Thursday, June 27, 2013

Stovetop Cheddar Mac

I was having one of those moments when I didn't know what to cook and I needed to go to the store.  I looked in my kitchen trying to come up with something that wouldn't require going out.  I decided to try some quick macaroni and cheese.  We usually eat the box variety, as my husband prefers it, but my youngest doesn't really like it.  I thought trying homemade macaroni and cheese might be more appealing and we should give it a try.

I know most macaroni and cheese recipes are baked but I was looking for something a little quicker.  I found this Rachel Ray recipe for a quick stove top version.  I had the ingredients on hand.  We don't usually have half and half but I had it left over from when we made our Baggie Ice Cream.  I imagine you could also use milk but would just need to slightly adjust the milk.  I will try that the next time I make it.  I want to find a good recipe for baked macaroni and cheese but this one is a really good quick fix for your cheesy macaroni craving!

Stovetop Cheddar Mac - I made as described in this recipe.  Please click to link.   

Monday, June 24, 2013

Chocolate Chip Pancakes {Egg-free}

Over the weekend, we decided to add some mini chocolate chips to our pancakes.  The kids loved them and so did I!  I think my husband is a pancake purist.  He liked the chocolate chip ones but preferred them without.  I had some sliced banana with mine.  Yummy!

When adding chocolate chips to your pancake batter, I found it is best to sprinkle the batter with the chips right after you pour it on the griddle.  If you mix the chips into the the batter before, the chocolate chips will just sink to the bottom.  Sprinkling them on top of each pancakes helps you make sure each pancake has about the same amount of chocolatey goodness!

Chocolate Chip Pancakes

2 c all-purpose flour
2 T sugar
1 T baking powder
½ t salt
1/3 c cooking oil
2 c skim1 milk
Mini chocolate chips (about ½ c)

Mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Gradually milk and then oil ingredients while blending on low.  Then mix on medium speed until blended through.  Using a large spoon or muffin scoop, pour batter onto a nonstick griddle2 heated to medium-low to medium heat.  Sprinkle each pancake with about 1/2 teaspoon of chocolate chips.  Cook on first side until air bubbles come to the surface and edges start to appear dry.  Flip and cook on the other side until golden.
Makes about 20 3 inch pancakes.

1  If I don’t specify on what kind of milk, then use the milk of your choice.  In this recipe, I think skim milk works the best.  The thicker higher fat milks seem to not cook as well and the inside of the pancake doesn’t get cooked all the way.
2 I don’t have many nonstick pans but I do have a nice nonstick griddle.  I think it is a must for pancakes.  If you don’t have one, these will likely stick to your pan.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Easy Grilled Chicken

We have tried a few chicken marinades, but you really can't beat using Italian dressing.  It is fast, easy, has good flavor and there is enough oil in it to keep the chicken nice and moist.  I love fresh grilled chicken and there are so many things you can do with the leftovers, if you have any.  You can toss it on a salad, make quesadillas, put it on a panini or grill it in a pita. 

We used Ken's Steakhouse Italian Dressing with Ramano Cheese.  This dressing is not dairy-free and is not labeled as gluten-free.  From some the ingredient list, I think gluten may very well be in this dressing.  If you need an Italian dressing that is egg-free, dairy-free and gluten-free, try Annie's Naturals Tuscany Italian Dressing.


Easy Grilled Chicken

2-3 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast (about 6-8)
1 16 oz bottle Italian salad dressing

Trim the fat off the edge of the chicken.  Put in a large glass dish.  Cover chicken with dressing and refrigerate for at least 6-8 hours.  Grill to perfection.
We have a kamado style smoker and convection grill.  These aren’t extremely common.  But if you do have one, this is how we cooked it.  Set the dome temperature to 370 oF.  Cook on each side for about 10-12 minutes per side or until the internal temperature of the chicken is more than 160 oF. 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Homemade Ice Cream in a Baggie

I saw this idea on Pinterst and thought the kids would enjoy it.  You basically put half and half, sugar and vanilla in a baggie.  Put that baggie in a larger baggie with ice and salt, then shake.  The ice cream was so easy and surprisingly good!  I will link directly to the recipe since I followed it as written.  I really like this recipe because it doesn't make a lot and you can get your ice cream fix without over doing it. 

Happy Father's Day to all you Dad's out there!  When we made this, my oldest said Dad was the best ice cream shaker!


Homemade Ice Cream in a Bag - Please link to recipe.  Serves 1-2

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Sautéed Mushrooms

We grilled burgers over the weekend and I was craving mushroom burgers.  So, I whipped up this recipe for sauteed mushrooms and was pleased with the results!  You could also have these with your favorite steak, like Grilled Peppered Steak (EF, DF, GF)!  We actually used the seasonings for Grilled Peppered Steak (EF, DF, GF) on our burgers and it tasted great!!

Sautéed Mushrooms

24 oz mushrooms
1½ T unsalted butter or non-dairy substitute
½ yellow onion, sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 t seasoned salt
½ t freshly ground black pepper
2 T marsala wine (optional)

Rinse mushrooms and set aside.  (I also like to take the stem out of my mushrooms.)  Melt butter in a large skillet.  Add onion and sauté onion until starts to soften.  Add garlic and continue stirring until garlic starts to brown.  Add mushrooms and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Sauté until mushrooms become tender and onion is translucent.  Add wine and stir over heat until most of the liquid absorbs.  
Serves 6-8

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Grilled Steak Pita

Do you have leftover grilled steak?  We didn't have much!  But we put what we had left in a pita with some cheese and grilled it on our panini press for a quick, delicious lunch.  Try it with a side salad . . . maybe a Greek cucumber tomato salad!

If you like this meal idea, you  may also like the recipe for Grilled Chicken Tzatziki (EF, GF).

Grilled Steak Pita

leftover grilled steak, thinly sliced
1 slice of cheese per half pita
Pita pocket

Preheat Panini press.  Cut each slice of cheese into four triangles.  Line two triangles on each side inside the pita.  Fill with sliced steak.  Grill until nice and crisp.