Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Egg Free Blackberry Pie Bars

These might look familiar if you've seen my "What to do with Blackberries" post from last year. I found this recipe at wit and vinegar.  I thought they looked so tasty I just had to try them.  It's a genius idea really.  It's a pie, only it a bar form (and I don't know about you but I have a hard time trying to get a pie to look appetizing).  I simply replaced the egg with water.  You could probably use any kind of filling here-- blueberry, cherry, raspberry....


Egg Free Blackberry Pie Bars
From Wit & Vinegar, adapted Egg Free by Egg Free Bakery

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1/4 cup cold water
1/8 tsp salt
Zest and juice of one small lemon
1-1/2 cup blackberries
1/4 cup white sugar
2 tsp cornstarch

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease an 8 x 8 glass baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.  In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, baking powder, flour, salt and lemon zest.  Cut in butter with pastry cutter or 2 butter knifes until it is crumbly. (If you don't have a pastry cutter-- get one.  I went for 8 years with out one and finally bought one.  I think it was less than $10 and it has changed my butter-cutting life) Add water and stir.  The dough will still look like crumbs- like moistened crumbs.  It will not be a "dough".  Don't worry. In another bowl combine lemon juice, cornstarch, and sugar. Add blackberries and toss gently.  Pat half the flour/crust mixture into the pan. Top with blackberries, then sprinkle the rest of the flour/crust mixture over the dough. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until top is golden brown.Let cool completely and put in the fridge for a couple of hours before serving. 


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Caribean Spiced Pork Chops with Mango Salsa

Ooh. Pretty.  And it tastes as good as it looks.  And it's healthy- which is good for me. And it takes relatively little amount of time.  So it's like a win-win-win-win.  Serve with a side of brown rice and/or veggies.


Pork Chops with Caribbean Rub and Mango Salsa 
From Our Best Bites & Cooking Light October 2011

1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
3/4 tsp sugar
3/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/8 tsp ground red pepper
4 pork chops
1/2 cup peeled mango, diced
1/2 cup Roma tomato, diced
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil

Combine spice in a small bowl.  Rinse pork chops with pork chops and pat dry with paper towel.  Rub pork chops with spice mixture. Heat an outdoor bbq grill.  Grease grill with and Add pork; grill 3 minutes on each side or until a thermometer registers 145° (slightly pink.). Meanwhile, combine mango, tomato, cilantro, red wine vinegar, and olive oil in a small bowl; toss gently.  Serve salsa over pork.  Yield 4 servings. 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

I'm baaaaack.

I'm back!  Well... sort of.  I thought I'd check in and schedule a few posts that I had waiting to be shared from awhile ago.  We've been taking it easy this summer since baby girl was born. Transitioning from 2 kids to 3 kids wasn't as bad as I thought it would be... but I was also expecting it to be really hard.  All my friends would tell me about how hard it was going to three kids, but we've been doing ok.  


All things considered I think I kept my kids pretty well entertained this summer for not really leaving the house 5 out of 7 days of the week.   
 

We made homemade bubbles and glitter play-doh, played in the sprinklers A LOT, and, well, I'll be honest here, my kids have "The Lego Movie" and "Hotel Transylvania" memorized word for word. So you can imagine what else we have been doing a lot of too. 

It's definitely busier with three kids.  I'm in a never ending battle with dishes and laundry. Sleep has become infinitely more important than some of my beloved hobbies such as cooking, blogging and reading.  That being said I can already tell that I won't be able to experiment with recipes and post as frequently as I had been.  Like I mentioned earlier, I have a few posts scheduled for you but after that my posting will probably be random for a little while.

I do have a recipe for you today- S'more Bars!  I tried two different recipes and I liked these ones the best.  Even my hubs who is not a s'more/marshmallow fan said these were good.

Egg & Nut Free S'more Cookie Bars
From Averie Cooks, adapted Egg free by Egg Free Bakery

1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), melted
3 oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
5 full-size graham crackers, roughly chopped (about 2 cups)
1 heaping cup mini marshmallows
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips or chopped up Chocolate Hershey's Bar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line an 8 X 8 pan with foil and spray with cooking spray.  Melt the butter in a microwave safe bowl.  Remove from microwave and place cream cheese in the melted butter  Allow to cool for a minute.  Add brown sugar and vanilla and beat until smooth and combined.  Add the flour and stir to combine.  Fold in chopped up crackers, marshmallows and chocolate. Spread batter into prepared baking pan.  Bake about 22-25 minutes.  Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before removing from pan and slicing into bars.


Friday, June 13, 2014

Egg & Nut Free Old Fashioned Chocolate Sheet Cake

I'm going to be taking a break from my blog for a little as I am days away from having my baby!  I know I will be busy taking care of baby girl and spending time with my family.

I thought I'd leave you with this yummy and classic chocolate sheet cake recipe before I head out. It's the perfect dessert for your summer parties, potlucks and BBQs.  No one will even guess it is egg free!

I'll be back soon!  Enjoy!


Egg & Nut Free Old Fashioned Chocolate Sheet Cake
From Egg Free Bakery

Cake: 
½ cup butter   
½ cup shortening 
4 tbsp cocoa 
1 cup water 
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar 
1 cup buttermilk 
1 tsp baking soda 
1 tsp cinnamon 
1 tsp vanilla
Dash salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  In a saucepan mix together butter, shortening, cocoa, and water over medium heat; bring to a boil, stirring til smooth. In a mixing bowl whisk together flour and sugar.  After butter mixture has come to a bowl, remove from heat and pour mixture over flour and sugar mixture.  Mix well.   Add buttermilk, soda, cinnamon, vanilla, and salt and mix well.  Pour into a greased 10 x 15 inch pan.  Bake 18-20 minutes.  5 minutes before cake is done baking, prepare frosting.

Frosting: 
½ cup butter   
4 tbsp cocoa 
1 tsp vanilla extract 
6 tbsp milk 
4 cups powdered sugar

Melt butter; add cocoa, vanilla and milk.  Bring to a boil.  Remove from heat and add powdered sugar.  Mix together until smooth.  Pour frosting over cake while still hot.  Let cake cool before slicing and serving.  Yields about 2 dozens servings

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Quick & Easy Dinners

Just as important as it is to learn how to replace allergens (like eggs) in cooking and baking, it's also important to learn how to cook in general as eating out and eating prepackaged convenience food may not be an option for those with food allergies.  It is not for us in our family.  With Baby #3 on the way, I've realized I am going to need to have some quick and easy dinners up my sleeve for when I turn into new-baby-mom-zombie.  Cuz pulling out a frozen pizza or going to McDonalds isn't happening in this family.  And we can only eat Kraft Macaroni and Cheese so many times.

There are SO many neat ideas and recipes out there.  I've come across some great tips that have helped me prepare freezer meals.  Some things that are handy to have in the freezer for us are: 

cooked shredded chicken
cooked ground beef
rolls/hamburger buns (they only keep for 1 month though)
pizza dough
pizza sauce
alfredo sauce
cookie dough  :)

to name a few.  One neat tip I found that I am trying now that we are approaching summertime is to assemble uncooked meat and freeze with a desired marinade.  When ready to cook, remove from freezer a day or two in advance to thaw.  It will marinate as it thaws and then just grill as instructed.

As I've been preparing for our new little one to come, I've been stocking up my freezer with a few of these things:  (Free of eggs, nuts, soy, mustard and legumes)


Crockpot: (Meat from these dishes can be cooked & then frozen, or you can assemble uncooked with seasoning ingredients & freeze.  When ready to eat, throw in the crockpot all day)


Freezer/Make Ahead:
Baked Creamy Chicken Taquitos
Baked Chicken Strips (watch out for a recipe to come soon)
Italian Meatballs (with or without sauce) serve over pasta or in hoagie rolls with mozzarella 
Pizza Dough + Pizza Sauce 
Pork Chops with Garlic & Herbs
Hamburger Patties
Italian Lasagna Rolls (omit egg) 
   *Be sure to slightly under cook pasta noodles if you are going to be freezing
Freezer Burritos (omit beans, if necessary)

*Soups are another good freezer/make ahead meal.  I haven't made any because we are heading into summer and "soup season" is so totally over.  But these are some good ones to try freezing:

Creamy Tomato Soup
White Chicken Chili

Breakfast Freezer Meals:

Quick & Easy: (For nights when you are short on time-- or energy.  Make even quicker by using cooked meat from freezer)

Beef Tacos (with this tasty homemade taco seasoning)
Spaghetti with garlic & oil (also from Food Allergy Mama's Easy, Fast Family Meals Cookbook-- you can beef it up by adding diced chicken or ham) 
Chicken & Veggie Quesadillas (once again from Food Allergy Mama) 
Pizza Burgers
Hawaiian "Pizzadillas" 
Regular Roast Beef Sandwiches 

This list is going to be a work in progress and I will add things as I come across them, but this is what I have for now.  Feel free to add suggestions or links in the comments if you've found something that has worked well for your family.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Egg & Nut Free Chocolate Ice Cream

Summertime! It's almost here (and so is my due date!!)  We are getting antsy for watermelon, running through the sprinklers, bbqs and of course, delicious frozen treats like ice cream.  My favorite summertime treat- in any variety.  I already have two egg and nut free vanilla ice cream recipes on my blog, (here and here) but chocolate is another staple ice cream flavor.  I like this recipe from Cuisinart.  It's chocolate-y and easy to make.



Find the recipe for Chocolate Ice Cream at Cuisinart

Since I like my ice cream more on the Coldstone side of things, here are some possible mix-in Ideas:

Possible Mix-in Ideas:

-Chopped Frozen Brownie Chunks
-Chopped up Oreo Cookies
-Mini Marshmallows, graham cracker crumbs, chocolate chips and/or fudge sauce
- Add Peppermint extract with either brownie chunks, Oreo cookies or Andes creme de menthes chips

Friday, May 30, 2014

Friday Finds + Egg & Peanut Free Oatmeal Butterscotch Cookies

Due to my son's nut allergy I hadn't been able to bake with anything other than chocolate chips.  Until now!! I had been considering ordering some baking chips from Vermont Nut Free Company, but honestly, ordering online is not really my thing.  Until recently, I hadn't discovered that Guittard brand chocolate is made in a peanut free facility. Hence my Friday Find. Hooray!  I stocked up on a bunch of Guittard butterscotch chips and vanilla chips while at Winco the other day.  I can't wait to bake with them all.  The first item on my bucket list was to make these Oatmeal Butterscotch Cookies.  I remember loving them as a kid and they are still just as delicious. 


Egg & Nut Free Oatmeal Butterscotch Cookies
From Egg Free Bakery

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
6 oz cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1-1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3 cups quick cooking oats
1-2/3 cup Guittard Butterscotch Chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix butter, shortening and cream cheese until well combined.  Add sugars and mix well.  Add vanilla.  Add flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.  Mix until until combined.  Add oats and chips.  Drop dough by tablespoonfuls on ungreased or parchment lined baking sheets.  Roll each piece of dough into a ball and flatten slightly with your palm.  Bake 8-10 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool 5-10 minutes on cookie sheet before removing to a wire rack to cool completely before storing.  Yield about 4-1/2 dozen cookies.