Sunday, October 7, 2018

Roast Beef Hash

Salty, beefy, and crisp roast beef hash

My mom is a great cook. Not a healthy cook, but a GREAT cook. One of the things she fed my brother and me when we were young was Libby's Corned Beef Hash from a can. She would refrigerate the can, open both ends, push the contents out one end, and slice off disks of hash. Then she would fry them in a pan until they were brown and crispy. Mmm. Such a fabulous food memory. 
Well, as an adult, I've looked at the nutrition information on that can, and holy smokes! I have NO business eating that stuff any more. I pretty much have no business eating what I'm telling you about now either, but I did it. I won't do it every day or anything, but in case you want to make it too, the recipe is below.
Now, this is not an exact recipe. It's what I did today with what I had leftover from dinner the night before, although I did bake up the potatoes to cube and add to the mix, since I didn't want the beef to get lost in the mashed potatoes. 
I got the idea because this is actually made from leftover leftovers. I reheated the roast in a pan, and all of the moisture evaporated, and some of the roast beef got crisp on the bottom of the pan. Of course I had to taste it as I was putting it away, and oh my goodness! It took me back to the 70s when my mom fed us the Libby's corned beef hash! So salty, crispy and beefy. (Cue the drooling.)
So, today after church, this is what I mixed up for our lunch, and wow! It turned out even better than I'd imagined. Even sent a pic to my brother to make him drool. I imagine the next time they have roast at their house, he'll be making some of this the next day.
There you go. Roast beef hash--now one of my favorite ways to enjoy leftover chuck roast.

Roast Beef Hash

  • 2 medium baked potatoes, cooled, peeled, and cubed
  • 3/4 cup mashed potatoes
  • 3 tablespoons minced onion
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups cooked chuck roast, preferably leftover and well seasoned
  • 3 tablespoons butter, divided
  • canola oil (or other vegetable oil)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Chop the roast into smaller bits.
  • Place the cubed potatoes, roast, mashed potatoes, onion, one tablespoon of butter, one tablespoon canola oil and salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl.
  • Mix thoroughly to incorporate.
  • Preheat a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. 
  • Add a tablespoon of butter and a tablespoon or two of canola oil. Tilt pan to coat it with butter & oil.
  • Scoop out about a 1/2-cup portion of hash mixture and form into a ball, and then flatten into a disk about 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch thick.
  • Carefully place disk into the pan. 
  • Repeat making disks until the pan is full, leaving about 1 inch between disks. 
  • Fry until crisp and browned on one side (about 3-5 minutes), and then carefully flip. Some pieces may break off, but just smoosh it back together. This is hash, after all, and it's not going to be terribly neat. If the pan looks dry, add a little more oil before (or as) you fry on the second side.
  • Continue to fry until both sides are browned and crisp.
  • When the first batch is done, remove hash to a serving plate.
  • Scrape the pan and remove leftover bits. 
  • Add another tablespoon of butter and more canola oil and continue to fry up the hash until it's all cooked.
  • Sprinkle with chopped or dried parsley, if desired.
Serves about 4 (although I ate way more than my share) 

Saturday, October 6, 2018

(Gluten Free) Croq Tele

Buttery, sweet & salty croq tele (gluten free today)

These unassuming little sweet & salty buttery nuggets are addicting. At least they are to me. 
They're just a really great shortbread cookie, and although I already have them here on this blog, today I made them gluten free. 
I had my doubts that they would turn out as delicious as the wheat version, and I was pleasantly surprised. Like I said, sweet, a little salty, and gorgeously buttery--especially if you bake them to the point where the butter in them browns a bit. Mm. So good.
I'm going to have to give some of these away before I eat them all myself.

Croq Tele (TV Snacks)

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper & set aside.
  • In a small bowl, mix the almond flour, sugar and salt. 
  • In the bowl of standing mixer or a large mixing bowl, mix the gluten free flour and the butter until it is sandy in appearance (see pic below).
  • Add the almond flour, sugar, and salt mixture to the butter & flour mixture and mix until completely incorporated and the dough gets a bit clumpy. It will not become a cohesive mass.
  • Using a half teaspoon measuring spoon, scoop up a packed level half teaspoon of the mixture. Scrape it out into the palm of your hand and pinch the dough with the fingers of your other hand to create a tight little lump that holds together.
  • Place on the baking sheet and continue to form the cookies until the pan is full. Cookies should be placed about 1 to 1 1/2 inches apart.
  • Bake at 325 degrees for 16-20 minutes. I like mine browned pretty well, so I bake them closer to the 20 minutes mark.
Makes about 9 to 10 dozen little nuggets

This is what the butter and flour mixture looks like right before you add the other ingredients.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies (Gluten Free)

Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

I remembered these long-forgotten cookies when I was wanting to make a breakfast type cookie yesterday. They're special because they're very moist, soft, and chewy, because the recipe calls for you to puree some of the raisins.
These cookies are super satisfying, perfectly spiced, and have just enough butter to flavor them. Mmm. I'm already making a second batch because the first batch went so quickly.
The original recipe with regular flour can be found here. I made these gluten free because, why not?
If you like your oatmeal cookies crisp at all, this recipe is not for you. These are very soft, very chewy, and go great with a tall glass of cold milk.

Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies (Gluten Free)
      --Adapted from

  • ½ cup raisins
  • 1/3 cup hot water
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  •  3 tablespoons vegetable shortening
  • 1 egg
  • 1 ½ cups dark brown sugar (or 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar plus 1 tablespoon molasses)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup Better Batter Gluten Free All Purpose Flour
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 ¼ cups rolled oats
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup raisins and/or 1 cup chopped pecans, if desired
1. Preheat oven to 275°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Combine ½ cup raisins with hot water in a food processor and blend on high speed for about 1 minute or until very smooth.
3. Combine raisin puree with the vegetable shortening, butter, egg, brown sugar and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Mix until smooth.
4. In a separate bowl, combine the Better Batter flour and almond flour with the oats, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.  Pour dry mixture into the wet and mix just until combined.  Stir in the other ½ cup of raisins and/or pecans.
5. Use a large cookie scoop or with a spoon scoop about 3 tablespoons of dough per cookie. Evenly space about 6 cookies per sheet pan.
6. Bake at 275°F for 18-25 minutes or until cookies are set and not doughy on top. Cool on pan for 5 minutes before removing to a cooling rack to finish cooling.  Store in an airtight container.
Makes about 3 dozen cookies

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Puffy Cheese Crackers (gluten free, but not necessarily)

Delicious Puffy Cheese Cracker

I found this recipe from Chef In Training via Pinterest. Not that I need another cheese cracker recipe in my life, but I have been craving Cheeze Crackers ala Marilyn. Cheapskate me, though, didn't want to spend the $2.99 on a jar of Kraft Old English processed cheese
This recipe is great because it's basically my mom's cheese cracker recipe, but with real cheddar cheese, which costs about $2.50 less than the jar of Old English. Score.
I made these gluten free because I am still attempting to limit my gluten. With all of the butter and cheese, though, you can't really tell the flour is not made with wheat.
These tasty little treats are salty, cheesy, warm, and absolutely satisfying. The dough freezes perfectly for baking up just a few at a time, or if you just want to plan ahead.
Puffy Cheese Crackers
    --Adapted from Chef In Training

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Get out your food processor and put in the grater attachment. Grate the cheese and the butter.
  • Transfer the grated cheese and butter to a medium mixing bowl and then replace the grater attachment in your food processor with the blade attachment.
  • Add the grated butter and cheese back into the food processor (fitted with the blade now). Mix until the butter and cheese are completely incorporated.
  • Add the flour and salt. Mix until a dough forms and creates a cohesive ball (or other solid shape--mine looked like a fat sausage).
  • Transfer dough to the bowl you used for the butter and cheese earlier.
  • Scoop about two teaspoons of dough out and roll into a ball. Place ball on prepared baking sheet and gently press on the top, just enough so that the ball won't roll off the pan.
  • Place additional balls onto the pan, leaving about 1 1/2 to 2 inches between balls of dough.
  • Bake at 375 degrees for about 9-10 minutes, or until puffed and possibly browning on the edges just slightly.
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool for 3-5 minutes. Remove to a serving plate and enjoy, taking care not to burn yourself.
  • Continue to roll and bake the remaining dough.
* If you would like to freeze some to bake off later, line with wax paper a small pan that will fit into your freezer. Form the balls and press to keep from rolling. Freeze formed balls until firm and then transfer to a zip top freezer bag. When ready to bake, put the dough balls on the pan while the oven preheats, and bake as directed above.
  • Makes about 1 1/2 to 3 dozen puffy cheese crackers

Cheese and butter all mixed (well, mostly)
The completed dough
Dough balls formed for freezing -- each is about 1 1/2 cm in diameter.
Ready to go into the oven
Baked, puffed, and done

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Brownie Cookies (Gluten Free--but they don't have to be)

Brownie Cookies
Summer break means I have tons of time on my hands, and although I've been trying to bake (and eat) fewer breads and cookies, today I had to make these after seeing them on Instagram. calls them the Browniest Cookies. What they remind me of sort of are Grandma's Chocolate Brownie Cookies --you know, the big ones in the red package. 
These aren't as sweet as Grandma's, but that could probably be remedied by changing the 4 ounces of unsweetened chocolate to dark chocolate, which I may try next time. 
Suffice it to say, though, these are what they are called: the browniest cookies. Very chocolately. Very satisfying. Just make sure you have enough milk on hand to drink alongside these guys.
Also, I used gluten free flour because I'm attempting to reduce the gluten in my diet, but the original recipe just calls for the same amount of regular all purpose flour. I use Better Batter because it's what works for me. I think this recipe could handle any cup-for-cup gf flour you might like to use.

Brownie Cookies
     --adapted from

  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped/broken into pieces
  • 1 stick butter (cut into tablespoon chunks)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup Better Batter Gluten Free All Purpose Flour (or other AP flour)
  • 2/3 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup toasted chopped pecans (optional)
  • In a microwave safe bowl, melt unsweetened chocolate and butter on 50% power for 30 seconds. Stir and repeat microwaving at 50% power at 20-30 second intervals until the chocolate is almost melted completely. Continue stirring to completely melt and combine chocolate and butter. 
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the chocolate butter mixture and the brown and white sugars.
  • Whisk in the eggs one at a time until completely incorporated. 
  • Stir in vanilla.
  • Stir in baking soda and salt. 
  • Add the cocoa powder and flour, putting it through a sieve/sifter if either is lumpy. Stir to incorporate cocoa and flour.
  • Stir in chocolate chips (and nuts if you want them within the cookies).
  • Refrigerate the dough for about 30 minutes.

At this point you can preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit OR you can get ready to form the dough into a log to freeze, and bake later.

Bake now: 
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 
  • Scoop about 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons of dough onto lines cookie sheet leaving 1 1/2 inches or so between cookies. These don't spread much. 
  • If you want nuts, but did not stir them in, you can roll prepared mounds of dough in the nuts and return to the baking sheet.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 8-9 minutes. Be careful not to over bake these. They're better if they're slightly under baked.
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool on the cookie sheet before removing with a spatula to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Bake later: 
  • Tear off a sheet of parchment paper that will accommodate making a dough log.
  • Scoop out the chilled dough onto the sheet, and with clean or food-gloved hands, form the dough into a rough log.
  • When you have a rough log, fold over the parchment and use the edge of a cookie sheet to sort of push and squeeze the dough into a smoother log shape. (If you can't imagine what I'm talking about, watch this short video about shaping compound butter.)
  • The log should end up about 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 inches in diameter. 
  • Place the dough in the freezer until it's frozen solid.
  • When frozen, you can cut the log so that the dough fits well into a zip top freezer bag.
  • When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, line a cookie sheet with parchment, and cut 1/2 inch thick circles from the frozen log. 
  • Place dough circles onto the baking sheet (and press into chopped nuts if you want those on top--but you may need to wait a few minutes for the dough to soften slightly if you're doing this).
  • Bake cookies at 350 for 8-9 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool on the cookie sheet before removing with a spatula to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Frozen and cut cookie dough
Dough rolled and ready to be wrapped and frozen
This cookie was formed with a scoop. Just wanted you to see the inside.
These cookies were formed with a scoop.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Peanut Butter Granola

Perfect Peanut Butter Granola
Summer break. Every teacher's goal for 9 months of the year. I made it.
Honestly, though, I do love my job, and for perhaps the first time in my working history, I have not counted down impatiently for summer to come. I am blessed to have a job I love AND to get a loooong summer break as well.
Summer, to me, means that I get to cook and blog to my heart's content. Unfortunately, though, my oven is in need of repair, and I must endure another week or so of not having a working oven.
I do have a wonderful sister-in-law, though, who lives just down the street, so I baked up this tasty granola in her oven this afternoon.
If you've ever had Nature Valley Peanut Butter Granola Bars then you know what this granola tastes like. It is crunchy, toasty, and full of peanut butter goodness. It's very easy to make and it's much less expensive than buying ready-made granola. 
Seriously, so easy. You really must try making it on your own.

Peanut Butter Granola

  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/4 cup corn syrup or honey
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Line a large sheet pan with parchment paper.
  • In a medium or large bowl, completely mix the egg whites, corn syrup (or honey), vegetable oil, brown sugar, peanut butter, kosher salt, and vanilla.
  • Stir in the rolled oats until everything is incorporated.
  • Spread mixture evenly over the prepared pan.
  • Bake at 300 degrees for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Turn the oven off and leave the granola in there for another 15 minutes. 
  • Then remove from the oven and stir. Allow to cool completely before eating or placing in a gallon sized zip top bag.
  • Try to enjoy it within two weeks for best flavor.

Makes about 5 cups of granola.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Fettuccine Alfredo

I didn't have quite enough fettuccine noodles, so I used some rotini as well.
This delicious and super simple recipe comes from my 10th grade son's Foods and Nutrition class. It's become a somewhat regular treat for the two of us, as we are the only two in the family who will eat such things.

Truly, this dish is so easy to make. I think it doesn't take much more effort that opening a blue box of Kraft Mac & Cheese--which IS a treat in itself, if I'm honest. This has way more fat in it than the blue box, but I tell ya, it's much creamier and more satisfying in my opinion.

Since I'm reducing my gluten these days, I use the Barilla gluten free fettuccine noodles, and the only difference I notice between them and the wheat-based noodles is that these are slightly more fragile. Still have a great texture and taste, though.

If you've never made your own fettuccine Alfredo, but you like to eat it, give this one a try.

Fettuccine Alfredo
    Adapted from Mrs. Smith's Foods & Nutrition class recipe binder

  • 16 oz. fettuccine pasta (I used Barilla gluten free fettuccine noodles)
  • 1 stick butter (salted)
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups shredded Italian blend cheese
  • pinch of chopped or dried parsley for garnish, if desired
  1. Boil a large pot of salted water and cook the pasta according to package directions.
  2. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and garlic until butter is melted.
  3. Add cream to the saucepan, burn heat up to slightly over medium, and stir. 
  4. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until mixture has thickened a bit (4-7 minutes).
  5. Stir in nutmeg, pepper, and salt; and then add the cheese. Stir until smooth and thick.
  6. Add the cooked and drained noodles.
  7. Toss the noodles in the creamy sauce. 
  8. Plate the fettuccine Alfredo and sprinkle with a little parsley, if desired.
Makes about 4-6 servings, depending on how hungry you are

  • Note: Add some cooked chicken and broccoli and make it a whole meal.
  • Also, I usually halve this recipe for my son and myself. Leftover fettuccine Alfredo isn't as appetizing as fresh.

Barilla makes some good gluten-free pasta.

Any Italian blend cheese will do.

The sauce, right before adding the noodles

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Almond Flour Coconutty Cookies

Almond Flour Coconutty Cookies
When I decided to adapt my coconutty cookies to replace almond flour for the regular or gluten free flour, I didn't realize which direction these would go in. They were much flatter than I thought they'd be, and they were also packed with way more flavor that I thought they'd have. 

They don't look all that impressive, and I can't put into words exactly what makes them special. Just know that when they're just underbaked, they have an incredibly chewy texture and a fabulous buttery caramel flavor. Mmm. So good.

My husband took two downstairs to snack on, and when he'd finished the second one, he was actually a little bit sad when they were gone. 

So, all that to say, if you like coconut and nuts at all--even if you are not gluten free--you should try these cookies. I'm pretty sure you'll love them.

Almond Flour Coconutty Cookies

  • 14 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspooon baking soda
  • 1 teaspooon salt
  • 2 teaspooons vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 1/4 cups almond meal/almond flour (I use Bob's Red Mill)
  • 2 cups sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 cup chopped pecans (I lightly toasted mine)
  • 1 cup sliced almonds (also lightly toasted)
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2.  Cream butter and sugars.  Beat in baking soda and salt.  Beat in vanilla extract and eggs.  
3.  Mix in almond flour. Then stir in coconut and nuts.
4.  Scoop by tablespoons onto parchment-lined baking sheets, leaving two inches between cookies. 
5.  Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes, or until cookies are mostly baked and starting to brown at the edges. Bake them less for chewy cookies, and longer for crisp cookies.
6.  Allow to cool on pan for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Note: I like to keep my cookie dough in the fridge, or make and freeze dough balls.  These cookies withstood the freezing of the dough very nicely.

Makes about 4 dozen 4-inch diameter cookies, I think.

They kind of look like oatmeal cookies
Cookie dough balls ready for the freezer

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