Monday, August 31, 2009

Sombraro Pie

I have always loved this homey dish my mom made when we were growing up.  The seasoning was always just perfect and the crust was perfectly crispy, yet crumbly.  My mouth is watering and I just ate it.  For dinner tonight I actually doubled the recipe so that I would have leftovers which I will either freeze or we'll eat later in the week.  Another bonus, it is easy to make vegetarian and the flavor shouldn't change too much.  You could eat this with taco toppings if you desire, personally I just like it plain.

Sombraro Pie
(printer friendly recipe)
1/2 lb hamburger*
1 (14 oz) can black beans, drained*
1 lg onion, sliced
1 can diced tomatoes
1/2 C beef or veggie broth
1 can whole kernal corn (or 1 1/4 C frozen corn)
1-2 T chili powder (I do 1 1/2 T)
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 1/4 C GF Flour blend**
1/2 tsp xanthan gum**
1/2 C cornmeal
1 tsp salt
1/2 C oil
3 T cold water

1. In a large skillet brown meat and onion, adding beans when almost cooked.  Add tomatoes, broth, corn, chili powder, salt, and pepper.  Simmer for 10 minutes and pour into a 2 qt baking dish (pie plate, 11x7, 9x9).

2. While the sauce is simmering make the crust by mixing the flour, xanthan gum, cornmeal, and salt in a small mixing bowl.  Add oil and mix with a pastry blender until mixed.  Add water if too thick, it should be the consistency of soft, sticky, playdough.  Cut 2 pieces of wax paper slightly longer than the pan you will be using (just worry about the length of the paper, the width of the paper is enough for all the pans).  Place the dough between the paper and roll out to the size of the pan.

Place pastry over sauce and cut a hole in the middle (I cut a few holes since I doubled the recipe and did it in a 9x13).

3. Bake in a 400-degree oven for 30-35 minutes (35-45 minutes for a 9x13) or until the top is lightly browned.  Allow to sit for about 5 minutes before serving.

*Or 1 lb hamburger or 2 cans black beans
**For non-GF just use all-purpose and leave out the xanthan gum

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Personal Pizzas with Roasted Tomato Pizza Sauce

Today I was at a loss as to what to serve for dinner.  I asked my kids and they said "Pizza!" and since I already made bread I figured I was in the bread mode, and pizza sounded good.  Basically I made 6" pizza crusts and everyone got to make their own pizza on their type of crust (GF & non-GF).  I also made the sauce from scratch using my cherry & fresh tomatoes from the garden.  Love the garden.  My daughter had a pepperoni, pineapple, green pepper pizza.  I had a pesto, fresh tomato, pepperoni pizza, my son a pepperoni, my husband & my other daughter had the works.  It was a lot of work, but everyone was happy and it made for a lot of fun.

One note, I doubled the recipe to get 4 crusts so I could freeze 3 of them for later. That way the rest of the family can order pizza and my daughter won't be left out.  When I want one I will remove it from the freezer, allow it to thaw and then continue with step 5.  One bonus for her, she gets to have all her favorite toppings (assuming we have them on hand) all the time.

Personal Pizzas (printer friendly recipe) 
(crust recipe from Carol Fenster)
1 Tbsp yeast,
2/3 C rice flour
1/3 C tapioca flour
2 Tbsp dry milk powder
1 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp guar gum
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp unflavored gelatin powder
1 tsp Italian Seasoning
2/4 C warm water
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp cider vinegar
Pizza Sauce (recipe below)
Pizza Toppings (your choice)

1. Heat the oven to 500-degrees.  Place a cookie sheet into the oven while it is heating.
2. In a medium mixing bowl place mix all the dry ingredients together.  Add the the water, sugar, oil and vinegar.  Beat on high for 1 minute.  If the beaters jump around the bowl the dough is too stiff and you will need to add some water 1 Tbsp at a time until the dough softens up.  You can also do this in a food processor.

 3. Remove pans from oven and invert them, you will be baking the crusts on the bottom.  Liberally spread rice flour on parchment paper (I didn't have any so I just did it on the back of the pan.  This however is dangerous and I wished I'd had parchment paper, and plan to use it next time).  Divide the dough into 2 portions (Note: I doubled the recipe, that is why there are 4 crusts in above photo).  Spread each portion of the dough out on the flour into a 6" circle, making sure the dough is even thickness around and creating a thicker portion on the edge.

4. Bake crusts for 10 minutes in the oven.  They will be lightly browned.

5. Top with sauce and toppings.  Bake for another 10-15 minutes until the top is nicely browned.

Roasted Tomato Pizza Sauce
2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
2 C cherry tomatoes*
2 large tomatoes*, skinned** & coarsely chopped
salt & pepper
2 cloves of garlic, minced

1. Pour 1 Tbsp oil on a cookie sheet.  Toss the cherry tomatoes in oil, salt & pepper.  Place in a 425-degree oven for 30 minutes or until the tomatoes are browned and split.

2. Dump cherry tomatoes and regular tomatoes in a food processor or blender and process until only small pieces remain.
3. Heat remaining Tbsp of oil in a saucepan on medium heat, add garlic and cook for about 1 to 1-1/2 minutes.  Add tomatoes.  Bring to a boil and cook until thickened, about 20 minutes.

*You can just use a 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes if you want, but it won't be quite as tasty.
**Drop the tomatoes in a pot of boiling water for about 1 minute to easily remove the skins.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Pasta & Cheese

I'm almost ashamed to admit that until yesterday I had only had pesto once, bought from the store and I did not like it.  Which is even more surprising since I LOVE Basil.  Yesterday my kids and I had lunch at a friends where we had quesadillas.  My friend said that she had some pesto and suggested pesto quesadillas to which I decided to try it again.  They were so good I could hardly believe I had ever not liked it.  The main difference, it was freshly made not store bought.  Anyway, I ran to the store and bought the ingredients I needed to go with my fresh basil and made it for dinner to serve over pasta.  The problem: there was no way my kids were going to eat it so I decided they would have macaroni & cheese.  The next problem, no GF mac & cheese.  However, I did have some leftover GF pasta in the fridge from when we had Fresh From the Garden Sauce & pasta, so I decided to make a quick sauce to pour over and it turned out so good I had some myself. My husband ate it with pesto.

Pasta & Cheese (printer friendly recipe)
1 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp minced onion or 1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 T potato flour
1 C milk
dash of Worcestershire Sauce
1/3 C cheddar cheese
3 T Parmesan cheese
Cooked pasta

1. In a small saucepan over med heat, melt the butter.  Add the minced onion (if using) and saute for a minute or so.  Add the garlic powder, paprika, salt & pepper and saute a few seconds.  Add the flour and stir forming a crumbly roux.
2. Add milk a little at a time, whisking until smooth after each addition.  Add Worcestershire sauce.  Continue stirring until sauce boils.  Boil for 1 minute.  Add cheese and stir until melted.  Serve over cooked pasta. Makes 1 Cup sauce.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Fresh from the Garden Sauce

We have a really nice garden this year. It could even be argued that we have too nice of a garden this year, in that we 17 tomato plants including 3 cherry tomato plants. While I take full responsibility for the cherry tomato plants since I want to can Roasted Tomato Soup this year, the other tomato plants are about 7 too many for me. Let's just say that I will be very busy bottling tomatoes this year. We also have an abundance of crookneck squash since my husband planted one and then at the end of the garden planting asked each of the kids what they wanted to plant and my son also wanted a crookneck and not the one already planted, his very own. So today I went looking for crookneck recipes and found a bread that turned out delicious and am planning on adapting it for gluten-free in the next few days, I will add it when I get it done. Then it came time for dinner and I basically looked in the fridge and on the counter for all our produce and made a sauce. All of the ingredients, with the exception of the oil, chicken, salt, pepper, & pasta,came from our garden in the last couple of days. This turned out delicious and will have to make it again. It is heavy on the basil, if you don't like a heavy basil flavor you will want to reduce the basil perhaps by half and chop it instead of ribbon it.

Squash and Tomato Sauce with Chicken (printer friendly recipe)

2 1/2 Tbsp Olive Oil, divided
1 Chicken breast, cubed
1 Crookneck Squash, cubed
1 med onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 green pepper, diced
5 med tomatoes, skins on, cut into wedges
2 C cherry tomatoes**
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 Tbsp fresh rosemary
1/4 c fresh basil, ribboned
Cooked Pasta

1.* In a med-large saucepan heat 1 Tbsp oil over medium heat. Add chicken and saute until cooked through, remove from pan to a plate. Add 1 Tbsp oil to pan and saute squash until cooked through, but not slimy. Remove to the same plate with the chicken.
2.* Heat 1/2 Tbsp oil in saucepan. Saute onion, garlic and pepper until tender. Add tomatoes. Bring to a boil and cook for 5 mnutes.
3. Pour tomato mixture into a blender or food processor and process until it is a nice puree. Return to pan.
4. Add chicken and squash. Bring to a boil. Cook for about 10 minutes.

5. Meanwhile, ribbon the basil by rolling the leaves into a tube.
Then slice the roll.
6. Add basil and Rosemary to pan and cook for about 5 more minutes.
7. Serve over pasta.

*You can do steps 1 & 2 in seperate pans if you desire, the sauce will cook faster that way, I just didn't want to have to clean 2 pans.
*I didn't roast the tomatoes this time but next time I am going to. To do this: Heat the oven to 400-degrees. On a cookie sheet, combine the cherry tomatoes, 2 Tbsp olive oil, and salt and pepper. Toss the ingredients to coat evenly and spread in a single layer. Roast the tomatoes until they are shriveled with brown spots, about 35-45 minutes.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

M&M cookies

Every year for school I send some GF treats for my daughter to be kept in the freezer for when non-GF treats are brought to class. This year when I asked my daughter what she wanted she told me M&M cookies. I hadn't found a plain chocolate chip cookie that I really liked so I tried a new recipe from my The Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook and adapted it and found I loved this one, GF or not. I can't tell you how much dough I ate in the process. I think I am making regular M&M cookies for the rest of us today using this recipe. Enjoy!

M&M Cookies (printer friendly)

2 1/2 C GF flour
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp xanthan gum
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 C butter or margarine, softened
1/4 C shortening
3/4 C sugar
3/4 C firmly packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups (12 oz/"medium" bag) M&M's

1. Preheat oven to 375-degrees. Combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl.
2. Combine butter/margarine and shortening, beating until creamy. Combine sugars and gradually add to butter/shortening mixture, beat well. Beat in eggs and vanilla until well combined.
3. Mix in dry ingredients. Add M&M's and stir well.
4. Drop by heaping teaspoons onto an ungreased cookie sheet
5. Bake for 9-11 minutes. Cool a minute on the cookie sheet; remove to cooling racks to cool all the way. Yield: about 6 1/2 dozen.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Country Ribs in BBQ Gravy

I love ribs done in a crockpot with BBQ sauce smothered over them. I also like them this way done in a Dutch Oven as we did last week while camping. That said, I was looking for another way to cook them today. I went searching at for something and found this recipe. I thought I'd try it with a few teaks and it turned out delicious, it reminded me a little of swiss steak.

Country Ribs in Gravy (printer friendly)

3 lbs country style pork ribs (bone-in or boneless)
1 C water*
1/2 C ketchup
1 medium onion, chopped
2 Tbsp vinegar
1 Tbsp brown sugar
4 tsp worcestershire sauce
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground mustard
1 beef bouillon cube*
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp pepper

1. In a hot skillet sear each rib until it is nicely browned. Use tongs to get the ends and any sides that won't sit on their own.
2. Place ribs in a slow cooker. Combine the rest of the ingredients and pour over the ribs. Cook on high for 1 hour and then reduce to low for 3-4 hours. Or just place on low for 8 hours.
3. Remove ribs and cover with tin foil to keep warm and thicken the liquid for gravy. Pour over ribs and potatoes or rice.

*Or 1 C beef broth

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Butter Pecan Squares

One of my favorite cookbooks is my Lion House Desserts cookbook. The Lion House is a restaurant in Salt Lake City that serves delicious food. One nice thing for me is that all the recipes are created at a higher altitude so I have never had any problems, especially with cakes. More importantly, all the recipes I have tried are divine and all the ones that I haven't look to be. This cookie is no exception. However, a true tragedy occurred in the making of these cookies. They call for chocolate chips and when I went to get some from my store room I was out! All I had was one package of mini chocolate chips. I must confess, this never happens. I buy chocolate chips by the case, but I guess in my pregnant/post pregnant state I didn't notice I was running low. Now I have to go get more, hopefully they are on sale. That said, the mini chips worked just as good, it just distributed the chocolate more evenly throughout the cookie, which isn't all bad. I should note that we were ready to eat the cookies before they were completely cool so the chocolate is not completely set and they were delicious!

Butter Pecan Squares (printer friendly)

1/2 C butter, softened
1/2 C packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 C flour
1/4 tsp xanthan gum
2 C milk chocolate chips
3/4 C chopped pecans

1. Preheat oven to 350-degrees and grease and 8-inch square baking pan.
2. In a medium mixing bowl cream butter, sugar, egg & vanilla together until light & fluffy. Add the flour and blend in. Stir in 1 C chocolate chips and 1/2 C pecans. Spread batter into prepared dish and bake for 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle the remaining 1 C chocolate chips on top of the cookies. Wait for the chips to melt and spread evenly over the cookies with a knife. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 C pecans. cool, then cut into squares. makes 16.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Rosemary Potato Bundles

One of the blogs I love is The Pioneer Woman Cooks. The woman who writes it is the wife of a rancher who likes meat and potatoes with all the cream, salt, butter, etc. Consequently, her food is delicious, if not a little fattening. I personally love her site and her food. That said, my husband is desperately trying to eat healthier and The Pioneer Woman is not what he is looking for. (Truthfully, I should be eating healthier, but I choose to ignore that voice in my head, most of the time). So the other night I made The Pioneer Woman's Potato Bundles and added some fresh Rosemary instead of Parsley and fell in LOVE! And so did my husband. Even though I reduced the butter and used half-and-half instead of cream he wondered if I couldn't make them even healthier and suggested using olive oil. It sounded good, I do like roasted veggies done with olive oil, I figured these should be good also. I was right, so you could say these are a lighter (not light) version of The Pioneer Woman's Potato Bundles. For more precise photos of how to assemble these check out the link to the Potato Bundles above.

Rosemary Potato Bundles (printer friendly)

Potatoes (1/person)
Onion, chopped
Olive Oil or butter (about 1/2 Tbsp-1 Tbsp butter/person)

1. You will be making individual "bundles" with 1 potato (or more if you like) per person. Make tin foil "squares" large enough to accommodate the ingredients.
2. Dice each potatoes into about 3/4 to 1-inch cubes and place each diced potato on a square of tin foil. Add chopped onion, as much as you prefer, I used 1/2 med onion for 5 people.
3. Add about 1-2 tsp olive oil to each "bundle" (I just poured a little on). Sprinkle with salt, pepper, paprika, & cumin. Top with a few leaves of fresh rosemary.
4. Wrap the foil tightly around the bundles and bake on a cookie sheet in a 375-degree oven for 45 minutes or until very tender.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Squash & Mushroom Crustless Quiche

We have an abundance of squash in our garden so I am always looking for ways to use it. This recipe was created by taking eggs and adding some sauteed squash, mushrooms, half-and-half, and cheese that was in the fridge plus some seasoning. It was delicious and I am going to have to make it again.

Squash & Mushroom Crustless Quiche
1 C sauteed zuccini & crookneck squash*
8 eggs
1 can mushrooms, drained
3/4 C half & half
1/2 tsp onion powder (if don't saute onions with squash)
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

1. Saute squash if you don't have some in the fridge. Basically thinly slice and saute in butter. Add onions, if desired.
2. In a med bowl, mix together all ingredients. Pour into a greased 11x7 pan.
3. Bake in a 350-degree oven for about 40 minutes or until golden brown.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Fruit Pizza

One of my favorite things to eat in the summer is Fruit Pizza. The more fruit I can find, the better. This weekend we had a family get together and it was the perfect opportunity to make the pizza since the recipe makes a lot. It takes a little work, but it is well worth it!

Fruit Pizza
Favorite Sugar Cookie Recipe Dough
1 8 oz pkg cream cheese (or substitute - I like Tofutti)
1/2 C granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Fruit (see step 4)
Orange or Pineapple Sauce (recipes below

1.For the crust, press the cookie dough onto a large, well greased cookie sheet and bake in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Allow to cool.
2. If making orange sauce (recipe below) cook and allow to cool to room temperature.
3. Make topping by combining cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla. Spread on cooled crust.
4. Mix together any variety of fruit which you like, the more variety the better. I usually go to the produce section and get one of everything. Red apple, green apple, banana, mango, plum, pear, strawberries, peaches, raspberries and use canned pineapple (save juice if making pineapple sauce) and canned mandarin oranges.
5. Top with topping of choice and chill until the topping is set.

Orange Sauce
1 C sugar
3 T cornstarch
1 C orange Juice
3/4 C water
1/4 C lemon juice

1. In a saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Add orange juice, water and lemon juice. Stir well and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Cook 1 minute. Chill in refrigerator.

Pineapple Sauce
(This is the sauce used in Kathryn's Fruit Salad)
Pineapple juice from a 20 oz can of pineapple
2 heaping Tbsp cornstarch
1/2 C water
1/2 C sugar
2 tsp lemon juice

1. Combine water, cornstarch, and pineapple juice in a saucepan. Bring to a boil stirring constantly until thick. Add sugar and lemon juice. Pour mixture over pizza while still hot. Yes while hot, it won't hurt the fruit or pizza at all.

Soft Sugar Cookies

I must admit that, as a general rule, Sugar Cookies are not my favorite cookie. I'm more a chocolate chip gal. That said, I love "Lofthouse" sugar cookies you buy in the store. Obviously, those aren't GF so my daughter doesn't get them, and to make matters worse, her favorite cookie is sugar cookies. Then my sister adapted a recipe in a church cookbook that we have fallen in love with. I have to admit I had to eat one of the GF cookies since I don't have any regular. So yummy! This time I was using the cookie dough leftover from making Fruit Pizza so I only made 7 cookies and was too lazy to make frosting. As I rummaged around my kitchen looking for something to top them once I realized my regular sprinkles were gone, and found the sugar cane my parents brought back from Hawii and it was perfect. They turned out so pretty and delicious!

Soft Sugar Cookies (printer friendly version)

2 sticks butter
1 C sugar
1-1/2-2 eggs*
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 C sour cream
3 C flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder**
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp soda
3/4 tsp xanthan gum**

1. In a mixing bowl cream butter, sugar and eggs. Add vanilla and sour cream, mix well.
2. Combine dry ingredients and add to butter mixture, beat well.
3. Refrigerate overnight
4. Roll out and cut into shapes. Sprinkle with sprinkles, if desired.
5. Bake at 375 for 8 minutes. Frost, if desired.

*To make 1/2 an egg, crack into a small bowl and scramble. Pour 1/2 into recipe.
**NON-GF: reduce baking powder to 1 tsp and omit xanthan gum.


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