high in protein, zinc, vitamin B12, niacin and vitamin B6. If you are on the keto diet, or just like to experiment with low carb recipes, this keto stuffed bell peppers recipe is for you.

So, let me reiterate in saying I am NO great cook, that these are SUPER easy, and take little to no-prep time (don’t be scared away by the list of ingredients! you just end up mixing everything together):

Ingredients:

  • 4 bell peppers, red, yellow, or green
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 clove chopped garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried leaf basil
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 cup ground/diced cauliflower (this replaces the need for rice!)
  • shredded mild Cheddar cheese, about 1/2 cup

Directions:

  1. Cut top off of peppers, remove seeds and membranes. Rinse peppers under cold water.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°.
  3. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat until hot.
  4. Saute chopped onion, cauliflower and garlic for about 5 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.
  5. In a large mixing bowl, combine the 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and Worcestershire sauce. Gently stir to blend; add ground elk, cooked onion & cauliflower.
  6. Divide & stuff all peppers with meat mixture and place in a baking dish. Bake at 350° for 30 to 40 minutes.
  7. Top stuffed peppers with a little shredded cheddar or pepper jack cheese just before peppers are done and bake until cheese is melted.
  8. Once peppers are complete, top with a little basil, or any other spice you’d like.
  9. Enjoy!

Nutrition:

Calories: est. 387, Fat: 26g, Carbohydrates: 9g, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 7g, Protein: 22g

cheery and charming_keto_elk stuffed peppers_3cheery and charming_keto_elk stuffed peppers_1cheery and charming_keto_elk stuffed peppers_2

We made (4) at one time so I could plan on taking one to work with me the next day. For those wondering how it weathered/tasted the next day . . .

I just indulged and it was deeeee-licious!

I hope you enjoyed peeking at this recipe and bookmark it to try it at home yourself! Let me know how it goes!

Stay tuned for more . . .  🙂

xoxo
Brittany

If You’re Struggling, You’re Progressing

If you’ve arrived here today, WELCOME!! Today, I’ll be promoting my NEWEST & BIGGEST challenges for January. Every New Year, I like to take on a fresh new challenge, hopefully healthy, and ideally something that will push me to be a better version of me. Plus, I need a way to keep myself distracted from my #1 of the 2 challenges I’ll be tackling:

  1. No drinking for the month of January
  2. A Keto Lifestyle

That’s right folks, I said NOOOO drinking. Are. You. Kidding Me. Relaxxxxx, it’s not as hard as it seems! For those that are close to me, know I LOVE my W.I.N.E., but after the hustle and bustle of the holidays it’s a great time to kick start getting back on the right fitness track. And, what better way than to keep myself distracted by learning an entirely new diet/eating régime!?

I’ve officially been doing Keto for (1) whole week. And to be honest, I’m SUPER impressed with myself! No cheating, just straight up Keto. It was super tough at first – I was one of the few to experience what they call “the Keto flu” known as the period when your body learns to transition over from using carbohydrates for energy to using fat for energy. It. Was. Rough. I could barely move from the couch.

BUT – don’t let that deter you! The way I feel now, there’s no turning back. I have even more energy than I ever have before (I barely even need coffee anymore in the AM) and I feel super focused, motivated and driven at work!

Outside of the traditional cheese, avocado, no-prep needed snacks, I’m going to take you along in my journey of cooking, baking, prepping and taste testing (and trust me – those who know me know I am NO COOK), in the world of Keto recipes.

Keep scrolling for a sneak peek into this week’s (easiest EVER) prepped snack menu:

Keto Cheese Crisps

Ingredients:

  • Cheddar Cheese Slices

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Arrange Cheddar cheese in 24 small squares on the prepared baking sheets. (I folded each slice into quarters)
  3. Bake in the preheated oven until golden brown, about 7 minutes. Cool for 5 to 10 minutes before removing from baking sheets.
  4. Enjoy!

Nutrition Facts:

Per Serving: 60 calories; 3.0 g fat; 6.0 g protein; 0.0 net carbs
cheeryandcharming_keto_diet_cheese crisps_1cheeryandcharming_keto_diet_cheese crisps_2


Pizza Keto Chips

(Pepperoni and cheese are great keto snacks. To turn them into a chip, is absolutely brilliant. A simple recipe that the kids are absolutely going to love without question. It is impossible to eat just one.)

Ingredients:

  • 6 oz Pepperoni
  • 5 ¼ Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Take out some cookie sheets. You may need 2-3.
  2. Arrange pepperoni’s – don’t worry, they’re not going to expand like cookies. They can be close together!
  3. Bake them for about 5 minutes until they are semi-crispy and the grease is coming out of them. If they move out of place just arrange them back together.
  4. Sprinkle the cheese on top. Bake for another 3 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and a little crisp.
  5. Lay the chips onto paper towels to soak up any excess grease.
  6. Let sit for 3-4 minutes to cool off and crisp up even more.
  7. Enjoy!

Nutrition Facts:

Per Serving: 61.3 calories; 5.3 g fat; 3.0 g protein; 0.2 net carbs
cheeryandcharming_keto_diet_pepperoni_pizza_crisp_4cheeryandcharming_keto_diet_pepperoni_pizza_crisp_3cheeryandcharming_keto_diet_pepperoni_pizza_crisp_2cheeryandcharming_keto_diet_pepperoni_pizza_crisp_1


No-Bake Keto Peanut Butter Balls

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 100% Bakers Chocolate Bar
    (For dark chocolate lovers, you can use a 100% bakers chocolate bar. It is extremely bitter, but when used in these peanut butter balls, they’re perfect, as they pair with the sweet and salty peanut butter filling)
  • 2 Cups Smooth Peanut Butter
  • ¾ Cup Coconut Flour
  • ½ Cup Sticky Sweetener of Choice
    (The sticky sweetener is necessary to not only add a tad of sweetness but also to help the dough have a soft and chewy texture. Unfortunately, using a granulated sweetener will not yield the same result. The article I found suggested using a monk fruit sweetened maple syrup, which is 100% sugar free, keto-approved and low carb. Since I couldn’t find this, I used the next closest, sugar-free, low carb syrup)

Directions:

  1. Line a large baking tray with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine all your ingredients, except for chocolate bar, and mix until fully combined. If the batter is too thick and crumbly, add some liquid (water or milk) slowly until a thick, formable batter remains.
  3. Using your hands, form small balls and place on the lined plate or tray. Freeze for 10 minutes.
  4. While the peanut butter balls are firming up, melt your sugar-free chocolate bar. Remove the peanut butter protein balls from the freezer and dip each ball in the melted chocolate until completely covered. Repeat until all the balls are covered in chocolate.
  5. Refrigerate for 20 minutes, or until the chocolate coating has firmed up.

cheeryandcharming_keto_diet_no bake_peanut butter balls_4cheeryandcharming_keto_diet_no bake_peanut butter balls_7cheeryandcharming_keto_diet_no bake_peanut butter balls_1cheeryandcharming_keto_diet_no bake_peanut butter balls_3cheeryandcharming_keto_diet_no bake_peanut butter balls_8cheeryandcharming_keto_diet_no bake_peanut butter balls_2cheeryandcharming_keto_diet_no bake_peanut butter balls_6cheeryandcharming_keto_diet_no bake_peanut butter balls_5

I hope you all enjoyed my first Keto recipe spill!
Check back for more as I continue eating my way through Keto!

 

xoxo
Brittany