Monday, December 28, 2015

Quick and Easy Lemon Cookies:

Like I've said before, I love most anything lemon. 
Both of my grandma's used to make these awesome lemon cookies! 
They were by far my favorite! 
And remarkably, there was a recipe for them, but it was a risky one. 
For some reason, they would turn out sometimes, and other times would be a complete fail!
My sister ran across this recipe, and made them for a dinner at her work. She said they were amazing, so I definitely wanted to try them!
And they were SO amazing! Definitely my new, #1 favorite cookie!!!
I hope you try them out!!

1 Gluten-Free Yellow cake mix
1 box instant lemon pudding mix
3 eggs
1/3 cup butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon lemon extract
1/3 cup powdered sugar, for decoration

Place all ingredients, except powdered sugar, in a mixing bowl. 
Mix until well blended.
Using a cookie scoop, drop dough into powder sugar. Roll to coat. Place on greased cookie sheets.
Bake at 375 for 6-7 minutes, or until the edges are just barely golden brown, or firm to the touch. Remove from the oven, and let rest on cookie sheets for 5 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.
Store in an airtight container.

-These freeze very well.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Homemade Fudge Rounds:

It's finally here.

The week of Christmas!!!!!!!!!

Christmas is my absolute, #1 favorite holiday! Ever! 
I love everything about it, including the weeks leading up to Christmas day, Christmas music, Christmas decorations, Christmas movies, even the atmosphere! 
And, of course, the Christmas cookies!
Everyone has their favorites, but I think I will add a new one to our Christmas Cookie list.
These homemade Fudge Rounds may very well be my family's new favorite cookie!
Surprisingly, they are relatively fast and easy to make. It has been SOOO long since I've had a real, Little Debbie Fudge Round, and I honestly don't remember what they taste like. So I don't know whether these are actually comparable to the "real thing," or not, but they're still good!!
I hope you give them a try, and Merry Christmas!!!! 

2 cups gluten-free flour
2 teaspoons xanthan gum
2 teaspoons cornstarch
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 & 1/2 sticks (20 tablespoons) butter, room temperature
1 & 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 tablespoons corn syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla

2 sticks butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup cocoa powder
3 cups powder sugar
1/4 cup warm water

1 cup chocolate chips
1 teaspoon butter, vegetable oil or coconut oil

For the Cookies:

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, xanthan gum, cornstarch, cocoa, baking soda, and salt.
Beat together butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs, corn syrup and vanilla, and mix until smooth. Add dry ingredients, and beat until combined. Dough may be very sticky. Drop on cookie sheets (I use a 1-inch cookie scoop) and bake at 350 degrees for 7 minutes. Remove from the oven, and let stand for 5 minutes. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the Filling:

Place butter in the bowl of a stand mixer, and beat on medium speed until smooth. Add vanilla. Add cocoa powder and powder sugar. Beat on low speed just until combined. Add the water and beat on medium-high speed for 2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally. 
Spread frosting on the bottom of half the cookies (I also use a cookie scoop for this too. One scoop on half of the cookies.) Gently press another cookie on the top of the filling. Place on a cookie sheet, or large tray.

For the Drizzle:

Place chocolate chips and oil of choice in a microwave safe dish. Heat in 15 second intervals, stirring well after each, until smooth.
Place the chocolate chips and oil of choice in a small saucepan. Heat over medium-low heat stirring constantly, until smooth.
Either way, once the chocolate is melted, pour into a zip-lock bag. Snip a tiny piece off of the corner, and pipe stripes over all the cookies. 
Chill until chocolate is set. Store in an airtight container in the fridge. Cookies are best served at room temperature.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Triple Chocolate Poke Cake:

Another chocolate cake recipe.

I know.

But, can there really be too many?
And it's not like chocolate cakes are exclusive to Valentines Day or something, right?

I do like chocolate....a lot! But I also like other desserts and candy too. It's not like I won't eat something that doesn't have chocolate somewhere in it! So, I don't think I would necessarily be called a choco-holic.
However, sometimes I just need chocolate cake.
I don't know what it is, but I just get this craving, and it doesn't go away.

I make chocolate cake!

And this did not disappoint! Chocolate overload right here, and so good!!
Hope you try it out!

1 & 3/4 cups Flour
1 & 3/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
2 eggs
1 cup brewed coffee, cooled
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup milk
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Combined milk and lemon juice and let stand for 5 minutes. (mixture will thicken slightly).
Whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and xanthan gum.
Add eggs, coffee, milk and lemon juice mixture, oil and vanilla.
Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.
Pour into a greased 9x13-inch baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Set aside to cool while you prepare the pudding.

Pudding Layer:
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder
3 tablespoons cornstarch
pinch of salt
2 & 1/2 cups milk
1 tablespoon butter

Whisk together sugar, cocoa powder, cornstarch and salt, in a medium saucepan. Gradually stir in milk, and whisk until well combined. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until thickened, or mixture comes to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in better. Allow to cool for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
With the handle of a wooden spoon, poke holes all over the cake. Pour the pudding over, and use a spoon, if necessary, to spread evenly. Tap the pan gently on the table a few times, to allow the pudding to seep down into the holes.
Let cool for about 30 minutes, before frosting.

1/3 cup milk
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 & 1/4 cups sugar
1 cup chocolate chips

Combine milk, butter and sugar in a small saucepan. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until mixture comes to a rolling boil. Boil for 45 seconds.
Remove from the heat and add chocolate chips. Stir continuously until smooth.
Immediately pour over the cake.
Chill for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Monday, December 7, 2015

{Perfect Baked Potatoes}

Every now and then, I just get hungry for a really, really good baked potato.
Especially one that is fully loaded!
Some of my favorite toppings are (not all at the same time, of course) ham, chicken, taco meat, steamed broccoli, green chilies, onions, bell peppers, cheese, ranch dressing, black olives, black beans, seems like the list is endless!!
And I'm all about the WHOLE baked potato - skin and all!
I know that technically, there is no "recipe" for them, but I guess you could say there is "technique" that can help you achieve and really, really good baked potato!
And that's what I'm sharing with you today!
Super fast and simple, but really yummy final results!!
I hope you give it a try!!

Desired number of baking potatoes
Olive or Canola Oil

Thoroughly wash and dry potatoes. Line a baking sheet with foil. Pour a small amount of oil into a bowl. Dip your fingers in the oil and generously rub each potato, and place it on the baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt, turning the potatoes, to coat all sides.
Pierce each potato several times with the tip of a sharp knife.
Bake at 425 degrees for 45-60 minutes or until fork tender.

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Monday, November 30, 2015

{Simple Banana Bread}

There are 4 foods off the top of my head, that I don't like.
I generally just simply love food in general, so honestly, the fact that I don't like these things, is a tad disturbing to me.

Cream cheese, white chocolate, sweet potatoes, and banana bread.

I know, I'm crazy! I'll eat any kind of bean or pepper, but put cream cheese in front of me, and my heart will drop!
The thing is, I really, really WANT to like all of those things.
When you say "cream cheese" it just seems like it's going to be so rich and absolutely delicious! "White chocolate" sounds somehow romantic or something!
"Sweet Potatoes" seem healthy, and light!
"Banana Bread" just reminds me of grandma's house!
I see all kinds of different recipes and I think "oh, I'll like it like that."
So, I try it.
And it never fails.
No matter what, it still tastes like cream cheese, or white chocolate or whatever!

After 20+ years of trying to convince myself that I like these things, it looks like banana bread at least, may be coming around (pretty sure the other 3 things are never gonna happen!)!
I only made it out of desperation, really...we had bananas going bad, and I just hated to throw them out. Again.
So I dumped all the ingredients in a bowl real quick, threw it in the oven and honestly didn't expect it to be anything great.

Surprise! Surprise!
  I actually liked it! Ironically, it still tasted like banana bread (go figure), but something about it, was just simply good! I don't know how to explain it, but it's safe to say that I will be eating more banana bread from now on!!

I hope you give it a try!!

3 medium bananas
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup oil
1 egg
1 & 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 & 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon cinnamon

Place bananas in a mixing bowl, and beat until mostly smooth. Add sugar, oil and egg, and mix well.
Add remaining ingredients and mix just until moistened.

For a loaf:
Pour into a greased loaf pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 60 -70 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, and the bread is dark golden brown.

For muffins:
Spray a muffin pan with cooking spray. Fill each cup 3/4 full.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, and the bread is dark, golden brown.

Cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Run a table knife around the edges of the bread to loosen from the pan.
Flip the bread out, and place on a wire rack; cover loosely with a clean dish-towel and let cool completely.
Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Monday, November 23, 2015

{Roasted Brussel Sprouts}

Happy Thanksgiving week!!
Here's a super yummy, yet kind of healthy side dish to add to your thanksgiving menu this year!

I have always like Brussel Sprouts (I was a weird child).
Fresh or frozen, sauteed in some butter, or steamed. 
Either way, I loved them!

I had never tried them roasted, though. But I love other roasted vegetables, so I figured I might as well try them. 
My sister-in-law makes the best roasted asparagus on the planet, so I just used the same technique.

I'm not sure that I will ever make brussel sprouts any other way from now on!
They were SO good!! Oh my, the flavor was just excellent, they couldn't be easier to make, and it took away that tiny under-tone of bitterness that is sometimes in brussel sprouts!

So whether you are already a Brussel Sprout lover, or maybe even hate this magnificent, tiny, green vegetable, I hope you give them a try!

1 pound fresh Brussel Sprouts
3-5 tablespoons Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
Line a baking sheet with foil; set aside.
Cut sprouts in half lengthwise (so that each half has part of the root), and place in a bowl. Add oil, starting with 3 tablespoons. Mix gently until evenly coated. If there is not enough oil to coat all of them, add more 1 tablespoon at a time.
Spread out into a single layer on the baking sheet. Sprinkle with desired amount of salt and pepper.

Bake for 10 minutes; stir and flip the sprouts over. Bake for 10-15 minutes longer, or until just fork-tender, and golden brown.

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Monday, November 16, 2015

{Light & Fluffy Waffles}

I love waffles, but I don't like how heavy they tend to be sometimes.
I thought the instructions in this recipe were a tad odd, 
but it really does result in a light and fluffy waffle!
Hope you try them out!!

4 cups flour
1 tsp. xanthan gum
1 & 1/2 cups sugar
2 tblsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
4 large eggs, yolks and whites separated
2 cups buttermilk (see note)
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water
2 cups (4 sticks) butter, melted
2 tsp. vanilla

Whisk together dry ingredients in a large bowl; set aside. In a mixing bowl, beat egg whites on high speed until stick peaks form; set aside. In a separate bowl, combine egg yolks, buttermilk, milk, water, butter and vanilla. Add to dry ingredients and mix until combined. Gently fold in egg whites until well combined.
Cook according to directions on your waffle iron.

-If you don't have buttermilk on hand, just add 2 tblsp. lemon juice to 2 cups milk. Stir and let stand for 5 minutes.

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Monday, November 9, 2015

Crunchy Peanut Butter Rice Crispy Treats:

I love our other Chocolate Peanut Butter rice crispy treats, and all the other chocolate/peanut butter recipes that I have on here! 
So basically, what's one more?!!
A soft, peanut buttery rice crispy treat with a crunchy, chocolate, peanut butter topping.
I don't really know what else to say!!
I hope you try it out!!

1 (10 oz.) package mini marshmallows
1/4 cup peanut butter, crunchy or creamy
5 cups rice crispy cereal

1 & 1/2 cups chocolate chips
3/4 cup peanut butter
2 tablespoons butter
2 cups cornflakes, lightly crushed

Line a 9x13-inch baking dish with foil, and lightly coat with cooking spray. Set aside.
Place marshmallows in a microwave safe dish. Pour peanut butter over top. Microwave for 1 minute; stir until smooth. Pour over cereal and mix until well combined. Press evenly into prepared pan (I like to use the bottom of a drinking glass for this). Set aside to cool while you prepare the chocolate topping.
In a small saucepan, melt chocolate chips, peanut butter, and butter over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a spatula, until melted and smooth.
Remove from heat and stir in cornflakes. Pour over rice crispy treats and spread evenly.
Chill until set. 
Remove from the pan, and take the foil off. Cut into squares and serve!

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Monday, November 2, 2015

Reese Peanut Butter Poke Cake:

I don't really know how to describe this cake.

It's peanut butter.

It's chocolate.


 I took it to a dinner at our church, and someone started calling it Wicked Cake.
My mouth is watering just thinking about it, so I better go make another one.
I hope you'll give it a try!

1 box Chocolate cake mix + ingredients called for as directed on the box
1 (8oz.) package cream cheese, room temperature
1 (14oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup cream peanut butter
1 (12oz.) container Cool Whip, divided
1 & 1/2 cups hot fudge, divided

Prepare cake according to the directions on the box.
Bake until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Poke the cake all over with a fork; set aside to cool for just a minute.
Microwave 1 cup of hot fudge, until smooth and pourable.
Pour over the cake and spread evenly with a spatula.
Once the hot fudge on the cake has cooled completely, make the peanut butter layer.
With a stand or hand mixer, beat together cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk until well combined. Add peanut butter and mix well. Stir in the cool whip until smooth and well mixed.
Spread evenly over the cake. Chill until completely cool.
Spread the remaining cool whip over the peanut butter layer. Microwave the remaining hot fudge just until easy to pour. Drizzle over the cool whip.
Chill until ready to serve.

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Monday, October 26, 2015

{Taco Lasagna}

I love tacos and I love lasagna, so this recipe just pulled me right it in!
It was so good and couldn't be easier to make.
I was expecting a list of ingredients that I don't always have on hand, but I was pleasantly surprised!
The second time I made it, I had lots of "taco toppings" on the side, for anyone who wanted them. Shredded lettuce, mushrooms, black olives, black beans, onions, chopped bell was great!
I hope you try it out!!

12 gluten-free lasagna noodles
1 lb. ground beef
1/4 cup taco seasoning
3/4 cup water
1 (24 oz.) jar Salsa
1 (15 oz) container ricotta cheese
2 eggs
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

In a skillet, brown beef until no longer pink; drain. Add taco seasoning and water. Stir until well combined. Add salsa and mix well. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together ricotta cheese and eggs until well combined.
Spread about 3 tablespoons of the salsa/meat mixture in the bottom of a greased 9x13-inch baking dish. Assemble lasagna by layering 4 lasagna sheets in the prepared pan. Spread 1/3 of the ricotta cheese mixture over the noodles. Next, 1/3 of the meat mixture and 1/3 of each of the cheeses. Repeat layers 2 more times.
-Meat mixture

Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 30 - 40 minutes or until heated through and bubbly, and noodles are tender.

-HERE are the lasagna sheets that I like to use.
-You can make this ahead of time of freeze. Allow to thaw before baking according to instructions. 
-It can also be assembled ahead of time and refrigerated overnight, and baked the next day. 
-Don't forget to check the label on your taco seasoning, to make make sure it's gluten-free.

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Monday, October 19, 2015

The BEST Chocolate Pudding/Pie Filling:

I don't know if I ever said this before on here, but I have a huge weakness for pudding. 
Pretty much any kind....I don't know why, I just love it! The thicker, definitely the better.
Because of that, I also love eating AND making meringue pies. 
My grandma made them all the time when I was growing up, and I just thought they were the best thing ever!
Unfortunately, this pie can't really compare to hers. However, for me, it has been the next best thing!
It was so good! In a pie or simply by the spoonful, I could eat this pudding all day long!

2 cups milk
3 tablespoons cornstarch
dash of salt
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup baking cocoa
3 egg yolks
2 tablespoons butter
1 tsp. vanilla

In a medium saucepan, whisk together milk, cornstarch, salt, sugar, cocoa and eggs. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; stirring constantly. Once the pudding is very thick, remove from the heat and stir in the butter and vanilla.

To use as a Pie Filling:
Follow the instructions on THIS recipe.

Or, you can just pour into a serving bowl and serve!
Warm or chilled, plain, or topped with a dollop of whipped's good any way it's served!

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Monday, October 12, 2015

Easy Red Enchiladas:

Okay! Here's the enchilada recipe to go with that fantastic Homemade Red Enchilada Sauce recipe from last week!!

I think I have stated my love of Mexican food here before.
It seems to be a curse, really, because the rest of my family is quite un-enthusiastic about it!
Regardless, it's something that seems to grow bigger and bigger every day.
The more I think about it, the more I want it. And the more I have it, the more I like it!
Enter, these enchiladas. And the ironic thing about this recipe, is that 4 out of the 7 people in my household liked them!! I was so shocked and really excited, but I for one LOVED them!
I've never had red enchiladas at a restaurant before, so I really don't know what they are supposed to taste like, and if these are comparable to what's out there. 
However, they are really easy to make, taste fairly scrumptious, and I hope you try them out!!!!

(This picture is after they are all assembled, but before they are baked)

12-14 corn tortillas (check the label)
1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
1 small diced onion
1/2 lb. ground beef
2 tblsp. green chilies, optional
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

In a small saucepan, whisk together the enchilada sauce, tomato paste and onion over medium heat. Cook and stir until well blended and heated through; set aside.
Brown ground beef until no longer pink; drain and set aside.

Pour half of the red sauce in a greased, 9x13-inch baking dish.
Assemble the enchiladas by placing approximately 1 teaspoon each of the beef, and both cheeses in the center of a tortilla. Roll up gently yet tightly and place seam side down over the sauce in the pan.
Repeat until pan is full. Pour remaining red sauce over tortillas. 

Use a spoon to spread it all over each enchilada.  
Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
Bake at 375 degrees for 20-30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly and cheese is melted.

-You can also assemble these ahead of time, and refrigerate them overnight. 
Bake according directions.
-If the tortillas are room temperature, they will roll better and not crack open as easily.
-You can use a 16 oz. can of store-bought red enchilada sauce, if you want. However, they are generally not gluten-free.

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Monday, October 5, 2015

Easy Homemade Red Enchilada Sauce:

I love enchiladas, but it's actually hard finding an enchilada sauce that doesn't contain gluten. This recipe is so fast and easy to make, that I'm not going to read through the stacks and stacks of cans at the store ever again! It's hard to tell by the picture, but the results are a fairly thick, dark red sauce. Not really spice at all, but packed with flavor!!! 
I hope you'll try it out in your favorite enchilada recipe, or wait until next week, when I'll be sharing an awesome enchilada recipe with you! Stayed tuned!! 

2 tblsp. canola or vegetable oil
1 tblsp. cornstarch
3 tblsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. oregano
2 cups chicken broth

In a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat.
Add cornstarch and whisk until smooth. Stir in the remaining seasonings and mix well (if it's starting to stick or something, you may want to remove the pan from the heat while you are adding everything in). Gradually stir in chicken broth while whisking, to prevent lumps. Cook and stir until completely smooth. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until thickened, stirring occasionally.
Use immediately or refrigerate, in an air-tight container for approximately 2 weeks.

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Monday, September 28, 2015

{Easy Steak Marinade}

I realize that grilling season is nearing a close, at least where I live. But we do love to grill, and we still have a few weeks left, maybe.
This marinade was super easy, and very yummy!
I hope you try it out!

1 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. Season Salt
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 tsp. black pepper

Amount of steak:
The amount can vary. I used this amount of marinade for 6 New York Strip Steaks.

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl, and whisk until smooth.
Place steak in a gallon zip-lock bag. Pour soy sauce mixture over steak; remove as much air as possible from the bag and seal. Squish the steaks to get the marinade all rubbed in.
Place on a plate or in a pan, so that it won't accidentally leak all over the place!
Refrigerate for at least an hour, but the longer the better. 24 hours is ideal.
Place on pre-heated grill. Cook for 5 minutes on each side.
Place in serving dish, and let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

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Monday, September 21, 2015

{No-Bake Chex Bars}

Inspired by a conversation about Chex cereal with my boyfriend
(who loves all things peanut butter and chocolate just about as much as I do),
I went on a quest to find this recipe.
Thankfully, I didn't have to look very long or far!
I stumbled across a similar recipe and knew I had to try it out!
Unfortunately, Bradley has not had the chance to taste them yet, but I absolutely loved them!
I wasn't sure what to think, but they turned out SO good and they really couldn't have been easier to make. They hold their shape beautifully, yet they are still nice and soft like a really good rice crispy treat. I don't know exactly how to describe them, so you should probably just make them and see for yourself!! If you are even the slightest fan of peanut butter and/or chocolate, I don't think you'll be disappointed! 

7 cups Chex cereal
1 cup brown sugar
1 cups light corn syrup
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 cup chocolate chips

Line a 9x13 baking dish with foil, and lightly coat with cooking spray; set aside.
Place cereal in a large bowl.
In a medium saucepan, whisk together brown sugar and corn syrup. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and boil for a full minute, stirring constantly.
Remove from heat; add peanut butter and vanilla. Mix until peanut butter is melted and mixture is smooth. Pour over cereal. Mix until evenly coated, but gently so that the cereal doesn't get crushed.
Press mixture into prepared pan, again, being very gentle not to crush the cereal.
In a small saucepan over low heat, melt chocolate, stirring constantly, until smooth.
Drizzle over cereal mixture. Chill until firm. Remove from the pan and discard the foil. Cut into squares and serve!

-I used corn Chex, but you could use rice Chex, a mixture of both, or whatever you want. Just be sure not to use wheat Chex if you are making them gluten-free!

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Monday, September 14, 2015

Mounds Brownies:

Coconut is so good! I know, I know...lots of people don't like it. 
Believe me, coconut lovers are a minority in my house!
I don't mind a whole lot though, because that just means more for those of us who love it!
So if you are a fellow coconut lover, this recipe is for you!!!!
 I hope you give it a try!!!

1 batch (or box) brownies, see note
5 & 1/3 cups shredded coconut
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1 & 1/2 cups powder sugar
2 cups milk chocolate chips

Prepare brownies according to directions. Bake in a jelly-roll style pan.
Allow to cool completely.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix together coconut, milk, and sugar until thoroughly combined. The mixture will be very, very thick.
Drop by spoonfuls all over the brownies and spread evenly, being very careful not to tear the brownies.
Place chocolate in a microwave safe dish, and microwave in 30 second intervals until melted. 
Drizzle over coconut mixture and chill until set.
Cut into squares and serve!

-You can click HERE to find my brownie recipe

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Monday, September 7, 2015

Products I love: 3 different Granola Bars:

Today, I'm sorry to say that I do not have a recipe to share with you.
However, I'm very excited to share several product recommendations with you!
I am not receiving anything or getting paid to write this post. 
These are not my pictures, but all the opinions are my own. 

I love granola bars. 
For breakfast, a snack, I could eat them any time of day. Surprisingly, there are precious few gluten-free options when it comes to granola bars. And even fewer options if you are not interested in eating the same kind of granola bar for the rest of your life.
We have been getting the Nature Valley Trail Mix bars for years, and whereas they are good, I personally am getting sick and tired of them, and would be perfectly content not to see another one for the rest of my life!!
Yes, I do make my own and all that sometimes. But I have been traveling a lot recently, and have encountered different situations where I needed those bars to be completely sealed 
(example: in the airport, camping/vacationing where it's very damp and humid, etc.)
Being in one of those situations recently, I randomly started reading every.single.lable of of granola bars in the grocery store. I have done this time, after time, only to find 2, maybe 3 bars that were gluten-free.  
However, this time I was SO excited to come across three very different bars, that were all gluten-free!! So of course I got all of them to try, and I ended up loving each and every one of them!
They were each very different and unique, yet delicious!
Both of the Nature Valley Bars are completely gluten-free. 
The milk&cereal bar, however, does have malt extract, which is derived from barley. This does not bother me, but for someone with extreme gluten sensitivity, or actual Celiac Disease, this may be a problem, so you have to use your own judgement.

I hope you will check your grocery and give some of these a try!!!
If you are a fellow granola bar lover, I don't think you'll be disappointed!

~Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate~

~Mixed Berry with Greek Yogurt~

~Honey Nut Cheerios Milk&Cereal Bars~

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Monday, August 31, 2015

Lemon Meringue Pie:

Just the word itself sounds tasty and refreshing to me!
I have always been crazy about anything Lemon.
Sweet or Savory, it doesn't matter.
However, by far, my very favorite Lemon dish of all time, would have to be
Lemon Meringue Pie.
My brother, Kaleb, is just about the same way, and he asked for it for his birthday this year.
It doesn't look amazing, but it tasted SO good!!
I hope you try it out!!

1 (9-inch) deep-dish Pie Crust (click HERE for my recipe)

Bake pie crust at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes, or until light golden brown.
Set aside to cool.

6 egg whites
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. vanilla
12 tblsp. sugar

Separate egg whites and place them in a large mixing bowl of an electric mixer. Let them stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Add cream of tartar and vanilla to the egg whites. Begin beating on medium-high speed until soft peaks form.
Turn the mixer on high speed. Add the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, until stiff peaks form.
Continue beating until sugar is dissolved and peaks are stiff and glossy.
Tip: you can tell when the sugar is dissolved by rubbing a small amount of the meringue between your fingers. The less "grainy" feel, the better chances of the meringue not weeping later on.

1 (2.9 oz) box Cook&Serve Lemon Pudding mix
1/2 cup sugar
2 egg yolks, beaten
2 & 1/4 cups water, divided

Whisk together pudding mix, sugar, egg yolks, and 1/4 cup water in a medium saucepan; mix until well combined. Add remaining 2 cups water. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly.
Pour into pre-baked pie shell. Top immediately with meringue, and spread to edge of crust to seal.
Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes, or until lightly browned.
Cool completely before serving. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator.

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Monday, August 24, 2015

Copycat Chick-fil-A Honey Mustard Sauce:

Chick-fil-A is BY FAR my favorite fast-food restaurant. 
Fortunately, for my health, the nearest one is about 30 minutes away, so I don't get to eat there very often.
I was recently able to go out to New Mexico to visit my brother and sister-in-law, and they introduced me to Chick-fil-A's Honey Mustard Sauce.
I had never even heard of it before, which was strange, seeing how much I love that place!
And it only moved higher up on my list, after having that sauce!
I ate it with the grilled chicken nuggets, and the waffle fries - both were AMAZING, and I was officially addicted!
I didn't think the employees would look too kindly on my request for 100 packages of their sauce, so I decided to take matters in to my own hands.
After a little bit of searching and tweaking, I think I may have actually hit the jack pot!
It is not the actual sauce, but it tastes REALLY close.
Don't let the coloring in the picture fool you - for some reason the flash on my camera made it look darker than it actually was.
I was pretty surprised with the ingredient list, to be honest, but trust me, it all works!
I hope you give it a try!! 

1/4 cup mayonnaise (I used miracle whip)
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon BBQ sauce

Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl. 
Serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator!

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Monday, August 17, 2015

How to Step-up your boxed cake mix:

I'm not a huge cake eater, but every now and then, a nice, moist slice of cake just sounds good.
There are several gluten-free boxed cake mixes out now, and some of them are good, but others are not so fantastic! 
However, I have learned a few tricks that can kick a boxed cake mix, up to a whole new level!
The Betty Crocker gluten-free cake mixes are definitely my favorite, but these tips can be used with absolutely any brand and size, as well as for a regular non-gluten-free cake mix.
I hope you try it out!

1. When the box says to add water to your cake mix, use milk instead.
2. Always add one extra egg. So, if the box calls for 3 eggs, use 4.
3. If the box calls for oil, use melted butter instead.
4. Adding 1 cup of sour cream, or 1 package of instant pudding mix, is very optional, but will help if you want a pretty rich cake.

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Monday, August 10, 2015

Slow Cooker Baby Carrots:

This is such a great recipe!
We are all about the crock-pots in this house, and it doesn't get much easier than this!
I love steamed carrots, but cooked carrots are entirely different. They tend to be so mushy and totally lost when it comes to flavor. But for some reason, the carrots in this recipe stay pretty crisp and the flavor is outstanding!
I hope you give it a try!

1 (16 oz.) bag baby carrots
1/4 tsp. salt
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 & 1/2 tblsp. butter
1/2 tblsp. parsley

Place all ingredients in a 1 - 2 quart crock-pot. Stir to combine.
Cover and cook on high for 4-5 hours or until tender.

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