Sunday, March 31, 2013 | By: Rita Hutcheson-Cobbs

Tupperware's Cinnamon Orchard Oatmeal? Maybe I'd rather have mine instead =)

What do you have with these wonderful ingredients and 10 minutes?

Delicious, rockin' awesome oatmeal that's what!!

You will need the Tupperware StackCooker
cutting board, knife...

3 gala applies, peeled and diced

2 cups old fashioned oats

Pour all the ingredients into the StackCookers which is also a steamer...
I even make my cakes in this amazing thing...
and it's the only way I make my hamburger now...

1 tablespoon Splenda Brown Sugar (more if desired)

Add 4 cups of water

Stir all the ingredients well.

Place in the microwave for 8 minutes. 

Remove from the microwave. Stir and allow to sit for 1 minute.

Yummy, delicious hot sweet apple oatmeal...

Adding the eggs with the Egg have an amazing breakfast...
I will share that quick Tupperware item tomorrow...
These two pieces have made my life so easy and quick...there are no words...

Done...10 minutes...add the coffee or your favorite juice and
you, too, can have a hot breakfast anytime of the day or night...

Hugs, Rita
** This is for you Martha! =) Since your sweet SIL didn't share it with you! lol...

Thursday, March 28, 2013 | By: Rita Hutcheson-Cobbs

Butter and Gluten-Free Soy Butter Cookies

I am so allergic to the most amazing cookies my mother made
when I was a little girl...crisp buttery peanut butter cookies!
The kind made with crunchy Peter Pan Peanut remember those? that I am allergic to peanuts (2006), gluten (2012), fat (everyday) lol...
I needed something different...

Parchment paper and the toaster oven has become my
best friends since I have only the makeshift kitchen lol...
Here is how I made these delicious wonderful cookies...

Butter and Gluten-Free Soy Butter Cookies

2 cups gluten-free white rice flour**
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 jar (about 15 ounces+) creamy soy butter
1 cup natural, unsweetened apple sauce
1 cup Splenda brown sugar
2 large brown eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons hot water

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Cover a cookie sheet with a piece of parchment paper.
In a large mixing bowl, mix together flour, baking powder and soda, blending well.
Add apple sauce and brown sugar, mix well.
Then add soy butter and hot water, mix all the ingredients until creamy.
Finally add the eggs and vanilla extract.
If needed mix a bit more flour until dough is the right consistency to roll into ball for cookies.
(**White Rice Flour can be dependent on many things so you may need a bit more.) 
Drop by round tablespoon fulls onto the baking sheet about 2 inches apart.
Dip a fork into a bit of flour or brown sugar and make crisscross patterns
on the top of each cookie.
Bake until golden brown, about 12 minutes.
Allow cookies to cool before removing from pan.
Store in an airtight container.

You can change the taste of this cookie by adding...
1/8 of ground ginger
1/8 of ground nutmeg
1/8 or ground cinnamon
delicious...almost a snicker-doodle flavor...

Happy Baking...
Hugs, Rita

Sunday, March 24, 2013 | By: Rita Hutcheson-Cobbs

Scrap the Plate Clean Eggplant Spinach and Kale Lasagna with Recipe

 Having vegetables or fruit laying around that needs to be used before they go bad bothers me. Does it you? Rarely does this happen in my house, so when something screams at me, I pay attention. So there sat this eggplant, begging for some attention. Fortunately, I had some good ingredients that I knew the eggplant would love spending some delicious time with, mating and befriending before they were loved even more by my family =).

First, I peeled the eggplant to make it easier to chew it better that way.
Then I dipped it in eggs I beat with a bit of goat's milk and real vanilla.
Then I placed them in a bowl of mixed shredded and crumbled cheeses.
I placed them in a glass baking dish sprayed with cooking spray
and baked them at 400 degrees for 40 minutes, until tender.
While they baked, I made the topping.

I sprayed an iron skillet with cooking spray and added the following to saute until slightly brown.
1 medium onion, diced
1 gala apple, diced
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon of parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon of cilantro, chopped
fresh ground pepper

Then I added 1 pound of salad tomatoes, cut in half.
I cooked this mixture until the tomatoes were soft and the mixture was moist.
I then added a large bag of fresh spinach and 2 cups of fresh kale on top
placed the lid over the skillet and allowed the greens to soften.
When the sauce was complete and the eggplant was finished baking,
I pour the mixture over the eggplant and sprinkle it with cheese.
Returning the dish to the oven, I baked it for 5 minutes.

 Served it hot...and my family...

Obviously loved it...

Hugs and happy cooking!

Saturday, March 23, 2013 | By: Rita Hutcheson-Cobbs

German Sauerkraut with Cheesy Turkey Sausage

The photograph doesn't do it justice
nor does it reflect the amazing taste of this dish! 
It is fabulous...

The key could be the Splenda brown sugar or the wine!
Who knows...

Maybe the hidden apple or potato...

Regardless, it is so very good...

German Sauerkraut with Cheesy Turkey Sausage Recipe

2 15 ounce cans of shredded kraut, drained thoroughly
2 pounds turkey sausage with cheddar cheese
1 onion, diced finely
1 gala apple, peeled and diced finely
1 medium red potato, peeled and diced finely
1/2 cup arugula, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon caraway seed
1 tablespoon ground mustard
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 cup Splenda brown sugar
1/2 cup pear wine (or any wine you might have)

Spray a large skillet with cooking spray.
Saute onions, apple,  arugula, garlic and spices until onions are brown and potatoes are slightly soft.
Add sauerkraut and allow it to brown slightly.
Then add sausage and stir well.
Cook for 3 minutes on medium heat.
Serve hot.

This is fantastic and my family loves it...
A hearty guy dish that's for sure lol...
Try using other types of sausage or no meat at all. 
It is even delicious without the brown sugar...

Hugs, Rita
Friday, March 22, 2013 | By: Rita Hutcheson-Cobbs

Gluten-Free Crock-Pot to Creamy Carrot Soup...

Easy and delicious, Gluten-free, creamy and simple...

6 carrots, washed, stem cut off, chopped
2 celery stalks, diced
1 onion, diced
1 gala apple, diced
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1/8 teaspoon each of ground rosemary, thyme, parsley,  and ground mustard
2 basil leaves
kosher salt
ground pepper
4 cups vegetarian fat-free gluten-free broth 

Mix all ingredients in a 6 qt Crock-pot.
Cook on Low for 6 hours.
Stir at least once.

Remove basil leaves.
Pour into blender, may take a couple of times depending on size of blender.
Pulse until all is blended well.

It will all be creamy like this...
also, hot, so be careful...

Pour into a boiler...
see the steam...=) 
You can smell and see the yumminess!!

Serve it with warm homemade corn tortillas or gluten free biscuits...
or even is fabulous...anytime of the year, hot or cold...

Hugs, Rita

Monday, March 18, 2013 | By: Rita Hutcheson-Cobbs

Our Mesh Easter Wreath...

 The day Madison's Mom, Dee, brought me this wreath to decorate for our window for Easter, I was like, OMy...I wasn't sure how to decorate it. I started picking up things here and there and with a glue gun, I went to work. BUT before you even ask, I didn't make the base. AFTER I decorated this wreath and when I was typing this post, I thought, "I bet there are tons of great posts and videos already written on how to make a wreath using mesh." Guess what, there, google it...

I punched butterflies from scrapbook paper stack covers...
heavy and durable...

I found the sweet bunny at a local thrift store for $.99.

More butterflies...and cute eggs...
I found the glittered letter egg shapes at...
Wal-Mart for $.97 each...
A beautiful wreath for not a lot of money...
Dee suggested a lay it on a table for a center piece next year
and add a new wreath to the door...
Loving it...
Such a change from my Steampunk Shabby Chic lol...
Happy Easter Season...
Hugs, Rita

Monday, March 11, 2013 | By: Rita Hutcheson-Cobbs

The Recipe for The Best Shampoo and Conditioner...

I had my doubts...really? Baking soda? Vinegar? No...but, I was tired of my hair feeling heavy and my scalp itching or breaking out...I wanted shiny hair, clean. It was when I was using baking soda to wipe out my fridge that I thought...I bet I could use this on my hair. Sure enough, I went online and found hundreds of recipes for hair tonics made for pennies. This is my favorite combo for both shampoo and conditioner. Now, I carry a bit of baking soda to the gym with me and who-la, I can have clean hair without taking both bottles.  I use this everyday and have for about three months and the results have been softer, cleaner, shiner hair. Now, even though neither lathers, keep in mind, they are doing their job. Simply put 1/2 cup on your hair depending on your length (I don't use that much), massage in really well, leave one minute and rinse. Done. I do use a bit of gel on my hair since it is rather curly. Oh and I do have my hair highlighted and nothing has changed about my color or the concept related to it. If anything it is brighter and lasting longer.

Homemade Shampoo Recipe

2 tablespoons of baking soda
2 cups of water

Mix both together well in a clean bottle.
Good for up to approx. 4 washes. 

Homemade Conditioner Recipe

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
4 drops of 100% lavender oil (optional, but does take away the vinegar smell 
which does go away when you rinse your hair anyway)
2 cups of water

Mix all three ingredients together in a clean bottle.
Good for up to approx. 4 washes.

Did I mention I bath the dog in the baking soda shampoo and he no longer has dry skin! Loving that and so is he. I can't say enough about this wonderful discovery. The money I have saved on hair tonic from shower to dressing table has been awesome. Give it a try for 30 days and see what you think...

Hugs, Rita

Sunday, March 10, 2013 | By: Rita Hutcheson-Cobbs

Simple Roasted Green Beans...a party in my mouth!!

 Call it crazy, but when I was growing up, I loved to sneak behind my parents and eat the garden fruit or vegetables while we picked them. It never mattered to me if it were raw peas, green beans, corn kernels, butter beans, radishes  tomatoes, onions, or strawberries...As I grew up, married, I never thought much about it until now. It matters, for various reasons, what we eat in our home and when we go to restaurants. So, when I asked for a gluten-free menu at Ruby Tuesday's while on a date with Garrett, I was thrilled to try the grilled green beans. Not having access to a grill right now, I decided to try roasting some instead.

I chose to serve the roasted green beans with BBQ pork ribs and gluten-free macaroni and goat cheese. It was so delicious and a sweet crunch. My mother could even eat them and she has dentures! Shhh, she might not appreciate me telling you that lol. Regardless, I was thrilled to find a new way to enjoy this wonderful vegetable. Wait till you see how I fix strawberries now lol...

Simple Roasted Green Beans

2 pounds fresh green beans
(simply wash them, nothing more)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
kosher salt
fresh ground black pepper
olive oil

Place clean green beans in a large zip lock bag.
Sprinkle with seasoning.
Sprinkle with a very small amount of olive oil, enough to coat the beans.
Then spread on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper.
Bake at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes.
All you want is the starchiness to be taken out of the green beans.
Taste them and if they aren't to your enjoyment, pop them back in the oven.
Loving this week, cooking in my makeshift kitchen...
What have you been cooking this week...

Hugs, Rita
Saturday, March 9, 2013 | By: Rita Hutcheson-Cobbs

Rita's Rockin' Awesome Bread Pudding Recipe

 What do you do with a loaf of bread that needs to be used, a stack of eggs that have just mass produced from the chicken coop, and...well, some much taste sweetness from the pantry?! You make bread pudding! Although this recipe isn't gluten-free, you certainly can substitute the bread for such. I plan on getting a loaf or making my own. Earth Fare is a grocer in a nearby town that I get my gluten-free bread and buns from since I have a very sensitive allergy. However, let's move on...this was fantastic according to my family...a warm dessert for a late chilly night...

A dessert that I will make again very soon...
no nuts, no added butter...

Full of raisins too...

Rita's Rockin Awesome Bread Pudding Recipe

1 loaf of your favorite bread, diced
1 cup of raisins
10 eggs, beaten
2/3 cups of sugar
2/3 cups of Splenda brown sugar + 2 tablespoons
1 teaspoon real vanilla
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger

Place the diced bread into a large bowl.
In a separate bowl, beat the eggs.
Add the vanilla and sugars minus the 2 tablespoons together with the eggs.
Pour the egg mixture over the bread.
Add the raisins.
Massage the mixture into the bread with your hands.
Pour the mixture into a glass baking dish sprayed with cooking spray.
In a small mixing bowl,
mix the spices together with the 2 tablespoons brown sugar.
Sprinkle the sweetened seasoning mixture over the bread pudding.
Place the dish into a cold oven.
Bake at 450 degrees for 30 minutes or until the egg mixture is thoroughly done.

Serve warm. Add ice cream or vanilla yogurt to the top if you wish...
Just another recipe from my makeshift kitchen lol...

Hugs, Rita

Friday, March 8, 2013 | By: Rita Hutcheson-Cobbs

Butternut Squash Black Bean Chili with OMGosh! Guacamole Dip Topping...Gluten-Free too...

 I had never thought much about "Meatless Monday", have you? Then I had this butternut squash I needed to fix and googled this fabulous vegetable. I found this website and began checking it out. I found a recipe for this and then I began adding this and that for even more flavors and delicious color for the eyes and a party for the mouth! Yum!

I left the butternut squash diced so that it gave some vibrant color...

...added a dollop of the OMGosh! Guacamole Dip on top
with the chips on the side...fantastic...

Another close up of the great colors for any season of the year...

My version of this
Butternut Squash Black Bean Chili Recipe

1 butternut squash, peeled and diced
1 onion, diced
2 gala apples, peeled, cored, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
(we don't like our chili all that spicy so add more of the chili and cumin if you want more)
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
3 cups vegetarian broth
(with no MSG, no Salt, no fat)
2 canned 15 ounce black beans, rinced
2 canned 15 ounce tomatoes with garlic
2 teaspoons of lime juice
1 teaspoon of lemon juice

Spray large skillet with cooking spray.
Saute butternut squash, onion, apple until onion softens and browns slightly.
Add seasoning.
Stir and cook for about 1 minute.
Add stock, simmer, cover for 10 minutes on medium heat till squash is tender.
Add beans, tomatoes, and juices, stirring thoroughly, but not rough
so the butternut squash doesn't breakup.
Increase the heat to high and cook for about 5 minutes.

This sooooo good...
Just another random recipe from my makeshift kitchen...
Sometime this year I might have a grownup kitchen,
but I may have to set these three babies up and remind myself
that life is all about the simplicity of it all and healthy living is just that.

Hugs, Rita

Thursday, March 7, 2013 | By: Rita Hutcheson-Cobbs

OMGosh! Gluten-free Guacamole Dip!

OMGosh! is totally right too! My family went crazy over this recipe! My sons, Ethan and Garrett, declared it the best they ever ate and Madison just begged for more! I even made more of the Baked Corn Tortilla Chips (recipe posted yesterday)! LOL, I loved doing that! We are loving this healthy eating and it doesn't even seem that we are doing so. It doesn't take anymore time to prepare or cook nor to shop. As for money, it takes less since we cleaned out the pantry of chips, cookies, etc of the things we no longer eat! Fabulous... So, here is this great recipe. I hate to tell you that I even found the avocados at $.33 each at a local grocer, so shop around...even the Mexican to European grocers are worth your time to stop in and see what they have.

OMGosh! Gluten-Free Guacamole Dip 

2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
4 tablespoons finely chopped onion (more if you love the onion)
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
2 large avocados, peeled and seeded
2 teaspoons lime juice
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 package 8 ounce fat free cream cheese

Mix all the ingredients together.
Chill for 15 minutes.
Serve cold.

Tomorrow, I will share the Butternut Squash Black Bean Chili
that I made to go with this dip and the chips I shared yesterday.
I am loving cooking...who knew!?! LOL...
I have so much to learn and getting healthy and fit is my goal
for the rest of my life...
Cooking in my makeshift kitchen...
I may not have to use it forever, but it's what I have to use today...
So with my toaster oven, microwave and 2-eye burner stove...
I am cooking up great healthy meals for my family...
What are you making for dinner tonight...

Hugs, Rita
Wednesday, March 6, 2013 | By: Rita Hutcheson-Cobbs

Baked Gluten-Free Corn Tortilla Chips

Finding out I had an allergy to nuts, all tree and anything with "nut" in the base line, was something that became manageable in 2006, when I was diagnosed. Then in November, of last year, being diagnosed with a gluten allergy was something totally different. It is in so many of the foods I eat on a daily basis. One being breads, chips and starchy products. I don't crave chips, but I do want them or crackers when I eat soup or chili and would like them with dips on occasion. So, finding a creative way to make these, was way too cool! My family loves this and I can even make them as a dessert. Just another great, easy, delicious recipe from my tiny makeshift kitchen =).

Baked Gluten-Free Corn Tortilla Chips

12 Small Pure Corn Tortillas 
(not flour tortillas and check the calories...some are higher than others!)
kosher salt
fresh ground pepper
ground paprika 
(did you know this is a cheaper spice in the Mexican section of the grocer)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Stack the tortilla shells by 2 and cut in fourths.
Lay them in a single layer on the parchment paper lined cookie sheet.
Sprinkle with salt, pepper, paprika and any dry seasoning you wish.
Bake for 10-12 minutes or until crispy.
Serve warm.
**For dessert tortilla chips, substitute the above seasoning for
blended cinnamon and sugar or consider adding to that
nutmeg and a touch of ginger.

I will add some great recipes to go with these chips this week...
a guacamole dip and a butternut squash black bean chili...
A great week to cook at home...
I want to learn to make my own corn tortillas...any advice!?!

Hugs, Rita
Tuesday, March 5, 2013 | By: Rita Hutcheson-Cobbs

Avocado Purple Slaw Salad with Honey Lemon Dressing? Well, maybe...check the recipes to see...

 How many slaw recipes are there in the world? Millions I am sure. I didn't google it to find out...might be something fun to try. =) This recipe is beautiful and requires a few ingredients that you might not normally have in your pantry. I was surprised that I did have a most of them. It is gluten-free and, unlike the original recipe, I made it nut-free too.

 I was thrilled to find this magazine and have subscribed to it as well. So I can't wait to get my first issue in the mail. Sadly it wasn't available on my Nook. However, I encourage you to check out for more information and recipes. This recipe is from the January-February 2013 issue...

I served this with the chicken tacos but...
what about on vegetarians hotdogs, beside a mushroom burger...opportunities...

See how, my version, but not much different ...

1 tablespoon honey mustard
1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon real honey
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon dry rosemary
1/8 teaspoon dry thyme
1 tablespoon parsley, finely chopped
1 tablespoon cilantro, finely chopped
1 cup arugula, finely chopped
2 cups red cabbage, finely chopped
1 cup spinach, finely chopped
2 ripe avocados, peeled, pitted and chopped
2 carrots, shredded (I don't peel mine)
1 onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
2 tablespoons whole flax seeds

In a small bowl, whisk mustard, lemon juice, vinegar, honey, salt, pepper, 
rosemary and thyme until well blended.
In a larger bowl, combine parsley, cilantro, arugula, cabbage, spinach,
avocado, carrots, onion, sunflower seeds and flax seeds.
Pour dressing over the slaw and gently toss together.
Serve cold.

A great way to wake up any meal...

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