Monday, October 29, 2012

Fall Snack Mix

Do you need a fun but really easy fall treat?  I got this idea from Munchkin Munchies blog.  The great thing is that the possible combinations are endless.  You can make it to suit your own tastes.  I have made this a couple of times now.  The first time, we decided to keep ours full of sweet treats!  The second time, we mixed salty and sweet snacks and omitted nuts to make it a little more allergy friendly. [Updated 11/09/15]

If you like this snack idea, you may also like Fall Apple Slices (EF, DF, GF).

Fall Snack Mix #1

Carmel popcorn with peanuts
Honey teddy grahams
Coco puffs
Frosted cheerios
Candy corn
Reese’s pieces

Mix in a large bowl and separate into treat bags.

You can find an idea for really cute treat bags here.

Fall Snack Mix #2

Kettle Corn
Honey teddy grahams
Mini Pretzels
Autumn Mix candy corn
Fall Crispy M&Ms

Mix in a large bowl and separate into treat bags.

You can find an idea for really cute treat bags here.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Pillsbury Chocolate Cupcakes {made Egg-free}

My previous post for Pillsbury cupcakes {made Egg-free} was a big hit.  Some of the various flavors of Pillsbury Moist Supreme cake mix, call for slightly different added ingredients.  This changes the egg-free adjustments slightly.  So, I decided to do a separate post for chocolate cupcakes.  I frosted these cupcakes with Pillsbury Creamy Supreme Chocolate Fudge icing.  We took them to a fall party, so I topped them with orange Reese's pieces.  Mmmmm!

I also made some vanilla cupcakes with orange-dyed vanilla icing topped with brown Reese's pieces for the party.  The brown and orange decorating scheme came from this website.


Pillsbury Chocolate Cupcakes
1 box Pillsbury Moist Supreme Devil's Food cake mix*
1 c water
2/3 c oil
1 T baking powder
1 c semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350o.  Line cupcake tins with paper baking cups.  Mix ingredients with an electric mixer on low until combined.  Scrap the sides of mixing bowl.  Mix an additional 2 minutes on medium to medium-high.  Fill cupcake tins about 2/3 full.  Bake for about 18 minutes.  Cool cupcakes in pan.  Frost cupcakes when completely cooled.  Makes about 18 cupcakes. 

* This mix calls for the added ingredients of 1 cup water, 1/2 cup oil and 3 eggs.  If you are going to try a different flavor of mix, make sure the added ingredients are the same for the adjusted recipe to work properly.

Note:  The Pillsbury mixes do contain dairy.  I am not trying to promote one brand over the other.  I have just found that some brands work better when making adjustments for egg-free cooking. 

Here are the fully decorated chocolate cupcakes.

Here are the fully decorated vanilla cupcakes.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

White Chicken Chili {Slow-cooker}

My husband actually found this recipe.  He made it the first few times and often helps me when I make it as it takes a little time to chop everything that goes in it.  The recipe as originally written is hot, so I lightened it up some for the kids and for friends that can't tolerate the heat.  The result is a flavorful white chili that everyone will love!


White Chili 
Adapted from White Lightning Chicken Chili on

2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed
2 cans great northern beans, rinsed
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 cup frozen white corn
8 oz fresh mushrooms, diced
8 cloves garlic, minced
4-6 serrano peppers, seeded and diced
1 can chicken broth *
2 t cumin powder
1 t coriander powder
1 T ground white pepper
2 T olive oil
1 lime, squeezed for juice
½ c sour cream
shredded cheese for topping

Heat 1 T olive oil in large sauté pan to medium-high heat, add onions, mushrooms and peppers.  Sauté for about 10 minutes or until onion is slightly translucent and mushrooms are tender.  Transfer sautéed onion mixture to crock pot.  Add chicken and 1 T oil to the same pan and sauté for 10-15 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink.  Add chicken to crock pot.  Add chicken broth, cumin, coriander, ground white pepper, lime juice, garlic, corn and beans.  Cover and cook on high for about 4-6 hours or on low for 8-10 hours.  Using the slow cooker makes the chicken so tender but the beans do break down some.  If you prefer firmer beans, wait to add them halfway through the cooking time.  Just before serving, stir in the sour cream. Garnish with shredded cheese, and serve with cornbread.  Try this egg-free cornbread (not gluten-free).
Serves 6-8

*If you have a gluten allergy make sure the chicken broth you use is gluten free.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Thyme-Roasted Chicken with Onions and Potatoes

If you have never roasted a chicken, this recipe is for you.  It isn't complicated and it always tastes delicious!  It is a family favorite at our house and is fancy enough for company.


Thyme-Roasted Chicken with Onions and Potatoes 
Adapted from The Best of Food & Wine Chicken Collection cookbook 

1 stick butter or margarine, softened
1 large yellow onion, coarsely chopped
½ t low-sodium seasoned salt*
½ t freshly ground pepper
1 t dried thyme leaves
3-4 pound whole chicken
6 medium all purpose potatoes, peeled and quartered

Preheat oven to 400o.  Melt 1 tablespoon of margarine in a skillet.  Add onion and a dash of salt, pepper and thyme.  Sauté onion until tender and translucent, about 10 minutes.  In a small bowl, combine the remaining 7 tablespoons of margarine, salt, pepper and thyme.  Rinse chicken and pat dry.  Using your fingers, gently loosen the breast, thigh and leg skin of the chicken.  Rub 4 tablespoons of the thyme margarine mixture under the skin, rubbing a little on top of the skin.  Place chicken in 9”x13” glass baking pan.  In a large bowl, toss potatoes, sautéed onions and remaining margarine mixture.  Arrange the potatoes around the chicken in the baking pan.  Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until juices run clear when the thigh of the chicken is pierced.
4-6 servings

*If you are using a salted butter or margarine, you do not need to add much salt.  If you are using unsalted butter, you may want to add a little more.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Chunky Guacamole

After trying multiple guacamole recipes, I have learned that simple is almost always better.  This recipe came from a Better Homes and Gardens Special Interest Publications Ultimate Mexican 2010.  I made mine pretty much exactly the same but use a about half the recommended lime juice.  I like the lime as a preservative but I don't want it to overpower the taste of the avocado!


Chunky Guacamole
Better Homes and Gardens Special Interest Publications Ultimate Mexican 2010

2 medium roma tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped
¼ c sliced green onion
2 T lime juice (I only use 1 T)
1 T olive oil
¼ t salt
1/8 t ground black pepper
2 very ripe avocados, halved, seeded, peeled and coarsely mashed

In a bowl combine tomato, onion, lime juice, oil, garlic, salt and black pepper.  Gently stir in avocados.  Serve immediately or cover the surface with plastic wrap and chill for up to 1 hour.  Serve with your favorite tortilla chips.  

Serves 4-8

Monday, October 8, 2012

Taco Soup

Do you need an easy dinner for a crisp fall day?  This taco soup recipe is so easy and is a dinner pleaser for any crowd.  My husband does not typically enjoy soup.  But he likes this one because you can eat it with chips!


Taco Soup 

1 lb lean ground beef
1 medium onion, diced
1 envelope of taco seasoning*
1 can whole kernel corn, undrained
1 can diced tomatoes with chilies, undrained
1 can pinto beans in chili sauce, undrained*
1 can tomato soup*

Brown beef and onion in a skillet until meat is no longer pink and onion is tender.  Drain.  Put beef and onion into crock pot.  Add all remaining ingredients.  Stir.  Cook on low for about 8 hours or high for about 4 hours.  Top with shredded cheese and serve with tortilla chips.  
Serves 6-8

*If you have a gluten allergy make sure these ingredients are gluten free.  I added links to brands that say they are gluten free.