Easy Fudge- Dairy Free!

So, I was shopping the other day and found a new product- sweetened condensed coconut milk!  It looks like this:


I bought the can without any specific plan in mind, but I knew it would come in handy.  I vaguely remembered avoiding some recipes because I didn’t know how to duplicate sweetened condensed milk.  So one day when my husband was driving home after a long day, I remembered this can and the simple fudge recipe I used in junior high, and I was able to make a quick treat for us.  It is simple and delicious and the texture turned out well- no candy thermometer required!


Easy Dairy Free Fudge


2 c. chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life Mini Chocolate Chips)

1 can sweetened condensed coconut milk

1 T. butter (I used SmartBalance)

dash salt

1 tsp vanilla

1 c. chopped walnuts (may omit if desired or may be substituted for other nuts)

Parchment or wax paper



Melt chocolate chips and sweetened condensed milk in a saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly.  Once the chips are mostly melted, add the butter, salt, and vanilla.  When the mixture is smooth, remove from heat and stir in the chopped walnuts.

Pour into a wax or parchment paper lined 8×8 pan and allow to cool.  Once it is close to room temperature, you may put it in the fridge to chill.  Once it is chilled, cover and let set for 2 hours or until you are able to cut it with a knife.  Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.  My dairy free and dairy loving friends and family gobbled this up.



Adapted from: https://www.verybestbaking.com/recipes/28655/easy-chocolate-fudge/


Chocolate Mint Pudding- It’s Dairy Free!

Have you ever tried to make a package of pudding with non-dairy milk?  The last time I tried it, it was a complete failure.  Dairy milk has magical qualities that occasionally can’t be replaced.  So, I decided to try my hand at dairy free pudding but I took a different approach.  Basically this is the filling to the chocolate cream pie I have posted here:https://oldfavoritesmadeglutenfree.com/2015/12/19/baked-chicken/.  The only difference is I used a less creamy can of coconut milk and I was out of baking chocolate so I used Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips.

The mint came from one of my cousin’s kids.  Apparently he grows his own mint and dries it on the horns of deer they have hanging around their house.  How cool is that! (For all of you who are concerned, don’t worry.  They use the deer for meat, not just for sport.)



1/4 c. cornstarch

1/4 c. granulated sugar

3 T. cocoa powder

1/4 tsp salt

1 can coconut milk (14 oz- a lower fat percentage is fine)

1 1/4 c. coconut milk (from a carton)

1 T. dried mint

1/2 c. Enjoy Life Mini Chocolate Chips* or 4 oz. Baker’s brand baking chocolate

1 tsp vanilla



In a mug or glass measuring cup, heat the 1 1/4 c. coconut milk.  Put the mint leaves into a bag or a steeping spoon and allow to steep in the milk for 5-7 minutes. When it smells like mint, remove the mint.

In a sauce pan, combine cornstarch, sugar, cocoa powder, and salt.  Stir in canned coconut milk and coconut milk steeped with mint and turn on heat to medium heat.  Whisk continually until boiling.  Boil for two minutes.  Remove from heat and add chocolate chips and vanilla.  Stir until melted and smooth.  Cool and then store in the refrigerator.  When serving, garnish with a fresh mint leaf if you have one.


*I would recommend microwaving these in a bowl for about 10-15 second intervals until they are a bit softened.  Then they will melt better when added to the pudding.

Coconut Curry Chicken

I did not make enough of this the other day.  I could have eaten it for a few more meals!  This is a simple curry recipe that doesn’t require many strange ingredients.


1 1/2 T. canola oil

2 T. curry powder

1/2 onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 pounds chicken breast or tenderloins cut into cubes (I used leftovers from my chicken recipe and shredded it.  Recipe found here: https://oldfavoritesmadeglutenfree.com/2015/12/19/baked-chicken/)

1 can coconut milk (14 oz)

1 can diced tomatoes, NOT drained (~15 oz)

1 can tomato sauce (8 oz)

3 T. sugar

1 tsp salt, to taste

1 tsp pepper

1 bag of frozen stir fry vegetables (I used HEB snap pea stir fry mix)

Cooked rice (I used Basmati)



Heat oil and curry powder over medium-high heat in a frying pan for 2 minutes.  Add onions and garlic and cook for another minute.  Add chicken and stir.  Reduce heat to medium and cook for another 7-10 minutes until chicken is cooked.  Stir in coconut milk, diced tomatoes with their juice, tomato sauce, sugar, salt, and pepper.  Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.  Add frozen vegetables and continue to simmer for another 15 minutes.  Stir occasionally.  Serve over white rice.

Adapted from: http://m.allrecipes.com/recip/68532/curried-coconut-chicken

Favorite Pancakes

This is another one of my favorite recipes.  This time I actually wrote down exactly what I did with the flours!  Normally I just set out the cup and start filling it with a mix of flours that I have on hand.   Top these with real maple syrup and some dairy free butter.  Yum!



Dry ingredients:

2 1/2 c. flour (1 c. brown rice flour, 1/2 c. oat flour, 1/4 c. amaranth, 1/4 c. potato starch, 1/4 c. teff, 1/4 c. tapioca starch, 1/2 tsp xanthan gum)

2 T. baking powder

2 T. sugar

1 tsp salt

Wet ingredients:

2 flax eggs (2 T. golden flaxseed meal combined with 6 T. warm water- let rest for 5 minutes) (or you can use 2 real eggs if you don’t need to be egg free)

2 c. coconut milk (from the carton- I usually use Silk)

1/4 c. oil



Make the flax eggs and set aside.  Stir together the dry ingredients.  Pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir together until blended.  Mix with a mixer for about 15-30 seconds to get out any lumps.

Heat griddle until a drop of water sizzles on it.  Add batter by about 1/4 to 1/3 c. at a time depending on what size you like your pancakes.  Flip when the edges are looking firm and it is easy to get a spatula under it.  Cook until that side it done.  Serve with vegan butter and real maple syrup.

Makes about a dozen.


*This recipe is flexible, so you can change up the flour blend if you would like- just make sure to put in some xanthan gum!  As a kid, my mom usually replaced a little bit of all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour, so I usually am trying to imitate that flavor.  Many of the blends in the store are imitating straight up white all-purpose flour.  If that’s the taste you like, a blend from the store may be the perfect thing for you.



Pulled Pork

2 medium onions, sliced

4 garlic cloves, sliced

1 cup chicken broth

1 T. brown sugar, packed

1 T. chili powder

1 T. salt or more

1/2 tsp. cumin

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

4-5 pound pork loin



Strew the onions and garlic in the bottom of the crock pot.  Add chicken broth.  Stir together the sugar and spices and then rub on the entire pork loin.  Place pork loin in the crock pot and put on high for 6-8 hours or low for 8-10 hours.


We used the pork loin for a variety of dishes: carnitas, pulled pork sandwiches, etc.  It freezes and defrosts really well.  In order to freeze it, I shredded it ahead of time.

Here is a pulled pork sandwich I made using Hamburger Buns and by adding Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ Sauce.


Pulled pork sandwiches


Original recipe: http://www.chow.com/recipes/30356-easy-slow-cooker-pulled-pork/

Chocolate Glaze

There’s nothing like a chocolate donut.  The glaze just puts it over the top.  This glaze spreads on easily but then hardens up nicely just like it should- not hard like a chocolate chip, but not gooey.  I had to give some away and stick some in the freezer to keep myself from eating too many at once.  As one of the kid recipients said, “It tastes like a cupcake!”  Indeed, it does.  This recipe makes enough for about 9 donuts, so double it if you are pairing it with my chocolate donut recipe which makes 18.   Find the recipe here: Chocolate Donuts.




Glaze for 9 donuts:


3/4 c. powdered sugar

1/4 c. cocoa powder

1/4 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 to 2 T. coconut milk

dash salt (about 1/8 tsp)


Combine sugar and cocoa powder.  Add in vanilla and 1 1/2 T. coconut milk.  Stir until a paste begins to form.  Add the extra 1/2 T. of milk if it is too dry to be spreadable.  Add the dash of salt and combine well.  Taste and see if you want more salt.  Spread on tops of cooled donuts.


Doubled for 18 donuts:

1 1/2 c. powdered sugar

1/2 c. cocoa powder

1/2 tsp vanilla

3-4 T. coconut milk

1/8 to 1/4 tsp salt, according to taste



Beef and Bean Enchiladas

This is the last lonely enchilada.  I made several pans of them and remembered to take a picture right before I ate the last one!  I served these enchiladas to my family on Christmas Eve.  I did most of the prep ahead of time and just rolled them while the oven was heating up.  The beans make them creamy so you don’t really notice the absence of cheese.  However, if people want cheese but not everyone can have it, I suggest putting some shredded cheese on the table that they can add at their leisure.



1 pound ground beef (omit if vegetarian)

1-2 cups cooked and mashed pinto or white beans or 1-2 cans of refried beans

several dashes of salt if you make your own beans

juice of 1 lime

1 can rotel

2 cans of mild Old El Paso Enchilada Sauce (last time I checked it was gluten free.  Please always take personal responsibility and check the ingredients.  Sometimes manufacturers change things without much of an announcement.)

1 package of corn tortillas


Directions for beans: If you are making your own beans, soak them overnight, drain in the morning, and put them in a crockpot all day on low.  They are finished when they are easily squishable.  I drained the liquid into a bowl and then added just enough in to be able to mash them with my immersion blender.  Make sure to add some salt if you made your own beans.  If that sounds too complicated, just get a can or two of refried beans. 🙂

Directions: Brown the ground beef until thoroughly cooked.  Add in the lime, rotel, and one can of enchilada sauce.

Lightly oil a 9×13 baking dish.  Open the second can of enchilada sauce and put a very thin layer on the bottom of the pan, but reserve most of it.  Grab a tortilla and put a spoonful of the beef and bean mixtures into the tortilla.  Roll it and place it in the pan.  Continue until the pan is full and/or all ingredients are used.  Top with remaining enchilada sauce.

Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.

Serve with rice and guacamole if desired.

Bubble Bread

This is an old family favorite and one of the first recipes I started working on to make gluten free.  It is similar to monkey bread but requires no yeast, so it is much quicker.  I’ve made a few of the original steps easier than the original recipe.  Also, I have tried this with a variety of flour blends and they have all worked.  This time I happened to use a pre-made blend, but normally I blend my own flours.  See notes below for suggestions.



1/2 c. butter (Smart Balance non-dairy)

2- 8×8 pans or something of similar sizes


4 cups flour (I used Arrowhead Mills’ Heritage Blend this time, but I have also made it with a mixture of other flours.  See note below for other options.*)

1/2 tsp xanthan gum (if your flour blend doesn’t already contain some)

2 T. baking powder

2 tsp salt

1/2 c. sugar

1/2 tsp cinnamon


1/2 c. canola oil (or vegetable oil)

1 1/2 c. coconut milk (from a carton)




additional 1/2 c. sugar

additional 1/2 tsp cinnamon



Melt 1/2 c. butter and use a little bit to grease both 8×8 pans.  Stir together dry ingredients in a bowl.  Add the oil and coconut milk and stir well.  I usually whisk it briefly with a mixer just until combined.

In a separate bowl, mix together the additional sugar and cinnamon.

Pinch dough into about 1 T size balls and put in pans until all the dough is used.  Most of them will be touching and that is fine.  Spoon the butter over the balls in the pans and make sure to get a little butter on each ball.  Sprinkle the cinnamon and sugar mixture evenly over all the balls and make sure to get the edges too.

Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes or until tops start to brown just slightly and dough springs back to the touch.

*  This recipe is very flexible.  The most important thing with any blend is to make sure you have a touch of xanthan gum in there- at least 1/4 to 1/2 tsp.  That will replace the stickiness of gluten and help hold it together.

*I usually just mix and match whatever flours I have around to make this.  Next time I make this I will try to write down exactly what I do.  Here is an approximation of what I have done in the past: 1 1/2 c. brown rice flour, 1/2 c. oat flour, 1/2 c. amaranth, 1/2 c. potato starch, 1/2 c. tapioca starch, 1/2 c. teff, 1/2 tsp xanthan gum.  Adding in some teff flour gives it a whole wheat flair which I really love.  If you don’t have amaranth, you can just replace it with brown rice flour.  The potato starch and tapioca starches help add some lightness to the flour so it is not as dense.

Chocolate Truffles

I am seeing a theme in my posts.  Apparently I make a lot of chocolate things.  I was flipping through an appliance cookbook and realized very little had to be changed in this recipe.  Watch out!  They are very rich, so I suggest making them with the intention of sharing with others :-).



8 oz. cream cheese (I used Tofutti but Daiya has a great taste too.)

1/4 c. Smart Balance butter, room temperature

1 tsp vanilla

2/3 tsp salt

2/3 c. cocoa powder

3 1/2 c. powdered sugar

1/2 c. chopped walnuts or pecans (We liked pecans the best.)


I used a stand mixer for this whole process, but you could probably do it with a hand mixer.


Cream together the cream cheese and butter.  Add the vanilla, salt, and cocoa and continue whipping.  Add the powdered sugar one cup at a time and continue to whip it until it is creamy and combined.  Use a spoon to help you scoop about 1 T. together into a ball.  You can just put them in clumps and shape them after they are cooled.

Freeze for one hour and then reshape as needed.  Roll in chopped nuts.

I left some without nuts and they still tasted good.  I think they would also be delicious if dipped in baking chocolate, but I didn’t try it this time.


Recipe adapted from Hamilton Beach Recipes and User Guide p. 26.

I know, right?  Weird source.  By the way, if you are in need of a stand mixer, I have found that my Hamilton Beach one works well so far.

9 Day Slaw- Grandmother’s Recipe

I recently married and as I was flipping through a homemade cookbook, I said to my husband, “I found your grandmother’s coleslaw recipe.”  I brought the coleslaw to our Christmas gathering and it was a hit!  The best part is I didn’t have to change anything.  This is a no-mayo coleslaw.  It’s easy to make and keeps for awhile.




1 head of cabbage (about 3 pounds), grated or finely sliced

1-2 onions, chopped (I used one)

1-2 green peppers, chopped (I used one)

1 1/2 cups sugar

Combine these ingredients in a large bowl and stir.



2 T sugar

1 cup salad oil (I used canola)

1 cup vinegar (I used regular white vinegar)

1 T salt

1 T celery seed

Stir the dressing ingredients together in a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Pour over the slaw and stir well.  Keep refrigerated and it just keeps getting better as the days go by.  Supposedly it keeps for 9 days, but I have not tested that part.  🙂 This makes a large bowl of coleslaw, so share with your friends!

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