Sunday, March 25, 2012

Thai Coconut Soup

I am big fan of all sorts of Asian cuisine, especially Thai!  I love the creamy coconut and lemongrass flavors found in so many dishes.  One of my favorites has always been Tom Kha Gai, a soup made of broth, lemongrass, ginger, mushrooms and coconut milk.  I know I could have easily tracked down all of the ingredients for the authentic recipe, but I was sooo hungry for this soup the other day, I decided to make due with the ingredients that I already had in the kitchen.  I have to say, for having only half of the real ingredients, I was able to mimic the real thing pretty well!

Thai Coconut Soup
 Here's what you'll need:

Thai Coconut Soup
5 cups water
6 tablespoons chicken flavored broth base (I use Orrington Farms)
2 medium or 1 large raw chicken breasts, about 12oz total
8 oz sliced mushrooms
1 - 14oz can coconut milk
1 Tbl  lime juice
1 1/2 Tbl lemon juice
1/4 tsp dried red pepper flakes
3 green onions, diced
1 cup jasmine rice, cooked (optional)

Happy Sunday Funday!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Fresh Strawberry "Short" Cake

Helllooooo sweet yummies!!
Are you looking for a fresh cake to wow your loved one on Valentine's Day, or 'just because'?  If so, this cake is for you.  I made this fresh strawberry cake last weekend.

Fresh Strawberry "Short" Cake

I don't have all that much experience with making cakes from scratch, so I had no clue how this cupcake recipe would turn out at as a cake.  I went with my gut that if box cake recipes can be cupcakes, then this cupcake recipe could be a cake!!! I hoped for the best, tasted the raw batter and became very excited because the batter tasted just like Bisquick shortcakes with strawberries and millk!!  As a baked cake, it still tastes very similar.

In the photo above, please note that I made 2 cakes and a double batch of frosting.  I chose not to double the cake recipe, but make to make two separate batches because I remembered reading once that you shouldn't double your baking recipes because it often won't work out the same as a single batch.  Does anyone know why that is? 

If you're a layer cake connoisseur, you'll notice that this cake is not perfect; the bottom layer is thinner than the top layer.  I'm pretty sure the cakes didn't turn out exact because I'm impatient and didn't wait for my eggs and milk to get to room temperature for the first cake, but the second, fluffier cake,  I did.

In the end, I felt that the flavor of the cake is incredible.  It was a bit dense for my preference, but I'm assuming that was because I didn't exactly follow the original directions.  I am considering the next time I make this cake, I'll either add 1/4 teaspoon  baking soda, or patiently wait for my ingredients to reach room temperature.  Probably the latter.

So, with that, here's what you'll need:
fresh strawberries
all-purpose flour
baking powder
coarse salt
pure vanilla extract
unsalted butter
large eggs
confectioner's sugar

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Quick Beer Bread

Need a hearty bread to make with a warm, comforting stew this Fall?  Try a quick beer bread!!

Beer bread is commonly known as "3-ingredient" beer bread, but mine is not.  It could be, if I had some self-rising flour, but I don't; I made do by adding a leavening agent (baking powder).

Quick Beer Bread
Beer bread is soooo easy.  You can use any type of beer you like.  I used a Coors Banquet Beer because it's what I had in the house.  Wanna give it a go?  Here's what you'll need:

Quick Beer Bread
3 C flour**
3t baking powder**
1 1/2  t salt**
3 T sugar
12 oz beer (1 can)

**You can replace these ingredients with 3 cups self-rising flour if you have it in your pantry**

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix dry ingredients, add beer.
Combine well.
Bake in a bread pan for approximately 50 minutes.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Beef Barbacoa

Oh. My. Yum.  I looooove, love, love, love this Mexican style beef barbecue!!  Through slow cooking the beef with all the earthy seasonings, these bad boys are full in flavor, and in HEAT!

I'm a big fan of the beef barbacoa at Chipotle, so I just knew I had to try making it at home.  After perusing the internet for a few weeks hours, I decided to play with the flavors that most beef barbacoa recipes tend to have.  This is my second time making it, so I made a few slight changes to my liking (or to what I had in my kitchen!!)

Trust me when I say, YOU  MUST MAKE THESE NOW!!  
Beef Barbacoa (Source)
I found most recipes required you to slow cook your beef in a cast iron pot, turning once every hour.  I took my chances and cooked it in a slow cooker like a pot roast, and ta-da!!!  I served mine on a bed of rice and black beans with fire roasted tomatoes.
Beef Barbacoa
Yuh-um!  Here's what you'll need:

Beef Barbacoa
1/3 C Apple Cider Vinegar
4 T fresh lime juice
1 small yellow onion, peeled and quartered
6 cloves garlic, peeled
3T + 1t cumin
2t oregano
1 1/2 t salt
1 t black pepper
3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
3-4 T canola oil
3 lbs beef roast (I used chuck)
2 cups chicken broth

Happy Sunday Monday Funday!!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Frangelico Cream

This neat, rich dessert is a favorite of mine.  I follow the recipe provided from an amazing restaurant called Tippecanoe Place.  I don't know why, but for some reason mine is even richer than theirs, even though it is their recipe.  It's deliciously rich.  I would recommend you serve it with a cup of black coffee after dinner...


Frangelico Cream

Frangelico Cream
1 1/2 cups superfine baker's sugar
3 egg yolks
1 t pure vanilla extract
24 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1 pint (16oz) heavy whipping cream

Beat the sugar, egg yolks and vanilla until light and fluffy.
(Save the egg whites for a healthy breakfast!)
Sugar + Yolks + Vanilla

Blend in softened cream cheese and Frangelico
Cream Cheese Mixture

In a separate bowl, beat whipping cream until stiff.
Fold whipping cream into the cream cheese mixture
Whipping Cream and Cream Cheese Mixture Before Folding
Spoon into dessert cups or martini glasses and chill for
3 or more hours.

Happy Sunday Funday!!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Butternut Squash Soup with Sweet Italian Sausage

Today was a simple Sunday Funday!  One of my best gal pals and fellow foodie, Kellie, sent me a picture of a butternut squash soup that she and I had been talking about for a couple weeks.  Like myself, Kellie has been trying new recipes with ingredients she doesn't usually cook with, and has been especially interested in soups, too!  (Must be the cold weather in these midwest states!!)

In previous discussions about soup recipes, Kel and I have been trying to come up with ways to thicken our soups without adding all the fat and calories.  I've pureed rice in soup, added a small amount of flour and lowfat milk, or simply pureed an entire soup.  In approaching this recipe, Kellie decided to completely eliminate the original recipe's request of heavy cream and just enjoy her soup with a thinner texture.  I haven't personally tried this soup, but if Kellie made it and raved about it's delicious flavors, I believe her!!  I can't wait to make this one myself!!

Kellie's Butternut Squash Soup with Sweet Italian Sausage

Butternut Squash Soup with Sweet Italian Sausage

1 large butternut squash, about 3 pounds, halved, seeds removed
2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 pound sweet Italian sausage, removed from casings
1 large onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage, plus 12 whole leaves
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
6 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
2 tablespoons butter

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Pumpkin Soup with (Turkey) Italian Sausage

I have officially made the best pumpkin soup!  I've never had another pumpkin soup, but this one is sooo incredibly delicious, I'm sure it's the best!  Problem is, we ate it all up before I had a chance to shoot a photo of it.  I intended to make the soup again today because I need pictures it was so delicious, but with the recent pumpkin shortage, I'm having a hard time find more pie pumpkins!  Luckily this recipe was adapted from A Mom Not a Pro, so here is a picture of her soup.  Mine looked identical, though the ingredients and methods were slightly altered by yours truly.

Pumpkin Soup with Turkey Italian Sausage (SOURCE)

I kid you not, this soup is fantastic.  I was shared this recipe with a friend and her husband; he loved it so much he said that if I opened a soup kitchen, he'd eat there every day (he's also had my homemade chicken noodle soup, which is coming soon).  Open a soup kitchen?  Gladly!!  Just provide the financial backing and the health insurance to replace my current job and I'M ON IT!  No seriously, someone please pay me to cook all day Just kidding!!

Here's what you'll need:
Pumpkin Soup with (Turkey) Italian Sausage
1 3-pound Pie Pumpkin
Yellow Onion
1 Golden Delicious Apple
Dried Sage
Chicken Stock
Fresh Romano cheese
Turkey Italian Sausage
Salt & Pepper

In the printable recipe you'll see that I have suggested using Jennie-O Hot Italian Turkey Sausage, casing removed.  I chose this because it's healthier than regular pork sausage, but also because the seasonings in the sausage transfer to the soup very well, providing a lot of heat and flavor.  In hindsight, the soup was also probably thick enough to omit the flour and milk to save calories.  So, use your best judgment when making this.
I was also surprised how hard it was to cut through the pie pumpkin, so if you have your mister around, take full advantage of his muscles if he is handy in the kitchen.

Happy Sunday Funday!!


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