LEGO Bricks & No Brakes!! I was a nervous wreck!

You know those childhood memories that come up around the Thanksgiving table? The ones that have everyone laughing till they practically cry? Like when the van door fell off in Bar Harbor, Maine or when the Taurus broke down on the way to Chicago and the entire family had to squeeze into the tow truck cab, (both are one of many of my childhood travel memories). Well, we made one of those for our kiddos this past weekend. It was the classic tale of two vehicles going somewhere and only one returning home.

It all started Friday afterschool. Kiddos and I packed up the Yukon with the road trip essentials: LEGO bricks, dolls, Floam, music, snacks, etc. and we headed to Troy, Ohio to meet up with my husband who had been there for work. It was going to be a blast, kiddos could swim, we could relax, spend the night, then the next morning, (which just so happened to be our eldest birthday), we would head into Columbus for the LEGO Creativity Tour!! The drive down was so smooth; my 2001 Yukon drove like a champ that day! We arrived, had dinner, swam, watched cable (our house is cable free, so this is an added hotel perk), went to bed, and the next morning the REAL adventure began!

My husband and I both had to drive from Troy to Columbus because we would be going home after the LEGO Creativity Tour. So we headed out, it was a gorgeous day, sun was shining, a few clouds in the sky, traffic wasn’t too bad especially considering Ohio State played that day. On our way into town the car made a weird noise, right around Plain City, Ohio, then it seemed fine. We got into Columbus and suddenly the dash flashed the low fuel sign & anti-lock brake sign pair that with the fact that I had no idea where any gas stations were & no access online and I became one slightly nervous momma. So I did the only logical thing, prayed & we got our LEGO on! Woot! Woot!!

LEGO Creativity Tour!!!

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As we walked in we were greeted by these awesome Lego bricks sculptures! They we absolutely fascinating! The time, energy, effort, and creativity that went into those was inspiring!

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Then our eldest wanted to check out the YouthDigital   booth that offered kiddos aged 8-14 the opportunity to make their own sword and then use it in the Minecraft world, it was kinda the coolest!!

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Kids Learn to Code, Program & Create!

Highly Interactive, Effective and Fun Learning Platform

Youth Digital’s breakthrough learning platform provides kids and teens — between the ages of 8 and 14 — a comprehensive learning experience that is amazingly fun, highly interactive and extremely effective. Students watch videos, respond to questions, earn badges, complete quizzes, and attempt challenging assignments as they step toward mastering critical technology skills and professional-level software. Kids learn to code, program in Java, make Mods for Minecraft®,

animate their own movies, design and print in 3D, develop their own mobile apps, create video games, and more. Source  

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Our next stop, LEGO Friends!!! The girls absolutely adore LEGO friends, they know all the girls names and have practically all the sets.

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They were quite eager to build a house for Heartlake City. The coolest part was once they turned in their house to the LEGO person in charge in return they received a small LEGO kit. I was extremely thankful for that since I know our preschool has a tough time parting with her creations.

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They literally had something for everyone, including video games. All 3 of the kiddos lost their minds when we boarded a truck that was filled with huge screens, video game consoles and sweet games. They had the option of playing Minecraft or LEGO and they chose LEGO. Even our youngest got in on the fun, and she has not stopped talking about it since, lol!

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We stopped by the Art Gallery…..

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Built more SWEET things with LEGO bricks…

 

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Became LEGO Club members….join today, it is free, get FREE magazines, and other fun activities for kiddos! CLICK HERE TO JOIN!

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Sadly, we did not get to everything, our time expired. But no worries, just means we will have to go checkout LEGO KidsFest 2016 in Cleveland!! For tour dates and cities, CLICK HERE for info.

We headed out of the parking garage and with every turn the Yukon seemed to get worse and worse, the grinding, loss of anti-lock brakes, eventually it felt like the wheel was literally going to fall off…pair that with the inclement weather and semis and this mommas was a nervous wreck!! We made it as far as Waldo, Ohio. I officially know where Waldo is, lol! (Sorry, I couldn’t resist!). We stopped for dinner at an adorable little spot known for their bologna sandwiches, G & R Tavern and then called AAA.  The Tavern had huge pieces of pie and since it was our daughter’s 10th birthday and I just so happened to have candles in my purse we made certain we sang Happy Birthday….this is one birthday she will never forget.

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This will be one of those stories that comes up at the Thanksgiving table for years to come and I am certain we will laugh till we cry (perhaps not this Thanksgiving, the wounds are still fresh, but next year for sure).

 

FYI-AAA is another MUST HAVE membership for ALL families on the go! They came to our rescue within 45 minutes and towed us back to Toledo (100 miles!…covered under the Gold Membership).  AAA membership makes a great Christmas Gift…CLICK HERE for more info.

 

 

Keto Pasta!

My latest obsession, the Spiral Slicer!! Why? Because sometimes a girl has a real hankering for pasta! I have enjoyed all the splendors the Ketogenic lifestyle offers, the clear-headedness, weight loss, rich delicious foods, clearer complexion, etc. However the one thing I miss more than Reese’s Pieces, merlot, and maple syrup is PASTA!! Angel hair, linguine, and good old-fashioned spaghetti!!! But with all those carbs what’s a girl to do!?! Get her Zoodle on! ( the name even has me chuckling, zoodles, lol!).

 

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What are zoodles? Zucchini that has gone through a spiral slicer and produces long strands that resemble pasta. You’re probably thinking, yeah right!? Let me tell you, I was skeptical too.  But then I tasted it and it was amazing! The key is to cook the zoodles so that they are al dente then the texture is perfect.

 

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So how does one prepare zoodles?

Directions:

  1. Rinse off/clean zucchini (If you wish you can remove the green so that it resembles the look of noodles more).
  2. Place zucchini in spiral slicer and slice
  3. Once the entire zucchini has been sliced get out a pan, place on range on medium heat, drizzle olive oil in pan place zoodles in pan and heat for roughly 4 minutes turning frequently.
  4. Add your “goodies” to your pasta…pesto, marinara sauce (watch for sugar!), shrimp, meatballs, etc.
  5. Enjoy!

Do you have a Spiral Slicer? Any favorite recipes? Please share.

 

 

Top Ten Reasons Why Cookie Exchanges are THE WORST!!

Now, as most of y’all know I am often called a Pollyanna thanks to my glass is half full positive outlook on life. However there is one thing in this world that quickly turns this Pollyanna into a Negative Nelly and that is a good old-fashioned cookie exchange!  Shocking, but true! I have participated in my fair share and even organized a few and let me tell you, now I understand what they mean by a labor of love. Except for in this case, unlike actual labor where you totally forget just how intense the pain was because your heart is overflowing with joy thanks to that beautiful baby you are holding, you do recall every contraction!

 

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Why host a cookie exchange anyway? I know I wanted to host one because it seemed like such a fabulous way to help each other out, to cover all those cookies you need to bring for school parties, work parties, family gatherings, etc. and I love hanging with friends, so it seemed like a no-brainer, right? Wrong!

Top Ten Reasons Why Cookie Exchanges are THE WORST:

1) Too many people want to participate– “Can my cousin once removed, niece’s half-sister, and neighbor participate too?”- When you first announce you are organizing and hosting a cookie exchange the entire city will be excited and will want to participate. And you will be left with the difficult task of deciding who will be included and who will not…often first come first serve is the best policy but as you will read in #4, that doesn’t always mean the most dependable people will sign up first.

2) Deadlock on the amount of cookies to bake– “12 dozen is too many!  12 half dozen isn’t enough!” This one is a classic complaint and often the group is split down the middle with half being okay with just baking 12 half dozen & the other demanding 12 dozen. And here you thought you just wanted to get together with friends and celebrate this joyous time of the year and they have you in the worst position possible, choosing one group of friends/family over the other. Good luck!

3) Do we have to assign cookies!?-“She took my cookie”. Trying to decide who makes what cookies shouldn’t be this complicated but it is!!

 

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4) Not enough people to participate– “So my cousin once removed can’t make it, and her niece’s half-sister has to babysit, and my neighbor can’t get a ride” (seriously…don’t you live next door? Can’t you give them a ride?). Just when you had 12 women participating, you figured out a date, what cookie everyone was baking, and how many cookies each woman was going to bake suddenly half of them can’t participate!!! Grrrr!! Guess who is starting back at square one with only a week to go before the big cookie exchange?

5) Allergies– “I am allergic” After making a few calls, sending some emails, making promises to babysit swap, take out their trash, do their dishes, change diapers, anything to get that number back up to 12  you finally did it! However the women you managed to recruit have family with nut allergies…..time to go back to the drawing board and restructure the whole who’s baking what cookie.

6) Adults acting like toddlers (this includes you) – “Her cookie is way easier than mine, which is not fair”. At this point in the game you are starting to lose your patience and just flat out ask, what do you want me to do about it!!? Want me to go over and destroy a few batches so she has to make them again? Would that be fair? Grrrr!!!

7) Last Minute Cancelations -“That date just won’t work for me”. You know that date you set 6 weeks ago that hasn’t changed? Yep, that one! Well, turns out 3 of the women can’t make it that day because of prior engagements…yes; they will wait till 4 days before the exchange to announce this, seriously!?! (At this point you are either moved to prayer or a glass of wine, in my case I prayed while I sipped!) (It should be noted that there are circumstances beyond peoples control and you do need to be understanding).

8) Containers are offensive– “We agreed on fancy boxes and she has plastic bags, WHAT!?!” The big day finally arrives, you have cleaned your house, baked, prepped drinks and food, gone around in circles on where the hubby should take the kids, vacuumed and dusted (DUSTED!) and your guest arrive with cookie packages in hands. You worked so hard to get to this point and you think you are in the clear; you can just relax and enjoy that bundle of joy that you labored for all these weeks but nope, because the containers aren’t fair. At this point you realized you should have just had an exchange with your 3 year olds friends because that is the maturity level at this point.

9) Spontaneous Cookie Baking– “I was going to do those but I did chocolate chips instead….so we have two people bringing chocolate chips, no big deal”. Of course someone changed their cookie without telling you…and to be honest, you could care less but you know that one woman will be offended by this….solution, just pour yourself that drink, sip, and nod.

10) Definition of exchange is misunderstood– “Wait, I have 4 of the same cookie!!” Just when you thought it was all over, the afterbirth. Somehow everyone didn’t exchange properly and some women got 4 of one cookie and none of the others. Now, this is when you will really need to contain yourself and not scream, MY 3YEAR OLD CAN EXCHANGE 12 or 6 CRAYONS WITH 12 FRIENDS EASIER THAN THIS!!! (Remember don’t scream that…stay cool, calm, and collected).

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Finally the madness is over and you have either 72 of 142 cookies that are reminders of the struggle, heartache, exhaustion, promises, and labors of love you went through….try sinking your teeth into one of those. Diet starts after the cookie exchange….no one wants to taste that bitterness.

I love my friends and family with all my heart but I do not like them when they are under the influence of a cookie exchange. There is something about a cookie exchange that brings out the competition, negativity, gossip, etc. in women, including myself. So, for the sake of my relationships I have decided that I am officially in cookie exchange recovery. My days of cookie exchanging are over.

 

My hat is off to all those organizing a cookie exchange. Hang in there, heed my advice. And for those participating in a cookie exchange, be nice! The person organizing the cookie exchange is hearing everyone’s complaints, at least try to balance them out with complements, remember why you are having the exchange, focus on the joy, be an epidural for the organizer, minimize her pain and increase her joy.

Are you a cookie exchange organizer? Please feel free to share any suggestions, stories, and/or recipes…. would love to hear from you….is there a way to minimize the chaos and stress?

Cheers!

Keto Sushi

Hi y’all, hope you are making it a great one today! So, I have received a lot of messages from you awesome followers expressing an interest in the ketogenic diet, more specifically requesting that I share what I eat on a daily basis. First off let me say congrats to all of you, the first step towards a new journey is research and gaining knowledge and that is precisely what you are doing, thus, you totally rock!! Second, I am more than happy to share what I eat however, since this is not strictly a food blog I don’t want to bombard the blog with food thus; I will try my best to incorporate at least one or two post on Ketogenic foods a week, and I will start with lunch today, I made what I like to call Keto Sushi! It is so good that I literally started eating it while photographing it, lol!

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So, the mains staples for the Keto Sushi are seaweed wraps and cream cheese. You can add whatever you like to the center; things I enjoy include cucumbers, avocados, and my all-time favorite, and what I included in it for lunch today, smoked salmon.  It should be noted that you can use any type of salmon, filet or canned, you can use any fish, even meat if you like, or keep it simple and just have seaweed and cream cheese.

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So, how do you make the sushi? Lay the seaweed wrap on the plate, place the cream cheese in the center (you will need to cut a slice and place it in the center, DO NOT try to spread, it will not spread)  then layer the remaining items on top, and then simply roll it up. I like to cut mine in two but you don’t have to, whichever way is easiest for you, there really is no right or wrong way, just enjoy!

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This is a real simple to prep meal, so much so that my son and daughter like to make this for lunch the night before school. It travels nicely in a container; just make certain you keep it refrigerated or put an ice pack in your lunch bag.

Feel free to post any questions, suggestions, and/or advice in the comments. I so enjoy hearing your feedback! Cheers!!

Ladies Night Out Recap & Giveaway

Last night marked the first ever Mom on the go in Holy Toledo Ladies Night Out!!! And it was an absolute blast!!!

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The evening started with a fun little game that got the ladies mingling.  Everyone had an index card pinned to their back with a name of a popular chick flick written on it. The object of the game was to mingle around the room and ask others yes or no questions in order to receive clues to help solve the mystery of the movie title pinned on their back. The titles included, The Notebook, Thelma & Louise, Dirty Dancing, Footloose, You’ve got Mail, etc. And the best part, the winner received a prize!

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Then everyone grabbed refreshments and the lovely Tricia shared this new, awesome, trendy meets classic jewelry line KEEP Collective.

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I was so impressed with both the style and quality of this personalized jewelry.  The concept of KEEP is so simple.  You pick a bracelet or necklace (she called them Keepers), and then you slide charms (she called them Keys) on that represent the “things” that matter to you — family, faith, friendship, hobbies, etc.  I am always on the lookout for awesome, quality, customizable gifts and KEEP Collective is PERFECT!! 

 

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And you won’t be able to resist designing something for yourself, too. She has some great ideas on a beautiful Mom Bracelet that is so different than what you’ve seen before.  (So, tell your husbands to call Trish!  Trust me; you will thank me for that tip!)  You can place an order anytime through this link:  https://www.keep-collective.com/soc/x5cz7 

 

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You could be the Mystery Hostess…….

Want to know the best part of all of this?  If you weren’t able to make it to Ladies Night Out you can still participate in the Mystery Hostess party. If you place an order using the link above, you (yes, you!!) could possibly win the Hostess Rewards for the entire party!  Tricia told us that she works hard to help her “hostesses” raise $1000 in retail sales, so that means at least $250 in Hostess Rewards (you read correctly, you could purchase one bracelet and if your name is pulled you could receive $250 in rewards….all you have to do to be entered in the hostess pool is buy one product).  Who couldn’t use an extra $250 to spend at Christmas time?!  If you want to see some design ideas, check out the pictures on her business Facebook page here:  https://www.facebook.com/TriciaDzierwaJourney/.  I am simply in love with KEEP Collective!!! 

 

After our love affair with KEEP Collective I had a little surprise for the ladies, a pop quiz on chocolate, Ireland, and even a few random questions. And I do believe I stumped them on a few, the winner, the person with the highest score, which was 8/12 won one of the beautiful painted wine glass samples that Uncork the Artist provided.  Which transitioned us into the final event that evening, we painted wine glasses!!

 

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Let me tell you, painting a wine glass is much harder than it looks! But it was a challenge the ladies happily accepted and nearly all accelerated their skill (I was not one of them, lol!) we have some very talented artist in the bunch, check these out…..

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And the cherry on this legendary ladies night out sundae, we each received massages throughout the evening by the beautiful Joy at Rey Sunshine Massage

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I left feeling so refreshed, rejuvenated, and so blessed to have had the pleasure of meeting so many amazing ladies! But I am slightly bummed that everyone wasn’t able to make it, so in an effort to extend the spirit of the Ladies Night Out I am inviting all of you to participate in this SWEET giveaway!!!

WIN $25 to KEEP Collective…..

To Enter:

  1. Click here and show Tricia from KEEP Collective some love
  2. Request a mock up from Tricia…she has a virtual design tool where she can design something for you
  3. Comment with your answer to this trivia question: On average, what do you do 15 times a day? a. Laugh b. Burp c. Break wind   d. Lick your lips

Winner will be randomly selected November 23rd @ 11:59pm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Disney On Ice presents Dare to Dream WIN Family 4 pack Tickets

Classic meets contemporary in Disney On Ice presents Dare to Dream! Join your favorite Disney Princesses in a celebration of 75 years of Disney Princess stories, including two-modern day princesses, Rapunzel and Tiana; the always elegant Cinderella; and the princess who started it all, Snow White. Laugh at Disney’s hilarious hair-raising escapade, Tangled, as Rapunzel; her unlikely companion, Flynn; and Maximus, the Captain of the Guard’s determined horse; embark on an uproarious journey that takes adventure to new lengths!

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Travel to the enchanted forest with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs as Snow White escapes from the Evil Queen in her search for her one true love. Watch as fanciful dreams become reality as Cinderella meets her Prince Charming, with a glass slipper fit for an unforgettable fantasy come true. And boogie to the beat of the bayou in a magical, musical journey that celebrates the story of The Princess and the Frog with Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen.

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All your favorite princesses take to the ice in a spectacular finale at the ultimate Disney Princess event of a lifetime! Experience the beauty, sparkle, and spirit when Disney On Ice presents Dare to Dream comes to your hometown!

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Show Times Schedule: At Huntington Center Toledo, OH

Date Morning  Afternoon  Late Afternoon  Evening

Thursday, Dec. 3       7:00 PM

Friday, Dec. 4       7:00 PM

Saturday, Dec. 5 11:00 AM 3:00 PM   7:00 PM

Sunday, Dec. 6   1:00 PM 5:00 PM

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Exclusive Savings:

Opening Night tickets are just $12 – No code needed! Kid’s tickets start at just $12! – no code needed

(Discount does not apply to Rinkside, Front Row, or VIP seats. No double discounts.  Service charges, handling, and facility fees may apply. Child discount applies for ages 2-12).

 

Ticketing Information:

Price Level Price

Rinkside $55.00

VIP $32.00

3rd $20.00

4th $15.00

Order Tickets Here: http://www.ticketmaster.com/venueartist/65566/1599972

 

CONTEST!

Mom on the go in Holy Toledo is giving away a family 4 pack of tickets

To be entered complete the following steps:

ONE- must complete 3 of the following, you can decide which 3:

1.Share this post on Facebook. (simply click on button at the bottom of page)

2.Share this post on Twitter #DisneyOnIce (button at bottom of page)

3.Show Disney On Ice Facebook page some love

4.Follow Disney On Ice on Twitter

5.Share this post on Pinterest (button at bottom of page)

TWO- Comment below expressing what your favorite Princess/favorite Disney Movie is.

Winner will be randomly selected November 20th @ 11:59pm. Winners name will be announced the 21st on this blog post thread and on Mom on the go in Holy Toledo’s Facebook page.

 

 

Why the obsession with Pork Rinds? (Includes 3 crowd pleasing Keto recipes!)

If you would have asked me last year at this time if I would eat Pork Rinds let alone do a segment about Pork Rinds my answer would have been heck no! My reasoning would have been because of all the fat. Back then I was a fat hater, I wouldn’t eat anything with fat, fat was the enemy, fat was what made you, well, fat! Right!? Wrong! (Here is a clip of the segment)

 

Fast forward a year and I have gone Keto, (the Ketogenic Diet…when your body becomes a fat burner instead of burning off sugar)! Which means fat is what consumes most of my diet. That’s right, 80% of my diet comes from fat, and the remainder is protein, fiber, and net carbs. Notice something missing from my diet? Sugar! Sugar is a thing of the past for me. It wasn’t an easy path but one I am so glad I went down, the results have been astonishing. I didn’t realize what a hold sugar had over me, over my brain, and my body. I will NEVER go back. I am pleased to announce that the side effects of a sugar free, low carb, high fat diet has been weight loss, 15 pounds lost thus far, I have more energy, and my mind is so much sharper.

Eating low carb, high fat, and often high calorie deliciousness was tough at first. Sure it was easy for me to consume the healthy “normal” foods so to speak, like salmon, pork, spinach, eggs, avocadoes, smashed cauliflower, etc. The tough part was when we would have pizza night, spaghetti & meatballs, when guest would bring chips and dip, or basically anything that involved bread, bun, or breading. Solution to the problem, Pork Rinds!!

Here are 3 AWESOME Low Carb High Fat recipes that have really helped me feed my cravings

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Faux Fried Chicken

Ingredients:

8 chicken legs (drumsticks seem to be everyone’s favorite but you can use thighs, wings, breast, etc.)

1 bag Rudolph’s Pork Rinds crushed (hot & spicy if you are serving adults or regular for kiddos)

3 eggs, beaten

1 Tablespoon hot sauce

Directions:

Place eggs, hot sauce, and chicken in bag or bowl for 10 minutes. Remove legs one at a time and roll around in crushed Pork Rinds. Grease pan, place legs on pan, and bake at 400 for 15 minutes on each side.

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BBQ Pork Rinds Pizza Crust (can use regular Pork Rinds for a pizza with pizza sauce, I just have a tough time finding sauce with no sugar thus this has become my fav pizza!! And it is great to serve to guests too!)

Ingredients:

1 bag Rudolph’s BBQ Pork Rinds crushed

1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

3 eggs, beaten

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Directions: Mix all the ingredients well, press into a nonstick greased pan. Bake at 350°F for about 8 minutes. Add your toppings, I mix a cup of shredded chicken with a cup of ranch dressing (I make my own so I have control over what’s in it), about a cup of shredded chedder cheese, and slices of bacon on top then re-bake until cheese and toppings are hot. This recipe can easily be doubled but just bear in mind that it is VERY filling!

 

This is a good one for Homegating/Tailgating or on a Tuesday afternoon, lol!!

Beer Dip with Pork Rinds

Ingredients:

2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese softened

2Cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese

1 packet ranch dressing mix

½ cup beer (or more…depends on how many carbs you want in it and how thick you want it)

Directions:

Toss everything in the food processor and puree!! After a few minutes check the thickness and if need be add a bit more beer, once it is to your liking remove and place in bowl. Grab a pork rind, spoon dip on the pork rind and enjoy! It gives you that same satisfaction as a chip, the crunch and crispiness is perfect!

 

Interested in learning more about the Ketogenic Diet? Here are a few resources I found quite useful.

https://www.drberg.com/ketosis

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_434ERRbkj8

http://mariamindbodyhealth.com/why-you-should-consider-a-ketogenic-diet/