Archive for Snacks

Homemade Cashew Butter

Peanuts are the enemy, which kinda sucks when you love peanut butter! But, the stomachache isn’t really worth it, so I decided to make my own cashew butter, since the only kind you can buy is super expensive! It’s really hard to find too, so i figured I’d stock up on cashews from Costco and make a bunch of cashew butter. It was way easier than i thought it would be and it makes quite a bit! I’m already on my second batch, I guess the peanut butter and jelly (ok, really its homemade jam, YUM!) toast used it up pretty quick! I also made a batch of granola bars and oatmeal cookies substituting the peanut butter with this yummy cashew butter and they turned out fantastic! Speaking of Costco, they now have Udi’s multi-grain gluten free bread in the freezer section and its a much larger loaf, the pieces are bigger too, and its a pretty good price! I was super excited to see it, and will be stocking up on it as I’m going through it pretty darn quickly! Its funny how the things that you cant have and then find out that you can have again, you’ll have it a whole bunch like you’re making up for lost time or something! LOL  If you can have peanuts or almonds you can use this recipe and make your own nut butter. Any kind is better than the preservative filled ones at the store! Nothing beats fresh, natural nut butter. Oh, just make sure you use unsalted nuts, or it’ll be a little saltier than you expect. Yep, I learned this the hard way, Oops! Oh well, it’s still good! So give it a try and enjoy! 🙂

Homemade Cashew Butter (Printable Version)cashew_butter

4 cups unsalted roasted cashews
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar

Place the nuts in a food processor and process until fine. Add the oil, salt, and sugar. Process on high for 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula and process to desired smoothness. Transfer to a bowl to use as a dip, spread, or to use in other recipes. Or place in an jar and refrigerate until ready to use.


Bear Claw Popcorn (Gluten & Dairy Free)

Ugh its Monday, and I’m sitting here in bed with my laptop, not feeling so hot, but bored outta my mind already! I hate being sick…, why not get a blog post done?! I know this is what I’m gonna eat as soon as I feel better! I mean… look at it! Can ya blame me?! Its too bad medicine didn’t taste like this right?! We’d probably all just be addicts then! LOL Anyhow…. I keep seeing all these delicious looking gourmet popcorn flavors at the store now. And yes, they are gluten free, but they are full of dairy and soy and who knows what else! I decided to make my own….its really not that hard! And…trying to think of flavors, I used the Denali ice cream for inspiration! (yet another thing I miss and can’t have! LOL)  This melt in your mouth caramel corn is chock full of crunchy cashews, chewy coconut and marshmallows, and drizzled with dark chocolate! You can’t go wrong with that combo! You could use the basic caramel corn part and then add whatever extra ingredients you wanted…. the secret ingredient though, is the baking soda. Just wait and watch when it hits the caramel sauce! And they say baking really is a science! LOL Guess it’s kinda true sometimes! Anyhow… you can’t beat gourmet popcorn for a snack, especially when its below freezing and everything is covered in snow outside. When I made this, and hubs came in, he said the whole house smelled like the caramel corn like at a carnival! That much was true…..what a unique and yummy smell in my nice warm cozy kitchen! I can guarantee that this is gonna taste even better than the carnivals though! Give it a try and enjoy! 🙂

Bear Claw Popcorn  (Printable Version)

Ingredients: Bear Claw Popcorn

  • 1 reg. bag natural salted popcorn, popped
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup non-dairy butter
  • 3 Tbsp light corn syrup
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Chips
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows
  • 3/4 cup cashews
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut


Preheat oven to 200° F.  Place the popcorn in a large bowl.

In a small saucepan melt the butter, brown sugar, and corn syrup.  Heat over medium heat until bubbly around the edges, stirring occasionally.  Continue cooking for 5 minutes without stirring.  Remove from heat and stir in baking soda until it is foamy.

Pour the caramel over the popcorn and toss until evenly coated.  Transfer it to an ungreased baking sheet and bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.

Microwave the chocolate chips for 30 seconds at a time, stirring, until it is melted.  Drizzle half of the chocolate over the popcorn and mix in the marshmallows, cashews and coconut. Drizzle the rest of the chocolate over the top of the popcorn.  Allow to cool until it is firm.


Marshmallow Caramel Popcorn (Gluten & Dairy Free)

I had a fantastic weekend of actually doing almost everything I had planned on doing! Which never happens, I might add! Spent a lot of it in the kitchen, trying out lots of new (and super tasty!) recipes, which will be on their way to you soon! This is one that’s perfect timing for fall! Its kind of a hybrid mix of caramel corn and rice krispie treats, and it is absolutely addicting! I think I ended up cracking a tooth on an un-popped kernel mixed in this, because Sunday night my tooth broke, so i get to spend the afternoon at the dentists office! Fun fun! NOT!  LOL  So…just be careful to take out ALL of the un-popped kernels! Lesson learned right?! Oh, and you might have to get the leftovers (if there ARE any!) out of your house or you’ll end up munching on it all weekend! I had to take the rest and bag it up and give it away, which ended up really cute! I had to share the pix on that! Anyways…..lots more recipes to come, but give this one a try, its super easy and quick to make…..and both gluten and dairy free too! What more could ya ask for!? Enjoy! 🙂

Marshmallow Caramel Popcorn (Printable Version)


1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup non-dairy butter

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp cinnamon

2 cups mini marshmallows

12 cups (1 reg size bag) popped natural popcorn

1/2 cup cashew pieces


Microwave brown sugar and butter for 2 minutes. Add marshmallows.

Microwave until melted, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Stir until smooth. Pour over popcorn and stir until popcorn is covered. Stir in cashews. Place popcorn on a wax-paper lined baking sheet to cool.


Fruit Salsa & Cinnamon Sugar Tortilla Chips (Gluten & Dairy Free)

All this talk about salsa lately…. yup, it was just Cinco de Mayo and I swear everyone made some kind of salsa. Well… I can’t eat tomatoes, so what’s a girl to do?! Hmmmm….. how bout some amazingly delicious fresh fruit salsa. Not only is it gluten and dairy free, buts its tomato free too! YAY! Finally a salsa I can eat! Of course I had to compete with hubby for it…..he’s a salsa lover and this one was definitely on his win list! The home-made cinnamon sugar tortilla chips are a perfect complement to the salsa. Its a nice refreshing treat that’s really pretty healthy too! Just in time for spring and summer! Hope you’ll give it a try! Enjoy 🙂

Fruit Salsa & Cinnamon Sugar Tortilla Chips (Printable Version)


Fruit Salsa:

1-2 cups diced strawberries

1/2 cup diced fresh pineapple

(or crushed pineapple, drained)

1/2 cup diced peaches

1/2 cup diced mango

2-3 kiwis, diced

2 Tbsp berry jam

Extra sugar, if desired


Mix fruit and jam together in a bowl. Add sugar to taste if desired. Put in fridge or freezer to chill.


Cinnamon Sugar Tortilla Chips:

6-inch white corn tortillas

Pam or Crisco spray

White granulated sugar

Ground Cinnamon


Spray both sides of all the tortillas. Stack the sprayed tortillas and cut into 6ths. Place pieces on a foil-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Bake at 350 F for 1—15 minutes. Let cool on pan.

S’mores Granola Bars (Gluten & Dairy Free)

Who doesn’t love s’mores right?! The only downfall is that gluten free graham crackers taste like cardboard! YUM huh?! I still have to try out my new GF graham cracker recipe, but for now…..this will definitely satisfy my S’mores craving!! They smell and taste just like them! AND this recipe seriously took my like 5 minutes to make! I’ve got some more great S’mores recipes coming…..but in the meantime, give this one a try!! You won’t be dissapointed! Unless you’re one of those wierdo’s that doesn’t like marshmallows! (See I told you I’d write that L!!) Enjoy! 🙂

S’mores Granola Bar (Printable Version)


  • ¼ c butter
  • ¼ c brown sugar
  • ¼ c honey
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • 2 c quick oats
  • 1 c gluten free Rice Krispies
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 c mini marshmallows
  • ¼ c Ghiradelli chocolate chips


  1. Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add brown sugar and honey. Cook until melted and sugar is dissolved. Stir in vanilla.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, combine oats, cereal, and salt. Stir. Pour hot butter mixture over oat mixture and stir until well combined. Fold in marshmallows and chocolate chips.
  3. Pour into a greased 8×8 pan. Press down firmly.
  4. Place pan in refrigerator for 30 minutes, until set but not hard. Using a knife, make a cut directly down the center, then slice into 8 bars. Remove bars from pan and place in snack-size zipper bags. Store at room temperature for up to a week.

No-Bake Granola Bites

As much as I love the granola bars that I make….eating them every single day for my mid-morning snack gets kinda old! I found a recipe for these little gems, and tweaked it just a bit until I got something that I liked! You can easily switch out the “extras” with what you have on-hand, or try any combination of extras to keep it fresh! With the peanut butter, oats and nuts, you get a nice little energy burst…and the chocolate chips and honey gives it just enough sweetness to satisfy those  sweet tooth cravings! These freeze well, so you can just take a couple out in the morning and enjoy them later in the day! They are also super easy to make…..just stick in all in your kitchen-aid mixer and ball em up! No need to even turn on the oven! So have fun with these…. you pretty much can’t go wrong! Enjoy! 🙂

No-Bake Granola Bites (Printable Version)

1 cup old fashioned oats

1/2 cup peanut butter

1/3 cup honey

2/3 cup coconut flakes

1/3 cup diced walnuts

1/2 cup ground oats

1/2 cup Ghiradelli chocolate chips

1 tsp vanilla

Mix everything above in a Kitchen-aid mixer until thoroughly incorporated.  Let chill in the refrigerator for half an hour.  Once chilled, roll into balls and enjoy!  Store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to 1 week or freeze.

Roasted Potato Wedges & Homemade Ranch Dip (Gluten & Dairy Free!)

Somewhere in my distant memory I have this vague recollection of creamy ranch dressing.  I remember how I used to put Ranch dressing on everything! I also remember getting really bad indigestion after eating ranch dressing! That’s probably because of the buttermilk…since I’m allergic to milk and didn’t realize it! LOL! But now that I know…. I realized how much I miss ranch! So I set out to find a gluten free AND dairy free ranch dressing/dip. Found one! And OMG it tastes amazing! Its incredible paired with sweet little crunchy baby carrots, or these delicious roasted potato wedges! Yum! You can thin it down if needed with more almond milk to make a great creamy salad dressing too! If I could have pizza….trust me I’d be dipping it in this ranch sauce! Now I’m thinking of all the things that I can make that will utilize this fabulous dip! Got any suggestions?! Let me know! LOL. In the meantime though… give these a try! The wedges are super yummy with or without the ranch. They make a nice complementary side dish or have em just for a snack! Enjoy! 🙂

Roasted Potato Wedges (Printable Version)

2 large Yukon Gold potatoes

1 tbsp vegetable oil

1/4 tsp paprika

Salt and pepper to taste

 Dash of Parsley flakes


Preheat the oven to 425F.  Wash and scrub the potatoes well. Cut potatoes into wedges and place in a large bowl. Add oil, paprika, salt, pepper and parsley and mix well to coat thoroughly. Spread the wedges, side down, on a baking sheet lined with foil. Bake in the oven 15 minutes, turning potatoes, and bake for another 15 minutes.

Gluten & Dairy Free Ranch Dressing/Dip (Printable Version)


1 cup regular or lite Mayo
1/4 cup almond milk with a dash of lemon juice
1/2 tsp. dried Parsley
1/2 tsp dried Chives
1/2 tsp. dried Dill
1/4 tsp. Garlic Powder
1/4 tsp. Onion Powder
1/8 tsp. Sea Salt
1/8 tsp. Black Pepper


  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl.
  2. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Makes 1 cup

Party Mix

I’m trying to stay away from sugar, and attempting to follow a yeast-free (or as much as possible) diet, and with my sweet tooth, I’m finding it extremely hard! I’m substituting sweet for salty, and since I’m not a big cereal for breakfast person, this is a great snack! I realize that the bagel chips DO have yeast in them…..but i JUST found these at Walmart, so I had to buy a box! Sometimes I’ll use the gluten free pretzels, but those have soy in them, and yeast too….just depends on what I’m in the mood for. Usually these “extras” end up in the bottom of the bag and all the cereal is gone! LOL! I’m also not eating peanuts, as I have a slight peanut allergy, so I stick to cashews, but feel free to use mixed nuts instead! With the Super Bowl approaching, if I even end up watching it, at least I’ll have something to eat! I was really excited to learn the Lea & Perren’s Worcestershire sauce is not only gluten free, its also soy free now! YAY for those of us with sensitivities! You can’t really go wrong with this recipe! Mix it up and enjoy! 🙂

Gluten, Dairy & Soy Free Party Mix (Printable Version)


4 cups corn chex cereal

4 cups rice chex cereal

1 cup cashew pieces (or mixed nuts)

1 cup gluten free bagel chips

6 Tablespoons non dairy, soy free butter

2 1/2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1  Tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

1/2 teaspoon onion salt


Heat oven to 250°F. In large bowl, mix cereals, nuts and bagel chips; set aside. Melt butter in microwave, stir in seasonings. Pour over cereal mixture and mix until evenly coated. Bake 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Cool in pan. Store in airtight container.

Wheatless Wheat Thins!

Gluten free crackers…..hmmm….what can I say other then most of the store made ones are nasty! LOL! I miss wheat thins….the honey grainy crunch! I found a recipe for homemade wheat thins……so I took the gluten out and made them! They are super easy to make….I didn’t have any problems rolling them out…. and the cleanup is super quick! I probably rolled mine a little thick on some of them… they aren’t quite as crunchy as I’d like, but they’ll dry out in a few days I’m sure. They do have a nice crunch and taste to them…..not exactly the same, but you can tell they are wheat thinish! They don’t really look like wheat thins, obviously, but I might try this with some oat flour and a little more spice, maybe with some Italian seasoning in there and see what I get! YUM! But for now, it made a nice little bag of crackers that will fix my cracker cravings! Enjoy! 🙂

Homemade GF “Wheat Thins” (Printable Version)


1 ¼ cup GF flour + 1 tsp X-gum

1 ½ TBS honey

½ tsp. salt

¼ tsp. paprika

4 TBS cold butter, cut up

¼ cup water

¼ tsp. vanilla

salt for topping


1. In a processor bowl, combine the flour, salt, paprika and butter.

2. Pulse for a few times until you get fine crumbs.

3. Combine water, honey and vanilla and pour over dry mixture

4. Process again for a few seconds until everything is evenly combined… You should be able to form a smooth dough….sort of like a play dough consistency.

5. Form into a ball and cut into 4 pieces…cutting them in 4 pieces will help you work with a small amount of dough so that you can roll the dough as thinly as possible.

6. Take one piece of dough and place between parchment paper. Roll dough as thinly as possible close to 1/16-1/8th inch. Lift the top parchment paper and reposition it to evenly roll out the dough.

7. Cut crackers using a pizza slicer…about 1 1/2 inches square. If you want “perfect” squares, trim edges and re-roll scraps once.

8. You can place crackers on a parchment paper… or if you’ve rolled it out on a parchment paper, just slide it onto a cookie sheet parchment and all. The crackers don’t spread much. Sprinkle the squares lightly with salt…. Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough.

9. Bake crackers until crisp and browned 5-10 minutes (depending on thickness)… remove the thinner crackers that brown too quickly and bake the remaining crackers. You want the crackers to be almost crispy, golden brown when removing them.

10. Remove the crackers from oven and cool on the pan…this will crisp them up even more.

Appetizer Pleasers!

I found 2 seriously yummy looking “appetizer” recipes that I just HAD to try! I use the work appetizer loosely because this ended up as dinner, lunch and snacks! They’re so good, and simple to make that you can enjoy them anytime! The first one is Apple Pie Chex Mix. I love that Chex is gluten free. I’ve never really liked cereal in your typical cereal and milk for breakfast way. Id rather eat it dry in a snack mix. Trust me, I’ve got many different snack mix recipes, which as I make, I’ll share, but since its fall, this one sounded perfect! We just hit freezing temperatures and although I’d rather bake an apple pie, this was much faster to make and just as tasty! The other recipe is for Sausage & Cheese Balls. (I know it sounds…funny!) but these are omg sooooo good! There are lots of recipes out there for this recipe and they all call for different amounts of the same ingredients and bake times and temps, all resulting in different yet similar tasting balls. I took a couple different ones and substituted for gluten free and just kinda winged it. The end result was fantastic! Thank goodness I’ve got some amazing self control or I could get into some serious trouble with these little things hanging around! I also cut it down so it only makes 12, which is plenty for me…. but it can easily be doubled or tripled or whatever if you’re using them for entertaining. And trust me, they won’t last long if you do! So lets get started… Enjoy! 🙂

Apple Pie Chex Mix (Printable Version)


6 cups Cinnamon Chex cereal

1 cup walnut pieces

½ c coconut flakes

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 cup butter or margarine

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

10 oz dried apples, broken

½ c dried cranberries (optional)

2 squares white chocolate candi-quik


In large microwavable bowl, mix cereal, walnuts and coconut.

In 2-cup microwavable measuring cup, microwave brown sugar, butter, cinnamon, and nutmeg uncovered for about 1 1/2 minutes, stirring after 1 minute, until smooth and bubbly. Pour over cereal mixture; stir until evenly coated.  Microwave uncovered on High 4 minutes, stirring after each minute. Spread on waxed paper or foil to cool. Sprinkle apples (and cranberries) evenly over cereal mixture.

In small microwavable bowl, microwave candi-quik uncovered on High about 1 minute or until it can be stirred smooth. Drizzle over cereal mixture; let stand until set. Break into bite-size pieces. Store in airtight container.

Adapted From: Taste of Home

Gluten Free Sausage & Cheese Balls (Printable Version)


1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
½  lb. bulk sausage (any kind will do, but I used maple flavored)
2/3 c Gluten Free Bisquick
¼ cup milk

Mix everything together in a Kitchenaid mixer until thoroughly combined. Use a large cookie scoop and then roll into smooth balls. Place on a greased cookie sheet 1-2 inches apart. Should make 12 balls and fit on one cookie sheet. Bake for 18-20 minutes at 375 degrees F or until a meat thermometer reaches 170 or higher.

Yield: 12 balls


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