Monday, July 27, 2015

4th of July Layered Jello Salad:

Someday, I will be ahead of the game, and post a holiday recipe BEFORE the holiday is over.
In the meantime, though, here's a great recipe to add to your collection for next year!!
I love Jello salads, as I've stated many times before, and I also LOVE the 4th of July!!
So when I see a red, white and blue jello recipe, I'm all over it!!
This was super simply to make, and really yummy!
The yogurt in the middle layer may seem strange, but you can't really taste it. It just helps to make a really nice, creamy layer, which compliments the jello layers perfectly!
I hope you try it out!!

(Sorry, not the best picture, but the bowl was cold, so it just kept fogging!)

1 (3 oz.) pkg. blue Jello
1 (3 oz.) pkg. red Jello
1 envelope Knox gelatin
1 cup vanilla Greek Yogurt

Important Notes:
-Make sure to allow the white layer, and red layer to come to room temperature before adding them to the other layers. Otherwise they could melt through the previous layer, which is not beautiful!
-When pouring the white layer onto the blue layer, or the red layer onto the white layer, be careful to pour slowly, so that you don't make a whole into the next layer. Again, not pretty!

In a medium bowl, mix blue jello with 1 cup boiling water. Stir until gelatin is dissolved. Add 1/2 cup ice and stir until melted. Pour into serving dish. Chill until completely set.
Place Knox gelatin in a small bowl. Add 1/4 cup cold water, and stir lightly; set aside.
Place yogurt in a large bowl. Add 1/2 cup boiling water and mix with a hand mixer until well combined. Add Know gelatin mixture and mix well. Let stand until mixture reaches room temperature, stirring occasionally. Pour slowly and gently over blue layer in serving bowl. Chill until completely set.
In a medium bowl, mix red jello with 1 cup boiling water. Stir until gelatin is dissolved. Add 1/2 cup ice and stir until melted. Let stand until mixture reaches room temperature, stirring occasionally. Pour slowly and gently over white layer in serving bowl. Chill until completely set, preferably over night.

-You could definitely use other colors of jello and make it for different holidays and occasions, as well.

post signature

Monday, July 20, 2015

Chocolate Chip Raspberry Muffins:

We have had so much rain where I live lately! I'm normally all about the rainy days, but even I'm starting to wish for a little sun now and then! Last month, we only had 6 days without rain. So far, this month, it's rained every single day!
But I'm thankful for the rain, and I know other places would love to have it, so I'm not complaining!
One thing about rainy days, though, is it just makes me want to bake!
I was craving muffins one morning, and decided to give these a try. I'm not normally crazy about raspberries (I don't like the fuzzy feeling on the roof of my mouth!), but I loved them in these muffins!
They were light and fluffy, yet yummy!
And they tasted so perfect on this dreary, rainy day!
But, rain or shine, and with or without the glaze, I hope you'll give these a try!!

1/2 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup milk
2 eggs
1 & 3/4 cup Flour
1 tsp. xanthan gum
3/4 cup sugar
1 tblsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups chocolate chips
2 cups raspberries (fresh or frozen)

1/3 cup powder sugar

In a large bowl, whisk together butter, milk and eggs. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, xanthan gum, sugar, baking powder, salt and chocolate chips. Slowly pour dry mixture into milk mixture, stirring with a spatula as you pour. Mix just until combined.
Add berries, and stir very gently to incorporate.
Using an ice cream scoop, pour into paper-lined muffin cups.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, and muffins are very light golden brown.
Let cool in pans for 10 minute.
Place a cooling rack over a piece of wax paper, and transfer the muffins from the pans to the cooling wrack. Let stand 10 more minutes.
Mix up glaze by adding milk to the powder sugar, one teaspoon at a time, until mixture reaches a thick, yet pour-able consistency.
Drizzle over muffins and let stand for about 5 minutes until glaze is set.
Serve or let cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

-If you do not want these to be gluten-free, just use regular flour, and omit the xanthan gum.
-I love my muffins to have a slightly crunchy top, so after these were done baking, I actually put them under the broiler for just a minute, to give them a darker brown color and to make the tops just a tad crispy. 

post signature

Monday, July 13, 2015

Dirt Dessert:

My Grandma used to make this recipe all the time. I remember her bringing it to a lot of church events. She generally would layer it in a brand-new flower pot, and put fake flowers in the top to give it the full "dirt" affect!
It had been so long since I had eaten any, and I had never actually made it.
Someone requested it for the 4th of July, so I thought why not!!
I was really happy with how fast and easy it was to make! I always thought it was one of those things that took a while to put together, but I was so wrong!
As you can tell from the picture below, we got our gluten-free sandwich cookies at Walmart. We have also tried the "Glutino" brand, and they are good as well!

With all the picnics, family reunions and get-together's that happen around this time of year, this is an excellent dessert that can be made way ahead AND feeds a crowd!
I hope you give this recipe a try this summer! I don't think you'll be disappointed!

2 ( 10.6 oz.) pkg. Gluten-Free chocolate sandwich cookies
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese
1 cup powder sugar
3 & 1/2 cups milk
2 ( 3.4 oz.) boxes vanilla pudding mix
12 oz. container Whipped topping

Place cookies in a food processor, and pulse into crumbs; set aside.
In a large bowl, cream together butter, cream cheese, and powder sugar; set aside.
In another bowl, mix together milk and pudding mix. Fold in whipped topping.
Add cream cheese mixture to pudding mixture, and stir until well combined (I actually used a hand mixer for this).
Layer 1/3 of the cookie crumbs in a 9x13-inch baking dish. Press out evenly.
Pour half of the cream mixture over the cookies and gently spread out evenly.
Repeat, ending with cookies.
Allow to chill overnight before serving. 

-If you do not want this dish to be gluten-free, simply substitute a family-size package of regular Oreo's for the gluten-free cookies.
-This can also be frozen. Just allow to thaw for an hour or so before serving.

post signature

Monday, July 6, 2015

Baked Spaghetti:

I am generally a pretty big fan of spaghetti as it is, but I really love this.
Just a simple twist on spaghetti, yet adding cheese always makes everything even better!
Easy to half, double and/or make-ahead, I hope you give it a try!!

1 package Spaghetti Pasta
1 & 1/2 cups of your favorite Spaghetti Sauce
1 & 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 pound ground beef
1 small onion, chopped

The pasta I like to use, cooks for 7 minutes. For this dish, I cook it for 4 minutes, so that is doesn't turn too mushy when I bake it.
So cook your pasta according to the package directions, just until it starts to bend and curl, but not cooked completely; drain, rinse with cold water and set aside.
In a skillet, brown beef and onion until beef is no longer pink; drain.
In a large bowl, combine meat, onions, sauce and cheese. Mix well. Add pasta and toss to combine. Place in a greased, 9x13-inch baking dish. Sprinkle with an additional 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.

-This could easily be made a meatless dish, by simply leaving out the ground beef, if you wanted.