The Best Gluten Free Sausage Balls

Sausage Balls

If you are like our family it’s an annual tradition to have sausage balls Christmas morning.  I tried several recipes after going gluten free, but most were dry and not very good.  I tweaked this Betty Crocker recipe (cause I like to add a little more meat) and I can promise you these are meaty cheesy yumminess!  These are also great reheated in a microwave if you have any leftovers.

Ingredients

3/4 cup Bisquick™ Gluten Free mix
8 oz bulk pork sausage (I prefer Jimmy Dean Sage)
1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese (6 ounces)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary leaves, crushed (you can use fresh for extra flavor)
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Directions

Heat oven to 350ºF. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.

  • In large bowl, mix all ingredients except barbecue sauce. Shape mixture into 1-inch balls. Place in pan.
  • Bake uncovered 22 to 26 minutes or until light golden brown. Immediately remove from pan. Serve warm with barbecue sauce or mustard for dipping.

Gluten Free Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes

 

Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes

 

I took a shortcut with these cupcakes and they came out really good.  I don’t like beer so I opted to just make a plain chocolate cake with a whiskey ganache and a Bailey’s frosting.  These will satisfy any little leprechaun!

Cupcake Ingredients:

Betty Crocker Gluten Free Chocolate Cake Mix

1/3 c sour cream

3 eggs

1 cup water

Prepare cake batter as directed, but add sour cream.  This gives you a really moist cake.  Pour the cake batter in large or mini muffin tins.  I sprayed my muffin tins with non-stick spray and then put the cupcakes in pretty cupcake wrappers after they cooled.  Bake regular size cupcakes for 20-24 minutes in 325F oven.  Mini cupcakes take about 15-16 minutes.  Let the cupcake cool and then work on the ganache.

For the Whiskey Ganache:

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
2 teaspoons Irish whiskey

Finely chop the chocolate and transfer it to a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream until simmering and pour it over the chocolate. Let it sit for one minute and then, using a rubber spatula, stir it from the center outward until smooth. Add the butter and whiskey and stir until combined. Taste as you add whiskey a little at a time to make sure you don’t overdo it.  Let the ganache cool until thick but still soft enough to be piped or spooned into large hollowed cupcakes.  For the mini cupcakes I dipped them into the ganache and left the cupcakes whole.

Let the ganache set and then make your frosting.

For the Baileys Frosting:

2 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
5 cups powdered sugar
6 tablespoons Bailey’s Irish Cream

Using the whisk attachment of a stand mixer, whip the butter on medium-high speed for 5 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally. Reduce the speed to medium-low and gradually add the powdered sugar until all of it is incorporated. Add the Baileys, increase the speed to medium-high and whip for another 2 to 3 minutes, until it is light and fluffy.

Using your favorite decorating tip, or an offset spatula, frost the cupcakes and decorate with green sprinkles.  Store the cupcakes in an airtight container.

Berry Merry Christmas Cocktail

Berry Merry Xmas2

I’ve been trying out various holiday cocktail recipes and this one was the winner in our household.  It is slightly sweet, tart and the kind of drink where you don’t really notice there is liquor in it until you’ve had a few.  I garnished mine with a few frozen cranberries and pomegranate seeds in the martini glasses.  I think when I serve them for Christmas I will rim the glasses with something green so they look really festive.  Ho! Ho! Ho!

Ingredients:

1 oz pomegranate juice

1/2 oz vodka or vanilla vodka

1/2 oz triple sec

1/2 oz peach schnapps

1 oz cranberry juice

 

Mix all ingredients in a shaker with ice and serve on the rocks or make a big pitcher.

 

 

Autumn Potato Gratin

Potato gratin

 

I continue to try out new side dishes recipes before Christmas and this one has definitely been added to the menu.  Autumn may be almost gone, but Rachel Ray’s potato dish is creamy, rich and mouthwatering.  I love using the baby potatoes and savory herbs to create this spud masterpiece.  We cleaned our plates in no time with this one…enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 4 pounds mixed baby potatoes, such as Red Bliss, Peruvian Purples, and Fingerlings
  • 2 cups heavy cream, plus some to cover
  • 4 tablespoons butter (1/2 stick)
  • 2 sprigs each fresh thyme, sage, and rosemary
  • 2 garlic cloves, cracked
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Halve the potatoes and toss them into a large baking dish and season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, put the cream, butter, herbs, and garlic in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook for about 5 minutes, to infuse the cream with flavor. Season with salt and pepper.

Pour the hot cream mixture through a strainer over the potatoes, (discard the herbs and garlic), if there is not enough cream to go 3/4 of the way up the potatoes then pour some additional cream on top to make up the difference. Sprinkle the Parmesan evenly over the top. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the potatoes are cooked through and top begins to brown. Cover and keep warm until ready to serve.

Honoring Thanksgiving

Two nights ago when my husband was driving to the gym he noticed that a couple of our neighbors have already put up their Christmas trees.  Now, I have nothing against Christmas.  It is a glorious and wonderful holiday and I enjoy the celebration of Christmas and it is a privilege to  honor the birth of Jesus

In the month of November, however, I want to honor Thanksgiving and all it represents to me. It is no secret that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.  It is all about the three F’s:  family, food and football….what is not to like about that?  And of course who can forget the fourth F (Friday….as in Black Friday).  It’s also about coming together with the people you love and being thankful for those around you and the blessings you have in your life.  So today on 11/11/11 I want to honor Thanksgiving and all that it means.  Happy Turkey Day!