Archive for August, 2008

Dipping Spoons by the Spoon Sisters — Courtesy of Blake Makes!

August 31, 2008

I was lucky enough to receive a set of the “Dipping Spoons” from the Spoon Sisters, via the BlakeMakes website.

These spoons are awesome — no more floury/baking powder-y/spice-y knuckles for me as I try to get items from the bottom of the jar! These spoons take care of that for you!

And their funky color scheme is fabulous. I heart these spoons!

The spoon set includes 5 nesting spoons: 1/8 teaspoon, ¼ teaspoon, ½ teaspoon, teaspoon and tablespoon.

Get some! NOW!


Patrice’s Potatoes

August 31, 2008

I saw these on Your Home Based Mom and thought they looked tasty — and they WERE!

Definately be making these again. This time, we served them with the PW’s Crispy Yogurt Chicken.

Patrice’s Potatoes
(Your Home Based Mom)

8-10 medium sized red potatoes, thinly sliced (I used organic idaho potatoes)
1/2 cube butter, melted (I had no idea what Leigh Anne meant — she was kind enough to tell me a “cube” is a stick — so this is 1/4 cup, or 1/2 a stick of butter)
1/4 C olive oil
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cayenne powder
2 tsp mild chili powder
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce

– Mix above ingredients and toss with thin sliced potatoes.
– Place on a cookie sheet.
– Bake at 500 degrees for 7-10 minutes, then turn potatoes and bake another 7-10 minutes until desired crispness.

(Note: I had a few that didn’t fit on my cookie sheet — I tossed them in a skillet and browned them up that way. Both work!)

Pioneer Woman’s Crispy Yogurt Chicken

August 31, 2008
Sorry for that nasty gash — it was 1.5 hours later than I thought we’d be eating, and I was in no mood for “pretty” checking that the chicken was done!

I *think* (without actually going back through my posts and looking) that this is my first Pioneer Woman recipe. That’s hard to believe considering she pops up nearly every other starred item in my Google Reader!

Unfortunately, I wasn’t all that thrilled with this recipe. DH liked it immensely, but I tend to be a “consistency” eater, and the panko consistency really turns me off. The flavor from the yogurt mixture was tasty, though.

It may have been better if I’d have used smaller chicken, too — DH bought me these monstrosity-sized chicken breasts (they took almost 2 hours to cook!!!) for the recipe. Maybe it would’ve been better with smaller pieces of chicken.

Who knows!

Pioneer Woman’s Crispy Yogurt Chicken
(Pioneer Woman Cooks)

Chicken (she uses thighs or legs — we used breasts)
2 cups plain yogurt
2-3 cloves garlic, minced (I used pre-minced)
Handful of parsley
Juice of 1 lemon
2 cups (approx) Panko bread crumbs

– Pour 2 cups plain yogurt into an empty bowl. Add minced garlic, chopped parsley, and the juice of 1 lemon. Mix well.
– Rinse the chicken and pat dry. Sprinkle with kosher salt.
– Pour 2 cups of panko into another bowl and give it a sprinkling of salt as well. Mix.
– Butter a baking dish
– Using tongs, dip each piece of chicken in the yogurt mixture (coating entirely) and then in the panko (coating entirely again). Place in buttered baking dish.
– Place a slice of butter over the meatiest part of each piece of chicken (for the ginourmous breasts I actually used two butter slices)
– Cover chicken with foil and bake at 350 degree F oven for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes. Remove the foil for the last 15 minutes to let the breadcrumbs brown up a bit (I had to cook mine much longer, and I reccommend more than 15 minutes uncovered to get that brownness on top!)


August 25, 2008

This vegetable rice is almost slightly sweet, and DELICIOUS. It was the first time I’d cooked with basmati rice — and I have some leftover, so I’ll have to find more recipes to use it in!

I’m so glad I read about rinsing it before using it on Kristie’s blog — otherwise I may not have realized I had to!

Biryani (Vegetable Rice)
(Kristie’s Kitchen)

2 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter)
1 onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice (red or yellow onion)
1/2 teaspoon cumin seed (I just used cumin powder)
1 tablespoon garlic
1 tomato, diced
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup peas
1/2 cup diced carrot
1/2 cup diced potato (I omitted)
1 cube chicken bouillon
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground red chile pepper
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
4 cups water
2 cups basmati rice, rinsed and drained

– Melt ghee in a large Dutch oven over medium heat.
– Add onion, and cook until softened, about 3 minutes.
– Stir Garam Masala; cook until the spices are fragrant, and the cumin seeds begin to pop, about 3 minutes.
– Stir in garlic, tomatoes, and 1/2 cup water.
– Bring to a simmer, and cook until the water has evaporated, about 5 minutes.
– Stir in peas, carrot, and potato.
– Season with chicken bouillon, salt, red chile, black pepper, and turmeric.
– Stir well, then cover, and cook for 3 minutes.
-Pour in 4 cups water and bring to a boil over high heat.
– Once boiling, stir in basmati rice, reduce heat to medium, recover, and simmer for 10 minutes. – Reduce heat to low and continue to cook until the rice has softened, 10 to 15 minutes more.

Tandoori Chicken

August 25, 2008

I decided to branch out and try a new cuisine. Since I often have tummy troubles with, ahem, “unique cuisines” in restaurants, I decided to try it at home.

This time around we tried Indian food. With a little help from Kristie’s Kitchen, I set out to make tandoori chicken, biryani, and (the original plan at least…) naan.

Unfortunately, the night I made the Indian food is also the night we had to sign paperwork with a real estate agent to put in an offer on a house. I ended up cooking at 9pm!!

Needless to say — we used the store-bought naan.

Things I’ve learned?

1. Cardamom is freaking EXPENSIVE and one should look at the price before just tossing it in the basket. YIKES!
2. Indian food sits remarkably well with my delicate tummy
3. DH thinks this meal was flippin’ amazing and wants it again soon. My reaction? GOOD–I just spent $12 on a container of cardamom!!!

Tandoori Chicken
(Kristie’s Kitchen)

1 1/2 pounds chicken breasts
1/2 C plain yogurt
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 cloves garlic
1 inch piece fresh ginger
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp red chili powder
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp ground cardamom

– Run garlic through a press, or finely mince. Grate ginger.
– Mix together yogurt, oil, lemon juice, garlic, ginger, and spices.
– Make diagonal slashes in the chicken meat to allow marinade to penetrate better. (I diced up my chicken into pieces, so I didn’t do this part)
– Pour yogurt mixture over chicken parts.
– Marinate for 4 hours at room temperature, or overnight in the refrigerator, turning occasionally.
– If the chicken is placed in the refrigerator, bring it to room temperature before cooking.
– Preheat broiler.
– Brush grill or shallow baking pan with a little oil to keep chicken from sticking. Arrange chicken on the pan.
– Broil chicken 2-3 inches away from the heat until cooked through, approximately 25 minutes, turning halfway through.

Southern Peach Cobbler

August 25, 2008

Since DH had brought me home so many peaches, I figured I needed to make a dessert with them!

I rather hate making pie, so when I came across this cobbler recipe, I thought I’d give it a shot instead.

It was the best cobbler I’ve ever had. Hands down. And it would be JUST as good with any type of fruit!

The most impressive part is the fact that we finished the last of the cobbler 6 days after I made it — and the topping was still nice and crisp! No soggies!

Southern Peach Cobbler
(All Recipes)

8 fresh peaches – peeled, pitted and sliced into thin wedges
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg (I omitted)
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons cornstarch

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
1/4 cup boiling water

Cinnamon-Sugar Mixture:
3 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

– Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
– In a large bowl, combine peaches, 1/4 cup white sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon juice, and cornstarch.
– Toss to coat evenly, and pour into a 2 quart baking dish (I used a 9 x 13 pan and it worked great).
– Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes.
– Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine flour, 1/4 cup white sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, baking powder, and salt.
– Blend in butter with your fingertips, or a pastry blender, until mixture resembles coarse meal. – Stir in water until just combined.
– Remove peaches from oven, and drop spoonfuls of topping over them.
– Sprinkle entire cobbler with the sugar and cinnamon mixture.
– Bake until topping is golden, about 30 minutes. (Mine was only about 23-25 minutes)

Sorry for the pictures — I didn’t get any single-serving images!

Edit: I’ve entered this cobbler in Joelen’s Culinary Adventures blog event — Cobblers, Crumbles, and Crisps, Oh My!

Menu Mondays

August 25, 2008

Hopefully “house buying” won’t intefere with cooking this week…

Probably no baking this weekend — I’m battling a cold.

Monday: Steak, pasta, steamed broccoli
Tuesday: PW’s Crispy Yogurt Chicken, Patrice’s Potatoes, Veggie-Yet-To-Be-Determined
Wednesday: Skillet Beef Stroganof
Thursday: Spaghetti
Friday: Leftovers

Chicken Kafta with Tzatziki

August 19, 2008

DH selected this dish for our weekly menu — and I think we both thought it would be more like “gyros” than it was.

Admittedly, a little disappointed. I didn’t particularly like the flavors in the chicken…I think I just found them too weak, to be honest. We also don’t have a grill, so I broiled mine — but grilling may have added to their flavor.
I did take Culinary Infatuation’s advice, and served it with a little tzatziki sauce — quite tasty!
Chicken Kafta
1 lb. ground chicken
1/4 cup grated onion
2 tbsp. fresh chopped parsley
2 tsp. ground coriander
2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. olive oil
1.5 tbsp. bread crumbs
salt and pepper to taste
– Preheat oven to Broil
– Mix all ingredients together and shape into oblong patties
– Lightly oil an oven-safe grill pan and arrange patties on top
– Put in broiler and cook for about 5-6 minutes per side (temp may vary — keep an eye on them!)

Corn Fritters

August 18, 2008

DH loves corn fritters. Personally, I’d never had or even heard of one until I met him — and I am still kind of take-it-or-leave-it on them.

But, we had 4 ears of corn that needed to be used up, and DH was out fishing — so I got creative with it.
I used the recipe on A Taste of Home Cooking’s blog — it seemed pretty standard, and the addition of a little heavy cream was sure to make it yummy!
All-in-all, these were good. I rebelled against the rules for frying, using Canola oil instead of a corn or vegetable oil, and DH said he could tell. He told me I need to use veggie or corn oil next time!
Farmstand Corn Fritters

(Makes 12 fritters)
1 1/2 lbs. fresh corn (2 large or 3-4 medium ears), husks and silks removed
1 large egg, lightly beaten
3 tbsp. all-purpose flour
3 tbsp. cornmeal
2 tbsp. heavy cream
1 small shallot, minced (I never keep shallot — I used some regular onion)
1/2 tsp. salt
pinch of cayenne
1/2 cup corn or vegetable oil, as needed
-Cut kernels from 1-2 ears of corn (depending on size) and place in a large bowl (you should have about 1 cup of kernels)
– Grate the remaining ears of corn on the large holes on a box grater (you should have a generous 1/2 cup of grated kernels)
– Add the grated kernels to the bowl with the whole kernels
– Using a butter knife, scrape any remaining pulp from all ears of corn into the bowl
– Stir in the egg, flour, cornmeal, cream, shallot, salt and cayenne
– Heat oil in a large, heavy-bottomed non-stick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering
– Drop 6 heaping tablespoons of batter into the pan, and fry until golden brown (took me about 4-5 minutes per side)
– Transfer fritters to a plate lined with paper towels to drain
– If necessary, add more oil to the skillet and reheat; fry remaining batter
– Serve immediately

Mine look a little dark — bad lighting!

Menu Monday

August 18, 2008

Average amount of cooking this week — DH and I have settled into a rhythm where he lets me make one new, blog-able dish for dinner per week — as long as we can still have his favorites!

Monday: Steak (we’re STILL using free omaha steaks!), steamed green beans
Tuesday: Spaghetti with meat sauce (quick night — we have an appointment in the evening)
Wednesday: Tandoori chicken, biryani, and naan (indian food)
Thursday: BLT’s (Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato), steamed broccoli
Friday: Leftovers!