Grilled Fruit Salad {Fresh Fruit Bowl – Review & Giveaway}

photo 1(1)This giveaway is now closed…thank you to all who entered. Our lucky winner is Birdiebee!

Summer has officially hit! I’m not a huge fan of heat and humidity but I love the natural Vitamin D, fresh summer fruits, and of course grilling. So why not combine all three of these into one? This is a quick and delicious fruit salad that you can easily adapt to your liking and perfect for your summer cookouts (or BBQ’s as my California friends say). Each Sunday I make a meal plan for the 21 Day Fix program that I am doing and then head to the grocery store. I have two servings of fruit ever day and I love doing mixed fruit with a bit of plain Greek yogurt with a drizzle of honey…just the right amount of sweetness. This week I picked up some champagne mangos (the little yellow ones…my favorites next to the green mangos found in the Philippines), pineapple, watermelon, and nectarines. Fruit is so naturally sweet to begin with, but when you grill them a whole new flavor profile comes out. The Greek yogurt dipping sauce is just lightly sweetened with honey, so it adds a tangyness to the sweet grilled fruit. This is sure to be a summer favorite!

The Fresh Fruit Bowl (available from Bed Bath and Beyond) is awesome for any salad…fruit or not!. It is a three-piece set (bowl, strainer bowl, and cover) which helps to keep the juices away from the fruit so they keep fresh longer. This bowl is HUGE. It is 7 quarts, so make sure you’ve got some room in that fridge of yours and load it up with lots of fresh fruit. It also offers an easy pour spout to help drain the juices that have collected at the bottom of the bowl.

Be sure to check out below how to enter for your chance to win one of these Fresh Fruit Bowls!

Grilled Fruit Salad with Greek Yogurt Dip

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  • 1                                 Medium Pineapple
  • 1                                 Small Watermelon
  • 2                                Champagne Mangos
  • 2                                Nectarines
  • 1/2 cup                     Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1 1/2 tsp.                 Raw Honey
  • 1/8 tsp.                    Ground Cinnamon

Method of Preparation

  1. Preheat Grill to medium-high heat
  2. Remove the rind from the watermelon and slice into “steaks”, place into fresh fruit bowl
  3. Remove the rind from the pineapple and slice to remove the core, and slice into long “steaks”, place into fresh fruit bowl
  4. Keeping the skin on the mangos, slice along either side of the pit, and place the halves into the fresh fruit bowl and discard the pit
  5. Cut nectarines in half, remove and discard the pit, and place halves into the fresh fruit bowl
  6. In a small bowl combine the plain Greek yogurt, honey, and cinnamon, mix well. Cover and keep refrigerated until ready to use
  7. Place the fruit on the preheated grill and grill until desired doneness
  8. Remove from grill and place back into the fresh fruit bowl
  9. Serve the fruit pieces whole or cut up and top with yogurt dip and fresh mint leaf

 Want to win a Fresh Fruit Bowl?

Entry is simple…There are several different options, just be sure to leave a separate comment for each entry so you can be entered in the appropriate number of times!

One (1) winner will be chosen at random using Winner must live within the continental United States. Winner will also be given 48 hours after notification to respond or another winner will be chosen. Giveaway begins on June 23rd and will end on July 30th at 11:59pm EST.

Ways to Enter:

1. Leave a comment below telling me why you want to win this Fresh Fruit Bowl

2. Follow Good Cook on Facebook (leave a comment below with your FB name)

3. Follow Good Cook on Twitter (leave a comment below with your twitter handle)

4. Follow Creative Cooking Gluten Free on Facebook (leave a comment below with your FB name)

5. Follow Creative Cooking Gluten Free on Twitter (leave a comment below with your twitter handle)

6. Share this post on your social media sites – you must include  #freshfruitbowl and #BBBProduct (Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, etc.) and be sure to share the link to that post!

Good Cook Contest Rules:

  • One prize per household for each Good Cook event. For example, if someone wins on 2 or more blogs, they – or their family members – will only receive one prize from that event.
  • If a household has won a prize in a previous Good Cook event, they are not eligible win again for 6 months.
  • If a household has won more than one prize in a previous Good Cook event (prior to the one-win-in-six-months rule), they aren’t eligible win again for 12 months.
    Good Cook Bloggers and Good Cook Kitchen Experts are not eligible to win prizes in Good Cook sponsored events, whether or not they participated in the event or not.
  • Good Cook will confirm that winners are eligible and will disqualify anyone who has won more than once.
  • Prizes ship from Good Cook and can take 8-10 weeks after the contest ends, unless otherwise stated. You must be 18 or older to win. US shipping addresses only.
  • Good Cook reserves the right to substitute a prize of equal value if sufficient inventory is not available.

Check out what the other Good Cook Bloggers are up to with their Fresh Fruit Bowls:

An InLinkz Link-up

*I was provided the Fresh Fruit Bowl from Good Cook and Bed Bath and Beyond for the purpose of this post. All opinions are 100% my own.

My Signature Dish {Good Cook Build Your Kitchen Drawer}

If you read Creative Cooking Gluten Free on a regular basis you could probably guess that my signature dish would include something Asian…and you have probably seen this dish on here before and possibly on TV! It is of course my Sweet and Spicy Chicken. It is simple, delicious, and easy enough for the beginner cook to make. It consists of few ingredients and takes only about 30 minutes to make (including prep time).

As part of the Good Cook Build Your Kitchen Drawer event bloggers were asked to choose 15 items to build their drawer. When picking the items I took the approach of “what would a beginner cook need” and went from there. My reasoning behind that idea was during this time of year students are graduating from high school and college and moving out on their own, so why not help them (or any other beginner cook) with suggestions on what they need to get started. There are so many awesome kitchen tools and gadgets out there (trust me I have quite a few), but there are essentials as well, and are often overlooked. Little did I know that I would be asked to use as many as these items as I could to create my signature dish…but I did it and used 9 out of the 15 items! At the end of the post you can read more on how YOU could win some amazing items from Good Cook, but for now, check out my signature dish…

Sweet and Spicy Chicken



  • 2 chicken breast – boneless, skinless
  • 1/4 cup corn  or potato starch
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Garlic Powder (optional)
  • 4 tablespoon veggie oil


  • 1/2 cup honey (You can also use Agave instead of honey, or half honey and half agave)
  • 3-4 Thai Chili peppers finely chopped (keep seeds in for even more heat…adjust the amount of peppers depending on your spice level) *Dried or fresh chili peppers work well in this recipe
  • 2 Tablespoons of Water
  • 1 Tablespoon Chili Oil (optional)

Method of Preparation

  1. Mix honey, Thai chili peppers, water, and chili oil. Set aside.
  2. Cut up chicken in to 1 inch cubes.
  3. In a medium bowl add the corn/potato starch, salt, pepper, and garlic powder (optional), and mix well, then chicken.
  4. Coat well and shake off any excess corn/potato starch.
  5. In a large skillet or wok heat 1 tablespoons of oil, add half the chicken and brown on both sides, about 5 minutes total. Place chicken on a paper towel lined plate. Repeat with second half of chicken and additional tablespoon of oil.
  6. Heat the sauce in the microwave for 30 seconds and mix well. This helps it “loosen” up a bit and makes it easier to pour into the pan or wok
  7. In the same skillet add the honey – chili mixture and bring to a boil for two-four minutes until the sauce reduces, thickens slightly and turns a nice caramel color.
  8. Add chicken back to the pan and coat well. Simmer for an additional 2-3 minutes.
  9. Serve over white or brown rice.
  10. Its a bit sweet with a nice spicy finish.

Chef Note: For a vegan option, used firm tofu that has been drained and 1/2 cup of agave nectar in placement of chicken and honey.

Now for the drawer items…I named this drawer “The Beginners Guide to Kitchen Tools & Gadgets”. Again, I had the beginner cook in mind when picking these items. In 2012 I graduated from Jonson & Wales University with my associates degree in Culinary Arts and last week graduated with my bachelors degree in Culinary Nutrition. I began cooking at a very young age and haven’t stopped since. I love food and making people happy with it. I remember getting my fist place by myself, I was 17 years old and my grand mother and grandfather gave me my first set of pans and knives along with a few other essentials. So if I was to do the same for some one this is what I would give them to build their kitchen drawer…remember I had to pick 15 items (I could have picked more, but that was my requirement)…

The Beginners Guide to Kitchen Tools and Gadgets…what you need to get started:306(The image above shows both the 5 items provided to bloggers from Good Cook and then 15 items that I chose)

Measuring Cups, 5 Piece – The five piece set includes 1/4, 1/3, 1/2. 3/4, and 1 cup measuring cups, which is perfect for those recipes that call for an odd number measurement and all you have are even-numbered measuring cups. They are all connected on a ring and are color coordinated measurements.  These measuring cups are designed to be used for “dry” ingredients – flour, sugar, etc.

Measuring Spoons, 6 Piece – Like the measuring cups, these also have additional handy measurements that are often found in recipes including: 1/8, 1/4, 1/2, and 1 teaspoon along with 1/2 and 1 tablespoon. This helps take out a lot of the guess-work for the beginner cook or baker! Also connected on a ring and color coordinated measurements.

Measure From Above, 3 Piece – This set comes with a 1 cup, 2 cup, and 4 cup liquid measuring cups to be used for liquids such as water, oil, etc. You can read the measurement line by from the side and from above…makes life pretty easy to read it from above and not have to hunch down to make sure it’s correctly measured. Very sturdy and stack well inside each other for easy storage.

Prep Bowls, 5 Piece Set – I love these little bowls – they stack inside one an other, and have measurements inside of them…the top is the larger measurement and part way down is the second measurement (ex. 1/4 and 1/8 cup) – even if you do not use them for measuring they are perfect little prep bowls and make your mise en place nice and neat! AND they are made from a BPA free plastic.

Peeler – This little guy is often overlooked, but can be a huge help, especially if someone does not have great knife skills to peel vegetables and fruits. Can be used for potatoes, apples, mangos, kiwis, zucchini, pears, and can even be used to peel the zest of citrus fruits or ginger! The tip of the peeler is great for removing the “eyes” of the potatoes as well.

Meat Thermometer – I never owned one of these until I went to culinary school, but this is a very important little gadget that everyone should have. This instant read thermometer comes with a case. Thermometers are used for precise cooking – for example poultry and leftovers  should be cooked to an internal temp of 165*F and beef , pork, roasts, seafood, lamb, and veal steaks should be cooked to an internal temp of 145*F and egg dishes and ground meats (beef, pork, lamb, and veal) should be cooked to an internal temp of 160*F (for more information visit this handy information sheet from JWU).

Fine Grater – Everyone needs a grater…or two! I chose the fine grater because I think it is pretty versatile. You can use this to grate hard cheese (like Parmesan) or citrus zest. This is a great product and I’ve been using it quite a bit since receiving it. It come with a protective cover so you don’t scrape you hand while reaching into your drawer looking for something. The cover can also be clipped to the back so when  you grate, it catches it!

Tongs – Stainless Steel and Silicone tips – great for non-stick pans, as it won’t damage them. They lock, which prevents them from flipping open in your drawer meaning you can fit more items in there.

Ladle – I again chose a lade that was both stainless steel and silicone based because it works so well in both stainless steel AND non-stick pans. This ladle is 12 inches, which means you can use it in your big stock pot and get everything out.

Silicone Whisk – This 10 inch whisk is great…can be used to bake and cook with. It is a silicone whisk which makes it great for non-stick pans, but also gets a great scrape when whisking in a bowl, its light, and feels good in your hand, and easy to clean (who doesn’t love that!). The head of the whisk is heat-resistant and can withstand heat up to 400*F.

Large Nylon Flex Turner – This turner is a great size and very sturdy. Perfect for if you have non-stick or stainless steel pans. Everyone needs at least one turner/spatula: flipping pancakes, making eggs, etc.

Silicone Spatula: 2 piece – Heat resistant silicone, the heads remove for even more detailed cleaning. Great for scraping bowls when baking. Great for many uses like using the smaller one for getting the last bits out of a jar!

And now there are three remaining items…I just want to take a second to talk about these as a whole. If you have noticed that so far I have been going in order of the picture above and the three remaining items all happen to be knives. I love knives and I have quite a few of them. However, what it really boils down to is when you are starting out (or in general) you REALLY only need to own two knives, you just have to work on your knife skills! So many get boggled down by buying these huge blocks of knives, but when they really stop and think about it there are two, maybe three knives that they ALWAYS use from that block and those are: a paring knife, a chef’s knife and possibly a bread knife. The two main ones are paring and chef knives…those are your two basics and you should become very familiar with them. I chose three knifes for this drawer, a paring knife, a 7″ chef knife, and a bread knife…

One additional note about knives – keep them sharp! A dull knife will do more damage than a sharp knife.

Paring Knife – This knife has a non-slip handle that feels great in your hand. A paring knife blade is usually between 2 1/2 – 4 inches in length. It can be used for peeling fruits, zesting citrus fruits, dicing garlic, ginger, or shallots can be used while holding the item instead of always having to use a cutting board (like you would with a chefs knife). Again, this is an underrated and underused item in most people’s homes, but I suggest getting to know it a bit better.

Santoku Knife (Chefs Knife): 7″ – I have several typical chefs knives and over the years I have fallen in love with the Santoku style of them. I love how they feel and cut and this one is no exception…actually it has made its way into my knife kit. Santoku knives have these little indents in them which make the remove of food easy. This knife has the same handle style as the paring knife and is a great starter side. There are many different lengths of these knives, but this is a good middle ground, especially if you are not used to handling a larger knife.

Bread Knife –  The Bread and Bagel knife is a serrated edge knife, which is ideal for cutting breads and delicate ingredients such as tomatoes as it helps the knife glide through without having to put a lot of pressure on the item and in turn squishing it. While you won’t use this as much as the other knives, it is still a very useful knife and tool to have on hand.

So there it is…my picks! I hope that this list helps those just getting started. I know there are a million and one other tools and gadgets out there but these are what I consider the basics to get you going to make some delicious dishes!

So what did I use? Check out the photo below…

New ImageI used the Silicone Whisk, Measuring Spoons, Measuring Cups, Santoku Knife, Paring Knife, Ladle, Silicone Spatulas, Liquid Measuring Cups, AND Silicone Tongs! Yes I used all of that to make one dish…I did not have to but I wanted to show you these items. They are awesome and I have really enjoyed working with them.

Build Your Kitchen Drawer Contest!

309This is what my drawer looks like (minus the liquid measuring cups and prep bowls!)

Starting on June 1, you will be able to build your kitchen drawer with 15 Good Cook tools and gadgets from, all you have to do is choose up to 15 items from the official list of products, and you might just win what you choose! If you are a bit suck on what to choose, you can always choose the same tools and gadgets that I did or any of the other participating bloggers…more info will be provided when the contest begins.

From June 2 – June 7th, Good Cook is hosting a 5-day product giveaway on their Facebook page, plus there will be instant winners. For each drawer that you build, you have a chance to be an instant winner and you can enter once daily for more chances!Read more:

Wondering which products are available? Look for the “ADD ME” icon below on the Good Cook website! Additionally, during this contest, all items on are 25% off – there is no code needed…just head on over and start shopping. The “Build Your Kitchen Drawer” Contest will run from June 2nd – July 14th.

c1989-addmeBe sure to check out the other bloggers and their Kitchen Drawers!

This post was sponsored by Good Cook as part of the Blogger and Kitchen Experts programs.

#goodcookcom #kitchendrawercontest #goodcookblogger

One-Pot Meal: Spring Time Mushroom Risotto {Good Cook Kitchen Drawer Contest}

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I have really enjoyed working with Good Cook and getting to participate in their challenges and using their products. If you are anything like me, you get rather excited about kitchen gadgets, and trust me, Good Cook has some great ones. Starting on June 1, you will be able to build your kitchen drawer with 15 Good Cook tools and gadgets from, all you have to do is choose up to 15 items from the official list of products, and you might just win what you choose! If you are a bit suck on what to choose, you can always choose the same tools and gadgets that I did or any of the other participating bloggers…more info will be provided when the contest begins.

From June 2 – June 7th, Good Cook is hosting a 5-day product giveaway on their Facebook page, plus there will be instant winners. For each drawer that you build, you have a chance to be an instant winner and you can enter once daily for more chances!Read more:

Wondering which products are available? Look for the “ADD ME” icon below on the Good Cook website! Additionally, during this contest, all items on are 25% off – there is no code needed…just head on over and start shopping. The “Build Your Kitchen Drawer” Contest will run from June 2nd – July 14th.

To begin this awesome “Build Your Kitchen Drawer” event bloggers were given five tools/gadgets to work with and create a one-pot meal with. We had to use at least two of the five tools provided us and create a delicious dish…not too hard right? Ha, I beg to differ…I got stuck on “one-pot meal”, thinking to myself “I could make a soup”, “Nah, its spring time”, or “chili…that’s always a one-pot meal”, “No, I don’t really want chili right now either”. So my next thought was fried rice, because, you know me, I LOVE Asian food, but when walking through the grocery store I came across this mix of mushrooms; it had baby bellas, shiitake, and oyster mushrooms, and decided to make a spring risotto with mushrooms and green onions, and of course some white wine. There are so many “one-pot” meals, and this one can be used as an entrée or as a side dish…you can even bake it, or roll them into balls and make fried risotto balls – endless possibilities!

The five items that we were provided are  SMART Ice Cream Scoop, Flip Measuring Spoon, Safe-Cut Can Opener, Egg Separator, and the Pot Clip Holder. All of these products are great – I did not use all of them to make this dish but I did try to test them out at least once so I could share them with you. The only item I did not use for this recipe was the Safe-cut Can Opener, but let’s start with the items I used…

  • SMART Ice Cream Scoop – LOVE this ice cream scoop…it has a split back to help release the contents, and can be used for many different things such as scooping the risotto out of the pan into my bowl, mashed potatoes, and obviously ice cream, you can read more about the SMART Scoop here – (hand wash only).
  • Flip Measuring Spoon – this is perfect for people who do not want a cluttered drawer, or are just starting out, it is four measuring spoons in 1, it doesn’t get much better than that. I used this to measure out the red pepper flakes and salt for the recipe below, you can read more about it here.
  • Egg Separator – is a pretty handy tool especially if you need only to use the egg whites or yolks in a recipe – I did not NEED to use that for this recipe, but I tested it out anyway…it just makes life a little easier, read more about it here.
  • Pot Clip Holder – How I have lived with out this, I’m not sure just yet. This is the perfect little kitchen gadget that I think everyone should own, maybe even several of them. This helps keep your stove top and counters nice and clean. It clips on to the side of the pot and holds your spoon when you aren’t using it. Read more about it here.
  • Safe-cut Can Opener – The one and only item I did not use, only because I had no can to open, but this can opener, as its name states is a “safe-cut” which means it leaves no sharp edges to get injured on! So this tool is perfect for having your younger ones help out in the kitchen, you can read more about it here.


photo 1(9)Here is what I made…

Spring Time Mushroom Risotto

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  • Olive Oil                                               1 tablespoon
  • Butter                                                   1 tablespoon
  • Scallions, sliced                               1/4 cup
  • Mushrooms, sliced                           1 cup
  • Red Pepper Flakes                          1/4-1/2 teaspoon
  • Salt, Kosher                                        1/4 teaspoon
  • Arborio Rice                                       1 cup
  • White Wine                                         1/2 cup
  • Chicken Stock, low sodium            4 cups
  • Egg, whole                                         1 large
  • Parmesan Cheese, grated            1/4 cup

Method of Preparation:

  1. Gather all ingredients and equipment.
  2. In a small stock pot add four cups of chicken stock and heat over medium heat, then reduce to a simmer
  3.  In a large, heavy bottom skillet, heat olive oil and butter over medium heat.
  4.  Add sliced scallions and saute for 1 minute.
  5. Add mushrooms, and cook for an addition 2 minutes.
  6. Add white wine and cook for an additional minute.
  7. Season with salt and pepper
  8. If the pan is a little dry add an additional teaspoon of either oil or butter, then add the rice and stir to evenly coat.
  9. Stir in 1 cup of stock – just enough to cover the rice.
  10. Stir well and continue to stir until the rice has almost completely absorbed the stock.
  11. Continue this process until all stock has been added to rice and absorbed. This should take about 20-30 minutes.
  12. Push the risotto to the outer edges of the pan and add the egg.
  13. Fry egg, and carefully flip over to not break the yolk – you want it to be runny over the risotto when plating.
  14. Gently remove the egg and set aside.
  15. Remove from heat and stir in Parmesan cheese.
  16. To serve top with fried egg and sliced scallions.

Chef Notes:You can use any short grain rice instead of the arborio rice, as risotto is a style of cooking, not a type of rice.

 Be sure to check out more delicious recipes from the other Good Cook Bloggers and Kitchen Experts at the link below!

This post was sponsored by Good Cook as part of the Blogger and Kitchen Experts programs.

#goodcookcom #kitchendrawercontest #goodcookblogger

Mini Pineapple Upside Down Cakes {37 Cooks & Good Cook}

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I love being a part of both 37 Cooks and Good Cook Blogger/Kitchen Experts – and I love that they have combined forces for this event. Each of the 37 Cooks received the following items from Good Cook as part of the recipe challenge: Pineapple Corer/Slicer, Mixing Bowl, Spatula, and Chopping Mats. We then had a choice of one of the following items to play around with: Nonstick Round 9″ Cake Pan (Set of 2 for layer cakes), 13″ x 9″ Nonstick Covered Cake Pan, Dessert Bar Pan, or 4-Cup Loaf Pan. I ended up choosing the dessert bar pan because I thought that would be pretty versatile.

This was no ordinary challenge though – this was the Good Cook Potluck Pantry Challenge. The key word in that name is PANTRY, meaning we had to cook or bake with whatever we had in our pantry (including fridge) and not buy anything at the store. Thankfully my pantry is pretty well stocked and happened to have a fresh pineapple on hand! We had to use two of the Good Cook items – one from the core items received and the second item was whichever pan we choose.

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I knew right away that I wanted to make pineapple upside down cakes – this was my favorite cake growing up because it did not have frosting on it! I kid you not…to this day I still do not really like frosting unless it’s my own frosting which I do not sweeten much. My sweet tooth is not that strong I guess. This goes perfectly with a little dollop of lightly sweetened fresh whipped cream. Even though I chose to do a sweet recipe, this pan can be used for so much more than desserts – you can bake cornbread, risotto (yes risotto squares!), meatloaf, etc. The possibilities are pretty endless – you just need to be creative.

I used the following items to create my Mini Pineapple Upside Down Cakes: Pineapple Corer/Slicer, Spatula, Chopping Mats, and Dessert Bar Pan – I loved using the pineapple corer/slicer – super easy to use, say good-bye to canned pineapple rings!

The recipe is below however, here are a few substitutions that can be made:

  • If you are not gluten-free feel free to use a “regular” cake mix
  • The recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, and nut-free – the picture does show whipped cream but you can omit that.
  • Don’t like pineapple? Use a different fruit…raspberries, cherries, etc.
  • I used earth balance sticks – feel free to use whatever butter or butter alternative you want…I haven’t tried anything besides this and butter so I can not guarantee any results

Mini Pineapple Upside Down Cakes


Method of Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Prepare cake mix according to package instructions (use the spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl every so often if using a stand mixer)
  3. Evenly divide up the 2-3 tablespoons of earth balance into the 12 wells of the dessert pan
  4. Place pan in preheated oven to melt the butter – once melted remove from oven and sprinkle the brown sugar evenly into the wells of the pan
  5. Top the brown sugar and melted butter with one 1/2 chunk of pineapple and 1 natural maraschino cherry (halved or whole is fine)
  6. Pour in prepared cake batter evenly into wells of pan – leave about 1/4 inch room to let the cake rise in the oven
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.
  8. Remove from oven and using a heatproof serving plate or cutting board upside down onto pan,  turn plate and pan over.
  9. Leave pan over cake 5 minutes so brown sugar topping can drizzle over cake; remove pan.
  10. Cool 30 minutes.
  11. Can be served either warm or cool with either ice cream (dairy free alternatives available), or whipped cream (or coconut cream)
  12. Store covered in refrigerator.

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Good Cook provided us with these products free of charge – all opinions are 100% my own.

Cheesecake Cups {Good Cook: Sweet Creations Bake-A-Bowl}

photo 2(6)Spring has officially sprung! I love this time of year for all the beautiful flowers blooming and the fresh fruits and vegetables, I can’t wait for the farmer’s markets to really pick up. Spring time also means it’s time for lots of celebrations…graduations, Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, etc. So if you are looking for an easy and super delicious treat to share at any one of these occasions look no further. I was originally going to make a salad for this recipe, but Bryan said it was “too simple” and I should do something sweet instead. I didn’t want to do anything with brownies so I though of the cheesecake that I make Bryan for his birthday that has a chocolate chip cookie crust that he loves and decided to make some adjustments; turning this into a lovely spring treat. I kept the cookie crust but decided that since the bowls were already baked, why not do a no-bake cheesecake filling, make it bright with some lemon juice and lemon zest and then top with fresh berries. I love the tangy flavor of the 1/3 fat cream cheese and always use that in my cheesecakes.

Good Cook has done it again with their Bake-A-Bowl pan – it is a 6 cup pan with two pieces that you fill, top, and bake to create the perfect little bowls! You can pretty much make anything with this pan…brownie bowls, cookie bowls, pancake bowls, tortilla bowls, cornbread bowls, etc. Much to Bryans dismay I have an obsession with kitchen equipment, but my defense is I use everything I have! So if you are like me, and love playing around with fun with new kitchen goodies, you have to check this out.

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Check out my recipe for Cheesecake Cups using a cookie crust and a no bake cheesecake filling topped with delicious fresh strawberries, perfect for Mother’s day – I promise she will love these!

Cheesecake Cups


  • 1 package of cookie mix (chocolate chip, sugar cookie, etc. – follow directions on package to prepare)
  • 1 – 8oz package of 1/3 fat cream cheese (softened)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 8 oz heavy cream
  • 1 pint fresh berries (strawberries – sliced thin)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar

Method of Preparation

  1. Prepare cookie mix as directed on package
  2. Spray both the bottom and top pan lightly with non-stick spray
  3. Evenly divide prepared cookie mix into six portions and place into the bottom of the Bake-A-Bowl pan, be sure to not fill past the “fill line”
  4. Take the top part of the pan and press it in to place
  5. Bake according to package instructions (you made need a little bit of additional time, these baked for 22 minutes)
  6. Remove from oven and let cool – do not remove top of pan until completely cooled.
  7. Once cooled, remove bowls from pan and set aside.
  8. Using either a stand mixer or electric mixer beat together the softened cream cheese, lemon juice, and lemon zest until soft and smooth.
  9. Add in whipping cream and mix on low until incorporated and then turn it to medium-low and mix until it becomes thickened.
  10. Add in the sugar and mix until incorporated
  11. Poor into chilled bowls and refrigerate for several hours (or over night if making this ahead of time).
  12. Wash and then slice strawberries thinly and place in a bowl
  13. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of sugar and toss to coat. This will help the natural juices release.
  14. To assemble the cheesecakes, remove from the refrigerator and let them stand at room temp for 15-20 minutes prior to serving. Top with fresh berries or your favorite cheesecake topping.
  15. Enjoy!

photo 4(3)Again there are so many great ways to use this pan:

  • Sweet treats: brownies, cookie, etc.
  • Bake in the top part of the bowls as well – can be used as fillings inside the bottom of the bowl
  • If making bread bowls – but a baking sheet over the top of the pan to weigh it down…this will help with the bread from rising too much.
  • Non-sweet treats: cornbread bowls for chili, Tortilla bowls for tacos or salad, Bacon bowls etc.
  • Breakfast: Bacon bowls filled with scrambled eggs, pancake bowls, hashbrown nests, etc.
  • Have fun, and be creative!

You can buy Sweet Creations products online from Good Cook and get a 25% discount with the code BAKEBOWL.
Check out more great recipes and ideas here!

#goodcook #goodcookkitchenexpert #sweetcreations

Peppermint “Hot Chocolate” Cookies {Good Cook Virtual Cookie Exchange}

The awesome bloggers and kitchen experts at Good Cook are hosting a Sweet Creations Virtual Cookie Exchange. Each of us that participated received a huge box filled with two cookie sheets, a cookie turner, sweet mixing bowls, cookie dropper/scoop, high temp rubber spatula, and a set of 12 cookie cutters pretty much everything you need to bake some delicious cookies. We were asked to use at least one of the items listed above in our recipe…I chose to use the cookie turner, cookie dropper, and cookie sheet…all of which were awesome! these sheet trays are some of my favorites and that cookie scoop is perfect – so easy to use, nothing got stuck to it, and the cookies came out pretty uniform.

964334_10151833454178848_1596390271_oI’m not going to lie…I am not the best baker due to the fact that measurements really do have to be precise, hence why I cook. I find that my creativity comes out more in cooking rather than baking and I utilize my other senses of smell, sight, and touch with cooking if I can’t taste something (basically in school if something isn’t gluten-free). When it comes to come up with an original recipe without looking at others for inspiration. I have to say thought I think I did rather well with this recipe. I just looked at some “regular” cookie recipes just to see what the ratios are and these came out pretty darn good.

As part of our virtual cookie exchange our readers are entitled to receive 5% off for any sweet creations products by entering the code: COOKIES during check out. Also be sure to check out the Good Cook to like these cookies (or any others) and be entered to be one of 10 lucky winners that will receive a great gift prize from Sweet Creations/Good Cook! Be sure to head to Good Cook on December 18th to vote for your favorite cookie(s) and be entered to win one of 25 Sweet Creations Cooking Making Kits! Contests ends on December 31, 2013!

Peppermint “Hot Chocolate” Cookies

(Think of all the delicious goodies you put into hot chocolate – chocolate, peppermint, marshmallows and wrap those up into one delicious cookie)


Yield: 24 cookies


  • 3/4 cup Sugar (granulated)
  • 3/4 cup Light Brown Sugar
  • 1 cup/stick Unsalted Butter
  • 1 large Egg
  • 1 cup Blanched Almond Four
  • 1 cup Gluten-free All Purpose Flour (Cup4Cup) (if your mix does not have xanthan gum in it add 1/4 teaspoon)
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 cup Chopped Marshmallows (or mini ones, cut in half)
  • 1 cup Chopped Peppermint Chocolate (I used Chocolove, you can always add 1/4 teaspoon of peppermint extract instead)
  • 2 Candy Canes – crushed

Method of Preparation

  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer add granulated sugar, brown, sugar, butter, and egg. Mix on low-medium until creamed together.
  3. While the sugar, butter, and eggs are creaming together, add the almond flour, all-purpose flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl, and mix until there are no lumps (a fork works just fine for this).
  4. Turn mixer to low and gently add dry ingredients. The dough will be a bit stiff.
  5. Add chopped marshmallows and chocolate chunks, mix until incorporated.
  6. Place unwrapped candy canes into a zip lock back and using a rolling pin, crush the candy canes until they are in small bits.
  7. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  8. Using the cookie dropper scoop 6 cookies on to each tray, gently press down each cookie.
  9. Top each cookie with a sprinkle of candy cane bits
  10. Bake for 12 minutes – turning half way through.
  11. Let cool on pan for 2-3 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack.
  12. Serve warm with a glass of soy milk (or which ever milk you prefer).

Chef’s Note: the addition of the almond flour and marshmallow gives these cookies a nice little chew to them…they are a great mixture of crunchy and chewy cookies with a delicate peppermint flavor.

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored review – I was provided products for review from Good Cook. Please note that the opinions expressed are my own and have not been influenced by outside sources of any kind.

#goodcookcom #goodcookkitchenexpert #goodcookblogger #sweetcreations

Turkey, Apple, and Cheddar Fritters {Good Cook}

IMG_8420_7995I hope you guys were able to attend the Good Cook Twitter Party that happened last Monday evening! There were so awesome prizes given out. The wonderful people behind Good Cook came up with an idea to share Thanksgiving leftover recipes (101+ recipes! Check them out HERE) with all of you, and I am excited to take part in this. I traveled this year for Thanksgiving but still made a delicious meal for Bryan and I. The sad part is, I wasn’t able to travel with any of my awesome goodies from Good Cook so I made sure to bring home some leftovers in order to make this recipe.

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. I love cooking a huge meal for family and friends. Someday when I have a house, my door will be open to those in need. It make me upset to think of those without, especially on days like Thanksgiving. Growing up my family wasn’t rich by any means, but we always had each other. My grandfather was a member of the Knights of Columbus and I remember getting a Thanksgiving meal from them every year. It had the works…a turkey, stuffing, canned goods, etc. They even gave us Christmas presents every year. I will forever be grateful to my grandfather and the KoC for their charity.

Last year for my internship at school, instead of opting to take the traditional route and work in a kitchen, I chose to work with the community service department on campus and spent my days cooking for people in need. My favorite days were those where I got to cook at the Providence Ronald McDonald House and a local soup kitchen in Providence. Food makes people happy and everyone deserves food. In addition to that the community service department each year puts on a Thanksgiving dinner for those in need at the school – it was amazing being part of something like that and was sad I wasn’t able to help out this year.

I was trying to hard to figure out what to make with my leftovers – trying to be creative isn’t easy I tell ya. I finally came up with an idea to do fritters. I had taken home turkey and cranberry sauce (all I could really fit in my carry on). I had some extra sharp cheddar cheese, and an apple so thought I would throw those in as well. These little fritters are mighty tasty and awesome fall flavor to them. Check out the recipe below:

Turkey, Apple, and Cheddar Fritters

1/2 cup diced Turkey Meat

1/4 cup shredded or diced Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese

1/4 cup diced Apple (granny smith, fuji, etc.)

1 cup Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour or Pancake batter (both work great)
1/2  teaspoon Xantan Gum (only if your mix does not already have it in there)
1/4 teaspoon Baking Powder (only if your mix does not already have it in there)
2  Eggs (or 1/2 cup Eggbeaters)
6  tablespoons Milk (Cow, Soy, Nut, or Hemp)
1  tablespoon Feiny’s Veggie Rub
1/2 teaspoon Salt (or to taste)
1/4 teaspoon Fresh Cracked Pepper

Cranberry Sauce – homemade, canned, etc.


  1. Preheat fryer to 350•F or in a medium skillet add 1/4-1/2 cup oil and heat over medium heat to shallow fry instead of deep frying.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients, mix well.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together all of the wet ingredients until well combined.
  4. Slowly add to dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
  5. Drop batter by the spoonful and cook until golden brown on all sides.
  6. Check for seasoning and adjust if needed.
  7. Do not over crowed the fryer or pan.
  8. Remove from oil and drain on a paper towel lined dish.
  9. Repeat process with remaining batter.
  10. Serve warm.
  11. Hold in a warm oven in a Good Cook Brownie Pan or Cookie Sheet at about 200•F if needed.
  12. Serve in a Good Cook Pie Pan lined with parchment paper.
  13. Serve with cranberry sauce.

Olio d’oliva Pagnotta Senza Glutine {Sweet Creations}


I’m loving the Nonstick Mini Loaf Pan from Good Cook! You can do so much with this pan, and I know this will come in handy next Easter as I continue to work on converting my Grandmother’s Easter bread recipe (it is not Easter without this bread!). For now however I was asked to “Be a Sweetie” and make a Sweet Creation with this pan. I was a bit indecisive on what to make because there are so many options…did I want to make meatloaf? Something sweet? Savory?  I finally decided on a combination of sweet and savory…a take on an Italian classic; Olio d’oliva Pagnotta – Olive Oil Loaf. Most recipes I have seen or made in the past are made with lemons, however substituted organic Valencia oranges instead and added a nice little crunch of pine nuts (another Italian classic).

The pan is great – you can make four mini loaves of whatever your heart desires which is perfect for any holiday because these little loaves make awesome presents! I’ll be bringing my extra loves into work to share.

 Olio d’oliva Pagnotta Senza Glutine  (Gluten Free Olive Oil Loaf)



  • 2 Eggs (large)
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar + 2 Tablespoons (divided)
  • Zest of 1 large Valencia Orange (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1/3 Cup Orange Juice (freshly squeezed)
  • 3/4 Cup Olive Oil (make sure its a good one)
  • 1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
  • 1 1/2 Cup Gluten Free Flour (I use Cup4Cup)
  • 1/4 Cup Pine Nuts

Glaze (Optional)

  • 1/4 Cup Powdered Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Orange Juice

Method of Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 400•F
  2. In a large bowl add eggs and 1/2 cup of sugar – beat with a wire whisk until pale and you see a bit of foam.
  3. Add orange zest, , salt, orange juice, and olive oil.
  4. Beat with wire whisk until well combined.
  5. Add baking powder and gluten-free flour, mix with a rubber spatula to combine all ingredients well.
  6. Add 1/3 cup of mixture into each of the four wells of the pan.
  7. Top each loaf well with even amounts of sugar and pine nuts.
  8. Bake for 20-22 minutes – turning 1/2 way through to ensure even browning.
  9. Cool in pan for 5 minutes and transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.
  10. If using a glaze – prepare it now: in a small bowl add powdered sugar and orange juice, mix until well combined and drizzle over warm loaves.
  11. Enjoy!

IMG_8295_7876(Check out the super cute White Snow Flake parchment paper – also included in the giveaway below!)


Disclaimer: This is a sponsored review – I was provided products for review from Good Cook. Please note that the opinions expressed are my own and have not been influenced by outside sources of any kind. Good Cook has kindly offered one Creative Cooking Gluten Free reader the chance to win one Nonstick Mini Loaf Pan and Decorate Parchment Paper (great for wrapping up the loaves!). Winner will be chosen using and will have 48 hours to respond. If no response is received, another winner will be chosen.

Ginger-Spiced Roasted Pumpkin & A Good Cook Twitter Party!

I am loving being a kitchen expert and blogger for Good Cook. I have the pleasure of playing with lots of great items and reviewing them. Recently we were sent a box filled with all of these amazing tools to help us get through the Thanksgiving holiday with items like a roasting pan, turkey platter, turkey injector, brine bag, and SO much more! Are you interested in winning this and more? If so keep on reading.


Come Join Me, Good Cook, TheFrugalMom and other Good Cook Kitchen Experts! The Ultimate Thanksgiving Twitter Party, Monday, November 25, 2013 at 6:00 pm to 7:00pm EST On Twitter with hashtag #Thanksgivingtips.

Join in as we talk about everything Thanksgiving from turkey prep to decorating the table.  Plus get a chance to win a special gift and one of three $200 Thanksgiving Baskets that will arrive in time for your dinner. Be among the first 500 to RSVP by November 23, 2013 and receive a free set of Turkey Lifters. Click here RSVP.

All of the experts were asked to create a delicious pumpkin dish to share with everyone. I’m not the biggest sweets fan so I went for a savory dish and really…it could be two dishes in one.  I work at a natural foods store here in Rhode Island – it is an awesome little shop owned by and amazing couple who have become like family. All produce is organic – and as often as it can be, local. There are no artificial colors, sweeteners, HFCS, or GMO’s anywhere in the store! We also have (in my opinion) the best selection of gluten-free and allergen friendly items on the island. Needless to say I get a bit spoiled working here, and I hope wherever I end up next I can find a place like this. One of the items that we brought in for the holiday season was ginger curd. When walking past it yesterday I knew I had to incorporate it some how…I could have easily done a pie with this but again, I wanted savory. So I bought that and a pumpkin and headed home after my shift to create a delicious side dish that is suitable for vegetarians as well. I cut up the pumpkin using the Pumpkin Scoop (available at walmart) and the Good Cook Brownie Pan roasted it off with a delicious glaze made from the ginger curd, and the house smelt amazing! Best part is – you can puree this up with a little bit of stock (vegetable or chicken) and it makes a delicious soup as well…like I said, two recipes in one!

The Pumpkin Scoop is awesome – Its round with one edge being smooth and another edge that is serrated, and the handle has a serrated knife it in. The scoop is also great for removing the seeds and cleaning out other various squashes as well, and of course for pumpkin carving. The Brownie Pan is non stick and is just wonderful…nothing and I mean nothing stuck to this thing (as with most non-stick items wash by hand, it is not dishwasher safe. This helps maintain the quality and longevity of the pan).  Check out the recipe below

Ginger-Spiced Roasted Pumpkin

  • 1 2-3 pound Pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup Ginger Curd
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/8-1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (all depends on your spice level)
Method of Preparation
  1. Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees
  2. Cut pumpkin in half
  3. Using the pumpkin scoop, remove the seeds (roast or discard)
  4. Cut pumpkin into quarters and peel skin off and discard
  5. Dice pumpkin into 1 inch cubes and set aside
  6. In a large bowl mix together the ginger curd, olive oil, slat, cumin, and cayenne pepper (adjust seasoning to taste), mix until well combined
  7. Add diced pumpkin and toss to evenly coat.
  8. Add the pumpkin to the brownie pan and roast for 25 minutes
  9. Remove from oven and gently toss pumpkin
  10. Return to oven and roast for an additional 20-25 minutes or until browned.
  11. Serve warm and enjoy!
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored review – I was provided products for review from Good Cook. Please note that the opinions expressed are my own and have not been influenced by outside sources of any kind.

Mini Gluten-Free Stuffed Pizzas ~ Good Cook “Sweet Creations”


I recently joined the Good Cook Blogger team and I am loving it! I get to pay with so many great products, create delicious gluten-free recipes, write about them and share my honest opinions with all of you – as always these opinions are 100% my own.

Below is my first creation with the Good Cook products. I was given a choice of packages that included many great things like whoopie pie pans, dough cutters, etc. However, I opted for one that included a cookie sheet, cookie cutter, squeeze bottles ~such versatile products! I had been craving pizza lately so I decided to make some mini gluten-free stuffed pizzas with mini pepperoni, baby spinach, mozzarella, and sauce (it was a mini themed event!) These little creations would be great to get your kids involved with as well. Easy to make, fun to put together, and you can even par bake them, freeze individually, and then pop in the toaster oven – makes a great afternoon snack.

Mini Gluten-Free Stuffed Pizzas


1 Gluten-Free Pizza Dough Recipe (use your favorite recipe…I used the Cup4Cup Pizza Mix)

1/4 cup Marinara Sauce

2 tablespoons Mini Pepperoni (Hormel makes these cute little things, and they are gluten-free!)

1/8 cup Baby Spinach, Chopped

1/4 cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

1 tablespoon Olive Oil

1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt

Equipment Needed:

Sweet Creations Cookie Sheet

Parchment Paper or Silicone Baking Sheet

Sweet Creations Cookie Cutters

Method of Preparation

  1. Pre Heat oven to 500○
  2. Prepare pizza crust according to recipe or package
  3. Roll crust to 1/8 inch – when working with gluten-free pizza dough (pie dough etc.) it is best to place it between two sheets of parchment paper or plastic wrap to roll out. You can also use a silicone baking sheet and plastic wrap.
  4. Using the cookie cutter (any shape works, but I loved the fluted square one for this) cut out 16 pieces of dough (this was 95% of the dough that the mix made).
  5. Place 8 of the cut pieces of dough on a parchment lined cookie sheet
  6. Evenly distribute the sauce onto each piece of pizza dough
  7. Top with mini pepperoni, chopped baby spinach, and mozzarella cheese.
  8. Take the remaining 8 pieces of pizza dough cutouts and place them on top of the pizza dough and press edges down to seal (you can also use a fork to press seal the edges)
  9. Lightly brush the tops of each mini pizza with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt
  10. Bake at 500○ for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown on top.
  11. Remove from oven and cool slightly. Serve with a side of warm marinara sauce.


Be sure to check out Good Cook’s website, facebook, twitter, and pinterest!

Thanks again to Good Cook for the awesome equipment to play with! #sweetcreations #goodcookkitchenexpert