Wednesday, November 13, 2013

I'm back and I brought Stuffing!

Over the summer I had a few health concerns that got me researching ways to feel better naturally.  In everything I read, going gluten free, seemed to be the best, and easiest way to go.  So, I dove in head first and went with it.  It took a little getting used to, especially since I love to bake, bread, cookies, muffins, cakes, whatever...  But, I'm finding some fantastic gluten free options that I will be sharing!

With Thanksgiving and Christmas rapidly approaching, I decided I better get moving and find some delicious ways for me to enjoy the holidays without making my family think they are missing out on the traditional dishes.  Today I'm excited to share the stuffing/dressing recipe that I've come up with.  We love it!  It is a cornbread based stuffing, filled with flavor and perfectly moist!

First you need to bake up some cornbread.  This one is my favorite! 

Gluten-Free Cornbread

4 tbsp butter, melted and cooled
2 large eggs
1/4 cup honey
1 3/4 cups sour cream
2 cups coarse yellow cornmeal
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 can of corn, drained

preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter a 9 inch square baking dish, and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the butter, eggs, honey, and sour cream.  When it is well combined, stir in the remaining ingredients, blending well after each addition.

Pour the mixture into the baking dish and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Once the cornbread is done. remove it from the pan and place on a wire rack to cool. 

When it has cooled, cut it into 1/2 inch cubes.  Place on a baking sheet and return it to the oven, to toast the bread cubes and dry out a little.

While the cornbread is toasting gather the remaining ingredients

Holiday Cornbread Stuffing
4 tbsp butter
1 medium to large onion, diced
3 stalks of celery, sliced
2 granny smith apples, peeled, cored and diced
Salt and Black Pepper to taste
1-2 tbsp poultry seasoning
1 tbsp dried parsley
1 recipe prepared cornbread, cubed and toasted in oven
3 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup milk
2 cups of chicken stock, or homemade chicken stock

In a medium saucepan over medium low heat, melt the butter, add the onion, celery, apples, salt, pepper, poultry seasoning, and parsley and cook, covered until everything has softened, about 10 minutes. Set aside to cool, about 10-15 minutes.

Grease a 9x13 baking pan with butter. Set it aside.

Place the cubed, toasted cornbread in a large bowl, and stir in the cooled onion mixture. 

Combine the eggs and milk in a small bowl and whisk to combine.  Whisk in the chicken stock and pour the mixture over the cornbread mixture.  Pour into prepared dish and smooth the top.  Cover with foil and bake for 35-40 minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit, or until the egg is set, uncover and bake an additional 7-10 minutes until the stuffing is nicely browned.  Serve warm.

Saturday, November 2, 2013


We're making some changes here in my kitchen.  Watch for some wonderful things to come!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Pumpkin Buns

Every year, twice a year actually, we are given the opportunity to listen to the Prophet and Apostles of our Church during General Conference.  We have loved to start traditions with our girls and I admit, most traditions are centered around food.  So, every October when we settle in to listen to conference we look forward to these delicious Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls aka Pumpkin Buns.  Pumpkin buns are something we look forward to for months ahead of time, they are sinfully delicious.  Topped with cream cheese icing, it really is perfect. 

Pumpkin Buns
Makes 24 buns

2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (about 110* Fahrenheit)
1 tsp plus 2 tbsp granulated sugar (honey works great too)
2 eggs
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 can, 15 ounces, solid-pack pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or cinnamon)

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon (or a mixture of cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice)

1 package, 8 ounces, cream cheese
1/4 cup butter softened
1 tsp vanilla
4 cups powdered sugar
1 tbsp milk

1. sprinkle yeast over warm water in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook.  Add 1 tsp of the sugar; let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.  Beat in remaining 2 tbsp sugar, eggs, butter, and pumpkin.
2. Gradually add 5 cups of the flour, salt, and spices, scraping the sides until a soft dough forms.  Turn your mixer on low and knead for 10 minutes, until smooth.  Dough will be soft.
3. Lightly grease a large bowl.  Add the dough, and cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot until doubled in size.
4. Coat two 9x13 pans with baking spray, set aside.  Make Filling: Mix butter, sugar, brown sugar and spices in a bowl.
5. Punch down dough.  Roll out half onto a lightly floured surface to form a 16x10 inch rectangle.  Spread with half of the filling.  Sprinkle raisins, or chocolate chips over sugar mixture.  Starting on one long side, roll up jelly-roll fashion.  Pinch seam to close.  Repeat with second half of dough and filling.
6. Cut each log into 12 equal pieces (about one inch each). Arrange pieces cut side down in prepared baking pan.  Cover with plastic wrap; let sit in a warm spot until buns double in size, about 30 to 45 minutes. (You can refrigerate one pan overnight, or cover plastic wrap with foil and freeze at this point.  Thaw in fridge overnight, then thaw on the counter while preheating the oven.)
7. Heat the oven to 350* Fahrenheit. Uncover pans and bake buns until they are golden brown and bubbly, 28-33 minutes (thawed buns bake for 36 minutes).  Transfer to a wire rack and let cool 10 minutes.
8. For Frosting: in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a beater blade, cream the butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy.  Add the powdered sugar a cup at a time, beating after each addition.  Add milk and more whip for 3 minutes. 
9. Spread icing on the just cooled buns and enjoy. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Berry Picking Adventures

A couple of weeks ago, my sisters and I decided to take the kids and go berry picking.  It was the perfect day.  Blue skies, and mild temperatures, and the picking was great.  We picked for about an hour and a half and I came home with almost 4 pounds of raspberries, scratches all over my arms, and a little sunburn, and it was all worth it!  We wasted no time making raspberry jam.  Raspberry picking is on our summer bucket list next year, and will probably become a new  summer tradition.  Great way for our kids to see where some foods come from, and work to making them into something they love.
Raspberry Jam
makes about 7, 8 ounce jars
5 cups crushed raspberries
1 package, 1.75oz powdered fruit pectin
7 cups granulated sugar 

Wash and sterilize jars and lids.

In a large pot, crush raspberries with a potato masher (I've found this is the easiest way to get the best consistency).  Whisk in pectin until dissolved.  Bring it to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently.  Add sugar all at once and return to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly.  Boil hard, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.  Remove from heat and skim off foam (I just put it in a small bowl, and stick it on some toast as a reward for all my hard work).

Meanwhile, place lids in a pot and cover with water.   Heat until boiling, and reduce to a simmer until needed.

Ladle hot jam in to jars leaving about 1/4 inch space.  Clean off the rim of each jar using a clean wet rag or paper towel.  Place prepared lids on jars, screw the band on until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip tight. 

Place jars in canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water.  Bring to a boil and process for 10 minutes.  Remove canner lid, wait 5 minutes, then remove jars, cool and store.  

If your house is like mine, it won't last long...  I'm already wishing I'd have made more.  

*From the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving

Monday, September 16, 2013

Fresh Creamed Corn

There are endless reasons why I love summer, many of them come in the form of summer foods.  This year a friend and I decided to grow a garden together.   Of course we had to plant corn.  There is nothing like corn on the cob, fresh from the garden.  After we'd eaten all the corn on the cob we could, I decided to try my hand at creamed corn.  I will have to say, it was delicious.  Fresh, creamy, and well, perfect.  Really put the canned creamed corn to shame. 

Creamed Corn

serves 4


8 ears corn, husks and silk removed 
1 tablespoon butter  
1 small onion, finely chopped (1/2 cup) 
1/2 cup heavy cream (I used half and half because that is what I had on hand)
1 teaspoon sugar 
Coarse salt and ground pepper


  1. Remove kernels: Cut off tip of each cob; stand in a wide shallow bowl. With a sharp knife, slice downward to remove kernels.
  2. Stand each cob over another wide shallow bowl. With the edge of a soup spoon, scrape downward to remove pulp.
  3. In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion, and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add corn kernels, pulp, and 3/4 cup water. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer; cover, and cook, until corn is tender, 10 to 15 minutes.
  4. Add cream and sugar; simmer, uncovered, until cream has thickened, 4 to 6 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve.

adapted from Martha Stewart

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Crockpot Kalua Pig

When my oldest daughter turned 2 we decided to throw her a luau to celebrate.  I am a planner, so I started months before trying to figure out just what to do for it.  During that time we attended a baby blessing (like a christening) for some dear friends of ours.  He is from Maui and she's from California.  So, needless to say there was a lot of really great food afterward.  Kalua Pig being one of them.  I knew that it would be the perfect meal for the birthday party... Easy and inexpensive to feed a crowd. 

Since that day, it has become a family favorite!  It freezes well too, so you can make a large roast and freeze portions for later.  Gives you the taste of Hawaii, without having to dig a pit and buy a whole pig.  Perfect  blend of salty and smoky on top of nutty brown rice, not much to look at but unbelievable flavor!

Kalua Pig

1 5-6 lb pork roast (bone in is best, adds flavor, but pork loin roast works too)
3 tbsp liquid smoke
Course sea salt

Place the pork roast in the crockpot, coat generously with salt (I mean very generously).  Pour in the liquid smoke, and add enough water to just about cover the pork roast, leaving about 1/4 uncovered at the top.  Cook it on low for 10-12 hours.  Check on the meat after about 5 hours of cooking, it may need more salt, add the salt to the water, not directly to the roast.  Continue cooking and shred the meat, serve over rice.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Happy National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day!!!

I love that just about every day is a holiday, whether it is big or small, and that most are celebrating food.  My kids have began to ask me each day, "Mom, what holiday is today?"  They look forward to doing something special with our meals, in one way or another. 

Today, is National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day!  I don't know anyone who wouldn't want to celebrate a chocolate chip cookie.  So it is only fitting that I share my favorite cookie recipe.  Soft, chewy, and filled with chocolate chips, you won't be able to get enough.

Chocolate Chip Cookies
2/3 cup Butter
2/3 cup Shortening or Coconut oil
1 cup Sugar
1 cup Brown Sugar
2 Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla
3 1/2 cups Flour
1 tsp Salt
1 Tsp Baking Soda
1 bag Chocolate Chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter, shortening, sugar and brown sugar until fluffy.  Add the eggs and vanilla.  Mix well.  Add the dry ingredients and mix until well blended.  Stir in the chocolate chips.

Using a cookie scoop, scoop dough onto parchment lined baking sheet.  Bake for 9-10 minutes.  Take them out when they look not quite done.  Let sit on the tray for 3 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack and try to let them cool, they are really that good.

** Variations **
Add 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts.
Add 1-2 cups toffee chips along with the chocolate chips.

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