Chicken Broccoli GF Casserole

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know it’s been forever since I posted here. I’m posting a lot on the private blog, so this poor little thing has been suffering.  My conclusion is that I’m just not meant to keep two blogs going at the same time. There’s not enough writing talent (or drive) in me for it. So, I guess I should just have one public blog, but like a whining little kid, I just don’t wanna 😉

Anyways, I’m a Pinterest fiend, so pretty much anything I pin onto my craft, sewing, or food boards has been made by my own hands at some point. I just don’t always take the time to document what I’ve sewn or made for dinner.  (My user name is kristinhanson and if you want an invite, just shoot me an email.)

Speaking of dinner – tonight’s trial recipe turned out to be a keeper, even with the gf substitutions I used. So much so that I took pictures (please bear with me, I’m not a food photographer) and wrote down the changes I made, just to share it with y’all. Because if the almost 4 yr old ate a whole bowl of it, broccoli and all, it must be good.

Chicken Broccoli Casserole

(adapted from Get Off You Butt and BAKE‘s Chicken Broccoli Supreme)


1/2 lb frozen chopped broccoli

1 chicken breast, cooked and diced (seasoned with Mansmith’s Original Grill Seasoning, my go-to spice mix)

1 c grated cheddar cheese, divided

2 handfuls of Mary’s Gone Cracker’s Original, crushed

2 T butter


2 T  butter

1 T sweet rice flour

1 c chicken broth (I use Better than Buillion chicken flavor)

dash salt

1/2 c 1% milk

1/2 c grated cheddar cheese

  1. Grease an 8×8 pan, preheat oven to 350.
  2. Layer chicken and the broccoli in greased pan.
  3. Make sauce: over med heat, make a rue (melt butter, whisk in flour, cook until golden brown), then add in chicken stock and milk. Stir until thickened, then add in cheese and stir until melted.
  4. Pour sauce over chicken and broccoli.
  5. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 c of cheese on top.
  6. Melt the remaining 2 T of butter, then mix into the crushed crackers. Sprinkle on top of cheese.
  7. Bake in oven for 30 mins or until bubbly.

Makes about 3 servings



Tasty & Healthy Cookie Dough?

To start, I just have to say that I am madly in love with my food processor. How in the world did I live with out it??


Back to the topic on hand.

A few years ago my Mom introduced me to Larabars, a gluten free, all natural nutrition bar.  I wasn’t super excited about them at first, even if it is super hard to find any kind of energy/nutrition bar that is gf, but I was turned off by the dates. Can you blame me for thinking they look like candied roaches? Anyway, I tried one (must have been the apple pie flavor) and aside from feeling like the flavor was really intense, I loved that one bar kept me full for a long time. As time has gone on, they’ve introduced different flavors and I’m totally sold. But I can’t afford the yumminess on a regular basis. So they’ve been strickly vacation/road trip food.

Until I saw Sheena’s post. Homemade larabars? Oh hannah, those I can do.

Using what I had on hand (and with a little help from the larabar website), I made up my own, 4 ingredient chocolate chip cookie dough bars & brought them with me to Church on Sunday. (I totally felt like a hippie, what with our switch to cloth diapers, more on that later, and our homemade snacks. Please slap me if I start hugging trees.)

The Bean ate one whole one in 1 minute. I was impressed.

The Hubs took one to work and wasn’t starving at lunch time.

I knew  I had a winner.


So here, it is:

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Snack Bars

1 cup dates, chopped

1 cup cashews, chopped

1/2 c bittersweet Ghirardelli chocolate chips

1/4 c Cuittard’s Choc-au-lait chips

**Now, if you are like me, you’re going to want to add salt to this. Don’t! For this particular flavor, no salt is needed. I added a little bit with my first batch and it was faar too salty.**

Place all ingredients in a food processor and chop until mix becomes a paste. Line a loaf pan with saran wrap (or wax paper) and place mixture in pan. Spread as evenly as possible and place a piece of saran wrap on top, then take a second loaf pan and press mixture flat. Remove second loaf pan and gently lift pressed mixture onto a cutting board. Cut into 1″ strips and wrap seperatly with saran wrap. Enjoy!

Makes 8 bars


Sheena’s Browned Butter Brownies, Gluten Free Style

My friend Sheena posted a recipe for Browned Butter Brownies today and I decided that they sounded far too good to pass up. 

Hello, 10 T of browned butter? 

How can you say no to that kind of goodness? It’s like Paula Deen’s Ooey Gooey Butter Cake – any large amount of butter paired with sugar is bound to be coma inducingly good.  And by golly, Sheena’s brownies are.

Her original recipe called for poison (wheat flour 😉, so I made a few changes to make it gluten free.  A simple blend of sweet white rice and sorghum flour did the trick. I swear sorghum flour is like magic – it makes gf stuff so yummy.  And reduces that grainy white rice flour texture that is so displeasing to the palate.

I figured a few of you would like to have the headache reduced, so here is the gf version of Sheena’s brownies (the glutenous version can be found here).

GF Browned Butter Brownies

10 T butter, cut into cubes
1 C sugar
3/4 C cocoa powder
1 t pure gf vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/4 c sweet rice flour
1/4 c sorghum flour
1/4 t zantham gum
1/2 tsp salt

Pre-heat oven to 325°

To brown the butter: Heat an oven safe pan on medium heat. Place cubed butter in pan and melt, stirring constantly. Butter will foam up and then  small brown flecks will start to appear in bottom of pan. Continue stirring, until butter has reached a nice brown color (like caramel), and has a nutty aroma. Reduce heat to low.

Add sugar to browned butter and stir until well combined, then add cocoa and mix well. Remove from heat and let it cool down a bit (not cold, not hot, just warm).

Add the vanilla. Add the eggs, one at a time. Continue to stir–the mixture will be thick and shiny.
Whisk together the sweet rice flour, sorghum flour, z gum and salt. Add to butter mixture and stir until just combined.

Put pan in oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Top with fresh strawberries (ours were home grown! yay!) and a dusting of powdered sugar

I’ll be surprised if our batch makes it through today – my daughter couldn’t get it into her mouth fast enough. Even my husband was salivating over his share.

And me? Well, let’s just say I’ll be spending more time at the gym tomorrow.

Leakie Girl’s Taco Soup

My sister in law has an amazing taco soup recipe that has her name attached to it (seriously, it is known as Jodi’s Taco Soup with no care to where she may have acquired the recipe) and a small fan club that may or may not extend past my family in law. My hubby has requested it often through the winter months for the past five years (have we been married that long? I swear I’m still 21 at heart).  Pretty much any day it rains, he requests Jodi’s Taco Soup.

Through the years, I’ve made it my own, substituting here and there to fit my palate. (I hate big chunks of canned tomatoes and kidney beans) Hence, I’m renaming it Leakie Girl’s Taco Soup, using the nickname that my sister in laws gave me when I started dating their littlest brother. (the nickname may or may not make reference to my unfortunate maiden name)

This isn’t a recipe that will appear in Martha Stewart or get a foodie’s praise. It will, however, win the taste buds of any human who enjoys a good simple meal. Made with simple things. And using only a knife and can opener.

Ah the ease of canned foods.

Leakie Girl’s Taco Soup
{picture to come}

3 small potatoes, diced
2 handfuls baby carrots (or 3 reg carrots), sliced
1 onion, diced
4 cups water + 2 t Better Than Bullion (BTB*) Beef
1 lb ground beef
1 packet McCormick’s Taco Seasoning (or 1/4 c if you buy the bulk size bottle)
8 oz tomato sauce
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can green beans drained
1 can black beans drained
1 can chilli beans undrained
1/2 bag frozen sweet corn
1/2 bag frozen peas

Boil water and dissolve the BTB*. Add the potatoes, carrots and onion and cook until tender.

While stock and raw veggies are cooking, brown the beef. Drain off the fat.

When raw veggies are tender, add taco seasoning remaining ingredients, adding the beef last.

Let simmer for 20 mins or so, for the flavors to blend.

Top with sour cream, cheese or chips.

This is excellent as left overs (the flavors blend really well over night) and even frozen. Enjoy!

Nica Gallo Pinto

(if you read my personal blog,  this is a repeat)

Now, not all gallo pintos are made the same. I tried and tried to recreate what my husband ate on his mission in Nicaragua, but failed miserably each time for almost 4 years.

About a year ago, we got the recipe from a wife (who has a cousin or something who married a Nicaraguan) of my husband’s mission comps and when I made it, Dave said, “that’s the stuff!!”

I was never so proud of myself.

‘Cause it was that good.

Even with the few changes I made.

So with out further ado, here’s my adaptation of:

Nica Gallo Pinto

2 c small red beans*
2c dry white rice
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
real butter (no margarin)
canola oil (no olive oil. don’t eat this for your health)
paltains**, diced (optional)

Rinse and wash the beans, then cover with water and soak them overnight. In the morning, drain them and rinse (a trick we learned from Dave’s nutrition prof to get the proteins out that are hard for your body to digest and give you the gassies).  Put beans in a large stock pot, cover with water and let them boil on medium temperature for 3 hours or until tender. You will notice that the beans changed the color of the water to a dark reddish brown. 

Once the beans are cooked, reserve the water. Measure 3 1/2 c out the water for the rice. A lot of the flavor is in the water, so make sure you have plenty left over from cooking the beans.

After the beans are tender, add them to a buttered pan and saute for 2 minutes. Then add the chopped onion. Make sure to keep the pan well buttered. Saute until the onions are slightly tender. Add the diced plantain (if using) and cook for an additional 3-4 mintes.

Add the rice to mix and pour some canola oil over it and add salt to taste, using enough oil to rehydrate the rice.

Serve with crema (or sour cream) and heated corn tortillas.  Fry with eggs the next morning for a hearty and tasty breakfast.

*First of all…you HAVE to get the right beans. The beans that the Nicas use are red beans, but you can’t get these beans just anywhere. If they don’t have the Spanish brand at your local grocery store, just look for your local Mexican store and buy their bagged red beans. The flavor is like night and day. They normally use white rice, but I sometimes mix in brown rice for health’s sake or you can use all brown. 

**Platains are those nasty looking giant black bananas that you can occasionally find at the grocery store. They are denser than a banana and are less sweet, which means they don’t turn to nasty goo when you cook them.  They also have a really thick skin, so to peel them, take your knife and run it down one side of the plantain and then peel the skin away. These may take some getting used to. I’ll eat them fried and Dave thinks I’m crazy, like all the Latins he ran into down in Nicaragua. He never did get used to eating them plain.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I hope you all have had a wonderful day!
Our celebrations started yesterday, with a trip to the Temple, then a lunch at In-N-Out, dinner with my parents at Chevy’s, then I made gluten free doughnut muffins with festive sugar topping (they tasted more like muffins, but good muffins) and we had a movie night (we watched 17 Again – really cute).
Today we went to church and took very long naps afterwards. Then I made red velvet whoopie pies (not as good gluten free and with out the vanilla….that’s what I get for making dinner and desert at the same time) and a really tasty latin flavored chili (recipe to follow).
Now the hubby is cleaning the kitchen {yay!} and the baby will be done soon and we can have yet another movie night. Or just watch the Olympics. Which ever. 🙂
recipe & image from Cooking Light


  • 2  links Spanish chorizo sausage (about 6 1/2 ounces), thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2  pounds  beef stew meat
  • 1 1/2  cups  chopped onion
  • 4  garlic cloves, minced
  • 1  (7-ounce) can chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
  • 3  tablespoons  tomato paste
  • 2  teaspoons  sugar
  • 1  teaspoon  salt
  • 2  teaspoons  unsweetened cocoa
  • 1  teaspoon  ground coriander
  • 1  teaspoon  dried oregano
  • 1  teaspoon  ground cumin
  • 1  cup  dry red wine
  • 1/4  cup  fresh lime juice
  • 2  (14-ounce) cans less-sodium beef broth
  • 1  (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes, undrained and chopped
  • 2  tablespoons  masa harina
  • 2  (15-ounce) cans pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1  (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained


Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add chorizo to pan; sauté 3 minutes or until browned. Remove chorizo from pan. Add half of beef to pan; sauté 5 minutes or until browned. Remove beef from pan. Repeat procedure with remaining beef. Add onion and garlic to pan; sauté 3 minutes.
Remove 4 chipotle chiles from can, and chop. Reserve remaining chiles and sauce for another use. Add chorizo, beef, chopped chiles, tomato paste, and next 6 ingredients (through ground cumin) to pan, and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in red wine, lime juice, beef broth, and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
Gradually stir in masa harina. Add pinto beans and black beans; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes.
****I halved the recipe and it still made a TON, you may want to quarter it, unless you are feeding more than two people with smaller appetites 🙂