Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Kitchen Tip Tuesday! - Storing Diced Onions

When it comes to being efficient in the kitchen, I'm a big proponent of "Need it twice, chop it once." Often, I'll chop not only the veggies I need for the meal at hand, but also for the next day's fare. One item though, has destroyed flavors in my fridge more than once (cue dramatic music)...the Onion.

Even double bagging a chopped onion doesn't contain that strong flavor, or keep it from seeping into more delicately flavored food housed alongside of it.  But, if I can, I want to avoid crying over my cutting board two days in a row.  So here's what I came up with:

Monday, December 29, 2014

Shhhh...Super Secret Chili Recipe

I have guarded this chili recipe for years.  I have not shared it with friends, or family.  I have made it for informal chili cook-offs, game day parties, potlucks, and I have basked in the praise of my guests.  I have kept secret the two unexpected ingredients that elevate this chili from an ordinary dish, to a rich meal with layers of flavor. And now, now I am sharing it with you. It's time for me to share this goodness, nay, greatness. 

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Kitchen Tip Tuesday! Ditch the Dye

As a family, we've made a commitment to "Ditch the Dye."  It hasn't been too difficult to remove artificial dyes from our daily diet, it's really just about label reading and putting anything with artificial dye in it back on the shelf. But when it comes to decorating cutout cookies....?  There has to be a way to get colorful sprinkles on those cookies without artificial food coloring.  

Monday, December 22, 2014

Spicy Ball Squash - Tomato Sauce

This fresh tasting, flavorful pasta sauce was a hit at our dinner table, and was really quick to pull together. Pasta (wheat or GF) is such a perfect go-to meal during the week.  It's warm, it satisfies, it fills the children up before they do their evening lessons and activities, but I'm always looking for ways to just change it up a little, so that none of us get bored with "Pasta Night."

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Kitchen Tip Tuesday! - Sharp Knife

The best tool to have in your kitchen is a sharp knife.  No joke, just a very sharp chef's knife.  

A sharp knife is safer than a dull one. I know that sounds counter-intuitive, but it's true! A dull knife can slip while slicing, and the pressure you exert on dull knife is greater than that which you put on a sharp one, which can lead to fatigue, and sloppy slicing.  In my personal experience, I have also found that I am much more focused and careful when using my awesome, sharp chef's knife.  

Friday, December 12, 2014

12 Cookies of Christmas

I'm thrilled to present the 12 Cookies of Christmas!  This collection of 12 dairy free, egg free, and peanut/tree nut free cookie recipes is available as a PDF download for $1.99.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

A Quickie with SunButter - Sunbutter Chocolate Mug Cake

Warm, soft, decadent, intense....hmmmm, it's time for a quickie!  A quickie with SunButter.  In the microwave.  Wait. Huh? Get your mind out of the gutter, this is NOT that kind of website! Grab your kids and make this Quickie SunButter Chocolate Mug Cake for snack time!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Kitchen Tip Tuesday! Onions

Today's kitchen tip takes a kitchen staple - the humble yellow onion - and unlocks both flavor and utility. 

When roasting meat, take the metal rack out of the roasting pan and replace it with thickly sliced onions.  The "onion rack" will keep the meat from touching the bottom of the pan, and will add great flavor to the pan drippings.  In addition, you can serve the onions over top of the sliced meat for a delicious flavor boost! 

Monday, December 8, 2014

Smokey Steak Seasoning

Every once in a while I get a craving for a great steak, (I prefer an organic rib-eye).  My three year old has a beef allergy, so we don't eat beef as a family any more.  But sometimes, my husband and I eat a late dinner after the kids have gone to bed.  We call it a "date night in." One of our favorite meals is simple steak and potatoes with some sauteed veggies.

I became a little tired of the same old kosher salt and cracked black pepper on my steak, so I concocted this smokey, muted seasoning, with just a hint of heat.  Sprinkle it on your steak , and then sear the steak in a cast iron skillet. (I like to use bacon fat in the skillet, but olive oil would do just fine!) Then serve with whipped potatoes and sauteed veggies of your choice!  Simple, special, and tasty!

I added shrimp to our dinner to make it surf and turf.  After I removed the steak from the skillet, I added a tablespoon of olive oil, and sauteed the shrimp just until opaque.  Then I squeezed fresh lemon over it right before serving! 

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Ian's Onion Rings - Review

I became aware of Ian's Natural Foods when I attended The Food Allergy Bloggers Conference. What impressed me most about this brand was the variety of MEAL offerings.  There are a lot of food allergy focused companies specializing in snacks, desserts, safe baking items, etc.  But, few focus on providing a kid friendly, busy-mom-friendly, simple meal.

Our family received a box of products from Ian's for review. I'll be honest, Ian's scored points with the kids right away - the cooler was packed with dry ice.  Well now, a homeschooling family can't let that opportunity go to waste, right?  Once we opened the box, we spent a good half hour making fog and talking about sublimation. Bonus!  Thanks Ian's!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Kitchen Tip Tuesday! - Pre-made Mixes

Ah, the pre-food-allergy-days of being able to buy a boxed mix for any variety of baked good, and whip it up with minimal measuring at a moment's notice.  Those days can be yours again!  Grab your recipes, some zip top bags and a sharpie marker!

You can see how beat up my cookbook is - that's because all the
recipes in it REALLY ARE the recipes we make at home! I actually use my own cookbook! 

Monday, December 1, 2014

Turkey Casserole

One of our family favorites is a Thanksgiving leftover, "Turkey Casserole."  We make this throughout the year, but it never fails that the day after Thanksgiving, the kids are begging for Turkey Casserole.  In this post, I'll include both the dairy and non-dairy versions!