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.

-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*
-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!

-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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Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Egg Replacer:

When I went to make THIS recipe for bread, I noticed it called for an Egg Replacer. I thought I could just use a real egg instead, but after I did some research, I found that an egg replacer, replaces more than just eggs. So when I found this super easy recipe, that was cheaper than buying a box of egg replacer, I knew it would be perfect! And it is! So fast and easy and works like a charm!
Note: This is not an equivalent to Egg-Beaters or anything like that.

2 & 1/2 cups potato starch
1 & 1/2 cups tapioca starch
2/3 cup baking powder
1/3 cup baking soda

Whisk altogether and store in an airtight container.
Use in my recipe for the Best Gluten-Free Bread!

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Monday, December 1, 2014

BEST gluten-free bread:

I don't know if I have ever been more excited about sharing a recipe! And that says a lot, because I am generally very excited to share most recipes!!!
My mom found a version of this recipe and wanted me to try it. I was a bit hesitant, because it's gluten-free bread and that just doesn't turn out all that great. We had a fairly good bread recipe - granted we never made it because it took all day, tons of ingredients and I mean, it was good, but was it really worth it all?
I read and read and read over the recipe AND the comments before I ever tried it out, and something about it just kind of pulled me in! I think I was just too curious not to try it out! For one reason basically - could a recipe this easy, taste as good as they claim? 

I am here to tell you that it absolutely does!! I have no clue why or how, but I have enough confidence in it to proudly scream "THIS IS THE BEST GLUTEN-FREE BREAD"!!!!!!
Over the past several weeks, me and my other gluten-free eating family members have been enjoying SANDWICHES like PB&J, meat and cheese, tomato, scrambled egg, etc. (with bread that doesn't have to be heated up before you eat it, by the way)!!!!! 
Hot dogs on BREAD!!! 
And just PLAIN!!!!
My brother has been thoroughly enjoying taking a sandwich to work!
I wish I could make a loaf for everyone of you, so you could see how good it really is!
But since I can't, I hope you will just trust me and try it out!



1 & 1/3 cups brown rice flour
1 & 1/3 cups tapioca flour
1 & 1/3 cups cornstarch
1 tblsp. potato starch
1 tbslp. xanthan gum
1 tblsp. Egg Replacer
2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup dry milk powder
1 package (2 & 1/4 tsp.) Active Dry yeast

3 large eggs
¼ cup butter, softened
2 teaspoons cider vinegar
⅓ cup honey
2 cups very warm water (but not too hot)

In a large bowl, whisk together the first 9 ingredients; set aside.
In a mixing bowl with a paddle attachment, mix together the eggs, butter, vinegar, honey and water. There may be some small pieces of butter that don't get thoroughly mixed together, but that's fine.
Add half of the flour mixture, and mix just until combined. Add the remaining flour mixture, and mix just until combined. Scrape down the sides, and mix on medium-high speed for 4 minutes. Mixture should resemble very thick cake batter.

Divide the dough evenly between two, greased, 8-inch loaf pans.

Spread the dough evenly. Dip your fingers in warm water to smooth the top of the loaf.
Cover pans with a clean dish towel, and set in a warm place to rise for 1 to 1 & 1/2 hours or
until the dough has risen about an inch above the pans.

Once they have finished rising, bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or until an instant read thermometer reaches 210 degrees.
To test for doneness, remove the bread from the oven. Insert an instant read thermometer from the side to the middle of the loaf, making sure not to touch the bottom of the pan. 
Once done, let them cool in the pans for 10 minutes.
Gently remove from the pans and place on a cooling rack. Cover with a clean dish towel, and allow to cool completely before cutting.
Store in an airtight container on the counter away from direct heat, such as by the stove or something like that.
It can be refrigerated as well, but doesn't have to be. It will keep on the counter for about 5 days. 
To freeze, wrap individual loaves in plastic wrap and place in a gallon bag.
You can also slice a loaf and freeze individual slices wrapped in plastic wrap and stored in a ziplock bag in the freezer. Place in the microwave for 10-20 seconds to thaw.

-I have used Active Dry yeast and Rapid Rise yeast, and I think they both work great.
-Here's a recipe for the Egg Replacer!

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Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving:

"Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. 
Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing. 
Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; 
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. 
Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: 
be thankful unto him, and bless his name. 
For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations."
Psalm 100:1-5

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

I hope everyone has a wonderful day!!

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Monday, November 24, 2014

Strawberry Oatmeal Smoothie:

I really like smoothies, but some of them are SO sweet. 
I was craving a good smoothie the other day, but didn't have some of my normal smoothie staples.
I found this recipe and decided to give it a try!
It was super flavorful and filling, and had just the right amount of sweetness!
I hope you try it out!

1/2 cup frozen strawberries
1/2 cup plain or strawberry yogurt (greek yogurt or regular)
1 banana, sliced
1/4 cup quick oats
1 tblsp. honey
1-3 tablespoons water, if needed

Place all in the NutriBullet or blender and blend until smooth.
Add water until desired consistency is reached.
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Monday, November 17, 2014

Caramel Banana Roll:

I love my grandma's Pumpkin Roll recipe!
We had a lot of banana's to use up the other week, and as I was looking down through as many recipes containing bananas as I could, I stumbled across this one. It looked interesting, and I actually I had all the ingredients (especially the bananas), so I gave it a try.
It didn't have a strong banana flavor, but it was really, really good!!! 
The little extra surprise in the filling, gave it just the right touch!!
I hope you give it a try!

3/4 cup flour
1 tsp. xanthan gum
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup mashed banana

1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup powder sugar
6 tblsp. butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup caramel sauce (just the ice cream topping in the squeeze bottle is fine)

Grease a 15x10-inch jelly-roll pan with cooking spray. Line with wax paper (or parchment paper) and then spray the wax paper with cooking spray.
Stir together the flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; set aside.
In a large bowl, beat together the eggs and sugar, with an electric mixer, until thick and smooth. Mix in the vanilla and banana. Add the flour mixture. Mix just until combined; be sure not to over-mix.
Pour into prepared pan and spread out evenly.
Bake at 375 degrees for 13-15 minutes or until golden brown and the top of the cake springs back when touched.
Meanwhile, mix together filling ingredients; set aside. 
Lay out a kitchen towel. Place a piece of wax paper on the towel. Sprinkle wax paper with powder sugar. 

Carefully, flip the cake out onto the wax paper - bottom of the cake up. Slowly, pull the wax paper off the cake. Let stand for about 2 minutes. Roll up the cake, wax paper, and towel together, starting at the short end. Let stand 5 minutes.

Unroll, and spread the filling over the cake to within 1-inch of the edges. Spread carefully, or else you might tear the cake. Roll the cake, starting at the short end, carefully pulling away the wax paper from the cake as you roll. When you reach the end of the cake, leave on the wax paper. Place in a 9x13 baking dish. Refrigerate for about 2 hours or until chilled firm. Remove from the wax paper and gently wrap in foil. Refrigerate or freeze until ready to serve. Slice in 1/2-inch slices to serve.

-This freezes really, really well and is easier to cut while it's frozen.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Homemade Oreos:

When I first saw these, I thought they would be like any other chocolate sandwich cookie. It seems like everyone tends to call those "homemade oreos" but they are nothing short of an ordinary chocolate sandwich cookie. That doesn't make them Oreo's.
These, however, were definitely the exception.
The cookie part was more dense and maybe even a little drier than normal,
and the biggest surprise, is that the filling tastes just like real Oreo cookie filling! Seriously!
It was pretty incredible! And definitely tasty to someone who hasn't had Oreo's in 10 years or so!
I hope you try them out! 

2 & 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp. xanthan gum
1 cup cocoa powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 & 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla

1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup vegetable shortening, room temperature
2 tsp. vanilla
3 & 1/2 cups powder sugar

In a small bowl, combine the flour, xanthan gum, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt; set aside.

In the bowl of a mixer, beat the butter until light and creamy. Add sugar and brown sugar, and mix until combined. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a lid, if the bowl has one. Chill for 30 minutes.

Using a cookie scoop to keep the cookies all the same size, roll dough into balls. Place on greased cookie sheets - 12 cookies to a sheet. With the bottom of a cup or flat spatula, lightly flatten each cookie.

Bake at 350 degrees for 6 minutes. The cookies will look like they aren't totally done, but that's how you want them. Don't over-bake. Allow to cool on cookie sheets for 5 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely. 

For the filling: beat together butter, shortening and vanilla until smooth. Add powder sugar, and mix until combined. The filling is very stiff, but that's how it's supposed to be. Using the same size cookie scoop that you used for the dough, place one scoop of filling onto half of the cookies. Lightly spread out the filling, and top with the other half of the cookies.
Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week.

-The original recipe said that these cookies freeze really well. I didn't have any leftover to try it out, but if anyone else does, please leave a comment and let me know how it turns out!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Peanut Butter Haystacks:

If you like the other No-Bake Cookie recipe I have on the blog, then you will probably enjoy these as well!
This was one of my grandma's recipes (she just LOVED sweets!!!).
I hope you enjoy them!

2 cups sugar
1 stick (8 tablespoons) Butter
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 cups mini marshmallows
2 & 1/4 cup oats (quick or old-fashion, it doesn't matter)
1/4 cup flaked coconut, optional

Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Stir in the sugar and milk. Bring to a boil and cook for 1 & 1/2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add peanut butter and marshmallows. Stir until marshmallows are completely melted. Add oats and coconut, if desired, and stir until well combined. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto wax paper (I used a cookie scoop for this, to keep them all the same size). Allow to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

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Monday, October 27, 2014

Homemade gluten-free Bagels:

Well, this recipe has been a long time coming! I have tried several different bagel recipes, and have had a few requests for a good bagel recipe, and I think I have finally found it!!!!! 
It takes a little while, but it's really easy to make.
I want to expirement farther, and try making blueberry ones, cinnamon-raisin ones, and so on. But I just couldn't wait to share the basic recipe with you, so here it is!
I hope you try it out, and if you try other variations, please let me know!!

1 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup potato starch
1/2 cup tapioca starch
1/2 ground flax seed
1 tblsp. xanthan gum
1 & 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tblsp. rapid rise yeast
2 tblsp. honey
1 tsp. cider vinegar
2 tblsp. canola oil
1 & 1/4 cups warm water

1 tblsp. molasses

  1. Preheat your oven to 170 degrees (or lowest temperature. Mine only goes to 170).
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix all the dry ingredients until well blended.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients - honey, vinegar, oil and water.
  4. With the mixer slowly running, pour in the wet ingredients. Then, mix on medium speed for 3 minutes.
  5. Using an ice cream scoop, scoop even balls of dough onto a wax paper lined cookie sheet. Take each ball and carefully form into a bagel shape. (You can grease your hands with vegetable shortening or spray your hands with cooking spray, if the dough is too sticky). Place the formed bagels on the cookie sheet. Allow several inches in-between each one, for rising. Repeat with remaining dough.
  6. Turn off the oven. Place the cookie sheet in the warm oven, and allow bagels to rise for 35-40 minutes, or until they have really puffed up.
  7. While the bagels are rising, fill a large pot 3/4 full with water. Bring to a rolling boil, and add 1 Tbsp of molasses to the water. The molasses will create a nice chewy outside to the bagel.
  8. Once you remove the bagels from the oven and are ready to boil them, preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  9. Gently place one bagel at a time in the boiling water. Boil on one side for 30 seconds, flip the bagel, and boil it for another 30 seconds (I like to use a large, slotted spoon for this). Remove bagel from boiling water, and place on a cooling rack that has been placed over a towel. Repeat with remaining bagels.
  10. Place boiled bagels on a cookie sheet coated with cooking spray.
  11. Bake bagels in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until they are nice and golden brown. Remove from oven, and allow to cool on a cooling rack for 10 minutes before eating. You can eat the bagels warm, or allow them to cool completely before storing in an air-tight bag. To make ‘day old’ bagels taste as good as fresh, simply microwave for approximately 20 seconds. These also freeze VERY well! Wrap individually in plastic wrap and place in a zip-lock bag. Remove plastic wrap, and microwave for 1 minute to re-heat.

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