Monday, December 22, 2014

Mint Chocolate Chip Frosting:

I love ice cream, and I don't think I could really pick a favorite flavor! I just like it all!!!
And mint chocolate chip is definitely no exception! One of my sisters LOVES mint chocolate chip ice cream, so when I ran across this recipe, I knew I had to try it!
It was so easy, and really yummy!! You could ice a whole cake, or do cupcakes like I did. Whatever you do, I'm sure it will be good!!

1 cup butter, room temperature
1 (2 lb.) bag Powder Sugar
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk
1/2 tsp. peppermint extract
7 drops green food coloring
1 cup mini chocolate chips or chopped up Hershey candy bars

In a large bowl, beat together butter, sugar and milk. Add extract and food coloring and mix until well combined. Stir in chocolate. Frost cake or cupcakes. Store in airtight container in the refrigerator. 

-Just to warn you - this makes a LOT of frosting!!
-This is the chocolate cake recipe that I used - One Bowl Chocolate Cake - super easy and moist.

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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 between 200 and 205 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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