Rice cereal pumpkins

These cute little pumpkins are super easy to make and look so cute for festive parties this time of year. To make them Gluten Free the only thing you need to do is change the cereal to the Rice Krispy Brand’s Gluten Free cereal, or buy the generic/health brand rice cereal like I have which is Erewhon (strange name I know). Otherwise it is already gluten free below. Enjoy!!

Rice Cereal Pumpkins 6 cups Rice Kripsy Cereal or equivalent rice cereal (Use the Gluten free variety if needed)

3 Tbsp Earth Balance Dairy-Free, Soy-free Butter substitute also (Gluten free already)

Wilton Green, Orange and Yellow Food coloring (Gluten-free already)

1 10.5 oz bag of mini marshmallows…I prefer Jiffy-Puffed made by Kraft (Gluten-free already)

Dunkin Hines Classic White icing…(gluten-free already) (or you can make my buttercream icing on the previous post and dye it green instead. I prefer mine, but if I’m running late this is what I will use. the only bad thing is that it is made in a facility that also produces tree nuts so I try not to give it directly to my son but I am ok with using this in a pinch for school parties etc.)

Plastic icing bag Any small Wilton leaf icing tip Green Dots candy (already Gluten -free and dairy/nut free)

Wax paper

Spectrum Brand shortening (already Gluten-free and dairy-free)

In a large glass or french white porcelain bowl pour all your marshmallows into it and scoop out your 3 Tbsp of butter substitute. Microwave for 1 min. Take it out and stir immediately. Add your food coloring Yellow and red to make orange and stir immediately. Keep adding color until it looks the shade of orange that you prefer. I think I used ten drops of color total. Then quickly add your pre-measured rice cereal and stir coating all of the cereal. This will be difficult, and you may want to try to use disposable gloves and do it with your hands. Once coated, slather your hands in shortening and take a large handful of cereal into your palm and round it into a ball and place on a large piece of wax paper. Do this until you run out of cereal.. should make approx. 12 balls. This is a bit of a sticky mess so be prepared to handle it and act fast as it sets once it is cool. Wash your hands well then get your icing ready. Place your icing tip in your disposable icing bag cuting the tip of the bag and pushing your tip down. Dye your icing to the color green that you prefer stirring it well either in the bowl you made it in or in the container you bought it in. Then scoop it into the icing bag and begin to ice you pumpkins. I made a dollup in the center for the green Dot candy to sit on, then I made leaves down each side of the dot. Let cool to set and harden. You can transport them in a pre-lined cupcake carrier or a cupcake pan. Enjoy!!

Chocolate cake, frosting and marshmallow fondant

Chocolate Cake Recipe

3 cups All-purpose flour
2 Tsp Baking Soda
1/2 cup Hersey’s Unsweetened Pure Cocoa
2 cups white granulated sugar
1 Tsp salt
2 cups water
1 Tsp Distilled White Vinegar
2/3 cup Canola oil
1 Tsp Pure Vanilla Extract

Combine all dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl and blend well. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add all wet ingredients and blend well. grease the sides of your cake pans using butter substitue and place baker’s liners or wax paper cut to size in the bottom of all pans. I used a 13 inch round and an 9 inch round for this particular cake. It took me tripling this recipe to make enough batter. Twice for the large 13 inch round and once for the 9 inch round. Once your pans are lined and greased pour your batter into each pan. Place the larger pan on the bottom rack and the smaller one on the top rack. Bake carefully about 40-50 minutes… check on them periodically- but carefully. Toothpick test the center to see if it is done… if the toothpick comes out clean then it is ready. Set them on top of the stove for 5 mins to begin the cool down then move them to a cooling rack or onto a cooler counter top- with pads underneath to protect your surfaces. Let them completely cool before moving on…. at least 1 hour.

Vanilla (Not-So Butter) Buttercream Frosting

1 cup Earth Balance dairy-free, soy free butter substitute
6 sups of powdered sugar
2 Tbsp Pure Vanilla Extract
pinch of salt
0-2 Tbsp Rice milk- depending on how stiff you prefer

Beat the butter substitute and powdered sugar with an electric mixer on low for about two minutes. Add the vanilla, water and salt and mix again on low for about two minutes. Add any additional rice milk for the level of consistency desired. For thicker, dryer frosting leave as is… for runnier icing add a little rice milk 1 Tbsp at a time. If you are doing decorative icing leave it thicker, for simple cake frosting a little runny is ok, not too runny though. You don’t want this to resemble a glaze.

For this cake I made the icing and set it aside. I took out my baker’s cake board and my pretty baker’s foil and covered it. Then I took a butter knife and ran it around the sides of each round cake loosening it from the pan. Then I took the larger cake first and flipped it over onto my hands slowly and placed it upside down in the center of the cake board. Then I peeled off the wax paper/baker’s liner. Then I took my frosting and dirty iced the bottom layer completely. Next I took the smaller cake and did the same thing, slowly flipped it over upside down onto my hands carefully placing it in the center of the larger cake and dirty iced the top cake. Then I set it aside.

Homemade Marshmallow Fondant

1 10.5oz bag of Jiffy-puff mini marshmallows or 16oz- even better
2 Tbsp water
Food dye or gel food coloring… I prefer Wilton, but whatever
1 small bag 16oz of Confectioners powdered sugar
1/2 cup Spectrum Shortening

Take a large glass mixing bowl pour all of your marshmallows into it Add your 2 Tbsp of water place in the microwave for 1 minute 30 seconds- 2 minutes. Pull out immediately. Stir until completely melted, add your food coloring of choice… I choose green by Wilton for this cake in particular. Then stir completely and as quickly as you can. Add in 2/3 of your bag of powdered sugar and continue mixing as quickly as possible. Wipe shortening all over your hands and your counter top. then dust that with some of the extra powdered sugar to make a good kneading surface. Next begin to knead this lump of fondant just like dough until all the powdered sugar is blended. If it gets too dry add a tiny bit of extra water… by the Tbsp. If it gets too runny add a little powdered sugar.  Knead until well blended then grab your rolling pin… wipe a small amount of shortening on it and dust it with a tiny bit of powdered sugar then begin to roll out the fondant from a disk to a large circle. If you have a nonstick bakers mat measuring how wide to roll to will be much easier. Otherwise take the measurements of your larger pan and the extra inches you will need vertically to come up with the width needed. For this particular two tiered cake was around 16-17 inches. Have someone else help you lift it carefully and quickly and drape it over your cake. You can use a rolling pin to drape part of the fondant over to help you carry it to the cake, but be careful tearing of the fondant can occur so be careful. Once on the pre-iced cake, use your palms to smooth the cake and form fit it to your tiers. Then take a sharp knife and cut the excess fondant off at the bottom wrapping the excess under the edge of the cake if you prefer. You can save all your extra fondant to roll back into balls and use to make figurines or other decorative pieces for the finished cake.

For the decorations on this cake I used Wilton tip number 233 for the grass and I used purchased Angry Birds cake topper birds and pigs. You could make these out of fondant, but that does take a really long time.I piped my message on the cake using a Wilton tip number 7.
This cake turned out great I thought. It did take a while to make, but I think pretty much anyone with time can do it. Now making the figurines by hand with fondant etc requires a serious level of artistic skill. Maybe next time…. Enjoy!!
To alter this cake recipe to make it gluten free all you need to change is the all purpose flour in the cake recipe to either preferably Better Batter or Tom Sawyer’s gluten free flour. All the other ingredients are already gluten free. Make sure you use Wilton food dye though as it is gluten free.

Sweet and Sour Chicken

1 pound boneless skinless chicken cubes

2 tbsp canola or olive oil

1/2 cup sliced green bell pepper

1/2 cup sliced red bell pepper

1 cup carrot strips

1 clove garlic, minced

1 Tbsp cornstarch (ARGO brand is gluten-free!)

1/4 cup water

3 tsp sea salt

1 (8oz) can pineapple chunks, with juice

1 tbsp vinegar

1 tbsp brown sugar

1/2 tsp ground ginger or fresh (minced or ground)

 

Jasmine rice:

2 cups Jasmine rice

3 cups water

1 Tsp Salt
Prep your veggies. Place rice, salt and water in rice cooker and turn on. If you do not have a rice cooker bring water to boil with salt in a large pot with a lid. Once boiling add rice and turn down heat to a simmer with lid on. Let simmer for 30-45 mins until water is completely absorbed and rice is no longer crunchy. You may need to add a touch more water if doing this on the stove depending on how hot your stove is; add by the Tbsp if necessary.
Brown chicken with carrots in skillet with oil over medium high heat with the lid on. Add peppers,  garlic and salt and stir fry for 2 mins. In a small bowl combine cornstarch with water, brown sugar, ginger, and mix well. Add this mixture with the vinegar, pineapple with juice to the skillet and bring to a boil. Cook for another 5 mins or so until the chicken is fully cooked and the veggies are al dente or to your liking.

Rosemary Lemon Chicken

 

You can use this recipe on Chicken with the skin on or with the skin off… either way it is good 🙂

I used it with organic chicken breasts without the skin for reduced fat

4-6 chicken breasts

1/4 cup fresh Rosemary , chopped

3 cloves of garlic, minced

Zest of 1/2 a lemon, 1 tsp grated zest

juice of 1/2 a lemon, about 1 1/2 tbsp

1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil

2 tsp Salt

1/2 tsp pepper

Place chicken breasts in a 13×9 french white baking pan. Mix ingredients in a bowl and either place under the skin or brush over the top of the chicken breasts. Either bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 27-35 minutes or you can grill them on med high for about 6-7 mins per side or until cooked through. Enjoy with your favorite side dish!

 

Homemade Chocolate Ice Cream

3/4 cup Hershey’s cocoa powder

1/2 cup white sugar

1/3 cup dark brown sugar

pinch of salt

3 cups Kirkland Organic Rice milk

1/2 Tsp Pure Vanilla Extract

 

Using an ice cream maker…. freeze your ice cream tub overnight so its good and hard. before taking the tub out take a large bowl and add your cocoa, sugars, salt, rice milk and vanilla and wisk well. Place your tub onto the base of your ice cream maker place the inner stirring piece and clear outer piece on. Then pour mixture through the top hole and turn on your ice cream maker. It should take about 15-20 minutes. once done scoop out all ice cream and place in an air tight freezer safe container… I used a small-medium sized ziplock tupperware storage piece. Fill full place lid on tight and put back into the freezer for an additional two hours… then pull out scoop and serve. Because you are working without any dairy, eggs, gums or pastes it will have a different consistancy. Enjoy!

Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting (GF)

Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes (GF):

3 cups all-purpose flour (Can be substituted easily with a gluten-free flour)

2 Tsp Baking Soda

2 cups White granulated Sugar

1/2 cup Hersheys Unsweetened Cocoa

1 Tsp Salt

1 Tsp Pure Vanilla Extract

2 cups Water

2/3 cup Canola oil

1 Tsp White vinegar

Chocolate Frosting:

6 cups powdered sugar

1/2 Tsp Pure Vanilla Extract

2/3 cup Herseys Cocoa

1 cup Earth Balance Dairy Free. soy free butter substitute

45 ml of Rice Milk

Handful of Enjoy Life Semisweet, dairy fre,e soy free, nut free chocolate chips

 

Preheat your convection oven to 350 Degrees. In a large bowl add your dry ingredients first: flour, baking soda, cocoa, sugar, and salt and blend well. Then add in your wet ingredients:  Vanilla, water, oil and vinegar and blend very well. Pour runny batter into your prelined cupcake baking pan up to about 2/3 full each. Bake on 350 degrees for about 15 minutes. Check them using a toothpick inserted into the center… if it comes out clean then they are done. Let completely cool before frosting them.  In a seperate bowl add in your powdered sugar, cocoa, and butter substitute and blend using a hand mixer on low. Slowly add in the rice milk while blending with the mixer until smooth. Finally add in your vanilla and finish blending well.  Using a disposable icing bag, place tip in the bottom of bag (trimmed open) and fill it with your frosting. Twist the back of the icing bag and squeeze out your cicng in a circular pattern on your cupcake. If you choose to add non-dairy chocolate chips as I did here you may for a decorative touch. Makes 24 cupcakes. Enjoy!

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Spinach and Kale

Dark Chocolate cupcakes with Spinach and KaleVegan Spinach Kale Chocolate Chip Dark Chocolate Cupcakes

1 1/2 cups all purposeflour (can be substituted with gf all purpose flour like better batter)

1 Tsp Baking Soda

1/2 Tsp White Distilled Vinegar

1/3 cup Canola Oil

1/4 cup Hersey’s Dark Chocolate cocoa

1 cup white sugar

1/2 Tsp idoized salt

1/2 Tsp Pure Vanilla Extract

1 cup water

1/4 cup finely minced or pureed spinach and kale (for me it was the leftover pulp from my juicer that I popped in my food processor to make it as fine as possible)

1/4 cup Enjoy Life Dairy free, soy free, nut free semisweet small chocolate chips

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl mix flour, baking soda, salt, cocoa, and sugar and blend well. Add in your water, oil, vanilla, and Vinegar and blend well. Mix in your spinach kale then fold in your chocolate chips.  Pour into a prelined 12 cupcake baking pan. Pour them 3/4 full in each cup. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 15 mins. Let cool completely then ice them with frosting..

 

 

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup (GF)

16 once bag organic baby cut carrots

12 medium size celery stalks, cut into 1 inch pieces

1 medium-large sized yellow onion, diced

1 pkg white button mushrooms, quartered

1-2 Large cloves of Garlic, minced

3 32oz containers of Organic Chicken stock…I prefer Kirkland’s brand also GF

3 large chicken breasts

1 Tsp Morton’s Seasoning Salt

Sprinkle of fresh ground Black Pepper

Sprinkle of Sea Salt

1/2 box of your favorite pasta I used this time Barrilla Penne (Which is made on a line as eggs but has no eggs in it), but I also sometimes use Quinoa elbows which are GF and completely eggfree and safe  also.

Or you can make your own pasta to add..

Splash of Extra Virign Olive Oil

 

In a large 5 or 6 Quart pot add in two of your containers of chicken stalk with your carrots, chicken breasts and garlic and turn on to boil. Then chop your celery, onion, and mushrooms and add them in to your soup. Continue to boil for 20+ minutes until carrots are tender then add in your salt, pepper and seasoning salt. Turn it down to a low boil for an additional 20 minutes then add in a splash of olive oil and your pasta and let boil for 11 more minutes then it is done.  Using a fork shred your chicken breasts and stir the meat around into your soup. Enjoy!

If you have planned ahead you can use your crock pot and throw all ingredients except the pasta in and cook for 4 hours. Then cook your pasta seperately in chicken broth and add to it at the end. You will still have to shred you chicken breasts and stir before serving. Enjoy!