I’m not Italian but sometimes I think I might be…..

As far as I know, I’m not Italian but sometimes my cravings for Italian food are so great I think there might be some Italian gene  in my gene pool somewhere.

I really have been craving lasagna and unfortunately I can’t just run out and buy one or go to my local Italian chain restaurant.  I have to make it myself.   So it being a rainy, dreary Sunday that’s what I decided to do.

Ingredients:

1  14 oz jar of Prego Italian Sauce Flavored with Meat

1 1/2 pounds of ground chuck

4 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese

1- 10oz box Tinkyada Brown Rice Pasta Lasagna noodles

Vegetable Oil

Preheat your oven to 375.

Fill a 6 Quart stockpot with water, add a tablespoon of oil and lots of salt (I once heard on a cooking show when cooking pasta you want the water to taste like the ocean).  Place the stockpot on your stove top and place a lid on the stockpot bringing the water to a roiling boil.  When boiling  add complete box of  Tinkyada Brown Rice Pasta Lasagna noodles,  cook per package instructions.

Brown ground chuck until cooked through, drain off excess grease.  Pour in  Prego Italian Sauce Flavored with Meat stir to combine and turn to low and let simmer while noodles cook.

In a casserole dish (mine is 1 1/2 quarts and shallow) start with a layer of the meat sauce, then the noodles then the cheese. continue process until you end with the layer of cheese.

Place into preheated oven and cook at least 20 minutes or until cheese top is as brown as you prefer.  Serve with salad or green beans and enjoy.

gluten free lasagna

Advertisements

Plans + Laughs + Food Poisoning = Cornbread

You know what they say…..”If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans”.  Well, Big E and I had a fantastic weekend planned.

Friday comes around, we leave for our destination.  We eat, we shop, we nap, we eat some more, we shop some more, we drink a little.  Along about 10 that night I start feeling really badly.  Now I’ve been careful about my eating, checked the gluten free stuff, spoke to staff and managers.    Fast forward to midnight and I am sick……..I mean deathly sick, up every few minutes.  This goes on for about 5 hours.  So needless to say, Big E being the type of person he is (insert manly, supervisory, decision maker) takes charge of the situation around 5:30 by saying “Honey, lets get you home.”   A three hour trip home was made in 2 1/2 hrs and I slept the whole way.  Straight home, straight to my bedroom, sick two more times then to bed.  I didn’t move unless to visit the bathroom.

The thought of food sends my stomach into a tailspin, but I need to eat.  I’ve eaten some toast and drank some gluten free chicken broth.   Those get old fast.  Now being a southern girl, I love me some cornbread, not as much as Big E loves it, but I really enjoy it.  Thin, crispy, brown and hot out of the oven.   And not only does Big E love it, he can make some of the best pones of cornbread around.

Since I’ve been gluten free for health issues, let me stress I don’t do it to be trendy I have Celiac Disease, it’s been really hard to make what I call good cornbread.   I did stumble across Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Cornbread Mix.  Being sick, I asked Big E to make it for me some cornbread.  And he did and I was so hungry and it was so good, I ate the whole pone.  I know Miss Piggy here.   🙂

Big E’s Cornbread

Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet

1/2 cup of Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Cornbread Mix

1/3 cup of Milk (whole or buttermilk) *** If you prefer you can use water instead

1 tablespoon of cooking oil.

Heat your oven to 375.

Also while your oven is heating up, place your cooking oil in your seasoned skillet on the stove top and heat the oil until it starts to pop.

In a small bowl mix, cornbread mix and milk.  When the oil starts to pop pour the hot oil into the batter and place the skillet back on the hot stove eye.  Stir the oil into the batter and while the skillet is on the hot stove eye pour the batter into the skillet.   This (according to Big E) helps the cornbread get a really good bottom crust.

Place the skillet of cornbread batter into the oven and bake from 15 to 20 minutes.  Depending on how brown you like it.  Serve hot with real butter and preferably sweet tea.

***This recipe makes a 5″ (inch) square skillet of cornbread.

cornbread

,

Honey I don’t like those……..Copy Cat Red Lobster Cheddar biscuits

Here in good ol’ Northeast Georgia it’s been raining all day.  I decided I was gonna cook a really scrumptious dinner, something to stick to your ribs.   Now we all know how Big E is, if it’s not “real food”, he’s not interested.  I thought with my dinner for today he’d be pleased and he was in the beginning.  Then I told him what all was on the menu.  Our conversation went something like this:

Me: “Honey, I’m gonna fix BBQ pork chops, fried potatoes, and mixed beans for supper……”

Big E: “Gonna make some cornbread to go with those beans and tater?”  **In our house this is the holy trinity’.

Me: “No I found a recipe for some Red Lobster cheddar biscuits I’m gonna make………..

Big E: “Honey, I don’t like those things. I never eat them when we go eat there”.

Guess who won the debate???  Me!  As I write this,  he is in the process of eating his 3rd biscuit and telling me how great it is.  😉  I guess I’ll make them again for him.  hehehe.

red lobster cheddar rolls

 Here’s what you’ll need:

 1 1/2 cups of Gluten Free Bisquick Mix

1 1/2cups shredded cheddar cheese

1/2 cup milk

2 tbsp butter

1 tbsp oregano

3/4 tsp garlic salt

Non-Stick Cooking spray

1. Preheat oven to 400F. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper and Spray  with non-stick spray.
2. Put biscuit mix, cheese and milk in a bowl and mix well to form a sticky dough.
3. Using spoon, drop lumps of dough onto cookie sheet.  Bake for 10 min.
4. In a bowl, melt butter and then mix with oregano and garlic salt.
5. After 10 minutes, remove biscuits from the oven and brush with butter mixture.  Bake for an additional 5 mins until golden brown.
6. Serve immediately.

Yields: 10 to 12 biscuits depending on size of spoon used.

*Cooks notes: The recipe called for 1/2 a cup of milk.  When I followed those instructions, I didn’t come up with a sticky dough.  So I just added milk until I got the right consistency.   I’d guess I ended up using 1 1/4 cup of milk.  But that’s not an accurate measurement. I would advise to start with the called for amount and add until you get a sticky dough. Also I only had ground oregano on hand and the recipe didn’t specify. This is the clumps of dark on the rolls in the picture.   I would recommend dried oregano for this recipe.

,

It’s just Ham and Eggs…………I promise!

frittataI have always wanted to make a frittata.  I don’t know why, maybe the exotic sound of the dish, but for whatever reason, I wanted to make one.    A few months ago, I purchased some really nice Calphalon cookware.  One of the pieces included was a small saute pan……my mind started turning….Oh the things I could do with that pan, including but not limited to making……..*drum roll please*** my frittata!

Now my husband is a very educated man, but when it comes to his food, he is very simple.  I mean “meat and potatoes” simple.  He doesn’t care for Italian, Chinese, Thai food or anything he would consider “foreign”.  Give him beans, “taters”, and cornbread and he thinks he’s feasting like a king.  Well you can imagine his surprise (and dismay) on Sunday morning when I placed before him my beautiful frittata.  He had the audacity to say “Honey why can’t you just cook my eggs the way I like them???”    I know what you’re thinking and yes I wanted to take that saute pan and whack him upside his loving head but I was afraid I’d ruin the pan.   So I smiled sweetly and replied as nicely as I could…….”It’s just Ham and Eggs, I promise.  And it will be good”.  And I was right.  It was great!

Easy Country Ham and Eggs Frittata

Ingredients:

6 large eggs, cracked and whisked in a bowl with salt and pepper.

1/2 of a cup of country ham, diced up into small pieces ** (you can use any ham you prefer, country or city. My family loves a good piece of salty country ham and that’s what I had on hand).

1/2 of a cup of cheddar cheese

Cooking/Non stick Spray

Directions:

Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.

In an oven proof, saute pan that’s been sprayed lightly with non-stick cooking spray, place your diced ham pieces.  Cook until slightly brown.  Remove pan from heat and gently pour in your whisked eggs.   Place in the oven and bake for 13-15 minutes.  Depending on how hot your oven gets and how done you like your eggs.  After the set amount of time, remove from the oven and slide onto a serving plate, sprinkle the cheddar cheese on top.

Slice and serve immediately with toast or biscuits or english muffins.   Enjoy!  (cooks note: Because the ham is already salty, I didn’t use a lot of salt in the eggs. I would advise to use the salt sparingly.  You can always add salt while you enjoy it)

No Bake-Pineapple Cream Cheese Snowballs

Here’s a really easy recipe I came across the other day and I thought I’d share it.   The next time you need an  hors d’oeuvre for a bridal or baby shower this is a super recipe.  So give it a try and enjoy it, I know Big E has, had to threaten him to keep him out of the finished product.  🙂

Ingredients:

1 – 8 oz package of cream cheese, softened

1 – 8 oz can of crushed pineapple, well drained

1 cup chopped pecans

3 cups of flaked sweetened coconut

In  a small bowl, beat cream cheese and pineapple until combined. Then fold in the pecans.  Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

After an hour, remove from the refrigerator and roll into 1-inch balls, then roll the balls in the coconut.  Place on wax paper and refrigerate for 4 hours or even over night.

Depending on the size of the balls (I had a hard time rolling out 1 inch balls) you should yield 2 dozen.  (I ended up with 26 balls).

pineapple snowballs

Wonderful little gem of a place…..

Finding a good gluten free restaurant is really hard. Especially when you want to have a place to go that your family and friends can enjoy as well, and especially if it’s convenient to where I live.  I think I mentioned that I’m a southern, country girl, so I’m not centrally located to what one would call a major metropolis, they all take 30 to 45 minutes to get too.

So imagine my surprise when I found a wonderful place that meets all the above requirements!!!  I am so excited and so happy about this little place, I had to blog about it.   It’s called Avocados Restaurant.   My bestie and I went on an adventure at lunch today to test this gem of a place out.  And let me tell you, it was amazing.  The food, the atmosphere, the prices.  I didn’t find anything to complain about today.  I had the Angus burger with cheddar cheese on a gluten free bun. They also had red velvet cake and pecan pie, true southern desserts, that were gluten free.  It was so nice to ask about a gluten free menu and selections and to NOT have the wait staff look at you like you’ve grown 2 heads and also know what you are referring too.     The staff was so friendly and the food was awesome.  As someone who considers herself a food connoisseur I know good food.  And this was beyond “good”.  I’m super excited about going back, especially to their Sunday Brunch, where they serve gluten free pancakes.   I’m a happy girl, can you tell???

avocados

Sunday Dinners

slaw

Being a girl raised in the South, Sunday dinner’s were always a big deal.  The biggest meal of the day and a day to be spent with family. Even in this “modern” age, I still believe in Sunday dinners.  My daughter is a sophomore in college, and I’m very fortunate that she is close enough that she comes home every weekend.  Before she leaves on Sundays, I always try to make her a good dinner to keep with the tradition, today was no exception.  And yes it’s probably a cliche`,  but we had fried chicken for dinner.  Now this wasn’t the regular, bone-in fried chicken pieces. This was my version of KFC Chicken Bites or Chick-Fil-A nuggets, gluten free of course.  I served it up with Ore-Ida Extra Crispy tater tots, risotto, corn and slaw.  Now that being said, my memory/brain is mush at times and I forgot to put the slaw out.  And as my good friend, “Slaw Dawg” would say:  “this is the most awesome side dish to go with these nuggets and practically everything else”

Here’s the recipe for the chicken. It was so good, I forgot to get a picture of the nuggets before we ate them.

Ingredients:

6 boneless, skinless chicken breast

1 1/2 tsp of salt

1 1/2 tsp of pepper

1 tsp of garlic powder

2 eggs

1  1/2 cup of King Arthur Multi-purpose Gluten Free Flour

1/2 – 3/4 cup of vegetable oil

3/4 cup of dill pickle juice

Steps:

1) Prepare chicken by cleaning and trimming off extra fat, tendons, then cutting into small chunks/nuggets

2) Make your marinade: mix pickle juice, milk and eggs a dash of salt and pepper

3) Place chicken into marinade, cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours.

4) In a paper bag or a Ziploc bag, add flour, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Zip/close and shake together to mix ingredients

5) Drain chicken from marinade and place into bag, close and shake to coat chicken pieces

6) Heat vegetable oil until hot in a frying pan on medium high heat on your stove or cook top.

7) Place chicken in a single layer in the pan, and cook 3-7 minutes on each side until done.

8) Drain pieces on a cooling rack over a paper-towel lined pan to get rid of excess oil.  Salt and pepper to taste.

Eat and enjoy with your favorite dipping sauce or plain if you prefer.