Thursday, August 27, 2009

Thai Beef with Coconut Rice

Yum, yum, yum. Another great excuse to hit your Asian grocery store. I was hoping to have leftovers from this for lunches today, but with the help of some friends, the entire dish was quickly gobbled up!

1 1/4 cups jasmine rice (I used long-grain white rice)
1 can (13.5 ounce) coconut milk
3/4 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1 lb. beef (I used turkey)
1 teaspoon sugar
2 Tbsp plus 1 teaspoon soy sauce
2 Tbsp plus 1 teaspoon fish sauce
1 Tbsp. oil
3 red chilies, seeded and sliced thin
3 cloves garlic, chopped
6-8 cups bok choy, washed and coarsely chopped
1 cup losely packed basil, torn or coarsely chopped (I used Thai basil)

Combine rice, coconut milk, water, and salt, in a large pot. Bring to a boil then turn down heat, cover, and let simmer until rice has absorbed the liquid, about 25 minutes, stirring as necessary to avoid sticking on the bottom.

Mix sugar, soy sauce, and fish sauce together. Set aside.

When rice is almost finished, heat oil in a large wok or frying pan on high heat. Add chilies and garlic and cook for 30 seconds, stirring continuously. Add meat and cook about 2 minutes, breaking up as you stir, until it starts to brown. Add bok choy and continue cooking until meat it completely browned, about 3 more minutes. You may want to drain a little of the liquid that comes from the bok choy cooking before the next step.

Add soy sauce mixture and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Mix in the basil and turn off the heat. Serve over rice.

Monday, August 24, 2009


We've had several different kinds of Adobo, including a Filipino friend making the "real deal" for us, and we've liked it every time. This recipe was on the back of a Wycliffe dinner-theater program we went to and it's delicious! I prefer it served over brown rice, but didn't have any on hand this time.

2-4 Tbsp oil
3-4 cups pork cubes, chicken pieces, or a combination
1-2 cups potato, peeled and cubed
4 large garlic cloves, cut in fourths
1/2 cup vinegar
2 large bay leaves
1 tsp. salt
pepper to taste (we use at least 1/4 tsp)
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tsp. brown sugar
3 cups water
I also add 1-2 Tbsp. lemon juice
cornstarch, if desired, to thicken up the sauce

Brown meat and garlic with the oil in a large pot. Add the rest of the ingredients. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer until potatoes are tender (15-20 minutes). If using cornstarch (I do), mix a little in cold water first then add towards the end of the cooking. Serve over rice.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Thai Chicken Pasta

This recipe came when we bought some pasta from a favorite stall at Pike Place Market. It would be great served over regular linguine, though. The sauce/glaze was delicious.

3/4 lb. Papparedelle's Spicy Thai Pasta - or linguine would work well
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (I only used two)
½ cup olive oil
1/3 cup fresh basil, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons garlic, chopped
¼ teaspoons each salt and freshly ground pepper

2, 14-oz. cans low-salt chicken broth*
1 cup orange juice
½ cup sugar*
6 tablespoons unsalted butter*
4 teaspoons orange zest*
4 teaspoons fresh ginger, peeled and grated*
2 tablespoons tamarind paste, from Middle Eastern or Indian market*

Place chicken in shallow bowl. Whisk next 4 ingredients above in mixing bowl, pour over chicken, turn to coat and marinate covered in refrigerator for 1 to 6 hours, turning often.

Whisk broth, juice, sugar, 3 tablespoons butter, tamarind paste, orange zest and ginger in large saucepan


(This is what I opted for, but just bought Thai Peanut Sauce from the grocery store). Use 1 can broth and 7.5 oz. Pappardelle’s Thai Peanut Sauce for “*” items. Boil mixture over medium-high heat until reduced to 1 ½ cups and glaze coats back of spoon, stirring often, about 25 minutes. Whisk in 3 tablespoons butter. Season glaze with salt and pepper.

3. Preheat barbeque on medium-high heat. Use ¼ cup of glaze to baste chicken. grill chicken until cooked through, basting with glaze, about 5 minutes per side.

4. Meanwhile, cook pasta in 5 quart pot of lightly salted rapidly boiling water until al dente (about 8 – 10 minutes). Drain pasta and keep covered on warm serving platter.

5. Arrange pasta on individual serving plates, place chicken on top and spoon on remaining ½ cup of glaze. Serve immediately.

Coconut Curry Tofu

This recipe is a great excuse to go check out your local Asian grocery store! I'm posting it in honor of my dad, who loves tofu.

2 bunches green onions
1 (14 ounce) can coconut milk
1/4 cup soy sauce, divided
1/2 tsp. brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. curry powder
1 tsp. fresh minced garlic (I used powder)
2 tsp. chili paste
1 pound firm tofu, cut into 3/4 inch cubes (I fried mine in a little oil first to give it a "skin")
4 roma (plum) tomatoes, chopped
1 yellow pepper, thinly sliced
4 ounces fresh mushrooms, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil (I used Thai basil)
4 cups chopped bok choy
salt to taste

Remove white parts of green onions and finely chop. Chop greens into 2 inch pieces.

In a large heavy skillet over medium heat, mix coconut milk, 3 Tablespoons soy sauce, brown sugar, curry powder, ginger, and chili paste. Bring to a boil.

Stir tofu, tomatoes, yellow pepper, mushrooms, and green onions into the skillet. Cover, and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Mix in basil and bok choy. Season with salt and remaining soy sauce. Continue cooking 5 minutes, or until vegetables are tender but crisp.

Add corn starch to thicken up sauce if desired.

Serve over rice.

Omelettes in a Bag - seriously.

Are you ready for this?! The idea comes from my ingenious Nana and it really works! We've done this several times now, once with our community group (writing names on each bag in Sharpie). I think it would be a lot of fun with older kids and/or while camping.

Whatever else you like in an omelette
Name-brand, double-lock Ziploc bags (it's crucial that you get the name-brand)
We used the gallon bags because that's what we had, but smaller bags would work better.

Crack 2-3 eggs in the baggie and then add the rest of your desired ingredients, salt, and pepper:

Squeezing all the air out of the bag, seal it and squish everything together, breaking up the eggs in the process. Place the bags in a pot of boiling water (I promise, the bag won't melt!). There are two omelettes cooking in this picture:

Cook for 15 minutes. Remove bag from water, open onto a plate, and enjoy!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Plum Blueberry Upside Down Cake

We have a large plum tree that hangs over into our apartment's parking lot, so I decided to have fun trying new plum recipes! This was delicious. I flipped the cake too early (hence the not-so-attractive final presentation), but it was yummy and would have been better with ice cream.

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons margarine
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup margarine
1 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup milk
4 black plums, pitted and thinly sliced
3/4 cup blueberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9 inch cake pan. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In the prepared pan, combine 3 tablespoons margarine and brown sugar. Place pan inside the preheated oven until the margarine melts and begins to bubble. Set aside. In a large bowl, cream together the 1/3 cup margarine and 1 cup white sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, then stir in the vanilla. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the milk, mixing just until incorporated.

Arrange plums around the edges of the prepared pan, overlapping slightly. Distribute the blueberries in the center. Pour batter into prepared pan, covering fruit completely. Bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool 15 minutes before serving. Make sure to wait at least 15 minutes! The picture below is taken after I flipped it too early, watched the plums and berries start to drip off the top, and quickly flipped it back into the pan! oops!

Saturday, August 15, 2009


Mmmmm . . . I love making granola!

4 cups rolled oats, uncooked
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt
1/2 - 1 cup nuts, chopped (I use whatever is in my cabinet. This batch included sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, almonds, walnuts, pecans and peanuts)
1/4 cup honey, warmed to liquid
2 Tbsp. butter, melted
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup dried fruit

Preheat oven to 325. In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients.In a glass measure, warm honey until it is no longer viscous. Add oil and butter and stir.

Drizzle the honey mixture over the dry ingredients and mix to combine. Evenly spread the mixture on a large baking sheet. Bake until golden and crunchy, 20-30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Pumpkin Enchiladas

We were so excited to eat these, I totally forgot to take a picture. Yummy! Don't be deterred by the name . . . they really don't taste like pumpkin and they really are SO GOOD! We love this recipe.

½ rotisserie chicken, skin removed, meat shredded
6 scallions, thinly sliced
1 can black beans (or 1 ½ cups cooked)
Sea salt
Fresh ground pepper
2 cups pumpkin puree (or 1 15oz. can)
4 garlic cloves, peeled
1 jalapeno chile, quartered (remove ribs and seeds for less heat, if desired)
1 tsp. chili powder
8 corn tortillas (6-inch) (I can usually get at least 10 tortillas filled)
1 ½ cup (6 ounces) grated sharp white cheddar cheese

Preheat the oven to 425F. In a medium bowl, combine the chicken, beans and scallions. Season generously with salt and pepper; set aside.

In a blender, puree the pumpkin, garlic, jalapeno, chili powder, 2 ½ cups water, 2 teaspoons salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper until smooth (hold the top firmly as the blender will be quite full). Pour 1 cup of the sauce in the bottom of an 8-inch square (or other shallow 2-quart) baking dish.

(I fry the tortillas in a little oil before the next step so they are easier to work with. You can also wrap them in a towel and microwave for the same (but less fattening) effect) Lay the tortillas on a work surface; mound the chicken mixture on half of each tortillas, dividing evenly. Roll up each tortillas into a tight log; place seam side down over the sauce in the baking dish.

Pour the remaining sauce on top; sprinkle with the cheese. Place the dish on a baking sheet; bake until the cheese is golden and the sauce is bubbling; 25-30 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

I'm not sure why, but this time I wasn't able to serve the individual enchiladas well without them breaking and looking more like a casserole our plates. It didn't look as pretty, but it still tasted great, so just be prepared when you dish it out.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

To Die For Blueberry Muffins

I made these with blueberries Rooke and I picked ourselves! It's one of my favorite blueberry recipes. They are so delicious, I forgot to take a picture of the actual muffins before we gobbled them up!

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1/3 cup milk
1 cup fresh blueberries
1/2 cup white sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup butter, cubed
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease muffin cups or line with muffin liners.

Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, 3/4 cup sugar, salt and baking powder. Place vegetable oil into a 1 cup measuring cup; add the egg and enough milk to fill the cup. Mix this with flour mixture. Fold in blueberries. Fill muffin cups right to the top, and sprinkle with crumb topping mixture.

To Make Crumb Topping: (I never use as much topping as this makes, so I suggest cutting the measurements in half. You'll still have plenty for 8-10 muffins). Mix together 1/2 cup sugar, 1/3 cup flour, 1/4 cup butter, and 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon. Mix with fork, and sprinkle over muffins before baking.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until done.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Red Pesto Ravioli

This was simple, quick, and delicious.

1 pound fresh cheese raviolis
12 plump, chewy sun-dried tomatoes (about 2 ounces)
2 medium cloves garlic
a couple big pinches of red pepper flakes
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon fresh thyme (I used dried)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup walnuts or pine nuts, lightly toasted

3 handfuls of baby spinach
2/3 cup oven-roasted cherry tomatoes (this was option and I opted out)*
a bit of crumbled goat cheese (I used parmesan)

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt generously and cook the raviolis per package instructions. Drain, but reserve about one cup of the hot pasta water (important!).

In the meantime, make the sun-dried tomato pesto by pulsing the sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, pepper flakes, olive oil, thyme, and salt in a food processor until it comes together into a textured crumble. Add the walnuts, and pulse a few more times. Set aside.

Combine 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water in a large mixing bowl along with two-thirds of the sun-dried tomato pesto. Add the cooked raviolis and gently toss. Add more of the hot pasta water if needed to thin the pesto out - it should make a nice chunky sauce. Taste and add more of the pesto if you like - it's really a matter of personal preference at this point.

Arrange the baby spinach on a large platter and top with everything from the ravioli mixing bowl. Top with the cherry tomatoes and a bit of crumbled goat cheese.

*To oven-roast cherry tomatoes: Heat oven to 350F degrees. Cut each tomato in half and arrange in a large oven-proof baking dish. Mix together a big splash of olive oil, a spoonful of brown sugar, and a few pinches of salt. Pour this over the tomatoes. Gently toss them a bit, making sure they all get coated. Arrange tomatoes cut-side up. Place in the oven and bake for 45 minutes or so, until the tomatoes are shrunken and sweet.

Spicy Chicken Stir-Fry

I usually just "wing-it" with stir-fry, but this is one of our favorite recipes. I would never have thought to use this combination of spices. So good!

1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 tsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp ground coriander
1 Tbsp sugar
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 bunch scallions
4 celery stalks
2 red peppers
1 yellow pepper
6 ounces zucchini
6 ounces snow peas or snap peas
oil for frying
1 Tbsp lime juice
1 Tbsp honey

Combine the first seven ingredients and mix well.

Cut the chicken into bite-sized strips. Add to the spice mixture and stir to coat the chicken pieces thoroughly. Set aside. (I like to do this several hours in advance to let the chicken really absorb the spices)

Prepare the veggies. Cut the scallions, celery and bell peppers into thin 2-inch-long strips. Cut the zucchini at a slight angle into thin rounds and trim the snow peas or snap peas.

Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a preheated wok or large frying pan. Stir-fry the chicken until cooked through and golden brown, adding a little more oil if necessary. Remove from the pan and keep warm.

Add a little more oil to the pan and cook the scallions, celery, peppers and zuchini over medium-high heat for 8-10 minutes, or until beginning to soften and turn golden. Add the snow peas or snap peas and cook for another 2 minutes.

Return the chicken to the pan, with the lime juice and honey. Cook for 2 minutes. Serve over rice.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Chocolate Chip Cooke Dough Cupcakes

Oh. My. Goodness. You won't regret any time or money spent on making these. Jessie was right: "Make these tomorrow and thank me later"!

Makes 24 cupcakes (or, in my case, 18 large cupcakes!)

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
1 (18.25 ounce) box chocolate cake mix
1 1/3 cups water
1/3 cup canola oil
3 eggs

vanilla frosting for top (colored pink if you just found out you're having a baby girl!!!)

Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and sea salt; set aside.

Beat the butter, white sugar, and brown sugar with an electric mixer in a large bowl until smooth. Add 1 egg and the vanilla extract and beat until smooth. Mix in the flour mixture until just incorporated. Fold in the chocolate chips; mixing just enough to evenly combine. Form the dough into tablespoon-sized balls; place onto a baking sheet, and freeze until solid, about 2 hours. (I froze mine for 6 hours)

Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners.
Beat 3 eggs in a large bowl with an electric mixer to break up. Add the cake mix, water, and canola oil; continue beating for 2 minutes on medium speed. Spoon into the prepared cupcake liners, filling each 2/3 full. Place a frozen cookie dough ball on the top center of each cupcake.

Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the cake portion of the cupcake (not the cookie dough ball) comes clean, about 16 minutes. DO NOT OVERBAKE! The cookie dough should remain dough. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes before removing to cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.

Lentil Vegetable Soup

Delicious! Thanks for passing on the recipe, Tricia.

Makes 8 cups

1 Tbsp. refined coconut oil (I used olive)
1/2 red pepper, cut into 1/2 inch dice
1/2 yellow pepper, cut into 1/2 inch dice
1/2 medium onion, cut into 1/2 inch dice
1 zucchini, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1/2 inch dice
1 yellow squash, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1/2 inch dice
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. marjoram
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/8-1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
6 cups low-sodium vegetable stock (I used chicken broth)
1 1/2 cups lentils
1 Tbsp. tamari or soy sauce
1/2 tsp. sesame oil (I used olive)
1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes (with juice)

Heat oil in a 4-to-6-quart stock pot over medium heat. Add the peppers and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes.

Add the zucchini, yellow squash, garlic, salt, pepper, marjoram, thyme, and cayenne and cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 minute.

Stir in the stock, lentils, and tamari or soy sauce. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer. Cook until lentils are tender, about 30 minutes. Add sesame oil and tomatoes, stirring until tomatoes are heated through.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Yellow Squash Casserole

Ryan regularly asks me to make squash casserole, but I've never made it just right. He did his own research this time and found a recipe worth keeping!

4 cups sliced yellow squash
1/2 cup chopped onion
35 buttery round crackers, crushed
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon salt
ground black pepper to taste
2 Tablespoons butter

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).

Place squash and onion in a large skillet over medium heat. Pour in a small amount of water. Cover, and cook until squash is tender, about 5 minutes. Drain well, and place in a large bowl.

In a medium bowl, mix together cracker crumbs and cheese. Stir half of the cracker mixture into the cooked squash and onions. In a small bowl, mix together eggs and milk, then add to squash mixture. Stir in 1/4 cup melted butter, and season with salt and pepper. Spread into a 9x13 inch baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining cracker mixture, and dot with 2 tablespoons butter.

Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes, or until lightly browned.
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