Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Coconut Pancakes

Things have been hectic around here this week.  D is working nights, and the kids are busy keeping me on my toes.  Sometimes pancakes just seem like a great idea for dinner.  I found a recipe for coconut macaroon pancakes on one of my favorite cooking blogs, and I immediately got excited.

These pancakes were decadent.  It certainly felt a bit more like dessert than dinner, but sometimes that's just how it goes!  J loved his dipped in pumpkin butter, to which L quickly followed suit.  D and I wanted something to cut the sweetness, and we settled on sour cream as our topping.  Sounds totally odd, but it was perfectly delicious.  The sourness wonderfully balanced these delights!  These were totally worth a mid-week splurge!

Challah, A New Recipe

While goofing off on facebook one day I stumbled across a picture a friend had posted of a GORGEOUS challah.  It was light, huge, perfectly braided, and totally impressive.  Of course I had to ask her for the recipe.  This challah was impressive. The texture was fabulous! Very light, pillowy, and soft. I need a head-to-head comparison to be sure, but I think that I may still prefer my best challah yet recipe for the slightly sweater taste. Either way, this challah recipe shouldn't be missed!

Honey Oatmeal Sandwich Bread

The kids have been begging for homemade bread again, so I finally broke out the stand mixer from hiding in the basement.  Since getting an offer on the house, it seems like life can resume in some ways! Bread-baking, certainly being one of them.

This honey oatmeal sandwich bread is really great. It's a tad bit sweet, superb toasted with a bit of butter on it, and all around great for a side of eggs.

My only complaint is that it didn't come out quite as light or as fluffy at it appeared on the King Arthur Flour website.  Maybe it just needs a bit of tweaking in my kitchen.  Either way, it's a hit, and it freezes wonderfully!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Chicken Pot Pie

These pictures don't do this meal justice!  You have to trust me that this tasted way better than it looks here;)

J had been asking for "chicken pot pie" for a long time now.  I like to make mine crustless and with a biscuit topping.  Some may call this "chicken and dumplings", but I like to refer to it as pot pie!  While I was flipping through a King Arthur Flour catalogue,  I came across a recipe for chicken and dumplings, and because J had been asking, I thought I would try it out!

I should have been tipped off because while I was cooking the meal, J asked me, "mommy, what are we having for our healthy thing before the pie?".  It was then that I realized the kid thought I was making a sweet dessert pie.  Hehehe.

This meal was delicious.  Really hearty and winter-like...and very unlike most of what comes out of my kitchen.  But, it was a nice change, and D loved this comfort food.  The kids weren't as impressed, but they did love the biscuit topping, and I would totally use that for savory biscuits dropped onto a pan.

To make it a bit more appealing for the kids, I made them their own pies in small ramekins.  Totally a  mommy touch!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Zucchini Brownies

Admittedly this picture isn't that wonderfully appetizing, but do not scoff at these zucchini brownies!  It's an age-old refrain around here that I am always searching for healthy treats, and ones that combine my favorite ingredients of dark chocolate and almond butter certainly deserve a second glance.  

When I told D I would be making zucchini brownies he made "the face".  J did the same, and said, "I want regular brownies, not zucchini ones".  Well, I know he's a smart kid, and the real thing is better, but wow, these are really tasty!  

It's like magic.  I cannot figure out how the batter solidified and became brownie-like, but it did.  Keep in mind that the actual baking time is over an hour (not the 25-30 mins in the recipe).  They are gooey, chocolatey, smooth, and really tasty. Occasionally, a hint of almond butter peeks through a bite, or a crunch from an almond can be detected (I used crunchy almond butter because that is what was in the pantry), but otherwise even D was impressed!  J gobbled his up, and L ate the visible chocolate (her style!).  I'm pleasantly surprised!

Although I do not subscribe to the Paleo diet, I can see where utilizing a recipe that has good fats, natural sugars, vegetables, vitamins, and antioxidant-rich dark chocolate is good for anyone's diet! Enjoy...and please, don't be afraid to try these out!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Coconut Chicken Fingers with Cilantro-Scallion Rice and Sesame Broccoli

Things have been a bit hectic around here lately.  With the house on the market, and a week away to get some sun in a warmer place, the blog has fallen by the wayside.  As have most elaborate meals, and almost all baking.  This is tough!

All of this being said, I refuse to be a slave to keeping the house spotless, and have resigned to the fact that I need to cook to eat well and stay sane, so I've become a cleaning maniac....which is not something I am particularly enjoying. Hopefully the house will sell soon, and we can close this chapter of upheaval!

In the meantime, despite a late afternoon house-showing, I was still able to get a healthy and delicious meal on the dinner table.  I found this recipe for coconut chicken strips in the latest Cooking Light Magazine, and knew they'd be making an appearance in my kitchen.  These chicken fingers were a total breeze to throw together and bake, and they were delicious. Just crunchy enough, and just enough sweetness from the coconut.

I served the chicken along side some steamed broccoli, which I sprinkled with salt, sesame seeds, and drizzled with a small amount of sesame oil.  To round out the meal, I tossed some Basmati rice in the rice-cooker, and them dressed it with fresh chopped scallion, cilantro, and toasted coconut strips. Delicious, fast, and easy.  And, even Ms. L ate some broccoli!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Tofu and Spinach Ramen

1 tbs olive oil
1/2 white onion, sliced and halved
4-5 c broth (veggie or chicken)
2 tbs white miso paste
2 bundles of ramen noodles
4 c spinach, washed and dried
pan fried tofu

Place the oil into a sauce pot and heat.  Once hot, add the onion and sauté until translucent.  Add the broth and bring to a boil.  Add wakame to broth if using.
Meanwhile, cook the pan fried tofu in a cast iron skillet, and boil a pot of water for the ramen noodles.
Remove about 1/2 c of the hot broth, and whisk in the miso paste.  Return miso mixture to the broth, and continue to heat.
When the tofu and noodles are almost cooked, place the spinach into the broth and heat until just wilted.  Remove broth from the heat, and place a couple of large ladles into a bowl.  Add the noodles, some tofu, and seaweed strips.  Top with some sriracha, and enjoy!  You can also add a soft boiled egg, if you desire.

My entire family loves ramen.  In fact, this whole house loves Japanese food so much, that it seems to make entire sense that ramen is our "comfort food" of choice.  The kids always ask me at breakfast what's for dinner that night, and since we plan all of our meals in advance, I'm always at the ready. When I told them we'd be having ramen, they let out squeals of delight, and spend the rest of the day telling just about everyone we met that we were having ramen for dinner.  It was amazing to see how much of this yummy stuff these 2 little people could put away!  After a busy day, and the anticipation, this meal did not disappoint!

On a side note, my kitchen will be mostly closed for a little while, so expect to see a break in posts. Our house is going on the market tomorrow, and I've promised all that I'll keep the kitchen clean.  Since I have a propensity to make a mess when I'm cooking, it's going to be good for the potential buyers, but a major struggle for me!  Everyone send us "sell-quick" vibes:)