Homemade gluten free enchilada sauce

Ingredients
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • ¼ cup chili powder
  • ¼ cup garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • ¼ cup gluten free flour
Instructions
  1. Put chicken broth in medium bowl, add chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, oregano and salt.
  2. Whisk to combine.
  3. Heat coconut oil in sauce pan when hot add flour and stir to combine, it should form a bubbly paste.
  4. Add broth mixture and stir until sauce starts to bubble. Then remove from heat.
  5. Pour over your favorite mexican dishes; enchiladas, tamales, mexican rice and pulled pork or whatever you desire.
  6. Bake in oven for desired amount of time to make a hot bubbly spicy sauce.
Notes
Cayenne pepper can also be added to increase the heat, start with 1 teaspoon and increase as your palate desires.

Strawberry freezer jam

Freezer jam is my favorite jam ever, especially Strawberry freezer Jam.  It tastes so fresh.  It’s just like eating strawberries fresh out of the garden.  Spread out on a piece of fresh toast is the perfect for breakfast.

My mom always made jam every summer, I carried this tradition into my home, with the exception that I made freezer jam rather than cooked jam. I would line up all the kids in the neighborhood and they would stir and chop strawberries for me as a reward they got to take home a bottle of fresh jam. Pretty cheap labor if you ask me.

Freezer jam is so easy and hardly makes a mess, I love to make several batches and give it away or save for winter. I prefer sure-jel pectin. The pectin is cooked prior to adding to fruit and I find this helps the jam set up better. Freezer jam does not set up firm like other jams it is often very soft, and sometimes it is more like a syrup. I don’t know why sometimes it chooses not to set up it just doesn’t. Either way it tastes great on everything.

I usually start with 2 pints of strawberries since some get eaten along the way. Wash and stem the strawberries,  less than perfect strawberries are ok. Cut out any blemishes. Place in food processor and pulse to a crushed consistency to not puree, it is best if you have a few fruit pieces in the jam.

Measure 2 cups of fruit into a large mixing bow, pre-measure 4 cups of sugar in a separate bowl. Combine together, stir to combine and let rest 10 minutes stirring every few minutes to combine sugar. On stove boil 3/4 cup water and package of pectin, bring to boil for 1 minute. Add to pectin to strawberries and stir until well mixed, about 5 minutes. Follow the instructions for best results in regard to amount of sugar and fruit.

Prepare jars by sterilizing. I like to do it in the dishwasher on sani wash and dry. Pour jam into prepared jars. Wipe lip of jar to remove and spilled jam.

Boil the seals, place on top of cleaned lids and close tightly with clean lids.

Place in freezer and enjoy later. People love to receive freezer jam, especially in the winter, long after berry season has passed.

We use it on waffles, toast, strawberry shortcake, ice cream, biscuits and fresh bread. It tasted like it came fresh from the strawberry patch.

I am not going to include a recipe here because you really need to refer to package directions for quantities and directions since they seem to change frequently. I like the sure-jell brand, it is the one that boils the pectin before adding to fruit and I think it sets up more firmly than others. Other brands may ask for Karo syrup and lemon juice.

Thai Peanut Dressing

Combine creamy peanut butter, unseasoned rice vinegar, fresh lime juice, olive oil, soy sauce, honey, garlic cloves,  fresh ginger, salt, red pepper flakes, fresh cilantro leaves, in blender. Pulse a few times then puree until well mixed. We have a single serving smoothie blender which worked perfectly. Fresh ingredients work best to make this a fresh experience for your mouth.

It’s best on a Sprouted Thai Salad…if you ask me

Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1-inch square piece fresh ginger, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves
Instructions
  1. Combine all in blender and mix until smooth. Pulse a few times to fully combine.

Whipped almond cinnamon cream cheese

This is a delicious spread for bagels, toast, pancakes, french toast, crackers or whatever you prefer. It only costs pennies and you no longer have to buy the expensive stuff at the bagel store.

Ingredients
  • 1 (8oz) pkg cream cheese
  • ½ cup toasted almond chopped fine
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon milk
Instructions
  1. Combine ingredients in mixer, mix until well blended. Spread on bagels, toast, pancakes, french toast, crackers or whatever you prefer.

Chili Verde

Chile Verde is a classic Mexican staple. Most Americans only know it as smothered on burritos or some other Mexican dish. Every time I make it my dad says the same thing. What is this soup, how do I eat it, what do I do with it. We serve it in a small bowl with flour tortillas. No other condiments or side dishes needed.

I always make this after I have made a pork roast. I use the leftover roast and simmer it all day with the other ingredients. Too often Chile Verde is served as a runny green liquid and firm chunks of pork often chewy. Really not at all appetizing.

Making this with left over pork provides the perfect soft pork meat. This is not good if hurried, it is a slow process worth the wait. Heavy on the pork makes this nice and thick for scooping up with tortillas. I add a bottle of salsa, the tomatoes add a perfect tanginess to this adding depth to the tomatillos and chiles.

Pull left over pork into shreds. In crock pot combine 1 bottle chunky salsa according to your desired heat and 1 bottle green chile salsa with tomatillos. Add 1 large onions cubed, 2-3 garlic cloves minced, 2 large cans of chopped green chilies, 2 cups left over pork broth or chicken broth.

Let simmer on low 6-8 hours. Stirring occasionally. 30 minutes before serving evaluate the thickness, if it is too runny add 2 tablespoons of flour mixed with 1/2 cup water well blended. Stir let simmer  to thicken stir as needed.

Serve with warm flour tortillas, tear off pieces of tortilla and scoop up the chile verde.

Smother your favorite dishes with the leftovers

Note: If you make gravy from your roast dripping add this to your verde.

DO NOT HURRY THIS it needs to marinate and simmer all day to create the best flavor.

Hot peppers can be added to suit your taste. Hot salsa can warm it up as well.

Make smothered burritos with the leftovers.

Ingredients
  • 4 cups leftover pork roast cubed large chunks or shredded
  • 1 bottle Chile Verde salsa
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 2 small cans green chilies
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 large yellow onion diced
  • 1 cup leftover gravy
  • Hot peppers as desired
  • Serve with flour tortillas
Instructions
  1. Pour all ingredients in a crock pot.
  2. Simmer 6-8 hours on low.
  3. Before serving check for saltiness and heat factor.
Notes
This can not be hurried. I can not emphasize this enough. DO NOT HURRY THIS. It needs to simmer and marinate all day to bring out the full flavor and to soften the meat.
The wait is worth it when you eat this.

If you don’t have a left over pork roast, you can dice the roast then sear the chunks in a pan, avoid getting a stewed meat. Keep the meat dry.

Cream Cheese Frosting

A delicious smooth rich and creamy frosting with many applications. Cupcakes, cinnamon and orange rolls, sugar cookies, pumpkin cookies, and cakes.

Especially delicious spread on a warm cinnamon roll and allowed to melt into all the crevices. Then eaten warm.

This does not work great for decorating in a bag because it is too soft. Use traditional decorating frosting.

Ingredients
  • 1 pound of powdered sugar
  • 1 cube of butter (1/2 cup)
  • 1 8oz package of cream cheese room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk if needed
Instructions
  1. In mixer combine butter and cream cheese until smooth.
  2. Add vanilla,
  3. Add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time blending well between cups. Add until desired thickness is obtained.
  4. If it gets too thick then add a table spoon of milk.
  5. For decorating: The texture should be thick and hold its shape but not so thick you can’t pipe it from a cake decorator bag.

Blackberry Jam

Blackberry jam is my favorite. Jams bought at the store just are not palatable. This tangy sweet topping for toast and biscuits makes my mouth water. This is tart and tangy and sweet at just the right moments.

 

Wash and drain blackberries

Put berries in mixer bowl blend to crush fruit. I prefer this method because I like pieces of fruit in my jam. You can also crush berries with a potato masher.

Combine berries fruit and pectin according to instructions. I like to add some lemon juice to make the jam a bit tangy to counteract the sweetness. A tablespoon of real butter can prevent foaming while cooking. Bring to boil and stir constantly as directed. After cooking time remove from heat. Skim off any foam that is present, with butter there should not be very much. However my dad loved the foam spread on fresh made bread.

I prefer to prepare my bottles in the dishwasher, use the sani-rinse and heat dry settings. Leave in the hot dishwasher until ready to use. Move to clean dish towel let cool enough to touch. Pour the hot jam liquid into the prepared jars using a canning funnel as shown, fill to bottom of funnel. Once the bottles are full clean off the lip with a wet towel. Put seals in saucepan with water bring to boil. Once boiling remove a seal from hot water using a canning magnetic stick as shown. I went years without these special tools, I have found these to be very useful, how did I ever live without them?

Put the lids on and screw tightly, let cool. The seals will pop as they cool. This means they have sealed. If jam is not sealed the lid will pop back when pressed. If after several hours one has not sealed then use it and store in fridge. If a jar is sealed the lid will not pop when pressed. Ball recommends doing a water bath to preserve jam correctly. You can also contact your state agriculture extension for recommendation in your area. Altitude will change cooking times.

*Note: Jam making can be a messy process but well worth it. Notice the pieces of berries in the liquid, these taste quite delicious when eating.

*It is best to start with a sparkling clean kitchen to prevent contamination.

*My mom used wax to seal her jam which I never recommend as the wax harbors bacteria. But on a good note me and my sibling can eat everything and never get food poisoning. We are all immune.

*Please please please refer to a canning book or website for the most current recommendations. See below.

*The same techniques are used for all types of cooked jams.