Wednesday, May 30, 2007

WHAT???? May is almost over????

Okay, I blinked and may totally disappeared!!!! WHAT HAPPENED!

I have not posted in a while, but will very very soon!


Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Chicken Cristedori

Okay, so technically, it's a cacciatore, but....I like this name better is it is a play on my pre-married name! I created this recipe a long, long time ago. As a matter of fact, it is the first recipe I recall making for guests. When I first made it, I would use my mom's homemade spaghetti sauce. Now I use my own, but make it on the fly with the recipe.

Another thing I like about this recipe is that it is EASY, and uses only two pans. One for the rice pasta, one for the sauce. Easy eat, easy cleanup! :D Of course, it is my husband who does the dishes, so, he's the one who appreciates most that it's easy cleanup! Thank you dear!

Chicken Cristedori (pronounced kreestayDOORee)

1 lb. boneless/skinless chicken breast, cut into thin strips
Salt & pepper
2 Tbs olive oil
1 medium green pepper, cut in thin strips
1 small red onion, cut in thin strips
3 cloves garlic, sliced really thin
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
2 tsp dry italian seasoning

Season chicken strips with salt & pepper and mix well to coat all pieces. In a large skillet, heat olive oil on medium high heat. Add chicken. Cook until chicken is almost cooked thru (about 5-10 minutes depending on how hot you get your pan). Add green pepper, onion and garlic. Reduce heat to medium. Saute for 5 minutes until peppers turn a bright green. Add tomatoes and spices. Allow to simmer for about 15-20 minutes until flavors are well blended.

I like this served over brown rice pasta with freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Chocolate Chip Torte

Well, the last time I made chocolate chip cookies, I divided the dough in three and froze two thirds of it. That way, when I wanted cookies, I could have cookies without a lot of work. See COOKIE post below for recipe link for the cookie dough, or use about a lb of cookie dough from your favorite recipe.

I made this last night, for company. It is loosely based on my MIL's family recipe for "Chocolate Squares". Since I cannot have part of the base of the squares, I had to adapt it. Also, the cream layer is often too dense and rich for me, so I wanted to lighten it up a little bit, so I managed to add some stuff to that cream layer as well to lighten it up.

Chocolate Chip Torte


1/3 Cookie Dough recipe

Press into the bottom of a 9" spring form pan and bake 15 minutes in a 350 degree oven (or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean). Remove from oven and allow to cool. As it cools, it will sink in the center creating a well for the cream layer - now how perfect is that!!! Cool COMPLETELY. Leave springform pan in-tact for now...don't spring it! LOL :D


4 oz cream cheese, softened
2 oz butter, softened
3 Tbs. Vanilla Pudding Powder (I used Walmart's French Vanilla - labelled gluten free right on the box!)
3 Tbs. Milk
2 Cups powdered sugar

(I used my KitchenAid for this, you will need the whipper blade, or use your electric hand mixer) Whip cream cheese and butter together until well blended. Add pudding powder and milk. Continue whipping. Add powdered sugar, 1/2 Cup at a time, incorporate each "dose" before adding the 2nd. When all the sugar is in there, continue whipping for another 3 minutes until it's really smooth and creamy. Pour layer onto cooled cookie and spread into the well made by cooling (leaving the "edge"). Refridgerate 2 hours.


3 oz semi sweet chocolate

Melt on high in microwave on 30 minute intervals. Stir until melted smooth. Spread over cream layer. Put back in the fridge for at least an hour.

(you can drizzle instead of spread if you like....that will make it easier to cut).

Be prepared to go into insulin shock! It's very sweet and rich and worth every single calorie!

Saturday, May 5, 2007

RSC #34 - Sour Cream Chicken & Mushrooms

My dear SIL over at Cooking With Anne runs a "Ready Set Cook" every month. The "game" is based on BBC's and Food Network's game show where two chefs would be given the three same ingredients. Each would have to come up with something spectacular and delicious with these ingredients in 30 minutes time. I used to love this show and cry when I think about it not being on anymore, boo hoo! This month the 3 ingredients were:

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 onion, chopped
1/2 pint sour cream

Lucky for me, these are ingredients I use almost daily in my home. The recipe below is a favorite for me, my husband and my children. I make it often, so next time I make it, I'll take a picture and post it! :D

Please make sure you visit Anne's Blog Cooking With Anne and visit all the links for the entries! :D

Sour Cream Chicken & Mushrooms

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (sprinkle lightly with salt & pepper)
1 medium onion, thin slices
1 10 oz package cremini mushrooms, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tbs rice flour (if you are not gluten-free you may use wheat flour for this step)
1/4 Cup GOOD white wine
1/2 pint sour cream
1 cup chicken broth
Freshly ground Pepper
2 Tbs fresh parsley, chopped

In a large skillet, coat pan with cooking spray and brown chicken on both sides, cooking until no longer pink in the center, but do not over cook. Set aside and cover with foil to keep warm.

In a mixing bowl, mix sour cream, chicken broth together until very smooth. Set aside until needed.

In the SAME skillet, add 2 Tbs olive oil, the mushrooms, onions and garlic. Saute over medium heat until onions and mushrooms are tender. Stir in the rice flour and cook until veggies are well coated and . Add wine and cook for one minute until wine gets warm and starts to thicken. Pour sour cream/broth mixture into pan and bring to a boil. Cook until thickened.

Add chicken back to pan, turn over so that both sides of the chicken get coated with the sauce. Reduce heat to a low simmer to allow chicken to finish cooking and sauce to continue to thicken.

Remove from heat and stir in the parsley JUST before serving.

Top with freshly shredded parmesan cheese to push this dish over the top! :D

Our favorite way to serve this is over brown rice with a side of steamed brocolli. (Oh...and yes, this only takes 30 minutes to cook. TAKE THAT Rachel Ray! LOL :D)

Chili & Cornbread

A faint memory, cornbread. This was definitely a staple in our house. Well, it was rarely homemade, usually it came from those little blue boxes. Dump in a bowl, add egg and milk and whisk, pour, bake. I did try a gluten free cornbread mix early in my GF days. I believe I had underbaked the muffins because they were dense and hard to eat, and gritty. YUCK.

A few nights ago, I was really craving chili. With a craving for chili comes a craving for cornbread. Steaming hot chili layered over a split open buttered cornbread muffin, with a sprinkling of cheese. MMMMM, see it sounds good, doesn't it? This craving coincided with hotdogs on the menu for the week - and knowing hubby likes chili dogs, I figured making chili was a no-brainer. I couldn't stand the thought of making chili and not have cornbread.

Off to my kitchen I went, grabbed my box of cornmeal and said to myself "Self, you must be able to adapt this recipe somehow so that it will taste yummy and go well with chili.". I am a firm believer that I can do all things thru Christ who strengthens me so I put myself to the test of my faith! I adapted the recipe from the back of the box and added a few of the "known" additives to replace the missing gluten. The result was a nice dense but not mealy cornbread.

Now, I know I overwhelmed everyone with lots of pans last time. This recipe should not take long to prepare (well, it does need to simmer a while to get the flavors blended but actual prep is easy) and should only take a cutting board, knife and one large skillet, oh and a spatula. The cornbread should take one bowl and a spoon and a pan to bake it in! :D

Below is the recipe for both the chili, and the cornbread. ENJOY :D


2 lbs ground beef, chicken or turkey (I almost always use chicken)
1 medium yellow onion, diced finely
1 large stalk celery, diced finely
1 14.5 oz can of crushed tomatoes (or puree)
2 cloves garlic, minced finely
4 Tbs chili powder (McCormick's)
1 Tbs cumin (if you like the smokey flavor, add more)
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper (if you like it hotter, add more, I have to tone down heat for kids)
1/2 tsp ground white pepper
Good dose Salt & pepper
1 bay leaf
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp sugar
1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed carefully

Optional toppings:

sour cream

Brown ground meat in a large skillet over medium heat. Once browned, push meat to one side of the pan and add onion, celery and garlic to open space on the pan. Saute vegetables until soft and then mix into the meat. Add tomatoes, spices and sugar. Mix in well. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer on very low heat, stirring every 15 minutes or so. After an hour of simmering, stir in beans. Continue to cook, covered on low, for another 1/2 hour.

Ladle into bowls, or over cornbread below. Don't forget the cheese! :D


3/4 Cup Cornmeal
1 Cup white Rice Flour
1/4 Cup Cornstarch (or you could use tapioca starch)
1 tsp xantham gum
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 whole egg

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease 8 or 9" pan.

Combine dry ingredients. Stir in milk, oil and egg. Mix just until combined. Pour into pan.

Bake 20 minutes and check...if not done in the center cook for 5 more minutes.

Serve with chil!!!


Bake the cornbread in a deep dish pie pan till ALMOST DONE....cover the top with a thick layer of chili and cheese. Bake until the cheese is bubbly. Serve like pie! It's a great meal with a green salad! :D

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Pasta Primavera with Grilled Chicken Breasts

Okay, so you've been reading my blog for a while and enjoying my recipes. They're usually simple and quick. They usually only use one or two pans in the kitchen. Easy cookin' means easy cleanin'. Right? HA....I'm about to throw you a curve ball. This recipe will use 3 pans, a colander, a grill (or your George Forman table top goodie), countless utensils, and may well take you over an hour to prepare and even more to clean up from. I warn you ahead of time so it does not fill you with fear! The steps are not difficult, and you can definitely use shortcuts to cut down on the cooking time/prep time. This dinner was a labor of love for my husband of almost 12 years birthday dinner. It's worth EVERY MINUTE, and EVERY BITE is to be savored and enjoyed.

I find that prepping all the ingredients first, then prepping the pots/pans you will need ahead of time makes it go quicker and the timing works well.

I hope you take the challenge I present to you today and give it a try!

Pasta Primavera with Grilled Chicken Breasts

Grilled Chicken:

4 Boneless/Skinless Chicken Breasts with all visible fat removed, salt & pepper liberally

1 lb Tinkyada Pasta (I used spirals, but you can use whichever you like) Do not overcook the pasta! :D


3 Cups assorted veggies, sliced in similar sizes (I used carrots, broccoli, crimini mushrooms and green peppers)
2 cloves garlic sliced thin


2 Tbs Cornstarch
salt & pepper
2 Cups Milk (whole or cream works GREAT)
2 to 3 Cups shredded parmesan cheese (freshly shredded is best, not the prepackaged grated stuff)
1 Tbs. Butter
3 basil leaves, chifanade (did I spell that right? Roll up the leaves and slice really really thinly!)

Prepare your veggies and place in a steamer basket in a saucepan. Add about 1/2 cup water to the pan and put the lid on. DO NOT turn on the heat yet, they will not take long to steam

Start by putting the pasta water on for a boil.

Mix the milk and cornstarch together in a medium sized pot. Slowly bring to a boil and stir constantly while it thickens. Once it coats the back of the spoon, add the butter. When butter is melted remove from heat and stir in the parmesan cheese until melted. Cover pot and set aside. (the pasta water SHOULD boil while this is cooking, take a minute to salt the water and add your pasta - time it!!!

Turn on the vegetables for steaming.

Grill the chicken. (on grill or on indoor grill - we have a Hamilton Beach indoor table top grill with removable plates...a worthy investment for sure).

Drain the pasta and rinse in warm water. Pour over sauce. Add vegetables once steamed. Stir well, so that everything is covered with sauce. Add the basil leaves and mix again lightly.

Lay out on a plate, slice one grilled chicken breast overtop and serve. (If they are large chicken breasts, use half).

Sprinkle with freshly shredded parmesan and garnish with basil leaves.

Have your cake, and EAT it too!!!

Yesterday was my love's birthday, for his sake, I won't tell you how old he is. Suffice it to say that the fire marshal was put on alert for the amount of candles on the cake (just kidding sweetie!).

Birthday cakes had been my fear when starting the gluten-free life. In March, I made THIS CAKE thanks to Gulia at's forum. I used a different flour combination than recommended, and I baked it in a silicone bundt pan. It took a long time to bake and was overdone on the ouside and smelled funny to me. My parents loved it, even my husband said it was not as bad as I thought it was. My kids, however, hated it and refused to eat the funny smelling cake!!! See, kids do know best when it comes to birthday cake. WAAAA I want CAKE!!!

I tried the recipe again a few weeks ago for a young girls book club we hosted at the house. This time, I made it into cupcakes. I followed the recipe more closely, but I did add a few teaspoons of vanilla pudding powder. I also frosted them. All of the girls ate the cupcakes not even realizing there was anything "different" about them. Okay, so lesson learned, using the recipe more closely worked great. I'll admit, these were good. I ate them and enjoyed them. Much better than my first attempt.

So, yesterday, knowing that birthday dinner was looming, I decided to try it again. This time I followed to a "T" and did not vary it at all (which is difficult for a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants sort of baker, let me tell you). I even used the rest of the frosting from the book club cupcakes. (What a great guy that not only didn't he mind that he had a gluten-free birthday cake, but he also didn't mind that it had leftover PINK frosting....gotta love him!)

My husband gleefully blew out the candles (well as gleefully as an old man can blow out candles :D ). Cut into the cake and served with ice cream. It was gobbled up, EVEN BY THE KIDS this time. Loved and enjoyed. We even had seconds later that evening. Even now as I type it is calling my name. I did half the recipe so it made one 8" square cake - but the standard recipe will make a round two-layer or 13X9" pan cake. I would note too that it may take longer to bake than the original recipe claims. So I would set the timer, and if it's not done do another 10 minutes, check again, still not done, bake at 5 minute intervals until done. It took mine 40 minutes - which is twice the time of the recipe.

I did not take pictures of dinner, but I'll post that one tomorrow. We had Pasta Primavera with Grilled Chicken, It was eaten so fast that pictures were not an option! :D See, I'm a true believer of Dessert FIRST! :D