Sunday, December 8, 2013

Lentil and Coconut Curry Stew

Lentil and Coconut Curry Stew 
Adapted from

2 cups lentils 
2 cups cooked shredded chicken, (optional)
1 onion, finely chopped 
1 red bell pepper, diced 
2 large carrots, sliced
1 fresh jalapeno, seeded and diced small 
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
4 garlic cloves, minced 
1 heaping tablespoon red curry paste 
1 teaspoon garam masala 
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 
1/3 cup tomato paste 
12 cups water 
2 tablespoons chicken base
1 can coconut milk 
1 15-ounce can of chickpeas 
2 tsp salt (or salt to taste)
juice of two limes 
fresh cilantro and lime wedges for serving 

Heat 1-2 tablespoons of coconut oil and add the onions, bell pepper, carrot and jalapeno. Cook until veggies begin to get tender. Add the garlic, ginger, curry, spices, salt and tomato paste and continue to cook for 2-3 more minutes. Add the water, coconut milk, lentils and chickpeas, bring to a low boil, and cook uncovered for 25 to 30 minutes, until lentils are tender. Stir in the lime juice, and give it a taste to see if you need any more lime or salt.  Serve with cilantro, lime, and fresh naan.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Chicken Tacos

I may be Italian but Mexican food has my heart! Sorry, Dad :) . These are definitely a new take on tacos at my house but they were a hit. I used rotisserie chicken instead of pan frying chicken breasts. I would highly recommend using rotisserie chicken for this. It was delicious! Click here for The Pioneer Woman's step by step directions and photos.

Chicken Tacos
The Pioneer Woman

16 whole Corn Tortillas (small Size)
4 whole Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, Cut Into Pieces (Shredded Rotisserie Chicken)
Salt, Cumin, Chili Powder To Taste (or Use Taco Seasoning)
2 Tablespoons Canola Oil
2 cans (4 Ounce) Diced Green Chilies
1-1/2 cup Finely Grated Cheese (cheddar Or Cheddar/jack Mix)
Sour Cream
Hot Sauce (Chulula Or Other Brand)
2 cups Thinly Sliced Romaine Lettuce (or Any Lettuce)
4 whole Roma Tomatoes, Diced
Canola Oil, For Frying Tacos

*Be careful frying with hot oil!*
Season diced chicken liberally. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook for a couple of minutes. Dump in the diced green chilies. Stir and cook until chicken is totally done inside. Turn off heat and set aside.
Have all other ingredients---grated cheese, sliced lettuce, diced tomato, sour cream, and hot sauce---ready.
Also have a plate ready, as well as a stack of five or six paper towels to hold in your hand.
To fry the tacos, heat a couple of inches of canola oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high. Place some chicken in the middle of a tortilla, then fold tortilla in half. Clamp the tortilla shut with a pair of heat-proof metal tongs, then carefully lay the taco---one side down---in the oil. As you lay it in the oil, use the tongs to hold the top side down for a few seconds to form it in place. Once it stays put, repeat with two other tacos. Turn tacos after 30 to 45 seconds, or when each side gets light golden brown (not too brown.)
One at a time, remove tacos from the pan with tongs, holding sideways as you remove them to allow oil to drip out of the sides. Place the taco in the stack of paper towels. Fold the sides and corners around the taco to tightly hold it, then give it three or four shakes to remove excess oil. Remove it from the paper towels and place on a plate. Repeat with other tacos in the pan.
As you continue frying the other tacos, have someone carefully place some grated cheese inside the tops of the tacos (gently pry them open just enough to place the cheese in). Then just let them sit until ready to serve---the cheese will melt as it sits in the warm taco.
To serve, garnish in this order: a smear of sour cream, dashes of hot sauce, shredded lettuce, diced tomato. You'll need to slightly open up the tops of the tacos to get all the garnishes in there.
Tacos will be hot for a minute or two after frying, so don't rush into eating! They'll stay nice and warm for a little while after frying.

I served these with sliced watermelon and Our Best Bites Spanish Rice . Which should totally get its own post. It's sooo good!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Girl Scout Cupcakes

Let me preface this by telling you that I don't usually condone the use of so much processed food. However, I do highly recommend these cupcakes. This cake is one of my childhood favorites. My mom used to make it in a bundt pan and it even inspired my chocolate cupcake recipe.

Chocolate Chip Cake
 Yellow cake mix
4 eggs
¾ cup oil
¾ cup water
1 8 oz sour cream
1 5 oz pkg vanilla pudding
1 6 oz pkg mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°F . Combine all ingredients.

Bake until a tester inserted into the center comes out batter-free, about 20 minutes. Transfer muffins to a rack and let cool.

Easy Caramel Buttercream 
 easy caramel

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup heavy cream

2 Tablespoons unsalted butter

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
pinch of kosher salt

1. In a medium sauce pan, mix sugar, cream and butter.
2. Bring to a boil over medium high heat stirring with a wooden spoon.
3. Continue to boil for 3 minutes stirring constantly.
4. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and sea salt. (Be careful, it will bubble!)
5. Cool to room temperature (this is important)
5. Beat with a wire whisk until smooth.

1 cup unsalted butter softened
3 cups confectioners sugar sifted
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract

1. Cream butter in a mixer with the paddle attachment on medium speed until light and creamy.
2. With mixer on low, slowly add powdered sugar.
3. Increase mixer speed to medium and add vanilla extract & salt, beat for 3 minutes.
4. With mixer on low, slowly add cooled caramel. Beat until all is incorporated.

Unsweetened shredded coconut, toasted
Chocolate- milk or semi-sweet, melted

Monday, April 22, 2013

Slurping Noodles


Slurping Noodles
Copy Cat from Slurping Turtle, Chicago

2 quarts chicken or vegetable stock
1 Tablespoon soy sauce or Braggs Liquid Aminos
1 Tablespoon coconut oil
1 cup carrots, match stick or thinly sliced
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1 cup napa cabbage, shredded
½ cup broccoli florets
1/2 cup snow peas
8 ozs straight cut rice noodles or vermicelli
Shrimp, use your preferred size
3-4 green onions, greens only slice on diagonal
¼ cup cilantro,
French Fried Onion, garnish

In coconut oil, sauté carrots, mushrooms, and cabbage for 3-4 minutes over med-hi heat.

Add chicken stock and bring to a simmer over high heat. Add shrimp, broccoli, and rice noodles. Simmer for about 5 minutes or until noodles are soft. Stir in green onions and cilantro.

Garnish individual servings with french fried onions. Slurp away.

Add an Indian flare by adding a can of coconut milk and a couple tablespoons of red curry paste or a couple of teaspoons of curry powder.

Healthier Version: Use Brown Rice Noodles. I found these at Ridley's in Morgan.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Honey Chocolate Chip Cookies

These are our favorite "egg free" cookies. 

1 ¼ cup flour
½ tsp baking soda
pinch Salt
¼ cup butter, softened
¼ cup sugar
½ cup honey
1 cup chocolate chips (or a mixture of pb chips, m&ms, reese’s pieces, etc.)

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Mix dry stuff (flour, baking soda and salt) together in a big measuring cup or a small bowl. 
In a medium bowl, blend butter, sugar and honey together with a rubber spatula or a mixer on low speed.
Mix in dry ingredients. Add chips and mix until everything is all creamed together.
Use a couple of soup spoons or tablespoons to drop blobs of dough onto a nonstick cooking sheet.