Friday, February 29, 2008


Okay...I think the literal translation of this word is "Little Meat". Well, let me tell you, there ain't nothing little about this meal! :D

Carnitas is a Latin American meat delicacy, served akin to tacos. I mentioned before that we discovered a Chipotle's nearby (thank you Amber for letting me know! :D). I have been encouraged to try my hand at Carnitas.

Be sure to look below to see the recipe


3 1/2 to 4 lb Pork Shoulder or Boston Butt Cut of Pork (boneless).
2 Tbs Cumin
1 Tsp salt
1 Tsp White Pepper
1 Tsp Garlic powder
1 Tsp Onion Powder

2 cups beef boullion or stock (Pacific Foods says "gluten free" on the carton)

Mix cumin, salt and pepper, onion powder and garlic powder together. Rub onto meat and massage into. Place in large plastic bag (or large bowl and cover in plastic), marinate overnight.

In the morning (bright and early). Place 2 cups of chicken broth in the bottom of a crock-pot.

Cook on high for 4-5 hours and reduce to low for 2 or so hours, basting meat occasionally (I used a turkey baster to bring the juices from the bottom to splash over top of the meat).

Spoon off fat, shred meat and set aside (and cover), add a tablespoon or two of the juice to keep the meat juicy.

Serve with soft corn tortillas (cook according to package directions - Mission has "glutenfree" right on the label), and the usual taco accoutrements.


Now...some extras that I served with it were Cilantro Lime Rice and also Black Bean and Corn Salsa. Also a homemade Guacamole. I'll share the salsa recipe and guacamole b/c they were greatly received, but the Cilantro Lime Rice needs more work before I can share it! Trying again in a couple weeks for some company, so it won't be TOO TOO long! :D

Black Bean and Corn Salsa

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 medium tomatoes, small dice
1 cup frozen corn, defrosted
1 small red onion, small dice
1 jalepeno pepper, seeded and diced (add seeds back to adjust heat)
1 lime, zested and juiced (use half of zest)
2 Tbs FRESH cilantro, chopped fine
Salt to taste

Combine all ingredients together and mix well. Let chill for about 2 hours so flavors blend and the heat from the jalepeno comes up.


4 Ripe Hass Avocados
1 limes worth of juice (if not a real juicy lime you will need two)
salt to taste

Cut avocados in half, pit them but SAVE the pits! Scoop flesh into a glass bowl. Add lime juice and salt (hold back on salt and start with a pinch...add more after mashing). Mash avocados with potato masher, or back of a sturdy fork until very smooth. Adjust lime juice and salt to preferences.


I hope you enjoy the Mexican Feast! :D

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Chicken Mushroom Mozzarella

Simplicity need not be overlooked. Not in my kitchen. Some days, simple and quick are the name of the game. And today, after baking bread (unsuccessfully!) and making cookies (Land O' Lakes Gluten-free Chocolate Chip - MMMMM!!!!), working on dinner had to be easy.

I've been inspired lately since picking up a copy of "Desperation Dinners" at a local thrift store for 50 cents. There are many quick and easy recipes in the book - granted not many are gluten free - but many are easily adapted to a gluten free lifestyle by replacing some ingredients. As much as I love to cook, I can also appreciate a well thought out recipe that takes minutes to prepare but is followed with hours worth of kudos and enjoyment! :D Be on the look out for some quick and easy adaptations that I'll be testing out in the next few weeks!

This is an old time favorite in my family, and I do not make it often enough. We went to a friends house for dinner one night and this is what she had made us. I have been making it ever since. It's a great recipe to have in your arsenal of "I'm just too tired to think to cook" dinners! :D

Chicken Mushroom Mozzarella

1 lb boneless/skinless chicken breasts (4 - 4 oz breasts is best)
6 oz button mushrooms, sliced
1 jar marinara sauce (use your favorite gluten-free one!)
2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded (be careful if you buy preshredded - some use flour as an anti-caking agent)

Grease the bottom of a 2 quart baking dish with cooking spray or olive oil. Lay chicken breasts in the bottom. Cover each breast with mushrooms. Pour marinara sauce carefully over the chicken breasts (try not to pour so fast/hard that the mushrooms come off them). Bake in a 350 oven for 35 minutes (or until chicken juices run clear).

Remove, cover each breast with shredded mozzarella. Put back in oven for about 5-10 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Serve over your favorite gluten-free pasta.


Friday, February 15, 2008

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Influenza and possibly strep have hit our household hard this week. Balanced with an out of town husband due to work (not to mention over worked husband!), Valentine's really took a back seat this week.

Finally getting around to preparing our family celebration for this tonight.

My husband has had a desire, no, a CRAVING for Red Velvet Cupcakes. I think we saw a Bobby Flay Throwdown about it within the last few months which just magnified his craving. Now, my husband does not NEED to be gluten-free, and for the most part is not. Except when it comes to baked goods prepared in my kitchen. They are ALL gluten free. Then became my quest for Red Velvet Cupcakes I could make for him. A special treat for him for Valentine's day. I even had the heart-shaped molds from Reynolds!

This recipe is not too loosely based on the Gluten-free Yellow Cake on . I have always altered the recipe for my own tastes by adding extra vanilla and pudding powder...this made it taste more like the box-mix type cakes. After searching for tradtional Red Velvet Cupcake recipes, I decided to alter a tried and true instead of starting over! :D

The yield will be about 12-15 standard cupcakes if filled 2/3 full pre-bake. And about 12 of the Reynolds Heart Molds if filled half full.

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

1/2 Cup White Rice Flour
1/4 Cup Sweet Rice Flour
1/4 + 1/8 Cup Tapioca Flour
1/4 Cup cocoa powder (watch your source on this one!)
2 Tbs Chocolate Pudding Powder
1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
1/2 Tsp salt
1 1/2 Tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp Xantham Gum
2 Eggs
1/3 Cup Mayonnaise
3/4 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup Milk
1 tsp vanilla
2 Tbs Red Food coloring (liquid)

Sift together rice flours, tapioca flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, baking powder and xantham gum. Set aside.

In bowl of your mixer - or in a large bowl - mix eggs, mayonnaise and sugar together until light yellow and very fluffy. I start on a low speed until well combined, scraping down the sides often, and then turning speed to 8 or 10 until really light and fluffy.

Set speed to low and gradually add in half of flour mixture. Scrape sides and return to mid-range speed, add half of the milk and 1 tsp vanilla. Return speed to low and add remaining flour mixture. scraping sides again, returning to medium speed once combined, adding milk. Once all the cake ingredients are combined well, turn mixer off and add 1 Tbs of the food coloring as close to the center of the bowl as possible. Slowly bring speed up to middle allowing food coloring to mix in well. Repeat this step, only add a tsp at a time until the red is your desired color (some are redder than others, and you don't want to over add b/c it will change the liquid balance. OR if you're using a paste or powder color, the ratios are much different). I went for a blood red color! :D

Pour batter into lined cupcake pan or the molded liners and bake 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.

Allow to cool completely. Frost with Cream Cheese Frosting

Cream Cheese Frosting

4 oz cream cheese, softened (if you prefer the tang of the cream cheese, use 8 oz and no butter)
4 oz butter, softened
2 Tbs milk
1 tsp vanilla extract or flavoring (watch this one, sometimes can be gluten containing)
2 to 3 cups powdered sugar, sifted

Whip cream cheese and butter together until very smooth (or if you chose all cream cheese, whip until smooth). Add 2 Tbs milk. While mixer is running, slowly add 2 cups sugar. If it's not the consistency that you like, add more. Be careful not to overdo the sugar it will make it too stiff.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Tap, tap, tap, tap....

Okay, I know you are all anxiously awaiting a new recipe! Sorry...been hectic here, all of our "weekly" things have started back up! Trying to get back in the swing of things.

I have a few tricks up my sleeve that I'm working on and will be posting in the next few days! PROMISE!!!

One thing for sure is participating on Cooking with Anne's Ready Set Cook! Check her out. She's not "gluten free" but she's my sister in law! :D And she's great!!! If you check out her blog, check out her Disney Family Blog "Cookies to Caviar" too. One terrific lady!

See you all soon! :D