Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Comfort Food...Chicken Pot Pie

Something about the cold weather makes me want comfort food.  Maybe because it gets dark so early in the winter months, or quite possibly because I know I have until next spring to really worry about my gut. :)  As a kid I used to love those nasty chicken pot pies you get in the frozen food section in their own individual pie tins.  They are for chicken pot pie what Kraft is for Mac and Cheese.  I have tried a couple of different chicken pot pie recipes over the years, but this one beats them all hands down! 

This recipe came to me via

Chicken Pot Pie:
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cubed

1 cup sliced carrots
1 cup frozen green peas
1/2 cup sliced celery
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
1 3/4 cups chicken broth
2/3 cup milk

2 (9 inch) unbaked pie crusts
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C.)

In a saucepan, combine chicken, carrots, peas, and celery. Add water to cover and boil for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, drain and set aside.

In the saucepan over medium heat, cook onions in butter until soft and translucent. Stir in flour, salt, pepper, and celery seed. Slowly stir in chicken broth and milk. Simmer over medium-low heat until thick. Remove from heat and set aside.

Place the chicken mixture in bottom pie crust. Pour hot liquid mixture over. Cover with top crust, seal edges, and cut away excess dough. Make several small slits in the top to allow steam to escape.

Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until pastry is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.


The BEST and I mean absolutely BEST part of this recipe is the sauce/gravy.  It is so similar to the chicken pot pies I remember as a actually reminded me of HOT LUNCHES in elementary school.  I know, you probably think I have finally snapped, but this recipe completely does justice to your comfort food cravings.  And the CHICKEN!  Holy tenderness, Batman!  You have to worry....well, if you're me, you have to worry about overcooking chicken and making it tough and dry.  The chicken came out so PERFECT!  Using the premade pie crusts made this a REALLY easy recipe.  Because the pie crusts made the recipe so easy I decided to add a flourish to my top by using a pumpkin cookie cutter and placing them on top with little spaces so the heat could escape.  I highly suggest you check this recipe out. 

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thanksgiving Leftovers - Stuffing Pancakes

That's right...Thanksgiving leftovers.  My Dad just came for a visit and we celebrated Thansgiving with him a little early.  As a result, I already have leftovers.  The morning after, my Dad headed for the kitchen to cook himself up some breakfast.  Since he is the one that inspired my own cooking, I hurried after him.  To my horror and surprise, he told me he was going to make a stuffing pancake.  The shock and awe didn't last too long...I trust my Dad's judgement when it comes to pancakes.  When I was growing up my Dad created something called a noodle pancake (recipe to come around Christmas).  He combined eggs and ramen noodles and put spaghetti sauce on them.  I know it sounds like a pure assured it ROCKS.  We have it EVERY year at my house on Christmas morning.  I get sidetracked...BACK to Stuffing Pancakes.

Stuffing Pancakes:
1 1/2 cups of leftover Dad made stuffing with cranberries, sausage and onions...YUM!
1 egg

Mix leftover stuffing and egg together.  Heat a greased frying pan on medium heat and cook evenly on both sides about 2-3 minutes on both sides.  You want to make sure the egg is cooked through.

Serve with left over gravy and cranberry relish.

My Dad scores again.   Very tasty makes me wish I had stuffing around more often.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Cashew Chicken...Williams Sonoma Style

I used to surf the recipe section of Williams Sonoma's web site ALL the time drooling over the pictures of the FABULOUS dishes and adding them to my online recipe box.  I have a TON of recipes in this online box that I have never made because I didn't have the time before...until now!  Being a stay-at-home mom has some SERIOUS perks!

When going to a Chinese restaurant, Cashew Chicken isn't my very first choice of what to order...but I LOVE cashews and we happened to have 1 cup that needed to be used up. 

Cashew Chicken
3 Tbs. soy sauce
1 Tbs. rice wine or dry sherry
2 tsp. grated fresh ginger
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. Asian sesame oil
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. cornstarch
3 Tbs. corn or peanut oil
2 green onions, chopped
1 cup salted roasted cashews
Steamed rice for serving

In a large bowl, stir together 2 Tbs. of the soy sauce, the wine and ginger. Stir in the chicken to coat evenly and set aside for 15 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine 2 Tbs. water, the remaining 1 Tbs. soy sauce, the Worcestershire sauce, sesame oil, sugar and cornstarch, and stir to dissolve the sugar and cornstarch.

Stir-fry the chicken

Heat a wok or large fry pan over high heat until very hot and add 2 Tbs. of the corn oil. Remove the chicken from the marinade, draining it well, and discard the marinade. Add the chicken to the wok and stir-fry until opaque, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to a bowl.

Return the wok to medium heat and add the remaining 1 Tbs. corn oil. Add the green onions and stir-fry until fragrant, about 10 seconds. Return the chicken to the wok and add the cashews. Give the sauce a quick stir, add to the pan and stir until the sauce thickens slightly, 1 to 2 minutes. Serve immediately with the steamed rice. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Asian, by Farina Wong Kingsley (Oxmoor House, 2007).

I didn't notice until I started cooking this meal that it lacked the veggie element of most Cashew Chicken dishes...that was really too bad. I like meals with different textures in them and this just didn't have it.  When I marinated the chicken I did it for an hour rather than the 15 minutes the recipe called for.  I've always thought that if a little of something is good, then a LOT has to be even better...that isn't always the case.  The chicken SOAKED up the soy sauce and over powered the dish.

Overall this wasn't too bad.  I'd totally make it again and add my own improve this dish.  I'd also stick to the marinating instructions rather than improvising. :)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


When ones moves away from their home, they realize they miss the three F'  There is a great restaurant in downtown Salt Lake called the Red Iguana.  They have a dish there calleld Tinga Poblana that is made with shredded pork and is in a spicy red sauce.  I LOVE this dish.  I order it every time I go to the Red Iguana.  I have yet to find a killer mexican restaurant here in Colorado...but I haven't been out looking.  If you have any suggestions, definitely let me know!

I went off in search of a recipe for Tinga Poblana online and I found a pretty decent recipe online from the Homesick Texan.  I frequent this blog often and cook up a lot of the recipes our Homesick friend posts.  I have yet to be disappointed.  You should definitely check this blog out.

1 pound of pork shoulder or tenderloin, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 pound of Mexican chorizo (do not use Spanish chorizo. It’s a completely different meat. )
1 bay leaf
1 large onion
5 cloves of garlic
3 chipotle peppers in adobo
1 cup of peeled ripe Roma tomatoes (about 4). You can use canned ones if tomatoes aren’t in season
1/2 teaspoon of Mexican oregano
1/2 teaspoon of thyme
1/2 cup of cilantro
3 tablespoons of either sugar, brown sugar or maple syrup
Black pepper
1 avocado thinly sliced
Cortija cheese
1 lime cut into wedges

First you want to brine your pork for at least four hours.

Put the pork in a bowl and cover with six cups of water. Add six tablespoons of salt, three tablespoons of sugar and two tablespoons of black pepper and a clove of garlic, minced. Cover with a plate to keep the meat underwater, and refrigerate for four hours, brining it up to eight hours. (Do not over-brine!). After you’re done brining the meat, rinse the meat. pat it dry and throw out the brine water.

Place brined pork in a large pot with half the onion (uncut), the bay leaf, a clove of garlic and enough water to cover. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 45 minutes until tender.

Take out cooked pork (save the cooking water) and when cool shred it. Set it aside.

Dice the other half of the onion and mince the three remaining garlic cloves.

Cook the chorizo out of its casing in a dry skillet until brown, about eight minutes. Carefully tilting the skillet, drain the oil to one side and then remove the chorizo.

Puree the tomatoes in a blender with the three minced garlic cloves and chipotle peppers with adobo.

Transfer the chorizo oil to a pot, and then cook the onions in the oil on medium for about five minutes or until soft and then add the tomato-chipotle puree, Mexican oregano and thyme.

Cook for five minutes on medium, and then add the shredded pork, chorizo, 1/4 cup of cilantro and one cup of the pork cooking water (you should freeze the leftover pork cooking water because it will make a good stock for cooking beans).

Bring to a boil and then cover and simmer for 15 minutes. It should be thick. If it’s too liquidy, just cook uncovered for a few minutes. Add salt to taste.

Serve on fresh tostadas, either store bought or made from corn tortillas. To make tostadas, heat an inch of oil in a skillet and fry whole tortillas on each side a couple of minutes until crisp. Place a hearty spoonful of tinga on the crisp tostada and then sprinkle on top cotija cheese (if not available, you can substitute Monterrey jack or sour cream) and the remaining cilantro. Serve with sliced avocado and lime wedges. This recipe will yield about 10 to 12 tostadas.
While I was cooking this recipe up I started to think the ingredients sounds a LOT like a salsa I make from the Herdez Salsa Casera.  The Salsa Casera has all the tomatoes, onions, garlic and cilantro this recipe calls for and I throw it in a blender and add a chipotle pepper in adobo sauce for added heat and flavor.  When I had my first taste of this tasted like I had put my salsa on top of nicely cooked pork and chorizo.  It was good! 
Even though the Tinga Poblana at the Red Iguana doesn't have chorizo in it  and isn't served on a tostada or tortilla chips...I'll take this recipe as a substitute in the mean time. 


Sunday, September 27, 2009

Sunday Pumpkin Waffles

I don't know what the weather is like in your neck of the woods, but the chill has been in the air here in Colorado Springs for nearly two weeks.  As a result, I decided today was the day to officially open pumpkin season in our kitchen!  I found this KILLER, and I mean KILLER, pumpkin waffle recipe at Pumpkins Waffles Blog.  This person is persuing the perfect pumpkin waffle recipe and I think they have found it with this one!

At first this appeared rather time intensive for Sunday morning waffles...but the three bowls it took to make this recipe were WORTH IT!  The only thing I modified with this recipe was the buttermilk.  I didn't have buttermilk and didn't feel like running to the store just to get it when the recipe only calls for a 1/3 cup.

Ultimate Pumpkin Waffles:

1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/8 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 3/4 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. cloves
1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg*
2 large eggs
1/4 cup whole milk
1/3 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup canned solid-pack pumpkin
3 1/2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and warm

*Grated and lightly packed into the spoon, use slightly less than 1/2 tsp. Grated and loosely scooped, this is about 1 tsp. of nutmeg. If you have to use pre-grated, dried nutmeg, use slightly less than 1/4 tsp.

1. Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl: wisk to blend. The waffles are spicy, so if you’re not a big spice fan, cut the quantities in half.

2. Separate egg: yolks go in a medium sized bowl and whites get set aside in a smaller bowl.

3. Add pumpkin, buttermilk and milk to the egg yolks. Wisk to blend and set aside.

4. Whip egg whites with a hand mixer on high until stiff peaks form – about 1 1/2 – 2 minutes. Set aside.

5. Pour warm butter into the yolk/buttermilk/milk/pumpkin mixture. As you pour, wisk to combine; this is crucial for keeping the butter from firming up on contact with the cold milk(s) in the bowl.

6. Add all of the pumpkin mixture to the dry ingredients, and slowly mix them together until just combined. The batter is thick, so it may appear to be slightly lumpy. That will smooth out when the egg whites are added. Do not overmix, as doing so will toughen the waffle texture.

7. Plug in the waffle iron and set the temp as desired. Higher temperatures tend to work best.

8. Slide the whipped egg whites out of the bowl and onto the mixture you just prepared. Gently fold them in until no white bits are obvious.

9. Once the waffle iron is heated, you’re ready to pour the batter!

When Alex got is first taste of these waffles he said, "They taste like pumpkin pie!"  They were indeed yummy!  Just in case you are thinking of skipping the step of separating the eggs and beating the egg whites...DON'T!  It is totally worth it.  These waffles were fluffy!

Welcome to open pumpkin season!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Coming from Utah, I always thought scones were fried flat bread...that's what we call scones. I remember being at a coffee shop and seeing they had scones on their menu and being shocked silly when they brought me out this crumbly dry bread. What the...? Since then, I have come to really enjoy scones.

I was searching out recipes for dinner this last week and got side tracked when I came across the following recipe for scones on

Grandma Johnson's Scones:
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter
1 egg
1 cup raisins (optional) - I used cranberries instead of raisins.
I also added a teaspoon of vanilla on the urging of some of the reviews on

In a small bowl, blend the sour cream and baking soda, and set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a large baking sheet.
In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, cream of tartar, and salt. Cut in the butter. Stir the sour cream mixture and egg into the flour mixture until just moistened.Mix in the raisins...or cranberries in my case.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead briefly. Roll or pat dough into a 3/4 inch thick round. Cut into 12 wedges, and place them 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet.
Bake 12 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven, until golden brown on the bottom. If you read my blog often, you'll know there is always a little trauma in the making of yummy food. The trauma of this dish involved the binding of the scone batter. The reviews on mentioned the crumbly nature of these scones and gave some suggestions to change the texture. When it came time to turn the dough out and knead it, the trauma began. This dough was CRUM-BLY! I tried molding it together and cutting it, but the pieces just crumbled apart. Fortunately I own a handy-dandy scone pan that came to my rescue. I stuffed the scone batter into my pan and crossed my fingers. These babies came out PERFECT! They were so yummy and perfectly crumbly! You can add whatever flavors to this recipe you want...chocolate chips, orange rind, vanilla bean. This is a GREAT starter recipe. I will definitely be making this one again and again.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Vodka on the Rocks...Wait no...Vodka Sauce on Tortellini

We have some friends in Utah that make a killer Pasta with Vodka sauce that I have been missing since we moved. Their version is somewhat bastardized due to the fact it is made with a jar of Alfredo sauce and a jar of spaghetti sauce...but I'll tell you! It is out of this world!!!
I wanted to find an authentic recipe and to my surprise, I found that it is really made with Vodka. I found the following recipe on Pioneer Woman's blog. I figured if it had vodka in couldn't be half bad. Instead of serving this over regular old pasta, we served it over tortellini's. THAT was a good call!
Pasta alla Vodka:
1 medium onion, chopped finely
2 to 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
3/4 to 1 cup vodka
1 can tomato puree
1 cup heavy cream
Pinch of red pepper flakes
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 pound pasta
1 cup grate Parmesan cheese
Cook pasta according to package directions, being careful not to overcook. In a large skillet over medium heat, add olive oil and butter. When butter is melted, add in chopped onions and garlic. Stir and allow to cook for two minutes. Pour in vodka. Stir and cook for three minutes. Add in tomato puree and stir. Reduce heat to low and stir in cream. Allow to simmer, being careful not to overheat. Stir in red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, and Parmesan cheese. Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of pasta water in case sauce is too thick. Add cooked pasta to the sauce, tossing to combine. Splash in a little water if it needs it. Stir in Parmesan cheese. Pour mixture into large serving bowl.

Eat it out of the serving bowl. Faint. Repeat as needed.
I was pretty optimistic about this one, especially after reading the last line of the recipe, "Eat it out of the serving bowl. Faint. Repeat as needed." Yeah, I don't think I would go that far. It was a good recipe, but the only chunk factor in it came from the onions. It was lacking in some way. I think next time I will puree my own tomatoes and leave some of them chunky to counter balance the onions.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Stay at Home much time for cooking!

Alex and I are getting settled in our new digs. We really like the house and LOVE the neighborhood. We actually have deer that come into our backyard! Check it out!These guys come in the evening to feast on our neighbors garden. They are making me think twice about planting a garden next spring...Hopefully our dogs can keep them at bay. LOL!

As a result of giving birth and moving...I have become a stay-at-home mom. I will wait for the laughing to subside. Yes, for those who know me, this is pretty comical. I have always been the career, working girl with ambitions that would take me to the moon and back...and now I stay at home and make my husbands lunch in the morning. An added bonus to the stay-at-home mom thing is I get more time to cook! WHOOHOO!!!! Each week I am scouring the net in search of new fun recipes with the full intent of posting all our yummy meals here. I have to tell you all...the reason I started this blog was so I could show off to my father the new dishes I was cooking. He loves to cook and we like to call each other and brag about the good stuff we make. Now that we live far away...we need it even more.

O.K., let's get past all the nostalgia and get to cooking! I was searching out chicken recipes because I got a raging deal on chicken breasts at Safeway and scored this recipe from Tarts and Calories.

Roasted Chicken and Corn Chowder:
2 cups shredded roasted chicken - instead of purchasing a rotisserie chicken, I baked my chicken breasts in the oven at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes.
1 red pepper, diced
1 potato, diced
2 strips bacon, sliced in 1-inch pieces
1 tsp dried thyme
3 cups frozen corn
3 cups chicken stock
2 cups milk
1 tbsp Tabasco
2 limes

Cilantro for garnish

a large stock pot, fry the bacon until crispy and the fat renders out. Scoop out the bacon and set aside on a paper towel lined plate. Into the pot of yummy, yummy bacon fat, add the potatoes, pepper and corn. Cook for five minutes and add in the stock, milk, thyme and Tabasco sauce. Bring to a boil and lower heat to a simmer. Let simmer for 10 minutes until potatoes are tender. Using an immersion blender, puree the mixture. I left it a little chunky in this case, but it's up to you how smooth you'd like it. If you don't own an immersion blender, use a regular one and just puree half of it, if you want a rustic texture.

Then toss in the chicken, bacon pieces and the juice of one lime. Season with desired amount of salt. Garnish bowl with another squeeze of lime and some cilantro. I added a little bit of white onion and garlic to this recipe...because lets face it...what isn't made better with a little onion and garlic? I also left out the thyme because I thought we had some and realized too late that we didn't. I made Alex do my grocery shopping this week and he scored me nice thick pieces of bacon...this recipe is worth making just to smell the bacon cooking in the pan. Oh goodness!!!! I was going to forgo using the immersion blender on half the soup, but when I added everything it needed something to thicken it up, so I gave in. It turned out pretty good.

So the stove top in the house that Alex and I purchased has one temperature...high! It doesn't matter what you set the temperature to it always cooks it at high. I set the temperature to below medium and went to change Kate's diaper and came back to a boiling pan that was almost overflowing. YIKES! I can't wait to get our new gas stove!

Overall, I think this was a decent recipe. Alex told me more bacon would make it better. :) Next time I try this one I am going to play with it a little.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Going Away...Party!

Sheesh. I have been neglecting my blog in a big way! Not because I haven't been posting stuff...but because I have been cooking and taking pictures and NOT posting them. Shame on me! That is what having a kid and moving out of state will do to a girl.

As I mentioned in my last post Alex and I are...well, at this point...have moved to Colorado. For our last weekend in our house in Utah, we threw a going away party so we could hang out with all our friends one last time. For the occasion I made my favorite, easy, pasta salad. I made up this recipe several summers back when I was trying to think of a side dish to bring to a BBQ. This pasta salad has been a hit ever since.

Sarah's Kick Ass Pasta Salad: note - this is the doubled recipe
2 boxes colorful pasta
2 cans chicken - I prefer to use Costco's Kirkland brand
2 cans artichoke hearts
1 can olives, chopped
2 red peppers, chopped
1 small red onion, chopped
2 packages Italian dressing seasoning
1/3 cup mayo
1/4 cup olive oil
Cook pasta according to directions on box and set aside. Combine chicken, artichoke hearts, olives, peppers and onion together in a bowl. In a separate smaller bowl, combine Italian dressing, mayo and olive oil. Add mayo mix to other ingredients. Toss until all ingredients are covered with the dressing mixture.
This recipe is doubled and makes a TON! The salad was a huge hit at our going away party. It is perfect for a large gathering and is just as good as a main course.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

I killed BBQ Beef Brisket

Alex and I are relocating to Colorado so we have been trying to clean all the food out of our freezer. I pulled out a beef brisket we got from Costco a couple of weeks ago and found a pretty decent recipe at for BBQ beef brisket. It looked easy enough...but I managed to kill it. I blame it on the vague instructions in the recipe.

BBQ Beef Brisket:
4 pounds beef brisket
salt to taste
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup barbecue sauce - I used Famous Dave's BBQ sauce.
1 cup water - I used beer because of the suggestion from the other users.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (160 degrees).

Sprinkle both sides of brisket with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
Place in a large covered roasting pan.
Cook covered with no water at 325 degrees F (160 degrees C) allowing 1 hour per pound.
Before last hour of cooking, remove brisket and slice.
Return slices to pan and add barbecue sauce mixed with water. Cover meat with sauce, cover, and cook 1 hour longer.
I don't like recipes that tell you how long to cook the meat based on the weight of the piece of meat you are using. Because we purchased the meat at Costco we had repackaged it from the original packaging. As a result, I didn't know exactly how much meat I was working with. I cooked the meat for too long and charred the outside. UG! Fortunately, it was still edible.
I definitely suggest trying out this recipe. It is KILLER! Word to the wise...know the weight of the meat you are using!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Cooking After Baby

On July 7th, 2009 I delivered our daughter Kate. WOW! Has life changed. I still LOVE to cook, but haven't had much time to do it now that Kate has arrived.

Being a mother takes a lot of time and energy. I did manage to cook up my first meal (besides peanut butter and jelly sandwiches) this last week. Alex and I make this dish a lot with many variations. It has become a quick and easy favorite.

Pasta with Spicy Italian Sausage and Peppers:
1 pound Pasta - any kind that suits your fancy
1 pound precooked Spicy Italian Sausage
2 Red Peppers, sliced lengthwise
1/2 White Onion
2 Cloves Garlic, minced
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese
2 tablespoons Olive Oil for cooking

Cook pasta according to instructions on package. Cut precooked spicy Italian sausage into 1/2 inch wedges and set aside. Heat olive oil in pan and add onion. Cook until onion is still white, but on the verge of turning translucent. Add garlic and red peppers. I wait to add the garlic until this point because I am the QUEEN of burning garlic in dishes like this. Cook until peppers are soft, but not falling apart. Add sausage wedges and cook until they are warmed through. Prior to serving, add Parmesan cheese to the sausage/pepper mix. Serve hot over cooked pasta.
There are seriously a ton of different ways you can do this. You can add the past to the sausage/pepper mix with a 1/2 cup of the cooking water to create a little bit of a sauce. You can also use beef stock instead of the pasta water or you can leave out the water all together like we did this time. This is a really EASY and fast dish for those lazy cooking nights.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Salmon and Couscous...who knew?

When I was growing up my dad got on a couscous kick and it totally creeped me out. It looked so grainy. No part of it appealed to me. As I got older and saw it more in cafes and restaurants I always remembered my dad eating it by the pan load. UG!

A month or two ago Alex brought some couscous home and told me we had to try it. I was pretty reluctant, but agreed. Surprise, surprise it was pretty dang good. Tonight we were wrangling for ideas of what to make. I wanted to BBQ and Alex wanted couscous. So we compromised. I got online and searched Salmon and Couscous and picked the first recipe that came so happened to be a Food Network recipe by Bobby Deen of all people. Yes, his mother is Paula Deen, who is hell bent on giving everyone heart disease. Who would have thought he would be capable or allowed to create such a healthy recipe.

Salmon and Couscous:
Olive oil
4 (4-ounce) pieces salmon

The recipe calls to bake the salmon at 350F putting the lime juice and olive oil on top, but we grilled it and drizzled the lime juice over the top after it was done cooking.

2 1/4 cups water or chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons butter
10 ounces couscous
1 cup diced tomatoes - we used canned tomatoes rather than fresh
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup green onions

Combine water or chicken stock, salt and butter in a saucepan, over medium heat and bring to a boil. Stir in couscous. Add diced tomatoes, crumbled feta, and green onions. Remove from heat, cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Uncover, fluff with a fork, and serve hot or cold.

We also added pitted kalamata olives to the couscous and it was FABULOUS!

Alex wasn't so keen on the idea of the feta so I left it out until I was plating up my one picture is with feta and the other is without. :)

This is a GREAT light recipe. The additional ingredients in the couscous add some serious flavor to this dish. I usually like my salmon with a little tarter sauce....and even went as far to make some up...but didn't use it with this dish because the couscous was so AWESOME! Take the leap...try it out!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Thai Mango Rice!!!

Alex and I had dinner with some friends at a FABULOUS Thai restaurant called Sawadee in downtown Salt Lake. Our friends, Tom and Kortney introduced us to this place and consequently introduced us to the dish in this post. Each couple decided order the Thai Mango Sticky Rice to go. Alex and I didn't get around to eating our desert for two days. By that point the rice had sucked up all the 'Sweetness' but we decided we LOVED the desert!

I decided to search out a recipe online so we could have Thai Mango Rice any time. I found a GREAT recipe for Thai Mango Sticky Rice on ( Alex didn't want to make a special trip to the Thai food store down the street so we made it with regular minute rice. NOT BAD AT ALL!!!! If you want to find the original recipe, check out the link. This is the recipe I made.

Thai Mango Rice:
2 cups Minute Rice
1 3/4 cups water
1-2 ripe mangoes, cut into bite-size pieces
1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 can good-quality coconut milk
1/4 tsp. + pinch of salt
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. cornstarch or arrowroot powder dissolved in 2 Tbsp. water
Make the Minute rice as directed on the box, but instead of using two cups of water with the 2 cups of rice use 1 3/4 cup water and 1/4 cup of coconut milk and add 1 Tbsp. brown sugar.
Warm the rest of the can of coconut milk with 1/4 cup sugar, a pinch of salt, and 1 tsp. vanilla flavoring over medium heat (5 minutes).

Add cornstarch (dissolved in the water) to the sauce and stir to thicken it slightly. As it thickens, turn down heat to low. When thickened, remove from heat. Be careful not to boil the coconut milk.
The original recipe has two suggestions for serving this rice, but I mixed the sauce with the rice and stirred them together until completely mixed. I topped the rice with fresh mangoes cut into small bite sized pieces.
This recipe KICKS ASS and totally resembles the flavor of the Thai Mango Sticky Rice we ordered at Sawadee. Using the minute rice didn't change the dish much...but I can't call it 'Sticky Rice' as a result. :)
I hope you make this over and over again like Alex and I will be doing!!!!!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

MINI Corn Dogs

Oh yeah! I don't care who you secretly think corn dogs are the bomb! I LOVE corn dogs, but they pack on the fat like nobody's business. I scored a TOTALLY sweet recipe for Bakes Mini Corn Dogs from this month's issue of Food Network Magazine. I wasn't sure what to expect from these babies, but did they deliver! AND they are cute and small...well, the picture in the magazine makes them look cute and small. Mine turned out bulky and huge...but it was my first time and they tasted who cares what they looked like, right?

Baked Mini Corn Dogs:
1 cup reduced-fat milk
1 package active dry yeast
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1 cup fine yellow cornmeal
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting and kneading
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
9 reduced fat hot dogs, halved crosswise - I used 3 brats and cut them into 3-4 small pieces
1 large egg, beaten - I omitted this part
1 tablespoon black sesame seeds (optional) - I omitted this too

Warm the milk to about 100 F in a sauce pan; pour into a medium bowl. Spring in the yeast and left soften for about 2 minutes. Stir in the olive oil, brown sugar and corn meal with a wooden spoon. Add the flour, salt, baking soda and cayenne pepper; stir to make a sticky dough.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead, adding more flour if needed, until smooth but still slightly tacky, about 5 minutes. Shape the dough into a ball, place in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Meanwhile, insert a wooden stick or small skewer into each hot dog half about 1 inch deep; set aside. Preheat the oven to 450 F and lightly oil a large backing sheet. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface; divide into 18 pieces. With our palms, roll each piece into a 10-inch length. Wrap each piece around a hot dog half, tucking and pressing the edges to seal; place on the baking sheet. Brush the dough-wrapped dogs with the beaten egg; sprinkle with sesame seeds, if desired. Bake until golden brown, 15 minutes.

The Food Network magazine also had a suggestion for spicing up your condiments. I added wasabi paste to the mustard to give a FABULOUS kick. Try it out!