Saturday, November 22, 2014

Chicken Pot Pie Meatloaf

Dubbed so by my youngest, this is the name I'm using for this recipe.  Another suggestion was Thanksgiving Chicken Meatloaf.  Regardless, if you gild the lily (make gravy) and add potatoes, I doubt you'll have any complaints that this is made with ground chicken!  (Serve with steamed green peas and it will be even more like pot pie!)

As for the crackers I used, they are Van's Fire-Roasted Veggie crackers.  I rely on Super Wal-Mart and/or the buying club I belong to for these.  Amazon offers them but they're priced higher...  I like the flavor they add; the multi-grain aspect and the spice combo in/on them give this a little extra something.

The ground chicken I can regularly find is Perdue brand.  I haven't tried this with anything else.  It's plain ol' ground chicken, the "mixed meat" kind, not the expensive lower-fat white-meat-only package.

I've used both unsweetened plain almond milk and unsweetened plain cashew milk, both Silk brand.  I prefer the cashew milk!  (It also makes dreamy scalloped potatoes!)

I like LIKE LIKE my Calphalon tri-ply pans...and used my 3-qt chef's pot to saute the veggies and, when they cooled sufficiently, continued to mix the meatloaf in it because the rounded shape made it fast and easy.  I try to convince everyone I know that they NEED one of these pans! 

CHICKEN POT PIE MEATLOAF - I used my 7x11 Pyrex dish

2 carrots, shredded - roughly 1 C        Heat a little extra virgin olive oil and saute
1 onion, chopped - 3/4 C                      veggies until nearly soft. 
2 large ribs celery - 1/2 C                     

1 tsp dried thyme, crushed                      Add spices, salt, pepper.
1/4 tsp rubbed sage                                 Cool mixture slightly.
1/2 tsp granulated garlic                         
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper        Set oven to 350F.
1/4 tsp sea salt, fine grind                        Mix in cracker crumbs and milk.

1/2 C crushed Van's Fire-Roasted Veggie Crackers (about 20)
1/2 C "milk"

2 eggs                                          Mix in eggs until everything is incorporated.

2 pounds ground chicken             Finally, mix in ground chicken.

Divide mixture in half (more or less) at the ends of a rectangular baking dish.  Smooth into oblong shapes. Bake, uncovered, for 75 minutes.  (I test with an instant-read thermometer to be sure it's done.)

I'd like to hear if anyone tries this.  It was really tough to force myself to measure everything so I could share this!! 


Saturday, November 1, 2014

Speedy Black Bean Soup

My "sister" needs this post up today it is!  A simple quick soup that tastes darn good for how quickly it comes together.  Of course, it's better the next day but when isn't that the case?!?  Serve with tortilla chips (crush them in your bowl) and shredded Mexican cheese! 

SPEEDY BLACK BEAN SOUP - 3 or 4 quart pot

1 tsp olive oil                            Heat oil.  Add onions and cook til just beginning to
3/4 cup chopped onions          brown, stirring occasionally.  

2 cans (~15 oz each) black beans, with liquid          Add one can of beans and
1 can (14 1/2 oz) chicken broth (I use low-sodium)            MASH.  Raise heat
1 can corn kernels, drained                                     to high, add broth and whole
1 can (14 1/2 oz) Mexican-style stewed tomatoes                beans.  Stir well.
2-3 bay leaves                                                         Add corn, then remaining
1 tsp minced garlic                                                 ingredients.  Cover and bring
1 tsp balsamic vinegar                                           to boil.  Reduce heat to low and
1/2 tsp ground cumin                                           simmer to let flavors blend (8-10
                                                                            minutes) stirring often to prevent

This recipe is one of those I-need-to-warm-up-right-now soups.  Also, it's easily made "hotter" by using different tomato blends or just add your own touch!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Gluten-free Caramel Apple Upside-Down Cake

Oh, thank you for this amazing recipe!  It didn't take much to make it g-free and I'm still trying to decide whether or not that's a good thing!  All your gluten eating friends will want some...and you'll share because you won't want this cake lingering in your kitchen calling your name at all hours of the day and night!  It's good and it's easy to make, too!!

I can't say what glass pans will do as I use my favorite 9-inch heavy duty metal non-stick pan with this recipe.  It pops out like a dream so I won't bother to try it in the Pyrex.  Sorry, but you're on your own if you do.  Just make sure to butter/spray the sides and bottom well...

CARAMEL APPLE UPSIDE-DOWN CAKE      (8- or 9-inch square pan)  Oven to 325F.

1/4 cup butter
2/3 cup packed brown sugar (I use dark, better flavor!)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 medium apples, Granny Smith work WELL, cut into 1/2-in. wedges (16 per apple)

Using a small (1 quart) pan, heat butter til just melted, stirring if needed.  Stir in brown sugar.  Heat til it just begins to boil then immediately remove from the heat.  Stir in cinnamon.  Pour the "goo" into the pan, spreading it evenly.  Arrange the apple wedges over the "goo" as evenly and as tightly as possible.  Overlap where necessary.  (I began in the corners and worked my way inward.) 

1/3 cup superfine white rice flour             Combine all flours, starch, baking powder,
1/3 cup sweet rice flour                        cinnamon, xanthan gum, and salt; set aside.
1/3 cup sweet white sorghum flour
1/3 cup tapioca starch
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 - 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp xanthan gum
1/4 tsp salt 
1 cup sugar                             Beat sugar and butter til fairly fluffy.  (Betty suggests
1/2 cup butter, softened       using a mixer but I did it by hand with a spoon...)  Add
2 eggs                                   eggs, beating in one at a time, til smooth.  Add vanilla.
1/2 tsp vanilla                     Slowly and gradually beat in flour mixture alternately with
1/4 cup milk                        milk, beating after each addition.  The end result should 
                                          be almost silky smooth.

Spread batter over the apples.  Bake 55-65 minutes (til the pick comes out clean.)  The 9-inch pan took exactly 55 minutes so the 8-inch will take the 5-10 minutes more.  Cool on a rack for 15 minutes.  Run a knife (plastic, if using a metal pan) around the edges to loosen the cake.  Place your serving plate upside down over the pan, hang on like mad, and flip it upside-down!  Set it down a little harder than usual to make sure all the topping dropped and remove the pan.  You can eat it warm but as it gets closer to room temp the caramel begins to harden up a bit, more like a caramel apple.  

I can't tell you what it tastes like after a, no I can't!  So, let me know if you find out!!  Betty says to store leftovers loosely covered though!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

G-Free Lighter Morning Glory Muffins

These have been tried with a few different flour combinations over the last few years.  They don't sound especially good to many so don't go out of your way to describe the contents until after your "subjects" take a bite or two!  The prunes help the sweetness along so you don't need to add more brown sugar.  They are wonderfully moist and tend to stay that way.  Not that they'll last all that long so there's no need to worry!

LIGHTER MORNING GLORY MUFFINS - modified from #271283
                                                         - makes 1 dozen - spray the tin(s)
1 large egg                                                                       Oven to 400 degrees F.
2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/3 cup "milk" (I use unsweetened almond milk)       Combine egg through oil.
1/4 cup PACKED brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
2 T oil (I've used canola but plan to try melted coconut oil)

3 medium carrots, shredded (about 1 1/2 cups)        Add carrots and prunes to
1/2 cup prunes, chopped                                                    above mixture.

1/2 cup sweet white sorghum flour                   Combine all dry ingredients except
1/4 cup teff flour                                                                              oats.
1/4 cup rice flour (brown or white, superfine only!)                     Add oats.
1/4 cup tapioca starch
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup rolled oats, regular (I'm sure quick would work)

Muffin cups will be pretty full so distribute the batter as evenly as possible.  Bake about 23 minutes, til the pick comes out clean.  Remove from pan(s) immediately.  

When completely cool, I sometimes wrap individual muffins and then freeze four to a quart freezer bag.  They keep well for a month.  I wouldn't know about anything after that amount of time!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Cheesy Brown Rice "Patties"

This is more of a concept than a recipe but, for the sake of explanation, I'm writing it up like a recipe...  With a change of spice profile and cheese, you can take these in any direction you want.  When this idea occurred to me, I looked up what others had done with it and took bits and pieces of what little I found, twisted it up with what I had in the frig, and was pretty content with the results!  I plan to do this every time I have extra brown rice around!  And I plan to intentionally have it around!!

CHEESY BROWN RICE PATTIES - makes 5 or so "burger-sized" patties

Prep the veggies first - I used:
1/2 orange bell pepper
the better part of a small red onion, minced
1/2 a large carrot, shredded
1 large clove of garlic, minced - add after a few minutes

Heat 1 T olive oil in non-stick skillet.  Add prepped veggies and cook, stirring occasionally, til they begin to soften.  Add garlic.  Cook til nearly done.  Mix in:

spices - I used about 1/2 tsp crushed oregano, 1/4 tsp basil, 1/2 tsp parsley
a good handful of baby spinach, chopped - cook til wilted

Remove and cool the contents of the pan while you prep the rice and cheese.  Leave skillet on cook top as you will use it to "fry" the patties.

Beat one large egg in medium bowl.
Add about 2 cups of cooked chilled brown rice - mix thoroughly.  

Next comes the tricky part.  Take half of the rice mixture and make 5 patty bases in the skillet.  Make an even layer of shredded cheese to nearly cover each base.  (I used finely chopped Provolone because it needed eaten and I was going for an Italian direction anyway.)  Carefully place the rest of the rice mixture on top of the cheese to form patties.  You'll have to force them into submission as they are prone to falling apart a bit.  They WILL, however, bend to your will so stay determined!

Turn the burner to just above low and wait til the patties crisp up on the first side before you try to turn them.  IF you try to flip before they're set, you will make a DON'T DO IT!  Some of the cheese may slide down and start to fry, too, but it will serve to help them stick together better anyway!

Flip when ready and cook the second side to a crispy finish.  Cool a few minutes and EAT IMMEDIATELY!!  Leftovers can be reheated/warmed in the microwave easily enough but they do dry out a tad.

Mexican version:  BETTER than the original attempt!!

I kept the original veggies (with the exception of the spinach) and added a drained (small) can of chopped green chilies.  The spice combo was the oregano with (and I'm guessing here because I am notorious for not measuring...) 1/2 tsp cumin, a scant 1/2 tsp chili powder, and a few cranks of freshly cracked black pepper.  I had some Chipotle pepper white Cheddar cheese for the "middles" and that made them absolutely fantastic!!  I'm thinking I'll try to use some of my jarred roasted red peppers, drained really well of course, in the initial veggie mix...and maybe some fresh jalapeno!!  And cilantro, because I LIKE it!  (I know, you do what you have to do with that!)  

Another thought:  Cooking the rice in chicken broth and using some chopped chicken in the patties...  Of course, this leads me to more thinking.....someone should try minced ham with Swiss cheese!!  Who needs bread!?!  See, endless possibilities!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

G-Free Pumpkin Breads

I thought I'd lost this.  It was getting ugly!  Paper piles and pack-rat self.....humph.  Based on recipe #393600.  I always make three mini loaves.  Great to freeze.  Without further ado..... 

MINI PUMPKIN BREADS - makes 3 or the usual one larger loaf      Oven:  350 F.

3/4 cup sugar                  Whisk together sugar, oil, applesauce.  Then add eggs.
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

2 eggs

1 cup canned pumpkin                Add vanilla and spices to pumpkin. 
1 tsp vanilla extract                     (I use powdered orange zest, ~1/2 tsp) 

3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg OR 1-2 tsp orange zest                   Add to sugar mixture.

1/3 cup apple juice (or water or more applesauce)

Flour blend --- 1/2 cup + 1 T EACH of the following:       Combine all dry ingredients.
                                    sweet white sorghum flour         Add alternately to pumpkin
                                    rice flour (either)                         mixture with apple juice.
                                    tapioca starch
1/2 tsp xanthan gum (seems to add shelf life in these)
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

I spray my pans, regardless of non-stick status.  Minis take close to 30 minutes.  Give a larger loaf 45-55 minutes.  They'll spring back when completely baked and you should get a "clean pick" when you poke one.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

GF Peanut Butter Pancakes

Grabbed this idea from (again) and have made it twice in as many days!  With a light peanut butter flavor, they have way more staying power than regular pancakes.  No complaints with these from any age range!!


1/3 C sweet white sorghum flour           Mix all dry ingredients together; set aside.
1/3 C superfine brown rice flour
2 T teff flour - place in 1/3 cup measure and fill the rest of the way with
tapioca starch
2 T sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp xanthan gum
1/8 tsp (kosher) salt

1 egg, whisk lightly, then add
1/3 C crunchy peanut butter (I used Skippy Natural) then whisk in
1 T melted butter, then whisk in
1 C buttermilk                                                      Heat non-stick skillet on low.  

Thoroughly whisk dry ingredients with wet.  When skillet passes the "dancing water"  test, add small amounts of batter (silver dollar size or so) at a time; I get 6-7 or so in at a time.  If you make them larger, it takes forever to "bake" them through.  Doughy pancakes are just gross.....

I'm guessing at how many this makes - 15 to 20; we started eating them before they were finished and no one kept count! 

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Almond Joy Cookies!!

I decided to get on the almond flour bandwagon and did a search for these.  I started with a recipe on and changed it to suit what I wanted, what I had, what sounded like a good flavor balance.  I must say, these are a treat!  The recipe makes only 12-14 cookies so you can easily get them all on one sheet.  It's also handy to pop them in after you've had the oven on for something else since they require some chilling-in-the-frig time.  (Their recipe states to chill for at least one hour; I mixed them in the morning, baked them in the evening, and think at least four hours in the frig is a better minimum chill time.)

Almond Joy Cookies - I used my stainless steel jelly roll pan; all fit nicely.

1 1/2 cups almond flour (NOT almond meal)
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp kosher salt            Mix first six ingredients together fairly well; then fold in all
2 T melted coconut oil          the "bits" til thoroughly combined.  Wrap in plastic wrap
1 egg                                         and place in frig to chill (4 hours is good but 8 won't
1/4 cup pure maple syrup          hurt!)
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips                                     Set oven to 350F.  Divide dough
1/4 cup dried unsweetened coconut, small shred     evenly, 12-14 balls (depends on
1/4 cup raw almonds, small chop                             how much dough you snitch.)
                                                                                Evenly space cookies on sheet (I didn't grease the sheet as I was pretty sure the fat content of the dough would allow them to release without difficulty but you can grease/spray if you want.)  Press dough balls into cookie shapes.  If you forget to do this, you WILL have baked balls instead of cookies.....  Bake 10-14 minutes, depending on how small you made them.  I had 13 on the sheet making them a generous T each and it took 14 minutes to bake.  There would have been 14 but I tasted too much dough...  I cooled them completely ON the sheet before removing.

OK, you MUST taste them when slightly warm and again when you'll know leaving them alone for a night makes them really chewy and so much better the next day!  But you're going to taste one so...just do it!  But don't say I didn't tell you that they improve drastically with a little time in an airtight container!!  Because I just did!!

I was going to try freezing a few to let you know how they hold up....but that's just not going to happen!  You're on your own!!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

A Crispy Chewy Granola Bar?

When you have items in the pantry that need to be eaten, you find ways to make that happen.  Tasty ways!!  This is my first shot so I'll definitely be back to update this post after I try more combinations!

For now, I'll just call this.....

A QUICKIE GRANOLA BAR  -  9x9 pan, as non-stick as you have or you'll need to 
                                               line it with parchment paper.  Oven:  350 degrees F.

4 T coconut oil                                                                              
2/3 cup honey, maple syrup, golden syrup, etc.  (I used honey)  
1 tsp pure vanilla extract        

Melt coconut oil and honey together; then add the vanilla.  Allow to cool to room temp before combining with the following:

2 cups g-free rolled oats                         
1/2 cup crispy brown rice cereal         
dash salt                                                          
1/4 cup diced dried fruit (I used papaya)         
1/4 cup chopped white chocolate                         
(My option for these: 1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut)    

Combine all the "dry" ingredients.  Mix thoroughly with "wet" ingredients.  (Go ahead and grease the pan with coconut oil, for good measure...)  Press mixture firmly into the pan.     

Baking took just under 25 minutes so start watching at 20 minutes.  If the edges get too dark, you'll have a major headache getting these babies out of the pan!!

Let them cool for 10 minutes or so THEN gently cut bars/squares.  Allow to cool further in the pan.  Re-cut and remove.

There are endless flavor profiles to be explored here.  Next time, I'm back on the dried cherries/dark chocolate idea!  Maybe some almond extract and a few chopped almonds, too!  I'll not use honey though...  I also want to try a toasted pecan/cinnamon with maple syrup version!  Once again, I'm in trouble!!


Friday, March 7, 2014

Double Chocolate Brownies

I pulled a recipe from again (179831) and did the usual modify-and-test routine.  I cut it in half, mostly because I don't need a 9x13 pan of brownies in my life to haunt me for days on end...and because I didn't want to squander all that lovely chocolate if it didn't work out on the first run.  I also played with pan size and you'll find notes on that at the end of the recipe.  I used a bar of Ghirardelli 60% Bittersweet and then just regular semi-sweet chocolate chips that I had left from something else.  I love dark chocolate but if you don't you can stick with all semi-sweet, like the original recipe.

I brought the butter and eggs to room temp; I think it makes the mixing go a little more smoothly.  I didn't want to risk a gritty finished product...

DOUBLE CHOCOLATE BROWNIES    -     Preheat oven - 350 degrees F.

1 1/4 cups sugar        Whisk together sugar and eggs until pale and very smooth.
2 large eggs                        Let set while you melt the chocolate and butter.

4 ounces  60% Bittersweet chocolate        Melt chocolate and butter.  I used the
4 ounces salted butter                        defrost setting and microwaved the chopped
                                                          chocolate until it started to get soft.  Then I 
                                                         added the butter and continued to microwave                                                          and mix until they were completely smooth.
3/4 tsp vanilla                            Add to sugar mixture along with chocolate mixture.

1/2 cup superfine brown rice flour                        Combine flours and fold into
1/4 cup sweet white sorghum flour                      chocolate mixture.
1/4 cup tapioca starch

1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips                      Fold in chocolate chips.

Pan size and bake time:  I buttered a ceramic 8.5 in x 6.5 in baking dish (because I've been wanting to use this pan and I like thick brownies!)  Traditionally, use an 8x8 pan.  Spread the batter evenly.  Bake til the center is set, a toothpick comes out with moist crumbs, but not runny goo!  It should take about 30 minutes (it was exactly 30 minutes when I used my metal 8x8)...unless you use the pan I did and then expect more like 40 minutes.  

The sides of my chosen dish were a little too slanted, which meant the tops of the edges were thinner and, therefore, ended up more than a little crunchy.  I don't have a problem with crunchy edges as that is the first thing I cut out and eat anyway!  But if you're all about "fudge" with your brownies, make sure your pan has vertical sides.  Or try an individual-squares brownie pan.

I also think these could do with a little less sugar and think I'll remove 1/4 cup for my just-for-me recipe.  But brownies should be what brownies should be so what's a little extra sugar!!  I had to give a lot of these away.....or else eat them for breakfast!!!


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

All Natural Gluten Free Granola Bars

I used to make these with whole wheat flour and wheat germ, back in the day.  I tried them today with a gluten-free flour blend, certified g-free oats, pure maple syrup - so I guess that makes them vegan, and struggled to stop creating crumbs so I could keep eating out of the pan.....  

Prep ALL your ingredients first.  THEN turn the oven on - 350 degrees F.

Today's version:

ALL NATURAL GLUTEN FREE GRANOLA BARS - sprayed 9x13 pan (I used Pyrex)

2/3 cup all natural peanut butter (made with only peanuts, I used no-salt-added)
1 cup pure maple syrup or honey
2 2/3 cups g-free rolled oats
1/4-1/3 cup ground pecans (less if fresh, more if dry)
1 cup g-free flour (my combo: 1/4 cup EACH sweet white sorghum, superfine 
                              brown rice, 1/4 cup teff, 1/4 cup tapioca starch)
1 tsp cinnamon (yes, it DOES go well with peanut butter!)
2 cups of add-ins (today's combo: 1/2 cup dried fruit - dates and raisins, 1/2 cup
                             chopped almonds, 1/2 cup chocolate chips, 1/4 cup ground
                             flax seeds, 1/4 cup sunflower seeds)

It takes some elbow grease to mix this stuff together well.  Do your best.  Then press it down HARD in the sprayed pan.  Make the top even, no cracks, craters, or empty spots.  With one hand bare and a wide spoon in the other, I press press press press press!!!  You're making BARS here, NOT granola.  Then bake...start checking at 15 minutes for browning edges.  Today's batch was a little more moist and took 17 minutes.  

CUT the bars while still warm.  I use a sturdy spatula and "slice" straight down; no sawing motion or you'll make crumbs.  Then allow them to cool in the pan.  You can use the spatula to re-cut for easy removal.  I individually wrap the bars for easy grab-and-go snacks.

There are endless options with these.  Next on my list: dark chocolate, dried cherries, coconut, almond butter with chopped almonds and ground almonds.  And maybe a little cocoa powder!  

I think using maple syrup makes them more moist and chewy than using honey but I like them both ways.  Play around and see what combo YOU like best!!  (And let me know!)  Oh, and don't eat too many.....these pack a whopper of a calorie count!

Friday, February 28, 2014

Baked Spaghetti Pie

This is a perfect example of taking something you used to make that you can still make after going g-free!  This recipe is adapted slightly from, #120972.

Always read through the recipe before you begin to remind yourself to do all the prep work FIRST!!  Coordinate the effort and this dish will go together quickly.   

If you don't have a large quiche pan or deep dish pie pan, you'll obviously need to find another pan.  I do know that a 9" x 13" is too large; I think my 8 1/2" x 11" would be a good substitute but most kitchens won't have that size.....let me know if you come up with a viable alternative and I'll stick your findings on this post!


Part 1:
6 ounces (dry) brown rice spaghetti  -  cook as directed using the lower end of 
                                                              suggested cook time; while still hot, add:
1 T butter
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan         Once combined, press into buttered deep
2 beaten eggs                 dish pie pan/quiche pan.  Set oven to 350 degrees F.

1 cup 2% cottage cheese, small curd - spread over spaghetti mixture

Part 2:
1 pound bulk Italian sausage - cook til nearly brown, drain, and then add:
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped  (green) pepper         Cook til tender; then add:

1 cup chopped tomatoes (use canned)
1 - 6 ounce can tomato paste (try to use no-salt-added)
1 T sugar
1 (loaded) tsp oregano, crushed                        Place meat mixture on top of the
1 (scant) tsp garlic powder                               cottage cheese.  Bake 20 minutes.
1/8 tsp freshly cracked black pepper                                     Then top with:

1 cup (or more!) shredded Italian cheese blend - bake about 5 minutes more.

My 10" quiche pan is filled to the brim when I make it...but then I take liberties and add extra.  I use a can of Italian tomatoes minus the juice.  I also have a habit of just eye-balling measurements...with the Parmesan, the onions, and the peppers...and I never use only 1 cup of Italian cheese!!  For the last step, bake it til the cheese is really melted and almost toasty but NOT til the meat starts to burn; makes it tastier!!  Try to get the cheese all the way to the edges to help with that issue...

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

My Lazy Oven Oatmeal (Yes, it's creamy!)

I make this stuff all.the.time.  Seriously, once a week, sometimes twice.  I am addicted.  I still need to figure out more ways to make it though...this peach version was the first way I tried it and I liked it so much that I've only tried a cherry version twice!  EDIT:  A Blueberry Version is added after the recipe!!  (Not to mention, the cherry version is WAY more expensive anyway...)  I keep thinking I should try it with cooked apples and apple juice.....  Maybe someday!

This is the stuff that "told me" I can't eat regular organic oats.  The cross-contamination was still too much and I just had to give them up.  Certified gluten-free oats are SO much more expensive.....but SO worth it in the end! 

Also, I've tried other brands of 100% juice peaches and have yet to find anything that rivals Del Monte.  Just sayin'.....

LAZY OVEN OATMEAL - peach version - 350 degree F. oven

I bake this in a larger (2 1/2 qt) round casserole dish

2 cups g-free old fashioned oats       Combine oats with cinnamon, brown sugar,   
2-3 tsp cinnamon (I go heavy because I LOVE cinnamon!)                      and salt.
2-4 T brown sugar (OR 2 T pure maple syrup, my preference)               
pinch of salt

2 - 15 ounce cans Del Monte 100% Juice Peaches - drain the juice; make sure you
                                                                                        have AT LEAST one cup.
                                                                                     Add juice to oats along with
3-3 1/4 cups milk - I use unsweetened vanilla cashew milk      milk and chopped 
Pour it all in the baking dish (spraying/greasing doesn't seem to make any difference so I quit!) and bake for 45-50 minutes.  It will thicken upon standing/cooling.  I habitually stir it every 15 minutes or so while it's cooling if I'm not trying to eat it right away! 

BLUEBERRY VERSION:  Omit peaches and add 2 cups blueberries.  I've only used 
frozen as that's what's always available in my freezer!!  Instead of peach juice, I use cranberry juice (Ocean Spray) because that's what I always have.  (Am loving the V8 Fusion Blueberry Pomegranate juice now!)  The end result is a bit thicker so don't hesitate to add a little extra juice.  It looks a little muddy but it tastes so good you won't mind!!

THAT'S IT!!  Throw it together, get it in the oven, and get the rest of your morning going...and, before you know it, breakfast is ready!  (My favorite time to eat it is actually in the evening.....kinda like dessert!  I feel I can justify it because it's certainly better for me than ice cream, right?!?!?)

Monday, February 24, 2014

BBQ Western Ribs (in the oven)

I completely forgot about this recipe until I started seeing the Western ribs on sale.  I have no idea where I got this recipe or even how long I've had it...but I used to make it often enough that it should not have been forgotten!!

It's a nice recipe to pull out when you need to feed a small gathering; it makes it easy to be with your guests and not be stuck in the kitchen!!

This is the way I make them with the pans that I own.  I'm sure you can split it up if you don't have the same pans.  Also, I usually buy closer to six pounds but it depends on how bony and fatty the ribs are...use your eyes AND your fingers to judge!!

BBQ WESTERN RIBS (oven style)             Set oven to 325 degrees F.

5-6 pounds Western (or country) style ribs  -  Place ribs bone-side down, on                                                                   A RACK, in a shallow roasting pan.  (I use my jelly roll pan and it catches the drips just fine.)  Bake/roast for 1 hour and 20 minutes.  Make the sauce while the ribs are baking.  Then, transfer ribs to 10x15 pan/roaster (I have Pyrex that I use here.)  If you used a roaster, you can continue to use it but you MUST clean it out first.  Drain and wipe...  Once ribs are back in the pan, no rack, pour the sauce over the tops.  Cover the pan with a lid or foil and bake/roast 1 hour and 30 minutes.  Oven temp remains the same.  The ribs should fall apart very easily from slight fork pressure!!  (Your house will smell SO good!!)

For the BBQ sauce...

1 1/2 cups chopped onions         Heat pan to medium.  Add oil; swirl to coat.  Add
2 cloves garlic, minced                onions and garlic.  Cook til tender.
2 T oil 

2 - 8 ounce cans tomato sauce          Add remaining ingredients to onions/garlic.
1/2 cup (light) brown sugar                     Bring to boil.  Simmer 15 minutes; stir
3 T lemon juice (fresh is best!)                               occasionally.
2 T Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 T prepared (yellow) mustard
1 tsp celery seed 
1/4 tsp freshly cracked pepper
1/2 cup water 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

My Original Refried Bean Dip

I don't know why this isn't on here.  I make it about once a month.  I've made it for years and years. It always gets eaten.  I've wrapped it up in tortillas and shared it with sick friends.  As a dip, it will keep warmed in a small Crock Pot for gatherings.  It's easy, takes no time at all to make, and you can change up the ground meat.  Use whatever heat level of salsa you prefer.  And use your favorite refried beans, too!  Customize to suit yourself, your kids, your guests!  Sorry it's taken me so long to remember to get this on here.....

 My Original Refried Bean Dip

1 pound lean ground beef                 Brown beef and onion until beef is completely
1 medium onion, chopped              cooked.  Add the rest of the ingredients except
rounded T. chili powder                  beans and cheese; mix and simmer 10 minutes. 
1 tsp cumin                                Add beans, stir, and heat through.  Either sprinkle
2 tsp oregano, crushed           cheese on top or stir in completely.  (Extra cheese is 
1/2 tsp garlic powder               often added to individual servings here!)  Serve with
1 cup salsa                                     tortilla chips.  Garnish as desired.  (Or, roll up in
1/2 cup water                                                                tortillas with extra cheese!!)

1 can refried beans (15 or 16 ounce can)
1 cup (or more!) shredded Cheddar cheese (or Mexican blend)

If you use ground turkey, the texture won't be quite the same (obviously) but the difference isn't so great that anyone complains usually!!  

Baked Black Bean Chicken Filling (or Dip?)

I really don't know what to call this...except tasty!!  It was suggested that it looks like enchilada filling but it scoops up nicely with tortilla chips.  I dumped a pile on some leftover brown rice it would be at home on a pile of rice, too.  Regardless, it was easy and good so I thought I should post it!  Inspiration was taken from several ideas I found online while procrastinating.....  I'm sure you could use whatever ground meat you have.  Feel free to spice it up more; add some kick!  I'd like to add some minced jalapeno with the garlic next time!!

Baked Black Bean Chicken Whatever-you-want-to-call-it

1 pound ground chicken, cooked til no pink                                 Set oven to 350F.
1 large clove garlic, minced - added to chicken when nearly done

1 tsp cumin                          Add spices to pan; stir and cook a minute, til fragrant.
1 tsp chili powder
heavy 1/2 tsp oregano, crushed
1-8 ounce can tomato sauce                            Add sauce, salsa, and beans to pan.
1 cup salsa (I used chunky medium)                      Stir to combine.  Spread in 7x11
2 cans black beans, drained (15 ounces each)                       pan.  Top with cheese.
1-2 cups shredded Mexican cheese (your call)                  Bake til hot, ~30 minutes.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Shortcut "Not Baked" Baked Beans

I have a request to post this recipe so here it is!  I don't eat these things but I haven't met a man who won't!  I will often fix them while the Cheddar Meatloaf Blobs are in the oven; the similar flavor profile makes them a good match.  Also, when I make them, I always double the recipe.  I guess they're just as good cold as they are warm!

I can't give credit where credit is due because I've had this recipe for so long I can't remember where I got it.  Sorry...


3 slices bacon, cooked til fairly crisp, then crumbled; set aside.

1/2 cup chopped onions, sauteed in a little bacon grease til soft         Combine
32 ounces pinto beans, drained                                                          remaining
1/2 cup ketchup                                                                                ingredients in
1/4 cup (mounded a bit!) brown sugar                                saucepan with onions.   
1/2 T. prepared yellow mustard                  Simmer over low at least 15 minutes or
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce                      til desired consistency.  Stir frequently.
                                                                      Top with or stir in bacon to serve.

This dish is a pretty good one to take to potlucks, etc.  You can easily keep it warm in an appropriately sized slow cooker.

FYI:  I always use ketchup made with sugar.  As I use it sparingly, Worcestershire sauce is one of those rare things I allow in the house containing corn syrup.  I will continue to look for one that does NOT have it!  And NOW the caramel color in it is in question.  Even the FDA is looking into it.  ALL caramel colors are artificial and the findings show that they are a possible carcinogen.  Just what we need, right?  Who says Worcestershire needs to be brown anyway?