December 30, 2010

Peanut Butter Cookies & Turtle Brownies

So, we are now less than three weeks away from when Clint leaves for boot camp. I'm not going to lie, I have some crazy pregnant woman kind of mixed emotions right now. I am going to miss him so much and I'm really sad that he'll miss the last trimester of our first baby but I am thrilled to death about this new journey in our life! Not to mention extremely honored to be able to hold the new title "Military Wife". There is a poem that someone wrote called "The Military Wife". I posted it on my facebook several months ago and "tagged" all my friends who are military wives. I think my favorite part of the whole entire thing is where it says this...
           "You may think she has lost her mind. But actually it is because she has lost her heart. It was stolen from her by a man, Who puts duty first, Who longs to deploy, Who salutes the flag, And whose boots in the doorway remind her that as long as he is her Military Husband, She will remain his military wife. And would have it no other way."

It is a huge honor to have a husband with so much strength and courage. To even think about the training he's about to go through makes me cringe sometimes. We've heard that boot camp is a breeze compared to Aircrew Candidate School, which is right after boot. I can't imagine all the shots and physicals and yelling and lack of sleep... I need my sleep!!!! The respect level for not only my husband, but for all military personnel made a huge jump lately. They're a special breed and it takes a very special person to do what they do!

SO!!! Without further tears and typing, these recipes are two of Clint's favorites!! The peanut butter cookies are for sure his favorite!! Put peanut butter on just about anything and I'm sure he'll say it's his favorite!! I can't make these for him anytime soon because he's on a strict diet until he ships out but I can guarantee you that even if I have to make these two things while I'm in labor, he will have these when he comes home to meet his baby girl!!! Enjoy!!

Side Note: This peanut butter cookie recipe was NOT created by me, it's just one of Clint's favorites!!!

Peanut Butter Cookies
2c. Peanut Butter (Creamy or Crunchy)
2c. Sugar
1 Egg

Preheat oven to 350. Combine all ingredients and roll in a small ball (with your hands lightly brushed with sugar). Place on a greased cookie sheet and flatten just slightly. Bake for 9-12 minutes or until desired gooiness or crunch!! (Clint likes them gooey and my dad likes them crunchy)

Turtle Brownies
1 box of GF Brownie mix (make as per directions on package)
2c. Chopped pecans
1 bag of Kraft Caramel Chews (the square ones are the BEST!!!)

Add 1c. of chopped pecans to the brownie mix you have already prepared. Bake as per directions. Unwrap all of the caramels and melt in the microwave. Follow the directions on the package because you need to add just a slight touch of water so the caramel doesn't burn and is easier to stir.

Let brownies cool slightly and while they are still warm pour the melted caramel on top. Before the caramel dries (preferably immediately after you put the caramel on the brownies) pour the remainder of the chopped pecans on top. Push them down into the caramel just a little bit, but make sure that they're not completely covered. Let brownies set (I put them in the refrigerator for a couple of hours) and serve.

We like to enjoy these with ice cream... Go big or go home right?!?  Mmmmm...

December 20, 2010

Veggie Soup

I've been in a little bit of a funk lately... I can't quite figure it out. I don't know if it's because Clint leaves so soon after Christmas and that's what I'm focused on or if it's because I am just not in the "Holiday" spirit. Don't get me wrong, I'm in the "Christmas" spirit, just not the "Holiday".

I guess this holiday season is just different. I haven't done any Christmas shopping because of all of the changes coming after the first of the year. Not just normal changes either!!! A career change for my husband and the birth of our first little angel.

When we get in a funk like this, our digestive system suffers. This is when I start making a lot of veggies!! So whether you're in a funk or whether you need an easy dinner to give you that little veggie boost before all the hustle and bustle of what this week may hold, here is a really easy and fast Veggie Soup with a little bit of spice (which is how my hubby likes it!!!). Hope you enjoy and add your own flare to it or if you don't like spicy like we do, take it out!!!


2, 20oz. cans of diced tomatoes
1, 20oz. can of tomato sauce
16 oz. frozen green beans
16 oz. frozen corn kernels
16oz. frozen pea & carrot mixture
1/2 of a large onion, chopped
1 can of Rotel
4 potatoes, diced
1/4c. finely chopped jalapenos (from a jar)
1/8c. jalapeno juice from the jar
2T. Garlic
2T. Chili Powder
2T. Ground Mustard (optional)
S&P to taste

If desired:
Add 1 pound of cooked ground beef, 1 pound of cooked ground turkey or 4 cooked, chopped chicken breasts.

Cook in a large pot for at least one hour. Give it enough time for all the flavors to marry together and make sure that the potatoes are cooked but not falling apart (unless that is how you like them).

Serve with cornbread, regular or jalapeno. At our house we make both because I like regular and Clint likes jalapeno. YUM!!! I hope I have everything to make this for dinner tonight!! We really need the veggie boost!!

December 10, 2010

Potato Soup

I don't know what part of the country you are sitting in while you read this blog, but I do know that here in Arkansas, it has gotten COLD!!! Over the next few days, it's only going to get colder!!!! I'm not much of a cold person and I was actually talking to my Mom tonight at dinner saying that since Clint and I are such warm weather people, I'm just positive that the NAVY will send us to Seattle at some point, or Maine, or Alaska... Goodness... Dreading that!!!!

So, around here when it starts to get cold, we start eating a lot of soup!!! Broccoli Cheese, Veggie, Chicken and Rice, Potato, Taco, Chili... Goodness I have a lot of soup recipes that I will post, but tonight, I want to post the soup recipe that I made the night we told our parents that "Baby Horne" was officially Hadley Grace Horne!!! I made a big pot of this soup and it was so easy and not too expensive for a big crowd!!! Enjoy and stay warm!!!!

8 large potatoes, skin on diced
1/2 an onion, grated or finely chopped
4T garlic powder
S&P to taste
3c. milk
Cornstarch to thicken
Grated cheese, chives and bacon bits to top

In a large pot, place the diced potatoes and cover with water (or chicken broth, water is cheaper if you're on a tight budget!!!!) Add the onion, garlic and S&P, cover and let potatoes cook. Side tip, to keep potatoes from bubbling over, put about 2T of veg or canola oil in the water.

Once the potatoes are cooked, do not drain too much of the water, if any. Add the milk and cornstarch (make sure you mix the cornstarch with a little bit of water and mix well to avoid chunks before pouring into soup). Allow to bring up to a boil and let set for about 8-10 minutes to thicken. Stir occasionally so that the cornstarch doesn't settle to the bottom.

When the soup is to desired thickness, dish it up, top with cheese, bacon and chives and ENJOY!!!

December 9, 2010

Mexican Corn & Mexican Rice

I posted the Mexican Chicken & Rice Bowl the other night and let me just clarify, that was totally a spur of the moment recipe because I didn't feel like dealing with the 2 sides that I normally cook with that. For tonight's post, I figured that I should go ahead and post the sides I normally make. Since the chicken is so easy, one of the sides takes a little bit of chopping (but don't worry, it's the only thing in the whole meal that includes something more than pouring and mixing). The 2 sides are Mexican Corn and Mexican Rice. The corn takes a few extra minutes to prep but cooks very fast and of course like any rice, this rice takes about 20-25 minutes to cook but the prep takes just a few seconds!! I hope you enjoy these as much as we do!!!

Mexican Corn

4 servings of frozen corn kernels
3/4c. water
3T butter
1 green bell pepper-chopped
1 tomato-chopped
2T chili powder
S&P to taste

Place frozen corn, water, butter, chili powder, salt and pepper in a small sauce pan and cook on medium heat for about 8 minutes. At this point the corn is ready to eat but we're going to add just a little bit more to it. Add the tomato and green bell pepper. Stir and let sit on the heat for just a couple of minutes, not too long because you don't want the tomato to get mushy!!!

Mexican Rice

2c. Rice (preferably white)
3 1/2c. Water
1c. of your favorite salsa (Pace Salsa works well)

Place all of the ingredients in a pot and cover. Cook just like you would normally cook rice. Stir occasionally because you may want to add more water or salsa a couple of times during cooking if rice begins to stick.

ENJOY!!!! :)

December 8, 2010

Spinach Dip

This recipe seems to be one of my favorite 'go to' dips when I have a little party. I remember making it for my friend Cara Beth's lingerie party before she got married. I made a double recipe that night and by the time all the girls left, the spinach dip was gone. They loved it and all night we kept telling each other that it's so good for us because there's spinach in it!!! Now that I'm thinking about it, I'm craving it. I just may have to make it this weekend!! I hope you like it as much as all my friends and I do!!

1 package of frozen spinach
1 package of cream cheese
1 block of monterrey jack cheese
1c. grated parmesan cheese
1 can of Rotel
1 purple onion, chopped or grated

Take package of frozen spinach and thaw it out in the microwave. Make sure you drain the water. Cut the cheese in to small cubes. Place all ingredients in a medium size pan on low heat and cover. Stir occasionally so the cheese doesn't burn on the bottom of the pan.

Served best hot or warm with tortilla chips or gluten free pita chips.

December 7, 2010

Heath Bar Punch Bowl Cake

For Clint's 28th birthday we had a huge shrimp boil at our house. It was so much fun!! We had the boil (GF)with potatoes, corn on the cob and shrimp and then I made cheese biscuits (not GF) and Jambalaya (GF). There were about 15-20 people there so I wanted to make an easy 'cake' that was going to be something different than just a typical birthday cake. I remember my mom making this cake when I was younger for big parties. Now I know why, it's so easy and so tasty!! Everyone at Clint's birthday party loved the cake, including our friend Jonathan who had recently moved to Central Arkansas from New Orleans, where he grew up. I seriously think he ate half of the cake. I still laugh about how much he ate that night! Well enough of me babbling, here's the recipe for Heath Bar Punch Bowl Cake!!! Enjoy!!

1 Chocolate Cake Mix (The new Betty Crocker Gluten Free Devil's Food cake mix is perfect for this)
1 Large tub of whipped topping
2 packages of Heath Bar topping (this can be found on your baking isle)
2 packages of "Dream Whip" (This is an easy chocolate mousse mix. Make sure you read the box and the other ingredients you'll need to actually make the "Dream Whip" into chocolate mousse)

Make the chocolate cake per directions on the box and make the "Dream Whip" per directions on the box. Make sure you give the mousse time to "set" before you put the cake together.

Once the cake has cooled completely and the chocolate mousse is "set", cut the cake into small squares. If the squares fall apart and crumbles a little bit, that is ok, you just don't want it to be completely crumbles of chocolate cake.

You can assemble the cake into a punch bowl or into a big bowl that you have. My punch bowl is currently in storage so the last time I made this, I assembled in a big bowl that I have.

Layer the cake into the bowl in this order, cake, chocolate mousse, whipped topping, heath bar. Continue the layers until everything is gone but make sure that the heath bar is the last layer on top.

Ok, my mouth is watering... Time to go make a Heath Bar Cake!!!!

Mexican Chicken & Rice Bowl

Last night when I got home from work I was absolutely exhausted. I'm not sure if it was because we were super busy or because I'm 21 weeks pregnant (possibly just a mixture of both). I talked to Clint on my way home and asked him to put 2 frozen pieces of chicken in the microwave to thaw, and being the wonderful husband he is, I got home and there were 2 thawed pieces of chicken!! I wasn't too sure of what I was going to do with that chicken but I knew chicken was the only meat we had in our house because we're overdue for a trip to the grocery store. I started looking in the pantry and then the refrigerator and then back in the pantry... I saw a can of Rotel and I decided to make this easy little stove top chicken I figured out was pretty yum about a year ago. At that point, I didn't know what I was going to fix to go with the yummy mexican style chicken so I kept looking and I found rice! Below is the recipe for what we ended up having.

Side Note.
When I was trying to decide which recipe to post for today, I asked my husband if I should post my potato soup or last night's dinner. As you can tell, he enjoyed dinner last night! So here you go!!! Mexican Chicken & Rice Bowl!! It's so easy, it's ridiculous!!

2 thawed boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 can of Rotel (juice and all)
2 servings of white rice, cooked
Mexican Blend or Colby-Monterrey Jack Cheese
Sour Cream

Place in a medium skillet on the stove top. Place the 2 chicken breasts in the pan, pour the can of Rotel on top and cover. Rotate chicken occasionally.

Once chicken is cooked through, slice and place on a bed of white rice. Cover with excess Rotel from the skillet and top with shredded cheese and a spoonful of sour cream, if desired (I say this because my Mom doesn't like sour cream).

If using this to entertain, garnish with a few fresh Cilantro leaves!!

December 6, 2010

Red Beans & Rice

Sometimes, I love cooking something in the crock pot that must cook all day long. While it's cooking all day long, it makes my house smell amazing and usually makes my mouth water... a lot!!

For us, the greatest day for Red Beans & Rice is on a game day!! Especially a 6:00 game!! By the time 6:00 rolls around, it's kickoff and the red beans & rice are ready!

Red Beans & Rice is so easy! It doesn't involve a roux or anything that has to be done special just so it's gluten free. Just throw it in the crock pot and let it go!!

1 16oz bag  of Red Beans
1 Green Bell Pepper (Chopped)
1 Onion (Chopped)
1-2 packages of Butterball Smoked Turkey Sausage (or any of your favorite smoked sausage)
1/4c Tony Chachere's Seasoning (may want to adjust either way depending on how spicy you like it)

The Night Before:
Go through your bag of red beans and pick out any of the 'bad beans'. Any that are discolored, cut in half, etc. Put the beans in a bowl and soak overnight.

The Next Day:
Place your soaked beans in the crock pot and cover with water. Add the chopped onion, bell pepper and Tony Chachere's. Let cook on Medium-High until beans are tender, but not ready (about 5 hours depending on how hot your crock pot gets). Add the sliced sausage and let cook for 1 more hour or until beans are perfectly tender and ready to eat! Serve over cooked white rice!

December 5, 2010

John's Slaw

So, to just go ahead and get this out there, I do not like cabbage... Cooked, raw, however it comes, I don't like it. BUT-when I would come home from school growing up and mom said we were having 'John's Slaw' for dinner, I was pretty excited and yes, it involves the dreaded cabbage!

John's Slaw is something my family has been eating for years and it's one of our favorites! I remember sitting on the bar stool in the kitchen while my mom would pour all the ingredients for the dressing into the bowl. It looked absolutely disgusting but tastes SO GOOD!!!! So, below is the recipe for one of my favorite side dishes of all time!! And yes, when I finally introduced it to Clint, he loved it too!! What a relief!!!!

2 3/4c. Sugar
2c. Mayo
2c. Ketchup
1/2c. Vinegar
1T. Mustard
1t. Worcestershire Sauce

Mix ingredients well with a whisk. Let sit in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving so that the sugar can dissolve. Serve over finely grated cabbage. Cut ingredients in half if only serving 2 people.

Side Note:
John's Dressing is also very tasty on grilled chicken or as a dipping sauce for chicken strips or french fries!!

December 4, 2010

Gluten Free Pumpkin Muffins

1 1/2c Of your favorite gluten free baking mix
1 1/2c Of white sugar
3t Pumpkin spice mixture (If you don't have this, all you need is equal parts ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon)
1/2t Extra Cinnamon
1/4c Water
1 Egg
1/2 Of a can of Pumpkin
1/2c Pecans or Walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix together all dry ingredients. Add the water, egg and pumpkin. Once mixture is well blended, add your pecans or walnuts if desired.

Place batter in greased muffin pans and bake for 15-20 minutes. (all ovens vary)

If you like a gooier muffin, add extra pumpkin and cook longer! If you like a stronger pumpkin spice flavor, then add an extra teaspoon. Don't ever be afraid to add more flavor if you like it!!!

When I made these this morning, I made them in mini muffin pans and it made 3 dozen. If you make them in a regular muffin pan, it will make anywhere between 9 and 15 muffins all depending on the size you make!!

Remember to never fill your muffin cup all the way to the top. Majority of gluten free products do not rise in baking but you still do not want it to overflow!

Well Here We Go...

I woke up this morning starving!! As any other pregnant woman out there, my first thought was about breakfast. I wasn't in the mood to deal with pancakes or biscuits & gravy (which is what we had last Saturday). I wanted something simple and easy and muffins came to mind. Mix them and pop them in the oven! Yum!

As I looked in the pantry for the 'type' of muffin I wanted to make, I went straight to the can of peaches and thought that would be very good until I looked at the expiration date and they were expired. I kept looking and saw a can of pumpkin left over from Thanksgiving last week!! What a good way to finish off that can of pumpkin so that when we move in February, it's one less can to move!!

That's how this whole blog got started! My Facebook and Twitter account was updated saying "Gluten Free Pumpkin Muffins are in the oven!!". I immediately got responses asking for the recipe and people saying "YUM!". That normally happens when I post what I'm cooking and especially when I add pictures!!

So... I guess my first post will be, Gluten Free Pumpkin Muffins!! Perfect for that left over can of pumpkin or sweet potatoes!!

Coming Soon!!