Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Flourless Brownies (Gluten Free)

I know at first glance these brownies might look a little thin. Trust me - they are just right.
These brownies are so decadent and rich and gooey that they don't need to be any fatter. 
Plus... they don't have any flour so, there's that.
I'm not gluten free but we are often asked to bake for people who are gluten free and I wanted to come up with a recipe that would satisfy everyone. We all know that gluten free can sometimes mean weird texture. These absolutely do NOT have a weird texture. In fact, I'm pretty sure no one would guess that there isn't any flour in them. 
So ooey gooey good.

Flourless Brownies (Gluten Free)

1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp (6 Tbsp) butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 cup chocolate chips (or 8 oz chocolate, chopped)
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 Tbsp baking cocoa
3 Tbsp cornstarch
pinch salt

icing sugar
chocolate dipped strawberries

Preheat oven to 350. Line an 8 X 8 or 9 X 9 inch pan with parchment paper and lightly spray with cooking spray. Set aside.
In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the butter and add in the sugar. Whisk together until sugar is incorporated. Add in the chocolate chips, stirring until smooth. Remove from the heat and beat for 2 minutes. Then beat in the eggs and the vanilla. 
Using a sieve (or sifter), sift the cocoa powder and cornstarch and salt into the saucepan. Stir together and then beat vigorously for 1 to 2 minutes - batter will be smooth and shiny. 
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake at 350 for 22 - 30 minutes. Brownies will be set in the center. Remove from oven and let cool completely in pan before removing and cutting.

You can serve them as is OR sprinkle with a little icing sugar...

Or top with a chocolate dipped strawberry to completely put them over the top!

They are pretty as well as delicious!

Rich and fudgy as well as gluten free. What's not to love?

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Kung Pao Shrimp

If you are looking for an easy, yet super flavorful dish to serve for dinner tonight then you might just want to keep reading. 
Kung Pao Shrimp (Prawns) takes about 15 minutes from start to finish. Crazy, right?
And it is sooooo good. I've made it about a billion times so far and it never gets old. This recipe is based on traditional Chinese kung pao chicken which has a spicy yet ever-so-slightly sweet taste. 
Nutrition wise, you're not doing too bad with this recipe either. 
It's win win, really. 

Kung Pao Shrimp

3 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp cornstarch
2 tsp rice vinegar
1 tsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp veggie broth
2 tsp Thai chili garlic sauce
1 Tbsp chopped, canned green chilies (or to taste)
sprinkle cayenne

3 cups of jumbo shrimp (or prawns), cooked
2 Tbsp sesame oil
1 large green pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
1 scallion, diced
1 Tbsp roasted peanuts

toasted sesame seeds for decoration. 

Prepare sauce - Whisk together sauce ingredients (soy sauce, sugar, cornstarch, rice vinegar, sesame oil, broth, Thai chili sauce, green chilies, cayenne) until well combined. Set aside.
Prepare stir fry - Remove the tails from the shrimp/prawns. Cut each shrimp in half. Set aside. 

Prep your vegetables.

Heat sesame oil in a large saucepan or wok. Add green peppers, garlic, ginger, and the scallion.

Cook until peppers soften (about 5 - 8 minutes). Add in the stir fry sauce and mix well. 
Toss in the shrimp.

Cook until heated through.
Lastly, add in the peanuts.
Remove from heat and serve immediately. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds, if desired. 

Perfect to accompany rice and noodles for an easy Chinese inspired meal. (Get our recipe for Double Happiness Chow Mein - HERE.) 
It is easy to double the recipe as well - which you will probably have to do because everyone will love it. (True story). 
FYI - if you are using shrimp that is raw, simply cook it in the pan first - before you add the green peppers. Then remove it to a bowl and continue cooking as per the recipe. I used the jumbo shrimp from a frozen shrimp ring so it was already pre-cooked. I just thawed it under warm water and it was good to go. 

We're sharing over at Carole's Chatter. Be sure to pop over and say hello!  

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake

One of the great things about running a food blog in a small town is that everyone knows you run a food blog. We get to talk to people about different food and recipes that we normally wouldn't hear about. This cake here is one of those recipes.
Now, we've heard of coffee cake before, obvs... but this one was from a lovely lady at the grocery store we shop at. It has shortening instead of butter and uses sour cream and mini chocolate chips for a rich and dense cake with a crunchy granola topping. 
Hillary graciously gave us permission to share her recipe with our readers and we are excited to do so. This is one of those snack cakes that is soooooo simple to whip up but tastes like it took a lot of time and energy. 

Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake
(From Hillary Dingwell)

2 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup sour cream
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup mini chocolate chips

1/2 cup granola
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon

2 squares Baker's semi sweet chocolate
2 tsp shortening

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly spray a 9 inch baking pan with cooking spray, set aside. (You can also line the pan with parchment paper if you want to remove the cake from the pan later to serve it.)
Sift together flour and salt. Set aside.
Cream together sour cream and baking soda. Set aside.
Cream shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Beat in vanilla. 
Alternately blend in flour and sour cream mixtures, one third at a time. Fold in chocolate chips. 
Spread into prepared pan.

Prepare topping - In a small bowl mix together granola, brown sugar, and cinnamon.
Sprinkle over top of cake.
Bake in preheated oven until cake is golden brown and toothpick inserted near center comes out clean, about 40 - 50 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool on wire rack.

Prepare drizzle - In a small microwave safe bowl, place the chocolate and shortening. Heat in the microwave for about 20 seconds then stir well. Repeat until melted and smooth. 
Drizzle the chocolate over the top of the cake.

As you can see - I used the parchment paper to remove the cake from the pan to make it easier to cut. This is totally not necessary. You can serve the cake directly from the pan. 
Slice and serve.

Look at all that chocolaty goodness. The crunchy topping goes wonderfully with the dense cake. If you want it to be a bit thicker then you could always bake it in an 8 inch pan. You just have to watch your cooking time!
Thanks for sharing Hillary! 
We're sharing at these fun linky parties - Cookin' and Craftin',

Friday, June 17, 2016

S'More Cookies (Gluten Free)

I'm beginning to get the hang of gluten free baking. Kind of. I mean.... not the technical use of all those funky ingredients like xanthum gum and such. I mean... the just not using flour kind of baking. 
I think everyone has made the 3 ingredient peanut butter cookies with only peanut butter, sugar, and an egg - am I right? 
I took that idea and kind of ran with it. 
These cookies are fun, easy, delicious, gluten free, and kind of a crispy yet a bit chewy in texture. They would be perfect to make an ice cream sandwich with!

S'More Cookies (Gluten Free)

1/2 cup cookie butter (I used Cookie Notti)
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/3 cup small marshmallows, cut in half

Preheat oven to 350. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, set aside. 
In a large mixing bowl, beat together cookie butter and peanut butter until smooth. Beat in sugar and then beat in the egg until well combined, scraping sides of bowl as needed.
Add in the baking soda and baking powder and vanilla. Beat to combine.
Stir in the chocolate chips and marshmallows.
Scoop onto prepared cookie sheet using a large cookie scoop (about 1/4 cup). Space them about 2 inches or so apart as they will spread. **NOTE - I like to press one or two chocolate chips and marshmallow halves on top of each mound so they show better when the cookie is cooked.**

Bake at 350 until cookies are golden brown, about 10 minutes. 

Let cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes before removing to wire rack to cool completely. 

This recipe makes a dozen giant cookies.

Crispy on the outside and a little bit chewy in the middle.

These freeze very well too. 
Also, you can easily double the recipe to make 2 dozen. You can make them smaller, of course, just watch your cooking time. 
Even if you are not worried about gluten, you should try these cookies as they are super de duper tasty. Let us know what you think! 

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Mini Corn Dogs (Mini Nortons)

Sue and I had fun developing a recipe to make these mini corn dogs for a celebration of life we catered. One of the foods the family requested was a "Norton". Nortons are corn dogs that were served in a local restaurant that were named after the person whose life they were celebrating. 
Sue and I did our best to recreate the Norton in miniature form and then make 200 of them.
That's a lot of frying.
Totally worth it though. They are really good. 
I'm not exactly sure how many you will get out of this recipe as Sue and made it a million times to make enough for the service. I'm guesstimating about 16 - 20 mini corn dogs for one recipe.

Mini Corn Dogs (Mini Nortons)

Oil for deep frying

1 cup Bisquick Baking Mix
1/2 cup milk
1 egg

8 to 10 wieners, cut in half or in thirds

Preheat oil to about 365 degrees.  
When oil is almost up to temp, whisk together batter ingredients until combined. Do not over mix. Do not make up batter too far in advance. 
Place a piece of wiener on a stick and dip in the batter to coat.

Gently slide off the stick into the hot oil. Drop 3 or 4 into the oil at a time. Cook until batter is golden brown, turning once or twice. When cooked, remove to wire rack so oil can drain off. You could also set them on paper towel. 

Repeat with remaining wieners and batter.

You can serve them like this with a little mustard to dip them in - or, in the case of a traditional Norton, with a little gravy. 
Or, you can stick on sticks for an even cuter presentation.

The crispy pancake-like batter is really tasty wrapped around a thick and juicy wiener.

We made some ahead and froze them once they had cooled off. Then we simply spread them on a cookie sheet (frozen) and reheated them at 350 until they were heated through. 
They worked wonderfully. They were just as crispy as when first cooked. 
These are super simple - except for the deep frying part - I'm not a fan of deep frying, it kind of freaks me out a little. But, seriously, other than that, it's ridiculously easy. 

We're sharing over at Carole's Chatter. Be sure to pop over and have a look!

Saturday, June 11, 2016

PB2 Crepes

I'm more of a waffle and pancake girl but every so often I do enjoy a good crepe.
I'm currently doing my best to come up with some healthy breakfasts that are low calorie and satisfy me so I'm not hungry 10 minutes later. 
This recipe makes only the 2 crepes - 3 if you do them even thinner - and is 226 calories, 26 carbs, 8 fat, 13 protein, and 1 fiber (according to MyFitnessPal)
A healthy, tasty breakfast from start to finish in about 10 minutes.

PB2 Crepes

1 egg
1 pkg stevia (or other sugar replacement)
3 Tbsp flour
1 Tbsp PB2
4 Tbsp 1% milk

Whisk together all 5 ingredients in a small bowl.

Now, at this point you can cover and place in fridge for up to an hour to let batter rest. (I mix it up and then go have my shower and get dressed.) This is optional - you can just continue on to cooking if you like. It does not make too much of a difference, I've found. 
Heat a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Pour 1/3 to 1/2 of the batter into the hot pan and swirl to cover the bottom of the pan.

Cook 1 - 2 minutes, until crepe appears dry on top. Gently flip over and cook another 1 - 2 minutes on the other side.
Remove crepe to a plate and cover to keep warm.

Repeat with remaining batter. You will get 2 or 3 crepes out of the batter, depending on how thin you make your crepes. 
Drizzle crepes with a little syrup, peanut butter, whipped cream, fruit, or whatever your favorite filling is. (Remember this will add to the nutritional count!) I add a drizzle of 0 fat pancake syrup for an extra 20 calories. Roll up crepes. 

Top with a little more syrup or fruit or even a sprinkle of cinnamon, if you prefer.

Enjoy while they are warm 
PB2 is a great substitute for regular peanut butter. You lose the fat but keep the protein and the flavor. If you don't have any PB2 then you can use another Tbsp of flour. It will change the nutritional count but your crepes will still work great. 

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Easy Black Forest Ice Cream Sandwiches

Summer may not officially be here but it's still stupidly hot. And what is the best way to combat the heat? Well... with ice cream, of course. 
Delicious ice cream and cookies squished together into an adorable and life saving sandwich. 
"Life saving, really?" you ask incredulously. 
Don't judge.
I do what I have to to survive the sweltering inferno. 
You can too - and you can do it the super easy way. 
You're welcome.

Easy Black Forest Ice Cream Sandwiches

vanilla ice cream
can of cherry pie filling
double chocolate cookies

Spread vanilla ice cream in a 9 X 13 pan and let soften for about 15 minutes.
Drop cherry pie filling over the ice cream and swirl in. You can use as much of the pie filling as you like - I used almost the whole can. 

Let freeze until solid.
Remove from freezer and let sit 10 minutes to soften slightly. 
Place cookies, bottom side up, on work surface. Top one of the cookies with a generous scoop of the ice cream.

Slightly press the ice cream down with the remaining cookie. 

Repeat until all your cookies are used up. 
I used 12 large cookies and still had some ice cream leftover.

You can freeze this to eat later OR continue to use it if you have more cookies. 

When your cookies are all filled, store them in the freezer until ready to eat.

I made double chocolate cookies (which I hope to share the recipe soon!) and I made homemade French Vanilla Ice Cream using our recipe - HERE so just bought the cherry pie filling. 
But - to make things suuuuuuuuper de duuuuuuper easy you can just buy the cookies and ice cream along with the pie filling and *voila* Black Forest Ice Cream Sandwiches in no time at all!. 

We're sharing at Carole's Chatter - Be sure to click over and check it out! 

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Curried Chicken Croissantwiches

Sandwiches don't have to be boring. 
A few simple ingredients tossed together and thrown on a croissant instead of bread and *voila* you have yourself a fancy schmancy sandwich. Or, rather, a croissantwich. 
If you've never made your sandwich on a croissant then you are missing out. All that flaky pastry is ridiculously tasty. 
Make this new twist on classic chicken salad for the next lunch gathering you are having and your guests will think you are a super genius. For realz. 

Curried Chicken Croissantwiches

1 rotisserie chicken
1/4 cup light mayo
1/3 cup Greek yogurt, plain, no fat
2 Tbsp prepared mustard
1 tsp curry
sprinkle of: paprika, cayenne pepper, salt & pepper, and cumin
1/3 of an orange sweet pepper, cubed small
7 - 8 leaves of lettuce
7 - 8 croissants 

Pick the meat off of the rotisserie chicken and place it in a bowl - discarding skin and bones. Shred the chicken with 2 forks. 
To the chicken add the mayo, Greek yogurt, mustard, curry, spices, and finely cubed orange pepper. 

If it looks too dry, add a bit more mayo or Greek yogurt. You want it to be creamy but not gooey. 
Cut open the croissants and place on serving platter. Top the bottom half of the croissants evenly with the chicken mixture. Spread to the edges of the croissant.

Top with the lettuce.

Finally, top with the top half of the croissant.
Chill until ready to serve - or serve immediately. 

How easy is that?
You can add more curry if you want the flavor stronger. I only use a tsp because the flavor is just noticeable but not overwhelming. It is simple to tweak it to suit your preferences!