Monday, July 16, 2012

Pop Corn

Man, I love pop corn! I can eat it just about anytime of day. Same with our kiddo's.

Your probably thinking why is Blair writing about pop corn? Way back when, I thought microwave pop corn was the bomb! One day my destine to be my future Mother-In-Law, made stove top pop corn in olive oil. Zowie!! It was awesome. After that fateful bliss day, I always cook pop cornon the stove rather than the ichy bag stuff. 

Recently my pop corn world was rocked yet again! Sarah Elizabeth's BFF made pop corn in the microwave but not with the prepackaged, hydrogenated oil stuff. Just a simple brown bag or "poke" as my Grandma called it. Simplify at its best!

Microwave Pop Corn

1 brown flat bottomed lunch size paper bag
1/2 C pop corn kernels
Salt or seasonings
Earth Balance (optional)

Place pop corn in paper bag. Fold top of bag 2 times. Do not not use staples, twisty ties or anything to secure bag. The fold will hold during popping.

Place in microwave using the pop corn setting. Microwave times vary. Listen for when the popping slows. Be careful, DO NOT OVER COOK OR BURN! Your house will be very stinky and your taste buds will be very sad. You most likely will need to play around with the cooking time to get it just right with your microwave. Add seasons and enjoy!

Try these toppings for some gourmet popcorn fun:

  • Mexican: Add chili powder, hot sauce, and salt.
  • Kiss My Breath: Shake in onion powder and garlic powder — hold the kiss.
  • Cheese Please: Mix in Parmesan cheese with a little salt.
  • Sweet Tooth: A dash of cinnamon, a sprinkle of sugar, and a topper of honey. Now that’s money.
  • Classic: A shake of salt with a pat of butter.

May your table be bountiful~blair

Baked Tortilla Chips

In reviewing our family food budget I have decided our family eats as well as spends way too much on corn chips each month. We have nacho's for lunch once a month and we use these to tunnel through the mega size hummus we graze through on Sunday afternoons for lunch. Don't worry, there are vegetables involved too!

As you may recall, my goal this year is to make more than to buy more.I was trolling through the internet for tortilla chip recipes and found I liked this recipe the best. Very easy and straight forward.

The great thing about making these chips at home is you can use what ever seasonings you have on hand and are cheap! I am also thinking these would make a nice hostess or house warming gift paired with homemade salsa.

We took our chips with us tonight the Everett Aqua sox's game. Beats paying $5 for a large bag of popcorn, which I am sure the kiddo's could NOT eat. Jeff and the kids enjoyed them. Next batch I am thinking cinnamon and sugar!


Corn Tortillas (You can use flour but then they will not be GF!)
Nonstick cooking spray, I used canola but olive will be yummy as well.
Seasoning of your choice (*optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Lay single tortillas out on wax paper. Spray each side with oil, lightly. Sprinkle with seasoning. *
Stack 8 tortillas on top of one another. Using a pizza cutter or knife divide into 4ths or 8ths.

Arrange triangles in a single layer on baking sheet.* Bake 7-10 minutes until edges start to curl and are lightly brown. CAUTION: these will burn very easily. Once chips are brown and crisp transfer to a cooling rack.

Chips will continue to crisp as they cool. Completely cool before transferring to an air tight container. Use within 1-2 days.

* I did not salt or season mine. Next time I will lightly season with sea salt. :0)

May your table be bountiful~blair

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Breakfast Lasagna

On Tuesday, June 26th, our family starts our summer schedule! Wahoo! I thought Joseph's school schedule would never end. Our home school Center finished the first week of June! So over the past few weeks I have been preparing for the endless weeks of Joseph wanting to be on the computer for 12 hours a day and Emily reading14-15 hours a day in her room about NOT gonna to happen! (we are homeschooling this summer) Anyway, I wanted to get a jump on menu planning. 

Do you ever get in a "rut when planning your menu's? Or if you have been really bad and NOT planning your meals? In looking at my "generic meal plan", breakfast is my worst offender. Look at this schedule! I ask, how boring is this?

Sunday: muffins or baked breads, meat and eggs
Monday: eggs, veggies, and/or beans
Tuesday: yogurt with fruit
Wednesday: french toast
Thursday: scrambled eggs and fruit
Friday: french toast
Saturday: cereal/yogurt with fruit 

I LOVE the website, Just A Pinch. I have found some really yummy recipes on this site. However, they are rarely GF/CF. When I make modifications, they usually do NOT the cut with my food critics children. So, usually make them an alternative dish. I really do not like to do that. Then I feel like a short order cook. Those days are long gone at our house. 

This dish maybe served hot or cold.

The second time I made this yummy, I added black berries and raspberries. Em added a smidgen of Cool Whip to her serving. She said that it looked naked and needed something to "cut the sweet". Uh, yeah, sure Em!

You can find the original recipe here. 

Beautiful and so versatile! 

May your breakfast table be bountiful and full of joy~Blair

Breakfast Lasagna

3/4 csugar
1/4 cmy all purpose flour mix
1/4 tspsalt
1 1/2 c almond milk
6egg yokes * mashed bananas maybe used in place of yokes
1 1/2 tspvanilla * omit if using vanilla almond milk
6toasted Van's GF waffles 
6frozen GF pancakes (thawed)
* I make mine ahead
1 cblueberries
2 cstrawberries (sliced)
*  1 C blackberries and raspberries


 In a 2 quart saucepan combine sugar, flour, salt and milk over medium heat. Cook stirring until mixture thickens, about 5 minutes.
 Remove pan from stove. In a small bowl, beat egg yolks slightly. Slowly add to pan. If you do this too fast or have not allowed the pan to cool eggs will scramble when added to milk mixture. Return pan to stove cook, stirring constantly till thickened. Remove from heat, slowly add vanilla and stir; chill until ready to use. Use EXTREME CAUTION this will burn/scorch very easy. Don't ask how I know this!
Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking oil. Place a thin layer of pastry cream in a 9x13 pan.
 Add toasted waffles and cover with 1/2 cream spreading evenly.
 Cover with 1/2 berries and layer on top of cream.
 Top with pancakes and spreading the remaining cream on top of pancakes evenly.
 Top with remaining berries. * I left off top berries because I do no like cook berries. I then covered with foil to bake. Remove foil in the last 5 minutes.
 Bake 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Cover with remaining berries if you like.

Corn Dog Muffins

The other day while grocery shopping. Em looked wistfully into the deli case at the corn dogs. "I sure do miss eating corn dogs." Now, I am sure there is a recipe out there that is GF/CF but dealing with a deep fyer, the mess and what not is really of no interest to me!

So, while making chili today, because in Seattle we have JUNE-UARY! (aka freezing in June) I got to thinking about what Emily said. When I was making cornbread muffins (you cannot eat chili without cornbread don't you know!) I thought why not added some hot dogs to the cornbread muffins! Oh my goodness~the kids flipped out! This is definitively going on my menu rotation!  

MMMMM, just out of the oven.

While I was waiting on lunch, I cleaning the kitchen I jumped on Pinerest. Doesn't everyone use Pinterest for fun waste of time inspiration? I found this pin! See I knew i was not re-inventing the wheel on this one. What a darling way to serve corn dog muffins. Of course I would use a mason jar! I was out of craft sticks, so I stuck them on their serving fork, boring I know. I see a Holly Lobby Dollar Tree trip in my future. :0)

Kid tested, kid approved!
May your table be richly bountiful~Blair

Preheat oven to 400 degree F
1 C white rice flour
2/3 C stone-ground cornmeal * I grind by cornmeal a little finer. My family does not like the texture.
2 Tbsp sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 C PLUS 1 tbsp earth balance (divided) * see below
2 beat eggs
1 C almond milk (reserve 1/4 C of almond milk to rinse out magic bullet after pureed corn!)
1 can of whole kernel corn
i package of Hebrew Nation Hot Dogs, cut into 1/3 pieces

Mix dry ingredients together in a medium size bowl and set aside.
Puree corn in magic bullet to desired consistency. In a small bowl, combine the eggs, pureed corn, milk and melted earth balance. Add wet ingredients into dry ingredients stirring until just moistened. If it is too thin sprinkle a pinch or two of cornmeal until desired consistency. Place a hot dog piece into each corn muffin. Bake 15-20 mins. Use remaining tbs spoon of Earth balance to dot muffins after cooking.
* Note this last step can be omitted.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Migas not just for breakfast!

I am on a quest to shake up our breakfast routine! 

I love the blog Lynn's Kitchen. She recently shared her migas recipe. We have been eating something like this occasionally when we are bored out of our mind with eggs but we just never gave it a name! We add to our eggs some salsa, tomatoes, black or pinto beans, onions, garlic, daiya cheese, oregano, cilantro, kahle and any veggie begging to be eaten....aka almost past it's prime. We never added the tortilla chips. Lynn also suggests this as a quick lunch or dinner. 

Husband tested and approved!

Does this not look yummy!


  • 8 eggs, beat well
  • ¼ cup salsa
  • ½ cup cheese, shredded (I use either cheddar, jack, or combo)
  • 1 cup tortilla chips, crushed (I use like 2 handfuls of chips, not sure what that measures exactly)
Cooked eggs until almost done (you are basically scrambling them). Then add remaining ingredients. Cook another minute or so until eggs are done. Serve with additional salsa if desired.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Heather's Amazing Quiche

So excited to share with you a very special guest post by my oldest daughter, Heather. It is because of Heather's encouragement and support our family was able to make an easy transition to being gluten and casein free. :0)
Not only is Heather an amazing cook but she amazes me in the beauty, ease and tastiness of her dishes. Heather is a fly by the seat of her pants kinda girl. She just mixes things together without following a recipe. I tried to do this several times with the dog or the garbage can having the results. 
I am so excited Heather has shared her quiche recipe. I have wanted it for quite sometime now. I think it will be a wonderful dish to serve our family for Easter Brunch. A little part of Heather with be with us even though she is so far away.

I look forward to sharing more of Heather's recipes. She makes being a vegetarian very easy. I have listed the ingredients for her quiche at the end of the post. The following directions are in Heather's own words.

May your table be bountiful and joyful in the celebration of Easter. ~blair
Does this not delish?!
Heather's Amazing Quiche
Making the GF crust is so easy!
It is 1 C of rice flour, with some salt, 1/4 tsp xanthum gum, any spices you would like to add (rosemary and basil are super good ones). Cut in half a cup of earth balance or any other non dairy butter alternative. Once it is crumbly, add approx 1 oz of water. Play with the dough until it forms a ball. Let the dough rest 10 minuted while you prep a pan with oil/butter. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place pie dough in center of pie pan, flatten out to the edges with your hands,
Poke the crust with a fork lots of times. Bake for ten minutes. The quiche itself is versatile. I recommend experimenting.

For the filling use any veggies and spices you like. In the one pictured above I used onion, garlic, brocolli, tomato, mushrooms and added some goat cheese. NOTE: goat cheese is NOT CASEIN FREE. Chop veggies to desired size. Place in the bottom of the pan.

To make the egg mixture, I used 10 eggs, a half a cup of vegetable stock, salt, pepper and a little bit of creme. To make this recipe CF you could easily add more veg stock or milk alternative like almond. I really don't have a recipe, I just kinda make this and typically it turns out well! : ) Pour the egg mixture over the veggies and bake for 55 minutes. Served chilled or warm.
1 C rice flour
pinch of salt (or to your tasting)
1/4 tsp xanthum gum
1/2 C earth balance
1 oz. water
veggies of your choosing
10 eggs
1/2 C veg stock
splash creme or milk alternative

Monday, January 30, 2012

Move over Martha..we are reinventing the wheel!

My big goal for 2012 is to bring our food spending under control. It never fails, every month I go over my allotted amount causing us to spiral out of control and ending up borrowing from Paul to pay Peter it seems!

I have been taking a hard look at my freezer purchases. I hate paying $5 for a jumbo bag of tots. My kiddo's love them but I refuse to pay the ransom anymore!!!! So, I am on a mission. I am going to reinvent the wheel if I must starting with an all time family favorite, the tots.

These babies will defiantly be making my menu rotation for breakfast, lunch and dinner! No not every meal everyday! My kids gobbled these puppies up so fast there was barely anytime to take a photo. I think my job here is done. 

May your table be bountiful with savings! ~blair

1 cup quinoa flakes 
1/4 cup golden flax meal 
canola oil1/3 cup finely chopped sweet onion 
4 sweet potatoes or russet potatoes, peeled
1 Tbsp. kosher or sea salt, plus more
1 egg, beaten
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
Freshly ground black pepper

* to bump up the flavor you could add a pinch or two of cayenne pepper and smoked paprika.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine quinoa flakes and flax meal in a bowl; set aside. Place skillet over medium heat. Sparingly coat pan with oil. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 8 minutes. Transfer onion to a bowl; set aside. Wipe out to use later. 

Using your food processor, finely grate potatoes to make 4 cups. Transfer to a colander and sprinkle with 1 Tbsp. salt. Massage salt into potatoes and squeeze out the excess liquid. In a medium bowl; add egg to potatoes and mix well. Add onion, garlic powder; season lightly with salt and pepper. The mixture should resemble a potato pancake mix but be on the dry side. Using your hands, form potato mixture into 1" balls. 

Roll potato balls in quinoa flake mixture. Heat skillet over medium heat. Lightly coat pan with oil. Working in batches, cook balls, turning occasionally, until golden brown, about 2 minutes on each side. Transfer tots to a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until cooked through, about 10 minutes. 

** Note**
These tots freeze well. Make ahead, but skip the final step. Place tots on a cookie sheet and flash freeze. I do not like to use freezer bags or anything plastic BUT that seems to be the best way to freeze. Bring Tots to room temperature before placing in skillet to avoid being splattered with oil. 

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Mason Jars...not just for canning anymore

Mason Jar centerpieces
I am uncertain what the attraction is but I LOVE mason jars! They are versatile, fun and frugal.  We use them as drinking glasses, storage containers, and vases to name a few. 

On Pinterest I found another  awesome dish I want to share. Amberlee at Giverslog is the orgininator of the idea but these are my recipes. My daughter Emily thought I had lost my mind when I set the table last night. She thought it was a lot of fun to eat dinner from a jar! My husband thought I was "brilliant" to pack his dinner. He had no clue I had baked it all together til Emily told him. Sorry no photo my camera battery died :/ so I borrowed Amberlee's photo's. I feel certain there will be more posts of mason jar meals!
May your table be bountiful of mason jars!~blair
Chili and Corn Bread Jars

3 cans of stewed tomatoes with juice
1 can diced tomatoes with green chilies
1 can of black beans, rinsed
1 can of red kidney beans, rinsed
1 can of pinto beans, rinsed
1 can of white kidney beans, rinsed
1 can of whole kernel corn, drained
1 large sweet onion, diced
1 red pepper diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 pound of ground meat (turkey, chicken or beef)
5 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 tbsp salt
2 tbsp black pepper
1 tbsp thyme
1/4 tsp chili powder *adjust according to how much heat you like
1/4 tsp cumin
1 tsp smoked chipolette

Saute onions, garlic til soft and tender. Add meat season to taste, cooking till crumbly and brown. Drain immediately of all grease. Place on a paper towel doubled over and drain any remaining fat.

Meanwhile place all canned ingredients into a large stock pot including seasons on medium heat until contents begin to barely bubble on side of pan. Turn down heat, simmer for at least 30 minutes. Add meat mixture and simmer for 15 mins.

Preheat oven to 400 degree F
1 C white rice flour
2/3 C stone-ground cornmeal * I grind by cornmeal a little finer. My family does not like the texture.
2 Tbsp sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 C PLUS 1 tbsp earth balance (divided)
2 beat eggs
1 C almond milk (reserve 1/4 C of almond milk to rinse out magic bullet after pureed corn!)
1 can of whole kernel corn

Mix dry ingredients together in a medium size bowl and set aside.
Puree corn in magic bullet to desired consistency. In a small bowl, combine the eggs, pureed corn, milk and melted earth balance. Add wet ingredients into dry ingredients stirring until just moistened. If it is too thin sprinkle a pinch or two of cornmeal until desired consistency.

Spoon chili into a wide mouth mason jar1/2 full. spoon 1/2 C of cornbread mix on top chili. Bake 15-20 minutes on a baking sheet. Insert knife to check if done.
Serve with a honey infused earth balance.

* to prevent sticking spray jar with with non-stick spray.


Friday, January 20, 2012

French Toast Muffins

Snow Buds waiting for hot muffins.

Did you know Seattle averages 4.5 inches of snow a year? This is now day 5 of snow and we have a little over a foot of the white stuff! We are loving every minute of it with the EXCEPTION for the fact that I am now out of Udi bread to make sammies for the kids and french toast.

I think I might have mentioned before that I have a set daily menu for each meal. It is my minimalist approach to meal planning. Today's breakfast menu is french toast, our youngest daughter Emily's favorite. Did I mention Emily reallllly does not like it if I stray from the said menu? What to do, what to do?

While the kids were outside dragging each other through the snow playing, I spent hours my time wisely on pinterest. The most awesome black hole site on the internet! If you have not checked it out go, right now and do so. I will wait for you right here. So anywhoo, while recently discovering about 100 new recipes to try, I ran across the gem french toast muffins. Thank you Ann at Velvet Lava.
This is the stuff goodness is made from!
And on a side note: My wonderful sister-in-law Sherry sends us maple syrup from her husband's family farm in Vermont. We LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this syrup. We use it so sparingly to make it last as long as humanly possible and refer to it as liquid gold! I served some of our awesome maple syrup on the side, cause goodness knows there is not enough sugar already in these muffins! Seriously, using the syrup took them to a whole new level! YUMMIE

**The french toast muffin recipe originally contained gluten and casein. I altered it to become gluten and dairy free. The original recipe was nut free but I could not serve french toast anything without pecans. :0)

Photo from Velvet Lava 
Hope these find their way onto your bountiful table~ Blair

French Toast Muffins

1/3 C Earth Balance, melted
1/2 C sugar
1 egg, room temperature
1 1/2 C GF flour mix
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 C Almond Milk
1 1/2 tsp xanthum gum

1/2 C sugar
1/2 C Earth Balance, melted
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 - 1 C of chopped pecans *optional (We LOVE pecans so the more the merrier)

It is VERY important to read your recipe thoroughly before attempting. I mistakenly mixed all the topping ingredients together rather than setting aside the melted Earth Balance ! OOPS! Still yummy according to the girls.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

In a medium-large bowl, sift together all dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients and stir until combined, but still a bit lumpy. Be careful, do not over mix. Scoop batter into lightly greased muffin tin. I used a medium size ice cream scoop to get 12 muffins. I did not fill them as large as I usually do so I could get 12. Bake 20-25 minutes, or until they are lightly gold brown.

Mix sugar and cinnamon in a small bow. Place melted Earth Balance into another small bowl. Dip the
warm muffins in melted earth balance then roll in sugar/cinnamon. You could just dip the top of the muffin, but why?!

2 C white rice flour
2/3 C potato starch flour
1/3 C tapioca flour

To make 9 C of flour mix:
6 C white rice flour
2 C potato starch flour
1 C tapioca flour

In the past when making muffins or quick bread I have used brown rice flour rather than white rice. I have even thrown in brown rice flour to white rice flour to even out the measurement if I am running low to complete a recipe. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

On a snowing winter day

Looking out my kitchen window to the back yard.

Winter has come to the Pacific Northwest. Snow is gently falling, there is fire roaring in the fireplace, and kids are all worn out from playing outside. There is barely a skiff of snow but that does not deter them!
Sheer joy!
Daddy would not come out to play in the snow. So they created Snow Daddy!

Joseph loves to watch the snow! 

This morning I was thinking about how this same weekend several years ago we had gone to the farm to spend MLK weekend. While there over a 18 inches of snow fell in 2 days! Needless to say we were a bit snowed in. We actually had to hire a local farmer to dig us out and clear the road so that we could get back to Charleston so Jeff could go to work. :0(

Our kids love the farm for so many reasons, staying outside from sun up to sun down or they are frost bit; and spending tons of family time together working puzzles, playing games and cooking. My favorite thing about the farm is the fact that we are off the grid. No tv, computers and our cell phone is for emergencies only. I take naps, read, take bubble baths or long hot showers and cook my brains out!
One of our favorite comfort foods is corn pudding. I do not make it as often as I should. Why? I have no clue! It is so easy and I always have the ingredients on hand. The origin of this recipe came from my Grandma. I have seen numerous alternatives recipes that use cream cheese, cream, with the list going on. I do change it up occasionally adding red peppers and a dash of chili pepper but honestly I love the simplicity. Everyone always fusses about who has the claim on the crusty rim of the dish. A sign that they like it! next time I plan to serve in ramkins. That way everyone gets the yummy crust! :0)
When Heather is home from school I try to make as many of her favorites as I can. One of her requests this time around was for corn pudding. She asked that it not to be serve with Christmas Eve, Christmas or New Years dinners but to make on a non special dinner night. Her sweet request was, "let's make the corn pudding the specialness of the meal". Before she headed back to Grad School she asked for the recipe but I forgot to give it to her. So Heather, this one is for you honey! XoXoXoXo
May your table always be bountiful of friends, family and wonderful memories. ~blair

Corn Pudding
2 Cans of whole kernel corn or sloppy corn (**creamed corn)
                 or equal amount of fresh or frozen
2 eggs
4 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp flour heaping (brown rice or white)

Preheat oven to 400 degree F. Grease a 8X8 Pyrex with Earth Balance.
Place 1 can of corn in magic bullet with 1 egg mix, repeat with other can and egg. Pour into Pyrex after mixing. Gently stir in sugar, salt and flour. Dot the the top with Earth Balance generously. bake for 1 hour.

** make sure you check the label for gluten and casein.