Pomegranate and Clementine Spinach Salad

clemspinachsaladThis is a great winter salad that is really simple to prepare. I love pomegranates and am always excited when they come back into season, they really add a lot to salads with their taste and texture. Clementines are also in abundance this time of the year and the two together taste great and really make a treat of a salad. I topped it off with a just a bit of vinaigrette dressing – with the clementine and pomegranate juice it doesn’t need a whole lot. I served this as a main course for two people for dinner, but would be great as a side dish or for lunch.

cleamspinachsalad2Ingredients:
6 cups loosely packed spinach or spring mix salad
2 clementines, peeled
1/2 cup (about 1/2) pomegranate arils
vinaigrette dressing, to taste

Mix the ingredients in a bowl and serve immediately. Enjoy!

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Gluten Free Sugar Cut Out Cookies

gluten free sugar cookiesThese are my mom’s favorite cookies and I think she waits all year for them to be made.  We made them when I was a kid, and I always had fun frosting and decorating all the cookies. So for me to give her a different cookie, I knew it had to be good, really good. Her comment was that it was delicious, and slightly more buttery tasting. That’s more than alright with me.

Ingredients:
2 cups gluten free flour mix blend
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1 large egg
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened

In a large bowl cream the butter and sugar, then add the egg and vanilla and mix until combined. In a smaller bowl combine the flour mix with the baking powder, and sea salt. Slowly mix that that into the large bowl and beat on low until all the flour is combined.

Place a piece of plastic wrap over the dough and set in the refrigerator for 45 minutes – 1 hour. This will make the dough much easier to handle and prevent it from falling apart and cracking when you’re rolling it out and using the cookie cutters.

Preheat the oven to 350F

Sprinkle a bit of gluten free flour on your counter or another hard surface and roll out the dough. Since the dough isn’t going to rise too much, don’t go real thin. Cut out shapes of your choice.

Bake for 7-8 minutes. Allow to cool on the pan for a couple minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool. Allow to completely cool before using jams or gluten free frosting of your choice. Enjoy!

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Chicken Enchilada Casserole

Chicken Enchilada CasseroleThis casserole has all the flavors of a chicken enchilada all wrapped together in one large delicious pan. It’s a great comfort food dish, with delicious spices, chilies and corn. It’s perfect anytime of the year for dinner, and reheats great the next day for lunches.

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Ingredients:
3 cups cooked white rice
1/2 lb cooked chicken breasts, shredded
2 cups gluten free enchilada sauce
1 10 oz can green chilies
1 16 oz can refried beans
1 cup corn
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 cup shredded monterey jack cheese
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

chickenenchilada2Cook your rice and chicken. Once that’s ready preheat the oven to 350F. Mix together everything in a 9×9 pan, other than the cheddar cheese and half of the monterey jack cheese.

Top with the cheddar and remainder monterey jack cheese and place into the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, until the cheese is starting to slightly bubble and brown. Serve hot.

Crock Pot Corn and Potato Chowder

cornchowderOn those cold and busy winter days, this is great to sit down to. It’s fast and easy to prepare and you can let it sit and cook all day while you take care of other things. It goes great with some gluten free bread, biscuits, or crackers.

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Ingredients:
32 oz red potatoes, diced
16 oz corn
1 small white onion, diced
3 tablespoons brown rice flour
4 cups vegetable stock
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon turmeric
sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup half and half
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

cornchowder2Place the potatoes, corn, and onions in the crock pot with the flour and toss to lightly coat. Add the garlic, turmeric, salt, pepper, and vegetable stock. Cook on low heat for 6 hours. Add the butter and half and half and stir well, allow to cook for about 10 minutes.

Serve immediately.

Broccoli Salad with Raisins and Sunflower Seeds

Broccoli Salad with Sunflower Seeds and RaisinsLots of texture and taste is what this salad is all about. There’s lots of crunch from the fresh broccoli, the bits of bacon, onion and raisins all give it nice bursts of flavor – and it has a light coating of dressing that gives it a hint of sweetness. It makes for a nice side dish for a group, or we had it as a main dish for dinner for two, with some leftovers for lunch.

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Ingredients:
2 small or 1 larger heads of broccoli (6-7 cups) diced
8 slices bacon, cooked until crispy and crumbled
1/4 cup salted sunflower seeds
1/4 cup red onion, diced
1/3 cup raisins

For the dressing:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/8 teaspoon ground pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin

broccolisalad2In a large bowl place the diced broccoli and add the sunflower seeds, onion, raisins and bacon. In a small bowl combine the dressing ingredients and stir into the salad ingredients until blended. Serve right away and enjoy!

Caramel Apple Cheesecake

apple and caramel cheesecakeI made this cheesecake for Thanksgiving dinner this year, along with the traditional pumpkin pie. I like to serve one traditional dessert, and one new dessert – and I think this will become a new tradition for our family as everyone loved it. I really enjoyed it with a cup of tea after all the turkey!

caramelcheesecake2Ingredients:
For the crust:
1 1/2 cups gluten free graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

For the cheesecake:
2 8 oz packages cream cheese softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 3/4 cups peeled and diced apples (I used red delicious)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup evaporated milk
16 oz caramels

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Preheat the oven to 350F. In a small bowl combine all of the crust ingredients.  Take a 9″ springform pan and press the graham crumb mixture into the bottom and up about 1″ of the pan. Bake for about 10 minutes, then allow to cool while you prepare the cheesecake filling.

In a small saucepan over low heat, place the caramel candies and evaporated milk. Cook until the caramels are fully melted. Pour half of the mixture on top of the graham crust. Set the rest aside.

Beat the cream cheese, eggs, cinnamon, vanilla and sugar together in a large bowl until smooth. Stir in apples and pour into the springform pan carefully. Place the springform into a large baking pan and add about an inch of warm water to the the large pan. Bake for 45 minutes.

Reheat the caramel mixtures and spoon it overtop the cheesecake, then bake for another 5-10 minutes, until the middle is just set.

Allow to cook on a wire rack for at least an hour,  then set in the fridge overnight. It’s well worth the wait!