Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Skillet Nachos

So this is my new way of making Nacho's!!,,,When my kids were younger I would throw some tortilla chips on a cookie sheet with some shredded cheddar,,,cook them in the oven and call it a day!,,,They were easy for me to make and they were happy so all was good,,,,Well now that their taste buds have become a bit more sophisticated , I had to step it up a notch,,,Don't get me wrong, these are still very easy to make and what's nice about it is you can add whatever you like. I will tell you what I did and give you some options on what you can do to!...Here is what I did ,,,Enjoy!

Cast Iron Skillet (or one that is oven safe)
Tortilla Chips
Shredded Cheddar
Black Beans
Sweet Corn
Shredded Cooked Chicken
Avocado (add after baking)
Sour Cream (for dipping)
Ground Beef
Black Olives
Green Peppers
Place tortilla chips in skillet....add cheese,,,then veggies and meat you like
then more cheese
Repeat to top
Bake in 350 oven until cheese melts,,,you can add back in oven if needed

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Cheesy Quinoa Bake

Here is a healthier version of Mac and Cheese!!,,,This is assembled pretty much the way the normal mac and cheese with pasta is, but pasta s replaced with Quinoa!....also the quinoa is cooked in chicken broth and when I made this I didn't have enough shredded cheddar on hand so I tossed in some cubed Velveeta,,,which is an option also,,,,Here is what I did,,,,Enjoy!!

1 cup dry quinoa
2 cups chicken broth
4 oz cream cheese
1 1/2 Cups shredded cheddar
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
preheat oven to 350
Prepare quinoa as directed using chicken broth in place of water
Once done add cream cheese, parmesan cheese and 1 cup of the shredded and mix well...add salt and pepper and stir...once mixed,,,top with remaining shredded cheddar and cover and bake for 15 minutes or until cheese is melted
**NOTE ( I really like the addition of Velveeta to this recipe,,,,I think I will add in future,,,it gives a nice creamy texture!)

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Avocado~Feta Dip

Let me first warn you about this dip,,,,It is Highly addictive!! My sister in~law Sharon served this on Mothers Day, and I literally could not step away from the bowl!!,,,,,,She was nice enough to give me the recipe so I could share!!,,,,,After getting the recipe I made and served it to my Euchre girls, and it was a big hit!!,,,,So now this will be my go to dip to make,,,,it is very easy and I must tell you I think the  ground Cumin spice in here is what gives it such a distinctive flavor,,,,so if you don't have any, I highly suggest you purchase some before making this!,,,I served with both Pita Chips (TownHouse came out with a great Mediterranean Herb one, shown below) and Multi~Grain Tostito scoops,,,,,Here is what you do,,,,Enjoy!!

2 Avocados (diced)
4 Roma Tomatoes (diced)
1/2 Red Onion (finely diced)
4 oz. Feta Cheese
1/2 lime (to squeeze on avocado)
1 T Ground Cumin
1 t Kosher Salt
1/4 C Olive Oil
1 T Red Wine Vinegar
Dice tomatoes and onion and add to a bowl,,,,add Feta and the rest of the ingredients except the Avocado and lime juice
and mix together
I Diced the avocado added to a separate bowl added the lime juice (to prevent browning) and lightly tossed
add the avocado last to the tomato mixture and gently mix
Cover and refrigerate a couple of hours until ready to serve...Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Holy Cannoli Trifle

I have been seeing a lot of recipes lately using cannoli cream,,,,,Cannoli's are one of my familys favorite Italian desserts!!.....Well I had bought some Lady Fingers (spongy soft  kind) and was going to make something else with them,and just figured why not make a Trifle out of them with a cannoli cream filling! I have also made these as an individual dessert,,,The choice is yours!,,,,Also if you can't find Lady fingers I am sure you could use pound cake (cubed),,,,Here is what I did!,,,,Enjoy!

2 Packages soft Lady fingers
2 C ricotta cheese
1 17.5 oz container Marscapone cheese**
1 C confectioners sugar
1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 t vanilla
1/2 t cinnamon
1 8 oz container cool whip
sliced almonds for garnish
about 1 cup mini chocolate chips
In a mixer with whisk attachment add ricotta, marscapone, powder sugar, condensed milk
vanilla and cinnamon
whip until creamy....set aside
arrange Lady Fingers in bottom of trifle bowl....top with 1/3 cannoli cream
sprinkle with chocolate chips
Repeat 2 more times ending with cannoli cream then chocolate chips
Finally top with cool whip, almonds and sprinkle with chocolate chips
Refrigerate until ready to serve
Here they are as an individual dessert!
**Marscapone is like an Italian cream cheese,,,It can be found in most Italian
Specialty markets it comes in a plastic tub like cream cheese does!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Gluten~Free Pizza Crust

So after all of my years of cooking and baking gluten free, one thing I had never tackled was pizza crust!,,,And with my family being in the pizza business and all, you would think that would have been the first thing I tried!!,,,,Well I figured it was time to throw my hat in the ring and give it a whirl!,,,,After I came up with this recipe I was crossing my fingers hoping it would turn out ok!,,,After it was baked I had my daughter try a piece to see what she thought,,,when she had a second piece I knew I had something!!,,,Well here is what I did,,,Good luck!

1 1/2 C All Purpose GF flour (I used Bobs Red Mill)
1 1/2 C Brown Rice flour (I used Bobs Red Mill)
2 T corn starch
2 t xanthum gum
1 t salt
1 t sugar
1 package rapid rise yeast
2 T olive oil
2 t apple cider vinegar
1 T honey
1 1/2 C warm water
Preheat oven to 400
In a bowl combine all dry ingredients and stir with a whisk,,,set aside
In another bowl add all wet ingredients and set aside
Add bowl of dry ingredients in your stand mixer with dough attachement
add some of the wet and mix at low speed...keep adding more of the wet ingredients and mix until
ball forms,,,you can put speed a little higher,,,if it looks too sticky add more all purpose gf flour
pour dough onto floured surface and knead
Meanwhile take a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and brush it with olive oil
Once you have your ball of dough
place in middle of baking sheet and start patting it down with your fingers and form into shape you want,,,make sure it is not to thick and even all around...once it is to your liking
place in oven and bake for 10 minutes
When dough comes out of oven I brushed  whole crust with olive oil and sprinkled with parmesan cheese
Then I added my family pizza sauce
And topped it with "off the block" shredded Mozzarella from the package,,,decorate with what you like
then drizzle with more sauce and sprinkle with parmesan cheese and oregano!! Place back in 400 degree oven until cheese is good and melted,,let rest a minute before cutting
NOTE*** I did not let this dough rest or "proof" before I baked,,,but I am sure you could
I may try next time just to see if there is any difference!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Gluten~Free Almond Bread

Trying to find a good gluten free bread can be a very hard task!!,,,,,They are very hard to come by, and although this recipe isn't like normal sliced bread, I find that this can be a great alternative.
It has a great flavor with the almond flour. You could also make French toast out of this, or you could even cut it in cubes and use it to dip into hommus or spinach dip!,,,I found myself just adding butter to a slice,,,,It is also very easy to make,,,Here is what I did,,,,Enjoy!!


2Cups Almond Flour (I use Bob's Red Mill)
2T Coconut flour (Bob's Red Mill)
T baking soda
¼t salt
2t xanthum gum
1T honey
½Cup coconut oil (melted)


Add all dry ingredients to bowl,,,whisk together to blend... in a separate bowl whisk together eggs honey and oil add wet ingredients to dry and mix well pour into a greased or sprayed loaf pan cook at 350 for 35 minutes and check with a toothpick until it comes out clean

**crust will be dark

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Beer Butt Chicken

I love that spring is here so that we can grill!!,,,,even though we do grill sometimes in the winter,,,,It is definitely more fun when it is warmer outside!,,,,One of the things we love to grill is Beer Butt Chickens,,,we have been making it this way for years,,,I even found a stand to insert your beer can in with makes it a little sturdier, I also place everything in a foil roasting pan to catch all of the juices....For preparing this way you only leave 1/2 of the beer in the can (which my husband doesn't mind taking care of!),,,We use a dry rub on ours,,,,,,He also cuts a lemon in half and inserts it under the skin,,,which he says is for flavor,,well it does look pretty funny too!!...These are also great for a large crowd...we have done 3-4 at a time!,,,Here is what we do,,,Enjoy!!

1 whole Chicken
1 can of any beer (1/2 removed)
1 lemon (cut in half)
dry rub (recipe below)
1 T sea salt
1 T granulated garlic
1 T granulated onion
1 t dry thyme
2 t paprika
1 t dry mustard
2 t cumin
1/2 t black pepper
Prepare your chicken by rinsing, patting dry and then rubbing with the dry rub
Cut lemon in half and slide under skin above breast (we secured with toothpicks)
If you don't have a stand for can, you can place chicken right over can of beer
Place in a foil roasting pan and place on grill and cook until browned
and temperature has reached 180 degrees
NOTE...I have also done it this way in the oven,,,which is another option!