Saturday, January 14, 2012

FREE Gluten Free Gourmet Cookies

Do y'all use Sneakpeeq?  It's new to me but so far I have been elated with the program.  It's similar to Ruelala and Groupon (there's a great deal on Bruggers there today too!) in that it has daily deals that last a limited period of time.  The way it works though is you have to "peek" at the prices to see what kind of great deal they are offering.  You have about 20 peeks/day at first and using them up eventually earns you more peeks/day. 

Right now if you join, you automatically earn a $10 credit!

And these yummy GLUTEN FREE cookies are just $8 (plus shipping).  So you will get them for FREE (before shipping) when your credit is automatically applied!

Don't want cookies, they also sell a fun variety of housewares and clothing.  A few weeks ago I snagged four coupons for a FREE pint of Talenti gelato or sorbetto for just $7 (that includes what I paid for shipping).  The coupons are valued up to $5.99.  But per coupon, I paid just $1.75!  I can't wait to enjoy some yummy gelato when it warms up around here.

Let me know if you find anything fun from Sneakpeeq, too!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Healthy And Cheap : Chicken Fried Rice

This is what I call a "not for company meal."  Meaning, it's delicious but not exactly pretty.  Keep it for your family meals.  Not the boss and her family.  But this is a cheap and easy and GLUTEN FREE meal that is completely yummy.

But beauty challenged aside, this meal is so yummy and really healthy.  And like everything else coming out of my kitchen, you can use what you have on hand.  For example, I titled this chicken but I actually used leftover turkey from Thanksgiving.  You could also use ham or go meatless and add a can of chickpeas.  I use brown rice in just about everything.  I love it.  But feel free to use whatever you prefer.

This recipe is really all about prep work.  I keep cooked rice and cooked chicken/turkey in bags in my freezer at all times.  I always have a variety of frozen veggies in the freezer too.  If you don't have/want to use the preserves, just add a little oil or water.

* Cooked rice
* Cooked chicken
* Large bag of frozen veggies
* 1/3 c. Soy sauce
* 1-2 tbls Apricot preserves (optional)
* 2-3 eggs, soft scrambled

* Scramble a few eggs.  Don't overcook them as they will be added again to a cooking pan later.  Set aside.

* In large pan (I use the one that I scrambled eggs in to keep this a one pot meal), add a bit of soy sauce and preserves.  If not using preserves, feel free to instead add some brown sugar, EVOO or even just water.  You are making the sauce.  So make something saucy.

* Once you have a sauce going (about 1/4-1/2 cup is all- just to coat), add bag of frozen veggies.  Once defrosted, add chicken.  Once brought to temp, add rice and scrambled eggs.  Toss together to bring to the same temperature and coat in sauce.  Taste.  Add more soy sauce if needed.

* Serve warm.

This meal is full of protein in the brown rice, eggs and meat.  Lots of yummy veggies if you use a big bag.  It's cheap and super simple.  Oh and completely comforting on a chilly night!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Sweet Potato Biscuits

For my Junior League Board holiday party last week, I brought mini sweet potato biscuits with this roll-your-eyes-back-in-your-head bacon jam.  Yes, I said bacon.  That recipe comes tomorrow though. 

Today, sweet potato biscuits.  If you don't eat gluten free, just use regular AP flour.  I use Better Batter GF flour though.  Where I went wrong is that I never thought to check the expiration date at the bottom of my baking powder.  Did you know that stuff even had an expiration date?  Well I guess I don't use it all that often because mine expired FOUR years ago.  Oh the shame.  So the result was that nothing really rose up fluffy.  Combine that with GF flours that don't rise either and mine were rather dense.  But everyone ate multiple, much to my surprise.  So it wasn't just me who liked them.

The moral of the story is to check the expiration dates of all your pantry foods.  Especially things you don't use all that often that sit in the back of the cupboard.

Sweet Potato Biscuits

See here.

I used this gal's awesome posted recipe.  But I did a few things different so you can go there to find the recipe and if you are interested, read here for my changes.

Again, see above link.

* I used Better Batter gluten free flour blend.  Do not use a baking mix (such as Pamela's)- that's for making pancakes.  Use a flour.  AP, Better Batter or whateveryouhaveonhand.

* I didn't use a ricer for my potatoes.  Instead I just dumped them in the food processor.  They need to be very mushy for this to work- not mostly cooked- but fully cooked and soft. 

* I also prepared about five times as much sweet potato mash as called for.  Because I doubled the recipe.  More on that in a minute.  Then I froze enough potato mash for a double batch later (or for a dinner).  And ate the rest for lunch with some butter and cinnamon.  Mmmm good!

* I did everything in my food processor.  This may or may not have contributed to the lack of rise I experienced too.  But since it was already out and dirty, I figured why mess up yet another bowl.  That's just how I roll and you should expect it by now.

* I wrapped the dough in plastic wrap and let it rest in the fridge for 30 minutes to get that butter to chill up a bit.  I rolled the dough out in small batches.

* I wanted mini biscuits and didn't have a mini cutter.  So I took an unused plastic liquid medicine measuring cup- you know the things that come on top of Nyquil that you never use.  I cut up the bottom to make myself a mini biscuit cutter.  Worked like a charm.  Necessity is the mother of all invention, you know!

* Before baking, I melted a little butter and maple syrup in the microwave for 40 seconds.  Then brushed the tops of each little baby biscuit with the mixture.  As My Martha would say, it's a good thing!

* Serve warm.  If you have to transport them to a party, pop them in the microwave for a minute before serving.  And serve with the bacon jam I will discuss tomorrow.  Because it's amazingly delish!

* I made a double recipe.  But instead of baking, I lined the biscuits all up on a baking sheet and popped that in the freezer.  Once frozen, I tossed them in a big zip top baggie.  I figured if I was taking the time to make it once, I might as well get several uses out of my efforts.  Now I have a ready to bake appy or side to a holiday meal.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Fat Free, Gluten Free, Egg Free, and Dairy Free Cupcakes

When shared with your favorite toddler, trust me, they taste ah-maz-ing. 

I won't lie.  It was one of those projects that I thought would be quick and ended up taking about a dozen hours.  True story.  I did not use a pattern and sewed it all by hand.  Nothing was complicated.  At all.  But holy heck was this a time sucking project.  And I swore up and down that I would never attempt a felt food project again.

Seeing the fun that my Godson had playing with them though...  Makes it all so worth it. 

Next up I want to make sushi.  Because like most things in life, as time passes, so does the painful memory.  And I've convinced myself 46 other projects are a life necessity.

The pink and green with a lemon is my favorite. 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Waste Not, Want Not

Instead of a list of excuses why I've been absent from blogville, I'm just jumping back in with an easy little post.  I have missed y'all, though!

Ever have leftover whipped cream after holidays and family gatherings?  I do every year and end up just throwing it away.  Until this year.

Now I know that whipped cream is not a big deal.  Or it's not to me anyway.  But it is really nice to top a hot cup of cocoa or even coffee (If you've never tried it, you must!  So decadent) in the long cold winter months.  So I hate to throw away something that I might really enjoy in the coming weeks.

So after I was done using the vanilla bean whipped cream on apple pie, I re-whipped it to get it nice and stiff again.  Then scooped it into a zip top sandwich baggie and cut off a corner.  I piped little dollops onto a cookie sheet pan and popped it into the freezer for an hour or two.  Once frozen, I tossed the little frozen whipped cream puffs into another zip top baggie and back into the freezer.

I won't use these to top pie or berries as it will lose some of it's umph once defrosted.  But instead, I plan to take out a little whipped cream puff now and then to top cocoa or coffee.  Sounds like a good treat after spending an hour shoveling my car out of the snow!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Carrot Salad

A few weeks ago I scored a great deal on carrots at the grocery store and then sort of forgot to do something with them.  Typical.  So this past weekend I decided they needed to be used and made a little slaw-ish salad out of them that is sooo yummy. 


* Carrots
* Raisins
* Apple cider vinegar
* Maple syrup (real and only real) or honey
* Salt and pepper

* Shred carrots in food processor. 
* In a bowl, mix vinegar, oil, maple syrup, salt and pepper.  I'm not giving measurements because it depends on how many carrots you're using.  This is essentially a salad dressing though so you really can't go wrong.  Just eyeball it. 
* Add in carrots and raisins.  Mix to incorporate.  Taste to be sure you have enough seasoning and dressing.  It does not need to be wet as the carrots will give off some moisture as they sit too.  Just enough to coat everything.
* It's yummy right away but best if you let it sit in the fridge at least an hour. 

Optional additions:
* Garlic or onion powder
* Chopped scallions
* Dried cranberries

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Pasta Bake

I've cooked bunches lately but have totally slacked when it comes to blogging recipes.  I know this photo looks gross but I swear this was so tasty.  And simple.  Hardly a recipe really. 

Fair warning, this is less healthy than I typically eat at dinner.  But it's just really good comfort food.  And sometimes we all need a little bowl of cozy.


* Cooked pasta
* 1 medium onion, sliced thin
* 2-3 cloves minced garlic
* Jar of tomato sauce
* 2 tablespoons cream cheese
* Meat of choice- I used frozen shrimp and muscles.
* Veggie of choice- I used frozen broccoli.
* Shredded cheese- I like something sharp personally
* Salt and pepper to taste

* Heat EVOO in pan and cook onions until translucent and approaching caramelized.  At the very end, add garlic for a few moments.  Remove onions and garlic from pan.
* Add jar of tomato sauce and cream cheese to pan.  Melt cream cheese into sauce. 
* In large bowl, combine cooked, drained gluten free pasta, cream cheese tomato sauce, onions, garlic, veggie, and meat/protein together.
* Pour into large baking dish.  Generously top with shredded cheese of choice. 
* Bake at 350 until cheese is golden and bubbly.  About 20-30 mins will do just fine.

Easy peasy comfort food.  Add a salad and you can pretend it counteracts all the cheese.  Ha!  It's excellent reheated the following day, too.

This would be just as tasty with ground turkey/beef, chickpeas, or mushrooms too.  And I love peas and spinach as much as broccoli.  Such a flexible recipe.