Thursday, February 19, 2015

Recipe for No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars

My daughter took this photo of the beautiful rose that my husband so kindly gave me for Valentine's Day.  Yesterday, I stopped my busy time of dinner preparation to smell the rose.



I jokingly said to my daughter, "OK...I stopped to smell the roses.  I can check that off my list of things to do."  We laughed, yet we thought about how it is important to take time for the joyful things of life, even though we are working hard to accomplish the things on our list.

So, maybe having yummy peanut butter bars to snack on for a few days isn't a major thing to do to bring joy in my life, but sometimes simple things like that can add up to a happier day.  :)

Here is a recipe we adapted from the Six Sisters' Stuff cookbook (they had graham crackers in their recipe).  The Kix* cereal substitution worked very well in place of the graham crackers and added a flavor that made it taste like a Reese's Peanut Butter Bar.  Delicious!


Gluten-Free No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars

1 cup butter, melted
2 cups powdered sugar
2 1/2 cups crushed Kix cereal
1 cup, plus 4 tablespoons peanut butter, divided
1 1/2 cups milk chocolate chips

Step 1:  Place Kix cereal in a re-closable bag (Ziploc-type) and crush it with a rolling pin.

Step 2:  In a medium bowl, mix together melted butter, Kix cereal (be sure to measure after crushing it), powdered sugar, and 1 cup peanut butter until well blended.  Press evenly into the bottom of an ungreased 9x13-inch pan.

Step 3:  In the microwave, melt the chocolate chips with the remaining peanut butter at 50 percent power, stirring every 30 seconds until melted and smooth.  Spread over peanut butter layer.

Step 4:  Refrigerate at least one hour before cutting into squares.  Makes 15 thin bars.

*Kix cereal doesn't have a gluten-free label on the box, but the ingredient list makes it appear to be gluten free.  We are quite sensitive to gluten and Kix cereal doesn't make us sick, but use it at your own risk.






Monday, February 2, 2015

Review of Annie Chun's Pad Thai Noodles; Recipe for Pad Thai

In my cookbook, I have a recipe for Pad Thai that I really enjoy.  However, the Tinkyada noodles I have used for the recipe haven't been quite the same as the noodles I have eaten as I have ordered Pad Thai at the Thai restaurant we have nearby. The Tinkyada noodles taste good, but have been a little too thick for this recipe.  I was excited to find Annie Chun's Pad Thai Brown Rice Noodles on the shelf in our grocery store.  They are just your basic noodle, yet I like the thin cut.  I am rating them at 10 out of 10, since there is nothing wrong with them...though they aren't a powerhouse of flavor since they are just plain noodles. :)



Here is the recipe from my cookbook for Pad Thai:

SERVES 6 TO 8

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 pkg. Tinkyada® Fettuccine Noodles or Annie Chun's Pad Thai Noodles
2 tablespoons fish sauce
⅓ cup brown sugar
½ tablespoon sesame or peanut oil
2 teaspoons soy sauce
½ teaspoon lime or lemon juice
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon minced garlic clove
1 cup cooked shrimp
2 cups fresh bean sprouts
½ cup dry-roasted peanuts, chopped
1 cup cilantro leaves

1. Slice chicken into cubes while slightly frozen. Fry in cooking oil.

2. Prepare noodles according to package directions. Combine fish sauce, brown sugar, sesame or peanut oil, soy sauce, lime juice, and red pepper flakes in a small bowl.

3. Remove chicken from frying pan when fully cooked.

4. Beat eggs and scramble eggs in frying pan. Add garlic and shrimp and sauté for several minutes.

5. Add bean sprouts, cooked noodles, chicken, and sauce mixture. Before serving, stir in peanuts and cilantro.



...and here is a link to buy my cookbook on amazon...so you can find lots of other tasty recipes. :)

http://www.amazon.com/Gluten-Free-Cooking-Made-Easy/dp/0991273605/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1422914476&sr=8-3&keywords=gluten+free+cooking+made+easy#


Friday, January 16, 2015

Review of Sticky Fingers Bakeries Gluten-Free Scones

While my sister was visiting with us over the holidays, she brought this mix for us to try out.  It sounded so inviting to actually have scones that I must admit I was quite disappointed to realize that they are more like a biscuit.  The instructions state to "drop batter by heaping spoonfuls onto baking sheet."  The taste was quite good, though the texture was quite heavy and dense.  I am rating them at 7 out of 10.


Thursday, December 11, 2014

Product Review of Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies; My Recipe for GF Chocolate Chip Cookies

Here is the gluten-free chocolate chip cookie recipe included in my cookbook (which would be a great gift idea, by the way!).  :)  I am biased, I know, but I can rate my cookie recipe at a 10 and feel comfortable doing so.  We love the flavor, texture, and price compared to mixes.  We also love that the recipe is large, so we can freeze part of the batch to have cookies in school lunch bags or for snacks.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
3/4 c. brown sugar
3/4 c. granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups brown rice flour
3/4 cup tapioca flour
1/2 cup sorghum flour
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips* (if milk intolerant, use Enjoy Life® Chocolate Chips and Earth Balance® margarine in place of butter)

1. Preheat oven to 375 °F.  Combine butter, sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, and eggs.

2. Add brown rice flour, tapioca flour, sorghum flour, xanthan gum,baking soda, salt, and chocolate chips. Mix thoroughly.

3. Shape into small balls of dough and place on a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375°F for 10 to 11 minutes.

MAKES 34 TO 36 COOKIES

*As a variation, substitute 3⁄4 cup butterscotch chips and 2⁄3 cup toffee bits for chocolate chips.





However, when I am in a big hurry, it is nice to know there are a some great gluten-free chocolate chip cookie mixes at the grocery store.  I tried out three of them.  (I also have a blog post about Arrowhead Mills GF Cookie Mix in my post from 4-6-2012, and a blog post about Glutino Cookies on 5-31-2013).  It is kind of embarrassing that we love chocolate chip cookies this much. :)


Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix

I am rating this mix at 5 out of 10.  My first impression was that they have some type of bean flour in them, and sure enough...the label showed there is garbanzo bean flour in the mix.  The bean flavor didn't last long since the chocolate chips helped to offset it.  These cookies have a good texture and aren't too grainy, though they are slightly dry.  The taste was average, but we definitely ate them since there was chocolate in them. :)





Pillsbury Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

I am rating this product at 9.5 out of 10.  This was our favorite cookie out of the three--due to taste, time savings, and convenience.  It comes in a container similar to sour cream in size.  You can find this cookie dough in the refrigerator section, probably near the eggs and other Pillsbury cookie dough.  The only problem was that the quantity of cookies was too few for the price. These are delicious cookies, though.  My husband said he would rate them at 10 for gluten free and would rate them at 8 in comparison to a gluten cookie.  Yum!



Betty Crocker Chocolate Chip Gluten Free Cookie Mix

I am rating this mix at 7 out of 10.  The flavor was quite good, but the dough was crumbly and difficult to form into a cookie shape.  The cookies were a bit grainy, as well.  Not that appearance matters too much, but as far as color and shape are concerned, they look the best out of the three mixes.







Thursday, November 13, 2014

Product Review of Enjoy Life Crunchy Flax with Chia

It seemed like a good idea to buy Enjoy Life Crunchy Flax with Chia.  I have no doubt that it is a healthy choice for a breakfast cereal.  However, I can't stand it.  It tastes terrible to me. :\ I tried adding it to my other gluten-free cereal to tone down the taste.  Nope.  Then I tried melting chocolate chips and adding some granola with it to enhance the taste.  It kind of ruined the good taste of the chocolate.  I am rating it at 2 out of 10.  I will just add flax to my smoothies and call it good. :)


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Recipe for Red Pepper Noodles

I am grateful for family!  Even though there are difficult days with parenting--and the trials that come with it--life is good.  It is nice that life includes happy days to offset the hard days.  Having one son get married in August and another in October has brought great joy!  Plus, we now have two more awesome daughters-in-law!

In August, our oldest son, his wife, and their 3-year-old daughter came to visit due to the wedding.  It was awesome to have them here!  My daughter-in-law knew I was busy with wedding preparations, and volunteered to make some of the meals.  I was happy to let her do this, especially since she is a great cook!  Here is the recipe for the Red Pepper Noodles she made for us.  Delicious!



Red Pepper Noodles*

1/2 lb. gluten-free spaghetti noodles
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 diced red bell pepper (or orange bell pepper)
1/2 cup diced onion
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Soy sauce, to taste

1.  Cook the noodles according to package directions.  Drain noodles.
2.  Dice the red bell pepper and onion.  Heat olive oil in a wok or large skillet.
3.  Saute the diced red pepper, diced onion, and minced garlic for 7-10 minutes.
4.  Stir in the cooked noodles, lemon juice, and sugar.  Add soy sauce, to taste.

*I also added sliced zucchini.  Yum!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Product Review of Pillsbury Gluten Free Pizza Dough; My Pizza Recipe

I was making pizza for a large group a few weeks ago and I needed more than our two large crusts that I make with my pizza recipe.  I decided to supplement with one more small to medium-sized-pizza and to give Pillsbury dough a whirl.  I like my recipe for pizza crust better (a subliminal hint to buy my cookbook).  :)



The Pillsbury pizza crust caused my eyes to light up, however, since it is great to see companies like Pillsbury joining the gluten-free product wagon.  I am rating the crust at 7, since the flavor was quite good, but it was chewy and dense and had a slight after-taste. See my blog post at this link for my pizza crust recipe, and hopefully you will like it so much you will buy my cookbook. :)

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