April 22, 2014

Gluten Free Irish Cream Coffee Cakes



 I wrote this recipe over a year ago when I volunteered to take a dessert to a dinner party at a friend's house in Jacksonville. They are the kind of people who appreciate a good creative, non traditionally cooked dish. For example, once at their house, we had Raspberry Lavender Sorbet and yes, it was delicious. I knew that when it came to a cake recipe that omitted milk and water, they would be happy to be my guinea pigs! We were always trying out fun and different recipes together. I do have to say, when we left Jacksonville in February of 2013, telling them "good-bye" was one of the hardest things we did.

I call this a coffee cake because like anything with Irish Cream Liqueur baked in, is absolutely perfect with coffee!!! If you don't have an Irish Cream Liqueur and you do not want to go buy one, I would probably suggest substituting with an Irish Cream coffee creamer instead. I'll give you a list of substitutions below the recipe. I hope you enjoy this as much as we do!

*Disclaimer: Frangelico and Carolans both state on their websites that their product is gluten free. If you chose another Irish Cream besides Carolans or Brendan's, they are not guaranteed.*

Irish Cream Coffee Cakes

1 Box of Betty Crocker's Gluten Free Yellow Cake Mix
2t. Cinnamon (if desired, I don't always add)
1 Stick of Butter, melted
3 Eggs
1/2c of Frangelico's Hazelnut Liqueur
1/2c of Carolans Irish Cream

The Hazelnut and Irish Cream Liqueur's replace the 2/3c of Milk/Water, which I personally do not think is enough to begin with. Anytime I make this cake as the box directs, I use 1c Milk instead of 2/3c.

Follow directions on the box for combining and mixing the cake. (I have made this mix into cupcakes, mini bunt cakes, as well as a 9x9 and it turns out delicious in any form.)

Once out of the oven, let cool completely. Drizzle with either melted milk chocolate (as shown in main picture) or create a Lemon Drizzle with powdered sugar and lemon juice. Both options are delicious and I will update soon with my "recipe" for the lemon drizzle.

Substitution Options:

Instead of Hazelnut Liqueur:
-Almond Liqueur
-1/2c. Milk with 2t. Almond extract
-1/2c. Milk with 2t. Vanilla extract
-1/2c. Milk with 2t. Lemon extract
-1/2c. Milk with 2t. Hazelnut extract
-1/2c. Hazelnut Coffee Creamer
-1/2c. Milk**

Instead of Irish Cream Liqueur:
-1/2c. Irish Cream Coffee Creamer
-1/2c. Milk**

**If you substitute both Liqueurs with Milk, add in 1T of an extract of your choice.




April 13, 2014

Ranch Seasoning

I do not know what it is about kids and ranch, but it seems to be the "go to dip" for anyone under the age of ten. I am starting to think that my three year old is the only kid who doesn't like ranch dressing, Or ketchup for that matter. Odd, I know. The only way she will eat any kind of ranch is the ranch seasoning I make. I use it as a dry rub when I grill a pork tenderloin or chicken. I sprinkle it over potatoes when I roast them in the oven and put a few tablespoons in my black beans when I cook them. It's a delicious seasoning and it's not full of sodium and artificial stuff like store bought ranch packets are. I usually double or triple the recipe and it keeps in an air tight container nicely. I don't know how long it lasts because we usually eat ours up in about two weeks. I would imagine that it would stay good as long as any dried spice stays in your cabinet! I hope you enjoy!!!

Ranch Seasoning

2T Dried, Minced Onions
2T Dried Parsley
1/2T Onion Powder
1T Garlic Powder
1T Dried Chives
1/2T Dried Dill
2t Salt
1t Black Pepper

COPY CAT: California Pizza Kitchen's Corn Guacamole

I absolutely love the freshness of CPK's Corn Guacamole but CPK is kind of stingy with it! The "small plate" is exactly how it should be described, small. I feel like once I start eating it, it's never enough! I also feel like it is hit or miss. Sometimes it is mostly corn and just a small amount of avocado as the glue to hold it all together. Other times, there is a little bit more avocado, but it's still not enough for me. You all know I love avocado, so the more, the better!

 I decided to try my hand at the recipe when I found myself with four small avocados that were a tiny bit too ripe, but I wasn't going to let them go to waste. CPK uses a white corn, but all I had on hand was yellow, so that's what I used. When it is in season, I recommend fresh corn off the cobb, but if you can't get that, use a low sodium or sea salt can of corn or frozen. To crisp my corn up a little bit, I sautéed it with about two teaspoons of butter and it turned out delicious! CPK has jicama in their recipe to add a little sweetness and crunch, but I have two things going against me when it comes to needing an ingredient like jicama. Number 1. I shop at the commissary. The produce is hit or miss. One week we have something, and for the next couple of weeks, it's like it was never there. Number 2. I'm in Hawaii. No explanation needed. If you can find jicama easily, add a 3/4c in a small dice.

Everything in this recipe is a small dice, that way you can get all ingredients in one small bite! When I say small dice, try to keep it about the size of a kernel of corn or smaller. Hope you enjoy!!! We ate our entire bowl in less than 24 hours!!!

Corn Guacamole

4 Small Avocados (Small dice or smashed with a fork to make sort of a paste)
2c. Corn
1/2c Black Beans
1/2c. Diced Red Bell Pepper
1/3c. Diced Green Bell Pepper
1/4c. Cilantro (Loosely packed)
2t. Salt
2T Lime
If you want to add a little bit of heat, add one fresh jalapeno diced as small as you can. (Remove the membrane and the seeds first.)

Combine everything except the Avocados. Once everything is mixed, add the avocados and enjoy with tortilla chips!!!

April 10, 2014

Where Are You From?

I don't know about you, but I'm proud of where I'm from! I was born and raised in the South! I feel as if it was an honor to live in such a warm and friendly part of the country! The sun is hotter, people are friendlier, football is better, and depending on where you are, food is tastier! Yes, those are my strong opinions, except the one about football being better!!! ;-)

In the last twenty-four hours, you, my readers, have represented over 40 countries!!! My "audience tracker" does not keep up with everyone, so I want to make sure that I have not missed your country!!! Below is the list of  countries, or places that my readers have represented since noon on April 9, 2014. If your country is not listed, please leave me a comment and let me know where you are proud to be from!!! I love hearing from all of you!!!

British Virgin Islands
Costa Rica
Hong Kong
South Africa
United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom
United States of America

April 8, 2014

Review: Amy's GF Pizza

Whenever I purchase a gluten free frozen pizza, I never have high hopes. Honestly, I would rather be surprised than let down. This is one of the only times in my life that I look at the glass "half empty". I am SO glad I wasn't expecting much from this Amy's GF Pizza. It was even a let down for my "half empty" mindset. After taking one bite, I felt like my glass went completely empty.

The crust tasted like cardboard, the sauce didn't have much flavor, and the cheese didn't taste a thing like, well... Cheese. I know that everyone's taste buds are different, and some of you probably love this pizza, but I for one, do not. I want a pizza full of flavor and spice and cheesy goodness. It's not too much to ask for considering how far we have come in the flavor zone of the Gluten Free Market!!!

I know I will have some of you that disagree with this post and my opinion on this company's pizza, but I'm just letting you know that if you haven't tried this one yet, don't waste your $10 on it. Now, Amy's has other flavorful gluten free items so I'm not hating on the company all together, just the pizza!

Still on the quest for the BEST GF Frozen Pizza!!! I can definitely mark Amy's off the list!

April 7, 2014

When Two Pink Lines Disappear

I know I've been gone from Gluten Free Navy Wife for a while. I'm sorry to all my Facebook fans out there who I disappeared from. I've gotten messages and comments saying how you all are glad that I've started posting again and I can't thank you enough.

The last couple of months have been quite the doozy for me. We found out we were pregnant with Baby Horne #2 and we were SO thrilled. Surprised, but thrilled. Four weeks later, the unimaginable happened and I miscarried. Below is an article I wrote just a few days after I lost the baby. My heart was heavy and sad. Over the years, I've learned that the best way for me to cope with things is to write and get it off my chest.

I was raised in a minister's home, in church whenever the doors were open, and was saved at a young age. During these last few months, more than ever, I've been grateful to believe in a God who is merciful, comforting, and loving.

If you've ever experienced a miscarriage, the article will definitely hit home for you. What I experienced in the day leading up to the miscarriage and the days after are emotions and feelings that I will never be able to forget. It truly is one of the most difficult things I could ever mentally and physically go through. My article has been posted on my personal Facebook page since March 20, but after the messages and comments I've gotten, I feel that it needs to be shared with a broader audience.

Thank you for your encouragement and your positive feedback with the recipes that I write. I'm hoping that by posting my article here, it will help you understand "me" a little bit more, and the reason why I've been absent.



This was written the night of March 19, 2014. Sleeping was not an option for me that night. It had been a little over 48 hours since I had miscarried and my emotional pain and physical pain were getting the best of me.


Every woman who has experienced it knows what I'm talking about. There's a special feeling in in your stomach and in your heart when you see those two pink lines. Life changes. In that very moment, it's not about you anymore. All the sudden, it's all about your body and the little baby growing inside of you that you will now share everything with. All the sudden your brain goes into overdrive as butterflies swarm through your stomach. Did I take my multi-vitamin today? Have I been drinking too much coffee? Did I eat too much junk food yesterday? You're in 100% "Mommy Mode", where you are protecting and preparing your whole world for the new bundle of joy, and the new life you will soon bring into it.

I had the absolute perfect first trimester with Hadley. Absolutely unheard of. The second trimester, again... Amazing! No nausea, no vomiting, perfect blood pressure, no gestational diabetes and on top of all that- my clothes still fit!!! The third trimester brought a few challenges when Clint went to boot camp and my heart rate did not want to cooperate, but besides that, still amazing! I knew I was blessed and all of this was NOT normal. Now fast forward and we are two months away from Hadley's third birthday and SURPRISE! Two. Pink. Lines.

Just like my pregnancy with Hadley, I got pregnant in the first month. I felt like Clint and I should "high five", but incase you missed what I just said... "SURPRISE!". I was not shocked or upset at all, I was excited. I knew 100% I wanted more than one child, but with Clint's deployment schedule and my heart problems, the question was never, "How many?", it was, "When?". Any military spouse out there knows exactly what I'm talking about and I do have to say, the timing of this surprise was perfect! My due date was in November and Clint was set to deploy 3-5 months later.

I'm not one to hide my excitement and I'm especially not one to keep things from my family, so a week later, we shared the news with our family and closest friends. A few people referred to this as an "accident" and I quickly shut the accident train down! There are no accidents when it comes to one of the greatest gifts God can ever give you. I don't believe that God is in the "Accident Business" but I do believe he is in the "Surprise Business". I told them that this baby will never hear that it was an accident because this child was a gift, and gifts aren't always known about ahead of time.

I'm a planner, so four weeks in, I already had a plan for my new household set up. We only have a three bedroom and for now, that is all we will have, so we needed some adjusting as all three are currently being used. I didn't want to put a newborn and a toddler in the same room right away, and luckily I was nearing the end of redecorating the guest room so I still had time to make adjustments. Furniture was shifted, pictures were hung, and in the end, I was left with the perfect place for the crib. For now, Hadley would keep her own room and guests would have a crib in the corner of their room when they visited.

I was so proud of myself and everything I had accomplished so far! I loved problem solving all by myself, especially when everything turned out exactly as I had planned. In just a few short weeks, I had figured out how we would manage the baby's room/guest room, I had kicked my espresso addiction without a single headache, I had started juicing again, and my first doctor's appointment was in the books and just a couple of weeks away! All that and I was still feeling great, except for my afternoon need for a Gatorade and before dinner snack. I had even taken pictures and edited them for our big "Facebook Pregnancy Reveal". You know, these days nothing is official until it's, "Facebook Official". I was BEYOND ready, until March 16. I woke up that morning and all my excitement turned to fear. I saw a very tiny bit of blood, which is normal at this point in pregnancy, but in my heart, I knew.

We had company on island from the mainland and it was a gorgeous day! Finally monsoon season was coming to a close! We already had plans to spend the day at the pool, but I was not willing to take any chances. I sent them to the pool and decided I would relax and stay in bed. If my head went too crazy, I'd go to the ER and get checked out. Well, guess what?!? I couldn't stand it. I sent Clint a text and told him I was headed to Castle to get a peace of mind. **Let me say right here. I know Clint, and I know that as soon as he walked out the bedroom door, he wished he had not of left, but our company and our two year old had been promised a day by the pool, in the warm Hawaiian sun, and I wasn't going to let a tiny bit of normal pregnancy spotting keep that from happening.

I got to the ER and two out of the three medical professionals I saw told me that either, "I went through the same thing with my two kids.", or "This is normal.". I kind of felt goofy for being there, but reminded myself that this was not normal for me, and I needed to listen to my body. All I could do in that ER room was cry, pray, and wait, but before I even had the chance to change into my hospital gown, I knew I was going to lose our baby.

All my tests in the ER either looked, "good" or "normal", except for my blood work. My Dr. said that my hormone levels were a little lower than she was happy with, but every woman and every pregnancy is different, so there were no "red flags". My ultra sound even confirmed a "sac" but at six weeks pregnant, on the nose, the baby was too small to detect a heartbeat.

I went home with orders from the Doctor to get in bed until I could see my OB. Taking no chances, I came home and got right in bed. A few hours later, the bleeding had increased just a little bit and the cramping got a little bit more frequent. As I laid in bed, I knew it was only a matter of time before my sweet baby was no longer with me. My head was not ready to believe what my heart knew was coming. I told Clint that I needed him home with me the next day and with the uncertainty, the symptoms, and the bed rest, his Chief was 110% in agreement because just the week before, his niece went through the same thing.

The morning of March 17, I woke up full of a fear I'd never known before. What would this day hold? Am I ready? Could I physically or emotionally handle what I knew was coming? Thankfully, I didn't have enough time to think about it because my precious Hadley came bouncing around the corner. I began to thank God for her and her smile and the joy she brings to my life. Even in the "Terrible Two's", she is one of the best things that has ever happened to me.

About an hour later, they had all eaten breakfast and were getting ready to walk down to the beach for a few minutes. Hadley's hair was a crazy mess so "piggies" it was! A typical Dad response came from Clint when I heard, "Um...", so I called her over to me. He put her on the bed with me and went downstairs to refill my water. I slowly sat up and my sweet Hadley climbed in my lap. Just as I was finishing "piggy #1" a sense of heartbreak, fear, and emptiness came over me. I had just lost our baby. I gave Hadley a kiss on the head and rushed into the bathroom, closing the door behind me. All I could do was sit on the edge of the bathtub and cry. I had barely had enough time to sit down, when I heard Clint ask Hadley where I had gone. Through the door, I told him to send her to her room to play and I told him to come in.

He stood there in front of me for what seemed like an hour. In all actuality it was probably barely five seconds. I couldn't get my mouth to say, or get my head to acknowledge what had just happened, and not a single part of me wanted to. We had just lost our baby. OUR baby that God surprised us with. The baby that would grow up by Hadley's side, driving her crazy, stealing her toys, and pulling her hair. The baby that would keep me up every night for the first year. The baby that would bring home lice, the stomach virus, and (hopefully not) lizards. The baby we would raise to say "Woo Pig Sooie" and sing "Jesus Loves Me". This was our little baby. It wasn't an embryo, a fetus, or an accident-this was our little baby that God was growing inside of me, for us to love, spoil, and raise.

In that instant, I felt more empty and alone than I had ever felt in my entire life. You could have put me on a deserted island 5,000 miles out to sea and I wouldn't have felt as alone as I did in that moment, but the feeling didn't last long. I'm not saying the heartbreak was gone, I'm saying I didn't feel alone. A lot of people say that "God won't give you more than you can handle". I have always had a hard time believing that, and now, I know that on March 17, 2014, God gave me more than I could handle. As humans, we want to be independent and self sufficient. We want to figure things out on our own and solve our own problems. I am especially guilty of being independent and very proud of that, but it needs to be limited. You see, if God only gave us what we could handle, when would we ever call on Him for help and trust Him in ALL things? If God only gave me what I could handle, my "Independence Proud Meter" would be through the roof because I would, and could do it on my own. I'm not saying that God took our baby away from us, but what I am saying is that He used this to remind me that He's there, and I don't need to do everything on my own, and I shouldn't. I may feel alone and empty, but I'm not and I never will be. I will never have to face any trial alone. I may be going "Through The Fire" right now, but He's right there beside me, holding my hand, and walking through it with me.

Peanut Butter Frosting

Have you ever had a cupcake from a specialty cupcake shop that has a peanut butter frosting? I have and I seriously think that if there was food served in heaven, that would be one thing on the menu. I seriously love peanut butter frosting on a rich and delicious chocolate cupcake.

The one thing that I do not like from a cupcake shop, is that sometimes there is an absurd amount of frosting on top of a tiny cupcake and not only that, it's insanely rich. I set out to create a fluffy peanut butter frosting that wasn't too rich, was a little bit on the light side when it came to texture and I think I accomplished that. Whip up a batch of this peanut butter frosting and let me know what you think!

Peanut Butter Frosting

1c Creamy Peanut Butter
1c Powdered Sugar
5T Softened Butter
1c Cool Whip

Whip together the peanut butter and butter. Once incorporated, mix in the powdered sugar. When all is combined, fold in the cool whip and enjoy with a cupcake... Or a spoon. :-)

Cilantro Lime Rice

I am a HUGE fan of Cilantro, and lime... Well ok, I'm a huge fan of food in general. I think that's why being diagnosed with Celiac was so hard for me. Ok, back on subject, cilantro and lime.

You really can't go wrong. You want to make something bland suddenly burst with flavor (and Mexican flare)? Add cilantro and lime! The following recipe of Cilantro Lime Rice is the recipe I created to go with my "Taco Chicken and Avocado Salsa". The combination of all the flavors from the salsa, to the chicken, and the rice are absolutely perfect and that whole "bursting with flavor" thing... This recipe definitely has it!!! As soon as I can make my "Taco Seasoning" and write down a recipe with it, I'll get it posted!

Cilantro Lime Rice

2c Cooked Rice
1/2T Olive Oil
1/4c of Cilantro, packed loose
Juice of 1/2 of a Lime
Salt & Pepper to taste

Avocado Salsa

I absolutely love avocados. They are so fresh, delicious, and even good for you! Here on Oahu, avocados are usually hit or miss. We rarely have the perfect avocado sitting in the store waiting to be purchased. They are usually hard as a rock, and take a week or so to become "perfect", or extremely mushy, which we all know is NOT an option when you're making any sort of guacamole or avocado salsa.

This recipe is full of fresh and delicious ingredients. In this recipe, I use Batch 501's "Original" Sauce. Right now, it can be found in select stores around Jacksonville, Florida and Amelia Island, Florida or online. In my house, this sauce is a staple. I wish I was exaggerating when I say that, but I'm not. Since we live in Hawaii now, I get Michael to send me a dozen bottles at a time. This sauce is gluten free, labeled gluten free and is formulated so that it IS gluten free. It can be found and ordered at www.batch501.com if you don't live in the Jacksonville area.
Ok, now on to the avocado salsa recipe! I hope ya'll enjoy this wonderful and fresh salsa!

Avocado Salsa

(In this order)
1 Clove Garlic
Juice of Half a Lime
1/8t Onion Powder
Salt, to taste
1T Batch 501 Original
1/2 package of Grape or Cherry Tomatoes, cut in 4ths
2 Avocados, Large Dice

Combine everything except the Tomatoes and Avocados. Once it is combined well, add the tomatoes and avocados.

Batch 501 can be found at www.batch501.com.

April 6, 2014

Gluten Free Oatmeal Cream Pies

It has taken me over a year to perfect this Oatmeal Cookie Recipe. I tried for days a few months back, to get everything right, and it just didn't happen. Too much sugar, not enough flour, too many oats, not enough sugar. Finding the perfect balance of every single ingredient was difficult.

I use Pamela's Baking and Pancake Mix in this recipe (as many of my recipes) because I believe that we (Gluten Free People) deserve a break from the high costs of cookies, cakes, and any other sweet treats. Pamela's Baking Mix gives us a good gluten free flour blend at the best price possible. I will not write a recipe for you that is a mixture of 5 different flours, xanthan gum, and other mess that would end up costing you $100.

***The cream in this "Oatmeal Cream Pie" recipe is not mine. I have no idea who it belongs to but, I have been using it for over a year. It's not the person's exact recipe. I had to make some adjustments to make it to my liking but the base of it, is not mine.

Oatmeal Cookies
Yield: 3 Dozen Cookies

1c. Butter, Softened
1c. White Sugar
1/4c. Light Brown Sugar
1/4c. Dark Brown Sugar
1 Egg
2t. Vanilla
1 2/3c. Pamela's Baking Mix
3/4t. Baking Soda
1/8t. Baking Powder
1/2t. Cornstarch
1t. Cinnamon
1 3/4c. Gluten Free Oats

Pre heat oven to 350.

Cream together the Butter and all three sugars until well incorporated (2-3 minutes). Add the egg and vanilla and cream for at least two more minutes until nice and "fluffy". (Not very fluffy, but you will be able to see a difference).

In a separate container, combine the baking mix, baking soda, baking powder, cornstarch, and cinnamon. Combine with a fork.

Slowly add the dry mixture to the "wet" mixture on a low speed. Once all ingredients are combined, fold in the Oats.

Spoon out 1 1/2-2 tablespoon size balls of dough onto a well greased cookie sheet (or a lightly greased silk pad on your cookie sheet). Place in the preheated oven for 11-13 minutes, until edges are beginning to brown and the inside of the cookie still looks gooey. Let the cookies stay on the cookie sheet for 2-4 minutes so that the middle continues to cook without being in the oven. This will ensure that the middle stays gooey.

***The photo at the top shows what the cookies look like before they go in the oven, and right when they come out of the oven.***


7oz Jar of Marshmallow Cream
2t of Hot Water
1/2c. of Shortening
1/3c. of Powdered Sugar
1/2t. Vanilla

Cream all together and place on cooled cookies. This only makes enough cream for half of the cookies that the recipe makes. If you want all three dozen cookies made into "Cream Pies", double this recipe.