Well, I sure don't know what happened to spring, but right now it looks more like Christmas than it did on Christmas Day!
It's a great night to stay in and watch a movie! Luckily for grandma and grandpa, we get to watch the youngest grandgirl while mom and dad brave the elements and go out for a date night. Oh, to be young again!
The wind and the snow is triggering some major snack cravings in me, so I decided to make a yummy snack we can all munch on. I threw some gluten free snacks together in a bowl, and stirred up a caramel topping to pour on top, and now I have a GYNORMOUS bowl of gluten free snack mix to devour during the movie tonight. So easy to throw together, and even easier to eat!
I LOVE to sew, and I LOVE buttons, so what could be better than the patterns from Pat Sloan for her monthly button banners?? I am so in love with them ALL!
After looking at all the cute banners she made last year, I made up my mind to make every one of her free (YES FREE!!!) banners this year. Of course, I immediately fell behind and woke up this morning to see it was March already and I was still working on the January banner. How did this happen?? I'll tell you! I start too many different projects, make too many piles, buy too much extra fabric that has nothing to do with anything I am making, I spend an infinite amount of time looking online at sewing and quilting projects that functional people have actually completed, and then I get confused, lose focus, and go watch another episode of This Is Us.
But today I did something quite out of character for me. I actually FINISHED A PROJECT! Yes, I completed the January Button Club Banner! And I love it! Of course, you will have to look at it through the same rose-colored glasses I see it through! I pretend the mistakes aren't there, and you will think it is much cuter if you do the same.
Are you ready?? Here it is:
Isn't he adorable? I love him. And if you look closely (but not too closely, you wouldn't want to see any mistakes!) at the center of the star, you will see that there is a love connection going on between the Mr. and Miss, so I put a sweet little glittery heart in the upper right hand corner of the middle square.
I can't wait to hang this sweet little snowman on my mantle this Christmas. I used aqua and purples, just because I love those colors! I may make another one in more traditional colors, but right now I am going to start on the February banner. And, I used fabric and buttons I already had on hand. Wow, it sure is fun actually completing something!!
Don't forget to spring ahead one hour for Daylight Savings Time!
I got a head start on next week's menus today, since I know I will be sleep-deprived tomorrow! I don't know about you, but I don't mind the Fall Back when we gain an hour of sleep, but I don't care too much for losing an hour of sleep!
Here is the coming week's menu: (recipe links can be found below)
I like cake. A lot. That is one of the hardest things about being gluten free. Desserts just aren't what they used to be. And since I am the only one in my family that is gluten free, most of the time I make dessert for them that is not gluten free. I just am used to it.
But every so often, I want dessert. Most often I want cake. Sometimes pie, sometimes cookies, but most often cake. Any kind of cake....coffee cake, pound cake, chocolate cake....whatever!
So when I ran across this recipe from Carla Hall for Buttery Vanilla Pound Cake, I knew I had to try it. I don't get a chance to watch The Chew very often, but I've seen Carla Hall's desserts before and they always look REALLY GOOD! Her recipe called for store-bought prepared vanilla pudding, and that is what caught my eye. I have used dry pudding mix in a cake recipe, but never prepared pudding! And I just had to try it!
The only tweaks I made to her recipe were I used gluten free flour (Bob's Red Mill 1 to 1), and I used 6 eggs instead of 5. In addition, I made a box of Jell-O Vanilla Instant Pudding and used a cup of that instead of buying ready-made pudding at the store. For baking, I used a 350 degree oven and baked it for exactly 1 hour and it turned out perfectly. I opted for her chocolate glaze, and it may be my new favorite glaze for cake. I LOVED IT!!
This cake rose beautifully, the crumb was very cake-like and not gummy at all, like so many gluten free cakes can be. It had a very buttery vanilla flavor, and the glaze put the flavor over the top. If you must know, the next day I made another batch of the glaze and drizzled it over the entire piece of cake I was eating. Because I need a few more calories. It was totally worth it.
I tried taking a picture of a piece of the cut cake so you could see the texture, but I really take so-so pictures. Anyway, here is my attempt:
See how moist and cake-like the texture is? Oh, it is a really good gluten-free cake!
If you want to make this cake the way Carla Hall made it, and I am sure hers is out-of-this-world delicious, here is the link: Buttery Vanilla Pound Cake. I wish I could try it!!!
If you want to try my gluten-free version of her cake, my recipe is below.
If you want to print my gluten-free recipe, please click HERE.
Remember these? I used to LOVE TV dinners when I was little. It was a real treat to eat out of aluminum foil tins, and what a challenge it was to try and eat those vegetables! As a child, that was the only way I got to eat Salisbury Steak.
Throughout the course of our marriage, over 100 or 200 years now, I've tried to make Salisbury Steak a couple times. It never turned out very well, so I gave up and figured it was one of things that Swanson mastered but I would never get.
Fast forward to Monday and my Instant Pot. And a wonderful recipe from the blog Live Simply. Oh, my goodness. We really enjoyed this! To me, pure comfort food!
I tweaked the recipe just a little bit. For one thing, I used all gluten free items. I did not have gluten free panko bread crumbs (Live Simply's recipe called for panko bread crumbs), so I just used plain gluten free bread crumbs.
The other tweak I made was that I browned the beef patties in a skillet on the stove. Live Simply's recipe said to brown them on Saute in the Instant Pot, but that seemed like a no-no to me. First off, I don't want to be reaching down into a deep hot pot to flip over beef patties. And I made 7 patties, so it would take too long to do 2 patties at a time in the Instant Pot. So I just used a large skillet and browned the patties 2-3 minutes on each side. To me, much quicker and I didn't worry about burning my arm.
This turned out so good!! We loved the gravy! It was so good on the mashed potatoes AND the beef! My new favorite gravy recipe! Here is what my dinner plate looked like:
Here is the tweaked recipe, or you can head over to Live Simply and use that one!
The other day I made a really yummy peach cobbler. It was super easy, and I have to say everyone ate it and didn't even ask if it was gluten free. They just gobbled it up!
I used the same old recipe I usually use, except I used gluten free flour this time. I cannot remember where I got this recipe, since I've made it many many times over the past several years. It turned out SO GOOD! I served it warm with vanilla ice cream - real comfort food!
Here is the recipe: (if you want to make it with gluten, just use regular flour and one less egg)
For a printable version of the recipe, click HERE.
1 stick of butter
1 cup of gluten free flour with xantham gum (I used Bob's Red Mill 1 to 1)
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup milk
28 oz. can of sliced peaches, drained
16 oz. can chunk pineapple, drained
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a 9 X 13 glass baking dish, melt the 1 stick of butter in the oven.
3. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together 1 cup gluten free flour, 1 cup sugar, 2 tsp. baking powder, and 1/4 tsp. salt.
4. Whisk the milk and 2 eggs into the dry ingredients, until smooth.
5. Remove baking dish from the oven and pour the batter over the melted butter. DO NOT MIX.
6. In another medium sized bowl, combine the drained peaches, drained pineapple, 1 cup sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
7. Spread the fruit mixture over the batter. DO NOT MIX.
8. Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes, until nicely browned and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
9. Let cool 15-20 minutes. Serve warm, with vanilla ice cream if desired.