How to Cope with Melancholy

So, to clarify, I’m not depressed. Not really. It’s just that, well, I guess I’ve lost my mojo. We’re Empty Nesters now. It’s quiet around the house. More quiet than usual, since CoVid hit. The interesting thing about being Empty Nesters, is that really, I sorta prefer the quiet, but I still long for baby kisses. I want family around, but I don’t want the mess they leave or the headache from the chaos they bring with their little brood. It’s a quandry.

My husband happily works long hours on the computer, up in his loft, tweaking his classes, I suppose – I know he’s not up there looking at porn, or playing Tetris, but he does seem to have an obsession with Pinterest. (My fault, I wanted him to be able to collect things, without actually having to store them in our house, Voila! the cloud to the rescue!). Meanwhile I’m downstairs wandering around doing nothing. I don’t feel like baking, or crafting. It’s Sunday, so I won’t be going to the gym or the pool. I finished my book (actually, this is a constant problem, I read voraciously and so am always looking for a new book), I’m caught up on CEU’s and laundry, and I’m melancholy enough that I don’t really feel like talking on the phone. So what’s a girl to do?

I remember the good ‘ole days, like before March 2020, when Church lasted 3 hours, and then we’d come home and take a nap. Then we’d get up, feeling rather guilty about wasting our day, and rush around getting laundry done and dinner prepared. Not any more! Since I only work 4 days a week now, I get almost ALL of my chores done on Friday, and anything left over is easily done on Saturday, which leaves me here, sitting in a corner of my room, wondering what to do with myself.

One of the problems with suffering from melancholy, is that you’re not any fun for others to be around either. I found a psychiatry site on-line, with ideas on things to do when you’re depressed – hahaha, yep, those are things that I generally do on a regular basis, but can’t seem to find joy in them today. ( So I wander around the house, check Facebook a million times, pick up a random piece of laundry, and wonder what to do with myself.

I wonder, will I still feel like this tomorrow? Luckily, I’ll be distracted by waking up at 5am to go swim, and then by work and other people’s problems. C’est la vie.

15 minutes until Dinner

Easy and quick is what I need after work! This is super fast, partly because of modern technology. The Minute rice (which has brown and red rice and quinoa for tons of fiber) takes 10 minutes in the microwave.

The chicken tenderloins are the flash frozen tenderloins you can pick up at any grocery store, and they thaw out super fast too. Just pan fry them with the Kickomann seasoning, or whatever you prefer, and a wee bit of olive oil.

The okra is a keto standby for us, again, easily sautéed in the skillet while cooking the chicken and rice.

And of course, any berries will do, but organic blackberries were on sale yesterday, so we have these.

15 minutes later, Voila it’s dinner!

Keto Blackberry Crumb Cake

It’s Summertime! My favorite time of year. Fruit is plentiful in the spring & summer, and I enjoy eating a lot of anti-oxidant rich berries, like Blackberries, raspberries, blueberries and strawberries. When I first went keto, I didn’t allow myself ANY fruit that summer, except for fruit flavored gelatin, lol! It was a sad, sad summer. The next summer, I just had to have some fruit, and it turns out that most of my favorites are berries, which are much lower in carbohydrates that things like Mangos and Bing Cherries.

Sooo, I’ve been experimenting in the kitchen for the past couple of years, and if I do say so myself, I’ve come up with some really delicious food, that is extremely low in carbohydrates.

In case you are not aware of what to look out for, here is the skinny: no starches. No rice, potatoes, bread or pasta. No corn, and no juice, and even watch some of your fruits, like bananas and mangos – these are seriously high in frucose, which of course means high carbohydrates, or what I call a high glycemic index. Grapes, raisens and craisens too (sorry!). Seriously! It’s pretty hard at first, but after 3-4 days your tastebuds & brain get reprogrammed, and it’s all downhill from there.

Today, I’m going to share with you my modified recipe for “Cream Cheese Blackberry Crumb Cake”. Basically, I’ve just substituted Lakantos Monkfruit for the sugar, and replaced half of the flour with almond flour. NO xanthan gum required. You can also make this with raspberries or blueberries to mix it up.

This recipe is so well loved, and made so often at my house, I almost have it memorized. You will need: 

a 9″ springform pan
2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp Lakanto Monkfruit
8 oz Philly Cream Cheese
One EB egg white
2 packages of fresh or frozen blackberries – enough to cover all the cream cheese filling
3/4 cup King Arthur All-Purpose Flour
3/4 Cup Almond Flour
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup Lakanto Monkfruit
3/4 cup of Sour Cream (I generally use Breakstones, or Publix brand)
6 Tbsp Land O’Lakes butter or margarine (softened)
One EB egg, and the yolk from the egg used in the filling
One tsp vanilla extract
3 Tbsp sugar
3 Tbsp Lakanto Monkfruit
1/4 cup King Arthur All-Purpose Flour
1/4 cup Almond Flour
3 Tbsp cold butter or margarine

Mix your filling first. In a separate bowl, make the cake batter, starting with the wet ingredients, and blending until smooth, and then adding in the sweeteners, and finally the flours. Pour 1/2 of it into a greased 9″ springform pan. Pour and smooth the filling over the top of the cake. Sprinkle the blackberries over the filling, be generous.

Cut your butter/margarine into the flour and sweeteners for the topping, and then crumble this over the top of your berries.

Bake for about 45 minutes at 350° F. It will appear a big gooey due to the cream cheese, but it will set-up nicely in about 30-40 minutes. You should be able to get at least 8 generous slices. Enjoy!