Sunday, December 27, 2015

Egg in the Middle

Now this is a very old recipe that is a tradition in our family!....My Mom used to make this for me when I was little and I used to make it for my kids, it is still one of their favorites!..... And I would make it for their friends when they spent the night!......Well I still make it today and everyone loves them.....It is getting your eggs and toast all in one. I know there are other names for this like Egg in the hole or Hen in the basket.....But we have always called them Egg in the middle!....I used a flower cookie cutter, but you could use a heart or a round shape..Here is what I do ...Enjoy!
Bread of your choice
1. Using cookie cutter of your choice, cut out center of bread
2. Butter both sides and add to a heated and buttered skillet
3. Add egg to center and let cook for 4-5 minutes
4. Butter both sides the cutout piece of bread and add to pan, flip  when golden
5. Flip bread with egg over and cook for 1 -3 minutes, (you can lift corner with spatula and check for doneness)
6. Add to plate and use the bread around the egg and your extra piece to dunk!

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Braised Short Ribs (slow cooker)

Well lately for some reason every time we go out to dinner and there have been Short Ribs on the menu I have been ordering them!.....There is just something about this comfort food that made me want to try and make them myself....after researching a lot of recipes this is what I came up with......I don't know if my husband was just being nice, but he said they were the best he has ever had!...So I guess I will be making them a lot more often!....Here is what I did...Enjoy!

6 whole short ribs (cut into 3)
salt and pepper
2 Tablespoons olive oil +1 Tablespoon butter
1 onion chopped
1/2 cup dry red wine
2 cloves garlic minced
2/3 cup ketchup
2 Tablespoons agave nectar
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
3 Tablespoons Liquid Amino's (braggs)
2 Cups beef broth
1/2 teaspoon ground thyme
2 Tablespoons cornstarch (divided)
sauce ingredients
1. Cut ribs into thirds and trim any excess fat off the edge. Salt and pepper them
2. Add oil and butter to fry pan and add the ribs, in batches if you have to...brown both sides and add to crock pot when done...leaving the juices in the pan.
3. Add chopped onion to the pan and cook about 10 minutes add the wine and cook 5 more minutes add the minced garlic and then the rest of the sauce ingredients at the end whisk in 1 Tablespoon of cornstarch before adding over the ribs in crock pot
4. Cover and cook on low for 8-9 hours
5. When done sauce may be a little oily, ladle out a couple of ladles full of sauce into a saucepan and heat on medium and add 1 Tablespoon of cornstarch whisking until thick, once thick add this back to crockpot, this will give you a nice rich gravy.
I served over mashed potatoes with a side of glazed carrots!
ribs do shrink a lot when cooking, you can add more than 6 if needed

Monday, December 14, 2015

Shrimp Lo Mein (gluten free)

I am becoming a big fan of these Asian rice noodles I have been using lately. I would always see them in the grocery store and finely decided to give them a try!....They can be used for a lot of your pasta recipes..You can switch out the shrimp in here and use chicken and you can also use broccoli instead of peas!...I used what veggies I had on hand. You can conform this any way you like using your favorites!...I also used dried ginger that I found in the herb section, but you could grate fresh if you like. And I used liquid aminos instead of soy sauce to make it a little healthier....Here is what I did....Enjoy!
1 package Lo Mein noodles
2 Tablespoons sesame oil
2 carrots (Sliced)
1 package sliced mushrooms
1or1 1/2 cups frozen peas
1 shallot (diced)
1 pound raw shrimp (no tails)
scallion or green onion for garnish
1/4 cup Chicken broth
1/4 cup agave nectar
2 Tablespoons Rice Vinegar
1 Tablespoon Braggs Liquid Amino (or soy sauce)
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 clove garlic (minced)
sauce ingredients
this is the ginger I used
here are a couple versions of the rice noodles, either is fine
adding the shrimp to the veggies
1. Place all of the sauce ingredients in a bowl...whisk and set aside.
2. Heat sesame oil in pan add the vegetables and cook for 10 to 15 minutes until carrots are soft.
3. Add shrimp and cook until no longer translucent.
4. add sauce and simmer.
4. Cook noodles according to package directions.
5. Drain noodles ...quickly rinse and drain again .....add to serving bowl ...add the shrimp and veggies and toss to mix together...you can garnish with scallions or green onion

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Baking Tip......Check the date on your Baking powder

Here is a Baking tip for you, that I had to find out the hard way!
Last year my daughter and I were doing our Holiday baking and making my Italian cutout cookie recipe, we tasted one and they were awful!!
It tasted like I had put a cup of salt in them....so we threw that batch away and started over. Well the second batch tasted the same way, needless to say after the third time I went one by one and checked each ingredient I used. The culprit was expired Baking Powder!,,,I felt bad wasted all of those ingredients,,,It was very frustrating!.....So now I always check the dates on all of the ingredients I am using.....Lesson Learned!!

Friday, December 4, 2015

Gluten- free Butter Balls (Snowballs)

Well I have been in the test kitchen working to see if I could convert all of my regular holiday cookie recipes to be gluten free...So far my S- cookie recipe was a winner!...So I thought I would try one of my other favorites the Butter Ball! Some people call these Snowball cookies....The thing with gluten free baking is that dough can become crumbly and not hold together because of the lack in gluten, so some sort of binder needs to be added to compensate for that. That is where  the ingredient Xanthum gum comes in. Another ingredient used is Guar gum (Bob's Red Mill brand has both of these)..well I used both in this recipe for insurance because the texture of this cookie can be crumbly to begin with and it worked!....If you don't need this cookie to be Gluten-free you can omit the xanthum and guar gums and just use the same amount of regular flour...I used Bob's Red Mill 1 to 1 baking flour(pictured below) for this and the other cookies I have tested and it has been working really well....Well here is what I did ....Enjoy!
2 1/4 Cups Bob's 1 to 1 flour...or Regular
1/2 Cup Confectioners Sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon Xanthum gum
1 teaspoon Guar gum
1/2 Cup chopped nuts (I used pecans)
1 Cup (2 sticks) soft butter 
1 teaspoon vanilla
More confectioner sugar for rolling cooled cookies in
Here is the flour below
In your mixer with dough hook attachment,  add the flour, sugar, salt and the gums and give it a few rounds of mixing on low to blend
Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until everything is incorporated
It should look like this
It will look a little crumbly...but when you roll into ball and squeeze together from hand to hand it gets moist and comes together.
I used a tablespoon size cookie scoop to measure size and then roll into a ball
Place onto a cookie sheet (I used a silpat)
Bake at 350 for 8 minutes...
bottom will be golden
When cool roll into a bowl of Confectioner Sugar
You can store in a seal tight container until serving
(If they last that long!)
This recipe yields about 4 dozen, depending on size
If you don't have a mixer this can be mixed by hand
Do not roll these too big...these tend to be better on the smaller side


Friday, November 27, 2015

Italian Cutout Cookies

This cutout cookie recipe has been in the family for years!....And it is the only recipe I use for my Christmas cookies but it can be used for any occasion you need a cutout recipe for. I just recently started using this glaze (included below) for these cookies. In the past I have also frosted with canned vanilla frosting and then topped with sprinkles the choice is yours....This recipe can make up to 100 cookies so you can cut it in half if you only want to try a small batch!...Here is what I do...Enjoy!

6 cups Flour
2 cups Sugar
8 teaspoons baking powder
6 Eggs
2 1/2 sticks Butter (softened)
3 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350
Mix all of the ingredients to form dough....I start with the butter and eggs then add the rest....you can use your stand mixer with dough hook
Using plenty of flour, roll out dough about 1/4 inch thick.
Cutout with your favorite cookie cutters. Place on cookie sheet.
Bake in 350 oven for 6-10 minutes or until bottom is lightly golden. These cookies do puff a little and should be very light and airy,,,not thin and crispy
When cool you can frost with my cookie glaze that dries hard and shiny
2-1/4 cups Confectioners Sugar
2 Tablespoons light corn syrup (Karo)
2 Tablespoons milk + more
1-2 drops almond extract
Add sugar to mixing bowl add corn syrup....then add milk 2 Tablespoons at a time and mix until it becomes a spreadable consistency...you can add food coloring or a different extract flavor if you like

Gluten - free Bread or Rolls

Well I have been fiddling with bread recipes for a while now.....bread has to be one of the hardest things to make gluten free but it is one of my most favorite things and the one I miss the most! Once I tested this combination of ingredients and flours (a lot)....I knew I had something I could live with and enjoy!....I have baked this recipe in loaf pans and mini loaf pans, but I just recently baked in a muffin tin for dinner rolls and they were fabulous!,,,Especially when I eat it my favorite way which is dipping it in olive oil with parmesan cheese and adding a little balsamic vinegar or my husbands home made pesto!....Well here is what I did....Enjoy!
1 cup white rice flour Bob's red mill
1 cup Pamelas artisan flour
1 cup arrowroot flour
1 Tablespoon xanthum gum
1 teaspoon salt
here are the flours I used
this is the yeast I used
1 -1/2 cups warm water
2 Tablespoons active dry yeast
2 Tablespoons honey
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar (Braggs)
3 egg whites (room temp)
Preheat oven to 350
In your mixer with the dough hook adapter... add all of the dry ingredients and give it a few rounds of mixing to blend
In a 2 cup capacity measuring cup add 1 1/2 cups warm water and stir in the yeast until dissolved.....add the honey olive oil and vinegar and stir to combine.
Start adding the liquid to the flour mixture and mix until all combined
In a small bowl add egg whites and mix with a fork....add the eggs to the dough and mix (the dough will be a little sticky)
You will have enough dough for 2 regular loaf pans or 4 mini loaves
Spray your pan and divide dough and add to pans...use wet fingers to smooth the top of the bread
I added pans to the microwave to rise and draped with a kitchen towel
Let rise until it doubles in size (about a half hour)
Bake bread in a Preheated 350 degree oven for about 50-60 minutes until golden brown on top.
Here is how the rolls looked!
Let bread cool and enjoy!


Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Slow Cooker Chicken Marsala

I have just recently become a fan of Chicken Marsala. But I really wanted to try and make it a little simpler. So through some trial and error I came up with a way to do it in the Crock Pot, which I love that you can do!...This is the time of year that I get it out of the pantry and pretty much never put it away!...Well here is what I did...Enjoy!

4 chicken breasts
salt and pepper
3/4 Cup Marsala wine
1 shallot (sliced)
3-4 cloves garlic (minced)
2 bay leaves
16 ounce package sliced mushrooms
2 Tablespoons arrowroot flour + 3 Tablespoons water **
parsley for garnish
 ** you can use regular flour or cornstarch in place of arrowroot
preheat crockpot on low
1. Salt and pepper chicken breast and place in a non stick sprayed crock pot.
2. Add Marsala wine, shallot, garlic and bay leaves
3. Top with mushrooms
4. Cover pot and cook on low 5-6 hours
5. Remove chicken (gently)
6. In a small bowl whisk together flour and water until smooth then add to crock pot and whisk into sauce..... you can also add more salt if needed
7. Add chicken back in and cook another 30 minutes
8. Serve over pasta or rice if you like and top with chopped parsley

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Cherry and Apple Pie Oatmeal Cookies

Well, I have been working on this recipe for a couple of days trying to perfect it!.... Coming up with a recipe that is gluten free and with low or no sugar can be quite difficult, the dried cherries and tart apples add some sweetness to these, you could also add chopped walnuts if you like! I used gluten free flour, but you could use regular in the same amount and omit the xanthum gum...Also if you are not worried about sugar you can use brown sugar instead of the honey.....Here is what I did....Enjoy!

1  1/2 cup quick oats
3/4 cup flour (I used gluten free)
1  1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1  1/2 teaspoon xanthum gum (if using gluten free flour)
2 eggs beaten
1 stick softened butter
2 Tablespoons coconut oil (melted)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup honey (or 1 cup packed brown sugar)
1 cup dry cherries
1 green apple (peeled and diced)
Preheat oven to 350
Add all of the dry ingredients to a bowl and whisk to mix
in another bowl add all of the wet ingredients and whisk together
Add the wet to the dry to incorporate together
then add the cherries and apples
Drop by spoonful onto lined cookie sheet and bake for about 12 minutes until golden

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Pumpkin Spice Doughnuts W/Chocolate - honey glaze (gluten free)

Being gluten free one thing I really miss is doughnuts!......So I was on a mission to try and come up with a recipe.....after much trial and error this is what I came up with! Being Fall, I thought I would try and make a pumpkin doughnut, but now that I have this recipe as a base I may be trying others, I think chocolate flavor may be what I try next, I also glazed these with chocolate and honey mixed together, but you could also dust with powder sugar if you like.....You will need a donut pan to make these....I found a Wilton brand one at Bed, Bath and Beyond....Well here is what I did...Enjoy!

4 eggs
1/2 cup honey
1 cup pure pumpkin (I use Libby's 100% in can)
3/4 cup almond milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup almond meal/flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons allspice
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips (enjoy life brand)
1/3 cup honey
add to a glass bowl and microwave for about 20-25 seconds....remove and start stirring until smooth
Here are the chocolate chips I use for glaze
Preheat oven to 350
Add all of the wet ingredients to your mixer with whisk attachment or blender (I used my Ninja).
Blend to mix and then add all of the dry ingredients and blend until mixed well.
Add a Gallon size Ziploc bag into a large cup and fold over the top (this is an easy way to fill your bag)
Once batter is in bag you will squeeze from top to slide it to corner where you will be snipping with scissors (you can set this aside while you prep donut pan)
Spray your donut pan with nonstick spray
Snip the corner of the bag (not too big) and start piping batter into each vessel of the pan
Smooth out the batter and tamp the pan down
And then bake for 20 minutes
Once baked let cool slightly and remove from pan
You can put a cookie sheet on top of donut pan and then flip over
The bottom smooth part is the side I glazed
Once cool you can glaze or dust with sugar as you like

Monday, September 21, 2015

Zucchini Fritter (Waffles)

So what do you do with a huge zucchini you got from the farmer?.....Make zucchini fritters of course!.....The only hesitation I usually have is the mess it makes to fry them up...problem solved by making them in the waffle iron!,,,No muss no fuss...This was the easiest thing ever, just mix your ingredients and drop them into the center of your heated waffle iron that you spray with non stick spray....I just love this, I will definitely be making them this way all of the time!...Here is what I did....Enjoy!
2-3 cups shredded zucchini
1 egg (beaten)
1/2 cup grated parmesan
1/2 cup flour (I used gluten free) see note below, you can use less flour if you desire
salt and pepper
Shred zucchini and then squeeze as much of the water out of it as you can
Place zucchini in a bowl ...add beaten egg and the cheese and flour, mix well season with salt and pepper
Scoop mixture into center of heated and sprayed waffle iron and cook until golden brown......remove and garnish with more parmesan if you like
The next time I made these I only added a couple Tablespoons of flour...you could taste more of the zucchini and less batter, they were very good, so the option is yours!


Friday, September 11, 2015

Easy Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes

My Mom makes a great scalloped potato that everyone just loves when she has them!,,,The only problem is she doesn't use a recipe!....so trying to recreate them is not very easy,,,,well I thought I would try and come up with a version...they aren't as good as hers but it's a start and my family gave them the thumbs up!...Here is what I did....Enjoy!

10 small to medium Idaho potatoes
1 -1/2 cups fat free half and half
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese (plus more for sprinkling)
2 cloves garlic (minced)
1/3 cup fine Italian breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons butter
salt and pepper
2 cups Monterey Jack cheese (divided)
Preheat oven to 400
(total cooking time about 1 hour)
Cut potatoes into chunks and place in a large bowl
In a saucepan add the half and half, parmesan cheese
and garlic...add salt and pepper, simmer on low-medium for a few minutes until heated through and then pour over potatoes
Add the bread crumbs and 1 cup of the Monterey Jack cheese and mix well together.
Pour into a greased casserole dish that has a lid and sprinkle with a little more parmesan cheese and 1/2 cup of the Monterey cheese
dollop the butter on top
Cover and bake for 45 - 50 minutes
once it looks done and bubbly add the other 1/2 cup of Monterey and finish cooking uncovered until browned to your liking

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Refrigerator Pickles/Vegetables

I have been wanting to try pickling for a while!......Now I am hooked and want to pickle everything!......I don't know if I will ever buy pickles at the grocery store again...These were so tasty and very easy to make.....In this batch I prepared pickling cucumbers  ( I crinkle cut, but you could cut into spears if you like) and asparagus, but I plan to do some green beans and beets also....the beets you would roast or boil first but the cucumbers asparagus and green beans can be raw....how good would the asparagus and green beans be to garnish a  Bloody Mary!.....Other veggie options could be carrots, cauliflower, or anything else you may like! This recipe will make 2 - 1 quart mason jars of the veggies of your choice....Here is what I did...Enjoy!

Here are my pickles and asparagus
and my green beans and beets!
4 Cups water
10 cloves garlic
2 Cups white distilled vinegar
2 Tablespoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon celery seed
1 teaspoon mustard seed
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon whole peppercorns
(or you can use pickling spice which has all of these 4 spices in it)
a few sprigs of fresh dill (for each jar)
2 clean 1 quart mason jars (I used wide mouth)
In a pan bring the 4 cups of water to a boil....once it boils turn down to simmer and add the 10 garlic cloves....cook for 5 minutes
Add the vinegar and salt, raise the heat and bring to boil to dissolve salt
Meanwhile divide the spices and dill between the 2 jars (I added a pinch of pickling spice also)....pack with the veggies of your choice.
Remove garlic from pan and smash with the back of a knife. Add 5 cloves of garlic to each jar and then pour the vinegar mixture into each jar over the veggies.....let it cool on counter before adding the lids... they will be ready to eat once cool, but the longer you wait the more pickle taste you will get!.....you can refrigerate for up to 3 months (if they last that long!)