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.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Pressure Cooker Spaghetti Squash

So who knew you could cook spaghetti squash so quickly?  Yep!  It's a breeze in my pressure cooker!  All you have to do is cut off the ends.  Cut it in half and scoop out the seeds.  Place it in your pressure cooker with 1/2 cup water.  Cook it on high pressure for 8 minutes, and use the Quick Release Method.  That's it!

Monday, April 18, 2016

German Chocolate Cookies

This is a combination of two of my very favorite things, German Chocolate Frosting and cookies!  Oh my, it's delicious!  Let's just say, I can eat the frosting by the spoonfuls! Yum!

1/2 cup butter
12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups featherlight flour
3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Coconut Pecan Frosting
Milk Chocolate Chips, melted

Melt butter and chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl, using 50% power.  Once melted, set aside to cool slightly.  

In a medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients:  flour, xanthan gum, cocoa, baking powder and salt. 

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the sugar, eggs and vanilla on low speed until combined.  Add the cooled chocolate mixture and blend until combined.  While mixing, add the dry ingredients slowly and blend until just combined.  Cover and refrigerate about 1 hour.  If making the dough a day ahead, let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before shaping.

While dough is in the refrigerator, make the coconut pecan frosting.  

To bake cookies, preheat oven to 325º.  On a greased cookie sheet place tablespoon size balls of dough about 2 inches apart.  Bake for about 10 minutes.  Cool for a few minutes then transfer to a cooling rack.

Assemble the cookies by placing the cooling rack with the cookies over a baking sheet.  Spoon frosting onto cooled cookies.  Melt chocolate chips and drizzle over frosting.

Coconut Pecan Frosting
1 cup evaporated milk
1 cup sugar
3 egg yolks
1/2 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/3 cups coconut
1 cup chopped pecans

Combine evaporated milk, sugar, egg yolks, butter and vanilla in a saucepan.  Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened, about 12 minutes.  Add coconut and pecans.  Beat until thick enough to spread.  Makes 2 1/2 cups.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Brazilian Cheese Rolls

These cheese rolls are one of my all time favorites!  I was first introduced to them at Tucanos Brazilian Grill Restaurant.  I had no idea they were so simple to make!  I totally crave them!  They satisfy my bread cravings for sure!

2 cups tapioca starch
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated (about 2 ounces)
2/3 cup milk
1/3 cup olive oil
2 eggs
1 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 375º.  Put all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth, about 1 minute.  Pour batter into greased mini muffin tin.  Bake until lightly golden, about 17 - 18 minutes.  Serve warm.  It makes 24 - 30 rolls.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Spencer's Peach Smoothie

In the fall we like to freeze fresh peaches!  One of our favorite things to do with them is make peach smoothies.  Spencer came up with his own recipe and it is fabulous!  It tastes more like a shake!  With just 3 ingredients it's quick to blend up!  Our family loves this quick and delicious dessert!

5 cups frozen peaches
2 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup sugar

Put all ingredients in a blender.  Blend until smooth!  Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Baked Salmon

My family loves salmon!  We can't grill it in the winter, but we love to bake it!  It works great and is quick and easy!  We buy fresh salmon, or steelhead from Costco.  Usually one side of the fish has skin on it.  If you bake the fish on tinfoil with the skin side down, then when you flip it, the skin peels right off.  It's perfect!  We like McCormick Lemon & Pepper seasoning salt the best.

McCormick Lemon & Pepper Seasoning Salt

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2.  Place tinfoil on your baking sheet.  Set the salmon on the tinfoil with the skin side down.
3.  Generously sprinkle lemon pepper on the salmon.
4.  Bake for 10 minutes.
5.  While it's baking, prepare another baking sheet with tinfoil.  Butter the tinfoil to prevent sticking.
6.  Take salmon out of the oven, and carefully flip it onto the buttered tinfoil.  Peel away the tinfoil/skin from the fish.
7.  Sprinkle more lemon pepper on that side of the fish.
8.  Bake an additional 6 - 8 minutes, or until fish is done and flakes easily.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Pressure Cooker Sausage Pasta

I love the sausage and basil flavor of this easy pasta recipe.  The brown rice pasta cooked perfectly in the pressure cooker!  5 minutes was the perfect amount of time for the pasta to cook.  This is a kid friendly recipe that adults will enjoy too!  I got the recipe from the recipe book Pressure Cooker Perfection and adjusted it to be gluten free!  This recipe is so versatile.  You could change up the spices, or use beef instead of sausage!

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 lb Italian sausage
1 onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
16 oz bag brown rice macaroni noodles
1 29-ounce can tomato sauce
3 1/2 cups water
2 teaspoons dried basil or 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Heat oil in pressure cooker until hot.  Add sausage, onion and green pepper.  Brown until sausage is no longer pink.  Add tomato sauce, water and pasta.  Cook on high pressure for 5 minutes.  Use the quick pressure release, then take the lid off.  Stir in basil and salt and pepper, to taste.  Serve!

Monday, January 18, 2016

Pressure Cooker Mongolian Beef

I can't say enough about how much fun I'm having with my electric pressure cooker.  This recipe is definitely becoming a "regular".  The meat is so tender and delicious!  When I made this the other day, my son walked in and asked, "what smells so good?"  He said, "it smells like a fancy restaurant!"  Woo hoo!  It makes me happy when my kids love dinner!  I got this recipe from Pressure Cooking today, and made it gluten free.  Here's the link.

2 pounds flank steak, cut into 1/4 inch strips
1 tablespoon canola oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup gluten free soy sauce
1/2 cup water
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons water
3-4 green onions, sliced

Season beef with salt and pepper.  Put oil in the pressure cooker and select browning.  When oil is hot, brown the meat in batches until all meat is browned.  Transfer meat to a plate when browned.

Add the garlic and saute for 1 minute.  Add soy sauce, 1/2 cup water, brown sugar and ginger.  Stir.  Add browned beef.  Select high pressure, cook for 12 minutes, then use the quick pressure release.

In a small bowl combine the cornstarch and 3 tablespoons water and stir until smooth.  Add cornstarch mixture to the beef and stir.  Select simmer and bring to a boil, stirring constantly until the sauce thickens.

Stir in green onions and serve with rice.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Pressure Cooker Indian Butter Chicken

My sister-in-law first introduced me to Indian Butter Chicken several years ago.  It's incredibly flavorful and delicious!  I recently came across a recipe from Pressure Cooking Today and thought I'd give it a try.  I changed a couple things to fit my family, but mostly followed their recipe.  My 4 year old daughter had 3 servings, and the boys gobbled it up!  It will definitely become a regular!

The pressure cooker made it super easy.  It is much faster than the recipe I made several years ago, but even though it only cooks for 5 minutes you still need to plan 35 - 40 minutes .  It's about 10-15 minutes prep, about 10 minutes to get to pressure, 5 minutes to cook, 10 minutes to release pressure, and few minutes to bring it back to a boil.  It's soooo worth it!  It easily served 8 of us and we have leftovers.

10 boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 29 ounce can tomato sauce
1 medium/large jalapeno, seeded and chopped
2 tablespoons fresh ginger root, peeled and grated (about a 3 inch piece)
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup Greek yogurt
2 teaspoons garam masala
2 teaspoons ground roasted cumin seeds (roast in a pan on the stovetop for a few minutes)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons water
1/3 - 1/2 bunch cilantro, minced

1.  Cut the chicken thighs into quarters.

2.  Put tomato sauce, jalapeno and ginger in a blender and blend to a fine puree.

3.  Add butter to pressure cooking pot, select Browning.  When butter is melted and foam begins to subside, add 1/2 the chicken pieces and sear until they are nicely browned all over (about 2-3 minutes).  Remove them with a slotted spoon into a bowl and put aside.  Brown the other 1/2 of the chicken, then place in the bowl also.

4.  Add the ground cumin and paprika to the butter in the pot.  Stir and cook for 10 -15 seconds.  Add the tomato mixture, salt, cream, yogurt and chicken pieces (with any juices that have accumulated in the bowl) to the pot.  Stir together.

5.  Cook on High for 5 minutes.  When timer beeps, turn off and use natural pressure release for 10 minutes, then use the quick pressure release.

6.  Stir in the garam masala and roasted cumin.  Whisk together cornstarch and water in a small bowl.  Stir into the sauce.  Select saute and bring to a boil.  Turn off pressure cooker and stir in cilantro.

Serve with rice.