gluten free rice cake treats

rice cakesThis past weekend I found some gluten free rice cakes that were dipped in dark chocolate at a store. They were so yummy but very pricey! So  to cut down on the cost I decided to make my own chocolate dipped gluten free rice cakes…with a few extra goodies on top. I used the lightly salted rice cakes by Quaker and a bunch of gluten free ingredients that I already had on hand.

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For these peanut butter cup ones I spread a few tablespoons of peanut butter on top of the rice cake and then spread some melted chocolate on top of the peanut butter. Then I topped it with some cut up Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.

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Next I made some Smore’s rice cakes. This time I spread the melted chocolate right on top of the rice cake and then topped it with some mini Marshmallow’s and some pieces bits of a Hershey’s chocolate bar. Then I drizzled a little more chocolate on top.

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Then I made some healthier versions for myself. I am trying to loose a little bit of weight and wanted something sweet but still healthy and filling. This rice cake tastes similar to an Almond Joy candy bar.  It is really yummy, trust me! To make this one I melted and spread 80% dark chocolate onto the rice cake and then topped it with sliced almonds and shredded coconut.

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Then I made a peanut butter and dark chocolate rice cake. I spread some peanut butter onto the rice cake and then spread the melted dark chocolate on top of the peanut butter. I added a few chopped up peanuts and some Chia seeds to the top. Again, super yummy!

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I stored mine in an air-tight container for a few days. Not sure how long they will keep beyond that because they went too fast.

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Even the kids loved them. Although my son was not as big of fan of the rice cake. He said they tasted like Styrofoam. I’m still wondering how he knows what Styrofoam tastes like, but obviously Styrofoam tastes good because he asked me to make more.

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Of course everyone’s favorite was the Resse’s Peanut Butter Cup one.

Homemade bagels and english muffins

So the homemade bagels and english muffins were delish! Like, I just might eat the whole batch in one sitting delish.

For the bagels I followed this recipe from King Aurthur. This is a pretty quick recipe and only requires the first rise of about an hour and then a final rise of 30 minutes. These were really easy to make on a normal day and so worth it!
I will admit I ate 2 of these bad boys within an hour of them coming out of the oven…and I wonder why I cannot loose weight.
Well I guess I really only consumed 1 1/2 bagels, since this little one woke up and stole a half.
I love how she holds it with her little finger through the middle. Oh, and don’t turn your back on this little one, because she will sneak little bites of yours.
For the english muffins I used another recipe from my King Aurthur Baker’s Companion Cook Book. Sorry I couldn’t find the recipe online, but I did find a few others here and they even have a little tutorial showing you how to make them.
After looking at their tutorial I now realize that I filled my english muffin molds way too much and I also ran out of yeast so I should have let them rise a little longer then I did. I was impatient. I substituted a high fiber flour instead of the all-purpose flour the recipe called for. We have always eaten high fiber-whole wheat breads in this household, so I am trying to keep it that way even though we are making our own breads. White bread is a huge treat in this house.
The english muffins took a little longer to make or actually to wait for them to rise for the first time. The recipe I used said to let them rise anywhere from 4 to 16 hours for the first rise, with the second rise only being an hour. I find these even easier to work into our schedule due to the long time for rising.
These were really good out of the oven too, but I think they were right when they said to wait a day because they were so much better this morning.
Next time I am going to try this Hi-Fiber English muffin recipe. Any of you make your own breads? I already know of a recipe from my sister in law that doesn’t require any rising, I need to try that one out, maybe I can get her share it with us.

Baked Jalapeno Poppers {and a giveaway winner}

Each year we grow jalapenos for making salsa. Unfortunately sometimes the timing of when the jalapenos and the tomatoes are ripe don’t exactly line up. I didn’t have enough jalapenos to fill a jar and be pickled, so I decided to give jalapeno poppers a try. I have to be honest, I have never had them before and what a shame. They are delish! I used this recipe here and just made a few minor adjustments. I used less then the full amount of seasonings called for and instead of making my creole seasoning I just used one that I already had in the cabinet.

And the winner of the Blue Sky giveaway is Laura.

Congratulations Laura, your on your way to being one super organized momma!

Strawberry Lemonade {Recipe}

Strawberry Lemonade Concentrate {Recipe}

(Recipe adjusted from Smith & Hawken, The Gardeners’ Community Cookbook)


*2 quarts strawberries, washed & hulled
*2 cups fresh lemon juice (about 20 lemons squeezed)
*2 3/4 cups of sugar
*1 1/2 quarts water
* you will need a large nonreactive pot

Wash and hull strawberries, then place them into a food processor. Blend berries until smooth. Place the pureed strawberries, lemon juice, sugar and 1 1/2 quarts of water into a very large nonreactive pot. Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally until mixture reaches 165′. Make sure you do not boil. Skim off any foam from the top and allow concentrate to cool completely before transferring to canning jars. You may want to strain the concentrate through a strainer before putting into jars. There will be a lot of pulp and seeds.

Before serving concentrate mix 1 part concentrate with 2 parts water, or go by taste. Concentrate can be stored in the refrigerator for about 1 week or place into the freezer for longer storage.
Makes about 3 1/2 quarts.


If you like strawberries and freshly squeezed lemons, then you will LOVE this!

Enjoy!

Homemade hot dog rolls.

I’m not a huge fan of hot dogs, but the kiddo’s and my hubby love them. So the other day when I saw this recipe for homemade hot dogs via dommesticated I made them right away. I may not love hot dogs, but I surely love homemade breads. Plus I’m not a big fan of those cheap thin hot dog rolls you buy in the store, they are just not enough bread for me. I was a bit nervous making these since I have not been the most successful bread maker, but these were so easy to make and came out so yummy!

They were a hug hit and I will definitely be making them again, but next time I will be making extras to throw in the freezer. Thank you domessticated for finding these beauties for us.

How to make your own cupcake liners.

The kiddo’s wanted to make Daddy some cupcakes for Father’s Day. So we mixed our batter and were ready to put them into the liners when I realized I had no cupcake liners. EEK! Not able to get to the store I racked my brain on what I could use instead. Of course baking a cake instead never crossed my mind. The kiddo’s wanted to make cupcakes and I was going to find a way to make those cupcakes. Because afterall cupcakes and cake taste so differently…am I right?! Looking through my drawers I came up with the idea of using parchment paper. And much to my surprise it worked great! Actually I love the idea of it. It takes a bit longer to do it this way, but once in awhile it will be fun to do for the kiddo’s.

Wanna make your own liners? Here’s how:
You will need parchment paper, regular and fancy scissors, a glass and your cupcake pans.
Rip off a 7″ piece of parchment paper.
Cut it in half.
Then center the piece of paper evenly over one of the holes in the pan.
Take your glass and push down the parchment paper. Make sure the paper is even on all sides, or as close as possible.
Now take your fingers and press the folds flat against the sides of the pan.
Take the glass out and flatten the parchment paper some more against the sides of the pan.
Now take some fancy scissors and trim the sides, or cut into shapes if you want. The kiddo’s wanted to make flowers for Daddy, so I attempted to make some flowers.
Use a large scoop to scoop the batter into the liners. Make sure you don’t get any batter on the sides…it’s just not pretty.
Make sure you give the kiddo’s their own pan to fill up. I’m a bit OCD and could never let the kiddo’s get my cupcake liners all messy on the sides. Yup, that’s how I am…sorry!

Bake your cupcakes per instructions. Ours baked a little longer then usual because we used jumbo muffin pans. We like BIG cupcakes.
We attempted to make sunflowers and some purple flowers.
But as you can see, I’m not the best at decorating cupcakes as flowers, that’s alright the kiddo’s loved them just the same.
The best part is that they can eat right from the cupcake liner. Easy clean-up and fun for the kiddo’s.
While the kiddo’s like their cupcakes decorated like flowers, I’m all about peanut butter frosting with some mini Reese’s and a peanut butter topping.

Happy Baking!

Rhubarb {harvesting, baking and freezing}

The rhubarb patch is overflowing, which means it’s time to start filling the freezer with homemade rhubarb goodies again.

For the past few years I have been making all of my breads, pies and goodies while we harvest them from the garden instead of freezing the cut veggies or fruits with great intentions of baking them later. I never did end up baking with them later, so we would end up with a freezer full of frozen fruit and veggies unused. I know shame on me. So a few years ago I decided to make all of our baked goodies or freezer meals once something in the garden was being harvested. So now I spend a few days cooking and baking like crazy once something is harvested and in the end I end up with a freezer full of meals and goodies. Last year I think I ended up with over 40 loaves of breads, lots of cakes, muffins, sweet treats and numerous amounts of freezer meals.

Each year I discover new recipes to try and learn better freezing methods through trial and error. I also seem to get better and faster at baking and cooking all of our goodies. I have learned that cooking in large quantities and spending 1/2 a day cooking it all at once actually saves me a ton of time in the long run.

I wait til I have a good amount to harvest, then pick all that I can, wash it and cut it up. Sometimes I have so much that I cannot cook or bake it all in one day so I simply place my cut up veggies or fruits in the fridge for the next day. Then depending on how much I have cut up, I pick out the recipes that work best together, like having the same oven temp or the same ingredients being used. Then I start mixing and baking, and in a few short hours I end up with an insane amount of freshly baked goodies. But the best part, is that you only have to clean-up once! For me, cleaning up is the most time consuming parts and my least favorite to do. But if you get it all done in one day, then you only have clean up once.

Rhubarb was never one of my favorites but with some newer recipes that I have found over the past few years it is becoming one. I use allrecipes.com most of the time while cooking or baking. I like how the recipes are rated, have pictures, and are pretty simple to make. I like to cook and bake, but don’t want to spend a lot of money buying ingredients that I don’t already have right in my cabinets. I also have a few cookbooks that focus mainly on cooking and baking things harvested from your garden.

My favorite rhubarb recipes:

How I freeze my baked goodies:

I like to bake my crisps straight in canning jars or bake them into a large pan and then transfer the crisp into canning jars once cooled. This way it is easier for my hubby to bring to work and they also act as a ice pack in his lunch box. Of course you can bake the crisps in a pan and then place the whole pan into the freezer once cooled. Just make sure that you wrap the cooled pan in plastic wrap right onto of the crisp and cover pan again with some aluminum foil.

I like to freeze my cakes and breads wrapped in plastic wrap. If you want to wrap them in wax paper, just make sure you place them into a freezer bag afterwards. Last year I wrapped close to 20 loaves of breads only in wax paper and they all became dried out and had a freezer burnt taste… so lesson learned.

When it comes to pies, I bake my pies in a pie pan and once cooled I wrap them in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil on top of that. I also have found that some recipes can be assembled ahead of time, frozen and then baked later. Rhubarb pie is one of those. So all I have to do is grab a frozen pie, let it thaw for a bit and then bake per directions.

Don’t forget to label! I have to admit I don’t always do this, but if it is a new recipe, an uncooked pie or covered in aluminum I do. This way I also know what recipes work and which ones don’t.

At the end of the season, you will be so thankful you took the time to bake first and freeze. It is a great feeling to have a freezer full of meals and baked goodies. Not to mention a great way to save money, eat healthy and have some great baked goods when you need something in a jiff.

Homemade microwavable popcorn

Did you know that you can make your own microwavable popcorn? Me neither. Well after reading this post yesterday I had to give it a shot. Oh yes, it was DELISH! Just as good as popcorn made on the stove top minus the clean up.

Thank you Jami, this is the next best thing to our homemade butter in a canning jar.

Although when we put the two of them together we get the most heavenly treat! There is nothing like homemade popcorn with a little dab of homemade butter on top to raise this momma’s spirits…and not to mention my pant size too.

I’m far from being back to my normal crafting or blogging self, but things are starting to look up for me. After seeing many doctors and having lots of tests they think that I have been suffering from vertigo along with some other issues for the past 2 months. So hopefully this week I will finally find out what is causing it and then we can start treating it. I never would have guessed how debilitating vertigo could be, it’s not fun. Thanks again for hanging in there with me and this little blog of mine while I’m going through a little rough patch.

Bunnies and Breakfast.

We got bunnies yesterday…well, scrappy fabric bunnies that is! Here is what I have for y’all for fat quarter friday. I think they are super cute, hope you all do too.

And now lets talk breakfast. Yesterday I stumbled upon a blog called Lime in the coconut. While browsing her blog a bit I found this amazing french toast recipe. Well this morning I gave it a shot and it was…DELISH!

It was coconuty, crunchy, sweet and just what I needed to put a smile on my face after seeing the light dusting of snow we got last night.

If you like coconut and french toast, then this is a must try for y’all. And yes, the more syrup, the better!