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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Monday, October 20, 2014

Nutella Rice Crispy Treats:

So I went to make one of my favorite desserts the other day, and then realized I was out of corn syrup. 
Being VERY hungry for the chocolate/peanut butter combo, I started looking for alternatives! I have seen so many different rice crispy treat recipes floating all over pinterest, and this was one of them. Now, I'm not the biggest fan of Nutella, but my sister, Kelley, LOVES it, so I decided to give them a try!
They turned out really great and I was super happy with them!
Plus, it's a no-bake recipe, so it's perfect if you don't want to stand in a hot kitchen all day!
Hope you give them a try! 

4 tblsp. butter
1 (10 oz.) package miniature marshmallows
3/4 cup Nutella
1/4 cup peanut butter
2 tblsp. cocoa powder
6 cups rice crispy cereal

Melt the butter in a large saucepan, over medium heat. Add marshmallows, Nutella and peanut butter. Cook until marshmallows are melted and mixture is smooth and creamy, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in the cocoa powder. 
Place rice crispy cereal in a large bowl. Pour marshmallow mixture over cereal. Stir until well mixed and evenly coated. 
Spread the mixture into a greased 9x13-inch baking dish and pat out evenly.
Refrigerate until cool. Cut in half lengthwise and remove from the pan onto a cutting board. Using a large knife or pizza cutter, slice into long strips or squares. Store in an airtight container.

-These do not have to be stored in the refrigerator.
-I've not tried it yet, but the original recipe said to make these with Cocoa Rice Crispies for an extra chocolatey flavor!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Freezing Cookie Dough:

There are few things that are better than a fresh, chocolate chip cookie!!
But sometimes, you just don't have time or energy to mix up a batch, bake them AND clean up the mess!

When we go on vacation, we always cook in our condo, rather than eating out every meal. We generally make cookies to take with us, but after a few days, they just don't taste as good as fresh ones!
I had seen this idea with other cookies before, and running low on time I decided to give it a try. It was so easy to do, and they turned out SO good! We had fresh cookies whenever we wanted, not to mention cookie dough (I think this was the main reason everyone liked the idea!!). 
It's so easy to make a bunch to have in the freezer, and then bake as many was you want, whenever you want!!
I hope you give them a try!!

Prepare your cookie dough according to the directions.
You can use any recipe you want/have or click HERE for my recipe.

Using a cookie scoop, scoop out the dough and place the balls on a wax paper lined cookie sheet.

Freeze for at least 2 hours, or until completely frozen. 
Remove from the cookie sheet and place in a gallon, zip-lock bag. 
Return to the freezer until ready to use!

To Bake:
Place desired number of cookies on a cookie sheet(s).
Let them sit at room temperature while your oven pre-heats to 375 degrees.
Bake for 8-12 minutes or until light golden brown.

-Because the cookie dough is frozen, it might take a little longer to bake than usual.
-I use silver, air-bake cookie sheets. I tried them on a darker cookie sheet, and the cookies had a tendency to get really dark on the bottom before they were actually baked. The silver cookie sheets worked fine.
If your cookies are dark on the bottom, either let the cookie dough thaw completely before baking, or lower your baking temperature (between 325 degrees and 350 degrees). It really just depends on your cookie sheets and your oven.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Chicken-Bird Salad:

I love this card!
Every time I see it, I just have to laugh!
I couldn't figure out what to name this recipe, until I saw this!

Anyway, a couple of weeks ago, on a night that we really didn't feel like cooking anything, we had some leftover shredded chicken in the fridge. We mixed together this quick chicken salad and it was SO, SO good! My mom and brother didn't really care for it, because they don't like relish, but me and my sisters LOVED it!!
We had it with plain potato chips, but you could certainly eat on a sandwich or however you like.
I hope you try it out!

{Sorry for the terrible picture! It tasted great, though!}

2 cups shredded, cooked chicken
1/3 cup mayonnaise (we use miracle whip)
1 tblsp. zucchini relish

Mix altogether and chill until ready to serve!

-You may want more or less mayo, depending on your preference.
-This would be a great use of a rotisserie chicken. I also like to just cook some chicken breasts in a crock-pot on high for a few hours, and then shred it up once it's cooked. You don't need to add any water to the crock pot while the chicken cooks. There's enough juices in the chicken and it makes it taste roasted instead of boiled.

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Monday, September 29, 2014

BBQ Bacon Burger:

I know that grilling seasoning is definitely winding down, but we just recently put a roof over our deck, so we are loving being able to grill during whatever weather!
I love a good cheeseburger, and this was a really nice twist! I'm not a huge bacon lover, but it gave it a really nice flavor and helped to hold everything together.
I hope you try them out!

1 pound ground beef
1 & 1/2 tsp. steak seasoning (or seasoning salt)
1 & 1/2 tsp. dried minced onion
3 tblsp. bacon bits
1 tblsp. mayonnaise (we use miracle whip)
1 tblsp. Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ Sauce
Hamburger buns
Toppings of your choice

In a medium bowl, mix together ground beef, seasoning, onion, bacon bits, mayo and BBQ sauce.
Measure out 1/3 cup portions, and shape into patties. Grill burgers on medium-high heat for 5-7 minutes on each side or until done. Serve with your favorite toppings!

-You can mix together equal amounts of Mayo and BBQ Sauce for a yummy topping in place of ketchup.

Adapted from: Six Sisters Stuff

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Monday, September 22, 2014

Crispy Oven Roasted Potatoes:

I don't know anyone who doesn't love a good serving of crispy, roasted potatoes. My dad can make the BEST fried potatoes in a skillet, but it's sort of a hit and miss thing with me - I never know if they'll turn out or how long it might take them! I've seen lots of tips on how to make the perfect, crispy, roasted potatoes, and some of them did help, but nothing really worked all that great. 
I stumbled across this recipe and it had a few tips that I had never even heard of, so I decided to give it a try. And I'm pleased to say that it works SO well!!!! They were crispy, yet didn't burn to the pan, and didn't take an hour to make! 
I've made them several times and my whole family loves them! 
I hope you will give them a try!

3 lbs. potatoes
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 & 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
Salt and Pepper to taste
5 tablespoons canola oil 

Garlic Dressing (optional):
1 & 1/2 tablespoons butter, softened
2 - 3 teaspoons minced garlic (depending on how garlic-y you want it)
2 teaspoons dried parsley
1/8 teaspoon grated lemon zest

Place 2 large rimmed baking sheets in the oven. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Meanwhile, wash the potatoes and cut into 1/2-inch cubes. Place the potatoes on a kitchen towel and pat dry, if they are very wet. Place potatoes in a large bowl that can seal. Add the cornstarch, garlic powder and desired amount of salt and pepper. Seal the bowl tightly with a lid and shake until potatoes are evenly coated. Remove baking sheets from the oven, and carefully divide the oil between the two baking sheets. Tilt the sheets to evenly coat with the oil. Divide the potatoes between the two baking sheets (preferably to a single layer). BE CAREFUL as you pour the potatoes onto the baking sheets, as the oil will be hot by now, and it might splatter a little bit. Bake for 20-25 minutes and then stir the potatoes. Return to the oven and bake an additional 15-20 minutes, or until they are as crispy as you want them. Mix together the dressing ingredients, if desired. Pour over the potatoes and mix until well combined. Serve! 

-My family's new #1 favorite meal is these potatoes in place of the baked potatoes in Taco Baked Potatoes. It tastes SO good!!! We leave out the garlic dressing, though!
-There are a few things here that are super important:
1. Leave your baking sheet in the oven until you are ready to put the potatoes on it! It makes all the difference in the world!
2. The drier your potatoes are, the crispier they will get.
3. The cornstarch is what totally makes it. It absorbs all the moisture that the potatoes release while they are baking.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Crock-Pot Apple Pie:

When I started figuring a few things out and actually making some gluten-free dishes that were enjoyable as well as edible, so many people kept telling me that I should make a cookbook.
After a while, I actually did look into it and consider it, but nothing stood out to me. My photos are nowhere near good enough for a cookbook (nor my recipes for that matter), I would have to put out SO much money to even start (they don't grow money trees where I live), and then the book itself would cost a fortune, and I definitely didn't want that!
With the type of person I am, and how you have to cook to be gluten-free, I was always experimenting and changing recipes. To re-publish a cookbook everyone year or so, was going to cost even MORE money!
I really have no clue what gave me the idea to start a blog, and I was pretty nervous about it, because I had NO clue what I was doing!! A year and half, 200+ recipes later - I still don't know what I'm doing, but I'm enjoying it, and I can change the recipe everyday if I want!!!

So I said all that to preface this - I've had this recipe on the blog for a while now, but I have changed it up a little (surprise, surprise!) the last few times I've made it, so I wanted to share with you the "new and improved" version!!
This is such an easy recipe to make, yet we hardly have any leftovers!
I think that's how it usually works - the dishes you slave over for hours, people can take or leave. But if it only takes a few minutes to throw together, everyone loves it!!
I hope you try it and enjoy it as much as we do!

Minister's Delight Recipe

1 box BettyCrocker Gluten-Free White cake mix (or cake mix of your choice)
1 stick (8 tblsp.) butter, melted
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped nuts, optional
2 cans of Apple Pie filling

Spray the inside of your slow-cooker with non-stick cooking spray. Add the pie filling and spread it out so it's even across the bottom of the slow-cooker. In a medium size bowl, mix together the cake mix, melted butter, brown sugar and nuts. Mix until well combined (this should be moist, but very crumbly). Sprinkle over the top of the pie filling. Cover and cook on high for 2-3 hours (longer is always better). Serve as is or with a dollop of whipped topping or a scoop of vanilla ice cream!

-You can use any brand of cake mix you like. I've not found a better tasting "gluten-free" mix than the BettyCrocker, but if you have one you like, you can definitely use that instead!
-You can change up the kind of cake mix and pie filling. I have seen cherry pie filling with a chocolate cake mix. Get creative!!
-Although Apple is by far my favorite, I've also used Blueberry pie filling, and it was very good!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Baked Chicken & Rice:

I'm typically one for the type of food that is just bursting with all kinds of flavor, a little spicy maybe, unique and different and just anything that is really good!! I just love food, I guess you could say (yes, I do have to exercise)!!!!
But every now and then, I just want something simple, kind of light in the flavor bursting department, but still yummy! 
Enter Chicken & Rice! 
I'm not normally fond of most chicken and rice dishes, but I found this one in my mom's recipe box and decided to give it a try! She said she used to make it all the time, for some reason, I can't remember.
However, I don't know why I can't remember it, because it turned out fantastic when I made it for dinner the other night and I think everyone really enjoyed it! 
I know this, because, for the first time in a long time, there was only a teeny, tiny bit leftover!
I hope you try it out and enjoy it as much as we did!

1 cup long-grain rice (not the minute rice)
2 stalks of celery
1 medium onion
2 batches of cream of chicken soup (see note)
1 & 1/2 cups water
Salt and Pepper to taste
5-6 chicken breasts, cut into strips (see note)

Pour rice into a 9x13-inch baking dish that has been generously coated in cooking spray.
Place celery and onion in a food processor or chopper and pulse until chopped very fine; 
sprinkle over the rice. In a medium bowl, mix together the cream of chicken soup and the water.
Cut chicken into 1 & 1/2 inch strips. Lay flat on top of the rice. 
Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. 
Pour chicken soup mixture over all.
Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 30 minutes, or until most of the liquid is absorbed into the rice and the chicken is no longer pink in the center. 

-If you are not making this gluten-free, then you can just use 2 cans of cream of chicken soup. If you are making this gluten-free, then click HERE for a fast and easy homemade "can of cream of chicken soup." You will need to make the equivalent of 2 cans for this recipe.
-It may take more or less chicken, depending on the size of the chicken breasts you use. Mine were very small, and 5 was enough. I just laid them across the bottom of my pan, to see how much I would need.
-I've not had this problem, but in the original recipe, there was a note that said if the rice is drying out before you chicken is done, just add small amounts of water every so often until the chicken is done. Make sure all the water is absorbed before you serve it!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Easy Twice Baked Potatoes:

This isn't the best picture AT ALL, but just let me tell you that these potatoes were SO, SO good and VERY easy! I had never made twice baked potatoes before, so I was actually a little nervous! But oh my, they were so easy! My whole family just loved them! I thought I made WAY too many for us, but we only had like 3 halves leftover, so I guess that was pretty good!! I made them a few hours before I needed them, and kept them in the fridge until I was ready to bake them! That made clean up a lot easier!
I hope you give them a try!

7-8 medium potatoes
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup prepared ranch dressing
1 tablespoon dry ranch dressing
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese plus more for garnish

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
Wash dry potatoes. Rub each potato lightly with canola oil and prick several times with a fork.
Place potatoes directly on the top rack of the oven. Bake for 40-60 minutes (it depends on the size of your potato) or until you can easy poke the potato with a fork. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely. 

In a medium bowl, mix together cream cheese, milk, ranch dressing and ranch dressing mix with a hand mixer, until well combined. 
Cut potatoes in half lengthwise, and scoop out the potato with a spoon (leave a small amount in the skins, so that they hold their shape). Add the potato filling to the cheese mixture and mix until well combined. Stir in 1 cup cheddar cheese. Scoop filling into the potato shells. Sprinkle with additional cheddar cheese.
Place on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Chicken Zucchini Boats:

Our garden did not do well this year for some reason, so we're kind of missing our usual over-abundance of zucchini! However, someone very generously shared some of their over-abundance with us, so now we're making all things zucchini!
I was rather skeptical of this recipe when I first saw it. It was just pretty unusual, and I wasn't really sure. But I went ahead and gave it a shot, and I'm SO glad I did!!
All the flavors blended together really well, and it turned out to be a rather simple, yummy dish!!
I hope you try it out!

2 large zucchini 
4 medium chicken breast, cut into 1/2-inch bites
salt and pepper
1 medium yellow or red onion, diced
2 cups corn (fresh or frozen, but not canned)
1 tblsp. minced garlic
Shredded Cheddar cheese
Shredded Mozzarella cheese

Place chicken pieces in a large skillet. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Saute over high heat, until chicken is done and liquid is mostly evaporated. Add onion; cook and stir for 1-2 minutes. Add corn and garlic. Cook and stir for 3-4 minutes or until all liquid is evaporated.

Cut zucchini in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Using a spoon or cookie scoop, scoop out the flesh of the zucchini, leaving a 1/4-inch shell. Dice the scooped out zucchini and add to the chicken mixture, if desired. Place zucchini shells on a cookie sheet. Fill with chicken mixture.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with desired amount of cheese. Bake 10-15 minutes longer, or until cheese is melted.
Slice and serve!

-You can add in the extra, chopped zucchini or you don't have to. I think it was very good added it, but it's completely up to you.
-I think this would be great with any kind of leftover, cooked chicken you might have - marinated, grilled chicken, rotisserie chicken, etc.
-As you can see from the picture, the zucchini I used were very large! I'm talking over a foot long, bigger around than a softball. If you are using smaller zucchini, you will want to adjust the recipe, and also the cooking time. You want a fork to be able to just barely poke down through the flesh of the zucchini.
-This is not a dish that would work well to prepare ahead of time. Zucchini has a very high water content, so once cut, the longer it sits, it will produce more and more liquid.
-Click HERE to view MyRecipe Magic, where you can find the nutritional info for this recipe.

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