Wednesday, February 29, 2012

quick easy breadsticks

these are SO good! and SO fast(for bread sticks) *from

3 c. flour (quickly sifted)
1 1/4- 1 1/2 t. salt
3 T. brown sugar
2 1/2 t. yeast
1 c. warm water
1/4 c. olive oil

mix all the dry ingredients and then add the wet and knead for 5 min.
roll out into a rectangle (about 10x12)
cut strips, twist them and put them on a sprayed cookie sheet.

Preheat oven to 375
Let rise for 20-30 min.
bake for 15 min. Once out of the oven brush with melted butter mixed with garlic powder, and Italian seasoning and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Tandori chicken kababs with peach chutney

I a recipe on budget bytes. After I cooked some of the chicken and realized why she said to let it marinade for about 6 hours or more. I only did it for 3ish. I needed something to go with it and the rice, so I made up this "chutney" or whatever it may be?!


2 chicken breasts(cut into long strips)
1/2 c. plain greek yogurt
1 med lemon juiced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 onion chopped
2 inches fresh ginger grated or chopped
1 T. garam masala
1/2 t. paprika
1/4 t. cayenne pepper (I didn't have this so just did crushed red pepper)
1 t. salt

Marinate for 6+ hours. weave the strips in and out on skewer and grill.

Peach chutney:

4-5 bottled peach halves
1 T. butter
1 big T. chopped onion
dashes of curry powder (to taste)
shake of crushed red pepper flakes
dash cinnamon (to taste)
1/2 - 1 t. agave (to taste)

put peaches in a food processor and pulse at chop for a few times.
Soften onions in butter add spices and then add the peaches let simmer for 10-15 min. stir and taste as you go.

Serve over scented rice; either plain batsmati/jasmin or :

1 cup batsmati rice
1 1/2 c chicken stock
1 T. butter
1 clove garlic minced
1/8 t. cumin
dashes cinnamon
1/2 fresh bay leaf (if you don't have fresh, use dried)

Heat butter and spices over med heat. Add dry rice to pot and brown for 2 min. Add chicken broth and bay leaf. bring to boil, then reduce to lowest setting and simmer for 20 min. remove from heat and let cool still covered for 10 min.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Alfajores (Whatever that is - Argentine recipe)

This is a recipe from Argentina. From reading the recipe and seeing the picture, it is obviously a sweet treat.

1 2/3 cups flour
2 1/2 cups corn starch (yes that's right)
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 cups butter or margarine
3/4 cup sugar
3 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp grated lemon rind (optional)

Mix dry ingredients together and set aside. In another bowl cream the
butter with the sugar and egg yolks. Add vanilla, then the milk. Add the
dry ingredients and lemon zest.

On a floured surface roll dough to about 1/4 inch thickness.
Cut into 3 inch or 4 inch circles.
Bake 15 min. in a 350 degree oven.

When cool, spread one side with Dulce de Leche (store bought, or made at
home) and place two cookies together to make a sandwich. Spread dulce de
leche around the outside and roll edges in coconut.

To make Dulce de Leche
Cover an unopened can of sweetened condensed milk completely with water in a
pan. Boil for 3-5 hours. Cool completely before opening. (make sure the
can stays completely covered with water the entire cooking time to prevent
it from bursting.)

Friday, February 24, 2012

crock pot teriyaki chicken

6 chicken thighs

6 T. Sake
12 T. Soy sauce
2 T. water
1/2 - 1 T. ginger (minced)
1/2 - 1 T. Garlic (minced)
a few shakes crushed red pepper flakes
2 T. Sugar

Mix and add to chicken thighs in the crock pot. Cook for 6-8 hours. I wouldn't go any shorter because the flavor needs to get into the chicken and to get tender too!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

30 Minute Rolls

Ok so I was really sketchy when I read the title of this recipe, but I had to try it to see if it was
good. And it was!!! These rolls are so yummy! I still love our Yummy Roll recipe, but for the amount of time that these rolls take you just cant beat. They are so moist and dense and just good! I dont like airy rolls so these are so good!

1 C plus 2 Tbsp warm water

1/3 C oil

2 Tbsp yeast

1/4 C sugar

1 tsp salt

1 egg

3 1/2 C bread flour (I used just normal all purpose flour. Next time I want to try using some whole wheat flour as well)

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

In your mixer bowl combine the water, oil, yeast and sugar and allow it to rest for 15 minutes. Using your dough hook, mix in the salt, egg and flour. Knead with hook until will incorporated and dough is soft and smooth. (Just a few minutes)

Form dough into 12 balls and then place in a greased 9 x 13 pan and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Bake for 10 minutes at 400 degrees or until golden brown.

Recipe from Real Mom Kitchen

Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken

This recipe is an easy one! For when you need to just throw something in the crockpot quick this is nice. It was yummy too. We had it over rice with salad, and green beans. Next time I make it though I will probably want to use chicken thighs just because it is a moister meat and I like it better. Breasts were still good if thats all you have.

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (thighs would be fine too I used breasts and think thighs would be better)
Salt and pepper
1 cup honey(I did about 3/4 cup agave and a 1/4 cup honey)
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup diced onion( I did a little more than a 1/2 cup probably about 3/4 just so i could use my whole onion)
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (could also use olive oil or canola oil I used olive)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional - doesn't really add heat, just adds more flavor)
4 teaspoons cornstarch dissolved in 6 Tablespoons water
Sesame seeds

Season both sides of chicken with lightly with salt and pepper, put into crock pot. In a small bowl, combine honey, soy sauce, onion, ketchup, oil, garlic and pepper flakes. Pour over chicken. Cook on low for 3-4 hours or on high 1 1/2 – 2 1/2 hours, or just until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken from crock pot, leave sauce. Dissolve 4 teaspoons of cornstarch in 6 tablespoons of water and pour into crock pot. Stir to combine with sauce. Replace lid and cook sauce on high for ten more minutes or until slightly thickened. Cut chicken into bite size pieces, then return to pot and toss with sauce before serving. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve over rice or noodles.

*You can also sprinkle more red pepper flakes on top if you want more heat.

Chocolate Chunk Peanut Butter Swirl Fudgy Cookies

Ok So dont get scared by the name...its pretty intense. But if you are obsessed with peanut butter chocolate combinations like I am then you will love these cookies! I think they are sooo yummy!

Recipe found via Picky Palate

1 cup creamy peanut butter

2 sticks softened butter

1 cup granulated sugar( I did a half cup)

3/4 cup packed light brown sugar

2 large eggs

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

2 cups good quality chocolate chunks( I did NOT do this I thought that was way too much chocolate so I just eyeballed how much I wanted as I stirred it in.

1 cup cocoa powder

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat liner.

2. Place peanut butter into the freezer until firm, about 30 minutes.

3. In a stand or electric mixer, beat butter and sugars until well combined. Add eggs and vanilla, beating until well combined.

4. Place flour, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. Add to wet ingredients along with cocoa powder, and chocolate chunks, slowly mixing until just combined. Drop dollops of frozen peanut butter into dough and turn mixer on for just a few turns of the mixer to get swirls of peanut butter through the dough. With a medium cookie scoop, scoop dough onto prepared baking sheet, about 1 inch apart from each other. Bake for 14 to 16 minutes, until cooked through. Let cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Serve with milk.

Makes 3 dozen cookies

Friday, February 10, 2012

Cafe Rio-Style Sweet Pork Salad/Burritos

This is a recipe from my friend's blog, A Bountiful Kitchen by Si Foster, so enjoy!

To Build a Cafe Rio style Sweet Pork salad:
print instructions/grocery list

Cafe Rio style Sweet Pork- find it here
Cafe Rio style Black Beans-find it here
Mexican Rice with Cilantro Dressing - find it here
Cafe Rio style Cilantro Dressing- find it here
Pico de Gallo - find it here
Our favorite Chunky Guacamole- find it here

Other items you will need/want to make a Cafe Rio style salad:
Romaine lettuce, washed and chopped
Cheese, Mexican blend and/or Cotija (Mexican cheese) for sprinkling on top, if desired
Flour Tortillas, we like the type found in Costco in the refrigerated section, grill for a few minutes on each side at home, or you may use grilled corn or regular grocery store flour tortillas, warmed
corn tortillas and vegetable oil- cut the corn tortillas into strips, fry over medium high heat, drain on paper towels, sprinkle with salt
Sour cream for topping salad
Fresh cilantro to top salad
lime slices, to top each salad
8 or 9" disposable foil tins found in baking section of grocery or the dollar store, or plates work too

Place all items on serving table in this order:
Tins or plates, tortillas, beans, rice, meat, lettuce, cheese, pico, guacamole, dressing, sour cream, tortilla strips, cilantro and lime slices.

For roasting meat:
13.5 lb Pork Shoulder* (yield approx 6 1/2 lbs cooked, fat removed, shredded pork)
2 teaspoon onion salt
fresh ground pepper
3 cloves garlic, chopped fine or crushed
1 can or approx 12 oz Coke or Dr. Pepper, not Diet (see reader comment below by Bonnie)

For sauce after roasting:
3- 4 oz cans diced (mild to medium) green chilies
1-28 oz can red enchilada sauce
2 cups light brown sugar
2 cans or 24 oz Coke or Dr. Pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place rack in bottom third of oven.
If making a full recipe and using a piece of meat larger than 6 lbs, cut the meat into at least two or more pieces to insure meat will be cooked through.
Season the pork with onion salt and ground pepper on all sides. Rub the top of the pork with crushed garlic cloves.
Place the pork in a large heavy roasting pan or crock pot. Pour Coke around the sides of roast.
Cover tightly with foil, so no steam escapes. Roast at 350 for 2 1/2 hours. Do not open oven. Turn oven to 200 roast for 2 more hours. Alternately, Place the pork into two large crock pots. Follow directions, except cook on low for about 10-12 hours.
After roasting, remove meat. Let cool for about 15 minutes, or cool enough to handle. Pull meat apart with hands, removing any visible fat remaining on meat. Discard fat and drain remaining liquid from pan.
Place meat back into roasting pan, shred with forks.
Prepare sauce by placing green chilies, enchilada sauce and brown sugar into a blender. Blend until smooth. Add the Coke, stir with spoon. Pour the sauce over the meat, and heat the meat again before serving. Do not stir too much, this makes the meat a mushy mess. Visualize the icky barbecued meat in the frozen section at the grocery. I prefer to pour sauce on top and leave the meat alone :) Using tongs helps tremendously.
Yield: about 35 servings.

-*Important: Make sure to buy Pork Shoulder or Pork (Boston) Butt. Pork Roast or Pork Loin does not have enough fat to produce a product that will shred properly. I like Pork Shoulder best for this recipe. A large Pork Shoulder can be found at Costco for approximately $2.00 per pound.
-This recipe may also be used as a taco filling or for burritos.
-If preparing ahead, follow directions until meat has been shredded. Refrigerate or freeze meat at this point. When ready to serve, prepare sauce and pour over meat. Heat up in oven or on stove top at low heat.
-This recipe freezes well. When I have leftovers, I freeze the meat and drain off the sauce. When I want to use the frozen meat, I let it thaw in the fridge overnight; then place the meat in a pan on top of the stove. I make fresh sauce but only prepare 1/3 of the recipe above.
-If the sauce is too thick for your liking, you may add water, 1/4 cup at a time.
-If you are looking for a recipe that is scaled down to 6 servings, read this post at Family Favorite Recipes. The recipes are a bit different than mine, but the quantities are smaller for the pork. Fam Fav Recipes also does a great job of thoroughly explaining the assembly process in making the salad.

Cafe Rio Style Black Beans
adapted from
print recipe

2-15 oz cans black beans, (drain one can, don't drain the other)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons cumin
3 tablespoons olive oil
1-11.5 oz can tomato juice
salt ( kosher or sea salt) and pepper to taste
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

In a non stick pan, cook garlic, cumin and olive oil over medium heat until fragrance is released, about one minute. Be careful not to burn garlic.
Add beans, cook down for about 5 minutes until some of the liquid from the beans is absorbed and evaporated. Add can of tomato juice and seasoning to taste.
Stir in chopped cilantro when ready to serve.
Yield 8 servings

Cafe Rio Style Beans for 50
Si and Mel, A Bountiful Kitchen

1/2 cup olive oil
12 cloves garlic, about 1/3 cup chopped garlic
1/4 cup ground cumin
12-15 oz cans of black beans ( drain 6 cans, do not drain 6 cans)
60-70 oz tomato juice (about 1 1/2 46 oz. cans)
2 bunches fresh cilantro, stems removed and chopped
Salt to taste about 1-2 tablespoons

Place oil in large pot. Add garlic and cumin and continue to cook over medium heat until fragrance is released, about one to two minutes. Add black beans, tomato juice and fresh cilantro. Cook until mixture
is heated through on medium heat, about 20 minutes. When mixture has cooked about 30 minutes, turn off heat and add chopped cilantro. Cool and store in refrigerator until ready to serve. When ready to serve, heat slowly on medium heat, stirring gently to avoid burning beans at bottom of pan. Add more tomato juice if needed.
This may be made and stored up to five days before serving.

Tips-If you are interested in cooking black beans from the dry bean stage, I Dare You to Eat It has an excellent tutorial.

Mexican Rice with Cilantro Dressing
printable recipe


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large white or yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 small can chopped green chilies, mild
2 cups long grain white rice
3 1/2 cups chicken broth without MSG
salt to taste (I used about 3/4 teaspoon)
1/2 to 3/4 cup Cilantro Dressing

Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and green chilies. Cook until onion is soft, about 5-10 minutes over medium heat. Mix in rice, stir about 2 minutes. Mix in broth. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and cook until rice is tender and broth absorbed, about 15 minutes. Turn off heat and let rice sit, covered for 5 minutes. Transfer rice to serving platter or bowl. Let rice sit for about 5 more minutes to cool slightly. Pour dressing over rice, tossing gently together. Season with salt and pepper. Can be prepared ahead. Let stand at room temperature.

Cilantro Dressing:
1 1/4 cups packed chopped cilantro (about 1 small bunch)
3/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon minced seeded Serrano chile

Combine all dressing ingredients in blender or food processor, blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Can be made one day ahead. Chill.

What's a Cafe Rio salad without the dressing? While other copycat recipes use Ranch packets, this recipe is all home made. Tomatillos are found in the refrigerated section of your produce department. You're going to love this.

Cafe Rio Style Creamy Tomatillo Salad Dressing
A Bountiful Kitchen
print recipe

2 cups mayonnaise (not light)
2 cups sour cream
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, washed, stems removed
3 tomatillos, quartered (remove outer paper-like skin)
2 stems green onion, green parts
1 garlic clove
1 jalapeno, seeded
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)
salt to taste, about 1 teaspoon

Place all ingredients in a blender or use a hand immersion blender and blend until smooth.
Store in refrigerator.
Yield, about 20 servings.
Keeps in fridge for about 10 days.

Pico de Gallo

4 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 small onion, about 1 cup chopped, white or sweet variety
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 clove garlic, optional
kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients in a medium size bowl.
Best if made at least one hour before serving.
Serve at room temperature.

Mary Mac's Chunky Guac

2-3 avocados, not too ripe-peeled, pitted and chunked
1/2- 1 cup chopped red onion
1 large fresh tomato, chunked
1/3-1/2 bunch of cilantro, chopped
1-2 limes, juiced
1 clove fresh garlic, chopped (optional)
Kosher salt to taste
fresh ground pepper

Place the chopped avocados in a bowl. Slightly mash a few of the avocado pieces. Add the rest of the ingredients. Mix together and serve immediately with tortilla chips.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

lemon strawberry trifle

Lemon Curd: can be made up to a day ahead

* 8 large eggs
* 1 1/2 cup sugar ( I would do super fine..even blend in blender. mine tasted great but a bit gritty)
* 2 /3 cup fresh lemon juice
* 2 sticks butter, room temperature
* 2 tablespoon grated lemon peel

In a saucepan (not over heat yet) whisk eggs. add sugar and lemon juice and wisk. add butter and zest and stir over medium heat until it thickens to pudding like thickness. about 10 min. transfer to a bowl and let chill. over night is best

Read More

Pound cake: you can do this a day ahead
* 1 stick butter
* 1 cups sugar
* 1/2 cup sour cream
* 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
* dash of salt
* 3 large eggs
* 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

preheat oven to 325

Cream together butter and sugar. add sour cream. in separate bowl sift dry ingredients. alternate dry ingredients and egg. (one at a time) then add vanilla with last egg.

oil and flour a bread pan. pour batter in. cook for about 45 min to 1 hour. until toothpick comes out clean.

Strawberries; sliced

Whipped cream; whipped and sweetened

To assemble: layer all 4 parts about 1-2 hours before you serve. I like to squeeze a bit of fresh lemon juice on each cake layer. on the top have whipped cream strawberries and lemon zest.

hassleback potatoes

Such a fun way to eat a potato! I called them slinky potatoes and my girls thought that was hilarious. they loved to pull each piece off and eat it!

russet potatoes (however many you want)
olive oil
garlic powder

preheat oven to 425.

slice each potato into strips but don't cut all the way through the potato! (tip: it helped to put a wooden spoon on the back side of the potato while I cut to stop the knife from cutting all the way through) place the potato on a foil lined cookie sheet. drizzle with olive oil and generously season with salt, pepper and a little garlic powder. place tiny pats of butter inbetween a few of the layers.

Bake for 40 min. (should be crispy on outside and fork tender on inside)