Friday, August 29, 2008

Chewy Granola Bars

2 1/2 c. Oats - quick rolled oats (use GF oatmeal)

1/2 c. Rice Krispies (use GF rice cereal)

1/4 c. coconut

1/2 c. M&M minis (these appear to be GF from what I've found online)

1/2 c. brown sugar

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 c. butter, softened

1/4 c. honey

1/2 tsp. vanilla

Add all of the ingredients and mix together until combined. Press into a square 8×8 pan. Bake at 350° for 18-20 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes and score into bars. Let it set completely and then cut into bars. For thinner bars, press mix into a 9×13 pan. They seem to set a little better in the 9×13 pan.

from Make and Takes

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Cajun Turkey and Cheese Wrap

1 La Tortilla Factory Sun-dried Tomato and Basil Wrap
1 oz Cajun Turkey Breast, sliced (can substitute any kind of turkey)
2 Laughing Cow Cheese Wedges, Garlic and Herb (substitute with a different spread for GFCF)
Shredded lettuce (I use bagged salad, which also has carrots and other assorted healthy things in it)
5 Grape tomatoes, halved

Spread the Laughing Cow cheese over the entire tortilla. Arrange the sliced turkey down the center of the tortilla, leaving at least 1" at either end empty. Arrange the lettuce and tomatoes on the turkey. Fold the empty ends in, and roll the tortilla. Slice in half and serve.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Easy-- and Filling-- Salad

Bag of mixed greens + any variety of toppings + any dressing


hard boiled eggs
lunch meat
left over chicken or turkey

red onion
canned corn
bell peppers
artichoke hearts

mandarin oranges
pineapple chunks
dried cranberries

Chinese noodles

Some suggestions:

Tropical Chicken Salad
chicken breast (marinate with lime and garlic if you want)
Chinese noodles
dressing: honey, mustard, soy sauce, a little brown sugar

Pizza Salad
artichoke hearts
crumbled feta
crushed red pepper
balsamic vinagrette: make your own with a little balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and spices

Add your own suggestions to the comments or edit this post!


8 lasagna noodles
1 lb ground beef or turkey
1 medium onion
10 oz frozen spinach drained and squeezed dry
1 glass jar of pasta sauce (I like to get the kind with lots of chunky veggies)
1/2 pkg cream cheese (or neufchatel for less fat) at room temperature
1 16 oz tub cottage cheese
1/3 C parmesan cheese
mozzerella cheese (approx 1 C)

  • Boil noodles according to package and set to the side
  • Brown the meat with onion
  • Add 2/3 of the pasta sauce and all the spinach to the meat mixture
  • Mix cream cheese, cottage cheese, and parmesan together
  • In 13x9 in baking dish, layer in this order 1/3 meat sauce, 4 noodles, 1/2 cheese, 1/3 meat sauce, 4 noodles, 1/2 cheese, 1/3 meat sauce, and mozzerella
  • (hint-- use enough meat sauce to cover the area of the pan. If there's not enough to cover on the top layer, use remaining 1/3 jar of pasta sauce to cover it)
  • Cover with foil
  • Bake at 350 for 30 min
  • Remove foil for 5 more min or until cheese is bubbly
This is a great one to freeze either before or after you make it. Crank up the heat and allow for more time if you're pulling it straight from the freezer

Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Like the NYTimes recipe, I find you get a yummier cookie and better texture if you refrigerate the dough 36 hours and sprinkle a little sea salt on the cookies just before you pop them in the oven. I like to make 5 or 6 cookies to get a reward for all the work of making the dough and then refrigerate the rest.


2 1/8 cups bleached all-purpose flour (about 10 1/2 ounces)
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), melted and cooled slightly
1 cup brown sugar (light or dark), 7 ounces
1/2 cup granulated sugar (3 1/2 ounces)
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 - 2 cups chocolate chips or chunks (semi or bittersweet)

See Illustrations Below: Shaping Thick Chocolate Chip Cookies

1. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Adjust oven racks to upper- and lower-middle positions. Mix flour, salt, and baking soda together in medium bowl; set aside.

2. Either by hand or with electric mixer, mix butter and sugars until thoroughly blended. Mix in egg, yolk, and vanilla. Add dry ingredients; mix until just combined. Stir in chips.

3. Following illustrations below, form scant 1/4 cup dough into ball. Holding dough ball using fingertips of both hands, pull into two equal halves. Rotate halves ninety degrees and, with jagged surfaces exposed, join halves together at their base, again forming a single cookie, being careful not to smooth dough’s uneven surface. Place formed dough onto one of two parchment paper-lined 20-by-14-inch lipless cookie sheets, about nine dough balls per sheet. Smaller cookie sheets can be used, but fewer cookies can be baked at one time and baking time may need to be adjusted. (Dough can be refrigerated up to 2 days or frozen up to 1 month—shaped or not.)

4. Bake, reversing cookie sheets’ positions halfway through baking, until cookies are light golden brown and outer edges start to harden yet centers are still soft and puffy, 15 to 18 minutes (start checking at 13 minutes). (Frozen dough requires an extra 1 to 2 minutes baking time.) Cool cookies on cookie sheets. Serve or store in airtight container.

STEP BY STEP: Shaping Thick Chocolate Chip Cookies

1. Creating a jagged surface on each dough ball gives the finished cookies an attractive appearance. Start by rolling a scant 1/4 cup of dough into a smooth ball.

2. Holding the dough ball in the fingertips of both hands, pull the dough apart into two equal halves.

3. Each half will have a jagged surface where it was ripped from the other. Rotate each piece 90 degrees so that the jagged edge faces up.

4. Jam the halves back together into one ball so that the top surface remains jagged.

NYTimes Chocolate Chip Cookies

Adapted from Jacques Torres

Time: 45 minutes (for 1 6-cookie batch), plus at least 24 hours’ chilling

2 cups minus 2 tablespoons (8 1/2 ounces) cake flour

1 2/3 cups (8 1/2 ounces) bread flour

1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt

2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter

1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) granulated sugar

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract

1 1/4 pounds bittersweet chocolate disks or fèves, at least 60 percent cacao content (see note)

Sea salt.

1. Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Set aside.

2. Using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars together until very light, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Reduce speed to low, add dry ingredients and mix until just combined, 5 to 10 seconds. Drop chocolate pieces in and incorporate them without breaking them. Press plastic wrap against dough and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours. Dough may be used in batches, and can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours.

3. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Set aside.

4. Scoop 6 3 1/2-ounce mounds of dough (the size of generous golf balls) onto baking sheet, making sure to turn horizontally any chocolate pieces that are poking up; it will make for a more attractive cookie. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and bake until golden brown but still soft, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer sheet to a wire rack for 10 minutes, then slip cookies onto another rack to cool a bit more. Repeat with remaining dough, or reserve dough, refrigerated, for baking remaining batches the next day. Eat warm, with a big napkin.

Yield: 1 1/2 dozen 5-inch cookies.

Toscana Soup

Prep time: 1 hr

2 3/4 cups chicken stock or broth
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 medium russet potato
2 cups chopped kale
1/2 lb spicy Italian sausage
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

Combine the stock and cream in a saucepan over medium heat.

Slice the unpeeled potato into 1/4 in. slices, then quarter the slices and add them to the soup.

Add the kale.

Grill or sauté the sausage. When cooked and cooled, cut the sausage at an angle into slices about 1/2 in. thick. Add the sausage to the soup.

Add the spices and let the soup simmer for about 1 hour. Stir occasionally.

Serves 4 as an appetizer, 2 as an entree

Wild Rice Meatball Primavera

Prep time: 45 min.

1 lb. ground turkey
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs (or crushed up Saltines)
1 egg, beaten
2 Tbs oil
2 cups water
1 can (10 3/4 oz) condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1 package (16 oz) frozen broccoli medley (that's with cauliflower), thawed
1 box Uncle Ben's Long Grain & Wild Rice Fast Cook Recipe (or your local store-brand's version)

Combine turkey, bread crumbs, and egg; mix well. Shape into 1 1/4- to 1 1/2-inch meatballs (makes about 20-22)

Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Cook meatballs 6-7 min. or until brown on all sides. Drain on paper towels.

Combine water and soup in skillet; bring to a boil. Add meatballs, vegetables and contents of seasoning packet, reserving rice. Cover; reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add reserved rice to skillet; mix well. Cover; cook 5 min. more or until hot. Remove from heat; stir well. Cover and let stand 5 min. before serving.

Serves 6

Tortellini Bake Parmesano

Prep time: 30 min.

1 package (12 oz) fresh or frozen cheese tortellini or ravioli (probably 8-10 oz. of dry tortellini)
1/2 lb. lean ground beef
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp dried oregano, crushed
1 jar (26 oz) chunky spaghetti sauce w/ garlic & herb
2 small zucchini, sliced
1/3 cup (about 1 1/2 oz) grated Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions; rinse and drain.

Meanwhile, brown beef with onion, garlic, and oregano in large skillet over medium-high heat; drain. Season with salt and pepper if desired.

Add spaghetti sauce and zucchini. Cook 15 min. or until thickened, stirring occasionally.

Arrange half of pasta in oiled 2 qt. microwavable dish; top with half each of sauce and cheese. Repeat layers ending with cheese; cover.

Microwave on high 8-10 min. or until heated through, rotating dish halfway through cooking time.

Serves 4.
Freezes and microwaves well, so double the recipe and save yourself time later!

Kielbasa and Lentil Stew

Prep time: 30 min.

1 lb. kielbasa or smoked sausage, cut into small cubes
1/2 head green cabbage, shredded (8 cups)
1 large onion, chopped
4 carrots, shredded
2 cans lentil soup (19 oz. each OR 10 oz. each condensed [and add 10 oz. water])
1 can (16 oz) crushed tomatoes in puree, undrained
3 Tbs cayenne hot sauce

Cook and stir sausage in 5 quart saucepot over medium-high heat 3 minutes or until lightly browned. Add vegetables; cook and stir 5 min. or until tender.

Stir in soup, tomatoes and hot sauce. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, partially covered, 10 minutes or until heated through and flavors are blended.

Cajun Jambalaya Pasta

Prep time: 1 hour

1/2 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
2 skinless, boneless, chicken breast halves
1/2 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined
5 qt. water
6 oz. plain fettuccine
6 oz. spinach fettuccine
(Note: some brands, like Ronzoni, sell a 12 oz. combination plain/spinach fettuccine mix)
2 Tbs olive oil
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
3 small bell peppers, sliced (red, yellow, green, orange, etc.)
1 small white onion, sliced
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 Tbs arrowroot or cornstarch
2 Tbs white wine (or white grape juice/chicken stock/vegetable stock)
2 tsp chopped fresh parsley (or 1 1/2 dry flakes)

1. Make a Cajun seasoning blend by combining the white pepper, cayenne pepper, salt, paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder in a small bowl.

2. Cut the chicken breasts into bite-size pieces. Use about one-third of the seasoning blend to coat the chicken pieces.

3. In another bowl, sprinkle another one-third of the spice blend over the shrimp.

4. Start your pasta cooking by bringing 5 quarts of water to a boil over high heat. Add both fettuccines to the hot water, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer for 12-14 minutes or until the pasta is tender.

5. While the fettuccine cooks, heat 1 Tbs of the olive oil in a large frying pan or skillet over high heat. When the oil is hot, sauté the chicken in the pan for about 2 minutes per side or until the surface of the chicken starts to turn brown.

6. Add the shrimp to the pan with the chicken and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep the shrimp from sticking. When the chicken and shrimp have been seared, pour the contents of the pan onto a plate or into a bowl. Do not rinse the pan!

7. Put the pan back over the high heat and add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the pan. Add the tomatoes, peppers, and onion to the oil. Sprinkle the veggies with the remaining spice blend and sauté for about 10 minutes or until the vegetables begin to turn dark brown or black.

8. Add the chicken and shrimp to the vegetables and pour 3/4 cup of the chicken stock in the pan. Cook over high heat until the stock has been reduced to just about nothing. Add the remaining 3/4 cup of the stock to the pan. The liquid should become dark as it deglazes the pan of the dark film left by the spices and cooking food. Stir constantly, scraping the blackened stuff off the bottom of the pan. Reduce the broth a bit more, then turn the heat down to low.

9. Combine the arrowroot with the wine (or substitute) in a small bowl. Stir until it is dissolved. Add this to the pan and simmer over low heat until the sauce thickens slightly.

Roasted Red Pepper, Corn & Garbanzo Bean Salad

Prep time: 1 hr (but only because it's served chilled--if you've refrigerated all the ingredients, you can make it in about 10 minutes and serve it immediately)

2 cans (15 oz. each) garbanzo beans
1 jar (16 oz.) roasted red pepper salsa
1 cup frozen whole kernel corn, thawed and drained (from a can works, too)
2 green onions, thinly sliced
8 leaf lettuce leaves
Fresh tomato wedges and sunflower sprouts (optional/garnish)

Rinse and drain beans well; place in 2 qt. casserole dish. Add roasted red pepper salsa, corn and onions; stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate 1 hr. or up to 24 hrs.

To serve, line serving platter with lettuce. Spoon bean mixture over top. Garnish with tomatoes and sprouts, if desired.

Makes 8 servings

Cheeseburger Calzones

Prep time: 1/2 hr.

1 lb ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1 jar (26 oz.) pasta sauce
1 jar (8 oz.) marinated mushrooms, drained and chopped (optional)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (about 4 oz.)
1 package (12 oz./8 count) refrigerated large flaky biscuits

Preheat oven to 375. In 12-inch skillet, brown ground beef with onion and salt over medium-high heat; drain. Stir in 1 cup pasta sauce, mushrooms and cheese.

Roll or press out each biscuit to a 6 in. circle. Place 1/2 cup beef mixture on each dough circle; fold over and press edges to close. Seal completely by pressing along edges firmly with tines of fork.

With large spatula, gently arrange on cookie sheets. Bake 13 minutes or until golden. Serve with remaining sauce, heated.

The sauce freezes and thaws well, so this is easy to prepare in large batches, then serve in small ones later.

Makes 8 servings

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Gluten-Free Blog

My friend Marci has celiac disease and loves to cook. She keeps a blog of all the meals she makes called On My Menu. I've posted the link to her gluten-free list of recipes on the right hand side of our blog. She has some great recipes! Her oven fried chicken and chicken and broccoli stir fry are some of my favorites.

spaghetti alfredo

Alfredo Sauce:
1 foil wrapped package cream cheese
1/2 stick butter
1 glass of milk
1 handful of dried cranberries
1/2 tsp salt
1 handful of chopped walnuts
Some spices like marjarjom or rosemary
ground dry cheese like you put on speghetti

Melt the butter and cream cheese, stirring into a thick paste. Add some of that ground dry cheese you put on spaghetti. Add the milk a bit at a time so it gets mixed in thoroughly. Add the rest of the ingredients. Add brown sugar to taste. Cook it until it starts to change into something else.

Just cook dried spaghetti from a box. Or you can cook rice instead.

put the sauce on the spaghetti.

serve with fruits and vegetables, like green beans from the produce aisle. Or baby salad.


Thai Coconut Shrimp

2 Tbsp peanut oil
1 lb shrimp
1 lb zucchini, cubed
1 red pepper, cubed
1 Tbsp minced ginger
1 can unsweetened coconut milk (I checked the can I had and it's GF)
juice of 1 lime
1 1/2 Tbsp soy sauce (omit to get lose MSG)
1 1/2 tsp chili paste (add fresh chilis, use chili powder, or omit for GF)
1-2 tsp dried basil

At medium-high heat
1) Sautee the shrimp in 1 Tbsp oil until they're just pink, but not fully cooked. Set aside
2) Add zucchini, red pepper, and remaining oil to pan and cook until soft, about 4 mins.
3) Add ginger, cook for 30 seconds
4) Add coconut milk, lime juice, soy sauce, and chili paste. Stir to dissolve chili paste.
5) Turn to medium heat, add shrimp, and cook until sauce thickens.
5) Serve over jasmine rice.

* The actual recipe calls for 3 Tbsp lime juice. We've made this three times and gone from 3, to 2, to 1 Tbsp of juice. I thinks it's too acidic with more, but you could try it out.
The recipe also calls for fresh basil, but I never have on hand nor buy fresh basil, so I don't know how much the recipe calls for. What I wrote is how much dried basil I use. You could mess with that too.
We've added green pepper and onion on occasion to this recipe as well. But I like the original veggies the best.


Big Batch Normal Batch Ingredient
3 Tbsp 3 Tbsp sugar
4 ½ 3 eggs
3/8 C ¼ C melted butter
2 tsp 2 tsp vanilla
2 ¼ C 1 ½ C flour
¼ tsp ¼ tsp salt
¾ tsp ½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp ¼ tsp baking soda
4 ½ C 3 C milk

Mix sugar, eggs, butter, and vanilla together in blender

Mix dry ingredients together

Add dry ingredients alternating with milk while blender is continuously running

Cook over medium- med/high heat

Taco Soup

Brown 1 lb ground beef or turkey with a small onion and a package of taco seasoning.
Mix in a big pot and heat:
1 can kidney beans, or chili beans (meaning, kidney beans with some flavoring)
1 can black beans
8 oz can green chilis
1 can corn
1 can carrots
1 can diced tomatoes (you can get these with chili flavoring too)
8 oz can tomato sauce
No need to drain the cans as it adds some moisture to keep it soupy rather than thick

When the meat is done, mix it into the canned stuff. Serve with shredded cheese and sour cream and nachos. Or serve it in bread bowls.

GFCF options: use frozen or fresh varieties of the same thing. This makes a TON of soup.

Chicken Enchiladas

1/2 C diced onion
2 Tbsp butter
1 (8 oz) can diced green chilis (though I often double it-- we like it spicier)
1 package (8 oz?) cream cheese, softened
2 Tbsp milk
1/2 tsp cumin
4 C chopped, cooked chicken

flour tortillas

1 can cream of chicken soup
1 C sour cream
1 C milk
3/4 C shredded cheese

Sautee onion in butter over medium heat till browned. Stir in 1 Tbsp green chilis (I add one can).
Combine cream cheese, 2 Tbsp milk, cumin. Stir in chicken and the onion/chili mix.
Spoon 3 Tbsp mix in each tortilla and roll. Place in baking dish
Combine remaining chilis, soup, sour cream, 1 C milk. Mix well and spoon over enchiladas.
Cover with foil. Bake at 350 for 35 min. Remove foil, sprinkle on cheese, bake until cheese melts.

I mess with this recipe a lot. Sometimes I add chili powder to the chicken mix, sometimes some of the soup to the mix. Sometimes I squirt some ranch dressing into the sauce if I don't have any sour cream. I've used plain yogurt instead of sour cream. Sometimes we make 1/2 the sauce and pour it over the enchiladas and THEN we pour a can of green enchilada sauce over the top. We're not too strict on the amount of chicken either. I usually use 3-4 breasts to one package of cream cheese. Also, I sometimes cook a bunch of chicken breasts and then freeze them to use in recipes like this or chicken salad to cut down on prep time, but I think they taste better fresh.

Beef Enchiladas

Brown 1 lb ground beef or turkey with one red onion

In a sauce pan, combine:
1 can tomato soup
1 can red enchilada sauce
1 can cream of mushroom soup

Dip corn tortillas in heated sauce to soften them. Put some beef/onion mix and some shredded cheese in the tortilla and roll it up. Cover the rolled enchiladas with remaining sauce and shredded cheese. Bake at 350 for 25 min or until hot and cheese is melted.

Spritz Cookies

1 tsp baking powder
4 C flour,sifted
1 C sugar
1 1/2 C butter
2 Tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1/2 tsp almond extract

bake at 400 for approx 8 min or until bottom of cookie is golden

Rice and Sausage

1 lb of sausage
1 cup celery and 1 cup onion cooked with sausage
1 box both packs of dry chicken noodle soup (delete or replace with GF noodles)
1-2 cups of rice
chicken bouillon/ soup base to taste (NO MSG!)
enough boiling water to cover
some pepper
bake at 350 until water is absorbed (about 40 min if water is boiling, 60 min if not)

Corn Bread


Beat Until Stiff: 4 egg whites

Blend Together:
4 egg yolks
1 (13 oz) can evaporated milk
3/4 C melted butter
1 1/2 C white sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 C cornmeal

Sift together:
2 C white flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Add flour mix to cornmeal mix
Fold in egg whites
Pour into greased jelly roll pan (10 or 11x15 in)
Bake at 325 for 20-25 min
Done when center is firm but sticky on top


1 C butter
1 C sugar
1/4 C water

Stir everything together over medium to med/high heat with a wooden spoon. Stir constantly, scraping bottom of pan. If candy starts to brown more quickly than you can stir, turn down the temperature. Once the candy starts to get frothy and the right color, pour onto a greased marble slab (or marble counter top) to cool.

I've never made this using a thermometer. I just judge it by the color. The lighter the color, the softer the toffee. I tend to like mine on the softer and crumbly side, but if you just cook it longer, you can get it much darker/harder without burning it.

Chicken Salad

2 Large Chicken breasts
3-4 stalks celery
1/3 lb red grapes halved
1/2 can cashew pieces (optional)
A couple TB of Hellman's mayonnaise (GF) -- be sure to use real mayo. salad dressing won't work
Season with black pepper and garlic powder

Serves 4 with some leftovers

Cut the chicken into strips and boil them till cooked through I usually check them when the pieces are floating. Chop up everything else and mix it with enough mayo to coat everything. Season it at will.

Try adding peppers, cold pasta, tomatoes, etc.

Eat it by itself or on toasted croissants.