Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Gram's Cornbread Dressing

I have so many fond memories of this dressing on holidays. My gram passed away in 2000, but I grew up watching this made as a family affair. My grandparents, my mom, and as many of her three brothers who were there would all crowd around the bowl with tasting spoons, arguing over whether it needed a bit more celery or 1/4 teaspoon less sage. There was no recipe and it just went by taste.

A couple years before my gram got sick, my mom finally told her there needed to be a recipe, because her girls didn't know how to make this stuff. :) They never let us help. So they sat down together and my gram tossed everything into her palm the way cool old country granny cooks do, and my mom carefully transferred it into measuring spoons so that she could pass a written recipe to me. I'm so glad, because it really doesn't feel like Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner to me without this stuff. We went without it a few years while we looked for a good gluten free cornbread recipe, but we got it, so here we are again. Yum.

2 recipes of cornbread, crumbled and dried overnight

Saute 3.5 cups celery and 3.5 cups onion in 2-3 tablespoons oil until transparent.

Crumble cornbread; mix with cooked celery and onion.

Sprinkle in 1.5 teaspoons poultry seasoning and 1 1/4 teaspoons sage.

Pour about 4 cups chicken broth and mix. (I usually use two cans)

Mix well. Pack into iron skillet (or 13x9 pan if you don't have a skillet) and bake in oven till top is crusty.

And it occurs to me now that there isn't a temperature marking. I usually throw it in on the bottom shelf while I'm cooking something else and just keep an eye on it.

Gluten Free Cornbread

I have no idea where my mom got this recipe, so I'm probably copying without credit. Sorry 'bout that, but it's tasty and I need it written in a place where I can find it!

1/4 cup sorghum flour
1/4 cup tapioca starch
1/4 cup potato starch
1/4 cup sweet rice flour
1/4 cup sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/4 cup shortening (not butter)
2 large eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup yellow cornmeal

Preheat oven to 425.

Combine the flours by sifting them into a large bowl. Add remaining dry ingredients and stir.

Cut the shortening into the flours, the way you would when making pie dough. You should end up with walnut-sized pieces in a sandy flour.

Combine the eggs and milk in a small bowl. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the liquid. Stir with a rubber spatula until everything is combined.

Stir in the cornmeal, whisking fast, until just combined. Do not overstir.

Pour into greased 9x9 pan and bake for 20-25 minutes, until the sides of the cornbread are slightly shrinking back from the edge of the pan and a toothpick comes out clean.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Chick-Fil-A-ish knockoff Nuggets

Chick-fila is one of the places I really miss. We can still do the fries and coleslaw, and the grilled chicken filet, but those nuggets and that crispy #1 sandwich haunt my sleep, with the two crucial pickles....

So on pinterest I found this recipe and tried it. It was really good, but didn't quite nail it for me, so after reading all the comments and judging what I felt like it was missing the first time I tried it, I tweaked it and came up with this one. It's still not quite CFA, but it is tasty and quells the cravings. I think next time I make these, I'll run through the drive thru and get coleslaw and fries with lots of chick-fila sauce and ranch, just to make the whole experience complete.

2 big boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut in little bites
1 cup milk
1 egg
1 good sized spoonful hamburger dill pickle slices
1 cup Bob's Red mill all purpose GF baking flour
1 tbsp Lawry's seasoned salt
1 tsp Mrs. Dash (I like the table-ready kind so it's ground fine, but any kind is good)
2 tbsp powdered sugar (this was in the original recipe so i kept it. not sure what difference it would make to leave it out)
1 tsp pepper
oil for frying (I use refined coconut oil- it's better for you if you gotta have oil. the recipe calls for peanut or canola but I don't do those. A: can't do peanut. B: explain to me what a canola plant is? oh that's right... no such thing. manufactured in a lab and not real food!)

Put the chicken, beaten egg, milk, and pickles in a gallon ziploc bag and marinate in the fridge for 2-4 hours.
Put all the flour and spices in another gallon ziploc.
Drain the liquid out of the marinade bag and add the chicken to the spice bag. Seal and shake. (If you hate fried pickles, fish those out first. I happen to love them, so I just mix them in with the chicken for a secondary treat.)
Heat your oil to 375 in a deep-ish pot, should be an inch or two deep with oil.
Drop chicken/pickles in small batches and cook about four minutes.
Try to let them cool so you don't burn your face off munching them.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Breakfast Casserole

My facebook status this morning was:
after a discussion of what to make for breakfast, Mich tells me, "Don't get me wrong, I love healthy you. But I REALLY LOVE casserole you."
This is why I love her. Bring on the casserole...

And many people have liked that status. It made me laugh a lot, and then I made casserole. Requests for the recipe then followed. This is one I make based on sheer taste. It's comfort food. Don't be looking for low fat or low calorie or lots of nutritional content on this one... I try to do that most days, but this one is not. I just keep telling myself a hot meal made with love has got to be better than a cold bought donut or danish. :) I may be deluding myself though.

Most of the daycare kids do really like this one. My own children won't eat it, but I don't really care. They can have a bowl of cereal and I'm happy to eat their share.

1 bag crispy crowns (the small round hash browns like chickfila has. Ore-Ida is gluten free. I use regular tater tots when that's all I've got, but I like these better in this one.)
1 box cooked turkey sausage links
1 thing of condensed soup (I use Pacific because it's gluten free but most of you can probably use campbells. I've used chicken and also mushroom and they're both good.)
some sour cream- I had a 16 oz container and I put in two big spoonfuls. Maybe 4-6 oz?
1 cup shredded cheese
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Chop the sausage in small pieces and mix it with the peppers and onion, soup, and sour cream in the bottom of a casserole dish. If you use 13x9 it comes out pretty thin- I like to use that weird 8x11 one.
Spread that out smooth and cover it with cheese. Pour the whole bag of crowns on top and bake at 350 for about 40 minutes.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Creamy Crockpot Chicken

This stuff is GOOD. It completely satisfies all my comfort food, noodle goodness, cream sauce cravings and I've perfected the gluten free version finally. We used to make this a lot before we were GF and it's taken me a while to figure out how to do it and make it taste the same. I always make double the amount of sauce it calls for and we still end up with big chunks of chicken in the pot while we scrape the last bit of sauce onto our pasta. Also good on rice.

If you're like me and you love the sauce and noodles, I'll post a recipe next about what to do with the leftover chicken. I made it last night and almost wept for joy it was so good. And my daughter? She wept for real and spit it in her plate. Silly rabbit.


In the crockpot, put a 3 lb bag of frozen chicken. I like to use the tenders instead of the big pieces for this because I like for more surface area to be covered by spices. Then put a dry packet of Good Seasons Italian dressing over it. Or if you're like me and you never buy that stuff, here's how to make it at home:

1 tablespoon Mrs. Dash
1 tablespoon Lawry's Garlic Salt
1/4 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon basil
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon celery seeds (which I always leave out because I never have them)
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon pepper

So you cook that for 5-6 hours on low. Then add:
chopped onion- however much you like
3 blocks of cream cheese
1 box Pacific gluten free cream of chicken soup (This stuff is new and it is a MIRACLE OF SCIENCE. It has made easy casseroles a reality once again. I don't like it by itself the way I used to eat the Campbells cream soups, but it's awesome in recipes.)

I like to shred the chicken with forks before mixing all the cream sauce into the juices. Then cook it on high for about another hour and serve it with noodles. Super yummy!!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Flawless Sesame Chicken

It has been years since I blogged. Really. Like since January of last year. I actually forgot how to blog! I had to call my sister to remind me and even then it is doing something weird with the colors, spacing and links. So Bare with me!

This recipe was good enough to bring me out of my 18 month blogging hiatus. THAT good.

My husband LOVES sesame chicken. Since we went gluten free 3 years ago we stopped going to Chinese restaurants for fear of death and while I do make Chinese food it is mostly limited to fried rice and stir fry. Until now.

I found the recipe here and changed it a little to fit our family needs.


Servings: 3-4

  • 3 whole boneless chicken breasts
Marinade * this smelled really weird to me while I was making it but that could be the crazy pregnant nose. I also found it odd that it bubbled like a baking soda volcano but it turned out so I guess it is supposed to do that?!

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/8-1/4 cup white vinegar (depending on how sweet you want the sauce) or 1/8-1/4 cup rice wine vinegar (depending on how sweet you want the sauce)
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 cup sugar (we use 1/2 cup sugar but the orginal recipe called for 1 cup) *I used 3/4 a cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon chili paste (or more) *They didn't sell this at the store I went to so I used chili powder and added a few chili flakes on the top of my serving.
  • 1 garlic clove (minced)
*I have no idea the differnce between light and dark soy sauce so I just used what I had in the fridge for both

  • peanut oil (3 1/2-4 cups) (I used Canola because it was what I had)
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  • *I was feeling lazy by this point and didn't toast the sesame seeds. We didn't die.

Prep Time: 10 mins

Total Time: 40 mins

  1. 1 Cut the chicken into 1-inch cubes. Mix the marinade ingredients (the first 9 ingredients listed) and marinate the chicken for 20 minutes.
  2. 2 To prepare the sauce:.
  3. 3 Mix together all of the sauce ingredients. Pour them into a small pot and bring to a boil, stirring continuously. Turn the heat down to low and keep warm while you are deep-frying the chicken.
  4. 4 To deep-fry the chicken:.
  5. 5 Add the marinated chicken pieces a few at a time, and deep-fry until golden brown. Drain on paper towels and then place chicken in warm oven (130 degrees) while you continue frying. Repeat with the remainder of the chicken. Just before you are finished deep-frying, bring the sauce back up to a boil.
  6. 6 Place the chicken on a large platter and pour the sauce over. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve the Sesame Chicken with rice.
This was the most amazing dish EVER!! I served it with a steamer bag of mixed Asian veggies and almost everyone loved it. The 3 year old was not a fan of the sauce so next time I will reserve some of the chicken out before I put the sauce on. We will for sure be doing this again!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Cornbread Skillet Supper

Got this out of one of those homemade office cookbooks where everybody submits their favorite recipes. And of course I adapted it some to fit us. It turned out really well. Everyone loved it and there was none left. I think it would be really easy to create new variations too, with different spices and flavors.

First Set:
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 c. yellow cornmeal
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 c. biscuit mix (I used bob's red mill wheat-free baking and biscuit mix)
1 tsp salt
1 can cream-style corn
1 c. buttermilk
1/4 c. vegetable oil

Second Set:
1 lb ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
2 c. cheese
2-4 jalapeno peppers (I only put in one because I wanted my kids to eat this- it wasn't hot at ALL and I could have done more I think)
1 can corn

Combine the first set of ingredients in a bowl; mix and set aside.

Brown the ground beef and onion; drain well and set aside. Pour half of the batter in a cast iron skillet (which I don't have- I used a 9x13 pan and it turned out fine). Layer the meat mixture, cheese, and corn on top. Pour remaining cornbread mix over layered ingredients. Bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes. Let stand for five minutes before cutting.

This called for a cup of sliced green olives, which I left out because my family hates them. However, I love them so I put a bunch of them over my portion- it was fabulous. If you like olives, they really add some nice flavor to this.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Bolognese Risotto

WOW this stuff is good. I belong to a group on Facebook called Recipes from Around the Globe. A guy named Chris posted this, all in grams and celsius. After I used various conversion charts and figured out how to Americanize it, it's really pretty easy to make and boy is it good. He said it would serve four, but five of us ate and ate and almost half is left. It's so good that my seven year old wants to take the leftovers in her lunchbox tomorrow.


1 pound ground beef
2 cups risotto rice
2 liters of stock (any is fine, I used mostly chicken, with a can of beef thrown in)
1 tablespoon of tomato paste
2 tablespoons milk
1 onion, chopped
2 T unsalted butter
2 cans chopped tomatoes (or chop your own!)
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
4 bay leaves
1/2 cup parmesan
4 ounces cream cheese
1/3 cup red wine


1. Pre-heat the oven to 300
2. Separate 2 cups of the stock
3. Add the tomato paste to the milk and mix in well
4. Add the garlic, onion and butter to skillet
5. Add the meat and cook until done
6. Add the marsala, then the tomatoes, then 2 cups of stock and the bay leaves
7. Add the milk mixture, mix the whole lot together
8. Transfer the whole lot into an oven suitable container and place into the oven
9. Rinse out the skillet, then put in the rice
10. Toast the rice lightly, don't allow it to brown
11. Add the stock, about a ladleful first
12. Bring to a simmer and stir, allowing the stock to reduce
13. Before the whole mixture dries out, add another ladleful of stock and repeat step 12
14. Repeat until the rice has cooked (chefs like it to have a slight bite; I don't)
15. Add the cream cheese and mix it in completely
16. Add 1/4 cup of the parmesan (the other is to sprinkle on top at the end)
17. Mix all this together
18. Check the oven, the bolognese should be done by now, if the bolognese is very runny you may want to remove some of the liquid
19. Add the Bolognese into the Risotto and mix together
20. The dish is complete

YUM.. The end.