Dessert

Cabin in the Desert


A year ago, I booked a long weekend getaway at Cove Palisades State Park. It’s kinda crazy how far in advance we have to book stuff here…and we didn’t even get a weekend date! But who cares. We were SO READY to get out of Portland, away from house-selling-stress and I was so glad we were like somewhere with spotty cell service. Yay for just relaxing!

We got one of the “deluxe cabins”. It was nice!

It had bunk beds, a couch (for extra sleeping if needed), a kitchenette with mini fridge and microwave, a BBQ grill and picnic table outside and a bathroom. Oh, AND AC!

It was super cute! It was just perfect for a long weekend away when you want to “rough it” but don’t want to camp in a tent. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I was really looking forward to this weekend and after the kinda sucky and stressful summer we had buying a house, selling a house, moving, etc, it was nice to unwind in the desert.

The above photo was the view from the porch. It was so peaceful. We were there Sunday-Wednesday so it wasn’t very crowded. There are only three cabins in the park but there are several campgrounds nearby and RV parks and boat launches. The lake had some boats but not a ton.

We arrived Sunday afternoon and unpacked and then explored a bit. The cabins are right behind the marina. It is secluded and quiet. We fixed dinner (chicken drumstricks I’d marinated in BBQ sauce) with various munchies (cucumbers and the boys had chips) and Logan explored and played in the dirt. He had SO MUCH FUN words cannot describe it. I will let this photo show it:

He was absolutely filthy the entire time. Yes, he took a shower every day to get the grime off, but it didn’t matter. He was covered head to toe in dirt, fun and s’mores. ๐Ÿ™‚

I think his favorite thing was using the binoculars I got him for his birthday. He hadn’t used them yet and I am so glad I packed them! He had a blast checking out everything with his “nockers”. (Michael asked if he liked his “big biconculars” and Logan said “big knockers”–BOYS!!!! Oy)

We had a campfire next to the water. Michael brought his guitar and we made s’mores. I broke the diet a few times on the trip to have some s’mores.

Then we all crashed.

Monday morning we got up and had breakfast outside watching the sun slowly make the desert cliffs glow and then we went for a hike.

We did the Tam-a-lau Loop Hike (or part of it) and I highly recommend it! It was such a cool, fun hike with amazing views!

After the hike, we went back to the cabin and had lunch and then took naps. While Logan was sleeping I sat on the porch and finished reading one of my books. It was really nice and relaxing.

We tried to go swimming up the road at the swimming hole. It was perfect for kids! It was cordoned off so the boats couldn’t go to that area. But Logan wouldn’t go deeper than his waist, even though I was in the water with him. Oh well. It felt nice on a really hot day!

Dinner was pork chops and salad. Then more campfire. Then bed! We were tuckered out!

Belated

We had a nice weekend! The sun was actually out, it was a little chilly but not raining so that was nice. On Saturday we went to OMSI to see the Pixar exhibit, which totally BLEW Logan’s mind. ๐Ÿ˜€ He was ecstatic to see all his favorites in real life! We met up with friends at OMSI, too, so that was cool. Their daughter is a bit older but it was fun for Logan to have a buddy. ๐Ÿ˜‰

And then we all went out to dinner after that at Produce Row. Thankfully I was able to find something on the diet to order. A salad with steak, hard boiled eggs, cheese, bacon and blue cheese:

Then onย Sunday friends came over for dinner for a very belated birthday dinner. We were supposed to celebrate our birthdays (they are a few weeks apart) back in late January but I got the flu and we had to reschedule.

Since I’m now doing the keto diet, I had to modify the menu I was going to make (which also meant I wasn’t making sourdough bread). Kind of a bummer on the bread, but I appreciated that my friends were understanding. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ll get back to making the bread soon!

This is the recipe I made for dinner:

I did not add honey to the recipe, because that would not be keto. And honestly, it didn’t need it! Also, I used coconut aminos instead of soy sauce to make it keto. So the recipe was pretty simple. I did the stovetop instructions. I didn’t have yellow curry paste but I had green curry paste and actually preferred it. It was so tasty! Loved the green curry paste.

The one issue I had with the recipe was that it claimed to make 6 servings and there is no way the ingredients as it stands made 6 servings. After I shredded the chicken, I realized quickly that there was not enough fluid to make soup for 4 adults. I ended up adding about 1 cup of chicken broth to the pot and a mini can of coconut milk (and then added 1 more teaspoon of the curry paste). This was the perfect amount of fluid to make the soup.

But it only made 4 servings. So FYI.

But despite the misleading servings size, the soup was absolutely delicious. It was creamy and decadent and so flavorful. It was filling and really really good. I would definitely make this recipe again. It was super easy and pretty quick to make.ย We had a kale salad along with the curry soup.

My friend Star wanted to make dessert so she did this keto recipe:

Keto Cheesecake

Ingredients

Crust:

  • 6ย ouncesย sliced almondsย about 1 1/3 cup
  • 3ย tablespoonsย low carb sweetener
  • 1/2ย teaspoonย ground cinnamonย optional
  • 5ย tablespoonsย salted butterย melted

Filling:

  • 32ย ouncesย cream cheeseย softened (4 blocks)
  • 3/4ย cupย low carb sweetenerย more or less to taste
  • 3ย largeย eggsย at room temperature
  • 2ย teaspoonsย vanilla extract
  • 1ย teaspoonย lemon extractย optional
  • 16ย ouncesย sour creamย at room temperature

Instructions

Crust:

  • Place sliced almonds in food processor and process with cutting blade until a finely ground.
  • Pulse in 6-9 stevia extract packets and cinnamon (if using).
  • Stir in melted butter.
  • Press into bottom of 9-inch springform pan. Set aside
  • Filling:
  • Beat cream cheese on low speed until light and fluffy.
  • Add 24-36 stevia extract packets to desired sweetness. Beat on low to mix in.
  • Add each egg, one at a time, beating on low after each addition.
  • Mix in extracts, then beat in sour cream on low speed until incorporated.
  • Spread cream cheese mixture over crust.

Cooking:

  • Bake at 300ยฐF for an hour. If top has browned, turn oven off. If not yet browned, cook until browned then turn off oven.
  • Leave cheesecake in oven with door ajar for an hour. Then, remove from oven and cool completely on a wire rack.
  • Chill at least 24 hours before serving.

Notes

Sweetener amounts used are minimum. Those just getting started on keto may want to up the amount to the max noted.

A one-for-one sugar replacement granularย low carb sweetenerย can be used in place of the packets. Here’s the conversions:

  • 6 packets is 1/4 cup sugar equivalent
  • 24 packets is 1 cup sugar equivalent

Tips to prevent the cheesecake from cracking from comments:

  • Make sure all the ingredients are room temperature.
  • Donโ€™t over mix! Over-mixing will cause the top to crack.
  • Bake for an hour. Then turn oven off and let it cool in the oven for 4-5 hours then remove and allow to finish cooling at room temperature.
  • Use a pan of water in the oven to make it steamy while preheating and keep it in the oven during baking.
Nutrition Facts:
Amount Per Serving (1 slice)
Caloriesย 356
Total Fatย 34g
Total Carbohydratesย 5gย 
Dietary Fiber 1g
Sugars 3g
Proteinย 7g

I really appreciated that Star offered to make dessert and made a keto cheesecake from scratch! The crust was really good! It was made out of almonds. It was a unique way to make a keto-friendly crust. It was a nice treat being able to have cheesecake on the diet.

So there ya have it, two good keto recipes!