Monday, January 26, 2015

Pizza Hut and Udi's:



I don't know how I missed this process, but I just found out that Pizza Hut is partnering with
 to bring you a gluten-free pizza that you can now order at Pizza Hut!!!

I just received the e-mail that it was launched today!
I'm pretty excited about this!! I love how more and more places are trying to be so accommodating to gluten-free eaters!!! 
Here is the link to Pizza Hut, were you can find the locations (over 2,000) that are offering the gluten-free pizza!!


Unfortunately, the nearest one to me is about 30 minutes away, so I have not been able to try one yet. I hope to soon, but in the mean time, if anyone else tries one, PLEASE leave me a comment or e-mail me and let me know what you think!!!



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Thick and Creamy Broccoli Cheese Soup:

Anyone who knows me for very long, probably knows that my very favorite season is

WINTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I just love the cold, the snow, the fact that Christmas is during the winter, sweaters and boots and just anything "wintery"! 
It never lasts long enough for me!
Ever since I was little, people have been telling me that I will of course grow out of liking winter when I'm older. So far, it has only grown with me more and more every year (grown bigger than me, might be more like it, since I've not really grown for about 10 years)!

Anyway, whether you love or hate winter, you would have to admit that a big bowl of soup and a nice muffin, on a cold winter night, is a really great thing!
So no matter what your relationship with winter is (or isn't),
I hope you will definitely give this SUPER easy, SUPER yummy broccoli soup a try!! Warm, creamy and cheesy, it's just plain GOOD!!!!




1 small onion, finely diced butter
6 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 pinch of nutmeg
dash of pepper
2 & 2/3 cups milk
2 cups chicken broth
6 cups broccoli, cut into bite sized pieces
2cups cubed or shredded Velveeta cheese

Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions. Cook and stir for 1-2 minutes to soften the onion. Whisk in the cornstarch, nutmeg and pepper until smooth. Stir in the milk and chicken broth and mix until well combined. Add broccoli. Cover the pan and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 30-40 minutes, or until broccoli is tender (the smaller you cut the broccoli, the faster it will cook). Turn the heat back up to medium and add the cheese. Cook and stir until thoroughly melted.
Serve!

Note:
-If you prefer a broccoli soup with more veggies in it, then click HERE to check out my recipe for Broccoli Chowder.
-Check out my RECIPE INDEX for some great muffins or bread to serve with this!



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Monday, January 19, 2015

Grandma's Pineapple Cookies:

When my older brother and sister were younger, they always got to go over to Grandma Wagner's house and help make Christmas cookies every year. They would spend the whole day and they always had a blast! Grandma told me that I could start coming when I turned 10 and I couldn't wait!! Sadly, Pappy passed away and Grandma started having some health problems, which resulted in her moving to South Carolina to live with her daughter, all the year I turned 9. The tradition ended and I never got to experience it, but thankfully Grandma at least had recipes for most of her best Christmas cookies, so at least we can still make them!
These cookies are just one of SO many that she used to make! I always loved them, because they are so moist and just sweet enough, but not overly sweet. Grandma always made yellow, green, red, and white frosting, so that's what we do when we make them - every year, always with Grandma on our minds!
I hope you try them out!


1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 cup shortening
2 eggs
1 & 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 can crushed pineapple, well drained reserving the juice
4 cups flour
2 tsp. xanthan gum
1/2 tsp. salt
1 & 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder

Frosting:
1 & 1/3 cup powder sugar
1-2 tablespoons reserved pineapple juice
food coloring

Cream together the sugars, shortening and eggs in a large mixing bowl.
Add vanilla and pineapple. Mix for just a couple of seconds, and add in dry ingredients.Mix well. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto greased cookies sheets.
Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until just very light golden brown.
Let cool completely before icing them.
Mix together the icing ingredients. Start with 1 tablespoon of pineapple juice, and add additional amounts to reach desired consistency. You want it to be thin enough to spread, but not too thin that will run off the cookie. Add food coloring of your choice to reach desired color. You may need to mix up multiple batches of frosting to frost all the cookies, but only mix up one at a time. The icing hardens really fast, so it will dry up on you, if you don't use it quickly.
Let stand until frosting is set. Store in an airtight container, between layers of wax paper.
These can stand on the counter top for several days, or we like to freeze them, and pull out however many we want, when we need them!

Note:
-This makes several dozen cookies! I forgot to count, but I'd say 4-6 dozen, depending on how large you make them. We use a 1-inch cookie scoop.
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Monday, January 12, 2015

Pumpkin Pie:

I don't know if there is anything that screams "Christmas" to me, more than Christmas trees and pumpkin pie! I happen to love both. I wish that I was a more organized person, and had shared this before Christmas, but the truth is, life continues on, no matter how organized you are...or aren't. But if you're like us, and still have the Christmas tree up, then it's still the Christmas season, so it all works out!! The other options are 1. make it anyways, because it's good, and 2. pin and try it out next fall, I guess!! Whatever works!

That being said, I hope you will enjoy the host of other Christmas recipes that will be coming out over the next several weeks! Hey, it's never too early to plan for next Christmas, right?
(Only 347 days to go, by the way!!!)

Now, back to the recipe!
Sometimes making a pie can be time consuming, and making one gluten-free can seem just about impossible sometimes! But today, I have a few tricks and shortcuts to share with you, so you can whip up a couple of these in no time at all!! This recipe makes 2 pies.
I hope you try it out!!


Crust:
3/4 cup butter, cubed and very cold
3/4 cup shortening, chilled until very cold
3 cups flour
1 tblsp. xanthan gum
1 tsp. salt
1 egg
1 tblsp. vinegar
3-5 tblsp. ice cold water

Filling:
2 (30oz.) cans Libby's Pumpkin pie mix
1 & 1/3 cup Evaporated milk
4 eggs

For the crust, place flour, xanthan gum and salt in a food processor. Add butter and shortening. Pulse until mixture resembles course crumbs. Add egg, vinegar and 3 tablespoons water. Pulse until mixture comes together (you might need to run a spatula around the edges of the bowl, occasionally). Add more water, one tablespoon at a time, if needed, until mixture sticks together well, but you don't want it to be too sticky. 
Divide dough between 2, 9-inch deep-dish pie plates that have been coated with cooking spray. Wash your hands in very cold water, then pat dry. This way your hands are nice and cold and it will be easier to press out the dough. Press evenly into the bottom and up the sides of the pie plate. Flute the edges. Place in the freezer and chill just until firm (you can do this in the fridge, but the freezer is faster!).
Meanwhile, mix together filling ingredients with a whisk or hand-mixer. 
Once crust is chilled, pour the filling evenly between the two crusts.
Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake 50-60 minutes longer, or until knife inserted in the center of the pie, comes out clean and the crust is golden brown.
Cool completely. Cover with plastic wrap and chill until ready to serve!

Note:
-It's super important that the butter and shortening are very, very cold.

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Wednesday, January 7, 2015

UPDATE:


Just made some new and improved changes to my



If you have already made it, I changed a few things to make it even easier now!
If you haven't tried this recipe yet, I hope you will now!!
It's one of my top 5 favorite recipes ever!


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Monday, January 5, 2015

Poor Man's Cookies:

If you've seen a number of my recipes, then you probably realize that a large portion of them come from my grandmothers! My dad's mom and my mom's mom where both fabulous cooks, and I love that we have so many of their recipes! Not all of their recipes, of course, because as with any good cook, a lot of their best recipes were never written down, but at least we have some!
This recipe is no exception. I don't know where grandma got it from or how it got it's name, but these cookies are SO good! It's more like a cake than a cookie - they are super soft and moist and just delicious!
I hope you try them out!


1 cup raisins
1 cup water
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 cup sugar
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons xanthan gum
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 egg
1/2 cup chopped nuts, optional

Glaze:
1 cup powder sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
3 & 1/2 tsp. milk 

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, xanthan gum, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg; set aside.
Place raisins in a microwave safe dish. Add water. Microwave on high for 2-3 minutes or until boiling. Add butter and stir until melted. Mix in the sugar. Add mixture to the dry ingredients and mix well. Add the egg and nuts, if desired, and stir until well combined. Pour into a greased 10x15-inch baking sheet or jelly-roll pan and spread out evenly. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until medium golden brown, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Cool completely. Mix together glaze ingredients and drizzle over the cookies. Allow to rest until glaze is set.
Cut into squares and serve!

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Friday, January 2, 2015

UPDATE:


UPDATE:
There was an error when I originally published the recipe for THIS bread.
It said to bake until a thermometer reaches 210 degrees. That should be 200 degrees.
I'm sorry for the confusion, but it's fixed now!!
Thank you!

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Monday, December 22, 2014

Mint Chocolate Chip Frosting:

I love ice cream, and I don't think I could really pick a favorite flavor! I just like it all!!!
And mint chocolate chip is definitely no exception! One of my sisters LOVES mint chocolate chip ice cream, so when I ran across this recipe, I knew I had to try it!
It was so easy, and really yummy!! You could ice a whole cake, or do cupcakes like I did. Whatever you do, I'm sure it will be good!!


1 cup butter, room temperature
1 (2 lb.) bag Powder Sugar
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk
1/2 tsp. peppermint extract
7 drops green food coloring
1 cup mini chocolate chips or chopped up Hershey candy bars


In a large bowl, beat together butter, sugar and milk. Add extract and food coloring and mix until well combined. Stir in chocolate. Frost cake or cupcakes. Store in airtight container in the refrigerator. 

Note:
-Just to warn you - this makes a LOT of frosting!!
-This is the chocolate cake recipe that I used - One Bowl Chocolate Cake - super easy and moist.

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Monday, December 15, 2014

Flourless Chocolate Peanut Butter Muffins:

I love muffins as it is, but when they are super quick and easy muffins? Well, that just makes me love them even more!! From start to finish, these can be done in under 20 minutes! And you'll never guess they don't have flour in them! I was skeptical at first, but wow! They are SO good! They have the texture of any normal muffin, except they are just really moist and absolutely delicious! 


1 medium banana
1 egg
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter (a generous 1/2 cup)
1/3 cup baking cocoa
3 tblsp. honey
1 tblsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. baking soda
pinch of salt, optional
1/2 cup chocolate chips, regular or mini

Prepare a mini muffin tin with paper baking cups or generously coat with cooking spray; set aside.
Place all ingredients, except the chocolate chips, in a blender. 
Blend until smooth. Stir in chocolate chips. Using a small cookie scoop, fill mini muffin cups 3/4 full. Sprinkle additional chocolate chips over the tops of the muffins, if desired. Gently press into the batter.
Bake at 400 degrees for 8-12 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, or with a few moist crumbs.
Cool in muffin pan for 10 minutes. Remove to a clean dish towel or cooling rack to cool completely.
Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days or up to 4 months in the freezer.

Note:
-I actually prefer NOT to use paper baking cups. They work okay, but these muffins have a tendency to stick to the paper. They come right out of the greased muffin tin, so that's the method I prefer. 

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Monday, December 8, 2014

Easy Tex-Mex Chili:

I really LOVE chili, but the recipe we usually use, just wasn't cutting it for me. I do tend to like things a bit spicy, and the rest of my family tends to dislike spicy things.
In October, I had the opportunity to spend 3 amazing weeks with my brother and his family (including their brand new baby girl!) in New Mexico. I had the best time ever, and I'm still sad that my visit is over. 

Anyway, while I was there, my brother made chili for dinner one night, and it was SO good! I absolutely loved it and have been craving it ever since. However, I knew it would be way to spicy for the rest of my family.
So I stumbled across a Tex-Mex Chili packet. Tex-Mex things are usually a little less spicy than regular Mexican food, so I decided to try it out!
It ended up being so easy and so good! It had a little kick to it, but definitely wasn't really spicy. It ended up being a good win-win situation, because it had the kick I was missing, yet wasn't overly spicy at all, so even some of my family enjoyed it too!!!  
I hope you try it out!!!! 


2 pounds ground beef
4 (8 ounce) cans tomato sauce
1 (15 ounce) can red kidney beans, drained
1 (15.8 ounce) can great northern beans, drained
1 tsp. dried mustard
1 package McCormick Chili Tex-Mex seasoning mix*
Optional:
-corn chips
-shredded cheddar cheese
-chopped onions
-sour cream

In a large skillet or saucepan, brown beef until no longer pink; drain. Add tomato sauce, beans, mustard and seasoning mix. Cook and stir over high heat until well combined. Depending on how you want it, add 1-2 tomato sauce cans of water, until you reach the desired consistency.
Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for at least 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Serve with toppings of your choice!

Note:
-This is perfect to make ahead of time. If it's already warm, put it in the slow-cooker on low until you're read to serve it. If it's cold, put in in the slow-cooker on high until it gets nice and hot, and then reduce heat to low or warm until ready to serve.
-Serve it Cincinnati style instead! Click HERE!
-This is the packet I used. And it's gluten-free!! Unfortunately, the other McCormick Chili seasoning mixes are not. I don't know about other brands, so I if you want it to be gluten-free, please make sure to check all the labels.



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