Mango Banana Smoothie

After indulging in heavy foods over the holidays, a great smoothie is just the thing to help you feel better! I admit the novelty of my Ninja blender has worn off and after the first few months of smoothies every other day, they appear much less frequently. This however, is the most requested and blended smoothie in our house. It makes enough for  2 adults or 3 to 4 kids.

Mango Banana Smoothie

Ingredients

6 ounces of vanilla yogurt

½ frozen banana

½  cup frozen mango chunks

½ cup of milk

Directions

Throw all the ingredients in your blender. Blend until smooth and enjoy!

What is your favorite recovery food after the holidays, a vacation or other time spent eating more than you know you should? This Nutella smoothie is also a favorite in our house. Other than smoothies we go to soups. Check out my favorite soups here.

Overnight Baked Apple French Toast

Last week I shared my gluten-free crouton and stuffing recipe, using the ends of bread that I keep in the freezer. This week, I have another great meal for you that can be made from the same ends or your favorite bread. What is better on a weekend or holiday morning than to wake up to the smells of apple and cinnamon?

Overnight Baked Apple French Toast

Ingredients

5 cups of bread, cubed

2 apples finely chopped

2 Tablespoons butter

4 Tablespoons of sugar

½ teaspoon of cinnamon

2 cups of milk

3 eggs

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla

4 Tablespoons of brown sugar

Directions

Add bread to your slow cooker. In a sauté pan, cook apples, butter and sugar with cinnamon for about 5 minutes. Pour mixture over bread in the slow cooker. In a bowl or large measuring cup whisk milk, eggs, cinnamon, vanilla and brown sugar. Pour over bread and apple mixture. Cover and cook on low for 7 to 8 hours.

Having breakfast already made when you get up in the morning, especially when you have house guests or are going to be running around for the day, helps to take the stress out of the morning. This one will disappear fast 🙂

What is your favorite easy breakfast? Check out my round-up of gluten-free breakfast ideas! Frittatas, muffins and a breakfast pizza! Oh my!

Nutella in a smoothie? Yes, please!

For my birthday, I generously received a gift card for Amazon and bought one of my new favorite toys, a Ninja blender! The kids and I have had fun inventing smoothies and I made my salsa in about 5 seconds 🙂 Smoothies are a great way to get protein and fruit into the kids for breakfast lunch or dinner. If you buy frozen or freeze your own fruit, that helps to make the smoothie creamy, like ice cream. Especially frozen bananas! Frozen mango, frozen banana and vanilla yogurt is delicious together but here is the recipe for our new family favorite…Peanut Butter Nutella!

Peanut Butter Nutella Smoothie

Ingredients

2 frozen bananas, broken into large chunks

1 cup vanilla yogurt

3 Tablespoons of nutella

2 Tablespoons of peanut butter (or almond butter)

2/3 cup of milk

1/2 teaspoon of agave

Directions

Place all the ingredients in your blender and let the blender do its work until smooth! Add more milk if you would like a thinner smoothie.

This makes a great afternoon snack! I’m so glad I got this blender! I will from time to time share the great products I use and please know that I will only recommend ones that I love myself!

Share your favorite smoothie in the  comments!

 

Gluten-Free Breakfast Ideas

You always hear that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It also happens to be my favorite, but there never seems to be enough time! That is why I am a firm believer that breakfast is great anytime of day. When I have time, whether its morning afternoon or evening, I’ll make breakfast! Sometimes I’ll eat dinner for breakfast or breakfast for lunch, there are no rules 😉

My family’s breakfast preferences are on the sweet side, so I impose my savory tendencies on them as much as they allow. I’m not really a sweet person. I don’t really like waffles, unless there is fried chicken involved or pancakes unless they are wrapped around sausage. Breakfast Pizza and Gluten-Free Buttermilk Biscuits are two favorites in our house. A frittata is an easy way to get breakfast on the table fast and so versatile.

Frittata

Ingredients

8 eggs

½ cup of milk

½ teaspoon of salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

1 ½ cups of your choice of vegetable (peppers or asparagus or potatoes or mixture)

¼ cup of your choice of sausage or bacon (optional)

½ cup of your choice of cheese (shredded cheddar or feta)

Directions

Preheat oven to 375. Whisk together eggs, milk, salt and pepper.  If vegetables and meat are not cooked, saute in oven proof skillet. Then pour egg mixture into pan and place in the oven for 20 – 25 minutes, until center is set and it no longer jiggles. If vegetables and meat are already cooked, just mix in with egg mixture before pouring into the pan.

I do sometimes give in to their many, many requests for sweet breakfasts. For pancakes, we usually use the Gluten-free Bisquick mix, but occasionally will make them from scratch using Cup4Cup GF flour or a variation like these Gingerbread Pancakes. These blueberry muffins make for a great breakfast on the go.

During the week however, we keep it simple and quick. My husband and kids mainly have cereal, yogurt or fruit and toast with Nutella. Even my kids who do not have celiac disease love Goodbye Gluten‘s gluten-free bread, which I can usually get at Wegman’s. When toasted, I even like it. I usually choose to top my toast with avocado or cream cheese and tomato or have a sunny side up egg. What are your favorite gluten-free breakfasts? I would especially love to hear your favorite smoothie recipes!

Breakfast Pizza

Breakfast and brunch are two of my favorite meals. I love savory breakfast foods. We have breakfast for dinner at least once a week and this breakfast pizza recipe has become a fast favorite. My father gave me the idea for the hash brown crust over the holidays and I have been making it regularly for my family.

Breakfast pizza

Ingredients

3 russet potatoes, shredded

1 large white onion, shredded

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1/3 cup of corn starch

1 ½ teaspoon of salt

1/8 teaspoon of pepper

1 egg

2 Tablespoons olive oil

6 eggs

Optional toppings: crumbled cooked bacon or sausage, diced avocado, diced tomatoes, sliced green onions, hot sauce, feta or cheddar cheese

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Drain potatoes and onions after shredding (wrap in kitchen towel and squeeze over sink). Place potatoes and onions in large bowl and add garlic, corn starch, salt and pepper and 1 egg. Combine. Heat the olive oil in a 10 inch oven proof skillet over medium high heat. Press potato mixture into pan. Press down with a spatula (you should hear a sizzle). Cook for about 4 to 6 minutes, pressing down on the potatoes occasionally. The tricky part is flipping the pan sized hash brown. Take a deep breath and place a larger pan cover (without a lip) over the pan and flip the pan upside down, leaving the hash brown on teh cover. Place pan back on the heat, add more olive oil if needed and then slide the hash brown onto the pan so that the other side can cook. Cook for another 4 to 6 minutes, pressing down on the hash brown occasionally. Remove from heat and crack 6 eggs in a circle on the hash brown. Place in oven and bake for 8 to 10 minutes for runny yokes, longer if you want well done yolks. Take out and sprinkle with your choice of toppings. Serve immediately. It is also good cold for lunch the next day!

I have found that a cast iron skillet is too heavy for me to flip the hash brown crust, but if you have a large spatula or two that can flip the crust without having to flip the pan, the cast iron works great.

Breakfast for dinner can be cereal and fruit or something like this breakfast pizza if you find yourself with a little more time. It can be savory or sweet. Breakfast can be what you want it to be. I often just eat leftovers from the night before. My family thinks I’m crazy, but it tastes good to me! What is your favorite breakfast food?

Gluten-Free Buttermilk Biscuits

That’s right. Buttermilk biscuits that are gluten-free! These are so good and so satisfying. They can be covered with butter and your favorite jam or your favorite sausage gravy. Fill them with some pulled pork for a fun dinner or game day snack. I topped them with leftover swedish meatballs for a twist on biscuits and gravy. The options are endless.

I have adapted this recipe from Southern Living. I had a subscription for a long time and loved every recipe I made from  it and now from one of the many cookbooks I have acquired since then. This is from an online recipe. You can find the original recipe from which I drew inspiration here.

Buttermilk Biscuits

Ingredients

2 cups plus more for dusting, all purpose gluten-free flour (I used Cup4Cup Gluten-Free Flour)

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

¾ teaspoon salt

8 Tablespoons unsalted butter, diced and cold

1 ¼ cup buttermilk

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Whisk together all ingredients except for butter and buttermilk. Add butter and press together with fingers until the size of peas or a little smaller or use a pastry cutter to combine. Add the buttermilk and mix until it holds together. Transfer onto cutting board and knead together for a minute. Add flour as needed. Flatten out or roll out to about ¾ of an inch. Use your favorite biscuit cutter or cup to make the circles. Add to a buttered cast iron skillet. Bake for 25-30 minutes.

Please let me know if you try this! Would love to hear good or bad how they turn out at your house!

More Holiday Treats and Sweet Breakfast Idea

There are many holiday treats that can be made naturally gluten free and there are those that need to be adapted. These sweet holiday recipes are ones that I have adapted because my kids love them!

My son can clear a whole plate of pancakes in seconds. He is a pancake vacuum. He has been since before his celiac disease diagnosis, so I had to find a way to continue to make pancakes for him.

Pancakes can be an easy breakfast for Christmas morning. Make them the day before or several days ahead and freeze and just reheat in the toaster, toaster oven or regular oven. This recipe for Whole Wheat Buttermilk pancakes from Cooking Light has been my go to pancake recipe for years. I have adapted it to be gluten free and change the flavoring according to season. So for Christmas it is Gingerbread pancakes!

Gingerbread Pancakes

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups of Cup4Cup GF flour (substitute your favorite flour)

4 Tablespoons brown sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon fresh nutmeg

1 1/2 cups milk + 1 Tablespoon white vinegar (or 1 1/2 cups buttermilk)

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 Tablespoon vegetable oil

3 eggs

2 1/2 Tablespoons molasses

Directions

Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Mix wet ingredients together in another bowl that is easy to pour. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Let it rest for about 10 minutes. Cook on a griddle set at 375 degrees or a pan on medium high heat.

I serve it with maple syrup. You can add come whipped cream and strawberries to make it a festive holiday breakfast.

Now if that isn’t enough sweetness for you, here is another holiday treat idea. I have been making these pretzel kiss sandwiches for years! Even BGF (Before Gluten Free). I first got the idea from Cookies and Cups. A minor substitution is all it takes to make this treat safe for you, your family or friends who have celiac disease. Use gluten free pretzels. That is it. Hershey kisses (plain milk chocolate) are gluten free.

Pretzel Kiss Sandwiches

Ingredients

1-8 ounce bag of Snyders Gluten Free Mini Pretzels (need about 160 pretzels)

2 – 12 ounce bags of Hershey Kisses (won’t need all the kisses, but probably about 80)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Place parchment paper on 2 cookie sheets. Unwrap about 80 Hershey Kisses. Lay out one layer of pretzels on each cookie sheet and place a Hershey Kiss on top of them. Place in oven for 2 minutes. Take out and let rest for 1 minute then top each with another pretzel.  Allow to cool. Keep in an airtight container.

Tomorrow I’ll continue with some savory dishes for your holiday parties! Here are some other sweet ideas:

Raspberry Lemon and Thyme Tiramisu

Gluten-free Crispy Treats for the Holidays

A sweet ending to the meal and sweet beginning to the face of Mamma’s Cooking

Gluten-Free Holiday Treats

Gingerbread Cookies

 

 

 

 

 

 

Potato Waffles

My kids have been asking me for latkes for the last couple weeks, so I decided to make my version last night, potato waffles. They went very nicely with our leftover slow cooked pork with gravy and acorn squash. Waffles seemed easier so that I wouldn’t have to stand over a pan and could just put the potato mixture in the waffle maker and go about with the other 5 things I was trying to do at the same time.

Potato Waffles

Ingredients

6 to 8 small potatoes (I used a mixture of white and yukon gold potatoes)

2 eggs

1 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon onion powder

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

2 Tablespoons of shredded parmesan

1 Tablespoon GF flour

Directions

Plug in waffle maker and allow it to heat up.  Heat oven to 200 degrees. After you shred potatoes spread them out on towels to dry and wring out all the liquid you can.  In a large bowl mix the potatoes with the remaining ingredients. Scoop about 1/3 of a cup of the mixture for each waffle. Makes about 8 waffles. When the waffle is cooked, place on a baking rack over a sheet pan and place in the 200 degree oven until you are ready to serve. I served it with sour cream and apple sauce.

I had 2 waffle makers going last night. One, my regular 4 square waffle maker and two, the Frozen waffle maker my daughter got for her birthday. So some of our waffles looked like snowflakes 🙂 This is a fun breakfast idea or good way to use up potatoes if you buy too many over the holidays.

Raspberry Lemon and Thyme Tiramisu recipe coming soon…Amazing and simple. Stay tuned!

 

Breakfast for Dinner

An easy way to get dinner on the table during the week or at the end of any busy day is to have breakfast for dinner. We have breakfast for dinner at least once a week in our house. Depending on how busy we are, it can be anything: eggs, pancakes, frozen waffles, toast, quiche, frittatas or just cereal and fruit. Breakfast for dinner can be a fun way to get a meal on the table quickly. With activities, sports and back-to-school nights on top of work, homework and just trying to spend time with your kids, for many cooking is the last thing you want to do when you all walk in the door.  Hopefully these recipes will help take some stress off of you.
Easy Hard Boiled Eggs in the Oven  (adapted from http://allrecipes.com/recipe/232024/hard-boiled-eggs-in-the-oven/)
Ingredients
12 eggs
Ice cubes in a large bowl with cold water
Directions
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Put one egg into each muffin cup of a muffin tin
Bake in eggs in oven for 25 to 30 minutes.
Remove and put the eggs into the ice bath for 5-10 minutes.
Peel and serve or refrigerate.

TIP: I make this for dinner one night and then have the eggs on hand for the next few days for a quick breakfast or a burst of protein to add to lunches or snacks.
Serve the eggs with yogurt or fruit or whatever you have on hand and you have a dinner on the table in about 30 minutes without much effort.
Now this next recipe is a little more involved, so if cooking relaxes you and you have some more time one night, try this oven baked “fried” chicken, served with cornbread waffles and peas. Take some help from the store and use your favorite cornbread mix. I like to use Wegman’s Gluten-Free Honey Cornbread mixture and add an extra egg and cook it in the waffle maker. For the peas, I put about 3 to 4 handfuls in a cereal bowl with a Tablespoon or two or water, salt and pepper, then microwave for 3 minutes with a small plate covering the bowl.
Oven Baked “Fried” Chicken


Ingredients
1 ½ to 2 pounds of boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into chicken tenders
3 cups of buttermilk (or 3 cups of milk + 2 Tablespoons of cider vinegar)
1 stick plus 2 Tablespoons of melted butter
2 cups of panko bread crumbs (use gluten-free if you are making it GF)
½ teaspoon chili powder
¼ teaspoon black pepper
2 Tablespoons of cornstarch
Directions
Mix milk and cider vinegar or use buttermilk and soak the chicken for 15 to 30 minutes while you prepare the cornbread mixture. Remove from milk and pat chicken dry with a paper towel. Melt butter. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Mix the panko, chili powder, black pepper and cornstarch.  Dip each piece of chicken into the butter and then the panko mixture and place on top of a baking rack inside a cookie sheet (that way the chicken will crisp all around).  Bake for 15 minutes and then turn the pan in the oven to ensure even cooking. Bake for another 15-20 minutes until the internal temperature reaches about 180 degrees.
Optional:  Brine the chicken the day before if you have time or need to stretch the life of the chicken in the fridge for a day. Life happens and you can’t cook what you planned one night, so put the chicken in brine and make it the next night. This is my typical brine recipe that can easily be halved or doubled depending on the size of the poultry or amount of pork you want to brine. (Make sure poultry or meat does not smell rotten or is past due date when you put it in the brine)
Brine
Ingredients
½ cup black peppercorns
1 Tablespoon coriander seeds
6 small sage leaves, torn (or rosemary or thyme)
3 garlic cloves, smashed
1 cup of salt
1 cup dark brown sugar
2 Tablespoons onion powder
1 Tablespoon cumin powder
12 cups of water

Directions
Combine all ingredients in a large soup pot. Bring to a boil. Boil for a couple of minutes and then allow to cool before you place the chicken or pork in the brine.

My kids look forward to breakfast for dinner and especially love when they can make it themselves. It is a good opportunity to get your kids in the kitchen and make you dinner! My 6 year olds can make yogurt parfaits for us or a bowl of cereal. My 8 year old makes the mixture or batter for scrambled eggs, frittatas or pancakes and then cooks it with our supervision.  Whether you want to make a quick and easy dinner or have something easy for your kids to try making, breakfast is always popular. 

A week of Easy Breakfasts and Photos from Celebrating Julia’s 100th

Everything on the internet and in stores is throwing it in my face that fall is approaching. I love the fall, but can’t believe the summer has flown by so fast. (Note to self: must go to the beach this weekend!) As we all start the sometimes dreaded gearing up for fall, or just need some more ideas for breakfasts, I thought I would post some of my ideas and some links to other peoples ideas.

These need to be quick but yet enough to fill the kids up. When I do my menu plan, I add breakfasts, so my husband can just look at the board and know what to give the kids if I’m in the shower and if I am getting breakfast together, it is one last thing to think about! Here is an example:

Monday: Cheerios and Fruit. I had a proud mom moment on Sunday. These don’t happen all to often, but when they do, shout it from the roof tops! I took Karina (almost 5 years old) with me to the grocery store. We were in the cereal aisle to get Cheerios, the kids’ cereal of choice. Karina saw all the choices of different flavors of Cheerios, Dulce de Leche, Chocolate, Fruit (kind of like Fruit loops) and more. I don’t know how I managed to avoid this until now, but she for the first time, was in awe and wanted all the sugary cereals. I then pointed to the purple and white box of Cheerios, the Multigrain ones, and said how about this one? and she said Ok! Its purple! No one else witnessed this to my dismay, but now I share it with you because I want documentation before she gets wiser 🙂 She even excitedly ate her “special” Cheerios the next morning. We usually serve it with bananas or apples or whatever fruit is on hand.

Tuesday: Oatmeal and fruit. We use the Quaker Maple and Brown sugar, Low sugar version, for ease (probably not the healthiest), but I have been pinning all sorts of oatmeal recipes and just need to try some out. Like this blueberry and raspberry baked oatmeal one from So, how’s it taste? or this one from Weelicious for an overnight oatmeal that cooks in the crockpot.

Wednesday: Toast and fruit. Whole wheat bread, toasted with peanut butter or jelly or for fun some days, Nutella 🙂 Serve with strawberries, pineapple or whatever fruit is on hand.

Thursday: Eggs and Fruit. This can be as simple as just putting one egg per child in a microwaveable bowl that has been sprayed with Pam. Whisk egg  and add a little cheese, salt and pepper.  Microwave for about 1 minute, flip and microwave again for about 30 sec (time will depend on your microwave and how many eggs you have). Then cool and cut into pieces and serve. I (or my husband, who mainly takes care of breakfast) also sometimes add cottage cheese instead of shredded cheese or ricotta.

Friday: Cereal and Fruit again 🙂

Saturday: Eggs or toast, depending on what we have planned. If we are not rushing out of the house, I make a frittata or egg hash, which are great ways to use up leftovers. Last weekend I had a little bacon left from all my Julia Child cooking, so I diced it up and sauteed it in a non stick pan (about 4 strips). Then once the fat had rendered out and bacon started to get crispy, I added about 1/2 a palmful of sliced green onions and 1 minced clove of garlic and cooked for a few more minutes. Then I added about 1/4 cup of some of the leftover mashed sweet potato from the gnocchi I made on Julia’s Birthday and let that heat through. Season with salt and pepper. In a separate bowl, I whisked 4 eggs (for our family of 5) with about 1/4 cup milk (whatever kind you have, cream is always tastier, but not as healthy), salt, pepper and a handful of shredded cheddar. When whisked, I poured it into the sweet potato, bacon and onion mixture and cooked until eggs were ready, stirring and flipping occasionally. Served with strawberries. It was a big hit!

Sunday: Pancakes. You can serve them plain with syrup and fruit or make blueberry pancakes, apple pancakes, whatever your imagination can come up with. You can make them circles or cut out with cookie cutters to make shapes or if you have the special pancake molds (like these) you can eliminate the waste. I have Mickey Mouse shaped molds that were a gift. They are very fun easy to use. You can use them for eggs as well.

I usually buy Aunt Jemima’s Whole Wheat pancake mix and then add in fruit, either mashed bananas or blueberries. Sometimes I experiment a little more, like a few weeks ago when I added about 1/4 cup of ricotta cheese and the zest of one lemon to my regular blueberry pancakes. It was delicious! I also made some colored pancakes in honor of the Olympics from scratch, but the recipe made pancakes that were too dense. I’m back to my boxed mix for now, until I find the right recipe from scratch.

 

Tips for quick breakfasts:

(1) I always make extra pancakes and freeze them to be pulled out one morning for breakfast and cooked in the toaster or microwaved.
(2) I save the ends of our loaves of bread each week and put them in the freezer. Once I have enough, I pull them out on a Saturday night and put them in the fridge. Sunday morning I make French toast with them. Again make extra and freeze for easy meals during the week.
(3) Make breakfast for dinner one night a frittata or quiche and freeze the leftovers to take out and heat up for breakfast.
(4) yogurt with cereal and fruit parfaits. 1 scoop yogurt, next granola or cereal, next blueberries or raspberries, then repeat.

Other breakfast ideas: Smoothies, Waffles (frozen or in your waffle maker if you have one), muffins (whatever your favorite are blueberry, zucchini, sweet potato, sky is the limit!), or breakfast quesadillas.

Where I find breakfast ideas:
Pinterest Breakfast Recipes to Try
Weelicious
Our Best Bites (who just posted an overnight oatmeal recipe this morning!)
The Kitchn

Here are some photos from my week of celebrating Julia Child’s birthday. Fun but exhausting!

 
 Roast chicken with potatoes and carrots (not exactly Julia’s recipe, but a “Julia-like” version)

 Quiche Lorraine. Delicious! Next time I would not blanche the bacon as she suggests. It took all the bacon flavor out of it.

 Potato Leek Soup. Delicious! So simple! Just potatoes, leeks, salt, water and parsley for garnish.

Julia’s Boeuf Bourguignon with Sweet Potato Gnocchi