Dairy Free Sausage Gravy

With a daughter who has a dairy allergy turning more into a sensitivity I’m always trying to find ones to make things that require a lot of dairy tasty. I don’t do real milk myself with the exception of yogurt and cheese and well ice cream. Mostly I mean I don’t use regular milk or drink it, and I’m really trying to cut the other dairy items from my life as well. I definitely buy dairy alternatives where I can find them. 

My daughter started with Almond milk but I really wanted to find something with a little more. Then I kept hearing about Ripple Milk. We bought some and she loved it. I loved the protein, the less sugar and so many other things. People were telling me it tasted like real milk but I’ve never been a milk drinker but loved an occasional dark chocolate almond milk so I tried their chocolate milk and loved it. I decided I would start trying  replacing the almond milk I was using in recipes that called for milk with Ripple milk. It was so good! 

The cooler weather rolled in and I wanted homemade sausage gravy. I decided I would give Ripple a try for it. It was a hit, especially for my toddler who was getting something new and different. I honestly couldn’t tell much difference at all, and it was still that perfect comfort food. 

Here is what you need 

1 lb Sausage 

1/4 cup Flour 

Salt 

Pepper 

3-4 cups of Ripple milk 

Biscuits 

Cool sausage, you can tear into pieces or break apart with your spatula which is what I do. Once sausage is browned turn to medium heat and take 1/4 cup of flour and add half the cup to the pan until the sausage has absorbed it, then add the remaining  half. 

Once the flour has mixed in well add in milk 1 cup at a time. Start with just 3 Cups, turn to medium high heat. Let it come to a boil and turn to medium low. Stirring every few minutes. 

Once it starts to thicken you will be able to tell if you need more milk. Sometimes I may need a little more but not the cup. I’ve noticed it differs with different brands of sausage sometimes and I’m sure with dog cook tops as well. 

Add in  1/3 tsp salt and 2 tsp pepper. You may need more pepper later to taste depending on how peppery you like your gravy. 

Once it’s simmered for about 25 min and thickened to your liking it is ready to serve. 

I don’t make homemade biscuits. We really like to use the Grands ones from the freezer section. I throw them in to cook when the gravy is thickening. This typically serves us 2 different meals so those biscuits we can make fresh, and not waste any. 

Top your biscuits with the gravy and enjoy!

Reheat Tip: If you save some for leftovers add a little of the Ripple Milk before you heat it up as it thickens a lot in the fridge but it’s great left over. 

Have you tried Ripple Milk? What are some great dairy replacements you love?

*this recipe has been adapted from the Pioneer Woman Sausage Gravy Recipe

Easy Homemade Cranberry Sauce for the Holidays

 

Over the years I’ve tried many different cranberry sauce recipes trying to get just the right one. I love a good cranberry sauce but I can’t stand the one from a can. This all started when I hosted my first Friendsgiving which was really our Thanksgiving since we were on our own, and ended up having almost 20 people in our small one bedroom apartment somehow, but oh the memories of those days.

When this recipe came about around year 3 it was made for Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations. Its so quick and easy. Here is what you need.

1 12oz bag of cranberries

3/4 cup of orange juice ( I fresh squeeze the juice its much better)

2/3 brown sugar

1/3 cup white sugar

OPTIONAL – 20z bourbon ( we have added the bourbon a few times and it’s good!)

Add all the ingredients in a pot over medium heat. Cook for 10-15 minutes until the majority of the cranberries have popped. On a gas stove this will more than likely take a little less time. Once they have all popped place in serving dish and let cool.

Place in the refrigerator if you aren’t serving it right away. It’s perfect warm or cold, and so easy to make the day before so it’s one less thing to worry about the day of.

One of our after Thanksgiving Traditions is to make french toast from the leftover sourdough bread over the Thanksgiving weekend. I love to make a compote to top them with this cranberry sauce by just cooking it back down and adding a little real maple syrup. Its really great on pancakes too which we do at Christmas.

Are you a fan of Cranberry Sauce over the holidays?

Easy Crockpot Potato Soup

*This post may contain affiliate links. That means I may receive a small commission if you purchase something off my link at no extra charge to you.

It’s been much cooler here finally, which has had me wanting all the fall comfort foods. Not only are so many fall and winter comfort foods easy, so many are crockpot friendly which makes life much easier for this Mama.  

One my favorite go to comfort foods is potato soup. There is just something about it that’s so good. This recipe is far from healthy, but it’s one I keep going back too. One day I’ll figure out how to replace the cream of soups in here. 

You need:

A bag of frozen hash browns (I prefer the square cut ones but the shredded ones work fine too) 

32oz of chicken broth

1 can of cream of chicken or mushroom soup 

1 can of cheddar cheese soup (you can use 2 cans of the chicken/mushroom if you prefer) 

1 block of cream cheese 

Salt, Pepper, Garlic 

Crockpot liner 

Optional: 

Shredded Cheese 

Bacon

Corn bread 

Place you crock pot liner into your crock pot. You can get them here they are lifesavers and make for easy clean up! Dump in potatoes, chicken broth, cream of soup and cheddar cheese soup and stir. Add 1tsp each  of salt, pepper and garlic. You might need to add more to taste later. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. 

One hour before serving add the block of cream cheese. It will start to melt in and I usually stir it a few times in that hour. Add any extra seasoning you may need during this time. Once the cream cheese is melted you are ready to serve. 

We love cheesy potato soup, so I top with shredded cheese, crumbled bacon and corn bread. And then I mix it all together, and enjoy. 

Like most soups in my opinion it usually taste even better the next day! What’s one of your favorite comfort food go to’s? 

If you try out the recipe let me know what you think! 

Mickey Pumpkin Rice Krispy Treat

Mickey Pumpkin Rice Krispy Treat

*This post may contain affiliate links. This means I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. I only promote products I love or use myself.

The Mickey pumpkin is probably one of my favorite things about Halloween. It’s just so darn cute! I have this amazing Mickey coffee mug I got years ago that started my collection and I could drink from it every day until Halloween. 

I even made a wreath similar to the one on Main Street for my front door. The Mickey Pumpkin is really about as Halloween as I get in the decor area.

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I wanted to create a fun Mickey treat for Halloween and what’s better than Rice  Krispy  treats. They are easy and can be done so any different ways. So here is what you need: 

Rice Krispies 

Marshmallows 

Butter 

Mini Reese cups (or Rolos) 

Orange food coloring 

Wax paper 

Green M&M’s (optional) 

Melting chocolate 

Sprinkles (if you want to decorate some) 

Mickey Cookie cutter 

*Cookie Cutter Tip- Disney sells an actual cookie cutter but it’s huge. I recently bought the sandwich cutter and it’s perfect for cookies, sandwiches, and Rice Krispy treats. You can find it here. 

Follow the recipe on the box of Rice Krispies. Melt the butter, then add the marshmallows and melt and this is where I add the orange food coloring in. Just add until you get the color you want.  Then add you Rice Krispies and stir them in. 

Spread the mixture on wax paper. I love these individually portioned sheets. You want to make it at least half an inch thick so they aren’t too flimsy. Let them cool just a bit and then you want to start cutting them before they completely firm up that way you can re roll out the excess to get more. 

Melt a small amount of your melting chocolate. Spread the chocolate across the bottom of the Reese and attach in the middle for the pumpkin stem. You can also add a green M&M to be like a leaf. Then you have a cute little Mickey Pumpkin. 

We wanted to spread a little extra magic and kindness to some of the neighbor kids so we wrapped some up in these little treat bags and tied with ribbon for a fun little Halloween treat. Happy Halloween! 

 

Disney Parks Inspired Mickey Rice Krispy Treats

Disney Parks Inspired Mickey Rice Krispy Treats

One of my all time favorite Disney treats are their Rice Krispy treats. I don’t know what the secret is but they are just so good! You can get rice krispy treats in the park in a variety of shapes and sizes. I mean have you ever seen the giant mickey head rice krispy treat? I love how the designs can change from season to season. When we did our Magic Kingdom inspired date night, you can see the details here, I knew these yummy treats just had to be a part of it!

To make these treats you will need :

3 tbs of butter

1 bag of marshmallows ( I prefer to use the mini ones)

6 cups of Rice Krispies

1tsp of vanilla

baking sheet

wax paper

Mickey Cookie Cutter ( I use this one http://amzn.to/2gXRR0I that is actually a sandwich cutter)

Popsicles sticks (optional)

melting chocolate, sprinkles and M&Ms for decorating (or whatever you choose)

Melt butter and marshmallows in a large pot, once melted add in vanilla and  then rice krispies. Stir until the rice krispies are fully coated. Because I used a cookie cutter for shapes I spread these onto a baking sheet lined with wax paper. You will need these to be a bit thicker so they hold the cut shape. You will want them to be about an inch thick. Once its spread out let it set for about 5-10 min so you can cut it into shapes. I did this just like I was cutting cookies. Once cut through and the sides  are left roll it back up and smooth it back out. The sooner you do this after they are made the better. The trick to doing it with these was to spray my spatula with cooking spray to keep it from sticking. Transfer all cut out pieces to fresh pieces of wax paper for decorating. I didn’t want to waste the extra which is why I rolled it back out.

If you’re using popsicles sticks you will want to add those in after you have your pieces cut. Melt your chocolates according to the directions. The easiest way is the microwave. To make my favorite M&M’s one just like at Disney I used milk chocolate and M&M’s. Pour melted chocolate onto a flat plate (or melt a pretty deep bowl) and dip the front of the rice krispy treat right in. Have another plate full of M&M’s to dip it in after the chocolate. Then take a spoon and drizzle chocolate over the top of that and set on wax paper to dry. I also melted some white chocolate and did the same thing as well as added Sprinkles on some. You could seriously add anything!

In Disney Springs you can visit Goofy’s Candy Kitchen and create a rice krispy treat with the toppings you want, just like you can at home. Do you love Disney Rice Kripsy Treats? What is your favorite Disney treat?

 

How to Make the Perfect Cold Brew Coffee at Home

How to Make the Perfect Cold Brew Coffee at Home

It’s summer and sometimes I just don’t crave hot coffee in the warmer months but yet still want my coffee. Everyone always says, oh just our your coffee over ice. NO, this is just not the same as what you get at Starbucks and I actually think its kinda gross. When I discovered cold brew several years ago I knew that did that trick! In the last year Starbucks has actually released at home cold brew packs. They are really great, however at a $11.95  price point to make 2 pitchers it still wasn’t as budget friendly as I wanted it to be though I do still buy them on occasion. If you want to go that route however you can find them here. 

I started reading up on the cold brew process, looked at special pitchers and things and decided I would just make my own. It it actually really simple and only take a large jar, mesh strainer and cheese cloth, most items in which I already had at home. 

I’ve been using the Seattle’s Best Dark Roast and we have been really big fans of it, but you can use any brand you choose. For us we like darker more full bodied coffees. 

Pour your coffee grounds into a large jar. You will want a jar that can hold about 160-200oz. I’ve been using already ground coffee but if you buy whole bean don’t grind it super fine, leave it more coarse it will work better. After coffee is the jar add 10.5 cups of water and stir. The coffee likes to build up at the top so you need to mix it around. Place jar, closed in the refrigerator for no less than 12 hours and no more than 24.  

Once coffee has set overnight you will need another container to strain it. I use a large bowl that my strainer fits nicely on. Place strainer on bowl, and then top with 2-3 layers of  your cheese cloth. Begin to pour contents of the jar slowly  into the strainer, allowing the liquid to seep through. I sometimes have to stop half way and empty my full bowl. You can push and squeeze the coffee in the cheesecloth to get in any extras. Pour your liquid into an airtight container. I use Mason jars. 

This is is a coffee concentrate so unless you love super super strong coffee you will want to make sure to mix with water. We drink this every day so I like to make pitchers of it. You can also make it by the glass. My concentrate filled 4 of my mason jars. 

To make a pitcher I poured 2 Mason jars of the concentrate into the pitcher and added equal parts water. If you still feel that’s too strong or not strong enough you can do less or more. One batch I added more because it tasted extra strong. 

The concentrate can last about 3 months if sealed in your fridge. If you make a pitcher it’s good for about 6-7 days. It does tend to separate some so I stir it good each morning. I like to enjoy it over ice, with stevia in the raw and Califia Farms vanilla almond milk creamer.

Coffee comes first thing each and every day in this house, does it in yours?

I like to enjoy it over ice, with stevia in the raw and Califia Farms vanilla almond milk creamer. Coffee comes first thing each and every day in this house, does it in yours?


Dairy Free Dole Whip Inspired Popsicles

Dairy Free Dole Whip Inspired Popsicles

*this post may contain affiliate links which means I may receive a small commision for products purchased through my links. I do not recommend products I don’t love myself 

So here I am again with another popsicle recipe! Popsicles have been a saving grace through toddler teething and these already hot summer days. They seriously make my child so happy. When we are at Disney I love to a Dole Whip or Dole Whip float is my absolute FAVORITE treat, and my favorite part is they are dairy free. With a daughter that has a dairy allergy when I decided on these Dole Whip inspired popsicles, they had to be dairy free too. We had tried some homemade dole whip recipes so those helped create this inspiration a bit.

So here is what you need:

1 bag of Frozen Pineapple

1 can of coconut cream

12 oz of pineapple juice ( I used 2 of the small size cans like these)

1 – 2 TBS of Honey or Agave Nectar to taste

Popsicle Molds


 

Use a blender and add in frozen pineapple, pineapple juice and the coconut cream. You could also use a large  can of pineapple with the juice if you wanted I just don’t love canned pineapple. Once it is mostly blended add in honey or agave nectar ( I used agave and did 2tbs, I tasted until it was just right).

After all ingredients are blended together and consistency is to your liking pour mixture into your popsicle molds. Let the popsicles freeze for at least 24 hours. I had to run under warm water over them get them out. I have a small skinny freezer so it was easier to wrap in wax paper and store in a  freezer bag. My husband and I even used them in our own version of Dole Whip floats on our Magic Kingdom Inspired Date Night which you can find here.These made 4 of the bigger popsicles and 8 smaller ones, and left enough for my daughter to drink like it was a smoothie. If you are limited on popsicles molds you might want to cut the recipe in half.

These don’t taste just like my beloved Disney Dole Whip however they do hit the spot. Any recipe I have found for Dole Whip just isn’t the same but at least they can fill the void in between trips. You will get a bit of a coconut flavor but I honestly couldn’t tell all that much. These went fast, and yet again I can’t seem to keep any popsicles we have been making stocked in the freezer. I’m thinking about trying these subbed with other fruits, maybe some strawberries. What do you think?

THREE Ingredient Dairy Free Yogurt Popsicles

THREE Ingredient Dairy Free Yogurt Popsicles

We are all about some popsicles around here lately  so I have been trying new recipes  once or twice weekly! My Daughter has a milk allergy, and I am mostly dairy free except for cheese and the occasional ice cream because well… With that said  I am always looking for new favorites when it comes to dairy free options.

We have really grown to love the So Delicious Coconut Milk yogurt. They have a good variety of flavors out there, though sometimes they seem hard to find in my market and it still taste good. Actually I think the flavored and sweetened ones are almost to sweet so I opt for the Plain Unsweetened and add to it myself. This also of course eliminates some of the extra added sugars. Its hot out so I thought why not freeze some yogurt into popsicles to make it seem like she is getting an treat at snack time. Let me tell you my daughter was a big fan! These are super easy and took me less than 10 min to make!

1 Cup Unsweetened Coconut Milk Yogurt

1 Cup Fruit of choice

1 Tablespoon of honey

4 part Popsicle Mold ( you may need more or less depending on your molds )


Add all the ingredients to the blender and blend together, this way the fruit can mix in well also. Pour into popsicle molds and pop in the freezer. I decided to do 2 different flavors so I spilt the recipe into 2 blenders. I made one blueberry and one strawberry. This made 1 individual blueberry and one individual strawberry popsicle and I layered the other 2. The layered ones are fun so next time I may just layer them all. You could also mix more than one fruit into the blender. The recipe is so easy to just swap around and try different combinations.

You can pull the popsicles out and wrap in parchment, that way you can use your molds again to make some more with just regular wooden popsicles sticks. I love these Reynolds individual sheets you can find here. One sheet was enough for all 4 popsicles and then I just tossed them in a freezer bag. These sheets are also great to line all your pans when cooking, they fit so perfectly.

After my daughter had her first one she asked for one daily when she got up from her nap. I love that they are just plain yogurt and fruit that she would usually make a disaster with so I didn’t mind letting her have them. They went super fast and I need to make another batch, and she thinks she is getting a special treat!

So what other flavors should we try next? Do you have some favorite dairy free recipes we should try this summer?

*this post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission off any products purchased through my links. I do not recommend products I do not love!

“Grey Stuff” Inspired No Bake Cheesecake

“Grey Stuff” Inspired No Bake Cheesecake

 

The Live Action Beauty and the Beast movie comes out on Blue Ray/DVD today! If you have yet to see it go out and get a copy because Disney did an absolutely amazing job with this LIVE action remake of an animated classic. You can order it here. I also happen to be celebrating my 8th wedding anniversary with my husband today so I have a little Beauty and the Beast date night in planned for the evening. I am excited for him to see the movie for the first time.

With the Beauty and the Beast theme in mind I wanted to whip up a dessert for the evening. Of course the “Grey Stuff”came to my mind but I wanted to play a twist on it a bit. After much thought and looking through my dessert board on Pinterest to see if anything gave me that inspiration, I decided on a Grey Stuff Inspired No Bake Cheesecake.

This was super easy to make, and I really enjoy the flavor of it more than the cool whip flavored recipe that is floating around, and is used in the park.

Here is what you need:

18 Oreos

10 oz of cream cheese softened

1.5 oz of milk ( I used Ripple Milk( dairy free(

1 packet of Simply Jello Vanilla Pudding

wine glass, jars, or whatever you would like to serve it in

Lay your cream cheese out to soften. Mix 1 cup of the milk with the pudding mix until it thickens, then add in  12 of the crushed Oreos. You can crush Oreos by placing in a baggy and using a cup or rolling pin. For the first 12 I left the cream in the center. Mix together. Remove the filling from the remaining 6 Oreos and add to the mixture, with the cream cheese. Mix all together and then refrigerate for one hour. Crush the remaining 6 Oreos, divide and place in bottom of your serving dish of choice. Top with the cheesecake mixture.

You can spoon it in or use a pipping bag which I found much easier with using wine glasses. Place back in the fridge for a few hours before serving. Mine made these 2 huge wine glasses and 2 small cheesecakes, which we enjoyed as soon as they were set. You could definitely get 6-8 servings out of this depending on how you portion them.

Pop in the animated classic or the new LIVE action film, and enjoy this tasty treat with the entire family, or just your significant other!

*This post may contain affiliate links, that means I may receive a small commission. I don’t recommend items I don’t personally love.


Fresh Fruit & Coconut Water Popsicles

Fresh Fruit & Coconut Water Popsicles

Summer is  here, and that means pool days, outside fun, popsicles and ice cream! I want my child to enjoy all the fun that life and summer has to offer.  However I want to cut out some added sugars if and where I can. Trust me when I say I am not a perfect Mom by any means. These popsicles are just perfect for that!

We love Coconut Water in this house. The regular one and the pineapple flavored one. I had popsicles molds to try some different recipes through the summer and I thought why not use Coconut water as a base, and from there these popsicles where created and my sweet tiny human loves them.

NEED:

Coconut Water- amount will depend on your molds

Fresh or frozen fruit

Popsicle Molds ( You can find them here or also these that are disposable. )

I had tons of fruit in the fridge so we used pineapples, strawberries raspberries and black berries. Start with chopping up your fruit. I chopped mine up pretty small because I wanted my toddler to be ok with it, and my molds were pretty small. New molds have been ordered for more popsicles!

Add  fruit into each one, then coconut water,  more fruit at the top. Take a utensil and mix them a bit so hopefully the fruit will  spread out. It really did not take a whole lot of fruit to fill these guys up pretty well. After you fill them up, add in the sticks and they are ready to go in the freezer. Make sure to freeze them for a good 24hrs.

Grab them out of the fridge on a hot day for a yummy treat and enjoy. These are not only a much healthier option, but they are also super hydrating because of the electrolytes in the coconut water. Also Mamas out there they are so great for teething. We absolutely love these popsicles and I can’t wait to try lots of new fun recipes this summer, and of course I will be sharing them!

*This post may contain affiliate links. This means if you purchase something through my link I may  get a small commission from it.