Tag Archives: favorite

My Grandmother’s Baked Mac and Cheese

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I have tried to eat healthier lately, but I have been saving and waiting for a moment to indulge in one of my favorite treats: macaroni and cheese. Not only is this recipe absolutely delicious, it is my grandmother’s recipe and one of my new favorites!

While it is a bit lengthy to prepare, it is so easy and uses common ingredients. There is no flour or tedious cheese sauce preparation involved whatsoever. It is just a super cheesy, easy, baked dish. I can’t get over how amazing it is. It was difficult to stop eating, even once I was full. I just wanted to eat the whole dish! Luckily I have quite a bit of leftovers.

I made a lot because it was for three people, and there were still TONS of leftovers!

Ingredients:

  • 24 oz Elbow Macaroni, gluten free
  • 24 oz Cottage Cheese
  • 8 oz Sour Cream
  • 4 cups Cheddar Cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • GF Bread Crumbs or Parmesan Cheese, grated (to add a thin layer on top)

Instructions;

  • Cook Pasta according to package directions
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Mix the cottage cheese, sour cream, cheddar, and eggs in a large bowl
  • Add to pasta and mix until well combined/even
  • Put mac and cheese into a greased casserole dish and top with your choice of GF bread crumbs or Parmesan
  • Bake Mac and Cheese for about 35 minutes
  • Let cool for 5 minutes or so
  • Enjoy!
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Broccoli Parmesan Fritters

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Last night my mom and I discovered a new recipe through Pinterest, a great way to discover new things…especially food! There are tons of gluten free recipes, including broccoli-parmesan fritters, my new favorite food. These things were amazing! I have never tasted anything like them and they were simply out-of-this-world delicious! These fritters, by Smitten Kitchen, are so easy and simple to make. Quick and rewarding, I wish I could make these every day. I already love broccoli, and my family has made a recipe in the past involving broccoli and cheese (which I really should post because it is delicious!), so I had high expectations for this recipe.

I cut the broccoli as dictated and let my mom steam it. Meanwhile, I mixed the other ingredients while the greens cooked. My favorite part, honestly? Mashing everything together before frying. Now, for this, we were not entirely sure how much oil to use. Some people have a layer of oil covering the pan, but if have not already noticed, I like to keep things healthier if and whenever possible. So we just had a little oil, which mostly gathered at the edges of the pan we were using, but also left a thin film in the center.

So finally, we compressed and patted our…dough? Mixture? Whatever you want to call it, into little patties. We got 7 good-sized fritters out of this recipe, each being about 3-4 inches or so in diameter, and about 1/2-1 inch thick. Once all the fritters were finished, and a beautiful golden-brown, I could hardly wait to try them. But first we lined the fritters up on a paper towel-lined plate and let them cool for just a minute. Finally I just couldn’t stand it. Abandoning any sort of utensils, I picked one up and took a tentative bite. I think I went to Heaven. It almost melted in my mouth (not actually). I didn’t want that first bite to end. I wanted to keep chewing. In short, the broccoli parmesan fritters were delicious, to say the least.

It was just my mom and I eating them, too, so we each got three (saving one for the next day) and then had some smoked salmon on the side. I was so full by the end of dinner. My mom ate her salmon with sour cream, and I had some cottage cheese on the side instead. We both agreed that this would definitely become a more common meal (which means I will hopefully have some pictures up soon), so I am simply dying to devour these once more!

Get the recipe for these delicious broccoli parmesan fritters now at Smitten Kitchen!

ALSO: Why just broccoli and parmesan? There are so many fritter options! I really want to experiment some with these delicious treats…potatoes, cauliflower, squash, zucchini…who knows what else!

Cottage Cheese Pancakes

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I have thought about making cottage cheese pancakes in the past, and I finally have. Recently, I have started eating cottage cheese more, as a quick snack or as a lunch or dinner side. Cottage cheese pancakes are healthier than regular pancakes and are made with cheese…how can they NOT be delicious? How can I not love them? Well I wanted to try them once and for all.

This recipe makes 4-5 four-inch pancakes, and the entire batch is only a total of 145 calories, so you can eat them ALL without feeling guilty or gross. What?! Yes, you heard correct. EAT THEM ALL. These cottage cheese pancakes are also so so SO delicious! They have a great texture and taste. I was skeptical at first about the cottage cheese making lumpy pancakes, but that was not the case at all. I know people who hate cottage cheese because of its appearance and texture, but none of those things are apparent at all. The cottage cheese pancakes look exactly like normal ones…you would never know the difference unless you looked at them very closely. Anyway, great texture and taste. They are cheesy, obviously, and they taste sort of like something I have had before, but I could not figure out what it was. It’s driving me crazy! Oh well. They are soft and hold together well, while nearly melting in your mouth. They break apart seamlessly, almost like liquid, but only if you tear them intentionally. Otherwise they stay bound together beautifully. The texture is not lumpy or chunky or anything like that at all. They literally cheesy pancakes. End of story.

I made these for brunch, along with some blueberries and raspberries, as you can see above. Please also note that my earlier statement about not being able to tell the difference between regular gluten free pancakes and cottage cheese pancakes is very much ratified in the above picture. Would you ever guess that was made of cottage cheese?

Two notes on the cooking instructions: Because cottage cheese is a little lumpy, you may want to blend it. I thought about using my family’s magic bullet, but as you know, I prefer to use less in my cooking. So I decided to see how the pancakes would turn out if just mixed all the ingredients longer and vigorously. As you can see they turned out remarkably. The lumps were very small and not noticeable at all after the pancakes were cooked. Also, cottage cheese pancakes do not require much heat after the first one…they cooked in no more than 20-30 seconds on medium low heat after the first one (on medium high). Trust me, do not go higher than medium low. I was shocked at how fast they cooked and almost burned my second one.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup cottage cheese
  • 1 tbsp rice flour
  • 1 eggs

Instructions:

  • Mix eggs and cheese slightly in a small bowl, and then add the flour. Vigorously mix all three ingredients for about 2 minutes.
  • (Optional: Put mixture into a blender or magic bullet and blend until mixture is smooth and there are few lumps. Let batter sit for a minute or two while you prepare a frying pan.)
  • Lightly grease pan and turn stove top heat up to medium high.
  • Pour 2-3 tbsp of batter and flip once steam begins rising from pancake edges. The first one will take slightly longer to cook than the others.
  • For the remaining batter, turn heat down to medium low and cook.
  • Serve warm.

Mac and Cheese-Pasta Casserole

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Sometimes a delicious, filling casserole is just the way to go. I forgot to include this recipe plan in my previous post, but this is tonight’s dinner. Mac and Cheese Casserole, an original family recipe. The name is mac and cheese casserole, but the recipe is also similar to a spaghetti or pasta casserole because of the meat sauce. I use macaroni noodles and the sauce is mixed with mostly cheese, so it actually is more of a mac and cheese casserole.

This is a totally gluten free-driven recipe. The sauce was checked to be gluten free, and Tinkyada rice noodles are obviously gluten free. The meat is unprocessed and the cheese is safe. Delicious and gluten free. This is not an official recipe in my family, meaning it is not physically written down anywhere, and we just sort of…made it. Because of this, some of the cheese amounts might be a little off. But honestly, if it’s cheese you’re talking about, a little extra is not a bad thing! This recipe is so delicious and one of my favorite meals. It is pretty easy to make, just mix well and make sure you cook it long enough. NOTE: If you do have trouble with the cooking time, know that my family has a casserole bowl dish that we use, so the bake time might be a little more or different from what you’d do if you have a shallower dish. Also, as an additional added note, shredded cheese would probably work as well as grated.

This is a great, very filling meal. My family had this and green beans and I was totally stuffed at the end. This is a perfect dish for a large group of people, but it is also fantastic for a normal meal (like my family did) and lots of yummy leftovers.

Ingredients:

  • 24 oz (1 1/2 bags or 6 cups) of gluten free pasta (I use Tinkyada brown rice elbow pasta)
  • 1 jar pasta sauce (I use Bertolli)
  • 1 pound ground turkey/beef
  • 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 3/4 cup Colby Jack cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup cottage cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

Instructions:

  • Put a large pot of water, filled halfway, on the stove to boil.
  • On a separate burner, start cooking meat.
  • Meanwhile, add pasta to pot and cook according to package directions.
  • At this time, preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  • Once meat is cooked, add sauce to the same pan and heat it up, stirring often.
  • When the meat sauce is finished, remove from stove and add cheese and (whisk before adding) egg, mixing well until cheese is mostly melted and the egg is well incorporated.
  • Keep cooked pasta separate from sauce.
  • Layer sauce and pasta noodles in a casserole dish; put some sauce down, then noodles, then more sauce, then noodles, etc.
  • Add Parmesan cheese on top.
  • Bake dish for about 40 minutes – Cheese on top should be well toasted and very browned/cooked.
  • Serve and let sit for a minute or so, as it will be very hot.

My Favorite Pancakes

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While I’m in the pancake zone, I may as well post my most favorite pancake recipe. I use Arrowhead Mills for this one, and they are SO wonderful! I usually put whipped cream and fruit on my pancakes, if I have it, but you can use any toppings you desire. Pancakes are a nice, simple recipe that are perfect for any sort of morning (unless your late for work or school) and that almost everyone enjoys. I love Arrowhead Mills because the texture is great and not too grainy, the taste is superb, and it is so easy to use. I tried multiple pancake mixes before I discovered Arrowhead Mills (and also Pamela’s, later on) and I am so grateful I did. While Pamela’s Pancake and Baking Mix is one of my favorite mixes to cook with, its pancakes aren’t quite as good as Arrowhead’s (but just by a hair or two). They are both so amazing, but this post is about my absolute favorites, Arrowhead mills.

NOTE: I plan on trying a new, original pancake recipe in the near-future, made from scratch. Look for it in the coming week or two!

Ingredients:

  •  1 cup Arrowhead Mills pancake mix
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 egg

Instructions:

  • Mix all ingredients until well blended, smooth, and there are no dry bits
  • Either heat a waffle/pancake maker or set up a frying pan on medium-medium high heat (grease both)
  • For maker: Pour batter and cook for 2-5 minutes (check them every so often once they are cooked enough)
  • For pan: Pour batter to preferred size (doesn’t matter as long as you can flip it!) and let cook for a minute or two. When small bubbles begin to form and steam starts rising from the pancake’s sides, flip the pancake and cook for an additional minute or so (or until golden brown)
  • Serve warm with any desired toppings

Pancake Crepes…NOT Scrambled Eggs

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Have you ever set out to do one thing, and then gone and done something entirely different? I do that sort of thing all the time. I sort of like incidents like that. I like the strange, small coincidences and circumstances. I am extremely into art, and this sort of occurrence is all too common with my work. I will set out with a perfect image in my mind, but as I begin and delve further into the piece, I find it taking a completely different form. I find something unexpectedly wonderful.

This morning I was very much in the mood to try my amazing crepe recipe again. Instead of reaching for the cornstarch, however, I grabbed my Arrowhead Mills pancake mix. I just thought, Hmm…I wonder if a crepe recipe would work with any mix. So I decided to try to come up with a recipe using my favorite pancake mix–Arrowhead Mills. I thought it would work because it is a very fine mix. Usually when I make pancakes, I use about 1 cup of the mix, so I decided to use 1 cup of…ingredients for the crepes. I know that there would need to be much more milk than mix, so I tried 1/3 and 2/3. When I set out to try this recipe, I just decided to go about it like I would if I were just making pancakes, except for the pancake mix/milk ratio. I also used a little less oil than normal because I knew there wouldn’t be as much dry mix to absorb it. Lastly, I threw in a pinch of salt because many recipes call for it. Keep in mind, I was experimenting…and it was a perfect shot. I will be making this recipe again using the same ingredients and amounts.

These were delicious delicious delicious! They were literally just super thin pancakes…but better, in my opinion. They were the tiniest bit chewy, and the edges were thinner and crispy, nearly dissolving on my mouth. I didn’t use any toppings or fillings with these crepes, but then again, I don’t use any toppings on my normal pancakes (except whipped cream and fruit, but we were out of whipped cream and I had fruit on the side).

So, the first crepe I made, while delicious, was a little…off. Luckily, I know what I did wrong; I used too much oil when I first greased my pan, so the batter kept swirling and sliding around. I had to let it set on the stove for almost a minute for it to stick and cook. By the time it was finished cooking, it looked like a scrambled egg, hence my post title. That sort of got me thinking, however. I think next time I might try to do something like that: scrambled pancakes. It sounds cheesy and odd, but to me all I thought was how fun and interesting it would be to try it out!

After the first crepe, I had a number of perfect pancake crepes! They were very easy to work with. Although, once I got down to my last two crepes (the oil had just about worn off and the pan was heating up fast), I had to work really fast. The batter started cooking so fast I had to use 4 tbsp to actually make a crepe. Next time I will not heat it as much toward the end.

Now, one last note: You do need to stir the batter right before pouring it onto the pan each time because the pancake mix becomes thick and forms together in one area (but not clumps). Just stir for a few seconds until the batter becomes smooth and is no longer thick.

  

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup Arrowhead Mills pancake mix
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • A pinch or two of salt

Instructions:

  • Mix all ingredients together well (with whisk) until totally blended/combined
  • Lightly cover a medium non-stick pan with olive oil and pre-heat over medium heat (do not over-grease)
  • Pour 3 tbsp of batter into pan and swirl batter around pan OFF THE STOVE until there is no excess batter to swirl
  • Continue cooking for about 15-30 seconds (back on the stove top) or until steam is coming up from sides
  • Quickly and carefully flip the crepe and cook an additional 10-15 seconds.
  • Stir batter until smooth before pouring next crepe onto pan.
  • Either continue until all batter is used (You may have to re-apply oil–I did so every 4-5crepes) or save some for later/the next day.
  • Serve warm with choice of fillings/toppings (syrup, cheese, berries or fresh fruit, cream cheese, butter, scrambled eggs, etc)

Flourless Pizza (by gluten free easily)

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Pizza is a great food. You can make different crusts, have different/multiple cheeses, have varieties of toppings, and basically choose exactly what you want. You can even have a flourless pizza crust! Of course, in making recipes for the first time, you don’t always know exactly what to expect, which I find to be a great, fun part of cooking and baking.

I must say, I have really enjoyed my pizza recipes. This would have to be one of my favorite recipes–it was simply delicious! I will definitely make this flourless pizza recipe again. It is a great meal for up to about 4 people. The recipe made 8, good-sized, large pieces. When I made it tonight, I only used cheese (not just because I was out of any pizza toppings, but because I wanted to keep it simple and just have a good old cheese pizza), and sauce. I would advise not to use too many toppings because the crust, being made almost entirely of cheese, is slightly flimsier than normal crusts. It still, however, holds up well and stays together just like any other pizza. You just don’t want it to become too soggy or heavy and break.

I cannot take credit for this outstanding recipe. It is one of many recipes I have found and wanted to try from Shirley’s Gluten Free Easily blog (GFE). Shirley has truly been an inspiration to me as I have begun my cooking adventure. I love reading her blog; her posts, recipes, and tips are so helpful and wonderful. If I ever have a lag in my desire to cook, I can always find something on Shirley’s blog that rekindles my hunger for great food, like her flourless pizza recipe.

This recipe is indescribably yummy. The crust is SO amazing. The outside is a crunchy and crisp, and the inside is soft and a little chewy. The crust browned beautifully and tasted even better than it looked. I decreased the amount of sauce to 1/4 cup, because I personally prefer less sauce and honestly thought 1/4 cup was plenty. I was also running low on mozzarella, so I had to use 1/2 cup mozzarella and 1/2 cup cheddar. This worked fine, but I hope I will have enough mozzarella next time (personal preference; it has nothing to do with how this recipe turned out).

   

I’m sorry I am being so repetitive, but this pizza is truly awesome, and a recipe worth making. So check out Shirley’s blog and get cooking!

Cheese Rolls or Pizza…2 in 1!

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Okay, I know I said I wanted to try the failed pizza crust again, to try and make it work better, but that was before I found a recipe today at Gluten Free Gobsmacked for Brazilian Cheese Bread (Pao de quejo). As soon as I read it I could not wait to try it out! The thing that really caught my eye was the fact that the recipe could be used to make cheese rolls (yum) AND pizza (double yum). I wanted to try out both recipes SO badly, because they just sounded so delicious, but I wanted to try the pizza crust first; I made it for dinner tonight. I hope to use this recipe again soon, and make it into the cheese rolls instead. Rolls and pizza…two delicious, common, and great recipes to have on hand, especially when they’re the same one! I just love that.

Anyway, this pizza was out of this world amazing. It is definitely one I will make again. It almost makes me want  to discard my other pizza crust recipe entirely, but I am still determined to get it right. However, after this delicious feat, I am in no hurry whatsoever to do so. The cheese crust was fantastic, and I didn’t need to add much cheese as a topping because of the fact that the crust contains so much already. The crust was soft in the middle and a little crunchy on the outside–perfect! Amongst the huge array of spices I possess, I was fresh out of chives and dill, so I just used 1/2 tablespoon of dried basil leaves, which I think I will do anyways from now on because it worked great. This pizza crust recipe receives 5 stars from me…I hope the cheese rolls are just as good, and cannot wait to try them out!

This is my first experience using tapioca flour, and I was not disappointed. It was great. I don’t know exactly what the difference is between it and the brown rice flour I usually use, but the crust was, as I’ve said, amazing. Tapioca flour is supposed to be a slightly sweet flour, but I guess when people say slightly, they really mean it, because I did not catch any hints of sweetness. The crust was totally satisfactory.

Ingredients:

  • 1+1/4 cups tapioca flour
  • 2 cups shredded cheese (I used about 1+1/2 cups for pizza crust)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) melted butter
  • 2 tsp dill + 2 tsp dried chives (or 1/2 tbsp basil leaves)
  • *pizza sauce
  • *more cheese for pizza topping (I just used the rest of the 2 cups of shredded cheese plus a tiny bit of mozzarella)
  • *any additional pizza toppings (I love mushrooms and/or pepperonis on my pizza, but I had neither, so I just used cheese, which was still amazing)

Instructions:

  • Preheat your oven to 450F.
  • Mix together all ingredients in your mixer well (I  used a hand mixer with no problems–just make sure all ingredients are totally combined).
  • *Form into balls (about 1 1/2 inches or 2 inches) and slightly flatten.
  • Place on tin foil on a baking sheet.
  • Bake for 8 – 10 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Serve warm.

*PIZZA OPTION: Form the crust by rolling the dough out on parchment paper (I use tin foil which worked just fine) into a 12-inch circle. Then prebake the crust alone for about 15 minutes at 450 degrees. Add sauce and toppings (don’t use too much cheese because there is already a lot in the crust) and cook an additional 10 minutes or until toppings are done. Cut and serve warm

NOTE: I refrigerated the left over pizza and microwaved it for lunch the next day, and it was great. I don’t know how long it will keep, but at least a day!

Veggie Dinner for Two

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A couple months ago I discovered a strong love of mushrooms. I mean I am just about obsessed with portabellas now. My mom and I are the two people in our house who will actually eat good food (a.k.a. we’re not too picky) and we love our dinners for two. Sometimes we go to a restaurant that only we enjoy, but sometimes we whip up something at home that only we like and appreciate. My favorite of these is our veggie meal.

This can easily be made totally vegetarian, but we like to cook our vegetables in bacon grease. Yum! We cook squash (2), zucchini (1), and portabella mushrooms all together in a large frying pan (along with the bacon, which we usually only use for flavor, although sometimes we’ll crumble and sprinkle it on top of the veggies. My brother will usually gobble the meat up once we’ve finished with it, though). Then we cover it and let it simmer until everything’s cooked and juicy. Once it’s all done, we spoon a bunch onto a plate and stuff ourselves! It is actually one of my very favorite meals.

So, Ingredients:

  • 1-2 squash, sliced
  • 1-2 zucchini, sliced
  • 1 pack of portabella mushrooms (sliced, non-sliced, button, large, it doesn’t matter as long as they’re sliced when you put them into the pan)
  • 4-5 bacon strips

Instructions:

  • Cook bacon in a large frying pan so that it is just shy of being done
  • Add sliced veggies and mushrooms
  • Stir/mix together
  • Cover, reduce heat, and let simmer until everything is cooked through
  • Serve immediately

Wow…Mac N’ Cheese

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I know I said spoon bread is my fave, but I had forgotten about mac and cheese. It’s good for anytime, anywhere, anybody (unless you’re allergic to dairy or something, but anyway…). I have found some pretty good frozen mac n’ cheeses, and have loved Annie’s gluten free mac and cheese, but I really wanted to try my own.

So I did.

It took a while to find just the right recipe, but when I finally did, I could not wait to make it! I made this with a friend and we had a blast. I think it was very helpful to have two people preparing this dish because there are a lot of steps going on at once, but I’m sure it could be done just as well solo. We didn’t want to cook the mac and cheese in the oven when it was time, because the cheese sauce alone was so good, and we kept sneeking bites. But once it was in, we were excited. My friend is not gluten free, but she wasn’t hesitant or reluctant at all to try a gluten free recipe. When we took our first bites, we both just looked at each other and thought Oh my gosh, because it was amazing! My sister walked in, saw the dish, grabbed a fork, took a bite, and sat down, asking to be served. Ten minutes later, my whole family was with us, eating our mac n’ cheese! Talk about satisfaction and a job well done!

I owe this incredible dish to musings of a housewife, a great gluten free blog I have discovered and love. This definitely one of my top favorite recipes; it is beyond delicious. I loved mac and cheese before, but I don’t think I’ve ever had any as delectible as this blog’s mac and cheese. The only change I made to the recipe was using brown rice flour instead of all-purpose flour.

I highly recommend doubling this recipe, because it will disappear in a flash. I know I will definitely do this next time (don’t forget to use a bigger casserole dish as well). The only disappointment I faced with this recipe was when I realized I would have no leftovers for lunch or dinner the next day, but that’s the life of an amateur chef!