Cooking, Medical

Relearning How to Cook After 30 Yrs of Butter


Eat Bark, call it chocolate

No More Bark for You

I always joked my sister has nothing but bark, twigs, and grass blades in her house.  There was no bark at my house.  Her kids loved to come here and eat things that were not healthy.

I’m a good aunt like that.

Relearning how to cook is like trying to crochet a blanket, underwater, for a seagull.  It is not fun.  I do not enjoy it.  Change is not cool.


I love my son.

During our time in Florida, we learned that Hunter has *several* food allergies.  Things I have cooked with since the beginning of time, I can no longer use.

Off Limits







I just put a 500 lb cow in my freezer.

The one thing I season my food with (my lovely seasoning mix), I can’t.  I love garlic.

Dairy.  Goodbye love of cheese and adding cheese to every single dish.  Every.  Single.  Dish.  Butter.  BUTTER.

B.  U.  T.  T.  E.  R.

When I make soup, 98% of them have heavy cream, sour cream, cream cheese, cheese, milk.  How will I make soup????!!!

Chicken bouillon?  Gone.  Beef bouillon?  No Bueno.

No.  Chicken broth with cream of chicken soup, butter, heavy cream, garlic, and cheese.

No broth people of internet land…..that hurts.

Bread, pasta, my heart, and soul in eatable form.

Nuts, I can take them or leave them.

I am still going to cook.  Relearning healthy ways to cook will create good habits in my children.  Hopefully, we will lose some weight (well, Big Daddy and me).

This change will be good for Hunter.  It will calm the inflammation down, in his brain.  By calming that inflammation down, I hope that his progression will continue.  His health is number one, right now.

There are still some things I will cook, normally, but adjust for him.  Be on the lookout for lots of hits and lots of misses in my new recipes.

It’s all about the journey, right?


To a Kitchen Near You

Coming Soon Cooking

Coming soon, Brandi cooking, all new recipes.

Due to Hunter’s food allergies, all things related to food has got to be changed to help him.

Hunter has some new diet restrictions, therefore life is changing.  I will be cooking:  Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Egg Free, Garlic Free, Nut Free

This is going to be a lot of trial and error because I know how to cook.  I’m good at cooking things.

Plus, I like to eat.  I do not, however, like to lick trees or eat grass.

I will do whatever it takes to help my boy.

God has led me to a place of peace and knowledge, but this is all new.

Learning how to cook again.

After 30 years, no more butter.

Bacon is teetering on the edge of the pirate plank.

Milk says goodbye.

Cheese is on vacation.

Gluten just said buh bye.

I have made cashew cheese (seems like an oxymoron, yet tastes like paste).

Smoothies have *finally* been mastered.  They comprise of bananas, strawberries, almond milk, ice cubes, peanut butter powder, power greens, and chlorophyll.

Gluten-free pizza with garlic free homemade pizza sauce and vegan cheese.  He loves it.  I, however, barfed in my mouth a bit.

Prayers appreciated.

Details are coming soon.


Alice’s Chicken: Brandi Style


Alice’s Chicken:  Brandi Style

Boneless skinless chicken breasts


Honey Mustard

1/2 stick butter

1# bacon, fried (save the grease)

Colby/Jack Cheese

2 c. fresh spinach

Fresh mushrooms

Cook your bacon on your broiler pan.  It does not shrink up and the grease catches in the bottom.

Cut your chicken into thin strips.  Marinate them in the honey mustard for about an hour.  In your electric skillet (well, that’s what I use), put in your leftover grease and the 1/2 stick of butter and let that melt down. Put your chicken in the skillet and put some seasoning on it.

When that is done, put it in a single layer in a greased 13×9 pan (I used 2 aluminum pans).  On top of the chicken, put the crumbled bacon (I also used some bacon bits because I was cooking for *a lot* of humans).  Next, put a layer of colby/jack, spinach, and then colby jack.  Pour the left over grease, butter, and the drippings of the honey mustard over the top of your chicken.

Cook at 350 for about 30 minutes.


Baked Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo


Baked Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo

In a large bowl, chop up 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (you could use canned chicken or rotisserie chicken).

Add in seasoning mix.

2 tsp. minced garlic

2 jars premade alfredo sauce (though you could make this low carb and make your own alfredo sauce, which is super easy)

4 chicken bouillon cubes

3 c. water

16 oz. pasta..uncooked (I had elbow noodles on hand, but anything can be used)

Small package of frozen broccoli

Stir it all together.  Preheat oven to 425.

Place in greased 13×9 pan and cover it with aluminum foil.

I put mine on a cookie sheet to keep it from boiling over.

Cook for 30-40 minutes.  Remove from oven and stir to see if noodles are done.  If not done, re-cover and put back in oven for about 10 more minutes.

When the noodles and chicken are thoroughly cooked, uncover dish.

Top with Mozzarella and Parmesan and put back in oven for about 5 minutes…or until cheese is melted.


Easy Garlic Herbed Cheddar Bread


Easy Garlic Herbed Cheddar Bread

Bread pan….grease it.

Mixing bowl:  3 c. self rising flour, 1.5 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp. onion powder, 2 T. Italian Seasoning, 1/4 c. sugar.  Mixa Mixa.

Once mixed add:  1 egg, 1/4 c. oil, 1.5 c. milk, 1.5 c. cheddar.  Mixa Mixa again.

Slap it all in your bread pan.

Bake at 350 for about 45-50 minutes.

When warm, slather with butter.

You can thank me later 🙂


Chicken & Asparagus Pasta Bake


Chicken & Asparagus Pasta Bake

I’m just gonna write this how I cooked it….so it is not going to be like a list and then instructions.



In my instant pot, I placed 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts.  I put them on the trivet, with a cup of water in there.  The chicken was frozen.  Once I put the lid on, I just put it on the “poultry” setting.

When that was cooking, I took 2 bunches of asparagus and I cut off the woody parts.  I cut the rest of it in bite sized pieces.  You could also substitute broccoli but Big Daddy does not like the broccoli and chicken combo :/

When the chicken was done, I put it in my kitchen aid and I used that to shred the chicken (aka brilliant idea, so thanks to youtube for showing me that).  In that same pot that I shredded the chicken, I added my seasoning mix and the asparagus.  I thought it looked a bit dry, so I put in 2 cans of cream of mushroom and about a half cup of sour cream.

In the instant pot, I put in a box of elbow macaroni with a 1/2 stick of butter.  I add enough water to cover the pasta.  I set the pot on manual for 6 minutes.  While that is cooking, I made a white sauce.  It was 2 T. butter to 2 T. flour.  I whisk that together in a pan until it was mixed well.  Once I mixed it, I added a cup of milk.  I stirred that (it will stick) until it was thick and then I took it off the heat and added about 2 c. mozzarella.  With as much pasta and chicken that I had, I should’ve doubled it and it would’ve been really good with some cream cheese in it!

I greased a 13×9 pan, but I realized that I need something big to stir it all together in and i also realized that I made a lot, so I greased another 11×9 pan to freeze for a later meal.  I mixed the pasta, the chicken/asparagus mixture, more seasoning, Italian bread crumbs and a little bit of leftover mozzarella.

I put it all in the dish, covered it and cooked it at 350 for 45 minutes.  Then I took the aluminum off and cooked another 5 minutes.

It.  Was.  Good.


Weight Watchers: Vegetarian Minestrone



  • 28 oz. crushed tomatoes
  • basil
  • marjoram
  • minced onions (can use a real onion, just didn’t have any)
  • Seasoning
  • 2 zucchini (I sliced them thinly and then I quartered each slice)
  • yellow pepper, diced
  • 2 c. cabbage, diced
  • 2 cans light kidney beans
  • 2 cans dark kidney beans
  • 2 cans cannellini beans
  • 1 c. rice (though I would probably cut that down to a half because it thickens it a lot)
  • 4 beef bouillon cubes
  • 1 qt. vegetable stock
  • a twirl of splenda to cut the acidity
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • Water to thin it out

It came up to 1 pt per bowl.  I was thoroughly impressed with this.  I had to tweak the seasoning to my taste and Bart could’ve have stood it to have no rice and just add another can of each of the beans.  It was good and it is healthy enough for him to take for his lunches.


Bread Bowls


Bread Bowls

  • 2 tablespoons active dry yeast
  • 3 cups warm water 
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 6-1/2 to 7-1/2 cups bread flour


  • 1. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. In a large bowl, combine sugar, salt, yeast mixture and 3 cups flour; beat on medium speed 3 minutes. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough (dough will be sticky).
  • 2. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 30 minutes.
  • 3. Preheat oven to 500°. Punch dough down. Divide and shape into six balls. Place 3 in. apart on two greased baking sheets. Cover with a kitchen towel; let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 15 minutes. Using a sharp knife, score surface with shallow cuts in an X pattern. Bake 2 minutes. Reduce oven setting to 425°. Bake 16-18 minutes longer or until golden brown. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool.
  • 4. Cut a thin slice off the top of bread. Hollow out bottom half, leaving a 1/4-in. shell We used the discarded bread to dip in our soup.  What I had left over, I put on a cookie sheet and dried them out in the oven at 200.  Once they were dried and cooled, I put them through the food processor with some Italian Seasoning, Basil, and Oregano to make Italian style bread crumbs.

I served in these bowls, Loaded Baked Potato Soup and Philly Cheese Steak Soup.


This is before I cut the tops off.  I used this recipe, normally and made my bowls, then I used 1/2 the recipe and made a few more.  Mine made 10 in total.

Image may contain: food

This is after I put the Philly Cheese Steak Soup in it.


Hamburger Casserole


Hamburger Casserole

2 lb ground beef

2 tsp minced garlic

1 small onion

Seasoning (recipe for that below)

2 cans cream of mushroom

8 oz. cheddar

3 c. chopped fresh spinach

4-5 potatoes, skinned and cubed

In large pan (I use my Instant Pot), saute up the beef, onion, garlic, and seasoning.

Once that is done and drained, add in your spinach, 1/2 your cheese, soups, and potatoes.  Top with the remainder of the cheese.

Mix it all up and put it in a greased 13×9 dish.  Have the oven preheated to 350.  Cover the dish and cook for 1 hr.  Take off the aluminum foil and cook for another 30 minutes or so.


Seasoning Recipe

1 c. kosher salt

1/8 c. pepper

1/4 c. garlic powder

1/4 c. onion powder

I put all of this in a clean parmesan container and I usually double it.  I use this to season everything.