Gluten- Free Mexican Lasagna

So as many of you know I find recipes and never follow them. I always change things to fit my style of cooking. I found a recipe for a mexican casserole and you put it together like a lasagna and I need it gluten-free so here is my version:

You will need:Basic Ingredients

1/2 pound ground pork

1/2 pound ground beef

1 package of taco-seasoning (You can use a gluten-free version or regular depending on your dietary needs)

1/4 cup water

1 can Rotel tomatoes (I use the kind with cilantro and lime)

1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, diced

1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp chilli powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp smoked paprika

16-oz (2 cups) Sour Cream

6 green onions, chopped

Corn tortillas ( I used about 12, but use what you need to cover for you baking dish size)

16 oz package of Mexican Style shredded cheese

To Make:

1.) Preheat oven to 350* and grease (I used spray olive oil) a casserole dish (I used a 3 quart dish).

2.) Cook ground beef and pork over medium-high heat, untill browned. Use wooden spoon to break up meat into smaller pieces. Drain any extra fat. (I find cast iron skillet works best).Browning Meat

3.) Add in taco seasoning to the meat and about 1/4 cup of water. Stir until combined into meat. Browned Meat with spice

4.) In a separate bowel combine Rotel, chilli powder, cumin, salt, and smoked paprika. Tomato Mixture

5.) In another bowel combine sour cream and green onions.Sour Cream Mixture 2

6.) Now start layering the separate ingredients. Start with a little of the tomato mixture on the bottom of the casserole dish and then place a layer of corn tortillas on top. Layer on 1/3 of the sour cream mixtureSour Cream LayerThen 1/3 of the meat mixtureMeat Layer

Then 1/3 of the tomato mixtureTomato Layer

And finally 1/3 of the cheese. Repeat two more times ending with the rest of the cheese.Cheese Layer

7.) Bake covered with foil for 35 minutes until bubbly. Let stand 10-15 minutes.Finished

8.) Serve by cutting into squares like you would lasagna. PlatedEnjoy 🙂

Other ideas:

Instead of Rotel you can use any diced tomato mexican-style canned tomatoes and then add a small can of mild green chillies.

If you like a lot of tomatoes use 2 cans of Rotel or more extra chopped cherry tomatoes.

Top with hot sauce for an extra kick.

If you want to turn it into a breakfast dish just add a layer of scrambled eggs over the meat.

Instead of ground beef and pork, you can use just ground beef, or ground pork, or ground chicken, or ground sausage. Shreaded chicken may work well too.

If you want it less spicy instead of Rotell use pain diced tomatoes.

If you don’t have mexican cheese you can use cheddar, pepper jack, or whatever you like.

Chase’s Chilli

So I wanted to find a chilli recipe that was a little lighter and didn’t require beef. So I looked and found a white bean turkey chilli recipe and made it my own… so here is Chases Chilli

Chase

 

 

 

 

 

 

You will need:

2 sticks of celery chopped into small cubes

2 whole carrots chopped into small cubes

2 medium onions (any kind I like red or sweet white) chopped into small cubes

6 cloves of garlic chopped

1 lb (or so) of ground turkey

2 cans of Cannellini beans

28 oz diced tomatoes

olive oil

1 1/2 cups water

thyme

oregano

pepper and salt

smoked paprika

chilli powder

cinnamon

garlic powder

To top:

4 green onions

sour cream

grated cheese

To make:

1. In a  large pot over medium heat add olive oil and saute onions, celery, carrots, and garlic until tender. Step 1

2. Add in ground turkey and cook with veggies until turkey is browned and cooked.Step 2

3. Add in 1 tbsp garlic powder, 1 tbsp pepper and salt, 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 1 tbsp chilli powder, 1 tbsp smoked paprika, 2 tsp thyme, 2 tsp oregano.

4. Add tomatoes and stir untill pot is at a simmer. Add 1 cups water if tomatoes don’t have enough.Setp 3

5. Add in additional spices to taste. I added 1/2 tbsp of smoked paprika, 1/2 tbsp chilli powder, 1/2 tbsp pepper, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, and 1/2 tsp salt.

6. Add in Cannellini beans and last 1/2 cup of water to make sure all the ingredients are covered (if needed).Setp 4

7. Put a lid on the pot a simmer on low heat, untill the beans are warm or until you are ready to eat. Stil occassionaly.

8. Serve with grated cheese, sour cream, and green onions on top 🙂 Step 5

Other tips and tricks :

You can add in cumin, tamarack, or use regular paprika.

You can use any type of cheese, I use colby monterey jack.

You can use ground chicken if you want instead of turkey.

Instead of water you can add vegetable or chicken stock (adjust your spices accordingly). Add the liquid as needed to keep the ingredients covered.

SpoonBread Seasonsgirl’s Way

I thought I would share what we had as our side dish for dinner tonight. I had a lot of recipes for spoonbread and have tried many, but found my own version though trial and error that seems to be good 🙂

Seasonsgirl Spoonbread

You Need:

1 1/2 cups Water

3/4 cups Buttermilk

3/4 cups Heavy Cream

1 cup Cornmeal

2 tbsp Butter unsalted

2 large Eggs

1/2 tsp. Baking Powder

3 Green Onions – chopped (save some for garnish)

1 Can of Creamed Corn (14.75 oz)

2 cups Jarlsberg Cheese cut into small pieces or grated (freeze before grating to make it easier)

4 tbsp Parmesan Cheese grated

Salt and Pepper

Directions:

1.) Preheat oven to 400* and spray a 2 quart glass baking dish with baking spray or grease with butter.

2.) In a saucepan (I use a 4-quart) place the water, buttermilk, 1 tsp black pepper, and 1/2 tsp salt and bring to a slow boil.

3.) Reduce heat to medium-low and whisk in the cornmeal poring it in slowly.

4.) Place the lid on the pot and simmer 10 minutes until the mixture is thick stirring ever 2 minutes or more to prevent sticking and burning. At the end of the 10 minutes the mixture should be  thick and harder to whisk.

5.) Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter untill melted.

6.) Add in heavy cream slowly; whisking continuously.

7.) Whisk in the eggs one at a time.

8.) Whisk in the baking powder.

9.) Whisk in the green onions, creamed corn, both cheeses, and 1 tsp  pepper. Place the pot back on low heat and whisk continuously until it starts to get smooth and the cheese is dissolving. Add any more salt and pepper to taste.

10.) Pore mixture into glass baking dish and make sure it is spread evenly.

11.) Bake uncovered 45 mins-1 hour until a toothpick comes out clean.  (My over browns the top in 35 minutes and then I bake an additional 10-15 minutes covered to firm up the mixture (see tip #4))

12.) Garnish with remaining green onions and serve.

Makes 6-8 side dish servings.

Other Ideas and Tips:

1.) Instead of buttermilk use whole milk and instead of heavy cream you can use light. Or use whole milk for both.

2.) Instead of creamed corn you can use 1 1/2 cups whole kernels (frozen or fresh) but if you want the sweetness add 1 tbsp sugar when you add the corn.

3.) You can use most swiss cheeses the Jarlsberg just seems to give the best taste.

4.) If the toothpick is not coming out clean and the top is brown cover the baking dish with foil, decrease the heat to 375*,  and bake until it firms (make sure to get it out before the sides and top brown too much). You can smell when the top is getting brown so keep an eye on it after about 30 minutes.

All that was left after my gang got into it :)

All that was left after my gang got into it 🙂

Baby chick cookies

 

Every major holiday I make my great-grandmother’s secret recipe iced sugar cookies. My co-workers expect them and if I don’t make them I get asked for them. My co-workers like them they say due to the soft centers and sweet, but not too sweet icing. Each year I want to try to decorate them a little different. This year I wanted to do baby chicks in honor of our new hens. I was unsure how to easily make the cookie cutter I had into a chick… so I did some trials and asked my husband his opinion…

 

Options for decorating I didn't like as much...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So I tried some more… I know they are not the most amazing of decorated cookies, but I wanted a simple way to make a baby chick…

All the little chicks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I had two ways my husband liked them so I did both and took them to work to see which one got the most votes with my coworker… It was almost a tie so I thought I would ask you…

My favorite two options
I call this the kissing chicks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Which one do you think looks most like a baby chick? The one where the beak is highlighted or the one with just an eye?

 

Baxter’s Potato Kale Chowder

My whole house smells delightful and warm tonight. It’s been snowing off and on all day and my husband is sick, so I decided to make a warm and wholesome meal for dinner… So I made a chowder that would fill him up with good nutrition.

So What you will need:

1/2 cup Olive Oil  (divided into two 1/4th cups) and extra for the garlic.

2 whole Yellow Onions, diced

1 bulb Garlic, roasted

1 tbsp dried Thyme (you can use fresh but use 2-3 tbsp)

16 ounces Sausage, crumbled

4 cups Chicken Stock or Broth  (I use homemade chicken or turkey stock)

6 Potatoes, chopped (I used white potatoes, but if you use russets you need to peel them)

1 small bunch Kale, chopped

2 cups Half and Half

1/4 cups White Rice Flour (or gluten-free all-purpose)

Salt and Pepper (Black or White Pepper)

1 tbsp Garlic Powder

What you will need…

What to Do:

1.) Heat oven to 350*. Cut off the top of a bulb of garlic and place in alumium foil. Cover with olive oil and close up in the foil. Place on a baking pan and bake 20-25 minutes untill bulb is soft. Squeeze the garlic cloves from the bulb or use a spoon to scoop them out.

Garlic in the foil with olive oil.

Garlic after roasting

2.) Heat 1/4 cup olive oil over medium heat, then add onions and garlic. Saute until onions begin to soften. This takes about 5-7 minutes.

3.) Add in the sausage and break it apart into small crumbles until it is brown.

4.) Add in kale and cook, stirring occasionally, until kale is tender. Add salt, pepper, and garlic powder.

5.) Add in potatoes and Thyme. Stir together with kale, sausage, garlic, and onion mixture.

Onions, garlic, sausage, Thyme, kale, and potatoes

6.) Add in stock or broth and cover. Simmer for about 20 minutes or until potatoes are just fork tender. (The cooking time with vary according to how thick you cut the potatoes, smaller chunks more like 15 minutes and larger more like 25 minutes).

7.) Slowly add in half and half, stirring, and bring chowder back to boil, simmer while you do the next step.

After adding the half and half

8.) To thicken soup… In a small pan/skillet put the remainder of the oil and the flour. Cook the roux mixture string with a wire whisk until it is smooth and starting to thicken, about 2-3 minutes. Do not over cook or burn.

9.) Add to chowder and stir until the chowder thickens about 3 minutes. Add in salt and pepper to taste.

10.) Serve and enjoy!

The Chowder plated

Serving Ideas:

1.) I like to serve this with some shredded cheese on top. Other options would be bacon crisped and crumbled, chopped green onions, or chopped pieces of ham.

2.) You can use hot sausage for a hotter taste or any variety you might like.

3.) If you don’t like kale you can leave it out or use collard greens. If you want to use spinach wait till after you add the half and half or milk.

4.) You can also use milk instead of half and half.

Other Tips:

1.) Make sure to only cook the roux mixture until smooth and only slightly brown. If it burns it will not be good to use.

2.) If you want to re-warm the chowder do so on low heat and make sure to stir it often. If it is too thick add milk or half and half.

3.) Store in the fridge once it gets cool enough to put in, to keep it from spoiling.

4.) If you can not roast the garlic, finely chop 2-3 cloves and add when it says to add the roasted.

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: With the garlic prep 30 – 50 minutes, without roasting the garlic 30-40

Serves: 8-10

Serving Size: 1 – 1 1/2 cup

Lemon Paprika Chicken

Here is what’s for dinner tonight…

What you will need:

1 lemon (zest the outside and cut in 1/2)

8 oz Peppers (mixed yellow, orange, red) frozen or fresh

8 oz Broccoli frozen or fresh

8 oz Green Beans frozen or fresh

6 oz Corn frozen or fresh

4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts (about 1 lb)

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 and 1/8 tsp ground black pepper

4 tsp paprika (sweet or smoked)

1 1/2 cups mariana sauce (homemade or store-bought)

Spray cooking oil or Extra Virgin Coconut Oil (4 tsp)

The ingredients…

What to do:

1. Place non stick skillet over medium heat add 2 tsp of the coconut oil or spray skillet with cooking spray.

2. Place vegetables and lemon peel in melted oil and cook 8-10 minutes until tender, stirring every couple of minutes to cook vegetable evenly. Then add 1/4 tsp black pepper. When done transfer to a plate and keep warm.

The vegetables cooking in a cast iron skillet

3. Season chicken on both sides with the remaining black pepper, salt, and paprika.

4. If needed add remaining 2 tsp of coconut oil or spray skillet with more cooking spray. Add chicken to skillet and brown on both sides, about 6-8 minutes a side depending on your skillet. While the first side is browning squeeze half the lemon over the chicken, being careful not to get seeds in the skillet.

The chicken browned

5. When both sides are browned add back in the vegetables. Squeeze on the other half of the lemon and add in the mariner sauce. Stir then reduce heat to low/medium, cover, and cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring if needed.

Its all back in the skillet

6. Serve.

Finished and plated

Serving Ideas:

Serve over egg noodles, or for a healthier option serve over whole wheat noodles or brown rice. You can just serve as is too. Also my father and husband like to shake a little Texas Pete on top of it before eating.

Other Tips:

Amount of seasoning can be adjusted to your taste. You can also add more or less vegetables and adjust the recipe to serve more or less people. You can also add different vegetables according to what you have in you freezer or on hand. Other good ideas are zucchini, squash, cherry tomatoes, okra, etc. You can also substitute turkey breast for the chicken if that is what you have.

Prep time: If vegetables are frozen: 4 minutes. If vegetables are fresh: 6-8 minutes depending on how fast you chop.

Cook Time: 28 – 36 minutes

Serves: 4 people

Serving size: 1 chicken breast and 3/4 cups vegetables