Monday, October 5, 2015

Easy Homemade Red Enchilada Sauce:

I love enchiladas, but it's actually hard finding an enchilada sauce that doesn't contain gluten. This recipe is so fast and easy to make, that I'm not going to read through the stacks and stacks of cans at the store ever again! It hard to tell by the picture, but the results are a fairly thick, dark red sauce. Not really spice at all, but packed with flavor!!! 
I hope you'll try it out in your favorite enchilada recipe, or wait until next week, when I'll be sharing an awesome enchilada recipe with you! Stayed tuned!! 

2 tblsp. canola or vegetable oil
1 tblsp. cornstarch
3 tblsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. oregano
2 cups chicken broth

In a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat.
Add cornstarch and whisk until smooth. Stir in the remaining seasonings and mix well (if it's starting to stick or something, you may want to remove the pan from the heat while you are adding everything in). Gradually stir in chicken broth while whisking, to prevent lumps. Cook and stir until completely smooth. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until thickened, stirring occasionally.
Use immediately or refrigerated, in an air-tight container for approximately 2 weeks.

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Monday, September 28, 2015

{Easy Steak Marinade}

I realize that grilling season is nearing a close, at least where I live. But we do love to grill, and we still have a few weeks left, maybe.
This marinade was super easy, and very yummy!
I hope you try it out!

1 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. Season Salt
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. black pepper

Amount of steak:
The amount can vary. I used this amount of marinade for 6 New York Strip Steaks.

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl, and whisk until smooth.
Place steak in a gallon zip-lock bag. Pour soy sauce mixture over steak; remove as much air as possible from the bag and seal. Squish the steaks to get the marinade all rubbed in.
Place on a plate or in a pan, so that it won't accidentally leak all over the place!
Refrigerate for at least an hour, but the longer the better. 24 hours is ideal.
Place on pre-heated grill. Cook for 5 minutes on each side.
Place in serving dish, and let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

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Monday, September 21, 2015

{No-Bake Chex Bars}

Inspired by a conversation about Chex cereal with my boyfriend
(who loves all things peanut butter and chocolate just about as much as I do),
I went on a quest to find this recipe.
Thankfully, I didn't have to look very long or far!
I stumbled across a similar recipe and knew I had to try it out!
Unfortunately, Bradley has not had the chance to taste them yet, but I absolutely loved them!
I wasn't sure what to think, but they turned out SO good and they really couldn't have been easier to make. They hold their shape beautifully, yet they are still nice and soft like a really good rice crispy treat. I don't know exactly how to describe them, so you should probably just make them and see for yourself!! If you are even the slightest fan of peanut butter and/or chocolate, I don't think you'll be disappointed! 

7 cups Chex cereal
1 cup brown sugar
1 cups light corn syrup
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 cup chocolate chips

Line a 9x13 baking dish with foil, and lightly coat with cooking spray; set aside.
Place cereal in a large bowl.
In a medium saucepan, whisk together brown sugar and corn syrup. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and boil for a full minute, stirring constantly.
Remove from heat; add peanut butter and vanilla. Mix until peanut butter is melted and mixture is smooth. Pour over cereal. Mix until evenly coated, but gently so that the cereal doesn't get crushed.
Press mixture into prepared pan, again, being very gentle not to crush the cereal.
In a small saucepan over low heat, melt chocolate, stirring constantly, until smooth.
Drizzle over cereal mixture. Chill until firm. Remove from the pan and discard the foil. Cut into squares and serve!

-I used corn Chex, but you could use rice Chex, a mixture of both, or whatever you want. Just be sure not to use wheat Chex if you are making them gluten-free!

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Monday, September 14, 2015

Mounds Brownies:

Coconut is so good! I know, I know...lots of people don't like it. 
Believe me, coconut lovers are a minority in my house!
I don't mind a whole lot though, because that just means more for those of us who love it!
So if you are a fellow coconut lover, this recipe is for you!!!!
 I hope you give it a try!!!

1 batch (or box) brownies, see note
5 & 1/3 cups shredded coconut
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1 & 1/2 cups powder sugar
2 cups milk chocolate chips

Prepare brownies according to directions. Bake in a jelly-roll style pan.
Allow to cool completely.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix together coconut, milk, and sugar until thoroughly combined. The mixture will be very, very thick.
Drop by spoonfuls all over the brownies and spread evenly, being very careful not to tear the brownies.
Place chocolate in a microwave safe dish, and microwave in 30 second intervals until melted. 
Drizzle over coconut mixture and chill until set.
Cut into squares and serve!

-You can click HERE to find my brownie recipe

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Monday, September 7, 2015

Products I love: 3 different Granola Bars:

Today, I'm sorry to say that I do not have a recipe to share with you.
However, I'm very excited to share several product recommendations with you!
I am not receiving anything or getting paid to write this post. 
These are not my pictures, but all the opinions are my own. 

I love granola bars. 
For breakfast, a snack, I could eat them any time of day. Surprisingly, there are precious few gluten-free options when it comes to granola bars. And even fewer options if you are not interested in eating the same kind of granola bar for the rest of your life.
We have been getting the Nature Valley Trail Mix bars for years, and whereas they are good, I personally am getting sick and tired of them, and would be perfectly content not to see another one for the rest of my life!!
Yes, I do make my own and all that sometimes. But I have been traveling a lot recently, and have encountered different situations where I needed those bars to be completely sealed 
(example: in the airport, camping/vacationing where it's very damp and humid, etc.)
Being in one of those situations recently, I randomly started reading every.single.lable of of granola bars in the grocery store. I have done this time, after time, only to find 2, maybe 3 bars that were gluten-free.  
However, this time I was SO excited to come across three very different bars, that were all gluten-free!! So of course I got all of them to try, and I ended up loving each and every one of them!
They were each very different and unique, yet delicious!
Both of the Nature Valley Bars are completely gluten-free. 
The milk&cereal bar, however, does have malt extract, which is derived from barley. This does not bother me, but for someone with extreme gluten sensitivity, or actual Celiac Disease, this may be a problem, so you have to use your own judgement.

I hope you will check your grocery and give some of these a try!!!
If you are a fellow granola bar lover, I don't think you'll be disappointed!

~Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate~

~Mixed Berry with Greek Yogurt~

~Honey Nut Cheerios Milk&Cereal Bars~

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Monday, August 31, 2015

Lemon Meringue Pie:

Just the word itself sounds tasty and refreshing to me!
I have always been crazy about anything Lemon.
Sweet or Savory, it doesn't matter.
However, by far, my very favorite Lemon dish of all time, would have to be
Lemon Meringue Pie.
My brother, Kaleb, is just about the same way, and he asked for it for his birthday this year.
It doesn't look amazing, but it tasted SO good!!
I hope you try it out!!

1 (9-inch) deep-dish Pie Crust (click HERE for my recipe)

Bake pie crust at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes, or until light golden brown.
Set aside to cool.

6 egg whites
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. vanilla
12 tblsp. sugar

Separate egg whites and place them in a large mixing bowl of an electric mixer. Let them stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Add cream of tartar and vanilla to the egg whites. Begin beating on medium-high speed until soft peaks form.
Turn the mixer on high speed. Add the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, until stiff peaks form.
Continue beating until sugar is dissolved and peaks are stiff and glossy.
Tip: you can tell when the sugar is dissolved by rubbing a small amount of the meringue between your fingers. The less "grainy" feel, the better chances of the meringue not weeping later on.

1 (2.9 oz) box Cook&Serve Lemon Pudding mix
1/2 cup sugar
2 egg yolks, beaten
2 & 1/4 cups water, divided

Whisk together pudding mix, sugar, egg yolks, and 1/4 cup water in a medium saucepan; mix until well combined. Add remaining 2 cups water. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly.
Pour into pre-baked pie shell. Top immediately with meringue, and spread to edge of crust to seal.
Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes, or until lightly browned.
Cool completely before serving. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator.

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Monday, August 24, 2015

Copycat Chick-fil-A Honey Mustard Sauce:

Chick-fil-A is BY FAR my favorite fast-food restaurant. 
Fortunately, for my health, the nearest one is about 30 minutes away, so I don't get to eat there very often.
I was recently able to go out to New Mexico to visit my brother and sister-in-law, and they introduced me to Chick-fil-A's Honey Mustard Sauce.
I had never even heard of it before, which was strange, seeing how much I love that place!
And it only moved higher up on my list, after having that sauce!
I ate it with the grilled chicken nuggets, and the waffle fries - both were AMAZING, and I was officially addicted!
I didn't think the employees would look too kindly on my request for 100 packages of their sauce, so I decided to take matters in to my own hands.
After a little bit of searching and tweaking, I think I may have actually hit the jack pot!
It is not the actual sauce, but it tastes REALLY close.
Don't let the coloring in the picture fool you - for some reason the flash on my camera made it look darker than it actually was.
I was pretty surprised with the ingredient list, to be honest, but trust me, it all works!
I hope you give it a try!! 

1/4 cup mayonnaise (I used miracle whip)
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon BBQ sauce

Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl. 
Serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator!

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Monday, August 17, 2015

How to Step-up your boxed cake mix:

I'm not a huge cake eater, but every now and then, a nice, moist slice of cake just sounds good.
There are several gluten-free boxed cake mixes out now, and some of them are good, but others are not so fantastic! 
However, I have learned a few tricks that can kick a boxed cake mix, up to a whole new level!
The Betty Crocker gluten-free cake mixes are definitely my favorite, but these tips can be used with absolutely any brand and size, as well as for a regular non-gluten-free cake mix.
I hope you try it out!

1. When the box says to add water to your cake mix, use milk instead.
2. Always add one extra egg. So, if the box calls for 3 eggs, use 4.
3. If the box calls for oil, use melted butter instead.
4. Adding 1 cup of sour cream, or 1 package of instant pudding mix, is very optional, but will help if you want a pretty rich cake.

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Monday, August 10, 2015

Slow Cooker Baby Carrots:

This is such a great recipe!
We are all about the crock-pots in this house, and it doesn't get much easier than this!
I love steamed carrots, but cooked carrots are entirely different. They tend to be so mushy and totally lost when it comes to flavor. But for some reason, the carrots in this recipe stay pretty crisp and the flavor is outstanding!
I hope you give it a try!

1 (16 oz.) bag baby carrots
1/4 tsp. salt
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 & 1/2 tblsp. butter
1/2 tblsp. parsley

Place all ingredients in a 1 - 2 quart crock-pot. Stir to combine.
Cover and cook on high for 4-5 hours or until tender.

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Monday, August 3, 2015

Super Sticky Baked BBQ Chicken:

We love grilled chicken legs in my house! Especially when they've been grilled with BBQ sauce and are nice and sticky! So yummy!
However, we have trouble getting them cooked all the way through, without burning them on the outside.
I was majorly craving some good BBQ, chicken legs, so when I came across this recipe, I decided to give it a try. I was not prepared for how fast, how easy, and how delicious the recipe would be!!
I made them for the 4th of July, and everyone loved them! They actually tasted SO much like grilled chicken legs!
I couldn't get a picture that truly showed how thick and sticky the BBQ sauce was, or how moist and tender and perfectly cooked the chicken was! But trust me, it was good!!!
I hope you try them out!!

8-10 chicken legs or thighs (with the bone-in and skin on)
2 cups BBQ sauce
Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper

Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with foil. Coat the foil with cooking spray.
Rub each piece of chicken with olive oil and place on the baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; flip chicken and repeat with salt and pepper on the other side. Place chicken skin side down.
Bake at 425 degrees for 30 minutes.
Remove chicken from the oven, and raise the temperature to 450 degrees.
Meanwhile, if there are a lot of juices in the pan, drain off, blot off with paper towels, or use a basting bulb to suction out. Pour BBQ sauce in a bowl, and using a pastry brush, coat each piece of chicken (on both sides) with the sauce. Return to the oven for 7 minutes.
Baste the top of the chicken with more sauce; bake for 7 more minutes.
Again, baste with the remaining BBQ sauce, and bake for 7 more minutes.
Let stand for 10-15 minutes before serving!!

-Sweet Baby Ray's is our favorite BBQ sauce, but you can use any kind you want.
-I also like to make this a "Make-Ahead" dish, by letting it cool completely after baking, and place it all in a crock-pot lined with a slow-cooker bag. The next day, I just pull it out of the fridge, and put it in the crock-pot base on LOW for about 3-4 hours to heat all the way through!

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