Sunday, November 27, 2011

Baked Taquitos

Baked Taquitos

We had a lot of turkey leftover from Thanksgiving. A lot. My family could have lasted weeks on this turkey.

I also have to go back to college soon. It’s almost finals time, which means I have no time to do anything, including cook. I need freezer meals!

So, I decided to use the leftover turkey and make taquitos! I’ve made this recipe many times with chicken, and they always turn out great! They were still delicious, if not more so, with the leftover turkey.

(I got this recipe from OurBestBites)

Here’s what you need.

  • 1/3 cup or 3 oz of cream cheese (I always use low fat)
  • ¼ cup of green salsa
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon of onion powder (my parents don’t have this in their house so I leave it out)
  • ¼ teaspoon of garlic powder (I usually double this…)
  • 3 tablespoons of chopped cilantro (I’m usually very liberal with the cilantro. I love it!)
  • 2 tablespoons of green onions
  • 2 cups of shredded chicken (or leftover turkey!)
  • 1 cup of grated pepper jack cheese (I almost always use shredded cheddar)

Preheat the oven to 425 F. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly coat with cooking spray. Heat cream cheese in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds so it’s soft and easy to stir. Add green salsa, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, onion powder and granulated garlic. Stir to combine and then add cilantro and green onions. Add chicken and cheese and combine well.

You can prepare up to this step ahead of time. Just keep the mixture in the fridge.

Work with a few tortillas at a time and heat in the microwave until they are soft enough to roll without cracking.

Place 2-3 tablespoons of chicken mixture on the lower third of a tortilla, keeping it about 1/2 inch from the edges.

Then roll it up as tight as you can.

Place seam side down on the baking sheet. Lay all of the taquitos on the baking sheet and make sure they are not touching each other. Spray the tops lightly with cooking spray or an oil mister.

Place pan in oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until crisp and the ends start to get golden brown.

This usually makes me 12-14 taquitos.

(After they’ve cooked and cooled, I usually put them in a giant freezer safe ziplock bag and then I have a quick freezer meal for when I’m at school)

BTW. For everybody allergic to gluten, I’ve found the best corn tortillas in the grocery store. Guerreros corn tortillas, you’ve got to try them! They are the closest tortilla I’ve ever found to flour.

This is the first time I’ve made them with this brand of tortillas, and they just turned out so much better than they ever have!

Anyways, yall should try the recipe, it’s delicious!

Have a great day!


Pecan-Cornbread Stuffing

Pecan-Cornbread Stuffing

Thanksgiving can be a very stressful time for somebody allergic to gluten. Lucky for me, my family hosts Thanksgiving every year, so we can control the food I have to eat.

This year, my sister came home and was craving stuffing. Since she doesn’t like to cook, I got stuck with the job.

I was looking through my mom’s old recipe book, and saw she had clipped a recipe from the Dallas Morning News many years ago. It sounded great so I decided to give it a try.

I halved the recipe because I wasn’t sure how it would turn out, but this is what is written


· 1/3 to ½ pound bulk pork sausage-sage flavored (I used Aidells Italian chicken sausage)

· 8 tablespoons of butter (divided use)

· 2 cups chopped celery (we substituted carrots because nobody in my family likes celery)

· 2 cups chopped onion

· 1 cup diced red bell pepper

· ¾ tablespoon salt

· ½ teaspoon pepperItalic

· ½ teaspoon dried thyme

· ½ teaspoon dried oregano or tarragon

· 12 cups crumbled cornbread -about two pans cooked cornbread. (I used The Gluten-Free Pantry Yankee Cornbread Mix)

· ½ cup diced toasted pecans

· 2 to 2 ½ cups chicken broth

· Drippings from your turkey if available (I didn’t do this)


(Start by baking the cornbread and then crumbling it)

Using a large sauté pan, sauté the sausage for a few minutes, then add 2 tablespoons butter, the celery, onions, and bell pepper. Continue sautéing, breaking up the sausage and stirring, until the vegetables are wilted. Should be about 5-8 minutes. Add the seasonings and set aside.

Put the crumbled cornbread in a large bowl.

(I had prepared the cornbread the day before in muffins. I had about 3 muffins leftover. If you are not halving the recipe, you need to buy two mixes).

Add the cooled onion and sausage mixture and mix well (I didn’t wait for it to cool, oops!)

Transfer a portion of the stuffing to an 8-inch square pan. Add pecans to the rest, and scrape into a 9 by 13 inch pan. Cover with foil and freeze until ready to use.

(Since I halved the recipe, I just put it into a 9x13 pan, and sprinkled the toasted pecans on the top. And since I only bought normal pecans, I had to toast them myself!)

Thaw frozen stuffing in the refrigerator. Preheat oven to 375 F. Even pour chicken broth over both pans of thawed stuffing. Vary the amount of broth according to the desired texture of the stuffing. If your turkey has drippings add this now.

(I poured the butter on top and then mixed the whole mixture, then poured the broth on top, mixed the whole mixture, and then sprinkled the pecans on top).

Drizzle the top with the remaining 6 tablespoons of butter, melted, and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the top is crisp. Makes 12 servings.


We all loved it, and I am definitely making it again next year!

Have a great Thanksgiving!


Saturday, November 19, 2011

Hershey's "Perfectly Chocolate" Chocolate Cake

My default cupcake used to be the red velvet cupcake recipe that I’ve posted on here, but one of my best friends

1) doesn’t like red velvet cake
2) does not like cream cheese icing

So, I started searching for a chocolate cake recipe that would be easy to make, aka, involves cocoa powder instead of chocolate I have cut or melt, or something crazy like that. Who has time for that?

And then I came across the Hershey’s website, and read the recipe for Hershey's "Perfectly Chocolate" Chocolate Cake, and bookmarked it, and just waited for a time where I needed it.
(Turns out, this recipe is also on the back of the Hershey’s Cocoa container.)

I’m glad I did. I’ve made it three times, with great success! Everybody LOVES this recipe!

Side note: I am a cupcake lover. Cupcakes are so much better than cake because it’s the perfect individual sized portion and each cupcake gets lots of icing. Yummm. I am on team cupcake!

Okay, back the recipe.

Here’s what you need.

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour (I always use Gluten Free Pantry All-Purpose Gluten Free Flour)
  • 3/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk (I’ve also substituted soy milk with success)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water


  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans.
  2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.
  3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. 10 to 12 servings.

ONE-PAN CAKE: Grease and flour 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Heat oven to 350° F. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 35 to 40 minutes. Cool completely. Frost.

THREE LAYER CAKE: Grease and flour three 8-inch round baking pans. Heat oven to 350°F. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake 30 to 35 minutes. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Frost.

BUNDT CAKE: Grease and flour 12-cup Bundt pan. Heat oven to 350°F. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 50 to 55 minutes. Cool 15 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack. Cool completely. Frost.

CUPCAKES: Line muffin cups (2-1/2 inches in diameter) with paper bake cups. Heat oven to 350°F. Fill cups 2/3 full with batter. Bake 22 to 25 minutes. Cool completely. Frost. About 30 cupcakes.

I have ALWAYS made the cupcake variation. It usually makes 24 cupcakes for me because I use a ¼ sized measuring cup to fill the cupcake liners.

I have iced them with three different types of icing. One time I made a vanilla icing, one time I made a cream cheese icing, and most recently, I bought Pillsbury Vanilla Icing (I think it's cheaper to buy icing than to make it....) All three were delicious! This cake would taste great with anything!

I urge you to make it. It’s amazing. Everybody who has tried it has LOVED it. Even my dad, who is a chocolate cake hater! This recipe won him over because it is SO moist, and delicious!

I highly recommend it!

Have a great day! :)

Slow Cooker Orange Chicken

You might have noticed, I miss Chinese food…

Somebody mentioned Panda Express Orange Chicken, and then I couldn’t think of anything else.

So, I made this. Go do it. You’ll thank me.

Slow Cooker Orange Chicken

(As usual, I copied and pasted from her website)

-1 1/2 pounds boneless chicken, cut in 2-inch chunks
-1/2 cup flour (I used Pamela's Baking Mix)
-olive oil, for browning the chicken
-1 tablespoon kosher salt (or ½ tablespoon table salt)
-6 ounces (1/2 can) frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed (I'd opt for little-to-no pulp. The pulp can taste a bit bitter when cooked)
-3 tablespoons brown sugar
-1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
-3 tablespoons ketchup

The Directions.

Use a 4 quart slow cooker for best results. Dredge the chicken pieces with the flour, and shake off the excess. Go ahead and throw away any remaining flour, we won't need it. Heat olive oil in a large skillet on the stove and brown the chicken on all sides. There is no need to fully cook it, just sear it enough for the flour to stick and get a nice coating.

Plop the chicken pieces into your slow cooker. In a small mixing bowl, combine the orange juice concentrate, brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, salt, and ketchup. Taste. If you'd like the chicken to be a bit sweeter, add a touch more sugar. Pour sauce mixture evenly over the chicken, and toss gingerly to coat.

Cover and cook on low for 6 hours, or on high for 3 to 4. Serve over white or brown rice.

What did I think?

This is amazing. I must have a bigger crock pot than 4 quarts, because both times I’ve made this, it started to burn on the sides. So, I’d recommend cooking it on low and checking it pretty soon. However, it’s still delicious, and still something I crave. It’s SO good. I actually took pictures this time! However, I started eating immediately after plating, so it’s not a pretty picture. But you’ll get the idea. Make this, if you’re gluten free, or if you’re just looking for a healthier alternative to deep fried Chinese food.

It’s amazing!

Have a great day!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

White Chicken Chili

Yum. Last week, I wanted it to be fall. I don’t care that I live in Texas so it’s still hot in the middle of October, I want it to be fall! So, I could not wait any longer and I had to make this white chicken chili. Okay, I’m not exaggerating, this stuff is DELICIOUS! It honestly tastes like comfort food, and then you look at the ingredients and realize that it’s all healthy. Amazing, right?

White Chicken Chili

Recipe by Our Best Bites

I call this a chili, but it’s really a soup consistency.
If you want it thicker, just reduce the amount of broth.

1 T Extra virgin Olive Oil
1 lb boneless chicken, cubed (about 3-4 boneless, skinless breasts)
1 medium onion, diced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cans Great Northern Beans
1 3.5 oz can green chilies
1/2 t cumin
1/2 t dried oregano leaves
1/2 t coriander
1/2 t salt
fresh cracked pepper
1 lime
1/2 C chopped cilantro
1 32oz box chicken broth

(I straight up copied and pasted this from their website)

In a large pot, heat olive oil. Add chopped onion and cook for about 2 minutes- just until it starts to become translucent. While onions are cooking, drain beans and rinse with cold water and set aside. Sprinkle chopped chicken with a little salt and pepper and add to pot. Add garlic as well. Cook until there’s no more visible pink on the chicken, probably 3-4 minutes.

Then add green chills- along with all of the juices in the can. Add beans, cumin, oregano, coriander, salt, and a few turns of fresh cracked pepper. Stir to combine and then add chicken broth.

Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer uncovered for 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and add the juice from one lime and the 1/2 C chopped cilantro. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Makes about 8 cups of soup.

The picture on their website is beautiful, mine, not so much. BUT, you still make to make this, it is SO good! :)

Have a wonderful week!


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Kung Pao Chicken!

Well, I haven't posted since May.

Sorry about that! I've been really busy! I have started student teaching and every day I come home exhausted with piles of homework to do (literally, I need to clean too...)!
So far, I've relied on tacos made once a week, eggs, and bowls for cereal for my dinner, but tonight, I decided to actually cook *GASP!* on a weekday! Shocking! Right?

Well, the only reason I even bothered going to the store on a weekday is because I'm out of toothpaste, and if I didn't get some on my way from school, I never I wouldn't get some until at least tomorrow...

I get distracted too easily...BACK TO DINNER!

But something in the store smelt delicious, and the moment I walked in the store, I knew I wanted some real/different food for dinner.

So, I got my toothpaste (oh, and zip lock bags, out of those too!) and started wandering the store. So many things looked delicious, but they would take too long. Then I came across the Sun Bird seasonings. I've made some before, and I decided I would try a new one. I saw Kung Pao chicken and I knew what would be for dinner.

The directions were easy enough, and, they are on the website! (Because, of course, I did not take pictures..)

This is what I did:
It would have been pretty quick if all of the chicken I eat did not come from a giant frozen 3 pound bag. After the chicken defrosted..

-I cut the chicken into small pieces and seasoned them with a little bit of salt and ginger powder, salt and pepper would obviously work :)
-Put some oil in a pan, started cooking the chicken
-While that was going on, I mixed the seasoning packet with 3 little packets of sugar, a tablespoon of soy sauce, and 3/4 cup of water & I cut up 4 green onions
-I guess I didn't really pay attention to the directions on the packet because then I added the green onions, and stirred them around in there for like 30 seconds
-Instead of peanuts, I bought water chestnuts so I could still have the crunch. I drained the liquid from the can and tossed them in there and let them be for about a minute.
-Then I added the seasoning mix, stirred it, and let it thicken for about a minute.

Then, I served it over brown rice!
*Oh! I forgot to mention at the beginning to put brown rice to start cooking. I use minute brand rice so it cooks in about 10 minutes instead of a hour..*

And it was DELICIOUS!

It took about 30 minutes to make total, but it was totally worth it for me, because I wanted real food. (Is it sad that my real food at this point in my life is inspired from a packet? Before, this semester, I used to cook ALL THE TIME! I promise! :) ) It could have been a lot faster if I had a pound and a half of cooked chicken laying around, then you could just use a tiny bit of oil for the green onions/water chestnuts/whatever else you decide to put in there. Then this would have been like a 5-10 minute meal :)

I invited my boyfriend over for dinner to celebrate the momentous occasion of me cooking in the middle of the week, he loved it too! :) I'd recommend these seasoning packets for anybody!

*Esp, busy college kids with stupid gluten allergies who can't order Chinese food when they crave it so they are forced to cook in the middle of the week...* :)

This is great because being gluten free, I tend to really miss Chinese food, so I am really looking forward to trying more of these seasoning packets.

Oh! I also looked on their website, and they have a whole list of these gluten free seasoning packets, if yall are interested.

Hope this can help a busy mom, dad, kid, teenager, college kid, who ever! :)
Speaking of busy, I have homework to do...

Have a great day!


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Strawberry Cupcakes! :)

Before I developed my gluten allergy, strawberry cake was my absolute favorite! But, I had never made it from scratch before. Finally, about 4 and a half years later, I decided to make a gluten free version, and it was absolutely delicious! Yall are really going to like it! :)

For the cake:

* 2 cups (16 ounces) fresh strawberries
* 1 package (15 ounces) yellow gluten-free cake mix (I used the Betty Crocker gluten free yellow cake mix)
* 3 tablespoons strawberry gelatin (half of a 3-ounce package)
* ½ cup vegetable/canola oil
* 3 large eggs
* 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 350 and line the cupcake tins.

2. Cut the green caps off the berries and mash the berries with a fork or place when in a food processor and pulse until you have a smooth puree, about 10 pulses. You need ¾ cup of pureed strawberries.

3.Place the cake mix and strawberry gelatin in a large mixing bowl and stir to combine. Add the strawberry puree, oil, eggs, and vanilla and beat with an electric mixer on low speed until the ingredients are just incorporated, 30 seconds. Stop the machine and scrape down the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat the batter until smooth, 1 to 1 ½ minutes longer, scraping down the side of the bowl again if needed.

4. Place batter in cupcake tins about 1/2 to 3/4 full.

5. The original recipe was for cake, I baked the cupcakes 18 minutes and they were perfect :) It made 18 cupcakes.

For the icing
( I used the recipe off the Philadelphia cream cheese website, )

*1 pkg. (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
*1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
*1 tsp. vanilla
*1 pkg. (16 oz.) powdered sugar (about 4 cups), sifted

you might want to half the icing, because I had plenty left over!

1) Beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla in large bowl with mixer until well blended.

2) Add the sugar gradually, beating after each addition until well blended.

They were delicious! Highly recommended! :)

Friday, February 4, 2011

Guiltless Alfredo Sauce

Guiltless Alfredo Sauce

2 C low-fat milk
1/3 C (3 oz) low fat cream cheese
2 T flour
1 t salt
1 T butter
3 garlic cloves
1 C grated Parmesan cheese

Toss the milk, cream cheese, flour, and salt in a blender.

Process until smooth and set aside.

In a non-stick sauce pan, melt butter on med-high heat and add garlic. Stand above the pan (but not close enough to scald your face) and inhale. Ahhh...butter and garlic. Okay, now get cooking again. Let the garlic saute for about 30 seconds, you don't want to burn it.

Then add milk mixture to the pan. Stir constantly for about 3 or 4 minutes or until it just comes to a simmer. Keep stirring and let it cook for a few minutes more. It should be much thicker now.

When it's nice and thickened remove the pan from the heat. Add the cheese, stir it up and then cover immediately. Let stand for at least 10 minutes before using. It will continue to thicken upon standing. Also, if you have leftovers in the fridge, the sauce will thicken almost into a solid. Just re-heat and add a little milk and it will be back to normal again.

This is delicious! I've made it a couple of times now, and I don't feel bad about Alfredo sauce anymore! Obviously, just sub gluten free flour, and use gluten free pasta :)
it says use low fat cream cheese but I bought no fat, and it turned out just fine :)