Saturday, June 30, 2012

gd likes

awesome but totally unnecessary wine thingie :)

cool artwork

fun earrings

unique kitchen spice rack

soooo, what do you like this week??

Thursday, June 28, 2012

thai chicken enchiladas

Okay, these are really fantastic.

I made them off a recommendation from a friend and followed the recipe (mostly) exactly.
(I did use half and half sweet chili sauce and hot chili sauce....but then again, I like spicier than most people.)

But, there was one kinda big problem.
I hate how flour tortillas get when they are made into enchiladas.
I feel that all enchiladas should be made with corn tortillas.
Flour tortillas get all mushy and soggy.

But, if you correct that problem, these are fantastic!

So, I suggest either using corn tortillas or just making the filling, up until the stuffing part, and using a lettuce wrap instead.
That would be perfect.

Otherwise, there is nothing wrong with this recipe.
For real.

Thai Chicken Enchiladas
serves 2-4
From How Sweet It Is
8 flour tortillas
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
1 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 sweet onion, chopped
1/3 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup shredded cabbage
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
4 green onions, sliced
1/3 cup chopped peanuts, plus a bit more for garnish
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro , plus a bit more for garnish
2 1/2 cups light coconut milk
1/3 cup plus 1/2 cup sweet chili sauce or half and half with hot chili sauce (this is what I did!)

Preheat oven to 350*.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add canola oil. Throw in onions, cabbage, carrots, garlic and 1/4 teaspoon salt, stirring to mix. Let cool until vegetables are soft, about 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add in chicken, green onions, peanuts, cilantro, remaining salt and pepper, tossing to coat, and let cook for 1-2 minutes. Add in 3/4 cup coconut milk and 1/3 cup chili sauce, mixing thoroughly to combine. Turn off heat.
Spray a 9 by 13" baking dish with nonstick spray. Whisk together remaining coconut milk and chili sauce. Pour about 1/2 a cup or so on the bottom of the dish. Slightly warm tortillas if desired to make them more pliable, then place a few spoonfuls of the chicken mixture in each, rolling up tightly and placing in the dish. Cover with remaining coconut milk and chili sauce mix. Take a spoon and cover every inch of the tortilla with the sauce, just to make sure it’s coated.
Bake for 20 minutes, then remove and top with additional peanuts and cilantro. Since sauce is not as thick as traditional enchilada sauce, when you remove them from the oven, spoon sauce from the bottom of the dish all over the tortillas. Additionally this can be done halfway through cooking too.  Enjoy!

Monday, June 25, 2012

a tale of two baby showers!

A little while back, my friend, Amy, and I decided to throw our mutual friend, Kristen, a baby shower!
So. Much. Fun.

The theme was classic Winnie the Pooh :)

(photos, courtesy AmyGrimmePhotography)

ham, brie, green apple on baguette

tomato and white cheddar with peppercorn mayo on white
grapefruit yogurt honey scones

spinach, walnut, strawberry salad

classic macaroni salad

and, of course! a almond-bee "hunny" cake!

We had a great time!!!

Then, a few weeks later, it was time for Kristen and I to throw Amy a shower! :)

The theme was a picnic and the idea was a biscuit and corn muffin "bar" helped yourself to different toppings for your "sandwich"!


roasted turkey breast, pepper jack cheese, cranberry chutney

tomato, bacon, and peppercorn mayo

banana, chocolate spread, peanut butter sauce

we also had a few other condiments out, like whipped honey cinnamon butter, browned butter spread, jam, honey, etc

pink fruit salad

 cake :)

We had a great time and I hope they had a good time too :)

Friday, June 22, 2012

arugula chickpea pesto

Okay, so this is pretty brilliant.
I love love pesto.
I love love arugula.
And arugula pesto isn't really new news.
But, arugula pesto can be kinda bitter.
That's why you add nuts.
But, I didn't have nuts on hand when I was making this.
(Do you ever start recipes without really thinking about all the ingredients.  
I do.
So, I added a can of drained, rinsed chickpeas and it turned out brilliantly.
Slightly nutty and really really mellowed out the arugula flavor.
It was so. good.
I froze a ton.
Might be my new favorite pesto.

Serve over pasta and peas, on bruschetta, stuffed in mushroom caps, over eggs....let me know what you come up with!

Arugula Chickpea Pesto
Makes about 2 cups.
Freezes beautifully! cubes or small snack ziplocks.3 garlic cloves, peeled 
6 ounces dry arugula (about 3 cups), preferably very young leaves
1 cup canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/3 cup olive oil
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste

Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender and pulse until very blended.  Serve over warm pasta and peas! :)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

peanut butter banana granola parfait

Do you like peanut butter?

Most people love this.
Or you like some variation.

Like peanut butter and chocolate.
Or peanut butter and honey.
Or bananas and chocolate.

I like peanut butter all by it's lonesome.
I don't really care for it with anything else.
Just the butter.
Or on some toast.
Possibly adorning a waffle.

Anyway, you are probably not like me and love peanut butter and bananas.
My husband does.
So, I whipped this creation up really quick one morning for him on his way out the door.
He thought it was divine.
I hope you do too!

Peanut Butter Banana Granola Parfaits
Makes....however many you'd like!

No recipe needed!

Get a dollop of Greek yogurt, add a couple scoops of peanut butter and a healthy drizzle of honey:

Whisk, whisk, whisk:

Spread a bit in the bottom of a glass:

Lay a few slices of banana on:

Top with granola:
(or your husband's favorite granola cereal...we are easy here, people.)

Repeat the layers and enjoy!

Friday, June 15, 2012

gd likes

adorable cookie cutters

teapot for one!

awesome diy roman shades...sooooo doing this for our new kitchen!

muddler/reamer set....for after the baby ;)

Soooo, what do you like this week???

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

roasted jalapeno and cilantro hummus

So, we all know what hummus is and how delicious it is and how much I love it, yes?
Instead of going on and on about how this is sooo different, (although it really is tasty!) I'm gonna share my revolutionary (?) idea.
Most people don't like hummus because of the strong tahini flavor.
So, instead of using tahini and olive oil, just use sesame oil!
That way you get some of that sesame flavor without the strength.

I know.
This probably isn't that revolutionary for most.
But, if you are one of the some who don't like tahini, this will change. your. world.

Oh, and if you are going to use my method, for a recipe as below, use about 1/4 cup sesame oil + a drizzle of olive oil to replace the tahini and olive oil listed.

Roasted Jalapeno and Cilantro Hummus
Makes about 2 cups.
2 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1/4 cup tahini
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 big or 2 small fresh garlic cloves
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2-3 jalapenos, roasted and cooled, and de-seeded, if you like things a bit milder
1/2 cilantro bunch, washed and mostly dried, de-stemmed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Pita chips, to serve

In a food processor, blend all ingredients until very very smooth.  Add water if too thick.  Transfer hummus to medium bowl. Cover and chill until ready to serve. Bring to room temperature before serving. Accompany with pita chips and enjoy! 

Sunday, June 10, 2012

i'm ashamed. (otherwise known as super crazy dense but healthy and yummy muffins)

Can I be completely honest with you??

I'm ashamed.

I actually have two confessions here.
1. I tore this recipe out of magazine at the doc's.  (I was on the hunt for a healthful toddler-friendly muffin.)
I baked these muffins, with a few alterations.
2. I lost said torn out recipe.


So, these muffins were pretty good - not the best, not the worst, in my opinion...the toddler, however, loved them - but I have no recipe for you :(

I'm ashamed.

But, here's some similar recipes that seem to be winners!

soooo, (judging by my impeccable *cough cough* photography skills) we started off with a combo of whole wheat and buckwheat flours, and a mix of spices...

then we added some goop.  which I seem to remember had pureed strawberries and bananas in it, for sweetness, as there was no added sugar....

then, I believe, we mixed.

scoop into pans.

and bake?
tee hee.

the end.
promise it won't happen again.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

toasted coconut ice cream


We are in TEXAS right now!!!
Woohoo for family roadtrips to see family!!!

In reality, we are in between moves from Camp Lejeune, NC to Quantico, VA and wanted some non-living-out-of-a-box downtime.
So, we decided that three weeks of living-out-of-a-suitcase would be better ;)

Ok, I digress.
So, we are gone from Eastern North Carolina but I still miss a few things hardly anything.
But, one of those "hardly"s was this super cool little ice cream shop in downtown Wilmington.

You can smell the waffle cones baking from two blocks away.


Their toasted coconut ice cream was one of my faves and I tried to recreate it here.
Not perfect - this one is waaaaaay richer (not for the swimsuit figure, I'm afraid) - but it'll do.
Until I try a new recipe :)

Toasted Coconut Ice Cream
Makes a quart or two.
8 egg yolks
2/3 cup sugar
3 cups heavy cream
3 cups whole milk
2 cups cream of coconut
Shredded coconut, toasted

Put the yolks in a large, heavy saucepan. Whisk in the sugar until it’s well blended. Stir in the cream and milk. Cook over medium heat, stirring almost continuously, until the mixture barely starts to thicken but don’t let it boil!  It should be around 170-175*, if you are using a candy thermometer. Mix in the cream of coconut. Pour the mixture into a large bowl and refrigerate until it’s chilled, about 6 hours or, preferably, overnight. Pour the cold custard into your ice cream maker and freeze, according to the instructions on your ice cream maker.  In the last 5 minutes, stir in the toasted coconut.
*Now, I didn't specify an amount because you can go crazy here or just put a scarce amount in to get the chewy texture.  I usually go crazy.  But the flavor from the coconut cream is definitely enough so choose as you will!*
Scoop up and enjoy!

Monday, June 4, 2012

roasted tomato and black bean soup

Oh, yikes.
Another soup.

But, seriously, people, you don't understand my obsession with summer-tasting soup.
Soup. Is. So. Healthy.
Perfect for summer.
And, I'll say it again, another great excuse to turn down the a/c and put a sweatshirt on.

Roasted Tomato and Black Bean Soup
Serves 6-8.

7 medium tomatoes, quartered
1 large onion, cut into large pieces
3 cloves garlic, peeled
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
5 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (more to taste ;) )
1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream, for garnish (optional)
Avocado, diced, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 375*. Toss the tomatoes, onion and garlic with the oil, salt and pepper in a large bowl, then transfer to baking sheet. Roast until the garlic cloves have softened, the edges of the onions are browned, and the tomatoes have collapsed, 35-40 minutes, stirring once after the first 20 minutes. 

*Alternatively! I totally used this once, with fantastic and, dare we say, even easier results???*

Transfer the roasted vegetable mixture to a 4-quart saucepan. Add the broth, beans, cumin, chili powder and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and blend until smooth with an immersion blender or in batches in a regular blender. Stir in the hot sauce. Divide among your bowls and garnish with a dollop of sour cream, if using, and a sprinkle of avocado!  Enjoy :) 

Friday, June 1, 2012

gd likes

a gorgeous bag

a good pair of kitchen gloves so my nails don't chip!

a funky little bowl, like this, to put my rings in while I'm cooking

a chubby sous chef to take cutting boards out and practice his letters on, of course ;)

Soooo, what do you like???
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