This is my cookcabulary

Category Archive

The following is a list of all entries from the Gluten Free category.

Chocolate Berry Cobbler – Gluten and Dairy Free!

Hi.  Do you remember me? I’m still here. I can’t believe its been 4 months since I have blogged … but in that time I have given birth to a beautiful and spectacular baby girl and been busy at home raising, burping, feeding, changing and playing with her!  We’re really getting into a routine now, she’ll be 10 weeks on Sunday, so I am finding time to cook and bake again.

The other night I made a fantastic seasoned roast – Sam actually said, “I hope you are back in your cooking mode.” Ha! I’ve been in the cooking/baking mode – just a dormant mode I guess?

But anyway, my work Christmas party is tonight and I am in charge of bringing dessert – the only thing I am good for apparently.

Due to exclusively nursing my newborn and my husbands on going wheat intolerance, I decided to make something without dairy or wheat. Cobbler. Perfect.

Here is the recipe adapted from

For the filling:

  • 6 cups fresh or frozen raspberries/blackberries
  • 2 T. white sugar
  • 1 T. cornstarch
  • 12 oz. chopped dairy-free dark chocolate

For the topping:

  • 1 ½ cups gluten free flour mix:
    • Combine 1/2 cup rice flour, 1/4 cup tapioca starch/flour, 1/4 cup cornstarch or potato starch
  • ¼ cup pure cocoa powder
  • 1 ½ T baking powder
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1/3 cup white sugar, plus more for sprinkling
  • 6 T. lactose and soy free butter
  • ½ cup unsweetened plain soymilk or milk substitute

We start with the filling. Place the berries in a pot over medium heat with sugar. Heat until sugar is dissolved. Then mix cornstarch with equal parts water, until dissolved, and add to berries. Allow to thicken, about 6 or so minutes. Take the heated berries and place in greased 9″ pie plate, add chocolate.

In a food processor, combine all the remaining dry ingredients. Add butter and pulse until coarse. Gradually add milk, while the food processor is on, until the dough starts to pull away from the sides.

Mine happened to get super liquidy, so I added more dry ingredients until I had the appropriate consistency. I think it was due to the butter I used, soy and dairy free. I think it looses its “strength” when warmed and whirred.

Add dough, by the spoon full, to the filling. Spreading the dough around. Don’t worry about it laying perfectly, you want sporadic puffs.  Sprinkle with sugar … alllll the sugar you want!

Place in a 350 degree oven for about 35-45 minutes until bubbly and cooked through.

Once the cobbler was finished, I started to look at it, and totally realize it would not feed any more than 6 people. I have 8 coworkers and some of them have spouses, pretty sure this cobbler is not going to feed all of them – plus Sam and me! So, with the left over filling (I made about 8 cups in the beginning) I thought – cookies! And I would just compliment the flavors in the cobbler somehow. What about a basic chocolate cookie and then a dollop of this delicious berry mixture?

I pulled out the festive red KitchAid mixer, and got back to work.

Chocolate Cookies:

  •  2 sticks of butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

This is just a basic cookie recipe, I then substituted butter for my dairy free version, but decided to keep the flour incorporated.  I have found the recipes I have used for cookies are exactly delicious when made gluten free, and for the ones I do like – I’m not certain others would enjoy the different flours on their palette. So, Sam can have cobbler. :)

Pretty simple, combine butter and sugars in mixer until creamy.  Add eggs and vanilla. In a separate bowl combine dry ingredients. When I use cocoa powder, I like to sift all my dry ingredients.  It really helps with all the clumping. Slowly tap the bowl of dry ingredients into the mixer until all is combined.  Make sure to be scraping the bowl through the whole process to make sure the sides and bottom are incorporated and there aren’t butter chunks. Gross!

I then, with my trusty ice cream scoop I always use, plopped spoonfuls onto a baking dish. 

Oh! But before that I added cut up chocolate that I had leftover from the cobbler.

Ok, so plops of dough. Then I used a 1/2 tsp … scooped up some left over berry mixture and pressed it into the middle of the cookie. Yea buddy! Yum.

Place in a 350 degree oven for about 12-14 minutes.  Remove and allow to cool on rack.

I have to admit I d how they look, theyre a little flat for my liking – but again, I really think its the butter I use. It must not be able to stand up to the heat during baking. Oh well – flavor is still there.



Flank Steak

We got a bachelor meal my friends! This is so easy, and delicious, there isn’t much to blog about.

Other than the fact that it was over 70 degrees today, and flank steak sounded amazing.

I think I’ve been craving flank steak for about a week, but it just hasn’t been warm enough, or I wasn’t feeling up to cooking (blaming it on the pregnancy), or Sam and I had different schedules. But today, today was the day. I popped into Marsh after work and spotted the perfect flank – told the butcher/meat guy what I wanted, and he happily handed it over. I swear, good weather makes everyone in an awesome mood. Then, I rushed home while making a quick call to my mom to see how she makes hers (as I so often do). 

It’s so easy, a bachelor could do it.

All you need is

  • Flank Steak
  • Soy Sauce
  • Garlic (optional)

Take the steak and place in dish. Pour soy sauce over meat and into dish.  Pour just enough so that the entire bottom of the dish and steak are sitting in soy sauce, add chopped garlic if you so desire.  Let marinade for at least 30 minutes.

Sorry, the image is a little bright.

Then, get your grill HOT! Like 400 degrees hot! Yeah buddy!

Grill each side about 3-4 minutes.  You want to char the outside, but keep the inside nice and red! It’s weird because this is the only meat I will eat this rare.

Let is rest a good 5 minutes before you cut into it. This is a typical rule for all meat.  You want to let it rest after removing it from the heat. While meat is in the oven, the juices are thrown this way and that due to high temperatures. When meat is removed from heat, it continues to cook out while it cools.  This run-off of heat allows the juices to become evenly distributed so each bite has the same amount of juice and tenderness. If you were to cut it right away, some bites may seem more dry than others. Also, make sure your knife is sharp when you cut – no dull knifes allowed! And, speaking of cutting – you will notice flank steak has lots of linear lines running parallel to each other.  When the meat is ready to be cut, take your sharp knife and cut perpendicular to the ‘grain’, but at a slight angle.  This helps so that your bites, and cuts, wont be so chewy!

I plated our flank-deliciousness with a baked potato and salad.

Bring summer on!

Mac-N-Cheese and Sloppy Joes

As most everyone knows, we’re expecting! I know, random I start the blog out like that – but I think it explains the lack of my posting the last 12 weeks.  I don’t know if you are aware, but pregnancy does some weird things to you, especially when it comes to food.  Luckily, I havent had to “pray to the porcelain God’s” but I have had bouts of nausea.  In order to suppress that nausea, I had to eat – like every two hours.  Just like one saltine or a pack of fruit snacks, but still.  Then, when I got home, I did NOT want to cook. I know! blasphemy! Alexis didn’t want to cook! It’s absurd really.  Nothing sounded good and the thought of having to take pictures and do my blog-process sounded entirely too daunting. Ugh.


I think I have joined the real world again! It is probably to early to speak, but I am nearing my second trimester and my cravings are wide and my appetite is ravenous.  Food is my priority. Ha! Feels good to be back from the dead, as some call it.  But, I am not sure where that puts me in for the future of my cookcabulary.  Will a child be so consuming I wont blog ….

Nah! Hey, I hear you laughing – stop it!

Anyway, so everyone knows, the blogging will probably be entirely sporadic throughout my pregnancy.  I have no idea what I will crave or what will happen with my appetite, but I will be sure to include you all in my journey.

And we begin with tonight.

I made two dishes! Are you kidding me? Two?!  This is odd for me, I usually make one main dish and then 2 simple simple sides – not tonight! I had foodfuel to buuuuuuuurn. And comfort food was calling my name.

We begin with my version of (gluten-free) macaroni and cheese.


  • Choice of pasta
  • 8-10 oz shredded cheese of choice (I used Colby and cheddar)
  • 8 oz sour cream
  • 1/2 cup ranch dressing
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • Milk
  • Salt and pepper.

PS – this is an Alexis original, holla! As with all pasta, cook in boiling water until tender.  While the pasta is cooking shred your cheese and set aside.  In a medium mixing bowl combine sour cream, ranch dressing, Parmesan cheese, and salt/pepper.  I eye balled everything, but I am guessing on these amounts. Obviously if you like it really really cheesy, add more cheese.  Although the amount I have listed is quite cheeeesy ifidosaysomyself.

When pasta is cooked, drain and pour into mixing bowl.  Add 3/4 of shredded cheese and mix everything thoroughly.  Spread in small 9×9 baking pan. Pour milk over mixture.  Not too much – about 3/4 cup.  Then spread remaining shredded cheese.

Throw in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes and fogetaboutit! You can also add breadcrumbs to the top, but I wanted total creamy factor to the max here. 

Ok, so while this is cooking, I made my other dish – Sloppy Joes!

This recipe I got from Simply Recipes, but I revised it a bit.

  • 1 Tbsp EVOO
  • 1/2 c. minced carrots
  • 1/2 c. chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 c. ketchup
  • 1 can tomato sauce, about 1 cup
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • pinch ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • hamburger buns

The direction are pretty lengthy, so I am going to have you reference the link above.  I think I’ve been rambling enough in this post! :)

Basically you saute the carrots, onions and garlic – set aside. Then brown the meat and add the veggies back in.  Then add everything else and let simmer for about 10 minutes.

With the hamburger buns, I like to spread a little butter on those bad boys, and pop them in the oven on broil – low until they are golden brown.

Serve and enjoy my friends!

Gluten Free Lemon and Almond Meltaways

I had dinner last week with my awesome friend Bess – we caught up over antipasto salad and pizza at Bazbeauxs.  This seems to be our spot, as we always tend to schedule dates sporadically.  We never know where to go, but Broadripple is smack dab in the middle, and that dang antipasto salad is always calling our name.  Needless to say we chatted, laughed, and shared stories of the prior weeks since we had last seen each other.  Have I ever mentioned that Bess and I used to be Pen-Pals? Yea! It started when I was in 3rd grade (and living in Oregon) … our dad’s traveled together for work, but we began writing each other . I would send her my Lisa Frank and Sanrio stationary (I was obsessed) and she would write back all the way from good old Shelbyville. So fun. Anyway, this recipe comes from her.  Because she knows me so well, its contains 3 things I love.  1 – Lemon, 2 – Gluten Free, 3 – a totally cute blog I can now follow.

So thanks Bess.  They turned out wonderful, for gluten-free cookies!

Gluten Free Lemon & Almond Meltaways; courtesy of Cannelle et Vanille.

  • 115 grams butter
  • 95 grams powdered sugar
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • 2 Tbs lemon juice
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 100 grams sweet rice flour
  • 40 grams cornstarch
  • 35 grams sorghum flour
  • 20 grams amaranth flour
  • 20 grams almond flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt

As you can see, everything is in grams! At first I freaked out. Wondering how I would pull this off! Then, I realized I have a food scale – duh! I was then really excited – these were exact measurements! If you go online and convert grams to ounces – NONE of the above quantities equal exact amounts. I loved it. You might find that weird, but I understand that baking is a science, and this recipe is exact!

And, surprisingly – I had ALL the ingredients except for one.  I might add that after I seriously went to 6 stores to find sweet rice flour (this was a looooong time ago), it was finally suggested to me by an adorable little vegan guy in dreads and stellar ink to check a chinese grocery. And he was right! So, if you can’t find it at your local grocer, try the Chinese locations.  However, it was over a year ago I was looking to purchase this particular flour and Gluten Free flours have come such a long way I bet it’s around and more convenient. 

I had to go out and buy the amaranth flour – this was actually one I had never heard of. But I called Wild Oats after my local health food store didn’t have it, and it was in stock at Wild Oats. So, I had Sam pick some up on the way home.

Anyway, the recipe is super easy!

Cream butter, powdered sugar and lemon zest in mixer.  Add lemon juice.  Combine all the dry ingredients and add them to the mixer slowly.  Cream until well combined.

Transfer dough to a sheet of parchment paper (I used wax) and shape into a log that has about a 2″ diameter.  Use the paper to tighten the log and form a nice cylinder.  Don’t stress if it isn’t perfect.

Place in fridge for at least 2 hours.

Remove from fridge and cut into 1/4″ thick disks. I then used my spiffy new fluted cutters and salvaged the scraps to put back in the fridge and made even more cookies.  Place these on a baking sheet (it says to line with parchment paper, but I just sprayed with Pam) and bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool.

When they have cooled slightly, and are still warm, dredge the cookies in powdered sugar.


 Sam loved them, so thanks again Bess.

Oh, and thanks to those of you who have subscribed to my blog – I actually have “followers”!!!!

Turkey is the new Chicken

Well hello my friends! Its been a minute hasn’t it? I have a few items I need to catch up on blog wise, but for some reason I have just been pre-occupied.  Actually, now that the holidays are long over, I find that people are totally over the sugar and sweets.  So, really – I’ve just been laying off the baking.  The past couple weeks I’ve cooked up a storm in the kitchen for dinners, but as I dig in for the first bite of most meals I have the thought, “Crap! I didn’t take pictures!” Ha.  I get home from working and just need to get dinner started and forget about the blogging part.  Does that make me less of a blogger? I think not. 

Anyway…I was at Meijer (shocker) and found Enchilada sauce that has no wheat! Holla! I haven’t been able to find sauce without gluten so we never get enchiladas in my house. So, right when I found the sauce this time, I immediately grabbed a pack of corn tortillas (they’re wheat free too).

Oh man was I excited to make dinner tonight.  So excited, again I didn’t take pictures of the process. But that was in part to a few things. A) My battery was running low and it takes forever to take pictures on a low battery B) Taking pictures of the process takes longer to make the meal C) It’s pretty quick and easy so I thought a plated image would suffice.

No arguing my friends, that is the process tonight. :) Ha.

I think tonight can serve as a Bachelor Meal as well.  Its just dumping your favorite things into one dish, and it gets messy, and you really dont have to measure anything!

Ok, so the ingredients you need for some delicious Enchiladas are :

  • 6 corn tortillas
  • 1 LB Ground Turkey (or beef, or chicken) More on this later
  • Cumin
  • Garlic Powder
  • Salt and Pepper (S&P)
  • Taco Seasoning
  • Fresh Onion
  • Fresh garlic
  • 1 can corn
  • 1 can black beans
  • Salsa of choice
  • 1 can enchilada sauce of choice
  • Pepper Jack and Cheddar Cheese

Tonight I decided to change things up and try out this Turkey stuff.  We are avid extra lean ground beef people in this house, but the turkey craze was getting to me.  I hear so much about how it tastes like whatever you need it taste, is less fat, and a super awesome alternative to beef or chicken. So, I went for it. Thank you Jenni-O.  (And The Biggest Loser for your propoganda). 

First – ground meat in hot skillet.  Add some S&P, garlic powder, cumin, and taco seasoning. This is all to your liking, add as little or as much as you want – I did absolutely no measuring here. Remember, cooking is fun and allows for combinations of flavors and ingredients, baking is the science where measuring is essential to the food’s success. You can also add a little water to help the taco seasoning distribute evenly, about a 1/4 cup.  Remove from skillet in separate bowl and set aside.

In your already hot pan, add your chopped onion and garlic.  Allow the onions to cook until translucent.  Then, add your corn and black beans.  Feel free to add green chilis, jalapeño, whatever! After that has all sautéed a minute, bring the meat back and combine everything together.

Now take the corn tortillas and heat in the microwave for about 30 seconds.  This allows them to become super pliable.  If you don’t heat them up, they will break when you try to fold them, I’m not kidding, they will totally fall apart.

Get a 9 x 13 baking dish and ladle some of the enchilada sauce and salsa on the bottom.  Pour remaining enchilada sauce in bowl.  Take one corn tortillas and coat, in bowl, in enchilada sauce.  Then, take the tortilla (yup, you have to get your fingers dirty!!) and place in baking dish and scoop a heaping amount of meat/vegetable mixture into tortillas.  Fold both ends over and flip so folded side if facing down.  Repeat until your pan is full.  PS – I pack these suckers tight up against each other! Gets more in the pan, and they support each other.

When you’re done, layer as much cheese as you want on top of each enchilada. Pour remaining enchilada sauce on top, and top with another spoonful of meat mixture (I had A LOT left, hello leftovers!!) and top with shredded Pepper Jack cheese.

Then, you just place the little dish in a preheated 350 degree oven for 15 minutes.

Ohhh yea!

While its cooking, I heated up some refried beans on the stove.  I didn’t have any spanish rice to make so, I thought this would do.  When the enchiladas we’re done, I spooned some beans on a plate, added more enchiladas sauce, and plated the enchiladas right on top!  Garnish with sour cream and green onions. 

Let the FIESTA begin! Aaa-reee-bah!! :)

11 Layer Taco Dip

For those of you coming to our party on Sunday – get excited, b/c I am making this dip – again – for the Superbowl!

originally I had made this for one of my besties! Her birthday was other week and my other bestie and I headed up to Chicago to surprise her.  I have to admit, sitting in AJ’s car – camped out in the dark, spying on T’s apartment was awkwardly fun.  Especially when AJ ding-dong-ditched and about bit it running across the ice to hide. The surprise was a total hit, and somehow AJ and I MUST have been on the same wavelength, b/c she made enchiladas. I know – crazy! We both went mexican theme! That’s how I know we’re “wives”! Ha.  Anyway, not only was the two of us coming up a surprise to T, but the next night, the party her sister organized was even more of a surprise.  I am not kidding when I say Mr. Redfearn asked for my hand in marriage just b/c of this taco dip.

“Glad this is going over well.” I thought to myself.  Then I ate more than anyone in the room! Yea!

Anyway – let’s get to this dip! PS I had never made Taco Dip and just went to the store and got what sounded good. Here’s me ingredients – but absolutely create your own!!

  • refried beans

  • guacamole (store-bought or home-made) I chose store-bought for convenience.

  • then the taco seasoning and sour cream mix. Take 1/2 cup sour cream and mix in 1 package of taco seasoning.  Feel free to add more sour cream to dilute seasoning if you need to – but this ratio works well!

  • oh yea, time for the cheese!

  •  how about some black beans?

  • then add all the goodies on top!!

Oh what are the goodies you ask? Well, ga-rate questions.  We’ve got freshly chopped tomatoes, jalapeno, green onion and chopped olives.

Now let me reveal the secret to the success of this dish.

It sat overnight – twice!

Yea! I made it on a Thursday night, drove to Chicago on Friday night, then we ate it Saturday night. I will for sure make this the night before every time I make it! Allowing all those flavors to marry together – oh amazing. Especially the jalapeno.  You could taste their flavor even if you didn’t get a jalapeno in your bite! YUM – O!

Go on – make it for the superbowl … I know you want to.

Chicken and Bacon Cheese Casserole

Last night I was craving a home cooked meal.  Sam and I had a pretty hectic week and we didn’t seem to be getting home until 9 or so in the evenings.  I needed to cook, and bad.

He opted for a casserole, which is fine and dandy – but casseroles are certainly not gluten-free. 

I browsed the internet, thinking of ideas and pondering what meat I wanted to use.  As a Costco member, I bought chicken probably a month ago – and still have like 10 breasts, ha! So, I went with a poultry based meal.

I stumbled upon a fantastic little website that had a million casseroles to choose from. I was already going to convert everything to be gluten-free, but I needed a recipe that didn’t have cream of chicken/mushroom as they contain wheat themselves. I usually don’t have issues converting/omitting/changing things from recipes, but I haven’t tried making a cream of anything gluten-free yet, and removing that ingredient would change the entire dish.

So thank you, you provided a nice starting point for me to prepare my husband and I a wonderful dish.

Ingredients that you will need:

  • 1 box gluten-free pasta (penne or elbow macaroni) I prefer Schaar.
  • 6-8 slices of bacon
  • 2 tbsp butter
  •  chicken large chicken breasts
  • 2 tbsp pre-made gluten-free flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 can chicken broth (low sodium)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 8 oz Cheddar cheese
  • 4 oz Colby jack cheese (feel free to play around with different types of cheese.  I thought about adding jalapeno jack)
  • 1 cup peas
  • 1 cup Corn Flake crumbs (gluten-free alternate to bread crumbs)

We start by boiling water in a medium pot; cook pasta.

Preheat oven as well to 350 degrees and grease a large baking dish (9×13)

It probably helps best to go ahead and cut chicken into small 1″ cubes, or whatever you feel is bite-sized.  I didn’t do this step until the butter and grease were going, but it will help to get it out-of-the-way before you begin.  Make sure to set aside and wash hands completely to avoid contaminating anything with your dirty little chicken fingers. ;)

In a large skillet, cook  bacon until delicious and crispy.  Remove and let sit on paper towel until cooled.  Then crumble bacon into little bite size morsel of heaven.  Refrain from eating! Remove remaining grease from pan, but leave about a tablespoon or so.  Add butter. 

*note, at this point – that little skillet is going to be smelling SO good. Butter and grease, are you kidding me? I felt like Paula Dean on a hot southern summer night! Woo!*

Add chicken and cook over medium-low heat until cooked throughly. 

(After the last few posts and using my work’s camera – these images are a little sad, but at least you get the idea)

Add flour one tablespoon at a time and stir until well blended.  Then, add milk slowly. Continue to cook and stir occasionally until it thickens slightly. 

Gradually add in about half of the chicken broth, and continue to cook a couple minutes.

At this point, the remaining ingredients can all be included.  Salt and pepper to taste and add thyme, cheese, thawed peas, and crumbled bacon.  Then, spoon over cooked pasta (which has been drained and transferred to our greased baking dish)

Look at those GF noodles, you can’t even tell they don’t have wheat!

After youve spooned the mixture over the pasta, go ahead and give it a light stir.  Then, evenly spread bread crumbs on top. Here are the kind I use from Southern Homestyle.

At this point its ready to go in the oven, but it wasnt enough for me.  I added an extra 1/2 cup or so of cheese spread on top, and poured another 1/2 cup or so of the chicken broth. It’s really hard to get that creamy consistency with GF flour, so I wanted to make sure there was enough liquid to keep the dish moist, and not dry out in the oven. So, feel free to add whatever at this point .

Place in oven and cook for about 20-30 minutes, or until topping is golden brown and the casserole is making that’ bubbly sound.

Serve it up with some greens and a garlic bread stick (I enjoyed the breadstick, I needed SOME gluten ha!).  Enjoy!

Baked Bean Stew

Today I had the joy of taking pictures with a Canon Digital Rebel XTi! It belongs to my office, but we had a site visit today after work and I thought I’d bring it home to play around with (and show Sam how good I am and that he should still get me a camera, haha!) I havent read the manual so I don’t KNOW what I am doing, but I played with the settings a LOT to get different shots.

So what better way then to test it out while I am cooking! Tonigh’s meal I think can go in the Bachelor Meal category.  The only non bachelor part about it is the chopping, but I think you men can handle it! This is a great meal for a cold winter night! Perfect for the storm we’re about to get! I heart the snow b-t-dub.

Grab the following ingredients (feel free to add more and make it up as you go, I did!)

1 lb ground beef

1 yellow onion

1 can baked beans

1 can stewed tomatoes

carrots (chopped)

celery (chopped)

3/4c water

1/2 tsp. onion powder

cheddar cheese

Start by chopping the onion and placing in a warm pan heated with EVOO, add ground beef and cook until brown.

While the meat is cooking, chop the carrots, celery and stewed tomatoes. (I prefer my tomatoes in smaller bites)

Combine everything into the pan (if it fits) or medium-sized pot.  Bring to boil and let simmer 30-45 minutes.

plate in a bowl and top with cheese!

I had SO much fun with this camera! I took pics of my Christmas decorations, that I was supposed to be taking down last night, but I’ll save those for another blog.  I did get this GREAT shot of my Kimoni-man! He’s so mysterious and handsome!

Goodnight all! Think *snow*!

Roasted Chicken

Have you kids missed me?! It’s been a bit hasn’t it?! This Christmas season just has me running around so chaotically! I have wanted to bake/cook something and post about it everyday, but finding the time to do everything it takes to have a good blog has just been null.  At least everything it takes to do MY food blog ;) You know I like to ramble and tell stories, I can’t just put up a picture and recipe!

Any-who! Who is jazzed about Christmas?! I totally am, mostly because I leave for Hawaii in less that  week! Yes!

But, I digress – right now we are talking birds/chicken/poultry – whatever you wanna call it! A few days ago I made this delicious treat. I had been to Costco that morning and saw two whole chickens for a reasonable price. I heart Costco, seriously.  Plus they sell Tillamook Cheese

It’s a Oregon thing … but I do recommend trying it – FANTASTIC!

Ok, so got the chickens at Costco and was super pumped to cook the bird.  I spent a good 30 minutes searching for a simple but classic roasted chicken recipe and when I found it, I knew it was the one! And I am so sorry to disappoint – but I lost the recipe, uggggh! I KNOW! I’m a failure! But, it was pretty basic for whole roasted chickens. 

From memory – here is what I think I did … (I didn’t take pictures of the process b/c that would take way too long with washing my hands in between touching the chicken and picking up the camera, whoa bacteria!)

Gutted the thing. So gross. The innards were not in a nice little baggy, I had to do it myself.  But it wasnt as bad as boning a whole chicken.  I have yet to accomplish that – you’re waaay ahead of me Julie! (Julie & Julia, fantastic movie!) After removing the lovelies, rinse chicken and then pat dry with paper towels. 

Preheat oven to 375.  Peel two carrots, cut in half length wise, and then chop in half.  Sprinkle some onion powder, salt, and pepper inside cavity. Place carrots in cavity with 3 Tbsp. butter.

Then, the recipe called for herbs and then butter on the chicken, but I didn’t think that was the right order, so I flipped it.  Oh, and the recipe called for celery, not carrots. But all I had were carrots, totally acceptable. :) So rub chicken with either a half or full stick of butter, whichever you prefer.  Make sure butter is completely room temperature, it will spread better.  Rub that oily goodness into the breast, thighs, wings, everywhere! We want flavor people – get into it! Then sprinkle with salt, pepper, and onion powder. There not magic quantity, you just want a nice even coat. You could absolutely add garlic, or other herbs, but I wanted something simple.

Place in roasting pan, or like me – on top of a wire rack in a shallow pan, and bake for 20 minutes/lb.  If you used enough butter, you can baste the chicken ever now and then with the runoff. Makes for a nice crusty skin!

The chicken is done when a thermometer inserted into its thigh (don’t touch any bones) reads 165 degrees F.  When it reaches that temp, take it out of the oven and let it sit.  This helps with the juices and finishes the internal cooking.

This picture reminds me: you need to close up both the large cavity and neck cavity. I used kabob sticks broken in half.  Just “sew” up the chicken with the loose skin to keep cavity a nice warm pocket!

Serve with green beans and baked potato!

Italian Salad

It’s Black Friday! Woo. Which really means nothing to me.  Although Sam got up at 3:00 to go find “the perfect deal”.  I just don’t see the sense in waiting in those lines … ok I do see the sense, I will just admit I don’t have the patience.  I prefer staying home and puting up Christmas decorations! Yay.  But today we are actually going to my parents house for Thanksgiving – we had the Ray Thanksgiving last night.

When I get to my mom and dad’s house I will be taking tons of pictures of the food – show you guys the awesomeness that is my mom, and why I know what I know! Last year I made a delicious Chestnut Sausage stuffing form William Sonoma, but this year – not making anything.  I asked mom if she needed help but she had it covered, unless I just HAD to bring something.  Which normally I would’ve, but this week was crazy with work, and I never made it to the grocery store and I didn’t think I could manage finding ingredients today. So, I know some of you are surprised – but I didn’t do anything for Thanksgiving! Ca-razy – I know.  

Anyway, the other weekend we had our infamous girls night! I love girls nights, Me, Katy and all my favorite Ashley’s in one room with food – I LOVE it! Before we made breakfast for dinner, but this go-around we just made good food! I decided to make an italian salad since we were having meatballs and mac-n-cheese.  So, here goes it!

The recipe is simple – lots of veggies:

  • 1 c evoo (extra virgin olive oil)
  • 2/3 cup terragon vinegar
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp freshly chopped thyme
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (8oz.) can artichoke hears, drained and quartered
  • 1-2 heads of romaine lettuce, rinsed, dried, and chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4c black olives
  • 2 celery stalks
  • salami
  • cherry tomatoes
  • romano cheese
  • mozzarella cheese
  • ground pepper to taste

We start with the dressing.  This recipe actually makes double, so feel free to cut the dressing ingredients in half, however, i just love this dressing and doubling it makes me feel better. :)

In a medium bowl with a lid, mix oil, tarragon vinegar (yum!), sugar, thyme, dry mustard, and garlic.  Cover, and shake until well blended.  Place artichoke hearts in mixture, cover, and marinade in fridge 3 hours, or overnight.

Now the chopping begins, get ready, because there is A LOT! In a large bowl, combine remaining ingredients!

now the red pepper, and carrots:


…celery and salami,

then the tomatoes, and cheeses.  Use more mozzarella more than the romano. I’d say about 1 cup mozz, and 1/2+ cup romano…its really however much cheese you want though.

I pre-made this salad in the morning, so I just let the veggies sit in the fridge while the dressing was marinating.  Then, when I got to A.Adam’s house, I poured the dressing on the top and gave it all a good toss!

…and of course, I didn’t take any pictures of the final product served.  I was way too pumped to talk about Katy’s pregnancy and the movie we were about to watch.

So, as long as you’ve got some time to kill chopping – this is a really simple dish you can pre-make way ahead of time.  Enjoy!