New Years Eve 2.0

It’s New Years Eve! Ok so you’ve got some party ideas from my last post. Here a few more! Like I said, you got to ring in the new year BIG!

Grilled Asian Chicken Drumsticks 


  • 2 tablespoons gluten free soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne) (or more if you like the heat! I do!)
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 8 chicken drumsticks (about 1 1/2 lb)
  1. Heat gas or charcoal grill.(Or if you are inside, get a grill pan) In small bowl, mix all ingredients except chicken; brush mixture over chicken.
  2. Place chicken, bone sides down, on grill over medium heat. Cover grill; cook 15 to 20 minutes. Turn chicken. Cover grill; cook 20 to 40 minutes longer, turning 2 or 3 times, until juice of chicken is clear when thickest part is cut to bone (180°F).
  3. Serve with white rice or your favorite side.

Of course, we HAVE to do another cocktail cupcake! How about a lemon drop cupcake! A big ball is going to drop and while your counting down into the new year, toast with a lemon drop cupcake.

Lemon Drop Cupcakes

For the Cupcakes

  • 1 cup buttery spread such as Earth Balance, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose gluten free flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups sour cream

For the Frosting

  • 3 tablespoons buttery spread, such as Earth Balance, softened
  • 2 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated lemon peel
  • 1 tablespoon rice milk
  1. In a mixing bowl, cream buttery spread and sugar. Beat in eggs, one at a time.
  2. Add lemon peel and vanilla; mix well.
  3. Combine dry ingredients; add to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream (batter will be thick).
  4. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups with 1/4 cup of batter.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
  6. Cool for 10 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.
  7. For frosting, cream butter and sugar in a small mixing bowl. Add lemon juice, vanilla, lemon peel and rice milk; beat until smooth. Fill and ziplock plastic bag with the frosting and cut the tip of the bag. Frost cupcakes.

Last but definitely not least a Cosmo slush!!

Cosmo Slush 

  • 6 oz frozen (thawed) limeade concentrate (from 12-oz can)
  • 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 2 cups citrus-flavored vodka or orange juice
  • 1 cup orange-flavored liqueur or orange juice
  • 4 cups 100% cranberry juice blend
  1. In blender, place limeade concentrate and powdered sugar. Cover and blend on high speed until well mixed. Add vodka and orange liqueur. Cover and blend until well mixed.
  2. In 13×9-inch glass baking dish, stir limeade mixture and cranberry juice until well mixed.
  3. Cover and freeze at least 8 hours until slushy. Stir before serving.

THAT’S IT! Celebrate, be merry and ring in the new year with those you love! ENJOY!


New Years Eve

It is the eve of New Years Eve which means time to entertain again! Breakout the cookware, heat up the oven and crack open some eggs because we’re going to ring in 2012 big time!

First up, some delicious finger foods.

Ultimate Chicken Fingers


  • 2/3 cup Gluten Free Bisquick mix
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt or Garlic salt (I would actually use both – 1/2 teaspoon of each)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch strips
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 3 tablespoons buttery spread (such as Earth Balance) melted
  1. Heat oven to 450ºF. Line cookie sheet with foil; spray with cooking spray.
  2. Mix Bisquick mix, cheese, salt, garlic salt, ground black pepper and paprika in 1-gallon resealable plastic food-storage bag.
  3. Dip half the chicken strips into egg; place in bag of Bisquick mixture. Seal bag; shake to coat.
  4. Place chicken on cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining chicken. Drizzle butter over chicken.
  5. Bake 12 to 14 minutes, turning after 6 minutes  until no longer pink in center.
  6. Serve with you favorite dipping sauces and fresh home fries!

Home French Fries 

This is a super simple recipe for thick cut french fries fried up at home!


  • 2-4 large white potatoes (depending on how many you are feeding)
  • Canola oil or olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Seasoning (whichever you like)
  1. Wash and peel potatoes (or wash really well and leave skins on for a rustic look and taste)
  2. Heat up oil in a large frying pot (We have a wok which works great) You want the oil to be HOT!
  3. Slice potatoes into long stripes (I usually cut them 1 inch thick but you can cut them thicker or thinner)
  4. Slowly drop potatoes into the hot oil.
    Fry until golden brown
  5. Place on a plate that has been lined with paper towels.
  6. Season fries with salt, pepper and seasoning of your choice. (I usually go with a little bit of garlic powder). Make sure you season the fries while they are still hot.

Now for some sweets.  How about another cocktail cupcake this time inspired form a classic drink ordered by young and old. A Shirley Temple Cupcake.

Shirley Temple Cupcake


For the Cupcake

  • 1 and 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose gluten free flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup Earth Balance Buttery Spread, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup Cherry 7-Up, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 tablespoon maraschino cherry juice
  • Red food coloring

For the Buttercream Frosting

  • 1/2 cup Earth Balance Buttery Spread, at room temperature
  • Pinch salt
  • 2 and 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon maraschino cherry juice

For the Garnish

  • 12 maraschino cherries with stems
  1. For the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and prepare a cupcake pan with your desired paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together 1 and 1/2 cups of flour, baking powder, and salt.  Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of your standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the buttery spread and sugar together and beat, on medium-high speed, until fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  5. Reduce the mixer speed to low, and alternate adding half of the flour mixture and half of the Cherry 7-Up, mixing well and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.  Repeat until the flour and Cherry 7-Up are completely added to the batter.
  6. Add the vanilla and almond extracts, mixing well.
  7. Place about 3/4 cup of the cupcake batter in a separate small bowl and add the remaining 1 tablespoon of flour, maraschino cherry juice, and red food coloring (to your desired tint).
  8. Evenly distribute the red cupcake batter among your prepared liners, about 1-2 teaspoons per cupcake, gently smoothing out the batter to make sure it is flat.
  9. Once the red batter is in place, evenly distribute the remaining cupcake batter among the cupcake liners, making sure not to mix the two batters.
  10. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Let cool completely before frosting.
  11. For the Buttercream Frosting: In the bowl of your standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the buttery spread until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
  12. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the pinch of salt, powdered (confectioners’) sugar, vanilla and almond extracts, lemon juice, and maraschino cherry juice, adding more powdered sugar as necessary for your desired piping consistency.
  13. Pipe as desired onto your cooled cupcakes and garnish with a maraschino cherry.

You can’t have a Shirley Temple Cupcake without sipping on an actual Shirley Temple can you!?

Shirley Temples 


  • 1/4 cup lemon-lime soda (Sprite or 7-UP)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons grenadine syrup
  • 1 maraschino cherry
  1. In a highball glass, over ice, combine lemon-lime soda and grenadine. Stir well and garnish with a maraschino cherry.

Time for another cocktail cupcake! Here is a Margarita Cupcake

Margarita Cupcakes

For the Cupcakes

  • 1½ cups all-purpose gluten free flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup buttery spread such as Earth Balance, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • Zest and juice of 1½ limes
  • 2 tablespoons tequila (your choice)
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup buttermilk substitute (mix 1 cup of rice milk (or coconut milk) with 1 3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar. To ensure that the mixture doesn’t get lumpy, mix the cream of tartar with 2 tablespoons of rice milk. Once mixed, add the rest of the cup of rice milk. Cream of tartar is an acid and will simulate the acidic environment of buttermilk.) – then only use half a cup of the substitute

To Brush the Cupcakes

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons tequila (your choice)

For the Tequila-Lime Frosting

  • 1 cup buttery spread, at room temperature
  • 2¾ cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons tequila (your choice)
  • Pinch of coarse salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a cupcake pan with paper liners; set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the gluten free flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
  3. In an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the buttery spread and sugar together until pale, light, and fluffy (about 5 minutes).
  4. Reduce the mixer speed to medium and add the eggs one at at time, mixing thoroughly after each addition.
  5. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the lime zest, lime juice, vanilla extract and tequila. Mix until combined. (The mixture may start to look curdled at this point, it will all come back together)
  6. Reduce the mixer speed low. Add the dry ingredients in three batches, alternating with the buttermilk substitute  in two batches. Mix only until just incorporated, using a rubber spatula to give it one last mix by hand.
  7. Divide the batter between the cupcake cups. Bake for approximately 25 minutes or until just slightly golden and a skewer shows only moist crumbs attached, rotating the pan at the halfway point.
  8. Allow cupcakes to cool for 5 to 10 minutes, and then remove to a cooling rack. Brush the tops of the cupcakes with the 1 to 2 tablespoons of tequila. Set the cupcakes aside to cool completely before frosting them.
  9. To make the frosting, whip the buttery spread on medium-high speed of an electric mixer using the whisk attachment for 5 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium-low, and gradually add the powdered sugar, mixing and scraping the sides of the bowl until all is incorporated. Give it a mix on medium speed for about 30 seconds. Add the lime juice, tequila and salt mix on medium-high speed until incorporated and fluffy. If the frosting appears a bit too soft, add some additional sugar, one spoonful at a time until desired consistency is reached. Frost cupcakes and garnish, if desired, with lime zest, an additional sprinkling of salt and a lime wedge.

And last but not least a frozen margarita with a twist of cranberry!

Frozen Cranberry Margaritas


  • 1 can (11 1/2 ounces) frozen cranberry juice cocktail concentrate, thawed
  • 2 cans (12 ounces each) lemon-lime soda (Sprite or 7-UP)
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 cup tequila (your choice)
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  1. In 3-quart plastic container, beat all ingredients with wire whisk or spoon until well blended.
  2. Cover and freeze at least 24 hours until slushy. Serve in margarita glasses with sugared rims

There you have it! A wonderful New Years Eve line up that will have you cheering all night long!


New Years Eve Spritzer

It’s almost 2012! Time for sparkle, lots of glitter and parties!! Looking for a quick drink that will dazzle your new years guests? Try this bubbly drink!

New Years Eve Spritzer


  • 2 cups chilled dry white wine, nonalcoholic wine or apple juice (you can make 2 batches. One alcoholic and one nonalcoholic)
  • 1 cup chilled cranberry-apple juice drink
  • 1 cup chilled sparkling water
  • Apple slices, if desired
  • Fresh mint, if desired
  1. Mix wine, juice drink and sparkling water.
  2. Serve over ice. Garnish with apple slices and mint.

Cafe Cogolulu

Finding a gluten free cafe is like finding a four leaf clover. You definitely want to hold on to it. Cafe Cogolulu in Wilton, Connecticut is definitely a gem. My boyfriend actually found this cafe through some browsing and we finally had an opportunity to visit there today and I know I will definitely be going back!

Located on Danbury Road in Wilton, Cafe Cogolulu is an all gluten-free all time time cafe.

Their website homepage states “Cafe Cogolulu, where everything that tastes good is really good for you. Let your imagination run “free”, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, or Guilt Free…We take the fear out of dining”, and they surely do.

They have a great menu of breakfast sandwiches, sandwiches, paninis and desserts including cupcakes and gelato. They also cater! They can even make custom cakes and other baked goods to suit all dietary restrictions available to order. Just give them a call.

I tried their “IL LIDO” hot sandwich which is grilled rosemary chicken topped with spinach, sundried tomatoes, and Fontina cheese. (I got it without the sundried tomatoes and fontina cheese) and I got it on garbanzo bean & potato foccacia (you can also choose to get it on their traditional gluten free white bread). It was delicious! The chicken was tender and flavorful and the spinach leaves added just the right amount of crunch. The bread was also good which I am VERY picky about and I really enjoyed it.

I also tried a chocolate cupcakes with vanilla frosting which was also good. It is a very thick chocolate cake that you can definitely split in two and enjoy it twice!

I definitely recommend Cafe Cogolulu to anyone looking for a gluten-free cafe in Connecticut and cannot wait to head back there again.

check out their Facebook page:

Cafe Cogolulu

991 Danbury Road
Wilton, CT 06897



Malibu Bay Breeze Cupcakes

If you like the sweet, girly taste of a Malibu Bay Breeze then you are going to enjoy this delicious cocktail inspired cupcake.

Malibu Bay Breeze Cupcakes


For the Cupcakes

  • Betty Crocker Gluten Free Yellow cake mix
  • Cranberry Juice (your favorite – sweetened)
  • Ingredients listed on cake box (you will not need the water)

For the Filling

  • 1 cup cranberry juice
  • 1 can crushed pineapple in its juice
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 tablespoons cornstarch

For the Frosting

  • 1 cup of buttery spread (such as Earth Balance), softened
  • 5 C. powdered sugar (give or take)
  • 1/4 C. Malibu Rum (or coconut rum of your choice)
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • Red Food Coloring
  • Sweetened coconut flakes (for optional garnish)
  • Cherries with stem (for optional garnish)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Prepare a cupcake pan with cupcake liners. Set aside.
  2. Prepare Betty Crocker gluten free cake mix, replacing the water with cranberry juice. Bake cupcakes following package directions. Remove from cupcake pan and let cool completely.
  3. Heat cranberry juice, pineapple, sugar, and cornstarch on medium-high heat until boiling, stirring often until mixture thickens and loses the “milky” appearance. Remove from heat to cool.
  4. Fill a plastic sandwich bag with cranberry pineapple mix. Pipe into center of cupcakes. Push your (clean) thumb into the center of the cupcakes to make room for the filing. Be careful you don’t push all the way through the bottom of the cupcake.
  5. Cream buttery spread until smooth. Add powdered sugar and rum alternately until desired consistency is reached. Color with a few drops of red food coloring until you get the desired color you want. Pipe onto cooled cupcakes. Garnish with sweetened coconut flakes and top with a cherry.

Parrot Bay Coconut Shirmp

Seafood is one of my all time favorite meals and Red Lobster is one of my favorite restaurants. I’ve been going to Red Lobster since I was probably 5 or 6 years old. It was one of my grandparents favorite placed to take me and I couldn’t get enough of it. Well I’ve grown up and still love Red Lobster but all of my favorite meals are breaded and thus off limits to me now. BUT you can make some of your favorite Red Lobster dishes at home which is less expensive and with gluten-free ingredients better for you! 🙂

One of my favorite appetizers (besides the free biscuits) is the parrot bay coconut shrimp. Delicious crispy shrimp paired with the sweet dipping sauce, just perfect. This recipe will transport you to a seaside paradise any time you make it.

Parrot Bay Coconut Shrimp


  • 6-8 cup canola oil
  • 12 large shrimp, about ½ pound, peeled and deveined
  • 1 cup gluten free panko Japanese-style bread crumbs
  • ½ cup flaked coconut
  • 1½ cups all-purpose gluten free flour
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons Captain Morgan Parrot Bay Rum
  1. Heat your oil to 350 degree in deep fryer or a heavy skillet.
    You will need 3 medium bowls for battering your shrimp.
  2. In the first bowl add ¾ cup of gluten free flour.
  3. In the second bowl combine ¾ cup gluten free flour, salt and sugar, rum and coconut milk. Let this stand 5 minutes.
  4. In the third bowl combine the gluten free bread crumbs and coconut.
  5. Butterfly cut each peeled shrimp before you start the battering and leave the tail intact.
  6. Batter the shrimp, dipping each one in flour, wet batter and then coat with panko coconut mixture.
  7. Place the shrimp on a plate until all of them are battered.
  8. Deep-Fry the shrimp in the hot oil for 2-3 minutes or until golden Drain on rack or paper towel.
  9. Serve shrimp with piña colada dipping sauce or your favorite shrimp cocktail sauce (or both!)

Piña Colada Dipping Sauce


  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup creme of coconut or Piña Colada non-alcoholic drink mix
  • ¼ cup crushed pineapple, drained
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  1. Combine sour cream, creme of coconut or Pina Colada nonalcoholic drink mix, sugar and pineapple together.
  2. Cover and let chill.
  3. You can make this dip first so it will have time to chill. Or choose to serve it a room temperature.

All you need now is a Malibu Bay Breeze and you’re all set to be transported to paradise. Well here you go!

Malibu Bay Breeze


  • 1 1/2 oz Malibu coconut rum (You can also use Captain Morgan Parrot Bay coconut rum)
  • 2 oz cranberry juice
  • 2 oz pineapple juice
  1. Blend ingredients and serve over ice

You’re all set to sail away!



MoNsTeR Cookies

Gotta love cookies. Gotta love M & M’s. But the two together and you have a winning combination. Add some peanut butter and rice cereal and you’ve got a cookie that will have you smiling from ear to ear and wishing you had made a second batch. Maybe you should – there won’t be any leftovers!

Monster Cookies


  • 1/2 cup buttery spread (such as Earth Balance) , softened NOT MELTED
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 box Betty Crocker Gluten Free chocolate chip cookie mix
  • 3/4 cup milk chocolate M & M’s (or Peanut Butter M & Ms or Peanut M & Ms) – classic milk chocolate is always amazing in cookies
  • 1/2 cup Gluten Free Rice Chex cereal
  1. Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, stir butter, peanut butter and egg until blended. Stir in cookie mix until soft dough forms. Stir in M &Ms and cereal, breaking cereal apart as dough is stirred.
  2. Onto ungreased cookie sheets, drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls about 3 inches apart.
  3. Bake 11 to 13 minutes or until edges are light golden brown. Cool at least 2 minutes; remove from cookie sheets. Cool completely before storing in airtight container.

The cookie monsters in your house will definitely have their hands in the cookie jar. Guess that solves the who stole the cookies from the cookie jar question doesn’t it? 🙂



Lime and Chili Rubbed Chicken

I am all about flavor. Sweet, spicy, savory I like a lot of flavor. Dinner is a perfect time of day to inject some flavor in your day. Chicken is a perfect empty canvas just waiting for flavor to be painted on. Here is a great recipe that uses a zesty and robust rub to bring life into chicken breast.

Lime and Chili Rubbed Chicken


  • 2 teaspoons chili powder (or a little more if you like a little heat but I wouldn’t do too much – you don’t want the chili powder to overpower the dish)
  • 2 teaspoons packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons grated lime peel
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4  teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne)
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/4 lb) (you can do this with boned skinless chicken breast as well)
  • 2 teaspoons olive or canola oil
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a shallow baking pan with aluminum foil. Lightly grease the foil so that the chicken does not stick. Set aside.
  2. In small bowl, mix chili powder, brown sugar, lime peel, salt, garlic powder and ground red pepper. Rub both sides of chicken with oil, then with spice mixture.
  3. Refrigerate the “rubbed” chicken 20 to 30 minutes before baking (this really enhances the flavor).
  4. Place the chicken in the prepared pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the juice of the chicken is clear when the thickest part is cut.
  5. Serve with you favorite sides and ENJOY! 🙂

This recipe makes me think of the fiesta lime chicken that they have at Applebee’s and what would great with this chicken? A margarita! Here is a classic margarita recipe.

Classic Margarita


  • 1 (6 ounce) can frozen limeade concentrate (your favorite)
  • 6 fluid ounces tequila (your choice)
  • 2 fluid ounces triple sec
  • Lime wedge (to rim glasses)
  • Coarse sugar (to rim glasses)
  • Lemon or lime slices (for garnish)
  1. Fill blender with crushed ice. Pour in limeade concentrate, tequila and triple sec. Blend until smooth.
  2. Pour into sugar rimmed margarita glasses and serve. (to rim your glasses, dip your glass in warm water and then dip into coarse sugar or you can rub the rim with a lime wedge then dip into the sugar)

Mock Margarita


  •  Coarse sugar (to rim glasses)
  • Lime wedge (to rim glasses)
  • 1 6-ounce can frozen limeade concentrate (your favorite)
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 2/3 cup sweetened grapefruit juice
  • 25 to 30 small  ice cubes (about 4 cups)
  • Lemon or lime slices (for garnish)
  1. If desired, rub rims of margarita glasses with lime wedge; dip rims into a shallow dish of coarse sugar and shake off excess. Set aside.
  2. In a blender, combine limeade concentrate, orange juice, and grapefruit juice. Cover and blend until smooth. With the blender running, gradually add ice cubes through the hole in the lid, blending until slushy.  Pour into margarita glasses. If desired, garnish with lemon or lime slices.

Chocolate Caramel Toffee Cake

I’m going to just get right to it. It’s chocolate cake soaked in caramel sauce and sprinkled with toffee bits! Need I say more! 🙂

Chocolate Caramel Toffee Cake


  • 1 box Betty Crocker Gluten Free devil’s food cake mix
  • Water, butter (I used Earth Balance Buttery Spread) and eggs called for on cake mix box. (I also add 2 tablespoons of pure vanilla extract)
  • 1 jar (12.25 oz) caramel topping
  • 1 cup frozen (thawed) whipped topping (for all you dairy free darlings out there I could rice whipped cream in a can! Yes I found it at Fairway markets so it does exist! You just have to look for it)
  • 1/2 cup toffee bits
  1. Heat oven to 350°F (or 325°F for dark or nonstick pan). Make and bake cake mix as directed on box, using water, butter, eggs and any of the pan choices.
  2. With handle of wooden spoon, poke top of warm cake every 1/2 inch. Drizzle caramel topping evenly over top of cake; let stand until absorbed into cake. Cover; refrigerate about 2 hours or until chilled. (MMMM caramel soaked cake!)
  3. Spread whipped topping over top of cake. (or use can of rice whipped cream over the cake)  Sprinkle with toffee bits. Store covered in refrigerator.