Friday, December 28, 2012

Glazed Apples and Sausage:

I made this for Breakfast Christmas morning. It was really fast and easy tasted really yummy!
My apples got a little overdone, but they still tasted great!

2 pounds uncooked sausage links
3 large tart apples, peeled and sliced
1 large onion, sliced or finely chopped (it's up to you)
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup brown sugar

Cook the sausage in a large skillet. Remove to paper towels and drain the grease from the pan. Place the apples, onion, water and brown sugar in the skillet. Cook over medium-high heat for 6-8 minutes or until the apples are tender, stirring often. Add the sausage links and cook and stir until the sausage is well coated and hot in the center. Serve!

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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Pecan Pie:

Yesterday, I posted the recipe for my favorite pie crust, and today I wanted to share one of my favorite pies- Pecan!! I love it, my dad really loves and my brother and two sisters really like it too! When we were at my Aunt's for Thanksgiving, she made a pecan pie and it was SO yummy, so I got her recipe!!
Thanks, Aunt Bonnie!!!

2 tblsp. butter, melted
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tblsp. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup light corn syrup
1-3 cups pecans, lightly chopped*
1 unbaked 9-inch pie shell

In a medium bowl, whisk together the butter, sugar, eggs, cornstarch, salt, vanilla and corn syrup. Place the pecans in the pie shell. Pour the corn syrup mixture over the top of the pecans. Bake at 325 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour. It took mine about an hour to bake, but it depends on the oven. It's done when you gently shake the pie pan, and the filling doesn't shake. Let cool completely before cutting.

-*the reason the amount of pecans is so varied, is because it depends on how many you want! I generally fill the pie shell about 1/3 - 1/2 full. You don't want much more than that, because then you won't have room for the corn syrup filling.  

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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Perfect Pie Crust:

I hope everyone had a great day yesterday! I had a fabulous day with my family and I can't believe Christmas is over:(
Anyways, my dad wanted Pecan Pie for Christmas, but I just had never found a pie crust I liked. They always fall apart or taste really nasty, so I came across this recipe and decided to give it a try. It was pretty easy and it turned out really good. I was very happy with it. So I hope you give it a try! It may seem intimidating at first, but just dig in and give it a try! Ree Drummond says that it doesn't matter what it looks like, just so it tastes good!!!

Sorry, I don't have a picture of the pecan pie! Just pumpkin!

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

Place the flour, xanthan gum and salt in a food processor. Add the butter and shortening. Pulse until the mixture resembles course crumbs. Add the beaten egg, vinegar and 3 tblsp. water and pulse until mix comes together. Add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until dough is easy to handle - you don't want it to be too dry or too sticky - just easy to handle. Divide the dough in half and place place in two, 9-inch deep-dish pie plates that have been coated with cooking spray. Press the dough evenly across the bottom and up the sides of the pie plate. Flute the edges. Chill in the freezer for 15-20 minutes or until firm. Now it's ready to use for your favorite pie filling!!

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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!!!
I hope you have a wonderful day -
remember Jesus is the reason for the season!

"And she brough forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn."
Luke 2:7

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Saturday, December 22, 2012


Here's another cookie on our Christmas Cookie List. These are really easy and super yummy!

1 cup shortening
1 & 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 & 3/4 cups flour
1 & 1/2 tsp. xanthan gum
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1/2 tsp. salt

2 tblsp. sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon

In a large mixing bowl, cream together shortening, sugar and eggs. Add remaining ingredients and mix until well combined. Chill for 1 hour or overnight. Form into 1-inch balls (a cookie scoop works best). Mix together the sugar and cinnamon. Roll each ball in the mixture. Place on a cookie sheet. Slightly flatten with your hand or with a glass. Bake at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes, or until cookie springs back when you touch the top with your fingertip. Remove to wire rack to cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

Microwave Rice Pilaf:

This is the side dish I served with the Lemon Chicken the other night (click here for the recipe). It was super easy and most everyone really liked it. The veggie-picky eaters weren't as crazy, but their vote doesn't count!! I really liked it sprinkled with a little parmesan cheese. It made it taste more like a Rice Rosoto, which I happen to love! Hope you give it a try!

(Sorry, I didn't get a chance to take a picture!)

1 cup uncooked Instant Rice
1 cup water
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
1/3 cup finely chopped celery
1/3 cup finely chopped or shredded carrots
1/3 cup finely chopped green pepper, optional
3 tblsp. butter, cut into slices
1 tblsp. beef or chicken granules, depending on what meat you are serving with it
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/8 tsp. coriander
dash of pepper

In an ungreased, microwave safe dish, combine all ingredients. Stir to combine. Cover and microwave on high for 3 minutes. Stir. Microwave an additional 3-5 minutes or until veggies are tender and all the water is absorbed. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

-The seasonings are completely up to you. I served it with chicken, so I used Chicken granules. I didn't have any cumin or coriander, but since I was having lemon chicken, I added 1/2 tsp. Lemon Pepper Seasoning. Feel free to experiment and be creative!!!
-The veggies are the same way. Leave out what you don't want, add more of what you like!

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Friday, December 21, 2012

Nutmeg Meltaways:

This is one of the cookies we are making for Christmas. My mom and I love them!

Nutmeg Meltaways Recipe

1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
1 tsp. xanthan gum
3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
1 cup powder sugar
1 tblsp. nutmeg

In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter, sugar and vanilla. Add flour and xanthan gum; mix well. Stir in walnuts until well combined. Form into 1-inch balls and place on a cookie sheet. Bake at 300 degrees for 18-20 minutes or until the bottoms of the cookies are lightly browned. Cool on a wire wrack. Combine the powder sugar and nutmeg in a small bowl. After the cookies have cooled, roll each one in the sugar mixture. Store in an airtight container.

-These don't really freeze the best.

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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Slow-Cooker Lemon Chicken:

A super easy and very yummy main dish that prepares itself!!!! This was really good and I think it even tasted better the second day! You can serve it over rice or eat it as is!

5-6 chicken breasts
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup lemon juice
4 tblsp. butter, cut into small pieces
2 packes zesty Italian seasoning

Spray your crock-pot with cooking spray and lay the chicken across the bottom. Add the chicken broth and lemon juice. Place the pieces of butter randomly over the chicken and sprinkle with the Italian seasoning. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours. There was a lot of broth with the chicken when it was done cooking, so I took the chicken out and served it on a plate. Just pour a little of the broth over top, once you have the chicken on a serving plate.  

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Hamburger Gravy:

This was a nice change of pace kind of gravy and served over mashed potatoes, it was super yummy and really fast! I think it would also be good over pasta or biscuits, as well. I hope you give this quick dish a try!

Quick Hamburger Gravy Recipe

1 &1/2 lb. ground beef
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1/2 cup cornstarch
2 tblsp. beef bouillon granules (check the label for gluten)
dash of pepper
5 cups milk
Hot mashed potatoes

In a large skillet, brown the beef and onion over high heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in cornstarch, beef seasoning, and pepper. Mix well. Gradually stir in milk. Stir constantly over med-high heat until the milk thickens (this only took 3-4 minutes for me). Serve over mashed potatoes!

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Monday, December 17, 2012

Eat 'n' Park:

We went Christmas shopping last weekend, and decided to eat lunch at Eat 'n' Park Restaurant. We went in intending to get their chips and cheese, but after glancing over the menu, we realized they had a Gluten-Free menu!!!!! I love it when places have that, except sometimes it can be a very small list of food choices and contain mostly salads. But not this one! It had lots of stuff on it and the thing we were most excited about was their Burgers.....on a gluten-free bun!!!!!!!! We decided to give them a try and OH. MY. GOODNESS!!!! We still can't stop talking about them!! They were light and airy and soft, just like a regular bun. They are, by far, the BEST gluten-free thing we have ever tasted! We're already trying to find a reason to go back! I personally think they ARE a reason!!

Visit their website by clicking on this link:
Enter your zip code to find a Restaurant near you,
browse the website and sign up to receive coupons!!!

As a side note:
their fries and Potato chips are not marked as gluten-free, because they are fried in the same oil as other things. That type of thing doesn't bother us, but you will have to make that decision based on what you can and can't handle. And always feel free to ask them questions about anything!!

I hope, if you can find one in your area, that you will go and check them out!
Let me know what you think!!!!

I just found out that you can also purchase the buns from there too! They are a little pricey, but so worth it!

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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Cinnamon Roll Muffins:

These were super yummy and not all that difficult. They definitely helped to curb the cinnamon roll craving and I know we will absolutely be making them again!!
I hope you give them a try!! Let me know what you think!

1/2 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup milk
2 eggs
1 & 3/4 cup flour
1 & 1/2 tsp. xanthan gum
1/2 cup quick oats
3/4 cup sugar
1 tblsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 cup chocolate, butterscotch or cinnamon chips, optional

3 tblsp. butter, melted
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 & 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 cup powder sugar
1 tblsp. milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 12 cup muffin tin; set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together butter, milk and eggs. In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients, including the chips. Add to the butter mixture and mix just until combined. Divide batter in half. Divide half of the batter between 12 muffin cups; spread the batter evenly across the bottom of the cup. Mix together filling ingredients and divide evenly between the 12 muffin cups.
 Divide the remaining batter over the filling and spread out evenly. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand 5 minutes before removing from the pan. Remove to a wire rack with a cookie sheet or wax paper underneath. Mix together icing ingredients and drizzle over the muffins. Let stand 3-5 minutes. Serve!!!

-We made it with the chocolate chips, but I think you could leave those out if you wanted and they would still be great!
-We tried a few with paper muffin cups and they did work, but it was definitely easier without them. They just got kind of messy and sticky with the filling and icing.

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Monday, December 10, 2012

Taco Pasta Salad:

When I first saw this recipe, I knew it would be something that I would like, but I was very worried that pretty much no one else in my family would!! So considering all that, I decided to give it a try (and no, my family does not normally love me for that)!!! It turned out so good - everyone loved it! It's more like hamburger helper, than pasta salad! So, I hope you give it a try! 

4 cups uncooked pasta
1 lb. ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
1/4 cup taco seasoning and water called for on package
1/2 - 3/4 cup Catalina Salad Dressing
1&1/2 cups shredded Cheddar Cheese, divided

Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a skillet, cook beef and onion over high heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in seasoning and water. Mix well. Drain pasta; add to meat mixture and stir to combine. Add 3/4 cup cheese and stir. Sprinkle the top with the remaining cheese. Cover and let stand 5-8 minutes or until cheese is thoroughly melted. Serve!

-I used spiral pasta, but you can use whatever you like.
-Make sure to check the labels of the taco seasoning and Catalina dressing for any gluten/wheat.
-Whenever I make taco meat for Taco Salad or Taco Baked Potatoes, I usually always have leftover that I stick in the freezer to pull out for Chili. This would be a super fast meal, if you used taco meat that was already prepared.

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Saturday, December 8, 2012

Granola Bars (No-Bake):

We really like granola bars, but if you are on a gluten-free diet, they are hard to find and if you do find them, they are hard as rocks or disgusting. We have found one brand at Sam's that we like and can have, but we've been eating them for like 8 years now, so we're kind of sick of them!!! When we went to visit family over Thanksgiving, my cousin made some AMAZING granola bars! We ate them like crazy and she has graciously shared her recipe! I hope you will take 10 minutes and give them a try, because I know you'll love them! Thanks, again, for the recipe, Amber!!!

(Don't go by the picture....they taste FAR better than they look here!
Who knew it was so hard to take pictures of granola bars?)

2 &1/2 cups puffed Rice cereal
1 & 3/4 cups oats, quick or regular
1/4 cup ground flax seeds or additional oats
1/2 cup Add ins - this can be anything from dried fruit, coconut, nuts, sunflower seeds...whatever you like
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup chocolate chips or more add-ins

In a large bowl, combine first 4 ingredients. Combine and set aside.
In a small saucepan, heat honey and brown sugar over medium-high heat until the mixture comes to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil for 30-60 seconds. Remove from the heat and add peanut butter and vanilla. Mix until smooth. Pour mixture over dry ingredients and mix until really well combined. Let stand 5-10 minutes and then stir in the chocolate chips. Press evenly into a greased 9x13-inch baking dish. Let stand until cool. Cut into 24 bars. How easy was that?!!!!

-My cousin wrapped each granola bar in wax paper and just placed them all in a big bowl. We put the individual bars in snack-size zip-lock baggies.
-When I made these, I didn't have any ground flax seed, so I just added extra oats, but my cousin used flax seeds and it didn't change the taste, just added another "healthy" component!!
-So far we have tried dried cranberries, raisins, and dried blueberries, all of which were delicious!
-You could use Rice Crispies in place of the puffed rice, but I think it's better with the puffed rice and plus it's healthier.
-I've not yet tried it, but they say these freeze really well. If there is ever a time when they last long enough for me to put some in the freezer to try, I will let you know how it works!

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Friday, December 7, 2012

Brown Sugar Garlic Chicken:

I wasn't real sure about this recipe before I made it, but it actually tasted really yummy and wasn't that hard at all. Everyone in my family enjoyed it and will definitely be making it again.
I hope you will give it a try!

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thawed
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp. olive oil
4 tblsp. brown sugar

Spray a baking dish with cooking spray. Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel and place in the baking dish. In small sauce pan, cook the garlic in the oil until tender. Remove from the heat and stir in the brown sugar. Spread evenly over the chicken. Bake at 500 degrees from 15-30 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. Place the chicken on a serving platter and serve!

-It's not a really bakes at 500 degrees!

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Thursday, December 6, 2012

Sweet Potato Crisp:

I am not a huge fan of sweet potatoes at all, but I am fan of apple crisp...mostly because of the crisp!!!
So in an effort to come up with a quick side dish for dinner the other night, Sweet Potato Crisp was born!
And I must say, that it was very good! And that's a lot coming from me, considering that the main ingredient was sweet potatoes! So whether you do or don't like sweet potatoes, I hope you will give this dish a try! I think it will be making an appearance on our Christmas Dinner Menu!

2 (29 oz.) cans of Sweet Potatoes
2 tblsp. cornstarch
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup oats
1 tsp. cinnamon
6 tblsp. butter, slightly softened

Drain the juices from the cans of potatoes, reserving 3/4 cup. Place potatoes in a greased casserole dish. In a small glass or bowl, whisk together the reserved juice and the cornstarch. Pour over potatoes. In another small bowl, combine the sugar, oats and cinnamon. Cut in butter using a fork and stir until mix is completely blended. Sprinkle over the potatoes. Bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until potatoes are hot and topping is golden brown and slightly crisp. Serve!

-Some of the pieces of potatoes in the can are kind of big. You can cut these if you want, but the potatoes cook down a little bit during the baking process, and you don't notice any big pieces when you serve it, so you don't have to worry about it, if you don't want to.
-Some chopped walnuts or pecans would be great mixed in with the topping ingredients!
-This made enough to serve my family of 7 plus a couple of servings leftover, so you may want to only make half the recipe if you are cooking for less than 6 or 7 people....unless they REALLY like sweet potatoes!!

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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Chocolate Pudding from scratch:

I just love pudding, and this was super fast and easy!
Chocolaty and yummy, it was a big it at our table
and I hope you'll give it a try too!

Homemade Chocolate Pudding Recipe

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup baking cocoa
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 tsp. salt
4 cups milk
2 tblsp. butter
2 teaspoons vanilla

In a medium saucepan, whisk together the first 4 ingredients. Gradually whisk in the milk. Heat over medium-high heat. Cook and stir until mixture begins to thickens to desired thickness. Remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla. Mix until butter is melted. Pour into a large serving bowl, or individual serving dishes. Serve right away or chill until ready to serve!

-This was good as is, but you could also add a little extra to it by serving the pudding topped with whipped cream, m&m's, lightly crushed pretzels, peanut butter chips, chopped peanut nuts or use it as a dip for strawberries! The list goes on and on!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Knox Blox:

Knox Blox, Jell-O Jigglers, whatever you want to call them....they're good and so fun!
I know they are normally gluten-free, but just incase you don't have the recipe,
I thought I would go ahead and share it!
I hope you enjoy!

4 cups boiling water
4 pkg. unflavored gelatin (Knox)
3 pkg. Strawberry gelatin (or any flavor you want)

Make sure the water has come to a full, rolling boil. Stir the Knox and jello into the water with a whisk, until gelatin is completely dissolved. Pour into a 9x13-inch baking dish. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or until set firm. Cut into squares. Serve! Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Two Great Finds:

I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving!
We had a wonderful time visiting with my dad's brother and sister and their families in the Carolina's.
While we were there, my aunt bought us some gluten-free bread.
Now, we normally don't buy any bread because any that we have
 tried has been totally DISGUSTING, so we don't even look at it anymore.
BUT, the bread that she got us was AMAZING!
 I'm talking moist, airy and simply delicious!
Three things that you usually will never find in Gluten-free bread!
The brand is "Glutino" and you can check out their website here.
I hope you'll check it out...I'm telling you, you'll be impressed!

You can go to the site and find a store where you can purchase the bread.
Before we came home, we made sure to get an extra loaf for the freezer!

Which leads me to another pretty amazing find:
~Earth Fare~
Earth Fare is a chain health food grocery store and they have lots of gluten-free stuff.
I had never heard of one before, but my cousin lives near one and goes there sometimes,
  so my aunt took us in to see it.
Again, it's health food, so everything isn't gluten-free, but they have lots of stuff that is.
I would definitely recommend checking it out, if you ever have the opportunity.
You can check out their website here and see if you can find a store near you.
So far there are only a few stores (mostly in the south/east).
I'm sure it's safer on the budget that I don't live close one, but it's so nice to know that something like this is out there!
Let me know what you think the bread and the store if you get to try either of them!