Banana Pancakes

Most mornings, my six year old will just finish two pancakes, and, if I’m lucky, my three year old might eat a few bites of one. Today, however, my eldest devored four banana pancakes, and his younger brother ate two without any encouragement from me. Blog worthy!

Banana Pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups Pamela’s Pancake and Baking Mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups 1% milk (skim milk will make them a bit runny)
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 large banana, well mashed

Directions:

  1. Heat griddle to medium-high heat.
  2. Mix Pamela’s Baking Mix, eggs, milk, oil, and cinnamon with whisk. Stir in mashed banana.
  3. Grease hot griddle with butter.
  4. Drop batter by the 1/4 cup onto hot griddle.
  5. Turn pancakes when they begin to bubble across the middle.
  6. Pancakes are done when both sides are golden brown.

We topped ours with butter and confectioner’s sugar. Sooo good! Enjoy!

Delish!! Carrot Cake Muffins

Carrot Cake Muffin

Okay, so lately I stink at blogging. I make stuff I think tastes good, I take pictures of the stuff (not very good ones, but pictures nonetheless), and then…I do nothing. I can’t seem to find the time to sit down and just *do it*. So, I’m going to make this short and sweet. I will tell you I think these are moist and delicious and totally worth baking. I’ve eaten three in the last five hours, and I’m sure I will devour several more before I go to sleep tonight. Yum. Yum. Yum.

I combined three different recipes to come up with this one, so…that makes it my own, right?? ;o) Let’s just say it does.

Carrot Cake Muffins

4 eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup apple sauce
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 box Betty Crocker Gluten-Free Yellow Cake
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 cups finely grated carrots
1 cup raisins
1 can crushed pineapple, drained (I actually didn’t have this, so I took about four slices of sliced canned pineapple and ran them through the food processor for a few seconds.)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease or line 2 muffin tins.
2. In a large bowl, beat together eggs, oil, apple sauce, vanilla extract, and brown sugar.
3. In a separate bowl, sift yellow cake mix, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
4. Pour dry ingredients into bowl with wet ingredients and mix.
5. Stir in carrots, raisins, and pineapple.
6. Pour in muffin cups until almost full.
7. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.

I haven’t tried it yet, but I am sure that these muffins would be incredible if topped with some cream cheese icing. I’ll do that for my next muffin. Ooh, and since they have carrots in them, that makes them healthy. Honest.

 

“Bestest Muffins Ever!”

I adapted this banana bran muffin recipe from allrecipes.com today, and my son promptly declared them “the bestest muffins” I’ve ever made. They are, indeed, quite scrumptious! They are sweet, flavorful, and moist, and the oatmeal gives them a bit of a chewy texture. I wish the aroma that permeated the house while they were baking was edible…it alone was fantastic!

Banana Muffins

2 cups Pamela’s Baking and Pancake Mix
1 cup oat bran (I just ground one cup of Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Oats to a consistency somewhere between oats and oat flour.)
1 TBSP cinnamon
1/2 TSP ground nutmeg
1/4 TSP allspice
2 eggs
1 cup orange juice (I didn’t have any, so I used the juice from one large can of pineapple plus enough water to equal one cup.)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup mashed ripe bananas

In a large bowl, combine the first five ingredients. In another bowl, beat the eggs, juice, sugar, and oil. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in bananas. Fill greased or paper lined muffin cups almost to the top. Bake at 400 degrees F for 15-17 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for five minutes before removing from pans to wire racks. Serve warm.

Best Chocolate Chip Cookies. EVER.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

I feel the urgent need to share with you the recipe that has made me happier than any other gluten-free recipe I’ve tried to date.  On a whim, I adapted a recipe from allrecipes.com and made a batch of chocolate chip cookies.  Am I ever so glad I did!

I’ve made gluten-free chocolate chip cookies before, but they always turn out too crispy, too bland, or incredibly lacking in chocolate chips.  These cookies are soft, moist, flavorful, and loaded with chocolatey goodness.  Is the vanilla pudding the secret to making a soft cookie?  I have no idea.  All I know for sure is these cookies are scrumptious, and I had some for breakfast this morning.  Mmmm.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

4 1/2 cups Pamela’s Baking and Pancake Mix
2 cups butter, softened
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 (3.4 ounce) packages instant vanilla pudding mix
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar. Beat in the instant pudding mix until blended. Stir in the eggs and vanilla. Blend in Pamela’s Baking and Pancake Mix. Finally, stir in the chocolate chips. Drop cookies by rounded spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake for 9 to 11 minutes in the preheated oven. Edges should be golden brown.

NOTE: I found that the first batch of cookies was ready in about 11 minutes, and subsequent batches were ready in about 9 or 10 minutes.  If you cook them much longer, they turn crispy.  If you like a soft cookie, keep a close eye on the time!

Cream Cheese + Jelly = YUM

Just thought I’d take a quick moment to share a gluten-free snack everyone in my family loves…cream cheese, jelly, and crackers!  It was always a holiday favorite in my house, and just recently I was thrilled to discover that my kids love it, too.  The best part about this delectable appetizer/snack is it’s easy to prepare.  Plop out some cream cheese, scoop a few spoonfuls of your favorite jelly on top, and dip!

Today we used Philadelphia cream cheese (what else?), blackberry jelly, and Diamond Rice Thins (pecan is our favorite), but any flavor jelly and your favorite gluten-free cracker will be scrumptious!  I prefer Sesmark Rice Thins, and I have fond memories of pepper jelly (but I’m not sure my kids are ready for that quite yet).

Delish and Easy Sweet Potato Muffins

When a calendar alarm went off thirty minutes before I usually wake up in the morning, I almost ignored it.  Thank goodness I didn’t!  Today is Marvelous Muffins with Dad at my son’s school, and, seeing as neither my son nor his dad can eat the gluten-ful muffins provided by the school, I needed to get baking!

My first thought was to make pumpkin muffins, but I had a cooked sweet potato in the refrigerator that begged to be used.  I’d had to substitute sweet potato for pumpkin in a recipe once before, and it was a victory in trial by error.  So, despite the fact that it added precious minutes to my dwindling preparation time, sweet potato it was.  I sliced off the skin and threw that sucker in the food processor.  (If you don’t happen to have a cooked sweet potato in the refrigerator, as I did, and time is of the essence, use one can of pumpkin instead.)

This recipe, thank goodness, is quick and easy (assuming the sweet potato is already cooked); I was able to whip up a tasty batch of muffins in a total of 45 minutes.  The muffins are moist, incredibly sweet, and, indeed, marvelous.

So.  Yum.

Sweet Potato Muffins (Adapted from Pamela’s Pumpkin Loaf Cake with Nut Topping)

Muffins:
4 TBSP butter, melted
2 eggs, large
1/2 cup sugar
1 large sweet potato, pureed or mashed to smooth consistency
1-1/3 cups Pamela’s Mix
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp salt

Topping:
2 TBSP melted butter
1/3 cup of packed brown sugar (I used raw cane sugar)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Beat together butter, sugar, egg, and sweet potato.  Add remaining muffin ingredients and mix completely.  Pour into 12 muffin cups.  Mix topping and smooth evenly over batter.  Bake for 25-30 minutes, or when toothpick inserted comes out almost clean.  ENJOY!

Annie’s Bunny Cookies

Annie's GF Bunny Cookies

Can I just tell you how excited I was to find a “cute” gluten-free snack for my kids?!  No, really.  I can’t quite explain the thrill I felt at discovering these little bunny shaped cookies.  Since we are now not only gluten-free but mostly all natural/organic as well, “cute” and “cool” seem to have been taken off the menu.  No more rainbow colors.  No more super heroes.  No more fun.

So…YEA!  Bunny shapes!  Does it even matter how they taste?  No!

Okay, so maybe it matters a little bit.

Annie’s Homegrown Gluten Free Cocoa & Vanilla Bunny Cookies are, according to my boys, “good!”  The chocolate cookies taste like any other chocolate cookie to me…yummy.  They remind me of chocolate Teddy Grahams, which I could eat by the handful.  The vanilla is a bit chalkier, as seems to be the case with all gluten-free vanilla cookies, but the flavor is good.

These little bunnies are cute and tasty!  How much does that rock?

Blueberrylicious Crisp

Fresh Blueberries

Fresh Blueberries

What to do with nearly four pounds of freshly picked blueberries?  A quick google search led me to a blueberry crisp recipe from Gluten-Free Goddess.  Oh.  My.  Yumminess.  With one modification, it is now one of my family’s favorite dessert recipes.

This blueberry crisp is easy to make, takes little time, and tastes like heaven.  It is so delicious, in fact, that I could not get a picture of the final product, because we were too busy devouring every last crumb.  I tripled the recipe and brought it to a family dinner for twenty, and the results were much the same.  Everyone loved it!  This recipe is not just “good for gluten-free.”  It’s downright fabulous in its own right.

Serve it straight from the oven, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

BLUEBERRY CRISP
2 pints fresh blueberries, rinsed and drained
1 cup Pamela’s Ultimate Baking and Pancake Mix
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/3 cup butter, softened

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease pie plate with butter.

Blueberry Crisp (Before Baking)

Blueberry Crisp (Pre Baking)

Sprinkle a pinch or two (or three) of the baking mix onto the blueberries and toss.  Pour blueberries into pie plate.

In a mixing bowl, combine 1 cup baking mix, sugar, and cinnamon.  Add 1/3 cup softened butter and knead with hands to a crumbly texture.

Layer the crumbs over the blueberries.  Bake for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

Betty Crocker Gluten-Free Yellow Cake: Tweaked and Delicious!

Improved Betty Crocker GF Yellow CupcakeWOW.  My friend, Catherine, at A Gluten-Free Guide is my hero.  She turned Betty Crocker’s yellow cake mix from ho-hum to oh, yum!

We have entered what, in my house, we call birthday season.  In just two short weeks, my boys will attend seven birthday parties, with more soon to follow.  Although my amazing and irreplaceable friends and family now often offer a gluten-free option for my boys, I truly would rather not burden them with our food sensitivities.  Besides, my oldest son loves to help out in the kitchen and has a blast decorating his desserts before the parties.  And so…the baking begins.

This season I had the foresight to bake cupcakes and freeze the extra to pull out as needed.  Just hours before a birthday party, I went to our pantry to get the process started.  I quickly scanned the shelves for my favorite chocolate cake mix, and, alas! (and other expletives), the cupboard was bare!  All I could find was a box of Betty Crocker yellow cake mix, tucked away at the back of a shelf, collecting dust.  I had bought it months before when I first discovered Betty Crocker’s gluten-free mixes in the grocery store; as of yet, I’d had little inspiration to try it.  We had sampled a few gluten-free yellow cakes, including some made with this mix, and not one was worth the calories.  They were dry and crumbly, and the taste was just eh.  Cat had encouraged me to try her tweaked recipe long ago, but I was hesitant.  With limited other options, however, I decided to give her modified version a try.  Thank gluten-free goodness I did!!

I’m usually an icing girl; I like it super sweet and slathered on thick.  Cake?  I could take it or leave it.  But a lack of confectioners sugar (you know, bare cupboard and all), led me to try these golden beauties without frosting, and I did not miss it at all.  These cakes are fluffy, moist, and delicious.  My husband and boys devoured several in no time at all.  That’s right…even my children ate them without the sweet, creamy topping.  That’s just unheard of!  If I hadn’t frozen the extras, I am sure they would not have lasted much past the first two birthday parties.  I am so thrilled to have a go-to yellow cake recipe that is easy and scrumptious.  Thank you, Catherine!  Well done!

Larabars: Pure, Simple, Gluten-Free Goodness

Key Lime Pie Larabar

Key Lime Pie Larabar

Most days of the week, most hours of the day, I would tell you that living gluten-free is not hard.  It would be a far stretch to say that it is easy, but it is not nearly as difficult as I imagined it to be.  That said, finding tasty, nutritious, minimally processed snack foods can be tough, and doing so has been my most frustrating challenge.  So, when I first discovered Larabar’s Key Lime Pie fruit and nut bars, I was in gluten-free snack heaven.

We have tried quite a few flavors of Larabar over the years, and I have liked them all well enough, but Key Lime Pie is by far my favorite.  All Larabars are made with some combination of fruit, nuts, and spices, and the list of ingredients is always pleasantly short and wholesome.  Key Lime Pie is no exception; it’s the perfect combination of dates, cashews, almonds, unsweetened coconut, and lime juice concentrate.  The smooth texture of this Larabar exceeds any other I have tried, and I love the subtle, but not overpowering, lime flavor.  No lip-puckering here.  I dare say even coconut haters will like this bar.  It’s just that good.

Larabar offers a wide variety of flavors, and there are a few I am anxious to try.  Banana Bread, Cinnamon Roll, and Ginger Snap sound especially gluten-freelicious.  What is your favorite Larabar flavor?