Hi I'm Denise! Welcome to my kitchen! If you like to eat you have come to the right place. You'll find all your old favorites from grandma's kitchen and some new goodies too, all "healthified" to make you feel good about what you eat. Gluten-free, Dairy-free or Vegan? Don't worry, I've got you covered. Come on in, look around, stay for a chat and then get cooking. Happy eating!

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Friday, October 21, 2016

Friday Food Deals

 Love life and be well,

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Refrigerator No-Bake Cookies

I absolutely LOVE these cookies!  They are so easy to make and when I say "no bake", I mean you literally don't even have to turn on the stove!  With a few simple ingredients you can have HEALTHY, delicious cookies in no time.

When it comes to peanut butter I use a low-fat powdered version.   Since I don't have a gall bladder, digesting fat is a problem for me, so I opt for the powdered low-fat kind.  It tastes great and without all the other stuff that regular peanut butter has.  I buy PB Fit because it is available at my local Wal-mart, but I have also used PB 2 powdered peanut butter as well.  Sometimes it is available at Walmart and I have also purchased it online as well.

Now, on with the show.....COOKIES!!!!

In a large bowl, combine the peanut butter powder, flax seed, salt and cocoa powder and whisk to combine.

Stir in the water and honey.  Next, stir in the oats.  Mix together really well.

Using a spoon or small scoop, drop the mixture onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet.  I use a small cookie scoop to get an even shape and size.  Use your hand or the bottom of a small glass to flatten the cookies slightly.  Chill for several hours.  These cookies will firm up and the oats will soften from the water and honey and they get REALLY good!

Refrigerator No-Bake Cookies

3 cups quick oats
1tbsp. flax seed
1 cup powdered peanut butter
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 cup honey
1 1/4 cup water

In a large bowl, combine the peanut butter powder, flax seed, salt and cocoa powder and whisk to combine.  Stir in the water and honey.  Next, stir in the oats.  Mix together really well.  Using a spoon or small scoop, drop the mixture onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet.  I use a small cookie scoop to get an even shape and size.  Use your hand or the bottom of a small glass to flatten the cookies slightly.  Chill for several hours.

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Love life and be well,

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Sunday, October 9, 2016

Best Ever Gluten-Free Vegan Biscuits

After going gluten-free over two years ago I have struggled in the bread baking department.  Gluten-Free baking is NOT like regular baking.  You practically have to be some kind of mad-scientist chemist sort of person to be able to successfully recreate regular bread recipes into gluten-free recipes successfully.  If you've been there then you know how real the struggle is.  Can I get an amen?

The good news is I have FINALLY come up with a gluten-free flour blend that seems to be working well for my baking needs and I have create this beyond delicious biscuit recipe that even my gluten-eating husband loves.  SCORE!!

So, here we go let's make some gluten-free biscuits:

First, mix the flour, salt, baking soda, xanthan gum  and baking powder in a bowl.  Whisk those together to combine.  Now, add the SOLID coconut oil and use a pastry cutter to cut in the oil to the flour mixture.

Next, add the apple cider vinegar and honey and about half of the water.  Mix well.  Continue to add and stir in the remaining water until the mixture is well combined and becomes a soft dough.

Use an ice cream scoop to grab some dough.  We are making 12 biscuits so don't grab too much.  Have a small bowl of gluten-free all purpose flour handy and drop the dough into the bowl.  Lightly coat the outside of the dough with the flour and use your hands to GENTLY shape the biscuit in to a round ball.

Continue with each dough ball and place them in a small greased baking dish.  Cover and let rest for 30 minutes.  This isn't a yeast bread but it does help to let the dough rest before baking it.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and bake about 15-20 minutes or until they are risen nicely and are a light golden color.  Serve hot with butter, jelly, honey or your favorite fillings.  The also make excellent bacon-egg biscuits for breakfast!

Best Ever Gluten-Free Vegan Biscuits

3 cups (12 oz.) Gluten-free all purpose flour 
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. xanthan gum
2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp. coconut oil (in SOLID form)
2 tbsp. honey
1 1/2 water

Love life and be well,

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Friday, March 25, 2016

Low-Fat Homemade Parmesean Cheese Crackers

In my journey to eating healthier, I have decided to make as much of  my food and meals from scratch as possible, including our snack foods.  We love chips, pretzels, crackers, etc.  Unfortunately, most of these items that you buy in the store are LOADED with a bunch of junk, preservatives and chemicals to make them shelf stable.  My motto has been for a long time, "If I didn't make it, I don't eat it." and "If  I can't pronounce it, I shouldn't eat it."

Cooking from scratch is not difficult.  It takes some forethought, time and preparation, but the end result is REAL food that you can feel safe eating, because you know what's really in it.  A lot of people have concerns about eating white flour, store-bought cheese and dairy products and anything that is not organic.  My response is, if you can afford the "good" stuff (aka organic), then go for it.  But, for those of us on a food budget who don't have money falling all around us, just do the best you can with the money God gave you.  I do buy whole wheat flour (I keep white flour on hand too), low-fat cheese and dairy product and the healthiest versions of real whole foods that our budget will allow.

Having said all that, let's get on to the real reason for this post and make some healthy, super yummy, cheese crackers!  Here is what you'll need:

2 1/2 cups white flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 tbsp. unflavored organic coconut oil
1 to 1/4 cups water
1 cup shredded low-fat cheese (Any kind will be fine, but I had some reduced-fat Colby Jack on hand so that's what I used)
Parmesean cheese in a jar for sprinkling
Sea salt for sprinkling

In a food processor combine flour, baking soda, salt, coconut oil and water.  Process until the mixture is starting to combine.  You may need to stop several times and scrape down the sides.  Add the cheese and continue to process until the mixture forms a well-formed dough ball.  The dough will be pretty sticky, yet it will have a nice smooth creamy texture, yes I tasted it...smiles.

Divide the dough in half.  On a well floured surface (I used parchment paper to make the transfer to the baking sheet easier) roll out one half of the dough in to a VERY THIN rectangle (or as close as you can get to that shape).  Use a pizza cutter to cut the dough into tiny squares.  Then, using a skewer or a chopstick or something like that, poke a single hole in each cracker.

Next, transfer the crackers to a baking sheet.  Lightly spray the crackers with some non-stick baking spray.  Liberally sprinkle them with salt and Parmesan cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until they are a dark golden brown and crispy.  You don't want to over cook these or they could burn and they will crisp up as they cool, but you want them to be pretty crisp when you take them out of the oven.

Let them cool completely and then store them in an airtight container.  This makes a lot of crackers depending on how small you make them.  They are really good and cheesy with a nice crisp toasty flavor and sooo much healthier for you than the ones on the shelf at your grocery store.  I was so excited to find it was so easy to make these at home and be able to save my $$$ at the store!

Love life and be well,

Monday, February 29, 2016

Malto-Meal Magic Muffin In A Mug

I love Malto-Meal and the recipe on the side of the box for "Magic Muffins"!  After being gluten free for so long I was very anxious to get back to eating Malto-Meal again.  The muffin recipe on the side of the box is delicious!  But, since it is just me, I don't always need a large pan of muffins, because I usually can't eat them all.

The cake or muffin "in-a-mug" isn't new.  I have been making them since I was a teenager 30 plus years ago, LONG before they became popular.  But, in recent years, they have grown in popularity, especially since the internet has made sharing recipes so convienent.

Cakes or muffins "in-a-mug" are super quick and easy way to have a dessert, snack, treat or even a small meal (depending on the type of muffin you make).  They are so versitle because, you can put what ever you like in them and really just create your own recipe.

Malto-Meal muffins "in-a-mug" are the perfect breakfast treat.  You are getting lots of essential nutrients for a great breakfast without having to make a whole batch of muffins.

These muffins are so good and you can add different ingredients to change things up a bit like chopped apples, bananas, raisins or other dried fruit, chocolate chips, peanut butter, nuts or seeds, etc.

My recipe is low in fat.  I use a homemade reduced fat baking mix, but you could use a store bought all-purpose baking mix if you so desire.  In place of an egg, I use one tablespoon of ground flax seeds.  I'm sure you could use an egg if you want,  but you would need to adjust the liquid in the recipe to accomodate for the egg.

Malto-Meal Magic Muffin In A Mug

1/3 cup reduced fat baking mix
1 tbsp. Malto-Meal
1 tbsp. ground flax seeds
3 tbsp. sugar
Dash of cinnamon
1/3 cup of almond milk (or any milk or water)
Any extra add-ins that you desire

Combine all ingredients into a large mug.  Mix well to combine.  Microwave on high for 1 1/2 - 2 minutes until a knife inserted comes out clean.  Serve warm and enjoy!

Love life and be well,

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