Friday, January 28, 2011

Sweet Cherry Tomato Pasta

This quick, easy, and delicious recipe is from Jessica Seinfeld. It seriously only took about 15 minutes start to finish. It has great flavor and is a fairly healthy pasta dish.

·1 lb. spaghetti
·2 TBS olive oil
·1 handful (1 cup) fresh basil leaves, torn, plus extra for sprinkling
·2 pints cherry tomatoes
·2 tsp kosher salt
·¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
·1 cup fresh ricotta

Start boiling your water. Cook pasta according to the package directions. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and basil, and cook, stirring, for 15 seconds. Stir in the tomatoes, salt and pepper and cook, covered, for 8 minutes. Remove cover and continue to cook, stirring, until the tomatoes split. Your pasta should be about done. Drain it. Toss the pasta with the tomatoes and stir in the ricotta and the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Serve sprinkled with the extra basil.

I've also shared this recipe on: Seasonal Sundays

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Four Cheese Lasagna

Lasagna is one of my favorite meals, and this is my signature recipe I've been making since I was a young teenager. This was the first time I made it with GF noodles, and I am so happy to report that it turned out just as good as I've been making it all these years! It's a perfect combination of noodles, meat sauce, and, of course, four cheeses! 

·1 lb no boil lasagna noodles (I used De Bole's No Boil Gluten Free Rice Lasagna Noodles)       
·1 lb ground beef                                       
·1 medium onion, chopped                     
·2 cloves garlic, minced                           
·1 – 28oz. can tomato sauce                  
·1 tsp dried oregano                                 
·1 tsp dried basil
·1 tsp dried cilantro
·16 oz. cottage cheese (I've also used Ricotta cheese, but I prefer the taste of cottage cheese better)
·2/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
·¼ cup shredded mild cheddar cheese
·1½ cups shredded mozzarella cheese
·2 eggs

Cook beef, drain excess grease. Add onion and garlic and cook til tender. Add tomato sauce (reserve 1 cup) and spices. Simmer 15 minutes. In a bowl, combine parmesan, cottage, ½ cup mozzarella, cheddar, and eggs. Spread 1 cup sauce on bottom of ungreased 13x9x2 baking dish. Arrange 3 noodles. Top with cottage cheese mixture, top with 3 noodles, ½ of meat sauce, 3 noodles, and remaining ½ of meat sauce. Add more spices if desired (I usually sprinkle Italian seasoning on top). Cover with foil. Bake at 350˚ for 45 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle with remaining mozzarella. Bake until cheese melts.

I've also shared this recipe on: Seasonal Sundays,This Week's Cravings

Saturday, January 22, 2011

My Pantry - King Arthur Flour - Gluten Free Pancake Mix

One food item that I've been craving from my gluten-filled days is moist, fluffy pancakes. I bought this package of King Arthur Flour Gluten Free Pancake Mix a few weeks ago, and Mike and I finally decided to make pancakes for breakfast this morning.

And, these are phenomenal! Seriously, if you had a taste test of these gluten-free pancakes and a gluten pancake, you couldn't tell the difference. In fact, you may even choose this gluten-free pancake as the gluten pancake - it's seriously as good as gluten, if not better than gluten!! (And, my husband agrees - so it's not just the gluten-deprived person talking!)

We both really enjoyed these pancakes with pure maple syrup. We only made a half-batch, so I'm thinking blueberry GF pancakes are next!

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. It's a product I bought, loved, and wanted to share with you!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Saucepan GF Mac & Cheese

I improvised this recipe from a Better Homes and Garden cookbook I have. It's a quick and pretty tasty homemade GF Mac & Cheese recipe AND it doesn't require baking in the oven.

  • 8 oz. brown rice elbow macaroni
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 TBS butter
  • 2 TBS all-purpose GF flour
  • 2 cracks of fresh ground pepper
  • 2 cups skim milk
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain and return to pot.

In a medium saucepan, melt butter and add onion. Cook onion until tender and translucent. Stir in flour, pepper, and milk. Cook over medium heat until slightly thickened and bubbly. Add cheese, stirring until melted.

Pour cheese sauce over macaroni; stir to coat macaroni with sauce. Cook over low heat for 2-3 minutes or until heated through, stirring frequently. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

I've also shared this recipe on: Seasonal Sundays

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Oatmeal Cranberry White Chocolate Chunk Cookies

I saw an Ocean Spray magazine ad for a non-gf version of these cookies recently. The cookies looked so good, I decided to try to make a GF version. My first attempt was successful and these cookies are as good as gluten! The flavor profiles of the dried cranberries, oats, and white chocolate come together quite nicely!

·⅔ cup butter, softened                                    ·1 tsp xanthan gum
·⅔ cup brown sugar                                           ·1 tsp baking soda
·2 large eggs                                                        ·½ tsp salt
·1½ cups old-fashioned oats                            ·6 ounces dried cranberries
·1 cup GF all-purpose baking flour                  ·⅔ cup white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375˚. Using an electric mixture, beat butter and sugar together in a medium mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs, mixing well. Combine oats, flour, xanthan gum, baking soda, and salt in a separate mixing bowl. Add to butter mixture in several additions, mixing well after each addition. Stir in dried cranberries and white chocolate chips.

Drop teaspoon-sized balls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire rack.

Makes approximately 2 ½ dozen cookies.

I've also shared this recipe on: Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Spinach Artichoke Dip (Crockpot)

Another easy and delicious crockpot recipe from A Year of Slow Cooking. Spinach Artichoke Dip is one of my favorite dips! I've tried to recreate the restaurant recipes for years and none of them have tasted quite as good. I can happily report that I've finally found the Spinach Artichoke Dip recipe that is definitely a keeper! The original recipe calls for chopped jalapenos, but I omitted them because I haven't (knowingly) had this dip with jalapenos in it before. The outcome was still delicious!

·1 – 14oz. can artichoke hearts, drained and finely chopped
·1 – 9oz. bag baby spinach, chopped
·1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
·1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
·½ cup sour cream
·½ cup mayonnaise

Use a 4 to 6-quart crockpot.  Drain and finely chop artichoke hearts, and add them to the crockpot. Remove the stems from the spinach leaves and chop the best you can. Add to the crockpot. Add mayo and sour cream. Top with ½ cup each shredded mozzarella and Parmesan.

Cover and cook on low for 2 hours, or high for 1 hour. Stir. The spinach should begin to welt. If it hasn’t, cook longer. When the spinach is wilted, stir in the remaining cheese and let it melt while the lid remains off. Serve with you favorite chips, sliced veggies, or bread.

I've also shared this recipe on: Seasonal Sundays

Saturday, January 15, 2011

My Pantry - Udi's GF Blueberry Muffins

This muffin is the best GF muffin I've ever had! Yes, I'll admit, even better than my homemade muffins. The reason is because of the spongey and moist texture. These muffins are sweet and not a single hint of a funky GF taste. Udi's GF Blueberry Muffins are truly As Good As Gluten - if not better!

I heated a frozen muffin in the microwave on power level 5 for 1 minute.  Udi's GF Blueberry Muffins come frozen in a 4-pack for $5.59 at stores near me. They are pricey so I wouldn't buy them on a regular basis, but it is a nice GF breakfast treat every once in awhile.

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. It's a product I bought, loved, and wanted to share with you!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Rachael Ray’s Pumpkin, Cheddar, and Chipotle Soup

I saw this recipe on the Rachael Ray Show not too long ago and wanted to give it a try. I was hesitant about how all the flavors would play out, but it's actually a nice bowl of soup! The tortilla chips really balance everything out. I used canned pumpkin puree and topped my bowl with cilantro. Mike, who is sick of pumpkin, spicy, and soup right now, actually enjoyed it. So, it must be good!

·1 - 16oz. can pumpkin puree
·Salt and pepper
·4 cups chicken
·1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
·1 large onion, finely chopped
·Freshly grated nutmeg
·½ tsp cinnamon
·1 tsp each – coriander, cumin, smoked paprika
·3 TBS butter
·2 TBS GF all-purpose flour blend
·2 cups skim milk
·2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
·2 small chipotle peppers in adobo, seeded and finely chopped, plus 1 rounded TBS of adobo sauce
·Unsalted tortilla chips
·Cilantro, for garnish

Heat 1 tablespoon EVOO in a large pot over medium-high heat. Sauté the carrot and onion to tender, about 10 minutes. Season with nutmeg, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, paprika, a drizzle of honey, salt and pepper, to taste. Toast the spices, about 1 minute.

Add the carrot and onion along with the roasted pumpkin or squash to the bowl of a food processor and puree with a splash of stock. If using canned pumpkin, puree the onion and carrot together with some stock and stir in the canned pumpkin to combine.

Wipe out soup pot and return to the heat. Melt the butter; whisk in the GF flour and milk. Season with salt and pepper and allow to thicken. Stir in cheese to melt, then add the chipotle and adobo sauce. Stir in the remaining stock and squash or pumpkin puree. Let simmer to thicken the soup.

Place a few crushed tortillas in a shallow bowl and top with soup; mix the tortillas into the soup as you eat. Garnish with cilantro.

I've also shared this recipe on: Seasonal Sundays

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Buffalo Chicken Tacos (Rachael Ray)

If you like blue cheese and buffalo chicken, this recipe is for you! Mike and I, sadly, are not blue cheese fans so we didn't care for this dish. We adapted this recipe from the original and it wasn't bad at all. However, we just couldn't get over the strong blue cheese flavor. On our second tacos, we omitted the blue cheese salad and used ranch dressing, lettuce, and cilantro and it tasted much better to us.
  • Eight 6-inch soft corn tortillas
  • 1 TBS EVOO
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 TBS hot sauce
  • 2 ounces blue cheese
  • 3 TBS light real mayonnaise
  • 4 cups shredded lettuce
  • 2 carrots, shredded
Preheat the oven to 200°. Wrap the tortillas in foil and place in the oven.

In a nonstick skillet, heat the EVOO over medium heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and place in the pan; cover loosely with foil and cook, turning once, until golden and cooked through, about 12 minutes; transfer to a plate. Brush the chicken on both sides with the hot sauce and tent with foil to keep warm.

Meanwhile, using a food processor, blend the blue cheese, mayonnaise, and 2 TBS water until smooth; transfer to a large bowl. Add the lettuce, radishes, and carrots and toss to coat.

Thinly slice the chicken. Divide the salad among the corn tortillas; top with chicken.

I've also shared this recipe on: Seasonal Sundays

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

GF Chicken Tenders and Double-Baked Crazy-Crisp Oven Fries

I had two chicken tenders/nuggets recipes that I’ve wanted to try – one from The Baking Beauties and one from Jessica Seinfeld – so I decided to combine my favorite parts of each recipe and see what happened. Combined with my cooling rack/baking sheet tip from Rachael Ray, the outcome was a good, crispy dinner! I served with Rachael Ray's Crisp Oven Fries seasoned with Old Bay and a green veggie.

GF Chicken Tenders
·½ - 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
·1 cup sweet potato puree
·2 egg whites
·1 cup GF cornflakes, crushed (I used Southern Homestyle Corn Flake Crumbles)
·½ cup ground flaxseed meal
·1 TBS grated Parmesan
·½ tsp salt
·½ tsp pepper
·½ tsp paprika
·½ tsp garlic powder
·½ tsp cayenne
·½ tsp Italian seasoning
Preheat oven to 400°. Place a cooling rack on top of a baking sheet and set aside. Cut chicken breasts into thin strips. In a shallow dish, mix egg whites and vegetable puree with a fork. Set aside. In another shallow dish, combine crushed cornflakes, flaxseed meal, parmesan cheese, and spices. Set aside. Dip chicken, one strip at a time, into the egg mixture, then into crumb mixture, until totally coated. Place chicken strip on cooling rack on top of baking sheet. Continue with the rest of the chicken. Bake for 30 minutes, or until done.

Rachael Ray’s Double-Baked Crazy-Crisp Oven Fries

·6 starchy medium-sized Idaho potatoes
·Salt and pepper
Optional flavorings (pick one):

·Minced garlic and lots of minced fresh rosemary
·Old Bay seasoning or Cajun Seasoning
·Minced garlic, parmesan cheese, and oregano

Preheat oven to 400°. Place a cooling rack on top of two baking sheets and set aside. Peel the potatoes lengthwise, leaving a patch of skin on each end of the potatoes. Cut each potato into very thin fries lengthwise, no more than a quarter-inch thick – the thinner they are, the crispier the end product will be. In a large bowl, dress the fries very lightly with EVOO – a couple of turns of the bottle. Season with salt and pepper, then arrange the fries in a single layer without crowding the baking sheet. Place the fries in the oven and roast for 30 minutes. Remove the fries and increase the heat to 425°. Toss the fries in large bowl again with the seasonings and optional flavorings of choice. Return the fries to the oven and bake for another 15-20 minutes, until very crisp and brown.

Notes: Placing a cooling rack on top of a baking sheet allows an even heat flow through the chicken tenders and fries. Next time I make the chicken tenders, I think I'll pan-fry them in EVOO for a few minutes before placing them in the oven. That may help make them crispier due to the sweet potato puree. Also, be sure to watch the cooking time on the fries. Some of our thinner cut ones were extra, extra crispy! :) After the fact, we think cutting the fries into Wendy's fries size would be best.

I've also shared this recipe on: Seasonal Sundays

Monday, January 10, 2011

Lazy Baked Greek Chicken

You HAVE to try this recipe! This has been one of our favorite dinners lately. Besides the amazing flavor, this dish is easy and quick to make. I adapted it from Rachael Ray to make it GF, and if you don't need to follow the GF diet, use regular panko breadcrumbs.

·½ medium onion, finely chopped
·3½ tsp minced garlic
·1 - 10 oz. box chopped spinach, thawed
·Salt and pepper
·½ tsp ground nutmeg
·3 TBS butter
·1 cup GF breadcrumbs (or corn flake crumbs)
·1 tsp dried oregano
·4 pieces boneless, skinless chicken breast
·½ cup crumbled Greek feta cheese

Preheat oven to 425˚. Heat 1 TBS EVOO in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and 2½ tsp of the minced garlic – cook until softened, about 3-4 minutes. Transfer to a bowl to cool, then add the spinach and season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Melt the butter in the same pan, turn off the heat and add the breadcrumbs, oregano, and remaining garlic; toss.

Drizzle a baking dish with the remaining 1 TBS EVOO. Split each chicken breast across (but not all the way through) and open like a book. Stuff with the spinach and feta, letting the stuffing overflow at the edges. Place the chicken pieces in the baking dish and top with the breadcrumbs. Bake until the juices run clear, about 20 minutes.

Recipe adapted from Everyday with Rachael Ray, Feb. 2011

I've also shared this recipe on: Seasonal Sundays

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Double Chocolate-Peanut Butter Pudding Pie

The recipe says it only takes 20 minutes to prep (and 3 hours start to finish), but it took me about 1 hour to prep. Once I had a bite the time was totally worth it - the pie is delicious!!! It's heaven for a chocolate lover! The picture isn't my best, but there is a thin Rice Chex crust layer at the bottom.

·3 cups Rice Chex, crushed
·5 TBS butter, melted
·12 oz semisweet chocolate chips
·1½ TBS unsweetened baking cocoa
·2 cups half-and-half
·⅓ cup sugar
·1 egg plus 2 egg yolks
·6 TBS whipping cream
·½ cup white vanilla baking chips
·¼ cup creamy peanut butter
·For garnish - 1 cup whipped cream and additional chocoalte shavings/chopped chocolate chips

In a small bowl, stir together cereal and melted butter. Press in bottom and up side of ungreased 9-inch pie pan. Refrigerate until set, about 30 minutes. Heat oven to 350˚. Bake crust 20 minutes, or until well set. Sprinkle with one-third of chocolate chips, chopped.

Meanwhile, in large heatproof bowl, mix cocoa and remaining chocolate chips; reserve. In a saucepan, heat half-and-half over medium-high heat until almost boiling. In medium heatproof bowl, beat sugar, egg and egg yolks with whisk until pale yellow. Slowly beat in half of the hot half-and-half, then pour egg mixture into saucepan. Reduce heat to medium. Heat mixture just to boiling. Cook, beating with whisk, about 1 minute or until thickened. Pour into reserved cocoa mixture; beat with whisk until smooth. Pour into crust; refrigerate 30 minutes.

Wipe out saucepan. Add 6 TBS whipping cream. Heat to boiling over medium-high heat. Place vanilla baking chips and peanut butter in medium heatproof bowl. Pour hot cream on top and let stand until chocolate is melted, about 2 minutes; beat with whisk until smooth. Spread evenly over chilled pie. Refrigerate until firm, about 1½ hours.

To serve, top servings of pie with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.

This recipe is adapted from Silvana Nardone in the Feb. 2011 issue of Everyday with Rachael Ray.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Stir-Fried Chicken Paprikash

I adapted this easy, quick, and good-tasting dinner recipe slightly from the Feb. 2011 issue of Everyday with Rachael Ray. You'll notice in the picture my chicken looks shredded - that's because the only chicken I had at home was leftover, pulled chicken breast Mike made in the crockpot a few nights ago. The dish still turned out well, but you can use uncooked chicken breasts (which I've also outlined in the recipe below).

·1 lb cooked shredded chicken or (1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into ¼ inch thick pieces)
·2 TBS dry sherry                                                               
·1 tsp minced garlic
·2½ tsp cornstarch                                            
·¾ cup chicken broth         
·2 TBS EVOO       
·Salt and pepper
·1 onion, sliced ¼ inch thick                            
·1 red bell pepper, cut into ¼ inch-wide strips
·1 TBS paprika
·⅓ cup light sour cream
·2 TBS dried chopped parsley

In a medium bowl, combine chicken, 1 TBS sherry, garlic, 2 tsp cornstarch, ½ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp pepper.

In a small bowl, combine chicken broth and remaining 1 TBS sherry. Stir in remaining ½ tsp cornstarch until dissolved.

Heat a large pan over medium heat and swirl in 1 TBS EVOO. Add chicken mixture and cook for 1 minute, undistrubed. Stir-fry for 1 minute if using cooked chicken; if using uncooked chicken breasts, stir-fry until chicken begins to brown. Transfer to a plate.

Lower the heat to medium and swirl in remaining 1 TBS EVOO. Add onion and bell pepper; season with salt and stir-fry until softened – about 1 minute. Add paprika, return the chicken and any juices to the pan, increase heat to high, and stir-fry until just combined. Swirl in broth mixture and stir-fry until chicken is just cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in sour cream and parsley and serve.

Serves 4. Prep 15 minutes. Cook 5 minutes.

I've also shared this recipe on: Seasonal Sundays

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Zesty Burger Soup – Slow Cooker

Another great and easy recipe I whipped together last night for dinner from A Year of Slow CookingI used ground turkey and it still tasted like a burger in a bowl!

·1 lb lean ground turkey, browned and drained
·2 - 10.5 oz. cans tomatoes and chilies, undrained (Rotel)
·1 – 15 oz. can whole kernel corn, undrained
·1 – 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
·4 cups chicken broth
·Shredded cheese (to add later)

Use a 6-quart crockpot. Brown meat in a skillet on the stovetop and drain. Put into your cooker. Add the whole cans of tomatoes and chilies and corn. Drain and rinse off beans and add. Pour in chicken broth.

Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours, or until the flavors have melded.

I've also shared this recipe on: Seasonal Sunday

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

My Favorite Top 10 Recipes of 2010

I debated writing this post since my blog was only up and running for 3 months of 2010. But, I decided to also jump on the blogging bandwagon by posting my top 10 favorite gluten-free recipes of 2010.

10. GF Pumpkin Banana Bread - this was my first attempt at creating my own gluten-free recipe, and it ended up tasting great!

9. Autumn Sausage Casserole - I LOVE all of the autumn flavors in this dish!

8. Southwestern Chicken and Black Bean Tacos - we first started making this dish in early 2010 and it quickly became one of our favorite Mexican dishes!

7. Crockpot Peanut Clusters - all of our family members who received these at Christmas LOVED them. I have plans on creating different varieties of this recipe this year, including homemade Turtle Clusters!

6. Double Layer Pumpkin Cheesecake Streusel Pie with Rum Whipped Topping - my new Thanksgiving staple pie recipe, and it won the Pumpkin Pie Cooking Showdown!

5. GF Snickerdoodles - another family recipe that I turned into a delicious gluten-free version. After a day, only crumbs remained in the cookie jar!

4. Slow Cooker Vegetarian Stuffed Bell Peppers - even though my husband doesn't like this healthy and fulfilling dish, I do!

3. GF Oreo Cookies - this recipe tastes just like Oreo cookies and were loved by GF and non-GF eaters!

2. GF Broccoli Cheddar Soup - we've made this recipe A LOT since I concocted it October. Yum!

1. These pies are very similar, so it's a toss-up between Apple-Pear Cranberry GF Pie and Apple Cranberry GF Pie. The flavor combinations are delicious!

Because I couldn't pick just 10 recipes, here are 3 more family favorite recipes that were converted to delicious gluten-free versions this year!

1. GF Pigs in a Blanket - this recipe has been a family tradition for generations. The GF eaters in my family are overjoyed that we have a delicious GF version now!

2. Mom's Potato Salad - Mike and I really do fight over the last serving! And we always eat it warm.

3. Steak 'n Shake Chili - this has been a family favorite recipe for years. We love sharing this delicious chili recipe with family and friends.