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.