Archive for the ‘Cooking’ Category


(Cooking) Blueberry Buckle

Our family has chosen to do a reduced-gluten diet at home so a lot of my baking is done with a gluten-free (wheat-free) flour mix. I determined early on, though, to not let that choice restrict our enjoyment of eating and have strived to convert many of our favorite traditional dishes to a gluten-free variety.

This original Blueberry Buckle recipe is a treat that a good friend of mine makes and that my family has fallen in love with. Here is the original recipe and the converted gluten free recipe. The directions are the same for each combination. Which ever one you choose, I know you won’t be disappointed!


Blueberry Buckle
1/2 c. oil
3/4 c. sugar
1 egg
2 c. flour
2 1/2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
1/2 c. milk
2 c. blueberries

1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. flour
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/4 c. butter

Blueberry Buckle Gluten Free
1/2 c. oil
3/4 c. sugar
1 egg
*1 1/2 c. gluten free flour mix
1 T baking powder
1/4 t. salt
3/4 t. xanthan gum
2/3 c. milk
2 c. blueberries

1/2 c. sugar
*1/2 c. gluten free flour mix
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/4 c. butter

*Gluten free flour mix: 6 c. brown rice flour, 2 c. potato starch, 1 c. tapioca starch


Cream oil and sugar, then add the egg. Combine dry ingredients and add to oil and sugar mix alternately with the milk. Spread into a greased 9″ square pan. Top with blueberries. Mix topping ingredients and sprinkle over the blueberries. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.


(Cooking) Homemade Tortillas

Once you have tried fresh, hot homemade tortillas, there is no going back. They are delicious!!

If I am making them for dinner, I will often make extra for breakfast burritos in the morning.

Homemade Tortillas (yield 6-8 tortillas)aug8

2 c flour
1 t salt
1/2 t baking powder
*1/4 c shortening
1/2 c warm water

Combine flour, salt, and baking powder.

Cut in the shortening until the mixture resembles a course meal.

Gradually add the warm water a little bit at a time, mixing and kneading until smooth.

Form the dough into 6-8 balls (depending on how large you want the tortillas to be).

Dust the countertop with flour and roll each ball of dough into a circle, as thin as possible.

Cook one at a time on a griddle or cast-iron pan (this works best) over medium-high heat. Flip the tortilla after bubbles begin to form. Cook for about 30-45 seconds for the first side, and 10-20 for the second side.

Serve warm.

*Note: I often substitute half of the shortening with butter, but have even occasionally used all butter.


(Cooking) Bruschetta Chicken

This is a fun summer meal that is packed with fresh and bright flavors! It also provides a great opportunity to make use of your herb garden!

Bruschetta Chickenjuly7

Bruschetta Topping:

2 c diced fresh tomatoes
1/2 c diced sweet onion
1 T olive oil
1/2 t salt
1/4 t black pepper
1 1/2 T fresh minced parsley
1 T fresh minced basil (or 1 t dried basil)
1/2 T fresh minced oregano (or 1/2 t dried oregano)

Combine all ingredients. Cover and store in the refrigerator until serving.


1lb Chicken Tenderloins
3-4T Basil Pesto (pre-made)

1/2 c Italian Blend Cheese

Brush the chicken with pesto sauce and place in a glass baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until the chicken is no longer pink. During the last five minutes, top with cheese and bake until it is melted.

Top the chicken with the bruschetta topping and serve.

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(Cooking) Sandwich Shapes

star sandwichesBring a smile to your child’s face with a simple sandwich. Use cookie cutters to make their sandwiches into fun shapes! This can be a fun lunchbox surprise, a twist on a snack for your child’s class, or a fun kitchen activity that your child can participate in. What shape will you make?

*Tip: Use the cookie cutter to cut the individual sandwich components and then assemble. If you assemble the sandwich first and then apply the cookie cutter, you run the risk of having a squished sandwich.

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(Cooking) Kabob Night

Eating off of a stick is so much more fun than using silverware. A kabob themed dinner is a easy way to turn an ordinary meal into a “Fun Food Night”. Find a way to turn each dinner course into kabob form. Here are some ideas for different courses. Create your own combination!

Main Course: chicken, shrimp, beef, (cooked meats are usually marinated) or deli meat & cheese cubes

Sides: vegetables – red potatoes, tomatoes, onions, peppers, zucchini, carrots, eggplant, mushrooms, or raw vegetables served with a veggie dip

fruits – strawberries, grapes, cantaloupe, watermelon, honeydew melon, pineapple, bananas

Dessert: pound cake and strawberries (strawberry shortcake concept), cake cubes (possibly alternating with fruit or rolled in melted chocolate and ground nuts), marshmallows, or fruit kabobs with chocolate or caramel dipping sauce.

Be creative!



(Cooking) ABC Pancakes

Being a fun parent is all about seeking out ways to turn day-to-day activities into small adventures. ABC Pancakes is a perfect example. Next Saturday morning, put this fun twist on your flapjacks.

Mix up your pancake batter as normal. Pour the batter into a gallon-sized ziploc bag and clip off one of the bottom corners, about 1/2- 1 inch wide. Gently squeeze the batter onto a lightly greased skillet into the shape of your choice and continue to follow your pancake recipe’s cooking instructions.

Get creative! You can make letters, numbers, animals, or other shapes of our choice. The kids love to make requests!

ABC Pancakes