Saturday, August 29, 2009

Rustic Apple Tarts

When I was in college, I brought a couple of my city friends to my small town for the weekend. They were amazed by the stars, by seeing a cow in person, the quiet and all the space and trees, including the apple trees in my parent's side yard. So we picked apples and made a homemade apple pie. Though I don't have apples from my parent's house, these tarts reminded me of the first time I made homemade pie crust.

Once I made the dough recipe, I split it into 8 equal balls to make mini tarts. Also, I only used 5 apples, 3 that I sauteed up and 2 that I sliced for the top.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Pesto Pork Chops

Though these pork chops are no where close to Asian food, the inspiration came from the Asian grocery store that I recently went to. I think that I was channeling by blogger buddy over at Budget Cooking Chef, because I just couldn't pass up the fresh basil. I got about 20+ basil leaves for 59 cents. Do you hear me? Fresh basil, for 59 cents!!! Usually about 5 leaves cost me 3 dollars! I was so excited, I just couldn't resist. By the way, I'm really not a fan of this picture, but 'it is what it is'...

Pesto Pork Chops
Thin cut pork chops
Fresh basil
1 garlic clove
1/4 c. walnuts
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper
1/2 c. Extra virgin olive oil
Ground red pepper

In food processor, blend basil, garlic, walnuts, lemon juice, salt, pepper, oil and red pepper. Marinade pork chops for at least 30 minutes. Broil pork chops for 5-6 minutes per side. ** I topped the pork chops with sauteed mushrooms.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Chicken Satay Noodles

As a child, every Saturday morning I would go grocery shopping with my grandma. I loved going to the grocery store with my grandma, helping her get all the things on her list. It was my time with just grandma. And I still love grocery shopping today. My current fav grocery store is an Asian supermarket about 15 minutes away from me. Now if only Grandma still paid for the groceries...

Chicken Satay Noodles
adapted from Bited-Sized Thai
1/2 pkg rice noodles
3 chicken breasts, butterflied
Matchstick carrots
5 scallions
bean sprouts

1 t. cinnamon
1 t. cumin
1/2 t. black pepper
1 T. brown sugar
1/4 c. oil
2 T. soy sauce
1 garlic clove, smashed
1 Thai chili, sliced

Satay Sauce:
1 T. oil
2 t. red curry paste
1/3 c. coconut milk
1/4 c. water
2 T. soy sauce
3 T. brown sugar
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Thai chili
1/4 c. peanuts, finely chopped

Soak noodles in cold water for 30 minutes. Mix marinade ingredients together in gallon ziploc bag, add chicken and let marinade for 30 minutes. In small saucepan, heat oil, add curry paste and mix together for about 30 seconds. Add the rest of ingredients, mix well and let simmer for 10-15 minutes, until slightly thickened. Remove chili from sauce. In large skillet, cook chicken 4 minutes per side, or until just done. Remove chicken, let cool then slice thinly. In same skillet, cook carrots and scallions for 5 minutes, until tender. At the same time, put noodles in salted boiling water for 5 minutes. Add satay sauce, sliced chicken and noodles. Mix well and top with bean sprouts.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Shrimp with Mango

This is another 'I don't want to go to the grocery store' meal. And it also sparked my boyfriend, Stephen's coworker to say in her adorable southern accent, "He is so spoiled." I didn't have to work on Friday, so Stephen asked me to make him lunch for work. So I looked through the fridge and cabinets to make something for my spoiled boy.

Shrimp with Mango
1 lb. shrimp
1 c. diced mango
1/2 onion, diced
2 T. oil
1 T. honey
2 t. soy sauce
2 t. red curry paste
1 t. fish sauce
1/2 c. cashews

Marinade shrimp with oil, honey, soy sauce, red curry paste and fish sauce for 10 minutes. Saute diced onion for 5 - 6 minutes. Add shrimp to the skillet, reserving marinade. Once shrimp is cooked through, add mango and cook for 3 minutes. Remove shrimp, mango and onion. Add marinade and let it simmer for 7-8 minutes, until is reduced and thickened. Add shrimp, mango and onion back to skillet, mix together and let shrimp warm back up. Serve with coconut rice.

Coconut rice
1 can coconut milk
1 2/3 c. instant rice
4 scallions, chopped
Bring coconut milk to boil. Season with salt and stir in rice and scallions. Cover and let sit until liquid is absorbed.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Lasagna Rolls

Six years ago, I moved to Dallas. My brother and his family moved here and convinced me to come with them. My first summer here, I lived with them and hung out with my 3 1/2 year old nephew, Luke, everyday. One night when I was putting him to bed, he looked at me and said, "Aunt Leah, you are my best buddy forever." So yes, 6 years later, I will still do anything for my best buddy. These lasagna rolls were specifically made for Luke.

Lasagna Rolls
Lasagna noodles, cooked
1 lb. sausage
1 sm. container ricotta
1 egg
2 T. dried Italian seasoning
Salt and pepper
2 c. shredded mozzarella

28 oz. tomato sauce
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 . Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper
2 t. dried basil
2 t. dried parsley
2 t. onion powder
2 t. dried oregano
1 t. dried marjoram

In pot, bring all sauce ingredients to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Cook sausage and drain off fat. Mix together sausage, ricotta, egg, seasonings and 1 cup of cheese. Lay out lasagna noodles and spread cheese mixture over 3/4 of noodle. Starting with the end of the noodle with cheese all the way to the end, roll each noodle up. In a casserole dish, spread a thin layer of sauce. Lay the lasagna rolls in dish, seam side down. Top each roll with sauce and remaining cheese. Cover with foil, bake in 350 degree oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 5-10 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Chicken Enchilada Lasagna

So, I had to go back to work today. Yes, I know if you are not a teacher like me, you have no sympathy for me at all. But let me just say, I was not a fan of my alarm clock this morning. I knew that going back to work this week would be rough, so I planned ahead. I made something with lots of leftovers so I wouldn't be tempted to eat out for dinner this week.

I used flour tortillas, because that's what I had at home. For the meat layer, I used shredded chicken, diced onion, black beans, corn, chili powder and cumin.

Enchilada Sauce
3 T. oil
1 T. flour
8 oz. tomato sauce
14.5 oz. chicken stock
1/4 c. chili powder
1 t. cumin
1 t. ground red pepper
1 t. garlic powder
1 t. dried oregano
Salt and pepper

In medium pot, heat oil. Add flour and mix until smooth. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Bring sauce to boil, reduce heat and let simmer for 25 minutes or until it has reduced to desired thickness.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Chocolate Bread

It’s been awhile since I have talked about how precious my boyfriend, Stephen is, so I figured we were due for a Stephen Story. At work the other day, we trained some teachers on how to use bread makers to incorporate literacy, math, science, etc. into their classrooms. So from the training, we had leftover chocolate bread, and I took some to Stephen with cream cheese frosting. Later, I received a text that said, “Um, can I order some of that bread with the thing in it…? It was the bomb…!” (The 'thing' was cream cheese frosting sandwiched between the bread) Ok, you may not think that was adorable, but I do.

Chocolate Bread
1 1/2 c. water
4 c. white bread flour
1/4 c. sugar
2 t. salt
1/2 c. chocolate chips
1 t. vanilla
1 egg
1/2 c. cocoa powder
3 t. active dry yeast

Put ingredients, in order from top to bottom in bread machine. Use white bread course.

Cream Cheese Frosting
16 oz. cream cheese, at room temp
1 stick butter, at room temp
1 box powdered sugar
1 t. vanilla

Cream together cream cheese and butter. With mixer on low speed, slowly add powdered sugar, and mix until incorporated. Add vanilla and mix well.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Old-Fashioned Chocolate Soda

When I was little, my grandpa made the best iced water. I know that sounds crazy, but I'm serious! My cousin, Annie and I have discussed this. I don't know what it was, but Grandpa's water was always better than any iced water we tried to make. I'm sure that it had something to do with a little girl thinking that everything her grandpa did was always the best. One of my favorite things that my grandpa made was a chocolate soda. Making this took me back to sitting at the kitchen table with my grandpa, one of my favorite memories from childhood.

Chocolate Soda
Chocolate syrup
Vanilla ice cream
Club soda, chilled

Pour chocolate syrup in a glass, the bottom rib of a soda glass or about 1/2 c in regular glass. Fill glass up with ice cream, then top with club soda. Use a long straw to stir up the chocolate, club soda and ice cream.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Creamy Rice

I have gotten to the point where I really like spicy food. Yes, it's probably because of my spicy boy. So, when I was making this creamy rice, I left the ribs in the jalapeño to add extra heat. Unfortunately, the jalapeño I bought delivered about as much heat as an ice cream truck in January. But even without the heat, my boyfriend Stephen and I both enjoyed the rice.

Creamy Rice
1 1/2 c. uncooked rice
1 1/4 c. water
1 c. sour cream, at room temp
3/4 c. half and half, at room temp
2 ears of sweet corn
4 scallions, chopped
1 jalapeño, thinly sliced
Salt and pepper, to taste

Cook 1 1/2 cups rice in 1 1/4 cups water so the rice is fluffy and can absorb more liquid. While rice cooks, cook corn and cut it from the cob. As soon as the water is absorbed, mix in sour cream and half and half. Mix in corn, scallions and jalapeño.