Monday, December 30, 2013

Monkey Bread:

We used to always have a thing called "Wake-up Rolls" for breakfast on Christmas morning. It's a lot like monkey bread. When we first went gluten-free, I tried to make Wake-up Rolls gluten-free, but it just didn't work. This year, I really wanted to try it, so I searched and searched, and came across a recipe that looked amazing, and sounded pretty good. I was nervous about it, though, because the ingredient list was long, the instructions were even longer and nothing was really going right for me while I was trying to make them. Thankfully, they turned out AMAZING!!! I was beyond impressed and excited with how they tasted and how they were surprisingly easy to make! Please try them! I would HIGHLY recommend that you read all the way down through the instructions before starting, just so you can be familiar with everything. It's really not hard at all and doesn't really take that much time either. I hope you try them and enjoy them as much as we did!

2 & 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup tapioca starch
3 tsp. xanthan gum
1 tblsp. Rapid Rise yeast
3 tblsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup instant vanilla pudding mix (dry)
1 tsp. baking powder
4 tblsp. butter
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup milk
1 egg, room temperature
1 tsp. cider vinegar
2 tblsp. canola oil
1 tsp. vanilla
The yummy gooeyness:
1/2 cup chopped pecans, optional
1/2 cup raisins, optional
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
2 tblsp. maple syrup
2 tblsp. heavy cream
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1. If you choose to use the pecans and/or raisins, place them into the bottom of a greased 9x13-inch baking dish (you could also use a greased bunt pan if you prefer). Set aside. Do not use a pan with a removable bottom, as the syrup would run through and make a huge mess.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix all the dry ingredients from the "dough" list, until well combined. Set aside.
3. Put water and butter in a glass measuring cup and microwave just until the butter has melted. Remove from microwave and stir. Add milk, stir. Add egg, cider vinegar, oil and vanilla; whisk to combine.
4. With the stand mixer running (using the paddle attachment), pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Scrap down the bowl if you need to. Allow to mix on medium speed for 3 minutes.
5. In a small bowl, stir together the 1/2 cup sugar and the cinnamon from the "gooey" ingredient list. 6. Form the dough into 3/4″ balls (I just used a cookie scoop) and roll them to coat them fully in the cinnamon/sugar mixture.
7. Place sugar coated dough into the prepared pan, on top of the pecans/raisins. Be sure to not tightly pack the dough into the pan, allow gaps between the dough. Repeat until all of the dough has been formed, rolled in the cinnamon/sugar mixture & placed in the pan. If you have any cinnamon/sugar mixture left, sprinkle it over the top of the dough in the pan.
8. In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the butter. Stir in the brown sugar, maple syrup, salt & vanilla. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Stir in the heavy cream. Pour mixture over the top of the dough.
9. Allow the dough to rise for 20-30 minutes in a warm, draft-free place.
10. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes or until dough is no longer "doughy" when a ball of dough is pulled apart.
11. When you remove the Monkey Bread from the oven, allow to sit in the baking pan for 5 minutes before turning it out onto a serving dish or plate.
12. To do this, place the plate upside down on top of the baking pan, and (while wearing oven mitts, just in case), quickly turn the plate and baking pan upside down. Your Monkey Bread should release from the pan without a problem. If there are still pecans and syrup in the baking pan, use a spoon and spoon the mixture over the top of the Monkey Bread. Let stand 5-10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!
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Monday, December 23, 2013

Mint Chocolate Brownies:

I love chocolate and mint together! And if you look through my blog index, you'll notice we like brownies around here, too!!!  
This recipe was actually supposed to be completely different, but I didn't have some of the ingredients that it called for, so I looked through the cabinets, made a few changes and came up with this! And I have to say that it turned out pretty good! I took it to a potluck dinner at our church, and only came home with four brownies! Someone told me they tasted like an Andes Mint! I don't know, but they were good! Perfect for the holidays too!
Merry Christmas!
2 cups sugar
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1 cup canola oil
4 eggs
1 & 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. xanthan gum
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 cup butter, room temperature
3 - 4 tblsp. milk
3 cups powder sugar
1/2 tsp. mint extract
Green Food Coloring
2 & 1/4 cups chocolate chips
2 tblsp. butter
In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, cocoa and oil. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each. Stir in flour, xanthan gum, salt, baking powder and vanilla with a spatula until thoroughly combined. Spread evenly into a greased baking sheet with sides. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely.
In a medium bowl, beat together milk and butter until combined. Add powder sugar and mix until well combined. Add more milk if needed, 1 tsp. at a time, until you reach desired consistency. Add the extract and food coloring, one drop of coloring at a time, until you reach the color you want. I think I used about 5 drops. Place in a Ziploc bag.* Cut the tip one side on the bottom, and pipe onto the brownies. Spread evenly with an offset spatula. Freeze until firm.
Heat chocolate and butter in a microwave safe dish. Heat for 30 seconds; stir. Heat an additional 10 seconds at a time, stirring thoroughly after each time, until completely melted. Pour over the frosting on the brownies and spread evenly. Cut into serving size pieces and serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the fridge or just leave out at room temperature. Enjoy!
-I put the frosting in a bag and pipe it over the top, because sometimes when you just plop the frosting on and try to spread it around, it tears up the brownies a little bit and I don't like brownie crumbs in the frosting!
-I guess you could use any food coloring you want or none at all, but green says "mint" to me, so that's what I chose.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Slow-cooker BBQ Pork:

Like I've said before, I'm not a huge pork fan. However, I'm beginning to realize that it just depends on how it's cooked. Pork, done the right way with the right things can be amazing! My whole family really enjoyed this and I hope you give it a try!
4 & 1/2 lb. boneless pork tenderloin/roast
3 & 1/2 cups apple juice, divided
28 oz. bottled BBQ Sauce
Place pork roast in a slow-cooker, and add 3 cups apple juice. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or until tender and it shreds easily with a fork. Drain all liquid from the slow-cooker and shred the meat with two forks. Stir in remaining 1/2 cup apple juice and as much BBQ sauce as you want. We used about 7/8 of the bottle, but it's pretty much just to your tastes.
You can serve immediately or leave it in the slow-cooker on the warm setting until you're ready to serve it. Serve as is or on buns!
-Obviously, this makes a lot of meat, so depending on how much you need,
you may want to cut the recipe in half.
-Click HERE to find out where you can get some fabulous, gluten-free buns!!!
- You can use any BBQ sauce you want. Our favorite is Sweet Baby Ray's.
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Monday, December 9, 2013

Pizza Bake:

This is such a simple, easy dish. Very fast, but very yummy!
I hope you try it out!!
1 (12 oz.) box rotini pasta
1 (28 oz.) spaghetti sauce
3/4 cup quartered pepperoni slices
1 cup mozzarella cheese
Additional pepperoni slices
Cook pasta according to package directions, just until almost done; drain and place in a large bowl. Add sauce and quartered pepperoni slices and mix well. Pour into a greased 9x13-inch baking dish. Sprinkle with cheese and top with additional pepperoni slices. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted. Serve!
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Monday, December 2, 2013

Sausage Gravy & Biscuits:

I love sausage gravy!! Which is weird, because I don't care much for sausage or gravy, but put them together and it's one of my favorite breakfast foods! And the rest of my family loves it too! Breakfast or dinner, for that matter!
My mom used to always make it, and although she is all about recipes and exact measurements, there was no recipe for Sausage gravy. You never knew how much it was going to make, because you just kept adding a little of this and a little of that until "it felt right"!!! And of course it tasted great, but only if she made it!
So finally, after many attempts, I think we have it down to a science now and I'm so excited to share this quick and easy recipe with you!! I hope you give it a try!!
2 lbs. ground sausage
8 cups milk
2/3 cup cornstarch
1 cup cold water
Hot Biscuits (click here for my recipe)
In a large skillet or saucepan, brown sausage until no longer pink; drain. Add milk and cook and stir over medium-high heat until milk almost reaches a boil. In a small glass, mix together cornstarch and water until well combined. When milk is very hot, but not yet boiling, reduce heat to low and slowly add the cornstarch mixture, stirring constantly. Cook and stir until thickened. Serve over biscuits!
-This is the amount I make for my family, so you may want to adjust the recipe to accommodate the number of people you are serving.
-I really like to use Turkey's a little more expensive, but much better for you. You can use whatever you like, though. It doesn't actually matter.
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