Ali’s Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ali's

My co-workers were so kind as to bring back a gluten-free cookie for me try today.  This was one big cookie.  It was about 3 inches wide and about an inch thick.  This cookie was moist and filled with great chocolate chip flavor.  It reminded me of the gluten filled cookies I used to enjoy.  I could certainly taste that this cookie was fresh and it was filled with semi-sweet chocolate goodness.   Upon visiting Ali’s website I noticed that some of her cookies were featured on Rachel Ray.  Not all Ali’s cookies are gluten free, but she does ship one dozen chocolate chip cookies or a 12″ gluten free cookie cake that can serve 12-14 people.

If you get a chance check out her site SHIPACOOKIE.COM.  It will be well worth your time.

 

Cookie

 

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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.

Watermelon Agua Fresca

Okay….so I’ve been away on vacation, but now I’m getting back into the swing of things.  I enjoyed lots of sand, sun and family time while away.  It is great to unplug and just be with those you love once in a while.  With 4th of July fast approaching I wanted to pass along this awsome drink recipe I found in Rachel Ray’s magazine.  This drink is fruity, refreshing and filled with summer flavors.  I made it this weekend and I thought it was fantastic.  One of my friends told me they think watermelon is God’s perfect fruit and I think they might be on to something.

Ingredients:

8 c seedless watermelon cubed (this equated to about half of a seedless watermelon for me)

6 T agave nectar (or honey)

1/3 c freshly squeezed lime juice

1 sliced lime

3 sprigs of fresh mint

1 c water

ice cubes

 

Puree watermelon in a blender and strain in a bowl usine a fine mesh sieve.  Stir in honey and lime juice.  Transfer to a pitcher and add 1c water, lime slices and mint.  Chill and serve over ice.  Makes about 6 servings.

Zucchini Ribbon Salad

 

With the first “official” day of summer approaching I have been seeing so many pictures of zucchini ribbon salads in magazines and online so I decided to try one of these recipes for myself.  I modified one of Rachel Ray’s recipes and left out the avocado because I just wanted the salad to have lots of crunch.  I haven’t eaten much raw zucchini or fennel, but I was pleasantly surprised at how light and yummy it was.  We peeled the zuccchini by mistake (you are supposed to leave the peel on so just give your zucchini a good scrubbing first).

Ingredients:

  • 3 large zucchini
  • 1 bulb  fennel, trimmed, outer layer removed
  • 2 ounces shaved fresh parmesan (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • Coarse salt and pepper

Using a vegetable peeler, peel the zucchini lengthwise into thin ribbons; discard the seedy centers. Transfer to a bowl. Using a mandoline, shave the fennel bulb into pieces; discard the core. Toss with the zucchini. Fold in the parmesan. Sprinkle with the lemon zest, then cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.   In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, vinegar, mustard, 1/8 tsp. coarse salt and 1 pinch pepper. Drizzle the dressing over the salad; toss gently.

Cowboy Spaghetti

Growing up my brother and I had spaghetti for dinner probably once a week.  I felt like I had noodles and tomato sauce coming out of my ears.  I was sick, sick, sick of spaghetti and swore off it for many years.  I started making this Rachel Ray version a couple of years ago and now it is the only spaghetti I eat.  The cheddar cheese and sliced scallions on top give it a much different flavor and crumbled bacon makes anything taste better.  Try it out!

Ingredients:

1 lb gluten-free spaghetti noodles

1 T olive oil

4 slices bacon chopped

1 lb ground sirloin

1 medium onion chopped

3 cloves of garlic chopped

salt and pepper to taste

2 tsp hot sauce (I used Frank’s hot sauce)

1 T Worcestershire sauce

1/2 c gluten-free beer or beef stock

14 oz fire roasted or regular diced tomatoes

8 oz can tomato sauce

8 oz shredded cheddar cheese

4 scallions sliced on the bias

Cook spaghetti according to package directions.  Brown bacon in a large skillet or dutch oven and drain.   Add olive oil to bacon fat and add sirloin.  Brown beef for 4-5 minutes and than add onions and garlic.   Season with salt, pepper, hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce.  Deglaze pan with beer or stock.  Cook for about 5 minutes and then add tomato sauce and tomatoes.  Add spaghetti noodles to sauce and toss to combine.  Pour spaghetti in a shallow dish and then sprinkle with cheese, scallions and bacon.