March 29, 2013

Slow Cooker Chili Mac

Now that I have a very small human in my life, I am once again re-discovering the joys of the slow cooker. My son is so mellow in the morning, so preparing dinner in the morning is best, so it is ready in the evening, when he may not be as mellow. I have this great book 'Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Recipes for Two' and it really does have some great ideas in it. Here's a recipe for Chili Mac, which I have never made in my life, nor eaten except freeze dried while backpacking. For some reason it sounded delicious to me, and it was! This is a super simple recipe, and easy ingredients to prepare.

What's in it
1 small onion, chopped
1 lb ground dark turkey
2 cans 14.5oz diced tomatoes, drained (can use fire-roasted)
1 Tbl chili powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 lb macaroni, parcooked (can use whole grain pasta)
1 can corn, drained
2oz can sliced black olives, drained
2 C grated sharp cheddar cheese

How it's made
In a skillet (cast iron if you have it) saute the onions in olive oil until soft, then add ground turkey, stirring and breaking into pieces, until cooked through. Drain and add to slow cooker. Add tomatoes and spices to slow cooker, and stir to combine. Cook on low for 4 hours.

Meanwhile, cook and drain your pasta.

After 4 hours add remaining ingredients to slow cooker except for cheese, and stir to combine. Cook on low for another hour or so.

Serve in bowls topped with cheese. Enjoy!

March 16, 2013

GF Fudge Chip Cookies

In exchange for picking me up from the airport, I offered to bake a friend some cookies. Any cookies, take your pick. Chocolate chip? Peanut butter? Really, anything you like.

"Great," he said, "Doesn't matter, as long as they're gluten free."

Me, on the outside: "Oh, cool! I've never made anything gluten free before. It will be a challenge!" (On the inside: "Oh shit. I don't have any of the crazy ingredients you need to for gluten free baking. This is going to be a much more difficult and expensive project than I anticipated.)

Next step: Message Libby, my undisputed queen of gluten free baking. What should I do?! I don't know anything about baking without gluten. Help!

Libby immediately sends me a well-researched reply with some easy alternatives. Yes! I knew Libby would come through. Super easy and quick cookies--perfect!

These cookies are wonderful because instead of having to purchase wheat flour substitutes and other ingredients that I am not likely to use often, they just omit the flour entirely. They are quick, easy, sweet, crispy-chewy, and extraordinarily chocolatey. Next time I'll mix in walnuts, too, so that the bitter nuttiness can balance the sweetness for an even more complex gluten free cookie experience.

GF Fudge Chip Cookies
~Print Recipe~

  • 2 1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup cocoa powder, Dutch-process preferred
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • Chopped walnuts, to taste 

  1.  Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease two baking sheets, or line with parchment/Silpats.
  2. Stir together ingredients through the vanilla, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl, until smooth. Add chocolate chips and walnuts, if using, and stir until incorporated. The mixture will look quite runny.
  3. Drop batter onto the prepared baking sheets in 1 1/2" circles--use a cookie scoop if you have one.

  4. Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes; they should spread, become shiny, and develop crackly tops. 
  5. Remove the cookies from the oven and cool on the pans set on cooling racks.