Christmas Mystery Books to Read Next

Christmas Mystery Books to Read Next

Preview: Here’s your list of fun historical Christmas mystery books to read next! Grab a cushy seat by the fire, a blanket, and spiced tea. Now, read!

I don’t know about you, but at Christmastime, I naturally like to read books set in the same season. There are so many fabulous traditions and fun characters to be found, and so many problems to get mixed up in and hopefully then fixed at the family manor! Yes, one of my favorite genres at Christmastime is the historical mystery.

So, come on snow! Let’s get those yuletide fires going, spiced scents filling the air, and time to enjoy some good Christmas mystery books. Let’s go back to the Downtown Abbey Christmas mood with a twist of mayhem and detective work!

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small percentage if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Do you love a good murder mystery at the manor? Christmas mystery books are one of my favorite genres and fabulous for de-stressing during the holidays. #christmasmysteries #christmasbooks

Why Christmas mystery books?

The historical mystery is always one of my favorite genres for de-stressing and getting a break from daily life. I find it especially important to make an escape a during the holidays and take some time out for myself. Also, I tend to be more of an introvert and so crave and need that time by myself to regroup and be ready for the next thing. What about you?

If you also need that time to yourself to recharge, don’t be afraid to send the crowd away for a while and enjoy a good book. Suggest they go on a fun ice skating outing or to a movie. Then you can take that time and dig into a stress-free murder mystery.

Christmas mystery books to read next

Jane and the Twelve Days of Christmas

by Stephanie Barron

Jane and the Twelve Days of Christmas is a very enjoyable peek into an 1814 Regency Christmas with some detective work and murder thrown in. Jane and her family are invited to The Vyne, the ancestral country home of the prominent Chute family. Other friends and well-wishers join the Christmas party, and we have a traditional snow-bound Christmas.

With so many people unable to return home, one of the guests comes to an unfortunate fatal accident. But is it an accident? Jane and others investigate the politics, personal conflicts, and all the house suspects.

I found it delightful and fun to see Jane developing the characters for her next book, Persuasionon the heels of the successful Mansfield Park. Jane Austen is one of my favorite authors, and I’ve read all of her books multiple times and like Bridget Jones, obsessed on the BBC’s miniseries version of Pride and Prejudice. Therefore, I’m preparing you before you read this book. Be warned! Jane Austen is being turned into a character here. I personally feel it’s fun, well-researched, and excessively diverting, so don’t let the real-life author turned character bother you.

Explorer Momma’s rating: ***** 5 stars

Spoil yourself and order it now on Amazon by clicking here!

12 Days At Bleakley Manor

by Michelle Griep

Don’t you just love this cover? It immediately invited me in because I think I know what to expect. It’s cozy and comforting and another snow covered Christmas at the manor! Set in the Victorian Era, there’s a twist to this one. In the case of Bleakly Manor, the guests are invited for various reasons and enticed with personal motivations, but alas the host is absent!

I read a review of this book that said it was reminiscent of a mystery dinner theater, and who doesn’t love that? In fact, I’m a huge fan of going a step further to the mystery dinner parties where you’re assigned a character, but I digress. With just a hint of romance and almost exaggerated characters, I had a wonderful time reading this book. Perhaps I’m being generous with the rating due to the Christmas season, but it was a fun escape to the English manor and an enjoyable read.

Explorer Momma’s rating: ***** 5 stars

Why not order it now on Amazon by clicking here?! (You know you want to)

Murder for Christmas

by Francis Duncan

Oh, look! Another Christmas party at a country home. Now we’re in the Golden Age, and with Murder for Christmas, we are introduced to amateur detective Mordecai Tremaine (if you haven’t already met him before in the series). Mordecai Tremaine reminds me of a mix between Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot. He’s well-known for solving mysteries and murders, but when people meet him, he comes off as harmless and maybe not completely capable of comprehending what’s happening around him.

However, of course, he’s not the tottering old man perceived! Will he aid the police to discover the Christmas Eve murderer or be a thorn in their side? Who killed the man dressed as Father Christmas found at the foot of the Christmas tree?

This book is another good distraction and amusement, although because the writing does jump around slightly making it not quite as easy to follow, my rating is slightly lower.

Explorer Momma’s rating: **** 4 stars

Would you like to pick it up now on Amazon by clicking here? Enjoy!

The Mistletoe Murder and Other Stories

by P.D. James

P.D. James, or rather Phyllis Dorothy James White, Baroness James of Holland Park, was born in Oxford, England in 1920. She is best known for her detective Adam Dalgliesh of Scotland Yard, and this book indeed includes two of his stories. 

The Mistletoe Murder and Other Stories is a compilation of four stories by this great mystery novelist. With a more serious and sinister tone than the first books in this list, yet with a sly humor, these stories reveal the good, bad, and difficult aspects of human nature. A novelist recounts the story of a crime she herself was a party to 50 years previously, Dalgliesh’s godfather asks him to re-investigate the details of an inheritance, and so forth.

A good set of whodunits for the Christmas season, although the holiday aspect of them is not as in your face as some of the others.

Explorer Momma’s rating: **** 4 stars

Order it on Amazon by clicking here!

Do you need more Christmas book suggestions?

What Christmas Mystery book list is complete without Hercule Poirot? I’m always up for a good Agatha Christie novel!

Mistletoe and Murder: A Daisy Dalrymple Mystery

by Carola Dunn

It’s December of 1923, and Daisy Dalrymple Fletcher is the daughter of the imperious Dowager Viscountess Dalrymple who’s decided they will all spend Christmas at, wait for it…the ancestral home of Lord Westmoor in Cornwall. Daisy is her own woman and displeases her mother by writing articles for publications such as Town and Country.

On this occasion, Daisy arrives at the home before everyone else to complete an article on the house itself and it’s history. When more guests and colorful characters arrive, although Lord Westmoor is absent, our scene is set for a colorful set of ghosts, schemes, and murder.

Daisy and her husband Detective Chief Inspector Alec Fletcher of Scotland Yard investigate along with the help of their two children and Lord Westmoor’s poorer relations. I had fun with Daisy and the characters in this book and series.

Explorer Momma’s rating: ***** 4 1/2 stars

Treat yourself and order it now on Amazon by clicking here!

The Twelve Clues of Christmas

by Rhys Bowen

What can I say about The Twelve Clues of Christmas? Set in 1936, this is the sixth book in A Royal Spyness Mystery series. It can definitely be read as a stand-alone, and score! Once again we have a house party, but this time it’s the local villagers who are being murdered.

Penniless Lady Georgiana Rannoch finds herself stuck in her brother’s castle in Scotland facing a bleak Christmas with her penny-pinching sister in law and family. Her MIA boyfriend is exploring somewhere in South America so she gets herself a position as a hostess for a large house party in Devon, in the quaint village of Tiddleton-under-Lovey. Unfortunately, the villagers keep having fatal unrelated accidents.

Georgie begins her own investigation, of course, and looks into her list of house-guest suspects. A bonus in this book is the description of all the traditional English Christmas fare and joy! an appendix with recipes. I’m hungry.

Explorer Momma’s rating: ***** 5 stars

You need this book. Find it here on Amazon!

A Christmas Revelation

by Anne Perry

Now, what Christmas Mystery Books list is complete without representation by Anne Perry? I love a good Anne Perry mystery, her Charlotte and Thomas Pitt series, the Monk series, and my favorite the WWI series. Truly, I’ve read a lot of Anne Perry’s novels, and most Christmases I read at least one of her novellas or, in this case, Christmas novels.

The Christmas stories often make a supporting or side character of one of the series into the main character with their own Christmas mystery adventure. In this sentimental book, a nine-year-old former river urchin named Worm enlists the help of Squeaky Robinson to go to the aid of a kidnapped woman just before Christmas. Squeaky works in Hester Monk’s clinic and so here we have a new adventure with lesser-known characters in the Monk series. How can they help a woman who doesn’t want to be rescued?

I’m always happy with her Christmas books and really any of her novels. They are familiar friends, with characters I can depend on.

Explorer Momma’s rating: **** 4 stars

Order it now on Amazon by clicking here!

Give me some good Christmas mystery books

Now some of you, in fact, many of you, will say, “Give me a good Hallmark Christmas story”. I can do that. Sweet girl from the city has some major failure and fight with big city boyfriend. Girl goes to small town USA and falls for the local boy in a Christmas sweater who helps everyone in town. However, I can only do a couple of those a year and truly love that escape.

Give me some variety! Manor houses with snowbound guests, English puddings, and murders. Oh, yes. Throw a couple of those into your yearly Christmas readings. It’s the season for traditions and cozy family time. Take some time out of the Christmas rush and start another tradition, a good Christmas mystery. Cheers to you!

Merry Christmas!

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Pin it for later here!

Do you love historical mysteries? Christmas mystery books are some of my favorites around the holidays. Families stuck together in manor houses with lots of English Christmas goodies, what's not to love? Great Christmas booklist. #christmasbooklist #christmasmysteries

Low Carb Breakfast Muffins: Cranberry Orange

Low Carb Breakfast Muffins: Cranberry Orange

What’s better on a crisp winter morning than a warm cranberry orange muffin with butter melting into it? Cranberry and orange are two flavors that signify winter and Christmas in particular for me. Make these low carb breakfast muffins, drizzle a little cream cheese frosting over the top, and you’ve won my heart.

I love muffins. What’s easier in the morning when you’re in a hurry than a grab and go keto breakfast muffin? Some days you just don’t feel like cooking up a storm in the kitchen for every meal or don’t want to smell the house up with bacon and eggs. Muffins are the perfect answer when I have to quickly run out the door in the morning, and cranberry orange is a great option for this time of year!

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small percentage if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Need a quick and easy low carb breakfast? Cranberry orange low carb breakfast muffins are perfect for grab and go or to linger over with your coffee. #lowcarbmuffins #ketomuffins

In a hurry?

Scroll down to the bottom for the printable recipe or PIN it here for later!

Kitchen items to make these low carb breakfast muffins:

Low carb breakfast muffins, cranberry orange. Gluten-free, sugar-free quick and easy breakfast. #lowcarbbreakfast #ketobreakfast

How to make cranberry orange low carb breakfast muffins

If you’ve read my other muffin recipes you’ll know I like to make a big batch of low carb breakfast muffins on Sunday and freeze the whole thing to have one every day for breakfast as long as they last. The easy grab and go is great for my schedule, and there’s something rather fabulous about a fresh cranberry orange muffin with butter melting into it along with a steaming cup of coffee to start your day.

To begin, pull out a regular muffin tin and line it with 12 silicone baking cups or other liners. Silicone liners are fabulous because you can use them over and over again, and they make the muffins super-easy to get out once they’re baked. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

Now, here’s where there are a couple of ways to do things. Because it’s the one I use all the time and the simplest for me, I’m going to start with my preferred method. To begin, take out your blender. I use a high-speed Vitamix, but most any would most likely work for this.

Blender Muffin Method

Next, assemble all your ingredients together. Then, place the eggs, cream cheese, vanilla, sweetener, orange zest, and orange oil in the blender and blend on a high speed for 30-40 seconds or until it’s all well combined without any white bits of cream cheese noticeable. I like this way because it’s quick and easy, and I can get impatient when I forget to set out the cream cheese and eggs to warm up to room temperature. Because of this, I love the fact the high-speed blender doesn’t care if the ingredients are cold or warm and whips them into shape, and combines them perfectly together without any little cold bits.

Mixer Muffin Method

If you don’t have a blender or prefer a mixer, you can also combine these ingredients together in a standing or hand mixer. When you use the mixer, all the ingredients need to be room temperature or even a little warmer to combine properly. But not to worry, it can be done easily if you plan and get your ingredients ready beforehand.

How to prepare the batter

Take out a large bowl and whisk together the almond flour, coconut flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Then, pour the blended wet ingredients into the bowl of dry ingredients and stir to combine them completely with no lumps. For the last ingredient, stir in the cranberries evenly with a spoon or spatula, and boom! Your batter is ready.

In order to get your muffins about the same size, I like to use an ice cream scoop to place the batter in the muffin cups. Fill the muffin cups about two-thirds of the way full and bake them in a 325-degree oven (Fahrenheit) for 25 to 30 minutes. Keep an eye on them and pull them out when they start to brown and the center bounces back up when tapped.

Take the muffins out of the oven and let them cool completely.

Low carb breakfast muffins overhead with cream cheese drizzle #ketomuffins #ketobreakfast

Cream Cheese Drizzle Frosting

Cream Cheese Drizzle Frosting is awesome on this low carb breakfast muffin recipe, especially if you get the orange flavoring in it with essential oils or orange zest. It’s also super-simple to make, which is always nice.

In a small bowl, combine the cream cheese, almond milk, sweetener, and orange oil or zest. Use a small whisk or fork completely bring the frosting together. If it seems too thick to drizzle, add a bit more almond milk.

Drizzle the frosting over the cooled (or mostly cooled) muffins, and serve!

Inside the cranberry orange low carb breakfast muffin #cranberrymuffin #lowcarbcranberry

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Low carb cinnamon pecan cookies. Gluten-free, sugar-free, cinnamon spice! The perfect pecan tea cookie. #lowcarbcookies #ketocookie

Low Carb Breakfast Muffins Printable Recipe

Low Carb Cranberry Orange Breakfast Muffins
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
35 mins
 

There's just something about the flavors of cranberry and orange combined together in perfect low carb breakfast muffins! Perfect for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or all winter long!

Course: Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine: American, Gluten-Free, Keto, Low Carb
Keyword: low carb breakfast muffins
Servings: 12
Calories: 115 kcal
Author: Lauren Gonikishvili
Ingredients
  • 4 eggs large
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp orange zest
  • 4-5 drops orange essential oil
  • 1/2 cup sweetener Swerve or other equivalent
  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup cranberries fresh or unsweetened dried
Orange Frosting
  • 2 oz cream cheese
  • 1 tbsp almond milk
  • 3 drops orange essential oil (use 1 tsp orange zest if not using essential oil)
  • 1 tbsp powdered sweetener Swerve
Instructions
  1. Place eggs, cream cheese, vanilla, sweetener, orange zest, and orange oil in a blender and blend well.

  2. In a large bowl whisk together almond flour, coconut flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.

  3. Pour the blended wet ingredients into the bowl of dry ingredients and stir to combine completely.

  4. Mix in the cranberries evenly.

  5. Turn on oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and line a regular sized muffin pan with silicone or other liners.

  6. Using an ice cream scoop or spoon, evenly fill the muffin tins about 2/3 full and place in the oven to bake for 20-25 minutes.

  7. To prepare the frosting, cream together the cream cheese, almond milk, and orange essential oil or zest.

  8. Add more almond milk to thin if necessary or drizzle over cooled muffins.

Recipe Notes

Nutrition Facts

Servings 12.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 115
 
Total Fat 9 g  
Saturated Fat 4 g  
Monounsaturated Fat 2 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 76 mg  
Sodium 204 mg  
Potassium 49 mg  
Total Carbohydrate 4 g  
Dietary Fiber 2 g  
Sugars 1 g

*Nutrition Facts per MyFitnessPal.com. For the most accurate facts, you may figure your own with the specific ingredients you choose.

What’s your favorite low carb breakfast?

Are you a muffin person or a donut person? Or maybe more of a Danish fan? There are so many ways to make delicious low carb, sugar-free, gluten-free versions of my favorite baked goods, I no longer even miss the carbs. What’s your favorite grab and go breakfast? Or maybe, what do you miss that you would like to see in a low carb form?

I hope you enjoy the cranberry orange low carb breakfast muffins. If you make them I’d love to see a picture if you tag me on Instagram!

Tag me in your recipe pics on Instagram @explorermomma.

If you LOVE this recipe please consider giving it a five-star rating in the review area below!

Thanks all!

Nutrition Disclaimer

Please be aware I am not a medical specialist or nutritional professional. On this blog, I share recipes and what works for me. Please do not take anything on this blog as medical advice and always consult with your doctor before starting any diet or exercise program. I use MyFitnessPal.com to calculate nutrition facts as a courtesy to my readers, and I remove erythritol from the final carb count and net carb count because does not affect my own blood glucose levels. This is as accurate as possible, but it’s best to independently calculate nutritional information on your own with the specific ingredients you use. I expressly disclaim any and all liability of any kind with respect to any act or omission wholly or in part in reliance on anything contained in this website.

Visit the Corning Museum of Glass with kids

Visit the Corning Museum of Glass with kids

Preview: How to and why you should visit the Corning Museum of Glass with kids. Corning, New York is in the beautiful Finger Lakes region of New York State and the Museum of Glass is a must-visit.

Kids love to create, to make art, and figure out how things work. You may think oh! The Corning Museum of Glass, eek! That sounds dangerous just thinking about my kids in that place. Not so! I’m going to tell you why this is an awesome outing and truly memorable experience for kids and the entire family.

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small percentage if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Visit the Corning Museum of Glass with kids. One of our favorite things to do in Corning, New York. #familytravel #cmog

Where is Corning, New York?

First things first. Where is Corning, New York? Well, Corning is an amazing town located in the Finger Lakes Wine Country of New York State, just 10 minutes from the Elmira, New York airport. It’s about 250 miles from New York City but only about 100 miles from Rochester, New York.

Therefore, you have many options when it comes to transportation in and around the area. If you arrive by plane, any of the nearby airports make sense, Elmira, Rochester, Buffalo. Once the plane has landed, we really like to have the freedom to explore the entire area and so a rental car is the best bet for our family. That way we can get to every little pumpkin farm, waterfall hike, and art show in the area as well as to the further afield destinations like Niagara Falls and New York City! Then make your way back to the Corning Museum of Glass with kids. There are also Greyhound buses in the area and Lyft and Uber drivers when you need them.

What is the Corning Museum of Glass?

Have you heard of Corningware? Pyrex? Yes, these famous traditional dishes found in so many houses today all came from Corning, New York. But is glass just about dishes? By no means!

The Corning Museum of Glass is dedicated to telling the story of that amazing material: glass. Nearly 50,000 objects are displayed in the galleries, with historical pieces dating back to the Pharaohs to the modern glass art of today. Interactive displays and the innovation lab make it the perfect place for kids to learn about art and science and how the two intertwine in glass.

Corning Museum of Glass, New York. #iloveny #familymuseums

Top things to do at the Corning Museum of Glass with kids

Make your own glass art

Kids’ favorite thing to do at the Corning Museum of Glass is to make a piece of their own glass art. As I said before, kids love to create! They love to see the magic of glass blowing, fusing, cutting, and they are shocked when they get to form their own glass masterpiece. The Corning Museum of Glass is so awesome because they have so many classes and options to make glass art creation available to all ages.

You can sign up to make a seasonal piece of glass, such as a fall pumpkin or winter Christmas tree! There are also options to make picture frames, glass ornaments, bead making, and so much more. I recently got to make my own glass flower with the help of one of the museum’s well-trained glass blowers, and was so excited about it I felt like a kid myself.

Lauren makes a glass flower at Corning Museum of Glass #myflxtbex #glassart

First, I had to decide what I wanted to make. Second, I picked the colors I wanted in my flower. Then I got to work! Word of warning, the fire is hot! I didn’t get near it or actually heat the glass, but I did wear protective eyewear and gloves to use the tongs and bars to shape the glass.

Do you know what? My flower is not perfect, but what an experience to actually feel the hot glass pulled and shaped with my tongs, by my own hand! I loved it, and I LOVE my piece of art, my glass flower.

Glass etching project

Each class or project has an age requirement to it for obvious safety reasons, but there are fun projects for almost any age. Another project available for all ages is to sandblast a drinking glass. To complete this project you are given a drinking glass. Kids and adults alike pull out the artist inside to create a design on the glass using stickers. Once the stickers are exactly as you want them, a museum helper will take you to the machine to sandblast the glass. Tiny scratches create a white snow all over the parts not covered in stickers. You remove the stickers and voila! Your creation is complete and ready for display!

Glass dinosaur etching. Make your own glass project at the Corning Museum of Glass, New York. #familytravel #cmog

Check out the current classes and make your own glass projects here!

Glass demos

Kids can’t do everything by any means, so that is why the glass demos are a big hit as well. One of the coolest, how do things work demos loved by aspiring 6-year-old engineers is the glass breaking demonstration. In the innovation lab, questions like: How does glass break? How can we make it stronger? and Why does glass break differently in your car than the windows or glass dropped at home?

In the Windows Gallery of the Glass Innovation Center, you can actually meet some of the inventors who create better-performing glass for space shuttles and all the screens we watch and touch every day.

What else can you see demoed? Go to a glassblowing session and see a piece of art formed.  Watch a flameworking demo or see how optics are made. It’s fascinating.

Corning Museum of Glass upper level #cmog #corningny

Explore the Corning Museum of Glass with kids

Where is the best place to go at the Corning Museum of Glass with kids? It depends on the child! What are they interested in? I would invite you to wander the galleries, find the glass of ancient Egypt, see the glass fruit larger than a toddler, and wander the Vessels Gallery of light bulbs, orbs, and glass containers of all kinds. It really is a magical eye-opening experience they will remember.

Make a glass pumpkin at CMOG #corningny #glasspumpkin

My favorite area of the Corning Museum of Glass

I’m not usually one to go for the contemporary. Actually, I’m always more of a let’s look back at history to see what’s been done hundreds and hundreds of years before type of gal. Which is why I was so shocked to find the Contemporary Art and Design wing was my favorite area of the museum. The white space around each piece of art, the lines and curves, they all calmed me and made me want to spend more time just breathing in the beauty and calm.

Corning Museum of Glass. Modern Art glass display. #cmog #corningnewyork

My “insider” tip for free admission to the Corning Museum of Glass

We have a family membership to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. Okay, what does that have to do with the Corning Museum of Glass you may ask! Well, both museums participate in the ASTC Travel Passport Program. Because we are members of a participating science center or museum, we’re eligible for free admission to other centers outside of our area. There are certain parameters, like the museums have to be more than 90 miles away, and I like to double check with the museum beforehand to be sure they still participate.

You can check out the list of science centers and museums that participate here. Whenever we travel, I like to see what museums are on our route take part in the program. It’s always a fun and educational stop, and the kids love it! There are museums all over the United States and the world where your local museum membership will benefit you and save you money.

We love the ASTC Passport Program!

Visit Niagara Falls with kids!

The perfect family vacation is Niagara Falls with kids. State Parks and family travel are the best! #operationusparks #everykidinapark #familytravel #explorermomma

A glass art family tradition

When I was a child, one of my favorite things to do was to visit my grandmother in her stained glass shop. She encouraged me to touch the glass and play with the stained-glass kaleidoscopes she made. She always urged me to embrace my own creativity. We made glass jewelry, ornaments, and had a wonderful time together. Now, my own daughter has been exploring the art of stained glass ornament making with my father. They love to work on projects together and be able to create and have their own grandpa and granddaughter time.

If you’re near Corning, I highly recommend a visit to this amazing museum. Plan to spend some time to wander there, make a glass project, and visit demonstrations. Isn’t it amazing what all this one little material can do?

Have you been to the Corning Museum of Glass with kids or on your own? Tag me in your pics on Instagram @explorermomma.

I’d love to see them!

White circle display, Corning Museum of Glass #cmog #modernart

Explorer Momma Giveaway!

Explorer Momma Giveaway!

Welcome to Explorer Momma! I’ve been here before, you may say, but today we are celebrating the re-design of the Explorer Momma homepage! Yes, that’s right, the Explorer Momma website is getting a facelift, and in honor of our fabulous progress, we’re hosting an on-line Explorer Momma Giveaway and Party!

For those of you who aren’t as familiar with the site, let me tell you a little bit about our goals. Explorer Momma explores the world and all the flavor in it. I bring ideas for Momma chefs, adventurers, and bookworms. You can check out Explorer Momma for delicious kid-friendly keto and low carb recipes, travel tips and destinations with kids, and fun! I blog about amazing recipes, cultural experiences, and new adventures to make the world better for our kids. Where shall we adventure today?

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small percentage if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Check out the new HOMEPAGE!

Explorer Momma header, exploring the world and all the flavor in it #familytravel #ketorecipes

Explorer Momma Giveaway and Party Invitation

What is this all about? Explorer Momma Re-Design Party

Why? Let’s get the word out about the Explorer Momma website and all its exciting upcoming content!

When? Please come to visit anytime, but the giveaway ends Friday, November 9th.

Where? On the website and social media

How? Check out the website and Explorer Momma social media. I’ll go into this in a minute. Then sign up through the Rafflecopter below!

 

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12 Days of Keto Christmas Cookies

Enter the Explorer Momma Giveaway!

Are you ready to get baking this holiday season? I admit, baking and preparing good foods for friends and family is one of my favorite parts of the Christmas season. Get yourself ready to bake with our 12 Days of Keto Christmas Cookies series by entering to win the Christmas Cookie Baking Set today! The winner, chosen at random, will get (sorry for the limitation but the winner must reside in the United States):

A Brand New Bellemain Heavy Duty Aluminum Half Sheet Pan, 18″ x 13″ x 1″!

 New Silicone Baking Mats – a 2-Pack from AmazonBasics!

AND my favorite part:

A New Christmas/Holiday Cookie Cutter Set – 9 Pack Stainless Steel Cookie Cutters!

Update your own cookie making supplies or use them as gifts! Or better yet, use them to make tins of Christmas cookies to give as gifts!
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AND…we have a winner! Thanks to everyone who entered and partied with us! Please spread the word if you know anyone who would enjoy ExplorerMomma.com!

Thank you for partying with us!

Thanks again for joining the party! I hope you explore the website and the new design. It’s meant to allow you to see more of the content Explorer Momma offers so click around! Then, follow along with us as we explore more food, travel, and fun! Also, thanks for sharing the website with friends and family on Social Media platforms or by word of mouth. It helps us a ton and allows us to share more recipes and fun destinations!

Cheers!

Lauren

 

Explorer Momma Giveaway! Win a Christmas cookie baking set and be ready for the 12 Days of Keto Christmas Cookies. Easy low carb cookies can be yours to get through the holidays without succumbing to sugar! #ketocookies #ketochristmas

Creamy Keto Italian Sausage Soup

Creamy Keto Italian Sausage Soup

Warm and creamy with Italian sausage spice, you’re going to love this creamy keto Italian sausage soup on a cold snowy night!

What do you imagine when you hear the words creamy keto Italian sausage soup? First, I like to picture myself by a roaring fire at an antique wooden family dinner table with snow falling lightly through the picturesque window. The kids are smiling at each other as they enjoy their soup, and the husband is laughing about a story he just told. Then, I smile contentedly and look around as I warm my hands on the sides of my bowl.

Let’s keep that pretty picture in our heads! The winter season is nearly upon us, sooner here in Northern Colorado than I’d necessarily like. However, the cold and snow make me crave the comfort of a warm bowl of soup. And, to be perfectly honest, it’s fabulous to have a big pot in the fridge prepared over the weekend you can just pull out, warm up, and call everyone to dinner. It’s especially convenient when you have all those fun after-school activities like volleyball, basketball, karate, piano, and so on preventing you from kitchen time on weeknights.

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Creamy Keto Italian Sausage Soup. Easy, low carb, and delicious, this gluten free recipe will have your family asking for more! #ketosouprecipes #lowcarbrecipes

What to make for dinner on cold days

Yesterday morning we had to get up early to head down to Denver for an appointment. It’s the middle of October right now, and when we left the house at 6:30 am it was 11 degrees Fahrenheit with a blanket of white snow covering the neighborhood. Yes, you read that right 11 degrees. True, this is Colorado, but that’s not a normal temp for mid-October when the average low is about 37!

So, we exclaimed about the weather, discussed it with everyone we saw, and posted about it on social media, my daughter and I decided it was definitely soup weather. If you ask my girl what kind of meat she likes she will immediately say sausage, meatballs, or pork chops. In short, she’s a meat lover and so this creamy keto Italian sausage soup is always popular on the menu.

In a hurry?

Scroll down to the bottom for the printable recipe or PIN it here for later!

 

Kitchen items you’ll need:

Simmering soup on a cold day was like filling a house with cotton batting. The comforting scent of it plumped and muffled and cuddled.

Sarah Addison Allen

Author, First Frost

Tips for the perfect creamy keto Italian sausage soup

I really like to add cream cheese to soups to give it an easy low carb creamy goodness. I’ve tried many ways to add cream cheese to soups, smoothies, and desserts. Far and away, the best way I’ve come up with to evenly distribute the cream cheese in soup or even a muffin batter is to blend the cream cheese up with wet ingredients before adding it to the main mixture.

In this creamy keto Italian sausage soup recipe, I use a cup of broth and the cream cheese and blend them together before adding them to the soup. Why do I do this? It’s the easiest and most practical way to not have cream cheese lumps floating about your soup!

Now, if you don’t have a blender you can take room temperature or slightly warm cream cheese and whisk it into your simmering soup. It is possible. I’ve done it before. However, it is more difficult to get all the lumps out and mix it in completely without making a mess.

Also, I tend to forget to get the cream cheese out early so blending it up is a fabulous way to make up for my lack of planning skills.

The perfect low carb dinner. Creamy keto Italian sausage soup is easy and comforting. #lowcarbsoup #souprecipes

Only the pure of heart can make a good soup.

Ludwig van Beethoven

Composer

How to make creamy keto Italian sausage soup

First of all, to make this creamy keto Italian sausage soup, melt the butter in a soup pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Second, you’re going to scrape in the chopped onion and minced garlic from the cutting board and mix those around with the butter. Then, the Italian sausage goes in to cook for about 4-5 minutes or until onion is soft and meat is browned and filling the kitchen with good smells.

Once the meat is browned, pour in three cups of the bone broth and add the zucchini. I like to use zucchini in soups as sort of a pasta replacement and another texture. Generally, I peel the zucchini and take out any large seeds simply because the children are more likely to eat it that way. They are less likely to attempt to pick it out if they don’t see the green. At least that’s my kids!

I also like to julienne it sort of in more of a noodle shape, but you can chop it as you like!

Spoon of Creamy Keto Italian Sausage Soup #ketorecipes #ketodinners

Now for the good stuff!

Okay, next add the herbs, basil, oregano, a bay leaf and then the red pepper. Stir that up a bit then add the diced tomatoes. After that, bring the pot to a boil then lower the heat to simmer.

While the soup is simmering, place the remaining cup of bone broth and cream cheese in a blender and blend it up until it’s smooth with no lumps. Then, pour it into the rest of the soup and stir.

Next, chop up about 2 cups of spinach and mix it in the soup to wilt. You can serve it almost right away or allow it to simmer for another half hour or so for the flavors to combine. It does taste better if you simmer it a bit longer or make it the day before and heat it for a quick weeknight meal.

Last but not least, don’t forget the cheese! Serve the bowls of soup topped with shredded parmesan cheese. I like to shred my own if there’s time because often the pre-grated, shredded cheeses contain potato starch or other things to make them not stick together. That’s not something I want to eat so tend to buy block cheese and prepare it myself.

Eat and enjoy!

There’s a sorrow and pain in everyone’s life, but every now and then there’s a ray of light that melts the loneliness in your heart and brings comfort like hot soup and a soft bed.

Hubert Selby Jr.

Author, Requiem For A Dream

What are your favorite soups?

What are your favorite soups? Do you create your own with whatever’s in the fridge or stick to recipes? I do a little of both as it’s a great way to get rid of leftovers! What tastes do you like that might work well in soup or stew form? Philly cheesesteak? Cheeseburger? Chicken enchilada? Yes, I like to think of some of my favorite meals and winterize them so to speak in easy peasy stew form. Now, I hope you try this creamy keto Italian sausage soup, find a fireplace and a book and enjoy!

Tag me in your recipe pics on Instagram @explorermomma.

If you LOVE this recipe please consider giving it a five-star rating in the review area below!

Thanks all!

Need a good cookie for dessert?

Cinnamon Pecan Cookies, overhead square

Creamy Keto Italian Sausage Soup Printable Recipe

Creamy Keto Italian Sausage Soup

Warm and creamy with Italian sausage spice, you're going to love this low carb soup on a cold snowy night!

Course: Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: American, Italian, Keto
Keyword: Keto Italian Sausage Soup
Servings: 8
Calories: 312 kcal
Author: Lauren Gonikishvili
Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 4 cups chicken bone broth
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1 lb Italian sausage (mild or hot)
  • 1 14 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 zucchini (small) chopped
  • 2 cups chopped spinach
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (to taste)
Instructions
  1. Melt the butter over medium-high heat and add the onion, garlic, and Italian sausage to cook for 4-5 minutes or until onion is soft and meat browned.

  2. Pour in three cups of the bone broth then add the zucchini, basil, oregano, bay leaf, red pepper, and diced tomatoes.

  3. Bring to a boil then lower the heat to simmer.

  4. Place the remaining cup of bone broth and cream cheese in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into the rest of the soup and stir.

  5. Mix in the chopped spinach and once wilted serve the soup or allow to simmer for another half hour or more for the flavors to combine.

  6. Serve topped with shredded parmesan cheese.

Recipe Notes

Nutrition Facts

 
Servings 8.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 312
 
Total Fat 22 g  
Saturated Fat 11 g  
Monounsaturated Fat 0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 75 mg  
Sodium 656 mg  
Potassium 423 mg  
Total Carbohydrate 4 g  
Dietary Fiber 1 g  
Sugars 3 g  
Protein 20 g  
   
   
   
   

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Delicious Creamy Keto Italian Sausage Soup. Need a low carb, gluten-free, easy recipe for a family dinner? Comforting and full of flavor, your family will love you. #ketorecipes #lowcarbsoups

 

 

 

Nutrition Disclaimer

Please be aware I am not a medical specialist or nutritional professional. On this blog, I share recipes and what works for me. Please do not take anything on this blog as medical advice and always consult with your doctor before starting any diet or exercise program. I use MyFitnessPal.com to calculate nutrition facts as a courtesy to my readers, and I remove erythritol from the final carb count and net carb count because does not affect my own blood glucose levels.
This is as accurate as possible, but it’s best to independently calculate nutritional information on your own with the specific ingredients you use. I expressly disclaim any and all liability of any kind with respect to any act or omission wholly or in part in reliance on anything contained in this website.

Owego New York: Top Things To Do

Owego New York: Top Things To Do

Preview: I truly fell in love with the beautiful and historic Tioga County, New York. In this article, you’ll find my favorite things to do in Owego New York.

What are the top places that come to mind when you say, New York? Of course, there’s New York City with Long Island, Brooklyn, the Bronx, and more. All fascinating places with their own cultures within the city in their own right. But what of the rest of the state? If we get out of the big city what do you think of? You might name Niagara Falls, but if you’re not from the area I want to introduce you to one of the friendliest, most beautiful, and definitely historic counties in the state, Tioga County.

Believe me, you will want to visit this hidden gem! Especially if you drink in history like I do, or if you just want to eat and drink well and enjoy yourself, Owego is a fabulous find!

Did you know I walked in the same places as Teddy Roosevelt? Looked at the same beautiful Susquehanna River and walked in and around the same beautiful buildings he did? My inner history nerd jumped up and down with joy the entire time I was there.

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored travel post for which I received financial compensation and/or complimentary travel accommodations. All opinions are my own.

Things to do in Owego New York. Reasons to love Tioga County. #experiencetioga #artstrailtioga #15thingsowego #belikebelva #iloveny #myflxtbex #tbex

Where is Owego New York?

Owego New York is a village located in south-central New York, in Tioga County, USA near the border with Pennsylvania. It’s on the edge of the beautiful Finger Lakes region and only about a 45-minute drive from the Elmira/Corning Airport or 3 and a half to 4 hours from New York City. I would suggest getting a rental car to explore the entire area if you don’t drive in yourself, just to make your stay more flexible.

 

Top things to do in Owego New York

Explorer Momma in Owego New York with Jim and his antique car. #experiencetioga #artstrailtioga #15thingsowego #belikebelva #iloveny #myflxtbex #tbex

 

1. The Belva Lockwood Inn

 

Belva Lockwood Inn, as featured on House Hunters. #belikebelva #experiencetioga #15thingsowego #familytravel #explorermomma

Belva Lockwood quote #belikebelva #15thingsowego #explorermommaHave you heard of Belva Lockwood? I, who at times obsess on history and the women’s rights movement, had not. But never fear, let’s remedy that injustice. Belva Lockwood was born on October 24, 1830, neither to wealth or privilege or any real hope of a good education. She persevered against hostility and became the first woman admitted to the bar of the U.S. Supreme Court after successfully lobbying to admit women lawyers. She was bold and ran for president, not once but twice, for the Equal Rights Party.

For a time Belva Lockwood ran a school in Owego New York before she moved to Washington D.C. to pursue her political career. That school was at this very property, recently renovated and now being turned into the fabulous Belva Lockwood Inn. Can I tell you a little secret? I got to tour the property and heard the Belva Lockwood story from the owners Ike and Julie Lovelass themselves, recently featured on House Hunters, (another thing I love). Check out that episode here!

Truly, I cannot WAIT for it to be finished later this year so I can come back to stay and do some more exploring. If you want to be among the first to stay at the Belva Lockwood Inn, be sure to take advantage of the $100 voucher for an overnight stay (30% off) you can get it here (as long as it’s offered!).

 

2. Walking tours – Historic Homes, Evergreen Cemetery, Courthouse Square

Owego New York War Memorial #experiencetioga #owego #warmemorial #explorermomma

There are several walking tours of Owego with brochures available at numerous locations around town. The Tioga County Visitor’s Center is located at 80 North Avenue, Owego, New York and is certain to have them. To begin I’d suggest the Courthouse Square Walking Tour where you’ll learn about the Tioga County Courthouse, the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors Monument, Veterans Memorial, and more!

When you enter Owego you will also immediately notice the beautiful historic homes along the streets. There is conveniently a cell phone self-guided walking tour of Owego’s Historic Homes! All you have to do is start at the Susquehanna River Bridge and Front Street and dial 607-345-4080. There are also maps and brochures available for this tour. I love learning about the people and the stories behind the old buildings!

If you’re really interested in the people who lived in the area there’s also an Evergreen Cemetery Walking Tour where you’ll learn about characters such as Lyman Park Truman, 1829-1881, the “Millionaire Banker of Owego”. Introduce yourself to naturalist author J. Alden Loring, 1871-1847 who traveled with Teddy Roosevelt on his year-long African safari and Dr. Helen Dean King, 1869-1955 second only to Marie Curie of France in her achievements in genetics and embryology at the turn of the century, one of the few women to hold a professorship in research work.

 

3. The Cellar

The Cellar Restaurant Owego NY #myflxtbex #ketorestaurant #experiencetioga #explorermomma

With all that walking you’re going to need some sustenance! I highly recommend the locally owned restaurant, the Cellar on the River. They have their traditional menu items that have been on the menu for 10 years or more, such as the Lobster Thermidor Fondue (please try this as it’s absolutely amazing!). Also, they’re always trying new menu items and actually smoke their own meats and fish for dishes. As you may know, I eat keto, and the Cellar Tap had awesome options like pastrami and swiss with house-made Guinness mustard, salmon lettuce cups with caper cream, smoked tuna salad stuffed tomatoes, and more.

The Cellar Tap is the front seating area with a bar near the street, but there’s more formal dining in the back and beautiful Susquehanna Riverview Dining Room. Who doesn’t want to enjoy their meal with an amazing view of the river? Top it all off with some fresh berries and champagne sabayon and you’ll be one happy traveler.

 

4. Tioga Arts Council Events – Cloud Croft Studios

Cloud Croft Studios Owego, NY #experiencetioga #cloudcroftstudios #owegoarts #explorermomma

Owego also has an active and impressive creative arts community. The Tioga Arts Council appears to do an amazing job cultivating the local arts and celebrating artists. I was lucky enough to attend an exhibition at the picturesque Cloud Croft Studios, an almost story-book location with a beautifully updated barn and swimming pond, perfect for fishing. I have relatives who are professional artists, and this place and the wonderful people who welcomed me there reminded me of my own family. For a moment, my inner Bob Ross awakened and I longed to paint and return to my father’s old workbench to perfect my stained-glass techniques. Do visit and support any of the local exhibitions.

 

5. Riverow Bookshop

Riverow Bookshop Owego New York #experiencetioga #ilovebookshops #reading #explorermomma #explorermommatravel

I am a book nerd, lover, obsessor, whatever title you want to place on it. Who doesn’t absolutely love to look through local bookstores? In the Riverow Bookshop you can peruse THREE floors of books and enjoy tea or a glass of wine while you do so. Does that not just sound like heaven? Take an hour or two, or an entire afternoon and just relax and commune with the books, or talk with the store owner and helpers, take your pick.

What trip to New York is complete without a visit to Niagara Falls?

Epic things to do at Niagara Falls with kids #niagarafalls #familytravel #stateparks #explorermomma

6. Take a ride with Jim and go antique shopping

Jim's tour of Owego New York #owegoantiques #earlyowego #iloveny #explorermomma #explorermommatravel

Is antique shopping your thing? I adore antique shopping and can be drawn in for hours looking at items and thinking about their past owners and uses. It can take hours for me to find that perfect souvenir or necessary item for my kitchen, and I drink in every minute of it. When you’re in Owego, be sure to stop in to the Early Owego Antique Center. You’ll find quality antiques and interesting stories about the area. And if you’re really lucky you might talk the owner into showing you his antique car or even giving you a ride around town! Everyone at the store is amazingly friendly and full of pride and stories about historic Owego.

 

7. Calaboose Grille

Calaboose Grille, Owego New York #15thingsowego #experiencetioga #hauntedhistorytrail #explorermomma #explorermommatravel

Are you looking for a dining experience unlike any other? How would you like to eat in an old jail cell? Why not, I say! The Calaboose Grille is dripping with character and good food. “Calaboose” is evidently an old Cajun slang term for jail, and the restaurant maintains that atmosphere and much of the original architecture with the bars still on the windows and cell outlines, but with a quirky modern twist. In addition, it’s also a stop on the Haunted History Trail of New York State so be sure to ask about the mysterious occurrences like glasses moving around and pictures flying off of walls! Gasp.

 

8. The Owego Riverwalk

Beautiful Susquehanna River, Owego New York #susquehanna #riverwalk #15thingsowego #explorermomma #explorermommatravel

If you have some extra time during your stay in Tioga County, get out to enjoy nature and get some exercise! The impressive Susquehanna River is a huge part of life in Owego and locals and visitors alike love the beautifully landscaped Owego Riverwalk. Walk from Draper Park to Ahwaga Park, watch for birds along the water, take some photos, or go fishing! I was shown a black and white photo of one of the old-time riverboats that used to travel up and down the river like you’d think of in a Mark Twain book. Truly, I can just imagine it, the circular paddle at the back, maybe a dinner cruise? There may be a business opportunity there!

 

9. Tioga County History Museum

Tioga History Museum, muskets #tiogahistorymuseum #15thingsowego #experiencetioga #artstrailtioga #explorermomma

The Tioga County Historical Society and Museum was founded in 1914. The museum is located at 100 Front Street in Owego and is open from 10am-4pm Wednesday through Saturday. The museum has a variety of galleries and exhibits, many focused on military history, and there’s an impressive portrait of Abraham Lincoln. One display I found fascinating, was the story of a man who was in attendance at Ford’s Theater the night Lincoln was shot and his experience trying to help the President. His clothes, now on display at the museum, were covered in the President’s blood and are poignant and heartbreaking in bringing this man’s story to life.

 

 

 

Why I love Owego New York

I think what hit me most about this place is its people. The locals here are passionate about their town and the county’s rich history. They have great pride in their local farm produce, foods, and brews, and serve them up well! Also, one of my favorite characteristics of the people I was fortunate to meet here is the connection to the arts and the true beauty of the rolling hills, ponds, trees, and rivers.

I can tell you if this Colorado girl lived closer, there are so many amazing things to do in Owego New York, experiences to enjoy, it might very well be my go-to weekend getaway. I do hope to return!

Have you been to Owego New York or Tioga County? Tag me in your pics on Instagram @explorermomma. I’d love to see them!

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