Wow, that is a long title! I’m not even sure where to start with all of that stuff to talk about! I guess just a brief (er…sort of!) thank you to everybody who supports IBIH with your comments, emails, sharing links/pinning the recipes, and for coming back to read my ramblings again and again! Somehow the blog has gotten over 2 million hits in its first year and I never saw that coming! I remember being excited when I would get more than one hundred hits in a day! IBIH has seen a lot of change over the past year, but none bigger than in January of 2012 when I decided to post a week of low carb recipes for people trying to lose weight after the holidays. There was such an enormous response to the low carb recipes that I just kept going, and even started eating low carb myself. I was a little nervous at the time that I would be “stuck” blogging low carb recipes forever. I worried that I’d stop eating low carb, and then I’d want to return to blogging “normal” recipes eventually. As time passed though, I continue to thrive while eating low carb, and have really started to embrace my identity as a low carb blogger. I’ve met a lot of great people and I love reading your comments and emails so much! Thank you all for sharing your inspiring weight loss journeys, recipe feedback, and other personal things with me. I enjoy getting to know you guys better, and I love that we can all keep each other motivated to stay low carb and/or gluten free. Thank you thank you thank you – you make all of my many hours spent in the kitchen worth it! :)
It’s with all of that in mind that I wanted to celebrate my one year blog-iversary with a giveaway that shows my appreciation for you guys! I had contacted Magic Bullet about hosting a giveaway a month ago and they never responded (I guess I’m not big enough yet!), so I’m going to host it myself. I consider it money well spent! I use my Magic Bullet pretty much every day, and often multiple times in the same day! It makes executing a lot of my recipes so much easier, so it’s the perfect gift from me to you – well one of you anyway! The winner will receive the Magic Bullet Deluxe 25-Piece set which will ship directly to you. To enter, simply leave a comment on this post that includes a way to contact you. I solemnly swear that IBIH will not share or use your email for any purpose other than to contact you if you win. For extra entries, follow IBIH by RSS or email, on Pinterest, on Twitter, and like us on Facebook – leave a comment for each. You can also pin/share/tweet about the giveaway to your followers for extra entries – then leave a comment with a link. The winner will be picked by random number generator, so to get credit for each thing make sure you leave separate comments for each. If you don’t leave contact information your entry is forfeit because I’ll have no way to reach you. Finally, this giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents only – apologies to everyone else! I’m excited about it and I hope you are too! Oh yeah, and the deadline for entry is Tuesday, July 10th at 8pm Eastern Standard Time (EST). Update: This giveaway is closed. Congrats to Andrea C who won the Magic Bullet! Hope you love it as much as I do!
Now finally, on to this Pavlova! I’d never had one before but I see pictures of them everywhere. I did some research and found that they are essentially a meringue but that the addition of cornstarch and vinegar makes the inside stay marshmallow soft while the outside is supposed to be crisp. This the second time I’ve made them, the first time they got too brown so I never took photos. I was determined to get a nice white pavlova and it just didn’t happen. This batch still turned golden which wasn’t as pretty for the pictures but they are definitely delicious! A major factor in the crispness of the outside is humidity. Well it’s summer in the South so guess what? It’s humid people! And I mean REALLY humid! So these weren’t as crisp as I imagined – but if I want them crisp I’ll have to try again when the weather breaks – it didn’t bother me, they were awesome as is. A traditional pavlova is filled with whipped cream and fresh fruit. I wanted to use lemon curd for something different, and because I love lemon and blueberries together. This was so good – I can’t wait for you to try them and report back!
Makes 6 mini pavlovas
4 egg whites (room temp)
1/2 cup xylitol blend sweetener
(I used Ideal)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp cornstarch
1 batch of sugar free lemon curd
1 cup fresh blueberries
(or any other berries)
Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Add the Xylitol, a couple of tablespoons at a time, blending well after each addition until glossy and stiff. Beat in the vanilla extract, then sprinkle the cornstarch and lemon juice over the top and whip until it holds it’s shape. Spread or pipe the meringue onto parchment paper to make six circles about 4 – 5 inches in diameter. Make sure there is a dent in the middle for the filling. Bake in a preheated 250 degree (F) oven for 30 minutes. Turn the oven off and leave the meringues in for another 30 minutes or until firm and (hopefully!) crisp on the outside. Once cooled, the meringues can be stored in an air tight container for up to a couple of days. Don’t assemble the pavlovas until right before serving or they’ll get soft from the lemon curd. When ready to serve, fill the centers of the meringues with about 3 Tbl of lemon curd. Then top with berries and serve immediately. Piping the meringues out of a star tube is pretty – but as you can see, just spreading them out with a spoon also creates a nice rustic look and it is easier to do. Raspberries or strawberries will work just as well as the blueberries, so it’s really a matter of personal preference. Enjoy!