Savory Stuffed Butternut Squash – GF, DF, EF, LF (AKA – PALEO)

The Good Half

So I found this AMAZING recipe for Sausage Stuffed B-Squash last week and I couldn’t wait to try it.  I loved the inspiration this recipe gave me.  It looked like something this crisp autumn weather wanted me to eat and I couldn’t wait to make it my own!

I gathered my Ingredients:

Fresh Veggies!

Fresh Veggies!

  • 1 Butternut Squash
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 1/2 lb mushrooms, minced
  • yellow pepper, seeded and minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 lbs pork sausage
  • 1t rosemary
  • 1t thyme
  • 1t sage
  • 2T bacon fat, or other fat

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.

    Lovey Loves to help!

    Lovey Loves to help!

  2. Half and deseed the squash. Place meat down (flat edge) into a shallow pan that has about 1/2″ of water in it.  Cook squash for 40-55 minutes.
  3. While the squash is cooking (I called it the f@$@%&$ gourd most of the evening), saute the onions, garlic, mushrooms and pepper.  Add in the sausage when the liquid is almost gone.
  4. When sausage is cooked, remove from heat and cover to keep warm until gourd is done.
  5. When gourd is done, it should scoop easily from itself, scoop innards out and put into the sausage/
    The Good Half

    The Good Half

    veggie mix. Mix well.  Take strong care not to mutilate the gourd (this is about the time I really started calling it names).

  6. If you didn’t mutilate the gourd, like I may have, you can spoon the stuffing back into the gourd.  If you did mess up the gourd, that is OKAY!! Just spoon the stuffing into any casserole pan that will hold it.  I happened to have one half of a gourd and I also had to use a small Pyrex dish.
Advertisements

What’s Up, Doc? How about a Carrot Cheesecake??

IMG_0686Here he is!! Did you miss him? Lovey Levin sure missed you!! He’s back and ready to cook! We are gearing up for a Carrot Cheesecake to take to our cabin to devour for breakfast. YUMM!

Lovey’s Dad, My Guy Bri, found this particular Recipe on Mel’s Kitchen Cafe! I, of course, tweaked it. It’s what I do – Sorry Mel. I don’t eat cinnamon and Levin can’t eat Gluten. It was modified to suit both of our allergies and tastes.

Happy Eating! xoxo

First we gathered our  – (modifications will be in red)

Ingredients

Cheesecake:
    • 2 (8-ounces each) packages cream cheese (or neufchatel cheese – lower fat, just as easy to cook with), room temperature
    • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1 teaspoon GLUTEN FREE flour
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1/2 cup sour cream
Carrot Cake:
    • 3/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
    • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
    • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1 1/4 cups GLUTEN FREE flour
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon OMITTED
    • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
    • Pinch cloves
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 pound finely grated carrots (1 cup or so)
Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • 3 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon sour cream

Directions For the Cheesecake

  1. IMG_0687In a medium bowl using an electric mixer on high speed, beat the cream cheese, sugar, eggs and flour until smooth. Add the vanilla and sour cream and mix just until blended. Set aside.

 

Directions for the Carrot CakeIMG_0684

  1. Shred your carrots using a cheese shredder attachment on your food processor for easy, no fuss shredding! This took me about 2 minutes to shred everything. It seriously took me more time to scrub my carrots, as they were fresh from the ground!
  2. In a large bowl using an electric mixer, beat together the oil, brown sugar and granulated sugar until smooth. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until the mixture is light creamy and light. Stir in the flour, baking soda, nutmeg, cloves and salt until just combined. Mix in the carrots.

Putting Together a Masterpiece IMG_0703

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9- or 10-inch spring-form pan or pie dish (we used a pie dish) with cooking spray, making sure it’s GLUTEN FREE! Spread half of the carrot cake batter into the bottom of the prepared pan. Spoon half of the cheesecake IMG_0706batter on top of the carrot cake layer in large dollops. Don’t spread or twirl it together. Leave spaces in between your PLOPS! Only use HALF of your cheesecake!! Now, Plop, by the spoonful, the rest of your carrot cake in between your cheesecake plops. It can be lumpy, they will smooth when baked. Spread the last half of the cheesecake batter on top of all the layers and spread with a spatula into an even layer. Tap the pan on the counter a couple of times to get rid of any air bubbles. Levin cautioned me against banging the pie dish too hard on the counter!
  2. Bake the cheesecake for 60-70 minutes (check earlier if using a 10-inch pan; it won’t bake as long as a 9-inch pan), tenting the top of the cheesecake with foil the last 20IMG_0709 -30 minutes of baking if it is browning too quickly. The cheesecake will puff a great deal in the oven thanks to the leavening in the carrot cake and it might even crack. That’s OK. It will settle after it cools and will be covered with frosting so the cracks won’t matter. Take care not to over bake the cheesecake or the carrot cake bottom and sides will be dry. It’s a fine balance between taking it out before it’s over baked but not so early that the cake batter is still raw. Keep in mind that each oven can vary in temperature so watch closely as it gets to the 60 minute mark. The top center part of the cheesecake (just about a 2- or 3-inch diameter circle) should still be slightly soft and jiggly when you take it out.
  3. Let the cheesecake cool completely on a wire rack in the pan.

Directions for Making the Really Awesome Cream Cheese Frosting!

  1. If you’re like me, I grind my own 10x (confectioners sugar) as needed. To do this, I measured how much sugar I needed, then added a T of cornstarch, I mixed it with a fork then poured a half cup at a time into my NutriBullet and using the grinding blade, made my own 10x sugar. My mother used to do this with a hand grinder. You could do it with a Mortar and Pestle, regular blender, food processor, etc.
  2. While your cake is cooling, make the frosting by whipping together the cream cheese and butter until creamy and smooth. Mix in the powdered sugar a little at a time until the frosting is well-combined with no lumps. Add the vanilla and sour cream and mix well.
  3. When the cheesecake has cooled, spread the frosting evenly over the top of the cheesecake. Cover with tin foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate until well chilled before serving. The cheesecake can be made up to two days in advance.Bite-1-jpg1

We’re BAAA-AACK! Our Summer Adventure ReCap!

I don’t know about your summer, but our summer was ANYTHING but boring!! Rosie had her expander and braces put on, I had wisdom teeth pulled, Andrew started his last year of Midgets football,  we bought a CABIN BY A LAKE, I met my FAVORITE AUTHOR (AHHHH!!) and Levin has grown tremendously! We have stayed so busy!

Rosie - 1st day and Kindergarten and last day of 4th Grade

Rosie – 1st day and Kindergarten and last day of 4th Grade

Rosie finished her Elementary school career! She had awesome

Junior High, Here she comes!

Junior High, Here she comes!

grades and we are so incredibly proud of her!! She was so excited to finish this chapter and start a new one. It kind of makes me sad to see her growing up so quickly. I don’t remember Andrew making such a big deal out of this transition. Her excitement rubs off on me and I get caught up in her moments!

IMG_9357

I had some wisdom teeth pulled this summer. Let me tell you, I have never experienced such

Did I swallow a winter's supply of food?

Did I swallow a winter’s supply of food?

pain in my life (short of giving birth). I also strongly resembled Mr. Incredible from the Disney/ Pixar movie. It was quite hilarious, from that perspective. It took me nearly three weeks to eat normally. The silver lining was that it got me over my weight loss plateau. There’s always a silver lining 😉

10616711_10152703072765329_1568283106680734053_n

Check out the young man in the second row, on the left! That’s Lovey Levin’s big brother Andrew! This is his last year of Midgets football. He’s number 25!

IMG_9032

I met Diana Gabaldon!! HOLY SHIT! You DO know who she is, right?? Only the BEST 10177410_679483318777547_3453728015188132093_nAUTHOR EVER!!! She wrote the Outlander Series, amongst various other books and technical articles and a few comics.  I was just beside myself with excitement!! I have so many pictures of our “Gathering” (OUR being an Outlander PA group that I helped create) but I didn’t want to put them all up here and turn Levin’s food blog into an Outlander Blog, which I could very easily do!! As if this summer couldn’t get better for my Outlandish addiction, my favorite book is now a TV Series on Starz! You can watch the first episode here!

I’m saving the best for last! You know how Mark Walhberg Bought a Zoo, in the movies? IMG_9573Well, we bought a HUGE chunk of land! And we IMG_0325 - Copylove it!! It has a rustic two room cabin. One room has three bunks and a woodstove. The second room has a kitchen setup, a large table and an open area. Next to the cabin is a 2-3 acre lake. There’s a shed/ garage to house guy things! Next to the shed we found a really old IMG_0324 - Copytruck that was quite literally stuck in the mud. We guess that it’s a 1937 Chevy pick up truck. It looks like it has a wooden snow plow attached to it’s front. It looks awesome!!

IMG_0319 - CopyIMG_0312 - CopyIMG_0323 - CopyIMG_0308 - Copy

IMG_0211 - CopyWe love exploring the property and finding new things! IMG_0197 - CopyThere’s so much to learn about! This place is truly “Out There”. No electricity, no running water, Off the grid! We DO have propane, which makes cooking easy. But we still have to poo in a hole. We are working on an upgrade for that, this fall.

IMG_9553IMG_9888IMG_9840

Be sure to check in next week for some awesome recipes featuring yummy vegetables and an awesome new recipe modified from the Moosewood Cookbook!

Lovey Levin also helped me make a Carrot Cheesecake just the other day, from scratch, completely gluten free of course!

We have lots to say, so you will have lots to read! xoxo

Chicken Pot Pie, The Lovey Levin Way!! Gluten Free, Of Course!

Oh, Chicken Pot Pie, how I have missed you!! It’s been so long! Really… Almost a year. I hesitated using the gluten free preprocessed pie crust, and my last attempt at homemade gluten free pie crust left me in tears and my pie crust in pieces… don’t judge me. So after looking at the GF Pillsbury Pie Crust, in the refrigerated section of the grocery for MONTHS, I bought it.  I brought it home and I made CHICKEN POT PIE!!! And it was DELICIOUS!!!!

Here’s my recipe, my sister in law shared it with us and I adapted it for Gluten Free.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/3 C BUTTER10168684_10152341379010505_651812507_o
  • 1/3 C GLUTEN FREE FLOUR MIX
  • 1/3 C CHOPPED ONION COOKED
  • 1t SALT
  • 1/2t PEPPER
  • 1 3/4 C CHICKEN BROTH (SWANSON ORGANIC IS GF)
  • 2/3 C MILK10156195_10152341440255505_1674057945_o
  • 4 CARROTS CHOPPED AND COOKED
  • 2 MEDIUM POTATOES CHOPPED AND COOKED
  • 2-3 CHICKEN BREAST HALVES DICED AND COOKED
  • MINCED GARLIC AS NEEDED 😉

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 425.10172328_10152341440355505_541077739_o

  1. Heat butter until melted.10168673_10152341440425505_887081074_o
  2. Stir in GF flour and mix well.
  3. Mix in onion, salt and pepper.
  4. Stir constantly until mixture is bubbly.
  5. Remove from heat to stir in milk and broth.
  6. Return to heat and heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil an additional minute.10174328_10152341440100505_761565589_o
  7. Stir in Chicken, Potatoes and Carrots.
  8. Roll out Pie Crust per instructions for Bottom and Top.
  9. Pour Mixture into Pie pan and top with Pie Crust.
  10. Bake for 20 minutes, top with tin foil lightly, then bake for another 10 minutes10248676_10152341440000505_1465649100_o.

That Crazy Wrap Thing??? It Works! FOR REAL!

The It Works Crazy Wrap Thing! I was skeptical! My neighbor, Stacy, tried to get me to do it and I hemmed and hawed. I didn’t think it was worth my money ($25) or time (45 minutes). HOLY MOLY!! I was wrong! That’s not me to the left, I wasn’t smart enough to take before and after pictures, but it’s pretty close, as I recently had a baby and my belly was damned near laying next to me (you know what I’m talking about). I was SOLD! I bought four wraps for $59! Much cheaper than $25 for one, and everyone knows I’m all about a bargain!

1962757_260131790827763_78568843_nYou can wrap more than just your belly!1960872_265333226974286_826790650_o You can wrap just about any part of your body you don’t like! To the right, here is Chris. I know her personally – pretty well in fact. She’s a very lovely lady! I was sitting next to her as she had her facial wrap done. I watched in amazement as her lines disappeared. It was awesome! She was thrilled!1796765_742167039147859_1728352778_o

Stacy, my neighbor and distributor, is ecstatic 1239035_262067397300869_34854172_nabout the Hair, Skin and Nails vitamins! Check out her results after only two weeks! I’m taking these now! I’m almost through with week one! To the Left is Dani, Stacy’s director – looks at her growth! It’s AMAZING!

georgiapeach

If you want to try that crazy wrap thing, click HERE! If you think you want to make some money being a distributor, click HERE or on Stacy to the LEFT!

1756_355020051288186_1065705124_n

 

 

 

Broccoli Cookies – Yes, I Have A Warped Sense Of Humor!

Well they aren’t exactly cookies! The original recipe calls them Broccoli Bites. If it looks like a cookie in my house, we call it a cookie – no matter what’s in it!!

10152071_10152336873120505_1359943478_o10245058_10152336873255505_913171940_oINGREDIENTS (GLUTEN FREE MODIFIED)

  • 16 oz. package of frozen chopped broccoli, thawed and drained of liquid (I used fresh steamed broccoli)
  • 1 1/2 C of grated cheese (I used Colby Jack)
  • 3 Eggs (mine were farm fresh JUMBO)
  • seasoning (I used Perfect Pinch Salt free and Rosemary)
  • 1 C of Breadcrumbs (A handful of Rice Chex, a handful of GF Hanover Pretzel Twists and Parmesan cheese in a food processor on pulse until bread crumb consistency…)

10156355_10152335787065505_756892062_o DIRECTIONS10174186_10152335786460505_1657337654_o

  1. Chop up broccoli any way that works for you! We used scissors!!
  2. Make it small enough to work with!
  3. Pour all ingredients into a bowl and hand mix thoroughly.
  4. Hand form into patties, cookies, nuggets – whatever you want to call them and place onto a greased cookie sheet.
  5. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes, turn your cookies and bake for another 10-15 minutes!
  6. Serve plain, with a cheese sauce, with Ranch, with Salsa. You can serve as an appetizer, as a snack, as a side – however you want! It’s just sooo good!

 

 

 

Fish, Sprouts and Rice – OH MY!

My guy has been asking for fish, Salmon in particular. I’ve been wanting to experiment with Brussel Sprouts. So I decided to go for it! I went off the cuff again!

So here goes!!

Salmon Ingredients:10168685_10152334025995505_1374418118_o

  • Wild caught salmon – skinless (or whatever you buy)
  • Minced garlic (1 tsp per filet)
  • Dill seasoning
  • Lemon juice
  • Olive oil (for saute)

Directions:

  1. I mixed garlic, dill and lemon juice together then smeared it on my fish.
  2. saute Salmon in Olive Oil, garlic smeared side up, on medium high heat for 3-4 minutes. Flip and allow to fry (garlic will slightly brown) for another 4ish minutes (check to see if it’s done by poking it with your flipper – it will flake apart).

Brussel Sprouts Ingredients:10171182_285664518257488_1382842651_n

  • Brussel sprouts
  • 1 T Olive oil
  • 1-2 T Balsamic vinegar
  • Pepper
  • Italian Seasoning

Directions:

  1. Half sprouts
  2. toss with Olive oil
  3. toss with balsamic Vinegar
  4. Sprinkle with pepper and seasoning
  5. Roast on 375 cut side down for 15 minutes, over so cut side is up and roast for another 10-15 minutes.

10001466_285664504924156_1066941710_nI made the Jasmine rice in my steamer! I LOVE LOVE LOVE my steamer!! I fill it with rice, water, a drip of Olive Oil and a dash of salt and I have perfect rice EVERY SINGLE TIME!!

When I started making this, I prepped the Sprouts first. Then I started the rice in the cooker. Then I started the Sprouts. After I turned the Sprouts, I prepped and cooked the Salmon. Everything was done within a few seconds of each other!! Another simple meal that Lovey Levin helped me with!!