Friday, January 9, 2009
I think sweets took up too much of my attention this holiday season. Now that it’s a new year, I’ve been trying to focus more on healthy, flavorful dishes. The kind I enjoy not only for their taste, but for my conscious. I can’t remember how I found this recipe, but I sure am glad I bookmarked it. Just as the first blogger says, the glaze is really incredible, and replicates the skin. This was a great mix of sweet & spicy. I kicked up the heat & added the full amount of chili powder, and used crushed red pepper flakes instead of ground red pepper, because it’s what I had. If you can’t handle heat, I suggest you tone it down a little. Mmm mmm good. The Boy said this one is a definite keeper. I even think it would be good to serve company. I served ours with brown rice, & a frozen veggie blend from Archer Farms (Target). They were the perfect sides!
I’m also submitting this to a blog event, Joelen’s Culinary Adventure’s Tasty Tools Measuring Tools. One measure tool I have is my Pampered Chef Measure-All. This is a great thing to have. I use it more often than one might think. For this meal alone, I used the liquid pouring end of it to measure the water for my rice, flipped it over to the dry ingredients side to measure the rice, and most importantly, the honey for the glaze in the recipe. This recipe calls for 6 Tbsp of honey. My first thought was, “Crap, how am I supposed to measure that much honey with my measly little measuring spoon? It will be a gloppy mess!” This Measure All has your standard cups & ounces, but also has markers for tablespoons! It has the thing you push & pull for sticky ingredients like mayo, peanut butter, honey, pumpkin, sour cream (all things I’ve used it for!). It made measuring the honey so easy, with much less mess than trying to use a measuring spoon!
*Photo from Pampered Chef website
Spicy Honey-Brushed Chicken Thighs
2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. ground red pepper (I used 1/4 tsp.)
8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
6 tbsp. honey
2 tsp. cider vinegar
Preheat broiler. Combine first 6 ingredients in a large bowl. Add chicken to bowl; toss to coat. Place chicken on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Broil chicken 5 minutes on each side.
Combine honey and vinegar in a small bowl, stirring well. Remove chicken from oven; brush 1/4 cup honey mixture on chicken. Broil 1 minute. Remove chicken from oven and turn over. Brush chicken with remaining honey mixture. Broil 1 additional minute or until chicken is done (ours took about 4-5 more minutes - check internal temperature with a meat thermometer to be sure). Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 2 chicken thighs)
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
My coworkers and I sometimes make fun of really long television show titles, well this is a really long title for a recipe, but oh man, it’s worth it! Like practically everyone else, I’m trying to trim down in the new year. I am going to be a bridesmaid on April 4th, and I want to look good in that dress! I was really excited when I saw Picky Palate‘s post on healthier recipes. It was just what I needed! I zeroed in on this recipe because the ingredients seemed really simple. I found the broccoli slaw & butter lettuce at our new Trader Joe’s. This recipe seemed easy to cook. I honestly can’t say whether or not it was easy because… (ladies & gentleman) THE BOY COOKED DINNER! He didn’t want to, he complained a little, but I really needed to go on a jog (in the rain too!) so he complied.
This is a super simple, fast, super tasty, & low calorie dinner. I highly recommend it! We found it sometimes necessary to double up on the lettuce leaves, because it can get a little messy to eat.
Weeknight Asian Turkey Lettuce Wraps
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 Cup finely chopped onion
1 lb ground turkey breast
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon garlic salt
1 12 oz bag of broccoli slaw
1 small can drained water chestnuts
½ Cup teriyaki sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
Approximately 15 butter lettuce leaves (you can also use iceberg lettuce leaves)
Place oil into a large 5 qt skillet or other large pan over medium heat. When hot, add onion and cook for 5 minutes to soften. Add ground turkey, salt, pepper and garlic salt. Brown and crumble until cooked through. Chop water chesnuts.
When turkey is cooked, stir in broccoli slaw, water chestnuts, teriyaki sauce and sesame oil. Cook for another 10-15 minutes or until heated through. Reduce heat to low until ready to serve. Serve spoonfuls inside lettuce leaves. Enjoy!
Saturday, January 3, 2009
I’ve been tagged! My good friend over at Liesl’s Confection Dissection has tagged me to share 7 interesting facts about myself. Quite frankly, I don’t know that there are 7 interesting things about me! But I’ll give it a shot.
1) For three years (2002-2004) I worked during the spring at a Prom/Pageant/Bridal shop. We arranged our dresses by size, and then by color. They were arranged in ROYGBIV (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet) order. I loved the way this looked to the eye, and ever since then I have been arranging my closet like that. The funny thing is, while working at this shop, we were required to wear black, and I didn’t own ANY black clothes. I had to go out and buy clothes specifically for work. Not long after that I went through a natural color phase, and wore a lot of tan/brown/green. Within the past year or so, I’ve been wearing LOTS of black & grey. So now, I have a closet of half black & gray, and half colors (arranged ROYBGIV of course!).
2) I’m currently dieting. 😛 I’m mainly counting calories, and trying to get back into working out & actually enjoying it. One reason is I am going to be a bridesmaid in my friend’s wedding April 3. The other reason is, I want to get back to where I feel better about myself!
3) My hometown does not have any stoplights or caution lights. There are lights at the railroad crossing, and that’s it! It’s teeny tiny.
4) I love pictures, and I love looking at pictures at other people’s houses, but I don’t really like decorating with pictures at my place. I have no way to explain this.
5) I have the coolest, most unique set of friends in the world! It just sucks, that we all live in different cities, (Nashville, Louisville, Lexington, Frankfort, and one in our hometown). I’m the furthest away, so I see everyone the least. 🙁
6) No one who is friends with me here in Nashville can believe it when I tell them I grew up on a farm. I’m SUCH a city girl now! I’ve ALWAYS dreamed of what city I would live in.
7) I love love love coupons. I clip them ALL the time. I clip them WAY more than I use them, but I love that I have them in case the opportunity arises.
For this I’ll tag 7 people, if you want to share 7 facts, go ahead, and if you don’t, no big deal! 😀 These are just great blogs, so that’s why I tagged them.
1. KMAYS over at Food all Puttanesca
2. Maris at In Good Taste
4. Dinner & Dessert
5. Cate at Cate’s Kitchen
6. Cook Like A Champion
7. And a Cookie for Dessert
And, because I couldn’t have a post without a shot of food, here’s a pic of my dad’s Hoppin’ John. It’s a traditional southern dish eaten on New Year’s Day. The black-eyed peas are supposed to signify money, to bring you wealth in the new year. There are many different variations on Hoppin’ John. While I don’t know my dad’s recipe, I do know it has sausage, rice, & black-eyed peas, and it’s REALLY good.
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
I’m a little bit of a wino. Back in July The Boy and I threw a picnic at the park nearby. He was busy concocting a very strong, very sweet, rum punch. I decided to do a lighter, refreshing sangria. I really wanted to do a white wine sangria. I’m pretty sure I found this recipe using the Food Blog Search. I was reminded of this recipe when a friend asked for it to make for New Year’s.
I adapted this recipe just a little to suit my tastes. The best part about this sangria, is how amazing the pears taste afterwards! All the fruit is great, but the pears were the best! If you can’t find white peaches, regular peaches work fine, but I really recommend the white ones. The best thing about this sangria is you can substitute other fruits. The second time I made this (the version in the picture) I didn’t have the strawberries or white peaches, but I had regular peaches & blueberries.
White Wine Sangria
1 cheap bottle of chardonnay, white zinfandel, or pinot grigio, sweet (I used pinot grigio)
1/2 liter tonic water (I used diet)
2 oz peach schnapps
1 cup strawberries, sliced
1 pear, cored and sliced (bosc or d’anjou work well)
1 white peach, sliced
1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
Add the sliced fruit, sugar and 2 cups of ice to large pitcher. Muddle with a muddler or the back of a big wooden spoon. You aren’t trying to make a fruit smoothie (and the presentation is much nicer if the fruit are shapely) so just try to get some of the fruit oils released.
Add the wine and schnapps. Cover and refrigerate until you’re ready to server. Add the tonic water and top the pitcher with more ice. Pour into tall glasses or wine goblets, letting some of the fruit fall into the glass.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
I made marshmallows back in the fall for a camping trip I was going on with friends. They were so amazingly yummy. Everyone loved them, and was asking me about them when I went home for Thanksgiving. Sadly I didn’t have any then. I knew I would have to make them for Christmas.
The first batch I made I put in peppermint extract, instead of vanilla, I also swirled them with food coloring and cut them with cookie cutters. I’m glad I only did one batch like that. I felt the 2 Tablespoons of peppermint was incredibly overpowering. So when I packaged those up to give to my coworkers, I only put 1 peppermint marshmallow in the goodie bags, and filled the rest with plain marshmallows. When I was making the plain marshmallows I decided to seek out a different marshmallow recipe to see if there was one I liked better. I’m really glad I did, because I found this recipe. I ended up sort of using a combination of the previous recipe, and this one, and I think I’ve found a keeper! I ended up making 3 batches of the plain ones! These are just oh, so good. They truly melt in your mouth.
.75-oz unflavored gelatin (3 envelopes of Knox gelatin)
1/2 cup cold water
2 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cups light corn syrup
1/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Line 13 x 9-inch pan with plastic wrap and lightly oil it. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup cold water. Soak for about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine sugar, corn syrup and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan over low heat until sugar has dissolved. Clip on candy thermometer and bring temperature to high. Cook syrup WITHOUT STIRRING until temperature reaches 244° (firm ball stage).
Immediately remove pan from heat. Using whisk attachment, turn mixer onto low, slowly pour the boiling mixture into the softened gelatin. Add salt, and turn mixer onto high; beat until mixture is very thick and white and has almost tripled in volume, about 12-15 minutes. Add in vanilla and beat until incorporated.
Using a lightly greased spatula (this part is very helpful!), pour the marshmallow into the prepared pan, and spread evenly. Take another piece of lightly oiled plastic wrap and press lightly on top of the marshmallow, creating a seal. Let mixture sit for a few hours, or overnight, until cooled and firmly set.
When you're ready to cut the marshmallow, on a smooth work surface (I used newspapers), flip the marshmallow pan over (so the plastic that was on top, is now on the bottom). Peel off the top layer of plastic. Grease a pizza cutter and cut marshmallows into squares. In a bowl combine equal parts cornstarch & powdered sugar. Toss the marshmallows in the mixture, and dust off excess powder. Eat & enjoy alone, or in s'mores or with hot cocoa!
Packaged up and ready to go!