Sunday, November 21, 2010

Pumpkin Delights

When there's a chill in the air, I have a strong desire to make pumpkin recipes. This year I wanted to break away from my usual pumpkin pie and pumpkin bread. My search yielded muffins and shakes.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
1 cup white flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp salt
2 eggs
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare a 12-count muffin tin.
2. Put the dry ingredients, from flour to salt, in a bowl and whisk together. Set aside.
3. In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs. Add sugar and oil, mixing until combined. Then mix in the pumpkin and water. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients; beat just until moistened. Mix in the chocolate chips.
4. Fill the muffin cups. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until it passes the toothpick test.

A typical can of pumpkin holds about one and a half cups of pumpkin puree. So I found a recipe that uses up the rest of the can of pumpkin. However, it only makes about 2 cups. That was not enough for the whole family. So you can either make this after the kids go to bed, or double the recipe to share with everyone. Of course, it's so yummy that you can double the recipe, pour it in a graham cracker crust, and chill in the freezer for a frozen pumpkin pie. Mmm . . . frozen pumpkin pie.

Pumpkin Pie Shake
1 cup vanilla ice cream
1/2 cup milk, non-dairy creamer or water
~1/2 cup (or the rest of the can) pureed pumpkin
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp vanilla
cool whip for garnish (optional)

1. Put all the ingredients in the blender. Blend. Add an extra 1/4 cup of milk if needed. Pour into your cup(s) and top with cool whip, if desired.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


I like an NPR show called The Splendid Table. A little bit ago, they had a segment on about cilantro and what you can do with it other than just Mexican food. This sauce is Moroccan and is traditionally served with fish as a marinade and a sauce. I used it as a sauce that we added on after broiling. The guest says she likes to have it with roasted cauliflower, roasted winter squash, chicken, or even stir it into couscous. These all sound good to me.

2 cups cilantro leaves (2 large bunches)
1 1/2 cups parsley leaves (1 large bunch)
3-4 cloves garlic (to taste), halved
1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon salt (to taste)
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon coriander (I used 2 1/2 teaspoons of a cumin/coriander mix)
1/8 teaspoon cayenne (more to taste)
1/3 to 1/2 cup olive oil, to taste
1/4 cup lemon juice

Coarsely chop the cilantro and parsley. Then place them in a food processor and chop very fine, or chop on a cutting board. You should have 1 cup finely chopped herbs.

Place the garlic and salt in a mortar and puree. Add a small handful of the chopped herbs and gently but firmly grind until the herbs begin to dissolve. Add another handful. When all of the herbs have been mashed, work in the spices, 1/3 cup olive oil and lemon juice. Taste and adjust seasonings.

I don't have a mortar so instead, after I had the finely chopped herbs, I added chopped garlic and salt and tried to just mash it in with an ice cream scoop (it was all I could find that was vaguely pestle shaped). Then I added the other ingredients and just kind of mixed and attempted to grind. It's not quite as sauce-like as it would be as written but more has the consistency of a pesto. Still quite good.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Boneless Pork Ribs

I've recently discovered how to cook boneless, country-style ribs and they are so yummy I have to share. I've made this recipe twice now with two different sauces and each time it was dang good. I found this recipe on (a dangerous site if there ever was one).

Sauce of choice - two yummy options below
3 country-style ribs, boneless (I've used both big ones and small ones, the big ones were perfect, the smaller ones were a bit dry so the cooking time should be less. I just don't know how much less.)
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 325. Season the ribs with salt and pepper. Add enough oil to a hot, large skillet to just cover the pan. Add ribs and sear for three minutes each side. Remove to large, shallow roasting pan.

Add sauce over the ribs and turn to cover. Seal tightly with foil and roast for 3 hours. Marinate each hour with sauce. Take foil off for the last 30 minutes of cooking, or until tender.

Mojo Sauce
The sauce that came with the original recipe but with a few of my changes.

4 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
10 large cloves garlic, chopped (I used a little chopper and it was an easy way of doing them all)
half of an onion, finely minced (chopper again, way handy thing)
2/3 cup orange juice
2/3 cup lemon juice with maybe a tablespoon of lime juice (the recipe calls for 1 cup lime juice and only 1/3 cup orange juice but this was what we had - let me know how it is as written)
2/3 cup water
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon dried parsley or 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon oregano
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder (because the 10 cloves wasn't enough)
2 teaspoons cumin/coriander powder (it only calls for the cumin but this is the only way I have it so the coriander gets to come too)

In a skillet, over medium-high heat, add 2 tablespoons olive oil. Once heated, add the garlic and onion. Cook until pale golden brown, 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly.

Stir in the rest of the ingredients with 2 Tablespoons olive oil. Bring to a rolling boil. Remove from heat and let cool while prepping the ribs.

Cheyenne Burger BBQ Sauce
Another recipe. I made the burger and had sauce left over so I used it for the ribs. A touch spicy.

2 Tablespoons canola oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup ketchup
2 Tablespoons chile powder (I don't remember if I used this much, it seems like a lot)
1 Tablespoon paprika
1 heaping Tablespoon dijon mustard
1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 chipotle chile in adobo, chopped
2 Tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 Tablespoon honey
1 Tablespoon molasses
salt and pepper

Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add the onion, cook until soft; 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the ketchup and 1/3 cup water, bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients (except salt and pepper). Simmer for 10 minutes, or until thickened, stirring occasionally.

Transfer the mixture to a food processor (I used a blender) and puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Pour into a bowl and cool to room temperature.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Simple Chinese Pork

I don't know if any of you made Hilary's delicious Pork Potstickers. They were wonderful. And they took forever to make. I enjoyed them so much that I wondered if there were an easier way to enjoy the flavors. I decided to use the flavoring as a marinade and grill the pork.

1 lb pork or chicken or beef (you can slice it and then thread it on skewers to grill --who doesn't love food on a stick.)
2 Tbsp. minced chives/green onions
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. beef broth (I usually just put in a Tbsp. of water and a few boullion granules--plain water is also fine.)
2 tsp. minced peeled fresh ginger
1 tsp. sesame oil (this adds a lot of flavor, it's worth getting it.)
1 tsp. cornstarch

Mix together all the ingredients and let marinade for about an hour. It doesn't make a lot of marinade, so if you feel like it, you can double the marinade ingredients. You can grill this, broil it, or saute it in a frying pan--so long as the meat is cooked through.

Make the dipping sauce and dip your meat in it. I also like teriyaki sauce as a dipping sauce.

Soy-Ginger Dipping Sauce

In a bowl, stir together 1/4 c. soy sauce, 3 Tbsp. rice vinegar, 1 Tbsp. minced peeled fresh ginger, 2 tsp. sugar, and 1/4 tsp. sesame oil.

If you haven't tried it, rice vinegar is a lovely vinegar. It has a very mild flavor that is not as acidy as regular white vinegar.

I keep reading this over, and it doesn't seem clear some how. Let me know if I can clarify sometime when I'm thinking more clearly.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Egg Drop Soup

The orinigal recipe appears in Joy of Cooking, page 105, but we have made a few changes. It goes great with stir fry.

Combine in a large saucepan and simmer for 15 minutes:

8 cups chicken broth
4 large slices fresh ginger
4 large cloves garlic, smashed and peeled

Discard the ginger and garlic. Stir together in a small bowl:
4 Tbsp cornstarch
4 Tbsp water

Bring the soup to a low simmer and add the cornstarch mixture. Stir until the soup is slightly thickened. Add 1/4 tsp pepper. Whisk together thoroughly in a small bowl:
2 large egg s
2 tsp vegetable oil.

Bring the soup to a very low simmer and slowly stir the soup in a big circle while at the same time pouring the egg mixture slowly into the soup in a thin stream. This will help the eggs form a long line. Once the eggs are set, ladle into warm cups and top with sliced scallions or chives, optional.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

When Ben and Barbara give you lemons...

This is less of a recipe and more of a thank you to Ben and Barbara. For their wedding decorations, they had lemons floating in water with purple ribbons tied around the vases. It was really cute and my kids were excited about the lemons. They love to suck on lemons. At the end of the reception Ben and Barbara said we could take as many as we wanted. I gave my kids my bag and told them to fill it up. We came home with most of the lemons, a big grocery bag full. First we ate them raw, yes raw. They tasted like sour oranges; they were so sweet. When we got home, we made lemonade. It was heavenly. Then we made a lemon chess pie in an attempt to duplicate a pie that we had at the wedding that was terrific. It was really good, but didn't match what we had exactly--too lemony. Then the lemons were starting to go bad, so I zested them all and juiced them. Then we made candied lemon zest. My kids love to eat candied lemon zest. Then for Aaron and my birthday celebration with my family we made frozen lemon mousse with a lemon sauce, whipped cream and candied lemon zest garnish. It was fantastic. Finally, at Sophie's request, on Friday we made the last of the juice into lemonade. We still have quite a bit of the candied lemon zest and the lemon syrup that it is floating in. I imagine my kids will finish that off at some point. Maybe we'll make candied lemon zest cookies or something. Anyway, it has been a month filled with lemony deliciousness. Thanks!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Apple Banana Torte

They have these bananas here called apple bananas. They're smaller and firmer than the regular bananas I'm used to. The taste is different too, kind of a tart-sweet. This recipe came from The Hawai'i Farmer's Market Cookbook. According to the book, regular bananas don't really work with this since you have to fry them in butter. I believe you can get apple bananas in the store there but if not, I think you can use plantains too. Let me know.

2 Tablespoons butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
8 apple bananas, cut in half lengthwise
1 sheet puff pastry or pie dough trimmed to fit pan
cinnamon to taste

Preheat oven to 400. In large skillet, melt 1 Tbspn butter. Saute half the bananas until golden brown. Remove from heat and saute the rest with the rest of the butter. Spray an 8x8 baking pan and sprinkle evenly with sugar. Lay bananas over sugar, arranging in rows. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Lay pastry over the bananas, making it double thick along the edges. Bake until pastry is golden brown, about 15-20 minutes.

Remove from oven. Cool slightly, then invert tart onto platter. The recipe says to cut it into squares then into triangles. I have no idea why. I would say, just cut it. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. Serves 4

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Mini Pot Pies (Sort of)

I put this together with leftovers. On Sunday we had pot roast with rosemary potatoes and yorkshire puddings. So the next day I put together a hash with chunks of meat, the potatoes (I boiled up another one for bulk), a chopped up carrot and some peas with gravy to hold it all together. I didn't have quite enough gravy so I made some more in the form of a white sauce with beef broth instead of milk. I didn't add other seasonings (maybe a touch of salt) because there were already seasonings on the meat and potatoes. To reheat the puds, I gave them a few minutes in the toaster oven.

Once I had all of this, I cut the tops off of Yorkshire puddings and filled them with the hash. You can either put the tops back on them and eat them like a sandwich or with a fork or you can put filling on both halves and eat it that way. They were so cute and surprisingly filling. Jason was done after two and I could have stopped at one and a half. Also, the little bit of rosemary from the leftover potatoes really infused into the whole thing.

Here is the recipe for the Yorkshire puddings from Allrecipes:

3 eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup flour
2 Tablespoons butter

Preheat oven to 375. In a medium bowl beat eggs with milk. Stir in flour, set aside (I did this step in a blender because that was how my friend in London did it). Divide butter evenly in the 12 cups of a muffin tin (about 1/2 teaspoon each). Place tin in oven until the butter boils. Remove tin from oven and divide the batter evenly. Bake 5 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 and bake another 25 minutes or until puffed and golden.

Note: When I had these before, they had puffed up and then fallen so they were like little buttery filled sink holes. For some reason, this time they didn't fall the same way so I was able to cut off the tops for the next night. If yours turn out the right way then you can just pour the hash on top.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Macadamia Nut Crusted Mahi Mahi

This is one of Jason's parents' staples. Macadamia nuts are big here, they even call them mac nuts. This recipe came from Alton Brown.

1 1/4 cups coarsely ground (or well chopped) roasted mac nuts
1/2 cup bread crumbs (it calls for panko but I just used regular ones)
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 cup butter, melted
4 mahi mahi fillets, 6-8 ozs each
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons coconut milk

Preheat oven to 425. In a medium bowl, stir together the nuts, panko, flour and butter. Set aside.

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and brush liberally with oil. Place the fish on the foil and sprinkle each piece with salt and pepper on both sides. Bake for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and brush each fillet with coconut milk (Jason's mom doesn't use the coconut milk, I'm not sure why but the topping sticks fine without it). Divide the nut mixture among the tops of each piece, patting the mixture to spread and adhere to the fish. Return to the oven and bake for 5-10 more minutes, or until the crust is golden brown.

Remove from the oven and let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Homemade Hamburger Helper

This is a recipe from Jason's mom that she uses as a quick, go to recipe. The amounts are dependent on how many you need to feed.

Ground beef
Can Stewed tomatoes (provides the seasoning)
Tomato Sauce
Slices of American Cheese
Cooked elbow macaroni

Brown the ground beef in a skillet. Add the stewed tomatoes and tomato sauce. Stir in the pasta. Layer cheese on top in the pan and let it sit while you set the table then mix it in once it's melted.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Mounds Cake

I told Megan I would post this. It's truly evil.

It's a chocolate cake with coconut marshmallow frosting and chocolate sauce topping.

Make your favorite chocolate cake.
Top it with the coconut marshmallow frosting.
Smother it with the chocolate sauce.

Here is the recipe for the coconut marshmallow frosting:

1/2 c. sugar
2 Tbsp. water
2 large egg whites
1 jar (7 oz.) marshmallow creme
1 cup coconut
1tsp. coconut flavoring

Place the sugar, water, and egg whites in a medium-size heavy saucepan. Cook over low heat, beating continuously with an electric hand mixer on high speed until soft peaks form, 2-3 minutes. If your hand mixer has a cord, make sure to keep it away from the burner. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the marshmallow creme and beat the mixture with the mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form, 2 minutes more. Fold in the coconut and coconut flavoring. Frost your cake.

If you buy the Walmart brand marshmallow creme, there is another recipe for easy marshmallow creme frosting on the side.

Also, the chocolate topping makes the marshmallow frosting melt off the cake. It still tastes delicious, but it doesn't look fantastic. If anyone comes up with an idea for a better chocolate topping for the cake, let us all know. I know I will be making this again soon, Maggie requests it on a regular basis.

Thursday, June 17, 2010


I recently discovered a great way to cut Anna's sandwiches. She doesn't eat the crusts and when I cut her sandwich into squares. A lot gets missed because it's in the corners. So I've taken to cutting them into four triangles. That way, there is no corner of crust and she eats a lot more of her sandwich.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Spinach Pasta

This one is from the tv show Everyday Italian. I made it a little bit ago but the garlic was SO strong that I almost couldn't eat it. This time, I roasted the garlic first to mellow out the garlicky-ness of it all.

1 lb. whole wheat penne
3 cloves roasted garlic *
2 oz goat cheese
1 oz cream cheese
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
6 oz spinach
2 Tbsp. Parmesan

Cook the pasta. Meanwhile, in a food processor or blender (I used a blender and had to add a bunch of the pasta water for it to be thin enough for the blender to blend.) mix the garlic, goat cheese, cream cheese, salt, pepper and half of the spinach (this will be bright green, kind of fun). Put the rest of the spinach in a bowl. Drain the cooked pasta and spoon on top of the spinach. Mix in the sauce. At this point, she says to add water from the pasta to moisten. Mine was saucy enough after the water I added to get it to blend. I guess either way, you have to thin it down. I mixed in Parmesan cheese until it looked good or you can just sprinkle it on top.

* Roasted Garlic
Take a bulb of garlic and cut off the top 1/4 inch or so. Drizzle it with olive oil and pepper. Loosely wrap in foil and bake in a 250 degree oven for 50 minutes or until soft. You can also eat it spread on toast, bread or crackers.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Roasted vegetable lasagna

I was in the mood for lasagna yesterday. But we had recently had spaghetti with sausage (I always make my lasagna with sausage), so I wanted to try something meatless. I've never been a fan of vegetable lasagna because they often have white sauce instead of tomato sauce, but I found one on that looked good. I made a few modifications, based on reviews and what we had in the house. For example it called for 3 small zucchini and 1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, which we didn't have. But we did have asparagus and kale. I guess you can use any kind of veggies you want, but the eggplant is the most important one because it is SO GOOD roasted. This was the first time I've made lasagna without cooking the noodles first. I've always been leary, but it worked out just fine.

1 whole eggplant, sliced 1/4" thick and quartered
1 red bell pepper, cut in half and sliced
1/2 pound asparagus, cut into 1" pieces
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
salt & pepper
1 bunch of kale

1 (15 ounce) container cottage cheese
1 egg
1 Tbsp dried parsley
1 (26 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce
10 no-boil lasagna noodles
2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss eggplant, red pepper and asparagus in a bowl with olive oil and garlic. Spread out on extra large cookie sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake, uncovered for 15 minutes. Turn vegetables over. Bake 15 minutes longer.
Meanwhile, boil kale in a large pot about 5 minutes or until tender. Drain and thoroughly dry on paper towels, squeezing out excess water; remove stems, chop leaves and set aside. In a bowl, combine the cottage cheese, egg and parseley.

Reduce heat to 350 degrees. Spread about 1/3 cup spaghetti sauce in a 9x13 pan. Layer with 5 lasagna noodles, half of cottage cheese mixture, half of mozzarella cheese, half of roasted vegetables and kale, and half of remaining spaghetti sauce. Repeat layers. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Uncover; bake 5-10 minutes longer or until edges are bubbly. Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting. Yum! Everyone loved it.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Pork and chive pot stickers

I got this recipe from my Martha Stewart Everyday Food magazine, October 2009. My family absolutely loves these, but I'll admit they're time-consuming - especially for a side dish. I recommend making them ahead of time then frying them right before it's time to eat. Goes great with a stir-fry and egg drop soup for a fabulous Chinese feast. I'll have to post Dave's soup recipe at some point because it is the best. I've already doubled the amounts, because we found that 1 batch wasn't enough. You can freeze raw dumplings on a cookie sheet, then store in bags up to 3 months. Cook them frozen.
1/2 pound ground pork (hamburger would be good too)
2 Tbsp minced chives/green onions
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp dry sherry (I just use water)
2 tsp minced peeled fresh ginger
1 tsp sesame oil (I don't usually have this, so I just use regular oil)
1 tsp cornstarch
36-40 wonton wrappers (usually in the produce department)
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
In a bowl combine pork, chives, soy sauce, sherry, ginger, oil, cornstarch and 1 Tbsp water. Place a heaping tsp of pork mixture in center of a wonton wraper.Lightly wet edges of wrapper, fold over and press to seal (I usually press edges with a fork). Repeat to form remaining dumplings.

In two batches, cook dumplings in a large pot of boiling water for 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate with a slotted spoon. Make sure they're not touching or else they'll stick together. Some will fall apart in the process, but you won't mind eating the mess-ups.
4. Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Gently pat dumplings dry with paper towel, then cook until browned, about 1 1/2 minutes per side. Serve warm with soy-ginger sauce:

Soy-Ginger Dipping Sauce
I've never actually made this b/c the pot stickers are yummy on their own and I'm usually running out of time, but it sounds good:

In a bowl, stir together 1/4 cup soy sauce, 3 Tbsp rice vinegar, 1 Tbsp minced peeled fresh ginger, 2 tsp sugar and 1/4 tsp sesame oil.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Pizza: so easy even kids can make it

I was really sick yesterday - high fever, sore throat, headache, body aches, etc. I basically didn't get off the couch all day b/c every time I did I got light-headed. Tyler and Dallin offered to make dinner for me. I told them I was planning on making pizza, and they got all excited. I didn't know if they'd be able to, but they did an awesome job. They got this recipe from Dallin's kid cookbook, and they brought it to me on the couch for each step to make sure they were doing it right. The only things I did was pour the oil, since it was too full for them, show them how to knead the dough, and take the finished pizza out of the oven. I was so impressed! When I asked Tyler what he learned from the whole process (which took them over 2 hours), he said dinner is much faster when I do it. Probably most of you already have a pizza dough recipe you like to use, but a friend asked me for mine.

1 1/2 tsp yeast
3 tbsp warm water
2 3/4 cups flour
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup warm water
2 tbsp oil, plus more for greasing the pan
pizza sauce
mozzarella cheese
various toppings

1. Mix the yeast with 3 tbsp warm water. Set aside for 10 minutes or until it is frothy.
2. Sift the flour with sugar and salt using a wire whisk. Make a well in the center.
3. Pour the yeast mixture, water and oil into the well. Mix together with wooden spoon.
4. Sprinkle flour on a clean work surface. Knead the dough for 8 minutes, until it is smooth and elastic.
5. Oil a large bowl, add the dough and cover with a towel. Leave in a warm place and let rise for 20 minutes. Punch down with your fists.
6. While the dough is rising, preheat oven to 425 degrees.
7. Spread oil on extra large cookie sheet. Add dough and roll out to fill pan. Poke holes with fork.
8. Bake for 10 minutes.
9. Spread pizza sauce on crust. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and any other toppings you like.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Fun with coconut milk

Sometimes we have coconut rice--which is just jelof rice (I've told you about that one before) with a little coconut milk added. But Uchenna likes only a subtle coconut taste, meaning we use only about 3 or 4 tablespoons of said milk. That leaves me with most of a can to use before it goes bad. So I've been experimenting, and here are a couple of results.

Chocolate coconut cookies

Basically, I just make chocolate cookies and replaced the oil with coconut milk, rolling them in shredded coconut rather than in powdered sugar. Also I cut the recipe in half, since it originally made 6 dozen--too much for me.

I was concerned that the coconut milk would add too much fat, but it actually has a lot fewer grams of fat than the oil it replaces. There's that whole saturated vs unsaturated thing, but I just don't think about that.

1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp cocoa powder
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup coconut milk
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup shredded coconut

Mix cocoa powder and sugar. Add coconut milk, eggs--one at a time--and vanilla and mix well. Stir in flour, salt, and baking powder. Chill several hours or overnight (I tend to skip chilling in other cookies, but in this case the dough is pretty thin so it's necessary).

Heat oven to 350 deg. Pour shredded coconut into a small bowl. Drop spoonfuls of dough into the shredded coconut and roll them around until they form a coconut-covered ball. Place about 2" apart on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake 10 to 12 minutes.

Makes about 3 doz cookies.

Coconut-Curry Chicken Salad Sandwiches

One time I made coconut-curry chicken, but the cooked chicken I used shredded as it mixed into the sauce and looked completely unappealing. Unwilling to waste it all, I strained the chicken back out of the sauce and sauteed new chicken that obediently stayed in docile little chunks. But what to do with the curry-flavored shredded chicken? It made lovely sandwiches! So here's the recipe in a less roundabout way.

1/4 onion, diced
1/2 clove garlic, minced
1 - 3 tsp yellow curry (depending on your taste)
1/2 Tbsp lime juice
1/3 c coconut milk
1/4 tsp chicken base or bullion granules
salt and pepper to taste
2 lb cooked chicken, shredded
wheat toast or toasted croisant
mayonnaise, if desired

Saute onion and garlic in oil. Add curry, lime, coconut milk, chicken bullion, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir in shredded chicken. Chicken should be moistened enough to hold together without being overly saucy.

Use as chicken salad on toast or toasted croissants with crisp lettuce and maynnaise, if desired. Makes 4 sandwiches (I think).

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Easy Truffles

Many of you are familiar with Martha Stewart's truffles, which are delicious, but a bit temperamental. I found this recipe in a tea party book I bought for my girls. It is really easy, very stable, and pretty good.

Easy Truffles

1 c. chocolate chips--buy Guittard or Ghiradelli--I like semi-sweet
1/4 c. unsalted butter
1 tsp. vanilla (or flavoring of your choice)

Topping--choose one or be creative
melted chocolate for dipping--about 1 c.
3 Tbsp cocoa powder and 3 Tbsp powdered sugar mixed together for rolling

Microwave the chocolate and butter together on medium power for 1 minute, stir. Microwave in 30 sec. intervals until the chocolate has melted, stirring between times. Stir in the vanilla. Spread the mix out on a parchment lined plate if you want square truffles. If you want round, just leave it in the bowl. Put the chocolate in the fridge for one hour--don't leave it much longer than that or it will be too hard to work with. Cut your truffles into squares or form into balls. You should have around 12 truffles. Put the truffles back in the fridge for at least another hour. You can also freeze them. Dip the truffles in melted chocolate or roll them in the cocoa/powdered sugar mix.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

3C bread

I wanted to send this recipe to a friend, so I figured I might as well post it here. We usually make it around the holidays, since it looks so festive with the cherries. I especially love the flavor from the mace, but you can use nutmeg instead if you don't have it.

2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp mace
3 beaten eggs
1/2 cup oil
1 cub sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 cups shredded carrots
1 cup coconut
1/2 cup maraschino cherries, drained and chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix dry ingredients. Mix remaining ingredients in a separate bowl, then add all together. Pour into greased loaf pan and bake for 1 hour. However I usually like to use 3 mini loaf pans instead and cook it 45-50 minutes. Make sure you don't over bake! If you wait until a knife inserted comes out clean, you cooked it too long. You want there to a be a few crumbs on the knife, but not doughy.