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!!!!

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Thursday Things

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Basketball season….. can we have the kids’ end of season tournaments NOW please?

As fun as it is watching my big babies stuff, foul, box out and slam dunk, I am ready to get back to my routines.

Like baking and taking last minute cell phone pictures of the results to share with all two of you who read my posts.

But for now, I’ll just share a few neato mosquito products I’ve run across – literally run, as in running through the store on my way to the next game – at the market.

Van’s Snack Bars

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These little guys are just….YUM! The cranberry variety tastes like gingerbread with generous servings of dried cranberries in each bite.

Click on the link above to view all flavors, ingredients and other nutrition information.

Van’s Crackers

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They may be small, but, boy howdy! These are some GOOD crackers!

To view and read more about these delightful little bites, click on the link above.

Justin’s Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups *

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If I ever want to feel like all is right with the world, I buy myself a package of these glorious dairy free, gluten free cups of happiness.

Seriously. They boost your endorphins or something like that.

Forget runner’s high. Eat peanut butter cups instead. WAY more euphoric, I guarantee.

*I have found that ONLY the DARK chocolate variety is dairy free. When you click on the link, it will take you to the milk chocolate ingredients. If you cannot partake of dairy, be sure to click on the little ‘dark chocolate’ guy to see his ingredients. That sounded weird. Sorry. Just….you know what I mean.

Bakery on Main Granola

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I will admit, this stuff is a little more spendy than I would like it to be.

But, man! Is it GOOD!

I especially like the Cranberry Maple kind. Deeeeeelicious!

And, honestly, a 1/2 cup serving with your choice of milk will fill your stomach cavity and keep you going until lunch time. It’s that hearty!

Click on the link above to see other varieties and nutrition information.

So there you have it! Some helpful little hints to help you eat well and wise (Don’t diss my peanut butter cups. Peanut butter is full of protein….and dark chocolate has antioxidants!).

Happy Busy 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!

Feeling a Little Whiny?

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If you have a gluten allergy but love to cook, you may have cast aside any aspirations of using a cooking wine in your sauces and other creations.

I do not drink wine, or any alcohol, so I prefer to purchase cooking wine. Now, when I say cooking wine, I am not referring to the kind people drink.

You see, cooking wine is not meant for drinking; it is made for cooking. It contains added salt and is formulated expressly for cooking. Also, if it’s added to a dish correctly, at least ninety seven percent of the alcohol will burn off in the cooking process, leaving a flavorful addition to your meals.

But for the gluten allergic/Celiac, cooking wine has long been out of the question.

Until now.

Because the good folks over at Mizkan/Holland House have created an entire line of cooking wines and vinegars which are gluten free!

Holland-House-Wine

I have found the Holland House brand in just about every grocery store in town. And my favorite for spaghetti and pizza sauce is the Marsala. It gives your Italian dishes that authentic taste.

In fact, I’ll share my spaghetti sauce recipe with you, just as a little bonus:

Spaghetti Sauce – No gluten, dairy, soy or other crud

  • In a 4 quart stock pot, brown 1 pound ground beef or turkey (for those avoiding meat, see the note at the end of my recipe)

Halfway through the browning process, add:

  • 1-2 cups raw mushrooms
  • 5 green onions, chopped
  • Continue sauteing until meat is cooked thoroughly and mushrooms are tender. Drain.
  • To the mixture, add one 20 oz can EACH plain crushed and pureed tomatoes
  • Next, add one small 6 oz can plain tomato paste

To that, add:

  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 TB dried basil (lemon basil is so delicious here)
  • 1 TB dried oregano
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp crushed rosemary
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 TB sugar (I use coconut sugar and it works beautifully)
  • 1/4 cup Holland House Marsala cooking wine
  • Stir ingredients well
  • At this point, I strongly suggest transferring the ingredients to a crock pot to cook on low for 8-10 hours, stirring 3 or 4 times during the process.
  • If a slow cooker is not an option, leave the ingredients in the stock pot and cover. Turn on medium heat until mixture begins to simmer. Turn to low and allow the sauce to simmer for at least 45 minutes, but not more than one hour. Stir often.
  • Before serving, remove the bay leaves

Note: If you are vegan or vegetarian, the ground beef can be substituted with any variety of chopped veggies: zucchini, cauliflower, broccoli, carrots – the possibilities are endless!

Happy Cooking!