Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookies

I found a recipe on Allrecipes but I changed it up a bit about a year ago and I think its delicious.  When I first made them I did not know they were gluten free or what gluten even was.  When my mom found out that she was gluten intolerant, as was my brother and sister, I realized that I had the best cookie recipe ever for them.  They are super easy and the ingredients are ones that are usually on hand.  These are my absolute favorite peanut butter cookies!

Peanut Butter Cookies

1 c. peanut butter
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. white sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350.  Mix all ingredients.  Form into balls and press with forks in the traditional criss cross pattern.  Bake for 8-10 minutes. Enjoy!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Sponge/Seafoam Candy

I love seafoam candy.  It is crunchy and reminds me of honey. It is covered in chocolate.  There isn't much more you can ask of a candy.    I first tried a type of this candy in fifth grade when my friend brought home Crunchy bars from Canada.  They are my favorite candy bars but are really hard to find.  I later found sponge candy at Maceys grocery store in their bulk candy section.  It tastes wonderful and is always available but the problem with that is it costs $12.99 a pound. Talk about ridiculous.  I found this recipe a while ago and it tastes exactly like the Macey's candy and it is so easy to make.  This recipe is made from ingredients that I already have on hand. 

Sponge Candy

Vegetable oil for greasing pan
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cup light corn syrup
6 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla

 Liberally grease a  round 10 inch spring form cake pan.  Line with parchment paper allowing 2 inches to stand above the top of the pan.  Grease again.  In a deep sauce pan add sugar, corn syrup, water, and vanilla. Over medium-high heat bring the mixture to a boil (without stirring) and cook until hard crack stage until temperature reads 300 degrees F. on a candy thermometer. This should take about 10 minutes.  Remove from heat. Quickly add the baking soda and blend into the sugar mixture. The mixture will bubble up when you add the baking soda. Be very careful not to touch the hot mixture!! I touched it on accident once and I had a blister for 2 weeks. SO BE CAREFUL.  Immediately after the baking soda is mixed into the sugar pour into the prepared pan.  Let this set and cool completely before removing is from the pan.  Cut up into pieces and dip in melted chocolate if desired, which of course you would desire.  Store in an airtight container. 

This recipe makes a lot but do not try to cut the recipe in half, the sugar heats too quickly and burns.  I have learned this from experience. 

I hope you enjoy this candy as much as I do!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Greek Yogurt and What to do with It

I love Greek Yogurt.  It is thick and creamy and tastes like a cross between cream cheese and sour cream, without all of the calories.  In fact, most diets allow and encourage yogurt.  But it is expensive.  I decided that I would just go ahead and buy it for myself.  I would buy a quart.  If I ate about a half cup a day it should last for 8 days.  I really like to eat it with fresh fruit, especially blueberries and raspberries and a squiggle of honey.  But I noticed that my container of yogurt ran out way before the 8 days were up.  Then I saw the problem.  Joe had sampled Greek yogurt at Costco.  He doesn't have the portion control skills that I have developed. He would fill his bowl with about a cup or more of yogurt at a time!  I confronted him.  I told him Greek yogurt is concentrated so he only needs half of what he thinks.  No change.  He countered that he was really hungry and the lady at Costco told him it was really good for his body.  I told him to add fruit to stretch his yogurt, but he said he only liked it with honey.  Finally I told him that Greek yogurt is an R rated food.  Only adults have the wisdom to eat the right amount and to appreciate it.  You can imagine how that went over.  I needed to ship Joe off to military school or figure out a cheaper source for my new found favorite food.

I remembered that back in the mid eighties I had fiends with home yogurt making machines so I started researching and discovered methods and recipes without special equipment.  I have tried it a couple of times and it is really good and really easy.  You don't need a yogurt maker, but you do need an instant read thermometer(available at Walmart or Target), a cooler, an electric blanket or throw, and 9 pint sized mason jars with lids.  I like to use the wide mouth jars but it really doesn't matter if you use the standard size.

Greek Yogurt

1 gallon of milk-skim to whole, whatever your preference
Enough powdered milk to make 1 gallon
1/2 to 1 cup of Greek yogurt to start the culture

Put your milk in a large pot.  Add the powdered milk.  Notice that I haven't told you exactly how much powdered milk to use.  You need to read the instructions on the powdered milk you have.  You might even add a little more powdered milk.  The more powdered milk you add the thicker the yogurt will be.  This is called fortified milk.  It is a double strength milk. Heat the milk to 190 degrees,  The heating chemically changes the milk.  If you skip this step or don' heat it adequately you will get a stringy and slimy yogurt.  Now the yogurt has to cool to 120 degrees.  If you want to speed the cooling you could put the pot in the sink surrounded by ice.  When the milk gets down to 120 degrees take out 2 cups and mix it with the yogurt.  I use a wire whisk on this step.  Then put the milk-yogurt mix into the pot of milk and whisk until the yogurt is completely incorporated.  At this point you can pour the milk through a cheese cloth or a thin tea towel to take out any grains or grittiness that has entered the milk during the heating and cooling process. 

Next, fill the jars with the yogurt infused milk.  Put the lids on the jars and screw down the bands.  Put all of the jars into a cooler and throw in the electric blanket.  Set the electric blanket to high.  Allow this to "cook" for 14 hours.  Next, put the yogurt in the fridge.  You will want to wait about 12 hours for the yogurt to cool and thicken up. 

The yogurt will stay good for at least 4 weeks in the fridge.  Make sure you keep 1 cup of the yogurt to start your next batch.

So the cost of this yogurt is the price of a gallon of milk and the price of the powdered milk.  In Dallas at this time the cost is about $4 for 9 pints of the best Greek yogurt you have ever eaten.

But what to do with all of that yogurt if you don't have a thirteen year old boy around?  I made some Mango Frozen Yogurt last night.  It was so good, just like the kind at Tutti Frutti.  I will post more Frozen yogurt recipes when I try them.

Mango Frozen Yogurt

2 C Greek yogurt
2/3 C milk
1/2 C sugar
2 T honey
2 large ripe mangoes, peeled and chunked

Put the mango chunks, milk, honey and sugar in the blender and process until smooth.  Add the yogurt and process until well blended. Place in the freezer or fridge for about an hour to chill.  Pour this into an ice cream freezer and let it run for 20-25 minutes. Perfection!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Thai Sticky Rice

At the request of my aunt here is the recipe for Thai Sticky Rice with Mango.  I love this dessert and I think it is just as good as what you can get at a Thai restaurant. 

Thai Sticky Rice with Mango

1 1/2 cups uncooked white rice
2 cups water
1 1/2 cups coconut milk
1 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 tablespoon white sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon tapioca starch
3 mangoes, peeled and sliced 

          Combine the rice and water in a saucepan; bring to a boil; cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer until water is absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes.  While the rice cooks, mix together 1 1/2 cups coconut milk, 1 cup sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a saucepan over medium heat; bring to a boil; remove from heat and set aside. Stir the cooked rice into the coconut milk mixture; cover. Allow to cool for 1 hour.  Make a sauce by mixing together 1/2 cup coconut milk, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and the tapioca starch in a saucepan; bring to a boil.  Place the sticky rice on a serving dish. Arrange the mangoes on top of the rice. Pour the sauce over the mangoes and rice. 

We made this with real sticky rice the last time and it was very good but buying real sticky rice can get expensive so if you are on a tight budget I would just stick to regular rice.  But if you really want a treat and have the money, get the sticky rice.

We have also made this using bananas and it is pretty tasty. It reminds me of breakfast.  A really good breakfast.  I think berries would be really good too.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Thai Coconut Curry for Two

Thai Coconut Curry For Two

This is the curry we had at Sarah's Cousin Shower.  This recipe is for two but I multiplied it several times to make enough for a crowd.

1 large boneless skinless chicken breast

2 tablespoon oil

2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger

3 cloves garlic, chopped fine

One onion chopped very fine

2 tablespoons curry powder- cut to one T if you have a delicate palate.

1 can coconut milk

1 lime, grate the zest,keep the juice

2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce or soy sauce

2 or more T sugar

About a half cup of chicken broth or water to thin the curry

2 large jalapeno peppers seeded, deviened and sliced- unless you want it really hot.

 1 (14 ounce) can cut baby corn or the kernels from one ear of corn or 1 C frozen corn

1/4 cup basil leaves, chopped

1/4 cup cilantro leaf, and stems chopped


Boil the chicken breast and cool.  Shred the chicken and set aside.  You can also use leftover chicken or pork from another meal. 

Put the garlic and ginger in a frying pan with the oil.  Do not heat the oil first.  Place this mixture over a medium high heat and cook for a few minutes until you smell the fragrance from the garlic and ginger. Add the onion and continue to cook until the onion is softened, about 3 or 4 minutes.  Add the curry powder and cook another minute or two.  Add the coconut milk and bring to a simmer. Add the lime juice, sugar, and soy sauce.  You may need to adjust the flavors by adding a little more sugar, lime juice, or soy sauce until it tastes the way you like it.  You may want to thin the curry a little bit with some chicken broth or water until it is the right consistency.  The right consistency is a medium gravy.  Then add the jalapenos and corn then simmer for about 5 more minutes until the jalapenos are tender.  Just before serving add the chopped basil and the chopped cilantro. 

Serve this over rice.

We also had sticky rice with mango for dessert.  I hope Kate posts that recipe soon.  It was such a fun party.  Warm wishes to Sarah and Jayce as they start their new life together.  We love both of you!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Chocolate Pudding!

It has been a while since I posted last.  I just haven't felt like I've had much to talk about but I found a new recipe and I want to tell the world how great it is! 

Whenever I think of chocolate pudding I think about my brother Joe running downstairs when we were younger to tell announce that mom was making chocolate pudding.  After stampeding down the stairs he took a flying leap to the couch while yodeling "Chocolate Pudding!!" Instead of landing on the couch he landed on the coffee table and burst into tears.  I don't remember the particulars but I feel like he landed on his face.  At any rate, whenever I think of chocolate pudding I think of Joe.  I've always loved chocolate pudding and this recipe from allrecipes.com that I've tweaked a bit is the best chocolate pudding I've ever had and I could eat it every day.  Of course if I did that, I'd gain quite a bit of weight. It is almost worth it.  Almost.
Chocolate Pudding

1/2 c. white sugar
3 heaping Tbs. cocoa powder
1/4 c. corn starch
1/8 tsp. salt
2 3/4 c. whole milk
1 tsp. vanilla
2 Tbs. butter

In a medium saucepan combine the dry ingredients.  Whisk in the milk over medium heat.  Stir continuously until the pudding begins to boil  Let boil at least ten seconds, stirring the entire time.  Remove from heat and stir in the butter and vanilla.  Enjoy!

The whole process takes about the same amount of time as a box of cook and serve pudding mix but is infinitely better.  The whole milk makes it very rich and creamy but I would guess that the recipe would work just as well with low fat milk just fine.  

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Brisket Tacos

Brisket Tacos

One or two days before you want to serve brisket tacos cook up a brisket. This is how I do it. I buy a whole untrimmed brisket, about 10-12 pounds. I generously salt and pepper the brisket with kosher salt and coarsely ground black pepper. I coat the entire brisket with a generous amount of chili powder. I usually do this step in the sink to minimize the mess. The chili powder actually holds in the moisture from the beef so you don’t need to put in in a bag or cover it with foil. I put the brisket on a rack over a baking pan or a roasting pan, then into a 400 degree oven for about an hour. I turn the heat down to 200 and cook it for about 8 more hours. After this come out of the oven it needs to cool for at least one hour. Put the drippings from the meat into a fat separator. Throw out the grease but save the dark brown juice.

The day you are ready to serve brisket tacos slice the meat up into taco sized pieces and put into a large pan or crock pot. To the beef add the reserved brown juice, 16 oz jar of salsa verde, 14-16 oz can of tomato sauce, 1 T Cumin, 1 chopped onion, and 6 Cloves of Garlic, minced. Mix the sauce up with the meat. Cover and heat for a couple of hours at 350.

This make enough taco meat for about 20 hungry people.

Serve this on corn tortillas with queso fresco, salsa or pico de gallo, and guacamole.

This recipe is easily adapted to using leftover brisket

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Cafe Rio Recipes

2 pounds pork (we like to use boneless pork ribs)
3 cans Coke (NOT diet)
1/4 c. brown sugar
dash garlic salt
1/4 c. water
1 can sliced green chilies
3/4 can RED enchilada sauce Rosarita brand… (non-gluten)
1 c. brown sugar

Put the pork in a heavy duty Ziploc bag to marinade. Add about a can and a half of coke and about 1/4 c. of brown sugar. Marinade for a few hours or overnight.

Drain marinade and put pork, 1/2 can of coke, water, and garlic salt in crock pot on high for about 3-4 hours (or until it shreds easily, but don't let it get TOO dry). Remove pork from crock-pot and drain any liquid left in the pot. Shred pork.

In a food processor or blender, blend 1/2 can Coke, chilies, enchilada sauce and remaining brown sugar (about a cup, you can add a little more or less to taste..). If it looks too thick, add more Coke little by little.

Put shredded pork and sauce in crock pot and cook on low for 2 hours. That's it!

1 c. uncooked rice
1 tsp. butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
1 can (15 oz) chicken broth Pacific –Costco brand non gluten
1 cup water
1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tsp. sugar
3 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro

I put all of this into a rice cooker and cook it. Stir it about 2 times while it is cooking.

2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/3 c. tomato juice
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. fresh chopped cilantro

In a nonstick skillet, cook garlic and cumin in olive oil over medium heat until you can smell it. Add beans, tomato juice, and salt. Continually stir until heated through. Just before serving stir in the cilantro. You can also add a can of whole kernel corn.

2 cups Lighthouse Ranch dressing
2 tomatillos, remove husk, diced
1/2 bunch of fresh cilantro
1 clove garlic
juice of 1 lime
Put all above into a blender until smooth.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Thai Chicken Curry

Thai Chicken Curry

Another of our favorite recipes, and another that I've been meaning to post about for a long time.  We love Thai food and while this isn't what we usually get at Thai restaurants it is very good with a mellow and sweet taste.

1 lb. chicken breasts, cubed
2 tsp. curry powder
2 tsp. vegetable oil
1 large green or red pepper, sliced
1 c. finely chopped onion
2 tsp. minced garlic
14 oz. can coconut milk
8 oz. can pineapple chunks in juice, not drained
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper

Sprinkle chicken with 1 tsp. curry powder.  Heat 1 tsp. oil in a large skillet over medium high.  Add pepper and onion and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring several times.  Add remaining 1 tsp. oil and the chicken.  Cook until the chicken is lightly browned.  Stir in garlic; cook 1 minute or until fragrant.  Add the remaining 1 tsp. curry powder, the coconut milk, pineapple and juice, salt and red pepper.  Boil and reduce heat.  Simmer uncovered for 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender and chicken is cooked throughout.  Serve over rice.  We love jasmine or basmati rice with this meal.  This serves 4 people

Rustic Garlic Chicken

Rustic Garlic Chicken

This is one of my and Eric's favorite meals.  We love it, its so garlicky and great!

2 Tbs. cooking oil
4 chicken breasts
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
3 heads of garlic, cloves separated
2 Tbs. flour
1 c. dry white wine
1 c. chicken broth
2 Tbs. butter
2 Tbs. chopped fresh parsley

Heat the oven to 400.  In a Dutch oven, heat the oil over moderately high.  Sprinkle chicken with 1/2 tsp. of salt and pepper.  Cook the chicken until well browned, turning, about 8 minutes in all.  Remove from the pot.  Reduce the heat to moderate, add garlic and saute until it is starting to brown- about 3 minutes.  Sprinkle the flour over the garlic and stir until combined.  Return the chicken to the chicken to the pot, cover, and bake for 15 minutes.  Remove the pot from the oven and put it on a burner.  Remove the chicken from the pot.  Over moderately high heat, whisk in the wine and simmer for 1 minute.  Whisk in the broth and the remaining 1/2 tsp. salt and simmer until starting to thicken, about 3 minutes.  Turn the heat off, whisk in the butter, and pour the sauce over the chicken.  Sprinkle with the parsley.

I always make mashed potatoes with this because the sauce the recipe makes makes plenty for the chicken and tastes great on the potatoes.  This recipe serves 4 and each person squeezes the garlic out of its skin to eat with the chicken.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Homemade Chocolate Milk

What? Chocolate milk without a store bought powder or syrup?! I can hardly believe it myself!

Chocolate Milk

1/8 c. water
2 tsp. cocoa powder
2 Tbs. sugar
1 3/4 c. cold milk

In your glass mix the water, cocoa powder, and sugar.  Place in microwave for 30 seconds and stir until the sugar and cocoa completely mixed in.  Add the milk, stir again, and ENJOY!!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Tomato-Gazpacho Pasta

I had lots of vegetables on hand this week, so I made Tomato-Gazpacho pasta for Sunday dinner. I normally save this recipe for the summer, but with the beautiful weather we have been having, I decided that there was no need to wait. My mom gave me this recipe while I was at BYU. I am not sure where she got it from.


1 1/2 lbs plum tomatoes, diced into 1/2" pieces
1 yellow pepper, cut into 1/4" pieces
1/2 Small red onion, cut into 1/4" pieces
1/2 cucumber, seeded and chopped into 1/4" pieces
1 small (5.5 oz) can of Tomato juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1 Tbs vinegar
1 clove minced garlic
2 Tbs fresh basil, chopped
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
8 oz bow tie pasta, cooked, drained, and chilled
8 oz fresh mozzarella, diced

Combine first 11 ingredients in a large bowl. Stir in mozzarella and pasta.

Because of protests from Chris, I also added 1 can of chicken (from Costco).

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Kate's Chicken Fried Rice

A few months ago I was really craving chicken fried rice.  I found a highly rated recipe online but was very dissatisfied with the lack of vegetables, spices, and flavor.  I'm a big fan of garlic and ginger and I think they really add something to Asian food, especially the ginger, yum!  I decided to take my craving into my own hands and this is the recipe I came up with.  Most of the ingredients are approximations and the recipe feeds 4.

 Kate's Chicken Fried Rice

2 eggs
1 Tbs. water
1 Tbs. butter
1 Tbs. vegetable oil
1 c. green onion, chopped
1 c. carrots, finely chopped
1 c. frozen peas
1 chicken breast cubed
Garlic powder (to taste)
Onion powder (to taste)
Fresh or powdered ginger (to taste)
pepper (to taste)
2 c. cold rice
Soy sauce (to taste)

In a bowl beat the eggs with the water.  Sprinkle garlic, onion, powdered ginger, and pepper on chicken and cook in a skillet with oil.  Set chicken aside, keeping oil in the skillet.  Add butter and melt.  Add the onion, carrots, and peas and saute.  Add the chicken and more ginger and spices if desired.  Pour the egg into a corner of the skillet and scramble.  When it's finished stir it together with the vegetables and chicken.  Add the rice (cold to prevent it from getting mushy) and soy sauce and enjoy!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Over Christmas break I've been trying out cooking with my slow cooker.  It has been a great experiment so far. Using the slow cooker is incredibly easy and the food has always turned out tasting great.  I just wish I had discovered how great slow cookers are earlier.  I'm pretty excited to get home from work and have dinner already ready for me.

 I made pulled pork sandwiches last night and they were really good.  I might never get them at a restaurant again and save myself from the fatty pieces that I always seem to take big bites of and from spending the money.

Pulled Pork Sandwiches
1 two lb pork tenderloin
Salt and pepper
Garlic salt
1 12 oz. can or bottle of root beer
1 18 oz. bottle of barbecue sauce
Hamburger buns

Rub the salt, pepper, and garlic salt on the tenderloin.  Place the tenderloin in the slow cooker and pour the root beer over the meat.  Cover and cook on low until the meat is cooked.  Shred the pork using either forks or fingers .  Drain the root beer from the crock pot and return the shredded pork to the pot.  Stir in the barbecue sauce and enjoy on toasted hamburger buns.