Thursday, October 9, 2014

Tamale and Ceviche class notes from Cancun

Tamales (Gerardo & Daniela)

Sauté onion & garlic in Manteca
Add tomatoes julienned

Mix annato seed paste with water
Until thin

Mix annato mixture into tomato mixture

Mix some of the pork broth into the tomato mixture

Mix masa with water until thin & mix into tomato mixture until thickened.

Cook with onions, garlic, bell peppers, epazote

Mix annato & water into the prepared masa.

Soften banana leaves over gas flame

For the masa mix it with Manteca, pork broth, salt

Wrap & steam for one hour.

Top with ranchero salsa & crema

Lime juice
White onion
Green tomato
Green pepper

2nd Cancun trip recipes

Tortilla soup

Put a couple of Tablespoons of vegetable oil in a pot on medium high.
Add 1 sliced white onion and saute.
Add a couple of cloves of smashed garlic.
Add 4 Roma tomatoes cut into quarters.
Add 6 epazote leaves.
Add 2 dried guajillo peppers that have been deseeded.
Add a good handful of tortilla chips.
Add chicken broth to cover.
Simmer until completely soft.
Blend in a blender.
Put through a fine mesh strainer.
Add more broth for consistency of soup.
Add salt to taste.

Dried guajillo peppers sliced thin and fried
Tortilla strips
Avocado sliced
Diced Panela cheese

Lentil soup

Heat 2 T vegetable oil in a pot on medium high heat.
Sauté one sliced white onion.
Add 2 sliced of bacon and 1 big slice of prosciutto. Cook until browned.
Add 1 Roma tomatoes sliced into quarters.
Add 2 c brown lentils.
Add chicken broth to cover and simmer until lentils are cooked. Add more broth or water if needed.
Blend when everything is cooked.
Strain in fine mesh strainer.
Add broth for texture.

Diced cooked bacon
Sliced and fried plantain and sweet potato (optional)

Ranchero sauce

In a pot put sliced tomato, diced white onion and a few springs of cilantro. Simmer until very very soft (about an hour) Add salt. Blend. Add water for texture.

Arrachera Mexicana

Flank steak cut lengthwise almost all the way through so it makes the steak long enough to roll marinated in chimichuri sauce and seared on both sides.
Chimichuri: white & red onion, parsley, lime juice, oregano, salt, pepper, white vinegar

Poblano corn side dish
Heat oil in a skillet. Add sliced white onion.
Add crushed garlic.
Add poblano peppers roasted and sliced.
Add corn.
Add cream cheese and cream.

Mashed potato side dish
Mash potatoes
Add cream cheese, cream and Parmesan.

Shrimp dish at Latin
Shrimp is marinated in above chimichuri sauce with guajillo peppers added to the blend.

Clarified butter to dip it in:
Clarified butter, add rosemary, thyme, salt and garlic

Nopalitos salad:
Sliced nopalitos, lime, tomato, red onion & salt

Tuna tartar from Roma
Diced fresh tuna
Diced red onion
Capers chopped
Lime vinegarette: lime, Dijon mustard, salt, pepper, white vinegar, olive oil

Tuna tartar from Blue
Diced fresh tuna
Red onion
Vinegarette blended: capers, olive oil, regular mustard, salt, pepper, lime juice

1st Cancun trip recipes

Green Shrimp Ceviche (Aguachile)
½ kg shrimp for cocktail
250 grs. Green tomato
50 grs. White Onion
1 garlic clove
50 grs. Cilantro
1 liter Lime Juice
20 ml garlic olive oil
Salt (as needed)
A pinch of black pepper


Sit shrimp with lime juice, garlic olive oil and salt for 30 to 45 minutes, until cured (Make sure to cover all of the shrimp with the lime juice to make it even) (Mix every 20 minutes).
Blend green tomatoes, white onion, garlic clove, cilantro, 250 ml lime juice, a pinch of salt and black pepper
Marinade the cured shrimp with the green sauce and season to taste.

Salsa Tamulada (Chil’s Red salsa)
400 grs. Fresh Red Tomato
150 grs. White onion
2 cloves of garlic
30 grs. Fresh cilantro
Salt (as needed)

Roast tomatoes, White onion, garlic in a skillet or in the oven
Blend with fresh cilantro
Season to taste

Salsa Ranchera
400 grs. Fresh tomatoes (cut in 4 pieces)
200 grs. White onion (Cut in squares)
5 cloves of garlic (Chop)
2 liters of water
20 ml oil

Preheat a pot, then, add oil and sauté tomatoes, onion, garlic
Stir and add water to cover tomatoes
Boil until tomatoes are cooked
Blend and season to taste

Salsa Verde (Green tomato Salsa)
400 grs. Green tomatoes
200 grs. White onion
5 cloves of garlic
2 liters of water

Preheat a pot, then, add oil and sauté tomatoes, onion, garlic
Stir and add water to cover tomatoes
Boil until tomatoes are cooked
Blend and season to taste

Salsa Habanera
300 grs. Habanero peppers
200 grs. White onion
5 cloves of garlic
Roast habanero peppers, white onion and garlic with oil and salt in the oven
Cool down and blend
Season to taste

Cilantro Aioli
5 cloves of garlic
Salt to taste
500 ml olive oil
200 grs. Fresh cilantro

Poach the fresh cilantro in boiling water, simmer for 20 seconds and then dip into cold water with ice cubes and ice
In a blender, add garlic cloves, a pinch of salt, 250 ml of olive oil, poached cilantro and a cube of ice
Add the rest of the olive oil as the blender is processing.
Stop when thicken
Taste and add more salt if needed

Saffron Risotto
100 ml Olive Oil
200 grs. Finely chopped white onion
50 grs. Finely chopped Italian garlic
1 Kg. Arborio rice
300 ml. White wine
4 grs. Saffron
Chicken Stock (500 ml – 750 ml.)
200 grs. Green Asparagus
200 ml. Basil Pesto
60 grs. Butter
40 grs. Shredded parmegiano reggiano

Preheat a sauté pan
Blend chicken stock and 3 grs of saffron
Sauté the onion and garlic with olive oil until softened and translucent
4. Add 1 gr of saffron threads, cook for 1 – 2 minutes. Add a pinch of salt.
*Note: Do not let the onion or garlic brown too much, we just want it translucent*
6. Incorporate Arborio rice and stir until seared
7. Add white wine and keep stirring during the process
8. When wine has reduced, add saffron stock a ladleful at a time, stirring and letting the rice absorb each one at a time until its al dente.
9. Remove from heat, add green Asparragus and stir until tender. Add butter cubes and parmesan cheese.
10. Season with salt to taste
11. Peel green asparagus and sauté the skin with pesto
12. Serve risotto and top it with the green asparagus’s skins.

Insalata Capresse

Fresh mozzarella Cheese
120 grs. Fresh tomato, peeled, without seeds (Petit brunoise cut)
50 grs. Fresh basil leaves (chiffonade)
50 ml. Pesto
Black Olives Pesto
Cherry tomato (Cut in halves, season with salt and pesto, mix. Bake in oven for 2 hours at 110°C)
Grilled Zucchinni


Season zucchini with salt, olive oil and black pepper. Grill.
Cut fresh mozzarella
Cut the tomato in petit brunoise and mix with the basil leaves
Marinade with black olives pesto and season to taste with salt and mixed crushed peppers (black, pink and cilantro seeds)
Form towers with a cutter, setting the fresh mozzarella cheese in the bottom, topping it with the tomato mix
Drizzle pesto on top and decorate with a rosemary leave and dehydrated cherry tomatoes.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Herbed Salad Dressing

Simple dressing of things I always have on hand. It's so good and goes with almost any kind of salad mixture. 

Herb Salad Dressing

1 c olive oil
1 c red wine vinegar 
1 T Dijon mustard
2 t dried oregano
2 t dried basil
2 t garlic powder
2 t onion powder
1 t salt
1 t pepper

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Coconut Almond Cinnamon Granola

My friend Summer gave me this granola recipe. It's amazing! I just made a few changes for my liking. Here is Summer's recipe followed by the recipe with my changes.

Coconut Granola
Summer Minert

5 cups of oats, Almonds crushed up in chunks, A third a cup maple syrup, Third cup brown sugar 4 teaspoons vanilla, Half a teaspoon salt, A third a cup to a half a cup of coconut oil . Bake 325 Line sheet with parchment paper press granola into pan and bake for 20 minutes turn sheet bake another 10 minutes

(Summers additional notes) I also like to add milled flax seed about 1/4c and unsweetened coconut...but you can add whatever dry ingredients you would like. Make sure to really press down in pan and once it's finished allow to cool in pan. That will give you bigger chunks if you like that

Coconut Almond Cinnamon Granola

Kerstin's version

5 cups of oats, 1 c sliced almonds, 1/3 cup maple syrup, 1/3 brown sugar 4 teaspoons vanilla, Half a teaspoon salt, 1/3 cup of coconut oil, 1 c unsweetened coconut flakes or 1 c sweetened coconut (whatever I have on hand. Trader Joes coconut is my favorite), 1 egg white (It helped the coconut crisp up and stay in chunks, 1 t cinnamon. Mix thoroughly then press into a parchment lined jelly roll pan. Bake at 325 for 20 minutes turn sheet bake another 10 - 20 minutes, until golden brown.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Soup and Smoothie Class

I'm teaching a soups and smoothies class at church this Saturday. This is the information I will be sharing.


Tortilla soup

( I learned this soup from Chef Daniela at the Azul Beach Resort in Cancun. It's like a cross between a tortilla soup and a tomato soup.)

Put a couple of Tablespoons of vegetable oil in a pot on medium high.
Add 1 sliced white onion and saute.
Add a couple of cloves of smashed garlic.
Add 4 Roma tomatoes cut into quarters.
Add 6 epazote leaves.
Add 2 dried guajillo peppers that have been deseeded.
Add a good handful of tortilla chips.
Add chicken broth to cover.
Simmer until completely soft.
Blend in a blender.
Put through a fine mesh strainer.
Add more broth for consistency of soup.
Add salt to taste.

Dried guajillo peppers sliced thin and fried
Tortilla strips
Avocado sliced
Diced Panela cheese

Butternut Squash Soup

(From my sister Kiana)

2 T. Butter
1 red onion (I use whatever I have on hand)
2 cloves of garlic chopped
4 cups. peeled, seeded, and cubed butternut squash
5 cups. chicken stock
1 1/2 cups. cubed potatoes
1 t. paprika
1/2 cup half and half (I rarely use)
salt and pepper to taste

Melt the butter in a large stock pot and add the onion and garlic and
cook for about 5 min or until soft.
Add everything but the half and half. Simmer for about 30 min. or
everything is soft. Transfer in small batches to a blender and process
until smooth. Be careful of the hot liquids. Add the half and half.
Reheat slowly.

Garnish each serving with a few drops of cream.

Cauliflower Soup

4 c chicken broth

1 head cauliflower, chopped

1 large onion chopped

Bring everything to a boil, then simmer until soft and blend.


Questions to ask yourself:

Why am I making smoothies? More fruits and veggies in my diet? Get my kids to eat fruits and veggies? Meal replacement? A frozen treat? Gain weight? Lose weight?


Hot Pink Breakfast Smoothie

Green smoothie girl

1 ½ c coconut water

2 T raw beet, peeled

1 large carrot peeled

½ c sprouted sunflower seeds, sesame seeds or cashews (soak overnight)

2 T chopped dates or 2 large pitted dates

12 oz frozen strawberries

1 T flax seeds, flax oil or hempseed oil

Chocolate oat smoothie

for the smoothie:

1-2 frozen bananas

1 tbsp organic cacao powder

1/4 cup almond milk (or soy milk)

4-6 icecubes

2 tsp stevia sugar

1-2 tbsp oats

1 tsp nut butter of choice (optional)

1. blend 1-2 frozen bananas with 1 tbsp of cacao powder, 1/4 cup of almond milk, 4-6 icecubes, 2 tsp of stevia sugar and 1 big tbsp oats. and if you want add a spoon of peanut or almond butter but that's optional.

Turmeric milk (I love to drink this at night)

1 c unsweetened almond milk

1 t vanilla

¼ t cinnamon

½ t turmeric

1 t honey (or a couple of drops of stevia

Put everything in the blender and blend until warm or you can just blend and then warm on the stove or microwave.

General Smoothie information from my cousin Niki who is the smoothie Queen!

Spinach, chard, kale & collard greens. My fav greens to use in smoothies bc they are more mild in flavor. I also use spring mix (usually organic), or other pre-packaged salad greens, ( If I can't find other good greens). Spinach is the easiest to find. Costco has 3 types of pre-washed bagged greens (large in size)-that I love. The organic baby kale, spinach (I usually just go for the non-organic spinach, bc I prefer the amount to the price of the organic in the plastic containers), and a new one that is a mix of baby chard, kale & spinach. I do try & rotate my greens to provide optimal benefits & cover different nutrients, while not getting over saturated with one type.

This is my basic template recipe, but it varies depending on what type of fruit & greens are together, or that I have.

I have a Blend tech & Vitamix- both are great blenders!

I fill the Vitamix completely full of greens, then add about 2 Cups of water (more if it's too thick). Blend on high for 10-20 sec, until greens and water are smooth (I try to blend greens up first bc I like it when my smoothies are SMOOTH, and I'm not getting a chunk of greens later on). Then I add the fruit! I use basically anything I have- bananas sweeten them really nicely. Pears help cut out some of the bitter green taste, apples & grapes are great too to sweeten. But I love to eat apples by themselves, so I will usually put frozen fruit in. Frozen bags from Costco are the best & cheapest. I love their pineapple (Kirkland brand), mangos, mixed berries & blueberries, My goto & fav is the frozen pineapple. If I find fruit on a good deal, or have fruit that is going bad, and I know I won't be able to eat it in time- I will freeze it & use it in smoothies later.

Extra things I love to add to smoothies:

*1-4 TBSP of chia seeds (cheapest at costco) for a full blender (64oz)- they have great omega 3 AND omega 9, as well as many other nutrients. They can absorb 10x their weight in water & so it helps u feel more full. They also thicken up smoothies.

*or 1-4TBSP flaxseed, great omega 3, give smoothies kind of a diff flavor (not my fav, but not bad & worth the health benefits).

*1/4-1/2 of a lemon with the peel- (I wash & scrub my lemons with a veggie wash & scrubber first). Makes smoothies taste fresh & cut out some of the greens stronger taste. Also great nutrients

*can use coconut water rather than water, for post & pre-workouts to replace lost electrolytes, or just for other health benefits (I also like to use fermented coconut water for the probiotics, you can get it at Whole Foods - Kerstin)

*little bit of Mint leaves add a very nice taste to smoothies, just not too much

*ginger is also a great cleansing & detoxing addition. Peel and add +- 1inch.

*1 dropper full of liquid stevia for a full 64oz, (I usually only add if I've made a particularly nasty smoothie, or if I want my kids to drink it). Can also add just a couple drops to one serving.

*dates& figs also sweeten nicely. I love to get the medjol dates from Costco (just make sure to take the pits out first! They don't blend smooth) these are great in the hot pink breakfast smoothie as well.

Nikishalani smoothie

-Greens, Water& Lemon
Pack Vitamix full of greens (spinach, chard, Kale, collard greens, etc.) add about 2.5 C water, & 1/2 lemon (scrubbed & washed), blend until smooth. Add another handful or two of greens, blend again. Add more water if needed.

1-2 C frozen pineapple
1-2 bananas (fresh or frozen)
Blend until smooth & ENJOY!!!
I love this smoothie it is my favorite:-)

It also tastes great with pineapple & mango, or just mango in place of pineapple. When nectarines and peaches are in season I buy them by the box here put those instead of pineapple. You can use any fruits & greens you want. Sometimes, when I remember, I will add chia seeds to this as well. This combo above is my Go to smoothie:-)

So basically it boils down to me getting about 1/3 greens, 1/3 water, 1/3 fruit.

Apple Ginger mango smoothie:

Greens & water
3 apples
1-2 C Frozen mango
1+ inch Ginger (peeled)
1/2 lemon, with peel (scrubbed)

Additional things you can add to smoothies

Spirulina: From WebMD:
Blue-green algae are used as a source of dietary protein, B-vitamins, and iron. They are also used for weight loss, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), hayfever, diabetes, stress, fatigue, anxiety, depression, and premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and other women’s health issues.

Hemp seeds : From

Hemp seeds are high in nutritional value and contain 20 different varieties of amino acids and all nine of the essential amino acids (like flax). Some essential amino acids can't be naturally produced by the body and these seeds have the capacity to supplement them in the body. They contain high amounts of protein, which helps in strengthening the immune system, thereby, reducing the instances of diseases, besides helping in excreting toxins from the body. Studies in the recent past have shown that consuming hemp seeds whether raw or in oil form, has the capacity to aid in the healing process of diseases related to immune deficiency. There is no other food substance which contains such high quantities of essential fatty acids found in hemp seeds, higher than even flaxseed and other nut or seed oil as well as containing high amounts of vitamin E and trace minerals. It has a balanced ratio of omega 3 to 6 fats at around a three to one ratio. This won't help correct your omega balance if it's off, but it gives you the right balance to start with.

Further the protein content of the hemp seed is supposed to be very digestible. Many people noted their personal experience of finding that hemp seed protein did not cause bloating or gas, like some of their whey, or other protein shakes did. And, unlike soy which has super high amounts of phytic acid (that anti-nutrient that prevents us from absorbing minerals), hemp seed doesn't contain phytic acid.

Raw cacao powder: From
Cacao Health Benefits

1) Cacao contains more antioxidants per cup than wine or tea! The protective flavonoids in organic cacao powder can protect cells against damage by free radicals. Researchers at Cornell University found that a cup of cocoa contains nearly twice the antioxidants present in a glass of red wine, up to three times the antioxidants found in a cup of green tea, and five times the concentration in a cup of black tea. These findings are published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry.

2) Organic cacao powder is rich in flavonoids which can support heart health by reducing blood pressure and relaxing blood vessels. The Zutphen Elderly Study published in 2005 found that flavonoid intake was inversely associated with coronary heart disease, and high systolic and diastolic blood pressure.

3) Cacao is a natural mood booster because it stimulates the release of endorphins and serotonin in the brain. Feeling a little blue? Cacao also contains anandamide which leaves us feeling blissful and elevates our happiness levels.

4) Cacao powder is a brain food. The journal Neurology published preliminary research suggesting that cacao may improve cognitive function and the flow of blood to the brain.

5) Cacao is one of the richest food sources of magnesium, which aids over 300 chemical reactions in the body. Magnesium supports everything from cardiovascular function to bone health. A one-ounce serving of cacao powder contains over 30% of the Daily Value (DV) for magnesium.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Red Lentil Soup

Red Lentil Soup

1 1/2 cups red lentils
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon cumin seed
3 cardamom pods
6 curry leaves
6 cups chicken stock

2 T ghee or vegetable oil
2 teaspoons mustard seeds
2 garlic cloves, cut in half
salt and pepper
1 lemon


Saute the garlic, mustard seeds, cumin seed, cardamom and turmeric in the ghee or vegetable oil until fragrant. Add the lentils and broth. Bring it to a boil, then simmer until soft, about 30 minutes. Carefully pour into a blender and puree. Salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with fresh cilantro.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Gluten Free No Rise Quick Pizza and Zucchini Pizza (no grain)

No-rise quick gluten free pizza

2 c Cup4cup flour or your favorite gluten free flour blend
2 T sugar
1 T yeast
1 t salt
1 c warm water

While you're making the pizza dough preheat a pizza stone in the oven at 500 degrees and get 2 pieces of parchment paper ready for the pizza dough.

Then mix together all the dough ingredients with your hands. Spray your parchment and your hands with a little cooking spray. Split the dough in half and press it carefully onto your two pieces of parchment paper. Put the dough carefully onto your preheated pizza stone and cook for 8 minutes. Take it out of the oven and top with your favorite sauce and toppings. Then put it back in the oven for 8-10 minutes or until golden. If you have a pizza peel to move the pizza back and forth it's much easier.

Zucchini pizza crust (no grain)

3 c zucchini grated and ring it out in a towel to get rid of all moisture.
2 eggs
1/2 c grated Parmesan
1 t Italian seasoning
1 t salt

While you're making the pizza dough preheat a pizza stone in the oven at 500 degrees and get a piece of parchment paper ready for the pizza dough.

Then mix together all the crust ingredients with your hands. Spray your parchment with a little cooking spray. Press the crust carefully onto your parchment paper. It should be very thin but with no holes. Put the crust carefully onto your preheated pizza stone and cook for 8 minutes. Take it out of the oven and top with your favorite sauce and toppings. Then put it back in the oven for 8-10 minutes or until golden. If you have a pizza peel to move the pizza back and forth it's much easier.


Rosti with "daddy eggs" (as my children call them because daddy makes them for them this way and they love them).
I went with my husband on a business trip to Switzerland last year and it was love at first bite with Rosti. I was determined to learn to make them. This is the closest I've gotten.

4-5 medium potatoes
4 T butter

Parboil 4-5 medium russet potatoes. Put them in a pot of cold water and boil them for exactly 6 minutes. Then let them completely cool in the fridge. Once cool peel them and grate them. Melt 2 T butter in a large skillet, once melted put the grated potatoes in the skillet and gently press down. Cook at medium for about 10 mins until the edges are golden. Carefully put a plate inside your skillet top side down and flip the potatoes over onto the plate. I like to use pot holders on my hands while doing that. Melt another 2T butter in the skillet and carefully slide the potatoes back into the pan to cook the other side. Once the second side is golden brown put the plate back in the skillet and flip the pan to get the potatoes onto the plate. Salt and enjoy!

Friday, August 29, 2014

"Man Pleasing Chicken"

When I read the title of this recipe I chuckled, but my man really was pleased when he ate it! He loved it, and I loved it because it was so easy and it was delicious.

Man Pleasing Chicken (she adapted it from the Trader Joe's cookbook)

1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs
1/2 c Dijon mustard (I've used coarse grain mustard and it works as well)
1/4 c Maple syrup
1 T Rice/rice wine vinegar
1 T Fresh rosemary chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix the mustard, syrup, and vinegar together. Put the chicken in a foil lined baking dish. Pour the mustard mixture over the chicken. Bake at 450 degrees for about 40 minutes or until chicken reaches 165 degrees.

Miranda Lambert's family Meatloaf

This is our favorite meatloaf recipe. It makes a ton a freezes well. It's unique and delicious. I usually use gluten free crackers to make it for my husband who has Celiac. I saute the peppers and onions before I put them in the mixture.

Miranda's Meatloaf Recipe

2 lbs. ground beef
1 lb. ground breakfast sausage (mild or regular)
1/2 sleeve of finely crushed saltines or Ritz crackers
2 eggs
1 dash of Worcestershire
1 tsp. prepared mustard
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. ketchup
1/2 c. finely chopped bell pepper
1/2 finely chopped onion

Mix all the above ingredients together (best option: dig in with both hands!). Put into a baking dish (casserole or loaf style).

Bake at 350° for 1 hour. Prepare topping while baking.

Blend together 1 c. ketchup and 1/4 c. brown sugar.

After baking, pour grease off of loaf. Spread topping over meat generously. (If using a large pan you may need extra; use ratio above.) Place pan back in the oven for 15 minutes to bake. Let cool for 5-10 minutes before cutting. ENJOY!

Read more:

Ham and Swiss Sliders

These little sandwiches look simple, but they have an unforgettable and creaveable taste. I make these for baby showers a lot. A perfect shower, brunch, potluck dish.

Ham and Swiss Sliders
adapted from:

24 Hawaiian rolls
24 pieces good honey ham
24 small slices swiss cheese

{poppy seed sauce}

1 1/2 T poppy seeds
1 1/2 T yellow mustard
1 stick butter, melted
1 T dried minced onion
1/2 tsp. worschestershire sauce

Place a slice of ham & a slice of swiss inside of each roll. Put the rolls on a cookie sheet very close together. Wisk the poppy seed sauce ingredients together. Pour evenly over the sandwiches. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes or until cheese is melted. Serve warm (but they're still good cold)

Balsamic Honey Pulled Pork Sliders

I love this recipe. I've served it on little Hawaiian rolls but our favorite way to eat it is stuffed into a baked potato with coleslaw and bread and butter pickles on top. It's unique and delicious! I like to buy the trader joes frozen bell peppers, it makes things even easier!

Balsamic Honey Pulled Pork Sliders


2 1/2 – 3 pound boneless pork shoulder roast
1 cup chopped onion (1 large)
3/4 cup chopped green sweet pepper (1 medium)
1 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 cup balsamic vinegar
3/4 cup ketchup
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
20 cocktail-size whole wheat hamburger buns or small round dinner rolls, split and toasted
Deli coleslaw
Sweet or dill pickles, coarsely chopped

Trim fat from meat. If necessary, cut meat to fit into a 3 1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker. In the cooker, combine onion and sweet pepper. Add meat; sprinkle with thyme and rosemary. Pour broth over meat.

Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 9 to 10 hours or on high-heat setting for 4 1/2 to 5 hours.

Meanwhile, for barbecue sauce, in a medium saucepan, combine vinegar, ketchup, brown sugar, honey, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, garlic, black pepper, and salt. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 20 to 25 minutes or until slightly thickened, stirring occasionally.

Transfer meat to a cutting board. Using two forks, pull meat apart into shreds, discarding fat. Strain vegetable mixture, discarding liquid. Return shredded meat and strained vegetables to cooker. Stir in barbecue sauce. If using high-heat setting, turn to low-heat setting Cover and cook for 1 hour.

To serve, spoon meat mixture onto bun bottoms. Top with coleslaw and pickles. Add bun tops.

Source: Better Homes & Gardens

Tomatillo Albondigas Soup

This is one of my favorite soups. Tangy and fresh tasting. It's also very hearty. I usually serve it with chips or cheese crisps. You can use whatever ground meat you want. It's a great way to use left over rice.

Tomatillo Albondigas Soup

adapted from:

2 pounds fresh tomatillos, husks removed and washed
1 medium onion cut into quaters
6 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 bunch cilantro

8 cups chicken broth divided

Meatballs (Albondigas)
1 pound ground beef
1 pound ground pork
1 medium onion, diced
1 cup cooked white rice
2 eggs
1 t salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

quartered limes
diced avocado

Put all the soup ingredients (only 2 cups of the broth at this point) in a large pot. Bring to a boil then simmer for about 15 minutes, until everything is softened. Pour into a blender and carefully blend. It's boiling hot, so put a towel over the top of the blender so you don't burn your hand. Return the mixture to the pot and add the rest of the chicken broth. Bring it back up to a low boil.

Mix the meatball mixture up and roll the meatballs into 1" balls. Drop the meatballs into the boiling soup as you form them. Once the meatballs are cooked through serve the soup with the garnishes.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Gluten free meatballs with Marinara Sauce and Zucchini Noodles

Gluten free meatballs with Marinara Sauce and Zucchini Noodles

I make these meatballs in bulk and freeze them for meals. I make zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash instead of pasta a lot because I find that my kids eat about the same amount either way.

Gluten Free Meatballs

2 lbs ground meat (whatever meat you use, I like using bison)
1 large onion sauted in olive oil until very soft)
2 cloves of garlic, minced and sauted with the onions when the onions are almost done
2 eggs
1 t salt
1/2 t pepper

I keep the flavor very simple so I can use them in a variety of dishes.
Mix everything together. Roll into 2 inch balls, put them on a foil lined pan and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Once cooled put them in gallon bags and freeze until you need them.

Marinara Sauce

1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic minced
Olive oil
1 large can crushed tomatoes, I use San Marzano but use what your budget allows.
2 T tomato paste
1 t salt
1/4 c loose torn basil leaves or 1 t dried basil

Sauté the onion in olive oil until very soft. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste and salt. Let it simmer for about 10 minutes. Add the basil and more salt to taste if needed.

For the zucchini you can cut them into julienne strips, use a mandolin to slice or use a veggie peeler and just peel each side in long strips until you reach the seeds. Toss or compost the core. I use a steamer pan and put the zucchini strips inside. The moment I see steam come out I take the zucchini off the steamer and put it on the plates.

Fast Red Beans and Rice

Fast Red Beans and Rice

1 package low sodium sausage sliced
1 large bell pepper sliced (I like to use the Trader Joes frozen multi-colored peppers)
1 medium onion sliced
2 cans red beans, drained and rinsed
1-2 t Zatarains Creole Seasoning

Saute the sausage, peppers and onions together until everything is heated through and soft. Add the beans and Creole Seasoning. Serve over your favorite rice. So fast, so easy, so yummy!

Garam Masala Chicken

Garam Masala Chicken

4 lbs bone in skin on chicken legs and thighs
2 c plain yogurt
8 cloves of garlic, mashed
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
1 t salt
2 lemons, the zest and juice
1 T garam masala
1 T paprika
1 t tumeric

Marinade the chicken in all the other ingredients combined for 6 hours to overnight. Line a pan with foil and place the marinaded chicken on it. Bake at 375 for about 45 minutes or until done. Then broil for about 5 minutes to get the skin crispy.

I served this with sauted veggies, roasted potatoes and raspberries.

This served 2 adults, 4 kids with a lunch for my husband and still about half left to freeze and use later.

Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon Rolls

These are amazing. I think it's the pudding in them. Everyone I give them to loves them and wants the recipe. A special cinnamon roll for sure.


1/2 cup boiling water
1 cup milk
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
4 cups bread flour
1 box (3.4 ounces) instant vanilla pudding mix
2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast


1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon


4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup


Put the boiling water and milk in the bowl of your mixer with the bread hook attachment on. Add melted butter, sugar and yeast. Stir and let it sit for a few minutes. Add salt, egg and 1 c flour. Mix for about 30 seconds. Add the pudding and the rest of the flour. Mix on low for 1 minute, then on high for 1 minute to knead it.

Let it rise for 1 hour or until doubled. Roll it out. Top with filling (put the filling ingredients in a bowl and heat together for 10 seconds in the microwave. Then mix it together with your hand before spreading on the dough. You want it to be a paste consistency.), roll it up and slice it. Put it in a baking pan or two. Let it rise again for about 30 more mins. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.

Top with frosting. For the frosting just wisk all ingredients together.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Lactation promoting energy bites - will add picture and more info later

Mix together with your hands in a big bowl:

2 c natural peanut butter
1/2 c pure maple syrup
1/3 c milled flax seed
2 t vanilla extract
2 c old fashioned rolled oats (important that they're old fashioned and not quick oats)
1 7 oz bag shredded coconut
1 c puffed quinoa (
8 T brewers yeast
1 12 oz package mini chocolate chips
1 c craisins

Mix together thoroughly. Roll into balls, put into gallon freezer bags and put in the freezer. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Christy's famous chocolate chip cookies

Christy's Famous Chocolate Chip Cookies

These are my friend Christy's amazing chocolate chip cookies. They have the perfect crispiness on the outside and chewy middle from baking them on a baking sheet.

2/3 cup butter
2/3 cup crisco
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar (packed)
2 eggs, room temp.
2 tsp. vanilla
3 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
24 oz. package semi-sweet chocolate chips (the big bag)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cream together butter, crisco, sugars, egg and vanilla. Mix in one cup flour, baking soda and salt. Add other two cups flour, mixing after each addition. Mix in chocolate chips. Yes, I know it looks like too many chocolate chips but really - have you ever heard anyone say "There are too many chocolate chips in these cookies"? No, me neither. Place LARGE scoops of dough (I use an actual ice cream scoop and really pack it in) on a preheated baking stone (you can use a cookie sheet, but you'll get better results with a stone) and bake for 9-11 minutes depending on your oven. DO NOT overbake. The cookies will look slightly underdone. Let them sit on the stone for a few more minutes until they're solid enough to be moved with a spatula and transfer to a cooling rack. Let them cool a little, then put in a ziploc or plastic container while they're still warm. The steam from the warm cookies inside the sealed container is what keeps them soft and yummy.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Cooking with essential oils - gluten free high protein pancakes and wild orange buttermilk syrup

High Protein Pancakes

High Protein Pancakes (gluten free)

2 c cottage cheese
6 eggs
4 T agave or honey
2 t vanilla
2 t baking powder
½ t salt
1 c uncooked rolled oats (quick or old fashioned are fine)
½ c uncooked quinoa
1 drop Cinnamon essential oil
1 drop Wild Orange essential oil

Put all ingredients in a high powered blender. Blend on high for about a minute. Make silver dollar size pancakes on a griddle at 325 degrees.

Wild Orange Buttermilk Syrup

1/2 c unsalted butter
3/4 c brown sugar
3/4 c granulated sugar
3/4 c buttermilk
2 T brown rice syrup (can also use corn syrup)

1 t baking soda
2 t vanilla
2 drops Wild Orange essential oil

Put butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, buttermilk and brown rice syrup in a medium-large pot. You don't want to use a small one because this will bubble over. Melt everything together and bring to a boil. When it reaches a boil turn it down so it's a low boil. Boil at a low boil for 6 minutes. Remove from heat and add essential oil, vanilla and baking soda. The mixture will bubble and foam so wisk quickly. Continue to wisk for several minutes until the foam is all gone and you're left with a caramel syrup. You can put over pancakes, waffles, ice cream or whatever you want.

Cooking with essential oils - Bread dipping oil

Bread dipping oil

Put 1/2 c olive oil in a bowl, drizzle 1/4 c balsamic vinegar over the oil. Stir in 1 drop of black pepper essential oil. Sprinkle 1/4 c grated Parmesan cheese over. Serve

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Cooking with Essential Oils

Over the past several months I've been learning about using essential oils in my home. I've really enjoyed learning about them and using them. One of the many ways I use them in my house is in my cooking. I'm teaching a class this week about cooking with essential oils and these are the recipes I will be sharing.

Orange Truffles (gluten free)

1 20 oz bag of dark chocolate chips
1 ½ c heavy cream
2 drops Wild Orange Essential oil

Put the chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl. Put the heavy cream in a pot and scald it (very hot but not boiling). Pour the hot heavy cream over the chocolate chips. Wisk until melted together. If you still have pieces of chocolate chips that won’t melt then microwave the mixture for 20 seconds, wisk again, repeat as needed until melted together. Add essential oil and stir. Cover and put in fridge until hard. Use a melon baller to make small balls. Coat in hard chocolate coating like almond bark (I buy mine from so it’s gluten free and I like the quality). Top with an almond if you want.

Peppermint Truffles (gluten free)

1 20 oz bag of dark chocolate chips
1 ½ c heavy cream
3 drops peppermint essential oil

Put the chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl. Put the heavy cream in a pot and scald it (very hot but not boiling). Pour the hot heavy cream over the chocolate chips. Wisk until melted together. If you still have pieces of chocolate chips that won’t melt then microwave the mixture for 20 seconds, wisk again, repeat as needed until melted together. Add essential oil and stir. Cover and put in fridge until hard. Use a melon baller to make small balls. Coat in hard chocolate coating like almond bark. (I buy mine from so it’s gluten free and I like the quality)

High Protein Pancakes (gluten free)

2 c cottage cheese
6 eggs
4 T agave or honey
2 t vanilla
2 t baking powder
½ t salt
1 c uncooked rolled oats (quick or old fashioned are fine)
½ c uncooked quinoa
1 drop Cinnamon essential oil
1 drop Wild Orange essential oil

Put all ingredients in a high powered blender. Blend on high for about a minute. Make silver dollar size pancakes on a griddle at 325 degrees.

Cilantro Lime Salsa (gluten free)

1 can diced tomatoes
1 can rotel
1 small can sliced jalapenos (can add more if you like more heat)
1 handful cilantro leaves
1 t garlic powder
¼ t cumin
½ t salt
2 drops Lime essential oil

Put all ingredients in blender and blend on low until all combined but not too pureed.

Tangerine Fruit Dip (gluten free)

2 – 8 oz packages of cream cheese
1 c vanilla yogurt
1/2 c honey
1/2 c heavy cream (1 c of whipped cream would work too)
4 drops Tangerine essential oil

Whip together and serve with fruit. I added 1/2 c heavy cream. It was a little too dense.

Jillard’s Curry (gluten free, just make sure your curry paste is gf)

15 oz Chopped tomatoes ( or use one regular can of diced Tomatos)
4 Skinless chicken breast – cubed
2 Medium onions – finely chopped
2 Cloves of garlic- finely chopped
1 Inch sized piece of ginger – finely chopped (or 2 drops Ginger essential oil)
1 Tsp Turmeric powder
0.5 Tsp Chilli powder
2 Tsp Cumin seeds
1 Tsp salt
0.25 cup of Vegetable oil
2 Tbs Madras or Jalfrezi curry paste
10 Curry Leafs chopped (Optional)
Heat the oil in a pan and add the cumin seeds. When crackling add the chopped onion and fry until golden. Add ginger and garlic and after 2 minutes add the turmeric, chilli, salt.
After 2 minutes add the curry paste mix well then add the tomatoes.
Mix well and add the chicken and after 5 minutes add 2 cups of water, cover and allow to simmer for at least 40 minutes.

Aloo Gobi (gluten free)
4 large potatoes
1 medium head of cauliflower
4 t cumin seeds
¼ c cooking oil
1 c water
2 cloves garlic
1 drop Ginger essential oil
1 drop Corriander essential oil
½ t turmeric
1 t salt
Cut potatoes into chunks, and separate cauliflower into florets. Mix ½ cup of the water, the garlic, turmeric, ginger, coriander and salt in a small bowl and set aside. Heat cooking oil in a large saucepan. Add cumin seeds to the oil and cook until they pop a little but don’t overcook, they burn easily. Add water mixture to the cumin seeds and stir to combine. Add the potatoes and cauliflower. Mix thoroughly. Add the other ½ c water. Bring water to a boil, then simmer and cover until the potatoes and cauliflower are tender. Keep an eye on it, you might have to add more water.

Blender waffle (gluten free)
3 c buttermilk
3 c uncooked grains (combination of oats, quinoa, brown rice, millet, amaranth, etc)
4 eggs
4 t vanilla
4 T agave or honey
4 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
4 T melted coconut oil
1 ½ t salt
2 drops Cinnamon essential oil
Put all in a high powered blender. Blend and use in waffle maker as directed. When mine is a little too thin I like to add some peanut butter powder.

No-Knead Bread (Rosemary)
Jim Lahey at the Sullivan Street Bakery via Mark Bittman at New York Times

Yields one 1 1/2 pound loaf

3 cups bread flour, more for dusting
1/4 teaspoon yeast
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 c cool water
Cornmeal or wheat bran as needed.
2 – 3 drops Rosemary essential oil

1. In a large bowl combine flour, yeast, salt and essential oil. Add water, and stir until blended; dough will be sticky. Add a little more water if you need to make it sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at room temperature, out of sunlight, about 70 degrees.

2. Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles and it's a little bit darker of a color. Use lightly floured hands to pull the dough off the edges of the bowl and tuck the edges in to make it a round ball. Make sure there is a light coating of flour all over the ball of dough, not too much, just enough so you can pick it up without the dough sticking to your hands.

3. Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal; put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal. Fold towel over to cover dough and put it in a draft free place to rise. Let it rise for 1-2 hours. When it is ready, dough will be doubled in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.

4. A half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 475°. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up; it may look like a mess, but that is O.K. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes (I ended up only baking mine 10 minutes extra), until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.

On Guard Wassail (gluten free)

2 c apple juice
1 c cranberry juice
4 drops On Guard essential oil
2 drops Wild Orange essential oil
2 drops Lemon essential oil

Mix all ingredients in a saucepan. Heat until hot, enjoy.

Teriyaki Sauce (gluten free)

1 c soy sauce (I use gluten free Tamari soy sauce)
1 c mirin
1 c brown sugar
4 cloves garlic, sliced in half
2 drops Ginger essential oil

Wisk all ingredients in a saucepan. Bring it almost up to a boil, then turn down to a low simmer and simmer for about an hour. Watch very carefully the whole time. It boils over easily. I use this sauce on chicken or salmon. When using chicken I use chicken thighs. I simmer the chicken thighs in teriyaki sauce just until cooked. Then I put the chicken on a foil lined cookie sheet in a single layer and spoon more sauce over. Then I broil the chicken on both sides until all the fat renders off.

Pasta Sauce (gluten free)

1 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes (preferably San Marzano tomatoes)
1 medium onion diced
2 T olive oil
2 cloves of garlic minced
1-2 drops Basil essential oil
Salt to taste

Put oil, onion and a little bit of salt in a skillet. Cook on medium heat until onions are very soft. Add garlic and cook for a couple of minutes. Do not let garlic burn. Add the tomatoes and Basil. Let the tomatoes simmer for about 20 minutes. If you want a tighter sauce you can add 1 T of tomato paste. Salt to taste.

Lemongrass Chicken (gluten free)

2 lbs chicken thighs

3 T brown sugar
2 T diced onion
2 T minced garlic
1-2 drops Lemongrass essential oil
3 T fish sauce
1 T soy sauce
1 T oil

Mix all marinade ingredients. Put chicken thighs in a bowl or gallon plastic bag. Add marinade ingredients. Mix well and put in the fridge to marinate overnight. When you’re ready to cook it you can cook it on a grill or under the broiler in the oven on both sides until all the fat is rendered off. I like to serve this with rice, julienne carrots and cucumber and fresh cilantro. You can also add siracha or garlic chili paste for some spice.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Jello Fruit Roll Up

Easy, cute, fun and the kids LOVED them.

Jello Fruit Roll Up

Gelatin Pinwheel/ Fruity Roll-Ups

1 (3 oz.) pkg. jello

1/2 cup water

1 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows

Lightly spray an 8 or 9 inch pan square pan with non-stick cooking spray and make sure it is spread well.

Stir together water and jello powder in a glass bowl and microwave for 1 minute. Remove bowl and stir well making sure jello is dissolved. If necessary, return to microwave for 20 seconds or so to make sure jello is dissolved and stir again.

Add marshmallows and return to microwave for 20-40 seconds or until marshmallows have just begun to puff. This is the key to a successful marshmallow layer! If you over cook the marshmallows, they just dissolve and your roll-up will not have two distinct layers.

Whisk quickly until marshmallows are dissolved.

Pour quickly into prepared pan and chill in fridge for 45 minutes or until well set. Creamy layer will float to the top.

Remove the pan from fridge. At this point, the jello should be very firm and easy to handle. Gently pull one side away from pan and lift entire sheet onto counter. Starting at one end, roll up tightly. With seam side down, cut into 10-12 (1/2) inch slices. We found it easiest to cut with a piece of thread or dental floss. Just put the string around roll-up, cross and pull.

Curry Pancit

Curry Pancit

I made this recipe from a pancit recipe my moms been making for years.

I put 10 cups of chicken broth in a pig pot. Add 1/4 c soy sauce (tamari to make it gluten free), 2 t fish sauce, 1 T sesame oil, and 2 T curry powder. Bring it to a boil and put in a shredded cooked rotisserie chicken, sliced green beans, sliced carrots, sliced onions, sliced celery or any other veggies you want to add. Once they're soft take them out with a large straining ladle and put in a large bowl. Then to the boiling broth add a package of pancit noodles. Cook the noodles for 5 minutes. Strain and add noodles to the veggies and mix well. I like to run a knife through the noodles a few times to break them into smaller pieces. Serve with lemon wedges if you like.

I love these noodles! They keep well in the fridge for several days.

Raspberry Vinaigrette Salad

Really delicious salad. After making it once I've been asked to bring it to many other parties.

Raspberry Vinaigrette Salad

2-3 Romaine Hearts, Shredded
1-2 apples chopped
1 pkg. Bacon, cooked and chopped
1 pkg. Walnuts
1 pkg Feta Cheese

1 cup Sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dry mustard
1/2 cup Red wine vinegar
1/2 small Red onion
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tsp poppy seeds

Combine 1st 5 ingredients for dressing in a blender and blend till smooth. Slowly add in oil while blender is running. Stir in poppy seeds. It's easy and yummy as that!

Black Bean Chocolate Cake

This is a really good cake. It's gluten free and my go to chocolate cake. It's good with or without frosting.

Black bean cake:

1 15 oz can of black beans, 5 eggs, 1 T vanilla, 1/2 t salt, 6 T unsalted butter melted, 3/4 c granulated sugar, 6 T unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 t baking powder and 1/2 t baking soda. I just put everything in my vitamix and blend it up. If you have a regular blender you should blend the butter, eggs, vanilla together, then add, sugar, baking powder and soda together and blend again, then add cocoa powder and blend and lastly the beans and then blend really well. Bake it like a cake at 325 for about 40 minutes.

Brazilian Cheese Bread

This is our favorite gluten free roll. You may have had this at a Brazilian Steakhouse before. They're really easy, no rising or anything. I put everything in my Vitamix and blend, pour and bake. Tapioca flour is also Yucca flour.

Easy Brazilian Cheese Bread
1 egg*
1/3 cup olive oil
2/3 cup milk
Scant 1 1/2 cups (170 grams) tapioca flour
1/2 cup (packed, about 66 grams) grated cheese, your preference, though we got the best results from Mexican farmer's cheese - queso fresco
1 teaspoon of salt (or more to taste)
Special equipment recommended:
One or two mini muffin tins. Mini muffin tins are about half the size of a regular muffin pan. The muffin openings are about 1-inch deep, and 1 3/4 inch wide at the top.
*It helps when baking with eggs to start with eggs at room temperature. If you don't plan ahead (that would be me, usually) you can put the egg in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes to gently take off the chill of the fridge.
1 Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease a mini-muffin tin. Put all of the ingredients into a blender and pulse until smooth. You may need to use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the blender so that everything gets blended well. At this point you can store the batter in the refrigerator for up to a week.
2 Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until all puffy and just lightly browned. Remove from oven and let cool on a rack for a few minutes.
Eat while warm or save to reheat later.
Note that Brazilian cheese bread is very chewy, a lot like Japanese mochi.
Yield: Enough batter for 16 mini muffin sized cheese breads.

Chocolate Charlie

This was a yummy easy to put together treat. Salty and sweet.

Chocolate Charlie
- Theresa Mears

Chocolate Charlie Theresa Mears

2 lb Ghirardelli chocolate broken up and melt in microwave

Add 1 c. peanut butter 2 c. mini marshmallows

3 c. rice crispies 2 c peanuts

Pour into 9 x 13 pan and cool, cut in pieces

Nutella Rice Krispy Treat

These were SO good and really easy. I left out the shortening.

Nutella Rice Krispy Treats

Print This Recipe
6 cups Rice Krispy Cereal
1 (10.5 oz) bag mini marshmallows
1/4 cup butter
1 heaping cup Nutella
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
1 cup Nutella
1 Tbsp. shortening

Measure out Rice Krispies cereal into a large bowl and set aside.
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and marshmallows together until smooth.
Once marshmallows and butter have melted together add Nutella and stir until well combined.
Pour marshmallow mixture over the cereal. Stir to coat evenly. Press into a greased pan.
To make topping, heat Nutella, chocolate chips and shortening in a medium sauce pan over medium-medium low heat until smooth. Spread over the top of Rice Krispy Treats.
Stick in the fridge and let it set up. Once they have set, cut into them and eat up!

Chex Heaven

Chex Heaven

- Sasha Murray

My friend Alashandra who has Celiac shared this recipe of her sisters with me. It's a delicious Gluten Free treat. I don't usually use the butterscotch chips.

1 ½ C. Karo Syrup
1 ½ C. Sugar
1 ½ C. Peanut Butter

Heat Karo syrup and sugar together in saucepan over
medium heat, until just barely boiling. Add peanut butter
and stir well. In a large bowl, pour mixture over entire box of
cereal. Mix well. Spread in thin layer on wax paper on counter

1 (16 oz) Box Corn Chex
1 bag Milk Chocolate

½ bag Butterscotch

and let cool a bit. Melt chocolate chips in microwave. Pour
into a Ziploc bag, cut a tiny hole in the corner and drizzle
the chocolate over the chex mixture. Do the same with the
butterscotch. Let cool and dig in!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Spinach Dip

I made this spinach dip for a baby shower tonight, it was delish!

Spinach Dip

2 10 oz packages frozen spinach, thawed and drained
2 14 oz cans of artichoke hearts, drained and finely chopped
2 8 oz packages of cream cheese
1/2 c mayo
1/2 c sour cream
1/2 c shredded parmesan cheese
1 c c shredded mozzarella cheese
5 cloves of garlic, minced
4 stalks green onion, diced

Mix everything together in a big bowl. Put the mixture in a 9 x 13 pan and bake at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes or until heated through and bubbly and slightly golden.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Monster Cookies (Gluten Free)

This is a new recipe I made today. They are delicious!! They're gluten free and they don't have any butter. You won't miss it!

Monster Cookies (Gluten Free)

4 cups extra crunchy peanut butter
3 cups granulated sugar
1 c brown sugar
5 eggs
2 cups oats
4 t vanilla
1 t salt
4 t baking soda
2 cups chocolate chips
1 c M&M’s

Mix everything except the chocolate chips and M&M’s in a large bowl with your hands. Add the chips and M&M’s and mix again with your hands.

Put on a greased cookie sheet about a 2 t ball a couple of inches apart. Bake at 350 for about 10 minutes. You want to bake them until they're set, but don't bake until they're golden or they will be too crunchy and dry.

Gluten Free Carrot Cake (will add picture soon)

Gluten Free Carrot Cake

Mix together:
2 1/2 cups sugar
4 eggs
8 oz crushed pineapple, drained
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
¾ c buttermilk
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups finely shredded carrot, packed
3/4 c shredded sweetened coconut

Add and mix:

1 1/4 cup brown rice flour
3/4 cup potato starch
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1/2 cup sweet rice flour
2 1/2 tsp xantham gum
1 Tbsp baking soda
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg

Pour into a 9 x 13 pan and bake for about 40-45 minutes at 350 degrees or until cooked through.

While warm pour over the buttermilk glaze. Once completely cooled top with cream cheese icing:

Buttermilk glaze:

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ t baking soda

· Bring first 4 ingredients to a boil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Boil, stirring often, 4 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in vanilla and baking soda. Be ready to mix because the mixture will bubble up after you add the vanilla and soda. Keep stiring it until it’s a nice glossy glaze, then cover the cake with it.

Cream Cheese Frosting:
3/4 cup butter, softened
12 oz cream cheese softened
3 cups sifted powdered sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

·Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Add powdered sugar and vanilla; beat until smooth.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Mini German Pancakes

These were really cute and were good but I think I prefer German pancakes cooked in a big pan. This was just wasn't as buttery since the butter is mixed in instead of melted at the bottom.

Mini German Pancakes
1 cup milk
6 eggs
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. orange zest (optional)
1/4 cup butter, melted

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Blend first six ingredients (milk thru orange zest) in a blender. Be careful to see that any flour clumps get well-blended.
2. Blend in butter a little at a time in order to temper the eggs.
3. Grease muffin tins well and distribute batter evenly between 24 tins (I did more like 18. Gimme Some Oven’s tins were slightly less than half-full. I used a 1/4 cup measuring cup and filled it almost full.) Bake for 15 minutes, or until puffy and golden on top.
4. Served with your favorite toppings. (Mine was a dusting of powdered sugar and triple berry sauce. I have other suggestions up top)

Chicken Pot Pie Crumble

I thought this was really good but Matt gave it just a good rating. It's like having pie crust all throughout instead of just on the top and bottom.
Chicken Pot Pie Crumble
1 1/2 Lbs chicken
3 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 onion , chopped fine (about 1 cup)
3-4 carrots, peeled and sliced (about 1 cup)
1/2 c. celery, chopped fine
salt and pepper (to taste)
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 c. flour
1 c. milk
3/4 c. frozen peas

Crumble Topping:
2 c. flour
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
6 Tbsp unsalted butter , cut into 1/2-inch cubes and chilled
3/4 c. Parmesan cheese
1 c. heavy cream

FOR THE CHICKEN: Bring chicken and broth to simmer in covered Dutch oven over medium heat (If you don't have a dutch oven, just use a stock pot). Cook until chicken is just done (8 to 12 minutes). Transfer cooked chicken to large bowl. Pour broth through fine-mesh strainer into liquid measuring cup and reserve. Do not wash Dutch oven.

FOR THE TOPPING: Combine flour, baking powder, salt, pepper, and cayenne in large bowl. Sprinkle butter pieces over top of flour. Using fingers, rub butter into flour mixture until it resembles coarse cornmeal. Stir in Parmesan. Add cream and stir until just combined. Crumble mixture into irregularly shaped pieces onto a baking sheet. Bake at 450-degrees until fragrant and starting to brown (10-13 minutes). Set aside.

FOR THE FILLING: Heat 1 tablespoon oil in now-empty Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, carrots, celery, salt and pepper. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until just tender (about 5 minutes). While vegetables are cooking, shred chicken into small bite-size pieces. Transfer cooked vegetables to bowl with chicken; set aside.

Heat butter in empty Dutch oven over medium heat. When foaming subsides, stir in flour and cook 1 minute. Slowly whisk in reserved chicken broth and milk. Bring to simmer and stir until sauce thickens, about 1 minute. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and stir chicken-vegetable mixture and peas into sauce.

Pour mixture into 9x13 pan (or if you have small individual-sized oven-safe dishes, you can use those-- see picture above). Scatter crumble topping evenly over filling. Bake at 400-degrees until filling is bubbling and topping is well browned (about 12-15 minutes). Serve hot and enjoy!

Korean Beef Tacos

You cook this in the crock pot. It was easy and good.
Korean Beef Tacos
3-4 pounds beef roast (I used a trimmed chuck roast)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup soy sauce (La Choy and Tamari Wheat-Free are gluten free)
1 head garlic (peeled, but leave cloves intact--approx 10 cloves)
1/2 onion, diced
1 inch fresh ginger root, peeled and grated
2 tablespoons seasoned rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 whole jalapeno, diced (be careful! use gloves!)

The Directions.

Use a 6-quart slow cooker. Okay. This truly can't be any easier. I didn't brown my meat, but I did trim off the visible fat. I can make these directions complicated and tell you to add this or that first,
but it honestly doesn't matter. This is going to cook on low all day long, and the ingredients will distribute just fine all on their own. Throw everything in however you'd like.

Cover, and cook on low for 8-10 hours or until meat has fully shredded---

Raspberry Lemon Pie

I made this for Thanksgiving. It was delicious! Lemony and tart.
Raspberry Lemon Pie

1 (10-oz.) package frozen red raspberries in syrup, thawed
1 T. cornstarch
3 egg yolks
1 (14-oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup ReaLemon lemon juice from concentrate
1 (6-oz.) packaged graham cracker crumb pie crust
(I prefer to make my own graham cracker crust - it is not as pretty, but I think it has more flavor. Recipe follows.)
Whipped Topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In small saucepan, combine raspberries and cornstarch; cook and stir until thickened and clear. In medium bowl, beat egg yolks; stir in sweetened condensed milk and lemon juice. Pour into crust; bake 8 minutes. Spoon raspberry mixture evenly over top. Chill 4 hours or until set. Spread with whipped topping and serve.

Graham Cracker Crust

Combine 1 cup crushed graham cracker crumbs, 1/3 c. sugar and 1/3 c. melted butter. Press into the bottom of a pie pan. Bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees.

Hot chocolate on a stick with homemade marshmallows

I tried a few recipes for hot chocolate on a stick and this is by far my favorite. It's like a chocolate truffle so it's delicious when you eat it off the stick or melted in milk as hot chocolate. The marshmallows are delish and easier than you think!

Homemade Marshmallows

Scroll to the bottom for an easy-print version of this recipe!

.75-oz unflavored gelatin (3 envelopes of Knox gelatin)
1/2 cup cold water
2 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cups light corn syrup
1/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Confectioners sugar, Cornstarch (optional)

Line 9 x 9-inch pan with plastic wrap and lightly oil it. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup cold water. Soak for about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine sugar, corn syrup and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a rapid boil and boil hard for 1 minute.
Pour the boiling syrup into soaked gelatin and turn on the mixer, using the whisk attachment, to high speed. Add the salt and beat for 12 minutes. After 12 minutes, add in the vanilla extract beat to incorporate.
Scrape marshmallow into the prepared pan and spread evenly (Lightly greasing your hands and the spatula helps a lot here). Take another piece of lightly oiled plastic wrap and press lightly on top of the marshmallow, creating a seal. Let mixture sit for a few hours, or overnight, until cooled and firmly set.
In a shallow dish, combine equal parts cornstarch and confectioners’ sugar. Remove marshmallow from pan and cut into equal pieces with scissors (the best tool for the job) or a chef’s knife. Dredge each piece of marshmallow in confectioners’ sugar mixture.
Store in an airtight container.

Hot Chocolate on a Stick
Recipe Type: dessert, candy
Author: Rebecca Lindamood Adapted from King Arthur Flour
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 10 mins
Total time: 25 mins
Serves: 36
This creamy chocolate fudge confection can be nibbled in its pure form, skewered on a stick alone or with homemade marshmallows and simply eaten or swirled into hot milk for a hot chocolate that is second to none.

* 1/2 cup heavy cream
* 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk (1 1/4 cups)
* 3 cups semisweet chocolate (3 cups chopped chocolate bars or chips)
* 3/4 cup unsweetened baking chocolate (4 ounces)
* wooden sticks, lollipop sticks, candy canes or bamboo skewers
* optional, crushed candy canes, marshmallows and/or cocoa powder


1. Line an 8 x 8-inch pan or a 9 x 9-inch pan with foil and set aside.
2. Combine the cream and sweetened condensed milk in a heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Heat until it is steaming, but not boiling, stirring occasionally to keep from scorching.
3. Add all of the chocolate and remove from the heat. Allow the chocolate to melt, undisturbed, for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, whisk firmly until it is thick and shiny. You can add a few drops of flavoring extract or oil at this point, or add some powdered espresso or vanilla. Whisk vigorously again to incorporate the flavoring (if used.)
4. Use a rubber or silicone spatula to spread the mixture out evenly in your prepared, foil-lined pan. Allow to cool at room temperature 12 hours or overnight so that it firms slowly.
5. Take the fudge from the pan and remove the foil. Place on a cutting board.
6. Using a knife heated with hot water and wiped dry, cut the fudge into 36 equal-sized cubes. You can either stick a lollipop stick (or candy cane) into the center of each block or leave as is. Additionally, you can press the cut sides of the fudge into crushed candy canes, roll them in cocoa powder or top with marshmallows.
7. Wrap tightly and store at room temperature.

Chicken Parmesan

This is a video of making chicken Parmesan with croutons on the top instead of breading and frying. It's delicious and so easy. Mine didn't cook in 35 minutes. I ended up cutting the chicken into chunks and putting it back in the oven for another 25 mins.

You basically put a couple of T of olive oil in the bottom of a casserole pan. Add 1 T of minced garlic and mix it into the oil. Put 5 chicken breasts on top of the oil. Top with a jar of marinara sauce. Then sprinkle on mozzarella and Parmesan. Then spread a package of croutons on top and top with more of the two cheeses. Then bake at 350 until done. For me it was about an hour.

Monday, October 24, 2011

This recipe was really good. I served it over pasta. In place of the wine I used chicken broth.
Angel Chicken...slow cooker

You will need
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (about 1-1/2 pounds)

1 8-oz. pkg. fresh button mushrooms, quartered

1 6-oz. pkg. fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, caps sliced

1/4 cup butter

1 0.7-oz. pkg. Italian dry salad dressing mix

1 10-3/4-oz. can condensed golden mushroom soup

1/2 cup dry white wine

1/2 of an 8-oz. tub cream cheese spread with chives and onion

Hot cooked rice or angel hair pasta

melt butter in a saucepan....

add in italian dressing packet

stir in soup , wine and cream cheese until it combines and melts

cut up mushrooms (I used all button...because I had them)

mixture is combined...

place mushrooms on the bottom of slow with chicken....pour sauce on top...
close top and cook on low for 5 hours.

Stuffed spaghetti squash

This recipe was delicious. I filled mine with ground bison, onion, garlic, squash, tomatoes, Italian tomato sauce, bread crumbs, mozzarella and parmesan.

Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

Recipe by Courtney


* 1 spaghetti squash, cut lengthwise
* 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
* 1/2 tsp minced garlic
* 1/2 cup diced onion
* 2 celery stalks
* 4-5 baby carrots (or one carrot)
* 1/2 cup peppers
* 2 slices turkey bacon
* 1/2 cup each, zucchini & yellow squash
* 1 cup fresh spinach leaves
* 1/2 cup Italian-style diced tomatoes
* 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
* 3/4 cup marinara sauce
* 3 tbsp Chavrie goat cheese
* 1/2 cup reduced-fat mozzarella cheese
* parmesan cheese
* Salt, pepper, dried basil, or any other spices you enjoy


Preheat oven to 375F. Halve the squash length-wise and scrape out the seeds. Place the halves of the squash in a large pot of boiling water for 10-15 minutes. Set aside to cool.

In a large skillet, sauté the garlic and onion in olive oil. Add celery, carrots, peppers, and turkey bacon softened. Add zucchini, squash, tomatoes, and spinach and cook an additional 5 minutes.

Scrape the meat out of the squash and place in a large bowl. Add the sauteed veggies, breadcrumbs, marinara sauce, goat cheese, and spices. Mix and return the mixture to the empty squash halves. Top with extra marinara, mozzarella, and parmesan cheese. Bake until the top is bubbling and melted. ENJOY!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Granola Bars

I love this granola bar recipe. I adapted it from a few recipes I found:

2 1/2 C. quick oats
1/2 C. Rice Krispies
1/2 C. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 C. brown sugar
1/2 C. canola oil
1/4 C. honey
1 egg

Mix all ingredients (except for the chocolate chips). Once everything is combined gently fold in the choco chips.

Press the mixture into a baking pan lined with parchment paper.

Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes. Check them at 15. When they're slightly golden they're done. Let them completely cool then cut into bars.

Oven Egg Omlet

This was really good. We had it for dinner last week. I used bacon, cheese and green onion.
Oven Omelet Roll

1 cup milk
1/4 cup cornstarch
10 large eggs
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
salt and ground pepper
3/4 cup cooked ham, sausage, or bacon
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line bottom of a jelly roll type pan with parchment paper, leaving a 1-inch overhang on the two shorter sides. Grease parchment paper. Do not skip the parchment paper on this recipe. You need it to roll the omelet.
In a bowl, whisk together milk and cornstarch. Add eggs, mustard, 1 teaspoon salt, and teaspoon pepper; whisk to combine. Pour into pan. Sprinkle meat over top in an even layer.
Bake until edges of omelet are set, 15-18 minutes. Sprinkle with cheddar; bake until cheese has melted, 2 to 4 additional minutes.
Beginning at one shorter end, lift parchment, and roll up omelet tightly,
peeling back parchment as you go.
Slice and serve.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Cinnamon Roll Cake

This cake was really good and much easier than the process of making cinnamon rolls.
3 c. flour
1/4 tsp.salt
1 c. sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 c. milk
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. butter, melted

1 c. butter, softened
1 c. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. flour
1 Tbsp. cinnamon

Mix everything together except for the butter. Slowly stir in the melted butter and pour into a greased 9x13 pan. For the topping, mix all the ingredients together until well combined. Drop evenly over the batter and swirl with a knife. Bake at 350 for 28-32 minutes.

2 c. powdered sugar
5 Tbsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla

While warm drizzle the glaze over the cake.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Rigatoni Pie

I found this idea on pinterest. It looked like such a cool idea to make a simple dinner recipe fancy. It was really easy. Just make sure to put the spring form pan on a large pan with sides because the juices will leak out while baking.

Pasta Pie
Adapted from Martha Stewart

1 pound rigatoni
2 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 pound ground beef (I used ground sirloin)
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 can (28 ounces) good quality crushed tomatoes
Butter, for pan
1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
8 ounces coarsely grated mozzarella

In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook pasta until slightly underdone (I cooked mine for 12 minutes when the box indicated 14 minutes). One pound of pasta should be cooked in 6 quarts of water, make sure you are using a big enough pot so the pasta doesn't stick together. When done, rinse in cold water and drain again. Toss pasta with 1 Tablespoon olive oil to coat. Set aside.

Heat remaining 1 Tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add ground beef. Cook, stirring occasionally until browned. Add garlic, 1 teaspoon salt and pepper. Cook 2 minutes more.

Add crushed tomatoes; simmer until thickened, about 20 minutes.

Toss pasta with Parmesan cheese. Butter a 9-inch springform pan. Tightly pack pasta into pan, standing each piece on end. Spread meat sauce on top of pasta.

Push the meat sauce into the pasta holes filling each one up. Stuffing the meat into the holes is a weirdly satisfying task. Enough said.

Place in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top and bake another 10-15 minutes until cheese is golden. Remove from oven and let stand for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the edge to loosen and then unmold.

Cut into wedges and serve with any remaining meat sauce you might have.

Homemade Auntie Anne's Pretzels

I don't think these taste exactly like Auntie Anne's, but they're seriously good.

Homemade Auntie Annes Pretzels
Adapted From Korean American Mommy (
Makes: 10-12 large pretzels
Prep Time: 1 hour, plus 1 hour and 20 minutes for rising
Cook Time: 10 minutes

1 1/2 cups warm water
1 1/8 teaspoon active dry yeast
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/8 teaspoon salt
3 cups all purpose flour
1 cup bread flour

Baking Soda Bath
2 cups warm water
2 tablespoons baking soda

4 tablespoons butter, melted
rock salt
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon

2 cups powdered sugar
3-4 tablespoons water

To prepare your dough, combine 1 1/2 cups of warm water and yeast into the bowl of an electric mixer. Using a spoon, gently stir until your yeast dissolves. Then add your brown sugar and salt and stir until dissolved. Add your all purpose flour and bread flour and using the paddle attachment, mix on low for about 10 seconds until combined. Switch your attachment to the dough hook and mix on high for 5 minutes to knead your dough. If you don't have an electric mixer, you can knead by hand. Lightly grease a large pot by brushing the bottom and sides of the pan with olive oil. Place your ball of dough in the center of your pot, cover it, and let it sit for 1 hour in a warm space to rise. I keep my oven at 350 degrees and place the pot on top of the stove.

Immediately after making your dough, prepare your baking soda bath in a large mixing bowl by combining 2 cups of warm water and 2 tablespoons of baking soda. Stir until dissolved and continue to stir regularly while the dough is rising.

Once your dough is finished rising and has doubled in size. Put your ball of dough on a pastry mat and remove a section about 3/4 cup in size. You can break off as large or as small of a piece as you like depending on the pretzel size you want to make. Roll your section of dough into a long 1/2 inch thick string of dough. The length will vary depending on how big you want your pretzel, but the thickness should be no bigger than 1/2 inch in diameter. When rolling the dough, I found it helpful not flouring my work surface and lightly wetting my hands with water (not soaking wet). To get the right shape, roll the dough up and down with your hands, all the while pushing from the center out to get a long and narrow string of dough. That's what worked for me, but you'll find a good rhythm of your own too I'm sure!

Once you have your long string of dough, bring one end to the center, letting it hang slightly over the edge. Then bring your other end over and weave it underneath the first loop to get a pretty knot. Then dip your pretzel into the baking soda bath water, making sure to hold its shape in place. Place it on a well greased cookie sheet, making sure to put them about 1 1/2 inches in between each other. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees and let your pretzels sit for 15-20 minutes before baking to allow for a second rise. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown.

Meanwhile, prepare your dipping ingredients. Melt about 4 tablespoons of butter. Then mix your sugar and cinnamon together if you're making cinnamon sugar pretzels. To make an icing glaze to dip your cinnamon sugar pretzels in, combine your powdered sugar and water together in a bowl. Mix until combined and set aside for dipping. When your pretzels are cool enough to handle, generously brush them all over with your melted butter. Then dip in your cinnamon sugar mixture until coated or sprinkle with sea salt. Serve your traditional pretzels with a side of mustard for dipping or serve your cinnamon sugar pretzels with icing.

Deep Dark Chocolate Cookies

I found these cookies on pinterest, my new favorite obsession. They're good. Rich and yummy. You definitely don't want to over bake these.

Deep Dark Chocolate Cookies
Nonstick vegetable oil spray

1 1/2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips (about 9 ounces), divided

3 large egg whites, room temperature

2 1/2 cups powdered sugar, divided (I used 2 cups)

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray 2 large baking sheets with nonstick spray. Melt 1 cup chocolate chips in glass bowl in microwave, stirring twice, about 2 minutes. Cool slightly.

Using electric mixer, beat whites in large bowl to soft peaks. Gradually beat in 1 (I halved the sugar here) cup sugar. Continue beating until mixture resembles soft marshmallow creme. Whisk 1 cup sugar, cocoa, cornstarch, and salt in medium bowl to blend. On low speed, beat dry ingredients into meringue. Stir in lukewarm chocolate and 1/2 cup chocolate chips (dough will become very stiff).

Place 1/2 cup sugar in bowl. Roll 1 rounded tablespoon dough into ball; roll in sugar, coating thickly. Place on prepared sheet. Repeat with remaining dough, spacing 2 inches apart. Bake until puffed and tops crack, about 10 minutes. Cool on sheets on rack 10 minutes. Transfer to rack; cool.

Yield: Makes about 18