November 20, 2012

Dutch Baby

This is all kinds of yummers and extremely easy.  I used the recipe from Dinners for Winners.  I think next time I'll use the smaller amount of sugar I list below or leave it out all together because it was a bit sweet for me.  Dylan loved it!  This was a Dylan and Mom night so Andrew didn't try it.  I think he'll like it too though.  It was easily made gluten-free.

Dutch Baby

2 T butter
3 eggs
3/4 c milk
1/2 c gluten-free flour
1-4 T sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp vanilla (or about a lid-full, I do that a lot because then there's nothing to wash!)

Put a medium sized cast iron skillet in your oven with the butter.  Preheat (with the pan in the oven) to 425 degrees.

Put everything in your blender and blend the hell out of it.

Once the oven is hot, pour the batter in the pan and cook for about 20 minutes.  

Dinners for Winners suggested serving with powdered sugar.  That was good.  So was a tiny drizzle of maple syrup.

Draft Paleo Version (and doubled)

2 T butter or coconut oil
6 eggs
1.5 c milk (cashew)
1/2 c almond flour
1/2 c tapioca starch flour
 pinch of salt
1tsp vanilla

Cook the same as above in a LARGE cast iron pan and it will likely need to be in there for at least 30 minutes.

November 14, 2012

Buffalo (Meat) Balls

Saw a recipe similar to this.  Tasted pretty darn good; the boys both enjoyed them!

Buffalo (Meat) Balls

1 lb ground chicken
1 lb ground pork
2 eggs
1/4 - 1/2 c buffalo wing sauce
4 T coconut flour (if you use regular flour you may need to use a bit more; coconut flour absorbs more moisture than regular flour)

Mix everything together very well.  Make walnut sized balls and bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.

I drizzeled mine with "ranch" dressing.  Andrew put more buffalo sauce on his.

November 8, 2012

Avocado Cream

This was kind of a conglomeration of recipes I saw online and a fly-by-the seat adaptation so the measurements aren't exact ;)

Avocado Cream

1 avocado
large scoop of mayonnaise...maybe 2-4 T give or take?  
1 T lemon juice
2 T olive oil
2 cloves garlic
dash of Chipotle Tabasco
salt and pepper
Enough water, maybe 2 T, to make the consistency you want - How's that for helpful!

Blend the heck out of it in your blender.

Enjoy on tacos or enchiladas that you made too spicy for example.

November 4, 2012

Flaxseed Banana Bread

Yummy!  This recipe is adapted from the Moosewood Restaurant New Classics cookbook.  

Flaxseed Banana Bread

Dry Ingredients:
1 c rolled oats, ground into flour
1/2 flaxseeds, ground into flour
2 c gluten-free flour  mix
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon

Wet ingredients:
2/3 c vegetable oil (I've used olive and coconut oil with good results)
1/2 c brown sugar
4 eggs
2/3 c yogurt
2 c mashed, ripe bananas
1 T vanilla

1 c bittersweet chocolate chips
Mix dry ingredients together in large bowl.  Then, mix wet ingredients together (I used my blender) and add to dry ingredients.  Spread batter between two 9 x 5 loaf pans.  Cook for about 1 hour at 350 degrees.

October 17, 2012

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars

Yeah, I got these from the Martha Stewart website.  Oh well...they taste good ;)  And, I made a few adjustments and made them gluten-free and dairy-free if you want.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars

2 c. gluten-free flour blend
1 T. pumpkin-pie spice (or 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ginger, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, scant 1/4 tsp cloves if you have them)
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 c. melted coconut oil or butter at room temperature
2/3 c. sugar
1 large egg
1 T. vanilla extract
1 c. pumpkin
1 package (12 ounces) semisweet or dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 9-by-13-inch baking pan.

With an electric mixer, mix coconut oil/cream butter and sugar on medium-high speed until smooth; beat in egg and vanilla until combined. Beat in pumpkin puree (mixture may appear curdled). Reduce speed to low, and mix in dry ingredients until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips.

Spread batter evenly in prepared pan; it will be a bit sticky.  Bake until edges begin to pull away from sides of pan and a toothpick inserted in center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool completely in pan.


September 16, 2012

Muffins Plops

I really like these.  They are easy, taste good, and are flexible.  What more could you want?  I'll tell you below how I make them.  Go back to the post on The Cheapskate Cook or the one she stole them from to see additional ideas.  

Muffin Plops
1 c oats
1 c yogurt (Greek, flavored, plain, whatever you have on hand)
1 egg
2 T brown sugar, rounded
1/2 melted coconut oil or butter (I usually use the coconut oil but you may not have it)
1 c + 2 T gluten-free flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 c sliced almonds
1/2 c dried cranberries

1. In medium bowl, stir oats and yogurt together.  Let set overnight (the best) or as long as you have.  I have made them without letting them set at all.  See, I told you they are flexible!

2. Mix in egg, brown sugar, and melted coconut oil.

3. Mix in dry ingredients and cinnamon.

4. Mix in the almonds and cranberries or what ever "mix-ins" you want to use.

5. Now here's the best part.  I have never actually made these as muffins although I'm told that works.  Rather, I spray a baking sheet with cooking spray and drop by spoonful at the size I feel like making that day.  Bake at 375 for 12-15 minutes until golden.  Serve with jam or not.  Also, the smaller size makes great portable snacks for little hands!

September 14, 2012

Lavender Butter Cream Frosting

I realize lavender is not a flavor most folks associate with edible items.  But, in certain situations, it can really be quite nice.  I used this on a lemon cake.  I wasn't terribly excited by the lemon cake so I'm not sharing it here but the frosting was yummy.  Many people who didn't know it was lavender thought it it was slightly fruity...or something :)  Really it's just a normal butter cream with dried lavender.

Lavender Butter Cream Frosting (borrowed from Icy Violets)
3 1/4 c powdered sugar
1 c butter, room temp.
1 tsp lemon juice
3 T milk
1-2 T dried lavender buds (picked them out of my front yard)

Beat the powdered sugar and butter together on low for about 1 minute.  Scrap the bowl down, then beat on medium for 2 minutes more.  Add the rest of the ingredients and beat on medium for another minute until fully incorporated.

NOTE: I misread the recipe at first and didn't put enough powdered sugar in.  Don't worry, it's totally forgiving.  Added the rest of the powdered sugar and it was fine.  Also, I added about equal amounts of red and blue gel food coloring to give it a light "lavender" color!

September 12, 2012

Chile Relleno Casserole...and I Liked It

Not to dis my mother, but as a kid, she made something we called Chile Relleno Casserole...and I hated it.  I got to the point I wouldn't even try to choke it down and I almost gagged when I read this recipe on Dishing with Leslie.  But, tastes do change...and fresh is always better!  Mom's had hamburger and canned green chiles.  This one had no burger and fresh roasted poblanos from our produce box.  Andrew says it's easy...and he made it so if he thinks it's easy most anyone can make it!  Sorry Mom...this is better and was easily made gluten-free.  The only problem was it made just enough for dinner...but since we have frittatta and Tamale Pie leftovers that's probably a good thing.

Chile Relleno Casserole (again adapted from Dishing with Leslie)

6 Poblano chile peppers - roasted, peeled, and seeded
dash or two of salt
dash of black pepper
a bit of garlic powder
3 eggs
1/2 c milk
3 T gluten-free flour (Andrew used potato flour...I recommend using a blend but it's such a small amount that it doesn't really matter, most anything will work)
1/2 c grated cheddar cheese
1/2 c grated jack cheese

1. Turn oven on to broil setting. Place chile's on broil safe sheet or pan. Set directly under broiler flame until all sides of peppers are blistered and charred. You will need to turn them during this process. When chile's are nice and toasted, remove from broiler and cover with plastic. Place covered peppers in a paper bag to finish sweating.
2. While peppers are sweating, whisk eggs, milk, flour, salt, pepper and garlic powder together in a small bowl.
4.Grate your cheese
5. Heat oven to 350 degrees
6. Remove chile's from paper/plastic. Peel, and remove seeds

Assemble Dish:

Lay half of your chile peppers on bottom of 8-inch baking dish.  Pour half of egg mixture over the peppers. Top with half of cheddar and jack cheese. Repeat again - Peppers, egg mixture, finish with cheese. Bake, uncovered at 350 for 30 minutes. Let sit for a few minutes before serving.

September 11, 2012

Tamale Pie...or Throwing a Lot of Stuff Together

First of all, Tamale Pie tastes nothing like tamales and you shouldn't expect it to.  I actually read a review on a recipe where they complained about this.  Seriously, people?  Okay, this was just a mash up of what we had around the house tonight and an attempt to use that stuff up.  It has a lot of flexibility...kind of like my frittatta recipe.

Tamale Pie

2 c diced and cooked protein (tonight it was leftover t-bone, you could use a pound of ground meat cooked up too)
1/4 c diced olives or one of those little cans
15 oz canned beans (tonight it was chipotle pinto beans, next time likely black beans)
8 oz can tomato sauce
14.5 oz can diced tomatoes, preferably the petite diced ones
small can diced green chiles would be good; we didn't have any!
2 c fresh corn cut off of the cob or canned corn1 T cumin
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt

Cornbread Topping
1 c gluten-free flour (or regular flour if that's how you roll)
1 c cornmeal
 T sugar
1 T baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 c milk
1/4 c oil of choice (I used melted coconut oil)

Last but not least
1-2 c shredded cheese


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease or spray a 10-in cast iron skillet or  9 x 13 glass baking dish.

2.  Mix all of the filling ingredients together in a large bowl and spread evenly in cooking skillet or pan.

3. Mix cornbread topping ingredients together and spread evenly over filling.

4.  Bake for 40 minutes until topping is cooked through and the filling is bubbling a bit.

5. Spread shredded cheese over the top and cook for another 5 minutes or so until it's melted.

6. Enjoy!

September 2, 2012

Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies

Made these tonight.  A bit of a compromise between Andrew wanting chocolate chip cookies and me not wanting too many grains.  Good thing they only make about a dozen 'cause between the three of us we ate all but two!  

I only had the almond meal/flour from TJ's.  I'm sure if I had real almond flour...the finer stuff...these would be amazing.  As it was, they were good.  I recommend making them fairly small.  The big ones were a little soft.  Part of that could have been because Andrew bought the huge Ghirardelli chips ;)

And, as usual, I did not come up with this recipe!  Check out Against All Grain for the original and lots of other yummies!

Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies
1/4 c palm shortening
1/4 c brown sugar
2 T honey
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 c almond flour
2 T coconut flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In mixer, cream the palm shortening, brown sugar, honey, egg, and vanilla for about 15 seconds until smooth and fluffy.  Scrape the sides a couple times if you need to!

Add the almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda and sea salt and mix again until combined, about 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl if needed in order to incorporate all of the flour.

Stir in the chocolate chips by hand.

Place golf-ball sized balls (or smaller) of dough on a cookie sheet lined with parchment or if your out of parchment spray it with cooking spray. Flatten them slightly with the palm or your hand or a spatula. The cookies don’t spread much so create the size and thickness you want prior to baking them.

Bake for 9-12 minutes, until slightly golden around the edges.  Let them cool on the cookie sheet.  Try not to eat them all at once.

September 1, 2012

Kind of Like Chicken Tikka Masala

And, Andrew liked it.  Oh he says he hates Indian food...he just hates onions.  If I cook Indian based dishes without the onions, he never seems to have a problem gobbling them down!  This was my take on another lady's take of Chicken Tikka Masala.  It was tasty and I will make it again in the future!

Kind-of Like Chicken Tikka Masala

Marinade and meat
1 lb chicken breast
1/2 c yogurt
1 minced garlic clove
1/2 T grated fresh ginger
1 T lemon juice
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp cayenne powder
1/8 tsp tumeric
salt and pepper

Combine above ingredients except for the chicken.  Pour over the chicken and marinade for a day or two.  Ours probably sat in the fridge for almost 3 days...oh well, turned out fine!

Wipe most of the marinade off of the breast and broil on a cookie sheet for 10-15 minutes until cooked through and browning a bit.  The time will depend on your breasts...ours are huge ;)

Let them cool a bit and then dice.  Set aside while you make the sauce below.

1 T olive oil
1 minced garlic clove
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 T garam masala
3/4 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp paprika
pinch of cayenne powder
1 tsp salt
2 cans diced tomatoes, mostly drained
1 tsp or so of honey
1 pkg cream cheese

In large cast iron skillet or stock pot, heat oil and add in the garlic and ginger.  Cook for a couple of minutes on low.  Add the spices, stir, and heat for about 1 minute.  Add the tomatoes and honey and let simmer for about 10 minutes.  I pureed the sauce with our stick blender.  Then, melt in the cream cheese and let simmer about another 10 minutes. 

Serve over quinoa or rice.

August 28, 2012

Short Hair...Long Hair...Why Do You Ask?

A co-worker asked me if I missed my longer hair that I had when I first started with the Department back in 2006.  No, was my immediate reply.  I'm not sure exactly why she was asking.  I'm pretty sure she likes my short hair but those kind of questions always make me wonder what is really behind the question.  

Maybe it's because I've finally found a hairstylist that works with me and my crazy hair.  Maybe it's because I just don't want to spend any more time on primping than necessary.  But, for now, I love my short hair.  

I feel more confident with short hair.  I hid behind my long hair and it did nothing for my face shape, my self-esteem, etc.  

Again, why do people ask these kind of questions?  Or, is it that she just doesn't have a filter ;)

You know what I do miss...the pink streaks.  But that was just way too much work!

August 27, 2012

Beef Shawarma

There is a little hole in the wall that everyone should eat at in Grants Pass if they ever get the chance...Abu's Oasis Deli.  It's run by a lady and her husband and they make an amazing shawarma plate, gyros, and wonderful baklava!  But, I rarely get to Grants Pass.  This isn't exactly the same, but it's pretty darn close.  

We had it for dinner tonight with a dollop of the hummus I also posted this evening, tomatoes, and a dollop of my dairy-free Ranch dressing.  Andrew added tortilla chips.  Dylan was asleep ;) 

Can you tell I'm home more in the evenings and wanting to try these recipes I've been storing away for a while.  I got this recipe from the same lady as the hummus, Mexican Wildflower.

Beef Shawarma
1 lb beef, I think we used sirloin, she called for chuck roast...I also would be willing to do a bit more than 1 lb with the same amount of marinade
1 c yogurt
3 T shawarma spice mix
2 T lemon juice
2 T olive oil

Cut your meat into thin strips and mix together with the rest of the ingredients.  Let marinate in a Ziploc or bowl with a lid in the fridge overnight or for at least 4 hours.  Heat a cast iron skillet with a bit of coconut oil or your fat of choice.  Remove the strips from the marinade and cook the until done, turning once. Discard remaining marinade.  Enjoy!

Shawarma Spice Mix...from website called Jewish Recipe Trader
1 T cumin
1 T ground coriander
1 T garlic powder
1 1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp tumeric
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Mix everything together!

Hummus...Umm Yeah!

Everyone needs a go-to hummus recipe!  This one adapted from Mexican Wildflower is now mine.  If you don't like garlic, just keep looking. Otherwise, quick, easy, and tasty...all good things!

1 can garbanzo beans
1/2 c water
6 cloves garlic
1/3 c tahini
1/4 c olive oil
2 T lemon juice
1 tsp salt

Blend ingredients together in blender or food processor (I used the Vitamix) until smooth.  If necessary, drizzle in a little olive oil until you get your desired consistency.

If you are serving for presentation, sprinkle with paprika and fresh chopped parsley.  Otherwise, try not to eat it straight out of the bowl!

Disgustingly Easy Asian Beef over Rice

This recipe was borrowed from Yummy-Healthy-Easy.  Of course, I had to leave the green onion off because of Andrew and I cut the sugar back because of me.  But, damn it was easy, QUICK, and tasty.  Dylan liked it too!  Very inexpensive too.

Asian Beef over Rice

Cook a batch of rice (I brought 3 cups of water to a boil, added 1.5 cups white rice, turned to low for about 15 minutes; comes out sticky just like I like it)

1 lb hamburger
1 T sesame oil
3 cloves minced or pressed garlic
2 T brown sugar
1/4 c soy sauce (I used reduced-sodium, tamari - gluten free)
1/2 tsp minced fresh ginger (I used 1/4 tsp powdered 'cause that's what I had)
1/2 tsp red chili pepper flakes
 salt and pepper to taste
green onion if your family will eat it :)

Brown the hamburger in the sesame oil.  Add the garlic.  Cook for a minute or two.  Add the rest of the ingredients, except for the green onion.  Serve over the rice with green onion as garnish.  Enjoy!

August 19, 2012

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Need to use those darn things up!  Just one more way to enjoy them.

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

3 eggs
1 c sugar
1/2 c + 2 T coconut oil, melted
1/2 c applesauce
1/3 heaping cup of cocoa powder
2 c shredded zucchini
1 tsp vanilla
2 c gluten-free flour blend (most accurate is 280 grams if you have a scale)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon

Mix everything together up to the flour.  Then, add the dry ingredients.  Divide between two greased bread pans and bake for an hour or so in 350 degree oven.

August 18, 2012

Pasta ala Sunny...or my take on Pasta Carbonara

If you fear fat you shouldn't be reading this to start with!  This is quite the tasty and actually easy dish.  Andrew adds extra salt; the bacon is enough for me.  You be the judge.

Pasta ala Sunny...or my take on Pasta Carbonara

8 oz package gluten-free pasta (I like TJ's brand)
8 oz diced, bacon (again, I like to use TJ's Ends and uses celery or something to cure it rather than nitrates/nitrites; but it's a bit fattier...more the merrier to me)
4 eggs
1/2-1 c shredded Parmesan (more makes it a bit creamier but sometimes you use what you have!)
3 cloves garlic, minced
~4 c chopped broccoli (about 2 heads)
~1 lb little zucchini (3-4 little ones)

Cut up your broccoli and cook for about 4 minutes in the microwave, covered and with just a touch of water (1 T or less).  Meanwhile, cut up the zucchini fairly thin.  

Start a large pot of water to cook your pasta.

Take a large frying pan, preferably Cast iron, and throw in your diced bacon.  Cook until almost crispy, remove from pan with slotted spoon and set aside for a sec.  Turn the pan on low, throw in the broccoli and the zucchini.  Add the minced garlic.  Saute for a few minutes and then add the bacon back in.  

Whisk your eggs in a bowl and then whisk in the Parmesan.

Once your pasta is cooked drain it.  DO NOT run cold water over it.  Dump it back in the pot, stir the egg/cheese mixture together with the pasta.  This creates a yummy, creamy sauce; i.e. the heat from the pasta cooks the eggs.

I didn't cook my pasta in a large enough pot to add the veggies and bacon so at this point I transferred the pasta with sauce to a LARGE bowl and then stirred in the veggies and bacon mixture.  That's it.  Put a little fresh ground pepper on top when you serve if you like.  This makes a lot (we probably could have fed 4 adults and Dylan)!

NOTE: If you just want a side dish, ignore the veggie part but not the bacon part.  Cook the bacon until crisp and stir in at the end.  You can toss in a bit of the bacon grease and save the rest for another wonderful meal.

August 15, 2012

Cheddar Bay Biscuits

For some seriously questionable reason, I was craving these tonight.  So, even though it was at least 95 degrees outside, I made these.  And, I loved them.

Cheddar Bay Biscuits (recipe borrowed from Rasa Malaysia but there are a lot along these lines out there)

1/2 c shredded cheddar
2/3 c milk
1/4 c melted butter
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp dried parsley

Mix the baking mix and cheddar together.  Add milk and mix together and don't worry about over mixing.  Mix until everything sticks together well.  Drop by spoonfuls onto cookie sheet (mine made about 9) and bake in 450 degree oven for about 10 minutes. 

While those are baking, mix the melted butter, garlic powder, and parsley together.  When you take the biscuits out of the over, brush them with the butter mixture.  And, enjoy!

Homemade Gluten-free Baking Bisquick

But it's gluten-free and homemade!  I used this to make cheddar biscuits tonight even though it was hot...really hot!  Not sure why but I got a craving for these...and I don't even eat at Red Lobster.  I've probably only ate there maybe three or four times in my whole life. 

I'm still not comfortable sharing the flour mix that I use because I got it from the cookbook Artisanal Gluten-Free Cooking by Kelli and Peter Bronski.  You really should just go buy the book for the flour mix and all of the other recipes.  If you know me personally, I might be willing to share.  Anyway, their mix is what I use currently and I love it.  Between the mix recipe and the waffle recipe and a couple others that I've tried, I'm glad I went ahead and bought the book!

Homemade Gluten-free Baking Mix (appropriated from Kitchen Simplicity)

5 c gluten-free flour blend
1/4 c baking powder
2 T sugar
1 tsp salt
1 c butter

Whisk dry ingredients together.  Cut butter into flour mixture.  Store in airtight container - makes about 6 cups of mix or so.  

I'm storing mine in the fridge since it's so warm around here!

Use this mix in any recipe that calls for Bisquick.

August 11, 2012

Broccoli Parmesan Fritters

This recipe came in our CSA box a few weeks ago and I finally got around to trying it.  Andrew said they were better than he thought they would be.  I loved them and they were easy to make...and easy to convert to gluten free.  I think they would work fine with frozen broccoli in the winter as well!

Broccoli Parmesan Fritters 
4 c finely chopped broccoli
2 eggs, beaten
1/3 c flour ( I just used my favorite gluten-free blend)
1/3 c finely grated Paremesan (I packed it in)
1 clove garlic minced
1/2 tsp salt
few grinds fresh black pepper
pinch of red pepper flakes

Cook broccoli until it's soft (I did this in the microwave for time sake).  Let it cool a bit.  

Meanwhile, mix the egg, flour, cheese, and spices together. Add the broccoli and smash together a bit.  

Heat a pan with a bit of oil or butter and drop by about 2-3 T mounds.  I used a 1/4 measuring cup not completely full and then used the bottom to flatten the fritters a bit.  Cook until brown, about 2-3 minutes, flip over and cook until brown on the other side.  Enjoy!

July 23, 2012

Lamb Meatballs

Quick and simple but oh so tasty.

Lamb Meatballs
1 egg
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1 clove garlic, minced
1 lb ground lamb

Beat egg and mix in spices.  Then, mix in ground lamb.  Put on broiler pan that you've sprayed with a little bit of oil.  Use a tablespoon to make meatballs.  Bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes.  Let rest on pan and enjoy!

July 20, 2012

Swiss Chard Stems Ala Yummy...Not Yucky!

Not a big fan of cooked greens like spinach or Swiss chard unless I can hide them in something.   But, the leaves go great in a frittata...try this recipe on for size.  And, frittata's are easily adaptable.  Ours had leftover roasted chicken and no cheese last night. 

But, what about those darn stems though on the Swiss chard.  Boy howdy, have I got a way for you!

Swiss Chard Stems Ala Yummy...Not Yucky!

1 or 2 bunches of Swiss chard stems...rainbow ones are nice
1-2 T. melted butter
2-3 T. finely shredded Parmesan or more to taste

Parboil the stems, i.e. bring a pot of water to a boil and toss the stems in for 3-5 minutes.  This gets rid of any bitter taste and precooks the darn things.   Drain and run some cold water over them. Then, spread in a glass baking dish.  Drizzle with the melted butter and Parmesan.  Put in the broiler for about 5 minutes or until the Parmesan is melted and bubbly.  Serve with salt to taste and enjoy!

Note: I don't remember where I originally saw this recipe.  So, it's very much not an original.  It is good though and I actually ate it in my lunch as a leftover which is a high mark indeed.

June 23, 2012

Beef Satay

This is one of our favorite meals but we almost forgot about it because the recipe was written down on a piece of scrap, I'm making sure I'm getting it on here before I do lose it!

Beef Satay

Mix together in large bowl:
2 T peanut butter
3 cloves garlic, chopped
3 T rice vinegar (or fresh lime juice if you have some on hand)
1-2 tsp ginger powder or 1 1/2 in chopped fresh ginger
1/3 c. soy sauce
2 tsp sugar

Thinly slice 1 lb sirloin and add it to the marinade.  Marinate for 1/2 hour to all day.  Whatever you have time for ;)

Strain the liquid from the beef.  Put beef in 9x13 glass dish and broil for 5 minutes.  Meanwhile, bring the liquid you strained from the beef to boil in small saucepan.  Stir the meat and broil another 5 minutes.  Combine boiled liquid and beef.  Serve over rice or quinoa.

May 16, 2012

Civic duty?

I described myself as frumpy this morning.  I am never going to be accused of being a "cute" pregnant woman.  But, after seeing this picture, one co-worker had this to say, "So cool!! Thanks for helping make Salem hip."  Really, hip?  Probably not, but I'm going to take it where I can get it.  The ironic thing is, it's actually Andrew's ballot.  I decided not to vote because I'm an Independent and didn't have too many choices in the Primary.  Oh well, the picture turned out better than anticipated.
May 16th Statesman Journal

April 17, 2012

Super Easy Spaghetti Sauce

I don't really like store bought spaghetti sauces.  They are usually either too runny or too sweet or Andrew doesn't like them because there might be a hint on onion ;)  And, I hate having to buy a specialty thing when I can whip something up almost as quick with stuff in the cupboard.  Tonight, I threw this together over gluten-free pasta with turkey meatballs and got a hearty thumbs up from the men folk!

Super Easy Spaghetti Sauce

1 can tomato sauce (8 oz)
1 can tomato paste (6 oz)
1 can diced tomatoes (14.5 oz)
splash of dry sherry, maybe a tablespoon or two
1 tsp. each of dried basil, dried oregano, and garlic powder
2 tsp. of Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. each of red pepper flakes and salt

Dump everything in a small saucepan.  Puree using an immersion blender and let simmer on low while you cook the pasta and the rest of your dinner.

April 15, 2012

Coconut lime muffins

Sunday's are usually Waffle Days at the Jones Cottage or at least that's what we call them.  We really should just call them Breakfast Together Days.  

Today, we had these muffins with mangoes and coffee with real whipped cream (for Andrew and I) and scrambled eggs.  Andrew approved and Dylan kept asking for more!

Coconut lime muffins

Whisk together in large bowl:
2 c. gluten-free flour blend
1/2 c. unsweetened coconut
1 T baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

In medium bowl, whisk together:
zest from one lime
juice from one lime, approx. 1/4 c. and the rest of a one cup measuring cup with milk (approx. 3/4 c.)
2 eggs
1 c. brown sugar (if you don't have unsweetened coconut and must use the regular stuff reduce the sugar to 2/3 c. but really it's better to just use the unsweetened coconut!)
1/2 c. melted coconut oil (or whatever vegetable oil you may have on hand)
1 tsp vanilla

Add liquid ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until just combined.  Fill muffin tins 3/4 of the way full (about 12 of them, and they probably need to be greased if you aren't using the silicon things like I do.)  Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. 

March 25, 2012

Bird Seed Bars

So this recipe truly is my adapting of anything...although it is a bit of a copycat ;)  Last fall, my co-worker brought me this bar that she gets at a vegan place in Portland.  She left it on my desk with a note saying something about eating it and then recreating it.  Well, after a few trys, I think I have it.  It may not be exact but it's pretty darn close. Regardless, Andrew, people in my office, basically anyone that has tried them, LOVE THEM!!!  

I will tell you, it's an easy recipe except for the amaranth.  Learning to pop your amaranth is a true skill.  I don't know any better so I'm not sure if you can buy it already popped...probably.  However, it's extremely cheap to do it yourself.  I may try and come back and add some photos but seriously it just takes trial and error.  Once you figure it out, it's no biggie!

Bird Seed Bars

"Dry" Ingredients
2 c popped amaranth (approx. 6 tablespoons dry amaranth)
1 1/4 c unsweetened, shredded coconut
1/4 c pumpkin seed or sunflower seed
1/4 c + 1T flax seed
1/2 c chopped dates, neglit ones don't have to use fancy ones
pinch of salt

"Wet" Ingredients

1/4 c coconut oil (measured after it is melted)
1 c brown rice syrup
1 c peanut butter or homemade nutella if you have it
2 T water

TO POP THE AMARANTH:  Find a pan and a clear lid that fits it well.  Heat the pan until very hot.  Take it off of the burner, put a tablespoon of the amaranth in the pan, cover and IMMEDIATELY start swirling around in a circular motion.  The amaranth will start popping and turn white.  Only takes a few seconds, maybe 20-30 at most.  Take the lid off and dump into a bowl.  Make sure you get all of the amaranth out of the pan.  Heat it again and repeat the process until you have 2 cups popped amaranth.

Mix dry ingredients together with your hands, breaking the date pieces up and coating them with the dry ingredients so they disperse throughout the bars.

Heat wet ingredients in small saucepan.  Bring to a boil and boil for approximately 1 minute.

Pour over dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.  Pour into greased 9 x 13 pan.  Pat down and smooth with a rubber scrapper.  Refrigerate until firm.  Enjoy!

March 20, 2012

Gluten-free Cornbread

Andrew told me repeatedly that he did not like cornbread when we got married.  We've been married for a little over 8 years and I think I honored the not liking cornbread crap until about a year or two ago.  I finally told him I like cornbread and he would just have to deal.  Well, guess what....he likes this cornbread.  Go figure ;)

Gluten-free Cornbread

2 c gluten-free flour blend
1/2 c white sugar
3 T baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 c shortening
4 eggs
2 c milk
2 c cornmeal

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and xanthan gum in a large bowl. 

Cut the shortening in the way you would when making a pie dough. You should end up with pea-size pieces in a sandy flour.

Combine the eggs and milk in a small bowl. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the liquid. Stir with a rubber spatula until everything is combined.

Stir in the cornmeal, whisking fast, until it is just combined. Do not overstir.

Pour into a greased 9x13 pan. Slide it into the oven. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the sides of the cornbread are slightly shrinking from the pan and a toothpick comes out clean.

March 4, 2012

Double-Crusted Crisp

I'm not sure why I didn't think of this before.  A double-crusted crisp...the crust is my favorite part!  This recipe is adapted from one in Rustic Fruit Desserts by Cory Schreiber and Julie Richardson.  My version is gluten-free and uses fruit out of my freezer.  Hopefully I'm not violating any copyright stuff...I suppose Rose will tell me if I am!

Double-Crusted Crisp

Crust x2
1 1/3 c gluten-free flour blend of your choice
1 c oats
3/4 c packed brown sugar
1 heaping tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 stick butter, melted

1/2 c white sugar
2 T cornstarch
pinch of salt
1 qt sized bag full of apricots you froze last summer, defrosted
1 qt sized bag full of plums you froze last summer, defrosted
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degree.s

Make the first crust by mixing the dry ingredients together.  Then, stir in the melted butter.  Press into a 9x13 pan.

Then, make the fruit filling by mixing the sugar, cornstarch and salt together.  Toss with the fruit and vanilla.  Spread evenly into the pan.

Then, make the top crust by again mixing the dry ingredients together and stirring in the melted butter.  Crumble the crust over the top of the fruit.  

Bake for 60-70 minutes...until the crisp is golden and the fruit bubbles through the crust.  Cool for 20 minutes before serving...but remember it tastes amazing warm!

February 20, 2012

Chicken Meat Sauce

This was supposed to be meatballs but the meat didn't want to ball (and yes, I know that's just ripe for all kinds of jokes).  So, I threw lumps in there and let them cook for a bit before stirring it around ;)  Either way it tasted pretty darn good and Andrew and Dylan both liked it.

We get 40-lbs of chicken breast a couple of times a year.  We freeze most of them as individual boobs but I take about 10-lbs of them and the fat that I trim off of the others and run it through the meat grinder.  That's what I used for the meat in this sauce.  You could use any ground meat you have laying around and I'm sure it would be great.

Chicken Meat Sauce
1 lb ground chicken
1 egg
1/2 c mozarella, shredded (leave out if you have a dairy sensitivity, or if you don't have any on hand)
1 T ketchup
4 T dried parsley

1 1/2 c chicken broth
1 6oz can tomato paste
1 T olive oil
1 tsp - 1 T garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp dried thyme and basil
dash of honey 

Add all of the meat ingredients to a bowl and mash together with your hand.

Add all of the sauce ingredients to a wide bottomed pan, bring to a simmer.  Drop the meat or meatballs (if yours will ball) in about 1-in "balls" into the sauce.  Let simmer, stirring periodically until they are cooked through.  Serve over quinoa or pasta or rice or whatever your family likes sprinkled with a little salt and fresh cracked pepper!

February 9, 2012

Happy 31st to Me...and Swimming in the Willamette!

Today is my 31st birthday.  As with when I turned 30...I'm sure it's going to be better than 21.  The last 24-hrs have been a bit dramatic but I learned a lot and wanted to document it so I could look back on this and remember what I learned. 

Last night I was steering the dragon boat and hit the last piling and ended up going swimming.  While not something I really felt I wanted to do, I am so grateful that it happened when and where it did.  We were close enough to the dock that I swam to it.  I didn't hit my head or anything on the way in.  The Angry Unicorns were still on the dock waiting to go out for their practice so there were plenty of folks to fish me out.  Our boat did great and Kathleen was able to jump up and steer it back to the dock.  Other than hiking boots, I was pleasantly surprised at how well the clothes I had on kept me warm even though I was soaked.  I did however end up with a number of very impressive bruises on my thighs, shins, and elbows.  Small price to pay for getting out of the water and onto the dock safely though.

Bruise on left thigh 24-hrs after going "swimming"!
Now to the part about learning.  I've lived my life always worrying and thinking about the worst-case scenario.  That's how you protect yourself from getting hurt, right?  What a load of b.s.!  Me and or the entire boat falling out has terrified me and almost kept me from learning how to till.  I feel a strong sense of responsibility for everyone and didn't think I could take that responsibility on.  Having taken the plunge or rebirth as Don Wolf jokingly called it, I still feel the responsibility but realize that it's not the end of the world.  Perhaps, I can learn to apply this to other areas in my life where I think I'm protecting myself by thinking of the worst-case scenario and instead just go with the flow and live my life!

Love Letters to My Sons..