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!