Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Santa Fe Lime Rice

This rice is super versatile!  I love it because it can go with my "Cafe Rio" salads, or with grilled salmon.  My family likes it as a side dish to just about anything.  I prefer this recipe to other lime rice recipes because I don't like garlic in my rice.  Sometimes I add a few tablespoons of chopped cilantro to the rice cooker as well.  This is perfect because it has flavor, but doesn't necessary scream Mexican dish.  In fact, depending on what I'm serving with, I don't always add the cumin.  I like to make this in my rice cooker, but you could certainly fix it on the stove.

5 rice cooker cups of rice (about 3 1/2 cups)
3 tablespoons butter, sliced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon lime juice, or juice of 1/2 a lime
3 chicken bouillon cubes
cilantro, chopped (if desired)
water - fill to line 5 of rice cooker

Rinse rice.  Add water to line 5 on the rice cooker.  Place butter, salt, cumin, lime juice and chicken bouillon cubes in the rice cooker.  Close lid and cook.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Crock Pot Basil Chicken in Coconut Curry Sauce

6 bone-in skin-on chicken thighs, skin removed* (about 2 and 1/2 pounds)
salt and pepper
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 (13.5 ounce) cans coconut milk
2 tablespoons dried basil leaves
2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon pepper
1 to 1 1/2 tablespoon McCormick curry powder
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 large red onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced (1 tablespoon minced)
1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon COLD water
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated or minced
1/3 to 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Remove the skin from the chicken. Salt and pepper each thigh.

Heat a large skillet to medium-high heat.  Add 1 teaspoon olive oil.  When the oil is hot, add 3 chicken thighs.  Cook for about 2 minutes, until nicely browned on the bottom.  Turn the chicken over to brown the other side for about 1-2 minutes.  Remove the chicken to a plate.  Repeat searing process with the other 3 chicken thighs.

Meanwhile, in a crock pot combine coconut milk, basil, 2 teaspoons salt, 3/4 teaspoon pepper, curry powder, and chili powder, to taste.  Stir to combine.

Add the chopped red onions, garlic, and jalapeno.  Add the browned chicken and stir to combine.

Cook on high for 4-5 hours, or on low for 6-8 hours.

Remove the chicken from the slow cooker and transfer to a plate or cutting board. Let cool for a couple minutes.

Add the ginger to the slow cooker.

In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and 1 tablespoon COLD water. Stir until it's not lumpy. Add this to the crock pot and stir.

Shred the chicken, removing the bones and any tough bits. It should just be falling apart.

Return the meat to the slow cooker and stir.  Return the lid and cook for another 10 minutes.

Season with salt and pepper, to taste.  Stir in the cilantro.  Serve with rice. 

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Lemon Chicken Pasta

This recipe is simple, delicious and has a freshness about it!  It's a twist on alfredo sauce.  My kids loved it!

Pasta of your choice
7 - 8 chicken tenders, cut into 1 inch cubes
4 tablespoons butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup featherlight flour
1 cup whipping cream
2 cups milk
zest of 1 lemon
juice of 1 1/2 lemons
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
salt & pepper to taste

Cook pasta according to package instructions, drain and set aside.

While pasta is cooking, brown chicken in butter.  Season with salt and pepper.  Just before chicken is cooked, add garlic cloves.  When chicken is fully cooked add flour and stir.  Cook for  1 minute.   Add whipping cream, milk, lemon zest, and lemon juice.  Bring to a boil, stirring constantly and simmer for 2 minutes.  Add parmesan cheese and whisk until smooth and melted.

Serve over pasta.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Zebra Caramel Popcorn

This crunchy, chocolate caramel popcorn is to die for!  You can add chopped mini candy bars as well if you'd like, but it doesn't need it.

5 quarts plain air popped popcorn
1 cup butter
2 cups light brown sugar
1/2 cups light corn syrup
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups Guittard Milk Chocolate Chips
1 1/4 cups Guittard White Chocolate Chips
20 "fun size" candy cars, chopped (optional)

Place popcorn in a very large bowl and set aside.  Preheat over to 250º.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter.

Stir in brown sugar, corn syrup, and salt.  Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.  Boil without stirring for 4 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in baking soda and vanilla extract.  Pour caramel in a thin stream over popcorn, stirring to coat.  Gently stir until all of the popcorn is covered.

Pour popcorn on two large shallow baking sheets in a single layer and bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.  Remove popcorn from oven.  Stir popcorn every few minutes until it cools enough to not stick to the pan.  Let it cool completely.

Break popcorn into pieces.  If desired, add chopped candy bars and mix.

Put milk chocolate chips in a bowl and microwave for 30 seconds at a time on power level 5, until melted.  Drizzle popcorn with melted milk chocolate.  Let cool.

Put white chocolate chips in a bowl and microwave for 30 seconds at a time on power level 5, until melted.  Turn popcorn over as well as you can, and drizzle the popcorn with melted white chocolate.

Let popcorn cool until chocolate hardens, about 30 minutes.  (You can speed up the cooling process by putting the pans in the refrigerator.

Break up popcorn if needed.  Store at room temperature in an airtight container.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Sweet Potato Fries

These fries are super easy and are a great way to serve sweet potatoes!  My kids devoured them!  You'll notice there aren't any amounts on the recipe.  I just sprinkle the seasonings on.  Put however much you like on them!  You can even substitute other spices if you prefer.  However, the spices below make tasty fries, without any spice being overbearing - just a good flavor!

3 sweet potatoes
about 1 tablespoon olive oil
garlic powder

Preheat oven to 425º.  Slice sweet potato into fries.  Put on cookie sheet and drizzle olive oil on top.  Mix with your hands until the olive oil lightly coats the sweet potatoes.  Sprinkle salt, pepper, garlic powder and paprika on the fries.  Bake for 20 - 25 minutes, until crispy.  Serve immediately.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Gluten Free Play Dough

My daughter loves to play with play dough.  She molds, shapes, cuts, drills, and slices for hours.  We make ice cream cones, animals cut out of cookie cutters, food, snakes, and more!  This is a great recipe I found from Celiac Family.  It reminds me of the recipe I used to make as a kid.  It's really easy to make and the texture is perfect!

1 cup white rice flour
1/2 cup corn starch
1/2 cup salt
3 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 cup hot water
Food coloring, as desired

Mix all the dry ingredients together in a pan.  Add hot water and vegetable oil.  If you're making the whole batch one color then add the food coloring too.  Stir everything together and cook on low heat until mixture forms a large mass.  This should take 3 - 5 minutes.  Take off the heat and when cool enough knead the play dough until smooth.

•  If it's too sticky knead in a little cornstarch.  If it's too dry put a little water on your hands and knead it in.
•  If you're making different colors out of one batch wait and add the food coloring at the end.  Knead the food coloring into the dough on a piece of parchment paper.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies

These cookies are the best gluten free sugar cookies on the planet!  They're to die for!  They're super easy to roll out and taste amazing!  A huge thanks to my friend Andrea for sharing the recipe with me!

1 cup butter, softened
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
5 cups GF featherlight flour, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

Place butter and cream cheese in a large stand mixer and mix together well.  Add sugar, eggs, vanilla extract and almond extract.  Mix together well.  Add 3 cups flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, and salt.  Mix and then add 2 more cups flour.

Mix well and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or overnight.  You can speed chill for 30 minutes in freezer.  I think it works best to wrap in plastic wrap to chill.

Roll out on floured surface about 1/4 - 1/2 inch thick, and cut with cookie cutters.  Bake at 350º for 9 - 14 minutes.  Don't over bake.  (Convection oven:  300º for 9 minutes.)

Cool on wired rack.  Frost when completely cool.

Frost with your favorite Cream Cheese Frosting, or use the following recipe:

Cream Cheese Frosting

12 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup butter, softened
8 cups powdered sugar, divided
1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
3 tablespoons milk

Whip together the cream cheese and butter.  Add 4 cups powdered sugar, slowly.  Add vanilla and whip.  Add 2 more cups powdered sugar, then whip.  Add 3 tablespoons milk and whip.  Add 2 more cups powdered sugar.

•  If too runny, add more powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time
•  If too thick, add a little more milk
•  Easier to frost if frosting is a little more thick

Mexican Layer Dip

I love this dip!  I served it on Halloween, hence the spiders, but it's great all year long!  The recipe is a little vague, but with this dip you really just throw it together however you like it best.  My kids don't like tomatoes, so I didn't add them for our Halloween dinner.

1 16 ounce Green Chili & Lime refried beans
Sour Cream
McCormick taco seasoning
Cheddar Cheese, shredded

The amounts you use of each ingredient is totally up to you!  Make it the way you like it!

Layer refried beans on a large platter.  Spoon about 2 cups sour cream into a small bowl.  Mix with taco seasoning to taste.  Spread sour cream on beans.  Layer on guacamole, cheese, sliced olives and tomatoes.  Serve with tortilla chips.

If you're making a spider web, reserve some of the sour cream.  Put it in a ziploc bag, and clip the corner to use a piping bag.  Pipe the sour cream on the guacamole.  Make spiders with the olives and place on the web.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Creamy Tuscan Chicken Pasta

This chicken pasta recipe is quick, easy and delicious!  My kids love pasta, so when my friend shared this recipe with me I knew it'd be a keeper!  The creamy sauce is light and flavorful, and the spinach and tomatoes add the perfect amount of flavor and color!

10 - 12 chicken tenders, cubed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pint heavy whipping cream
1 cup water
1 cube GF chicken bouillon cube
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1 cup Parmesan cheese
2 cups spinach, chopped
1 - 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
14 oz gluten free fettuccine

Begin by boiling salt water for pasta.  Cook pasta while preparing the sauce.

Heat oil in a large skillet, add chicken and cook 3 - 5 minutes until no longer pink in the middle.  Removed the chicken and set aside in a bowl.  Add cream, water, bouillon, garlic powder, Italian seasoning and Parmesan cheese.  Whisk until sauce starts to thicken.  Add chopped spinach and tomatoes.  Simmer until spinach starts to wilt.

Serve over pasta.  Enjoy!

•  I pack the spinach into a measuring cup to measure it, then pour it out and chop it.
•  I cheated and used the can of Parmesan cheese and yes, it was still delicious.
•  In this picture I used 1 tomato.  My kids don't love tomatoes, so I didn't add too many.  If you like tomatoes, by all means add more!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Cream Puffs

Cream Puffs are one of those desserts that seem extra fancy and difficult to make, but are actually really easy!  This gluten free version is a great disguise.  My non-gluten free family can't tell a difference between these and the ones that contain wheat.  They store really well if you don't fill them, so you can make them ahead of time!  This recipe makes 19 - 20 large cream puffs. If you want to make mini cream puffs, use a mini muffin tin and drop by teaspoonfuls.

2/3 cup rice flour
6 tablespoons potato starch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
1/2 cup butter or margarine, sliced
4 eggs

Preheat oven to 450º.  In small bowl combine rice flour, potato starch and salt.  Set aside.  In a small saucepan combine the water and butter.  Bring to a boil stirring often to melt the butter.  As soon as the water boils, add the dry ingredients all at once.  Stir vigorously until dough forms a ball.  Remove from heat.

Beat in eggs one at a time, with electric mixer to make the dough smooth.  Drop by tablespoonfuls in a oil sprayed muffin tin.

Bake at 450º for 15 minutes.  Reduce heat to 350º and bake 19 - 20 minutes more.

Remove puffs from pan and cool slightly on a rack or towel.  Cut off tops and remove soft centers.  Replace lids and allow puffs to cool completely.

Fill with pudding, whipped cream, berries, sandwich fillers, etc.