mashed potatoes and gravy

Tipsy Tuesday – Wine & Gravy

mashed potatoes and gravyYes, you can put wine in gravy and it tastes delicious! Try this recipe out next time you have mashed potatoes with poultry for dinner. It really seems to add a more gourmet dimension to your typical chicken gravy.

Chardonnay Mushroom Gravy

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 cups mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1-3/4 cups chicken broth
  • 2-3 Tablespoons Chardonnay
  • 2 Tablespoons green onions or leeks, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Directions:

In a medium skillet, melt butter. Add mushrooms and cook 3-4 minutes or until softened, stirring often. Mix in cornstarch, stirring continuously until  incorporated. Add in chicken broth, wine, green onions, salt and pepper. Cook, continuing to stir, until thickened, about 3-4 more minutes.

Serve hot with mashed potatoes.

Linda's Signature

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T.G.I.F!

Friday is finally here!  The long weekend is behind me and my birthday weekend can now begin!  To start things off right, I’ve made my first batch of gluten-free chocolate chip cookies.  Just what the birthday girl ordered! 😉  Enjoy!

Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yields: 24 cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter or Earth Balance 50/50 sticks
  • 1/2 cup Swerve
  • 1/2 cup blue agave
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 droppers Liquid Stevia Vanilla Creme
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut
  • 1.75 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour
  • 1 tsp. gluten-free baking soda
  • 1 tsp. xantham gum
  • 3/4 cup gluten-free chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Cream butter, swerve, agave, egg, vanilla, and stevia in mixing bowl.  Mix in coconut until just combined.  Add next 3 ingredients to wet batter and blend well.  Hand stir in chocolate chips.

Place 2 inch scoops on lightly greased cookie sheets and bake for 11-13 minutes or until edges start to brown.  Let cookies cool slightly and use a spatula to remove from cookie sheet and place on wire rack.

Have a sweet weekend!

Christina Russell @2CookinMamass

Pineapple Fried Rice

Meatless Monday – Pineapple Fried Rice

Pineapple Fried Rice Recently my husband and I went to a cool sushi bar called Buddha Sky Bar in downtown Delray Beach, Florida. If you are ever in the South Florida area this is definitely a restaurant you should make an effort to visit. It is small and decorated very nicely, with superb food and service as well as a nice view over Atlantic Avenue, the main attraction.

During our visit we had the most delicious Pineapple Fried Rice that i just had to try and duplicate it. And I have to say, it came out pretty well. If you get all the ingredients cut up and separated ahead of time it is really quick and easy to make. Hint: Make the rice the day before and put it in your refrigerator overnight.

Pineapple Fried Rice

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups cooked jasmine rice
  • 3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 Tablespoon white wine or chicken stock (if not going meatless)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1/2-3/4 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup pineapple chunks, chopped
  • 1/2 cup roasted cashews, chopped
  • 3 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Thai red curry powder (although I used the paste)
  • 2 green onions, slice thin
  • 1/4 bunch cilantro, chopped

Directions:

Cook rice according to directions. This recipe works best if the rice is cooked the day before so it dries out slightly. If cooking the same day, cook earlier in the day and place in refrigerator without a lid so it dries more quickly.

When ready to assemble ingredients:

Place onion, garlic and red pepper flakes together in bowl.

Place carrots & peas in a second bowl.

Place rice mixed with 1 Tablespoon of vegetable oil, pineapple chunks and cashews in another bowl.

Mix soy sauce and Thai curry paste together and set aside.

To cook: Heat 2 Tablespoons of oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion mixture from the first bowl and stir-fry for about 1 minutes. If pan becomes a little dry add a little chicken stock or white wine. Add the 2 eggs and scramble quickly mixing in with onion mixture. Add the carrots and peas from second bowl and stir-fry another minute or two.

Now add the rice mixture to the pan along with the soy sauce/curry paste and stir-fry about 5-8 minutes. They usually say to cook until you hear the rice making popping sounds.

Place into serving bowl and garnish with green onion and cilantro.

Serves 4.

Note: This recipe is gluten-free if you use both gluten free soy sauce and brown rice or a jasmine rice that has not been over processed.  For a meatier option, add shrimp or chicken .

Wine Pairing:  A white wine with a little citrus flavor blends well with the pineapple in this dish. Try a Pouilly-Fuisse, Pinot Gris or Sauvignon Blanc although some Chardonnays will work here as well.

Meatless Monday – A Savory Sweet Potato Side Dish

Sweet Potatoes and OnionsI love sweet potatoes and I will try just about any recipe that comes my way. It is also nice to know how good they are for you so you don’t have to feel guilty eating this sweet side dish.

Sweet Potatoes are one of the best vegetables you can eat. They are full of carotenoids, a plant pigment that the body can turn into Vitamin A, and are a great source of antioxidants that may help prevent certain cancers and heart disease as well as strengthen your immune system. Sweet potatoes are also a good source of Vitamin C, potassium and fiber. Convinced? If you are, here is an easy recipe that lends a bit of sweet onion flavor to the mix.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Onion

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium peeled sweet potato, cut in large chunks
  • 1/2 medium sweet onion (Vidalia), cut in ¼” thick rings
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon seasoned pepper blend
  • 1/8-1/4 garlic powder
  • 1/8-1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Place sweet potatoes, onions rings that have been cut in half and remaining ingredients in 8” square baking dish and stir to make sure all potatoes and onion pieces are well coated. Vary quantity of spices to your liking. I like to use the full amount of seasoned pepper and garlic powder but did cut the salt to 1/8 teaspoon.

Bake for 40 minutes, stirring half way through cooking time.

Serves 2.

Linda's Signature

Spice up your Health

Spices @2CookinMamasWant to add a little zest to your dish?  Check out these 5 spices that are calorie-free and full of phynutrients!

  1. Oregano – 1 tsp. contains 6 micrograms of vitamin K and the same amount of antioxidants as 3 cups of spinach!  Stir in soup, shake on pizza, or add to your favorite pasta sauce.
  2. Cinnamon – The antioxidant compounds in cinnamon help prevent hunger cravings by improving the way your cells metabolize glucose.  Add a dash of cinnamon to your sweet potatoes, coffee, or water.
  3. Cayenne Pepper – This spice contains Capsaicin, which helps turn up your body’s thermostat & revs up your metabolism to help burn extra calories.  Stir in to your favorite guacamole recipe, hummus, or shake on popcorn.
  4. Ginger – This awesome spice helps settle upset stomachs and can also lessen workout-induced soreness.  Add 1/8 teaspoon of ground ginger to pancake batter, peanut butter, or sprinkle over vanilla frozen yogurt.
  5. Nutmeg – Nutmeg can help prevent cavities.  Add 1/4 tsp to ground coffee for a hint of sweetness.

Oregano Salad Dressing  Oregano Dressing

Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp. oregano

Directions:

Heat olive oil, red pepper flakes, and oregano in small sauce pan over medium-low heat for 2 minutes or until fragrant.

Christina Russell @2CookinMamas

Go Gluten-Free with Almond Flour Waffles

Almond Flour Waffles with blueberriesChristina, the other cookin’ mama, is going to start a gluten-free diet come August and has done quite a bit of research on the best foods to eat and where to purchase them. It is amazing how much is done to the foods we buy everyday without our even being aware of it. Did you know that much of the gluten-free foods on the shelves in your local grocery store contain highly processed and starchy ingredients like potato starch, corn and soy ingredients, rice flours, and refined sugars! This recipe is both a gluten-free and paleo recipe for waffles that is much more tasty than the mixes or even homemade wheat or regular flour varieties. It was a surprise to my husband just how much better they tasted.

My tip today has to be that less processed foods without all the carbs of wheat and white flour are so much better for you and not a hard change to make at all!

Almond Flour Waffles

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup almond flour or almond meal (meal is just a little grainier so I prefer the flour)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8-1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, depending on your taste
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/8 cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Non-stick spray or coconut oil

Directions:

Mix all dry ingredients together in medium bowl. Whisk together the eggs, honey and vanilla extract and add to the dry mixture, stirring well.

Heat waffle maker and spray with non-stick spray. Drop about 1/4 cup of batter onto the hot iron. Cook until browned then top with real maple syrup or yogurt with fruit.

Serves 2.

Linda's Signature

White Lasagna for National Lasagna Day

White Chicken or Vegetable Lasagnacat in lasagna dish

It’s National Lasagna Day so what better dish to write about than a delicious vegetable or chicken lasagna. It can be a low-fat dinner using chicken or a nice vegetarian meal using zucchini noodles and mushrooms in place of chicken.  You’ll want to be sure to make enough as this always goes fast in our house.

White Chicken/Vegetable Lasagna

Ingredients:

  • 9 whole wheat lasagna noodles or thinly sliced zucchini
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 2 heaping teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 cups chicken broth or white wine
  • 1-3/4 cups low fat milk or plain almond milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 4 cups part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup Pecorino Romano cheese, grated
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh basil, chopped or 1-1/2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3 cups cooked chicken, chopped or can use mushrooms if want to leave meat out altogether
  • 1 cup part-skim ricotta
  • 1 9-oz box frozen chopped spinach, thawed
  • 1 12-oz box frozen mashed squash, thawed

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 13″ x 9″ baking dish with Pam or other non-stick spray.

Cook lasagna noodles according to package directions. When done, rinse well with cold water and set aside. If using zucchini strips, cut into 1/8″ thick long strips, lightly salt, and let sit for 15 minutes. Lightly dab with paper towel to help get rid of excess moisture. On a grill or under broiler, cook zucchini strips for 1-2 minutes per side then place on paper towels to drain.

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onions and garlic (and mushrooms if using them to replace chicken) then cook for 5 minutes or until onions are translucent. Add flour and stir well, cooking for about 1 minute. Add chicken broth or white wine slowly, stirring constantly to avoid lumps forming. Add milk, salt and pepper and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add 2 cups of mozzarella cheese, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, basil and oregano. Set cheese mixture aside.

Lay out remaining ingredients – mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, ricotta cheese, cooked chicken (if using), spinach (that has been squeezed to get out all liquid) and squash.

Begin assembling lasagna by putting a small amount of cheese sauce in the casserole dish and spreading to cover bottom. Place 3 lasagna noodles/zucchini strips on top of sauce forming the first layer. Place 1/2 of the remaining cheese sauce on top of noodles/zucchini strips, 1/2 of the chicken (ignore if omitting chicken) and then spread ricotta cheese on top. Layer 3 more noodles/zucchini strips. Spread remaining cheese sauce on top of noodles and top with chicken (if using), spinach and 1 cup of the shredded mozzarella cheese. Add last layer of pasta/zucchini strips and spread butternut squash over the top. Add remaining mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and allow cheese to brown, about 15 minutes. If cheese is still not browning, turn on the broiler and watch carefully until browned.

Tip: If you let the lasagna cool for about 10-15 minutes it will be easier to cut and serve.

Note: You can prepare ahead of time, up to the covering with foil then store in refrigerator until ready for dinner. You may need to cook it slightly longer since the casserole will be cold.

Serves 6-8.

Wine Pairing: Choose a wine that will compliment the cheeses such as a Sauvignon Blanc or one that will suit the spinach and squash as well like a nice oaked Chardonnay or a Viognier.

Linda's Signature

Makeover your Mayo!

Switch out your mayo this BBQ season with a more natural version that doesn’t come from a jar!

AVOCADO MAYOPicture from AdorasBox.net

Yields: 1/2 cup

Ingredients:

  • 1 avocado, mashed
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons whole-grain mustard
  • 2 tablespoons EVOO

Directions:

Place all ingredients in blender and mix together until smooth.

Christina Russell @2CookinMamas

Hot Fudge Sundaes!

Mexican Hot Fudge Sundae @2CookinMamas

Mexican Hot Fudge Sundae

Sundaes are the perfect treat for a hot summer day! Ice cream, hot fudge, cherries, nuts, and whipped cream – it doesn’t get much more perfect than that!  Today, we’ve put together our favorite sundae recipes – click the links below to see each recipe.  Need an excuse to indulge?  Ok – It’s also National Hot Fudge Sunday Day! 😉

Mexican Hot Fudge Sundaes

Italian Hot Fudge Sundae

Peppermint Hot Fudge Sundaes

Mexican Hot Fudge Sundae @2CookinMamas

Peppermint Hot Fudge Sundae

Marshmallow Creme – Hot Fudge Sundaes

Hot Fudge Sundae Cake

Deep Dish Hot Fudge Brownie Sundaes For Two

and last but not least!:  Betty’s Hot Fudge Sundae            

Christina Russell @2CookinMamas

Meatless Monday – Grilled Mahi with Basil Butter

Mahi Mahi with Basil ButterFish is a healthy and delicious way to give your body the protein it needs without all the fat. Fish is filled with omega-3 fatty acids that keep our heart and brain healthy as well as important vitamins such as D and B2. It is also a great source of calcium, phosphorus and minerals, such as iron, zinc, iodine, magnesium, and potassium. All that in a little piece of fish!

This meatless Monday is a great time to start eating one of your two recommended servings of fish a week to help you on your way to a healthy diet.

Grilled Mahi Mahi with Basil Butter

Ingredients:

  • 2 6-oz. mahi-mahi fillets
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
  • 1 Tablespoon butter, 1 Tablespoon olive oil (cuts a little of the fat)
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh basil leaves, chopped

Directions:

Preheat grill. Prepare a grill pan by spraying with nonstick spray.

I like to purchase the fillets that still have the skin on one side. This helps hold this delicate fish together on the grill. Sprinkle fish with a light coating of cajun seasoning and place flesh side down on hot grill. Cook 4 minutes on flesh side, turn, and cook 4-6 minutes, skin-side down, or until fish flakes easily with fork.

While fish is cooking, combine butter, oil and remaining ingredients in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat until butter has melted then turn heat to low and keep warm until fish is done.

To serve, place fish on platter and top with some of the basil butter. Garnish with slices of lemon and a sprig of basil.

Serves 2.

Tip: Serve with steamed broccoli as the basil butter makes a delicious topping for this as well.

Wine Pairing: Choose a light white wine for this delicate, flaky fish so as not to overwhelm the dish itself such as a Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin blanc or Pinot Grigio. You might also try an unoaked Chardonnay as these are much lighter than their oaked counterparts.

Linda's Signature