No Bake Cookies! Perfect for the Busy Mommy.

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I love, love, love, LOVE no bake cookies of almost any kind!

When I’m in a rush, they are my go-to dessert.

The best part? You can make them entirely allergy free.

For your kitchen tools, all you will need is a sauce pot, a spoon for stirring, parchment paper, plastic wrap and a cookie sheet.

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First, add 1 cup honey, 1/2 cup coconut oil and 8 Tb unsweetened cocoa to your sauce pot.

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On the stove, turn the heat to medium high and bring the mixture to a boil while stirring constantly. Continue to stir as it simmers and thickens for about three minutes.

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Next, remove the mixture from the heat and add 1 cup peanut or other nut butter, 1 tsp vanilla, 1 1/2 to 2 cups gluten free old fashioned oats (gf quick oats will work too) and 1 cup shredded unsweetened raw coconut. I ran out of coconut, so we’ll just have to make believe we have some here. Stir well until all ingredients are mixed thoroughly.

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On a parchment lined cookie sheet, drop mixture by spoon fulls. Go ahead and make them whatever size you want. No bake versions break all the rules.

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Cover with plastic wrap if you’re a complete, nerdy clean freak like me. If not, still cover the cookies. It’s gross if you don’t.

Place the entire sheet in the freezer for 15 minutes or the fridge for at least an hour.

The rest of the instructions are listed below.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some no bake cookies and a cup of green tea calling my name!

No Bake Cookies. Free of most major allergens.

  • 1 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil (or another unrefined oil, extra light is best)
  • 8 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 cup peanut butter or other nut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut (preferably raw)
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups GF old fashioned oats (You’ll know you have too many oats if mixture becomes hard to stir. For this reason, add oats gradually to desired consistency.)

Bring honey, coconut oil, and cocoa to a boil. Turn down heat and simmer for three minutes or until thickened.

Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter, vanilla, coconut, and oatmeal. Drop by small to medium spoon fulls onto a parchment lined cookie sheet. Refrigerate until set. If you really want those cookies ‘NOW’, put them in the freezer for fifteen minutes. If you have any left (HIGHLY DOUBTFUL), Store in a ziploc bag or airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer.

Happy No Baking!!!!

Good Bacteria in a Cup

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Forgive me, my two faithful readers, for my long absence.

I’ve been busy with strep throat, basketball games for the kiddos (four thousand and fifty four games, I’m sure of it), and a fun weekend away helping at our church’s College and Career camp.

Suffice it to say, I’ve been a leeeetle busy.

But not so busy that I didn’t discover a new yummy almond milk yogurt (hence the gross title to this post):

almond dream

 

I have tried other brands of almond milk yogurt, but so far, this one is my favorite.

Made by Almond Dream, it hosts a variety of good bacteria and also leaves out some ingredients that never agree with me, such as chicory root.

For breakfast, I love to combine the yogurt in a bowl with this:

Lifestyle Granola

 

Lifestyle Granolas are the perfect compliment to yogurt. While not all of the varieties are gluten free, several of them are. And they are sweetened with only honey (with the exception of some of the added ingredients, such as cranberries, which are sweetened with sugar), making it just right.

This yogurt/granola combination has become my new favorite breakfast.

Along with bacon and coffee, of course.

Fine. My second favorite breakfast.

But yogurt and granola are easier to prepare. And healthier.

 

Happy Getting Friendly Bacteria!

Allergy Free Peach Crisp? Bring It On.

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Can’t have oats? No problem.

Can’t have flour? Again… no problem.

Can’t have almonds? Uhhhh….this could be a problem. But you could just switch out one ingredient. Problem solved.

Peaches which are crisped.

Peaches which are crisped.

Peach Crisp: No Gluten, Oats, Dairy, Eggs, Soy, Etcetera

  • 8 cups fresh peaches, sliced (I strongly recommend fresh, home frozen or home canned peaches.)
  • 1 Tb cornstarch or other thickener, such as tapioca starch
  • 2 Tb agave /or/ 3 Tb your choice of granulated sugar
  • 1 cup almond flour/meal
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla 
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar or 1 Tb. raw agave
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 (scant) tsp cinnamon
  • 4 Tablespoons Earth Balance

In a large bowl combine the peaches, cornstarch and 2 Tb agave.

Grease a 9×13 glass casserole dish.

Transfer peach mixture to dish.

Rinse out the bowl and once it is dried, combine the almond meal, vanilla, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon and Earth Balance. Mix well with a mixer to combine. Don’t be afraid to plunge your hands into the mixture to get it thoroughly blended if the mixer doesn’t do the trick. 

Spread topping evenly over peach mixture.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until topping is golden and the peach mixture is bubbling.

Cool for at least 15 minutes on a wire rack before serving.

And don't forget the Rich Whip! Or you could use chilled canned coconut milk.

And don’t forget the Rich Whip! Or you could use chilled canned coconut milk. Just refrigerate the can, drain off the liquid and whip the solid milk.

 

See? Rich Whip is just like the real deal! Healthy? No! Delicious? YES!

See? Rich Whip is just like the real deal! Healthy? No! Delicious? YES!

Serve your peach crisp warm with a dollop of your favorite whipped cream replacer. Or just eat it all by itself. It's that good!

Serve your peach crisp warm with a dollop of your favorite whipped cream replacer. Or just eat the crisp all by itself. It’s that good!

Happy Warm and Yummy Deliciousness!

Chicken Marsala: Quick, easy and allergy free.

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I remember a time when I used to spend a day planning my menu, writing out my grocery list, clipping coupons and still having time to make a full gourmet meal complete with dessert and coffee. All before seven o’clock at night.

But back in those days, my kiddos were all small fries and I could corral them around me with library books, paper and crayons to make their own ‘grocery lists’ and ‘menus’.

Now that those little babies had the nerve to turn into busy, working, sports-playing, always on the go teens and young adults, that seemingly endless time to plan and prepare has all but evaporated.

But that’s okay, because it is my new normal. For the next few years anyway.

And for now, we have easy, favorite dishes, such as Chicken Marsala.

So to help you out, I’ll share it with you.

First, filet four boneless, skinless chicken breasts. In a large ziploc bag, combine 1 cup gluten free flour, 1/2 tsp salt and a dash of garlic powder. Add two chicken pieces at a time and shake to coat. Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a large skillet and crush in some garlic. Add the coated chicken pieces one at a time, turning once to fully brown and cook the meat.

First, filet four boneless, skinless chicken breasts. In a large ziploc bag, combine 1/2 cup gluten free flour, 1/2 tsp salt and a dash of garlic powder. Add two chicken pieces at a time and shake to coat. Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a large skillet and crush in some garlic. Add the coated chicken pieces one at a time, turning once to fully brown and cook the meat.

Keep the cooked chicken warm in an oven while you prepare the next step.

Keep the cooked chicken warm in an oven while you prepare the next step.

 

Once the chicken is done, put in in a warm oven on a plate. Next, add 1 cup Marsala cooking wine to the skillet along with a 16 oz pkg of sliced mushrooms. Add one or two more cloves of crushed garlic. Let the shrooms simmer in the cooking wine for about five minutes or until the liquid is reduced by half.

 Add 1 cup Marsala cooking wine to the skillet along with a 16 oz pkg of sliced mushrooms. Add one or two more cloves of crushed garlic. Let the shrooms simmer in the cooking wine for about eight minutes or until the liquid is reduced by half.

Add the cooked chicken back to the pan of liquid and mushrooms, turning once to coat with the juices. Let sit in the pan for about a minute on medium low heat to thicken the liquids.

Add the cooked chicken back to the pan of liquid and mushrooms, turning once to coat with the juices. Allow the chicken to sit in the pan for about a minute on medium low heat to thicken the liquids.

Serve with a side of seasoned rice. Delightful.

Serve with a side of seasoned rice. Delightful.

 

Allergy Free Chicken Marsala

First, filet four boneless, skinless chicken breasts.
In a large ziploc bag, combine 1/2 cup gluten free flour, 1/2 tsp salt and a dash of garlic powder.
Add two chicken pieces at a time and shake to coat.
Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a large skillet and crush in some garlic.
Add the coated chicken pieces one at a time, turning once to fully brown and cook the meat. Add more oil as you go, if necessary.
Keep the cooked chicken warm in an oven while you prepare the next step
Next, add 1 cup Marsala cooking wine to the skillet along with a 16 oz pkg of sliced mushrooms.
Add one or two more cloves of crushed garlic.
Let the shrooms simmer in the cooking wine for about eight minutes or until the liquid is reduced by half.
Add the cooked chicken back to the pan of liquid and mushrooms, turning once to coat with the juices. Let chicken sit in the pan for about a minute on medium low heat to thicken the liquids.
Serve with a side of seasoned rice.*

Seasoned Rice

  • 2 cups unconverted Jasmine rice
  • 3 cups chicken broth, such as Pacific
  • 1 tsp dill weed
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp crushed basil

In a medium sauce pot, combine all dry ingredients and then add the broth. Cover.

Cook over medium high heat until boiling.

Turn the heat down to low and allow to simmer, covered, until all liquid is absorbed.

 

Happy Easy Yet Delicious Dinners!

Hot Fudge Pudding Cake. It Makes Winter Bearable. But Your Jeans Unwearable.

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Sorry about that title.

But it is the truth. Why not just tell it like it is?

But it’s so good, so decadent, you won’t be able to resist. So just hit the gym a little more often and you’ll still be able to fit into those Levi’s. Or Lawmans. Or Hash Jeans. Wait. I’m dating myself.

Shall we begin?

My oldest daughter requested this delightful treat the weekend after her heart stopping accident (see previous post). Not being able to find one that fit our allergy specifications, I found a recipe in my old Pillsbury cookbook and revamped it to be allergy free and also to contain less sugar.

Excuse me while I take a moment to get down with my bad self. *clap clap clap*

And this is what we came up with:

Allergy Free/Vegan/Low Sugar Hot Fudge Pudding Cake

  • 1 1/4 cups gluten free flour
  • 2/3 cup sugar (I used evaporated cane crystals. You can use coconut sugar, date sugar or even 1/2 cup agave.)
  • 2 Tb. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup almond or other milk (I used unsweetened – highly recommended here)
  • 2 Tb melted Earth Balance spread
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup sugar (This recipe will work best if you use some form of crystallized sugar rather than agave for this step.)
  • 2 Tb unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Dash salt
  • 1 1/3 cups very hot water (120-130 degrees F)

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, 2/3 cup sugar, 2 Tb cocoa, baking powder, and 1/2 tsp salt. Blend in almond milk, Earth Balance and vanilla. Mix well. 

Spread batter in an ungreased 8″ square baking dish. Your batter will not resemble traditional cake batter at all. It will be more like a dough.

In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup sugar, 2 Tb cocoa and dash salt. Mix well to combine. Sprinkle evenly over cake batter. Pour hot water evenly over sugar mixture.

Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes or until center is set and firm to the touch.

And for the love of Green Acres, serve it warm! With coffee! 

This is extra good with dairy free whipped cream (such as Rich’s or refrigerated canned coconut milk) or vanilla ice cream (such as Coconut Bliss).

Be aware that even though the sugar is reduced in the recipe, it is still quite sweet. So take a small serving to begin with. And then you can, of course, take another small serving after that. I think that’s reasonable.

What your cake should look like when it is done. (Yes, I doubled mine. I have two seventeen year old man children).

What your cake should look like when it is done. (Yes, I doubled mine. I have two seventeen year old man children).

Happy Warm and Cozy Dessert Days!

Simply Snacks

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If you’re out and about and suddenly find your tummy grumbling, allow me to suggest a few yummy snacks to keep you going until the next meal time.

I call these 'Little Squares of Happiness'. Betty Lou's Fruit Bars are very similar to Newton style cookies. But healthier and allergy free.

I call these ‘Little Squares of Happiness’. Betty Lou’s Fruit Bars are very similar to Newton style cookies. But healthier and allergy free. And they are delightfully tasty.

Nana's allergy free cookies are excellent paired with an almond milk latte. They come in the big cookie size as well as packages of little cookie 'bites'. A variety of flavors make these a fun little snack to indulge in.

Nana’s allergy free cookies are excellent paired with an almond milk latte. They come in the big cookie size as well as packages of little cookie ‘bites’. A variety of flavors make these a fun little snack to indulge in.

If you want something a little healthier than a cookie but with the same sweet satisfaction, go for a Lara Bar! These little packages are super satisfying. They even come in a decadent 'Jocolat' collection, offering flavors such as mint chocolate and chocolate coffee. Don't forget to try their 'Uber' style bars as well, which are made from whole nuts and fruits.

If you want something a little healthier than a cookie but with the same sweet satisfaction, go for a Lara Bar! These little packages are super satisfying. They even come in a decadent ‘Jocolat’ collection, offering flavors such as mint chocolate and chocolate coffee. Don’t forget to try their ‘Uber’ style bars as well, which are made from whole nuts and fruits.

It goes without saying that anything from Enjoy Life is a sure to satisfy snack. They offer everything from snack bars to cookies to lip smacking chocolate bars , all free of the major allergens.

It goes without saying that anything from Enjoy Life is a sure to satisfy snack. They offer everything from snack bars to cookies to lip smacking chocolate bars, all free of the major allergens.

If something salty is what you're craving, Glutino brand offers a variety of crackers, pretzles and bagel chips. While primarily gluten free, I have found some of their products are free of dairy and eggs as well.

If something salty is what you’re craving, Glutino brand offers a variety of crackers, pretzles and bagel chips. While primarily gluten free, I have found some of their products are free of dairy and eggs as well.

I’ll just bet that some of you are now coming up with an excuse to be ‘out and about’ today, just so you can get your hands on one of these snacks!

Well, at least I am anyway! Now where are my keys…..?

 

Happy Snacking!

Peanut Butter Cookies: Three Different Delicious Ways to Make Them!

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Who here does not LOVE peanut butter cookies?

You DON’T? And you’re not allergic to peanuts?!?

I cannot even comprehend.

For the rest of us with normal taste buds, today’s post is a festival of peanut butter cookie goodness.

I could eat them every day.

But I don’t. Because I don’t want to be a Fatty Two By Four.

Shall we begin?

Vegan Three Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies

  • 1/4 cup plain, unsweetened applesauce
  • 3/4 cup sugar (your choice here: coconut, date, turbinado, or the white cancerous kind…)
  • 1 cup peanut butter (I use Adam’s. Please, don’t use peanut butter flavored shortening here….otherwise known as Skippy or Jif. Yuck.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine all three ingredients with a mixer.

Once ingredients are combined, shape dough into small balls and place on an ungreased (or better yet, parchment paper lined) cookie sheet or stone. Criss cross each cookie ball with a fork.

Bake for ten minutes (or until golden, so they may need to bake a little longer depending on your oven).

Remove from oven and let sheet sit on a cooling rack for ten minutes before transferring cookies to another cooling rack.

Now for recipe number two! Identical to the first recipe except for one ingredient. Yes, you’ll notice I did copy and paste from the last recipe. I have things to do! Like eat peanut butter cookies.

Three Ingredient Gluten/Dairy Free Peanut Butter Cookies

  • 1 chicken or duck egg
  • 3/4 cup sugar (your choice here: coconut, date, turbinado, or the white cancerous kind…)
  • 1 cup peanut butter (I use Adam’s. Please, don’t use peanut butter flavored shortening here….otherwise known as Skippy or Jif. Yuck.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine all three ingredients with a mixer.

Once ingredients are combined, shape dough into small balls and place on an ungreased (or better yet, parchment paper lined) cookie sheet or stone. Criss cross each cookie ball with a fork.

Bake for ten minutes (or until golden, so they may need to bake a little longer depending on your oven).

Remove from oven and let sheet sit on a cooling rack for ten minutes before transferring cookies to another cooling rack.

And now for the more traditional peanut butter cookie, only without the allergens or Crisco like the ones Mom used to make. (You know what I’m talking about if you’re a child of the eighties or older. You probably also drank Tab. And ate copious amounts of Doritos. Which is why you are here because now you have food allergies or sensitivities.)

Allergy Free Peanut Butter Cookies

  • 1/2 cup Earth Balance spread
  • 3/4 cup natural peanut butter (Such as Adam’s)
  • 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar (coconut sugar works well here too)
  • 1 Tb gluten free vanilla
  • 1 chicken/duck egg OR 1 Tb ground flaxseed and 3 Tb water
  • 1 3/4 cups gluten free flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt 
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • (Optional) 1/2 cup Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 

In a medium mixing bowl, combine Earth Balance, peanut butter, sugar, vanilla and egg or replacer. Beat until thoroughly creamed together. 

Next add the dry ingredients: Gluten free flour, salt and soda. Blend until completely combined, being sure to mix in any dry ingredients from the bottom of the bowl.

If desired, add the chocolate chips.

Roll dough into 1 inch balls and place 2 inches apart on an ungreased or parchment lined cookie sheet. Criss cross each ball with a fork. 

Bake cookies for 10 minutes or until edges are golden and cookies are set.

Remove from oven and let sheet cool on a wire rack for at least ten minutes before transferring cookies to another cooling rack.

While cookies are cooling, make a nice pot of coffee or heat up a mug of chocolate almond milk to wash them down with.

 

Happy Being Nutty!

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