Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Gluten Free Strawberry Muffins


One of our favorite things to do as a family is to go pick your own fruit. June in new York means strawberries. We always like to try different farms. It mixes it up a little bit.

This year we went to Ellsworth Farms in Sharon, CT. The strawberries were all picture perfect.


We picked a ton of strawberries and I love figuring out different ways to use them. This year I decided to make freezer jam and strawberry muffins.


Here is my recipe for gluten free strawberry muffins:


(Makes 12 Muffins)

1 3/4 cups of gluten free flour (I use Bobs Red Mill)
1 tsp xantham gum
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 eggs (at room temp)
1/2 cup skim milk
1/4 unsalted butter (melted)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups of chopped fresh strawberries

-Preheat oven to 375
-Place paper liners in muffin tin
-Combine flour, xantham gum, sugar & baking soda in a bowl
-In a separate bowl, beat eggs and add in milk, butter & vanilla
-Mix Well
-Combine wet and dry ingredients
-Gently fold in strawberries
-Pour into prepared tin using ice scream scoop until almost full
-Bake for 15 minutes or until toothpick inserted into muffin comes out clean

Enjoy! You would never know they were gluten free! Promise!


*Note*
Whenever baking with gluten free flour, you need xantham gum. This can usually be found right near the gluten free flours. They sell big bags of it for about $10.00 but I usually buy the smaller packets. These cost only $.69 in my local ShopRite.



Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Caprese Salad

Nothing says summer to me quite like a good old caprese salad.

Ripe tomatoes, Sweet basil and fresh mozzarella with a drizzle of balsamic glaze.

This is all you need to make a delicious caprese salad:


I love the balsamic glaze from Trader Joe's (Trader Giotto's). It is so inexpensive but doesn't sacrifice flavor for cost. The key is to have fresh ingredients. Fresh mozzarella is a must! And today most grocery stores have a really nice selection of cheeses.


I usually serve this for lunch or as a Friday night appetizer.

You can even make little caprese stacks. All you have to do is layer the tomato, basil and mozzarella slices on top of one another and drizzle the glaze on top. You can make a mini version of this salad too by using boccincini, cherry tomatoes and basil and put them on skewers! SO cute!

I hope you make a caprese salad this summer! You wont be disappointed.

Note: the tray is from Ikea

Friday, June 13, 2014

Easy Pasta Bake

Are you sensing a theme here yet?

I love home-cooked meals. I love trying new recipes and I have more cookbooks than I care to count. But, a lot of nights, I resort to quick tried and true recipes that are my family's favorites.

My easy pasta bake is one of them.


For the past year, my family has incorporated more gluten free meals into our diet. The biggest struggle has been finding a pasta that stands up in taste and texture. We have tried brown rice pasta, quinoa pasta and corn pasta and all fell short. But then Barilla came out with their own gluten free pasta and it is the best! It tastes the most like "real" pasta and it holds up really well in sauces. I used Barilla gluten free penne pasta for this recipe.

Here is all that you will need to make this easy and delicious dish.


Ingredients:

1-1/2 boxes of Barilla Gluten Free Penne Pasta
1.33 lb pouch of Butterball Ground Turkey
1 jar of your favorite marinara sauce (we love Rao's)
1 medium can of tomato sauce (or two small cans)
half of an onion, chopped
Minced garlic, fresh or dried (1 TBSP)
Goya Adobo (I use it in everything!) (I just sprinkle it on) (eyeball it)
Crushed red pepper flakes (1 tsp)
And my secret weapon when cooking with ground turkey instead of beef is Lea & Perrins worcestershire sauce (a couple of glugs)
Parmesan and Mozzarella for topping

Directions:

Bring a large pot of water to a boil for pasta
While you're waiting for the water to boil, season turkey with Adobo, red pepper flakes, and worcestershire sauce
Brown turkey, onion, garlic, over medium-high heat until no longer pink
Add tomatoes and cook until pasta is ready
Add some sauce to bottom of glass baking dish
(I use a 9x13 Pyrex for this recipe)
Add pasta and more sauce (reserve some for extra to put on the table)
Sprinkle with grated parmesan and mozzarella cheese
Bake uncovered in a 350 oven for 15 minutes or until cheese is melted

Serve with a salad and bread and you have a fast and satisfying meal!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Gluten Free Chicken and Rice Casserole

I find this time of the year always to be so hectic. Take the school activities, sporting events, all the last minute end of the year things that come up and add them to the regular day-to-day hustle and it sometimes leaves me no room to make dinner. This is where the make ahead casserole comes in. Our favorite is my Chicken and Rice Casserole. And bonus, it's gluten free too!


I made it even easier by using several premade ingredients such as Perdue cooked and seasoned chicken, boil in bag brown rice and jarred alfredo sauce. You can most certainly grill your own chicken and made your own white sauce but when time is an issue, premade is the way to go.


Ingredients:

1 package of Perdue Short Cuts Carved Chicken (Grilled Italian Style) 9 oz
1 bag of Success Boil-in-bag brown rice (cooked)
1 jar of your favorite alfredo sauce
1/2 bag of frozen peas thawed
Grated Parmesan Cheese
Gluten Free Bread Crumbs
Slivered almonds


Directions:

Mix first 5 ingredients and place in round casserole dish
Top with breadcrumbs and almonds
Bake in 350 degree oven uncovered for 30 minutes

I usually assemble this way ahead of time and then its ready to pop in the oven whenever you want it.

Note: I have tried many gluten free bread crumbs and I find that Gillian's is by far the best!

I hope this helps with your end of the year mealtime rush!

Monday, November 11, 2013

My New Etsy Shop!!!!

I opened! I finally opened!!

Natsy Tatsy Designs is up and running!!!!!

I've been making earrings, bracelets, gift tags, cards and all sorts of handmade things and giving them as gifts forever. With the urging of some very sweet friends, I decided to open up an etsy shop to sell my handmade creations.

I am starting with earrings. I hope to have lots more items listed within the next week.

So stop by and let me know what you think? Am I priced right? Do you like the colors and variety of choices so far? What would like to see more of? Whatever feedback you can give me, would be greatly appreciated!!!

Here's a little preview of what's in the shop:







Sunday, November 10, 2013

Pine Cone Tree Transformation

I recently found myself browsing the aisles of GoodWill looking for things to alter. So, when I saw this pine cone tree for $4.99 I knew it would be perfect.




I kinda loved it just the way it was but I was itching to paint it. At first I thought all white would be pretty Or maybe even red? But since I loved the way the Noel sign turned out after I spray painted it gold, I was itching to paint this gold as well.



And I am glad I did. I love it. I think the gold adds a subtle elegance to it and would make a gorgeous centerpiece for my holiday table. I still may add some glitter to it. What do you think?

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

GoodWill Gold

I am fortunate to have my local HomeGoods and GoodWill stores right next to each other. I always check GoodWill first in hopes of finding a hidden treasure. If I strike out, I always just head on into HomeGoods to see what they have. Lately, I've been scoring at GoodWill. Yay!

On one recent trip, I found two holiday decorating treasures. A pine cone tree and this Noel sign that was only $.99! What a steal!





I have been eager to try spray painting with gold metallic paint. I've seen so many crafters and bloggers using it and even though I am usually drawn to silver, I knew I had to experiment. I am so glad that I did. I can't stop. This Noel sign was is just one of the many things I've spray painted gold. I even spray painted our pumpkins gold! I'll share those projects in another post. I don't want to overwhelm you.

I used Krylon spray paint in metallic gold pictured below that I bought at Hobby Lobby for 40% off.



And after two coats my boring wood Noel sign got a glamover. I was going to give it to my sister but I think I love it too much to give away. I think it will look amazing on my mantle.



So, what do you think?