Thursday, December 15, 2011

Reindeer Food

Seriously addictive and extremely easy!!

Rice Chex cereal
White baking chocolate
Crushed candy canes

There really isn't a measured amount for this recipe, but this is what I used... 1 1/2 boxes of Rice Chex, one 24 ounce package of baking chocolate blocks and 10 candy canes.  That gave me 125 mini muffin cups of reindeer food.

All you have to do is melt down the white chocolate (in a double broiler), pour over Rice Chex cereal and stir until all the cereal is completely covered. Then sprinkle your crushed candy canes over the top.  Spread out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper until cooled.  I made mine for my kids' school class parties so I spooned a little into mini muffin liners to make it easy for the kids to handle.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Sheet Cake

One of the food blogs I like to follow is Picky Palate.  It is not a GF food blog, but many of her recipes have been very easy to convert.  This is one of the latest of her recipes that I tried and they are delicious!!  Happy Halloween everyone.

1 box  Betty Crocker GF Yellow cake mix
4 eggs
1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
1/2 cup milk or buttermilk
3.4 ounce box Vanilla Instant Pudding Mix
1/2 cup sour cream
15 ounce can pumpkin
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cups powdered sugar
1/4-1/2 cup heavy cream (start w 1/4 cup and add a little more cream if needed

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and spray a jelly roll pan with non stick cooking spray.
2. Place cake mix, eggs, oil, milk, pudding, sour cream and pumpkin into a stand or electric mixer, beating until well combined, about 1 1/2 minutes. Pour into prepared pan, spreading evenly.
3. Place butter into a microwave safe bowl and melt, about 30-40 seconds. Add brown sugar and cinnamon to bowl, mixing until combined. Drizzle mixture evenly over cake then take a knife and run it through to swirl.
4. Bake cake for 30-35 minutes, until cooked through and remove. Place powdered sugar and cream into a large bowl and mix until creamy and smooth. Drizzle over warm cake then let cool for 20 minutes before cutting into squares. Refrigerate if not serving same day.  Enjoy with milk!

Makes 16 to 20 squares

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Chocolate Pumpkin Wafers

These were so easy!  I just took some baking chocolate and melted it down in a double broiler, filled the bottom of the silicone pumpkin mold with about a teaspoon of melted chocolate, sprinkled some sprinkles on top and let them chill for about 15 minutes.  Remove from mold and voila, you have cute little pumpkin wafers!  These are for the kids to pass out to their classmates. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Never on Sunday, Sundae

My sister spent a few weeks with us this summer.  She whipped up this very tasty ice cream cookie sundae.  She just used the cookie recipe from here.  For the sundae recipe, instead of making lots of individual cookies, you just need one or two 8-9 inch round cake pans.  Line them with parchment paper, divide the cookie dough in half and spread evenly into both pans.  Bake as directed in cookie recipe or until cookie is golden brown and done looking.  Let cool slightly and then top with favorite sundae cream, chocolate and caramel sauce, whipped topping and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.

**You only to make half a batch of cookie dough to get two 8-9 inch round cookies.

Never on Sunday, Sundae
1/2 batch of cookie dough recipe (here)
Chocolate sauce
Caramel sauce
Whipped topping
Cinnamon and sugar

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Salsa Chicken

 My sister called me the other day and mentioned that she was trying this new recipe.  I told her to let me know how it turned out.  Yep, good enough that I got a phone call saying I had better try it!  So here it is. Thanks for sharing Cozy!!  The recipe came from here, and I switched out the creamed soup for a GF version.

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts 
1/3 C  creamed soup mix (found here)
1  1/4 C water

1-2 tsp GF chicken bullion or chicken paste
1 cup salsa
1 TB taco seasoning
1/2 can black beans (rinsed and drained)

1 cup sour cream 
optional: grated cheddar cheese to sprinkle on top when serving

Add dry soup mix, water and chicken bullion on stove top and cook until blended and thickened slightly.  Place chicken, soup, and salsa in slow cooker. Sprinkle taco seasoning over everything. Cook on low for 6 hours. If shredding the chicken, pull the breasts out and shred; return back to slow cooker. Stir in sour cream and continue cooking until everything is heated through.  Serve over rice.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Texas Sheet Cake

This is like eating a little piece of heaven!! I won't publicly admit how often we have been eating this at our house lately!! It is that good.

Texas Sheet Cake
2 C GF flour (I use featherlite)
2 C sugar
1 ¾ tsp xanthan gum
1 C butter
½ C cocoa
1 C water
½ C buttermilk
2 eggs slightly beaten
1 ½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla

Sift together sugar and GF flour and xanthan gum and set aside. On the stove top, combine butter, cocoa and water and bring to a boil. Pour over flour mixture, mix together and cool slightly. Stir in buttermilk and add eggs, baking soda and vanilla. Pour into a greased baking pan (18 x 13 x 1). Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

½ C butter
¼ C cocoa
1 tsp vanilla
1 TB milk
16 oz. powdered sugar

Melt butter and add remaining ingredients. I only add enough powdered sugar until I reach the desired consistency of frosting that I am after. If you want a very moist and gooey cake, then spread the frosting on the cake right out of the oven so that it melts into the cake. If you want more of a brownie effect, let the cake cool and then spread frosting on top. (Don’t make the frosting to thick for this option as it will tear up the top of the cake.)

Optional ingredients to add as toppings…
Chocolate Syrup
Powdered sugar

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Chicken and Crackers

I was cruising through Costco the other day and they were sampling these little snacks.  I got really excited when I realized how easy these would be to pack up for school lunches!!

1 13 oz.can of Chicken Breast (I used Costco's brand)
Mayonnaise (I like to use the one with olive oil in it)
Garlic powder
Ground black pepper
Crunch Master multi-grain Gluten Free crackers (can be bought at Sam's or Costco)

Drain water from chicken.  Add enough mayonnaise to moisten chicken.  Add garlic powder and pepper to taste.
Spoon onto crackers and enjoy.  Refrigerate any leftover chicken mixture.

**The following day we added some dill relish to the leftover chicken and it was awesome!!

Key Lime Cupcakes

I had a friend call me and ask me if I thought she could makes these cupckaes GF?  I am always nervous to give my opinion on a recipe if I have never tried it or had a chance to experiment with it.  I went ahead and gave her some GF flour and some xanthan gum and wished her luck!!  She sent some finished cupcakes over to the house later that night and they were so moist and yummy.  The original recipe comes from Bon Appetit  (which is not GF).  The recipe listed below is the changes made to make it GF.  The recipe yields about 15-18 cupcakes.

Key Lime Cupcakes

1 3/4 C Featherlite Flour mix
1 tsp baking powder
1 3/4 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon finely grated lime peel
1/4 teaspoon neon-green food coloring
3/4 cup buttermilk

1 8-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tablespoon finely grated lime peel
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line standard muffin pan with 12 paper liners. Whisk flour, soda and xanthan gum in medium bowl. Beat butter in large bowl until smooth. Add sugar; beat to blend. Beat in eggs 1 at a time and then add the next 3 ingredients (batter may look curdled). Add in flour mixture alternating with the buttermilk until well mixed. Spoon about ¼ C batter into each liner.
Bake cupcakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool 10 minutes. Remove from pan; cool.

For the frosting, beat all ingredients in medium bowl until smooth. Spread over cupcakes.

**I just used Betty Crocker’s already made Cream Cheese flavored frosting and added the grated lime peel.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Chocolate Covered Marshmallows

Sometimes things happen at just the right moment.  I got my weekly email from KRAFT with this recipe and I was in desperate need of a quick treat for a piano recital tonight... viola!! I had everything on hand so we were good to go!  These are way easy and a GREAT treat for the kids to do mostly by themselves, maybe just a little help from mom or dad with the stove top for melting the chocolate.  I altered the recipe just a little bit, so if you want to see the original, click here.  I had found chocolate marshmallows at Walmart the other day so we dipped both the white and the chocolate marshmallows.

7 squares of baking chocolate (I used Kroger Brand from Smith's)
35-40   JET-PUFFED Marshmallows
Multi-colored sprinkles

Melt chocolate on the stove top in a double broiler.
Dip marshmallows, 1 at a time, in chocolate, turning to evenly coat each marshmallow. Gently shake off excess chocolate ( I used two toothpicks for this process).
Place in single layer on sheet of waxed paper; top with sprinkles Refrigerate 20 min. or until chocolate is firm.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Brazilian Cheese Rolls - Pao de Queijo

I can't remember how I came across this recipe, but I am so glad I did!!  It comes from Our Best Bites.  I have made two batches in two days and my sister has made 4 batches just today they are that yummy.  It takes a little less than 30 minutes to make a batch and the finished product is so light and fluffy that it will be hard to eat just one, or two or maybe even three!

Quick Brazilian Cheese Rolls {Pao de Queijo} 
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 use different combinations of cheeses...I used cheddar and monzarella . I also added a hint of garlic powder in the batter.

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.

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.  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.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Chocolate Ice Cream Bowls

This was such a fun idea my sister shared with me (which she found here).  My daughter is having a birthday party tonight and instead of doing cake or cupcakes, we are serving these chocolate bowls.  How fun is that to have an edible ice cream bowl!!

Chocolate Ice Cream Bowls

24 oz. Milk Chocolate (I used Smith's brand Bark Coating)
Small package of water balloons
Parchment paper
***You will get about 7-10 chocolate bowls with this amount of chocolate

Wash balloons with soap and water before using.  Blow up balloons to desired bowl size.  On stove top, melt chocolate down in a double broiler (I just put water in a saucepan and placed a bowl that fit in the saucepan on top allowing the bowl to sit right above the hot water).  Melt chocolate all the way until nice and creamy.  Allow chocolate to cool as much as possible before dipping balloons otherwise when you dip the balloon in it, it will pop and explode sending chocolate everywhere!! I just left the chocolate in the bowl allowing for a deep reservoir of chocolate.  Hold balloon by the knot at the top and slowly roll the bottom around in the chocolate.  You will want to roll it enough times that you have a fairly thick coating of chocolate so that when it is time to remove the balloon, your shell won't collapse.  Place balloons on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  I place a little pile of chocolate on the parchment paper for each balloon that will help keep the balloons from falling over and it makes a nice little 'plate like' bottom to the bowl.  You can either let them set up in the fridge or place them in the freezer to speed things up.  Once bowls are set up, take a pin or a pair of scissors and carefully puncture the balloon allowing the air to come out.  Carefully remove balloon and you have a fancy little chocolate bowl!!  Fill with your favorite flavor of ice cream and top with all your favorite toppings...have fun with it!!

Strawberry Slush

Summer is right around the corner and this smoothie/slushy is the perfect drink to have around.  It is SO easy to make.  My daughter is having a birthday party tonight and we will be serving it.

Strawberry Slush

32 oz. frozen strawberries
32 oz. strawberry yogurt
2 TB sugar
1-2 2 liters Strawberry soda.

Blend first three ingredients in blender. Freeze overnight (I use an empty 5 quart ice cream bucket). When ready to serve, break up slush in a punch bowl. Add enough strawberry soda until you have reached desired slush consistency. You can refreeze any leftovers.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Mini Sweet Peppers

This is a new found favorite snack!!  Even my three year old likes them.  They are way easy to prepare.

Sweet Mini Peppers (I get mine at Costco)
Cream Cheese
Pampered Chef Southwest Seasoning

Slice and clean out seeds from pepper. In a bowl soften cream cheese and add seasoning to taste.
Fill each pepper with cream cheese.  Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to use.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Pizza Birthday Cake

I was surfing the web for a fun birthday cake idea for my little man (who turned 4 today), and I saw this one.
I think one of the reasons I fell in love with it is because on Friday's at our house it is pizza night, so this was very fitting!  

Pizza Cake

1 GF yellow cake mix ( I used Betty Crocker's)
Frosting - add red food paste and a little bit of brown paste to give it more of the dark pizza sauce color)

Cheese: grated or finely chopped white baking chocolate
Pepperoni: Strawberry Fruit Roll-Up cut into circles
Pineapple: yellow DOTS cut in half
Green peppers: GUMMI BEARS cut into pieces
Hamburger: TOOTSIE ROLLS sliced
Parmesan Cheese: Finely grated white chocolate

Color your frosting. Cook cake as directed.  If needed, level cake on top with a knife.  I spread my frosting on while the cake is still slightly warm to give it that runny sauce look.  Sprinkle on chopped white chocolate.  Then add toppings as desired.  Have fun with it and use any candy or treat that resembles a pizza topping!  For that special final touch, place the pizza cake in a pizza box!!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Calypso Spinach Salad - Rumbi Island Grill Copycat

We spent the last week and a half in Utah visiting family for spring break.  We went to eat at Rumbi Grill and this is the salad I chose.  It is so delicious!!  I would like to figure out how to make my own Balsamic Vinaigrette that tastes just like theirs, but until then, I just bought Smith's Brand Private Selection Creamy Balsamic Light.

Baby spinach
Grilled chicken pieces
Bacon bits
Mandarin oranges
Feta cheese
Carrots - grated
Red onion finely diced
Caramelized walnuts ( I did not use these)
Creamy Balsamic Vinaigrette

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Nutella Brownie Bites

Rich, moist, chocolaty flavor.  Definitely need a glass of milk with these little brownie bites!!
I got this recipe off of a blog I follow, which said this recipe comes from Sunset Magazine, but when I tried to find it there, had no such luck.  

Nutella Brownie Bites

1/2 cup butter
2 oz unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup Featherlite Flour Mix
½ tsp xanthan gum
1/2 cup Nutella

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously butter 8 muffin cups in muffin tin. Microwave 1/2 cup butter to until melted. Add chocolate, stirring until melted. Add sugar and cocoa. Whisk in egg, vanilla, and salt. Add flour and stir until smooth. Spoon batter evenly into muffin cups. Using a small spoon, make a depression in each portion of batter and spoon 1 tbsp Nutella into each brownie. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until toothpick comes out with just a few moist crumbs. Let cool for 10 minutes then remove brownies from muffin tin.

** I just sprayed my muffin tin with nonstick spray and I used my mini muffin tin and got 20 brownie bites. I used about ½ tsp Nutella per brownie bite

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Homemade Refried Beans

Tuesday is 'Taco Tuesday' at our house and the best part of that meal is the homemade refried beans.  After eating these homemade beans, I can't bring myself to eat the 'stuff' they sell in the cans!  This recipe took me a few times to get the flavor right to our liking.  The more garlic powder and dried onions, the better!  I am able to cook  2 C of dried pinto beans in my 4 quart crock pot on high in 4-5 hours.  My crock pot cooks things really fast, so this time frame will vary with every crock pot.  The amounts I have listed for the garlic, onions and salt are just a starting point.  This is something you will have to experiment and adjust to your liking.

Refried Beans
Yield: 4-5 C refried beans
2 C dried pinto beans
2 1/2 quarts of water
1-2 TBS garlic powder or fresh minced garlic (This amount is really a personal preference)
1/4-1/3 C dried onions (This amount is really a personal preference) 
2-3 tsp salt (This amount is really a personal preference)  (but do not add this until after the beans are cooked and drained)

Place beans, garlic, onions and water in crock pot. Cover and cook on high for 4-5 hours.
When beans are soft, drain and reserve juices.  Place beans in blender, add salt.  If beans are to thick, add some of the reserved juices.  Beans will thicken up as as they cool.  May serve hot or refrigerate until needed.

Seriously the best beans ever!!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Bears on Cloud Nine (Jell-O Dessert)

We are BIG Jell-O fans at our house!  There are so many fun things you can do with Jell-O.  This recipe comes from KRAFT foods.

2 cups boiling water
2 pkg.  (3 oz. each) JELL-O Strawberry Flavor Gelatin
4 C ice cubes
1/3 cup  bear-shaped gummy candies (2 oz.)
Add boiling water to gelatin mixes in medium bowl; stir 2 min. until completely dissolved. Add ice; stir 2 to 3 min. or until gelatin is slightly thickened. Remove any unmelted ice.
Pour all but 3/4 cup gelatin into 12 (5-oz.) clear plastic cups. Beat remaining gelatin with mixer on high speed 30 seconds or until fluffy and doubled in volume. Spoon over gelatin in cups.
Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until firm. Top with Gummi Bears.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Love Floats

A friend of mine posted this idea on Facebook and it was too cute to pass up.  It makes a great gift for teachers, friends or maybe even your spouse!  I would have preferred to use white taffy, but could not find a store that had enough for the amount I needed to make this sweet I just used pink and red taffy.

This is what it should look like before you start gluing on the taffy...

Supplies Needed:
Glass cups  ...  any style or size...can be bought at the dollar store
Styrofoam balls cut in half (make sure you get a size to fit the glass you bought)
Pixy Sticks for the straw
Candy for the bottom of the glass (Hot Tamales, M&M's, Conversation Hearts, Sweet Tarts, Kisses)
Wrapped Salt Water Taffy (White would be preferred choice, but can do coordinating Valentine's colors)
Hot glue gun and glue sticks

Fill the glass with candy, right up to the top.  Make a hole in the styrofoam and slide pixy stick through.  Hot glue styrofoam half to top of the glass.  Hot glue taffy to the styrofoam ball in layers starting at the bottom and working your way to the top.  Very easy and a fun project to do with the kiddos!

Happy Valentine's Day.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Homemade Hot Chocolate

A friend of mine had a Hot Chocolate party the other day and it was the most amazing hot  chocolate I have ever had!!  It definitely puts the boughten stuff to shame.  She shared the recipe with me and I had to pass it on!  Enjoy...

Homemade Hot Chocolate
¾ C sugar
¼ C (heaping) cocoa powder, plain or dark chocolate depending on preference
Dash of salt
1/3 C hot water
4 C milk
¾ tsp vanilla

Place first four ingredients in pot on stove. Have milk and vanilla ready to add. Cook and stir on medium heat until it comes to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes, still stirring. Add milk, cook and stir until back up to desired  temperature. Add vanilla, stir and remove from heat. Add marshmallow if desired.

**Can use 3 ¾ C milk and ¼ C heavy whipping cream.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Waffle Bowls

Who needs Cold Stone when you can make you own delicious waffle bowls at home.  These are so yummy and you can make just about any ice cream creation to go inside the waffle bowl!!  I get about 15-20 waffle bowls from a full batch.  

This recipe comes from  (under the ice cream section)

Waffles Cones

3 eggs
¾ c. sugar
½ c. butter, melted and cooled
2 Tbs. vanilla
1 C. Featherlight mix
¾ tsp. xanthan gum
1 tsp. baking powder

Beat eggs, gradually adding sugar. Add cooled butter and vanilla. In other bowl, combine flour mixes, xanthan gum, and baking powder. Blend into egg mixture until smooth. Dough will be sticky. Drop by heaping spoonful onto a hot WAFFLE CONE baker. (can be purchased in some stores or online)

Bake as directed. (Usually for about 20 seconds.) Remove from baker and either roll around a waffle cone shaper or drape over an upside-down bowl or cup. The cone will harden quickly as it cools.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Chicken Cordon Bleu other words...

I did use chopped ham this time only because we are still trying to use up leftover holiday ham.  I also just added the salt and pepper to the seasoned crumb mix rather than sprinkling it on the chicken.

Chicken Cordon Bleu

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
6 slices Swiss cheese
4 slices cooked ham
1/2 cup seasoned crumbs (recipe below)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Coat a  baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Pound chicken breasts to 1/4 inch thickness. Sprinkle each piece of chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. Place 1 cheese slice and 1 ham slice on top of each breast. Roll up each breast, and secure with a toothpick. Place in baking dish, and sprinkle chicken evenly with seasoned crumbs. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink. Remove from oven, and place 1/2 cheese slice on top of each breast. Return to oven for 3 to 5 minutes, or until cheese has melted. Remove toothpicks, and serve immediately.

Seasoned Crumb Recipe

1 1/2-2 C  Rice Chex cereal (then place in bag and crush with a rolling pin)
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
2 TB parsley
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
1 tsp garlic powder

Mix together in a bag.

Seasoned Crumb Recipe

Seriously the best breaded crumbs we have had in a VERY long time!!

Seasoned Crumb Recipe

1 1/2-2 C crushed Rice Chex cereal
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
2 TB parsley
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
1 tsp garlic powder

Mix together in a bag.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Chicken and Ham Veggie Soup

I love soup on cold days and I was looking for a way to use up some of our leftover ham from the holidays.  This is a very flavorful soup.

4 C chicken broth
2 chicken breasts
1 large onion chopped
3 celery ribs chopped
1 C carrots chopped
1 14 oz. package frozen corn
1 can black beans rinsed and drained
1  can petite diced tomatoes
3/4 C chopped ham
1/4 C ketchup
1/2 TBS sugar
3 TBS red wine vinegar
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp hot sauce
1 tsp dried marjoram (I used Oregano)
2 TBS taco seasoning.

Bring chicken broth to a boil in a large pot.  Add uncooked whole chicken breast, onion and celery.  Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.  Add carrots, continue simmering for 15-20 more minutes.  remove chicken from pot and let cool slightly.  Shred chicken and put back in pot.  Add all remaining ingredients, cover and simmer on low for 30 more minutes.

***Crockpot version
Cube chicken and brown in frying pan.  Place all ingredients in crock pot and cook on low for 4-5 hours or until veggies are tender.