Grab your sombrero, it’s Cinco de Mayo!

Jasper's ready for a fiesta!

Cinco de Mayo is a day to celebrate Mexican pride and heritage, a day to celebrate Latin American culture and commemorate the Mexican army’s victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla on May 5th in 1962.

Mexican food is one of my favorites!  Tacos, fajitas, corn burritos, quesadillas, rice, beans, corn chips, guacamole, salsa… the gluten free possibilities are endless! What better way to celebrate Mexican tradition this Cinco de Mayo than with chipotle chicken fajitas, tortilla chips, and homemade mango salsa!

Chipotle Chicken Fajitas

Chipotle Chicken Fajitas

Ingredients

1 fresh squeezed lime

2 teaspoons oregano

1 teaspoon brown sugar

2 teaspoons chipotle pepper sauce

2 teaspoons minced garlic (I used jarred minced garlic in olive oil)

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 pound chicken strips (cut into cubes)

1 tablespoon of olive oil

1 cup shallots (sliced thin)

4 large corn tortillas

Directions

1) In a large bowl combine lime juice, oregano, brown sugar, chipotle pepper sauce, minced garlic and salt. Add chicken, toss in mixture until coated evenly. Hold aside.

Chipotle Chicken Mixture (before cooked)

2) Heat olive oil in a pan on medium-high heat. Add shallots and saute until tender. Remove shallots from pan and place in a bowl.

Shallots

3) Add chicken to pan and saute until cooked all the way through. Combine chicken and shallots in bowl.

Chipotle Chicken

4) Warm corn tortillas on a pan. Fill with chicken and shallot mixture. Serve with rice.

Large Corn Tortillas

*Alternative* Chipotle Pork Fajita

*Note* You can also try the same recipe using pork! In the past Luke has made this using pork tenderloin and soft white corn tortillas! (shown above)

Mango Salsa

Chips and Salsa... my favorite snack!

Ingredients

2 mangos

1 tomato

1 red bell pepper

1 cup red onion

2 limes, fresh squeezed

1/4 cup minced cilantro

1/4 tsp. of red pepper flakes

1/4 tsp.salt

1/8 tsp. pepper

Directions

1) Combine mango, tomato, red bell pepper, red onion, lime juice, cilantro, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper in a large dish. Chill.

2) Serve with your favorite corn chips!

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Filed under Celebrate!, Just Plain Good

Birthday Cupcakes (Improved!!!)

“Birthdays are nature’s way of telling us to eat more cake!”

This past weekend Luke and I both celebrated our 26th birthdays (yes, I am the older woman…but only by a day!).  As a special birthday treat I decided it was time to revisit the cupcake baking mix dilemma from my post back in February (“Whats up cupcake”).  Last time I tried Betty Crocker’s Gluten Free Yellow Cake Mix.  It’s not that my cupcakes came out bad, they actually tasted great, they were just much dryer compared to  the non-gluten free cupcakes I remember.

As promised I looked up some ways to moisten up this mix.  Using the same gluten free yellow cake mix by Betty Crocker, I read that adding instant vanilla pudding and orange juice would do the trick!  (Note-other measurements change from the package directions)  I was skeptical about putting orange juice in my vanilla cake mix, but surprisingly the result turned out to be great!  The cupcakes were moist, and were not crumbly the next day like the original recipe.  I got a hint of orange in the flavoring, but this was very slight.  In my opinion the orange may have even improved the flavor!  I made these cupcakes Saturday before Luke and I had some friends over. Knowing that many of my friends had not ever tried gluten free products I asked them to test them out.  They loved them!  A couple of them even asked me if they could wrap one up for the next day!  🙂

If your looking to make some quick and easy gluten free cupcakes I suggest you try Betty Crocker’s Gluten Free Yellow Cake Mix using the directions below!~

Update Betty Crocker Gluten Free Yellow Cake Mix

Ingredients

4 large eggs and 1 egg white

1/2cup vegetable oil

3/4 cup orange juice

1 tablespoon of vanilla extract (gluten free)

1 package of Betty Crocker’s Gluten Free Yellow Cake Mix

3.4 ounces of jello instant vanilla pudding (powder mix not pre-made)

1/3 cup sugar

Directions

1) Preheat oven to 325°

2) Mix eggs, oil, orange juice,and vanilla extract in a small bowl.

3) In a large bowl mix cake mix, pudding mix, and sugar. Slowly add wet ingredients into the large bowl and mix thouroughly until batter is smooth.

4) Fill muffin tins 2/3 full and bake for approx. 25 minutes.

Delicious colorful spring cupcakes!


Some birthday fun…

Happy Birthday Luke!

Birthday love from my little guy!

Great times with my amazing friends!


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Filed under Delectably Sweet, Eat-Drink-Review, It's All About ME!, Just Plain Good

Flourless Almond Butter Cookies w/Chocolate Ganache and Toasted Coconut

Whether or not you celebrated Easter this past Sunday, I hope everyone enjoyed a wonderful weekend with friends and family!

This weekend was great! I spent a lot of quality time with my family, ate lots of good food (and way too many jelly beans!), colored Easter eggs, and made all sorts of delicious gluten free cookies!

My Easter Cookie Platter- IMMACULATE Chocolate Chunk, Almond Butter and White Chocolate Chip, & Almond Butter w/ Chocolate Ganache and Toasted Coconut Cookies... YUM! 🙂

I started off with gluten free chocolate chip cookies.  IMMACULATE BAKING CO. makes my absolute favorite gluten free cookie dough.  Their Jumbo Chocolate Chunk cookies are super easy and come ready-to-bake.  Just take them out of the fridge, break apart, and stick on a pan!  One package will make a dozen cookies in less than 20 minutes.  These cookies are incredibly soft and chewy, and they taste just like a chocolate chip cookie should!  They do not flatten out like cookies traditionally do after when in the oven, but form a round plump cookie instead. Personally I liked them like that, but if you prefer something thinner just flatten out the dough a little before baking.

Chocolate Chip w/ IMMACULATE BAKING CO. Gluten Free Chocolate Chunk Cookie Dough

IMMACULATE BAKING CO. Gluten Free Chocolate Chunk Cookie Dough can be found in the refrigerated section in most natural food markets.  I did not have any luck finding this product at my local Shaw’s, Hannaford, or Stop and Shop supermarkets, however, I have noticed it appearing on shelves at several Market Baskets in my area.

The second batch of cookies I made were sort of an experiment.  Using an old recipe given to me for flourless peanut butter cookies I decided to try to make my own flourless almond butter cookies with white chocolate chips (see recipe below- add 1 cup of white chocolate chips/ without chocolate ganache and coconut).  The first tray of cookies I made were not the best, but then I realized I forgot the baking powder… Oops!  The second tray came out pretty good, but I still wasn’t satisfied.  I knew I could do much better…

For the final batch of cookies I decided the white chocolate needed to go.  Instead I made an all almond butter cookie.  Then to add some PIZAZZ, I stirred up a chocolate ganache and toasted shredded coconut in my toaster oven.  When my almond butter cookies were baked and completely cooled I drizzled the chocolate ganache over half of each almond butter cookie and topped each one with the toasted coconut.  Finally a creation I could be proud of! 🙂   Check out my recipe (below) and let me know what you think!

Flourless Almond Butter Cookies w/Chocolate Ganache and Toasted Coconut

Gluten Free

Flourless Almond Butter Cookies w/Chocolate Ganache and Toasted Coconut


Ingredients

(Cookies)

2 cups of creamy Almond Butter

2 cups light brown sugar packed

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons of baking soda

(Chocolate Ganache)

½ cup heavy cream

1 cup of chocolate chips

¾ cup shredded coconut, toasted

Directions

(Cookies)

1) Preheat oven to 350°F

2) Mix together almond butter, light brown sugar, eggs and baking soda in a large bowl until smooth.

3) Drop oversized tablespoons onto an ungreased baking sheet for 10-13 minutes or until lightly browned (depending on how large you make them).

4) Place cookies on wire racks and allow to cool completely.

5) Meanwhile, toast coconut in warmed oven or toaster oven until browned.

(Ganache)

1) In a medium sized glass bowl microwave cream on high for 1 minute.

2) Add chocolate chips and let sit for 2 minutes. Then stir chocolate until mixture is smooth.

3) When cookies have been cooled, spread half the melted chocolate over half of each cookie. Sprinkle with toasted coconut.

4) Let set at room temperature.

And just for fun I thought I would add some photos of us coloring our Easter eggs. 🙂  Jasper decided he was going to help too!

Our bright and colorful eggs (too bad we broke one)!

Trying to get creative with the pink!

Very interested in Luke's blue egg!

My handsome guy 🙂

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Filed under Delectably Sweet, Eat-Drink-Review, Fast from the Freezer, Jamie's Favorites

Learn to Cook Gluten Free!

Have a loved one, friend, family member, co-worker, or teammate following a gluten free diet?  Then its definitely time to learn to cook some gluten free recipes so they have some more choices at your next gathering!

For all you NH people out there, St. Joseph’s Hospital in Nashua, NH will be holding a gluten free cooking class on Wednesday, May 18th from 6pm- 7:30pm. For only $10 you can learn how to prepare a variety of recipes using different gluten free grains! I suggest you check it out!

For more information visit: http://www.stjosephhospital.com/News/PR/2/22/11/Gluten-Free

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Filed under In the News, Raising Awareness

Stepping into Spring with Gluten Free Pasta

Delicious pasta recipes can easily be turned into yummy gluten free dishes. This past Monday night was Luke’s turn to make dinner.  Worried that we needed to use up the spring onions and mushrooms in the fridge,  I tossed Luke one of my cooking magazines, hoping he would look at some of the pasta recipes and come up with something good.

At first I was worried, watching him look at the spring onion’s large bulbs and hollow green leaves with a puzzled look on his face. “Jame, what part do we eat?” he asked.  Amused, and not quite sure myself I told him to just guess.  I use green onions all the time in my recipes, but this was the first time I ever purchased the similar but extra-large spring onion. Plus I really wanted him to do this on his own!

After Luke got started our kitchen smelled amazing.  Nothing is better than the smell of onions and garlic!  After about 40 minutes , Luke put a plate of my gluten free fusilli pasta in front of me.  It was mixed with caramelized spring onions (yes, he figured them out!), sautéed mushrooms, garlic, vegetable broth, and white wine.  The best part was that it was topped  with gluten free breadcrumbs that had been browned in the oven with garlic.

Let’s just say I am still craving more of this yummy pasta!  This dish was so good and full of flavor, you could not even tell he used gluten free pasta!  I am actually thinking about making this again on Sunday to take to my family as a side dish for Easter!

GF Fusilli with Carmelized Spring Onions and Mushrooms

Gluten Free, Vegetarian

Ingredients

1/2 cup of gluten free breadcrumbs

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups of spring onion, sliced thin

4 white mushrooms

1/2 cup dry vermouth

1/4 cup low sodium vegetable broth (Pacific Natural Food’s Low Sodium Organic Vegetable Broth once again is my fav!)

8 oz package of gluten free pasta (I used Bionaturae Gluten Free Fusilli)

1/4 teaspoon pepper

salt (if desired)

Directions

1) Preheat over to 375 °

2) In a small bowl combine the gluten free breadcrumbs, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1 teaspoon of minced garlic, 1/2 teaspoon of salt.  When mixed spread on a cookie sheet and bake until browned (between 5-7 minutes).  Hold aside.

3) Heat remaining olive oil (2 tbs.) in a pan on medium-low heat.  Add onions and let cook for 25 minutes. When there is only 10 minutes left add mushrooms.

4) Meanwhile, cook gluten free pasta according to package directions.

5) After onion and mushroom mixture has cooked for 25 minutes increase heat to medium-high.  Add remaining garlic (1 tbs.) and dry vermouth and cook for 1 minute. Next add vegetable broth and cook for 4-5 minutes.

6) Combine cooked pasta with the onion and mushroom mixture. Season with salt and pepper and top with breadcrumbs.

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Filed under Jamie's Favorites, Just Plain Good, Luke Cooks G-Free!, Sensational Sides