Category Archives: Drinks

A Darling Teacake for St. Patrick’s or Anytime

March 17 is just around the corner and the arrival of Spring is not far behind.

Why not celebrate St. Patrick’s Day or a belated St. David’s Day – a Welsh tradition celebrated on March 1 – with a tea? Nothing beats an afternoon pause in the day to have a cup of perfectly steeped Irish tea with a tasty cake or scone. It does wonders for your outlook.

In Irish, the tea is called cupan tae or cuppa tay.  How often have you heard let’s have a cuppa? Traditionally, teatime is around 11 a.m. for morning tea or between 3 and 5 p.m. for afternoon tea.  But there’s no need to stand on ceremony.  Anytime is a good time for tea. In Ireland, it’s common to have your tea with cream, but there’s a little trick to it. The custom began when folks put milk or cream into their fine china cups to prevent cracking when the hot tea was added.  Tea experts maintain that the milk needs to be added before the tea is poured as adding it afterward alters the taste of the tea.

To make a perfect cup of tea,  begin by filling a kettle with cool water and put it on to boil.  Next, add one teaspoon of fresh loose leaf Irish tea per person plus one for the pot. Add boiling water to the pot and allow it to steep for 5 minutes. While you wait, fill 1/3 of the teacup with milk or cream and pour the strong, hot Irish tea into each cup and stir.

Now for the tea cake to go with it…

As I was browsing through a booklet of Welsh teatime recipes, I ran across this lovely little cinnamon cake, called a Teisen Sinamon in Welsh. I thought it was a little unusual since it called for a meringue topping, which I haven’t seen often on cakes. I made a few adjustments to make a low carb version and converted the ingredient measurements. This is a coarse-textured cake rather than a dessert cake, but it has excellent flavor and pairs well with either tea or coffee.

My version is also adjusted to a half-sized recipe to avoid too many leftovers. It’s best served right after the meringue is cooked.

Ingredient notes: I used vanilla whey protein powder as part of my flour mix since it brings additional flavor and texture to the cake. You can substitute any low carb flour you like into it. If you use any coconut flour, use 1/2 the called for amount it is replacing and add an extra egg. The net carb count will be higher with other flour choices. My baking mix is 3 net carbs per 1/4 cup and the whey powder is 1 net carb for 1/4 cup.

The recipe calls for 1 egg plus 1/4 cup liquid egg whites. You need to separate the egg and put the egg white from the egg aside to make the meringue.  Liquid egg whites won’t beat stiff enough to make a good meringue.

Cinnamon Cake baked in the pan. You can remove it and have a nice display cake or leave it in the pan and cut slices from it.

Welsh Cinnamon Cake

3/4 cup Low Carb Flour
1/4 cup Vanilla Whey Powder
1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/4 cup Sugar Substitute
1/2 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1 Eggs, separated, plus 1/4 cup Liquid Egg Whites
Pinch of Salt
1/4 cup Butter
2 – 3 tablespoons Almond Milk or Cream
1/2 tablespoon Granulated Sugar Substitute
4 tablespoons Sugar-free Raspberry or Strawberry Jam

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F.) Grease, or spray with baking spray, a 6-inch cake pan or square pan.

Mix the flour, cinnamon, and salt together in a bowl, then rub in the butter. Separate the egg, set the white aside, add the liquid white and beat together. Add the sugar and yolk mixture to the flour and mix well. Add enough milk to make a thick, moist dough. Pour or press the mixture into the cake pan and bake for 20  minutes until a toothpick tests cleanly.

Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool.

Reduce temperature to 325 degrees (F.) Whip the egg whites until stiff, then fold in the sugar substitute. Put the cake on a paper-lined baking sheet and spread jam over the top of the cake, then pile on the meringue mixture. Put back in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes until the meringue is set and a pale brown.

Serve immediately. Makes 6 servings.

Nutrition Information per slice:
Calories: 148 Fat: 11.7 g Net Carbs: 4.6 g Protein: 7.4 g

Enjoy your tea break and let me know how you liked the tea cake!

A Low Carb Winter Holiday

L to R: Turnips and Cauliflower au Gratin Casserole, Irish Style Kohlrabi, Classic Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

Thanksgiving, then all the other winter holidays are coming up quickly.  To help find those recipes that I’ve posted over the past few years for holiday meals, I’m putting many of them on this one page.  At the beginning of December, I’ll do a similar page with Holiday Sweet Treats that will cover the cookies, candies and cakes for the holiday season.

Main Course:

Turkey – I don’t actually have a recipe for roasting turkey. Almost anyone you might find will likely be low carb. What adds the carbs is the dressing. See below. But here’s a Roast Turkey recipe from that is beautifully seasoned and not stuffed.  Rosemary Roasted Turkey

Low Carb Stuffing Bread

Low Carb Stuffing – This is an easy-to-make stuffing bread that will work well with any of your usual vegetables and/or fruits and sausage to make a delicious stuffing you can bake in your turkey or in a side casserole dish. Add some of the turkey juices to the mix to bring in the flavor of the turkey.

Side Dishes:

We need good side dishes that are still low carb. Potatoes just don’t cut it on a low carb lifestyle, no matter how much we want them to be a part of the meal. Here are a few options for potato replacements that are very tasty and may make you forget all about that other root vegetable.

Delicious Creamed Cauliflower

Creamed Cauliflower – delicious and so elegant-looking.
Turnips and Cauliflower Au Gratin – Wonderful flavor and so like scalloped potatoes (see first photo)

Ricotta Cheese Cauliflower Casserole

Ricotta Cheese Cauliflower Casserole – Absolutely amazing taste and easy to make

Smashed Turnips with Leeks

Smashed Turnips with Leeks – Pretty close to the taste of mashed potatoes and I like them better!

Other side dishes that are great:

L to R: Green beans with turnips, Brussels sprouts fritters, roaster turnips and kohlrabi

Green Beans with Turnips – Here’s a way to get your potato substitute in with the green beans
Loaded Brussels Sprout Fritters – A little different taste, but fabulous!
Irish Style Baked Celery with Kohlrabi – Don’t overlook celery when making a vegetable dish. It’s great!  (See top photo)
Roasted Turnips and Kohlrabi – This goes well with meat, turkey, chicken, and fish.


Maple Pumpkin Pie

Maple Pecan Pumpkin Pie – just posted today! RIch, creamy and delicious custard-style pumpkin pie.

Pumpkin Panna Cotta – Light dessert and so delicious!

L to R: Pumpkin Panna Cotta, Pumpkin PIe Cupcake, and Cinnamon Pecan Tartlets

Gluten Free Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes – A quick and easy pumpkin pie taste cupcake that is very moist.

Cinnamon Pecan Tartlets – Just for pecan pie fans, this little tartlet has all the flavor in a controlled portion size.

Rich Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars – An old favorite made the low carb way. (See top photo.)

Rene’s LV Pumpkin Cheesecake

Rene LC Pumpkin Cheesecake – About as good as it gets when it comes to the holiday cheesecake.

Breakfast Options:

Mah-velous Pumpkin Pancakes with bacon.

Mah-velous Pumpkin Pancakes – Add some pumpkin and seasonings to the pancakes.

Pumpkin French Toast Casserole

Pumpkin French Toast – Requires low carb bread, but is delicious.


Hot Pumpkin Nog – Shun the rich and high carb Egg Nog and try this tasty Pumpkin Nog!

Refreshing Pomegranate Cream Soda

As the temperatures gradually rise, or in some cases – leap, into summer, a nice cooling drink is always welcome.  This is a great one to take out on the patio while you BBQ or just sit and enjoy the day.

It’s a little like an Italian cream soda, but not quite and it’s so simple to make.  Obviously, this would also be great with orange syrup, pineapple syrup, or almost any flavored fruit syrup.   You could get addicted…

Pomegranate Cream Soda

3 tablespoon sugar free Pomegranate Syrup*
2 tablespoons Heavy Cream
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 can sugar free Ginger Ale
1 cup of crushed Ice

In a blender, add the syrup, vanilla, ginger ale and half the crushed ice. Pulse several times to mix together. Add the rest of the ice and pulse again  until the ice is mostly crushed in. Add the cream and pulse once or twice to blend it in.

Pour into 2 glasses and serve.

*  Don’t have flavored syrups?  You can use the squeeze bottle drink flavors/ liquid water enhancers, like Mio, Crystal Light or whatever brand your local store carries.  Use 4 to 5 squeezes to add the flavor.  I tried it out with Blueberry Pomegranate.  Delicious. 

Nutrition Info per serving:
Calories: 54.8 Fat: 5.6 g Net Carbs: 0.3g Protein: 0.3 g

O’Kelly’s Slim Irish Cream

Generally speaking, Irish Cream is not a low calorie or low carb drink, but it can be. You do need to make it yourself though. There are many Irish Cream recipes available and almost all of them call for sweetened condensed milk. While you can buy low carb sweetened condensed milk, you can also make your own. But the recipe I’ve adapted ever so slightly is from Mercy at, partially because it doesn’t require sweetened condensed milk and you are essentially making a sweetened cream. I called it O’Kelly’s in honor of my roomie’s Irish heritage.

Once you have the Irish Cream made, then try the Irish Cream Cheesecake made with it. Truly a great way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day!

This recipe makes over 750 ml — I got about 850 ml, so prepare a bottle that can hold at least 750 ml and maybe a small jar for the extra. You will also need a funnel.

O’Kelly’s Slim Irish Cream

3 cups heavy cream
1 2/3 cups Irish whiskey
( I used Bushmill’s, but you don’t need an expensive whiskey, just an Irish one)
1 teaspoon instant Espresso coffee
2 tablespoons sugar free chocolate syrup (Hershey’s or Walden Farms)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup Ideal sugar substitute or other suger alcohol crystal
24 drops of liquid sucralose

Mix coffee powders with sugar alcohol crystals. Add a little whiskey and the chocolate syrup then stir to make a paste. This will dissolve easier when added to the recipe.

Place cream in a heavy pan and cook on very low heat until it is reduced to about 2 1/2 cups, about 30 minutes. If you want it a little thicker, cook until it is the consistency you prefer.
Cool until the cream is about room temperature.

Blend whiskey, liquid sucralose, coffee paste, and extracts and pour into a blender with the cooled cream and blend until smooth.

Makes about 25 1 oz servings

This will keep 2 to 3 weeks in the refrigerator. Shake well before pouring.

You can make this using a sugar substitute such as Splenda but the carbohydrates are higher due to the filler that is used to hold the sucralose. I use EZ-Sweet liquid sucralose, which you can purchase from Netrition or Amazon. I show the carb counts using the different chocolate syrups and using Splenda for all of the sugar replacement.

Nutrition Information:

1 oz serving With Hershey’s Sugar Free Chocolate Syrup
Calories: 89.5 Net Carbs: .6 g Fat: 5.3 g Protein: .3 g

1 oz serving With Walden Farm’s Sugar Free Chocolate Syrup
Calories: 88.9 Net Carbs: .4 g Fat: 5.3 g Protein: .3 g

1 oz serving With 1 cup Splenda & Hershey’s syrup
Calories:89.5 Net Carbs: 2.6 g Fat: 5.3 g Protein: .3 g


Pumpkin Nog for the Holidays

A few days ago, I concocted the most marvelous hot nog that I’ve had in quite some time… and it’s low carb! The cream version is rich and so satisfying. The lower car’d almond milk version for those who can’t handle milk products is also delicious although not as thick. Either way, it’s a great way to toast the holidays with a warm drink. It will become my midnight NewYear’s drink.

I used a sugar free Pumpkin Spice Syrup in it, but you can just add extra cinnamon, nutmeg and clove instead.

Hot Pumpkin Nog

Rich and Creamy Version – Serves 2

1 tablespoon Vanilla whey protein powder *
1/2 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup water
1 tablespoon Pumpkin puree
1 oz. Pumpkin Spice Syrup
1/4 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie spice
2 tablespoons Rum
6 drops liquid sucralose or 3 packets of sugar substitute

In a small sauce pan, mix together the protein powder, heavy cream and water. Cook over low heat until the powder is completely mixed in. Add the pumpkin, sweetener and Pumpkin Spice Syrup and stir until it is blended in. Continue to cook and stir until the mixture just starts to bubble around the edges. Turn off heat. Pour into small cups, 1/2 of mixture in each cup. Add 1 tablespoon of dark rum to each cup and stir it in, then sprinkle a bit of pumpkin pie spice over the top.

Nutrition Info – 1 serving
Calories: 241 Fat: 22 g Net Carbs: 2.3g Protein: 1.3 g

Less Rich Version with Almond Milk – Serves 2

1 tablespoon Vanilla whey protein powder *
1 1/2 cup Unsweetened almond milk
1 tablespoon Pumpkin puree
1 oz. Pumpkin Spice Syrup
1/4 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie spice
2 tablespoons Rum
6 drops liquid sucralose or 3 packet if sugar substitute

In a small sauce pan, mix together the protein powder and almond milk. Cook over low heat until the powder is completely mixed in. Add the pumpkin, sweetener and Pumpkin Spice Syrup and stir until it is blended in. Continue to cook and stir until the mixture just starts to bubble around the edges. Turn off heat. Pour into small cups, 1/2 of mixture in each cup. Add 1 tablespoon of dark rum to each cup and stir it in, then sprinkle a bit of pumpkin pie spice over the top.

Nutrition Info – 1 serving
Calories: 59 Fat: 1.9 g Net Carbs: 0.6 g Protein: .9 g

* You may omit the Vanilla whey powder and add 2 teaspoons vanilla.  The powder makes it taste richer and thicker, besides adding protein, but it isn’t necessary.

To make the fully-charged sugar version, just follow the recipe using 3/4 cup heavy cream and 1/2 cup water and 3 to 6 teaspoons of sugar to your preference. About 10.6 net carbs and 179 calories.