Saturday, June 04, 2011

River Run

I may not have had the best race finish (24 minutes), I may have walked a block or two (or 6), I may have been out of breath (very), but I FINISHED! I didn't need an ambulance escort, I didn't pass out (barely), AND most importantly I had a great time with my dad :) Love you dad-you did good and I'm proud of you!

Friday, May 13, 2011

"Hot" Chocolate - 3 Minute Double Chocolate (or Very Vanilla) Mug Cake (Gluten Free)

It's been too dang hot to do much of anything the last few days but sit still since we don't have our a/c right now. (We are lucky enough to be able to borrow a window unit and run some fans, however, so we definitely can't complain!) So, turning on a hot oven and heating the whole blasted house for one persons little chocolate cake craving (OK, so no chocolate craving is little, but let's not split hairs here) was not an option. Hot or not, I still wanted some cake! I found this recipe online at Gluten Free Easily a while back that used the microwave to bake a cake and I thought I would give it a try. Cake in a microwave??? Delicious, choclately goodness in mere minutes??? I know, right!? No brainer... Well, I'm really happy to say with just a few modifications and a minor mess (um, minor depends on whose definition of the word you use) I had a really yummy chocolate cake that took no time at all :) The weather has finally cooled a bit, but who couldn't use an easy dessert recipe?

3 Minute Double Chocolate (or Very Vanilla) Mug Cake (Gluten Free)
Serves 1-4 (if you can share)
  • 4 T. gluten free flour blend (I use this one my mom came up with)
  • 2 T. cocoa
  • pinch of baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 T. chocolate chips or chunks
  • 4 T. agave
  • 3 T. coconut milk
  • 2 T. coconut oil, liquified
  • splash of vanilla extract
  • 1/16 t. liquid stevia, vanilla creme flavored
  • 1 lg. egg
Optional: nuts, butterscotch chips, white chocolate chips, etc., can be added for an interesting flavor combo.

In a large coffee mug (I used a small pyrex mixing bowl) mix the dry ingredients well. Add the wet and combine thoroughly. Cook in the microwave for 3 minutes. Let the cake sit in the microwave for about 3-5 minutes to finish setting. Remove and serve with whipped topping or frosting-or it was very tasty plain.

UPDATE 5/15/11: I thought I would make this for myself for my b-day coming up with my favorite icing...verdict: mucho better plain! The icing took away from the taste of the cake and was not near as enjoyable. Still good, but not as outstanding as the simple cake by itself :) I think next time I may try to make the cake subbing in gluten free cake mix for the gluten free flour...may be interesting.

UPDATE 5/17/11: Well, I have to say this experiment was a success! Instead of using 4 T. GF flour, I used 5 T. Betty Crocker gluten free vanilla cake mix. I omitted the cocoa and only used 2 T. of  agave. I kept everything else the same. Now I have a vanilla version of my fav mug cake that tastes just as good as its chocolate version!

UPDATE 5/28/11: I was craving cake again last night and had some Kinnikinnick Gluten Free Chocolate Vanilla Sandwich Cookies my mom gave me during the week. I thought those crumbled up in the batter would make a delicious addition and I was right! The possibilities with this mug cake are endless :) Enjoy and let me know what things you have tried!

Friday, May 06, 2011

Yummy Chocolate Chip Cookies (Gluten Free/Dairy Free/Refined Sugar Free)

Mother's Day is is around the corner on Sunday and we are having a family dinner at my moms house. She asked all of us to bring a dish to help and I was floored that my chocolate chip cookies were specifically requested-even by several gluten eating peeps! Now I'm no good at coming up with recipes on my own so I took one of Elana's fantastic cookie recipes and tweaked it just a little to fit my needs. She has really helped me find delicious things to make that everyone enjoys :) You should check her out at Here is my modified version of her yummy cookies:

Yummy Chocolate Chip Cookies (Gluten Free/Dairy Free/Refined Sugar Free)
Makes 1 Dozen

  • 3 1/2 C. blanched almond flour (I used Bob's Red Mill), firmly packed
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1/2 t. baking soda
  • 1/2 C. coconut oil, liquified
  • 1 T. vanilla extract (yes a whole Tablespoon!)
  • 1/2 C. agave nectar
  • 1 C. Enjoy Life allergy friendly chocolate chips
  • 1 dropper liquid stevia, vanilla creme flavored
In a medium bowl, stir all the wet ingredients together. In another bowl, blend all the dry ingredients together. Mix the wet ingredients with the dry, combining well. With your hands, form 1" to 1 1/2" balls. Place on a cookie sheet, leaving some distance between them, and flatten with the palm of your hand or the back of a spoon. Bake at 350 degrees for 7-10 minutes, or until slightly browned around the edges.

  1. I use dry measuring cups for measuring ingredients, even for the liquid measurements. I believe Elana does the same thing. It's just easier for me and far less dishes. Watch her video here.
  2. Be sure to pack down the almond flour really well when measuring. If you don't, your dough will be entirely too greasy and the cookies will come out a sticky, tasty but useless mess.
  3. That said, the dough will still be slightly greasy. This is normal. Since I do not use her recommended brand of almond flour (Honeyville Blanched Almond Flour) I tend to add more than the called for 2 1/2 C. of Bob's.
  4. Do not over bake the cookies. Most of the time I have found in gluten free baking that my desserts tend to finish cooking when pulled out of the oven and left to sit for a while. If you leave them in too long they burn on the bottom and the cookie is not near as delicious! When you pull them out of the oven, they will be slightly browned on the edges and the center will still appear slightly gooey.
  5. These cookies do not rise during baking so try not to flatten them too far. They do, however, spread.
  6. Be sure to liquify the coconut oil before adding to the batter.
  7. And the biggie, follow the recipe to the letter. Measure exactly for each ingredient. Too much of one thing or too little of something else can result in a tasty treat gone bad in a hurry.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Feeding Time

It's Thursday and that means feeding time in our house. I'm not a big fan of participating in the homicidal ritual of feeding live mice to our five beloved snakes, so I figured now was a great time to work on my blog! (I just can't get past feeding those cute little guys to anything even though it provides nourishment for something else.) Plus, I wanted to play with my new laptop :) I got some early birthday money (thanks Grandma!) and found an awesome last chance deal I just couldn't pass up at Wal-Mart. Gotta love Wally World! By the time I checked out, I ended up saving over $100 on an already inexpensive laptop, upgraded to a better carrying case that came with a free wireless mouse and Michael had dishes done and dinner was on the table when I got back-thanks babe! Can't beat that :) Well, actually it gets even better because the yard was mowed when I got home tonight too lol, which leaves me free to take baby girl on a much needed walk later. (Trust me, she needs it-one very spoiled dog = one very fat dog!) It's a nice enough evening weather wise  for it anyway. Hopefully it stays this way so we can go fishing again this weekend, too. I had a really great time last weekend :) We had dinner out at Red Lobster on Friday with Michael's brother and his mom. You can totally tell we don't get to town much or eat out at fancy places because we all had sticker shock after looking at the menu-holy cow that is freaking highway robbery for food! But after a whole day of fishing on Saturday, it was completely forgotten and I was relaxed. We didn't catch much but I think we all had a good time. Then, on Sunday, we went to see the new Fast Five movie. It was pretty good but I have a feeling this is going to be the Rocky of our generation. There's going to be another sequel. The movie did remind me that race season is coming up though :) I am so ready for it! Oh, how I have missed the rat rods, the burn outs, the drags, the smells and the sounds of the season. It's something Michael and I enjoy together. But, for tonight, I will have to settle on a quiet walk in the country...a nice way to end a good evening :)

Monday, May 02, 2011

Mexican Potato Bake (Gluten Free)

I ran across a new recipe from one of my favorite bloggers, Kelly Brozyna, over at The Spunky Coconut the other night and knew I just had to try it. Of course, I didn't have everything on hand to make it and I wanted to add my own spin on it, but it came out pretty good I think. My boyfriend ate it without complaints anyway and he can have gluten. So, I put that in the recipe keep pile :) For her original recipe, click here. Here is my version:

Mexican Potato Bake (Gluten Free)
Generously serves a family of 4
  • 1-1.5 lbs ground hamburger or deer meat
  • 2 cloves minced garlic (I used the jarred kind that I had on hand)
  • 1 T. chopped onion flakes (again had this on hand)
  • chili powder
  • cumin
  • dried oregano
  • salt
  • red pepper flakes
  • italian seasoning
  • 1/3 C. blanched almond flour (I used Bob's Red Mill)
  • 2 T. tapioca starch/flour
  • 3 eggs whisked
  • 1 15oz can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 15 oz can red beans, drained
  • 5-6 decent sized potatoes, peeled and sliced about 1/4" thick
  • tortilla chips
  • cheese or your favorite cheese alternative
In a large skillet brown the meat, onion and garlic, and spices to taste*. In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, almond flour, tapioca starch/flour, corn, and beans. Mix in the cooked meat and set aside. Line a greased glass baking dish with the sliced potatoes and sprinkle with salt. Pour the meat mixture over the top of the potatoes and spread it out evenly. Cover and bake at 350 for 30 minutes-at the 20 minute mark, remove the dish from the oven and sprinkle with cheese or cheese alternative and bake for an additional 10 minutes uncovered. Serve with a handful of crushed tortilla chips sprinkled on the top.

*Everyone likes their food spiced differently so I didn't put a measurement on the spices to add to the meat. We generally like a spicier dish at our house but as a reference I would start with about a teaspoon of each spice.

    Sunday, May 01, 2011

    It's About Time

    Well after some internal debate, I have finally set up a blog! I say it's about time! I had put it off for several reasons but found the more I thought about it, the positives far outweighed any negatives there may be in doing it. Besides that, this is so much less intimidating than posting on Facebook for all the social piranhas to see and comment on the very second after I hit enter. I figure this blog is a place where I can boast about my family, vent (while still counting my numerous blessings), and post new experiments, I mean recipes, tested in my kitchen. All I ask is that you please keep in mind I'm new at this :) Thanks for reading and stay tuned...