Friday, December 11, 2015

Friday, December 4, 2015

Indian Chicken Strips

I received this recipe from my sister Mush during one of my bridal showers. This dish is to DIE for. Everyone loves it - even the kids, that is when I leave out the cayenne. It is the yummiest most scrumptious and simplest Indian dish I know. I know a lot of Indian recipes but I don't plan on sharing many of them. I am already drooling for dinner, as these beauties have been marinating in the fridge since last night. The picture doesn't do it justice, but I am pretty sure you will want to dive into the bag with the chicken. I wanted to lick the inside of the blender when I was done making the marinade - no joke! Serve as an appetizer (kinda like Satays) or as a meal, served with rice and Raita.

Indian Chicken Strips
serves 6 to 8

3 lbs chicken - boned, skin, and cut into strips

5 tbs vegetable oil
4 tbs red wine vinegar
1 med onion peeled and chopped
1 whole head of garlic peeled and chopped
1 inch cube fresh ginger peeled and chopped
2 tbs fennel seeds
2 tbs ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
seeds from 8 cardamom pods
1 tsp cinnamon
8 whole cloves
20 black peppercorns
1/2 to 3/4 tsp cayenne
2 tsp salt
3 tbs tomato sauce

  1. Combine all marinade ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.

  2. Combine chicken with marinade mix well and cover.

  1. Refrigerate 4 to 5 hours.

  2. Preheat broiler. Spread chicken in single layer on tray. Broil 10 minutes or until lightly browned.

  3. You can also choose to grill them, but don't use a high heat/flame or you will incinerate the yummyness off of them. *** note we grill these when doubling or tripling the recipe for a large group.

ENJOY!!! Serve with rice, Raita, and vegetable - or as an appetizer.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Raw Carrot Hummus

I still have carrots in the garden and will be making this this weekend to share with friends at their "First Fire" party. 
From The Tasty Alternative: Raw Carrot Hummus 

Raw Carrot Hummus

4 medium organic carrots 
2 - 4 tablespoons organic raw tahini (use the 2 tbsp if you want more carrot taste, I used 4 because I love the taste of tahini and I used the 1 & 1/2 lemons)
Juice from 1 & 1/2 lemons (if using less tahini, use less lemon)
1/2 teaspoon celtic sea salt (or to taste)
1/2 teaspoon garlic granules
Oil (of choice) I use grapeseed

How To
1.  Peel and rough chop carrots
2.  Add carrots to food processor and give a quick run 
3.  Add tahini and mix until incorporated
4.  Add lemon, salt and garlic
5.  Blend
6.  Continue blending and drizzle in oil until desired creaminess

Artichoke Alfredo

Oh me oh my oh - this one is to die for. Seriously. This is not heart or cholesterol friendly - but boy is it GOOD! I got this originally from the Cook's Country magazine (from makers of Cook's Illustrated another favorite of ours). The recipe, a runner up in a contest, was created by Mary Shivers of Ada Oklahoma - so thanks Mary! I tweaked the recipe a bit to add some of our garden bounty, and know the recipe could be tweaked to be friendlier on the waistline! This was a perfect end of summer meal - just as it is - a one bowl wonder! Enjoy!


4 tablespoons butter
1 finely chopped onion
1 minced clove of garlic
2 cans quartered artichoke hearts, drained and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup sour cream
1 and 1/4 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
a couple tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
a couple tablespoons lemon juice (plus zest if using fresh)
salt and pepper
1/4 cup (or more) milk
2 sweet red peppers, cut into strips of julienne for a raw garnish
1 lb. box of fettuccine

  1. Put stock pot of salted water on and bring to a boil. (For cooking pasta)
  2. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
  3. Add onions and cook until soft (5 to 10 minutes)
  4. Add garlic and simmer for 2 minutes.
  5. Increase heat to medium high.
  6. Add artichoke hearts and cook until moisture cooks off and they seem to brown.
  7. Remove from heat. (if water is boiling add the fettuccine and cook according to directions)
  8. Add sour cream and stir.
  9. Add 1 cup of heavy cream and stir.
  10. Add cheese and stir.
  11. Add herbs and spices and stir.
  12. Return over low heat. Add milk to thin sauce a bit if needed.
  13. Cook pasta according to directions. Drain pasta and put in large bowl.
  14. Pour sauce over pasta and toss to coat and combine.
  15. Cover bowl of pasta with sweet pepper strips and toss to combine and serve with a large serving spoon.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Thankful Brussel Sprouts

I made this yummy side dish for Thanksgiving from Brussel Sprouts and Butternut squash we grew in the garden. It was a beautiful dish to make rich with color and nutrients. I was fortunate enough to have two recipes to work with as I blended them together and added my own touch (because that's what I do!).

The first recipe I saw and worked with was the one from none other than Ree The Pioneer Woman. Ree's Beautiful Brussel Sprouts were the driving force behind this beautiful dish. I loved the added spark of vibrant red she added and with pomegranate's in season I knew that my garden friends deserved this wonderfully sweet touch!

The second recipe I used to inspire me was from Life Made Sweeter, a recent addition to my blog roll. It was Kelly's sauce on her Roasted Balsamic Butternut Squash and Brussel Sprouts that caught my attention. It included maple syrup and I knew then that including our own home made maple syrup was the perfect was to truly celebrate Thanksgiving with love from our homestead.

I prepped my Brussel Sprouts by trimming the stems and outer leaves and then sliced them in half. To prep the squash I cut the ends off, carefully peeled it, cut it in half, removed seeds and guts, then cut it into cubes. I roughly chopped a red onion, tossed it all together in a baking dish, tossed with olive oil salt and pepper, and put it in the oven with the turkey. 

While it cooked I deconstructed the pomegranate and then mixed my sauce. For the sauce I mixed generous amounts of maple syrup, healthy dashes of pomegranate juice (Pom is the brand I used), a couple of squeezes of balsamic glaze, some herbs and spices, salt and pepper, and a  squeak of olive oil. When the squash was soft and I could smell the sprouts it came out of the oven to cool just a bit. I tossed it with about 1/4 cup dried cranberries and about 1/2 of the pomegranate seeds. I drizzled the sauce over the top and tossed to combine.

This was one of the best Thanksgiving sides I have ever made. Thank you for the inspiration!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Taco Hand Pies

This recipe is from Lemons for Lulu and it was a lovely way to switch up our usual Taco Tuesday. It uses pie crust, which next time I might roll thinner or maybe even some puff pastry sheets instead. The kids loved them and they were perfect in their lunchboxes the next day.

  • 1 box refrigerated pie dough (14.1 oz)
  • ¾ lb ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon chili powder
  • ¾ teaspoon paprika
  • ¾ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¾ teaspoon garlic powder

  • ¾ teaspoon cumin

  • ½ cup black beans

  • ¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese

  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

  • ½ teaspoon water

  • Instructions
    1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add ground beef, stir to crumble. Add salt, chili powder, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, and cumin; stir. Continue to cook until beef is no longer pink and seasoning has been incorporated. This should take 8-10 minutes. The beef mixture should thicken as it cooks. Stir in black beans, remove from heat and set aside to cool.
    2. Preheat oven to 425. Sprinkle flour over a work surface. Roll out one sheet of dough. Cut dough into circles using a 3-inch biscuit cutter, rerolling scraps as necessary. Repeat with remaining sheet of dough.
    3. Arrange half of the circles on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Place a tablespoon of meat mixture on the dough circles, top with roughly a half teaspoon of cheese. Place the other circle halves over the meat and cheese mixture. Pinch edges together with the tines of a fork Combine egg and water in a bowl. Brush egg wash over the top of each hand pie. Bake in the oven for 13-15 minutes or jut until golden. Remove from oven and let hand pies cool slightly before serving. Serve with your favorite taco fixings on the side.
    4. Store hand pies in the refrigerator in an air-tight container or a zip-top bag.

    Scotch Eggs

    Once upon a time there was a pig named Notorious P.I.G. Piggy Smalls. 
    true story...

    ... and let me tell you, he earned his name! But that's a story for my other blog. Anyway, he provided us with some yummy meat. The last of the meat is about to be made into Scotch Eggs this weekend.

    The first thing you need to do to make Scotch Eggs is to make some sausage. There's plenty of recipes out there for making sausage, and though I wish I could put my hands on the recipe for Hinderers sausage, we rely on the good old Joy of Cooking for our recipe. 

    Truly, the Joy of Cooking is all Shane uses for this recipe. It is the golden standard. 
    Here's a picture of the recipe from the book. If you don't own a copy please go get one now. 
    In the mean time, you can see the pictures to guide you through. 

     Using barely hardened eggs (an art I will never seem to master)

    take a lump of sausage and form it into a patty in your hand. 

     then carefully, oh so carefully, surround it entirely with sausage.

     See this amazing toasted brown round bundle of goodness?

    Just look what happens if you are as talented in making these as SP is. 

    HEAVEN ON EARTH! Happy breakfast!

    Coconut Curried French Lentil Soup

    Coconut Curried French Lentil Soup {Vegan} | Vanilla And Bean

    Coconut Curried French Lentil Soup
    • 2 Tbs Coconut Oil
    • 3 Cloves of Garlic, minced, about 1½ Tbs
    • 1 Yellow Onion, small dice, about 1 C
    • 1½ tsp Cumin, ground
    • 1 tsp Curry Powder (I use hot madras)
    • 1 tsp Thyme, dried
    • ½ tsp Cinnamon, ground
    • 6 C Vegetable Broth
    • 1½ C French Green Lentils (aka Lentiles du Puy), picked through and rinsed
    • 2 Bay Leaves
    • 1 Can of Coconut Milk (14 oz) with 2 Tbs reserved for drizzling
    • ½ tsp Sea Salt
    • ½ tsp Ground Black Pepper
    • 2 Sprigs of Fresh Cilantro, chopped, for garnish (optional)
    • 4 Sprigs of Fresh Thyme, for garnish

    How To Make All Butter Buttermilk Pie Dough

    All Butter Buttermilk Pie Dough and tutorial for rolling out dough and blind (par) baking a crust | Vanilla And Bean

    From Vanilla and Bean
    How To Make All Butter Buttermilk Pie Dough
    • Pan Spray
    For One Disk (11-12 oz):
    • ½ C (113g) Unsalted Butter, refrigerated*
    • 3 Tbs Milk
    • 1½ tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
    • 1¼ C (190g) All Purpose Flour
    • 1 Tbs Granulated Sugar
    • ½ tsp Sea Salt
    For Two Discs (11-12 oz)
    • 1 C (226g) Unsalted Butter, refrigerated*
    • 6 Tbs Milk
    • 3 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
    • 2½ C (380g) All Purpose Flour
    • 2 Tbs Granulated Sugar
    • 1 tsp Sea Salt

    Thursday, November 19, 2015


    Shumai are open-topped dumpling,s stuffed with tasty ground meat and vegetable filling, then steamed. Tonight I will be making these with the first batch  of our own ground pork. I will likely close them and give them a quick pan sear for a seal and extra flavor before steaming. 

    1 pound ground chicken (or pork)
    1/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
    1/4 cup coarsely shredded carrot
    2 Thai chilis, minced
    2 Tablespoons chopped basil
    2 Tablespoons Asian fish sauce
    2 Tablespoons sugar
    2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
    1 garlic clove, minced
    1 large egg beaten
    1 small shallot, minced
    1/2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
    1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
    1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
    40 wonton wrappers
    Green leaf lettuce leaves for steaming
    special equipment: bamboo steamers
    Soy sauce and Sriracha chili sauce, for serving


    1. In large bowl, combine the ground chicken with the coconut milk, carrot, chiles, basil, fish sauce, sugar, lime juice, garlic, salt and pepper. Using your hands mixed thoroughly.

    2. Follow the directions on the wrappers, create your shumai dumplings in the wonton wrappers. Repeat with the remaining wonton wrappers and filling. 

    3. Fill a wok or a very large skillet with 2 inches of water and bring to a boil.

    4. Line a double tiered bamboo steamer with lettuce leaves and arrange the shumai in the steamer without crowding.

    5. Cover and steam over moderate heat until cooked through, about 10 minutes.

    6. Repeat with the remaining shumai. You may also choose to pan fry them for extra crisp after the steam or even skip the steam all together. Yummy versatile and great for the whole family!

    Serve immediately with the sauces.

    Shu Mai

    It looks like this recipe MAY have originated from a Food and Wine magazine. I found a nearly identical recipe here: Chicken and Coconut Shumai

    Chicken Pot Pie Soup

    • 2 cups cooked chicken, cubed, I used 2 chicken breast & boiled them
    • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
    • 3 tablespoon butter
    • 2-3 tablespoons flour
    • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
    • 4 celery ribs, diced
    • 1 x 10 ounce bag frozen peas
    • 3 carrots or 12 mini carrots, chopped
    • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream or ½ & ½
    • 4 cups water
    • 2 ½ tablespoons chicken base
    • 4 teaspoons Montreal Steak seasoning
    • Salt and pepper, to taste

    a large pot of water to a boil, once water is boiling add in potatoes
    and cook until tender. Strain potatoes from pot and set them aside in a

    In a large pot, over medium to high heat add butter, once butter has
    started to melt add in carrots, cook for 1-2 minutes, then add in onion
    and celery, season vegetables with 2 teaspoons of Montreal Steak
    seasoning. Cook until onions are translucent. Add in water and chicken
    base, bring is a boil. Let it cook over medium heat for 10-15 minutes.
    In a water bottle or cup with lid add ½ cup of ½ & ½ with the flour,
    shake vigorously. Add in the remainder of the milk to the pot and then
    add in flour mixture. Add in frozen peas, potatoes and cubed chicken,
    season with salt and pepper and add an additional 1-2 teaspoons of
    Montrell Steak seasoning. Let it simmer 30 minutes, until the soup
    starts to thicken.
    Remove from heat and let it sit for 5-10 minutes to cool, then serve.

    Chicken Pot Pie Soup'


    Tuesday, November 17, 2015

    Grilled Mexican Street Corn

    This recipe is ripped straight out of a Hannaford Express this summer. This corn recipe is hands down one of my all time favorites.