December 28, 2016

No-Bake Avalanche Cookies

So, this recipe was recently going around Facebook, and I thought, man those look good. And they're no bake, it was like they were begging me to make them. 

I'm really, really glad I did. 

These cookies are the bomb.  Easy to make and they stay delicious for a while after you make them too.  No stale cookies here, no sir, these taste just as good as they did the day they were made.  Oh, and I already had all the ingredients in the house, so Win! Win!

These Avalanche cookies have a soft texture, like fudge.  But they also have the wonderful texture of the Rice Krispies and the marshmallows. The peanut butter flavor is mild because it's mixed with white chocolate, but still noticeable.

Just an all around awesome cookie in my book, this one is going in "my favorites" section.  Yum!

No-Bake Avalanche Cookies

  • 16 oz vanilla flavored almond bark/CandiQuick
  • 15 oz creamy peanut butter
  • 2 cups Rice Krispies cereal
  • 1 1/2 cups mini-marshmallows
  • 1/2 cup + more for sprinkling mini chocolate chips
Cooking Directions
  1. In a large microwavable bowl, melt the almond bark in 30 second increments in your microwave until smooth.
  2. Add the peanut butter and stir until smooth.
  3. Add the Rice Krispies, marshmallows and chocolate chips and stir until evenly distributed.
  4. Line 2 cookie sheets with wax paper and then scoop a large amount (about the size of a small orange) of the mixture into a ball shape and place on the wax paper.
  5. Sprinkle more mini chocolate chips over the top if desired.
  6. Let sit in a cool area until hardened, you can also refrigerate until set.

December 20, 2016

Homemade Bailey's Irish Cream

Is there anyone on your Christmas list that just isn't easy to shop for? Well, this homemade drink might be just the thing.  Turns out that Irish Cream is really easy to make.  it took me 5 minutes to pour all the ingredients into a blender and mix it up.  Just buy a fancy glass bottle and wrap it up beautifully and you're done!

I don't usually slug down Irish Cream by itself so I'm not sure how great this information is, but they look very close to each other.  They smell very much like one another.  I think this version is thicker if you use heavy cream (which I did) and it might be a little stronger than the original (feel free to use a little less whiskey).  I drank some tonight in my coffee and it was really good, its also good over ice, just sayin.

Have a Merry Christmas everyone!

Homemade Bailey's Irish Cream
Recipe from Running From The Law

  • 1 cup light or heavy cream
  • 14 oz sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 2/3 cup Irish Whiskey (or less, this amount makes a strong drink)
  • 1 tsp instant coffee granules
  • 2 Tbsp chocolate syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
Cooking Directions
  1. Pour all the ingredients into a blender and mix until well combined. That's it.
  2. Store in your refrigerator for up to two months.
  3. **You can also skip the booze and add some skim milk instead, if you're looking for a non-alcoholic version. 

December 14, 2016

Gluten Free Chocolate Cake

So, let me start off by apologizing for the lack of posts.  See, Thanksgiving happened and then soon after that I started to get word that my gramma wasn't doing well.  Well, I'm in South Carolina and she's in Montana so I was sort of playing it by ear.  When the call came that it had gotten more serious, me and my daughter jumped on a plane and flew to Montana.  My gramma passed away at the age of 96, so it was expected but still difficult.  So, that's why there hasn't been any posts from me lately.  But I'm back and ready to hit the kitchen again!

This recipe was made before I left.  My husband, as you may or may not know, is on a gluten free diet as it greatly helps with his asthma.  

This cake had great chocolatey flavor.  It's more dense than your average flour cake but I didn't mind it and neither did my husband and daughter.  It didn't last long in this house! Because, when you're craving chocolate cake you just gotta have it!

I just used a store bought gluten free frosting but homemade would be delicious too.  I'm glad I tried this recipe and now have one more for my gluten free recipe box!

Gluten Free Chocolate Cake
Recipe from Hershey

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 3/4 cup gluten free flour mix
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350º
  2. Spray 2 9-inch cake pans with non-stick spray and then dust with cocoa powder.
  3. Mix all of the dry ingredients together in a large bowl and whisk together. Add the eggs and milk and stir, then add the remaining ingredients and mix until smooth and lump free.
  4. Pour into the prepared cake pans. Place in the oven and bake for 35-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  5. Remove from the oven and let cool on a cooling rack. After about 5 minutes you can run a knife along the edges and then remove so a cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.

November 23, 2016

Sugared Cranberries

You might be wondering what you would use sugared cranberries for.  Well, snacking for one thing.  They are delicious.  You may or may not know that cranberries are tart when eaten fresh by themselves.  They aren't very many people's snack.  Plus, they are hard to find during the rest of the year when it's not Thanksgiving time. But sugared, they are devine.  You still get the tart bite and then the sugar coats your tongue with sweetness and you go back for more.

As it turns out, this year I found a recipe for a cheesecake that needed some sugared cranberries on top for decoration and for deliciousness.  So, I had these for two purposes and I've still got some left that I'm snacking on.  I love them.  Now I wish fresh cranberries were available all year.

Sugared Cranberries
Recipe from Damn Delicious

  • 2 cups sugar (divided)
  • 1 (12 oz) bag fresh cranberries
Cooking Directions
  1. Place 1/2 cup of sugar and 1/2 a cup of water in a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat until sugar dissolves.
  2. Pour in the bag of cranberries and stir around to cover.
  3. Place the cranberries on cooling racks with wax paper underneath and let dry for at least an hour.
  4. Use the other 1 1/2 cups of sugar to coat the cranberries in. Set aside to dry for another hour.

Crustless Cheesecake with Cranberry Sauce

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  Okay, a day early.  Well, my family actually had our Thanksgiving yesterday because my husband had to run off to work today, we it's over for us. But, it worked out perfectly because now I can get you this recipe just in time!

So, my husband is Gluten Free so this recipe caught my eye right away, then I saw the addition of cranberry flavors and I knew this was it.  I was a little hesitant because if there's no crust, how does the cheesecake keep it's shape? Well, it worked perfectly.  It holds it's shape without being hard at all.  In fact, it's so smooth and buttery I can hardly stop eating the leftovers. 

There are only a few ingredients and it comes together so nicely.  If you've got room on your table for one more dessert, this has got to be it. 

Crustless Cheesecake with Cranberry Sauce
Recipe from BHG

  • 4 (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • cranberry sauce (optional)
  • sugared cranberries (optional)
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 275º
  2. Spray an 8 inch springform pan with non-stick spray and wrap the bottom with aluminum foil.
  3. In the bowl of your stand mixer, add the cream cheese and sugar and mix on medium high for about 8-10 minutes or until the sugar has dissolved.
  4. Add the eggs and vanilla extract and mix until combined.
  5. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and place into a shallow roasting pan. Put the roasting pan on the oven rack and add boiling water to the roasting pan until it's about halfway up the side of the springform pan. Bake for 70-75 minutes.
  6. The cheesecake is done when the center is almost set. If you bump the side of the springform pan you should just barely see a jiggle in the center.
  7. Remove from the oven and take out of the water, remove the aluminum foil and let the cake sit for about 10 minutes.
  8. Run a sharp knife along the edges of the pan and then unbuckle the spring form pan and carefully remove it from the cheesecake. Let the cake cool completely on a cooling rack.
  9. If you're using the cranberry topping: Pour the canned, jellied cranberry sauce into a blender and liquefy it. Pour it over the top of the cheesecake and decorate with sugared cranberries.
  10. Refrigerate leftovers.

November 14, 2016

Muffin Cup Omelets

You know, we're all a little short on time in the mornings.  Be it because we hit the snooze button one too many times (you know who you are), or the baby's up all night, or the kids bus arrives before the butt crack of dawn....whatever the reason, we could all use a little help. 

Muffin cup omelet's aren't something I invented, in fact they're all over the Internet so you can get a bunch of ideas from there if you want.  But this one is one my family enjoys, (Next time I'm throwing in black olives). 

These are easy to throw together and they will last all week in the refrigerator.  Just keep in an air tight container. Microwave for about 30 seconds when ready to eat and ta da! Breakfast is served!

Your options are endless, customize them your own way. You really can't go wrong.

Muffin Cup Omelets
From Alissamay's kitchen

  • 12 large eggs
  • 1 pound breakfast sausage (I used Neese)
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 cup shredded cheese (I used colby jack)
  • baby spinach leaves
  • You can omit and add the ingredients of your choice. 
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 and grease a 12 cup muffin tin with non-stick spray.
  2. In a frying pan, cook the sausage and onion until done, drain oil and set aside.
  3. To the bottom of each muffin cup, add about 3-4 leaves of spinach and press them down to the bottom. Add a spoonful of sausage/onion into each cup and then go back and keep filling the cups evenly with the remaining sausage/onion until it's all been used.
  4. Top the sausage with more veggies of your choice if desired.
  5. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and add a little milk and whisk. Add salt and pepper.
  6. Pour the eggs into each cup until it gets to the top of each cup. Sprinkle with cheese and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the egg becomes puffy.
  7. Remove and let sit in the muffin tin for about 5 minutes.
  8. Top with salsa and sour cream, or whatever you desire.

November 8, 2016

Flourless Monster Cookies

I'm sorry for not posting last week, I was on vacation in Massachusetts.  Visiting my husbands family, doing Halloween there, doing the Freedom Trail and visiting New Hampshire.  We were busy, busy, busy.  No tine to post anything, sadly. 

I hope these awesome cookies make up for it just a little. 

I'm still on my flourless obsession.  These cookies are so good you'll never know there isn't any flour in them.  There is oatmeal and that gives them plenty of texture. The peanut butter flavor is not overwhelming.  Just subtle.  The big pieces of chocolate makes me extremely happy.  These cookies turn out golden on the bottom, chewy and flavorful.  I love them. 

Join me on my flourless recipe quest.  If you've got any good one's, send them my way!

Flourless Monster Cookies

  • 3 whole eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups peanut butter, regular or crunchy
  • 4 1/2 cups oats, quick or old fashioned
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup M&M's
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350º
  2. Mix together all of the ingredients (except the chocolate chips and M&Ms) in a large bowl or strand mixer and mix until combined.
  3. Add the chocolate chips and M&M's and mix well by hand.
  4. Scoop about 2 inch round balls of dough and place on a cookie sheet, then use your hand or the bottom of a glass to smoosh down slightly.
  5. Bake for about 10-12 minutes. Leave on the cookie sheet for about 5 minutes before removing to a cooling rack.
  6. Store in an airtight container.

October 26, 2016

Gluten Free Carrot Cake

I'm completely in love with this recipe.  It's seriously delish.  You can't even tell it's gluten free I swear to you.

Moist (sorry for those of you who hate that word), delicious cinnamon notes and the cream cheese frosting is just yum.  I think I need to make another one ASAP.

After my husband went gluten free I was thinking I'd miss out on all those yummy carbs, but you can still eat yummy carbs this way too.  No loss of flavor here.  Easy to throw together and yummy.  You can't beat it.

Gluten Free Carrot Cake
Recipe from About Food

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 whole eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups light olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose gluten free flour mix
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup chopped nuts or raisins (optional)
  • 3 cups freshly grated carrots
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups gluten free powdered sugar
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350º
  2. You will need either 2-9" round cake pans, 1-9x13 inch dish or 36 muffin cups. Spray with non-stick cooking spray. If using cake pans, line the bottoms of each with parchment paper and then spray with non-stick spray. Set aside.
  3. Add the sugar and eggs to a stand mixer and blend until smooth, then add the oil and vanilla extract. Mix until smooth. 
  4. In a separate bowl add the dry ingredients: Flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Slowly add this to the wet mixture and mix just until smooth. 
  5. Stir in the carrots and raisins or nuts or neither. 
  6. Pour into the prepared pan and bake. Bake for 45-55 minutes for all pans other than the muffins.  For the muffins bake for 30-35 minutes. Insert a toothpick in the middle to check for doneness. 
  7. Let cool on a rack before frosring. 
  8. To make the frosting, combine all the ingredients together and mix until smooth. 

October 19, 2016

Quick Gluten Free Lasagna

A chill in the air means I break out the comfort food and lasagna is one of our favorites.  My daughter only recently started liking lasagna, and after 8 years of not eating it she requests it often.  I'm only too happy to oblige of course.  I mean, how could I say no? This recipe is very simple to throw together on a busy week night and tastes amazing.

Everything is already cooked when you throw the layers together so it's just a matter of melting the cheese.  Gluten free is such a big deal right now that it's not problem at all finding Rotini noodles. And most pasta sauce is gluten free but just check the label to make sure.

I have used both sliced mozzarella and shredded for this recipe but the slices to tend to be a bit stringier (which I like) so that's what I use mostly. Feel free to substitute your favorite meat sauce for the jarred sauce and meat, since you're making this you can add whatever your family likes best.  I love this recipe and my family does too.

Quick Gluten Free Lasagna
Recipe from FlippenDelicious

  • 1 pound gluten free rotini
  • 1 pound hamburger
  • 1 (32 oz) jar pasta sauce (gluten free)
  • 1 (24 oz) container cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375º
  2. Follow the package instructions to cook the pasta. Set aside.
  3. Brown the ground beef, drain off the excess fat.
  4. In a bowl, combine the cottage cheese, Parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning.
  5. Pour just enough pasta sauce on the bottom of a 9x13 inch dish to cover the bottom.
  6. Pour the cooked pasta on top of that, followed by the cooked hamburger.
  7. Top all that with the remaining pasta sauce.
  8. Spoon the cheese mixture over the top of all that and spread around evenly and then sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.
  9. Bake for 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

October 13, 2016

3-Ingredient Brownies

So, in my flourless dessert obsession continues.  I just can't help it!  Ok, so this recipe intrigued me because it's "healthy".  Well, in fact, it really is healthy.  I was leery, but still opted to give them a chance. 

My conclusion? 

They are surprisingly good.  I didn't add mashed banana which is one option to give them a sweeter flavor, and I used mashed sweet potato and not pumpkin so they weren't very sweet.  The frosting obviously kicks up the sweet factor and I'm anxious to try it with the banana just to see how sweet they can get and still be healthy.  

The texture is very dense and heavy.  The flavor is chocolatey, smooth texture and the sweetness comes from the frosting.  Very good.  I even shared some with my neighbor and she loved them.  It's kind of hard to believe they only have three ingredients and are actually healthy. 

3-Ingredient Brownies
Recipe from The Big Mans World

  • 1 cup pumpkin puree or mashed sweet potato
  • 1/2 cup drippy almond butter or any nut butter
  • 1/4 - 2/3 cup cocoa powder
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350º
  2. Coat a small 4x6 or 6x6 inch loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray, set aside.
  3. Place all the ingredients in a high powered blender or food processor or in a bowl and blend until fully incorporated.
  4. Pour into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 15 minutes and then begin checking for doneness. Mine took more like 30 minutes to get done. Test with a toothpick inserted in the middle, when it comes out clean they're ready.
  5. **1/2 cup mashed banana's in place of 1/2 cup pumpkin or sweet potato will make a sweeter brownie.
  6. Frost with whatever frosting you like best. 

October 3, 2016

Mongolian Beef

Mongolian beef is a fast, easy item to make for dinner.  It takes no time at all and yet tastes like you spent all night making it.  

The beef is cut in pretty thin slices so it's easy to chew and has great flavor.  The sauce is yummy yet not overly strong. The onions add a nice crunch and a bit of color.  I served mine over rice to keep it gluten free but it would also be delicious over egg noodles.

Perfect dinner for a busy week night.  

Mongolian Beef
Recipe from My Recipes

  • 2 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 2 tsp dry sherry
  • 2 tsp hoisin sauce
  • 1 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp chili paste with garlic
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp peanut oil
  • 1 Tbsp minced fresh peeled ginger
  • 1 Tbsp fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 pound sirloin steak, cut against the grain
  • 16 medium green onions, cut into 2 inch pieces
Cooking Directions
  1. Combine the first 5 ingredients and whisk until smooth.
  2. Over medium high heat, heat the peanut oil in a large skillet or wok.
  3. Add the ginger, garlic and meat. Cook for 2 minutes.
  4. Add the green onion pieces and cook for 30 seconds.
  5. Add the soy sauce mixture and cook for 1 minute or until thick. Serve hot.

September 28, 2016

Kiwano or Horned Melon

Ok, I know.  Not a recipe.  But every once in a while my daughter and I spot some new fruit at the grocery store to try.  This time it was this (slightly dangerous) melon called a "horned melon" for obvious reasons. Yes, those little spikes are sharp. This fruit is also called "Blowfish Fruit", and you can see why. 

Originally from Africa it is now grown in California and Mississippi as well as other countries. The fruit can be eaten raw as a snack, in which some people with suck out the pulp and spit out the seeds. When I tried the fruit I used a spoon and ate the seeds which I did not enjoy and now wish I had spit them out. Apparently you can eat the peel also as it is high in vitamin C. The inside is jelly like.  I've seen recipes for drinks made out of this that might be good.  

The flavor is hard to describe, it was sweet but not overly.  It is described as a cross between a banana, cucumber, lemon on Wikipedia.  You can add some salt or sugar, which I didn't know either until after I'd eaten it. It is also fairly pricy, I think we paid $4 and some change.   Overall, I'm glad we tried it.  It wasn't bad but the price combined with the fact that it wasn't totally delicious makes it highly unlikely we'll be buying it again.  

September 21, 2016

Fudgy Flourless Chocolate Brownies

Continuing my flourless obsession, meet the flourless brownie.  I'd like to just add that I had to make two pans of these back to back because the first pan of them disappeared so fast I couldn't photograph them.  With the second pan, I had to threaten lives not to touch them before I could take a picture. That worked but they didn't last long after that.

So, flourless desserts are yummy, easy to make, and gluten free.  I'd eat these even if they weren't gluten free.  The outside is very much like a normal flour type brownie but the middle is much softer. Sort of like eating a cookie straight out of the oven (but without all that pain).

This, being the third flourless recipe I've tried is not going to be the last.  I just love them.  Don't get me wrong, they aren't any healthier for you.  There is still sugar and butter in them.  But, sugar and butter mixed with chocolate equals deliciousness. :)

Flourless Fudgy Chocolate Brownies
Recipe from Life Made Simple

  • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 8 oz semi-sweet chocolate
  • 2 whole eggs at room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp salt
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350º
  2. Line a 8x8 or 9x9 inch square pan with tin foil and then spray with non-stick spray. Set aside.
  3. In a medium saucepan, over low heat melt the butter and then add the sugar. After the sugar is incorporated add the chopped chocolate. Stir until melted and smooth and then remove from the heat and beat with a hand mixer for 2 minutes.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time and then add the vanilla extract.
  5. Whisk until smooth.
  6. Use a mesh sieve to add the cocoa powder and cornstarch into the mixture. Then add the salt. Use a hand mixer to beat for another 2 minutes.
  7. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 22-30 minutes. Insert a toothpick into the middle to check for doneness. Do not overtake.
  8. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan for at least 45 minutes before cutting.
  9. Use the tin foil to lift out of the pan and cut.

September 12, 2016

Flourless Chocolate Cake

You're looking at the reason my diet isn't going well.   My husband had a hankering for a piece of chocolate cake, so I indulged him and made this.  The great thing is that it's gluten free because it's completely flourless.  The bad thing is that it tastes amazing.  Like, thank goodness it's pretty rich or I would have eaten the whole thing myself, amazing. 

Don't confuse Gluten Free with healthy.  Just because there isn't any flour doesn't make this health food. 

It's obviously a different texture than cake.  But, because you're not substituting other flours for the wheat flour you already sort of have the expectation of a texture difference.  Instead, it's creamy all over.  It's smooth, chocolaty, and rich.  It's sort of like eating a big chocolate chip. 

Then, you add the chocolate ganashe on top (which I topped with mini chocolate chips) and it takes you into a chocolate induced coma. 

My family LOVED this cake.  In fact, I sent a piece over to my neighbor, so she made it, and her family loved it too. I'm loving all the flourless recipes I've found on Pinterest.
Grab a big glass of your favorite milk and a little piece of this heaven on a plate and enjoy!

Flourless Chocolate Cake
Recipe from Melanie Cooks

  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 whole eggs
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp espresso powder (optional)
Chocolate Ganache
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375º
  2. Use a 9 inch round cake pan. Spray with non-stick spray, then line with a piece of parchment paper that has been cut to fit the bottom of the cake pan. Then spray the top of the parchment paper.
  3. Put the butter and the chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl and heat for 1 minute, stir and keep heating in 30 second increments until smooth. This can also be done over low heat in a saucepan.
  4. Pour the chocolate mixture into a mixing bowl and add the sugar, eggs, cocoa powder and espresso powder if using. Whisk until smooth.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for 20 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes.
  7. Run a knife around the edges of the pan to loosen, then put a plate on the top of the cake pan and flip the cake over quickly.
  8. Peel off and discard the parchment paper.
  9. Now make the ganache. Heat the chocolate chips and heavy cream in a small saucepan over medium heat, whisking until smooth.
  10. Pour over the still warm cake and use a knife to cover it completely.
  11. Refrigerate the cake for at least an hour before cutting.

September 6, 2016

Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate-Chip Cookies

I'm totally digging flourless recipes.  I can't tell you how much easier they are to make, and they taste amazing, and they are gluten free. I've recently jumped on the Gluten Free bandwagon (not 100%, but I'm about 95% there) and I'm loving how much less bloated I feel.  The only hard part for me has been the comparisons to standard bread products and gluten free since they are different flour flavors and textures. I just need to get used to it.  That's why I'm loving the flourless recipes.  There isn't anything to "get used to" because the flavor of whatever you're baking are just more intense.

For example, this peanut butter chocolate chip cookie has great peanut butter flavor.  You don't get the chewy cookie that you might with a regular flour recipe but they're still moist with a tiny bit of chewiness around the edge.  I love them.

This is the second recipe I've made that was flourless.  I'll post the first one I made soon but I have loved them both so much.  Don't get me wrong, just because they don't have any flour doesn't make them healthy.  But if you're gluten free, sometimes you just want a great tasting treat.

I'd eat these flourless desserts even if I wasn't trying to avoid gluten, they are that good.

Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate-Chip Cookies
Recipe from Southern Living

  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350º
  2. Mix the peanut butter and sugar together in a mixing bowl until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients and stir until smooth.
  3. Use a cookie scoop or two spoons to dollop dough onto the cookie sheet about 2" apart.
  4. Bake for 12-14 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before moving to a cooling rack.

August 31, 2016

Apple Cinnamon Fruit Leather

It's finally apple season, my favorite time of the year is beginning.  I love fall.  I love everything about it. I especially love apple season. My biggest problem is that I go to the mountains and I pick a bunch, and then I'm having so much fun that I pick more.  So I end up with a ton of apples and I come home and bake, bake, bake. 

So, here is one thing I've made recently that I absolutely fell in love with.  Fruit leather.  You know, like the kind you had as a kid in your lunch box. It does take a little time but it's well worth it. The process it totally easy and if you can be patient you will be rewarded.  This fruit leather was so good. The same texture that you might be used to from the box we had as kids, but the flavor was so much better.  Mine didn't even make it off the try to be cut and wrapped and saved for later.  It was gone in like 10 minutes. 

Time to make more. 

Apple Cinnamon Fruit Leather
Recipe from Real Mom Nutrition

  • 4 cups apples, washed, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1-2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
Cooking Directions
  1. Put the prepared apples into a medium sized sauce pan and add the water. Cook at a simmer for about 10 minutes or until soft.
  2. Add the cinnamon and sugar and cook for 2-3 more minutes. Stirring occasionally.
  3. Pour mixture into a blender and puree until smooth.
  4. Pour onto a jelly roll pan or cookie sheet with sides that has a silpat over it. It is vital that you get the mixture in a thin even layer on the pan. This will ensure it all dry's evenly.
  5. Bake at 170º for 2-3 hours or until dry.

August 23, 2016

Gluten Free Apple Cranberry Pie

Recently, my husband and I decided to try a Gluten Free diet.  Purely for experimental purposes.  Turns out, my husband has had amazing results.  He hasn't had any of the Asthma problems he usually has on a daily basis.  No inhaler needed for weeks. I haven't been on it as long so I haven't noticed anything yet but we'll see.

Anyways, we've gotten a couple of cookbooks to help us out and we've tried a couple of great recipes lately. Some of you might be wondering what Gluten is exactly.  Well here you go:
  1. a substance present in cereal grains, especially wheat, that is responsible for the elastic texture of dough. A mixture of two proteins, it causes illness in people with celiac disease.

So, Gluten can also just be a sensitivity in some people which apparently it is in my husband and switching to non-gluten items is pretty easy. It's such a common problem now that there are Gluten Free items available everywhere. There might even be a "Gluten Free" section of your grocery store.

I did have to run out and get some new items to bake this pie but they are items I'll use over and over in the future.

The Pie was wonderful.  The flavor was just what you'd expect with the added benefit of those chewy cranberries.  The crust was a little difficult to work with.  It crumbled easier then a normal crust so I needed up adding a little water and making sure it was really cold before trying to work with it. Make sure your rolling pin is well gluten-free floured up. After moving most of it to the pie plate I ended up just pressing pieces into the dish to make a complete pie crust.  It worked well in the end, just be aware that it's much more crumbly. The flavor is great however, similar to a regular pie crust but the texture is more on the crumbly side as I just mentioned. I used Gala apples but you can use whatever apples you want, just adjust the sugar based on how sweet the apple is.

Gluten Free Apple Cranberry Pie


  • 6 medium apples - peeled, cored and sliced
  • 3/4 to 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups Gluten Free all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sweet rice flour
  • 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup cold butter
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp cider vinegar
Cooking Directions
  1. Make the dough first, so there's time to chill it. Add the first 6 ingredients to a bowl and use a pastry cutter to blend it until only small pieces of butter remain.
  2. Make a whole in the center and add the eggs and vinegar, mix together just until incorporated.
  3. Cut into two equal pieces and wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 45 minutes.
  4. When the dough is chilled, start preheating the oven to 425º
  5. In a large bowl mix the filling ingredients and stir together so it's all coated.
  6. Roll out one of the crusts on a lightly floured surface and roll out to 1/4 thick and place in the pie dish. I found it easier to just press the dough into the dish since the dough can be crumbly.
  7. Add the apple filling on top of the dough and then top with the other piece of dough that has been rolled out.
  8. Cut the dough to allow for ventilation.
  9. Bake at 425º for 12 minutes and then reduce the heat to 350º and bake for 30-40 minutes. Check the apples to make sure they have softened.

August 16, 2016

Gluten Free Banana Chocolate Chip Bread

Every now and then my husband and I try a new diet, or a new way of eating just to see if we like it or if it makes any difference in our general health.  Currently my husband is trying out a Gluten Free lifestyle, and therefore, so are the rest of us. 

So far it's been pretty easy because I haven't baked anything in a while anyway and pasta's are easy enough to find in any grocery store.  It wasn't until I happened to notice the banana's on the counter looking a little dark that I decided to give a gluten free banana bread a try.  I already had all the ingredients so it was easy. 

If gluten free it new to you, your grocery store might have a section already dedicated to gluten free items which makes life so much easier. 

This recipe is easy to throw together.  The bread doesn't rise much to don't expect a big loaf here.  But the flavor is very good.  It's soft, full of banana and chocolate flavor and not overly dense.  I love that the sweetness from the banana's came through so no sugar is needed.  I have to be honest, that surprised me a bit.  Sometimes you try a no sugar recipe and you can definitely tell, but not on this one. Definitely a great gluten free recipe that I'll be making again. 

Gluten Free Banana Chocolate Chip Bread
Recipe from AmbitiousKitchen

  • 3 medium (1 1/4 cup) ripe banana's, mashed
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (diary free if needed)
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350º
  2. Spray a loaf pan with non-stick spray, then line with parchment paper and spray again.
  3. In the bowl of your stand mixer, add the banana's, vanilla extract and almond butter and mix well.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients mix until combined.
  5. Pour into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle, comes out clean.
  6. Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack for 20 minutes before removing from the loaf pan.

August 3, 2016

Creamy Crock-Pot Chicken Tikka Masala

At times during my life I've been one of those well organized people who plans dinner, makes the grocery list and only buys what I need. 

I'm not that person right now. 

We basically decide what we're having for dinner while we're eating lunch. Don't be like me. 

Luckily, this recipe was pretty easy to throw together into a slow cooker and have ready in 4 hours. My husband chose this recipe from Pinterest.  Since he rarely gets to be the one to choose the recipe I'm gonna make I jumped on this one.  Finally something new and good for you!

We both loved this recipe.  Ton's of flavor, most of the ingredients are in your pantry right now.  I did have to run out for a couple of items but overall I had most of it. I started cooking the rice (in the microwave) at the same time you begin to add the last couple of ingredients and it all came together at the same time.  

Obviously you don't have to serve with rice, it'll just depend on you personal tastes but I thought it was fantastic with rice. 

Creamy, tender chicken and the last minute addition of the lemon juice was perfect.  I didn't need salt at all, the lemon juice was perfect. 

If you're feeling adventurous tonight, you should give this recipe a try. Delicious! 

Creamy Crock-Pot Chicken Tikka Masala
Recipe from The Iron You

  • 2 pounds chicken breast, cubed
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 (29 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp Garam Masala
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 bay leaves

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream or full fat coconut milk
  • 2 Tbsp arrowroot powder or corn starch
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
Cooking Directions
  1. Place all the ingredients except the bay leaves, heavy cream, arrowroot powder and lemon juice in a bowl and mix together until the chicken is well coated.
  2. Rub the inside of your slow cooker with olive oil.
  3. Pour the ingredients into the slow cooker and place the bay leaves on top. Cook on low for 8 hours on low or 4 hours on high.
  4. Mix the heavy cream with the arrowroot powder and then pour into the crock-pot and mix together. Cook for an additional 20 minutes.
  5. Pour in the lemon juice right before serving.

July 27, 2016

Guavaberry Colada

I was lucky enough to get to travel to St. Maarten at the end of March of this year, with my daughter. We fell in love with the island, the people, the food and especially the drinks.  Tropical drinks are my favorite anyway, I love fruit flavored drinks that you can't really taste the alcohol in.  I had several great drinks but I was only able to get the recipe for a couple of them.  This one was by far my favorite.

Now I'm kicking myself for only bringing back one bottle of this rum.  Is is SO good.  I was able to find some American locations that carry this rum but sadly none of them are near me.  I guess another trip to St. Maarten is necessary.  I wonder how many bottles I can bring back without getting arrested.

This drink is a little hard to describe unless you've had Guavaberry Rum.  It's sweet but not overly sweet, fruity but not necessarily a guava flavor as you might expect. It's sort of creamy due to the coconut cream. You don't necessarily taste the pineapple juice either, all the flavors just blend together so well that it's sort of a nondescript fruit flavor.  Sorry, that's the best I can describe it.

If you ever see a bottle of this rum, do yourself a favor and grab a bottle or six.

Guavaberry Colada
Recipe from

  • 2 oz. St. Maarten Guavaberry Rum
  • 1 oz. coconut cream
  • 3 oz. pineapple juice
  • ice
Cooking Directions
  1. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Garnish with fresh pineapple

July 20, 2016

Brooke's Best Bombshell Brownies

These brownies were a late night decision by my family after dinner.  As usual, I named off the not so appealing items we could have for an after dinner treat.  And, as usual, my family named something they wanted in which we didn't already have, but needed to be made.

I should probably mention that when they asked for brownies, my mouth almost immediately started drooling.  But, I put my wrist to my forehead and threw my head back very dramatically and said "yes, of course I will whip up a batch of brownies, even though I just slaved for hours making dinner".  That probably would have actually worked, had we not just had salad for dinner.

Anyways, never one to turn down a request from my family, I jumped online to find my next brownie recipe.  This one jumped out at me for a couple of reasons.  First of all, it was made in a 9x13 inch dish which means there would be plenty....for my family. Second, the description said "chewy" which is a key word for me.  I love chewy brownies and chewy cookies.

I have to say, the recipe was easy to throw together.  There's plenty of chocolate in there with the addition of the chocolate chips (you could frost them if you really wanted more chocolate). They are chewy, the edges get nice and firm, and the flavor is very chocolaty.  Exactly what you're looking for in a brownie.  Most of us have these ingredients in our pantry, so whip some up tonight.

Brooke's Best Bombshell Brownies
Recipe from AllRecipes

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 4 whole eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350º
  2. Spray a 9x13 inch dish with non-stick cooking spray
  3. In the bowl of your stand mixer with the paddle attachment add the sugar and butter and mix well.
  4. Add the eggs one by one blending after each addition.
  5. In a separate bowl add the flour, cocoa powder and salt and whisk together.
  6. Slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet with the mixer on low until thoroughly incorporated.
  7. Add in the chocolate chips and mix briefly.
  8. Pour the batter into the prepared dish, even out and bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  9. Let cool on a cooling rack and serve.

July 13, 2016

Chia Chocolate Chip Cookies

My husband was at work one day, when his Captain pulled out a bag of little Chia Chocolate Chip Cookies and was telling my husband how wonderful they were.  They're healthy, gives him energy, curbs his appetite, and tastes delicious.  After my husband tried one, he called me to see if I could track down a recipe.  Which, of course, I could.  I mean, I practically live on Pinterest after all.

During the course of making these cookies I discovered how I didn't have all of the same ingredients the original recipe called for, so I substituted for what I did have. The important ingredient being Chia seeds, which I have plenty of.

Chia seeds are so very good for you.  They can puff up to more than double their size if left in a liquid, which means if you eat them as just a regular seed then they will fill you up, because of all that puffing up they do inside your stomach.  So, eat a cookie, wait, and soon you'll forget about being hungry.

You can make these to be dairy free (if you can find dairy free chocolate chips) or gluten free if you follow the original recipe.  Mine are neither, but they are delicious! I love the chewiness from the oatmeal and the slight coconut hint I got from the coconut oil.  Obviously the chocolate chips are obvious.  I'm loving this recipe.  Great flavor, and texture with the added bonus of filling you up when you're starving and getting all the added benefits of the oatmeal, chia seeds and coconut oil.  My husband will be taking these on his trips from now on.

Chia Chocolate Chip Cookies
Recipe modified from huffingtonpost

Dry Ingredients
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup brown pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup cake flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
Wet Ingredients
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
Cooking Directions
  1. Mix the dry ingredients together and the wet ingredients together and then mix them together.
  2. Refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.
  3. Preheat the oven to 355º, lightly oil a baking sheet.
  4. Roll the dough into golf ball sized pieces and then flatten half way.
  5. Bake for 12 minutes. Check on them in the oven and if they aren't spreading you might have to help them by pushing down on them with a fork.
  6. Bake for another 2-3 minutes or until very lightly golden.
  7. Cool completely on a wire rack before moving to a plate or storage container.

July 7, 2016

Cherry Cheesecake Dip

You're looking at the dessert I made to bring to the 4th of July party we attended.  Even though it was smokin hot, this dip held up pretty well.  I served it with graham crackers and it was D-lishious!  We were only at the party for a couple of hours (because we got a new puppy, and we brought her with us) and we wanted to get her home for dinner and to cool down.

Talk about an easy appetizer or dessert to put together.  Only four ingredients and then whatever you want to dip into it. It was ready in less than 15 minutes and then just keep it cool until ready to serve.

I have to say, this is one of my favorites.  I mean, I love cherry cheesecake and this is SO much easier and just as good.  Plus, you can just take what you want.  The graham crackers are a perfect accompniament with this dip as they serve as the "crust".  I just loved it and apparently so did everyone at the party.  We were only there for 2 hours and yet I took home a half empty 9x13 inch dish.

I had to share a picture of our sweet little girl.  Her name is Kacey, she is my daughters puppy and we all just adore her.  She is a Mini Australian Shepherd.  She's taking up much of my time as we potty train her but she's super smart and it's going really well. 

Cherry Cheesecake Dip
Recipe from The Country Cook

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 of a 7.5 ounce jar marshmallow cream
  • 8 ounces cool whip, thawed
  • 14.5 ounce jar pie filling, I could only find the larger can size and it worked perfectly
  • graham crackers for dipping
Cooking Directions
  1. Mix together the cream cheese and marshmallow cream until smooth.
  2. Add the thawed cool whip and mix until smooth.
  3. Spread into a 2 quart casserole dish or a 9x13 inch dish and top with the cherry pie filling.
  4. Refrigerate leftovers.

June 29, 2016

Peach Blueberry Pie

It's peach season in the South so naturally we've been eating all we can.  I love to can peaches but haven't had time this year, so we've just been eating them fresh.  However, to change things up a bit I decided to try a pie.  Blueberries are my husbands favorite so when I saw this recipe I thought it was perfect.  Also, I had a handful of raspberries in my refrigerator so I threw those in too.

I loved the flavor of this pie.  Sweet and interesting because of the multiple fruit flavors.  The mixture is perfect and held up very well when sliced and served up. Perfect with some ice cream or whipped cream.

I just used a store bought crust which is not what I normally do, but it was still delicious.  If you make a homemade crust it'll be the hit of dessert!  I hope you can try this one this summer with some of your local peaches.

Peach Blueberry Pie
Recipe from Taste of Home

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground allspice
  • 3 cups peaches, sliced and peeled
  • 1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
  • pastry for double crust 9 inch pie
  • 1 Tbsp butter, at room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp milk
  • cinnamon sugar
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400º
  2. Make the pie crust and put it in the pie plate (or use pre-made)
  3. In a large bowl, mix together the sugar, flour, cinnamon and allspice and whisk. Add the fruit and stir to coat.
  4. You can either top the pie with a full pie crust and cut to ventilate or create a lattice top.
  5. After you've added the top crust, cut off the excess crust around the edges leaving about 1/2 an inch overhand so you can tuck it under the bottom crust and seal with your fingers or a fork.
  6. Use a brush to spread milk over the top and then sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
  7. Bake for 40-45 minutes, until golden. Let cool slightly before serving.