Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Sweet Potato Souffle

1 large can sweet potatoes (or yams) drained & mashed
1 C. sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 C. milk
3/4 stick of butter (don't use margarine)

Mix all together and put into a greased 9X13 dish.

1 C. brown sugar
1/3 C. (a little less) rice flour
1/3 C. butter (don't use margarine)
1 C. chopped pecans

Melt butter and pour over sugar flour & pecans. Cook at 350 for about 30 minutes or until the center isn't jiggly.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Egg Rolls

I learned how to make these from a friend's mom and they have been a favorite ever since. They are not Asian in any sense of the word other than the egg roll wrappers used. It's a completely Americanized dish and we love them. Hubby & the kids beg me to make them. To make them gluten free, use rice paper wrappers instead of egg roll wrappers. Rice paper wrappers/sheets can be bought at just about any Asian food store. They are shelf stable and need to be rehydrated to use them. I was thrilled when I found them and we all shouted for joy that we didn't have to give up our egg rolls. :)

1 lb. ground beef
3-4 potatoes, scrubbed & diced
1 medium onion, finely diced or put through a food processor
2 cans french cut green beans, drained
salt & pepper

Brown ground beef with onion & salt & pepper. When ground beef is cooked through, add the potatoes and cook until potatoes are tender. Add green beans and remove from heat. Let mixture cool enough to be able to handle it and so that the heat won't melt the egg roll wrappers. Put a small amount of filling in the center of a wrapper, roll and seal. Repeat until filling & wrappers are gone. Fry egg rolls until golden brown and drain on paper towels. These are delicious with sweet & sour or duck sauce. You can also experiment with the fillings.

We had these for dinner last night and we filled them with the above listed ingredients and a bag of tricolor coleslaw mix. I love coleslaw mix for stuff like this because it's already cut up. All I have to do it cook it. :)

Friday, August 19, 2011

Kisha's Meatballs

Otherwise known as the most delicious meatballs ever! I got this recipe from one of my online friends, Kisha when she shared it in a Close To My Heart consultant forum. I've made lots of meatballs over the years, but none come close to these when you're looking for a plate piled high with spaghetti & meatballs or a hearty meatball sub. Mmmmm. These are the best! Oh, and to make them even better....I simply put them in sauce in my crockpot. Dinner doesn't get much easier than that!

To make this recipe gluten free, see my notes at the end of the recipe.

2 lbs. ground beef
2 eggs
2 cups Italian seasoned bread crumbs*
1 small palmful oregano
1 small palmful parsley
1 small palmful basil
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper

Mix together and roll into 2" balls. (a Pampered Chef cookie scoop works great for this). Plop into sauce & let simmer at least 4 hours until cooked through. The longer they cook, the softer they are, the more delish they are!

*To make gluten free, substitute gluten free bread crumbs. You can buy them most anywhere that sells gluten free products or you can make your own.

To make my own, I simply save all the heels from the loaves of gluten free bread that I buy (or make). I store them in a ziplock bag (in the fridge) until I have enough to make a decent batch of breadcrumbs. I run the bread through my food processor until crumbly and then store in the freezer in a container or ziplock bag until I need them.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Chocolate Whoopie Pies

This recipe was published in the July 10th issue of Parade Magazine. I knew when I saw it that I just had to try making it, but gluten free. So I can't tell you how it tastes made with the white flour it calls for, but my gluten free version tastes wonderful! They are incredibly sinful and remind me of ding dongs, only without the chocolate coating. :)

Thanks to a friend I realized that I left brown sugar off of the list of ingredients for the pies. Thanks Donna for catching that mistake!


1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour (I used a gluten free flour blend. See below.)
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 Tablespoons butter, at room temperature
4 Tablespoons vegetable shortening
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups milk

Marshmallow Filling:
1 1/2 cups marshmallow fluff (I use one whole jar)
3/4 cup vegetable shortening
3/4 - 1 cup confectioners sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

1.)Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
2.) Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
3.) Beat butter, shortening, and brown sugar on low until just combined. Increase speed to medium and beat for 3 minutes. Add egg & vanilla and beat for 2 more minutes.
4.) Add half of flour mixture and half of milk to batter. Beat briefly on low. Beat in remaining flour mixture and milk.
5.) Using a spoon or cookie scoop, drop onto parchment lined baking sheets, 2 inches apart. Bake one sheet at a time for 10 minutes. Allow to cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
6.) To make filling: Beat fluff and shortening for 3 minutes on medium. Reduce speed to low, and add sugar and vanilla. Beat until incorporated. Increase speed to medium, beat until fluffy.
7.) Sandwich filling between the flat sides of two pies. Repeat.

Gluten Free Flour Blend (large batch)

5 cups brown rice flour
1 1/2 cups sorghum flour
1 1/2 cups tapioca flour
2 2/3 cups cornstarch
1 cup potato starch
1/2 cup potato flour
1 1/2 Tablespoons xantham gum

Mix all ingredients together until well blended. Store in the refrigerator till ready to use.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Jello Surprise

This is one of my favorite recipes from my growing up years that was served at holiday dinners or large family gatherings. I know it seems an odd combination of ingredients,but trust me it's good. Another instance of Jello at it's finest. ;)

1 small box jello
16 oz. low fat, small curd cottage cheese
1 can crushed pineapple, well drained
1 (8oz) container Cool Whip

Add all ingredients together and mix well until jello powder is dissolved and everything is well blended.

Monday, May 2, 2011

PB & J Bars

I found this recipe in the April 17, 2010 issue of Family Circle Magazine. My daughter made it once the way the recipe says and really liked it. When cleaning off the side of my fridge of all sorts of papers and such under magnets I came across this recipe and decided to make it gluten free. It's definitely a great recipe made either way. I mean what's not to love about PB & J, no matter what the form?

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour (I used a homemade gluten free flour blend)
1/4 teaspoon baking powder (make sure it's gluten free)
1/8 teaspoon salt
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (make sure it's gluten free)
1 cup seedless strawberry jam (I made mine with raspberry - use whatever your flavor preference is)
2/3 cup salted peanuts, chopped

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place aluminum foil in the bottom and overhanging the sides of a 9x13x2 inch baking pan; set aside.

In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, and salt until well blended.

Beat butter and sugar on medium high speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add egg and beat until incorporated. Add peanut butter and beat until blended, about 2 minutes.

On low speed, add in flour and beat just until blended. Stir in vanilla extract. Spread into prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and spread with jam and sprinkle with peanuts; bake an additional 5 minutes. Cool completely on wire rack, then lift from pan using aluminum foil; cut into 18 bars.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Butternut Squash Soup

I found this recipe in Parade Magazine in the Sunday paper a while back. Not everyone in our family loves butternut squash as much as I do, but even those who won't eat the squash will eat this soup!

I don't bother with the optional garnishes or nutmeg when spicing it and it still turns out great.

1 butternut squash (about 3 pounds)
3 slender or 1 1/2 large leeks, white parts only, split lengthwise, washed, and cut into 1 inch pieces.
3 cups whole milk
3 cups water
salt & pepper
freshly grated nutmeg

Peel the squash. Remove the seed and string, then cut into 1 -2 inch chunks. Put in soup pot or dutch oven with leeks, milk, and water. Salt generously and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 25-30 minutes, or until squash is soft enough to mash when pressed lightly with the back of a spoon.

Using an immersion blender, blender, or food processor, puree the soup in small batches until it is very smooth. Thin to desired consistency with milk or water. Season with salt & pepper to taste. You may also season with nutmeg.

Optional Garnish: 1 tart apple, peeled and finely diced, about 1/3 cup toasted hazelnuts or walnuts, about 1/2 cup creme fraiche or heavy cream.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Gluten Free Coconut Cake w/Buttercream Frosting

Rather than typing out the recipe today, I am being lazy and only sharing a link. I made this cake for Easter and it was fabulous. It has a wonderful flavor and fabulous texture. It reminds me of a cross between a normal cake and a pound cake with it's density. The only thing I would recommend changing is the frosting. For some reason the frosting recipe calls for 2 1/2 cups of shortening. I'm thinking it must be a typo but haven't found a correction for it yet. While the frosting was the right consistency, it was simply too greasy for me. So please, give the recipe a try and let me know what you do with the frosting and how it turns out for you.

Gluten Free Coconut Cake w/Buttercream Frosting


Not the prettiest picture, I guess I should've made that cut a little more neatly. LOL But it was definitely yummy!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Hamburger Rice Skillet

I created this recipe with some leftovers and odds and ends of veggies I had in the fridge one night when I was desperate to get dinner on the table. It has become a dinnertime staple and any leftovers are quickly gone.

1 lb. hamburger
1 medium onion, diced
5-6 large carrots - peeled and sliced
2-3 stalks celery, diced
2 cups white rice
1 quart beef broth ( I use Pacific Foods Organic, which is also gluten free)
2 TB soy sauce (I use La Choy which is gluten free)
2 cups frozen peas
Black Pepper to taste

Brown hamburger with onion and black pepper. When no longer pink, add celery, carrots, soy sauce, rice, and beef broth. Cover and simmer until the liquids have been absorbed and the rice is tender. Add frozen peas and heat through.

The first time I made this dish it was with leftover roast beef and veggies that needed used up. I've also made it with leftover chicken (and chicken broth). You can add as many or as few veggies as you like. They can be fresh, frozen, or leftover. If using leftover or frozen veggies, you will want to add them when the rice is done and only cook long enough to heat them through so they don't become mushy.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Mexican Rice

I've been trying for quite a while to recreate the Mexican Rice that you find at most any Mexican restaurant. I think I have finally found the right combination of ingredients and balance. Please note that I use a rice cooker when making this but I don't see any reason why you can't make it in a covered pan on the stove.

2 cups white rice
4 cups water
1 can diced tomatoes - do NOT drain
1 can diced green chiles
1/2 cup diced onion
1/4 - 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
chili powder
black pepper

I don't have measurements on the spices because I simply added them until it seemed about right. I would start with 1/8 or 1/4 teaspoon of cumin, 1 teaspoon of chili powder, and a pinch of black pepper.

Add all ingredients into a rice cooker and cook on the "white rice" setting. If using a pan on the stove, bring water to a boil, add all other ingredients, reduce heat, cover, and simmer till rice is done.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Cocktail Sauce

One of my holiday treats is to buy shrimp. I don't do anything special to it...I just buy it already cooked, deveined, peeled and all that and simply dip it in cocktail sauce and eat it. Truly one of the simple pleasures in life! Well if you like shrimp it is. ;) Anyway, the cocktail sauce that came with the shrimp platters I bought was absolutely nasty and we had company coming over. So I sent DH to the store for cocktail sauce. Not always an easy thing when you also have to make sure whatever you buy is gluten free. While DH and DD were at the store looking at the few varieties available, a woman leaned over to DH and conspiratorially whispered "I never buy it anymore. Homemade is sooo much better". So she proceeded to tell them how to make it and they bought the supplies (along with a bottle of storebought sauce just in case).

Well we tried her recipe and I wish I knew who she was so I could thank her. I am in love! LOL I don't have any real measurements so it's something you'll have to play around with.

Ketchup (I think I used about a cup)
Lemon Juice ( I used 2 caps full, from a 32 oz bottle)
Horseradish to taste

Just mix it all together and if you want it zestier, simply add a little more horseradish. Incredibly simple with stunning, taste bud pleasing results. Now I have to figure out what to do with the bottle of store bought cocktail sauce because it just doesn't even compare. LOL

Artichoke Dip

I tasted this yummy dip at a Christmas party and just had to have the recipe. DH & I love artichoke dip & I especially love spinach artichoke dip. Yup, you can add spinach to this too. Yum!

1 can artichokes
1 can diced green chiles
1 (2 0z) jar pimentos
1 1/2 cups light mayo
8 oz. monterrey jack cheese, divided
1/2 cup fresh shredded parmesan cheese
spinach - steamed, cooled, and excess water removed (spinach is optional)

Mix all ingredients together, using only half of the monterrey jack cheese. Place in a baking dish and top with remaining cheese. Bake at 325 degrees for 45 minutes. Serve warm with veggies, crackers, or tortilla chips for dipping.