Friday, December 30, 2011

Copycat Don Lee Farms Veggie Meatballs

I had planned to make these last year but before I could snag a package to look at the ingredients my Costco stopped stocking them! They finally started carrying them again so I was able to get the ingredients and make my own.

2 cups sweet corn kernels(defrosted if frozen)
1 large carrot(about 3/4 -1 cup chopped)
1/2 small onion(about 1/3 cup chopped)
1 good sized stalk of celery(about 1/4 cup chopped)
1/2 small green bell pepper, de-seeded(about 1/4 cup chopped)
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2/3 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1 tsp canola oil
1 tsp EACH oregano, basil and parsley
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350

in a food processor place carrots, bell pepper , onion and celery, pulse until well chopped

add in cheese, bread crumbs, sunflower seeds, oil, and spices. Pulse again until well combined.

add in corn and pulse until combined(you want the corn kernels more "whole" so don't over puree)

if it feels too sticky to work with you can add a touch of flour or some more bread crumbs, the original recipe calls for the addition of wheat flour and barley flour. I wanted to keep them gluten free so I omitted those and used GF bread crumbs.

Scoop into meatball sized balls of your preference. Place on greased baking sheet.

Bake 25-30 minutes, turning about 1/2 way through the bake time.

i tried frying them, but that turned into a soggy mess. I may try them in my deep fryer at some point....way to mess up the nutrition of veggies right LOL

Something is wrong with my photo editing software so the other photos I have are not responding to the size cutting. I will post them when I get it figured out.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Simple and Delicious Peppermint Bark

So easy and one of my favorites at Christmas time. It is always a hit at parties too.

8 oz Semi-Sweet Chocolate(I use Baker's Baking Chocolate Squares)
6 oz White Chocolate(again, Baker's  for me)
2 tsp vegetable oil(or any non-favored oil)
3 candy canes, crushed

Line an 8 x 8 baking dish with foil, ends extending out 2 inches or so, smoothing it out as much as possible.

In a double boiler over simmering water melt semi sweet chocolate with 1 tsp oil. Stir often until smooth.

Pour melted chocolate into the prepared dish and tip until the bottom is covered and the layer is even.

Refrigerate for 30 minutes(don't go longer than this or you will risk the layers separating)

Melt the white chocolate with remaining tsp of oil using the same method as above, stirring until smooth.

Pour White Chocolate over dark, tipping the dish around to create a smooth layer.

Iimmediately sprinkle on crushed candy canes. Press gently into the melted chocolate(not too rough, just enough to get them to stick well)

Refrigerate another 30 minutes, (this one can go a little longer but not too much)

To remove pull the foil up out of the pan, You can cut it with a sharp knife or you can simply break it by hand but I suggest putting it on a clean cutting board and using a cleaver. It seems to cut smoother that way!

Store in an airtight container(in the fridge is best until serving time IMO)

Friday, December 9, 2011

Gluten Free Caramel Pecan Turtle Bars

I found a recipe in my local paper recently for Turtle Bars and it looks so good! I knew I wanted to modify it to gluten free.

1/2 cup sweet white sorghum flour
1 TB potato starch
1 TB tapioca starch
2 TB cornstarch
1 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans

6 oz Kraft Caramel Bits(or about 25 unwrapped Kraft Caramels, the original recipe called for Werther's Original Chewy Caramels, but they are not GF)
2 TB butter
2 TB heavy cream
2 TB corn syrup

1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

Line an 8 x 8 pan with heavy foil with it overhanging by about 2 inches on each side and spray with cooking spray.

Preheat oven to 350.

Combine flour, starches and brown sugar. Cut in butter until it is all crumbly. Stir in chopped pecans.

Press firmly into the bottom of the pan.

Bake 13-15 minutes until nicely browned.

In a small pan over medium low combine caramels, butter, heavy cream and corn syrup.
Cook stirring constantly until everything is melted and smooth.

Pour over the base cookie and spread to the edges.

Place back in the oven for an additional 11-13 minutes until the caramel starts to bubble.

Remove from oven to a wire rack.

Top with chocolate chips and let them sit for 5 minutes.

Spread melted chocolate over the caramel for a swirl effect but make sure to leave some caramel exposed.(as you can see....I over-swirled)

Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or until fully set is set.

Remove from pan by lifting the ends of the foil, place on cutting board and peel away foil before slicing.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Copycat Aidell's Teriyaki and Pineapple Chicken Meatballs

I found these at Costco not too long ago and the sounded very tasty!! I decided to try my hand at re-creating them. They turned out juicy and delicious! Dont worry if you cant find miso powder, it doesnt make or break the recipe.

approx 1 lb ground chicken(I used chicken breast)
1/4 cup crushed pineapple(well drained)
1 tsp white sugar
1 TB soy sauce(I wanted gluten free, so I used Bragg's Amino Acid)
1 tsp white vinegar
3/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp miso powder
1/2 tsp ground ginger
salt to your preference if desired(I omitted)

Combine all and mix very well.(You can see in this picture, my chicken is ground pretty fine, I started with whole breast , then just put everything in my food processor to mix it up, if you start with pre-ground meat it will not look the same)

In a large pan heat  2 TB olive oil over medium heat.

Scoop meat mixture and for into balls of you size preference. Place into hot oil, I did about 1/2 the batch at once(didnt have to add more oil for the second batch) but of course if all depends on your pan size.(this made about 20 decent sized meatballs)
Allow to cook 3-4 minutes and gently flip.
Cook (gently flipping as needed, but dont over do it) until they reach 165 degrees(if you dont have a meat thermometer GET ONE, your meats will turn out so much better if you dont over cook them so you can "tell" they are done.) Generally about 10 minutes or so depending on the size of your meatball.

Drain on a paper towel.

I put them in a soup, you can put them over pasta with a sauce if you want! They would also make great appetizers too! If you want some ideas of how to serve them Aidell's Website has LOTS of recipe suggestions.

Keep watch for more copycat recipes from this company, I am planning quite a few plus a few meatball recipes from other brands as well.

These freeze well(after cooking) and you can put them in a covered dish and bake them at 350 to reheat them.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

CopyCat Domino's Stuffed Cheesy Bread

I had Domino's stuffed cheese bread the other day and it was very tasty! Very pricey though so I decided to whip up my own!!

3/4 cup warm water
1 TB sugar
1 tsp yeast
2 TB olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2-2 cups flour

In mixing bowl combine sugar, yeast and water. Allow to proof until foamy(about 5 minutes or so)
Add in olive oil  and salt and mix well.
Slowly add flour(about 1/2 cup at a time) until dough is stiff enough to knead. (not too sticky but dont go overboard!)
Knead until smooth and elastic.

Place in a greased bowl and allow to rise for 30 minutes.

Punch down dough and roll into a 12 inch circle and place on a sheet sprinkled with cornmeal.

Preheat oven to 350


Plain Cheese:
2 TB butter melted*
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella
2 TB Parmesan cheese

Bacon and Jalapenos:
All of the above, plus bacon bits and jalapenos to your preference
I did about 2 slices of bacon, crumbled, and 1 small fresh jalapeno(you can use jarred if you wish)

Spinach and Feta:
Omit cheddar, sub feta and add chopped fresh baby spinach(about 1/4 cup chopped)

Mix melted butter and garlic powder.
Brush generously over the dough. Sprinkle cheeses on 1/2 of the dough add other toppings.

Fold in half and press the edges to seal , score to vent.

1 TB butter*
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 TB shredded sharp cheddar
2 TB shredded mozzarella
1 TB parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp dried parsley

Mix butter and garlic powder, brush generously over top of crust

Bake 15 minutes.
Combine cheeses and sprinkle over the top.

Bake 5 more minutes until the cheese is bubbly and slightly browned.

Sprinkle with parsley , allow to set for 5 minutes or so then serve!

* you can use more butter if you like! The domino's ones are always oozing with drippy buttery yumminess but I decided to cut if down.

Excellent with a marinara dipping sauce but for these we prefer to gobble them plain!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Chipotle Pineapple Pork Roast

I had a can of pineapple that needed to be used so I decided I was going to throw it over a pork roast, but then I decided to spice it up a little!

2 lb pork roast

1- 20 oz can pineapple chunks(in juice)
1 TB balsamic vinegar
1 TB chipotle sauce
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp oregano
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all sauce ingredients(including juice) in a bowl and mix well.

Place roast in a slow cooker and pour sauce over the top.

Cook on low 6-8 hours, or high 4-6 until internal temp reaches 165.

Take out of slow cooker and let set for 10 minutes, then slice.

While setting, pour 2 cups of the liquid into a saucepan(including some pineapple chunks)

combine 1/4 cold water with 1 TB cornstarch and pour into the sauce.
Stir and bring to a boil over medium heat . Cook until thickened and serve over sliced pork.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Pancakes

My son requested Chocolate Chip pancakes this morning and this is what I came up with. They turned out light and fluffy and TASTY!

1 1/2 cups brown rice flour
1/4 cup tapioca flour
1/2 cup potato starch
2 TB sugar
6 TB buttermilk powder*
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp xanthan gum
2 eggs
2 cups water

* you can sub sweet rice flour for dairy free

Whisk all dry ingredients together.

Whisk eggs into the water and slowly add to the dry ingredients, whisk until just combined.

Fold in 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Pour by just under 1/2 cup scoops onto a hot skillet, cook until bubbles start to form on the top, flip and cook for another 2-3 minutes.

Pumpkin Pecan Cheesecake

I made this for our little family Thanksgiving. It turned out delicious! I used this recipe but changed it just slightly

2 cups ginger snap crumbs(I uses 1/2 this recipe and it was the perfect amount)
1/4 cup butter
1 tsp cinnamon

Combine all and press into a 10 inch spring form pan coming up the sides just slightly.
Bake in 350 oven for 8 minutes, set aside to cool

1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter

Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.
Melt butter over medium heat, add in brown sugar and pecans. Stir then allow to boil undisturbed for 1 minute.
Remove from heat and pour onto the baking sheet and bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes until bubbly.
Cool completely, then break into chunks.

32 oz cream cheese, room temp(4-8 oz packages)
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 TB flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
1 3/4 cup pumpkin puree(approx 1 -15 oz can)
1/4 cup bourbon
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 eggs

Beat cream cheese and sugar until fluffy, add in flour and spices, mix well. Add in pumpkin, bourbon and vanilla. Last beat in eggs , one at a time, until well combined, don't over beat after the eggs are in.

Optional: gently Fold in half of the topping to the filling

Transfer filling to the crust. Sprinkle topping over the top.

Bake in 350 degree oven for 1 hours and 45 minutes, until the center is jiggly.

I recommend a water bath for baking the cheesecake, not everyone thinks this is necessary.

There are instructions for baking it IN water in the above link, I tried it and really didn't care for the results.

I prefer to fill my broiler pan with water, then set in a wire rack and set my pan on top of that.

Remove from oven and allow to cool, run a sharp knife around the edges of the pan. Chill in the fridge, then release the spring-form.

Cut into wedges and serve!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Pork Chops with Apple Pico de Gallo

Not exactly sure how to describe this but it turned out DELICIOUS!!!!!

6-8 thin sliced pork chops(I use boneless)
1 medium white onion, sliced
1 medium tart apple, sliced(I used a granny smith)
1/4 cup bourbon whiskey
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 clove garlic minced
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350

In a dish place onions, apples and whiskey, toss to combine.

Layer chops over the top and sprinkle with brown sugar, garlic, salt and pepper.

Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes or until thermometer registers 165.

While it is baking you can make your pico de gallo
You can use about 1 cup of a store bought one and add apples or you can mix up an easy one

3 small roma tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced*
1/2 small onion, chopped
2 Tb fresh cilantro, chopped
1 jalapeno, diced
1/2 clove of garlic, minced
1 TB fresh lime juice
1 small granny smith apple, cored and diced.

*to easily peel tomatoes place them in boiling water for 20 seconds, then place them immediately in ice water for 1 minute. The peel will easily slip off.

Place chop on a plate and topped with desired amount of pico.

I served mine over quinoa that I had boiled with chicken broth.

Friday, November 18, 2011

My Nikon P90 is a Lemon :(

I am so unhappy. I did tons of research on what kind of camera I wanted. It took me months to pick the one I wanted. I wasn't wanting to move up to a DSLR yet , but  I like a larger camera. After all my searching I found the Nikon P90. My husband bought it for my for our anniversary and I was quite happy with the selection. I have taken many lovely pictures with it.
Then one day just 1 month after the factory warranty expired, the flash just stopped working. Nothing happened to it, I had used it that day with no issues. It just STOPPED.  So I packed it up and sent it in to Nikon to be repaired(we have no camera service centers here). It cost me over $100 to fix the problem, but I thought it was worth it since it was a "nice" camera.
I got it back and had no issues, until just a little over a month after the "service warranty" expired and guess what?? Thats right NO FLASH. This camera will not take nice pictures indoors without a flash unless lighting is JUST perfect, which is not very often and even then they are rarely as clear, so a flash is a must have. It even seemed that pictures that do NOT require a flash were even coming out with less quality as well.
I contacted Nikon and explained the situation, they took me through the basics, resetting the camera(of course all that I had already done) I told them I did not want to pay for the same repair twice in the less than 2 years I have owned the camera. I was told to send the camera in to them.....
I packed it up and sent it out insured via USPS.....and had a whole ordeal with that but after more than 10 days it finally made it to the service center( at one point I was just praying USPS had indeed lost it and I could just get the insurance money LOL)
This morning I get an email saying that I had to approve the $108 fix to the camera.....approval denied! With this second repair it would make it over 1/2 what I originally paid for the camera.
So I guess they will be sending back my flashless camera and I will be buying a new one, certainly not a Nikon, thats for sure!

RIP dear Nikon P90

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Ooey Gooey Gluten Free Cinnamon Rolls

Oh so yummy cinnamon rolls. My husband requested some cinnamon rolls this morning and my gluten free son of course was right there behind him begging for some too. I found a few that sounded good and combined it into my own....
I am without my good camera so I could only take a few with my crappy camera. I will add more in next time I make them...if I ever see my good one again(It is currently en route to the Nikon repair place and "missing", was supposed to be delivered on the 9th, but they have not received it)


1 TB yeast
1/2 cup warm water
3/4 cup warm milk
5 TB sugar
1 TB xanthan gum
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup superfine brown rice flour
6 TB potato starch
3/4 cup tapioca starch
2 TB corn starch
1 1/2 cup sweet sorghum flour
4 TB butter, melted
2 TB canola oil
2 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1 tsp cider vinegar

2 TB butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 ts cinnamon
raisins/pecan as desired

1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar

In a bowl combine yeast, milk, water and sugar. Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes until foamy.

While that is proofing in another bowl combine xanthan gum, baking powder, brown rice flour, potato starch, tapioca starch and corn starch.

When the yeast mixture is done proofing add in butter, oil vanilla, egg and cider vinegar. Mix well.

Add in flour mixture, 1/2 cup at a time until fully incorporated.

I switch to my dough hook at this point, if you are using a kitchenaid mixer

Slowly add in sorghum flour 1/2 cup at a time until you get a dough that holds together well, it will still be sticky but you want to be able to handle it without making a gooey mess. You may need more or less flour to get it just right so add slowly.

Knead for about 3-5 minute.

Turn dough onto a surface that has been lightly floured(you can used sorghum or rice flour, which ever you prefer)
Sprinkle the top with a little more flour and roll to a large rectangle, I made mine about 15 x 8-9

Combine melted butter, sugar and cinnamon and spread over the rectangle all the way to the edges.
Sprinkle with raisins or pecans if desired and lightly press them in.

Roll you carefully from the longer side.

Slice into 1.5 inch pieces  and fit into a greased pan.

Cover loosely and allow to rise 30 minutes in a draft free location(I always stick it in my oven to rise, just make sure you take it out before you turn the oven on to preheat , yes I have done that before LOL)

Bake in preheated 350 oven for 25-30 minutes, this time makes the middles slightly underdone which we prefer. You can increase the bake time if you like, just watch the tops so they dont burn.

Mix the sour cream and powdered sugar until no lumps remain.
Pull them out and immediately frost.

Allow to set for 5-10 minutes then scoop and serve!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Kalua Pig White Chili

I made a pork roast the other day but I got it on to cook way too late to be ready in time for dinner. So I decided to shred it up and make it into chili for tonight. The recipe I used for the pork made a fantastic compliment! (Kalua Pig, my roast was a little over 1.5 lbs so cook time was less and I used 1/2 the salt but same amount of liquid smoke)

approx 1.5 lb pork roast, cooked with above linked recipe and shredded
4 cups cooked great northern beans (approx 2 cans)
1 qt chicken stock
4 oz diced green chilies
2 cups frozen corn
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped green and/or red bell peppers
2 ts cumin
1 ts garlic powder
salt and pepper(preferably white pepper) to taste
hot sauce to taste
add chopped jalapenos for a spicy kick

Combine all in a slow cooker and mix well. Set to low and cook approx. 6 hours

Freezes well! Just chill thoroughly and place in a resealable container(I place a layer of heavy plastic wrap directly on top of it before placing the lid)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Pizza Lasagna

A twist on regular old lasagna and a hit with the kids.

12 lasagna noodles*
Amounts are to your preference, just dont go overboard or it wont hold together well
Italian Sausage, crumbled and cooked
Red and Green Bell Peppers
or any other "pizza" toppings that you enjoy

3 cups pizza sauce, homemade or jarred**(more or less for your "sauciness" preference
1 can diced tomatoes, drained

1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
1 egg
1 TB parsley
2 tsp oregano
salt and pepper to taste

1 lb mozzarella, shredded
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan

* no need to cook the noodles first(and not just "no-boil" ones either)! Just dip them in hot water before layering and pour about 1/3 cup water around the edges before putting in the oven, and again in the middle of the cook time if the edges look dry.

Combine ricotta, egg, parsley, oregano salt and pepper, mix well and set aside.....(I actually added a handful of baby spinach and blended it all up in my food processor for an extra hidden nutritional boost)

Mix tomatoes into pizza sauce, simmer for 20 minutes.

In the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan place a scoop of pizza sauce, spread to cover the bottom. Layer 4 lasagna  noodles, spread on 1/2 of the ricotta mixture, 1/2 the toppings, 1/3 the mozzarella cheese and a 1/3 the remaining sauce.
Repeat layers ending with the last of the sauce and mozzarella and top with Parmesan cheese.
Cover with a piece of foil that has been lightly sprayed with cooking spray.

Bake in 350 degree oven for 1 hour, uncover and bake 15 minutes more until golden brown and bubbly.
Allow to stand for 15 minutes for easier slicing.

Pizza Sauce:
3 1/2 cups tomato sauce(2-15oz cans)
1 TB dried oregano
2 tsp dried basil leaves
1/2-1 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
1 bay leaf
dash of onion powder
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 TB sugar

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Heat the sauce until it starts to bubble, then turn the heat down and simmer, covered for 30 to 60 minutes, until it reaches the thickness you desire. Remove and discard bayleaf

This freezes beautifully. To freeze before cooking you should pre-boil the noodles though. To freeze after cooking, just cool completely, slice and wrap well.
defrost overnight.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Gluten Free Pumpkin Pancakes

Yummy breakfast treat full of vitamin A.

1 cup brown rice flour
3 TB tapioca starch
1/3 cup potato starch
1/4 cup dry buttermilk powder
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 TB pumpkin pie spice*
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

1 cup pumpkin puree
2 eggs
2 TB oil
1 cup milk(plus or minus for thinner or thicker pancakes)

1 cup cinnamon chips(optional)

In a bowl combine all dry ingredients well.

In another bowl combine pumpkin, eggs, oil and 1/2 cup milk.
Mix into dry ingredients and add remaining milk to desired consistency.
Fold in chips if using.

Pour by 1/4-1/3 cupfuls onto hot , lightly greased griddle. Cook for about 2-3 minutes until golden brown, flip and cook on the other side another 2-3 minutes. (times will vary depending on your griddle!)

*Pumpkin Pie Spice substitute:
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp allspice

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Chili Cheese "Fritos"

My son loves Chili Cheese Fritos but they are not gluten free so I decided to make our own.

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2 tsps cornstarch

1 tsp paprika
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp oregano
2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp sea salt

1 cups yellow cornmeal
1 tsp salt
1 cup boiling water
2 tsp canola oil
1/2 cup corn flour(approx)

Preheat oven to your lowest setting, place cheese on a parchment paper lined pan and bake until fully dry to the touch(2-4 hours) watching carefully so it does not burn.

Or in a food dehydrator on 145 for about 3-4 hours.

When it is fully dry place it in a coffee grinder or small food processor with cornstarch  and process into fine crumbles.

Add chili seasonings and process again. Set aside

In a bowl combine cornmeal, salt and 1 TB of the chili seasoning mixture.
Add boiling water and oil.

Mix well until you have a stiff dough, adding corn flour until you get a stiff dough. It will still be sticky but somewhat easy to handle.

When your dough is formed work it into a ball , cut in half and place on corn flour dusted parchment paper. Top with wax paper and roll to approx 1/8-1/4 inch thickness.(this first batch I rolled a bit too thick but they were still tasty!)

With a pizza cutter or sharp knife cut into frito sized strips.

Two options for cooking them

Preheat oven to 375 and bake them for 12-15 minutes, immediately spray lightly with cooking spray and toss with remaining chili powder mix.

Heat oil in a deep fryer (or at least 1 inch of oil in a wide pan on the stove top)to approx 375.
Fry in batches for 4-6  minutes until golden brown and immediately toss with chili mixture.

Allow to cool and enjoy.

Store in an air tight container.