Monday, May 22, 2017

Asian Chicken Chopped Salad

Whenever Mr. Devilish Dish leaves town, Little Devil and I have our list of favorites that we eat while he is away.  Which consists of: cheese tortellini with marinara sauce, Little Caesar's Crazy Bread and Chick Fil A.  None of these are his favorites so we always enjoy them when he isn't eating with us.  Well guess what?  None of those are gluten-free so we've had to change our "Dad is out of town menu" to some allergy free choices.  We both love Asian salads, which he can live without.  He's not a huge fan of a salad as a meal.  He's more of a "Where's the Beef?" guy.  I happened upon this salad over at the Full Belly Sister's blog.  We've probably made it at least 6 or 7 times, each time tweaking it just a little more to our preferences.  Finally Little Devil said, "This is the one.  You can blog it now."  So here it is.  Our new Dad is Away favorite:  Asian Chicken Chopped Salad.
Cool, Refreshing and just a little bit of kick!
Asian Chicken Chopped Salad

Adapted from: Full Belly Sisters

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

For the marinade:
3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

For the dressing:

3 tablespoons rice vinegar
juice of 1/2 lime
2 teaspoons sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
1 clove garlic, minced
salt to taste
1/4-1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

For the salad:
1 head butter lettuce, chopped
1 head romaine, chopped
4-6 ounces salted cashew halves & pieces
4 green onions, chopped
2  (15 ounce) cans mandarin oranges, drained

In a small bowl combine the marinade ingredients.  Place in a large plastic bag and add chicken breasts.  Allow to marinate at least one hour, or as long as overnight.  When you are ready to cook the chicken, remove chicken breasts from marinade.  Preheat oven to High Broil.  Place chicken breasts on a foil covered baking sheet.  Bake on high broil for 5 minutes.  Turn chicken breasts over and bake the other side for 5 minutes.  (Make sure the chicken is no longer pink in the middle and its juices are running clear.)  Allow to cool slightly before slicing.

While the chicken is cooking, whisk together the dressing ingredients and set aside.  Place the salad ingredients in a large bowl.  Pour the dressing over and toss to combine.  Place servings of salad on plates and top with sliced chicken pieces. 

Prep Time:  1 hour to marinate     Cook Time:  Approximately 10 minutes

Monday, May 1, 2017

[Gluten-Free] Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas

As I've said previously, the hardest thing about switching to a strictly gluten-free lifestyle is giving up convenience.  We've been out to eat a couple of times and thankfully several restaurants offer many gluten-free options.  Fortunately for me I'm not a huge Italian fan, so giving up pasta hasn't been that difficult.  My weakness as you all know is Mexican food.  For the most part that has been adaptable, especially cooking at home.  Gluten-free corn tortillas are readily available, and we are very careful to prepare our salsas and dressings from scratch.  My husband and the Little Devil have been very accommodating as guinea pigs on my gluten-free journey.  They've suffered through the failure of gluten-free won ton wrappers and gluten-free crust for chicken pot pie.  When Mr. DD suggested we have Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas, I reminded him that most sauce recipes require flour.  He reminded me that we could almost certainly come up with a gluten-free version.  And I'm happy to say he did.  We used the Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free 1 to 1 Baking Flour to thicken the sauce, and it made a beautiful roux and thickened beautifully.  He and Little Devil could taste no difference and there was no notable difference in texture.  It was a thick, creamy, flavorful sauce, perfect atop chicken enchiladas.  I hope this is one of many gluten-free recipes (especially Mexican ones!) that I get to share on this journey with you as well.  

You'll never notice they are gluten-free...
A thick, creamy rich sour cream sauce...
Cover the chicken enchiladas with sour cream sauce,
cheese and chopped green onions.

Bake until hot and bubbly
You CAN have your gluten free Mexican food,
and eat it too!

[Gluten-Free] Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas

12 gluten-free corn tortillas
1 pound chicken breasts, cooked and shredded (I poached mine in salted water for 20 minutes)
1 tablespoon gluten-free taco seasoning
2 cups shredded Monterrey-Jack cheese, divided
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free 1 to 1 Baking Flour
2 cups gluten free chicken broth
1 cup sour cream
1 (4 ounce) can diced green chiles
3-4 green onions, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease a 9x13-inch baking dish and set aside.  In a bowl, combine shredded chicken, taco seasoning and 1 cup of cheese.  Heat tortillas in microwave in a tortilla warmer or between two damp towels until they are pliable.  Roll chicken mixture up inside tortillas and place in baking dish.  In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat.  Stir in flour and whisk for 1 minutes.  Add broth, whisking until smooth.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and stir constantly until thickened.  Remove pan from heat (so the sour cream does not curdle) and stir in sour cream and green chiles.  Pour mixture over tortillas.  Top with remaining 1 cup of cheese and sprinkle with chopped green onions.  Cover with foil and bake 20-25 minutes or until hot and bubbly, and cheese is melted.

Prep Time:  Approximately 15 minutes     Cook Time:  Approximately 25 minutes

Monday, April 24, 2017

Taco Lettuce Wraps {Gluten-Free}

In my quest to master a gluten-free lifestyle my biggest problem has been dining out.  You'd think Mexican food would be a safe bet as long as you chose a corn tortilla?  WRONG.  Almost every place I've encountered uses flour in their ground beef mixture.  I have no idea why.  In my entire life of cooking and eating Mexican cuisine, not once has flour been involved in the meat mixture.  So I'm finding more and more it's much easier to eat at home because I know exactly how everything is prepared.  Thankfully Mexican is my favorite kind of food and it's easy to prepare gluten-free.  In an effort not to burn my family out on beef tacos with crispy corn shells, I've been trying new and creative ways to serve tacos outside the box.  When you think of lettuce wraps, P.F. Chang's Chicken Lettuce Wraps are the first thing that comes to mind.  Those are fabulous, and we enjoy them often but why are lettuce wraps limited to Asian cuisine?  Well now they are not.  Switch up taco night and enjoy the filling on a crisp piece of butter lettuce.  It's a little healthier and a lot delicious!

Just like a taco, with a fresh, crisp lettuce "shell"

Taco Lettuce Wraps

1 head butter lettuce
1 pound ground beef
1 cup salsa
1 ounce package gluten-free taco seasoning
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained

chopped tomatoes
shredded cheese
sour cream

In a skillet over medium heat, saute the ground beef until no longer pink and cooked through.  Season with the taco seasoning.  Stir in salsa and black beans until heated through.  Scoop mixture into pieces of butter lettuce.  Top with chopped tomatoes, shredded cheese and sour cream before serving.

Prep Time:  Approximately 15 minutes     Cook Time: Approximately 10 minutes

Friday, April 14, 2017

Jelly Bean Popcorn

Little Devil gave me the most beautiful antique lavender-colored glass jar for my birthday.  Actually she gave it to me a few weeks before my birthday.  When I asked her why she didn't wait she said, "Because I knew you would want to fill it with jelly beans and put it out with your Easter decorations."  Which is exactly what I did.  I filled it up with jelly beans and put it on display.  The next day my mom and her twin sister came over and headed straight for the jelly beans.  They were actually arguing over the colors  They ate almost all of them.  When it came time to come up with an Easter treat for the grandparents I knew it had to incorporate jelly beans since I had no idea they were so popular with my family.  In the past I've made Homemade Honey Buns and Bunny Bites Snack Mix.  I know everyone in the family loves popcorn, so I decided a popcorn snack made with colorful jelly beans would be ideal.  This is everyone's favorite marshmallow popcorn, with a sweet splash of color added.  A little extra salt and some cute bunny sprinkles finish off this sweet and salty treat.  I've even included some printable tags if you want to gift some to your favorite bunny.
A perfectly sweet & salty treat!
colorful too!
Sticky, gooey and ready for your Easter Bunnies...
Here it is all bagged up for gift-giving
Click on the image to enlarge.
Right click and save to your computer.

Open with the software of your choice
and print onto cardstock.These images are my exclusive artwork.
Please be courteous when using these printables
and remember they are for personal use only.
Here's the cute little jar that inspired it all.
Notice I refilled it!

Jelly Bean Popcorn

10 cups popped corn, salted
3 tablespoons salted butter
3 cups miniature marshmallows
jelly beans
Easter sprinkles

Place the popped corn in a large bowl.  Spread a jelly-roll pan or flat surface with waxed paper.  In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter.  Add the marshmallows and stir until the marshmallows are melted.  Pour marshmallow mixture over the popped and salted corn.  Stir well to coat.  Spread the popcorn mixture onto the waxed paper.  Pour jelly beans and sprinkles over, lightly pressing into sticky popcorn. Allow to dry and then break into bite-sized piece.  Enjoy and sweet and salty treat!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Oklahoma Theta Burger Soup

You know I'm an Oklahoma Girl through and through.  In the past I've shared several recipes that have their roots here in Oklahoma, including Cattlemen's Salad Dressing and the Famous Oklahoma Club Special.  Another recipe with its history tied to my state is the Theta Burger.  It's a hamburger topped with mayonnaise, pickles, hickory sauce and shredded cheese.  It's definitely on the menu just about every place in Norman and Oklahoma City and I've heard it's even available at a place or two in Austin, Texas.  I'm unsure of when the burger was actually invented, but the Kappa Alpha Theta Sorority at the University of Oklahoma lays claim to having their name on it and the version I'd like to believe is that the burger was invented right here in Norman, OK by Ralph Geist who owned the historic Town Tavern that stood on campus corner for many years.  Legend says during the 1930s and 1940s the sorority had a curfew of 10 pm and would call the Town Tavern for a late night burger delivery.  Ralph always obliged, but as you can imagine a house full of hungry sorority girls would have quite a complicated order.  Legend says Ralph compromised and invented a burger they could all agree upon.  He named it after them and added it to his menu.  The true story may be lost to history, but thankfully the burger survives to this day.  It's my husband's favorite burger and we got the wild idea to create it in soup version, inspired by my friend Brandi at Aunt Bee's Recipes and her Bacon Cheeseburger Potato Soup.  We garnished the hearty bowl of soup with plenty of shredded cheese, chopped pickles and a generous drizzle of mayo and hickory sauce.  It tastes EXACTLY like a Theta Burger in a Bowl.  It's incredible.  Trust me.  You may think the combination is unusual, especially if you're not from around here and aren't used to seeing the Theta on your local burger menu.  But there's a reason this flavor combination has survived for nearly 100 years.  If you can't make it down to Norman for a true Theta Burger, then definitely try my version in a bowl!
It's just like a Theta in a Bowl!
The ingredient line up...
Garnish with mayo, Hickory sauce, chopped pickled
and plenty of shredded cheese for the Authentic Theta Flavor!

Oklahoma Theta Burger Soup

8 slices uncooked bacon, diced
1 pound ground beef
1 pound sliced white mushrooms
1/2 chopped onion
4 cups peeled, cubed potatoes
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon Montreal Steak Seasoning (I didn't have Montreal Seasoning so I used "Panhandle Chicken Fried Steak Seasoning" because you know: OKLAHOMA)
1 quart beef broth
3 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Hickory Sauce
chopped pickles
additional shredded cheese for garnish

Sauté chopped bacon in a large stock pot until crispy. Remove the bacon from pan & drain on a paper towel, leaving drippings in the pot.  Increase the heat to medium add the ground beef, sliced mushrooms and chopped onions. Brown and then remove most of the leftover fat.  Add the minced garlic & sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Turn the heat to high and add the potatoes, beef broth, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and steak seasoning. Boil for 10 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender.  Add the reserved bacon pieces back into the pot.  Reduce the heat to low & add the shredded cheese and stir until the cheese is completely melted.
Garnish with mayonnaise, hickory sauce, chopped pickles and additional shredded cheese.

Prep Time:  Approximately 20 minutes     Cook Time:  Approximately 25 minutes 

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

{Frozen} Banana Split on a Stick

Who knew that March 28th was National Something on a Stick Day?  I didn't, but it's nice when things work out.  Everything is better on a stick.  The State Fair has that figured out.  Corn Dogs, Candy Apples.  We even tried a Steak Dinner on a Stick at the Texas State Fair once.  Not kidding.  Steak, potatoes and even rolls.  ON A STICK.  It's just more fun that way.  I decided to take the flavors of a banana split and put them on a stick, sans ice cream.  Frozen Fruit.  Healthy.  And then I served them with marshmallow sauce and whipped cream.  So maybe not as healthy, but still so much fun.  These little gems are super easy to prepare and can be made ahead.  Ideal for your next get together.  A great little after school snack too.  And since National Something on a Stick Day exists, it's a perfect way to celebrate that too!

A fun twist on an old favorite.
And the perfect way to celebrate
National Something on a Stick Day!
Kind of healthy too...

Serve with a "schmear" of marshmallow ice cream topping
and a dollop of whipped cream for the authentic
banana split flavor.
Who doesn't love their food on a stick?
It's just more fun that way.

Make ahead and enjoy!

{Frozen} Banana Split on a Stick

short skewers or picks
Fresh Strawberries, tops cut off
Bananas, sliced into thick slices
Fresh Pineapple Chunks, patted dry with a paper towel
3 squares chocolate almond bark
Chopped Nuts (I used Pecans, because in Oklahoma we use Pecans in everything)
marshmallow topping for serving
whipped cream for serving

Melt the chocolate squares in a shallow bowl in the microwave in 30-second intervals until smooth.  Place the chopped nuts in a shallow dish.  Place one strawberry, one banana slice and one pineapple chunk on a skewer.  Dip the flat side into the melted chocolate and then into the chopped nuts.  Place in a freezer safe container that has been lined with waxed paper.  When you are ready to serve, place the skewers on a platter and serve with marshmallow ice cream topping and whipped cream. 

Prep Time:  Approximately 10 minutes     Needs to Freeze

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Giraffe Cookies {Giraffe Watch 2017}

I'm sure by now you've seen April the Giraffe on the news.  She is a beautiful creature at the Animal Adventure Park in Harpursville, New York.  April is an expecting mother and the whole world is glued to a live You Tube Camera, waiting for the baby giraffe to enter the world.  Her "Baby Daddy" is Oliver and he is in the stall next door.  He paces around like a nervous father in a waiting room.  You know I never have much to do around here and since we lost our sweet pup Baby Ruth last year, I've totally adopted April as my virtual pet.  I'm obsessed with watching the camera.  I've stayed up way to late.  If I wake up during the night, I check the cam.  I'm like an expectant Grandma waiting for her grandchild to be born.  If Oklahoma was anywhere near April, I'd be waiting outside the giraffe barn every morning to feed her carrots.  I guess giraffes have a special place in my heart because my mother has always loved them.  She has quite a collection of giraffe memorabilia from dishes to figurines to paintings.  Whenever she knocks my home decor (which is eclectic to say the least) I always remind her, "Mom, you have giraffes on your porch."  I love that the whole world is focused on April and her future calf.  It's a great distraction from politics and other negativity.  But poor April, can you imagine the whole world gazing into your birthing room?  No thanks! They can wait in the waiting room and hand out cigars.  To honor the impending birth, I made some Giraffe Cookies to celebrate.  Nutter Butter Cookies make the ideal giraffe head shape.  Add just a few other sweet treats to create an adorable April face.  I hope you're all enjoying the adventures of April and enjoy making these fun cookies too!
In honor of April the Giraffe and Giraffe Watch 2017
Just a few sweet treats to create a
cute giraffe face!
Cut the top edge of the sugar wafer cookie
at an angle as shown.
Now you have the perfect giraffe neck.
(And a scrap of cookie to eat.)
Use the melted chocolate bark as "glue" to adhere
the parts together.  Then use the remaining
melted chocolate to create the giraffe spots.
The Nutter Butter Cookie shape makes the
perfect giraffe face!

Giraffe Cookies

1 package Nutter Butter Cookies
1 package Reese's Mini Cups
1 package pretzel sticks
1 package dried banana chips
1 package vanilla sugar wafer cookies
3 squares chocolate almond bark
1 package Wilton candy eyes

Cut the top edge of the sugar wafers as show in the picture to make a slant.  Set aside.  In a microwave safe container melt the almond bark squares in 30-second intervals, stirring in between until melted.  Dip the edge of two banana chips in the melted chocolate and attach at the top of the Nutter Butter cookie to create the ears.  Break each pretzel stick in half.  Dip the two broken edges of the pretzel into the melted chocolate and stick at the top of the cookie to create the horns.  Once those are in place, carefully dip just the tips of the pretzel stick horns into the chocolate.  (FUN FACT: The horns on giraffes are actually called ossicones.  Both males and females have them.  When calves are born, the ossicones lie flat on the head, and after birth, the cartilage becomes erect and begins to fasten to the skull.  SOURCE: Animal Adventure Park Facebook Page) Once the ears and "ossicones" are attached, use a skewer or toothpick to dip in the chocolate "glue" and place two eyes and a mini Reese's cup on to the cookie.  The Reese's candy creates the nose of the giraffe.  Dip the cut/slanted edge of the wafer cookie generously into the melted chocolate and adhere to the side of the cookie to create the long neck of the giraffe.  Let them dry completely on waxed paper before moving.  I put the remaining melted chocolate bark into a plastic bag and cut off the tip.  Decorate the wafer cookie with chocolate swirls and spots so it looks like a giraffe print.  Allow the chocolate to cool and dry completely before serving.  (They are kind of delicate.  Use more melted chocolate glue if necessary)

I encourage you to visit April's Website as well as the Animal Adventure Park Website.  Lots of educational facts and well as donation and sponsor info.  And get the adorable Giraffe Emojis for your phone at The proceeds benefit the park and the giraffe care, plus you'll be the coolest one of your friends because you have an emoji of a giraffe wearing sunglasses on your phone!

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