I know you want to know what I have learned after all those hours of Food Network

Friday, July 18, 2014

Sloppy Joes

Because we like sloppy joes, and we always have most of the ingredients on hand, I always make them from scratch instead of buying a canned or powdered mix. The origin of my recipe is found here. I don't always measure, as you will be able to see from my eyeballed amounts! I started with these 3 sun scorched peppers from my garden because I can't sell them at the farmers market and an onion. I wish I grew my onion but I am not that cool this year. Maybe next year. Sometimes I use bell peppers, sometimes anaheim or pablano peppers. They are all good!

Chop the onions and peppers up to the size that you like. I generally like to have more pepper than this, but it was still good in the end. (This is making up a double batch because I was also taking dinner to a friend, probably important for you to know!)

I sautee the peppers and onions in a TBLS or 2 of oil. Olive, vegetable, canola, whatever I have that day. I prefer olive oil. 

After the peppers and onions start to soften, add the ground beef and brown through. Drain when it is cooked through.

While waiting for the hamburger to cook, you will mix up your sauce. It calls for 3/4 c ketchup, 3 tsp brown sugar, and 1 tsp mustard. I just eyeball it til it looks like I want, obviously my ratios are not the same. Sometimes, when I am feeling spicy, I will even add a tsp or 2 of siracha sauce.

Add the sauce to the drained hamburger mix, stir in completely, and heat through. 

Since we are gluten free, we have sloppy joes over baked potatoes or french fries, rather than on buns. Feel free to do whatever you need to do to make this what you want it to be. It is really good and really flexible. 

Monday, July 7, 2014

Chili Cheese Fries

Today I made a household favorite, chili cheese fries. I make it from scratch because it is quick and easy, and we like the way I season it. This is loosely based on the recipe for the McCormick packet. To make this one you will need:

1-2 LBS of potatoes (or a bag of your favorite frozen fries, I won't judge)
2 cans black (or whatever variety you like) beans (Bush's beans are gluten free)
2 cans tomato sauce
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 lb (I use half a pound) of ground beef
2 TBLS chili powder
1 TBLS garlic powder
1 TBLS onion powder
2 TBLS cumin
salt and pepper to taste
(if you want to skip all the seasonings, you can buy a packet seasoning, but I like being able to be in control of the flavor and adjust as needed for our tastes)

I cut my "fries" first and bake because they take about 45 minutes and that is how long it takes to make and simmer the chili. I just cut them into strips or wedges and toss in olive oil and salt and pepper, then roast in the oven on 450 for 45 minutes.

While the fries are cooking, you make the chili. Start by browning the ground beef. Once browned through, drain off the fat, and then add back to the pot. Add in the cans of stuffs and then season. Warm through, then leave on a low simmer until you are ready to serve.

To build your plate, put some fries on the bottom, chili over the fries, and grate some cheese over the top. We use cheddar because, again, that is what we like. Caity and Trevor also put sour cream on them, but Andruw and I don't care for sour cream :)

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Freezing Bananas

To freeze bananas, you will need a few things, Wax Paper, a sheet pan, and bananas... This is what I do when they are overripe :)

Peel the bananas, and dice them into manageable chunks. I have one row sideways for you to see about how thick I cut them. Lay them on the wax paper lined sheet pan, and place the whole pan in the freezer for about 20 minutes. This helps keep them separate when they are in the freezer so you can thaw them or use them as needed.

The frozen chunks are good to throw into smoothies with other frozen fruit in place of using ice cubes. It is actually one of my favorite things to do with them.

Cream peas and new potatoes

Well, it is that time of year again, the peas are on. We are picking about a grocery bag full a day which is a good thing and a crazy thing! So, because they are only on for about 10 days a year, we must make our favorite dish with them, right? So here it is. 

You will need:
about 2 cups of peas
3 lbs of baby red potatoes
3 cups milk
3 TBLS butter
3 TBLS flour (I used rice flour because,yeah, gluten free, but you can use whatever flour you want)

Start by shelling the peas. The picture below is twice the amount of peas that I used because we just shelled everything that we had! I need blanch and freeze them tomorrow.

Cut up your potatoes. Since we are using baby reds, they shouldn't need to be cut too many times to be small enough. I like them a little bigger than bite size because it is rustic. I just quartered them, like below:

Cover the potatoes in cold water, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until fork tender. Then drain the potatoes.

Because I am so smart, I didn't get pictures of the next steps, so I hope you have a good imagination. After you have drained the potatoes, leave them aside, put 3 cups of water in the pan and bring to a boil. While waiting for that water to boil, in another pan, bring 3 cups of milk and 3 TBLS of butter to a simmer then add 3 TBLS of flour and cook until thickened, stirring frequently. Once the water in the pot is boiling again, add your peas and cook until they are all a nice dark green, probably 2-3 minutes, then add the potatoes back in, as well as adding your white sauce. Cook over a medium low heat until it is your desired thickness. I don't like it thick, so mine is kinda like a soup. Hubby likes it to be thick like a gravy (but if he wanted to have it bad enough he would be the one cooking it right?) Anyway, finish product pictured below :)

Another Chicken recipe

Today, after reading about my uber yummy chicken recipe from before, as well as seeing that all that was thawed in my fridge for meat was chicken, I decided to make some marinaded chicken. I find marinades more complicated without soy and gluten in my life. I was searching for inspiration and found several that suggested honey and lime, which would have been good, but I don't have a lime. I found more that suggested Dijon and oil and vinegar, like a simple vinaigrette. I made the decision to go with a honey Dijon marinade. After searching around a bit more I found that basically an equal amount of honey and Dijon with some oil added would work. I found a recipe here and it was really yummy. I just mixed it up in a zip top bag and rubbed it onto the chicken breasts. Sunny Anderson recommended to let it sit for at least 2 hours. Mine was at 12 hours by the time it was cooked.

I cooked it on my griddle because it was too hot to grill..... Here is a picture:

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Grilled Chicken

Remember my grilled chicken recipe found here? It is so easy to make gluten free. The only thing that you have to do is make sure that your barbecue sauce and Italian dressing are gluten free. a great resource to use when you are shopping to find if a processed food is safe or not? Google. Now, since anyone can write anything on the internet (seriously, me writing this is a good example) it is a good idea to contact the company directly unless the product is labeled gluten free.

I really like Sweet Baby Ray's sauces and they are marked gluten free on the back, by the bar code. Kraft does not mark their products gluten free, but they are very good about disclosing gluten containing ingredients. Both Zesty Italian and Light Zesty Italian dressing are gluten free at this time, but if you have been gluten free for any amount of time, you know that this can change, so please verify this information before just buying the products that I mention.

MMM.. happy grilling! And remember that this is good the next day on a salad as described here.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Spamaroni and Cheese

Since this winter, our kids are pretty into Spam. We have several meals that we make with Spam and as long as I am not eating it plain, I am good with it. The first thing that we like to do is Spamaroni and cheese. When we make this, we use a gluten free mac and cheese (usually a brand called Annies because it is relatively inexpensive and Andruw really likes it) and a can of diced Spam. If I am feeling somewhat kind, I will make Trevor, AKA Captain Gluten, Kraft Mac and Cheese. Usually this is the case. It is hard to do both kinds side by side and avoid cross contamination. Watching this happen probably seems like a whole new level of OCD to a person who doesn't understand. Separate pans, separate spatulas, don't let them touch, lots of hand washing after each time you touch the gluten spoon, separate strainers, hand washing again, don't forget that you already have separate butter containers in case of crumbs or double dipping. Being gluten free in a shared kitchen is a lot of work. Most of our dinners are just gluten free to protect me from the insanity ;)

Another meal that we have often is Spam, bacon, and egg sandwiches. Yes, the meal is as greasy as it sounds. We are definitely far from Vegetarians on this meal. I like to start the bacon on my griddle, then start the toast in the oven (because crumbs, toaster, who wants to deal with that OCD). When the bacon is cooked to your taste, then fry up the sliced spam and fry some eggs. I will say, it is better when the eggs are fried over hard IMO, but please fry your eggs how you like. About this time, your toast should be done and you can pull it out and put some Miracle Whip or whatever you use on it. Make sure that you use the right one and don't touch Captain Gluten's bread if you don't have to or, you got it, hand washing. MMM, it is so good with a little cheese, a side of hashbrowns, and a glass of juice (or Coke Zero, who am I kidding?).

Happy Spam adventures..