Monday, July 28, 2014

Green Stuff:

This is one dish I have grown up on my whole life and I don't think I'll ever get tired it!
My mom and grandma used to make this salad all the time! Pappy always called it "rainbow stew"!!! I have no idea why! I've also heard some people call it Watergate Salad........we always call it Green Stuff.  It's so easy to make, and I think we make it for just about every occasion - Christmas, 4th of July, family reunions, whatever!! We've tried different Jello Salads and things instead of this salad, and people have said "it's good, but just doesn't take the place of Green Stuff"!
If you're not a huge fan of pistachios, don't worry! It only has a very slight pistachio flavor that you hardly notice! It's such a great dish for the summer, and I hope you'll give it a try!



2 (3.4 oz.) boxes instant pistachio pudding mix
1 (20 oz.) can crushed pineapple, do not drain
2+ cups mini marshmallows
1 (16 oz.) container Cool Whip

In a large bowl, mix together pudding and pineapple until well combined. Stir in marshmallows - start with 2 cups and add more if you want! Fold in the Cool Whip. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve!

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Monday, July 21, 2014

Mini Freezer Omelets:

These are so easy to make and fabulous for a fast and easy breakfast!
I like to make some with just meat and cheese, and then some with other mix-ins. That way everyone can find something they like! I hope you give them a try!


8 eggs
1/2 cup milk
Mix-ins of your choice:
Shredded cheddar cheese
Sauted peppers, onions and/or mushrooms
black olives
chopped tomatoes
crumbled, cooked bacon
crumbled, cooked sausage
chopped ham

Place eggs and milk in a large bowl. Mix with a hand mixer until light and fluffy. Divide evenly between 12 paper-lined muffin cups (with foil and paper liners). Add small amounts of any mix-ins you like! Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, or until eggs are set. Allow to cool in the muffin tin for 5 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely. Place on a cookie sheet and freeze until completely frozen. Place in a gallon zip-lock bag and return to the freezer. 

To Re-heat:
Remove foil muffin cup, and place omelet on a plate. Microwave for 45-60 seconds or until heated through!

Note:
-I actually love to eat these with grits over the top!
-If you don't use the muffin-liners with paper and foil, the regular ones will stick to the omelet really bad!

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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Five Guys Burgers and Fries:




Just added to the "Eating Out" Tab on the right hand side!!
I've never been to this restaurant before, but I've seen them in lots of different places.
Be sure to read their story on the website! It's pretty interesting how they got started!

Funny story: my brother just helped do some landscaping at one of the "5 guys" vacation homes!!!

I hope you check it out!
Let me know if you try anything from this restaurant and how you liked it!

Monday, July 14, 2014

8-Hour Chicken Marinade:

I love to mix up a meat marinade in the morning and let the chicken, pork, steak or whatever it may be, just soak there all day! It's almost like a slow-cooker meal, really. Prep it in the morning and let it just get better and better as the day goes on! 
This one is definitely better the longer is goes! I really don't know how to describe the flavor - it's not sweet, but not tangy or spicy either! The ingredient list kind of surprised me, but everything went together really well and I thought it was really yummy! I served it just plain with roasted asparagus and french fries on the side, but it would also be great chopped up over a salad as well!
Hope you try it out!


1/4 cup cider vinegar
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard (I only had Honey Dijon, so that's what I used)
2 tablespoons minced garlic
3 tablespoons lime juice
4 & 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
6 chicken breasts

Place chicken in a gallon zip-lock bag. In a small bowl, whisk together remaining ingredients. Pour over chicken and seal bag, getting out as much air as possible. Shake well to evenly coat. Chill for at least 8 hours (can be more). Place chicken breasts on grill and discard remaining marinade. Grill until done!

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Monday, July 7, 2014

Pat-In-the-Pan Pie Crust:



I have a pretty good Pie Crust Recipe on the blog already, and I really do like it, but I've really struggled getting it to that "amazing" point. It's by far the best of that type that I've tried and it is definitely good, but I'm just not sure how to compare it to this one! I always have a hard time transferring the rolled pie crust to the pan in one piece! Plus the entire process of making a pie, just takes a really long time. 

Until now. 
A friend lent me a magazine called "Cook's Country." You may be familiar with it, but it was something new to me, and I just loved it! It was super interesting and had some great tips.
And that's where I found this recipe.
I didn't have anything to loose, so I gave it a try and was beyond thrilled! 
Granted, you can not use it for a two-crust pie, but for a single pie crust, it's amazing! SUPER fast and easy to make and REALLY yummy! 
The ingredients and directions were a little surprising to me, but trust me, they all work and I hope you'll try it out!! 


1 & 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp. xanthan gum
2 tblsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 stick (8 tblsp.) butter, room temperature
2 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

Lightly coat a deep dish 9-inch pie plate with cooking spray; set aside. 
In small bowl, whisk together the flour, xanthan gum, sugar and salt; set aside.
In the bowl of your electric mixer, beat butter and cream cheese on medium-high speed for 2 minutes, stopping once or twice to scrape down the sides of the bowl and beaters as needed. 
Add flour mixture and mix on medium-low until mixture resembles course crumbs - about 20 seconds. Scrape down sides of bowl and beaters. 
Increase mixer speed to medium-high and beat until dough begins to form large clumps - about 30 seconds.
Turn dough out onto plastic wrap. Form into a ball and then flatten into a 6-inch disk. Transfer to prepared pie plate. 
Press dough evenly over bottom of pie plate toward sides, using the heel of your hand. You can hold it up to the light to make sure that it's pressed out evenly. 
Continue pressing up the sides and slightly over the edge of the plate until even.
Flute the edges. Wrap the whole thing in plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour. 

To make a pre-baked pie shell:
Adjust your oven racks so that one rack is in the center of the oven and pre-heat to 325 degrees. Lightly prick bottom of crust with fork. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool on wire rack.

To fill a pie and then bake:
Prepare according to your recipe directions and bake as directed. 

Note:
-When I made the apple pie in the above picture, the directions on the apple pie filling can said to brush the crust with an egg white wash. I really don't think this crust needed it at all. As you can tell from the picture, it got plenty golden-brown and almost burnt. I think it would have browned just fine on it's own, with no egg white wash!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Tapioca Jello Salad:

I am all about the Jello salads! I may have to make a "Jello Salad" section in my Recipe Index! I just love them! I think I got it from one of my grandma's, because I can remember her making them all the time! I don't think I've ever tasted one I didn't like, and there's probably a million more recipes out there that I haven't even tried!

Well, as usual, I needed something fast and only had a few weird ingredients, so I looked through a few recipes and found this one! I made a couple of changes to suit what I had on hand, and wow! It was super fast and easy, plus delicious! Everything a Jello Salad should be! 
If you're not a fan of Tapioca Pudding, I highly recommend you try this anyway! My Dad LOVES Tapioca, and I mean, it's okay, but I wouldn't call it my favorite food or anything. But the "balls" of the tapioca add a really fun texture to this dish, and since it's a pudding, it's also super creamy. I really enjoyed it! 
Hope you try it out!


1 (3 oz) package orange Jello mix
2 (3 oz) packages Cook & Serve Tapioca Pudding mix  
3 cups water
1 (8 oz.) container Cool Whip
Optional:
1-2 small cans mandarin oranges, drained

In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add jello and pudding mixes, and whisk together. Return to a boil and cook and stir for 2-3 minutes.
Remove from heat and pour into a medium size bowl. Let stand to cool.
Once completely cooled, fold in Cool Whip and oranges, if desired.
Chill for 3-4 hours or overnight.

Note:
-I didn't have any oranges, and some in my family don't like them, so I left them out.
-You could use any flavor Jello that you like and maybe try substituting fruit cocktail for the oranges!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Oatmeal Corn Flake Cookies:

I think there are certain foods or the way to eat certain foods, that are just staples/traditions in certain families. Like there's certain things that different families always do, or never do when it comes to food, and no one really knows why. Mom did it, so we do it. Mom only did it because Grandma did it. Grandma only did it, because she didn't have a big enough pan to do it any other way!! But now it's "how you have to do it"!! 
Cookies and Cake are kind of like that for us. VERY rarely will we eat a cookie, unless there is a glass of milk as well! It's like an unwritten rule or something that a cookie must be dipped! And, besides No-Bake Cookies, we don't even think about making a cookie that doesn't soak up milk properly. The same for Cake. There is only a few in my family that will eat a piece of cake, without it being in a bowl almost covered in milk. They seriously like a little cake with their milk! 
Anyway, when I saw these cookies, they looked like they would pass the criteria for "milk dipping" and they sounded really yummy, so I gave them a try! It was really a neat spin on traditional chocolate chip cookies, and they had such a cool chewy, yet soft texture. Plus they bake really fast, so that's always a plus! 
Hope you try them out and enjoy them as much as we did! 


1 cup butter, softened to room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 tblsp. milk
1 tblsp. vanilla
2 eggs
2 cups flour
1 tsp. xanthan gum
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 cups quick oats
2 cups cornflakes
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup butterscotch chips

Cream butter in a large mixing bowl. Add sugar and brown sugar; cream until light and fluffy. Add milk, vanilla and eggs, and mix until well combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. 
Add flour, xanthan gum, baking soda and baking powder. Mix until well incorporated. 
Add the oats, cornflakes and chips. Mix very gently and briefly - just until combined. 
Using a cookie scoop, drop onto greased cookie sheets. 
Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. You may think that they aren't done, but trust me - take them out! Let them sit on the cookie sheets for just a minute or two, and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
Once cooled, store in an airtight container. 

Note:
-I used chocolate chips and butterscotch chips, because that's what I had. You can use whatever  you want! 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Eating Out on a Gluten-Free Diet:

I'm thrilled to introduce you to a brand-new section on the blog:

"Eating Out"

You can find the link in the "Tab's" box on the right side-bar.

I have been working on this page for a long time now, and I'm SO, SO excited to finally release it!!
Before you go and check it out, I hope you'll take just a minute and read my disclaimer below:

Me and my family very rarely eat out.
Like, I'm talking maybe three times a year or so!!
It could be a little more than that, but that's only if ice cream counts, and still we rarely do that.
If we are traveling, we will or shopping all day or something, but other than that, we just don't.
Only ONCE in my entire life, do I remember us being at home, not cooking dinner, and going out to eat instead!

However, I like to know what different restaurants offer as far as gluten-free selections, and I get asked A LOT about what restaurants have what Gluten-Free food. You can go to most every restaurant's website, and find an allergen food list, or ingredient list, but sometimes it's crazy hard to find them! I don't know why they hide those lists, but some places do!
So instead of telling you to go to such and such place and look for a list, I thought I would share with you what I have found.

Before I do that, though, there is some things you need to keep in mind:
First, I am not a professional restaurant critic or anything! I'm just sharing what I have found!
Second, me and the members of my family that eat gluten-free DO NOT have Celiac Disease.
We have a "Gluten Intolerance". I personally have been on a gluten-free diet for 8 years now. At first, cross-contamination (even a single crumb) would have made me sick for days! After I have healed, I have been able to handle a few things like that.
I DO NOT EAT ANYTHING WITH GLUTEN IN IT, ON PURPOSE!!!!
Please don't think that I just eat a piece of bread every now and then, because it doesn't bother me any more!!! If you knew me, you would know that I have never done that, and will never do that! I will (and have, actually) gladly go hungry if I'm not sure or have hesitations about food. But let me explain what I'm talking about in concern to cross-contamination: If a restaurant cooks their breaded chicken nuggets and French fries in the same oil, the fries will be cross-contaminated. For someone with Celiac Disease, this could mean ending up in the hospital! We, personally, don't have any trouble with it now, but I realize that's not the case for everyone, because it hasn't always been for me and for some, it will never be an option.
So basically what I'm saying is, you have to take control of your health and learn what you can and can not do. If I have a hesitation about a certain menu item at a restaurant, I won't get it. I have no problem with that. I would do without for ever, before I would be willing to get sick again! On the other hand, if my mom or sister wants to try something that I'm hesitant about, they probably will go ahead and try it. Simple because they don't react as bad as I do. Again, they don't just going around eating a sandwich, hoping it doesn't make them sick! They still use caution. But gluten affects everyone differently and you have to know for yourself what you will and will not do, no matter what others do (even if they say they are "gluten-intolerant" or have Celiac Disease).
I hope that makes sense!

Now onto the info you really wanted to know about! 
You can check out my post HERE on a place called Triumph Dining.
They have a whole book on restaurants across the United States and what you can and can't have there. If you travel a lot, this may be something you would be interested in, however it's a little pricey. They do update it every year, but again, pretty pricey, so you would just have to decide if that's something you are interested in.

All the info that I'm sharing, is directly what I find from the restaurants web-site.
This information is updated often, and I HIGHLY, STRONGLY recommend, if there is a certain place you frequent, that you check out the information regularly, as it does change. Mostly for the good, but everyone now and then, something you get all the time, will be slightly modified and no longer safe for you to eat.
Whenever it is possible, I will provide a link to both the Allergen Food List and the Ingredient List.
The Allergen Food List says what "Item" is gluten free. For instance, most places will say that a hamburger is not gluten-free. But mostly that's because of the bun. So leave the bun off, and you have can  have it! The Ingredient list says what exactly is in each item (what's really in the hamburger, not the bun), that way you know why/how you can or can't have it. Sometimes in those situations, you could still have a certain menu item, just asking them to leave off one ingredient (i.e. the bun, croutons, etc.).

Also, check back to the "Eating Out" page often, because as I find out different things about different restaurants, I will be adding that there as well!

I hope it will be helpful to you and if you have any questions or there is a restaurant I don't have listed here, that you would like me to check out for you, please feel free to leave me a comment or e-mail me and I will get back to you and help you out if I possibly can!!
Enjoy!


Monday, June 16, 2014

Homemade Hot Fudge Sauce:

All you need is 5 ingredients and 5 minutes to make this super easy dessert!
I LOVE Hot Fudge!!!! But I've never really cared for home-made versions, because they are too thin! I like the super thick, store bought kind!
I wanted some on my ice cream the other night, so I threw this together real quick and was SUPER happy!! It's really rich and thick, just the way I like it!
Hope you try it out!!


12 tablespoons butter
1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
3/4 cup cocoa powder
2 cups sugar
1 & 1/2 tsp. vanilla

In a medium saucepan, bring butter and milk to a slow, gentle boil. Add cocoa powder and sugar. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until mixture coats the back of a spoon, whisking constantly. It will probably start to boil harder, and you may want to turn down the heat, so that it doesn't splatter all over you and burn you! Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla. Pour into a glass jar. Serve immediately or refrigerate. Pop in the microwave for a few seconds to re-heat.
Serve over your favorite ice cream or just eat it by the spoon!!!

Note:
-This recipe yields 1 quart. It makes a lot, because I adjusted the original recipe so that it used an entire can of evaporated milk, rather than having just a few tablespoons leftover. You could certainly halve the recipe, if you prefer.
-This keeps for a good while in the fridge. Well, I say good while, but it somehow disappeared after two weeks in my house, so that's as long as I know for sure, that it will keep! I'm pretty sure it would last longer than that, though!!
-My sister and I also dipped strawberries in this too!!
-Don't mind the first picture! My mom put her ice cream in the microwave for a few seconds (a weird family thing) and so the hot-fudge was totally running off faster than my camera could flash!
It still tasted amazing, though!!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Blueberry Angel Dessert:

We don't really make a lot of desserts here.
I know you might find that hard to believe, if you look at the dessert section on my Recipe Index, but honestly, the majority of the time, Chocolate Chip Cookies is about the only thing we make. We might make other things every now and then for a special treat on Saturday or Sunday night. Other than that, it's pretty much just birthdays, special occasions, things like that.

But for the past several months (and for various reasons) our church has been having a dinner at church every Sunday after the morning service. Then after the dinner, we have an afternoon service, instead of a service in the evening.
Anyway, so we've been making an actual dessert every single weekend.
I usually spend half of Saturday, making food to take on Sunday.

This past weekend, I didn't have Saturday to cook, so I needed something fast!
I saw this recipe and actually had the stuff for it, so I thought why not!
It turned out really, really good!
 It's sort of like cheesecake, but then again it's not!
I don't really like cheesecake, and I loved it! My mom loves cheesecake and she liked it too!
It's just a different twist, but so fast and easy to make!
Plus, it's a nice cool dessert for the summertime!!
Hope you try it out!


1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
1 cup powder sugar
1 (8 oz.) container Cool Whip
1 (16 oz.) prepared angel food cake (HERE is my easy recipe)
1 can Blueberry Pie Filling

In a large bowl, cream together cream cheese and sugar until smooth with an electric mixer or hand mixer. Gently fold in Cool Whip. Cut cake into 1-inch cubes. Stir into cream cheese mixture. Pour into a 9x13-inch baking dish, and spread out evenly. Spread the pie filling evenly over the top. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Note:
-I made my cake a day early, so that all the mess from that could be cleaned up. Then, the next day, I just tossed everything together and threw it in the fridge. It made it a super quick and easy dessert then!
-Of course if you don't need this to be gluten-free, then you could buy a pre-made cake or a boxed cake mix.
-I've only made this with Blueberry Pie filling, but Cherry would probably be good too.