February 28, 2010
Towards the end of last year, Glutino had a pretzel recipe contest. The winning recipe would win a year supply of Glutino's pretzels. Sounds amazing, right? I love their pretzels and at $6-8 a bag, a free year's supply would have been a godsend (maybe I could have even moved out of my parents' house...haha...).
Anyways, I entered four recipes and none of them were chosen. The winning recipe was a Squash Casserole. When I was creating my recipes I was trying to think of the best flavors that complement pretzels. Most people eat them with cheese, mustard, or chocolate, so I based my recipes around those things. I think what turned out were incredibly tasty and wanted to share them with. Without further ado, here they are...
First up was good ol' fashioned Mac 'n Cheese. When I eat mac 'n cheese, I usually just make something from a box (I know, I know...), so I never had any fancy schmancy baked macaroni and cheese with bread crumb topping. I thought a crunchy pretzel topping would be perfect for the top of my first ever attempt at homemade Mac & Cheese...and it was!
Macaroni and Cheese with a Pretzel Crust
2 cups gluten free pasta (shells, elbows, spirals, whichever shape you prefer)
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp gluten free all purpose flour (Jules, Bob's Red Mill, etc)
1 ½ cup milk
2 ¼ cup freshly grated cheese (cheddar or my favorite, a mix of cheddar, gouda, and bleu)
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
½ cup finely crushed Glutino Pretzels
Cook pasta according to package directions.
While pasta is cooking, in a sauce pan melt butter over medium heat. Add flour and whisk until cooked (should turn golden, about 2 minutes). Add milk slowly while continuing to whisk. Whisk constantly until mixture has thickened, about 2 minutes. Add cheese to mixture and stir until melted.
Drain pasta (do not rinse). Return pasta to pot and pour in cheese mixture. Stir until pasta is well coated. Add onion and garlic powder and mix.
Pour mac and cheese into an ovenproof dish and sprinkle pretzel crumbs on top. Broil about 1 to 2 minutes until pretzels are crisp, careful that they do not burn. Serve immediately.
Next, I worked that mustard flavor and created a crusted chicken.
Chicken with a Honey Mustard Pretzel Crust
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 tbsp pure honey
2 tbsp whole grain mustard
¼ cup milk
1 ½ cups of crushed Glutino pretzels
1 tsp ground mustard
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13 baking pan. Wash, trim, and pound chicken breasts.
In a plastic bag (or food processor) crush pretzels into crumbs. Pour pretzel crumbs into a bowl. Sprinkle in ground mustard and stir to evenly distribute among pretzels.
In a separate shallow bowl, combine honey, mustard, and milk. Combine well.
Dip chicken breast in honey mustard mixture and coat thoroughly. Remove and dip chicken into pretzel crumbs, coating well. Place into greased baking pan. Repeat with remaining chicken breasts.
Bake chicken 45-55 minutes at 400 degrees. Enjoy as is, or serve with honey mustard dipping sauce or BBQ sauce.
Next up were a couple of desserts. When I was a kid, we made "truffles" allll the time. A giant bar of Hershey's Chocolate and Cool Whip and we were set. We rolled them in graham cracker crumbs, but hey, why not pretzel crumbs?
1 "Giant" Milk Chocolate Hershey Bar (7oz)
1 tub Cool Whip
1 ½ cups finely crushed Glutino Pretzels crumbs
mini baking cups
Melt chocolate bar over medium heat. In a large bowl, mix cool whip and melted chocolate until well combined. Refrigerate half an hour until mixture stiffens.
Place crushed pretzels in a bowl. With a tablespoon, scoop and drop chocolate into the pretzel crumbs and roll around until well coated. Place truffle into mini baking cup. Enjoy!
Last, but not least was mine and Babs' favorite! The ultimate of all things delicious. (Well, that's not really true, but it's up there!) Salted caramel is all the rage now, so I whipped up what I dubbed a "Salted Caramel Crunchie"
Salted Caramel Crunchies
1-14oz bag of wrapped plain caramels
1 TBSP water
1 cup broken Glutino pretzel pieces
greased wax paper
Unwrap caramels and place in sauce pan with water. Melt caramels over medium heat.
Once completely melted, remove from heat and stir in pretzel pieces.
Drop caramel/pretzel mixture onto greased wax paper with tablespoon. Sprinkle with sea salt. Allow to cool completely before enjoying.
For chocolate lovers, these caramels can become chocolate covered salted caramel crunchies! Freeze for about 2 hours prior to dipping. Melt chocolate of choice and dip caramel crunchie in chocolate. Place on wax paper covered plate and allow to cool completely in refrigerator.
February 26, 2010
February 18, 2010
For Valentine's Day, I decided I was going to make Marlow's Strawberry Shortcake cupcakes. I was so excited to make these, because they looked so yummy in her pics! I had gotten a Bob's Red Mill vanilla cake mix in my Safe & Sound goodie bag, and I already had some strawberry Jell-O on hand. I never had Bob's Red Mill cake mixes before, and OMG....they are the BEST!!!! I followed the directions exactly and they turned out marvelous! Incredibly light and fluffy and super moist. Thanks, Marlow, for this awesome recipe! I definitely can't wait to make these again.
As if those weren't enough, I just had to have a heart (and a cupcake) for the nurses at Children's Memorial Hospital. Alexandra and I headed over to Swirlz on Sunday to pick up some vegan, gluten free Red Velvet cupcakes. Jealous? You should be...they were fantastic! My favorite part was definitely the frosting...yum!
Needless to say, as delicious as all of these were, I'm laying off the cupcakes for a little bit. Pass the health food, please! :)
February 13, 2010
This stuff is great!! Remember my mom's Christmas cookie book I talked about before? Well I used her recipe for butter cookies and after the first bite it was like I was 10 years old again. They tasted identical to the original cookie I grew up on. I was blown away. Normally I can make recipes come close to what I remember them tasting in my pre-gluten free days, but these were a perfect match.
Here's how the magic happened:
Barb's Butter Cookies (à la Betsy)
¾ c sugar
½ c. butter
4 oz. cream cheese
1 tsp vanilla
1½ c. Meister's Gluten Free Flour
2½ tsp baking powder (this is where I messed up, it should have only been 1½ but apparently I can't do math...as I said, the cookies turned out phenomenal so maybe this was the secret?)
- Cream butter, cream cheese, and sugar. Add egg and vanilla extract. Beat until smooth.
- Add flour and baking powder. Beat until well blended.
- Chill dough for 1-2 hours. (I chilled it for 3 days, the longer the better I say...if you can wait that long.)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Roll dough out on a gluten free floured surface and cut with cookie cutters dipped in GF flour.
- Bake on foil or parchment lined cookie sheets for 8-10 minutes.
February 12, 2010
With Valentine's day quickly approaching, Swirlz is whipping up some fancy flavors, Red Velvet and Chocolate Raspberry Truffle. Yum! They best part is, they are having a heart and showing the love for the Children's Memorial Hospital nurses. Here are the details:
♥ red velvet valentine ♥
♥ Here’s a great way to show your love and appreciation for Children’s Memorial Hospital nurses on Valentine’s Day.
♥ Purchase a Valentine card at Swirlz Cupcakes®, for a Children’s Memorial Hospital nurse and 100% of your donation will go to Children’s Memorial Hospital, Department of Nursing.
♥ On Sunday, February 14, Swirlz Cupcakes® will personally deliver your Valentines, your donations and mini Red Velvet cupcakes, to the entire nursing staff at Children's Memorial Hospital.
♥ In addition you will receive a card from Swirlz Cupcakes® good for $1.00 off your next Red Velvet purchase; valid February 15, 2010-December 31, 2010
♥ Swirlz Cupcakes® red velvet valentine promotion runs during Valentine’s week, from Monday, February 8th through Sunday, February 14th.
♥ Be a Swirlz Cupcakes® partner and make a nurse happy.
♥ Purchase a red velvet valentine card at Swirlz in denominations of $1., $5. or $10.
♥ Sign with your name, your company’s name or be a secret Valentine with the word happy
as your signature.
♥ The Valentine cards will be taped to the store wall at Swirlz Cupcakes® and displayed the entire week.
♥ Stop by Swirlz anytime from February 8th-14th. If you like, we’ll video you answering the question, “Why do you love Red Velvet cupcakes?”
♥ We’ll be posting some of your Red Velvet video moments on our Facebook and Twitter pages all week. (PG rated please!!)
♥ Join us in this red velvet valentine celebration of Children’s Memorial Hospital Nurses!
♥ Every customer who buys a red velvet valentine card at Swirlz for a nurse receives a
Valentine card in return from Swirlz Cupcakes®.
♥ That card is good for $1.00 off your next Red Velvet cupcake purchase; valid February 15, 2010-December 31, 2010
February 7, 2010
...I'll most likely be shoveling Buffalo Chicken Dip into my face. As I previously mentioned, I don't know much about football, I just like Superbowl parties for the friends and food. In addition to the Reuben Dip, I whipped up some Buffalo Chicken Dip last night.
This is the famous dip that was so good, it was smeared on everything from veggies to pizza. That story really quick...I held a St. Patrick's Day party one year. The south side of Chicago is predominately of Irish decent and widely known for their Irish Parade held a week before St. Patrick's Day. I lived not to far from the parade route and would gather everyone at my place for the "after party". I made this dip and other little snacks, and my friends decided to order a pizza. After we waited forever for it to arrive, a friend of a friend and her boyfriend showed up. Now her boyfriend is a beast of a man. I want to say he is 6'9" or something. He sat down and proceeded to eat their entire pizza. Talking nonstop, dipping the slices in the Buffalo Chicken dip, and stuffing them into his mouth, we all sat there silent, staring at him in disbelief while piece after piece disappeared. After he ate all of our food, they left. We all turned to each other, eyes wide, and said, "WHAT was that?!"
I got this recipe from another co-worker. (Can you tell we liked to eat?) The Chicago Bears were in the Superbowl ('06, although that would be awesome if this was back in '85) and we had a Superbowl party in the office the Friday before the big game. One of my office besties brought in this bowl of awesomeness and it was gone within a matter of minutes. You better believe I asked for the recipe. (And it was only a short month later when the pizza incident occurred.)
Without much further ado, here is Erin's Famous Buffalo Chicken Dip! (Not sure where she got the recipe, but to me, it will forever be known as hers)
2 Bricks of Cream Cheese
1 Cooked Breast of Chicken (finely chopped) - or a can of chicken, but I like fresh better :)
1 Cup of Shredded Cheddar Cheese
5-8oz Hot Sauce (She recommends Frank's...I use whatever I have on hand)
*Bleu Cheese optional
Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Microwave for one to one and half minutes or until the cheeses are melted and dip is creamy. Stir to combine everything and serve with Fritos, celery, or if you're feeling adventurous, pizza. Enjoy! And Go Saints! (I'm rooting for the underdogs...)
February 4, 2010
Superbowl buffet tables are usually filled with chili, hot wings, chips, pizza, etc. I'm always sure to show up with something I can eat, and the host usually has naturally gluten free stuff set out, so I'm well fed either way. What am I bringing this year? Dip.
Back to the dips though! While I was getting everything ready to make reubens, I noticed a recipe for Reuben Dip on the back of the Frank's Kraut can. Reubens in dip form? Heck yeah, I'm making that! With the leftover kraut, I whipped up a batch of the savory dip. I used some of the slices of bavarian bread to spread it on, but it would be amazing with any gluten free bread or cracker.