Grilled Cinnamon Toast Crunch

Have y’all ever heard of grilled toast? with cinnamon? AND strawberries?? With a banana?? Yay! How cool is that?  Here is a very easy recipe and it’s soooo YUMMY!

1/4 C of sugar
1 t ground cinnamon
8 brown and serve rolls, cut into quarters
4 T of butter, melted (you can melt in the micro in 10 second intervals)
1 pint of strawberries, hulled
2 firm bananas, peeled and cut into chunks

Prepare the grill for low heat.

Toss together the sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Mix them up good!

Brush each of the roll pieces evenly with the melted butter.

Roll the pieces in the cinnamon sugar mixture until they are evenly coated.

Starting with a strawberry thread a strawberry, a roll piece and a banana chunk onto 4 skewers until the skewers are filled. (Remember to soak the skewers for at least 30 min if you are using the bamboo or wooden ones)

Grill for 8 minutes, turning often until the rolls are toasted.

Should make about 4 servings

Hope y’all enjoy!!

A Sneak Peak At My New Garden

Summer is finally here and I am excited to begin my new garden. Personally, I love to plant new vegetables each year and tomatoes are usually my favorite. I use the tomatoes to make a homemade BBQ sauce that everyone in my family loves. The sauce is especially unique because I grow the tomatoes myself without any pesticides.

This year I will also be growing several varieties of super duper hot peppers. I have grown peppers in the past but they require a lot of sun and hot days which I hope we will get this summer. Hot peppers are great to grow but can take a long time. My other favorite thing to grow is broccoli and lettuces.

One of the biggest challenges I have with my gardens is getting them enough water. This I has been the reason most of them have not gone so well. A friend recommended to me a site to research some new garden hoses called garden hose advisor. I am thinking about getting a new expandable hose, which is a new kind of garden hose that expands up to 3x its normal length. This is the first time I have seen this.

The problem I have with all my garden hoses is that they break or get chewed up by my dogs. I have a feeling this one will too but they are pretty lightweight, so after you’re done using them you’re supposed to carry it into the house to protect it from dogs. I never did this before because my garden hose was too darn heavy. The other big thing I wanted to get this summer was a new garden hose nozzle. There are so many cool ones out and I have been using the same brass nozzle for a few years and I wonder if that’s why I haven’t had the best luck.

Here are some images of last years garden in my backyard. It was a lot of work but a lot of fun as well. I did things a bit different last year and didn’t put cross sections the raised bed, so it led to a few problems. Now, I wanted to cut the raised bed into sections so that I could plant and water things a little easier.

Personally, I feel that growing and eating food from your own garden is one of the most rewarding experience you can have. The food tastes better and it’s free! The most important thing is getting good organic seeds and having access to good water. It’s been tough to find sources for seeds but there are plenty of places online. I had luck on ebay in finding some really rare tomatoes and pepper seeds.

Hopefully I will have better luck this year with my new garden hose and hose nozzles. In the past I have had problems with them shutting off my water and I was unable to water my plants and they dies because it didn’t rain/ Watching your plants die can be very frustrating and it hurts me a lot. This year will be different because I have learned from my past mistakes.

As you can see I didn’t use the cross sections on the raised beds and they were a bit lower, making the plants smaller than I wanted. I decided with my new raised bed to go with a height of 12″ rather than 6″. You need more soil and more water but the plants grow bigger. This year I’m hoping to get some massive tomatoes and peppers and lettuces. Still have plenty of work to do, so back to the garden I go!

Beginning the Gluten-Free Lifestyle

My sister recently approached me, asking how to go about adopting a gluten-free diet. Although she was never diagnosed, autoimmune disorders and digestive problems – likely stemming from a gluten sensitivity—run rampant in my family. Of course, I’m the only person who has managed to live entirely gluten-free. I guess it goes without saying, stubbornness also runs in my family. I digress.

As I’ve been living gluten-free for about six years now, I often find myself engaged in conversations with others curious about the gluten-free diet, especially those with persistent stomach aches and discomfort. Before anything else, I strongly urge anyone with problems to see a real doctor to rule out anything serious. But for those interested in saving some time and money (both of which doctors can tend to waste), I like to offer a quick guide and some helpful tips if considering a gluten-free diet.

First, there’s the basic rule: read the labels and eliminate anything made of wheat or white flour. Next, consume only foods found on the parameter of the grocery store, i.e. fruit, vegetables, unseasoned meats, nuts and dairy. Finally, try to avoid eating out at restaurants for the first week or two. For many, these rules sound easy enough. However, when seriously maintaining a gluten-free diet, there’s a lot more to know and understand.

Google Everything

In this day and age, using Google to find out information is pretty much commonplace, but it is important for living gluten-free. And when looking for answers to specific questions, a simple Google search isn’t always enough. I often consult at least 10 different Google results before making a decision because the gluten-free online knowledgebase is still growing and developing.

Be Prepared

So much of socialising can often center on food. If eating gluten-free, attending a dinner party or eating out at a restaurant can cause anxiety or leave you hungry. Bring your dish or talk to the party host before if attending a party where food will be served. Look up restaurant menus or call ahead to know of gluten-free options before dining out.

Talk to Your Server

Just because the restaurant offers gluten-free entrees or even boasts of a gluten-free menu, doesn’t always ensure a wholly gluten-free eating experience. When eating out, politely chat up your server and explain your sensitivity to gluten. You certainly don’t need to get into the gory details, but make sure your server understands that you cannot have anything made with wheat or flour. Casually alerting your server of a gluten intolerance will hopefully inspire personal attention to your meal and ensuring a safe outing.

Get a Gluten-Free Mentor

When I first started eating gluten-free, I stayed lost. However, I was lucky to have a friend who had been living gluten-free for nearly ten years, and she kindly offered to serve as my gluten-free coach. Whenever I was unsure of an ingredient or what to eat at a restaurant, I would text my friend, and she would just reply with a ‘yay’ or ‘nay.’ (Mind you, this was before Internet phones.) Regardless, this simple exercise helped me learn and build a wealth of knowledge to better arm me for living gluten-free.

Embarking on the gluten-free lifestyle isn’t just about changing what you eat, but it also requires you to change how you eat. Avoiding bread and cookies is one part of a very complicated equation.

Gluten-Free Diet: What is it?

A gluten-free diet is unlike a fad diet as it serves the purpose of treating celiac disease. It is recommended for gluten-intolerant people that have special dietary and nutrient requirements. Despite it being the only solution to sufferers of celiac disorder, a doctor should always be consulted for proper advice on how to go about the diet.

Gluten is a protein found in rye, wheat and barley. It gives products processed from these raw materials its elasticity thereby allowing the dough to rise and maintain its shape. The final product derives from gluten its chewy texture. While it is found to exist in cereals and bread, grains such as wild rice, amaranth, quinoa, teff, oats, soybeans and sunflower seeds do not have it.

Gluten is not necessarily only found in wheat-based products. It’s also a stabilising agent or thickener for ice creams and ketchup. Other products that contain gluten are medicines and vitamins. It is used in cosmetics products such as lipstick, lip balms, and lip glosses.

There are people who adverse reactions to gluten. This sensitivity to gluten is due to an immune reaction that obstructs its digestion. This condition is known as Celiac Disease, and it affects about 1 in 133 people.

Gluten intolerance is a genetic disorder, and symptoms include diarrhoea, weight loss, and gastrointestinal implications. Celiacs suffer intestinal damage specifically in the villi, the small protrusions that line the small intestine that is responsible for the absorption of nutrients. With the villi in excellent condition, nutrition is not absorbed into the body. The most efficient resolution to this problem is a gluten-free diet.

A gluten-free diet is a life-long commitment to a diet the leaves out foods containing gluten. Additionally, it is the only diet that is medically accepted and prescribed for the treatment of celiac disease. It is also suggested for patients with dermatitis herpetiformis and wheat allergy. Wheat, rye, barley, triticale, durum, Graham, Kamut, semolina, spelt, and malt products are explicitly not allowed to be used. However, specific grains and flours that are allowed to be eaten are rice, corn, soy, beans, sorghum, quinoa, millet, arrowroot, amaranth, flax, and nut flours.

Uncontaminated oats may be consumed only in moderation. This translates to up to half a cup of dry oats each day. Gluten-free oats may be used, if available. Certain alcoholic drinks such as wines, hard liquor and distilled beverages are gluten-free; however, malt vinegar, lagers, and beers that are not distilled are made from gluten-containing grains. Thus, they should be avoided. Fruits, vegetables, meats and dairy products are allowed to be consumed.

Cross-contamination of products is an issue for some. Contamination occurs when gluten-free foods come into contact with foods containing even a small amount of gluten. This can be avoided by preparing gluten-free foods separately from gluten-containing ones. In addition, utensils such as knives, flour sifters, chopping boards and mixing bowls should be washed thoroughly before using them to prepare gluten-free food. Dips and oils used that come into contact with gluten-containing foods should be replaced as well.

Marinated Raw Salmon

I would like to keep my cooking blog very easy to follow and extremely straightforward and clutter-free. One of its goals is to present ideas for those who work full-time and have little time or inspiration to come up with new creative ideas every time. More importantly, this blog is for the exchange of recipes, which is why I am also inviting contributors, who are interested in sharing their recipes but are not necessarily interested in creating and maintaining a blog of their own.

This blog is constant work in progress and will keep changing. Enjoy looking through the recipes and feel free to modify them when cooking as you like, comments and contribution are of course much appreciated. This dish is light and flavorful, a variation of another recipe that I have been working on for a while, but requires a lot less time and work. Can be served on its own or on the top of a salad.

Ingredients

300 gr salmon fillets

juice of 1 orange

juice of 1 lemon

2 tbsps Himalayan salt or another salt of your choice

2 tsp stevia powder, or sugar (brown sugar works best)

1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper

Get Ready to Drool

Cut the salmon into two thin slices and then in bite-size 3-4 pieces, put in a bowl. In another bowl mix all of the ingredients together. Pour over the salmon and mix well with a spoon, pushing the salmon down to be covered with the marinade. Cover the dish with aluminium foil and put in the fridge for 24 hours. When ready, take the salmon pieces out of the marinade and serve with fresh chopped greens of your choice.

My Special Fruity Cabbage Salad

Whenever we ate Fruity Cabbage Salad when I was a kid, I knew we’d have pancakes after. So I inhaled the salad just so I could start on my pancakes. However, today I had some freshly made beef broth in my fridge and figured I’d have to make some salad with that. The only other things we had in the fridge that -in my opinion- could make an interesting salad were celeriac and carrot. Lately I’ve been getting tired of carrots, so celeriac salad it was.

Then came a discussion between my boyfriend and me: me: ‘I can’t make fruit  salad because all the recipes call for bacon, and we don’t have any.’ bf: ‘Not all the recipes call for bacon, the only recipes you have a look at call for bacon.’ (he knows me and my fondness for bacon all too well) So I saw it as a challenge. I was going to make celeriac salad, that didn’t require bacon.

We both loved the end result! So here it is.

It’s cabbage time! I got a request from one of my followers to create a recipe with red cabbage, so I did. I was glad she asked me because I, too, had been wondering what to make next with this vegetable. I ended up making 2 different meals with just 1 head of cabbage, I love that! And I even have lots of leftovers to enjoy later on. This salad really gives you a spring-feeling because of the fruitiness, and it looks cheerful too! You could serve it with any protein of your choice; chicken, steak, fish, eggs. Whatever you like most, or whatever happens to be in your fridge.

Enjoy!

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Yield: 4 People

Ingredients:

  • Salad
  • Red Cabbage – 1/2 head, grated
  • Carrot – 1 large (approx. 300g), grated
  • Apple – 1, diced
  • Parsley – 1/3 cup, chopped
  • Dressing
  • Coconut Cream – 1/2 cup
  • Orange – 1, peeled, seeds removed
  • Apple Cider Vinegar – 1 tbsp
  • Ginger Powder – 1/4 tsp
  • Salt – 1/4 tsp
  • Pepper – to taste

Instructions:

Combine all salad ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
Add all ingredients for the dressing to a bowl and puree with a hand blender until smooth. Pour the dressing over the salad and mix to combine.

Serve, and enjoy!

Gluten-Free Chicken Noodle Soup

Over the past week or so I have had a cough that just won’t seem to go away, so I decided to try making some chicken noodle soup to cure me. It worked! It wasn’t just any old chicken noodle soup but a gluten free recipe that I came up with. Not a big fan of flour and if you’re sick that’s probably the last think you want to eat. The great thing about this style of soup is that it’s ready in about an hour and it’s really simple. The noodles are easy to make and taste great.

Most of the ingridents you probably already have at home, if not there easy to find. First, you start my slicing up a carrot or two and a celery. I use 1 onion and a tablespoon of butter, you can also use shallot if you have one. Put the olive oil in it and ad some salt and pepper. If you like garlic, like I do then add as much as you want. Usually I use several cloves. If you’re not feeling well garlic can be one of the best things for you. You can also add more butter if you’re not feeling well because eating more butter makes me feel happy, I don’t know about you. While the veggies are getting ready chop up the chicken and begin seasoning it. I go for bite sized pieces and throw in a little parsley and cilantro as well. For the past you want to get the gluten free pasta. If you want to make this from scratch it’s pretty tough. I’ve attempted it several times like my grandmother used to make it but I just can’t seem to get it down. Plus I don’t have a good enough past maker. The pasta I like the best is the Yucca pasta which is made from… Yucca. If you don’t want to get gluten free then get whatever pasta you want. I must warn you though that you will feel AMAZING after eating the Yucca pasta!
SERVES 4-6

1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp butter
1 large or 2 medium carrots, peeled off subsequently slit
1 shallot or 1/2 little onion, chopped
For reheating, 64 ounces chicken broth
8 ounces gluten free spaghetti, broken into pieces (or some short cut pasta)
Directions

Warm butter and oil in a big pot over moderate heat. Add carrots, celery, and shallot and then season with pepper and salt, then saute for about 10 minutes, until soft. Add the garlic then saute for 1 minute more. Add chicken broth then bring to a boiling point. Season chicken with pepper and salt then add to boiling chicken broth as well as pasta. Turn heat down to medium then simmer, until pasta is cooked through, stirring occasionally. Flavor then serve and subsequently adjust salt and pepper if needed.

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Mexican BBQ CHICKEN QUESADILLA

When I was growing up my mother bought my a quesadilla maker because I would always order them when we went out to Mexican restaurants. So what you;re going to want to get is Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ for this recipe. This is the secret sauce and will make your quesadilla taste better than you can imagine. The cheese I like is a creamy cheddar, then you need to find the right beans. Black beans will work well and then cilantro and an onion. Chop them all up as find as you can get and mix in a little garlic. One other secret here is adding a little pineapple. Most people don’t think to do this but it packs a punch of flavor.

 

Mexican BBQ CHICKEN QUESADILLA

Get ready to have the best quesadilla of your life. What makes this recipe so different from others is the BBQ sauce along with the marinated chicken. When you put it into the tortilla your mouth gets hit with a flavor that it's never felt before.

Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Mexican
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 4 People
Author Ethel Rose

Ingredients

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 Tbsp fresh ginger

Instructions

  1. Mince the garlic and grate the ginger using a fine holed cheese grater or box grater. In a small bowl stir together the brown sugar, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, some freshly cracked pepper (about 15 cranks of a pepper mill), and cooking oil. Place the chicken thighs in a shallow dish or a gallon size zip lock bag. Pour the marinade over the chicken and turn to coat. Cover the chicken and marinate for at least 30 minutes or up to a day (refrigerated).

  2. When ready to cook the chicken, heat a large skillet over medium flame. Once hot, add ½ Tbsp cooking oil and swirl to coat the bottom of the skillet. Add half of the chicken pieces and let cook until well browned on each side and cooked through. Remove the cooked chicken to a clean plate, then repeat with the second batch.

  3. Once all the chicken has been removed from the skillet, pour the leftover marinade into the skillet and allow it to come up to a boil. Whisk the marinade as it boils to dissolve any browned bits from the skillet. Let it continue to boil until it reduces to a thick glaze*. Turn the heat off, add the cooked chicken back to the skillet, and dredge it in the thick glaze. Garnish with sliced green onions and sesame seeds if desired.

Recipe Notes

*It is safe to cook used marinades as long as they come to a full boil, according to the FDA food safety guidelines. This thoroughly cooks the marinade, just like the raw chicken that was in it, to kill bacteria. The used marinade should be cooked immediately and should not be stored uncooked for later use. If concerned, double the marinade and use half for the chicken and reduce the other half in a small sauce pan before brushing it onto the chicken.

This is a very flexible recipe and you can customize and try to add a few things. If you don’t want chicken you can simply double the amount of beans and it will be just as amazing. But personally I believe the chicken really makes all the difference in this recipe. Jalapeños you can use hot spicy ones or plain ones it’s up to you. Cilantro is a must and must be chopped up super fine and added with the marinated chicken. Take the pineapple and crush it up and add that too.

Now what you’re going to do is mix all of the ingridients in a bowl and add your BBQ sauce. Mix it all around

Any pre-cooked chicken will work for these quesadillas. If you’re in the habit of buying rotisserie chickens, just use one breast (from one side) and chop the meat into small cubes. Grilled chicken also works great and lends an even smokier flavor. I used one boneless, skinless chicken breast that I cooked on my countertop grill, but you could also just cook it up quickly in a skillet if needed. Just aim for about 1.5 cups of cooked chicken.

Well, that’s about it. Basically throw it on the pan and get ready to have a real mouth watering experience. I have made many tacos, burritos and what not but this one takes the cake as my greatest creation ever. The addition of the BBQ sauce makes it truly divine and your friends and family won’t know what hit them when they try this.

My Amazing GLUTEN-FREE Pasta

If you are looking for a food that will teach you how to cook than look no further than gluten free pasta. When my mother and I worked on this recipe for the first time it took us about 50 tries before we got something that we liked. We were obsessive about perfecting the recipe and there are so many packaged pastas out there that we were just about to give up and just say let’s buy the pasta instead.

We started out by trying a variety of different flours. Bean flour was our favorite and had the best texture for the doe. We refined it with guar gum which made the dough last longer and you could put the pasta into a bag and store in in the fridge for a few weeks or even months.

Most of the time the pasta would come on oily, or it would crumble apart in a few seconds or it just didn’t taste like pasta. The effort I put into perfecting this was a lot and to make things worse my pasta machine was giving me a headache as well. When the pasta crumbles apart it doesn’t go to well in the pasta machine. It has to have exactly the right consistency.

Several days after failing and almost giving up on my gluten free pasta I read an old cookbook called ICE. The chef is an Italian man who specializes in making pastas. I was in awe of how he could get such perfect pasta with the same ingredients I was using, so I figured I must be doing something wrong. What I figured out was that the eggs I was using might be the problem. So, I went on an adventure to find as many different eggs as I could find.

My friend raises chickens on an organic farm, so I went over there and grabbed about 20 to use for my test. They were some fat chickens and seemed happy, so I thought the eggs would work well. TO my surprise the pasta turned out perfect!

The eggs! I removed the guar gum which was used as a preservative because I wanted to make my own brand of pasta and put it in a nice package. This made it taste even better.

I began making one dish after another of my great homemade gluten free pasta for my family and friends. They couldn’t get enough of it and I even got a contract with a big noodle company to share my secret recipe.

The recipe I used I will share here but make no mistake there is no secret to this recipe other than hard work, trial and error and testing your mistakes to see if you can make it better.

Generally you need 3 parts of flour to 2 parts egg. Now, the egg and the flow make all the difference. There are so many gluten free flours out there that it can be hard to choose one. Just pick whichever one you like and go with it.

I tried over and over to make this pasta with nothing but eggs and flour and I think I made about 200 batches. Many of them turned out wonderfully and some of them turned out very poorly. The only secret to very good pasta is a little salt, eggs and flour and yet it’s so hard to make!

For a while I gave up on the pasta because I broke my pasta grinder, so I used the same recipe to make Pizza Dough. I found that this recipe makes wonderful pizza dough and I ended up making something like 16 pizzas with the recipe.

So, without further ado here is the recipe for the world famous Gluten Free Pasta:

  • 8 ounces gluten free flour
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 Tbs Olive Oil – Extra Virgin
  • 2 Tbs Water

I could probably write a book on all the different ways you can combine these ingredients and fail at making good pasta. TO be honest I just wanted to share my struggle in trying to make my homemade gluten free pasta.

Personally, I have given up trying to make this pasta because the dough never turns out how I want it to. I can’t understand but I think it has to do with the eggs. Once I get a new Pasta grinder I will get back at it and try again.