Peppermint Hot Chocolate

My husband and I hosted Christmas at our house for the first time this year.  I felt so grown up :-).  I also felt quite in the mood for Christmas-y things and was looking for a way to use some of the peppermint pieces leftover from peppermint ice cream.  My sister and I made this hot chocolate and thought I’d share!

Ingredients:

1 mugful of coconut milk (from a carton- I prefer the original flavor)

3 T. Ghiradelli Double Chocolate hot chocolate mix (may contain traces of allergens if that concerns you)

1-2 T. peppermint stick, crushed (sold pre-crushed in a bag in the baking aisle)

1-2 T. SoDelicious whipped topping or your own homemade topping

 

Directions:  Microwave the coconut milk in the mug until hot (2-4 minutes depending on your microwave).

Stir in the hot chocolate mix.

Stir in 1+ T. peppermint sticks crumbles to taste.

Top with whipped topping and a few more crumbles of peppermint stick.

Enjoy!

 

This recipe works just as well with regular milk and regular whipped topping, so use what you need.

Mango Chicken

The idea for this recipe came from some cookbook long, long ago.  I have changed it so much and made it my own, and I don’t remember where the original source was.  I made it several times using fresh mangos when I was in Central America.  The best I can do now is frozen mangos, but they taste good too.  My husband and I really enjoyed this and we hope you do too!

Mango Chicken

1 large onion, chopped

1 bag of frozen mangos, cut into smaller pieces (you can use fresh if you can find good ones, but the frozen ones worked great!)

2 pounds chicken tenderloins, precooked (I have a method for pre-cooking chicken which I will share in another post.)

2 T melted butter (I used Smart Balance dairy free)

1 tsp salt or more, to taste

1/2 tsp ground black pepper or more, to taste

1/4 tsp paprika

pinch of nutmeg

Grated rind of one lemon (optional)

1 cup chicken broth (make sure it’s gluten free- I use Swanson’s or HEB brand usually)

juice of 1 lemon

1 can coconut milk, 14 oz.  (use full fat, not the lite ones)

 

Chicken mixture:

Place onions in a large skillet and cook to soften.

Combine “butter”, salt, pepper, paprika, and nutmeg in a small bowl.  Rub all over chicken.

Put chicken and mango in the pan with the onions and cook until warm throughout.

 

Meanwhile, make the milk sauce:

Bring chicken broth to a boil in a saucepan.  Reduce the heat and stir in lemon juice and coconut milk.  Continue to simmer and stir until it thickens just a little.

Pour the milk sauce into the chicken mixture and cook for 5-10 minutes to let the liquid reduce a little.  May be served over rice.

IMG_4647
This is what it looked like in the pan before I served it over rice.

We hope you enjoy this as much as we did!

Eggplant and Beef Green Curry

For me, curry is a quick meal that tastes like I went to a restaurant.  One of the great things about curry is that you can toss in almost any vegetable and it is very forgiving.  Salt and lime are essential to making it taste good.  Also, if you can’t find some sort of curry paste, I would hesitate to make this recipe.  We tried it last night without the curry paste and tried to piece together our own, but we were missing about half the ingredients and well…let’s just say, use the curry paste unless you know what you’re doing with seasonings!  With the curry paste, it’s great!

Eggplant and Beef Green Curry

Ingredients:

1 pound ground beef

1-2 T. oil or grease from ground beef

1 eggplant, peeled and diced

3-4 medium potatoes (I used golden potatoes with skins on), diced

1 zucchini, diced

1/2 onion, diced

 

2 tsp minced garlic

2 inches fresh ginger, minced

1 jar Thai Kitchen green curry paste

1-2 cans coconut milk

2-3 limes, zested and juiced

salt to taste

Directions:

Brown the ground beef and set aside.  Add some oil or grease back into the pan.  Cook the potatoes over medium heat with lid on until they are softening a little.  Add the rest of the veggies, ginger, and garlic.  Cover and stir occasionally until they are all getting a little soft.  Add curry paste and cook for about 1 minute.  Add the cooked meat.  Add coconut milk, lime zest and juice, and salt.  Serve over rice (I make mine in a rice cooker.)

 

 

Peppermint Ice Cream

Nothing tells your mouth it’s Christmas like the taste of peppermint.  I love peppermint ice cream, but there are only a limited number of flavors of dairy free ice cream on the market, so I started looking into how to make my own.  I came across this recipe and thought I’d share.  It happens to be gluten free also!

Peppermint Ice Cream

2 cans of coconut milk or coconut cream (unsweetened- 14 oz each)

1/2 c. honey

1/4 to 1/2 tsp salt (so crucial to making it taste like the stuff from a carton!)

1 tsp vanilla

2 tsp peppermint extract

1/2 c. crushed candy canes (some stores sell crushed candy canes next to the chocolate chips in the baking aisle)

 

Freeze ice cream bowl a day ahead of time (as per your ice cream maker directions.)  Stir together all ingredients except the candy canes.  Refrigerate for a few hours.  Pour ice cream liquid into the frozen bowl as it is turning.  Allow to turn for about 20 minutes until it begins to thicken.  Add crushed candy canes and allow to spin a few more minutes.  Ice cream will be soft.  I usually take a bite and then put the rest of it in a plastic tub in the freezer to harden.  There are a lot of gluten free cones on the market now, so check your store to see if you can find some!

I use a Cuisinart ice cream maker with the bowl that you freeze ahead of time.  Theoretically this recipe should work with any ice cream maker, but I haven’t tested it with others.  Merry Christmas!

Adapted from: http://www.acouplecooks.com/2011/12/easy-peppermint-stick-ice-cream/

 

 

 

Mom’s Crockpot Chili

Sometimes people think eating gluten free is so complicated.  It doesn’t have to be.  You also don’t have to eat weird things.  This recipe of my mom’s is naturally gluten free.

 

Mom’s Crockpot Chili

 

Ingredients:

1 pound ground beef or deer, browned

1 large onion, chopped

1 green pepper, chopped

1 red pepper, chopped

1-2 tomatoes, chopped

4 carrots, chopped (optional)

3 cans tomato sauce (8 oz each)

3-4 tsp chili powder

1 tsp salt

1/8 tsp cayenne red pepper

1/8 tsp paprika

1 can of beans (I cooked pinto beans in another crockpot because that’s what I had on hand, but normally we use kidney beans.)

 

Directions:

If using dried beans, soak overnight and then cook in a crockpot all day.

Brown the ground beef.  Chop all the veggies (I usually dice them into about 1/2 inch squares).  Add all ingredients to the crockpot and set on low all day.  See?  Isn’t that easy?  And no special modifications had to be made.

I usually serve with my Golden Sweet Cornbread.

If you are cooking for someone who is gluten free, always make sure your ingredients are gluten free.  If you are unsure, please ask the person so you make sure they can eat it :-).

Here is the progression: