Thursday, December 6, 2012

Reese's Peanut Butter Cups

We have made two batches in the past three weeks!  They are so quick and SO easy.  My two older girls can do this one on their own.  The original recipe comes from here.   I have tried the recipe both ways and we like it best with only milk chocolate, which is the recipe I have listed below.  

Homemade Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

1 cup creamy peanut butter, divided
4-1/2 teaspoons butter, softened
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 3/4 cups milk chocolate chips 
Mini cupcake liners and mini cupcake pan

In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup peanut butter, butter, confectioners' sugar and salt until smooth; set aside.
In a microwave, melt the chocolate chips and remaining peanut butter; stir until smooth.
Drop teaspoonfuls of chocolate mixture into paper-lined miniature muffin cups. Top each with a scant teaspoonful of peanut butter mixture; top with another teaspoonful of chocolate mixture. Decorate with sprinkles if desired. Refrigerate until set. Store in an airtight container. Yield: 3 dozen.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Crock Pot Banana Bread

This bread was probably one of the moistest breads I have ever made and eaten!  It was still very moist on day two and three.  It got rave reviews from the hubby and kids as well!  
The recipe came from here.

Crock pot Banana Bread

1 3/4 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour (featherlite)
1 1/4 tsp Xantham gum
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup butter or margarine
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs, well beaten
2 tbsp honey
3 ripe bananas, well mashed

Grease and flour (use gluten-free flour) a 4 1/2 quart crockpot. (I just lined mine with parchment paper and it worked great!)  Mix flour, xantham gum, baking powder, salt, and baking soda together in a small bowl, set aside.  Cream butter with an electric mixer until fluffy. Slowly add sugar, eggs, honey, and mashed bananas. Mix until smooth.  Gradually add flour mixture to creamed mixture.  Pour into crockpot, cover and cook in high for 1 1/4 to 1/2 hours or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. (It took close to 2 hours for mine to cook all the way through)  Let cool, then invert bread onto serving platter.  Enjoy!

Crunchy Granola

I had  a friend share this amazing granola with me.  My whole family loves it.  It goes really well in a bowl of yogurt for breakfast or a light snack during the day.  The recipe comes from here.

Crunchy Granola

1 ½ cups brown sugar
½ cup water
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ teaspoon salt
8 cups rolled oats
¾ cup pecans, coarsely chopped
¾ cup almonds, coarsely chopped
½ cup sunflower seeds, unsalted
½ cup shredded coconut
dried fruits, if desired (tropical fruit is good, raisins, blueberries, cranberries, cherries are all great.)

Heat oven to 275 degrees.  Combine brown sugar and water in a 4 cup microwave proof cup.
Microwave on high 5 minutes, or until the sugar is completely dissolved. (I did mine on the stovetop)  Remove from microwave and stir in vanilla and salt.  In a large mixing bowl, mix oats and nuts.  Add the brown sugar mixture.  Mix thoroughly.  Spread onto 2 cookie sheets and bake for a total of 45 minutes or until golden brown. After 25 minutes, stir and put back in the oven for the rest of the time.  When granola has cooked completely, add dried fruits.  Store in an air tight container.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Trifle...Halloween Style

1 Betty Crocker GF Devils Food Cake
2 small boxes of Butterscotch flavored pudding
Yellow food coloring
Red food coloring
Cool Whip
1 bag of candy corn

Mix and bake cake as direction on box.  In separate bowl, make pudding as directed on package and add the red and yellow food coloring until you reach the desired Halloween orange color and then refrigerate. When the cake is completely cooled, cut into bite sized squares (1 x 1 inches).  Place cake squares in serving dish and toss in the candy corn.  Spread the pudding on next and then top with cool whip.  Either serve immediately or refrigerate.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Korean Beef or Chicken

My husband has already made it very clear that this recipe must be added into our menu rotation.  It was amazingly quick to make and was very tasty.  This was another pinterest find!  I think it would work  to use any meat of your choice as well.  Next time we make this I will be trying it with chicken.
**Update...2/1/2013...We love it with chicken!

Korean Beef
1 pound lean ground beef  (or 3-4 chicken breasts cubed)
1/4 - 1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup GF soy sauce 
1 Tablespoon sesame oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced (I just used dry powdered ginger)
1/2 - 1 teaspoon crushed red peppers (to desired spiciness)
salt and pepper
1 bunch green onions, diced (don't skip this!)

Heat a large skillet over medium heat and brown hamburger or chicken with garlic in the sesame oil. Drain most of the fat and add brown sugar, soy sauce, ginger, salt and pepper and red peppers. Simmer for a few minutes to blend the flavors. Serve over steamed rice and top with green onions. 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Cinnamon Churro Chex

My kids have never had a churro, but every time we go to Costco and get an ice cream, I see the churro's and wish so badly I could buy one for them.  Well, here is the next best thing!  This little treat was so delicious and very quick and easy to make.  I know that cinnamon chips (made by Hershey's) are a seasonal item at most stores.  I just picked up a whole bunch at Walmart the other day, so keep your eyes open for some at your local store!

Cinnamon Churro Chex

9 cups rice Chex cereal
3 cups cinnamon chips
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Pour Chex cereal into a bowl. Set aside. Combine sugars and cinnamon in another small bowl. Set aside.

Melt cinnamon chips on stove top in a double broiler.  (I just use a small sauce pan, fill it half way with water and place a heat safe bowl that will rest above the water on the saucepan.) Melt chips until smooth and creamy.  Pour over cereal and stir until cereal is well coated.

Sprinkle with half of the cinnamon sugar mixture. Toss to coat. Pour out the cereal onto a cookie sheet. Continue to sprinkle and toss the cereal with the rest of the cinnamon sugar mixture.


Recipe came from here.

Dijon Mustard Chicken

I am so in love with how many great recipes are on Pinterest.  I have a bunch on file to try over the next little while.  I quite enjoyed this dish.  You definitely have to like mustard for this one!

Dijon Mustard Chicken
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Salt & Pepper (to taste)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl, mix together mustard, syrup, and vinegar. Place chicken breasts into sprayed 9×13 baking dish.  Season with salt and pepper.  Pour mustard mixture over chicken.  Bake uncovered for about 30-40 minutes or until meat thermometer reads 165 degrees. Season with rosemary. 
Recipe came from  here.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Better Than Anything Cake

Couldn't decide which picture to use to showcase this amazing dessert, so I used them all.  
It was that good!

Better Than Anything Cake

1 Betty Crocker GF devil's food cake mix
1/2 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
6 ounces caramel ice cream topping
3 bars chocolate covered toffee, chopped (I used one Hershey’s chocolate bar cut in to pieces and ½ C Health English Toffee bits
1 8 oz. container frozen whipped topping, thawed

1.      Bake cake according to package directions for a 9x13 inch pan; cool on wire rack for 5 minutes. Make slits across the top of the cake, making sure not to go through to the bottom.
2.      In a saucepan over low heat, combine sweetened condensed milk and caramel topping, stirring until smooth and blended. Slowly pour the warm topping mixture over the top of the warm cake, letting it sink into the slits; then sprinkle the crushed chocolate toffee bars liberally across the entire cake while still warm.
3.      Let cake cool completely and then top with whipped topping. Decorate the top of the cake with some more chocolate toffee bar chunks and swirls of caramel topping. Refrigerate and serve right from the pan!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Mini Funnel Cakes

Just got back from the State Fair so funnel cakes were on my mind.  Started surfing around on Pinterest and guess what popped up?  That is right!  A recipe for mini funnel cakes.  All I did was switch out the flour and add xanthan gum.  Oh my goodness!  They were amazing and delicious!  What I love about them most, well two things actually...they are super easy and quick and because they aren't the size of a dinner plate!   I made some changes to the preparation of the recipe.  If you would like to see the original recipe it can be found here at Taylor Takes a Taste.

Mini Funnel Cakes
Makes about 15-20 4in diameter cakes (will vary depending on how much batter used in each cake)
Dry ingredients
1 1/2 cups GF Flour Blend (featherlite)
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp xanthan gum

Wet ingredients
1 1/3 cup milk
1/4 tsp lemon zest (did not use)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg

Place wet ingredients into a blender and blend.  Add dry ingredients and blend until smooth.   Using a funnel, pour batter into a squeeze bottle. The batter is thick so be patient for it to flow into the bottle. You may also pour the batter directly from the blender into the plastic squeeze bottle.  (I just poured mine into a Ziploc bag, closed it and snipped the very corner off, allowing me to squeeze the batter into the oil.)
In a large pan, pour in your favorite frying oil until it is about 1/2 inch deep, and heat to 350F (I used peanut oil). Place 4 in metal ring into pan. (**I used a metal cookie cutter) Depending on the size of the pan, you can fit 1-4 rings. Squeeze batter into ring and cook until funnel cake will stay together when metal ring is removed.  (30 seconds-1min). Using tongs, remove metal ring and let cakes float. Flip and cook the other side for 30 seconds to a minute or until a nice light golden brown. These cook very quickly so be careful not to burn. Try experimenting with your first few to find a cooking time that works best for your oil and pan set up.
Once golden brown, remove from pan and place onto brown paper bags to let the excess oil drain. Immediately top with powdered sugar. Best if eaten when still warm right after frying.

Sprinkle with favorite topping…
Powder sugar, chocolate syrup, caramel

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Quinoa Casserole

I have wanted to make a few more meals without using any type of meat but still get the protein and fill full when we are done eating.  This recipe came out tasting a lot like an enchilada in casserole form.  I adapted it from the original recipe found here.  

Quinoa Casserole


1 cup cooked quinoa

3 cups cooked black beans (or two 15-ounce cans, drained and rinsed)
2 C shredded and cooked hash browns
1/4 C chopped onions
1/8 C green chilies
1 cup shredded low-fat cheddar cheese
1 TBS ground cumin
Liberal pinches salt and pepper
2 eggs
1 ½ cup salsa
2 TBS fresh cilantro, chopped, for garnish

Extras:  Sour cream and more salsa for topping after cooking.


Preheat oven to 350° F. Prepare a 9” x 9” casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.  Cook hash browns on the stovetop.  In a large bowl, mix together the cooked quinoa, black beans, hash browns, 1⁄2 cup of the cheese, onion, green chilies and the cumin, salt, and pepper. In a small bowl, mix together the eggs and the salsa. Pour the salsa mixture over the vegetables and gently blend. Pour everything into the prepared casserole dish.  Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top and bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Garnish with the cilantro.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Super Moist Fudge Bundt Cake

You have to be a real chocloate lover to eat this cake!  We served it up with a little scoop of vanilla ice cream and it was fantastic!   The recipe calls for sour cream, which I did not have at the moment but substituted with cottage cheese and buttermilk.  I also switched out the oil for apple sauce.  I think it definitely made the cake much more dense by doing so, but it still had good flavor.

The recipe came from here.

Super Moist Fudge Bundt Cake
1 devils food  GF cake mix Betty Crocker
1 4-serving instant chocolate pudding mix
4 large eggs
1 cup sour cream (not low-fat or fat-free) I used 1  C cottage cheese + 1/4 C buttermilk
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup vegetable oil (I use canola) I used 1/2 C applesauce
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips


Place all ingredients except chocolate chips in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer for 1 minute. Stir down sides. Continue to mix on medium speed for 2-3 minutes. Stir in chocolate chips. Pour batter into prepared (i.e. greased)  bundt pan. Bake 45-50 minutes at 350 degrees. Cool 20 minutes. Invert onto serving platter. Dust with powdered sugar for an elegant look before digging in. 

Monday, August 13, 2012

Pineapple Salsa

My sister-in-law made this at our family reunion a few weeks back and I fell in love!  It is a very strange combinations of flavors, but somehow, it all just comes together in your mouth and leaves you wanting more!
It is one of those recipes that you really just put in the amounts that give you the flavor that you like.  I searched out a few online, and listed below is a starting point.  I found that I like mine chilled for a few hours for two reasons.  I like my salsa cold and it gives the flavors time to blend together.

The recipe below came from here:

2 cups diced fresh pineapple
1 cup diced red pepper
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
3 tablespoons finely chopped jalapeno pepper, stemmed and seeded
1 clove garlic, minced (I did not add this)
Juice of 1 large lime
Salt, to taste
In a medium bowl, combine pineapple, red pepper, cilantro, red onion, jalapeno, garlic, and lime juice. Stir until well combined. Season with salt, to taste. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Monday, May 21, 2012

German Pancakes

Came across these the other day online.  I'll be honest, I think I love breakfast better for dinner than at breakfast time!!  They are as easy as easy gets to make and clean up is a breeze!  We have had these three times in the past two weeks and they are loved by everyone!  I actually made one and a half recipes so they are a little thicker than the original recipe, but still yummy.  We served ours up with a little powdered sugar and some of the kids added syrup.  (The recipe listed below is just a single batch.)

***Update:  Really good with some fruit on top as well!

6 eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup GF all-purpose flour (featherlite)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted

Toss your eggs and milk into a blender.  Add flour, salt and xanthan gum and blend until you have no chunks.  Pour melted butter into an un-greased 9×13 dish, pour the batter on top, and bake uncovered at 400 degrees F for 15-20 minutes.  Serve immediately.  This makes enough that each person got one square serving, there are six of us.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Panera Mac-n-Cheese (Copycat)

I came across this recipe on Pinterest several weeks ago and have made it for the family a few times and my kids love it!!

Panera Mac-n-Cheese

1 (16-oz.) package GF pasta (we like the Penne noodles from Trader Joe’s)
¼ cup butter 

1/3 cup all-purpose GF flour 
2½ cups 2% reduced-fat milk 
6 slices white American cheese, chopped 
1 cup (8 oz.) shredded extra-sharp white cheddar cheese 
1 tbsp. Dijon mustard 
1 tsp. kosher salt 
¼ tsp. hot sauce 
Paprika (optional) 

1. Prepare pasta according to package directions. 

2. Melt butter in a sauce pan over low heat. Whisk in flour and cook 1 minute, whisking constantly. 
3. Gradually whisk in milk; cook over medium heat, whisking until mixture thickens and is bubbly. Remove from heat. 
4. Add cheeses, mustard, salt and hot sauce, stirring until cheese melts and sauce is smooth. 
5. Stir in pasta and cook over medium heat, 1 minute or until thoroughly heated. Sprinkle with paprika if desired. Serve immediately. 

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Avocado Banana Smoothie

I found this recipe in a magazine a few weeks back.  I was a little hesitant to try it, but  there was something about it that was intriguing  too!  I was pleasantly surprised at how yummy it was.  Truth be told, it tastes just an orange julius.

1 avocado
1 banana
1/2 C Greek yogurt (I just used plain nonfat yogurt)
1/4 C honey
1 1/2 C orange juice
1 1/2 C ice cubes

Place everything in blender and blend until smooth.  Add ice and pulse a few times.  Serve immediately and enjoy!!