Tag Archives: Fiesta Friday

Gluten-Free Veggie Pasta Salad

Tis the season for cook outs and potlucks and picnics. And everyone knows none of those would be complete without pasta salad. I love that this one has so many veggies in it, it makes it light and a bit healthier than other pasta salads.

I love to brighten up Memorial Day or Fourth of July with this simple recipe. Keep in mind that simple doesn’t mean boring. It’s easy to throw together the morning of an event, and still has a zesty flavor that everyone seems to love. It’s also very customizable and you can choose your favorite veggies to throw in and make it your own.


Veggie Pasta Salad

  • 1 box (gluten free) twirly pasta
  • 1 and 1/2 cups Italian dressing (make sure it’s gf if needed)
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 medium head broccoli, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 green pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 red onion, chopped
  • 1/2 can black olives, sliced
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
  1. Cook and drain pasta, then rinse with cold water until completely cooled.
  2. Add pasta, and everything but tomatoes in a large bowl and mix until evenly combined.
  3. Add in tomatoes and mix again. (I do this last so they won’t get crushed.)
  4. Refrigerate and eat cold.
  5. Enjoy!

I’m sharing this salad with Fiesta Friday. Have a great weekend! πŸ™‚


Strawberry Shortcake

Mmm… Strawberry shortcake. It’s the perfect summer dessert. And it’s so easy to bring to BBQs or other cookout, potluck type events.

Growing up, strawberry shortcake was often a Memorial Day or Fourth of July treat, so it brings me right back to those summer celebrations.

For this dessert I wanted to do something a bit different. So I made vanilla cake donuts for the base, strawberries, and a thicker whipped cream with a bit of cream cheese. It’s still light and satisfying while carrying a bit more substance.

Strawberry Shortcake

Strawberry Shortcake

Vanilla donuts (makes 9)

  • 2 Tablespoons almonds
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup apple sauce
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
  • 1 Tablespoon milk
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup tapioca flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Blend almonds and water in a blender until no chunks remain.
  3. Combine almond mixture, and apple sauce through milk in a medium sized bowl.
  4. Mix flours and baking powder in small bowl.
  5. Add dry to wet and mix until combined.
  6. Pour into greased donut pan (could use mini pie pans too) and bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden and cooked through (test with toothpick).
  7. Let cool in pans for a couple minutes, turn out onto cooling rack and allow to cool completely.



  • 2 cups frozen strawberries
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup white sugar (depending on desired sweetness)
  • Splash water (optional)
  1. Place strawberries in medium saucepan and heat on medium until they begin to melt. At this point I sometimes add a bit of water if the juice evaporates too quickly.
  2. Stir strawberries around and sprinkle with sugar, then mix it in.
  3. Continue to cook until the strawberries have fully defrosted and are surrounded by a nice sauce.
  4. Transfer to a bowl and the refrigerator until cold.


Whipped topping

  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 ounces cream cheese
  • 2 Tablespoons sour cream
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
  1. Beat sugar, cream cheese and sour cream until smooth.
  2. Add in whipping cream and vanilla and beat until peaks form.
  3. Use immediately or store in refrigerator for up to two days in an airtight container.


Bringing it together

  1. Assemble shortcake in layers. Cake, strawberries, cream. Enjoy!


Today I’m sharing this with Fiesta Friday. πŸ™‚


Chocolate Drizzled Popcorn

The other night we decided to watch a movie and have a date night. Of course, no movie is complete without popcorn. But we wanted something a little sweet. So we went with a simple chocolate drizzle to dress up the popcorn.


All I did was cook the popcorn (no added salt or butter), and melt some chocolate chips to drizzle over the top. As you can see, it wasn’t the smoothest strands of chocolate, but it was still the perfect blend of bland and sweet. πŸ™‚

I’m sharing this with Fiesta Friday because it’s the perfect weekend snack.

Do you have any favorite movie night treats?


Rainy Day Potato Soup

It’s been really cold and rainy this week. Just the perfect weather for a nice steaming bowl of potato soup. I know it’s a little off season, but it was so fitting this week that I’m sharing it in case any of you find yourselves in the same situation I was.

I also made some of these rolls to go with them… Just add in some minced garlic and shredded cheese and they pair perfectly. There’s nothing better then curling up on the couch with a book and some warm soup on a cold and rainy day. πŸ™‚


Rainy Day Potato Soup

  • 6 cups (about 7 medium) white potatoes, cubed*
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (or bacon grease)
  • 1/4 red onion, finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup thinly chopped carrots (about 5 medium)
  • 3/4 cup thinly chopped celery stalks (about 6)
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2-4 cups filtered water
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 package bacon, cooked and crumbled (optional)
  • Cheese to top (optional)
  1. Coat the bottom of a large put with olive oil (or bacon grease). Add the onion and cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally, until onions are slightly translucent.
  2. Add in carrots and celery, stir and cook for another 5ish minutes.
  3. Add garlic and potatoes, and mix until combined.
  4. Cover with water just until the vegetables are covered, cover and cook for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. IfΒ  water level goes below the veggies be sure to add more.
  5. Scoop out about a cup of the soup and blend until smooth. Blend more if you want a thinner soup.
  6. Add blended mix back into the pot along with a cup of whipping cream.
  7. Cook uncovered over medium heat, stirring occasionally for another hour or until the veggies are soft enough to enjoy and soup is reduced to desired thickness.
  8. Mix in the bacon and top with cheese.
  9. Enjoy!

*Tip: Soak your cubed potatoes in water while you chop the other vegetables. This can be a helpful step because it lets the potatoes release some of their starch resulting in a creamier soup. Just remember to drain them before adding them in. It works for fluffier mashed potatoes too (sometimes I soak mine for a few hours).

Do you have any favorite soups or rainy day treats?

I’m sharing this soup with my friends at Fiesta Friday, co-hosted this week byΒ Kaila @ GF Life 24/7 and Laurena @ Life Diet Health. Come join the party!

Connect on Facebook. πŸ™‚

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Thank you Nestle! I decided to try making traditional Toll House cookies substituting the flour. They turned out amazing! I’m so glad I tried it! Making some more this weekend. πŸ™‚


Gluten-Free Nestle Toll House Cookies

  • 2 cups all purpose gluten-free flour (I used Arrowhead Mills)
  • 1/4 cup tapioca flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) softened unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups (12-oz. bag) chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 375Β° F.
  2. Combine both flours, baking soda and salt in small bowl.
  3. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large bowl until creamy.
  4. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  5. Beat in one third of flour mixture at a time just until combined.
  6. Stir in chocolate chips and walnuts.
  7. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto parchment lined baking sheets.
  8. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.
  9. Enjoy! πŸ™‚

I’m sharing these with my friends at Fiesta Friday. Co-hosted this week by Mollie @ The Frugal Hausfrau and Scarlett @ Unwed Housewife. Won’t you check out the party? πŸ™‚

Social Media: Facebook

Peppermint Oreo Cake

It is now the week of Christmas and I have the perfect dessert to share with you! There’s peppermint, chocolate and frosting. What could be better?


I took my Oreo cake and Christmasified it. (Is Christmasified a word? I’m going to say it is.) I seem to be making a lot of cakes lately and this is definitely one to add to our Christmas traditions.

I modified my Oreo cake recipe to use Trader Joe’s gluten free peppermint Oreos instead of the plain ones. Then I used crushed candy canes around the edges of the cake, and mixed some of the crushed candy canes and red food coloring into the icing to decorate.

Enjoy! And have a lovely Christmas week! πŸ™‚

Update: I just noticed that Fiesta Friday is celebrating its 100th week. How exciting! As it’s Christmas Day I thought it would be fitting to bring this cake along. Thank you so much to Angie for creating and hosting Fiesta Friday, as well as the co-hosts this week, Judi, Molly, Steffi, and Suzanne. I love seeing the new recipes everyone brings. Have a very merry Christmas! πŸ™‚

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

A cool autumn morning deserves a perfect autumn breakfast; warm, spiced, pumpkiny morsels of goodness. That’s exactly what these muffins are.


One of my absolute favorite things about fall is pumpkin! We put it in everything, coffee, breads, pies, soups, cookies… On this particular day I had the windows open with the cool fall air drifting in, and I started craving pumpkin and cream cheese.

Normally I would revert to something like a cheesecake (because pretty much every random food idea I have involves cheesecake in some form), but I felt like something warm and comforting. These muffins fit the bill perfectly!

It’s a slight update on my previous pumpkin muffins, and after I made them I realized streusel topping would have been simply perfect! Next time I make them I’ll (hopefully) remember the streusel and update the recipe. πŸ™‚




I’m sharing these with my friends at Fiesta Friday. Enjoy! And have a lovely weekend! πŸ™‚ What are your favorite things about autumn?

You can also find me on Facebook.

Gluten-Free Oreo Cake

Happy Friday, Friends!

Today I’m sharing one of our favorites: gluten-free Oreo* cake. It has a perfect blend of chocolate and cream, with that special Oreo cream filling to tie it all together. It’s rich and sweet, though not overpowering.

*Note: Oreos are not gluten-free, but gluten-free substitutes are easy to find and can taste just about the same depending on the brand.


With desserts like this, who wouldn’t enjoy eating gluten free?

I made this chocolate quinoa cake. I suppose any chocolate cake would work, though I like the balance between the frosting and the denser quinoa cake. I also make sure to chill it in the fridge before frosting. Once it’s cooled, then the fun begins!


With the first layer of cake on a plate or other platter, spread the Oreo cream frosting. (Frosting recipe below.)


Place the second layer of cake over the Oreo frosting and add a big dollop of frosting on top. Reserve some frosting if you plan on using it to decorate the top, otherwise use the rest to frost the cake.


Use a clean hand to put crushed gluten-free Oreos along the sides. I placed a paper towel under the edge of my plate to catch all the excess and reuse it. If I’m feeling lazy I’ll cover the whole thing in crushed Oreo, if not, I’ll go from this step and decorate it another way.

Cover and store the cake in the refrigerator.


Then it’s time to slice and enjoy!

Oreo Cream Cheese Frosting

I’m sharing this with my friends at Fiesta Friday. Have a great weekend, everyone!

I’d love to see how you decorate it! If you’d like, share photos of your Oreo cake in the comments or on Facebook. πŸ™‚

Bacon Brown Sugar Cheesecake

Happy Friday, everyone!

Today I have a bacon brown sugar cheesecake to share with you. I know it sounds a bit weird, but it’s actually pretty good. If the meat in dessert is too strange, just omit the bacon for a brown sugar cinnamon cheesecake.

I will also warn that my husband and I like cinnamon, so it may be a bit strong. If you like a more delicate cinnamon flavor, then add a little less than what I have here.

(If you just want the recipe, scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of the post.)

The lovely crumbled bacon.
Our crust all mixed and ready.
It’s starting to come together.
Add the bacon.
All mixed in. Just look at that texture!
Ready for the oven.
Fresh baked. For once we’re baking the bacon! (Still not sure about cooking the cookies…)
All dressed up and ready to enjoy.

bacon brown sugar cheesecake recipe card

I’m sharing this with my friends over at Fiesta Friday. Maybe I’ll see you there! And we can always connect on Facebook. Have a happy one!

Simple Salsa

Happy Friday, everyone!


Over the weekend we discovered that we had run out of salsa. *Gasp* We eat crazy amounts of salsa sometimes, and apparently had gone through it all.

Fortunately, I had plenty of ingredients, so I decided to try making my own! I think it turned out pretty well. Just what we had been looking for.

A couple weeks ago we tried out a new Mexican restaurant and they had some very interesting flavors of salsa, so I’ll (hopefully) be recreating some of those in the future.

In the meantime, here’s a basic salsa recipe. It’s similar to Chili’s salsa. I hope you enjoy!


Β Salsa Recipe

2 14.5oz cans diced tomatoes, mostly drained

The juice of one lemon

1 fresh jalapeno

Small handful cilantro

1/2-1 tsp garlic powder (to taste)

1/2-1 tsp cumin (to taste)

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 red onion, diced

Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.