Monthly Archives: May 2013


Gluten Free Ranch Chicken Salad


I had a lovely Mother’s Day luncheon for my mom, grandma and niece and our families.  I wanted it to be simple, yet lovely. 

The menu was Ranch Chicken Salad BLT’s on English Muffins, chips, fruit and individual Lemon Blueberry Bread for dessert. 

I found an adorable little bird in a magazine and based the color theme around it. 

I and my grandmother both love birds and my mom loves butterflies so I incorporated them into the party.

I think everyone had a really nice time and the table was so pretty.

Now for the recipe:

Ranch Chicken Salad

½ cup prepared Ranch Dressing (page 70 in 101 GF Recipes)

2 cups cooked chicken, shopped or shredded

Season if desired with favorite seasoning, salt & pepper


Combine the dressing and the chicken.  It’s best to do this the day before so the flavors have time to blend.


Serving suggestions:

Make Chicken Salad BLT’s
Eat on bagel chips
Wrap in lettuce


Menu Plan Monday – #21


The best thing about a menu plan is it’s just that, a plan.  Plans change.  But, you are at least prepared with ideas and, theoretically, the goods on hand to make the things you’ve planned.  The last couple of weeks have been like this for me.  I forgot some items on my schedule and on the grocery list.  So I had to switch things up.  But, it was easy because I had most of the groceries I had planned and it was easy to switch up.  So don’t think that making a menu plan locks you in, it’s still your plan and you can change it anytime you choose.

I made a couple of new recipes in the last couple of weeks, if you missed them you can check them out.  I made Gluten Free Smoky Chicken Paprika Soup and Gluten Free Cheesy Chicken, Rice and Wild Rice Casserole as well as a great and super easy Gluten Free No-Bake Clif Bar.  The Clif Bars are amazing, full of healthy stuff and so easy to change up according to what you have on hand as far as dried fruit, nuts and nut butter. 



Italian Crockpot Chicken

Sloppy Joes


Chicken Enchilada Bake

Chicken Cheddar Burgers


Loaded Baked Potato Soup

2nd Edition Cookbook available for purchase!! Click here to purchase!  Get your copy today!

Head over here for more menu ideas.


Gluten Free Homemade Yogurt


I have made my own yogurt twice before this.  Those times were not fails, the thing is if you’re yogurt is too thin, you can just use it for smoothies, so there’s not an actual fail.  But, I think everyone, well, at least I, love the thick, creamy yogurt.   Not necessarily the Greek yogurt, but I do like it thick.  So when I saw this post for “Four Secrets to Thick, Creamy Yogurt Every Time.”  I was interested.  I think the main “secret” she fails to mention in this post is the fact that you need to incubate the yogurt at a warm temperature.  You can’t just put it in warm water once and leave it at that you have to keep it at a fairly steady warm temperature.  So, after reading more, I decided on the following method for making it at I was pretty happy with the results.  I think it will be the same for you.

1/2 gallon whole milk
1/2 cup maple syrup, honey or sucanat (I used the maple syrup)
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 cup sucanat OR other sugar (I didn’t use this the first time and I’d like it a bit sweeter so I will add this the next time.)

1/2 cup plain yogurt (I used Chobani)

Kitchen thermometer
Cooler big enough to hold 2 quart and 1 smaller jar
Large saucepan

In the large saucepan combine milk, syrup, sucanat and vanilla.  Heat milk to 180° or  until it just starts to bubble and forms a skin on the top.  Remove from heat and cool to 120°.  You can hurry this process by putting bottom of pot in sink of cold water. 

While your milk is scalding.  Prepare your jars.  Sterilize with boiling water and let sit upside down to drain.

Put on a pot of water to get hot not boiling.  If you’re water from the tap is really hot you can use that the first time.  You want it to be around 110-120°

Once the milk has cooled take one cup of the milk and the 1/2 cup of yogurt DO NOT STIR!  Gently swirl the yogurt around in the milk.  It will stay mostly separate and chunky. This is what you want.  Pour this starter back into the milk, swirl gently to introduce the starter to the milk. 

Pour the milk into the sterilized jars try to divide the chunks between the jars.  Put lids on them.  I use these lids.  Place the jars in the cooler.  Fill the cooler with the hot water so it comes about 1/2 way up the jars.  I took an extra jar and filled it with water from the cooler to hold it down and put the thermometer in there so I could monitor the temperature.  Close the lid and let it sit.  I checked it every 2-3 hours to see how the temp was holding.  I would heat water on the stove and add it to the cooler.  If the water started getting to high up the jar I would just scoop some out before adding more.

You want the yogurt to incubate 10-18 hours.  No, that is not a typo.  I let mine go for about 13-14 hours.  Next time I will try for longer.

Place in fridge. Once chilled you will be able to turn your jar upside down and it should be so thick it doesn’t move.  If you shake it around it will though, or if you turn the jar over more than once or twice it will. 

And that is that.  I was super excited and I hope you are too.  If you try this come back and let me know how it turns out for you.


Gluten Free No-Bake Clif Bars


image1 1/2 GF Rice Krispies (I have substituted plain chex cereal crushed up)
1 Cup GF Oats (I used rolled Bob’s Red Mill GF Rolled Oats)
3 Tablespoons ground flax
1/4 cup finely chopped dried fruit
1/4 cup finely chopped nuts
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips (optional)

1/4 cup honey
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1/3 cup nut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Set aside.

In a small saucepan over medium heat melt the honey and the brown sugar together.  Remove from heat and add nut butter and vanilla.  Stir well until incorporated and smooth.  Pour over the dry ingredients stirring as you pour.  Continue to stir until all the dry ingredients are covered in the sauce.

Grease pan of choice or line with parchment.  I used a Pampered Chef mini muffin pan and this scoop to fill.  (I got about 30).  After you fill the tin really press it down hard to pack it in.

Other ideas for tins – Pampered Chef Brownie Pan, Rimmed Cookie Sheet, 9X13 pan.  Or you could just use the scoop and really pack it in the scoop.


  • The chocolate chips will kind of melt when you pour the sauce over the dry ingredients.
  • I’ve never actually had a Clif Bar, but I think that they don’t have big chunks.  Since I used the rolled oats it’s, they are kind of big, this didn’t detract from them, in my opinion.  But, you could used a blender, magic bullet or such to cut your oats down.  I would measure first and then blend.
  • These are slightly addictive.
  • These can be kept in the fridge.  I don’t like my granola bars cold, but we also ate these in a couple of days.  Refrigerate or don’t at your own discretion.

***Update:  I updated pictures.  Also, I added some updates to the recipe.


Gluten Free Smoky Chicken Paprika Soup


I love smoked paprika.  The smell of it in the bottle is great, but when you add it to a warm pan it’s even better.  It gives a deep, smoky flavor and a lovely color to your dish.

This recipe was inspired by my Rachael Ray cookbook.  It comes together in a jiffy, is full of flavor and a bit spicy.

Serves 4-6 people

2 Tablespoons Butter (or EVOO for dairy free)
1 Tablespoon Smoked Paprika

½ onion, chopped
1 – 14 oz can tomato sauce (not pasta/marinara sauce)

1 ½ cups chicken stock

1 ½ teaspoons cornstarch

1 ½ cups cooked chicken, shredded or chopped

Melt butter with smoked paprika in a large pot over medium heat.  Add onion and cook until soft and caramelized, stir often.  Add tomatoes and simmer for about 15 minutes.


While that cooks, whisk the cornstarch into the chicken stock until smooth.  Stir this into the tomato base and then add chicken.

Serve with a dollop of sour cream, if desired. 

This would pair well with grilled cheese sandwich or tortilla chips.

2nd Edition Cookbook available for purchase!! Click here to purchase!  Get your copy today!


Menu Plan Monday #20


I have a great recipe for meatloaf to share soon.  The whole meal paid homage to Thanksgiving.  It was super delicious, so moist.    Today’s meal is a new one.  We’ll see how it turns out.  The Smoky Chicken Paprika Soup I made for yesterday was a success and I will share that recipe soon also. 

Moroccan Chicken

Hot Dogs


Italian Crockpot Chicken

Million Dollar Casserole (I never made this last week)


2nd Edition Cookbook available for purchase!! Click here to purchase!  Get your copy today!

Head over here for more menu ideas.


Gluten Free Cheesy Chicken, Rice & Wild Rice Casserole


This is another Pinterest recipe.  If you LOVE wild rice then this is a recipe for you.  I found out that I’m not a huge fan of it and my kids, well, let’s just say that some of them were crying…..  If I do make this again, which at this point I’m not sure of, then I will not put as much wild rice in it, maybe a 1/2 cup or maybe just omit the wild rice altogether.  Without the wild rice this is pretty similar to the Rice Bake recipe in my cookbook.  Though it is a bit different and definitely has great flavor.
 3 Tablespoon olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
1 handful baby carrots, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups cooked chicken, chopped OR shredded
2 cups cooked rice
16 oz prepared wild rice (2 cups cooked) I would not use this much IF I make this again.
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper OR to taste
1/2 teaspoon Costco Kirkland’s No-Salt seasoning
Cheese sauce:
2 cups chicken stock (DIVIDED use)
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
salt & pepper
Morton’s Nature Seasoning
2 cups shredded cheddar + 1 cup shredded cheddar (for topping)
Heat oven to 350
Grease a 9X13 baking pan
Sauté onion, celery an carrots in olive oil over medium heat in a large pot.  Cook until soft and caramelized, maybe 15 minutes.  Add garlic and cook 1 minute, stir.  Add the chicken and both rices. Turn off heat and set aside.
Make the cheese sauce using a medium pot bring 1 cup of stock to a boil.  In a separate bowl combine the other cup of stock, the spices and the cornstarch whisk until smooth.  Add this to boiling stock and whisk until begins to thicken. Reduce heat to low and add 2 cups cheese and stir until melted.  Add this to the chicken and rice mixture, stirring well.
Put the cheesy chicken mixture into prepared pan and bake 25-30 minutes.

 2nd Edition Cookbook available for purchase!! Click here to purchase!  Get your copy today!


Favorite Find Friday – Seasonings


If you have my cookbook or follow the blog then you know I use two seasoning blends in pretty much everything.  The first one has been used in my family for as long as I can remember.  It is a great multi-use seasoning, that can be purchased at pretty much any grocery store.

MORTON<sup>®</sup> <br>NATURE'S SEASONS<sup>®</sup> SEASONING BLEND 1

The second my friend, Kelly, told me about and I fell in love with.  It is Costco’s Kirkland No-Salt Seasoning.  This one is a little harder to come by.  I thought you could only purchase it at Costco, but I actually found it online here.  So you need a membership or to know someone who has one.  I think a close duplicate would be Mrs. Dash – check for gluten free.  The last time I checked some were GF and some were not.

2nd Edition Cookbook available for purchase!! Click here to purchase!  Get your copy today!


Gluten Free Taco Soup


This is a recipe that I first made as a collaborative effort with my friend, Lindsey.  She found the recipe with her iPhone…we needed gluten free and dairy free.  I have actually changed it a bit and everyone loves.  Including my friend, Michele, who has asked that I share the recipe.  So here it is!  Sorry I don’t have a picture.

1 pound ground beef or venison (I use venison if I have it)
1-2 tablespoon olive oil (if you use venison you’ll need the 2 T for sure)
1 onion, chopped
1 yellow squash, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped or minced
2 – 15 oz cans black beans
1 15 oz can tomato sauce
1 15 oz can diced or crushed tomatoes
1 cup salsa (I usually use something plain.  I think I used Pace last time)
4 cups beef or chicken stock (If I have beef that’s what I use, but I don’t have it very often)
2 cups frozen corn
2 Tablespoons taco seasoning
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
salt & pepper
Morton’s Nature Season
Costco Kirkland’s No-Salt Season
In large stock pot sauté onion in olive oil over medium heat for 10 minutes or so, stirring frequently, add the squash and cook another 5 minutes.  Add the ground meat and cook stirring regularly.  Once the meat is almost cooked add the beans, tomato sauce, tomatoes, salsa, stock and seasonings. Let this cook for 10-15 minutes and then add the frozen corn, cook until soup is hot.   I serve this topped with shredded cheese and sour cream with tortilla chips on the side.


Menu Plan Monday – 2013 #18


Last week was a fun week. I did many things that I had been thinking about doing and just hadn’t done.  One of them was making flavored kefir.  I have been making my own plain kefir for several years now, but never ventured into making flavored.  It was a huge success, by the way.  If you don’t know what kefir is, it’s cultured milk, it’s a fermented drink with pro-biotic properties.  It is wonderful for making smoothies, using in the place of buttermilk or just drinking.  The other was I made two recipes I found on Pinterest and took them to our last Home Group for the quarter and they were both a huge success…..Buffalo Chicken Dip and Caramel Glazed Cake, this was made using a boxed cake mix.  I have gotten away from using those, but had gotten a free box and had it in the cabinet. 

We’ve had a lot of rain and my garden prospects are looking good.  Though I hesitate to get overly excited at this point.  Another exciting outdoor event was we have two birds who made nests next to our house.  One was in a bag of soil from last year, this one was a Carolina Wren and the other was Cardinals in a bush outside the garage.  I didn’t get pictures of the Cardinal’s nest, but I did of the Wrens….it was super exciting.  I actually saw the birds in the next.  It must have been right before they flew the nest though, when I checked the next day they were gone.  Spring has pretty much sprung here in GA, though this past week has been very cool and rainy.  How’s the weather where you are?  Is Spring in the air or has Winter pushed it back?

Menu for the week:

 Shepherd’s Pie

Enchilada Suizas

Pineapple Rum Chicken

 Smoky Chipotle Chili Con Queso Mac


Bacon Wrapped Chicken


Ranch Chicken Salad BLT


Chicken with White & Wild Rice Soup

2nd Edition Cookbook available for purchase!! Click here to purchase!  Get your copy today!

Head over here for more menu ideas.

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