Quick Blondie Cookie Cake

I am so happy that another blogger shared this recipe!  The original blondie recipe can be found here: http://ellasurreau.wordpress.com/2014/02/22/our-favorite-blonde-brownie-recipe/

Friends of ours were having an impromptu birthday gathering and wanted to get a cookie cake.  On the inside, I was hoping they wouldn’t because the only thing I had ready was the standard frozen cupcake.  Then I thought of the perfect recipe I’d been meaning to try and accepted the challenge!

I made a few substitutions, to use what I had on hand and to make a half batch.  I also added about 1/2 cup of Enjoy Life brand Mega Chunks of chocolate and piped chocolate frosting (Pillsbury brand) along the edge to make it look just like a store bought cookie cake.  I only have the picture from my cell phone, but it was so yummy.  Full disclosure- my children did not like it.  But the other, non-allergy kids and parents at the party loved it and said it was reminiscent of the blondies that Ruby Tuesday’s restaurant use to serve.

cookie cake

In a small bowl, mix together 1 cup all purpose flour, 1/2 tsp baking powder, and 1/2 tsp baking soda, and a dash of salt.

In a large bowl, mix together 1/3 cup of melted dairy free butter (I use Earth Balance), 1 cup packed of dark brown sugar, 1/4 cup of soy sour cream (I use Toffutti brand), and 1 tsp of vanilla.

Mix wet and dry ingredients together until well combined, then spread into greased 8×8 inch pan or similar small sized baking pan or dish.

Bake at 350 for 25-35 minutes, until center sets up and toothpick comes out clean.

Pancake Chicken

This dinner includes no pancakes and tastes nothing like pancakes.  Why the name, then?  When my son was younger he was so, so, so, sooo very picky.  We tried to convince him that he would like this because it had the same stuff in it we used to make pancakes.  Ever since then, the name stuck and it’s been a family favorite.

In a large plastic storage bag, mix together:

1&1/2 cups of Bisquick Original Baking Mix

1 Tbsp oregano

1 Tbsp basil

1 Tbsp paprika

1 Tsp garlic powder

1-2 lb boneless, skinless, chicken breast cutlets, cut in half width-wise to make smaller pieces.

Place chicken into bag with dry mix, seal and shake well.

Line cookie sheet with aluminum foil (fewer dishes!), gently place chicken pieces on foil, and drizzle tops with melted dairy-free butter. We use Earth Balance brand.

Bake for 12-15 minutes at 450F, or until chicken is cooked all the way through and no longer pink in the center.

 

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Skoop: Super Simple Superfood.

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I’m sharing this with you all, not because I’m a great salesperson (ha!), but because I’ve found this “tiny scoop of awesome” that is “free of all of the ‘top 10 allergens’, and is not blended in a facility that packages nuts“.  Hooray!  I was originally searching for something to put in smoothies for the kids to add a punch of nutrition to their already limited diet.  Skoop is *not*, however, currently recommended for children under 75 pounds (or pregnant or nursing women).  So I tried it just for me.  And I LOVE it! I love the way I feel energized by it. I love knowing that I have done something good for myself by nourishing my body with super good stuff.  Seriously.  Vegetables, greens, fruits, fiber, omega 3s, probiotics, and antioxidants all in one scoop.  I mix it in my mid-morning smoothie with half a banana and 8 ounces of soymilk.  I find that I want less coffee, feel more energized, and have even used it pre-race for 13.1 miles of super.  Anyhow, it’s gluten free, caffeine free, non-GMO, organic, and only 50 calories per scoop.

 That is, in a nut-free nutshell, what I love about Skoop.  To find out more, visit emily.healthyskoop.com

 

To Ad or Not to Ad?

This is a question posed to my fellow bloggers.  I am just a baby in the blogosphere, so I don’t get much traffic, but I have to wonder if having ads would be worthwhile.   I know some of you have ads on your sites.  In your opinion, is it worth it?  I have, of course, googled discussions on the topic, but I would love to hear from you about your experience.  

Thanks!

Waffles- Oh Yeah. You don’t have to give those up!

Remember waffles? I do. My husband and I had the best waffles at this little island restaurant while on our honeymoon in Kawaii. Every now and then I get a craving for them (and the kids beg me). So here we go!

My first word of advice is buy your own waffle maker. Waffle makers are a type of kitchen equipment that can only be cleaned by wiping with a damp cloth. That is not going to cut it (the allergens). Usually waffles are made with milk and eggs. If your waffle iron, or your host’s waffle iron, has been used to make traditional waffles, get a new one. Period. Then, you can enjoy waffles whenever you want- without going to Kawaii!
My recipe comes straight off the Bisquick box. It used to say “1 egg (optional)” but now it doesn’t say optional. But guess what? It still is!

Mix together:
2 cups Original Bisquick mix
1 & 1/3 cup of soy milk (we use Publix Greenwise vanilla soy milk)
2 tbsp vegetable oil

I usually take a fork to the dry mix first to get a head start on getting the lumps out and then add the wet ingredients. Pour onto a hot greased waffle iron (I use Crisco brand shortening) and close lid. My waffle maker tells me when it’s done with a light, but it takes about 5 to 10 minutes and the steaming has stopped.

Serve with dairy free butter (we use Earth Balance brand) and syrup (we use Hungry Jack Lite or Cary’s Premium Maple Syrup).

Mmmmmmm

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Barbecue Beef Sandwiches

Two words.  Easy and yum.   Making barbecue beef sandwiches is something my Mom started doing as something easy that serves enough to please a crowd.  Everybody loves them and we serve them with chips or french fries and corn on the cob. I usually buy 1/2 pound per person of whatever cut of beef roast is on sale, but this last time I bought a shoulder roast and it turned out nicely.

Place the roast in a slow cooker and add enough water to cover about half of the roast.  Cook on low for 8-10 hours, or if you’re like me and wait until noon to decide what’s for dinner- cook on high for 2 hours, then on low for 4 hours.  Turn meat over at the half way point to keep both sides moist.  When done, drain water and shred beef using two forks to pull apart.  Meat should be tender but no longer pink.   I usually put the shredded beef in a storage bowl, mix in the desired amount of barbecue sauce, then put the lid on and refrigerate or freeze until needed.  I use Bulls-Eye Original brand barbecue sauce, Publix brand hamburger buns, and Ore-Ida brand crispy fries or waffle fries.

Milk, Egg, and Peanut Free* Barbecue Beef Sandwiches

Corn Chowder with Bacon

The original (milk containing) recipe that inspired me to create this one can be found here: http://www.chatelaine.com/recipe/vegetables/smoky-corn-chowder-with-bacon/

My mouth started watering at the thought of corn chowder with bacon and I knew I had to try to create an allergy friendly version.

Ingredients:
6 slices of bacon, diced. I used the Publix brand hickory smoked, fully cooked type to save time.
1 small onion, diced.
2 medium potatoes, diced.
14 oz can coconut milk. I used Thai Kitchen brand.
15 oz can sweet corn (don’t drain)
15 oz can cream style sweet corn. I used Green Giant brand for both.
32 oz container of chicken broth. I used Swanson’s 100% Natural brand.
1/2 tsp dried thyme. I use Publix or McCormick’s spices.

In a large pot over medium heat, warm the bacon to render some of the fat, then add the onion and cook until onion is translucent. Then add all other ingredients and stir to incorporate. Bring to a boil, then simmer on medium-low for 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Season with salt and pepper if desired.
Enjoy!

It’s really hard to make soup look good in a picture!  Plus, it was so yummy that I ate a whole bowl before I remembered I was going to take one!

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