Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Baked French Fries

Don't be scared off by the sugar - you can't even taste it! Super tasty and much healthier than fried. I found this recipe here

Baked French Fries
Cooking spray
12 yukon gold potatoes, cut into thick fries
2 tbsp white sugar
1/2 cup oil
2 tsp garlic salt
2 tsp black pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil; spray with cooking spray.
Place sliced potatoes in a colander; sprinkle sugar over potatoes. Set aside until liquid is released from potatoes, 20 to 30 minutes. Drain liquid and dry potatoes well.
Mix potato slices, olive oil, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper in a resealable bag until evenly coated. Spread coated potato slices in a single layer, leaving space around each potato, on the prepared baking sheet.
Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes; flip fries and continue baking until crisp and browned, about 20 more minutes.

Coconut Fish Sticks

I made these with baked french fries. Let's just say they were a HUGE hit and there wasn't enough despite my doubling this recipe. I can't remember where I found this recipe, so if anyone recognizes it, let me know. 

Coconut Fish Sticks
¼ cup shredded coconut
½ cup gluten free flour (GF coconut flour mix or GF Brown Rice mix both work great)
½ tsp salt
¼ cup butter, melted
1 lb cod or haddock fillets, cut into ½” x 3” sticks

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Set a baking rack inside a baking sheet and coat with olive oil or coconut oil.

In a shallow bowl or pie plate, combine the coconut, flour, and salt. Place the melted butter in a shallow bowl. Dip the fish sticks in the melted butter, shaking off the excess. Dredge in the coconut mixture, turning to coat. Place on the baking rack. Coat lightly with cooking spray.

Bake for 15 minutes, or until the coating is golden and the fish flakes easily.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Molasses Cookies

I love molasses. And cookies. These are divinely soft and oh, so good. Enjoy! I found the recipe here

Molasses Cookies
1-1/2 cups butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup molasses
4-1/2 cups brown rice GF flour mix
4 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons baking soda
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup chopped pecans
3/4 cup coarse sugar


Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and molasses. Combine the flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Fold in pecans.

Shape into 1-in. balls and roll in coarse sugar. Place 2-1/2-in. apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake 10-12 minutes or until tops are cracked. Remove to wire racks to cool. Yield: 2 dozen.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Pumpkin Bars

It's no secret that I love pumpkin. From a young age, pumpkin pie was a huge favorite of mine. I was told that I even ate a whole pumpkin pie by myself at the age of 5! When I tried these bars about 10 years ago, I couldn't believe something so delicious had existed that I didn't know about, so I got the recipe and am sharing it with you. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Bars
2 cups GF Coconut Flour Mix or other GF Flour mix that contains xanthan gum
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 cup oil
1 can pumpkin (15oz)

Mix eggs, sugar, oil, and pumpkin. Add other ingredients. Bake at 350 degrees in a greased, 13x9 inch pan for 30-35 minutes or until done.

Icing: 3 ½ cups powdered sugar, 1 tsp vanilla, 1 tsp milk, 3oz cream cheese, and ¾ stick butter (softened). Mix and frost when bars are cooled.

GF Coconut Flour Mix

This is a great flour mix for sweets. I especially like it in the GF Pumpkin Bars that I make. I did not that it didn't work as well in making breadmaker bread, so keep that in mind. I ground my own rice and oats and then added the coconut flour and tapioca starch that I bought on I found this recipe on Pinterest here.

GF Coconut Flour Mix
1 cup white rice flour
1 cup oat flour
1 cup coconut flour
1 cup tapioca starch/flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
3 1/2 tsp xanthan gum

Mix together and store in an airtight container.

Brown Rice GF Flour Mix

I call this the brown rice GF flour mix because it showcases brown rice. I grind most of my grains in a grain grinder and I buy my brown rice on I found this recipe on Pinterest here.

Brown Rice GF Flour Mix
5 cups brown rice flour
2 1/2 cups tapioca starch/flour
1 1/4 cups potato starch
1 1/2 tbsp xanthan gum

Mix together and store in an airtight container. Thus far, I have used this recipe to make Favorite GF Breadmaker Recipe and Fabulous GF Pizza Dough.

Breadmaker Recipe

This is my favorite of the breadmaker recipes I have tried thus far. I think you will agree. I have used various flour mixes in it and they have ALL turned out nicely. Although, my favorite flour to use, thus far, is the Best Results Flour Recipe. For whatever reason, and maybe this is just how GF flour bakes, the loaf tends to collapse a little when cooling. I am not sure why...but this is the best recipe I have found, so I won't be picky! Enjoy!

Breadmaker Recipe
2 cups milk
1/4 cup oil
3 large eggs
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp xanthan gum (omit if your flour contains already)
3 cups Best Results Flour Recipe
2 1/4 tsp dry yeast

Add wet ingredients to bread maker. Add dry on top. Set to bake for a 2-3 cup loaf with a medium crust. When I baked this on a light crust setting, it wasn't completely done. I would recommend a regular baking - not quick - and on medium or dark crust setting.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Quick Brazilian Cheese Rolls

I have made these two nights in a row. My family has loved them and so do I. I found them on Pinterest from Our Best Bites. 

Quick Brazilian Cheese Rolls {Pao de Queijo} – Gluten Free!
Recipe by Our Best Bites
1 large egg
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup canola oil
1 cup tapioca flour (sometimes labeled tapioca starch) no substitutions
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 C grated cheddar cheese* (preferably medium or sharp)
1/4 C grated Parmesan cheese
*you can play around with the cheese.  I’ve used Monterey Jack, low-moisture mozarella, swiss, and even gruyere in place of the cheddar.  All great!

Optional:  extra cheese to sprinkle on top and any herbs/flavorings you’d like to add.  Try rosemary and or garlic powder, my favorites!

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Place egg, milk, oil, tapioca flour, and salt in blender and blend until smooth.  Add cheeses and pulse 2 times.  Immediately pour batter into a mini muffin tin (if your muffin tin isn’t non-stick, spray lightly with non-stick spray first), filling each well about 3/4 full, or just slightly less.  If desired (and I recommend), sprinkle a bit of parmesan cheese on top and/or a tiny sprinkle of kosher salt.

Bake for 15-20 minutes until puffed and golden.  Remove from oven and cool for a few minutes before removing rolls from pan.  Serve warm. {Que Gostoso!}  These actually don’t re-heat well so I recommend making and eating fresh.

Yield: anywhere from 16-24 rolls, depending on how full you fill your muffin pan. I fill  mine pretty full (a good 3/4 full) and I generally get about 16-18.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Broccoli Bacon Salad

We eat this salad at every single holiday. Naturally gluten free!

Broccoli Bacon Salad
2-5 crowns of broccoli, chopped up into bite-sized pieces
1/2lb of bacon, fried and crumbled
1/2 to 3/4lb of grated shredded cheese
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1/2 cup mayonnaise (NOT miracle whip)
1/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp vinegar

Stir together the salad ingredients. Mix the sauce ingredients together. Pour sauce over the salad. Chill in the fridge for a couple of hours or overnight.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bar

I had been missing a chocolate chip cookie bar and wondered if my regular recipe would work after I made it gluten free - the results were delicious! Recipe found here.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
1 1/4 cups Pamela's flour
1 cup Manini's flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups chocolate chips

PREHEAT oven to 375° F.

COMBINE flours, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets. 

BAKE for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

PAN COOKIE VARIATION: Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan or 13 x 9-inch pan. Prepare dough as above. Spread into prepared pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in pan on wire rack. Makes 4 dozen bars.

Pumpkin-Banana Bread

Don't you love pumpkin? I know that I do. This recipe is phenomenal. I'm not kidding. It's so delicious and now I have adapted it to be gluten-free.

Pumpkin-Banana Bread*
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup coconut sugar
½ cup shortening
2 eggs
1 cup bananas, mashed, or 3 small jars banana baby food
¾ cup pumpkin
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup Better Batter flour
3/4 cup Manini's flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp soda
½ tsp salt

Mix together. Grease and sugar** the loaf pans. Mix together sugars and shortening. Add eggs, bananas, pumpkin, & vanilla. Mix well. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, & salt. Pour batter into loaf pans - 2/3rds full and sprinkle sugar on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until done.

*These also are delicious as muffins!

**After you have sprayed the pan with non-stick spray, sprinkle sugar on the bottom and sides of the pan. Once you try this, you'll never go back!

Poached Eggs Cocotte with Cream

To be honest, I don't know what "cocotte" means and perhaps saying "poached" undoes it's meaning, but we'll just go with it for now. I saw this recipe and thought it sounded interesting. The only catch - it called for ramekins to prepare it in...which I don't have...and I didn't want to just go out and buy them, so I adapted this for a poached egg pan, which I DO own. The result was creamy and delicious!

Yeah, I forgot to take a picture and when I remembered, this was all that was left after making 8 eggs. Oh well. You get the idea, right?

Poached Eggs Cocotte with Cream
Kosher Salt
Ground pepper
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
6 tbsp heavy cream
6 eggs

Use small ramekins* or souffle molds holding no more than 1/2 cup. Butter the molds and sprinkle salt, pepper and parsley in the bottom of each. Add 1 tbsp of heavy cream to each ramekin and break an egg on top.

Place the ramekins side by side in a large skillet and surround them with enough tepid water to come partway up the sides. Cover, bring the water to a boil and let cook for approximately 4 minutes, until the eggs are barely set and still sock in the center.

Remove the ramekins from the skillet. Sprinkle with a little salt, pepper, and parsley, if desired. Serve.

*Or try with a poached egg pan!

Salted Potatoes

My husband and I lived in upstate New York our first summer of marriage. We sampled salted potatoes there and they were delicious! Recently, I wanted to recreate them and came across this recipe. There is an entertaining video below that goes along with it. Enjoy!

Salted Potatoes
2 pounds of small new potatoes, scrubbed
5 cups of water
1/2 cup salt
melted butter

Put potatoes in large saucepan. Cover with salt and then cold water. Turn over high heat. Boil for 20 minutes or until potatoes are soft. Drain from water and serve with melted butter. Yields 6 servings.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Grilled Tandoori-Style Chicken and Indian Rice

I made this tonight and it was a hit! I was nervous about cooking with turmeric, but it was delicious. 

Grilled Tandoori-Style Chicken
8-10 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 2 ½ pounds)
¾ cup plain greek yogurt
1 lemon, zested and then juiced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 ½ tbsp minced onion
¼ cup olive oil
1 ½ tsp salt
¼ tsp ground pepper
1 tbsp paprika
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp turmeric
Cilantro, for garnish (optional)

1. Rinse chicken thighs in cold water and pat dry. Trim off excess fat, if necessary, and place chicken in a large, heavy duty ziplock bag. 
2. Place all remaining ingredients (except for cilantro) in a blender or food processor. Process until smooth and then pour into the ziplock bag with the chicken. Toss to coat all chicken pieces. Place in the fridge and marinate from 8-24 hours. 
3. Pre-heat grill to medium-high heat. Lightly oil grill grates to avoid sticking. Place chicken on grill and close lid. Cook 4-6 minutes per side. 

Indian Rice
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp minced onion
2 cups water
2 chicken bouillon cubes
1 tsp ground turmeric
½ tsp curry powder
1 cup jasmine rice

1. Heat medium-sized pot over medium heat. Sauté onion in olive oil. Add water and bouillon cubes until boiling. Use a spoon to break up bouillon cubes.
2. Add turmeric, curry powder, and rice and stir to combine. Reduce heat to low simmer, cover, and cook for 20 minutes or until all water is absorbed. Fluff with a fork.  

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Slow Cooker Taco Meat

This is super easy and goes beautifully in taco salads or as tacos. I like to also make crockpot refried beans when I make this recipe, in separate crockpots, of course.

Photo and recipe found here.

Slow Cooker Taco Meat
2 lbs ground meat of choice
2 pkg taco seasoning
1 1/2 cups water

Around lunchtime, add all ingredients to slow cooker. Cook on high for several hours, give the meat a stir and break it up occasionally. Turn to low after the meat looks like it is mostly cooked. That's it!

Chocolate Mousse Cake

I made this for my birthday this year. It was a hit amongst all my family! I found the recipe here.

Chocolate Mousse Cake

My photo.


1 cup + 2 tablespoons gluten free flour
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)
11 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
3/8 teaspoon kosher salt
3/8 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon sour cream, at room temperature
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 egg + 1 egg yolk (out of shell) at room temperature, beaten
1/2 cup + 1 TBSP warm water (about 95°F)

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup warm water
10 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, chopped
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar

Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease an 8-inch round springform baking pan and set it aside.

Make the cake. In a large bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda and sugar, and whisk to combine well. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the sour cream, oil, eggs and water, mixing to combine after each addition. The batter should be very thickly pourable. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, smooth into an even layer and place in the center of the preheated oven. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out mostly clean or with a few moist crumbs attached (about 30 minutes). Do not overbake. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes in the pan before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely.

While the cake is cooling, make the chocolate mousse. In a small bowl, whisk the cocoa powder into the warm water until it dissolves completely. Set it aside. In a small, heat-safe bowl, place the chopped chocolate and chopped butter, and place over a small saucepan of simmering water, making sure the bowl does not touch the water. Melt the chocolate and butter over the simmering water, stirring occasionally, until smooth.  Alternatively, you can melt them together in the microwave in short, 30-second bursts, stirring well in between. Remove the melted chocolate and butter, and whisk the cocoa powder dissolved in water into it until smooth. Set the bowl aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, whip the heavy whipping cream on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Add the confectioners’ sugar, and whip again until stiff, shiny peaks form. Pour the chocolate mixture into the bowl of whipped cream slowly, carefully folding the ingredients together and taking care not to deflate the whipped cream more than necessary. Fold until no white streaks remain.

Assemble the cake. Spoon the chocolate mousse onto the cake, and smooth the top. Refrigerate the cake until the chocolate mousse is set (about 2 hours). Slice and serve chilled.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Beef Enchiladas with Red Sauce

I made this recipe last night and it was a BIG hit! I doubled the recipe and it made three pans of enchiladas. My family of 7 ate one and a half pans, so we have tasty leftovers tonight. I served mine with kernel corn but I think rice and beans would round out the dish nicely. I modified the recipe I found here.

My photo. I had to hurry and get a picture before the kids had their second servings!

Beef Enchiladas with Red Sauce:
1-2 tbsp olive oil
1 lb. ground beef
1 medium onion, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp black pepper
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup sour cream
Lime juice
1 cup shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
2 tbsp fresh cilantro
1 8-oz can tomato sauce
10-12 small corn tortillas, heated up*
1 - 2 10-oz cans of red enchilada sauce
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large skillet over medium heat, heat oil.  Add ground beef, onion, garlic, chili powder, cumin, coriander, oregano, black pepper, and salt.  Cook until onions are translucent and meat is fully cooked through.

Stir in the sour cream, lime juice, Monterrey Jack cheese, cilantro, and tomato sauce.  

Place 1/4 cup filling on each tortilla, roll up, and place seam-side down in a 9x13 baking dish. Continue until all mixture is used.

Top enchiladas with enchilada sauce, then cheddar cheese.

Bake uncovered 20-25 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

*If you don't heat up the tortillas then they break when you roll them up. I use a tortilla warmer in the microwave for one minute. 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Coconut Oatmeal Cookies

I tried these in Oklahoma when my mom made them. I was hooked! I was easily able to adjust the flour to make them gluten free. Enjoy!

Coconut Oatmeal Cookies:
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup manini's flour
1 1/4 cups better batter flour
1 cup quick oats
1 1/2 cups coconut

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter and sugars. Add the first egg and then the second egg and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients and mix until everything is just incorporated. You don't want to overmix. Roll dough into balls or use cookie scoop. Put the doughballs on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, leaving about 2 inches between each cookie. Bake for 8-10 minutes until edges are very light brown but the center is still light in color. Once the cookies are on the baking sheet out of the oven, let them sit on the baking sheet for about five minutes. And then move them to the cooling rack.

Friday, July 18, 2014

La Bandera (The Flag) Dominican Specialty

My brother served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in the Dominican Republic. He ate this meal almost every day (without the chicken) and he raved about how delicious it was. During my trip to OK, I asked him to teach me. It took us a couple of hours to make this meal but the results were sumptuous!

La Bandera (The Flag)
5lb chicken breasts
Soy sauce 
2-3 cans Goya red beans, undrained
1 bulb garlic
1 Anaheim pepper
Knorr chicken bouillon
1 package Shallots (3-4 count)
Garlic paste
Brown sugar
Maggi Sazón Completo

First: peel and crush garlic - my brother uses a mortar and pestle to crush the garlic. It takes some time to crush it. I also use this mincer to mince the garlic - which is MUCH easier than the pilón. Cut off top of Anaheim pepper. Tap pepper upside-down to remove seeds. Slice and dice Anaheim pepper. Peel shallots. Slice and dice shallots. Put garlic, pepper, and shallots in a bowl and stir them up. Stir in two tablespoons of chicken bouillon and a little Sazón Completo.

This is the mortar and pestle (pilón) that Coulter bought in the DR.

Chicken Bouillon 

Maggi Sazón Completo modeled by my son, Silas. 

Cut fat off from chicken breasts. Cut chicken into inch-sized chunks. Put chicken in large bowl and cover with water and 1/3-1/2 cup of soy sauce. Crack some pepper on top of the chicken. Stir. If you have some garlic paste, stir in two tablespoons. 

Cook two cups of rice with four cups of water. Add two tbsp of olive oil and 1-2 tsp salt to the water. Add 2-3 tbsp of chicken bouillon to water. Boil water until water level is equal with rice, stirring occasionally. Turn to low and cover with lid. Cook for 30-45 minutes.

***Another option is to use your rice cooker. Put in 2 cups of rice and add 3 1/2 cups of water. Add 2 tbsp olive oil and 1-2tsp salt. Stir in 2-3 tbsp of chicken bouillon to the water. I will sometimes add a spoonful of the garlic/pepper/shallot mixture to the rice. Then push the button for cooking rice. This is much easier than on the stove top. 

In a large skillet, put two tbsp olive oil. Turn to medium-high heat. Add most of the garlic, pepper, and shallot mixture to the skillet. Brown until tender. Add cans of red beans (undrained) and then fill up one can of beans halfway with water and stir that in. Sprinkle in some salt and some Sazón Completo. Stir in a cilantro bunch - don't cut it, just put it in as it is. Cover with a lid and wait for it to come to a boil. After it begins to boil, use a flat-bottomed cup to smash the beans for 3-5 minutes. Cover with a lid. Wait ten minutes and then repeat smashing the beans. Wait another ten minutes and repeat. Remove bunch of cilantro from pan and throw away. 

***Another option for making the beans is to follow the instructions above, except you take one can of the red beans, undrained, and put in a food processor. After you take the cilantro out of the beans, stir in the processed beans. This way you can omit smashing the beans like the above instructions. 

In a large electric skillet, thinly coat the bottom with olive oil. Sprinkle brown sugar on top of the oil. Cook brown sugar and oil on 350 degrees for five minutes or until brown sugar turns black and begins smoking. Grab a handful of the chicken from the bowl, letting the marinade run off a little, and put in electric skillet to form a single layer. Sprinkle with brown sugar. You can add a tablespoon or two of the garlic, pepper, shallot mixture to the chicken. Flip over chicken to cook on both sides. Sprinkle more brown sugar on top of chicken. PLEASE NOTE: if you put the lid of the electric skillet on while the chicken is cooking, it will not develop a sweet thick sauce coating on the chicken. Resist the urge to use the lid. I speak from experience. 

After the rice is cooked, scoop out most of the rice - leaving a thin layer of cooked rice on the bottom. Return the pot to medium heat and cook the rice until crispy. (Optional step)

Crispy rice. 

Finished product: rice

Sliced avocado. 

Brown sugar chicken. 


Slice up some bananas. 

La Bandera = delicioso!

Friday, May 23, 2014

S'mores Cookies

This is one of my prior non-gluten-free recipes that I adapted. They turned out beautifully! I bought those super-size marshmallows and made the cookies extra big to accommodate the large marshmallow size. They were a HUGE hit. And these are perfect for summertime picnics and outings.

S'mores Cookies
¾ cup softened butter
½ cup sugar
½ cup brown sugar
1 egg
2 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 ¼ cup gluten free graham cracker crumbs (I bought Kinnikinnick brand)
1 1/4 cup gluten free flour (with xanthan gum included)
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
1/8 tsp cinnamon (optional)
1 cup mini chocolate chips
24 large marshmallows (I used the gigantic ones!)

Cream butter & sugars. Beat in egg, milk, & vanilla. Combine flour, crumbs, soda, salt, & cinnamon; mix. Stir in chips. Use parchment paper to line baking sheets. Bake at 375° for 8-10 minutes or until done. Let cool on racks. Place ½ of cookies on a plate and place 1 marshmallow on each cookie. Cook in microwave for 15 seconds until puffed. Immediately place other cookie on top & press down to make a sandwich.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Classic Chocolate Mousse

Right after I decided to embrace the switch to eating gluten free, I came across this recipe and I remember reading over and over the ingredients to MAKE SURE it was gluten free. (Am I alone in this action?!) I am glad I hung onto the recipe and made it last week. It is rich and velvety and delicious.

Classic Chocolate Mousse
3/4 cup chilled heavy cream, divided
4 large egg yolks
1/4 cup strong Choffy, room temperature
3 tablespoons sugar, divided
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
6 ounces semisweet chocolate (60-72% cacao), chopped
2 large egg whites

Beat 1/2 cup cream in medium bowl until stiff peaks form; cover and chill.

Combine egg yolks, Choffy, salt, and 2 Tbsp. sugar in a large metal bowl. Set over a saucepan of gently simmering water (do not allow bowl to touch water). Cook, whisking constantly, until mixture is lighter in color and almost doubled in volume and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the mixture registers 160 degrees, about 1 minute.

Remove bowl from pan. Add chocolate; whisk until melted and smooth. Let stand, whisking occasionally, until room temperature.

Using an electric mixer, beat egg white in another medium bowl on medium speed until foamy. With mixer running, gradually beat in remaining 1 Tbsp. sugar. Increase speed to high and beat until firm peaks form. Fold egg whites into chocolate in 2 additions; fold whipped cream into mixture just to blend.

Divide mousse among six teacups or 4-oz. ramekins. Chill until firm, at least 2 hours. DO AHEAD: Mousse can be made 1 day ahead; cover and keep chilled. Let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes before serving.

Before serving, whisk remaining 1/4 cup cream in a small bowl until soft peaks form; dollop over mousse.

Corn Casserole

I made this last week for some company and this it the item everyone went back to for seconds. It also reheats well.

Corn Casserole
1 (15 1/4-ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
1 (14 3/4-ounce) can cream-style corn
1 (8-ounce) gluten-free corn muffin mix*
1 cup sour cream
1/2 stick butter, melted
1 to 1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl, stir together the 2 cans of corn, corn muffin mix, sour cream, and melted butter. Pour into a greased 9 by 13-inch casserole dish. Bake for 45 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven and top with Cheddar. Return to oven for 5 to 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Let stand for at least 5 minutes and then serve warm.

*Homemade GF corn muffin mix:
1½ cups (188 grams) GF flour, such as Manini's (contains xanthan gum)
1½ cups (240 grams) yellow cornmeal
½ cup (100 grams) sugar
2 tablespoons (29 grams) baking powder
½ teaspoon (3 grams) baking soda
½ teaspoon (3 grams) salt
1 tablespoon plus ½ teaspoon (18 ml) sunflower oil


Crepes have been a family birthday tradition since I was a child. When my son, Keith, requested crepes for his birthday this past week, I wasn't surprised, but I was a bit worried how my old recipe would fare with a switch to gluten free. The results were delicious! They actually taste more like Blini - the Russian version of crepes. They are a bit thicker and have a more egg-flavor. I loved eating them plain. But they are also delicious with blended strawberries and whip cream. Yum!

These are more difficult to make large, so I made them smaller. So good.

1/2 cup GF Manini's flour (contains xanthan gum)
1/2 cup GF rice-based flour, such as Cup 4 Cup (contains xanthan gum)
½ tsp salt
Powdered sugar
3 eggs
1 cup milk
5 tbsp melted butter
Strawberries, blended with water and a little sugar
Whip cream, sweetened

Sift flour, salt & 2 tbsp powdered sugar together. Beat eggs until light. Add milk, mixing well. Add butter. If batter is too thick, add more milk until it is pourable. 

Pour in enough batter to cover bottom of 8 inch hot greased frying pan or a griddle. Brown crepes to color desired. Repeat until all batter is used. Let cool. Spoon blended strawberries in middle of crepes and roll up. Top with whip cream or powdered sugar.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Are you still doing that gluten-free diet?

I get asked that a lot. And YES, I am. And today was the first week where I saw the scale go down. I lost one whole pound and that's exciting! But even more exciting is that I have had a menstrual cycle right on cue for the past 3 months. They have only been 1-3 days long - but they are consistent! Progress.

I am gearing up for a road trip to Oklahoma to see family. I am a bit worried about preparing food for myself that is gluten-free in someone else's home. I have even thought about taking my rice cooker with me! I imagine it will work out, but even the thought of being on the road and trying to find snacks and foods that will work is a bit stressful. I am seriously thinking to order a couple of GF pizzas from Dominos to take in the car!

My next goal is to cut back on sugar. I admit that I don't want to do this - but I feel that I should. So, I am making plans to do so.

I am exercising 4x a week for 20 minutes and I can feel myself getting stronger from it. Onward and upward!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Baked French Toast

This is one of my pre-GF recipes that I have adapted with my delicious breadmaker bread. So good you don't even know it's GF. I promise.

My photo

Baked French Toast
1 loaf GF breadmaker bread, recipe found here
8 whole Eggs
2 cups Whole Milk
1/2 cup Heavy Cream
1/2 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
2 Tablespoons Vanilla Extract
1/2 cup Flour
1/2 cup Firmly Packed Brown Sugar
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1 stick Cold Butter, Cut Into Pieces
Powdered Sugar
Maple Flavoring
Vanilla Flavoring

For the French toast: Grease the 13x9 inch baking pan. Tear the bread into chunks, or cut into cubes, and evenly distribute in the pan. Crack the eggs in a big bowl. Whisk together the eggs, milk, cream, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla. Pour evenly over the bread. Cover the pan tightly and store in the fridge until needed (overnight preferably). Or you can make it and bake it right away---delicious no matter what!

For the topping: Mix the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a separate bowl. Stir together using a fork. Add the butter and with a pastry cutter, and mix it all together until the mixture resembles fine pebbles. Store in a plastic bag in the fridge. *Sometimes I alter this step and just spread it out over the casserole before putting in the fridge. It has worked well both ways.

When you're ready to bake the casserole, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Remove the casserole from the fridge and sprinkle the topping over the top. Bake for 45 minutes for a softer, more bread pudding texture or for 1 hour-plus or more for a firmer, crisper texture.

In a small bowl, add some powdered sugar, 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, and 1/4 tsp maple flavoring. Stir in a little milk until you reach a glaze consistency. Pour over Baked French Toast once it comes out of the oven.

3 months and counting

Everything is going much more smoothly with the gluten free diet. I have my regular recipes that I enjoy and try to make news ones each week. I made a bread-maker bread recipe last week that was really good. I used the leftovers to make a breakfast casserole and I seriously didn't know that I was eating gluten free! This one things will allow me to make some recipes that I have been missing, such as my cheese souffle! And things like that are so encouraging.

This past week, there was a luau at my church. It was a date night for couples to raise money for girls camp. We signed up to go and they were serving Hawaiian haystacks. I knew I couldn't eat the chicken gravy on the top so I brought some leftover white bean chicken chili to use instead. It worked beautifully! Plus, my friend who is also gluten-free came and had forgotten to bring a gravy replacement, so I was able to share my chili with her. I felt so good being prepared and being able to still participate in the date night without feeling left out. And I brought some of my homemade GF bread with me. Yummy!

My weight has been the same throughout these 3 months. Sometimes I am frustrated with that and other times I am so grateful that it hasn't gone up! I feel encouraged through prayer that in time weight loss will come.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Lemon Bars

I love lemon bars. I used my regular recipe and turned it into a gluten free version and was THRILLED with the results. My daughter, Anna, said that the GF ones are better than the regular ones. There you have it, folks!

Lemon Bars
½ cup confectioners' sugar
2 cups plus 6 tbsp. flour, divided (I used half of Maninis flour and the other half I used this flour)*
Pinch of salt
1 cup room-temperature butter, sliced into 8 pieces
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
6 tbsp. lemon juice
Grated rind of one lemon

1. Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease a 13×9-in. baking pan.
2. In a food processor, blend confectioners' sugar, 2 cups flour and salt. Add butter and pulse until mixture is crumbly. Press into pan and bake for 20 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, beat eggs, 2 cups sugar, 6 tbsp. flour and lemon juice until well combined. Stir in lemon rind. Pour on top of hot crust and bake for an additional 25 minutes. Cool completely, then sprinkle with confectioners' sugar. Cut into squares.

*If you use a flour that doesn't already contain xanthan gum, you will need to add some to that flour. I wanted to use Maninis because it isn't a rice-based flour and I find that when I use only rice-based flours that the results are more grainy in nature, so I like to use half of a rice-based flour and then use Maninis for the other half.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Pork Carnitas

This recipe takes time and effort. It is worth it. The leftovers were divine.

Photo found here.

Pork Carnitas
4 pound boneless pork butt, fat trimmed and cut into 2 inch cubes
1 1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
1 onion, peeled and halved
2 bay leaves
1 tsp dried oregano
2 Tb fresh lime juice
2 C water
1 medium orange, juiced and keep the spent halves

1.  Adjust oven rack to lower middle position and heat to 300 degrees.  Combine all the ingredients in a large Dutch oven, including the spent orange halves and juice.  Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium-high heat, uncovered.  Once it simmers, cover pot and transfer it to the oven.  Cook until the meat falls apart when prodded with a fork, about 2 hours.
2.  Remove the pot from the oven and turn on the broiler.  Use a slotted spoon to remove the meat from the pan and place it on a large foil-lined jelly roll pan.  Remove and discard everything from the pot except for the cooking liquid.  Place pot over high heat on the stove and boil until thick and syrupy, about 20 minutes.  You should have about 1 C of liquid remaining when it is finished.
3.  While the liquid is reducing, use two forks to pull each cube of pork into three equal sized pieces.  Once the liquid has become a syrup, gently fold in the pieces of pork into the pot.  Try not to break up the pork any further.  Taste and add additional salt and pepper.
4.  Spread the pork back onto the foil lined pan and evenly spread the meat around so there is a single layer of meat.  Place the jelly roll pan on the lower middle rack of the oven and broil until the top of the meat is well browned and edges are slightly crisp, about 5 to 8 minutes.  Using a wide metal spatula, flip the pieces of meat and broil the other side until well browned and edges are slightly crisp, 5 to 8 minutes.  Serve immediately in a tortilla with all your favorite toppings.

Pulled Pork with Ginger Sauce

I made this on Sunday. It was really nice and makes great leftovers. I served it over rice. I found the recipe here. I love my Taste of Home magazine.

Pulled Pork with Ginger Sauce Recipe
Photo found here.

Pulled Pork with Ginger Sauce
2 medium onions, chopped
1 boneless pork shoulder butt roast (3 pounds), trimmed
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 cup ketchup
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons honey
4 teaspoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon minced fresh gingerroot
Cooked rice
Thinly sliced green onions

Place onions in a 4- or 5-qt. slow cooker. Sprinkle roast with salt and pepper; add to slow cooker. Cook, covered, on low 6-8 hours or until pork is tender.

Remove pork and onions; cool slightly. Discard cooking juices or save for another use. Shred pork with two forks. Return pork and onions to slow cooker. In a small bowl, whisk ketchup, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, honey, butter, coriander and ginger. Stir into pork mixture.

Cook, covered, on low 1 hour longer. Serve over rice; top with green onions. Yield: 6 servings.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Flourless Chocolate Cake Recipe

I made this recipe last night so we could eat it for dessert today. I couldn't wait, so I stole a small piece while mixing up dinner. It is out of this world fabulous. Being gluten-free doesn't mean you miss out on decadence! Eat your heart out, chocoholics! I substituted Choffy for the coffee. I found the recipe here

Flourless Chocolate Cake - easy and gluten-free!
Photo found here

Choffy Flourless Chocolate Cake Recipe
16 oz. solid dark chocolate (use your favorite GF dark chocolate bars)
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup very hot strong Choffy
2 sticks butter, room temperature, cut into pieces
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
8 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract- yes, a tablespoon!


Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Prepare a 10-cup Springform pan by lining the bottom with a circle of buttered parchment. Wrap the outside of the whole pan (underneath, to catch any leaks) with a big piece of foil.

Break up the dark chocolate into pieces and put it into a microwave-safe bowl. Add hot Choffy and stir. It probably won't melt all the chocolate, so put in the microwave for 30 seconds and then stir. Put back in the microwave if the chocolate isn't melted all the way. Stir. Add sugar and mix well.

Add the butter pieces and the cocoa powder, and mix to combine. Add the eggs and vanilla, and process till smooth. The batter will be liquid and creamy.

Pour the batter into the lined Springform pan.

Bake at 350º F in the center of the oven, till puffed and cracked and lovely - about 55 to 65 minutes. Use a wooden toothpick to check the center of the cake; pick should emerge clean, with maybe a crumb.

Place the cake pan on a wire rack to cool. The cake will deflate. Don't worry!

When the cake is completely cooled, cover, and chill it for at least three hours (best up to eight hours), until serving. Overnight is even better.

Serve thin slices with drizzled chocolate sauce or a sprinkle of sifted powdered sugar. Garnish with a fresh berries or mint leaves.

Yield: 12 to 15 slices

Choffy Ice Cream Float

I saw a similar recipe made with coffee here. I don't drink coffee, myself, so Choffy was a natural replacement and my family loved it! Such a fast and easy treat. Perfect for any time of the year!

Choffy Ice Cream Float

Hot brewed Choffy
Sweet Cream* creamer, optional
Chocolate Ice Cream
Vanilla Ice Cream

Pour a tiny amount of creamer in the bottom of a glass, just enough to barely coat the bottom. Pour in hot brewed Choffy to fill the glass half full. Add one scoop of chocolate and vanilla ice cream. Top with more Choffy. Enjoy! So easy and so delicious.

*You can use any kind of creamer to change things up. 

Monday, April 7, 2014

2 months!

2 months and counting! It feels so good to be gluten-free. I have seen benefits that make me never want to eat another glutenous food again. Really, it is worth it to change out the flours and forego the bread at restaurants. I am excited for the future. This past week my menstrual cycle started. I haven't had that in 9 months. And it only lasted 2 days, but it is a start. One of the reasons Tyler wanted me to go GF is because he heard benefits about it helping with inconsistent cycles. I have a feeling that in a few months, it will be better than it has been in years. So looking forward to that! (yes, really!) Feeling so positive about the future!

My weight is still the same, give or take 1-2 pounds. It is nice to see consistency, but I am eager to see the scale go down. When I pray about it, I feel the impression of "not yet", so I am waiting on the hand of The Lord. I know that God will help me when the time is right. For now, I am learning how to eat better in the world of gluten-free.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Favorite Gluten-Free Dinner

I have made Taco Salad a few times in the past 7 weeks. I am trying not to make it too often, so I don't get tired of it. I make slow cooker taco meat AND crockpot refried beans. I put chopped lettuce on a plate, spoon on some taco meat and beans, then add some cheese and maybe a bit of ranch dressing and eat with tortilla chips. It is SO comforting and I seriously don't feel like I am missing anything in this fabulous gluten-free meal. Yum.

Otherwise, things are going well. I have boxed up some gluten food items to give away: white flour, panko bread crumbs, italian bread crumbs, and some cracked wheat. When I first began eating GF, I didn't want to get rid of my gluten foods. Maybe I thought it would be good to have them in case I wanted to eat something with white flour...I don't know. But now I have 7 weeks of experience and I feel confident giving them away.

I am on the search for an all purpose gluten free flour that I like best. So far I have tried:
Bob Mills
Jules Gluten-free flour

I am thinking of trying better batter, C4C gluten free flour, and Maninis. I hope to find something that works really well. I made a Jules cookie mix yesterday and it was awful. I had one bite and that was it. Grainy texture. ::shudder::

Monday, March 24, 2014

6 weeks

6 weeks in...still plugging along. People will ask if I'm doing the "gluten-free" thing still, and I reply that I am. In fact, I don't plan to stop anytime soon. I feel like it is helping me in some other ways, as well. I know that I rely upon food to help me when I am stressed or upset. This past week we have had some difficult news in regards to moving and it had me depressed. My first thought was to eat something gluteny, but I didn't. I realized that I can't use food to get me through tough things. This is good progress. I know it will only improve.

Still trying new recipes. I am on the lookout for things I can make ahead to take on the go. Unfortunately, all these recipes are sweets. I am wanting to find more savory snacks to make and take.