Monday, May 13, 2013

Minestrone Soup (in the crockpot)

This soup was absolutely delicious!  It was the perfect warm weather soup with all of your fresh cut veggies and colors, it was perfect!  It was light and refreshing and I will definitely make this again.  It took some time to chop all of the veggies up and it makes a TON of soup, but it was worth it!  And guess what?  It's gluten free!

2 Cups Frozen Peas  (Defrosted)
3 Small Yellow Summer Squash
1 Cup Snapped Green Beans
2 Medium Zucchini
5 Medium Celery Stalks
1 Red Bell Pepper
1 Cup Baby Carrots or 2 Large Carrots
1 Large White Onion
1 Tbsp Extra Light Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 Tbsp Black Pepper
1/2 Tsp Sea Salt
1 Tbsp Garlic Powder
1/8 Cup Fresh Oregano
2 Tbsp Minced Garlic
1 Tsp Parsley
2 Cans Reduced Sodium Kidney Beans
1 Can White Kidney Beans
2 Cans Died Tomatoes (Basil, Garlic, Oregano)
2 Boxes Organic Vegetable Broth
2 Tbsp Light Brown Sugar (My secret Ingredient)

-Turn crock pot on high, and cover.
-Cook 5-6 hours.

Gluten free:  use GF veggie broth

Recipe and photo found on:

Polynesian Chicken

I really enjoyed this dish!  Not only was it super easy, but the flavor was delightful!  I served my chicken over white jasmine rice and it was very tasty!!

Ingredients4 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless (about 1.5 pounds), cut into 2" cubes  (I used chicken thighs)1 red bell pepper, cored and seeded, sliced into 1" strips
1 (20 ounce) can pineapple chunks, in natural juice
2 tablespoons lite soy sauce (I used regular La Choy soy sauce)1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon freshly ground ginger
1/3 cup honey
2 tablespoons cornstarch
DirectionsRecommend using a 4-7 quart slow-cooker.
Pour juice from canned pineapple chunks into a small mixing bowl. Add to juice, soy sauce, garlic, ginger and honey, whisk to combine. Add cornstarch and stir until combined.
Place chicken in slow-cooker, add pineapple chunks and bell peppers. Pour pineapple mixture over chicken, cover and cook on low 4-5 hours. Serve chicken over a bed of quinoa or brown rice.

Gluten free:  use GF soy sauce, I used La Choy brand.

Recipe and photo found on

Houdini Bars

These were absolutely fantastic!  Everyone that had one, loved them.  And they are true to their name...they disappear quickly! :)

1 package (18.25 oz) plain yellow cake mix (I used King Arthur's gluten free yellow cake mix)
1 stick butter, melted
3 large eggs
1 package cream cheese, at room temperature (recipe calls for reduced-fat; I used full-fat)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1/2 cup walnuts (original recipe called for pecans; either way, the nuts are optional)

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350F. Set aside a generously greased 9x13-inch pan.
Place the cake mix, butter, and one egg in a large mixing bowl and beat on low speed with an electric mixer until the ingredients are incorporated, about 1 minute. Press the batter into the bottom and partially up the sides of the baking pan (I used my hands) and set the pan aside.
Place the cream cheese in the same mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer on low speed until fluffy, 30 seconds. Add the remaining 2 eggs and the vanilla and the confectioners' sugar and beat on low speed until smooth and combined, about 1 minute. Fold in the coconut; pour mixture over the crust and smooth the top with a spatula. Scatter the nuts, if you've chosen to use them.
Bake the bars until the edges are well browned and the center is firm to the touch, about 40 to 50 minutes. Transfer the baking pan to a wire rack and let cool for 30 minutes before cutting and serving (do not score the bars while still hot!)

Gluten free:  just use a GF yellow cake mix and you are good to go!

Recipe and photo found on:

Monday, April 15, 2013

Lazy Daisy Cake

I grew up eating a cake almost exactly like this one and absolutely loved it.  I couldn't find my family's recipe though, so I was excited when I found this one to give it a try.  Soooo good!  I love this cake.  It's a tiny bit more work than your average cake.  It's from scratch for one.  Two, there are a few different steps you have to take before mixing it all together.  So it takes a bit of time, but not terrible.  And it comes out so yummy!

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
4 tblsp. butter
1 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
4 eggs, room temperature
2 cups sugar
9 tblsp. butter, melted
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
6 tblsp. evaporated milk
1 1/2 cups shredded coconut

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350. Grease and flour a 13x9 inch pan.
Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.
Heat the butter and milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat until the butter melts. Stir in the vanilla.
With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the eggs and sugar until pale and thick, about 6 minutes.
Using a rubber spatula, fold in the flour mixture and milk mixture alternately until just incorporated.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes.
Let cool slightly in the pan, about 10 minutes.
Heat the broiler.

For the topping:
Combine the butter, brown sugar, evaporated milk, and coconut in a medium bowl. Spread the topping evenly over cake. Broil until topping bubbles and just begins to brown, 3-4 minutes. Serve warm.

The cake can be stored at room temperature for up to 4 days. Reheat individual servings in the microwave.

Gluten free:  use your own GF all purpose flour.

Recipe and photo found on:

Jambalaya (In Slow Cooker)

Ok, yum!!  Me and my husband gobbled this up!  I've made jambalaya before (using a different recipe) and it was ok...didn't turn out as great as I would have hoped.  But this recipe was excellent!  Incredibly easy too.  I will definitely be making this one again!

1 pound smoked kielbasa or Polish sausage, sliced
1/2 pound Member's Mark® Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes

1 can (14-1/2 ounces) beef broth
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
2 celery ribs, chopped
1/3 cup tomato paste
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
1-1/2 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 pound cooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 cups cooked rice


In a 4-qt. slow cooker, combine the first 12 ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours or until chicken is no longer pink.
Stir in shrimp and rice. Cover and cook 15 minutes longer or until heated through. Yield: 12 servings.

Gluten free:  use GF kielbasa and beef broth, the rest is gluten free!

Recipe and photo found on:

Friday, April 12, 2013

Avocado Chicken Salad

Loved this!  It was light and fresh and delicious!  I think next time I might even use 2 avocados instead of just one because I love them so much and would love to have the extra avocado flavor!  And maybe even a whole lime instead of half.  So good!

1 Pkg boneless, skinless chicken breasts (2 or 3)  (I used 2 cans of canned chicken)
1 avocado
1/4 of an onion, chopped
juice of 1/2 a lime
2 Tbsp cilantro (or sub basil if you prefer)
some salt and pepper, to taste

Mix all of the above ingredients together and serve on sandwich rolls, croissants (which is what I did), or just regular sandwich bread.  I served the sandwiches with a side of chips and fruit.  Yum!

Gluten free:  This recipe is gluten free, just make sure you serve it on a GF roll or bread!

Recipe and photo found on: on Pinterest

Honey Bourbon Crockpot Chicken

This was so yummy!  I will definitely be making this again.  The only thing I left out were the sesame seeds, other than that I followed the recipe exactly.  My sauce didn't thicken as well as I would have liked it to in the crockpot, I don't think it was able to get hot enough.  But it still tasted yummy!

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs
salt and pepper
½ cup diced onion
1 cup of honey
½ cup low sodium soy sauce
¼ cup ketchup
2 Tbsp. canola oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
1-2 Tbsp cornstarch
hot rice
sesame seeds, optional

Salt and pepper chicken and place in your slow cooker.
Place onion on top of chicken.
In a medium sized bowl, combine honey, soy sauce, ketchup, oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Pour mixture over the chicken in the crockpot.
Cook on low for 3-4 hours
Remove chicken from crock pot and slice into strips.
In a small bowl, combine 1 Tbsp cornstarch with 1 Tbsp water. Pour into sauce remaining in the crock pot and stir to combine. If sauce is not thick enough repeat with another Tbsp of the cornstarch/water.
Place the chicken back in the sauce and stir around to re-coat the chicken in the sauce.
Serve over cooked rice and sprinkle some sesame seeds on top (optional).

Gluten free:  Use a gluten free soy sauce, such as La Choy brand and you are good to go!

Recipe and photo found on:

Monday, March 18, 2013

Corned Beef, Cabbage, and Carrots (Slow Cooker)

This is my all-time favorite St. Patrick's Day meal.  I've been eating it this way my entire life.  It's very basic, but had such delicious flavor!  I know other recipes use potatoes, onion wedges, and other ingredients like that, and I'm sure it's delicious as well, but I grew up with a very simple recipe and I like it!

4 lb corned beef brisket with seasonings packet
1 bag baby carrots
4 cups water
1 head of cabbage

Place the baby carrots on the bottom of your slow cooker, they will be a base for your corned beef so it doesn't dry out while it cooks.  Pour in 4-5 cups of water.  Place the brisket, fat side up, on top of the carrots.  Sprinkle the seasonings packet on top of the brisket.  Cover the slow cooker with the lid and cook on LOW for 8 1/2 hours.  An hour before it is done, slice the cabbage into wedges and place in slow cooker around the sides of the brisket.  Cover and cook the last hour.  When done, remove the brisket and slice into  thin slices and enjoy with your veggies on the side!

This recipe is gluten free!

Photo found on

Trisha Yearwood's Key Lime Cake

My usual tradition for St. Patrick's Day would be to make my mom's pistachio cake- oh so good.  But this year I found this recipe for Trisha Yearwood's Key Lime cake and it sounded delicious!  I just had to try it.  My husband is a big fan of key lime flavors as well, so we gave it a go.  And yes, it was divine!  I didn't have time however to do the layered look, so I just baked the entire mixture in a 9x13 dish for 35 minutes.  Turned out wonderful!

Trisha Yearwood's Key Lime Cake

■1 3-oz package lime-flavored gelatin
■1⅓ cups granulated sugar
■2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
■½ tsp salt
■1 tsp baking powder
■1 tsp baking soda
■5 large eggs, slightly beaten
■1½ cups vegetable oil
■¾ cup orange juice
■1 Tbsp lemon juice
■½ tsp vanilla extract
■½ cup Key lime juice (from about 25 small Key limes or 4 large regular limes)
■½ cup confectioners’ sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour three 9-inch-round cake pans.

2. In a large mixing bowl, mix the gelatin, sugar, flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Stir to mix well. Add the eggs, oil, orange juice, lemon juice, and vanilla. Divide the batter evenly among the 3 pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes.  (I just baked mine in a 9x13 dish for 35 minutes.)  Test if it's done by lightly touching the tops of the layers or inserting a toothpick. Cool the layers in the pans for 5 minutes, then turn them out onto racks.

3. While the layers are still hot, mix the lime juice and confectioners’ sugar and pour it over the layers on the racks. You can pierce the layers with a fork to allow the glaze to soak in better. Allow the layers to cool completely as you prepare the icing.


■½ cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
■1 (8-oz) package cream cheese, room temperature
■1 (1-lb) box confectioners’ sugar
Comment from (I used lime zest & lime juice in my icing)

1. Cream the butter and cream cheese. Beat in the confectioners’ sugar until the mixture is smooth and easy to spread. Spread the icing between the layers and on the top and sides of the cake.

My cake turned out more like this (still just as delicious):

Gluten free: use GF all purpose flour (I used King Arthur's brand)

Recipe and photo found on

Cabbage, Potato, and Smoked Sausage Skillet

With it being the month of March, I always love to try new things that are festive to St. Patrick's Day.  This recipe was a super easy, week night meal that I tried after work one day.  And it was good!  The sausage adds so much flavor to this dish, which I loved.  It was a fun, easy St. Patrick's Day meal!

½ large head of cabbage, roughly chopped (or an entire small one)
1 large mild onion, chopped
1 lb smoked sausage, or favorite sausage enough for 4 servings
1 pkg. Simply Potatoes diced with onions
½ to 1 cup chicken broth
1 dash seasoning salt
½ teaspoon paprika
1 dash pepper

Heat pan and sausage, and potatoes. Season with the seasoned salt lightly, and add the paprika. Cook and stir over medium heat until potatoes are cooked about halfway through.
Next add the chopped cabbage and 1 cup of chicken broth. Cook, stirring occasionally until cabbage is crisp-tender and most of the liquid evaporates.

Gluten free:  double check your sausage of choice and chicken broth, other than that it's gluten free!

Recipe and photo found on:

Friday, March 8, 2013

Chickpea Potato Curry

At first I wasn't sure how I was going to feel about this recipe, but wanted to give it a shot.  Result = Husband and I LOVED it.  Very good.  And so, so easy.  I will be making this one again for sure.  Next time I'm coing to substitue chicken thighs for the chickpeas and see how that tastes!

INGREDIENTS2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
Two 15-ounce cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
One 14 1/2-ounce can fire-roasted or stewed tomatoes with chiles (See Muir Glen. If you can't find canned tomatoes with chiles you can add half a 4-ounce can of diced green anaheim chiles to a 14.5 ounce can of tomatoes.)
6 baby (new) Yukon Gold potatoes (about 12 ounces), quartered
1 medium onion, diced (about 2 cups)
2 Tbsp unsalted butter (or ghee if you have it, or you can sub olive oil)
2 teaspoons minced ginger
1-2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/8 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (to taste)

METHOD1 In a large pot, heat the butter over medium-high heat and sauté the onions and ginger until the onion begins to brown, about 4-5 minutes. Add the salt, cumin, coriander and cayenne, stir to combine and cook for another minute or two.
2 Add the remaining ingredients, stir to mix and simmer vigorously for about 35 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Add more salt to taste.
Serve the curry in bowls over rice. Great accompanied with plain yogurt.
Yield: Serves 4-6.

This recipe is gluten free!!  :)

Recipe and photo found on

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Lemon Chicken and Rice

Don't let the name of this dish deceive you!  It is absolutely delicious!  It sounds super simple and boring, but there is actually a ton of flavor in this dish.  And all of the flavors just mesh so well together.  I made this meal on Valentines day for me and my super special other half.  And it was divine!  It had such a nice fresh, citrus, herb, with a tiny kick taste.  I wasn't sure how it was going to turn out with all of the different flavors but we just gobbled it right up.  And it is so fast to throw together too.  This will definitely become a regular around my kitchen!  Next time I am excited to try it with shrimp! :)

Lemon Chicken and Rice

  • 1cup basmati or long grain brown rice  (I used jasmine rice)
  • 16oz low sodium chicken broth
  • 1tbsp Earth Balance Buttery Spread or regular butter
  • 1tbsp minced garlic
  • 1tsp red pepper flakes (if desired) (I did use about 1/2 tsp, just enough for a small kick)
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/2lb – 1lb (chicken breast, shrimp, or canned chicken) (I used chicken)
  • 2tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
  1. In a pot add in broth, rice, butter, and garlic; bring to a boil.
  2. Once that starts to boil add in red pepper flakes, cover, and reduce heat to low.
  3. Let simmer for 15-25 minutes depending on rice.
  4. Take off lid and add in cooked protein choice, squeeze fresh lemon in pot, and add cilantro.
  5. Mix all together and cover for another 3-5 minutes.

Gluten free:  this recipe is gluten free!  Even better!! :)

Recipe and photo found on

Monday, January 7, 2013

Creamed Dried Beef

Have you ever had egg gravy before?  It's a white sauce with boiled egg chopped and mixed in served over warm toast.  Well, this is exactly the same thing, only using dried beef.  It's a good, hearty, filling, classic meal.  Since me and my husband love egg gravy, we really liked this dish as well.  Once thing you should know, (and don't forget!!), is that 3 jars of beef is way too much.  It makes it just way too salty.  The woman who posted the recipe said to only use 2 jars of dried beef if it was the first time making it to see how salty you might like it.  So that's what I did.  Even that was a bit too much.  So next time I will either double my white sauce or only use 1 jar of dried beef next time.  Other than the saltiness, it was great!  And super easy, took 5 minutes to make.  Also, most of the ingredients you have around your kitchen most of the time anyway.  Such an easy, weeknight meal.


3 jar(s)dried beef  (I used 2, but will only use 1 next time around)
1 stkbutter  (I used margarine)
1/2 cflour
4 cmilk


 Tear (I cut with scissors) dried beef into small pieces and set aside. In saucepan, melt butter over low heat. After completely melted, add flour and mix in with spoon until no lumps show. Add milk and turn heat to high, stirring constantly until it boils. Turn heat back down to medium, stirring constantly, until desired thickness is achieved. Stir in dried beef. Serve over warm toast.

Gluten free: substitute GF all purpose flour.

Recipe found on, photo found on