Thursday, December 29, 2011

Skillet enchiladas

Tonight was one of those "the kids are starving now and I don't know what we're having for dinner" kind of nights. And I was supposed to go grocery shopping this morning, but didn't, so our choices were rather limited, so I improvised, and it turned out surprisingly tasty. It only took about 5 minutes which was a bonus. We are totally having this meal again.

I didn't measure anything, just scooped/poured until it looked good. 
Skillet Enchiladas
Canned chicken (large can)
mayonnaise-probably a cup-ish--several large spoonfuls
green chilies (small can)
cumin-a couple shakes sprinkled on
I just put everything in the skillet and let it simmer for a few minutes.
Serve on tortilla chips and enjoy!
Or add some cheese if you're not my husband (who is doing the dairy-free thing now), and enjoy!
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Wednesday, December 14, 2011


If you're looking for more tasty candy recipes, here's another REALLY easy one. Just don't think about how much fat and sugar you're putting in. Or give away most of them, and the ones you eat get cancelled out by your generosity. :)
1 can Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk (use the can for measuring the other ingredients)
2 sticks of butter
1 can Karo syrup
1 can sugar
1 can brown sugar
Combine all ingredients in a saucepan that's big enough for the liquid to more than double when it's boiling and cook on high heat, stirring constantly until it reaches soft ball stage. That means stir for a long time. Pull out your favorite Christmas book to read while you stir. To test for soft ball stage, fill a cup about halfway with cold water and put a little of the caramel into the cup. When you can pull it out in a nice soft ball that is as soft or hard as you like your caramels, turn off the stove. Pour the mixture into an ungreased cake pan and let cool. Cut into pieces and wrap with wax paper. I've found that a pizza cutter can work pretty well.
One batch can make 150+ caramels. It goes a long way. Enjoy!
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Candied Pecans

'Tis the season to be baking. Fa la la la la, la la la la.

But as you will hear from many sources, if you're giving away food to non GF-ers, GF cookies or cake probably aren't the best options because the will taste "weird" to untrained taste buds. So stick with candy and other junk food that is naturally gluten-free. :)

This is the tastiest treat EVER! Candied pecans. And so easy to make.
2 lbs pecans
Whisk together 2 egg whites, 6 tsp (good) vanilla, 2 tsp water.
Put nuts in a BIG Ziploc and add the liquid, smoosh around. (Yes, that's the technical term)
Mix together in a bowl: 2 cups sugar, 4 tsp cinnamon, 2 tsp salt.
Dump this in the bag and smoosh around some more until they look coated. Put on a sheet cake pan and bake at 300 for an hour stirring every 15 minutes or so.
It will fill your home with a delicious aroma, and tastes just as good. I packaged them into little baggies to give to some friends and neighbors on goody plates along with some fudge and caramels.
Hope you enjoy them as much as my family does!!
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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Santa Fe Chicken

Santa Fe Chicken is one of my all time favorite meals because 1. it's so easy, and 2. it's SO delicious.

In a crockpot combine:
2ish pounds of chicken (cut into bite-size pieces or not)
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
a 16 oz can of salsa (Herdez is our favorite)
1 or 2 cups of frozen corn

Cook on low 6-8 hours or on high 3-4 hours. The longer you cook, the less you need bite-size pieces to begin with. I like to just let it cook until the chicken is so tender you can shred it real easy with a fork.

Add 1 cup shredded cheese and half up to a whole package of cream cheese depending on taste. Cook for another 1/2 hour up to an hour, then serve over rice, or in a tortilla.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Frito Pie

This is so ridiculously easy it doesn't deserve to be on a recipe blog, since I actually didn't make anything, but hey, if someone's looking for a quick and easy dinner, here you go!

Frito Pie:
Canned chili (regular Hormel chili is GF--I know Hormel turkey chili is NOT. I'm sure there're others to choose from)
Sour cream
Pile it up, and enjoy!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Cinnamon Rolls

I'm not real big on baking goodies. Mostly because I'm not all that big on eating them. I'll eat them and enjoy them when they're available, but I tire quickly and can't handle too much sugar, and usually half the batch will end up going stale before our family finishes eating it. That, or my 3-year-old will throw a fit every time I tell her she can only have one and it's not really worth it to have treats that inspire tantrums.

But twice a year for General Conference I make cinnamon rolls. Sweet treats to enjoy the sweet messages from the prophet and apostles. :) And this gluten-free version is pretty much the tastiest, fluffiest batch of cinnamon rolls I've ever had, with or without gluten. I originally found the recipe here, but the process I've simplified a little.

2 tablespoons shortening
1/4 cup sugar
2/3 cup of milk, room temperature
1 packet yeast
1 egg
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup potato starch
1 cup corn starch
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 - 2 tablespoons sugar
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In medium bowl, combine shortening and sugar. Mix well. Measure warm milk and add yeast to milk. Whisk well to fully dissolve. Add milk/yeast to sugar mixture. Add remaining ingredients. Mix very well, being sure to remove all lumps. Dough will be quite soft--so soft it almost looks like liquid, still, but if you keep mixing it'll get a little more solid, though still really soft (soft enough that it doesn't really look like dough and you'll think that you messed up).
Lay out either a 15 inch square of parchment paper or plastic wrap. I like parchment paper better. Squish it out into a roughly square shape, then put plastic wrap on top and roll out until it's about 13-15 inches square.
FILLING (I actually use about half this much)
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon
1/3 cup chopped nuts - optional

Spread the filling over the dough, leaving a little room at the edge as it spreads when you roll it up.
Roll the dough into a nice long roll.
Cut into pieces about 1 1/2 inches wide. I use dental floss to cut it without squishing it like a knife does. You can get about 8 or 9 rolls out of this.
Put in a round cake pan and either cook it or stick it in the fridge to cook in the morning.
Cook at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes.  If you keep it in the fridge over night take it out and let it warm up closer to room temperature before cooking it. After cooking spread the glaze over the top.

¾ cup powdered or confectionery sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
milk to thicken

These are the fluffiest cinnamon rolls, probably because they are made only of starch. Not so big on nutrition, but they sure taste good!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Cowboy pasta

This one is always pretty quick and easy and is a nice spin on the traditional pasta dish. 

Cowboy Pasta
GF Pasta
chopped onion
green pepper
chili powder
black beans
tomato sauce

Saute onion, pepper and chili powder. Add equal parts salsa and tomato sauce, beans, and corn. Simmer.

Toss with pasta and top with shredded cheese.
Sometimes I'll throw in a little cooked chicken, too, but most of the time we leave it as a meatless meal, since it's pretty hearty as is.
It's always a hit here! Enjoy!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Pumpkin treat

My husband's birthday was last month, so instead of just a regular cake, I decided to whip up this delicious pumpkiny dessert that my friend, Charissa, shared with me and quickly became a family favorite.

Pumpkin Treat
1 29 oz. can pumpkin
1 12 oz. can evaporated milk
2 eggs
2 t. cinnamon
1/2 C. sugar
Blend together above ingredients. Line a 9x13 cake pan with waxed paper and pour mixture in. Layer evenly over mixture:
1 dry yellow cake mix (Betty Crocker's GF mix works great)
1 C. chopped walnuts
2 sticks butter/margerine melted (drizzle over top of nuts)
Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Cool completely. Invert cake onto serving tray and remove waxed paper.
Frost with:
3/4 C. powdered sugar
1 8 oz. package cream cheese
1 or 2 8 oz. tubs of Cool Whip (depending on your tastes)
Blend cream cheese until smooth. Add powdered sugar and mix well. Gently fold in desired amount of Cool Whip.
This is really heavenly. We are not normally walnut fans here, but all the flavors here mix so perfectly for the perfect fall cake.

There are tons of GF squash/pumpkin recipes here to check out!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Super nachos

Super nachos are, well, super! I guess some people call them loaded nachos, but we like the Super term. This is one of our go-to meals when I don't feel like cooking, or when we're hungry right now.

It's so flexible, you just use whatever you have on hand. Usually we use:
green onions
green or red (or both) bell peppers
black beans
canned chicken

Spread tortilla chips on a cookie sheet, sprinkle a little bit of shredded cheese over them, then layer whatever toppings you want to include. If you add tomatoes, probably wait until the last minute or so of cooking time. After all your toppings are on, sprinkle more cheese over top generously. Stick it in the oven on broil for about 5 minutes, then enjoy! Great for a regular dinner, or whip some up to snack on during a football game.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Rosemary roasted potatoes

This is one of the easiest sides to make. All you need is a few potatoes (red potatoes are great because you don't have to peel them), rosemary, garlic salt, and olive oil.
Dice the potatoes, then pour some olive oil over them, sprinkle some garlic salt and the rosemary (fresh is best, but dried works, too) over top and mix it up.
Put the potatoes on a cookie sheet (I like to line it with foil and spray with cooking spray for ease of cleanup), and either bake at 350 or 400, or broil, about 20-40 minutes, depending on how many potatoes you use and how crispy you like them. Stir at least once during cooking.
If I bake them, I like to broil for at least the last 5 minutes or so to add a little crispiness. I forgot to take a picture of the finished, tasty product because once they start cooking the smell permeates the house and everyone sits at the oven door salivating, so once they're out of the oven the thought of pausing to take a picture didn't even enter my mind. :)

Friday, September 9, 2011

Cabbage Rolls

Here's a tasty meal that tastes way better than it looks or smells (initially). I looked up several recipes online and took the best from several, and improvised a little with what I had. The one thing that is necessary for cabbage rolls: cabbage.
It can be a little tricky getting the cabbage leaves off the head without completely destroying the leaf beyond usefulness. But this little trick helps out a ton. I stab the end of the cabbage with a nice strong knife, and dip the cabbage in hot/boiling water for a minute or so. That softens the outer 2-4 leaves enough to peel them off (carefully!--surpisingly something you just removed from boiling water may burn your fingertips a bit. Not that I did that.). Repeat until you have 10-12 useable cabbage leaves.

At that point, you can add the filling. This is what I used:
cooked rice (about a cup)
ground beef (I didn't cook it before-hand and it was cooked thru just fine)
tomato sauce
Mix it all together, then dish a few spoonfuls into each cabbage leaf and roll it like a burrito. Put it seam-side down in a crockpot. (This time I actually didn't plan far enough ahead, and did it in a pot on the stove and it worked, just fine, too.) Add a bottle of V8 over the top of them all (this is the VITAL ingredient--improvise on the others if you must, but if you don't have V8, run down to Walgreens or QuikMart and pick it up!!). Cook on low in the crockpot for 8-9 hours.
They look a little scary (like mummies? Maybe this would be a good meal for Halloween!), but they sure do taste good.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Corn chowder

Now that Labor Day is done, fall has unofficially started, right? Tell that to our weatherman--he keeps giving us 100-degree days! But in theory it'll be cooling off soon, and soups will be more fitting for the weather. Here's a real quick and easy corn chowder.
I found a bag of frozen stew veggies that had BIG chunks of carrots, potatoes, pearl onions, and maybe something else. I added some celery, corn, and more potatoes, 2 tablespoons of butter, and some GF chicken broth and stuck it all in the crock pot for about 4 hours on high (or 8-9 hours if you do it on low). About a half hour before dinner I added a cup of milk. It turned out real tasty. Enjoy!

Thursday, September 1, 2011


Since we eat so much Mexican food, tortillas have always been a staple in our house. Luckily Jake is pretty flexible and doesn't mind corn tortillas for tacos and such, though generally I prefer flour tortillas most of the time, except in enchiladas. The problem is, GF tortillas are a bit of a pain, in my opinion. But this recipe that I found here is pretty good, so it's worth it every once in a while.

I added a little oil to the recipe myself. I recently came across another tortilla recipe I have yet to try that has quite a bit of shortening that looks like it might be easier to work with than this sticky dough (I'm hoping--I'll let you know).
2 c. Gluten Free All-Purpose Flour Mix
1 1/2 tsp. xanthan gum
2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. Salt
1 c. warm water

1 t. olive oil
Add the dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl and mix the ingredients thoroughly. (I do this with my hand) Add the cup of warm water and the olive oil to the bowl and mix the dry goods into the water with your hand. Just squish it all up until all of the dry ingredients are no longer dry.
Separate the dough into 8 pieces and roll each piece into a ball. Place all but one of the dough balls back into the bowl and cover with plastic wrap until you’re ready to work with them.
Sprinkle a clean, flat surface with a bit of rice flour and then roll you dough ball into a roughly circular shape. Get is as thin as possible.
Throw the tortilla onto a hot griddle (I use a cast iron griddle on medium heat with just a smidge of shortening or oil) and let it cook approximately 1 minute – or until it has started puffing up and the bottom side is developing those lovely brown spots. Flip the tortilla and cook the other side until is toasty as well.Slide the cooked tortilla onto a waiting plate and repeat from step 4 until you’ve cooked all 8 tortillas. I generally roll one tortilla out while another is cooking, so that there’s is always a tortilla on the griddle.

I've tried following her instructions, but the incredible stickiness of GF dough is so annoying to me, and once I got it rolled out, peeling it off the counter would ruin the tortilla. So I got myself a tortilla press and have made parchment paper my friend. I put parchment paper on both sides of the tortilla, sometimes with a little cooking spray on it, then squish it to the right thickness in my tortilla press.
If the parchment paper comes off, I pull it off, then throw it on the griddle. If not, I throw it on the griddle for a minute or so until it's slightly cooked and easier to pull the parchment paper off.
Then finish cooking it, but not so much that it's crunchy--just enough that it's still nice and pliable.
The tortillas themselves are quite tasty and actually pliable, and a much nicer texture in my opinion than the brown rice tortillas you can buy at Sunflower Market. They're worth all the work every once in a while.

Edit: I tried the other recipe and it was WAY easier to work with than this dough--held together way better (I didn't use the full cup of water). Try it out!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Leftover pork BBQ

Usually a day or two after we have our pork tenderloin we take the leftovers (though usually isn't very much left) and make some barbecue pork. It is so easy and quick. But we like to have it with tortillas, which makes up for the quickness and easiness of the pork. :)
All you do is stick the remaining pork in the crockpot and add a little GF BBQ sauce, like Sweet Baby Ray's Original, or most Kraft BBQ sauce and let it cook for a few hours. The longer it cooks on low, the more tender, but an hour on high is sufficient if you don't have much time (as long as it is leftovers and already has been cooked). I threw in a cup or two of cooked rice to help it go a little farther, since we didn't have much pork left, then served it on tortillas.
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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Pork tenderloin

One of our favorite meals around here is pork loin. With all the spices, it starts to smell real good, real quick. And it tastes as good as it smells.

  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp table salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 pound lean pork tenderloin

Preheat oven to 400ºF. Coat a shallow roasting pan with cooking spray. (I like to put down aluminum foil, then spray on the cooking spray for easier clean up.) Combine thyme, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper in a small bowl; set aside. Rub oil all over pork. Sprinkle thyme mixture all over pork and transfer to prepared pan.

Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted in center of pork reads 150ºF, about 30 minutes (that's what the original recipe said, but I think it almost always takes closer to an hour for me). Let stand 10 minutes before slicing crosswise into thin (about 1/2-inch thick) slices.
We usually eat this with potatoes (mashed or baked) and some veggies.

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Monday, August 29, 2011

Bread fail

Last week marks the 1 year anniversary of Jacob being diagnosed with Celiac Disease. I remember well my first attempts at making gluten-free bread. Many of them fell in or were just flat and dense. It took a little while and some experimenting with various mixes and recipes before I settled upon the bread I make most of the time.
During the months of July and August I experience about 4 or 5 different bread failures. The first one I noticed was so HUGE when it came out of the oven, and I got all excited: Wow a real-sized loaf!
Then it collapsed. Of course. It had over-risen. All of my subsequent failures were similar. After a couple times I figured it must be all the extra humidity in the air from monsoon season that was making the bread rise too quickly. I tried adjusting the moisture in the recipe and the time I let it rise, but nothing worked, and I finally just gave up until monsoon season is over in the next couple of weeks.
Maybe next year I'll stock up and have a baking frenzy in June so I can have enough bread frozen to last us through monsoon season. I don't know how people in more humid climates manage GF bread. Another reason to be thankful for our "dry heat" here in Arizona. :)
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GF on a Shoestring (and Fried Rice)

I recently purchased a great cookbook: Gluten-free on a Shoestring. She also has a blog. I've only tried a few recipes, but so far I LOVE them all.

Last week I was on a baking kick and actually baked 2 things. In one day. I know. Crazy. My 10-month-old was only holding on to my legs crying for 20 minutes or so, since I mostly planned around her nap. :) 

The first tasty treat was this homemade apple pie-type pastry. Soooo good. And there was extra filling left over, which we all really enjoyed alone, too.
The other was pretzels. They were pretty good warm out of the oven, but I messed up on the directions for letting it rise, and going back and trying to do it later didn't quite work out, so I'll try these again soon. They ended up a bit dense and hard once they cooled off, but I am pretty sure following the directions next time will fix that.
One last TASTY recipe I really enjoyed was the Lemon Chicken. Since these recipes aren't mine and are copyrighted, I probably shouldn't share them, but I can share how I made some tasty fried rice to go with the lemon chicken. I may try this in the future with orange juice and orange zest, and see if I can somewhat replicate good ol' Panda Express' Orange Chicken.
The fried rice is very easy. First, cook some scrambled eggs (1-3 depending on your taste and how much rice you're using), and when the eggs are just starting to solidify, add about a cup of already cooked rice. Once the eggs are fully cooked add another cup or two of cooked rice and some mixed veggies. I just had frozen corn and peas, so that's all I threw in, and it worked great. Stir occasionally until the veggies are cooked/warm, add a splash or two of soy sauce (La Choy is gluten-free), and enjoy! This is so quick and easy. You can leave out the eggs if you want, but they're a nice extra splash of protein.
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Monday, August 22, 2011

Quick and easy black bean dip

I've been on vacation, then recovering from vacation, and now I'm back. At least for one post. I have lots of pictures of food waiting to be posted, so we'll see when I get around to that.
I thought I'd share this quick and easy and DELICIOUS dip.
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
pepper jack cheese

Blend black beans and salsa in a food processor or blender, adding salsa a little at a time until you get the consistency you want. Pour into a microwave safe bowl, grate some pepper jack cheese into the bowl (or monterrey jack if pepper jack is too spicy for you, or leave the cheese out completely if you prefer), then microwave for 30 seconds-1 minute. Stir, and enjoy with some tortilla chips. It takes all of 3 minutes to whip this deliciousness up. Yum!

If you want to check out other quick and easy meals/snacks, check them out here!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Pesto chicken

This delicious meal is a holdover from a few years ago when my husband was put on the Southbeach Diet to fix his blood chemistry. Not surprisingly, since the Southbeach Diet is based on less carbs, completely eliminating carbs for the first two weeks, a lot of those meals work just fine for gluten-free folks.

One of the best parts is that there are only 3 ingredients. You can't get much easier than that! Without further ado, here's the tasty Pesto Chicken:
Mozzarella cheese

Spread a few tablespoons of pesto on the bottom of the pan, then add chicken and spread more pesto on top of the chicken. For about a pound or a pound and a half of chicken I usually use about half a jar of pesto. It doesn't take much. Cover with tin foil and cook at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. Add mozzarella cheese and cook uncovered until cheese melts, another 5-10 minutes. Serve over rice and enjoy!
Linking up with Gluten-free Wednesdays.

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