Friday, December 3, 2010

Past Due Updates

I've been doing a pretty good job of making the recipes, albeit not always in the week posted, but I have been lousy at posting my updates. So I have two today.

Apple Pork Roast: This was delicious, however, I think I was running on fumes when I made it. I was planning on having it for Sunday lunch, so I was going to put it in the crockpot before I went to bed and it would be perfect when I got home from church. Like some kind of fool, I put the crockpot on high. So, needless to say, when I got up at 7:00, it was already done and the apples were cooked to squish. I just took it out and put it in the refrigerator. Then when I got home, I reheated it in the microwave and fried some apples in butter as a little side dish. We loved it.

Creme Brulee French Toast: I made this dish the following Sunday. We enjoy breakfast food a lot, and really anything that will let us have bacon. The french toast was so rich and the caramel sauce made it so that it didn't need any syrup (not that that stopped J). This dish would make an excellent Christmas morning breakfast, especially since you make it the night before and just bake in the morning.

Chocolate Brandy Balls

This is a recipe that my mom used to make for Christmas. I have no idea where she got this one, but we loved to sneak these out of the refrigerator when we were kids. We thought we were being so bad. We had no idea how little alcohol is really in them, but after a week or so in a sealed container in the refrigerator, the fumes when you opened it would just knock you over.

Chocolate Brandy Balls

1 6 oz package of semisweet chocolate chips
1 c. vanilla wafer crumbs
3/4 c. finely chopped walnuts, plus 1 c. finely chopped walnuts
1/2 c. sour cream
1/2 c. powdered sugar
1 T. melted butter
1 T. brandy or rum

Melt the chocolate chips and stir in vanilla wafer crumbs, 3/4 c. walnuts, sour cream, sugar, butter and liquor. Chill for several hours. Roll into balls the size of a marble (I use the large end of a melon baller, then roll in my hand). Drop into 1 c. of walnuts and roll until lightly coated. Store covered in the refrigerator.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Creme Brûlée French Toast

This is one of my most favouritest breakfast ever.  It also helps that it's a prep-ahead dish.  The rich sweetness of this pairs wonderfully with some nice smokey/salty bacon and a strong cup of coffee or, y'know, some mimosas.  It's perfect for a special occasion, or for making Sunday breakfast a treat.

Crème Brûlée French Toast

from Epicurious

1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons corn syrup (based on the reviews, I reduce this to a scant tbsp)
an 8- to 9-inch round loaf country-style bread
5 large eggs
1 1/2 cups half-and-half
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon Grand Marnier
1/4 teaspoon salt

In a small heavy saucepan melt butter with brown sugar and corn syrup over moderate heat, stirring, until smooth and pour into a 13- by 9- by 2-inch baking dish. Cut six 1-inch thick slices from center portion of bread, reserving ends for another use, and trim crusts. Arrange bread slices in one layer in baking dish, squeezing them slightly to fit.

In a bowl whisk together eggs, half-and-half, vanilla, Grand Marnier, and salt until combined well and pour evenly over bread. Chill bread mixture, covered, at least 8 hours and up to 1 day.

Preheat oven to 350° F. and bring bread to room temperature.(generally I try to leave it sitting out for about half an hour, it's still a bit chilled, but it works.  Depending on how long you leave it out, you may have to adjust the cooking time)

Bake bread mixture, uncovered, in middle of oven until puffed and edges are pale golden, 35 to 40 minutes.

Serve hot French toast immediately.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Souffle #2 and Apple Pork Roast

The broccoli souffle was even better than the sweet potato! Mmm. I used fresh steamed broccoli and topped it with panko bread crumbs drizzled with olive oil for a nice crispy topping. (Crushed corn flakes is another idea that I've been meaning to try.) I've actually made a similar dish before as a casserole - same mix of cream soup, mayo and cheese, with chicken cubes and frozen veggies. It's one of my favourite comfort foods.

The apple glazed pork roast was also delicious. I didn't start it until the afternoon so I set the cooker on high, and it cooked in less than 4 hours.
We had the roast and broccoli with wild rice. A great hearty meal.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Slowing things down this week

Once the weather starts getting colder I love to start cooking more with my slow cooker. I have had a craving for pork and apples. Came across this simple recipe from and it looked simple enough.

Apple Glazed Pork Roast

4 lb. pork loin roast
6 apples
1/4 cup apple juice
3 T. brown sugar
1 t. ginger, ground

Rub roast with salt and pepper. Brown pork roast under broiler to remove excess fat; drain well. Core and quarter apples. Place apple quarters in bottom of crockpot. Place roast on top of apples. Combine apple juice, brown sugar, and ginger. Spoon over top surface of roast, moistening well. Cover and cook on Low for 10-12 hours, until done.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Souffle #1 - Sweet potato

Tonight I made the first of the two souffles that rebaann posted - the sweet potato souffle. We both love sweet potato so I was stoked to see a sweet potato recipe.

I used 4 sweet potatoes but they weren't very large, and I don't think I scaled down the other ingredients accordingly. I cut the sugar to 3/4 cup, and it definitely could have used much less sugar than that. Less butter too (I used 2/3 cup). Oh, I skipped the pecans. The nuts we buy from the grocery store never seem to be very fresh.

Don't get me wrong... it was really delicious! Just a bit heavy (though the texture was really nice and light).

With baked trout, spaghetti squash, & orange juice - an orange meal.
I shall try souffle #2 later this week.

Friday, November 12, 2010

A Thanksgiving Two-fer

I love Thanksgiving, especially the traditional Thanksgiving food. Since I am planning what I need to buy for the three Thanksgiving meals that I am having this year, I thought I would share two of my favorite Thanksgiving side dishes.

They are both called souffles. Neither of them are your traditional egg white puffs, but they both contain eggs that make the texture lighter and airier. Hope you try one or both and like them as much as I do.

Sweet Potato Souffle
3 -4 large sweet potatoes, cut into large pieces
1 c. sugar
1 c. milk
3/4 stick of butter (or 2/3 stick if you prefer)
2 eggs
1 t. lemon juice (to preserve color)
brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bring the sweet potatoes to a boil and cook until fork tender. Cool slightly and remove skins. Add the potatoes to a large mixing bowl and whip with the sugar, milk and butter. Add the eggs and whip. Stir in lemon juice.

Transfer to a grease casserole and top with a mixture of brown sugar and chopped pecans. Bake 1 1/2 hours, until set and browned on top.

Broccoli Souffle
2 10 oz. boxes of chopped broccoli
1 can cream of celery soup
1 c. mayonnaise
2 eggs, beaten
1 c. grated cheddar cheese
bread crumbs
melted butter

Cook the broccoli according to package directions, drain and cool. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs and combine with soup, mayonnaise and cheese. Stir in the chopped broccoli. Pour into a greased casserole dish and sprinkle bread crumbs on top and drizzle with melted butter.

Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes. Serve hot for best flavor.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

belated catch up.

I've been neglecting my posts. I misplaced my camera and couldn't find it to add pictures to my post so I decided to wait until I found it. I did have a lot of fun cooking though.

So I'll start with my recipe Chicken Tortilla Soup. It's one of the things I cook a lot. Soup is easy and it lasts a few days so if I don't have time to cook if I make a batch and enjoy for a few days. It keeps me from eating the junk food I crave so much.

I also made those delicious chocolate Nutella cookies. You can see them cooling behind my bowl of soup. I halved the recipe because I didn't need to eat so many cookies. I forgot the extra hazelnuts though. I wish I had them I think they would have added the extra crunch that they needed. When I make them for Christmas I'll have to make sure I add them. I also thought rolling them in coconut might be nice.
 The finished product didn't last very long. Eric (DH) and I ate most of them and only had 2 left over.

I also made the Chicken Tiki Masala. It was really good, a bit to spicy for me though. I cried through dinner. Eric liked it though. Neither one of us had ever had anything like it before. I think I will make it again just hold off on some of the spice. I lost my camera at this point so I have no pictures. :(  I then I had to use my phone.

This photo is a bit washed out. It doesn't show the wonderful golden color of the cheddar, scallion, turkey bacon scones. They are one of my favorite things that have been posted so far. I've been eating them all week. I can't wait to make them again. I do have to say though that they reminded me of the biscuits you get at Red Lobster. 

Last but not least. Pumpkin Pancakes!!! I absolutely love pumpkin. I will seek it out this time of year, bread, coffee, pancakes, if it has pumpkin in it I will try it. I was so excited to make these on Sunday Morning.  I did have to do a change up since I didn't want to open a whole can of pumpkin for pancakes. Instead of Pumpkin puree I used some Trader Joe's pumpkin butter in the batter. It didn't have as strong of a pumpkin taste as I would like but they were still really good.

Saturday, November 6, 2010


I love all things pumpkin. I was so sad last year when I had a hard time trying to find canned pumpkin in the store that when I saw it for the first time this year, I bought four cans for the pantry. I've bought more since then. I had no doubt that I would love this recipe and I was not disappointed.

I took the advice of others and added a bit more milk to the batter and they were delicious. I might try tweaking this recipe when I make it again. The original suggestion of chocolate chips sounds good for starts.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Ok, where do I start?  Oh yeah.  Chili.

1st off, this chili was awesome.  I chose to omit the seeds of the jalapeno because my Irish boy husband can't handle the heat (his words, not mine), and I opted to sub in ground turkey for the veggie ground round.

2nd, wow, this makes a LOT of chili.  I just finished it today.  And of course I forgot to take pictures, well, except for this one.

That would be my 6.5 L stock pot.  Formerly full of chili.

I would definitely make this one again!

The pumpkin pancakes were really tasty.  We had them for breakfast on Halloween as is totally fitting.  I didn't thin out the batter at all, so they were a little thick and took a while to really cook through, but they were still really good.

It also makes me laugh that everyone had so many leftovers.  I guess they don't live with Derek.  We had 1 pancake leftover.  Which we shared cold a few hours later. 

Next time, I'll serve with bacon, but there will definitely be a next time for these!

And now for something completely different...

We're into November now, and I know Thanksgiving is just around the corner for all my American friends. So, in the spirit of the family GTG, I thought I'd post a recipe that will either bring a lot of cheer to your festive table, or perhaps cause Great Aunt Millie to start swinging from the chandelier.

I'm warning you now. This recipe is good. It was my go-to for winter parties all last year. It's a crowd pleaser.

It's also intensely alcoholic.

You're welcome.

Anna Olson's Mulled Wine

1 750ml bottle full-bodied red wine, such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Shiraz
1 cup clear apple cider or cranberry juice
4 tablespoons honey
2 fresh rosemary, plus extra for garnish
3 cinnamon sticks
3 whole star anise
3 whole cloves
3 whole peppercorns
1 orange, sliced
2 ounces brandy (optional)
Slowly bring all ingredients except brandy to just below a simmer. Keep below a simmer for 20 minutes, then stir in brandy (if using) and serve, garnishing each glass with a sprig of rosemary

Sunday, October 31, 2010


Okay, I loved this recipe. I used about a ¼ cup extra milk to thin out the batter, but other than that, I made no changes to the recipe. They puffed up beautifully, worked awesomely with maple syrup and bacon and made my Sunday morning an awesome one.

Next time I do this recipe (and there will be a next time), I'm going to add orange zest to the batter, and some orange blossom water to the maple syrup.

Definitely a keeper!

The great pumpkin!

October has been such a crazy month for me. I have not had much time to try the tasty recipes posted but I have been taking notes for a later date (like the scones for Christmas brunch). When I saw this week's recipe I had to make them since I am on a pumpkin kick. Luckily, I had some pumpkin left over after making some pumpkin chocolate chip cookies.

They were a little dense, however I expected this knowing how the cookies baked up. These pancakes were so tasty that the hubs went back for more (we do have enough for breakfast tomorrow, yay!). I liked the seasoning for these pancakes that I used the same amounts in the second batch of cookies I made. The house smelled so good after cooking, reminding me of the holidays. Definitely a keeper!

Saturday, October 30, 2010


(OK, lame, but Halloween is all about being silly, no?)

Happy Halloween! We had these for dinner and also brunch. I was excited about these because I've never tried anything other than plain pancakes from scratch.

I didn't have allspice, so I added extra cinnamon, nutmeg, and added some freshly ground cloves. Apparently, the flavour of allspice closely resembles the mixture of those three spices.

I always feel so sciency when I use my mortar & pestle
The resulting batter seemed really thick...

I tried making a couple of pancakes with it but they turned out really thick and dense.

But after thinning it down with some extra milk, the pancakes turned out much better.

These tasted great with maple syrup! The spice in the pancakes went with the syrup really nicely.

Rather than making all of the pancakes and heating up the leftovers, I just stored the extra batter in an airtight container so that I could make fresh ones the next day, and it worked great!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Pumpkin Pancakes

I have a new obsession with everything pumpkin. So far this year, I have added pumpkin to yogurt and oatmeal along with making pumpkin cookies, pumpkin bread, pumpkin muffins, and pumpkin pancakes. Admittedly it is a little over the top.

However, the pumpkin pancakes were awesome! And with this weekend being Halloween, I thought this was a timely recipe. Enjoy!!

2 cups all-purpose flour
3 Tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp groun all spice
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 egg
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 Tbsp vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar)

Combine wet ingredients in large bowl. In separate bowl combine dry ingredients. Add to wet ingredients and mix until just combined.

Heat lightly oiled griddle or frying pan. Use approximately 1/4 cup of batter per pancake. Cook until golden brown on both sides.

(The first time I made these, I added some chocolate chips. They were heaven! We are having company this weekend--my best friend just moved home from Europe!!--and I can't wait to make these again for Halloween brunch! Also, the last time I made them I had leftovers and just put them in the fridge and had them for breakfast a couple of mornings after microwaving them for a few seconds.)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Too many alarms to count

I made the chili. It was delicious. But it was SPICY. Like, literally made my ears ring. Methinks I overdid the jalapenos. More specifically, the jalapeno seeds. I'll lighten up on them next time.

What I really liked about the recipe was how easy it was to put together. I just stood next to the pot and threw things in as I chopped them up.

We happened to shop at a new market this week and I didn't know where to find the veggie "meat" stuff. So I skipped it. I guess that made it more of a bean stew. I was reminded that "garbanzo beans" are sold as chick peas around these parts. I didn't measure the spices but I threw in some paprika, cayenne pepper (more heat - yay), garlic salt and garlic powder in there along with the other stuff. Great flavour. Waaaay too much heat.

So, wish us and our taste buds luck as we try to finish the rest of the pot.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Veggie Chili!

Yesterday, I made a pretty big batch of my vegetarian chili. It turned out so good that even Paul likes it, which is a big deal. He likes his chili meaty and without much veggies, usually.

I followed the recipe pretty much, expect that I forgot to grab celery on Saturday, so I put in some diced carrots instead, and I had red peppers from last weekend from the market, so I used those instead of green. I also added a bit more chili pepper spice than it asked for, and a bit more jalapenos, too. We like spicy, especially when it comes to chili. I haven't even gotten to try a bowl yet (just ate spoonfuls as it cooked and while I portioned it out in containers). I'm saving it for our dinner, tonight. Then I'll eat the rest of the portions for lunches this week and next!

Okay, on to the pictures.

First, just the onions and seasonings browning:

Then, added the other veggies:

Now, with veggie ground "beef":

And finally, with everything else (tomatoes, beans, corn):

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Updates, but no pictures

So, I have been keeping up with the cooking...but my camera has not been keeping up with me. Oh well...

I made the chicken tikka masala and it was delicious. I followed the recipe exactly since I had never made it before. I served it over brown rice (which was the only part of the meal that didn't turn out well--go figure). Even Ed tried this recipe! He wasn't a huge fan (thought it was too spicy) but at least it was one that he would try.

I also made the scones last weekend. I subbed a few things with these...whole wheat flour rather than white, 2% cheddar instead of full fat, and turkey bacon for regular. They came out great! I served them with French Onion soup with dinner and then had them with the leftover soup for lunch the next day. These were awesome...and a hit with Ed even!

And finally, I made the chili today for lunches for the week. I followed this recipe except that I used ground turkey breast instead of vegetarian ground "beef", I forgot the buy celery, and I used orange bell pepper since that was what I had on hand. I halved the recipe since it was just for me for lunches this week and it still made a ton! I am making it again tomorrow night, this time as vegetarian, to bring for a class dinner that I need to provide Tuesday night at school! I think it will be a huge hit...and hopefully I can get my camera to cooperate and add a picture!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Soup and Scones!

Man, I keep falling behind.  I still want to make the Indian dish, but I have no idea when.

I did, however, make up the Chicken Tortilla Soup and the Bacon Cheddar Scones.

First, the soup.  Things started off with a nice mirepoix (although I guess in this case we should call it a sofrito, eh?)

And ended up with a really delicious soup!

Like ringy we couldn't find any mexicorn, so I just used a can of corn.  And, what I thought was a can of green chilli's was actually salsa verde, so most of that went in instead.

We chose to garnish the soup with some sour cream, fresh grated cheese, avocado (because they are my favourite) and the leftover salsa verde.

When I asked Derek what he though his answer was "It's soupy".  Um, yeah.   Despite that comment we both really enjoyed the soup.  The avocado got a bit lost with all of the other flavours, and Derek needed the sour cream to tone the heat down to a level he was happy with, but I'll definitely be making this again.

Now, on to the bacon.

This was my first experience making scones, and while I wasn't sure if my dough was right, they were amazing.  I followed the directions exactly and ended up with this pan of delicious for Sunday breakfast.

Because we are gluttons, we had these, topped with some MORE butter and coffee for breakfast.  There was 1 left.

I will 100% make these again (but maybe cook up the bacon the day/night before) and am quite interested in experimenting with different scones in the future!

Now, who's got recipes that use up butter milk?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Dinner scones

I couldn't find the time to make the scones for breakfast this week but hey - who's to say you can't have them for dinner?

Sometimes, just for the hell of it, I like prepping all my ingredients and putting them into little bowls like they do on TV. It makes me feel like a real chef.
Hey! Stop snacking on my ingredients!
I used pancetta instead of bacon again, and soured milk (milk + 1 tbsp vinegar) instead of buttermilk. Otherwise I followed the recipe. No wait, I also forgot the egg wash. Oops.

I think I messed up the pastry making. The pastry blender I have isn't the best (it's a weird flat-bottomed shape), and I was running out of time as we had to head out, so butter-flour mix wasn't quite the right texture. Also, I think that making the mix in a metal bowl may have melted the butter a bit (because of my warm hands holding the bowl). It was still tasty but the taste and texture of the dough wasn't as rich and melt-in-your mouth as I hoped. It was doughy :(
The pan was ungreased as the recipe said but they stuck a little bit. I used parchment paper on the second batch - much better.
Anyway, we had it with a beautiful big salad. It needed it - it was indeed very filling. I'll try it again someday and hope that it turns out even better!
Sherlock is not so interested in the salad

The Best Vegetarian Chili in the World

I found this recipe online a few months ago, and I've already made it a few times. I always change it up, adding whatever I had at home already. I suppose it could be made with ground beef instead of the veggie ground round... then it would just be chili. Haha.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 medium onion, chopped
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons dried oregano
1 tablespoon salt
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 green bell peppers, chopped
2 jalapeno peppers, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 (4 ounce) cans chopped green chile peppers, drained
2 (12 ounce) packages vegetarian ground round
3 (28 ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes, crushed
1/4 cup chili powder
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans, drained
1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained
1 (15 ounce) can black beans
1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn

1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Stir in the onion, and season with bay leaves, cumin, oregano, and salt. Cook and stir until onion is tender, then mix in the celery, green bell peppers, jalapeno peppers, garlic, and green chile peppers. When vegetables are heated through, mix in the vegetarian burger crumbles. Reduce heat to low, cover pot, and simmer 5 minutes.
2. Mix the tomatoes into the pot. Season chili with chili powder and pepper. Stir in the kidney beans, garbanzo beans, and black beans. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer 45 minutes. Stir in the corn, and continue cooking 5 minutes before serving.

~ I serve this with garlic bread on the side.

~ I'm excited to make this again, this weekend! I also plan on freezing half of it, in portions, for future meals!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Soup for a cold day

I finally got a chance to make the chicken tortilla soup. It was great!

I'm always a little surprised when these recipes call for cooked meat, but don't instruct you to brown the meat and deglaze the pan. But anyway, I started off by browning the chicken.

Then I made the roux in the same pot, cooked the base veggies as instructed and threw everything else in. I couldn't find Mexicorn so I just used canned corn. I may have overdone it with the fajita seasoning... actually, I used the whole pack. Next time, I think I would also throw in some rice.
Fire burn and cauldron bubble
I garnished it with some sliced avocado and cheddar cheese. The avocado balanced the seasoning in the soup really nicely. Sour cream would have been great too, but I don't use it often so I didn't want to buy it just for this. Actually, I really liked how all of the ingredients in the soup balanced each other out.

I liked the recipe! I'll probably make it again, but I would have to plan for it (as opposed to it being a quick throw-together meal) because some of the ingredients aren't on my usual grocery radar.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Everything's Better with Bacon

That has long been my philosophy. I was looking for a brunch recipe for today and was very excited to see these bacon and cheddar scones were this week's choice. I already had everything I needed except the buttermilk, so I picked up some on my way home from church this morning.

They came together really quickly and were soon ready for the oven.

I served them with scrambled eggs and am looking forward to having the leftovers for breakfast this week.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Bacon Cheddar Scones

How about a breakfast recipe? This week's recipe is from Annie's Eats, adapted from The Pastry Queen by Rebecca Rather. I've been meaning to try it since someone posted it on another board a few weeks ago.


For the scones:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1-2 tsp. ground black pepper (depending on your preference)
8 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1½ cups grated cheddar cheese
4 green onions, thinly slices
10 slices bacon, cooked and chopped or crumbled into small pieces
1 cup buttermilk (plus up to ½ cup extra, if needed)

For the egg wash:
1 large egg
2 tbsp. water


Preheat the oven to 400˚ F.  In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and black pepper; mix briefly to combine.  Add the cubes of butter and mix on low speed until the mixture is crumbly and the butter pieces are about the size of small peas.  (Alternatively, this can be done in a regular mixing bowl, using a pastry blender or two knives to cut the butter into the dry ingredients.)  Add in the grated cheese and mix just until incorporated.

Mix in the green onions, bacon, and 1 cup of the buttermilk into the flour-butter mixture.  Stir by hand just until all the ingredients are incorporated.  If the dough is too dry to come together, mix in the remaining buttermilk a tablespoon or two at a time until the dough can be formed into a ball.  Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and pat the dough into an 8-inch disk.  Slice the dough into 8 to 10 wedges.

In a small bowl combine the egg and water and whisk together.  Brush each wedge lightly with the egg wash.  Transfer the scones to an ungreased baking sheet.  Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Indian Food

This was my first attempt at making Indian food and I loved it. However, something in the flavor profile didn't work for J, so I may not do this one again. He said it smelled great when he came in and he couldn't tell me what the taste was that he didn't care for, so I'm not sure what I could do to fix it.

I was a little afraid of the amount of cayenne pepper in the marinade, so I cut it down a lot, and I think this was a mistake. The finished dish could have used some more heat.

I used the George Forman to cook the meat, rather than the broiler since I have a horrible habit of burning things to a crisp in the broiler. A note for future reference, small chunks of meat in a heavy marinade will stick to the top of the grill when you open it. I swear, it looked like all my chicken pulled a Houdini.

I served the dish over brown rice.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Fall and soup are two of my favorite things!

I love fall and I LOVE soup! I always try through the fall and winter to make soup on a Sunday so that I can eat it for lunch all week...Not only is soup an easy lunch, but I also tend to use it to clean out my fridge of anything that I didn't get a chance to eat over the week. This soup was no different--which means I didn't follow the recipe super closely.

First of all, I added yellow and red peppers to my soup since I had about half of each one left in the fridge. I also used ground turkey breast instead of chicken because I had it. I used the rest of the ingredients in the recipe, but I made the soup nice and thick so it came out as a mix between a soup and a white chicken chili. It was delicious for dinner Sunday night and I ate it every day this week for lunch! Perfect!

Oh, and lest I forget...what else would I have for a perfect fall dessert...Apple crisp! Yep, perfect meal.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Soup Time

My husband loves soup; we have it once a week. This one was so quick and easy, it's going into the recipe file.

The only changes I made were to the seasoning. I tasted it as it was simmering and decided it needed some more heat, so I added chili powder. As I was eating it, I decided that it was too smoky for my taste, so next time I will cut the cumin down and up the chili powder.

Chicken Tikka Masala

I've been cooking Chicken Tikka Masala at least a couple times a month for over 4 years. The recipe has evolved over time with my research and the help of a local Indian restaurant owner. He will not give me his recipe, he will however hint at what I need to change.

(I've met ring_pop's Mr.V in person and he's a very nice man. I hope that if they choose to cook this or a spin off, he's gentle on the critique!)

The stars:
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Yes, I have an addiction to paprika and cumin and use large quantities.
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Chicken Marinade
1 lb boneless chicken breast cubed into 1-1/2" pieces. (I use tenderloins cut in 1/2 or 1/3)
1C plain yogurt (I use greek)
1Tbsp lemon juice
1tsp cumin powder
2tsp coriander powder
1tsp paprika
1/2tps turmeric
1tsp cayenne pepper
1Tbsp minced ginger (I use jarred)
1Tbsp minced garlic (also jarred)

Mix ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Toss chicken in marinade and marinade for at least an hour. I am known to let it marinade all day or overnight.

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To cook, I place the chicken on a broiler pan and bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes. I broil them for a 5-7 minutes after that. Remove from oven and set aside of you haven't started your sauce.

Masala Sauce:
2Tbsp butter or oil
3 garlic cloves minced (I use jarred)
1 jalapeno, de-seeded and diced
1 small red onion
8oz tomato puree
1C heavy cream
2tsp ground cumin
2tsp paprika
1/2tsp garam masala
1tsp honey (optional)

Melt butter in large heavy skillet over medium. Saute garlic, jalapeno and onion for 1-2 minutes. Season with cumin, paprika and garam masala. Add tomato puree and cream and mix well. Simmer on low heat for 20-30 minutes until sauce thickens. Mix in chicken and simmer for 10 minutes. Add honey the last minute if you plan to do so. Garnish with cilantro.

Aaron prefers jasmine rice, so I serve it over that. I use a rice cooker, so I can ignore it while I prepare the rest of the meal. I wasn't in the mood to make garlic naan this time, so we used store bought, shame on us.

Final product:
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Monday, October 4, 2010

Everything's better with TEQUILA

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Aaron always gets intrigued when he sees me grab the bottle of tequila when cooking, since I swore off drinking it years ago. Since Aaron has texture issues with carrots, celery and other vegetables when cooked, I looked around a bit and decided to piece this soup together.

I marinated the chicken using Guy Fieri's recipe.

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 ounces silver tequila
2 limes, juiced
2 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
4 cloves garlic (used jarred garlic)
1 teaspoon oregano
pinch of salt
pinch of pepper
1 lb chicken tenderloins

I marinated the chicken overnight. Original recipe says 6-8 hours.

Soup Base
Olive oil
1/2 large red onion, chopped
1 can fire roasted green chili's
4 garlic cloves
1 (14oz) can of fire roasted tomatoes
1 (14oz) can great norhtern beans
1 box (32oz) of chicken stock

In a large pot heat up olive oil and saute onion, green chili's and garlic for a couple of minutes. Deglaze pan with a little bit of chicken stock and add remaining chicken stock, tomatoes and beans. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for 30-45 minutes.

While the soup base is cooking, cook your chicken. There is no right or wrong way here, most recipes I saw called for grilled, but since I was already at the stove, I just threw it all into a pan.

To serve
Place cooked chicken in the bottom of a bowl and add as much soup base as you'd like to the top. Garnish with whatever you'd like, but I'd recommend Guy Fieri's tequila creme!

Tequila creme
2 oz tequila
3/4 cup

Whip together using a hand whisk or hand blender. I think Aaron liked the tequila creme more than the soup itself! He didn't want any to go to waste so he ate the leftovers with salsa and chips.

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