Pico de Gallo

Pico de GalloFresh back from a trip to Mexico, we were the lucky recipients of home cooked Mexican fare daily.  We acquired recipes with the ingredients but not exact measurements so creativity is key. Pico de Gallo was served at breakfast with eggs and at lunch with beans, meats, ceviche and guacamole. The list could go on. Oh my, the lunches were divine.

Here is the simple recipe for Pico de Gallo. Super Bowl is right around the corner and this would be a great add to pair with a Super Bowl of Chili and Southwest Salad with Creamy Cilantro Dressing.

Pico de Gallo

  • 3 large roma tomatoes, chopped with seeds removed
  • 1/4 white onion, chopped
  • 1 serrano pepper, chopped finely
  • Juice of one lime
  • Sea salt to taste

Chop tomatoes, onion and pepper. Juice the lime and mix with tomatoes and add sea salt to taste. Serve immediately.

Source: Our friends in Manzanillo.

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Cranberry Orange Muffins

Cranberry Orange MuffinsCranberry and orange together always remind me of Christmas because my mom made a smashing cranberry orange bread. I found a grain free muffin recipe on Paleo Newbie and adjusted it a bit to my liking of more cranberries and a little less sweetener. I was so excited to find these muffins nicely orange flavored with plenty of cranberries. To make them paleo friendly you can sub the butter for coconut oil. They are a welcome addition to our Christmas Eve brunch.

Cranberry Orange Muffins

  • 1 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup raw honey (can adjust to 1/3 for sweeter muffins)
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup fresh squeezed orange juice (I used 6 mandarins)
  • zest from 6 mandarins or orange, 1-2 teaspoons
  • 1 1/2 cup fresh cranberries

Preheat oven to 350. Zest the mandarins and set aside. In a large bowl combine the almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda and salt. In another large bowl whisk the eggs and add the honey, melted butter, vanilla, fresh squeezed orange juice and zest.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet and combine. Fold in the cranberries. Pour batter into muffin liners and bake for 23-25 minutes. Test by inserting a toothpick – if it comes out clean – sample a muffin.

Source: Adapted from Paleo Newbie

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Veggie and Cheese Frittata

Veggie and Cheese Frittata

If you just can’t imagine taking another bite of turkey and the fixings, here’s a light breakfast option without the meat. A stovetop frittata is a quick, simple and healthy breakfast, brunch or anytime of day meal. It can be served with a side of avocado and fruit to round out the nourishing meal. You can also get creative and sub out the vegetables for your choice  of veggies.

Veggie and Cheese Frittata

  • 8 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 green pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 red pepper, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons onion, chopped
  • 2 handfuls of fresh spinach
  • 1 cup shredded cheese, your choice (I used cheddar and Irish natural cheddar)

In a large skillet melt the butter on low heat. In a bowl beat the eggs with a fork. When butter is melted add the chopped peppers and onion and sauté for a few minutes. Add the eggs, the spinach and shredded cheese. On medium to low heat cook the eggs until they are firm to your liking. I covered the top of the skillet so the top would cook more evenly. as cheese melted. Serve with sliced avocados and a serving of fruit.

Source: Jackie Mack, Lingonberry Lane

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Apple Crisp

Apple CrispFall season has arrived and ’tis the season to find every kind of apple you can imagine in your grocery store. One of my favorites treats this time of year is apple crisp. This version is a adapted from a recipe in my aunt’s recipe book. I made ours with gluten free flour but you can use wheat flour if you’d like. This is a simple fall dessert for you or for company and like me, if you appreciate apples you may already have the ingredients in the house.

Apple Crisp

  • 6-8 apples, sliced thin
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon

Cook the first 4 ingredients in a large saucepan over medium heat for 10 minutes. Stir about half way through to cook apples evenly.

  • 1 cup flour (wheat or gluten free)
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats (or gluten free rolled oats) – this ingredient is optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter (just out of refrigerator and cut into small pieces)
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon

Combine the last 7 ingredients in a mixing bowl using a pastry blender until it resembles a course meal.

Pour the apples into a 9×13 glass dish and top with the ingredients from the bowl. Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes until bubbly. Serve warm with fresh whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. Serves 10 or more.

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Alaska in August

Before the school year started in late August my daughter and I took a last minute trip up to my homeland of Alaska. We got a screaming good deal on tickets (two for $535!) and took a week to go visit the beautiful state and our family and friends. We flew into Anchorage in the midday. Below is a view from the air as we flew in by the Gulf of Alaska. The views were so stunning I had to go to my daughter’s row and wake her up to view the vast fjords. Some folks were sleeping with their windows closed and I wanted to go open them all!

Chugiak Mountains

Gulf of Alaska

After one night in Anchorage we headed toward the Peninsula on scenic highway past Turnagain Arm (below). Turnagain Arm is stunning no matter what the weather and even on this day of little sun we enjoyed the views.


Turnagain Arm

 Turnagain Arm

We stopped by Girdwood, home of Alyeska Resort, on our way through Turnagain to dine at The Bake Shop. The Bake Shop is a renowned and ever so tasty stop for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Their sourdough bread, homemade soups and quality of meats are superb. I enjoyed their vegetable soup and my daughter had a good looking ham and cheese grilled sandwich on sourdough. I took along a handful of sourdough loaves for our family and sweet rolls for breakfast.

Bake Shop at Alyeska

The Bake Shop

We had a day of visiting in Soldotna and then set out the next day towards Homer. Our destination through a bit of road construction was Halibut Cove. We took the Danny J’s big sister the Stormbird. The seas were high that day but not too high for the Stormbird. It was a great trip over and such an amazing day as you can see from the photo below.

Halibut Cove

 Halibut Cove

We headed back to Anchorage for the weekend to spend time with family. We were the lucky recipients of an invitation to ride the Aurora car of the Alaska Railroad from Anchorage to the Alaska State Fair in Palmer on Sunday. We gladly accepted and had a fun, relaxed ride with amazing views from a car with almost solid glass ceilings. The views of the valley were splendid and no parking necessary. The train dropped us at the front gate of the fair. I have to say I haven’t been to the fair in Palmer for 30 years and it was the nicest, cleanest, most scenic fair I’ve ever been to. And the entertainment of Garrison Keillor was a bonus.

Alaska Railroad Aurora

Alaska Railroad Aurora

On Monday we took a drive back toward Alyeska to take the tram up the mountain and explore a bit. It was another spectacular day with a view and great memories of snowy times on top of the mountain for me.

View from Alyeska View from Alyeska Resort

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Savory Stuffed Mushrooms

Savory Stuffed Mushrooms

This recipe has been in my files for years. A version of it came from a neighbor friend and was a big hit in my book. But it got lost in the files and retrieved last weekend when we had a vegetarian over for dinner and I felt I needed a little something more than the roasted veggies we had planned to serve with our salmon. The flavors are very nice and I loved the garlicky, buttery, nutty baked goodness that was the final product.

Savory Baked Mushrooms

  • 6 tablespoons butter + 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 2 whole green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 16 medium to large mushrooms (stems will be used as ingredient for filling)

Remove mushroom stems and melt butter in frying pan over low heat. Add the next 6 ingredients plus the chopped mushroom stems, chopped small (the size of the onion). Cook until mushrooms and onions are soft (about 10 minutes on lower heat) and remove filling into glass bowl temporarily. Using the same pan add 2 tablespoons butter and add the mushroom caps for 2-3 minutes. Stir the caps so they are nicely covered with butter. Remove the caps and put in  9×13 baking dish. Add filling to each cap. Bake filled mushrooms at 350 for about 20 minutes or until mushrooms are well cooked and sizzling. Remove and serve warm. Serves 6.

Option: add one small piece of brie to each cap after filling. Bake and serve!

Source: Adapted from my neighbor friend’s recipe.

Posted in Fall Season, Gluten Free, Lunches, Side Dishes, Uncategorized, Vegetarian | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Nectarine Blueberry Crisp

Nectarine Blueberry CrispNectarines are so good right now and readily available. As a result, I had a surplus. Since I don’t make pies, crisps are my thing. They are easy t0 make and the finished product is always yummy. Here’s a recipe with options. I made our version with the gluten free flour in the filling and almond flour in the topping but you can easily use wheat flour in the topping and the filling. Top this with your favorite vanilla ice cream and serve warm. Mmmm.

Nectarine Blueberry Crisp

Filling – Mix together in a medium bowl:

  • 5 ripe nectarines, sliced thinly
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons gluten free flour or all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup honey

Topping – In a medium bowl, combine with a pastry blender, until it resembles a course meal:

  • 1 cup rolled oats (gluten free if desired)
  • 1/2 cup almond meal or all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar or brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, cut into small pieces into bowl

In an 8×8 baking dish add the filling, then cover evenly with the topping. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes. Serves at least 6.

Source: Adapted from Kim Cravings – Easy Peach Blueberry Crisp

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Cran-Raisin Pecan Cookies

Cran-Raisin Pecan Cookies

Being gluten free I always have my eye and ear out for a wheat free baked goods option. The inspiration for this cookie came from the Against All Grain website’s Allergy Friendly Breakfast Cookie. The recipe is changed up quite a bit and does have butter and nuts added, but the outcome was delicious and definitely a gluten free, sugar free baked treat. Enjoy for dessert, breakfast or a snack anytime of day.

Cran-Raisin Pecan Cookies

  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 6 pitted apricots
  • 1/3 cup coconut flour
  • 2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 3 tablespoons dried cranberries
  • 3 tablespoons raisins

Preheat oven to 350. In a food processor, puree the first 4 ingredients until batter is well blended, about 30 seconds. Add the coconut flour, cinnamon, vanilla, baking soda and lemon juice and pulse a handful of times to combine.  Add the pecans and dried cranberries and raisins and pulse two more times. Do not over pulse so that fruit is combined and chopped but not pureed.

Cover a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Spoon batter onto parchment paper and pat into cookie shapes. Cookies will be shaped as they appear when going into the oven as they come out. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove and cool. Store in airtight container in refrigerator.

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Strawberries and Cream Cooked Oats

Hearty Strawberries and Cream Cooked OatsIt’s the sweet strawberry time of year and last weekend I had some leftover whipped cream with strawberries from a shortcake dessert. I cooked oatmeal one morning with my usual add of nuts for a heartier breakfast and topped it with whipped cream and strawberries. It was a hit with a drizzle of honey perfection.

Strawberries and Cream Cooked Oats

  • 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup quick cook steel cut oats
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 1/2 pint heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 6-8 fresh strawberries
  • a drizzle of raw honey

In a medium saucepan bring water and salt to a boil. Reduce heat to low and add the oats. Cook for 5-6 minutes or until desired consistency, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in pecans.

While oatmeal is cooking put whipping cream in high speed blender and whip until a peak is formed. Add a touch of 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Wash and slice strawberries.

Serve warm cooked oats with whipped cream, strawberries and a bit o’ honey on top. Serves 2-3.

Source: Jackie Mack, Lingonberry Lane

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Chipotle Shredded Pork

Chipotle Shredded PorkI love crock pot recipes and I’ve always loved shredded pork but have never made it myself. After adapting a recipe for shredded pork from Your Home Based Mom I’m a believer that slow cooker shredded pork is a keeper. This was a spicy recipe but you can adjust the heat by adding more or less chipotle pepper.

Chipotle Shredded Pork

  • 4 pound boneless pork roast
  • 1/4-1/3 cup canned chipotle pepper (in adobe sauce) blended on high in blender – I used 1/3 cup and the pork was zippy but delicious
  • 2 four ounce cans fire roasted diced green chiles
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • juice of 3 limes + pulp if you desire
  • 1/2 cup water
  • salt and pepper to taste

Put pork in large crock pot. Blend chipotle peppers in blender and measure desired amount. Add chipotle pepper and the rest of the ingredients on top of the pork. Set crock pot on low and slow cook for 8 hours. Shred pork with forks. Serve with avocado, cilantro and your choice of fixings in a burrito or on top of a salad. Serves many.

Source: Adapted from Your Home Based Mom.

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