Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Pumpkin Cheesecake

This cheesecake is pumpkin goodness!  Yum!  It's like pumpkin pie, but better!  It's adapted from Paul Deens recipe that you can find here.  The crust is especially good and I think I'll use this crust for all my cheesecake recipes.  The brown sugar gives it more of a graham cracker crust flavor!  I put a little salt in the crust because the shortbread cookies are lacking a little I think.

1 (7 ounce) pkg Schar Shortbread cookies
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup almond flour
3 heaping packed tablespoons light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 stick (1/2 cup) melted salted butter

3 (8 ounce) pkgs cream cheese, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 (15 ounce) can pureed pumpkin
3 eggs plus 1 egg  yolk
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoons ground cloves
2 tablespoons GF flour blend
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350º.  Place shortbread cookies in a ziploc bag.  Using a rolling pin smash the bag of cookies into fine crumbs.  Pour crumbs into a 9-inch springform pan.  Add almond flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon to the crumbs and mix well.  Pour melted butter over the mixture and stir until combined.  Press down flat into the pan and set aside.

In a stand mixer beat the cream cheese until smooth.  Add sugar and pumpkin and mix until combined.  Add eggs one and a time, beating until each is incorporated before adding the next.  Add the rest of the ingredients and beat together until well combined.  Pour onto crust and spread out evenly.

Bake at 350º for 1 hour.  Remove from oven and let sit for 15 minutes.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Hungarian Goolash

I'm currently the Relief Society Emergency Preparedness specialist in my LDS ward.  One goal I have is to help women come up with meals that they can have on hand in case of emergency.

I've started putting together some meal ideas that I can have on hand for a 3 month supply of food.   This one is perfect for it!  It is a quick meal I can put together with the food in my pantry, plus ground beef.  The recipe calls for 1 lb of hamburger which is what I will usually use, because I have a freezer full of ground beef.  Although, I am in the process of finding some canned beef that is gluten free that I can have in my food storage.  This would be a good recipe to use it with.

This recipe reminds me of the days as a young wife, prior to Celiac disease when I would cook "Hamburger Helper" after a long day at school.  I have to say this is WAY better than my memories of "Hamburger Helper," but the same idea.  Plus, my kids love it!

1 lb ground beef
1/2 onion, minced or 2 tablespoons dehydrated onion flakes
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup water
1 cube GF beef bouillon cube
3/4 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons paprika
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
dash cayenne pepper
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons featherlight flour
3 cups dry GF pasta

Cook pasta, according to directions.  In a large skillet, brown hamburger, onions, and garlic.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add water, bouillon, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, salt, paprika, dry mustard,  and cayenne pepper.  Simmer about 10 minutes.  Mix flour and water.  Stir into beef mixture, and simmer until thickened.  Drain pasta and combine everything!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Swedish Pancakes

My Grandma got this recipe from a Swedish woman.  It was always a family favorite in my home growing up.  I've since adapted it to make it gluten free, and it's delicious!  We eat Swedish Pancakes all year long, but it's also the favored Christmas morning breakfast dish!

2013 update:
I make these crepes all the time, but this morning I learned something new about them.  I was trying to be ultra prepared and measured out the ingredients ahead of time.  I put the xanthan gum with the flour and mixed it up prior to adding it to the egg mixture.  BIG MISTAKE!  Because of the nature of xanthan gum, the more you mix it, the thicker it gets.  With this recipe it makes it way too thick.  So the bottom line is:  Add the xanthan gum after you've added the milks, sugar, salt and flour.  Mix it a little, then add the water.  If you do that, they will turn out perfect!

8 eggs
1 cup milk
1 can evaporated milk
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 teaspoon salt
3 cups featherlight flour
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 cup water

Beat eggs completely.  Keep the mixer going on a slow speed the entire time you're adding ingredients.  (I use a Bosch and keep it on a 1.) Beating constantly add milk, evaporated milk, sugar, and salt.  Add flour.  Then add xanthan gum.  Add 1 cup water.  Turn off mixer and pour the batter into a large pitcher to make it easier to pour each pancake into the pan.  Cook on hot, buttered griddle or in frying pan, spreading thinly over surface to make a large, thin pancake.  You may need to play with the temperature that you cook it on.  I cook it at about medium high.  Serve with butter and maple syrup.

We also love Swedish Pancakes as a dessert with fresh berries and whipped cream or ice cream!  Other toppings we like are nutella, bananas, chocolate syrup, etc.  Be creative!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Peach Freezer Jam

So you've got to try this!  This jam is pretty much fresh peach pie in a jar.  Yum!  I love it!  It's super simple and has less sugar than many jams.  When you use clear jel you're able to really cut back on the sugar.  You can buy clear jel from

10 cups mashed peaches
2/3 cup lemon juice
1 cup light karo syrup
2 teaspoons almond extract
4 cups sugar
2/3 cup clear jel

Prepare fresh peaches by peeling and removing the seed.  Mash peaches with a potato masher.  Don't blend, because you want small chunks.  Add lemon juice, karo syrup and almond extract.  In a separate bowl add the sugar and clear jel.  Stir together until combined, and sugar is dissolved.

Pour into pint or half-pint jars and keep in freezer.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Pear Almond Muffins

These muffins just might be my all time favorite!  They are moist and flavorful!  Yum!  They have a lot of ingredients, but don't let it fool you.  They are really quick to mix up!

2 medium pears, peeled, cored and cubed (about 1/2 inch)
1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 teaspoons sugar
1 cup featherlight flour
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup almond flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup light sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Preheat oven to 375º.  Peel, core and cube pears and place in a microwave safe bowl.  Add lemon juice and the 2 teaspoons sugar.  Microwave on high for 4 minutes, until pears are very soft.  Smash the pears with a potato masher, but leave small chunks.  Set aside.

In a separate bowl, add flours, sugar, xanthan gum, baking powder and salt.  Mix until combined.  In another bowl, beat eggs with a fork and add melted butter, milk, yogurt, vanilla and almond extract.  Add wet ingredients and pears to dry ingredients.  Stir until combined.

Fill greased, or paper-lined muffin cups about 3/4 full.  Bake at 375º for 16 - 17 minutes.  Makes about 18 muffins.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Creamy Rice Pudding

This rice pudding recipe is a keeper!  I like it because it uses leftover rice, already cooked, and is just as delicious as the traditional rice pudding recipes.

3 cups cooked rice
4 cups milk, divided
2/3 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla

In a medium saucepan combine the rice, 3 cups milk, sugar and salt.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, stirring every few minutes with a whisk,  until thick and creamy, 20 - 25 minutes.  In a small bowl, beat the eggs with a fork and stir in 1 cup milk.  Gradually add and stir the milk/egg mixture into the saucepan.  Cook 2 more minutes, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla.  Serve warm or cold.  You can top with cinnamon sugar, nuts, fruit, or chocolate.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

This is probably is most delicious gluten free chocolate cake recipe EVER!  I know that's quite a statement but you truly have to try it to believe it!  My sister introduced this recipe to me and WOW it's yummy!  The peanut butter cup inside and peanut butter frosting is to die for!  Just a warning:  it's sweet and rich - and ohhhh we love it!  I would totally make the homemade buttermilk with whipping cream!  I think it really makes a difference!

1 3/4 cup featherlight flour
1 scant teaspoon xanthan gum
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup cocoa
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk (1 tablespoon vinegar, almost 1 cup heavy whipping cream)
1/2 cup canola oil
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup hot water
24 Mini Reece's Peanut Butter cups (You'll need more for the top of the cupcake!)

Start by making the homemade buttermilk.  Put 1 tablespoon vinegar in a 1 cup measuring cup, then fill the rest of the cup with heavy whipping cream.  Let it sit for at least 5 minutes.

Combine dry ingredients in your mixer.  In a small bowl add buttermilk, oil, eggs, vanilla, and mix with a fork.  Turn the mixer on low speed and gradually add wet ingredients to dry ingredients.  Stop and scrape down the bowl.  Return to low speed and gradually beat in hot water.  Mixture will be very thin.

Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full.  Bake at 350º for 10 minutes.  While baking, remove foil from 24 peanut butter cups.  After the 10 minutes, open the oven and pull the rack out so you can place peanut butter cups in the center of the batter.  Push down until flush with batter.  Slide back in the oven and bake for another 8 - 10 minutes.  As it bakes, the batter will puff up around the peanut butter cups.   Test the side of the cupcake (where there is no peanut butter cup) to see if cupcake is done.

Cool on wire racks.  When completely cool, frost the cupcakes with the peanut butter frosting, using a large star piping tip.

Peanut Butter Frosting

1 1/3 cups creamy peanut butter
2 cubes butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
12 Mini Reece's Peanut Butter cups

Cream peanut butter and butter together.  Gradually add powdered sugar.  Whip on high speed until light and fluffy.  Transfer icing into a piping bag with a large star piping tip.  Pipe around the cooled cupcake, working towards the center.  Top with half a mini Reece's Peanut butter cup.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta

This recipe is a great food storage recipe.  You can store all the ingredients you need in your food storage.

The recipe uses the Meals in a Bag strategy.  I got the original recipe from the book, "Gluten Free Food Storage, It's in the Bag," which I would recommend!  I adapted this recipe a little.  All of the ingredients you need for the meal is in the bag, with the recipe with it!  When I make this recipe I like to use about 7 frozen chicken tenders that I thaw and cook in the saucepan first, (with some salt & pepper of course) instead of the canned chicken.  If I'm in a huge rush, or I'm having one of my kids make it, then I'll use the canned chicken breast.

8 cups water
16 oz GF pasta
1 (14.5 oz) can Italian diced tomatoes
1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
1 (13 oz) can chicken meat, including broth, or 1 pint home-canned chicken breast

Resealable bag:
1 teaspoon salt for pasta

Resealable bag:
1 chicken bouillon cube
1 1/2 tablespoons dried basil
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

In a large pot, bring 8 cups water to boil.  Add pasta and salt to boiling water and stir gently.  Return to boil and cook 14-15 minutes or according to desired pasta tenderness.  Remove from heat and drain.  In a medium sauce pan, combine remaining ingredients.  Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes.  Gently toss pasta with tomato sauce until pasta is thoroughly coated. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Cafe Rio Grilled Chicken Salad

We LOVE Cafe Rio and Costa Vida!  I've experimented with and adjusted some knock-off recipes, and I think you're going to love it!  Enjoy!

These are the ingredients for the salad.  Just start with the warmed corn tortillas on the bottom and build your salad from there!

Corn tortillas  - Heated with a little shredded Colby Jack cheese melted on it.
Black Beans
Lime Rice
Grilled Chicken
Green Leaf Lettuce
Pico de Gallo
Tortilla Strips
Tomatillo Dressing
Cotija Cheese
Fresh cilantro for garnish

Grilled Chicken
5 lbs chicken breast, boneless skinless
8 oz bottle Zesty Italian dressing
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
1 garlic clove, minced
salt & pepper

Mix all ingredients together.  Marinate for a few hours.  When you're getting ready to cook them, sprinkle with some salt and pepper.  Grill or bake.  I like to use chicken tenders, because I like the size and easiness of it.  I bake them at 400º for about 20 minutes.  Slice the chicken into thin strips.  Keep warm.

Black Beans
2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/3 cup tomato juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons olive oil
 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro

In a nonstick skillet, cook garlic and cumin in olive oil over medium heat until you can smell it.  Add beans, tomato juice, and salt.  Cook for 10 - 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Just before serving stir in the cilantro.

Cilantro Lime Rice
2 cups uncooked rice
2 teaspoons butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lime juice
4 cups water
4 chicken bouillon cubes
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
4 teaspoons sugar
6 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro

In a saucepan combine rice, butter, garlic, 2 teaspoons lime juice, water and bouillon cubes.  Bring to a boil.  Cover and cook on low for 20 minutes, or until rice is tender.  Remove from heat.  In a small bowl combine the last 3 ingredients; 2 tablespoons lime juice, sugar and cilantro.  Pour over hot cooked rice and mix in as you fluff the rice.

Pico de Gallo
4 fresh tomatoes, chopped
1 white onion, chopped
1/4 bunch cilantro, chopped
1 - 2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon lime juice
1 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Combine ingredients together in a medium bowl.

This has become our favorite guacamole!

3 avocados
2 tablespoons red onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 bunch cilantro leaves, chopped
1 large ripe garden tomato or 2 smaller tomatoes, diced
juice of 1 lime

Pit avocados and mash in a bowl.  Stir in remaining ingredients until mixed.  (If you like it spicy you can add 1 jalapeno finely chopped and 4-5 shakes green Tabasco sauce)

Tomatillo Dressing
1 package Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing Mix
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup mayonnaise
2 tomatillos, cored
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 bunch cilantro
juice of 1 lime
1/2 jalapeno, seeds removed

Blend ingredients together in a blender.  Add additional mayonnaise if dressing is too thin.  Keep refrigerated.  If it's not spicy enough, add more jalapeno.

Tortilla Strips
6 - 8 corn tortillas
oil for frying

Cut tortillas into strips using a pizza cutter.  Heat oil in a large frying pan.  Place strips into hot oil and fry until they become crispy.  When nice and crispy, removed from oil and place on a paper towel.  Sprinkle with salt after each batch.  These can be made ahead of time and stored in a Ziploc baggie when cooled.
•  You can also bake these in a 400º oven for about 8 minutes!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Mini Cheesecakes

This is an quick and yummy way to make individual cheesecakes.  You can use whatever kind of gluten free cookies you would like for the crust.  I like to use Glutino's Vanilla Creme cookies.  You can also make your own pecan/pretzel crust.  Top the cheesecake with your favorite pie filling, or fresh berries. They look fancy, and yet you can whip them up in a flash!  This recipe makes 24 cheesecakes.

Gluten free cookies
2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
Fresh Berries
Strawberry/Raspberry sauce or pie filling (make sure it's gluten free)

Preheat oven to 325º.  Place cupcake liners into cupcake pan.  Pull apart the vanilla creme cookies, and scrape off the creme center of the cookies.  Using just half of the cookie (without the cream), place it into each of the cupcake liners.  (Each cookie makes a crust for 2 cheesecakes.)

Mix the cream cheese and sugar together in a medium mixing bowl.  Add the lemon juice and vanilla and beat it until combined.  Add the eggs and mix well.  Using a spoon, drop batter onto each cookie, about 1/2 full.

Bake for 20 minutes.  Cool.  Top with fresh berries and raspberry or blueberry pie filling.  You can also blend some fresh strawberries/raspberries and mix them with a little powdered sugar for the topping.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Note:  The cheesecake picture above has a homemade nut/pretzel crust in it.  I just blend up pecans and gluten free pretzels.  I add a little sugar.  Then I melt some butter and mix it in until it's moist.  It's my favorite type of cheesecake crust!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Beefy Vegetable Noodle Soup

This hearty soup is colorful and delicious!  It's a one pot meal that is quick to put together.  I love that it uses leftover roast beef and gravy!  My kids aren't huge into soups, but they all loved this one!  It is also perfect to grind up into baby food because it full of veggies, meat and noodles.  My baby loves it as much as anyone!  It is adapted from Valerie Phillips "Beef Vegetable and Noodle Soup" in her Soup's On! cookbook.  (Which is a great find!  It has a lot of soup recipes that are naturally gluten free, or easily adaptable.)

2 cups leftover roast beef, diced
1/2 cup leftover gravy (GF of course!)
1 (16 ounce) pkg frozen mixed vegetables
2 cups frozen diced O'Brien-style hash browns
1 (14.5 ounce) can petite-diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon dried onion
6 beef bouillon cubes (Western Family is gluten free)
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon sugar
6 cups water
salt to taste
pepper to taste
2 cups GF brown rice spiral pasta

Put everything except the salt, pepper and pasta into a large pot.  Bring to a boil.  Add pasta and cook until tender, stirring occasionally.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Take out bay leaf prior to serving.

Spinach Apple Salad

This is a quick 3 ingredient salad I put together in a rush.  My kids don't love salad and this one they actually ate, so I thought I'd post it.  It's hardly blog-worthy, but as I've said before, my recipe blog is as much for me as anything.  I like to keep a record of recipes we like and will make again.

The Red Wine Vinegar Salad dressing is delicious on many different salads.  My sister likes it on wraps as well!

Apples, diced
Red Wine Vinegar Salad Dressing

Red Wine Vinegar Salad Dressing
1 cup canola oil
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons dry mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons salt

Blend well.