Monday, September 29, 2014

Caramel Grapes

How adorable are these to add to your next cheese platter!!,,,,These are a cute little bite size appetizer or dessert,,,,would even be fun and easy for the kids to assemble!..And great for Fall entertaining, they look like a mini caramel apple.....Here is what I did....Enjoy!

green seedless grapes
caramel dip
chopped peanuts
Take a couple Tablespoons of caramel dip and add to a microwave safe bowl
Microwave dip in 10 second increments.....stir
add a toothpick to grape (I inserted at opposite end of where stem was so it stands up)
Dip grape into caramel and then nuts!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Chicken Pot Pie Soup with Puff Pastry Biscuits

One of my most favorite comfort foods has to be chicken pot pie!,,,,I have never attempted to make one from scratch, it always seemed a little intimidating to me. I am not very good with pie crust!
So I thought a soup might be more up my alley, I decided to take some puff pastry dough and cut it with a biscuit cutter and then bake them to serve along with this soup, but I think that pre made pie crust cut the same way and baked would be a good also!....The choice is yours...Here is what I did.....Enjoy!!

2 Tablespoons butter
1 small onion (diced)
2 carrots (diced)
3 celery ribs (diced)
2 large potatoes (diced)
2 Cups chicken broth
2-3 cups diced cooked chicken (I used rotisserie)
1 cup frozen peas
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon dry thyme
1/2 teaspoon dry parsley
salt and pepper
4 Tablespoons butter
6 Tablespoons flour
2 1/2 Cups milk
1 Package puff pastry (2)sheets thawed according to package

Remove puff pastry from package and cut out circles with biscuit or cookie cutter from each sheet, place on parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 350 for 15 minutes or until golden...set aside
In a Dutch oven or large pot add 2 T butter ..Saute onion, celery, carrot
and potatoes for 3-4 minutes
Then add broth ,chicken breast, peas and spices
bring to boil then cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes
stirring occasionally
then in a another saucepan add 4 Tablespoons butter on low add flour and stir with a whisk until mixed then add milk and whisk until smooth add this mixture to broth and vegetables,,,continue to cook and stir on low until sauce thickens
once thick add to a bowl and top each serving with biscuits

The next time I made this I used corn starch instead of flour and less butter for thickening
I used 3 Tablespoons of butter and 3 Tablespoons of cornstarch to the milk and it worked fine.....we also have used Hungry Jack Grands biscuits instead of puff pastry!


Friday, September 19, 2014

Quinoa Salad/Dip

This is a really simple Quinoa salad to make....you could use this as a side dish or serve with tortilla chips to use as a dip!......I only used tomatoes and black beans but you could add other things to this also, you could add cilantro or green onion even corn!.....Be creative and ad what you like, here are the bones to this recipe,,,Enjoy!

1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
make quinoa as directed then cool
grape tomatoes (about 15 quartered)
1 can black beans (drained)
1 clove garlic (minced)
juice of 1 small lemon
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
dash pepper
Mix cooled quinoa with the rest of the ingredients
cover and chill until ready to use

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Pumpkin Spice Muffins (gluten free)

Nothing says fall like Pumpkin!!.....I just came up with this recipe on a whim and boy are they delicious!....These would be a nice companion with a pumpkin spice latte! I just added mini chocolate chips , but I think chopped walnuts would be a great addition also, or even shelled pumpkin seeds! Add what you like, I made these gluten free, but you can also make them to be regular....Here is what I did....Enjoy!!




1- 15 ounce can 100% pure pumpkin
2 Cups Pamela's gluten free baking mix
1 Cup oatmeal (I used Bob's Red Mill gluten free)
1 egg (beaten)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon xanthum gum
pinch salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
 1 teaspoon allspice
 1/2 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350
In a bowl mix all ingredients together
Spray a muffin tin and fill 2/3 full with batter
Bake for 25 minutes
This recipe makes about 16 muffins

NOTE: I made these gluten free but I am sure you could make these regular by replacing baking mix with regular flour and use regular oatmeal...just omit the xanthum gum everything else would remain the same


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Parmesan Crusted Chicken

I love breaded chicken breast!,,,,But I wanted to see how I could make it gluten free and this is what I came up with. This is also baked not fried so that is a bonus also!.....I used gluten free flour and panko, but you could use regular if you are not concerned about it. I also sprayed the baking dish and the breaded chicken breast with cooking spray before baking. This chicken was so moist and tender, everyone loved it!!....Here is what I did....Enjoy!!

3 chicken breasts (slightly pounded)
1 egg (beaten)
1/3 Cup flour (I used Bob's Red Mill all purpose)
1/2 Cup grated parmesan cheese
4 Tablespoons panko breadcrumbs (I used gluten free)
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 350
In a shallow dish combine parmesan cheese, panko and salt and pepper
In another dish add flour and in another the beaten egg
Slightly pound each chicken breast
 dip chicken in flour then dip in beaten egg
and then coat with parmesan mixture pressing it into breast
spray a baking dish and add breaded chicken
then spray the top of each of the coated breasts
Cover dish with foil
I baked for 60 minutes and they were perfect!!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Spinach, Feta Crustless Quiche

I have always loved Quiche!....This is very close to the frittata I make, the only difference is I start the frittata out in a frying pan on the stove and then finish it off in the oven. The quiche is baked in the oven only. And you don't have to worry about a crust!... In this quiche I used spinach, mushrooms and feta  cheese, but you could use just about any vegetable you like, broccoli or zucchini would be good also, you could add whatever you choose!,,,Here is what I did....Enjoy!!

8 ounces mushrooms (sliced)
1 small shallot (sliced)
1 clove garlic (minced)
1 12 ounce bag frozen cut leaf spinach thawed and squeezed)
2 ounces feta cheese
5 eggs
1 cup milk
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 350
saute mushrooms with shallot until golden add minced garlic at the end stir set aside add
salt and pepper
Spray a pie dish with cooking spray add spinach and then mushrooms and feta
beat eggs add milk and parmesan cheese whisk together
Pour over spinach and mushrooms
top with mozzarella cheese, place pie plate on a cookie sheet and bake for about 60 minutes until center looks cooked
let cool a bit before slicing

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Gluten~Free Beer Bread

I remember years ago making beer bread from the box, I used to buy it from those home cooking parties everyone used to have!!..... For some reason I was just thinking about that bread and how I used to love making it and cutting it into cubes to use for dips!,,,,So, I thought now that they make gluten free beer maybe I could come up with a gluten free version using g~free flours and beer and I must say this turned out great! You can cut this up to use for dips or just slice and top with butter or anything else you like,,,you won't even know this is gluten free!......If you are not worried about making this gluten free,,,use 3 cups self rising flour and regular beer, and omit the xanthum gum...Here is what I came up with....Enjoy!!


2 cups Pamela's baking mix
1 cup Bob's Red Mill all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 T baking powder
1 t xanthum gum
1 bottle (12 oz.) gluten free beer I used Redbridge
2 T butter (melted)
Preheat oven to 375
Add all dry ingredients to a bowl and whisk together
Add beer and gently mix with a wooden spoon until incorporated,,,do not over mix
batter should be thick....pour into a sprayed loaf pan top with melted butter and bake for 40 to 50 minutes and crust is browned......remove from oven and let cool until slicing

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

One Pot Taco Mac

Here is another great one pot dish!!....I didn't have any elbow macaroni on hand which is what I would usually make this recipe with, so I used penne pasta and it was still super delicious!.....Here is what I did.....Enjoy!!

1 pound ground sirloin
I small onion (diced)
salt and pepper
2 Cups Elbow Macaroni
1- 15 ounce can corn
1- 15 ounce can black beans
1- 14 1/2 ounce can petite diced tomatoes
1- 32 ounce box of chicken broth
1 package mild taco seasoning mix (I used McCormick brand)
salt and pepper
Sour Cream
Shredded cheddar cheese
Crushed tortilla chips
Brown beef and onions until beef is no longer pink add salt and pepper
Add the rest of the ingredients stir and bring to a boil
Once it comes to a boil turn to low cover and simmer
Checking and stirring every 10 minutes until pasta is cooked
add more salt and pepper to taste if needed
Garnish with sour cream, shredded cheddar and crushed tortilla chips

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Steamed Mussels

I have to say Steamed Mussels have become one of my new favorite things to order when we are in Florida!!,,,I love trying all of the different versions, but of course I have my favorite places to get them!....And I must say this recipe is pretty close to the ones I love!!...And its nice to be able to make them for yourself and your guests at home. When I went to my fish market to get the mussels they didn't have any fresh in the case, but they did have them vacuum sealed and frozen, I didn't know you could get them this way! The gentleman explained to me that they were already cooked and you throw them in the pot frozen and steam 5-7 minutes. They turned out great!,,,Its nice to know if I can't get fresh mussels that I can keep the frozen ones on hand!,,,Well here is what I did....Enjoy!

2 pounds mussels
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 shallot (minced) or 1 small onion
2 cloves garlic (minced)
1/4 teaspoon dry thyme
2 Tablespoons dry parsley
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup chicken broth
pinch red pepper flakes
1 14 1/2 ounce can petite diced tomatoes
2 Tablespoons butter
If using fresh mussels rinse and scrub with a veggie brush under cold water set aside
In a stockpot or Dutch oven saute the shallot in olive oil until soft
Then add the thyme and parsley
Add minced garlic give a stir then add the broth, wine and pepper flakes
Toss in the mussels and stir cover and cook over medium heat for about 7 minutes
or until shells are opened
Take cover off and add tomatoes and butter stir and cook another minute or so
until butter melts
Serve with plenty of crusty bread or garlic bread to sop up this tasty juice!
*NOTE........do not eat unopened mussels

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

One Pot Spinach Artichoke Pasta

These one pot recipes are becoming one of my favorite things to make!....I love that you can keep all of the ingredients on hand to make them ,,,,,between the pantry and the freezer you can stock up on certain ingredients to make different combinations of these one pot recipes,,,,Here is what I did.....Enjoy!!

5 Cups Chicken broth (I used a 32 ounce box and an 8 ounce box)
1- 14 1/2 ounce box of spaghetti noodles ( I use the Barilla in the yellow box)
1 can quartered artichokes  (in water drained)
1 can sliced mushrooms (you can use fresh also)
2 Cups frozen spinach
1 small onion (sliced)
2-3 cloves garlic (minced)
1 teaspoon dry oregano
1/2 teaspoon dry thyme
salt and pepper
grated parmesan (for garnish)
Add all ingredients to a large pot with lid or Dutch oven
breaking pasta to fit......stir together...
bring to boil uncovered, stir then turn to simmer and cover pot......cook until liquid is gone about 20-25 minutes...checking and stirring every 10 minutes
top each serving with parmesan cheese