Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Peanut Butter Cream Pie

This isn't only a Halloween pie, you can make it any time of the year. Simply change your topping decor for the seasons! If you know me or read my blog often, you know that peanut butter and chocolate combined is the way to my heart! So, I automatically LOVE the person who showed me this recipe! It was a delicious, gluten-free, peanut-buttery, chocolaty dessert! It was rather rich, but richness and me get along well. I highly recommend this recipe! I served this cold, because it gets more pudding-like if served warm.

From: The Open Pantry

Chocolate Crust
1 cup semisweet Chocolate Chips
5 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
2 1/2 cups Crispy Rice Cereal
1/4 cup mini semisweet Chocolate Chips

8 oz Cream Cheese, softened
One 14 oz can Sweetened Condensed Milk
3/4 cup Creamy Peanut Butter
2 tsp Vanilla
1 cup Heavy Cream

1/2 cup Chocolate Chips
2 Tbsp Heavy Cream
Milk Chocolate Curls, for Garnish

Make the Crust: In a double boiler(I just used a regular saucepan), melt 1 cup chocolate chips and butter over low heat. Remove from heat and stir until smooth. Gently stir in the rice cereal until completely coated. Set aside to cool to lukewarm, then stir in the mini chips. Press into the bottom and up the sides of a buttered 9-inch pie plate. Chill for 30 Minutes to set the chocolate.

Prepare the filling: In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until fluffy. Beat in the condensed milk, peanut butter and vanilla.

In a medium bowl, beat the heavy cream until soft peaks form. Fold the whipped cream into the peanut butter mixture. Pour the filling into the crust.

Make the topping: In a double boiler(I did this in the microwave), melt the chocolate chips over hot water. Add the cream and stir until blended. Set aside to cool slightly, then drizzle over the top of the pie. Refrigerate pie until firm, about 2 hours. Garnish with chocolate curls.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Menu: Week 5 (Gluten Free Menu)

We had a relatively normal week this week! Crazy! That hasn't happened in a long time. Here ya go!

Sunday: Chicken Tacos and cilantro lime salsa
Monday: Chef Salad
Tuesday: Mexican Lasagna
Wednesday: Honey Glazed chicken with brown rice and steamed broccoli and corn
Thursday: Apple Cider chicken with brown rice and corn
Friday: Out
Saturday: White Chicken Chili
Sunday: Lasangne and Divine Breadsticks(these are not gf but the lasagna is)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Pumpkin Bars

Yummy, yummy...or so I hear! I am still doing the Gluten-free thing, but not everyone in my life is! I was headed to a dinner with my hubby, sister + fam, Grandma and Grandpa, and Aunt and Uncle and I was in charge of dessert. My mom had made these and said that they were delicious. She took them to work and every was ranting and raving about how wonderful they were. So, I decided, even though I can't eat them, I have to make them just to see how they turn out. My hubby's first reaction was, "O, these are NOT good!" Aka: never make them again because I will just eat the entire batch and get fat. Thanks for another one Mel!

P.S. I am an icing freak...I would either 1 1/2 or 2 times the icing recipe!

From: Melanie at My Kitchen Cafe

4 eggs
1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
1 cup vegetable oil (can substitute 1/2 cup applesauce for 1/2 cup oil)
15-ounce can pumpkin
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda

8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Using an electric mixer at medium speed, combine the eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin until light and fluffy. Stir together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and baking soda. Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and mix at low speed until thoroughly combined and the batter is smooth. Spread the batter into a greased 13 by 10-inch baking pan. Bake for 30 minutes. Let cool completely before frosting. Cut into bars.

To make the icing: Combine the cream cheese and butter in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the sugar and mix at low speed until combined. Stir in the vanilla and mix again. Spread on cooled pumpkin bars.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Apple Cider Chicken

MMM....tis the season for apples. They are SOOO crisp and good right now. If you are not making some recipes with apples, please start! I would make this recipe as well as Apple Strudel in Phyllo Dough for dessert...mmm! Okay, maybe not in the same meal, that is a lot of apple-ness! Anyway, this was a great, simple dish that is not too filling. Sometimes after I eat I feel like I am going to EXPLODE! This is not one of those meals, which is nice every once in a while. I suggest eating a piece of apple in every bite that you take. The juices that they apple absorbs make this dish much more flavorful. My hubby is not a chunk person, so he just put the sauce over the top with no apples. He still enjoyed the meal, but I know it didn't taste as good my my chunky bites! hehe! Thanks for a keeper, Ash!

From: Ashley Wray

3/4 T olive oil
1/2 t minced garlic
4 boneless chicken breasts
2 apples, peeled and diced (I used gala)
3/4 C apple juice
1 1/2 T butter

Slice your chicken breasts in half horizontally to create thinner breasts. Heat olive oil in pan on medium heat, add garlic. Cook until translucent. Add chicken breasts. Cook on for about 5 minutes, then flip the chicken and cook another 2 minutes. Add apples and saute for 2 minutes. Add apple juice and reduce liquid by half, this will take about 7 minutes.
Mix in butter and salt and pepper to taste. remove chicken, pour sauce over and serve over rice! Enjoy!

Alpine Touch

I have had a few inquiries about the spice that I use on EVERYTHING, Alpine Touch. I use it in virtually every recipe, even if I do not list it. From eggs in the morning to casseroles, chicken, and steak at night. I put it on potatoes, broccoli, asparagus, every side dish that you can think of. Anyway, enough of the raving. I am not sure how to explain is a spiced-up salt and pepper with 10 times the flavor. It is delicious! I challenge you to try will not regret it!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Mexican Lasagna

Well, where to begin. I thought that this was delicious...but needed a few extra spices in the tomato sauce. The next time that I make this I will double the garlic powder and put some oregano and parsley into the sauce. Cody did not like this dish. I think it is because it was a "bake" aka casserole, but he also thought that it needed a little more flavor. I think that is a great different-than-chicken dish for us...and I am going to add those few spices and make it again in a couple of weeks! Shhh...! Don't tell Cody...!
From: Erika

1 lbs ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 tsp powdered garlic
2 small cans of tomato sauce
1 cup sour cream
1 cup small curd cottage cheese
1 can chopped green chili peppers
10 oz crushed corn chips(make sure that they aren't too salty)
2 cups grated monterey Jack cheese

Fry beef , add onions, garlic powder, and tomato sauce.

In a separate bowl, combine sour cream, cottage cheese, and chopped green chili peppers. Place half of the crushed chips on the bottom of a casserole dish. Add 1/2 meat mixture and sprinkle with 1 cup of cheese. Spread entire sour cream mixture evenly over casserole. Repeat chips and meat layers. End with cheese on top. Bake covered at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Menu: Week 4 (Gluten Free Menu)

Yes, I know, this one has been a long time coming. It has been a while since we have had a full week of menu' has been crazy. Also, I am still trying to be Gluten Free, so that always gives me a challenge as well. 

Monday: Bourbon Chicken and steamed Broccoli
Tuesday: Stuffed Chicken and house salad
Wednesday: Lemon Chicken and steamed asparagus
Thursday: Penne a la Carbonara and house salad
Friday: Out
Saturday: Out

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Vanilla Frosting on Halloween Cupcakes!

Okay, so I know that these are not the prettiest pictures, but they were rushed! 
The pic above is a spider web with a chocolate chip spider. These ones were my favorite to make, I think I made them in every color variation possible.
Anyway, what I really wanted to share was the frosting recipe. I am a TOTAL cream-cheese frosting girl, and my hubby would never choose anything but cream cheese. Despite this, I decided to whip up some Vanilla frosting. Okay...DELICIOUS! I found it in a Williams-Sonoma cookbook for kids, so it is SOOO easy and SOOO yummy! It was the perfect consistency for frosting cupcakes, too.

From: Williams-Sonoma Baking with Kids Cookbook

3/4 cup butter at room temperature
2 Tbs. heavy cream (I used 1 % milk)
2 tsp. vanilla
3 1/4 cups powdered sugar

Mix the above ingredients until smooth.
Below is the...
ONE EYED ONE HORN FLYING PURPLE PEOPLE EATER! That is for my BFF Carrie! Woo-hoo! (I know it really has nothing to do with Halloween, but I had purple frosting, so...that's what I came up with!)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Blog Award

I feel like there are so many of these floating around the internet that I was bound to get one at some point...but it is still so fun to know that other people enjoy my recipes! A lot of my top hits for recipes have already received this don't feel bad if you are not on here...I know that you have already got it from another source! Emily at The Open Pantry recently gave me this award. Thanks so much, and here it goes...

Please find at least 10 more blogs, of any kind that you love to read. Write a post about the blogs you picked, linking back to me and to them. Once you’ve posted, return here to let me know your post is done and be sure to let them know too!!! (If you don't come up with 10, that's fine too!)
And the E for Excellent blog award goes to ...

1) Ally at All the Bits and Pieces. This is a relatively new blog, and she does the cutest crafts. Earrings, nursing covers, diaper wipe covers, and lots more adorable things!

2) Karina at Gluten Free Goddess. She has provided me with many recipes and I have learned a ton about gluten-free eating from her great site.

3) Melanie and Liz at Kill the Gluten. This blog has literally helped me survive these past 6 weeks! Thanks!

4) AnonyMOM Cooks. Almost all of her recipes are totally kid-friendly...which helps me when I am feeding my picky husband!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Bourbon Street Chicken

Okay, so immediately after tasting this, I realized what everyone was raving about! The sauce has a great flavor, just the right amount of sweetness and spice. It is also such a simple recipe...which of course makes meals 10 times better! There is no BOURBON in this recipe...who knows why it is called bourbon?? Anyone? Anyway, it is delicious, my hubby said it is one of the best chicken dishes I have ever MADE! Points with the husband can never hurt. Definitely serve it over rice...of course, we used brown rice. MMM!

Adapeted From: Blog Chef

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts 
2 Tbs. oil (for frying) 
4 Tbs. cornstarch 

 1 garlic clove (minced) 
1/4 teaspoon ginger 
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes 
1/4 cup apple juice 
1/3 cup light brown sugar 
2 tablespoon ketchup 
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar 
1/2 cup water 
1/3 cup soy sauce (or Bragg Liquid Aminos to be GF)

Cut chicken breasts into bit sized pieces, and lightly dust with cornstarch. Heat oil in your wok or frying pan and fry chicken until lightly browned. Drain on paper towels and set aside.
In a separate bowl combine all sauce ingredients. Pour into wok or frying pan and bring to a boil. 
Add chicken back to the pan, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
Serve over rice...delish!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Cookie Cooking Class

I went to another cooking class this morning...this one was at Williams-Sonoma. (Ps-I love that store, I am pretty sure I could spend every penny of every one of my paychecks there! I don't...not worries...I just cry at night instead.:) Anyway, it was a great class and I am going to keep going to them on Saturday mornings at 9:00. We are already up for the Laundry Mat, so, Why not, right? I learned how to do royal frosting on sugar cookies that you think only pros can do! Also, I learned lots of basic tips that make cookie making easier: 

Make sure all ingredients are at room temperature
only roll out your dough 2 times or it gets too tough
stamp your cookie cutters from the OUTSIDE get more cookies from your dough
spray pam in cookie cutters prior to cutting, the dough will slip out easier

I know these are all pretty basic, but they will help me make yummier cookies, for sure! I can't wait to show you the beautiful ones that I make! (Okay, they might be LESS than beautiful, since they will be my first ones!The ones above are not mine!)

Friday, October 10, 2008

Mexican Corn Chowder

This was DELICIOUS! Okay, let me rephrase that: I loved it, my husband hated it. Sad day, I know. I love, love, love corn, and chunks do not bother me in the least. My husband loves, loves, loves corn, too...however, he and chunks do not get along. I asked him prior to making it if he thought he would be okay with chunks of corn. He said he would be fine, because, well, he loves corn. It was quite the contrary. There is A TON of corn in this soup, and it was just a bit too chunky for him. If you have a chunky-hater like me on your hands, I would suggest food processing 2 cups of corn instead of only one. I also tried to make it a little less spicy by not adding quite so much onion, green chilies, and cumin. BIG PROBLEM! Don't do that...I think that it would have been even more delicious with the full servings of each of these.
The original recipe did not have potatoes, but we added them. It made the soup a little more hearty and filling, where without it I feel like I would have needed a few bowls to fill me up.
Like I said...I LOVED this soup...I will be eating it for lunch for the next 3 days with no hesitation whatsoever...enjoy!

Adapted From: Kill the Gluten

1 small onion, diced
5 medium potatoes, chopped and boiled
3 (15 oz) cans corn, drained
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups milk or cream
1 (4 oz) can diced green chiles
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp garlic salt
2 cups cooked diced chicken
toppings: sour cream, cheese(this was my favortie), salsa, tortilla chips, avocado

Put onion, chilies and 1 can of corn in food processor, or blender, and pulse for 10-20 seconds.  Pour corn mixture into large saucepan. Add chicken broth, milk or cream, cumin, garlic salt, and 2 cans corn. Heat over medium heat until warm. Add chicken and potatoes. Heat and stir for 10 minutes over low heat. Remove from heat. Serve topped with sour cream, cheese, salsa, tortilla chips and diced avocado.

Stuffed Chicken

Yum, Yum, Easy, Yum. This recipe was great! Not to metion it was so easy! My husband whipped this up with no instruction whatsoever. He even added his own flare to it but using prosciutto instead of deli ham. This is definitely a light, 30 minute meal that we will be putting on our menu often. To make this a heavier meal you could use one chicken breast for each person instead of sharing one. If you do this, I recommend thinning your chicken breast out with a cooking a mallet, this meal is much better with minimal chicken on each side! Once more: YUM!

Note:This recipe is only for 2 double, triple, or quadruple to accommodate your needs!

Adapted From: Kill the Gluten

1 chicken breast, sliced in half
4 slices of prosciutto (or deli ham, but I recommend prosciutto)
3 swiss cheese slices

Slice each half of the chicken breast lengthways, until almost cutting through. (It will be like a hot dog bun, don't cut it all the way through, leave just a little to keep it connected). The chicken will be very thin on each side. Open breast to butterfly position. Layer 1 slice of prosciutto, 1 1/2 slices of swiss, then one additional slice of prosciutto. Fold top over and use toothpicks to secure.  
Place in greased baking pan to prevent sticking. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. I do not recommend seasoning with extra salt, the prosciutto is very flavorful.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Lemon Curd

This is the dessert that I learned to make in my most recent cooking class. It is simply...delightful. Not to mention, it is done in a microwave! A traditional curd is done on a double-boiler, and can curdle very easily. This is stirred every minute, preventing it from curdling. Kelcey was honestly embarassed to give us a microwave recipe, but she said it is her #1 go-to recipe for lemon curd, and that she will never do it any other way!

1 cup white sugar
3 eggs
1 cup fresh lemon juice
3 lemons, zested
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

In a microwave-safe bowl, whicsk together the sugar and eggs until smooth. 

Stir in the lemon juice, lemon zest and melted butter. If the butter is hot, make sure to temper it into the egg mixture. Cook in the microwave for one minute intervals, stirring after eachminute until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a metal spoon. This is called Nape in cooking terms: simply dip the back of a spoon in the mixture and run the tip of your finger down the middle. If the mixture stays firm and doesn't leak into the absent space, your curd is done. 

This can take anywhere from 4-7 minutes, depending on your microwave. 
Remove from the microwave and serve on top of, well, anything!
Ice cream
Ginger cookies
Angel Food cake
Tart shell
Tip: This mixture can be stored for up to three weeks in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. Also, if you over cook the mixture or forget to stir, you can pass the mixture through a fine sieve to remove the bits of cooked egg.

My first Cooking class!

My first cooking class...And it was amazing! Okay, so I will start from the beginning...

Basically, I have an amazing husband. I always have these incredibly high aspirations for hobbies in my life. I want to learn to cook, learn to be great at scrapbooking,  learn... well, everything! However, I never take the time to sign up for classes to learn how to be great at these things. So, Cody has recently done some research for me into cooking classes! He knows how bad I want to do them, but at the same time I just don't want to suck it up and spend the money to get what I want. Anyway, he gave me a list of classes at Thanksgiving point in Lehi. I looked it over, thought about signing up, and just didn't do it. (Figures, right?)
About a week later, Cody says to me in a friendly, yet accusing tone, "Why haven't you signed up for classes yet?" I couldn't think of an excuse for the life of me. Even if I thought that I came up with a good one, Cody would somehow counter-defend his angle, and I would be left thinking, "I want to do this, HE wants me to do this, why am I NOT DOING IT?!" 
Later that night, I signed up for my number one choice of classes, 

Kelsey's Kitchen: 5 under 5

Kelsey is LDS and was in the final four on food network's "The Next Food Network Star"! She was every bit as pleasant and likeable as she was on the show. She is completely full of personality and is incredibly entertaining. I loved to hear her stories of how she got to where she is....and now, where she is headed! 

Here was the menu:
Caprese Skewers
Tortellini with Fresh Sage Butter 
Mediterranean Salmon Bake
Roasted Asparagus
Lemon Curd with Fresh Berries

It was all delicious! Not to mention, all of the recipes were under 5 ingredients. I am looking forward to making them myself, although this gluten free thing sure ruins the tortellini. I will look for some other rice pasta that can fit in the recipe I guess. Her two top tips were:

"Always use kosher salt"
"If you can get it fresh, use it fresh!"

I learned a ton of little things as well as how to make the above recipes. It sounds silly, but watching someone else cook really helps you see things that you could do differently. I am so excited to cut an onion! To mince some garlic! To bake some sage!? Yeah, she warms it in the microwave...crazy, but beautiful.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Gluten Free Sugar Cookies

Honestly, boxed cookies? I know, I didn't think that I would ever stoop to BOXED cookies. However, this gluten free...aka homemade cookie I am on is not helping my sweet tooth! I have made Peanut Butter rice Krispies and PB cookies all to often lately. They are delicious, but I needed a little something different from Peanut butter! 
Anyway, I went by the Organic store tonight and picked up this cookie mix. I was VERY skeptical after experiencing my rather stale biscuit like homemade pizza dough. But, sugar got the best of me, and I just had to try them. The verdict is...they were good! Actually, they were great! They stayed poofy, which I LOVED, and they were just...perfect!

I would give you the recipe, but, let's be honest, it's on the back. Sad. I feel pitiful, yet, satisfied!
I did roll my cookie dough balls in sugar prior to cooking them, which it did not say to do on the back of the box.
Pick these up and enjoy some gluten-free goodness...that doesn't taste gluten free! YEAH!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

GF Weekend Dinners

I made both Creamy Italian Chicken and White Chicken Chili this weekend...both Gluten free style! Click on the names to check out the recipes.

Roasted Butternut Squash

This veggie tastes like sugar! I absolutely love squash, it just meets my every craving. I was checking out a friends blog who made soup with spaghetti squash and wanted to do something with it. I did the basic...but it worked for me! Of course, my husband wouldn't have a thing to do with it...but, that just means more for me!

Butternut squash
1/8 cup butter
1/8 cup brown sugar (if desired)
salt and pepper (if desired)

Cut squash in half vertically. Using a spoon, remove all seeds. If desired, you may rinse and bake these seeds in the oven, such as pumpkin seeds.
Rub butter generously over the entire inside surface of the squash. If you desire, you may top with brown sugar or simply salt and pepper.
Bake at 350 for 50-60 minutes.
Remove the squash from the skin and enjoy! You may freeze or refrigerate excess squash.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Gluten Free Pizza

Am I doomed to a life of horrible bread ? I sure hope not! Okay, so it wasn't that bad...but it definitely is not delicious GLUTEN-FILLED dough! hehe! I have heard that you just shouldn't compare gluten free to the regular...but it is so hard not to. 
We are the type of people that if something doesn't taste good that I make, we will just throw it away and go out to eat. We ate the entire pizza. Therefore, it is edible, just as long as you don't compare to regular!

From: KilltheGluten

1/4 cup milk
2 large eggs
1/3 cup cornstarch
1 cup organic whole wheat rice flour
1/4 teaspoon
xanthan gum
1 teaspoon salt
pizza sauce
2 cups mozzarella cheese
pizza toppings (chicken, canadian bacon, turkey bacon and alfredo are our favorites).

Wisk eggs and milk together. Stir in the corn starch, flour, gum, and salt. Dough should be like cookie dough. Add more rice flour if it's too sticky.

Spead onto greased 9x13 pan. 
Spead sauce evenly over unbaked crust and top with cheese and favorite toppings. Bake preheated in 400 degree oven for about 25 minutes.

Xanthan Gum

Will this make my non-bread life a reality? I guess we will see....
For those of you who don't know, Xanthan Gum is a substitute for gluten, and gluten is in everything bread-related. 

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Gluten Free Cream of Chicken soup

What on earth would we do without cream of chicken soup?! Some of our favorite meals like enchiladas and poppyseed chicken would never again grace us with their presence! Well, thanks to some fellow Gluten-free bloggers, I was able to find this Gluten Free Cream of Chicken soup! Woo-hoo! I used it in my enchiladas tonight, and despite the fact that it is a little bit more runny than the regular, it was delish!

Mom's Chicken Enchiladas

Thank you momma! She made these for us all growing up, and we loved them. They are a perfect pantry meal. I always have these ingredients and can throw this meal together in a flash.

Mom’s Chicken Enchiladas
Printable Version

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cooked and shredded
6 flour tortillas (or corn tortillas to be GF)
7 oz. Cream of Chicken soup (or Healthy Valley Organic Cream of Chicken to be GF)
10 oz. sour cream
2 tsp. cumin
1 4 oz. can green chilies
1 small white onion, minced
1 cup mozzarella
1 cup cheddar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix soup, sour cream, cumin, green chilies, and onion. Cover the bottom of an 8x8 dish with about 1/8 cup soup mixture. Place about 1/4 cup chicken in a single tortilla, top with 3 Tbs. mozzarella and 1/8 cup of soup mixture. Roll tortilla with crease side down. Repeat with remaining tortillas. Top with extra soup mixture and cheddar cheese. Bake for 20-30 minutes.

Recipe from Momma
Makes 6 enchiladas

Gluten Free Orange Chicken

This is my first recipe to try my All Natural Bragg Liquid Aminos...aka gluten free Soy Sauce. It tasted just like normal...I couldn't even believe it! Check it out: Gluten Free Orange Chicken.

Gluten Free substitute for Soy Sauce

I was so worried about going gluten free and not being able to have soy sauce! In literally all of my chicken recipes we use soy sauce, even if it is just a teaspoon. I went to the natural foods store the other day, and the amazing lady there introduced me to this product! Was I sketch about it...yes, yes I was. It smells a little different, so that really caught me off guard. I was proved wrong quickly, however! I tried it in our orange chicken, which called for over 2 Tablespoons, and it tasted just like normal! Woo-hoo for health food stores!

Gluten Free Momma's Mac and Cheese

Yes, I am still alive! I have been trying some of my traditional meals...GLUTEN FREE style! So far, so good. Here is  Momma's Mac and Cheese with no gluten. It actually tasted...delightful! Many people say that they can tell a huge difference in gluten free pasta and regular. Me and my hubby, however, don't notice a thing! Once you have a sauce on top, the GF pasta takes just like regular. The only difference is the price...ouch!