Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Egg and Dairy Free Pudding

Dairy Free, Egg Free Chocolate Pudding
This is not my recipe, but since I have made it twice in the past week I figured I better share it with you all....I couldn't resist the urge :)
Absolutely delish! My kids can't get enough. (me either!)

Incredible Chocolate Pudding
Recipe from Mel @ melskitchencafe
Makes 5 (1/2 cup each) servings

1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbsp cocoa powder, Dutch-process or natural, unsweetened
2 Tbsp cornstarch
2 cups dark chocolate almond milk 
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter (see note)
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
sliced bananas for serving, optional

In a medium saucepan, whisk together the sugar, cocoa powder and cornstarch. Slowly pour in the almond milk and whisk to combine.
Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until the pudding begins to bubble. Cook two minutes longer (while it boils and bubbles). The mixture will be thick but pourable and will set up more while it chills.
Take the saucepan off the heat and whisk in the peanut butter and vanilla.
Pour the pudding into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap, pressing directly to the surface to avoid a skin forming. Refrigerate until well-chilled, 3-4 hours.
Serve with sliced bananas (optional).

Note from Melanie:
"The pudding is already egg-, dairy- and gluten-free. For my peanut-free friends, try subbing in soy butter or sun butter for the peanut butter. As noted above in the post, I couldn't resist trying a non-peanut butter version today (2/22/14) since many of you asked about it. Here's the result: the cooked and chilled pudding without the peanut butter was really good! It was definitely missing that element of creaminess the peanut butter gives, but honestly, I loved it. It wasn't quite as thick as the peanut butter version so I would suggest upping the cornstarch to 2 1/2 or 3 tablespoons if you are leaving out the peanut butter. Remember to let it boil and bubble (stirring constantly!) for a good 2-3 minutes to help it get as thick as possible. It will still be slightly runny when pouring into a bowl but will thicken up considerably upon chilling."


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

These really are the best oatmeal cookies ever! Just make sure you don't cook them too long....like as in take them out when they still look a bit undercooked rather than getting brown or you will end up with the traditional super thin crunchy oatmeal cookie. Mine take exactly 12 minutes at which point the edges are just barely starting to look golden. After they sit on the cooling rack for a few minutes on the baking sheet they are perfect. These are soft and DELICIOUS! My favorite is that the dough keeps in the fridge for a week, so I can make some each day during the week fresh- yum :)
Another note- I have been experimenting with coconut oil and have been using it exclusively in these chocolate chip cookies although I haven't tried it with this recipe yet. I will update it when I do, but definately comment if you do try that!

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
Recipe from Sept 2011 Family Circle Magazine

2 sticks dairy free margarine (or butter), at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light-brown sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup quick-cooking or old-fashioned rolled oats (I use old fashioned)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 1/2-2 cups diary free chocolate chips (or milk chocolate or semi-sweet)

Heat oven to 325. Place margarine and sugars in a bowl and beat until smooth and creamy. Add the egg, egg yolk and vanilla, one at a time, beating well between additions.
Place flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a seperate bowl; mix well and add to the butter mixture. Beat until everything is well incorprated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the chocolate chips and beat again. You can cover and refrigerate up to one week.
Form the dough into about tablespoon size round balls and place them about 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet. Transfer to 325 degree oven and bake until the cookies begin to brown at the edges, around 12 minutes. Cool on the cookie sheet.

Crockpot Salsa Chicken

This is super easy, but just in case any of you are missing out I had to share it. My sister always uses frozen chicken breasts, which makes it even easier. I have done it both ways, frozen and fresh. 

Crockpot Salsa Chicken
Recipe from my sister Candice

Chicken breasts, thawed or frozen (any amount)
Jar of salsa (your favorite kind)

Place frozen chicken breasts into crockpot. Pour enough salsa in to cover the chicken and cook on low about 8-10 hours (less if they weren't frozen) or until the chicken is done. Tear apart with a fork. You can use the chicken to make salads similar to Cafe Rio, do hard or soft chicken tacos, quesadillas, or anything! 


Thursday, October 24, 2013

Bruschetta with Balsamic Drizzle

I posted this on my sister's site today, but it's just too good not to share with the dairy free world! The original recipe called for just a 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese, and I know it is just as delicious without any cheese, so here you go! Heaven! Seriously, I could eat it every day! :)
A few notes: I used a grande ciabatta baguette from Sams Club, but any of those baguette type of breads will work. Last night for dinner I sliced the entire baguette, but for the leftovers today I cut off a 6 inch piece and then sliced it lengthwise. I'm telling you this because if you like your bread really thick-do it this way, and if you like thinner bread and heavy on the tomatoes-slice a bunch of thin slices. (If you are confused I have a pic at the end to show the difference). Also only make as much as you will eat because the bread will go soggy. So make what you want and then put the rest of the tomato mixture in the fridge and when you want more, pull it out and slice up more bread. The drizzle is quite rich so use it sparingly (but it is amazing!), and next time I'm going to half the below recipe because I had way too much. Even though it says to drizzle before you toast, next time I will drizzle after so that it looks fancy on the serving platter. :)

Bruschetta with Balsamic Drizzle:
Recipe adapted from Neighbor Julia

Bruschetta:
6 roma tomatoes- chopped (firmer tomatoes are better for this recipe)
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
2 cloves fresh garlic (use the real thing! minced)
2 T. Balsamic Vinegar
1 T olive oil
salt and pepper (to taste)
1 long skinny baguette sliced thinly (I used chibata, but sour dough or any would work)


Mix all ingredients (except for bread) in a medium sized bowl. Allow to chill in fridge for at least 2 hours for best flavor. (I like to make mine a day ahead if I have time). When ready to serve slice bread and toast bread slightly in oven. Top each piece of toast with bruschetta, drizzle recipe below, and toast again. 

Balsamic Drizzle:

1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 T. corn starch

Stir all ingredients together in a small saucepan. Boil until slightly thickened (add extra corn starch if needed). Let cool 5 min. or until thickened to consistency you would like (don't let it get too thick). Drizzle over bruschetta and toast. Enjoy!




Hopefully you can tell the difference between the slices- the first is for a thinner, more traditional bruschetta
 This one is for a thicker bread- slicing the baguette lengthwise and opening it up

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Easy 10 Minute Breadsticks

My neighbor gave me this recipe a while back, and I just love how they take just a few minutes to throw together. I have a lot of bread stick recipes around that are really yummy, but 10 minutes, really? I can get these finished at the same time as my pasta cooks...pretty awesome! Because who has time to wait for things to rise when there are hungry children involved right?

Ten Minute Breadsticks
from my neighbor Tonya's sister Nicki :)

2 cups warm water
2 Tbsp yeast
2 Tbsp sugar
Stir together and let sit for a few minutes

Add:
2 tsp salt
4-5 cups flour (white or wheat)

Preheat oven to 400. Just mix it until it forms a nice dough and then roll it out right onto a greased cookie sheet. Add butter and garlic salt and anything you want. I always add rosemary to mine. Then take your pizza cutter and cut them into pieces before popping them into the oven. No rise time or anything, they will come up in the oven. Bake at 400 for 8-10 minutes.
(This picture shows how I cut mine after I roll it onto the cookie sheet)

Friday, August 9, 2013

Caramelized Sweet Potatoes and Peaches

This side dish kind of stole the show at dinner the other night. :) I'm thinking it should replace the nasty sweet potato casserole dish at Thanksgiving in so many homes (sorry I'm not a fan of the casserole!) Super yummy and the peach and sweet potato flavors were great together! Definitely going to be a regular side dish around here!

Caramalized Sweet Potatoes and Peaches
Recipe from Daphne Oz in Relish
Serves 2-3

1 Tbsp organic coconut oil, melted
2 Tbsp pure maple syrup, room temperature (it will make the oil go solid if it's too cold)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
iodized salt
1 medium sweet potato, scrubbed and cut into 1 inch chunks (the orange variety)
2 medium peaches, pitted and sliced into 4 wedges each (I only had canned I just made sure I strained them really well)
1 medium sweet onion, peeled and quartered (I used about 1/2 an onion)

Preheat oven to 450. In a small bowl, whisk the coconut oil, syrup, cinnamon, and salt. Put the potato and peaches in 2 separate bowls. Pour three-quarters of the syrup mixture over the sweet potato and one-quarter over the peaches and toss. Spread the potato in an even layer in a large baking dish and roast for 10 minutes. Toss and roast for 5 more minutes. Add the onion and roast for 15 minutes. Toss the potato and onion, add the peaches in an even layer, and roast 10 minutes, or until the potato and onion are fork tender and the peaches have caramelized. 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Chicken and Bacon Shish Kabobs

I just posted these on my other cooking blog that my sisters and I share, but I couldn't resist double posting them just because they are absolutely divine! And best of all- dairy free!! :)
Oh my goodness these are heaven! The bacon makes the chicken so moist and tender. If you have done kabobs before you know that sometimes the meat can be dry, but not these beauties, and it's because of the bacon (so don't skip that step!) My daughter who is the pickiest eater on the planet even eats them up! I have been doing pineapple, mushrooms and bell peppers, but you can really use anything you like, that's what makes skewers/kabobs so much fun. This is definitely going to be a summer favorite! I have already made them 3 times in 2 weeks, 2 of the times for big parties. Also I use turkey bacon because it's what our family likes.
Chicken and Bacon Shish Kabobs
Recipe adapted from allrecipes.com
Mine made 8-10 big skewers
 
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp canola oil
10 large mushrooms, cut in half
2 green onions, minced
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into chunks
1/2 pound turkey bacon slices, cut in half lengthwise (or regular bacon)
canned pineapple
2 bell peppers, any variety
skewers (if you use wooden be sure to soak them in water at least 20 minutes)

In a large bowl, mix the soy sauce, cider vinegar, honey, canola oil and green onions. Place the mushrooms and chicken each into a bowl or a ziplock and pour the mixture over, and stir to coat. You can marinade them together, but I found it to be a pain when you are picking through to skewer them; it's easier to separate them. Cover and marinate in the fridge at least 1 hour, 2 or 3 is better. Preheat grill for high heat. Remove the mushrooms and chicken from the marinade and shake off excess. (I just strained them over a saucepan). Pour the marinade into a small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 10 minutes; set aside.
Wrap the chicken chunks with bacon, and thread onto skewers so that the bacon is secured. Alternate with mushroom halves, bell peppers and pineapple chunks. Lightly oil the grill and arrange skewers. Cook about 7 minutes, brush with some of the remaining soy sauce mixture, flip them over and brush again. Grill about 7 more minutes. Done when bacon is crisp and chicken juices run clear.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Chocolate Fudge Pops

Welcome in summer with these yummy chocolate fudge pops! What more can I say? :) 

Chocolate Fudge Pops
Recipe from Daphne Oz Relish
Makes 6

13 ounce can original or "lite" coconut milk, shaken
5 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder (make sure your brand is dairy free)
2 Tbsp raw honey
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt

Blend all the ingredients until smooth and pour the mixture into ice pop molds. Freeze at least 2 hours. Loosen by running the molds under warm water. Enjoy!

*A few notes*
I used regular coconut milk and they came out to be about 145 calories each. If you don't have Popsicle molds you can use any little cups around the house. I used pixie cups and they were really easy to peel off once frozen except for the bottoms- I had to use a knife for that part. I used thick popsicle sticks and cut them in half lengthwise so I only needed 3 sticks.


Friday, May 24, 2013

Lemon Lime Chicken

It's grillin time again! This chicken was super yummy! I made some skillet potatoes to serve with it and it was a huge hit. The sweet and non-spicy flavor makes it a big kid pleaser. My kids had seconds and thirds :)

Lemon-Lime Chicken
Recipe from Taste of Home Backyard Grilling

4-6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
3 Tbsp lemon juice
3 Tbsp lime juice
3 Tbsp Dijon mustard
3/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt

Place chicken in a large resealable plastic bag. Combine remaining ingredients; pour over chicken. Seal bag and turn to coat; refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight. Drain, discarding marinade. Grill chicken over medium-hot heat, turning once, until juices run clear, about 15-18 minutes.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Chuck Roast



I always use to cook my Sunday roasts in the crock pot, but I switched to this recipe and I'm never going back. 
In Missouri my friend Sarra made the most delicious roast I have ever eaten (sorry Mom, lol). I asked her how she did it and she said the trick to really good flavored roast is to use chicken broth, not beef stock. Interesting. Since then I begged her for the complete recipe, along with the seasoning she used. We both get our roasted garlic herb seasoning from Sams club (it's weber brand), but I'm sure you could use any. I also thought it was fun she cut her potatoes into steak fry wedges rather than quartering them. 
*Quick Tip-Put the celery stalks in the center and lay the roast on top of the celery and this will keep it from sticking to the bottom. It will go to mush and not be good to eat, but it serves a good purpose and adds good flavor too :)


Chuck Roast
Recipe from Sarra Bauer


chuck roast (around 5 pounds or so)
6 big or 8 smaller potatoes, cut into steak fry wedges 
6-8 carrots, peeled and cut into 2-4 pieces (or around 2 cups baby carrots)
a few celery stalks 
roasted garlic herb seasoning
salt and pepper
1 1/2- 2 cups chicken broth

Season the roast on both sides with salt and pepper and with the garlic herb blend. Spray a large rimmed baking pan with nonstick. (don't use a roasting tray you want the roast to sit in the broth) Lay the seasoned roast in the center of the pan (on top the celery if you can) and arrange the veggies around the roast. Sprinkle a little of the seasoning on the veggies too. Add 1 1/2- 2 cups of chicken broth. Cover with tinfoil and bake at 400 for 4 hours. If you are using smaller than 5 pound roast you might need to cook it for less time.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Barbecued Burgers

(Updated from 2009)
I love these burgers! They are so juicy and yummy! It does take extra time to make the barbecue from scratch, but it's super yummy, sweet and tangy. Please don't ruin it with any other condiments like mayonnaise or mustard. (but ultimately it's your choice I guess lol) I like mine with a tomato, maybe some lettuce, and extra barbecue sauce drizzled on top. If you end up with extra barbecue sauce you can make a barbecue chicken pizza or squirt chicken.
Barbecued Burgers
Makes 6 burgers
Recipe from Taste of Home Backyard Grilling

Sauce:
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup molasses
2 tsp mustard
1 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp liquid smoke
1/8 tsp pepper

Burgers:
1 egg, beaten
1/3 cup oats
1/4 tsp onion salt
1/4 tsp garlic salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp salt
1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
6 hamburger buns
choice of toppings


In a small saucepan, combine the first 10 ingredients (sauce) and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and set aside 1 cup barbecue sauce to serve with burgers. In a bowl combine egg, oats, 1/4 cup remaining barbecue sauce, onion salt, garlic salt, and salt and pepper. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well. Shape into 6 patties and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (this ensures that they will stay together on the grill) but you can skip this step if you need to. Grill covered, over medium heat for 6-8 minutes on each side or until a thermometer reads 160 degrees, basting with the remaining 1/2 cup barbecue sauce during the last 5 minutes. (I baste before flipping, so I put it on top the burgers, flip them over and then baste again on top and grill until they are done). Serve on buns with toppings and reserved sauce.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Fresh Strawberry Lemonade

I know, lemonade is for summers right? Well when you have had a month of inversions and it keeps snowing and snowing and snowing, I think a little bit of summer is just what's needed to lift the spirits! So refreshing and just amazing! Mmm Mmm!


Fresh Strawberry Lemonade
Makes about 8 cups of juice


INGREDIENTS:
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 5-8 lemons)
1 cup sugar
2 cups sliced, fresh strawberries


Combine the lemon juice and sugar in a blender and blend for about 30 seconds to combine. Add the strawberries and puree or pulse until the strawberries are at the desired chunkiness. I liked the strawberries slightly chunky but my husband preferred it to be more smooth – blend to your own preference!

Pour the lemon/strawberry mixture into a pitcher and add 4 cups of cold water. Mix well and serve chilled.

Recipe Source: from Mel @ MelsKitchenCafe

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Pineapple Black Bean Enchiladas


Oh my gosh these were amazing! I literally went right from the table to the computer to post them. My sister gave me the recipe and said they were amazing without cheese so I decided to try it out. Usually that isn't the case, but these really are amazing without any dairy AND they are also vegetarian too- so saves you on your grocery bill too. My family finished the entire pan, so if you have more than 4 to serve, you may want to double the recipe. 
*Note: My sister said these were really spicy, but I always rinse my green chilies in a strainer and didn't think they were spicy what so ever. Trust me I would have heard complaining. So if you like them spicy dump them in, if you want to take off some of the heat just rinse them first-works like a charm.

Pineapple Black Bean Enchiladas
Recipe adapted slightly from my sister Brooke at foursisterskitchens
Makes 6-8 enchiladas

2 tsp olive oil

1/2 cup- 1 cup chopped yellow onion (I used 1/2 cup)
1 cup chopped red bell pepper (about 1 bell pepper. I used mini so about 15 of those)
1 (20 ounce) can of Pineapple Tidbits, drained (keep the juice)
1/3 cup Pineapple juice, reserved (from above)
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 ( 4 1/2 ounce) can chopped green chiles 
1 tsp Salt
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 (10 ounce) can mild enchilada sauce (red, not green)
8 flour tortillas (8 or 9")

Heat oven to 350 and spray a 13x9 baking dish with cooking spray. In a nonstick skillet heat oil and add onion and red pepper and cook for about 5 minutes until softened. Stir in Pineapple, beans, green chiles, and salt. Cook and stir until well heated. Remove skillet from heat and stir in 1/2 cup cilantro.

Spoon and spread about 1 Tbsp enchilada sauce onto each tortilla. Then spoon in 1/2 cup- 3/4 cup of the vegetable mixture over sauce (I did 3/4 c) Roll up tortillas and set them seam side down into the pan. 

Mix the reserved 1/3 cup of pineapple juice with remaining enchilada sauce and pour over the entire surface of enchiladas.  Spray sheet of foil large enough to cover baking dish with cooking spray and place sprayed side down over the dish, seal tight.

Bake for 35 minutes until sauce is bubbly. Garnish with extra cilantro.

*Note to Bake with Dairy: These enchiladas don't need sour cream or cheese, they are that good! But I know some of my readers still like to add cheese so if you do, just add 2 cups of cheese to the mixture (with the cilantro) and then top the enchiladas with an additional cup of cheese and bake as directed.




Thursday, January 3, 2013

Applesauce Cinnamon Muffins

I made these yesterday for breakfast and they were super yummy. Every few bites you get a moist drop of applesauce goodness :) My sister was wondering if you could do all applesauce and no oil, but to me 1/4 cup oil is nothing compared to what's in other stuff. These are still super healthy in my book, and if you try with all applesauce let me know!

Applesauce Cinnamon Muffins
Makes 12

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 egg
1 rounded cup applesauce (so a little more than 1 cup)
1/4 cup veggie oil

Preheat to 375. In a large bowl mix the flour, sugar, powder, salt and cinnamon. Add the egg, applesauce and veggie oil and stir only so that everything is moist and mixed evenly. (As with all muffins you don't want to over mix). Grease 12 muffin cups and divide the filling between the cups. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 15 minutes....or 20 if you need to, but don't over cook! Mine were done at 15 minutes.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

BBQ Chicken Sliders

I love my favorite BBQ Sandwich (this rootbeer pulled pork one), but recently my sister shared with me her BBQ Chicken Sliders and the were awesome! I like using pork because it doesn't dry out like chicken, but this recipe here is just as tender I promise! Must be the coke. I used diet coke because that's what I had on hand and I also had to cook it on high for half the time because I didn't think about it soon enough. I would recommend the coleslaw on top, and my sister uses Hawaiian rolls in the deli isle, but regular hamburger buns work fine too.

Barbecue Chicken Sliders
Recipe from my sister Bre

4 boneless chicken breasts
1 bottle of BBQ sauce of your choice
1 can of coke
1 clove of garlic
1/2 tsp of pepper or 1 tsp depending on the kick you want
1/2 tsp of kosher salt
1/4 tsp of red pepper flakes
coleslaw of your choice
slider rolls or hamburger buns

Mix all ingrediants into crock pot, then add chicken breasts, cook on low for 6-8 hours. Pull apart chicken, toast rolls, top with coleslaw and more bbq sauce if you'd like!!!



Monday, August 20, 2012

Blueberry Streusel Muffins

 
I first fell in love with these in a college cooking class I took, but I had always been afraid to substitute the milk for soy milk and the butter for dairy free margarine. I went for it and they turned out awesome! Most blueberry recipes out there call for buttermilk, so just know that this one tastes great with soy milk. It also doesn't have large amounts of sugar, but the streusel topping adds the perfect sweetness. Today I used fresh blueberries and they tasted great, so you don't have to stick with frozen if you have some fresh around. So yummy!

Blueberry Streusel MuffinsRecipe from Shawna Shirley
Makes 12 Muffins

1 cup soy milk (or rice or regular milk)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 large egg
2 cups flour
1 cup frozen (thawed and drained) blueberries
1/3 cup sugar
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Steusel Topping:
2 Tbsp firm dairy free margarine (or butter)
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp cinnamon

For the Streusel: In a medium bowl cut margarine into flour, brown sugar and cinnamon using a pastry blender until crumbly

Preheat oven to 400 and grease the bottoms of muffin cups. Prepare streusel topping and set aside. Beat milk, oil, vanilla and egg in a big bowl. Stir in flour, sugar, baking powder and salt all at once just until flour is moistened. Fold in blueberries. Divide batter evenly among 12 cups and sprinkle each with 2 tsp topping. Bake @ 400 for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Pineapple Grilled Chicken


My sisters and I have a cooking blog we share called www.foursisterskitchens.blogspot.com It's not dairy free, but there are some recipes like this one that are. My Mom posted this last week and she raved over how yummy and tender the chicken was. Don't mind the picture, it was with her cellphone :)


Pineapple Grilled Chicken
Recipe from Melody @ foursisterskitchens


One pineapple
2 skinless chicken breasts


Cut the top and the bottom off of the pineapple then cut down the sides and set aside the rest (keeping the sides) Take your skinless chicken breasts and flatten between some plastic wrap with a mallet until they are about an inch thick. Season them to taste, whatever you like- salt, pepper, allspice, etc. Now sandwich each chicken breast between the pineapple sides and tie together with cooking thread (or something that won't catch on fire on the grill). Place them on a hot grill and cook on medium for about 15 minutes per side. You can even scoop out some of the cooked pineapple after and serve it on top. 



Sweet Potato Fries


These fries are so yummy and crispy thanks to the little bit of sugar. I think after I made these I went and bought a big frozen bag of sweet potato fries from the frozen section and they sat in my freezer because I couldn't even get my kids to eat them and finally had to throw them away. My point is that these don't taste like those yucky soggy ones you buy frozen!


Sweet Potato Fries
Recipe from Melanie @ melskitchencafe

3 large sweet potatoes
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano



Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Place two rimmed baking sheets in the oven while it preheats and while you prepare the potatoes (about 10 minutes). Peel the potatoes and slice the potatoes into about 1/4- to 1/2-inch strips or wedges. Try to keep most of the pieces the same size so they bake evenly.
Place the potato strips/wedges in a ziploc bag or bowl. Toss the potatoes with the oil. Add the seasonings and mix until the potatoes are evenly coated.
Carefully remove the hot baking sheets from the oven and divide the potatoes evenly among the two sheets, taking care the potatoes are not touching so they have plenty of room for the air circulate to circulate and bake evenly. Also, try to leave any excess oil in the bag or bowl so the potatoes don’t get too soggy while they bake.
Bake the potatoes for about 12-15 minutes, flipping halfway through, if desired, until they are tender and well-browned. Serve immediately.





Chicken Pasta Salad

Chicken Pasta Salad




This is my go-to pasta salad recipe for any barbecue or picnic. I don't think there's a contest as to how many rare and weird ingredients you can throw into a pasta salad, so just stick to a few ingredients you know your family loves, and it will intantly become a favorite. We use to beg my mom to make this salad for us all the time, and now my husband does the same to me. Traditionally we always use Ranch salad dressing. I'm sure there are lots of dairy free salad dressings out there that would be really yummy, but my son's all time favorite is Kraft Zesty Italian Dressing. 






Chicken Pasta Salad
Recipe by Melody Blaser




1 package of tri-colored spiral noodles
1 pound chicken cut into 1 inch pieces
1 cup celery, sliced (or more to your liking)
1 cup frozen peas, thawed (or more to your liking)
salt and pepper to taste
your favorite Italian dressing (or ranch if you have no allergies)


Cook the chicken (seasoned with some salt and pepper) in a skillet on medium-high in some olive oil until browned and cooked through. Cook the noodles as directed on the package and drain. I usually put my frozen peas in the strainer and drain my noodle water over the top to help them thaw. Mix the noodles, chicken, celery and peas in a bowl. Pour with dressing and chill. I always add more dressing when I'm ready to serve it too.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Rice Krispie Treats (and Fun Easter Egg Suprise Version)


I love rice krispie treats! I always use the recipe from the back of the box but they always say to use 6 cups of cereal and I never use that much. If you use about 5 cups of cereal to the big bag of marshmallows you can a much softer chewier treat!
So with Easter and Spring coming you have to make these little hidden suprise eggs with your kids. We filled ours with jelly beans since the original calls for m&ms. Here's both recipes just incase you don't know how to make the regular kind.

Rice Krispie Treats
Recipe adapted from Kelloggs

3 Tbsp dairy free margarine/butter, or butter
1 package (about 40) regular marshmallows or 4 cups mini
5 cups rice krispie cereal

In a large saucepan melt the margarine/butter over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat. Add the rice krispies cereal and stir until well coated. Using greased hands press firmly into a greased 9X13 pan and cool completely before cutting. You can add sprinkles ontop before they cool for a fun twist.



Hidden Suprise Easter Egg Treats
Recipe adapted from Kelloggs

1 batch Rice Krispie Treats above
12 plastic snap apart 3 x 2 or bigger easter eggs (I only had 3 which is fine, just takes longer)
bag of jelly beans or any dairy free candy
frosting, decorating gel or sprinkles, optional for outside

*My Notes*
 Because the treats are hot I went ahead and filled each half with the mixture and then once it was cooled a bit my kids got to form the hole in the center, pop them out and add the candy, etc. I found that if you take them out of the mold too early it will loose the egg shape, so let them cool a bit more on the wax paper before you take them out.

Make a batch of Rice Krispie treats as directed above.
Clean, then coat the inside of plastic eggs with cooking spray. Using greased hands, firmly press about 1/4 cup of the mixture into each plastic egg half. Use your fingers to make hollow center in each half. Remove from molds. Place on wax paper and cool slightly. Place jelly beans in one half of the egg and then gently press two halves of each egg together until they stick. Cool completley. If you want you can decorate the outside with frosting, decorating gel or more candy or sprinkles (the sprinkles will stick better if you do it while they are warm). Have fun!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Stained Glass Cookies

(The plan was to have these up for Valentine's Day, sorry! You can use them for anything though, so here it goes.)
The original recipe I found this from was on Kraft, but I thought the cookies were yucky...so now I just use my favorite sugar cookie recipe and follow these directions. You can use any sugar cookie recipe, or I listed my favorite one too. Super fun for any occasion and the kids love em.

For the Cookies:

2/3 cup dairy free margarine, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg
1 Tbsp soy milk
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour

In a large bowl beat margarine on high 30 seconds. Add sugar, baking powder and salt and beat until combined, scraping sides occasionally. Beat in egg, milk and vanilla. Beat in the flour. Chill for at least 1 hour so it's not too sticky.

For the Cutouts:
2-3 rolls of lifesavers candy

Preheat oven to 350. On a lightly floured surface roll out to about 1/4-1/2 inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes and then trace smaller versions of each cookie shape on the dough (or use tiny cookie cutters or pie cutter shapes) leaving at least a 1/2 inch border of dough from the inside shape. Cut out and remove dough from the center of each shape; set aside. Place all the cookie cutouts on baking sheets covered with tinfoil. Now crush each color of candy seperately between 2 layers of wax paper with a mallet (you can use a plastic baggie but it will most likely rip from the sharp candy pieces). Spoon crushed candy inside centers of cutouts. Bake 6-8 minutes or until candy is melted and cookies are lightly browned. Cool cookies completely before removing from foil.
*Note: This last time I made them they didn't have the "stained glass" look because I overfilled the candy thinking that would be better, but it wasn't because the candies were all gummy. When you fill the holes in the centers of your cookies just fill to the same thickness as your cookies. They will shrink down when they melt but that's okay!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Sizzling Sesame Beef

(I always use my own pictures, but sometimes dinner time is a bit crazy and in this case there weren't any leftovers by the time I remembered a picture, so picture source: Good Housekeeping)
Whenever I find recipes I think I might like out of magazines I tear them out and put them in a drawer next to my cookbooks. I finally got to organizing that drawer this past week and am I ever glad I did or I might not have found this recipe. It's simple and yet delicious. I love the flavors of everything and that it's a well rounded healthy meal. It has definitely been added to our family favorites for sure.

Sizzling Sesame Beef
Recipe from Good Housekeeping Magazine Jan 2010
Serves 4

1 pound beef sirloin steak 1 inch thick
1 cup jasmine rice
2 green onions, white portions cut into 2 inch chunks, green portions thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, crushed with press (or chopped very fine)
4 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp sugar
2 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
1 pound broccoli florets

Place the steak in freezer and prepare rice as label directs. Meanwhile in a large bowl (this will be for the broccoli when it's cooked), combine 1 Tbsp sliced green onions, 1 tsp garlic, 2 tsp sesame oil, and 1/4 tsp salt; set aside. In a 12 inch skillet, heat 1 inch water to boiling on high.

Take cold steak out of freezer and cut across grain into thin slices. In a shallow bowl, combine 2 tsp sugar, 1 Tbsp soy sauce, green onion chunks and the remaining garlic. Toss the steak slices with this mixture, coating evenly and set aside.

By now the water in the skillet should be boiling. Add broccoli and cook 3 minutes or until just tender. Drain well. Place in the same bowl as the onion-garlic mixture and toss well. Cover to keep warm.

In the same skillet heat the remaining 2 tsp oil on high until hot. Add beef in single layer; cook 2 minute. Stir in remaining sliced green onions and 1/8 tsp each of salt and pepper; cook 1 minute longer. Stir in remaining 1 Tbsp soy sauce. Serve with rice and broccoli. (I drizzled the rice with a small amount of soy sauce too)

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Original Chex Party Mix

Chex mix is such a great snack, especially for the kids. The orginal chex mix bag that you buy does have dairy warnings on the label, so a while back I found this recipe and was so excited to make my own dairy free. When I was living in Utah I actually borrowed the equipment from the cannery, made huge batches of this stuff and canned them in #10 size cans. Just in time for the super bowl- enjoy!

The Original Chex Party Mix
Recipe from Chex
Makes 24 1/2 cup servings (or 12 1 cup servings)

3 cups corn chex cereal
3 cups rice chex cereal
3 cups wheat chex cereal
1 cup mixed nuts
1 cup bite-size pretzels
1 cup garlic-flavor bit size bagel chips or regular ones broken up
6 Tbsp dairy free butter or margarine
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 tsp seasoned salt
3/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder

In large microwavable bowl, mix cereals, nuts, pretzels and bagel chips; set aside. In small microwavable bowl, microwave butter/margarine uncovered on high about 40 seconds or until melted. Stir in seasonings. Pour over cereal mixture; stir until evenly coated.
Microwave uncovered on high 5-6 minutes, thoroughly stirring every 2 minutes. Spread on paper towels to cool. Store in airtight container.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Banana Bread

Everybody loves some banana bread right! Even my pickiest little eater ate at least 4 slices. This time I made one loaf regular, and one loaf with some walnuts. Another classic from my Grandma Lill- what would we do without her (or her recipes :)

Grandma Lill's Banana Bread
Recipe from Lillian Rydalch

1/2 cup dairy free butter or margarine, softened
4 mashed bananas
4 eggs
1 3/4 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1 t soda
1 t vanilla
1/2 t salt
1 cup nuts (optional)

Mix the softened butter, mashed bananans and eggs together. Mix the dry ingredients together and add the wet ingredients. Fold in the nuts if you want them. Mix well. Pour into 2 greased bread pans. Bake @ 350 for 40 minutes.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

No-Bake Energy Bites

My sister posted these on our other blog we have and I tried them today. They are super yummy and quite addicting I might say! I thought they would also be a nice healthy snack for the kids since I'm trying to sugar-detox the whole family after the holidays :) Perfect for allergies since there's no dairy and no egg. The Enjoy Life dairy free chocolate chips are perfect for this because they are already mini.

No Bake Energy Bites
Recipe from Brooke Salcido @ Four Sisters' Kitchens

1 cup oatmeal
1 cup coconut flakes
1/2 cup ground flaxseed
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup honey
1/2 cup mini dairy free chocolate chips
2 tsp vanilla

Mix everything together really well. Let chill for about 30 minutes. Roll into balls and enjoy! Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container (they'll keep about a week)

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Pasta e Fagioli

I've been making this for a few years now ever since my sister in law shared it with me. The nice thing is you can really change the quantities to suit you and your family just like I did when she gave it to me.  The best part is it will make your kitchen smell amazing! I served it tonight with this hearth bread (with some olive oil and seasons to dip), and sparkling cider for the kids. It felt like the perfect Italian dinner!

Pasta e Fagioli
Recipe adapted from Kelli Melin
Serves 5-6 (you can cut it in half easily)

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp dried onion flakes or 1 green onion, finely chopped
2 carrots, finely chopped
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
3 large garlic cloves, minced
2 cans great Northern beans, drained well
1 cup chicken broth (I make it using chicken bouillon cube)
2 cans diced tomatoes with juices
1 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1 Tbsp parsley
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 cups dry small pasta shells, cooked al dente and drained

Cook the noodles if you haven't already. Heat up oil and saute onions, carrot, celery and garlic until soft, about 8 minutes. Add the beans, broth, tomatoes and juices, and rosemary. Bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer, stir in pasta, parsley and salt and pepper. Simmer covered about 5 minutes.