Monday, March 30, 2020

Monday Roast Chicken

Monday Roast Chicken

     This week I roasted my first chicken, and it was so good I made it again a few days later. Even though I love the taste of a good roasted chicken as much as anyone, I had been hesitant to cook one myself. I hate to admit it but touching the raw chicken was what was holding me back. haha When the grocery store was out of most other kinds of chicken, I thought now is the perfect time to learn how to tackle this task. The only problem was it was a Monday afternoon and I had already picked up my weekly groceries. 
     I didn't have any of the fresh herbs, vegetables, or other ingredients most recipes called for. I looked up Ina Garten's trusted recipe, used her cooking time, and made my own mix of dairy free butter, dried herbs, and salt to put on top. The result was a very flavorful chicken that can easily be made any day of the week. I served it with mashed potatoes the first night and we used the leftovers for sandwiches, and even pizza toppings one night! If you have ever wanted to roast a chicken what better time to do it than when we all are spending a lot of time at home! 


1 (4-5 lb) roasting chicken

sea salt

2 TBSP melted butter or Miyoko's dairy free butter

1 tsp dried rosemary

1/2 tsp dried thyme


1) Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees F

2) Remove the chicken giblets ( if they are present ) cut off any excess fat around and pat the chicken dry with a paper towel.

3) Place the chicken in a roasting pan or 9x13 pan ( I did not have a roasting pan so my glass pyrex worked just fine!) Tie the legs together with chicken string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken.

4) Melt the 2 TBSP of butter and brush or pour the butter over the chicken.

5) Sprinkle the chicken liberally with the salt and the 1 tsp of dried rosemary and 1/2 tsp dried thyme.

6) Roast the chicken for 1 1/2  hours, or until the temperature between the leg and the thigh is 165.

Important:At the hour mark use a large spoon to baste the chicken with the juices from the bottom of the pan. Repeat this step one more time before the chicken is done. This really helps to add flavor to the chicken, help it to brown, and keep it moist!


Monday, March 16, 2020

St. Patrick's Day Sunbutter Oatmeal Cookies

St. Patrick's Day Sunbutter Oatmeal Cookies

    When I was growing up we always celebrated St. Patrick's Day with corned beef and cabbage. I still really enjoy the taste of it, and look forward to it. This year I'm not making corned beef, but I wanted to make something green for my son to enjoy. I accidentally turned some oatmeal cookies green back in the fall. There is a chemical reaction that occurs because of the chlorophyl in the sunbutter when it is mixed with baking soda! Unfortunately my son refuses to eat the cookies because they are green! They taste very similar to a soft oatmeal cookie with the addition of the nutty taste of the sunbutter, such a great texture! You can add chocolate chips or raisins if you would like.


1 cup gluten free oats

1 egg

1/2 cup sunbutter ( you can use any other type of seed/nut butter but they won't turn green)

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/4 tsp salt

3/4 tsp baking soda

optional ( 1/2 cup chocolate chips or raisins)


1) Pre-heat oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2) In a large bowl crack the egg and beat wel.l

3) Stir in the sunbutter, maple syrup, salt, baking soda, oats, and optional add ins, stir until fully incorporated.

4) Using a small cookie scoop, scoop the batter onto the pan it should make 13-15 cookies

5) Bake cookies for 13 minutes (they will not look green on the outside)

Keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.


Brian's Oreo Ice Cream Cake

Brian's Oreo Ice Cream Cake
          I only make this cake once a year. I make it for my husband Brian's birthday, which is in January. It seems funny to make an ice cream cake when its freezing outside but it's the only dessert he asks for. The ingredients are so simple but it reminds me of the Baskin Robin's and Dairy Queen ice cream cakes I had as a kid at birthday parties! 
        I included notes the end to make this gluten and dairy free for those who need it. 


2 cups crushed oreos ( to make gluten free use gluten free sandwich cookies, Wal-Mart has them)

1 cup chopped walnuts

1/2 cup butter

1/2 gallon Vanilla Ice Cream ( our favorite is Bryer's Natural Vanilla Bean)

1 container cool whip

Optional sprinkles and Oreos for topping


1) Line an 8 inch springform pan or pie pan with plastic wrap and allow the edges to hang over. This step will help to remove the ice cream cake when it is frozen. Take the ice cream and cool whip out of the freezer now so they will be easier to spread.

2) In a large ziplock bag crush the two cups of Oreos until they are in small chunks. You can also use a food processor.

3) Chop the one cup of walnuts into fine pieces or put them also into the food processor.

4) Melt the 1/2 cup of butter in the microwave.

5) In a large bowl combine the melted butter, chopped walnuts, and crushed Oreos until well mixed.

6) Reserve one cup of the Oreo mixture and set aside.

7) Press the remaining Oreo mixture into the bottom of the lined springform pan.

8) Using a knife cut the 1/2 gallon of Vanilla ice cream into slices and press into the pan with a spoon. I have found this works best since the ice cream is hard to spread.

9) Sprinkle the remaining cup of Oreo mixture over the ice cream.

10) Spread the container of Cool Whip over the Oreo mixture.

11) Top with a few crushed Oreos or Sprinkles to decorate.

12) Freeze for at least four hours or overnight for the ice cream cake to set up.

13) Remove the ice cream cake from the freezer 20 minutes before serving so it will be easier to slice.


Note: This can be made gluten free by using gluten free chocolate sandwich cookies. I have made it that way and no one knew!

It can also be made dairy free using coconut oil in place of butter, dairy free ice cream, and Coco Whip which is coconut based. I have made small versions of it this way but it is expensive to make the whole cake that way unless you have a large group who is dairy free I would stick with regular ice cream!

Thank you to my mother-in-law for sharing this recipe with me years ago!

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Air Fryer Salmon

Air Fryer Salmon

     I grew up in a family that never ate fish. My dad grew up in Miami, where there was an abundance of seafood, but the only time I remember eating it was when we would visit my grandparents there and we would go to Red Lobster. When I met Brian the first meal he cooked for me was grilled salmon. I was meeting his siblings that night and he cooked dinner for all of us. I was very impressed he knew how to cook salmon, in my experience it was something I thought you could only get at restaurants! Over the years we have had grilled salmon regularly for dinner but I wanted to experiment with it in the air fryer for those days we don't want to grill. I was surprised how well it turned out, and the clean up is really easy!

Air Fryer Salmon


2 Wild Salmon Filets ( mine were 6 oz each)

2 TBSP pure maple syrup

2 TBSP coconut aminos ( or soy sauce)

1/2 tsp salt ( if using coconut aminos)


1) Place the maple syrup, coconut aminos, and salt in a shallow dish and stir to combine.

2) Put the salmon skin side up in the dish and marinate for 20-30 minutes in the fridge.

3) Pre- heat the air fryer to 400 for 3 minutes.

4) Spray the bottom of the air fryer with cooking spray or olive oil.

5) Remove the salmon from the marinade and place skin side down in the basket of the air fryer. Sprinkle the top of the salmon lightly with sea salt. This especially is important if you used coconut aminos in your marinade, as it isn't as salty as soy sauce.

6) Cook the salmon at 400 for 7-8 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 145. This can vary greatly depending on the thickness of your piece of salmon.


Notes: You can add a few cloves of crushed garlic or 1/2 tsp of garlic powder to the marinade to add more flavor. You also can use any dry rub you normally use on salmon and still cook it in the air fryer! My friend Diane seems to make the most delicous salmon with just salt and olive oil!

Monday, March 2, 2020

Pepperoni and Beef Pasta Bake

Pepperoni and Beef Pasta Bake
I have been making this dish for ten years or so, mostly when I would need to take a meal to another family. I have had many people ask for the recipe and I haven't ever written it down because it's so simple, yet so delicious!
     Most of you probably know I can't have this right now, but once I can have tomatoes again it will be one of the first things I make!

Pepperoni and Beef Pasta Bake


One 12 oz package of Jovial Foods Gluten Free Pasta ( you can use other brands but this one turns out the best in a pasta bake)

One 24 oz Ragu Traditional Pasta Sauce (I know it's not fancy but trust me, it tastes so good in this!)

One package of pepperoni

One pound of ground beef

8 oz shredded mozzarella cheese

parmesan for sprinkling on top


Pre-heat oven to 350

1) Cook the pasta according to package directions in a large pot( minus 2 minutes, the pasta will continue to cook in the oven.)

2) Brown the ground beef and sprinkle with salt to season

3) Spray a 9x13 pan with olive oil or non-stick spray

4) Drain the pasta and add the pasta back to the large pot. Stir in the pasta sauce, 6 oz of the mozzarella  cheese, cooked ground beef, and half of the package of pepperoni.

5) Pour the pasta mixture into the 9x13 pan.

6) Top the pasta dish with more pepperoni and the leftover mozzarella cheese.

7) Bake uncovered for 25-30 minutes until bubbly.

8) Sprinkle with fresh parmesan to serve.

This can be made ahead of time, put in the 9x13 pan and stored in the fridge. The baking time will increase to 45 min up to an hour because the mixture is cold.


Note: I have doubled this recipe before and it works great! The key is making sure you have enough pasta sauce so it doesn't dry out. If you use more pasta make sure you add another jar of sauce!

I have also added sliced olives and canned mushrooms before to make it taste more like a supreme pizza!