Hershey’s Peanut Butter Blossoms

What could be better than a cookie that combines the 2 things that I love the most? Not much! LOL! By now, most of you know that peanut butter and chocolate are near and dear to my heart. They rank right up there with my husband, kids and my wine. ;) So, it was a no brainer that I had to try a recipe for a cookie that combined PB and chocolate. These cookies were so unbelieveably easy to make and so worth it. They are the perfect ratio of peanut butter to chocolate. This recipe is supposed to make 48, mine made 37 and I can’t guarantee how long they will be around for. The kids both loved them. I am going to freeze some, but I don’t know how long they will last there, either, unless I forget about them.

Hershey’s Peanut Butter Blossoms **Modified from a recipe on the Hershey’s Kisses Bag to be Gluten-Free

48 Hershey’s Kisses
½ cup shortening
¾ cup Peanut Butter (I used Peter Pan)
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1 egg
2 TBSP milk (I used 1%)
1 tsp. Vanilla extract
1 ½ cups GF Flour Mix (I used rice, potato starch & tapioca)
1 tsp Xanthan Gum
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
Granulated Sugar

1. Heat oven to 375. Remove wrappers from chocolate (you may want to not unwrap all 48, as this recipe didn’t make that many cookies for me ~ I got about 37).
2. Beat shortening & peanut butter until well blended. Add sugars and beat until fluffy. Add egg, milk & vanilla; beat well.
3. Mix together flour, xanthan gum, baking soda, salt and then mix into wet into peanut butter mixture. Refrigerate dough for 30 – 60 minutes.
4. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in granulated sugar; place on ungreased cookie sheet.
5. Bake 8 – 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Immediately press a Hershey’s Kiss into the center of each cookie; cookie will crack around the edges. Remove cookie to wire rack. Cool Completely. Makes about 4 dozen according to the recipe, I got 37.

Snickerdoodles

When I was growing up my Mom used to make these cookies all the time. They ranked up there with some of my favorites. My favorites as a little girl were thumbprint cookies, spritz cookies, snowballs (Russian Teacakes), chocolate chip cookies, gingersnaps and snickerdoodles. I love to say “Snickerdoodle”. Believe it or not, in my almost 3 years of being on the gluten-free diet, I have never made Snickerdoodles. If nothing else, I would have thought I would have made them just so I could say the word. ;) I have been pleasantly surprised at how good the cookies have turned out when converted to be gluten-free. I can’t really think of one time that I was disappointed. Oh, wait, only once. I used a flour mix that I was not happy with. I now stick with my GF Mix of rice flour, potato starch and tapioca flour and add xanthan gum, usually close to a teaspoon per cup of flour. I don’t usually add partial teaspoons though, so if a recipe calls for 2 3/4 cups flour, I will use 2 tsp xanthan gum. Hope that makes sense.

Onto the good stuff! Here is my recipe and some pictures of the yummy goodness:

Snickerdoodles**Modified from a recipe in Betty Crocker’s Cookbook

½ cup butter, softened
½ cup shortening
1 ½ cups sugar
2 eggs
2 ¾ cups GF Flour Mix (I used rice, potato starch & tapioca)
2 tsps. Xanthan Gum
2 tsps. Cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt

2 TBSP Sugar
2 tsps. Cinnamon

1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Mix thoroughly butter, shortening, sugar & eggs. Blend in the flour, cream of tartar, salt & baking soda. Refrigerate for 30 – 60 minutes. Mix 2 TBSP sugar & 2 tsps. Cinnamon in a small bowl. Shape dough by rounded teaspoonfuls into balls. Roll balls in mixture.
2. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheet. Bake 8 – 10 minutes until set. Immediately remove from baking sheet.

Makes about 6 dozen.

Jon gave the thumbs up on these. I am going to freeze about half of them for treats in the upcoming weeks.

Safe and Unsafe Ingredients

Even though I have been following this diet for coming up on 3 years, I still consult my safe & forbidden lists every now and then to refresh myself, especially on those items that I don’t use frequently. I wanted to post them here so that they would be readily available to those who are just starting or just need to glance at them for a specific reason in a hurry.

Let’s start with the SAFE ingredients. That is much more positive than going over the stuff we can’t have, huh?

Acacia Gum
Acorn Quercus
Adipic Acid
Adzuki Bean
Acacia Gum
Agar
Alcohol (wine is fine; hard ciders ~ Woodstock is fine; Redbridge beer is fine)
Alfalfa
Algae
Algin
Alginate
Allicin
Almond Nut
Aluminum
Amaranth
Annatto
Annatto Color
Apple Cider Vinegar
Arabic Gum
Arrowroot
Artichokes
Artificial Flavoring
Aspartame
Aspic
Ascorbic Acid
Astragalus Gummifer
Baking Soda
Balsamic Vinegar
Beans
Bean, Adzuki
Bean, Hyacinth
Bean, Lentil
Bean, Mung
Bean Romano (Chickpea)
Bean Tepary
Benzoic acid
Besan
Betaine
BHA
BHT
Beta Carotene
Bicarbonate of Soda (check)
Biotin
Buckwheat
Butter, real
Butylated Hydroxyanisole
Butyl Compounds
Calcium Carbonate
Calcium Caseinate
Calcium Chloride
Calcium Disodium
Calcium Phosphate
Calcium Silicate
Calcium Stearate
Calcium Sulfate
Camphor
Canola Oil (Rapeseed Oil)
Caprylic Acid
Carageenan Chondrus Crispus
Carboxymethylcellul ose
Carnauba Wax
Carob Bean
Carob Bean Gum
Carob Flour
Carrageenan
Casein
Cassava Manihot Esculenta
Castor Oil
Cellulose1
Cellulose Gum
Cetyl Alcohol
Cheeses (make sure to read label)
Chestnuts
Chickpea
Chlorella
Chymosin
Citric Acid
Collagen
Corn
Corn Gluten
Corn Meal
Corn Flour
Cornstarch
Corn Syrup
Corn Syrup Solids
Corn Swetener
Cortisone
Cotton Seed Oil
Cowitch
Cowpea
Cream of Tartar
Cysteine, L
Demineralized Whey
Desamidocollagen
Dextrose
Dioctyl Sodium
Distilled Vinegar
Eggs
Elastin
Ester Gum
Ethyl Alcohol
Ferrous Gluconate
Fish (check for additives)
Flaked Rice
Flax
Folic Acid-Folacin
Formaldehyde
Fructose
Fruit
Fumaric Acid
Gelatin
Glutamate
Glutamic Acid
Glutamine
Glycerides
Glycerol Monooleate
Glycol Monosterate
Glycol
Glycolic acid
Gram flour (chick peas)
Grits, Corn
Guar Gum
Hemp
Herbs
Honey
Hyacinth Bean
Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrolyzed soy protein
Iodine
Inulin
Invert Sugar
Jobs Tears
Kasha (roasted buckwheat)
Keratin
Kudzu Root Starch
Lactic Acid
Lactose
Lanolin
Lecithin
Lentil
Lipase
Locust Bean Gum
Magnesium Carbonate
Magnesium Hydroxide
Maize
Maize Waxy
Malic Acid
Maltitol
Maltodextrin
Manioc
Masa
Masa Flour
Masa Harina
Meat (check for additives/flavorings)
Methyl Cellulose2
Microcrystallin Cellulose
Milk
Millet
Milo
Mineral Oil
Mineral Salts
Mono and Diglycerides
Monosodium Glutamate MSG (made in USA)
Monopotassium Phosphate
Mung Bean
Musk
Niacin-Niacinamide
Nuts (check labels if there are flavorings)
Nut, Acron
Nut, Almond
Oats, if they are labeled gluten-free (Lara’s made by Cream Hill Estates & Bob’s Red Mill both have GF Oats)
Oils and Fats
Oleyl Alcohol/Oil
Paraffin
Peas
Pea – Chick
Pea – Cow
Pea Flour
Pepsin
Peru Balsam
Petrolatum
Phenylalanine
Pigeon Peas
Polenta
Polyethylene Glycol
Polyglycerol
Polysorbates
Potassium Citrate
Potassium Iodide
Potassium Sorbate
Potatoes
Potato Flour
Prinus
Pristane
Propolis
Propylene Glycol
Propylene Glycol Monosterate
Propyl Gallate
Psyllium
Pyridoxine Hydrochloride
Quinoa
Ragi
Rape
Rennet
reticulin
Rice
Rice
Rice Flour
Rice Vinegar
Romano Bean (chickpea)
Rosin
Royal Jelly
Sago Palm
Sago Flour
Saifun (bean threads)
Scotch Whisky
Seaweed
Seed – Sesame
Seed – Sunflower
Sphingolipids
Soba (be sure its 100% buckwheat)
Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate
Sodium Alginate
Sodium Ascorbate
Sodium Benzoate
Sodium Caseinate
Sodium Citrate
Sodium Erythrobate
Sodium Hexametaphosphate
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
Sodium Nitrate
Sodium Phosphate
Sodium Silacoaluminate
Sodium Stannate
Sorbic Acid
Sorbitol-Mannitol
Sorghum
Sorghum Flour
Soy
Soybean
Soy Lecithin
Spices (pure, 100%)
Stearates
Stearamide
Stearamine
Stearic Acid
Subflower Seed
Succotash (corn and beans)
Sucrose
Sulfosuccinate
Sulfites
Sulfur Dioxide
Sweet Chestnut Flour
Tallow
Tapioca
Tapioca Flour
Tarrow Root
Tartaric Acid
TBHQ is Tetra or Tributylhydroquinon e
Tea
Tea-Tree Oil
Teff
Teff Flour
Tepary Bean
Thiamine Hydrochoride
Tofu-Soya Curd
Tolu Balsam
Tragacanth
Tragacanth Gum
Tri-Calcium Phosphate
Turmeric (Kurkuma)
Tyrosine
Urad/Urid Beans
Urad/Urid Dal (peas) Vegetables
Urad/Urid flour
Vinegar (All except Malt)
Vanilla Extract
Vanilla Flavoring
Vanillin
Vinegars (Specific Types)
Vitamin A (retinol)
Waxy Maize
Whey
White Vinegar
Wines
Wine Vinegars (including Balsamic)
Wild Rice
Xanthan Gum
Yam Flour
Yogurt (make sure to check labels, some brands/types are NOT safe)

See, that leaves all kinds of things that we Celiacs can eat!

Ingredients that we should always question:

Questionable Ingredients

Natural Flavors/Flavorings (can contain malt, made from barley)
Soy Sauce (most are brewed from/with wheat; La Choy is safe)
Modified Food Starch (will be labeled if the source is wheat; it is a law as of 2006)
Spices (100% spices are fine, some spice mixes or combinations may contain gluten; always check if you are not sure)

Now, onto the Unsafe List:

Amp-Isostearoyl Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein
Barley Grass (can contain seeds)
Barley Hordeum vulgare
Barley Malt
Beer
Bleached Flour
Blue Cheese (made with bread ~ some are safe, I have never investigated it b/c I hate it!)
Bran
Bread Flour
Brewers Yeast
Brown Flour
Bulgur (Bulgar Wheat/Nuts)
Bulgur Wheat
Cereal Binding
Chilton
Club Wheat
Common Wheat
Couscous
Dextrimaltose
Durum wheat (Triticum durum)
Edible Starch
Einkorn
Emmer
Farina
Farina Graham
Filler
Flour (normally this is wheat)
Fu (dried wheat gluten)
Germ
Graham Flour
Granary Flour
Groats (barley, wheat)
Hard Wheat
Hydrolyzed Wheat Gluten
Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein
Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein Pg-Propyl Silanetriol
Hydrolyzed Wheat Starch
Hydroxypropyltrimonium Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein
Kamut
Malt
Malt Extract
Malt Syrup
Malt Flavoring
Malt Vinegar
Macha Wheat
Matzo Semolina
Mir
Oriental Wheat
Pasta
Pearl Barley
Persian Wheat
Poulard Wheat
Polish Wheat
Rice Malt (if barley or Koji are used)
Rye
Seitan
Semolina
Semolina Triticum
Shot Wheat
Small Spelt
Spelt
Sprouted Wheat or Barley
Strong Flour
Suet in Packets
Tabbouleh
Teriyaki Sauce (La Choy is GF)
Textured Vegetable Protein – TVP
Timopheevi Wheat
Triticale X triticosecale
Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Flour Lipids
Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Extract
Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Oil
Udon (wheat noodles)
Unbleached Flour
Vavilovi Wheat
Vegetable Starch
Wheat, Abyssinian Hard triticum durum
Wheat amino acids
Wheat Bran Extract
Wheat, Bulgur
Wheat Durum Triticum
Wheat Germ Extract
Wheat Germ Glycerides
Wheat Germ Oil
Wheat Grass (can contain seeds)
Wheat Nuts
Wheat Protein
Wheat Triticum aestivum
Wheat Triticum Monococcum
Wheat (Triticum Vulgare) Bran Extract
Whole-Meal Flour
Wild Einkorn
Wild Emmer

40-Something Odd Things

I got this in my email the other day titled “46 Odd Things”. I changed it to “40-Something Odd Things” b/c some of the things were “Who Will Send This Back”, etc. So, here are my “Odd Things”

1. Do you like blue cheese? Ewww….
2. Have you ever smoked heroin? No
3. Do you own a gun? Nope
4. What flavor do you add to your drink at Sonic? I have never eaten at Sonic
5. Do you get nervous before doctor appointments? Not usually
6. What do you think of hot dogs? Yuck..they make me feel sick
7. Favorite Christmas movie? ELF!! (“Buddy the elf, what’s your favorite color?”)
8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning? COFFEE and water
9. Can you do push ups? Yep
10. What’s your favorite piece of jewelry? my wedding ring
11 .Favorite hobby? cooking/baking, blogging (I guess “favorite” implies one)
12. Do you have A.D.D? Wouldn’t surprise me
13. What is one trait you hate about yourself? Super people pleaser
14. Middle name? Lynn
15. Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment. I should bake something, I should clean something, No, I shouldn’t
16. Name 3 things you bought yesterday. Hmm…Starbucks Coffee, Cold Stone Ice Cream, Antibiotics for Jon & Hannah
17. Name 3 drinks you regularly drink. Coffee, water & wine…all the liquids you need
18. Current worry? Too many to list
19. Current hate right now? Cancer
20. Favorite place to be? anywhere with my family
21. Where would you like to go? someplace where cancer doesn’t exist
22. What shirt are you wearing? Pumpkin Orange Sweater..it is cold out today
23. What year would you go back in time to? I don’t want to go back in time
24. Can you whistle? Not really
25. Favorite color? pink
26. Would you be a pirate? No
27. Favorite girl’s name? Hannah
28. Favorite boy’s name? Jon
29. Last thing you dreamed about? I can’t remember
30. What’s in your pocket right now? lint
31. Last thing that made you laugh? When Jon told Hannah to “Get out of my grill” He meant to get out of his face. I had never heard that before, but it made me LOL!
32. Best Halloween costume? I probably won’t dress up. I am having surgery that day (nothing serious, just have to have a small cyst on a salivary gland removed), so I probably won’t dress up.
33. Worst injury you’ve ever had? Hmm…broke my finger
34. Do you like where you live?yes
35 How many TVs do you have in your house? 5
36. Favorite Halloween Candy? Heath Bar
37. Favortie Pie Flavor? toss up between pumpkin and apple
38. Favorite shoes you own? myUgg slippers
39. Favorite Pizza Topping? toss up between BLT and veggie (tomato, mushroom, broccoli & cheese)
40. Favorite burger topping? bacon & cheddar & mushroom
41. Does someone have a crush on you? Hopefully my husband
41. What is your favorite book(s)? Oh good grief…I don’t know
42. Favorite Sport? Ice Hockey
43. What were you doing 12 AM last night? Sleeping
44 What was the first thing you thought of when you woke up? OMG, my legs are killing me (work out that I did at home the other day that included many lunges/squats).

Menu Plan Monday ~ October 20, 2008

This week I am hosting Menu Plan Monday and am thrilled to do so. I have chosen squash as the ingredient of the week.

Squash (aside from yellow, zucchini squash) is relatively new in my menu plan. I had just never really tried it before. Last fall I made some salmon and decided to makes some butternut squash along with it and I was quickly in love. I have now branched out to Spaghetti Squash, one of my new favs.

We have a very busy week this week. Last night I had planned on making homemade pizza, but was unable to do so, so we went out instead. I am planning on moving that now until Friday.

Monday ~ Salmon with Agave & Lime, acorn squash & salad

Tuesday ~ Mexican Pizzas, Mexican Rice and organic black refried beans

Wednesday ~ Hockey/Ice Skating night; Cheeseburger in Paradise

Thursday ~ Apricot Glazed Pork Loin (recipe to follow), butternut squash, salad & chebe rolls

Friday ~ BBQ chicken breasts, sweet potato fries, steamed broccoli, salad

Saturday ~ Homemade pizza, salad & steamed veggies

Baked Goods
Snickerdoodles
Bagels

Make sure to check out Org Junkie for more fun menu ideas.

Check out Cheryl at Gluten-Free Goodness. She has a wonderful menu planned this week. I am especially interested in her quinoa italiana. I may give that a try! Her vegan brownies from last week look scrumptious! The pumpkin cornbread has also caught my eye. I hope you share a recipe for that, Cheryl, I am a sucker for anything pumpkin. :)

Karen at Gluten Free Sox Fan has a great menu planned for the week. The chicken pot pie sounds wonderful! She is also looking for ideas about what to take to a Halloween party, so if you have some ideas, make sure to share. :)

Ginger from Fresh Ginger has a yummy menu planned. I may just move in with her for the week. ;) The Turkey tenderloins stuffed with spinach have caught me eye. I love spinach!

Brenda at Book of Yum has an amazing looking menu this week.
The pumpkin & black bean casserole has me drooling, as do some of her breakfast choices.

Manda at Aspargus Thin is loving the ingredient of the week. Squash is one of her favorites. Her Teriyaki Salmon with simmered squash sounds very good. I would also like to hear more about the pumpkin chip muffins, as I love any and all things pumpkin. :)

Kimberly at Living Free hasn’t been feeling well. I hope you feel better soon!! She is planning on cooking a pumpkin this week and using it for something. I can’t wait to see what she does with it.

Joe is My Friend

Joe is my new best friend. No, I don’t mean Joe The Plumber. I am referring to Trader Joe. :) I had ya there, huh? I ran into Trader Joe’s quickly yesterday. I had an appointment on that side of town and needed my GF French Rolls. While waiting in line, I noticed that they had Trader Joe’s Rice Krispy Treats. I picked up the box to read the label and the cashier offered me a sample (the sample was a whole bar!). I was planning on buying them anyway, but the sample sealed the deal. (See why Joe is my friend?) ;) The bars are $2.99/box of 5. Kind of pricey, but cheaper than some of the other GF alternatives out there. Not only are these puppies GF, but they are dairy free and vegan, too! The bars have a great taste to them and they are only 100 calories! :)

While I am on the subject of Trader Joe’s, I must talk about their GF brownie mix. Talk about an easy way to get your chocolate fix! The mix is $2.99 (I think) and you add 1/2 cup oil, 1/4 water, 1 egg and I added chocolate chips b/c one can never have too much chocolate. ;) Super easy to mix up and throw in the oven. Bake for 30 minutes (I actually had to bake for 40) and then cool for 15. Cut into squares and enjoy. These brownies are so fudgey and yummy. I was going to frost them, but I think I am going to leave them be. I would normally use a mix of powdered sugar, cocoa, vanilla & milk for the frosting. I think that for dessert later I will be topping one with some Edy’s Slow-Churned Pumpkin Ice Cream, Hershey’s Syrup and more Chocolate Chips.

In the pan, before cutting

See the yummy goodness??

So, if you don’t have any weekend plans yet and you have a Trader Joe’s close by, you should go try out some of their GF products.

I Am in Love

It is no secret that I am a chocoholic. The funny part is that I was not a fan of chocolate until I was pregnant with my second child. If offered a choice between a sugary, fruity candy and a chocolate bar, I would have chosen a fruity candy, hands down, before my second pregnancy. But, once I was pregnant with Hannah, this strange force came over me. All of a sudden I had to have this double fudge chocolate brownie ice cream every night after dinner. I really should have bought stock in Edy’s, as I swear I kept them in business during that pregnancy. This sudden obsession with chocolate did not come without consequences, I gained 65+ pounds during that pregnancy. OUCH! 65 pounds of sheer, chocolate bliss. :) My craving for chocolate has never gone away since. I love chocolate. I can’t get enough. So, when I saw that Peanut Butter & Co. made a peanut butter with chocolate in it, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on some. I happened to be in Wal-Mart yesterday and came across a jar of Dark Chocolate Dreams. I picked up up, saying a little prayer that it was gluten-free, and as I looked down the label, imagine my surprise when it said “Gluten-Free” right there on the label! YAY!! This PB was mine! It even had a $.55 off coupon right on the lid. There was no reason not to buy it, at least not from my point of view. ;) Aaron might beg to differ. I couldn’t wait for breakfast this morning to have some of this heaven on my rice cake and then top it with black cherry preserves. It did not disappoint. Wow. Why has it taken me this long to discover this amazing product? What better way to start the day than with peanut butter, chocolate and a piping hot cup of coffee? The bonus to this is that the nutritional value of this peanut butter is about the same as my Skippy Natural. It has 10 less calories, 3 g less fat, and a lot less sodium. There is no refined sugar or hydrogenated oil in the Dark Chocolate Dreams; it is sweetened with evaporated cane juice. This is a win-win in my opinion. The only downside that I can see is that it is a little pricier than my Skippy Natural. It is, however, cheaper than the Almond Butter I bought last week and it tastes better, too! :)

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