Saturday, October 19, 2013

Faux Pumpkin Carrot Cookies

Can't eat pumpkin?  Don't like pumpkin?  Here's my replacement for fall favorite flavors in a quick cookie!

2 tablespoons Earth Balance margarine, softened
2 tablespoons Smart Balance Lite tub margarine
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup drained and puréed canned carrots
1 cup GF baking mix
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Dash of nutmeg
Dash of salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips
Raw sugar for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 375.

In a small bowl, combine your dry ingredients.

Beat the margarines, maple syrup and sugar until light.  Add the carrot purée and combine.  Slowly add the dry ingredients and mix until combined.  Stir in the chocolate chips.

Drop by teaspoon full onto cookie sheet about 2" apart.   Sprinkle with raw, larger crystal sugar.

Don't forget your tester cookies!  I skipped that step last night on some sugar cookies and ended up wasting the whole recipe.  I could have added more baking mix and saved them but I didn't bake two cookies first to see how much they would spread.

Bake for 12 minutes or until set.

You can make a nice powdered sugar glaze for these but no can do that here.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The "OMG, I'm sick of making other people dinner" Dinner

I love cooking.  My kitchen is my favorite room.  What I don't love is always thinking up dinner ideas.  I'll make it but just throw some ideas at me once in a while.

For some reason, I have a lot of frozen fries right now.  Between Peapod and Target, I must have gotten them twice.  I decided to turn a bag into a sort of casserole/hot dish/thing.

1 lb ground beef
1/2 bag frozen spinach
1 bag frozen fries
Cheese (we use Daiya)

In a large skillet, brown the ground beef.   Add the spices, stir to combine, and even out in a single layer in bottom of skillet.  Add the spinach evenly over the top.   Next add the cheese.  Pile the fries evenly oven the top.

Bake according to the fry directions until crispy.

It's no award winner but it is easy, pretty cheap, fast, and I know they will like it.  The vegan cheese and the spinach make it not awful health wise.  I'm not saying it's healthy, but it's better than fast food.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Super easy pork shoulder dinner

The first cool, fall Sunday!  The perfect day for slow roasting.  I really wanted to get pork shanks and create something I saw on a travel channel but, Peapod didn't have any and neither did the market I stopped at.  I'm not a fan of shopping or running around to hunt things down.  

Peapod had pork shoulder so that is what I got.  I did a little online research and went with a Food Network recipe that could not have been easier!

Check out this link to see the recipe:

Food Network Simple Roasted Pork Shoulder

I added a bag of baby red Klondike potatoes for the last 90 minutes of cooking.  Add tender butter lettuce, and it's dinner.  Scrubbing the potatoes was the most work this meal required.  The double Derek's gave it thumbs up.

My Kind of Snack

Some days the fact that I can't eat things I know are great and the fact that I can't buy anything great, gets me down.  Add that there are alway doughnut pics all over Tumblr and I just want to scream!

Instead, I bake.  I keep trying to find that perfect cinnamon roll type treat knowing that rolling GF dough is not usually successful without eggs or xantham gum.  I need to get creative, use words to describe foods like "deconstructed" or "rustic".  Yeah.  Those work for vegan, and wheat free foods.

Here, I took My Kind of Crust and made a rustic, open faced, cinnamon roll.  It isn't a roll but rather an "unconstructed" version of one (meaning it's flat people).

Warm.  Chewy.  Sweet.  Better than other doughs I've turned into cinnamon rolls.  The miracle of the gold pan is a plus too.


1/2 cup Very Vanilla Soymilk, heated to 110 degrees
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon yeast
4 tablespoons melted margarine
2 cups GF baking mix 
Dash of salt

Whisk together the warmed Soymilk, sugar, and yeast in your mixer bowl.  When sugar and yeast are dissolved, add the melted margarine and 1/2 cup baking mix.  Mix until you have a smooth batter. Scrape down sides of bowl if necessary.

Add the remainder of the baking mix and the salt.  Mix until there are no dry parts left.  Press into a ball, cover with plastic wrap and a towel, and let rise in warm place.

Preheat oven to 500 degrees.

For the topping

2 tablespoons melted margarine
2 tablespoons cinnamon sugar mix

Press the dough onto a sheet pan to form a shape you desire (wouldn't a heart be cute for valentines day).  

Brush with the melted margarine and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.

Reduce oven temperature to 450.  Bake for 15 minutes or until slightly golden.

If you can have powdered sugar glaze, it would be amazing to add here!

 Gold pan crispy goodness.