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.

Guacamole Inspiration

Mango Pineapple GuacamoleI thought for a long time when someone mentioned guacamole that there was only one kind and that was that. To my surprise there are some really interesting variations and I I want to try each and every one!

Here are just a few recipes that I have tried and they each have their own individual taste, one sweet, one more roasty, one more herbal and one full of lovely chunks of crab. Any of these would be perfect for serving at your next wine tasting or cocktail party.

And don’t stop with just serving these as a party dip but try on a grilled cheese sandwich or just about any sandwich in place of mayonnaise.

Mango Pineapple Guacamole

Ingredients:

  • 4 ripe avocados
  • 1/2 cup medium Vidalia onion, minced
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 medium ripe mango, diced
  • 1/2 can pineapple chunks, drained & diced

In bowl or molcajete, mash avocados. Add minced onion, jalapeno peppers, salt and cilantro. Add lime juice and mix well. Gently stir in mango and pineapple.

Serve with tortilla chips, vegetable chips or pita chips. For a healthier alternative, serve with cucumber slices or carrots.

– A little more rustic version is this roasted guacamole. This is actually one of my favorites.

Roasted Guacamole

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium ripe tomatoes
  • 1 medium green bell pepper
  • 2 medium ripe avocados
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 tomatillo, finely chopped

Preheat broiler. Set tomatoes and green pepper on a non-stick cookie sheet, sprinkle with little olive oil, and place under broiler. Keep a close eye on them and keep turning until all sides are blistered. It will probably take about 5 minutes. Place in large glass measuring cup or bowl and seal with plastic wrap for 10-20 minutes.

While tomatoes and pepper are cooling, place avocado in medium bowl and mash. Stir in lime juice, garlic, cilantro, cumin, pepper and tomatillo.

Take the pepper and tomatoes out of bowl and remove the skins. Chop finely and add them to the avocado. Stir and place in refrigerator.

Serve with tortilla chips, vegetable chips or pita chips. For a healthier alternative, serve with cucumber slices or carrots.

– If you love Italian then you will love this one with basil and sun-dried tomatoes.

Guacamole with an Italian Flair

Ingredients:

  • 4 ripe Haas Avocados
  • 1 Tablespoon wine vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh basil leaves, shredded
  • ⅓ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • ¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained and chopped
  • ¼ cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Instructions:

To toast pine nuts, place in dry skillet over medium-low heat, shaking to ensure even browning. It usually takes about 3 minutes.

Mash avocados but still leave slightly chunky. Stir in remaining ingredients.

Serve with bread sticks or crostini.

– And lastly, if you want to add some protein to the mix, try this variation with crab.

Crab Guacamole

Ingredients:

  • 3 large ripe avocados
  • 3 Tablespoons lime juice
  • 1/3 cup cilantro leaves, chopped fine
  • 1Tablespoon jalapeno, minced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 cup red onions, minced
  • 1/2 cup tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh jicama, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 pound lump crabmeat

Directions:

In a large bowl, mash avocados but keep chunky. Add remaining ingredients except for crab and stir well. Fold in crabmeat and chill.

Serve with tortilla chips, vegetable chips or pita chips. For a healthier alternative, serve with cucumber slices or carrots.

Let me know how you like these recipes.

Linda's Signature

Our Cookbook is Here!!

We did it!   After a year of hard work, determination, and a LOT of cooking – our cookbook is finally here!  Introducing the 2 Cookin’ Mamas first ever cookbook: The Pregnancy Cookbook.

@2CookinMamasThe Pregnancy Cookbook @2CookinMamas

Available on Kindle & Kindle Readers Now!

Only $5.99!

Click HERE to purchase.

Not pregnant?  That’s OK!  It’s a heart-healthy cookbook for everyone!

We’ll be launching our Kickstarter campaign soon so we can complete our android & apple cookbook app, get hard copies printed, and publish the e-book on Nook & iBooks readers.  Stay tuned for that information and if you purchase our cookbook – please share your thoughts with us.  We would LOVE to hear what you think of our recipes!

Thank you!

christina-linda

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