Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Heirloom Bean and Ham Soup


This is Wintertime hearty soup!

It is so easy to mix up a pot of soup these days. No recipe needed…
Just buy a bean mix, add a few spices, herbs, ginger, onions, cubes of ham, broth and as a final touch, pureed fire roasted tomatoes.  I love thickened soups, so I always add a small amount of quinoa. Usually it is just one-fourth cup.

This cooked on high for two hours and low for about 4 hours.  This is an old Crock Pot so it does not heat as hot as the newer fancy slow cookers.

This is after all day simmering

Heirloom Bean and Ham Soup

Heirloom Bean and Ham Soup

I found this large bag at a warehouseheirloom beans

Picked and rinsed well

Heirloom Beans

I did a pre-boil with ginger to remove some of the toot power and the package also stated the mix would foam a bit. After boiling, drain and add drained beans to Crock Pot with spices and broth. 

Heirloom Beans

Heirloom Beans

Add the quinoa during the last half hour of cooking.

Isn’t it nice you can scan the can and find where the tomatoes were grown?

2061 (2)

And of course I also baked some sweet potatoes in the skin

2058 (2)



Now eating left-overs

heirloom bean soup 1

© 2015 http://retiredwithnoregrets.blogspot.com/

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Cake - Gluten Free

We mostly use slow cooker and Crock Pot synonymously…. One is  generic and one is brand.  They come in all sizes and with extras.  I prefer the simple ones… just put the food in and turn it on low or high or keep it warm.

I have bought at least 3 of the larger ones and then donated or given away.  Recently I sold one in a garage sale for $5.  Actually it was marked $10, but one lady switched the price and wanted to argue, so I let her have the crockpot for $5.  Hoping she finds good use of it though..

The actual crock pot that was used today is a few years old and my favorite.

Back to the cake… I saw a crock pot regular cake in my news feed and decided to keep the link.  This wasn’t the first time I’ve seen them, but with this cold weather, I was getting restless and I still have a few boxes of mixes left over from the holidays.

I only had one vanilla cake mix, so decided to use it. Beware all gluten free cake mixes aren’t the same, so some may need less liquid.  Always start with the water after everything else is mixed.

Now on to making the cake..

I modified the recipe using a gluten free cake mix, plus more spices and less water. I also reduced the topping to reduce the calories to almost 50 percent.  This version is moist and delicious. The original version that I modified Slow Cooker Pumpkin Cake


Slow-Cooker Pumpkin Cake - Gluten Free

 Slow-Cooker Pumpkin Cake - Gluten Free




1 box (15 oz.) Gluten Free Yellow Cake Mix (used liveGfree)

1 cup canned pumpkin (used Libby’s)

3 tbsp water (reduced the amount of water)

1/3 cup grapeseed oil

4 large eggs (used extra large)

1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice, plus 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp vanilla powder, 1/2 tsp ginger powder and 1 pinch ground nutmeg



3 tbsp lemon frosting warmed (used Duncan Hines Creamy Lemon Supreme)



1. Spray or grease your Crockpot generously

Slow-Cooker Pumpkin Cake - Gluten Free  greased crockpot


2. Beat all of the wet ingredients, except water until fluffy, gradually beat in the combined dry ingredients, until mixed.  Gradually add water by tablespoons until desired consistency is reached.

Slow-Cooker Pumpkin Cake - Gluten Free  - mixing


Slow-Cooker Pumpkin Cake - Gluten Free - mixing


3. Pour batter into your Crockpot; replace cover and cook 2 hours or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove cover and allow cooling 10 minutes.

Slow-Cooker Pumpkin Cake - Gluten Free - batter


Use a rubber spatula to loosen the edges and shake it gently to make sure is is loosened.

Turn out onto a serving plate, bottom side down. 


Slow-Cooker Pumpkin Cake - Gluten Free -   fresh from crockpot


 When cake has cooled sufficiently drizzle with frosting


Slow-Cooker Pumpkin Cake - Gluten Free


Cut and serve at room temperature.


Servings: 16


Nutrition (per serving): 179 calories, 6.4g total fat, 1.4g monounsaturated fat, 3.6g polyunsaturated fat, 0g trans fatty acids, 0g trans-monoenoic fatty acids, <1g alpha linolenic acid, <1g saturated fat, 52.9mg cholesterol, 25mg sodium, 28.4mg calcium, 51.8mg potassium, 27.1g carbohydrates, 1.2g fiber, 26g net carbohydrates, 12.9g sugar, 2.4g protein.

Slow-Cooker Pumpkin Cake - Gluten Free  ingredients

© 2015 http://retiredwithnoregrets.blogspot.com/

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Peanut Butter Brownie Cookies - Gluten Free

With all of the new gluten free products arriving in the marketplace, I discovered that I have  a few packages of mixes for brownies, cookies, cake and muffins.  I am sort of in a slump for making anything different  for sweets and hate the so so packaged prepared ones.

With the holidays nearing, I decided to brainstorm ideas for using the boxed mixes for treats.  Everyone seems to prefer cookies, so I am quizzing my brain for different kinds of cookies  or muffins using said mixes.

My food preferences have changed a bit over the past 6 months too.  I have grown tired of my old peanut butter standard.  I found a different ‘natural’ one with no added sweeteners or oil. It is just peanuts and salt.  The salt is even much lower than the lower-sodium one that I have been eating for at least 15 years!

These little nuggets are crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside. There is a mild peanut butter taste.

Well, what are you waiting for?  Get into that kitchen and make some noise with the mixer and pans!

Peanut Butter Brownie Cookies - Gluten Free


 Peanut Butter Brownie Cookies - Gluten Free




1 package Gluten Free Brownie Mix (used Betty Crocker)

2 extra large eggs

6 tbsp chunky natural peanut butter (used Smucker's)

1 tbsp Buttery Spread or 80% fat margarine

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract




Using a hand mixer combine the eggs, peanut butter, extract and buttery spread until fluffy. Beat in the brownie mix, Scrape down the bowl and beat any remaining ingredients until smooth. 



Using a spatula scrape down the bowl sides to bottom to get a rounded ball with no unmixed batter left on the bottom of the mixing bowl. The mix will be thick and sticky.

 Peanut Butter Brownie Cookies - Gluten Free -dough ball


Preheat the oven to 350F. Cover large baking sheets with parchment paper.  Drop into about tablespoon sized balls onto the covered baking sheet. Shape with the spatula. 


Bake about 9 minutes until the shine is gone from the tops. Remove from oven, allow to sit on pan for 2 minutes, remove to single layer serving dish or wire rack to cool.


 These weren't flattened

Peanut Butter Brownie Cookies - Gluten Free - before oven


These were flattened a bit

Peanut Butter Brownie Cookies - Gluten Free -before oven


The cookies will spread to almost double width.


Peanut Butter Brownie Cookies - Gluten Free - fresh from oven



Servings: 30

Makes: 60 bite sized cookies


Nutrition (per 2 cookies): 88 calories, 3.6g total fat, 1.2g monounsaturated fat, <1g polyunsaturated fat, 1.1g saturated fat, 15.8mg cholesterol, 54.2mg sodium, 2mg calcium, 5mg potassium, 13.2g carbohydrates, <1g fiber, 12.6g net carbohydrates, 9.6g sugar, 1.5g protein.


© 2014 http://retiredwithnoregrets.blogspot.com/