Just be brave and admit it like I did.   Many of you are on a diet right along side of me.  How do I know?  The stats for my Low Carb Pancakes and Waffles were HUGE ever since I posted the recipe last week.  I thought such a health conscious recipe would cause you to revolt.  Never in a million years did I think it would shoot to the top viewed recipe for the month.

Reminds me of the huge response my Homemade Laundry Detergent got last year. It is still one of the top viewed recipes of all time.
I made these diet-killing, rich chocolate balls of heaven a few weeks ago when I had left-over chocolate  ganache from my Chocolate Ganache Cupcakes.  I would never let such a treasure go to waste, so this was the result.  If you don't have any "left-over" ganache, here is the recipe from the beginning.  Have fun with whatever you roll them in and be creative!  I went with the boring classic topping of cocoa powder.
1/2 C heavy cream
8 ounces of your favorite chocolate, chopped fine
1/2 tsp instant decaffeinated coffee granules (optional)

Cocoa powder, powdered sugar, toasted coconut or toasted nuts, toffee pieces, sprinkles

1.  Heat the cream, chocolate chips and coffee granules in the top of a double boiler over simmering water until smooth.  Place in the refrigerator until firm.
2.  Using a small cookie scoop, scoop out individual portions and place on wax paper.  Once it is all portioned out, roll the truffle in the palm of your hand to smooth and round.  The heat of your hand will begin to melt the chocolate, but that is OK.  Drop your rounded truffle into your desired topping and roll it around until completely covered.

Low Carb Pancakes and Waffles

My goodness!!  I mentioned my low carb pancakes in jest last week, but received many emails asking for the recipe and details about my diet.  Those who were hoping to know what I did with that leftover chocolate ganache will have to come back next week....sorry!

I began this diet 20 weeks ago and have lost 40 pounds.  As I mentioned in a previous post, after having baby #6, my normal, gradual weight loss never kicked it....probably because I will be kissing the grand old age of 40 here in a few months.  I reached my breaking point this spring after gaining  more weight and was at the same weight as when I was 9 months pregnant.  I was done!  I 100% committed to this lifestyle and have never looked back.  I even convinced my hubby to join me and he has lost 45 pounds.  While I am thrilled for him, it is so unfair that he has lost more than me.  He started 3 weeks after I did and has cheated along the way!!!  Stupid male metabolism....

So what lifestyle have we adopted???  We are proud, card-carrying members of the Dukan Diet.  Extreme, yes.  Difficult, yes.  Results, yes!  As a bonus side effect for me though (and just as exciting as the weight loss), the pancreatitis I have suffered through over the past 5 years has completely turned around on this diet.  
These pancakes are my salvation right now.  I eat them almost every morning...honest!  They were created in a scramble one morning.  I had been using a similar pancake recipe with low fat ricotta cheese, but I was out.  All I had was low fat cream cheese, so I gave it a try.  AMAZING!!!!  Dukan requires us to eat 2 Tb of oat bran everyday, so we began adding that to the original recipe and viola!  A low carb pancake that is awfully darn outstanding....but please remember I am also a bit carb deprived at the moment so anything that resembles a real carb is complete heaven for me :)
Low Carb Pancakes and Waffles
(makes 4 pancakes)
1/4 C low fat cream cheese
2 eggs
2 Tb oat bran (you can leave this out if you need pure protein)
1/4 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp baking powder
1 Tb or less of sweetener (I use Truvia)

1.  Heat your griddle over medium heat, or preheat your waffle iron.  In a small glass bowl, microwave your cream cheese until soft, about 20-30 seconds.  Beat with a fork.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating until completely mixed in.  Add your remaining ingredients and mix them in with your fork.  Pour your batter onto your griddle or waffle iron and cook as you would normal pancakes!
*For freezer, allow the pancakes to cool then spread them in a single layer on a cookie sheet.  Freeze until hard, then seal them in a freezer bag.  To thaw, just stick them in the toaster!

Chocolate Ganache Cupcakes

Can you tell that I am on a diet???  The last 6 recipes I have posted are all foods I am dying to stuff into my mouth just like the guy from Man vs Food on the Travel Channel.  Then again, I would prefer not to share the same body shape as him, so I will continue faithful to my diet.

I was tempted to post my recipe for low-carb waffles this week, but I was afraid my loyal readers would boycott my blog.  Why should you all suffer as a result of my temporary ban on sugar and flour?
This is a great and easy cupcake.  The ganache is completely heavenly (according to all those at the church potluck who ate them).  It makes quite a bit of ganache, so if you decide to double the recipe for the cupcakes, I am sure the single batch of ganache will be plenty.  What did I do with my leftover ganache.....tune in next week to see what amazing treats you can make with your leftovers :)
Chocolate Ganache Cupcakes
makes 14 cupcakes 
adapted from Ina Garten
For the Cupcakes:
1 stick butter, at room temperature
1 C sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
16 fluid ounce can of Hershey's chocolate syrup
1 Tb vanilla
1 C flour
1 tsp instant decaffeinated coffee granules

For the Ganache:
1/2 C heavy cream
8 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 tsp instant decaffeinated coffee granules

1.  Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and line your muffin pans with 14 liners.
2.  Cream the butter and sugar in your mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each egg is mixed in.  Add the chocolate syrup and vanilla.  Add the flour and coffee granules and mix until just combined.  Don't overbeat or the cupcakes will be tough.
3.  Scoop the batter into the muffin liners all the way to the top because they don't rise much.  Bake for 30 minutes, or just until the middle is set.  Do not overbake!  Allow the cupcakes to cool completely.
4.  For the ganaches, heat the cream, chocolate chips and coffee granules in the top of a double boiler over simmering water until smooth.  Dip each cupcake into the ganache and swirl.  Do not refrigerate or the ganache will become too firm.

Chocolate Caramel Pretzel Stuffed Crispy Treats

I've mentioned before that Jones Child #2 can't stand chocolate.  It is a serious illness, I know.  As a result, I am always trying to come up with treats just for him.  One of his favorites is plain old rice crispy treats so when I made him a pan of them today, I decided to up the "WOW" factor for the other kids.

I mean, what kind of mother would I be if I made my other children suffer due to the picky eating habits of another???

If you have store bought crispy treats on hand, you can use those, but I think the homemade version is better :)  When you make the treats, be sure to press them down quite firmly into the pan.  These need to be firm and completely cooled or they will fall apart when you cut them.
All you need to do is simply take a treat and cut it in half horizontally.  On one side, I spread some melted chocolate chips.  I used semisweet, but feel free to use milk chocolate as well.  Break up a few pretzels and lay them on top of the chocolate.
On the inside of the other half, spread some melted caramel.  I used Kraft Caramel Bits for this, but you can use melted squares or of course, homemade caramel.  I just used what I had on hand.  Put the top onto the chocolate and enjoy!  Just for a bit more WOW factor, I drizzled on more chocolate, caramel and pretzel on top, but it certainly isn't necessary.

Now that I have created my first stuffed crispy treat, my mind is racing with ideas.
  • Peanut butter, chocolate and Reeses peanut butter cups
  • Oreos and white chocolate
  • Chocolate, marshmallow and graham cracker pieces
  • Chocolate, heath pieces and toasted, salted almonds
  • Chocolate, butterscotch and toasted coconut
I even thought that these would make a fun idea for a kids party.  Have the treats already cut in half and supply them with all kinds of yummy things to stuff in them.  Just take them outside to hose them off when they are done :)