Joyful Low-carb Living

It may not be becoming to speak of one’s age, but I am not afraid: I am nearing fifty rapidly, and happily. When menopause started hitting, like so many women, I experienced sudden weight gain. If you have been following me for a while, you will know that I love to eat – and cook! The combination was going to be a problem. I tried portion control – I really did. But I love food so much, it made me feel rotten and deprived. Being the analytical person I am, I took a good look at my intake, and basically pretty quickly determined that, regarding calories, the least bang for the buck were those delicious empty carbs: bread, pasta, rice. And of course sugar.

I didn’t want to go crazy, but I needed a clear boundary. So I simply said: no grains, no refined sugar. And tons and tons and tons of vegetables. I lost almost 30 pounds quite rapidly. So I stuck with it! I don’t call it a ‘diet’, I call it a lifestyle. It’s been about 3 years, and I joyfully continue. I am consistent with it, but sometimes, I just drop it for a special occasion. One thing I learned is to bake low-carb (I only found out much later that ‘paleo’ was a helpful term for finding recipes).

And because I love sharing things I am excited about, I wanted to share a recipe with you here. This one is for low-carb biscuits. These take out 5 minutes to make (15-20 to bake), and are only 4-5 grams of carbs in each (as comparison, a slice of whole-wheat toast has 13grams). Not low-carb enough for a keto diet, but just right for me!

I have been experimenting adding things: seed mixture on top, or grated cheese folded in. Give this a try if you are curious! And let me know if you like the idea of sharing recipes here!

Grain-free, low-carb Biscuits

Ingredients 

Dry Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups almond flour
1/3 cup coconut flour
2 tablespoons hemp seed
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2+ teaspoon salt


Wet ingredients:
1 egg
1/2 cup sour cream (or yogurt, or coconut milk with lemon juice)
2 TBS butter (or coconut oil), melted
2 TBS cream
2 TBS water

alternative wet ingredients for lactose-free version:
1 egg
1/2 cup + 2 TBS coconut milk
1 TBS lemon juice
2 TBS coconut oil, melted
another TBS of coconut milk as needed


Optional additions: seeds, grated cheese

Instructions 

1. Preheat your oven to 450F,
and in it an iron skillet of heavy baking sheet.

2. Mix your dry ingredients in a larger bowl with a dry wire whisk: almond flour, coconut flour, hemp seed, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

3. Then, with the same whisk, mix your wet ingredients: egg, sour cream, melted butter, cream, and water (or egg, coconut milk, lemon juice, and coconut oil).

4. Now mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients using just a few quick yet effective strokes (make sure to do this quickly, as the coconut flour absorbs liquid rapidly). Don’t over-mix this soft dough – just leave it be.

5. Carefully take your hot skilled or baking tray out of the oven. Brush it with butter or coconut oil (or bacon grease!)

7. Drop small heaps of dough onto the skillet, ideally using a mechanical portioning  scoop (such as this one), or a Tablespoon.

8. Return the skillet to the oven and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until golden.

9. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes before eating.

10. Serve warm with butter and a nice cup of tea. And, ideally, a friend.

Europe Trip, Part One: Markets and Walks

As some of you might know, I went to Austria and Germany this past December. I thought I’d share a bit about that adventure here. As I am writing, I realize that this trip was so rich, I will tell you about it over several posts – like a Mini-Series.

Even though I was born and raised in southern Germany, I had never been to Vienna. What a city! I can’t even begin to do it justice here.

Vienna!

We were extremely lucky to be hosted by dear friends in the heart of Vienna. They took us around everywhere, and offered the most delightful experiences.

You’d think that the famous Viennese Christmas markets would have been a target for a visit. Yet, we noticed that our hosts deliberately walked big circles around each and every one of them. Stirred by memories of Christmas Markets of my childhood, I finally asked to visit a specific small one (recommended by Janet, of Viennese background, who sells apples at our local Farmer’s Market): Spittleberg.

The Spittleberg Christmas Market is not in an open square like most others, but along a quaint little street

But what I found was much changed from the markets of my own childhood: sadly commercialized, and not a single ‘artisanal’ offering was actually locally made. Most of them carried imported mass produced items. A sad sign of the times.

One day, we hiked through the wintery vineyards on the outskirts of Vienna. From here, we could see the Danube. Our host explained the importance of this river to the history of Vienna. 

The river Danube in the distance

Our host, Martina, has her roots here: she was baptized in the church on the hill:

The church on the hill is one destination on these kinds of walks

One thing worth mentioning about our Vienna visit: we had been there a week before we realized that our hosts owned a car. They were so used to going everywhere on foot and/or by public transit, the car did not appear until a week into our visit. A very interesting fact, culturally speaking, don’t you think?

That’s it for now. I’ll tell you more soon! I’ll cover these topics:

     Part Two: Gallery Visits
     Part Three: Churches
     Part Four: Eating Culture
     Part Five: Kyudo, and an Unforgettable Gift
     Part Six: Germany

More new rings coming to the website shortly

I am really quite fond of this lil guy!

Aye, it’s been quite the whirlwind season! Since the early Fall, much has happened, but more about that later.

Regardless of challenges, I have been making lots and lots of new OneOfAKind rings with stones. Sadly, you would only have been able to see them if you had seen me at one of the shows on the East or West Coast.  Since I haven’t had a chance to photograph the pieces, I have not yet been able to list them on my website! But I hope to remedy that.

First I take the labels off (not before taking a photo with it on, for the record, which is the kind of photo you see here).  Then I place each individual ring into my little makeshift ‘lightbox’, juggling my desk lamp and my phone/camera/device to get the right angle without getting a reflection of anything in the room.  And then print new labels and put them back on.Patience, patience! At least I get to visit with each gem for a good while this way.

I have quite a few peridot pieces, more rings with 3 stones, and several with amethysts

Now that the private commissions have slowed down, I am starting to find the time to photograph each piece I have in my studio. So keep checking the website for more and more of them to pop up!

Ooooooh yessssss, I did! This is a wild one, isn’t it?

Pop-Up Trunk Show in Halifax

Guess what – I snuck away for the last couple of weeks. Check my social media (especially Instagram Stories) for some pics in the next couple of days! I’ll tell you more all about my trip here on my blog, soon, as well. Right now, I am busy preparing for a last public appearance in Halifax. I was invited by my colleague James Bradshaw to bring my pieces into his gallery for just one day for a pop-up trunk show.  Along with the goldsmiths of Fireworks Gallery (my representing gallery in Halifax), James Bradshaw has been a big inspiration for me for over a decade.

This local artisan has been creating wearable works of art for over 40 years. I had my first visit to his studio as a field trip when I was studying jewellery design and metalsmithing at NSCAD University in Halifax in the late Nineties. The visit to this fully functioning goldsmith’s studio was hugely inspiring to me as a student – a real life example of what the life and work space of a  goldsmith could be like. I have often since then walked past the building and admired it. Thus, I am particularly delighted by the invitation to spread out my works and welcome my clients in this beautiful space.  I’ll have some new pieces with me which haven’t been seen before. So come and check it out!

Monday, December 17th
12pm-9pm

James Bradshaw Goldsmith
1551 Birmingham, Halifax, NS
(corner Queen and Birmingham)

The iconic building at the corner of Queen and Birmingham Streets is hard to miss

 

Thank you for stopping by!

Now that the holiday shows on both ends of the country are over, I wanted to say a big Thank You to everyone who came to say Hi in Vancouver and Halifax.

My booth at the Halifax show.

I really enjoy taking my work out in front of people, appreciate people coming by to show me the ring they bought years ago, and/or finding out what I have new.

Lots of interest in Vancouver, as always

I got a big response to this little video from show-set-up in Vancouver, so I thought I’d share it here (there are more of them on my YouTube Channel):

Hey readers, what do you think: should I come to the OneOfAKind Show in Toronto?

The Halifax show-set-up looks a little different, because I can lug everything there straight from the studio on my neighbours open truck

Speaking of which: things have been so busy that I have not had time to update the website with all the OneOfAKind rings I had finished for those shows. So: if you are looking for a specific size or stone, drop me a line and I’ll see what I have on hand! I will try to update the website in the next couple of weeks as I am able.

This is what I had on hand in silver OneOfAKind Onefooter rigs in Vancouver on Day 3

I am also planning a Pop-Up show for downtown Halifax mid-December – likely Monday, December 17h. Stay tuned for details!

My new employee Manisha was visited by her family, and is showing them what we make

 

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