Sunday, March 31, 2013

Work Lunches

I'm going to try quinoa with edamame, Bragg's, and Wow Butter for lunch this week.  Plenty of protein. Low cal. Low glycemic.

And, the best part of all, my rice cooker does all the work!

I cook the quinoa and edamame together in the rice cooker then stir in the rest when it's ready.  Portioned them all out to grab and go.

I made 1-1/2 cups uncooked quinoa.  1/4 cup is considered one serving so, technically, I'm slightly over for the week (5 days).  I'm hoping this will satisfy me until dinner time.  Normally, I'm ready to eat my arm by 4:00!

Easter Brinner

Brinner for "normal" people:

Florentine Egg Beaters, baked over assorted wild mushrooms.  Thomas' Bagel Thins.  Ham.

Brinner for allergic:

Cinnamon yeast pancakes. Accordion potatoes.  Bananas.


I put sliced, cleaned mushrooms in a greased Pyrex. Poured the egg beaters over them and baked at 325 for 40 minutes. Big D and Gmaw were lovin it!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Ricotta Cake

This is such an easy cake.  My memory also tells me it is super yummy.  This recipe is from The Italian Community Center Cookbook based out of Milwaukee WI.  I got it as a wedding gift 20 long years ago.

Len wanted to make cheesecake to take home to people at Stony tomorrow.  It really is a holiday cake and serves a lot since it is very dense.

Not vegan.  Not gluten free.  BUT this COULD be gluten free if you use the Betty Crocker Yellow Cake Mix.  It is vegetarian but not vegan.

1 yellow box mix cake, with pudding in the mix if you can
2 lbs ricotta cheese
4 eggs well beaten
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 and grease a 13x9 cake pan.

Mix cake mix according to directions.  Pour in the prepared pan.

Mix the remainder of the ingredients until creamy.  Pour over the still unbaked cake batter.  DO NOT STIR.  Bake for one hour.


16 ounces sour cream
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix above ingredients.  Pour over hot cake and spread to cover evenly.  Bake additional 10-15 minutes until frosting sets.

Cool, cover, and refrigerate.  Serve cold.

I'll add a photo of the cake after it's cut tomorrow so you can see the magic of it. The cheese sinks to the bottom of the cake and it is so moist. The sour cream on top cannot be better!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

For You Aunt Kappy! Love, Leonard

Not only are pie crusts made with oil not as picky about being over worked, they are good for vegans too!

Jennie is still riding the woop woop for cherries train all the way to pie town today.  This is all her talent and I am so glad to be posting it!

Preheat oven to 425.


1-1/2 cup GF baking mix
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3-4 tablespoons Very Vanilla Soymilk

Whisk together the baking mix, salt, sugar, and baking powder.  Combine the oil and Soymilk and add to dry ingredients.  Stir with a fork until moistened.  It can be crumbly, a lot, as long as it presses together when you squeeze it.  Jennie made mini pies in muffin tins.  No need to grease the muffin cups.  Press the dough to cover all around the muffin cup.  This recipe made 6 mini pies.

Cherry Filling

2 cups frozen pitted cherries
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon tapioca starch

In medium saucepan, cook the cherries and water on medium-low heat for about 10 minutes.  Whisk the sugar and tapioca starch together making sure there are no lumps.  Add to the cherries, stirring constantly until mixture boils.  Continue to cook until thickened, about one minute.

Fill the crusts you have pressed into the muffin tins with the cherry filling.  Bake for approximately 12 minutes or until cherry filling is bubbly.

Cool in the pan.  Remove from muffin cups with a spoon.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Hi Ginger Chicken

While my cauliflower was cooking and while Len Julianned her veggies for wraps, I made chicken for the boys.

4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into strips
3 tablespoons margarine
3 tablespoons Bragg's Liquid Aminos
Black pepper
Ground ginger
Frozen (or fresh) tri color bell pepper strips
1 tablespoon tapioca starch
Chili powder

Melt margarine in skillet with a lid on high.  Add chicken pieces and Bragg's.  Once the chicken is coated with margarine and Bragg's, reduce heat and add water to half way up the side of the pan.  Add the black pepper, garlic, and ginger.

Put the lid on and simmer on low for about 30 minutes.  Add the peppers and cover again.  Continue cooking until chicken is tender, about 30 more minutes.

Combine 3/4 cup cold water with 1 tablespoon tapioca starch.  Put in a little more ginger and a shot of chili powder.  Remove the lid and stir in the water mixture.  Cook until sauce thickens.

Serve over rice.

Cheer for Cherry Muffins

Wonders never cease...  Bub started eating cherries on St. Joseph's Day.  So far, no allergic reactions. It's funny that when the kids were little, doctors told us they may outgrow the milk allergy but they would never outgrow the fructose intolerance. They are old enough to try it if they want to and old enough to tend to negative reactions too.

Since we always feel brave on vacation (epi pen givers nearby, bathrooms nearby, no one has to see us if we get hives) Len decided to eat some last night too.  When I went to bed they had both hauled out the old PS2 and were DDRing it in Lennie's room.

I am hoping that means no cherry related illness for Len.  If I'm wrong, these will keep in the freezer for Bub to eat whenever.

It's just my regular muffin recipe with chopped frozen cherries in it. I can only imagine biting into a sweet, juicy cherry in a warm breakfast goodie!  I've recently mixed the cherries with some frozen blueberries too.  I used 1/2 a cup of each berry.

Preheat oven to 400 and grease or line muffin cups.

2 cups GF baking mix
1/2 cup sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 Very Vamilla Soymilk
1/3 cup melted margarine
3/4 cup rough chopped frozen cherries
(Or mix it up and use blueberries too!  1/2 cup of each berry works great!)

Mix first 4 ingredients in a medium bowl.  Make a well in the middle.  Add the Soymilk and melted margarine.  Mix until just moist, drizzling tiny amounts of Soymilk in dry areas at bottom of bowl if needed.  Stir in the cherries.

Fill prepared muffin cups 3/4 full.  Bake for 15-17 minutes.

Serve warm (if anyone's awake at your house)!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Happy Patties

OMG y'all. OMG.  Len and I made vegan burgers!

I am in hogless heaven.  The best dinner I've had in ages.

Vegan Patties

1 cup cooked quinoa (we made 1/2 cup uncooked with 1 cup water in rice cooker)
1/2 bag frozen edamame
3 medium carrots
Mashed potato flakes, 1 tablespoon plus 1/4 cup for pressing into patties
Bragg's Liquid Aminos
Wow Butter

Boil the vegetables in a pot with enough water to cover them and also add a tablespoon of Bragg's. Don't drain them when done.

Place the quinoa in food processor. Add teaspoon of margarine, a splash of Bragg's, and one tablespoon of vegetable cooking liquid.

Purée until combined. Add the cooked vegetables and purée again. Put that combo in a bowl. Add one teaspoon of Wow Butter and mix well. Add one tablespoon mashed potato flakes and mix. Taste and add more seasoning if needed (more Bragg's and other spices if you like).

Put 1/4 cup mashed potato flakes on a plate. Shape the mixture into 1-1/2" balls. Gently place them in the mashed potato flakes and press lightly onto both sides.

Heat a skilled brushed with margarine. Brown the patties on both sides.

Serve on Jack and Sally Lunn Buns with this yummy spread!

Spread ingredients

1 tablespoon Wow Butter, heated in microwave for 10 seconds. Add enough Bragg's to make it spreadable

Double Doughnut Delight

Could this actually be the recipe I've been waiting for?  Rich, crispy, frosted chocolate doughnuts!

I was browsing ebooks at the libraries webpage and stumbled upon a freakin doughnut cookbook!  I got on the hold list and received the available email yesterday.  Chocolate cake doughnuts with chocolate frosting were one of my favorites as a kid.  I made a ganache to dip these beauties in after they are fried.

This cookbook, by Lara Ferroni, actually had some gluten free options in it.  Since I generally don't use gluten free recipes, I didn't use one today. Like always, I adapted a standard recipe to suit our needs. I started with her regular chocolate cake recipe and made it gluten free AND vegan with a few changes. Turns out Lara mentions her friend, Shauna James Ahern, a gluten free cook I follow on Twitter! What a small cyber world!

This is super, crazy, chocolatey. They taste best cold. I tried one warm and it was not good eats. Hot coffee and a crispy doughnut. How very normal.


1-3/4 cups GF baking mix
5 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1-1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cold margarine, cut into little pieces
1/2 cup hot Vanilla Soymilk
1 teaspoon oil and one teaspoon cold water added to the hot soymilk

In mixer combine the baking mix, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Add the margarine and mix on slow until mixture looks crumbly.  Slowly pour in the liquid and mix until smooth.  It is like a cookie dough.

Set aside and make the ganache and preheat your deep dryer to 375.  Line two cookie trays with parchment paper.  Set up your cooling racks with some foil beneath them.

For the ganache

Put 2/3 cups chocolate chips in a bowl wide enough to dip doughnuts in.
Pour 1/3 cup hot Very Vanilla Soymilk over them and stir till smooth.

Doughnut Assembly

Eyeball the dough.  You will get 8 doughnuts out of this recipe.

Take about a tablespoon of dough and form into a ball.  Press into a burger slider patty shape gently.  Put on the lined baking sheet.  Repeat until you have 8 patties.

Take the handle of a wooden spoon and make a hole in the middle of the patties.  Move doughnut patties into the fryer with a slotted pancake turner, two at a time.  When they rise to the surface, fry for one minute, then flip and fry for another minute.  Remove with the same pancake turner and drain on paper towels.

Dip into the ganache and place on cooling racks.  Don't be stingy when you dip! Give them a good coat. There is plenty.

I will admit these are aggravating my atrial fibrillation so I may not make them often!

Friday, March 22, 2013


Let spring break (and the party) begin!

Seasoned ground beef (salt, garlic, chili powder, cayenne, cumin, oregano)

We removed the stems and guts of poblanos, grilled them, stuffed 2 mozzarella cheese sticks inside, covered and baked, with a little water in the pan, at 350 for 20 minutes, until cheese is melted.

Refried beans, lettuce, tomatoes, shredded cheddar, sour cream, tortillas, crispy tortas...

And, the only thing I ate... CHURROS!

Kicking off spring break!

Having friends over for a taco bar, stuffed poblanos and CHURROS!

Will post photos later but here's the churro recipe.  ALWAYS come out perfect and delicious...

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Brownie pan success!

Finally used the brownie pan I bought a few weeks ago!  Turned out pretty nicely.  I don't generally like gimmicky things but sometimes you have to be willing to try something just to see if it works.  Gluten free usually has a texture problem.

Since I FINALLY perfected a successful brownie, I'd hoped this pan would be more gentle to the finished product.  It was.  Next time, I will brush more margarine on the middle divider piece.  But as you can see, it did work!

Brownie recipe here...

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

And They Say Chickens Can't Fly Casserole

This was quick to make and the pan was empty even faster!

I had some left over rice and not a lot of time or interest to make another dinner I would not be eating.  I came up with this and was able to get the boys to eat something green!

3-4 cups cooked rice
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, I used thin sliced, cut into bite sized pieces
One bag frozen broccoli
2 tablespoons margarine
2 tablespoons Bragg's Liquid Aminos
Chili powder
Shredded cheese, whatever you got, I used Daiya vegan shreds.  And yes, I am aware this is not a vegan meal but my Bub is allergic to milk so Daiya it is!
2 cups water
1 heaping tablespoon tapioca starch (or potato or corn)

Put the rice in a 13x9 roasting pan.  Put the frozen broccoli in next.  Preheat oven to 350.

Heat the margarine and Bragg's in a skillet.  Add the chicken and cook until no longer pink.  Remove from heat.  Take the chicken pieces out with slotted spoon and add to rice and broccoli, leaving liquid in the skillet.

Add the water to the skillet and deglaze the pan.   Season the pan liquids with garlic, pepper, chili powder, and oregano.  Stir in the tapioca starch.

Pour the liquid over the roasting pan ingredients.  Stir it all around.  Sprinkle the cheese over the top.

Cover with foil and bake for 30 or longer if you need.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

St. Joseph's Day treat

Gone are the days of custard filled pastries from the bakery.  The cold, creamy filling. The sweet cherry on top. The fact I didn't have to make it...  I miss that most of all I think!  Going out and buying something I want to eat is not that easy.

I made rice pudding tonight To celebrate.  Bub seems to remember successfully eating cherries last summer so the boys with both be lucky enough to have cherries too.  Cinnamon for me!

I've posted this recipe before but here is a link...

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Accordion Potatoes

Len sent me a Pinterest link this morning to these yummy looking potatoes!  The pinner used russets. I figured that the red baby bliss potatoes I planned to make with the boys corned beef would lend themselves nicely too!

3 lbs red baby bliss

Pour 1/4 cup vegetable oil in a freezer ziplock bag.

Scrub potatoes and peel off blemishes.  Score the potatoes about half way down. Toss each one in the  baggie as you finish each one.  Zip the bag closed and toss the potatoes around to coat them all.

Arrange cut sides up on a large baking sheet lined with parchment.  Sprinkle with salt.

Bake at 425 for about 45 minutes.

Here is a link to the original poster.

Glazed Matchstick Carrots

It would be so nice if I could eat raw carrots right out of the bag but I know what a horrible idea that is!  Undercooked give me the worst pain that will keep me from standing up straight. Raw would put me in the hospital.

I miss roasting them with chicken and potatoes so I decided to faux roast them today.  I don't claim any mad knife skills and my Julianne peeler would have made these too thin. I like to call the variation in size of my cuts rustic!

1 lb carrots, peeled and cut into strips, matchstick or Julianne
3 tablespoons margarine
1 tablespoon Bragg's or soy sauce
2 tablespoons sugar

Par boil the cut carrots to fork tender but stick holding their shape.  Drain and allow the surface to dry.

In a medium sized skillet, melt the margarine.  Add the Bragg's and sugar.  Stirring constantly, cook until sugar caramelizes.  Remove from heat and add the carrot sticks.  Stir gently to coat, or if you are talented, toss in the pan.  I am not talented so I use a silicone spa

I am eating these over gnocchi tonight!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Help me FrugalBeautiful

I would so love to organize this place.  Handy tabs with headings.  A search button.  More unique looking format...  I need help!  FrugalBeautiful can you help me?

Jack & Sally Lunn Buns

After the cookie drop off this morning (and not running into any parade traffic), Jen sent me home with some vegan Daiya Cheese in wedge form.  Bub is really happy to eat a proper cheeseburger for dinner.  He mos def needs a proper bun too!

Sally Lunn is typically a sweet bread served with fruit or cream.  I am making them into Lunn buns and will brush some with the expected sugar glaze and some with cracked black pepper.  Big D suggested the pepper for the burger buns.  SUPAH smart!

1 package dry yeast
3-4 cups GF baking mix
1 cup plain soymilk
3 tablespoons margarine
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
Additional 2 tablespoons melted margarine for brushing

Grease a baking sheet and preheat oven to 425.

In mixer, stir together 2 cups of the baking mix and the package of yeast.

Heat the soymilk, margarine, sugar and salt until 120 degrees.  I use the microwave and gave the margarine a head start on its own in the measuring cup (15 seconds) and then added the soymilk, sugar, salt then heated for an additional one minute and 11 seconds.

Pour liquid over the flour and yeast.  Beat on medium for 30 seconds.  Scrape down sides of bowl and beat again for 3 minutes.  It is really smooth and silky.  Slowly add more baking mix on low until it just begins to hold together.  Use a wooden spoon or spatula and stir in small amounts of baking mix until you have a nice smooth dough.  It should still be soft so don't dry it out with too much baking mix.  A nice soft dough that is not sticky.

Divide dough in half.  Each half will make 4 buns.  Roll the dough into balls with smooth tops and place on greased cookie sheet.  Cover with plastic wrap and a towel.  Allow to rise on top of your preheating oven until doubled in size.

Remove towel and plastic wrap. Brush with melted margarine. Don't discard the melted margarine that you don't use here because you will use it again.

Bake at 425 for 7 minutes. Remove from oven to brush again with melted margarine. Return to oven for an additional 4 minutes, until golden brown.  Remove from cookie sheets onto wire racks.

Boil together 2 tablespoons water and 2 tablespoons sugar.  Brush over the Sally buns.

For the Jack buns, brush buns with melted margarine and grind some pepper over them.

These buns are simply meant to be.