Monday, November 28, 2011

Gourmet Sweet Potato Classic

Hands down, by far the best sweet potato dish I have ever had in my entire life. Generally speaking, I am not the biggest fan of sweet potatoes anyway. I mean, I will eat them, but they are not the first thing I go to dish up on my plate. But THIS recipe is amazing. I made one batch to take to my husband's Thanksgiving and another batch for my side of the families' dinner. At both dinners, I was told it was almost like a dessert rather than a side dish, it was so yummy. Both casserole dishes were empty by the time I made my way back home after the Thanksgiving festivities. What a huge hit!

So one dish I made with 5 sweet potatoes and did the whole bit of baking and scooping and mashing, etc. The other batch I just used canned sweet potatoes and mashed those. My husband tried both batches so I could see if one was better than the other. He said no...there was a slight texture difference, but he said most people would not be able to tell the difference. Sweet! Next year I will be just using canned sweet potatoes because apparently there is no real difference in flavor when it is all said and done...AND it is so much faster!

Also, one batch I added pecans, and one batch I left them out and they were both delicious. My husband's side has nut allergies, so that is why I left them off of their batch, but it was still just as good. So if you don't like nuts or can't eat them for any reason, you can still make this dish and have it turn out wonderful! The only thing I changed was I used milk instead of heavy cream and gluten free flour. That's it! I highly recommend this dish. I can guarantee that it will be a hit at any Thanksgiving dinner- or any other time of the year too!

5 sweet potatoes
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1/4 cup butter, softened
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.
2.Bake sweet potatoes 35 minutes in the preheated oven, or until they begin to soften. Cool slightly, peel, and mash.
3.In a large bowl, mix the mashed sweet potatoes, salt, 1/4 cup butter, eggs, vanilla extract, cinnamon, sugar, and heavy cream. Transfer to the prepared baking dish.
4.In a medium bowl, combine 1/4 cup butter, flour, brown sugar, and chopped pecans. Mix with a pastry blender or your fingers to the consistency of course meal. Sprinkle over the sweet potato mixture.
5.Bake 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until topping is crisp and lightly browned.

Gluten free: GF flour.

Original recipe from

Monday, November 21, 2011

Crock Pot Jambalaya

This was my first time making Jambalaya EVER- so I was a bit nervous, but it just looked so good. I had to try it. And in a crock pot? Even better. It was super simple and makes a good amount. Maybe took me 15 minutes to prepare and then it was just slow cooking after that.

All in all me and my husband enjoyed it. We had a tiny mess up in which it could have been better, but I think that was my mistake, not the recipe. Basically at the end, you add the rice for the last 30 minutes on high. Well, I did that, but when I went to check on it after 30 minutes, the rice still wasn't cooked all the way. My theory is that is because my crockpot took too long to get up to "high" temp. so the rice was not simmering properly. Next time, I will turn my temp to high first and wait for the ingredients to come to a slow boil and THEN add my rice. So I ended up having to cook the rice another 30 minutes to get it to cook, but like I said, I think that if I just turn it to high first and get it nice and hot, I think it will turn out perfectly. So the only thing that didn't turn out as planned was the rice. Other than that, it had wonderful flavor and I loved all of the different meats- chicken thigh, sausage, and my favorite- shrimp! I think I might add a bit more cajun seasoning to mine next time as well because I wouldn't mind having a bit more kick to it. :)

I left out the celery because neither me nor my husband care for it. I used cajun seasoning because it was Gluten free, but I'm sure Creole would be just as good. Everything else, I followed to a T. Like I said, I would recommend turning your crock pot on high BEFORE adding your rice and make sure it heats up nice and hot first and then your rice should come out just right. :)

Another wonderful thing about this recipe is that it is gluten free! You just have to double check your seasoning of choice and that's it! And now I know that I really like Jambalaya!

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 pound smoked sausage, cut into 2-inch slices
1 large onion, chopped
1 large green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 (28 oz.) can diced tomatoes with juice
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon Cajun or Creole spice mix
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 pound extralarge shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 3/4 cups long-grain rice
Parsley, optional

Combine chicken, sausage, onion, green pepper, celery, tomatoes, garlic, chicken broth, spice mix, thyme and oregano in a large (5-quart) slow cooker. Cook on low for 5 hours.
Add shrimp and rice; raise heat to high and cook for 30 minutes more. Sprinkle with chopped parsley, if desired.

Original recipe from

Monday, November 14, 2011

Buffalo Chicken and Potato Casserole

So I have finally discovered the great world of It took me a while to get the hang of it and now I found that I have a whole new range of recipes to dive into and explore! So this recipe is from that site. It just sounded so unique and yummy- plus me and my husband are huge fans of buffalo wings. So why not give it a try? Turns out, we thought it was great. It is this lovely creamy blend with a hint of buffalo spicey. Then you have your meat and potatos. Wonderful! I served it with salad on the side. It was different than anything we had ever tried before so that was a lot of fun. My husband agrees that this should be something that we add into our list of recipes that we make on a semi-regular basis. I did make one change, I did not use panko because I had to use my own gluten free bread crumbs, but I'm sure the panko tastes wonderful and would give it a nice crunch on top! I also used frozen shredded hashbrowns instead of shredding my own potatoes and it turned out great. I also read on the website that others have used a cream of celery soup instead of chicken so that you have the full buffalo wing experience, but with my husband not being a fan of celery, I went for the cream of chicken. Try it out! :)

1 1/4 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch strips
1/3 c. Franks buffalo sauce
6 c. potatoes, grated w/ box grater
1 c. light ranch dressing
1/2 c. cheddar cheese, shredded
(10 oz) condensed cream of chicken soup
1/2 c. panko

Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 13x9-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
In medium bowl, stir together chicken strips and buffalo sauce. Spoon into baking dish in a single layer.

In the same bowl, stir together potatoes, dressing, cheese and soup. Spread over chicken. Sprinkle panko evenly over the top.
Cover with foil. Bake 30 minutes; uncover and bake 20 to 25 minutes longer or until potatoes are tender and juice of chicken is no longer pink when centers of thickest pieces are cut.

Gluten free: use GF bread crumbs and cream of chicken soup.

Original recipe from

Monday, November 7, 2011

Creamy White Chicken and Artichoke Lasagna

I made this for Saturday's dinner this week and it was very creamy and yummy!! It was a nice change from your standard lasagna (even though I absolutely love that too). It was really easy for me as well because I used canned everything so all I had to do what dump and mix ingredients. So it went very quickly, which I always love. We had it again on Sunday and it tasted even better the next day because all of the flavors had time to blend wonderfully. If you love cheesy, creamy goodness, then you will love this dish. :) Make sure that you use all 12 of your noodles because it makes a lot of filling for the layers! Yumm-o! :)

2 cups shredded cooked chicken breasts
1 can (14 oz.) artichoke hearts, drained, chopped
1 pkg. (8 oz.) KRAFT Shredded Mozzarella Cheese with a TOUCH OF PHILADELPHIA, divided
1/2 cup KRAFT Grated Parmesan Cheese
1/2 cup chopped drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
2 pkg. (8 oz. each) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
1 cup milk
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 cup tightly packed fresh basil, chopped, divided
12 lasagna noodles, cooked

HEAT oven to 350°F.
COMBINE chicken, artichokes, 1 cup mozzarella, Parmesan and tomatoes. Beat cream cheese, milk and garlic powder with mixer until well blended; stir in 2 Tbsp. basil. Mix half with the chicken mixture.
SPREAD half the remaining cream cheese mixture onto bottom of 13x9-inch baking dish; cover with 3 noodles and 1/3 of the chicken mixture. Repeat layers of noodles and chicken mixture twice. Top with remaining noodles, cream cheese mixture and mozzarella; cover.
BAKE 25 min. or until heated through. Sprinkle with remaining basil. Let stand 5 min. before cutting to serve.

Gluten free: GF noodles.

Original recipe from

Friday, November 4, 2011

Iced Pumpkin Cookies

Of course, it's that time of year when all I want is pumpkin. I found a new recipe for pumpkin cookies and was sold immediately. And they were delightful! So far, everyone that has tried them (friends, family, co-workers) have loved them! They are moist with the perfect touch of pumpkin spice. Yummm... Because I was running out of time to make them last night, I ended up using a pre-made frosting, but I honestly think they ended up tasting just as good. I've made homemade glazes before and they are delicious, but sometimes it's just easier to go with pre-made. :) Just a side note, the dough does come out thick and sticky, so it can be somewhat difficult to shape the cookies. Many of my cookies came out different shapes and sizes and were not perfectly round like in the picture. But once you frost them, they look great, and the taste is even better. I will definitely be making this a tradition every year, especially since they made my house smell so wonderful and festive. :)

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups confectioners' sugar
3 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves, and salt; set aside.
In a medium bowl, cream together the 1/2 cup of butter and white sugar. Add pumpkin, egg, and 1 teaspoon vanilla to butter mixture, and beat until creamy. Mix in dry ingredients. Drop on cookie sheet by tablespoonfuls; flatten slightly.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven. Cool cookies, then drizzle glaze with fork.
To Make Glaze: Combine confectioners' sugar, milk, 1 tablespoon melted butter, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Add milk as needed, to achieve drizzling consistency.

Gluten free: use GF flour.

Original recipe from

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Chicken Parmesan Meatloaf

Super yum! I like meatloaf anyway, but this one was lighter and leaner, which I loved. It calls for ground chicken or turkey. I used ground turkey and it was delcious. I served this to my husband and his cousin and they both really enjoyed it. It was a really fun take on meatloaf! I will definitely be making this on a regular basis. It is very easy too. I served it with mashed potatoes and green beans. I didn't change anything about the recipe. It was even better the next day when all of the flavors had time to blend together wonderfully. I think it's an excellent form of meatloaf for this time of year- especially if you use turkey! :)

1 lb ground chicken (ground turkey can be substituted)

1 egg

1/4 breadcrumbs

1/2 teaspoon dried basil

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1-2 cloves garlic, finely minced

1 small onion, grated

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup pasta sauce (homemade or store bought)

1/2 cup shredded Italian cheese blend

minced parsley for garnish

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a loaf pan with cooking spray, set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the ground chicken, egg, breadcrumbs, thyme, oregano, basil, garlic, onion, salt, pepper and Parmesan cheese. To not over handle the mixture otherwise it will get tough. Place the mixture in the greased loaf pan and form into a loaf. Top the meatloaf with pasta sauce.

Place filled loaf pan on a baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 40-45 minutes. Remove the meatloaf from the oven and sprinkle the top with the remaining shredded cheese. Place the meatloaf back in the oven and bake until the cheese is melted.

Remove the meatloaf from the oven and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes before serving/slicing. Garnish with parsley if desired.

Gluten free: GF bread crumbs.

Original recipe from