Fireworks With Added Excitement

Living in a rural area has its many advantages. It is quiet except for the sounds of nature and the occasional vehicle passing. Until fireworks season. When fireworks are being sold, it is sometimes hard to tell if it is thunder from a convection shower or fireworks being shot off.

While sitting at home watching TV, my husband and I heard something. As he got up to look he said questioningly, “thunder?”. When he got to the window he saw that it was fireworks.

We had forgotten that the local fireworks show was happening that night at the county fairgrounds. I immediately jumped up and said that I wanted to go watch them. We only have to walk out of our yard and down the street a short bit to be able to see them pretty well.

So off we go, I was a little in front trying to hurry and not miss them and not waiting for my husband to get his shoes on. When I heard something and then saw something coming towards me in the mostly darkness. My heart stopped and then I saw it was just a cat. Whew, good thing, it was just a couple of feet away by the time I saw it. My heart was pumping! I laughed as I began to walk closer to my husband for protection.

On to the fireworks! As we stood there in the dim light from a distant street light by a fence that surrounds an overgrown field, watching the fireworks show, all of a sudden my husband grabs my hand and said calmly but intentionally in a low voice, “skunk”. As we start to move away we noticed another and then another. Three skunks scurrying right towards us. They were within 6 feet of us and heading right towards us. The only way to see them in the darkness is the white stripe on their backs, which kept coming in and out of view as they ran. We calmly but quickly moved away from the fence and watched them go straight under the fence and into the field. Man, we were close to getting a lot more than a fireworks show. Thank goodness my husband was paying attention and thank goodness they wanted to get away from us as much as we wanted them to.

Now that got our hearts pumping!

We stayed and watched the show laughing about how lucky we were that he saw them and that we were able to move out of their way, but each continued to take our turn looking around to make sure there was nothing else heading towards us without us knowing. Aside from some neighbor kids playing around the rest was quite uneventful, but this fireworks show will definitely not be soon forgotten.

Happy 4th of July!!

My Experience of Keto While Traveling

I know that traveling can be quite grueling at times, and adding a Keto lifestyle to the mix can give you increased anxiety on top of it. Well, it doesn’t have to be such an obstacle if you just plan a bit before heading out.

First of all, decide if you are going to be eating out or if you prefer to eat in.

Eating out options can be anything from a steakhouse to Mexican restaurant to Taco Bell. Steakhouse is pretty easy, you can chose steak and veggies, salads, chicken and veggies, the list goes on and on. Mexican is fairly simple also, I get fajitas no beans or rice but extra guacamole salads fixings. Taco Bell, they now have the protein bowls. Just ask for no beans or rice and add extra lettuce. It is as easy as that.

If eating in, some hotels have the suites with kitchenettes and others will supply you with hot plates. Either way, this gives you options for Keto. I have made sausage and peppers on the hotplate and served it over riced cauliflower made in the microwave. Pretty simple!

The point is, Keto is a lifestyle that can be taken with you. I have lost 25 lbs in 5 months while traveling for work at least 3 weeks per month. If I can do it so can you!

Keto Friendly Roasted Broccoli

This is one of the easiest things to make and it is so tasty as well as good for you. Roasted broccoli goes well with just about anything as a side dish. This is a much better alternative to ordinary steamed broccoli.

Ingredients:

Frozen broccoli

Olive oil

Seasoning of choice ( I use salt, pepper, garlic salt or lemon pepper depending on what I am serving it with).

Preheat oven to 425 degrees, place frozen broccoli on cookie sheet, pour olive oil over broccoli, just enough to coat lightly, season and bake in oven for 25 minutes or until browning and crispy. The darker the best the taste.

That’s it! Simple as that! Hope you enjoy!

Treasure Hunting in the Ozarks

As our children have grown up and moved on, we have tried to have reasons for all of us to stay close and be part of each other’s lives.

It isn’t easy with everyone having so much to do each day just to maintain so my husband came up with a great idea to keep us close.

The Romero Family Treasure Hunt.

Here is how it works…

Each couple hides the “treasure” and gives clues to where the other couples go to find it.

The treasure can be a simple note or something of value. It is up to the hiders of the treasure to decide.

It really isn’t about what the treasure is, it is about the search!!

We take turns, whoever finds the treasure gets to hide it next time.

The last treasure was hidden by our youngest son and daughter-in-law. They did an amazing job!

They hid the first clue in a movie case in our movie closet. So to find the first clue, we didn’t even have to leave the house!!

The first clue was texted to our group text as follows:

The treasure is hidden and ready to be found! Here are some tips:
Take a full day to do the hunt, and start early to enjoy the activity at the end.
You will need a few supplies.
Clear tape
A spade or small digging utensil
Hiking boots
Text us when you start!
Here’s your first clue:
One of the Romero’s favorite authors is from a European place. One of his movies would be a swell hiding place.

Once the puzzle was put together it took us to the first hiding place and the second clue.

This is located a few miles out of our town.

We followed the clues from one place to the next and collected the pieces of the “map” until we arrived at the “x” marks the spot!!

X marks the spot!
The treasure is found!!

And at the end of the treasure hunt, we ended up at an amazing trail head and enjoyed a great hike to end the journey.

We drove a beautiful drive, through some of the most gorgeous places in Arkansas and ended up hiking a great trail and having an amazing day, together, enjoying each other and our family!

What a way to spend a day!!

Cheesy Cauliflower Rice

Ingredients:

4 cups riced cauliflower

1 tablespoon butter

1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

4 tablespoons cream cheese

1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded (or any cheese blend of your choice)

1/2 teaspoon salt

Pepper to taste

Melt butter in a skillet, add riced cauliflower and cook on medium low until heated through, about 7 minutes. Add garlic salt, salt, pepper, cream cheese and whipping cream. Remove from heat and top with shredded cheese. Let sit for cheese to melt. Once cheese is somewhat melted, stir to combine. Serve

This is one of the very best recipes I have found since living the Keto lifestyle. It is cheesy and yummy, a comfort food for Keto for sure! It is easy to make and doesn’t take a lot of time. This makes a great side dish and kids and guests won’t even know that it is Keto. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Practically Country Blog Promise

When I first started this blog, I wasn’t really sure about what I was going to write about. I thought about a few things but wasn’t sure which topic to focus on.

Things that I know… I love to cook, I love gardening and growing things (including kids and grandkids) and I am having very good results on Keto (I’m down 25 pounds since February 2019)!

The one thing that I absolutely knew from the start of this blog and I will stand true to it as long as I have this blog, What I Post Will Be Tried And True! I will not post anything that I have not tried myself! I try a lot of recipes and failed at a lot of recipes. I will continue to try new recipes and I promise that I will only post recipes that are good. I will never post something just to fill a blog post. That is the promise I make to you!

Eating Keto While Traveling

I travel a lot with my work, so when I first started Keto I would sometimes have a hard time figuring out or finding what to eat while on the road.There are a couple of options to help with this.

#1 – Pack a lunch. I keep a bag of pecans with me most all of the time. But you can also use a small cooler or lunch bag to pack cheese sticks, olives, sardines, boiled eggs, avocados, etc. I have a baggy with napkins and forks in the cooler, just in case.  I pack it in the morning before leaving and put bottles of water in it as well.  

#2 – Find good meal choices at restaurants.  There are a lot of great choices once you train your brain how to find them.  Chipotle is one of the very best options I have found so far.  I skip the beans and rice and ask for extra lettuce, then top with meat of choice, cheese and the other toppings of choice and finish it off with guacamole.  Yummy!!  Other options for eating out is grilled chicken from KFC, steak and veggies from just about anywhere or buffets like Western Sizzlin so there are plenty of choices.  When all else fails, you can get a salad from almost anywhere just top it with olives and avacados when available.  

The main thing is to think outside the box.  There are times when it seems like there aren’t any options and in very small towns, that may be true.  In that case I just get a cup of coffee with half and half to curb my appetite until a better option comes along.  Coffee is the greatest thing to help with uncontrolled appetite.  

This is how I manage to travel and stay on Keto.  The longer you do it, the easier it gets.  

Keto Friendly Chile Rellenos Casserole

I love Chile Rellenos! I mean, I really love Chile Rellenos!

When first starting the Keto lifestyle, it is a little difficult figuring out what to eat. There are plenty of delicious options but finding them in the beginning can be challenging. This casserole is one of my favorites to make and to eat. It is so tasty that even when my kids that are not living Keto come over and eat the leftovers, they are surprised that it is Keto friendly and so yummy. It has the satisfying taste of a Chile Relleno without the carbs. The best of both worlds and it is super easy to make.

Ingredients:

1/2 lb ground beef, 1/4 onion, 2-cans diced green chilies (4 to 7 oz), 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, 2 eggs, 3/4 cups milk, 1 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 pepper.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cook the ground beef and onions together until beef is done, drain. Add, cumin, salt and pepper and mix well. In greased 9×9 baking dish, spread 1 1/2 cans of green chilies evenly. Cover chilies with hamburger mixture then top with cheese. Spread remaining chilies evenly over cheese. Mix milk and eggs together (mix very well) and pour over entire dish. Bake for 35 minutes, let set for 10 minutes then serve.

Enjoy!

Keto Friendly Cheeseburger Casserole

While living the Keto lifestyle, my husband and I haven’t had a difficult time finding foods that we like and are Keto friendly. There are times when we kinda crave some of our old favorites that are not so Keto friendly. What to do?…

This recipe is for those times when you just want a cheeseburger. I know it is a casserole and not a dripping down your hands burger, but give it a chance and you just might be surprised at how similar the taste is.

Ingredients:

1 lb ground beef, 6 slices of bacon, garlic, onion, salt, pepper, 1/4 cup pickle relish, 1/2 cup mayonnaise, 3 eggs, 1 cup cheddar cheese and 1/2 cup half and half.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook bacon until crisp and set aside. Cook ground beef, onion, garlic, salt and pepper together until beef is done, drain. Crumble bacon into beef mixture and add pickle relish. Stir and pour mixture into a greased 2 1/2 Quart dish. Combine eggs, half and half and mayo (make sure to mix very well). Sprinkle cheese over beef mixture followed by egg mixture and bake for 35 minutes.

That’s it! Cheeseburger Casserole for the entire family to enjoy.