Sunday, January 11

Coconut Curry Soup

Our family loves this dish, and it is pretty easy to prepare.
I adapted the recipe from Mel's Kitchen Cafe, because it reminds me of 
a Massaman Curry dish I love at the 123 Thai restaurant in NW Washington. 
I admit I'm not the biggest fan of curry, but I just love the sweetness of the coconut milk in this recipe!

 Massaman Curry dish from 123 Thai in Oak Harbor, Washington
pic of Massaman Curry from 123 Thai Food's website

Coconut Curry Soup (adapted from Mel's Kitchen Cafe and 123 Thai restaurant)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 lbs chicken breast (I use 2-3 pieces, cut into bite sized portions)
1 medium yellow onion, chopped into bite sized pieces (I like them on the big side)
1-2 potatoes, chopped into bite sized pieces (again, I like them a little on the big side)
1 1/2 cups of sliced carrots
1 small red bell pepper, chopped (sometimes I leave this out)
4 cups chicken broth
2  14 oz cans unsweetened coconut milk (I like this kind. You can find something like it at your local grocery store)
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp curry powder (I use a mild yellow colored curry powder)
2 Tbsp lime juice
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped (optional-- sometimes I forget it and it's still yummy)
peanuts- maybe 1/2 cup? (optional, but I love to have about 1 peanut per every few bites of soup!)
cooked white rice for serving with (we like jasmine rice lately)

Heat olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add chopped chicken. Season with salt and pepper and cook a few minutes until no longer pink. 
Add chopped onions and red peppers and cook a few minutes until slightly softened. 
Transfer to a soup pot. Add chopped potatoes and carrots. Stir and cook for a minute or two (they will fully cook as they simmer in the next step). 
Add chicken broth, coconut milk, brown sugar, and curry powder. Bring the soup to a simmer and cook, gently, for 10-15 minutes (until vegetables are soft).
Stir in the lime juice, chopped cilantro, and a handful of peanuts before serving. Salt and pepper to taste.

Some of us like to serve this as a soup with rice on the side, and others prefer it as a sauce over the top of rice. You choose!

Wednesday, May 14

Chocolate Eclair Cake

If you like Chocolate Eclairs
you will absolutely LOVE 
♥ ♥ ♥ 

Chocolate Eclair Cake
This is the recipe to make 
when you want a desert that is elegant and oh so easy.

1 cup water
1/2 cup butter
1 cup flour
4 large eggs
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 large box vanilla instant pudding
3 cups milk
2 cups whipping cream for filling
2 cups chocolate pieces.
About 1 cup whipping cream (room temperature) for chocolate sauce

Preheat oven to 400.  
Lightly grease a 9″x 13″ glass baking pan.

Éclair Shell:
In a medium saucepan, melt butter in water and bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Stir in flour. Mix in one egg at a time until it is fully incorporated before adding another egg. Do this for all four eggs.

Spread batter into pan, covering the bottom and up the sides of the pan evenly. The sides will slip down at this point if you greased too heavily so be sure to grease lightly.

Bake the shell for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown, checking occasionally. Remove from oven, and let cool completely. It's normal for it to form large bubbles while cooking . Don't pop the bubbles. 

Whip the cream cheese in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl make vanilla pudding according to package directions. Combine pudding and cream cheese. Be sure pudding is thick before mixing in. When the crust is completely cooled, pour filling in the shell. 

Whip the cream until light and fluffy, add a teaspoon or two of powdered sugar to sweeten. Spread whipped cream over the pudding mixture. Refrigerate to cool.

Chocolate Sauce:
Melt chocolate in the microwave stirring often. The chocolate should never get hot. 
Add cream gradually, whisking to make it a pourable texture.

Drizzle cake with chocolate sauce when ready to serve.

*Chocolate sauce is only as good as the chocolate you use. Our family's favorite is Guittard brand and we use a mixture of milk chocolate and Semi Sweet. But for a real tasty treat delight... we use Belgium dark chocolate... it is heavenly.

Saturday, March 8

Easy Homemade Reese's

This is a fun treat for when you're craving chocolate but are trying to be somewhat healthy

Easy Homemade Reese's
recipe adapted from

1/2 cup coconut oil (The flavored kind is good in this recipe. I buy mine at Costco!)
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup mild honey
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Prepare a muffin pan with 10-12 muffin liners. 
Blend all ingredients in a mixer or food processor until well blended (I use my kitchenaid with the wisk attachment).
Pour the liquid fudge into the prepared muffin liners, filling to about 1/2 inch high.
Place the muffin pan in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes (or the freezer for about 10 if you just can't wait!).
Remove the muffin liners from the pan and enjoy! Store in the refrigerator. 

I've been wondering if these might be awesome with crunchy peanut butter instead of creamy. If you try it you'll have to let me know what you think!

Oatmeal Cookie Pancakes

This is an amazing recipe. We make these whenever we want a fun breakfast, and serve them with a little drizzle of maple syrup or applesauce on top (you don't need much more sweetness).
But honestly, I really prefer these pancakes as leftovers, after they've cooled down! They are a lot like a cookie. I always make sure we have extra, and the kids love it when I send them to school in their lunches instead of a sandwich. (Pancakes for lunch? How cool is that!?)

Oatmeal Cookie Pancakes

2 really ripe bananas, mashed up (microwave them for 10 seconds or so if you don't have ripe ones)
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup applesauce/yogurt/sour cream (I normally do plain applesauce but once I used greek yogurt and it was awesome.)
3/4 cup milk (I like skim.)
1/4 cup melted butter (I like to use coconut oil instead-- melt in the microwave at only 60% power. I've heard that ensures it retains it's healthy properties)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup old fashioned oats (I like mine blended into a powder first in a food processor or blender)
1 cup flour (sometimes I use part whole wheat flour to make it healthier)
3/4 cup raisins/dried cranberries/chocolate chips (I like raisins best, but dried cranberries are also good. I've never tried chocolate chips in these.)

Be aware that these cook a little strange. They are done on one side when they've started to bubble (and the bubbles pop) around the edges, BUT when you try to flip them, they are a little tricky. You have to be quick at getting the spatula under them, and you might think they aren't done. But once you get them turned over you'll see that they have indeed browned. I've never messed one up so badly that I didn't still want to eat it. :)


Monday, February 3

Sweet Lemon Bread

This delicious sweet bread is guaranteed to be 
LOVE at first bite.

It's an old fashioned recipe from my old recipe box. 
No electric appliances needed... just a WHISK and a rubber SPATULA.

It is amazingly good.

Give it a try... then let us know what you think!

Sweet Lemon Bread

1 1/2 cups  flour
1 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
Zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup milk
2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup butter melted
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Lemon Glaze:
      Juice of 1 large lemon
      1/3 cup sugar

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9- by 5-inch loaf pan; dust with flour.

WHISK the flour, salt, sugar, baking powder and lemon peel together in a large bowl; set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs until light and creamy.
Add the milk, lemon juice, vanilla and finally the melted butter, whisking well after each ingredient is added. This will take on an almost pudding texture.

Add this egg mixture to the dry ingredients and stir with a rubber spatula until well blended.
Pour batter into the greased and floured loaf pan.

Bake until golden brown or when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 45 to 50 minutes. (Leave the bread in the pan.)

Lemon Glaze: While the bread is baking, combine lemon juice and sugar in a small saucepan, stir over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Do not bring to a boil.

After removing the bread from the oven, while still in the pan, use a wooden skewer to poke holes in the hot bread, piercing all the way to the bottom. Slowly drizzle the hot glaze over the bread a little bit at a time, gently basting the top, allowing the glaze to soak in. Repeat several times until the bread is completely covered with glaze. 

Let the bread cool in a pan on a wire rack until glaze is set, about 20 minutes, then carefully remove from the pan and allow to cool completely on a rack. IF YOU SKIP THIS STEP and don't allow the bread to completely cool before cutting, THE BREAD WILL BECOME A CRUMBLY MESS. I know, it will be hard to wait, but don't the best things in life require patience?

 After the bread has completely cooled, give it a light dusting of powdered sugar to give it a bit of flair.

       Up next at Our Sweet Lemons... a Lemon Lover's favorite tool.

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