When I went gluten free over a year ago I had to redo how we did our meals and come up with some new dishes to include in our regular meals. One of those dishes was polenta. I had made polenta before and I liked it. I’m not quite sure why I never made it again. Maybe it was out of laziness and not wanting to go through all the steps of making it. Back then I made the polenta, then molded it and finally sliced and fried it up. That’s not how we eat it now though. Now I keep it simple, I serve it as is. No molding,slicing or frying.
The actual creating of the polenta is easy. Your biggest concern is keeping your polenta from getting lumpy. That is pretty simple to accomplish though. Polenta is one of those foods that take a few extra minutes can mean all the difference in the world. When you add your polenta or cornmeal to your liquid you have to take it slow. You slowly pour and stir in your polenta instead of dumping it in. That is all. Stir on a regular basis and voila, lump free polenta. All there is left to do when it is done cooking is add butter and parmesan cheese. It really is an easy dish to make if you take your time.
Polenta has become a staple in our diet because it is just that good. I probably make it twice a month. It is one of my daughter’s favorite things to eat that she begs me to make. She is 8. Now how many 8 year olds do you know that ask for polenta for dinner? Try it for yourself and let me know what you think!
Country Girl Gourmet
- 2 cups whole milk
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 cup polenta or yellow cornmeal
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ½ cup parmesan cheese
- In a large pot over medium-high heat, bring milk, chicken broth, and salt to a boil. Gradually whisk in polenta. Reduce heat to low, and cover. Cook 20 minutes, until creamy, lifting the lid and stirring every 3 or 4 minutes to prevent sticking. Remove pot from stove, stir in pepper and butter. Gradually stir in cheese. Serve.
adapted from Allrecipes.com
So the other day I made brownies in my mini muffin pan and I overfilled the muffin cups. Have you ever done this? The majority of the brownies were ok but a several were overflowing. What’s a girl to do? Then I remembered a suggestion from a friend from many years ago, make a trifle. Easy enough right? I had the brownies, I had strawberries and a really easy recipe for chocolate pudding in a mug. Oh and of course some fancy sherbet dishes that would be perfect for mini trifles. I could totally make Mini Chocolate Covered Berry Trifles and win some awesome wife points at the same time. So I did and it was awesome.
Making a trifle is easy but when done right it can be quite the elegant dish that is perfect for any occasion. For my mini trifles I started with the pudding. I made the chocolate microwave pudding and stirred in one tablespoon of berry jam (use your favorite strawberry, raspberry, etc.) after it was done cooking. I then set it in the fridge to cool. The freezer will also work if you are in a hurry but don’t forget it is in there! Once your pudding is made and cooled it is time to construct your trifle. I start with the brownies. For each trifle I used 2 mini brownies. If you do not have mini brownies, 2 two inch square brownies should work. Take one of the brownies and break it up and place in your serving dish. I have some pretty sherbet dishes I used. On top of your brownie I then layered 2 chopped strawberries. If your strawberries are small you may want to use 3. Raspberries would work well in this trifle also. Cherries would too! When you are done with the strawberry layer add half of the chocolate pudding mixture, about 1/4 cup.Then you add more brownies, then strawberries and finally your chocolate pudding mixture. My trifles were only 2 layers. I then covered and refrigerated my trifles until I was ready to surprise my husband. They were refrigerated 2-4 hours which allowed the flavors to meld. Before serving I topped the trifles with a sliced strawberry and some leftover berry buttercream but whipped cream would work in a pinch, along with a drizzle of melted chocolate. The end result was a very happy husband. So happy that he ate his trifle and ate mine too! Well he was nice and let me taste it before he took it and gobbled it up and then asked if there was more.
I think I will be making mini chocolate covered berry trifles again. How about you? Are you a trifle fan? What are some of your favorite desserts?
Chocolate Pudding in a Mug
Country Girl Gourmet
- ½ cup milk
- ½ (1 ounce) square semisweet baking chocolate (Chocolate chips will work)
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 dash salt
- 1 dash vanilla extract
- Place milk and chocolate in a 12-ounce microwave-safe mug or a 2-cup glass measuring cup.
- Microwave on High until hot but not boiling, 60 to 90 seconds. Stir to melt chocolate.
- Stir cornstarch, sugar, and salt together in a small bowl; blend into the milk mixture.
- Microwave on High for 30 seconds, stir, and continue to heat until mixture thickens and just begins to boil, about 15 seconds more.
Are you ready for some Nascar? The Daytona 500 is coming up this weekend! My boys loves Nascar. They each have their own favorite drivers, my oldest is a Dale Jr fan, my middle son likes Kasey Kane and my youngest son likes Tony Stewart. A few years ago we even were lucky enough to take our entire family to a race in the Poconos and my boys became even more hooked. Hopefully now that we are back in North Carolina we can make a race in Charlotte or even Darlington. I know my boys would love it. Until we get back to the track my kids will have to watch the race on TV and for us that means race day snacks.
I have come up with some great Apricot Sriracha Wings that I get to eat also because they are gluten free. The wings are not breaded and baked instead of fried. I came up with a sweet and spicy sauce that my family has fallen in love with. It gets the sweet from Apricot Preserves and Brown Sugar and it’s spice from Sriracha Sauce. I will be recovering from the Disney Princess Half Marathon while my family is home watching the Daytona 500 but these wings are easy to make and I am sure my husband will have no problem whipping them up.
Look at how easy it is!
You start with 4 pounds of chicken wings. You lay them in a single layer on a parchment lined cookie sheet and then sprinkle with fresh ground pepper and salt. Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven.
They will need to bake 30-40 minutes until golden, skin looks crispy and the juices run clear.
While the wings are baking you make the wing sauce. In a saucepan add apricot jam, brown sugar, soy sauce, sriracha sauce and ground ginger. Cook on medium, stirring occasionally and bring to a boil. Boil for 3-4 minutes and then reduced heat to low and cook for an additional 10 minutes allowing the sauce to reduce and thicken. If the sauce coats a spoon like below and is thick like syrup, it is done.
Place cooked wings in a bowl and add about a 1/2 cup of the apricot sriracha sauce.
Toss the wings and sauce evenly coating the wings.
and then Enjoy! Any remaining sauce can be used for dipping.
Apricot Sriracha Wings
Country Girl Gourmet
- 4lbs chicken wings
- sea salt, to taste
- fresh cracked pepper, to taste
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup apricot preserves
- ¼cup soy sauce
- 1tsp ground ginger (1 TB grated fresh ginger can be used)
- 2 TB sriracha sauce
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees
- On a parchment lined baking sheet place wings in a single late and season with salt and pepper. Place in oven and bake 30-45 minutes until juices run clear.
- In a saucepan add apricot preserves, brown sugar, soy sauce, sriracha sauce and ginger and cook on medium and bring to a boil stirring occasionally.
- Boil for 3-4 minutes and then reduced heat to low and simmer for additional 10 minutes allowing the sauce to reduce.
- When wings are done place in a large bowl and drizzle about ½ cup Apricot-Sriracha sauce on top. Mix wings until well coated.
- The remaining sauce can be used for dipping.