Monthly Archives: February 2013

2

Gluten Free Homemade Mounds

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Homemade Mounds

Makes about 2 1/2 dozen

2 cups unsweetened coconut (I used shredded from Tropical Traditions, it’s a fine shred)
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup agave nectar OR maple syrup
2 Tablespoons melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla

8 oz of bittersweet chocolate

In a medium bowl combine coconut, powdered sugar and salt.  Stir to combine. 
Add the agave, melted butter and vanilla.  Mix until dry ingredients are completely coated.

Line a baking sheet with wax paper, one that will fit in your freezer.

You can mold these into little bars if you want to.  I thought that was a little hard so I used a 1 Tablespoon cookie scoop.  I scooped the filling and then packed it in.  Scoop all the filling onto the waxed paper.

Place the balls in the freezer for about 30 minutes.

While the balls are chilling, melt the chocolate.  You can melt it in a bowl over a pot simmering water, stir frequently, OR in microwave stir every 15-20 seconds.

Dip frozen balls into melted chocolate and place on wax paper to set up. How long it takes to set up will depend on the temperature in the kitchen.  If you’re in a hurry you could chill them in the fridge.

In warm settings you’ll probably need to store in the fridge.  I, personally, don’t like mine cold, so I leave them on the counter, but the chocolate does melt fast when I pick them up.


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Menu Plan Monday – 2013 #8

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So, I gave the bialys a try…..they were ok, but I think I’m going to make them at least once more before I post the recipe.  I really miss the big, softy, sponginess of gluten FULL dough.  In some ways GF dough is easier, in that most of the time you’re not having to knead and roll. Anyway, all that being said, I have two loaves of Gluten Free Challah Bread baking in the oven right now.  It smells wonderful.  I also made Chocolate Cake using this recipe and I filled and frosted it with Buttercream Icing.  I also made homemade Mounds, I formed balls but you could totally form bars.  I will be posting the recipe on Wednesday…..sneak peek of them on facebook.

Here’s the menu for the week:

Monday:
Beef & Cornbread Skillet
I’ve linked to the original recipe, however I’m going to use leftover sloppy joe to make this, I will thin it out with beef stock and then top it.  It will be a little different than the original, but still delicious!

Tuesday:

Bean & Cheese Enchilada

Wednesday:

Salmon Patties
Potatoes
Veg

Thursday:
Santa Fe Chicken
Rice

Friday:
Lasagna -I’m going to attempt homemade noodles
I’m also planning to double the recipe and freeze one.

Saturday:
Burgers
Fries

Sunday:
Chili


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Favorite Find Friday – Pretzels

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I’ve kind of fallen off the Favorite Friday wagon…. I think I should
have paced myself.  Sometimes Friday comes so fast and then it’s past. 
Ya know what I mean?

I thought I had shared this one but I looked back and didn’t see it. 

Before GF pretzels were a great, easy, CHEAP snack.  Not so for gluten free people.  The best GF pretzels are by Glutino, I prefer the sticks as they are super crisp, but the twists are great too.  I used to buy Snyder’s Gluten Free Pretzels because they were cheaper and I could get them at Whole Foods when they were on sale for around $2/8oz bag. But, there is no Whole Foods near me and they’re not that cheap at Earth Fare ($3.79), the Glutino are usually about $6 for 8oz.  But now that Walmart carries them I can get a 16oz bag for $6.  LOVE this.  I hope your local Walmart carries them.  Two of the Walmarts here have a small GF/Healthy section.  At one it’s on the cereal aisle and the other has it on the sugar aisle.

Pretzels are great snacks on their own, but if you chunk up some cheese you can pierce the chunk with a pretzel stick, crush them and use them as a breading for chicken, dip them in chocolate. Whichever way you choose, enjoy!

Pretzel-Sticks-Family-Bag
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2

Gluten Free Thin Mints

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I am so impressed with myself that I actually got these done to share this week, not only that, but that they turned out so good.  I even had a gluten eater taste it and they said they were “off the freakin chain.”  What a great compliment.


 
They are actually pretty simple and come together super quickly, well, except the dipping part.   But, even with that I probably only invested an hour from beginning to end- making dough, rolling, cutting, baking, cooling, dipping. (My butter was already softened) Now for them to set up took a good bit of time. 

Makes about 4 dozen

1 1/2 cups Gluten Free Flour (I used the Healthy Flour Blend from the cookbook)
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum (if not in your mix)
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt

1 stick butter, softened
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
6 drops peppermint oil

8 oz dark chocolate chips OR dark chocolate bar
3 drops peppermint oil

Preheat oven to 350°
Line cookie sheets with parchment.

In a large bowl combine flour, xanthan gum, cocoa power, sugar and salt.  Mix or whisk to incorporate ingredients.  Once mixed add the butter, egg, vanilla and peppermint oil.  Mix until the dough comes together.  If it doesn’t come together add a couple of teaspoons of water.  You don’t want it to be wet, but thick and smooth.

Roll out the dough between two pieces of parchment paper.  Roll to about 1/8 of an inch thick. Cut with a circle cutter, I used a 1 7/8 inch.  I know, so specific, but I have this set of about 8 consecutive sizes and that’s what it said on the side.  I think 1 1/2 or 2 inch would be fine – or bigger or smaller, they’re your Thin Mints make them how you want. 

Place the cookies on the prepared sheets.  You can place them fairly close together, I fit about 20 on my sheets, they don’t spread, at least they shouldn’t.  Bake 8-10 minutes.

Let cool.  I cooled mine on the cookie sheets.

While your cookies are cooling, melt the chocolate chips in a bowl over a simmering pot of water.  Stir every couple of minutes until all the chips are melted.  Add peppermint oil and stir. 

Dip each cookie into the chocolate.  I held mine by the edges, dipped, shake off and let the chocolate drip until it’s mostly stops dripping.  Set onto wax paper, it will take a while for the chocolate to set up, depending on the temperature in your house/kitchen.  You could probably stick them in the fridge to hurry the process. 



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Menu Plan Monday – 2013 #7

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I know that in recent weeks I’ve complained talked about the weather a lot.  But, again this past week it’s been crazy, warm one day and threatened snow a day or two later!  Crazy!  I am definitely a warm weather girl.  Even now as I type my hands are freezing and my nose is cold.  Just when I thought Spring was moving in…….ah, well…..soon.

I hope you enjoyed last week’s recipe of Gluten Free Samoas.  If you made them I’d love to hear about it and how they turned out and tasted.  They were a huge hit at my house.    Gluten Free Thin Mints are still in the works.

Another recipe on the horizon is a Gluten Free Bialy.  If you’re not from New York or South Florida you may not know what that even is. But, it is a slightly savory cross between a bagel and an English Muffin.  There’s a place in South Florida called “Bagels and…”.  They have the best breakfasts there with a bakery section.  That was the first time I ever had a bialy.  I’ve been GF for over three years now and haven’t thought about a bialy in quite some time, however I just saw some gluten ones at the store and thought that sounded so good and that I’d give it a try.  So that will be coming up soon.

Menu for the week:

Monday:
Spaghetti

Tuesday:

Teriyaki Beef
Rice
Veg

Wednesday:
 Turkey Tenderloin
Butternut Squash
Salad


Thursday:
Sloppy Joes
Chips

Friday:
Lemon Garlic Thyme Chicken
Potatoes
Salad

Saturday:
Burgers

Sunday:
Loaded Baked Potato Soup

Cookbook available for purchase!! Click here to purchase!  Get your copy today!



Head over here for more menu ideas.

2

Gluten Free Samoas

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Girl Scout cookies are definitely a miss for me since food allergies.  My all time favorite Girl Scout cookie used to be the Tag A Long, peanut butter, chocolate and a crisp cookie.  YUM-O! But, I haven’t tolerated peanut butter in over three years, well, actually probably longer, but I gave it up over three years ago, so then my next favorite would be the Samoa aka Caramel de Lites, followed by the Thin Mint.

This recipe is a little labor intensive, but it is SO worth it.  If you plan ahead and do a little prep over a couple of days it will make it a little easier.  I made the cookies and toasted the coconut on one day and then the next day I melted the chocolate and dipped the cookies.  Then later that day I made the caramel and put the cookies together.  Like I said it’s a process, but it pays off big in the end.

Makes about 2 1/2 dozen

Batch of Cookies
12 oz bag of Dark or Bittersweet Chocolate Chips (I use Hershey’s)
1 1/4 cups shredded coconut (I used unsweetened), toasted
1/2 cup Caramel Sauce

Cookie:
2 1/4 cup Healthy Flour Blend (from my cookbook, this is a blend with a protein flour in the mix and includes xanthan)
3/4 cup xanthan gum (if not in your blend)
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar

1 stick (8 Tbl) butter, softened
1 egg, beaten
2 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 325°

Line cookie sheets with parchment.

Combine flour, xanthan, sugar, salt in large bowl, stir to combine.  Add butter, egg and vanilla and mix until the dough comes together.  I used my Kitchen Aid with paddle attachment.

Using a small cookie scoop, fill the pans with the dough.  Flatten the cookies, you want them to be pretty flat.  The pictures show a fuller cookie, but I thought they were going to be thinner, they puffed up in cooking, so next time I will flatten them a little more.  The small indent you see, I don’t think that’s necessary, I didn’t really see a benefit.  If you really want them to look like a traditional Samoa, you can use a doughnut cutter or a scalloped edged cutter and then an apple corer for center.  I’m more interested in the flavor profile.  Plus without the hole you get more chocolate, caramel and coconut, it’s win-win, in my book.

Bake for 8-10 minutes.  They will start to get lightly brown around the edges.

Chocolate:
Melt the chocolate.  In a bowl over simmering hot water or you can do it in microwave, slowly, stirring every 15 seconds or so.
Dip (or spread) cookies and place on wax paper.  Let the chocolate set up on the cookie.  This will take a while depending on temperature in your house.  You should have some left over for drizzling over the top.  You’ll have to re-melt the chocolate.

Caramel Sauce – I made the sauce but I didn’t use the blender on it.  I let it cool and then blended it with the coconut. (The recipe makes about a cup of caramel, you’ll use 1/2)

Toasted Coconut:
I did mine in the toaster oven.  It’s a little easier to manage, but you can do it in the oven.  Watch carefully so it doesn’t burn, it burns so easily.  You’ll think it’s not even toasting and then all of the sudden it’s burnt!  Preheat oven to 350°, spread coconut on baking sheet, toast in oven, stirring every 1-2 minutes.  Yes, really, that often. Until it is a nice golden brown.

Building the cookie:
Mix the caramel sauce and 1 cup of the shredded coconut in a small bowl.  Spread each chocolate dipped cookie with the mixture. Sprinkle the remaining coconut over the top of this and then drizzle re-melted chocolate over them. 

Eat and enjoy!

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Menu Plan Monday – 2013 #6

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I was just asked about the “perfecting” of my GF Samoa recipe…..well, let’s just say my second and third attempts were less than satisfactory.  However, I have decided that I will, this week, endeavor to get it right.  I have it on my list for this week.  Just as soon as I have it I will share it, I promise. 

Menu for the week:
Monday:
Pasta Carbonara
Salad
Tuesday:
Meatloaf
Baked Potatoes
veg
Wednesday:
Chicken Fried Steak
Mashed Potatoes
Peas
Thursday:
Chicken Enchilada Bake
Friday:
Apple Cider Glazed Chicken
Green beans
Potatoes
Saturday:
Tamale Pie
Sunday:
Southwest White Chili


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Head over here for more menu ideas.

4

How to use Dressing Mix

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In my cookbook there are two recipes for dressing mix – Italian Dressing Mix (page 67) and Ranch Dressing Mix (page 70).  These are both awesome recipes and super easy way to save money by making your own dressing and also making it healthier than typical store bought dressings.  But, these mixes are also very versatile.  After sharing some of these with my friend, The Crafty Petite, she said I should do a blog post sharing it, so here it is!

Ways you can use each mix:

Dressing
Dip
Season Chicken before cooking
Put in a little package with directions and give as a gift
Add olive oil to 1 Tablespoon of the mix and pour over a block of cream cheese, serve with crackers, bread, etc.
Make Chicken Dip with it (page 10)

So there you have it. SIX different ways to use one recipe!  Get cooking and enjoy.



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Menu Plan Monday – 2013 #5

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What crazy weather we’ve been having…not just here, either, I guess, but all over.  My friend in Kansas had 69° weather one day and 5 inches of snow the next!  Crazy!  I’m a warm weather person, but if the sun is shining the cold is at least bearable.  A cozy fire doesn’t hurt either.   This coming week looks like some warmer temps, yay!

I’ve worked up my menu for the month.  I’ve been pretty good about doing this for the last three months.  It really helps to have it on hand.  Especially if I forget to pick something up from the store or take it out of the freezer.

Menu for the week:

Monday:
Pasta Carbonara
Salad

Tuesday:
Hash

Wednesday:
Chilaquiles
Rice

Thursday:
Burgers
Chips

Friday:
Bacon Wrapped Chicken
Oven Roasted Veggies

Saturday:

Beef Tips
Potatoes
Carrots

Sunday:

Taco Soup


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Head over here for more menu ideas.

3

Favorite Find Friday – Crackers

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Since going GF saltines are a big miss!  I think that these are the closest thing to saltines that I have found.  They are crisp like a saltine, not quite as salty.  I even used some of these to make a crust for cheesecake.  I didn’t have enough cookies, so I used some of these.  I was very happy with the turnout.  My only complaint is that the are really big and there is no perforation for breaking them, as they are good sized, maybe around 5 inches by 3 inches.  You can break them, but they don’t break evenly, which is frustrating if you want them to look nice. 

I can’t eat peanut butter anymore, but if I could I would break them in two, as evenly as possible, spread them with peanut butter and then dip in chocolate for a yummy treat.

I think I’ll write to Glutino and tell them of my love for their crackers and beg for them to perforate them.


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