Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts: The Perfect Christmas Appetizer!

"Merry Christmas, movie house! Merry Christmas, Emporium! Merry Christmas, you wonderful old Building and Loan!" - Its a Wonderful Life

Let's face it--bacon is the #1 ingredient this year. People, including me, can't get enough of it. So here is my Christmas present to all of you--the perfect appetizer featuring the perfect food--bacon! My mom made these for Christmas every year, and it was always my favorite dish.


Ingredients:

1 can whole water chesnuts 
3 tablespoons gluten-free soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons chicken broth
1 tablespoon white cooking wine
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
12 strips thin cut bacon

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 400F. Lay the water chestnuts in a shallow oven safe pan. 

2. In a mixing bowl add soy sauce, sugar, honey, chicken broth, wine, and garlic salt. Stir until thoroughly mixed. Pour the mixture over the water chesnuts and let them marinate for 1-2 hours.

3. Cut the bacon slices in half. Roll each water chesnut individually in a piece of bacon. Secure with a toothpick. Ladle the marinade over the top of the bacon.

4. Cook for 20 minutes. Turn oven to broil and cook an additional 5 minutes. Serve while still warm.

6-10 appetizers servings. 



Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Cat-Mas and Happy Holidays!

(please don't call animal control on me hahaha)

Monday, December 10, 2012

Gluten-Free Stuffing (Thanksgiving or any time!)

"The only time to eat diet food is while you're waiting for the steak to cook." - Julia Child

This stuffing can be used to bake separately or within the turkey.  If you want a more southern taste, substitute half the white bread with corn bread. Happy Thanksgiving (or whatever day you decide is magically enough for stuffing!).



Ingredients:
1 loaf white gluten-free bread (I used Udis per usual!)
1/2 cup diced celery
1/2 cup diced carrots
1/2 cup yellow onion
1 cup gluten-free chicken broth
1 1/2 teaspoons sage
5 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons parsley
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper  

Directions:

Step 1: Preheat oven to 350F. Double toast each piece of bread so that they are completely dry but not burned. Rip each piece of bread into small pieces and sprinkle in 10x10 pan.

Step 2: On med-high heat cook diced carrots, onion, and celery in 2 tablespoons of butter for 20 minutes, or until soft. Drizzle cooked vegetables onto the bread. 

Step 3: In a small bowl mix chicken broth, salt, pepper, parsley, and sage.  Melt leftover 3 tablespoons of butter and mix into chicken broth. Pour mixture over bread and veggies. Gently toss all ingredients together so every piece is lightly covered with broth, but not soggy.

Step 4: Bake at 350 for 25 minutes. Best served with gravy!

Serves 6-8 sides. 
   
  

Monday, November 26, 2012

My First Thanksgiving Turkey!

"I celebrated Thanksgiving in an old fashion way. I invited everyone in my neighborhood to my house, we had an enormous feast, and then I killed them and took their land." - Jon Stewart

I hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving! I sure did. This year was my first time hosting Thanksgiving AND my first year cooking a turkey! I solicited my friends on facebook for advice, and the turkey ended up being delicious and very easy. We had zero leftovers. Here's how I did it:


Ingredients:
1 turkey (I used a 15 pound turkey to feed 10 guests)
1 cup white wine
1 cup gluten-free chicken broth
1 tablespoon salt
4 tablespoons butter

Directions:

Step 1: After the neck and giblets have been removed, pour white wine and chicken broth on turkey so the turkey has been initially marinated. Rub butter over and under the skin. Stick any extra butter under the skin, next to the breast of the chicken. Rub the skin with salt.

Step 2:  Bake turkey in large roasting pan at 375 for approximately 13 minutes per pound of meat (unstuffed). Baste turkey every 45 minutes with juices from the pan.  You can use the extra juice for gravy when the turkey has been fully cooked!     

Serves 8-12 people.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Chocolate Covered Cherry Oatmeal Bake

"All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt." - Charles M. Schulz

This is the perfect dish to make if you have guests over for breakfast this holiday season. Its fast, easy, tasty, and filling. I brought it to a work meeting last week and didn't end up with any leftovers!



Ingredients:
1 package of dried cherries (about 1 cup)
1 cup milk chocolate chips 
2 1/2 cups gluten-free rolled oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup diced walnuts
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
5 tablespoons melted butter
Zero calorie butter spray

Directions:

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 400F degrees. Coat the bottom of a 8x11 pan (or comparable) with zero calorie butter spray.

Step 2: In a large bowl mix oats, chocolate, cherries, walnuts, salt, brown sugar, baking powder, and cinnamon. Pour the dry mixture into the 8x11 pan.

Step 3: In your now empty bowl mix eggs, milk, vanilla, and melted butter. Pour the mixture over the dry oat mixture and make sure that all pieces are covered. 

Step 4: Bake oatmeal for 40-45 minutes. If you want the oatmeal solid, let cool for 1 hour after baking, then reheat in the microwave for 20 seconds. Otherwise serve fresh out of the oven!

Serves 8-10.

     

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Is it National Bacon Day yet?

"I’ll have the smiley face breakfast special. Uhh, but could you add a bacon nose? Plus bacon hair, bacon mustache, five o’clock shadow made of bacon bits and a bacon body." - Homer Simpson

I have literally been eating a BLT for lunch or dinner almost every day for the last week. Why? I've found the perfect combination of gluten-free bread for them and also--bacon. Did I mention bacon? Baaaaccccoooonnnn.

So this is kind of a lame excuse for a recipe post, but it needed to happen because I can't stop eating these.

Also, sorry for no pics of the bacon. I meant to take a pic...but then I ate it :(




Ingredients:
2 slices of Udi's Gluten-Free White Bread (this is by far the best GF sandwich bread I've tried!)
1 leaf butterleaf lettuce
2 thin slices tomato
3 slices thick cut applewood smoked bacon
1/2 tablespoon lite mayo

Directions:

Step 1:  Lightly toast  2 pieces of Udi's Gluten-Free White Bread. Spread light mayo evenly across one side.  Add lettuce and tomato.

Step 2: Cook bacon in pan on medium-low heat for approximately 8 minutes per side. The bacon should be slightly crispy, but still soft.  Cut bacon slices in half and lay across bread so it is completely covered with bacon.

Step 3: Eat sandwiches every day for a month, because they are completely addicting. BACON!

Serves 1.




Orion says, "Put the bacon in my belly."

Friday, October 26, 2012

Super Soft Sugar Cookies

That's the way the cookie crumbles...

Confession: Until this batch, I'd yet to have a gluten-free cookie that I loved. So many gluten-free cookies are dry, bitter, and fall apart the instant you bite into them.  So how did I come up with a recipe that finally worked? I changed my thinking--I morphed cookie and cake recipes to make the ultimate soft sugar cookie!

I brought these cookies to a volunteer meeting, and upon announcing they were gluten-free, I was meant with huge groans. Apparently I'm not the only one with a gluten-free cookie prejudice. But after the first kid took one, and proclaimed it was amazing, everyone dug in--and every cookie was eaten with gusto!



Ingredients:

2 3/4 cup gluten-free flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons xanthum gum
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 cup softened butter
1 egg
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

Step 1: Preheat oven to 350. 

Step 2: In a small bowl, mix all dry ingredients (sugar, egg, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and xanthum gum).  

Step 3: In a large bowl, mix egg, vanilla, and softened butter. Slowly add the dry ingredients and stir in a little at a time. Stir until all ingredients are completely mixed.  Refrigerate for 30-60 minutes.

Step 4: With a ice cream scooper or spoon, put a 1-2 tablespoon sized dollop of dough on a baking sheet covered with tin foil. Space cookies 2 inches apart      

Step 5: Place cookies in oven and cook for 15 minutes. When cookies have cooled, top with your icing of choice.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Apple Crisp Cravings

"Millions saw the apple fall, but Newton was the one who asked why." - Bernard M. Baruch

Apple crisp was one of those things I was worried I would have to 'give up' due to going gluten-free, but this recipe is just as good as the gluten version, if I do say so myself! I posted a picture of it to my facebook and was quickly asked to post the recipe, so here it is by popular demand.



Ingredients:

4 apples, sliced and peeled
butter spray (or any non-stick spray)
1/2 cup softened butter
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup white sugar
1/2 cup all purpose gluten-free flour
3/4 cup certified gluten-free oats 
1 tsp xanthum gum
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

Step 1: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat a 8x8 oven safe dish with butter spray or non-stick spray. Layer sliced and peeled apples loosely in the pan.

Step 2: In a small bowl, mix butter, brown sugar, white sugar, gluten-free flour, oats, xanthum gum, cinnamon, and vanilla.  Unless you are using a mixer, I highly recommend slowly adding the ingredients to the softened butter for ease of stirring.

Step 3: Crumble the flour mixture on top of the apples until everything is covered.  Cook for 20-25 minutes, or until topping is crispy and brown. Serve with vanilla ice cream!

Serves 6-8. 
  

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Brinner Sausage and Egg Scrambler

You got Brinner?, DAAAAAMN Turkle Dawg.— Scrubs

Nothing makes my fiance happier than a good brinner. He calls this meal "the best brinner on earth," so even though I think its insanely simple and somewhat generic, I had to post it.  And I will admit, its pretty darn good!


Ingredients:
6 red potatoes
1 large yellow onion
4 precooked sausages (any brand you choose, just make sure they're gluten-free!)
3 eggs
1 tsp seasoned salt
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1 tablespoon margarine

Directions:

Step 1: Chop red potatoes into bite sized pieces. In a large skillet, melt butter and add potatoes. Cover and cook on medium for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.          

Step 2: Chop onion and add to skillet. Chop sausage into bite sized pieces and add to skillet. Cook an additional 10 minutes. 

Step 3: Push the skillet ingredients off to one side of the pan. Add eggs to the empty side, and scramble until cooked (about 3 minutes). Mix together.

Step 4: Sprinkle onion powder and seasoned salt on scrambler. Toss until pieces are seasoned. 

Serves 3-4.    

 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Gluten, You're so Silly!

I've been housebound due to a running injury for the last week, so I've been eating a lot of food brought home by my loving fiance. Upside is --no cooking! Downside is--no cooking :(  I have been spending a lot of time planning recipes for when I am recovered, and during that time I found this little gem on pinterest. I think many of you with Celiacs will relate!


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Rosemary and Sage Chicken

“One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating.”- Luciano Pavarotti

This dish tastes like homemade chicken noodle soup, but without the carbs and tons of protein, so it is significantly healthier for you without sacrificing the taste. Enjoy!


Ingredients:
1 1/2 cup organic chicken broth
1 tablespoon rosemary
1 tablespoon seasoned salt
1/8 teaspoon sage
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
1 lb chicken breast
6 red potatoes
1/2 cup shredded carrots

Directions:

Step 1: Pour the chicken broth into a square casserole dish. Add the rosemary, seasoned salt, sage, and onion powder. Stir. Add the thawed chicken breast to the dish and spoon liquid onto the breast so they have been covered with broth and seasoning.

Step 2: Cut the red potatoes in fourths. Place the potatoes and carrots around the chicken and spoon on broth. 

Step 3: Preheat oven to 350 and cook for 50 minutes.  

Serves 4.  Approximately 234 calories per serving.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Fresh Mozzarella Balsamic Tomato Salad: World's Easiest Side Dish

"Time is an illusion." - Albert Einstein

Today I picked 12 gorgeous cherry tomatoes from my garden. I thought about just serving them with ranch, since the main dish I was making was almost done and I didn't have a lot of time.  Then I remembered a side dish I used to make a lot because it is healthy, and more importantly, super fast! This salad is only 3 ingredients and takes less than 5 minutes to prepare.

My parents actually had the cooked version of this side dish on their honeymoon, which I'll make and post another time!



Ingredients:

12 cherry tomatoes
4 ounces of fresh mozzarella 
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Directions:
  
Step 1: Wash tomatoes and remove stems. Set on serving plate. 


Step 2: Cut fresh mozzarella into 1/2" cubes. Add to the tomatoes. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Serves 2.


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Summer Squash Cooked Two Ways: Skinny and Slightly Sinful

"What makes the farmers market such a special place is that you're actually creating community around food." - Bryant Terry



One thing I love about summer is shopping for fresh produce at the local farmer’s market.  I love the atmosphere, the colorful stands, and especially all the people who share similar goals: to support family farming and sustainable agriculture in our local economy.  I also like knowing where my meat comes from—that the animals are treated humanely.  I personally do my best to make my food purchases reflect my ethics, and I highly encourage you to adapt this to your life as well. 

A few things that I bought at the farmers market this week were some summer squash, zucchini, and onions. I made the summer squash two different ways—skinny and sinful. I actually preferred the skinny version.  

 Here are the recipes for both for you to decide for yourself.

Skinny Summer Squash and Oregano


Ingredients:

2 summer squash
1 clove minced garlic
½ yellow onion
1 teaspoon oregano
“I can’t believe its not butter” zero cal spray (or similar)
Dash of salt and pepper

Directions:

Step 1: Cut the summer squash and onion into bite sized pieces. Heat a small pan on medium and add garlic and  5 squirts of zero cal butter spray. Sautee for 2 minutes. 

 Step 2: Add the squash, onion, oregano, salt and pepper to the pan and cook, covered, for 7-10 minutes, flipping occassionally.

Serves 2.  50 calories per serving. 



(farmers market flowers from my hunny)

Slightly Sinful Summer Squash and Zucchini




Ingredients:

2 summer squash
2 zucchini
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon oregano
½ teaspoon onion powder
1/4 cup olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
Dash of pepper

Directions:

Step 1: Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. 

Step 2: Cut summer squash and zucchini into bite sized pieces. Lay out on a cookie sheet covered with tin foil.

Step 3: In a small bowl combine olive oil, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, and salt. Pour mixture on top of squash and zucchini. 

Step 4: Bake for 20 minutes.

Serves 4.  140 calories per serving (if all oil is consumed).

Monday, September 10, 2012

Kung Pao Beef

"One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well." - Virginia Woolf

Kung pao beef is one of my favorite foods! This is the closest I've gotten to making it restaurant style.  I think the key is marinating the beef and lots of peanuts. Served best with jasmine rice.


Ingredients:
3+3 tablespoons gluten free soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon white cooking wine
2 cloves minced garlic
1 lemon
2 teaspoons corn starch
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 dried red peppers
1/4 cup dried peanuts, chopped
1/8 cup dried peanuts, halved
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 lb beef flank

Directions:

Step 1: Cut beef into bite sized pieces. In a gallon ziploc bag add beef, 3 tablespoons soy sauce, sesame oil, and cooking wine. Seal and let marinate for 30 minutes. 

Step 2: In a small bowl combine 3 tablespoons soy sauce, 2 cloves minced garlic, the juice from 1 lemon, corn starch, sugar, and salt. Stir and set aside.  

Step 3: In a large skillet or wok add 2 tablespoons canola oil, 1 tablespoon peanut oil, 1/8 cup halved dried peanuts, and dried peppers. Fry on medium-high heat for 3-5 minutes, longer if you wish the beef to be extra spicy.

Step 4: Add beef, onion, and chopped peanuts to the skillet. Cook for an additional 5-7 minutes.

Step 5: Pour sauce from the small bowl over the beef in the skillet. Cook for 3-5 minutes, or until sauce is thickened and bubbly. Serve over jasmine rice.

Serves 4.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Fresh Cucumber Asian Salad




To celebrate Labor Day (or Memorial Day, as I kept accidentally calling it), we had friends and family over for grilling and to try out our new fire pit.  It was great fun.

During our festivities, our sweet neighbor, who speaks zero English, stopped by and gave us a GIANT bowl of cucumbers to serve to our guests.Confession: I know zero cucumber recipes.

So I cut up some of the cucumbers and served them with salad dressing, when one of our friends said she usually eats them with vinegar and splenda (or sugar, as I didn’t have splenda). 

It was really good, and I still had about 10 cucumbers left, so I made it again this week, marinated it, and jazzed it up a bit.  Its very similar to the salad a lot of asian restaurants serve.
 



Ingredients:

3 cucumbers
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper 

Directions:

Step 1:  Cut the fresh cucumbers into thin slices. The thinner the slice, the more vinegary they will be!

Step 2: In a small bowl combine vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper. Stir. 

Step 3: In a large bowl, toss cucumbers, onion, and carrots. Pour vinegar mixture over the top and stir, ensuring every piece of cucumber is coated. 

Step 4: Cover bowl and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, preferably over night, before serving. 

Serves 4-5 sides.