Saturday, October 11, 2014

Creamy Baked Acorn Squash

It's my favorite time of year, squash season!!  I love the creamy warmth of slow roasted squash!  Butternut, acorn, Hubbard, you name the squash and I'm all in! I usually fix acorn squash with butter, cinnamon and brown sugar.  I made Beer Can Chicken last night and was thinking mashed potatoes, but we are trying to watch the white starch so I looked for a good substitute and found this super simple Martha Stewart recipe online.  I changed out the cream in the recipe for coconut milk so it is great for people who are dairy intolerant!  

I also roasted my squash low and slow with the bird and then turned it up at the end to melt the cheese. If you are dairy intolerant, you can switch the cheese for a vegan non-dairy choice.  During the last 30 minutes, I also added some carrots that had been tossed in olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper.  Yum!!

Creamy Baked Acorn Squash:


2 acorn squash, split in half w/seeds removed
Kosher Salt
Black Pepper
8 sprigs thyme
1 can coconut milk
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese


Preheat oven to 250*F.  Level the bottoms of the squash halves so they sit nicely in a baking dish.  Season the squash with salt and pepper to taste.  Divide coconut milk evenly between the squash pieces.  Place 2 sprigs of thyme in each squash shell.  Bake for 2 hours uncovered.  

After 2 hours, tuen up the heat to 350*F.  Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese evenly over the squash and bake for an additional 30 minutes uncovered.  Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Sunday Breakfast: Monte Cristo Bake

This morning, Sean & the boys are off to sell Scout popcorn at the local supermarket. I wanted them to have a good breakfast before standing outside for 2 hours! I didn't have bacon or sausage on hand, but I did have 8 oz of diced ham.  Instead of the usual ham and  egg casserole, I thought about Monte Cristo sandwiches.  Who doesn't like a fried sandwich?  Our doctor, that's who ;-) In all seriousness, we are on a continuous journey to improve our eating habits while still enjoying the tastes we know and love!  Soooo, I opted to bake the sandwiches in a cast iron skillet.  I also used sourdough bread which although it isn't GF, it is easier on your system because the fermentation of the yeast helps break down the gluten.  This was a super simple recipe that took less than an hour from start to finish!

Monte Cristo Bake:
Serves 6

6 eggs
1/3 cup cream
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
8 oz diced ham
2/3 cup sour cream
3 tbsp Dijon mustard
3 slices cheese (I used white American)
12 slices sourdough bread


Preheat oven to 375*F.  Lay 6 slices of bread in the bottom of an oven proof skillet. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream, salt & pepper.  In a separate bowl mix the sour cream and Dijon mustard together and then toss in the diced ham.  Pour half the egg mixture over the bread in the skillet,

Then layer the ham mixture over the egg soaked slices. Place half a cheese slice over each sandwhich and top with another piece of bread. Finally, pour the remaining egg mixture over all.

Pop into the oven to bake for 30 minutes on the middle rack.  For the last 5 minutes, move the skillet to the top rack to get a nice golden brown toast on the bread.  Remove from the oven and let stand for 3-5 minutes before serving.  Enjoy!

Lastly, remember to buy some Scout popcorn!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Quick Weeknight Dinner: Shrimp Noodle Bowl

Tonight, I made another recipe from Pinterest.  I love all the great ideas that I find on that site!  The original recipe came from BevCooks.  I changed it a bit, more shrimp and noodles. I added less ginger too.  Lastly, I omitted both the garlic and lime from the original recipe.  The noodles are GF and easy on the tummy!  Everybody loved it especially my husband (aka my clean up crew) since I only messed up one skillet! :o)

Shrimp Noodle Bowls:  
Serves 8


  4 tbsp olive oil, divided

 4 tsp sesame oil, divided
 2 (10oz) bags large shrimp; thawed, peeled and deveined
1/2 tbsp minced ginger
1/2 yellow bell pepper, diced
1 (13.5 oz) can coconut milk
2 cups chicken stock
1 (14 oz) box stir fry noodles
1 tsp fish sauce
2 tsp sriracha sauce
1/3 cup cilantro leaves
1 bunch green onion, diced


Heat the 2 tbsp of each oil in a large skillet over med-high heat. Add the shrimp, cook for about 5 minutes.  Shrimp cook quickly so don't leave them unattended! Remove from pan and set aside.

Drain any liquid from the pan and add the remaining oils.  Add the ginger and bell pepper. Sauté for one minute, then add the coconut milk, stock, noodles, fish sauce, sriracha sauce, cilantro and green onion.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer until noodles cook through, about 5 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir shrimp back into the skillet before serving.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Sloppy Fries

Almosr everyone has heard of chili cheese fries.  I decided to put a little spin on that idea and made Sloppy Fries!  I've posted a crock pot version of my sloppy joes once before.  This is a quick stove top version.  The French fries are a double fry recipe from the Pioneer Woman.  I didn't take pictures during the process tonight because I was in a rush, but trust me, it was super simple and quick!  This meal is a kid favorite and husband approved!

Sloppy Fries:


6 cups vegetable oil or shortening 
6 russet potatoes peeled and sliced 
1.5 lb ground beef
1 med onion, diced
11/2 cups ketchup
2 tbsp chili sauce
2 tbsp prepared mustard
2 tbsp Worstershire sauce
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp Sriracha (optional)
Salt for seasoning fries
Shredded cheddar cheese for garnish


Brown the beef and onion over med-high  heat.  Drain the meat and turn heat down to low.  In a separate bowl, mix together all the other ingredients.  Pour the sauce over the meat mixture and cook on low for an hour.

Soak potatoes slices in cold water for an hour. Change the water after 30 minutes to remove the starch. Heat oil/shortening to 275*. Fry potatoes in batches for 3-4 minutes removing with a slotted spoon. Place the soft fries on a paper towel lined tray. After cooking all the fries, heat the oil/shortening  up to 375*. Fry the potatoes a second time for 4-5 minutes. Drain on clean paper towels and sprinkle with salt to taste.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

GF Cherry Almond Cupcakes

Several months ago, I pinned a recipe from BHG for Minature Cherry-Almond Vanilla Cupcakes.   They looked so good!    I had been looking for a reason to make them so I decided to give them a try as the dessert for our Labor Day party.  I opted to make a dozen regular cupcakes instead of 24 minis.  I also used GF flour instead of regular flour.  When I use GF flour which is much finer, I increase the amount that a recipe calls for. In this case, I added 1/4 cup extra.  Below are the ingredients. 

Cream the butter and sugar together along with the vanilla and almond extracts.  Mix the dry ingredients together with a fork then mix the wet ingredients together.  

Alternate the addition of the cherry mixture and the dry ingredients into the mixing bowl until you get a smooth batter.

Fill the desired cupcake wells 3/4 full with batter.  Push half a maraschino cherry into each well and then smooth the batter to cover it.

Bake for 20 minutes in a 350*F oven.  You always need to bake GF items a few minutes longer than when you use regular flour.  

Let cupcakes cool completely before frosting.  I actually made these the day before serving and stored in an airtight container.  I decorated the cupcakes a few hours before the party.  The frosting consisted of just 5 ingredients and came together in about 2 minutes!

Everyone enjoyed the cupcakes!  I hope you will try them too!

GF Sunday Morning Ham & Egg Wake-Up Biscuits

As I started writing this post, I asked my husband for a catchy name for this morning's breakfast and his title is above.        It's a big title for a little sandwich, but we had a hard time capturing all the goodness it contains!  This recipe makes ten biscuits so you can either make it for a brunch crowd or wrap the leftover sandwiches in foil and stash them in the refridge.  Then on a rushed weekday, morning, you can pop them in a 350*F oven for 7-10 minutes for a hearty hand held breakfast to get the day started off right!

GF Sunday Morning Ham & Egg Wake-Up Biscuits:

Serves 10


2 1/4 cup gf multipurpose flour
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
1/3 cup vegetable shortening
1 1/3 cup buttermilk
1 tbsp honey
5 slices sm ham steak
10 eggs
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded


In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. 

Cut in shortening with a pastry blender until well combined.
Combine biscuit mix and buttermilk in a mixing bowl until the mix is completely moistened.

Take a piece of plastic wrap and dust a little flour on it. Lay your biscuit dough on it and cover it with another piece of plastic wrap. (You might need a little more flour). 

Gently roll out the dough to about a 3/4 inch or so. Use a floured biscuit cutter or rim of a juice glass to cut out your biscuits. You will get 20 biscuits.  Slide a metal spatula underneath the dough and place 
cut biscuits onto a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 450 degree oven for 10 minutes, brush tops of biscuits with honey that you heated for 20 seconds in the microwave.  Continue baking for another 3-5 minutes. Remove them from the oven & leave heat on for final step in the recipe.

While the biscuits are baking, heat 5 slices of ham over med-high heat for 6-7 minutes, turning once while cooking.  Set ham aside & fry the eggs in the same skillet.  

To build your sandwiches, turn 10 biscuits honey side down on the baking sheet.  Cut each ham slice into quarters and lay 2 quarter pieces on each upside down biscuit.  Next lay an egg on each biscuit.  Lastly, put a pinch of cheese and place another biscuit on the top to finish them.  Slide the biscuits into the oven for 5 minutes to melt the cheese.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

GF Zucchini Corn Cakes

Yesterday, we had my family over to celebrate Labor Day.  As it usually happens, we had several left over ears of corn.  As I was planning tonight's meal, I started thinking how I could make a new side-dish rather than just reheating the corn.  Corn cakes came to mind.  The corn cakes that I came up with were packed with lots of veggie goodness!  Because they were lightly fried and made with corn meal, the boys thought they tasted a little bit like a hush puppy so they had no trouble eating them. Sometimes, a mother has to get sneaky with serving vegetables!  The zuchinni corn cakes made a fast and easy alternative to a regular starch.  They took less than 10 minutes to prep and then 15-20 minutes to pan fry them.  If you like fried zuchinni, this recipe would be worth a try!

GF Zuchinni Corn Cakes

Kernels from 2 corn cobs
1 small zuchinni, shredded
1 small summer squash, shredded
1 small onion, shredded
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup corn meal
1 cup GF multipurpose flour
2 tbsp milk
1/4 cup grated Parmesan 
Salt & Pepper to taste
Oil for frying

Cover the bottom of a skillet with a 1/4 inch of oil and heat over a med-high burner. Mix all the  ingredients together in a large bowl.

Use an ice cream scoop to make each cake.  Place th cakes in the hot oil and cook for 2-4 minutes on each side.  Gently press down on the cakes when you turn them over.  This will flatten them out.  Drain the cakes on a paper towel lined plate before serving.  Enjoy!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

GF Bacon & Buttermilk Waffles

Ah Sunday, it's our favorite day of the week!  This is our quiet day on which I typically wake up before the rest of my tired household.  I usually have 1-2 hours to catch up on my shows or read. About 8am, I will start breakfast whose aroma will awaken sleepyheads and draw them downstairs.  I never have to deal with grumpy people this way :o)

This morning, I didn't have any eggs so I made these easy GF Bacon & Buttermilk Waffles.  This recipe gives you a little taste of bacon while keeping your cholesterol at a reasonable level!  

GF Bacon & Buttermilk Waffles:

2 1/4 cups GF multipurpose flour
4 tsp baking powder
2 tsp sugar
2 cups buttermilk
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp water
1 tsp vanilla
4 tbsp butter, melted
6 slices bacon, cooked & crumbled

In a bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients - flour, baking powder and sugar.  

Whisk in the next 5 ingredients to form a thick batter.  Fold in the crumbled bacon. 

Spray waffle maker with non-stick spray. Once heated and ready, use a 1/3 measuring cup of batter for each waffle.  Let cook for about 3 to 4 minutes depending on your waffle maker. Mine has a temperature control and I cook them at level 4.  Enjoy!


Monday, August 25, 2014

Apple Ale BBQ Ribs

Last Monday marked 2 years since I started this blog!  To celebrate, I made Apple Ale BBQ Spare Ribs.  These ribs took 2.5 hours to cook in the oven so you need to start at least 3 hours before serving.  Most rib recipes need the rub applied several hours before popping them in the oven, but I applied the rub just 10 minutes before the oven and they came out really tender and tasty! After an hour of cooking, I started basting and turning the ribs.  As my sons can attest, the ribs were very saucy :-)

Apple Ale BBQ Spare Ribs:

1 tsppaprika
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tspkosher salt
2 tsp onion powder
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tsp hickory flavored liquid smoke 

Pre-heat the oven to 325* F. Mix all the rub ingredients together in a small bowl.  Massage the rub mixture into both sides of the ribs.  Place the ribs in a large foil lined baking pan.  

Mix together 1 cup of apple ale and 2 additional teaspoons off liquid smoke.  Add to the baking pan.  Cover tightly with foil and bake for an hour in the oven.

While the ribs are baking, you can make the BBQ sauce.  

3/4 cup ketchup
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 tsp hickory flavored liquid smoke
2 tsp cornstarch
2 tbsp water 

Mix everything except the cornstarch and water together with a whisk in a small saucepan. Simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Mix the 2 tsp of cornstarch in a small bowl with the 2 tbsp of water.  Add the cornstarch mixture to the saucepan and cook for 1-2 minutes more.  The sauce should thicken considerably.  

After the ribs have cooked for an hour remove the foil cover and baste with sauce.  Return to oven and bake uncovered for 15 minutes.  Turn the ribs over and baste the bottom and cook for another 15 minutes.  Flip, baste & bake for two more 15 minute intervals.  Remove from oven and let rest in the pan for 10 minutes before serving.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

GF Blueberry Cobbler

While I was in Canada last month, I picked up a copy of "Canadian Living".  The cover picture was of a beautiful blueberry cobbler which drew me in as I'm  always on the search for new recipes to try!  I tweaked the recipe slightly to make it gluten free and I cut back a bit on the ginger.  I put this recipe together in the 15 minutes that my roast chicken was resting before dinner and it baked while we ate!  By the time the dishes were done, they were ready to eat!  If you don't have small ramikens, you can also use an 8x8 baking dish.  The recipe was given a thumbs up from the family!  

GF Blueberry Cobbler;

2 pints fresh blueberries (rinsed & cleaned)
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp almond extract

Biscuit Topping:
1 cup GF flour 
1/3 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp each baking powder 
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup cold butter, cubed
1/3 cup buttermilk


Preheat the oven to 400*F. Toss together blueberries, sugar, cornstarch and almond extract; over fill 4 ramikens.  

For the biscuit, whisk together flour, 1/4 cup of the cornmeal, the sugar, baking powder, ginger, baking soda and salt. 

Using pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in butter until mixture resembles crumbs. Drizzle in buttermilk, stirring with fork to form soft, sticky dough. 

With spoon, drop mounds of biscuit mixture over blueberrys. Sprinkle with remaining cornmeal.  Bake until topping is light golden and blueberry mixture is bubbly about 30 minutes. Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream & enjoy!