MY KITCHEN

My kitchen has got to be my favorite room in my house. If you need to find me, that’s where I’ll be.  If I’m not cooking or eating, I’m working at the island or on the floor playing with the dogs.  The same goes for my beagle Aiden; he’s either sitting at the breakfast nook bench keeping watch over the neighborhood out the patio doors, or laying on the gel mat in front of the island, perfectly in the way (he has the best life).  When we moved in everything was builder grade, beige and lacking organization.  Since we’ve lived here we’ve really made it our own; adding a fun, fresh paint color, open shelving and storage, and a cozy little breakfast nook, (which is really just a coffee table from IKEA that I upholstered to turn into a bench, and an antique folding table that was just the right size!).  The next project will be tiling the back splash and adding hardware to the cabinets, so look for updated posts when I get around to that! (Click on the thumbnails below for larger images!)

Photos by Dan Buckley

ONE MINUTE FRUIT DIP

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This is the fastest, easiest thing you will make, and possibly the yummiest.  Depending on how fast you can open a tub of cool whip, a box of jello, and stir, this should take you literally a minute to make.  The best part is, the flavor possibilities are endless!  You can use whatever jello pudding or jello gelatin you want!  As a fruit dip I highly recommend either strawberry gelatin or french vanilla pudding mix.  I’ve also used it as icing for cakes, a topping on fruit pizza and a quick fix for chocolate mousse (or any kind of mousse!).  But be warned, this stuff is soooo yummy, that it’s usually gone before the fruit is.

One Minute Fruit Dip

1 container of Cool Whip (fat free, original, extra creamy, whatever your fave is!)

1 three ounce package of jello powder (do not mix it as directed, you just want the powder)

Mix cool whip and jello powder until well combined. It’s good to go right away but best if you let it sit in the refrigerator a few hours.  Serve with your favorite fruit for dipping.  Yep, it’s that easy!

Photo by Dan Buckley

COULDN’T RESIST

I found this little gem at a used book store today! It’s a 1953 edition of Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book. Not too gluten free friendly but the retro housewife inside me couldn’t resist!!!

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THE SALTY CHIHUAHUA

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I know there are varying opinions on grain alcohol and its effects on a gluten intolerance; some experts say the distillation process takes the gluten out, and others don’t agree.  Well I say, who cares when you can have tequila!  Made from the blue agave plant, tequila is for more than shots and margaritas.  My go to cocktail is the salty chihuahua, gluten free cousin to the vodka greyhound.  The best part is, though reminiscent of the previously mentioned high calorie margarita, the salty chihuahua contains about 300 to 400 calories less!   Which means, you wont feel salty after you drink a salty chihuahua!

The Salty Chihuahua:

*Makes four drinks

Coarse salt

4 ounces of your favorite tequila, divided (I prefer Patron Silver)

4 cups grapefruit juice, divided (fresh is best if you’re willing to put in the effort)

Wet the rims of four glasses and coat with coarse salt, fill glasses with ice. Pour one ounce tequila into each glass and top with one cup grapefruit juice, stir.  (Raspberry garnish is optional) That’s it, now enjoy!!!

* A word of warning though, if your stomach hasn’t had time to heal itself after recently being diagnosed with a gluten intolerance, grains or no grains, alcohol will be harsh on your stomach and intestines and can possibly cause inflammation and discomfort.  So take it easy at first until you know how you’re going to react!

Photo By Dan Buckley

SWEET POTATO SLIDERS

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I love mini food, so in my previous gluten-filled life, I loved sliders! Little baby sandwiches, lined up on a plate with a side of fries; there’s nothing cuter.  When I had to give up those cute little buns, I needed a replacement.  I always had fries with my sliders so I thought “why not replace the bun with potatoes!” and thus, the sweet potato slider was born! I have to admit, a lot of times the roasted potato rounds don’t even make it to be topped because they’re so yummy on their own.  In this particular version my sliders are BBQ pulled pork, but if you would put it on a sandwich, you can put it on a potato so feel free to play around and let me know what you come up with!

Sweet Potato Sliders

*Preheat oven to 450 degrees

1 large sweet potato

1 tbsp olive oil

Salt and Pepper to taste

Favorite recipe for BBQ pulled pork (or gluten free store bought)

Rinse and dry sweet potato (no need to peel it), slice into 1/4 inch rounds, coat with olive oil and season to taste.  Arrange potatoes in a single layer on a foil lined cookie sheet and bake 20-25 minutes (or until golden brown) turning once halfway through cooking.

Top potato rounds with your favorite recipe (or premade) BBQ pulled pork and finish with another round to make a sandwich (or leave it open faced and eat with a fork).

Serve with coleslaw or your favorite veggie!  The sweet potato/bbq/pork combination is amazing!

Photo by Dan Buckey

GREEK YOGURT PARFAIT

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Most days I get home from work so late that a real meal seems like too much and I just want a quick fix that will fill me up so I don’t go to bed hungry.  I created this recipe before I figured out that I had a gluten intolerance.  There was about a month where everything was so inflamed that the last thing I felt like doing was eating, and I only did so because I knew I had to.  Really, the only thing that sounded tolerable was a bowl of rice chex and milk, but after my one thousandth bowl of cereal, I needed more.  That’s when I layered Greek yogurt, fruit and chex, gentle enough for my angry tummy, but so different from what I had been eating that my taste buds must have thought I was eating some million calorie gourmet treat.  I continued to live off of this until I found out what was “wrong” with me.  It sounds so simple, (and it is!) but the combination of apple cinnamon, blueberry and vanilla tastes so decedent that it’s hard to believe this takes about a minute to make. You can even change  out the flavors of (gluten free) chex and fruit to make it your own, another yummy one is vanilla Greek yogurt with strawberries, bananas and chocolate chex! It’s so yummy and satisfying that I still eat it at least two or three times a week!

Greek Yogurt Parfait

1 cup vanilla greek yogurt

¼ cup blueberries

¼ cup Apple Cinnamon Rice Chex

Layer ingredients in a cute glass and enjoy! (yep. It’s that simple)

*This is a really great recipe to enjoy if you’ve just found out about your gluten intolerance or recently ate something containing gluten, the active cultures in Greek yogurt are really beneficial to healing your angry insides and reducing inflammation.

 

Photo By Dan Buckley