Potato & Chicken Coconut Curry Recipe

I am, admittedly, a novice when it comes to Indian food.  Curry scared me as I’d had it years ago and it tasted terrible and was so stupidly hot it was inedible.  I sort of painted all curry with that same brush – and steered clear for years.  Then I tried a coconut lime chicken recipe that had a tad of curry powder in it, and I realized that not all curry is hot, and some curry tastes amazing!

So – I got braver today and tried a Coconut Chicken Curry recipe that I modified a bit and made more to our taste.  This turned out great!  I served with steamed rice, toasted naan bread, shredded lettuce, fresh tomato, and sliced red onion.  It was ah. mah. zing.

If you wanted to make this vegetarian, use water instead of broth/stock and double the potato.  It would taste great.  I had one chicken breast in the fridge already thawed so that’s what I put in here, but all potato would be pretty damn tasty as well!

If you feel the need – garnish with parsley or cilantro πŸ™‚

Baked Cinnamon Spice Donut Recipe

I got one of those donut pans for Christmas – the baking pans that you fill and hope it doesn’t overflow.  Well, they do overflow if you overfill, but they still taste fabulous.  Todd loves the powdered donuts that have the cinnamon powdered sugar on the outside – but lets face it – donuts are not really healthy and anything fried should be a treat, not a regular breakfast.  This baked cinnamon spice donut recipe is definitely a keeper

So a note on donut pans.  Don’t expect these donuts to look like something from your local Timmy’s or Dunkin’ Donuts – they’ll likely bake over the hole in the middle – like mine did in the pic.  But here’s the deal…they’ll taste better – so who cares?  You could also make these in your mini-muffin tin and have a donut-hole type treat.

This recipe made almost 2-dozen donuts in my pan – which took awhile because I could only make 6 at a time – but they are SOOOO worth it!  You could use plain powdered sugar if you like, but the cinnamon powdered sugar is pretty special.

Odds & Ends: Chicken and Veggie Tortellini Soup

I think we throw away way too many leftovers as a whole.  Society has become such a “throw it away, buy new” entity – and it’s just laziness and lack of imagination that causes it.  When your fridge has a bunch of semi “meh” veggies – make soup.  When you have leftover meat, throw it in the freezer – when you make soup – pull out the odds and ends of chicken – add it in to your soup.  You can do the same with ends and pieces of vegetable as well.

I always have chicken stock in the freezer, so if we clean out the veggie drawer, the odds and ends of chicken, and add in our stock – we have Chicken and Veggie Tortellini Soup.  This one is a bit different than my other Vegetable Tortellini Soup recipe.  This one works really well in the winter, and as a week night dinner.  Just grab a package of refrigerated or frozen tortellini and you’re set.  Use spinach, kale or escarole – or don’t add greens at the end – anything works here!

Garlic Honey Mustard Chicken & Veggie Tray Bake

I am a really REALLY big fan of one dish meals – in fact a recent Christmas present was a cookbook of one-pan dinners – from slow cookers to sheet trays and dutch ovens.  Really great for weeknight meals and easy clean up when you’re not really into doing a bunch of dishes.  This chicken veggie tray bake recipe if definitely one to put in your repertoire.

I generally get 2 chicken breasts and butterfly into thinner pieces – they cook faster and it’s more of a realistic portion size.  You can do fresh green beans, cauliflower or broccoli if you want in place of the Brussels sprouts – we like Brussels sprouts though.  I also use russet potatoes, but halved baby reds work too… really this chicken veggie tray bake recipe can be whatever you have in the fridge.  If you use broccoli or cauliflower, add it in the last 15-20 minutes of cooking because they cook faster than Brussels sprouts do.

Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup

This is another one of my recipes that has been posted on Food.com for years.  It has over 50 reviews and a 5-star rating.  I’m adding it here because I like to have everything in one spot – and who knows, someday I might actually get around to that Cookbook I’ve always dreamed of writing πŸ™‚

You can use ham bone, smoked ham shanks, smoked turkey wings, or no meat at all – its a pretty forgiving recipe.  If you’ve only ever had split pea from a can, and think you hate it, I’d recommend trying this one – its REALLY tasty and filling on a cold winter day.

Oatmeal Cookies with Dark Chocolate & Walnuts

Oatmeal is good for you, right? So these Oatmeal Cookies with Dark Chocolate & Walnuts are really really good for you……

Okay maybe not – but these cookies are swoonworthy – and definitely packed with flavor.  I like that they use old-fashioned oats – I think they hold up better, they don’t “dissolve” into the cookie – which means a better oatmeal-cookie-texture.

Use semi-sweet chips if you prefer, but I’m a dark chocolate fan for sure.  They get a little crunchy and a little soft – great for lunchboxes, holiday gifts or dunking…or all three. I have a 3/4″ cookie scoop, and although it’s technically a uni-tasker – its a must-have in my kitchen.  Using teaspoons to put cookies on a tray is old-school – and it works fine, but I never had look ending up with uniform size cookies.

I hope you like these – they’re so much better than oatmeal raisin cookies – which are gross – and just one reason to have trust issues.  Raisins are ick.

Sausage & Potato Soup with Kale Recipe

This sausage & potato soup with kale recipe that started as a copycat recipe of Olive Garden’s Zuppa Toscana.  I do things a bit differently – I dont use heavy cream, or the spinach or escarole they put in their version, I use Kale.  It stands up to heat better, therefore the soup reheats and freezes like a dream.  Also – I despise cooked spinach.  Gross.

I also use evaporated milk in most soups instead of cream – because it doesn’t tend to break & curdle as easily as most regular/refrigerated milk products do.  If you have a parmesan rind laying around – add it – the flavor is amazing – but remember that its salty – so adjust your salting habits as you go.  We had this with our favorite crusty bread, that my 15yo made the other day.  So. Good.

Swedish Spritz Cookie Recipe

These tasty butter cookies are a holiday tradition in our home.  While you can dye and color the dough to make green trees or whatever you like, I prefer the plain sugar cookies with sprinkles and redhots as decoration.
You need a cookie press for this recipe.  You could roll them in logs and refrigerate and slice, but it’s just not the same. cookie-press I got my cookie press on Amazon.com – It’s the OXO Good Grips Cookie Press and it works well – it works BEST if the cookie sheets are really cold, but that’s not really practical when you’re baking dozens at a time – just be patient and understand that the dough consistency is directly related to how the cookies come out of the gun and onto the sheet – don’t be afraid to chill the dough down if things just get a bit too soft.

Colored sugar and red hots for tree stars or holly berries are my favorite decorations – but you can do absolutely whatever you like!

Enjoy!

Yummy Pecan Pie with Bourbon

So – bourbon isnt a huge, major ingredient in this pie – but its an important one.  I didnt realize I liked pecan pie until I tried this version WITH bourbon.  Without it just tastes like sugared nut pie….don’t ask me why … I’m sure Alton Brown has some scientific reason complete with chemical reaction as to why that is.

I made this for Thanksgiving dessert, served it with homemade Vanilla Bourbon Whipped Cream and it was DIVINE!  Actually I could probably just eat the whipped cream for dinner – forget the turkey.

Also – no lie – I buy pie crust.  It’s probably the best storebought shortcut out there, makes getting a pie in the oven a breeze, and doesnt taste much different than anything I could make myself – and making & rolling out pie dough is a pain in the ass and MESSY.  No thanks.

Chorizo & Black Bean Smothered Burrito Recipe

I’m a fan of throwing something together that’s tasty, flavorful and – most importantly – fast!  If you cook ahead like I try to, having browned chorizo & onion in the freezer or fridge means a quick and easy dinner is about 20 minutes away, depending upon how you decide to use your treasures.

I made this up thinking about flavors I like together, what was on sale, and what would not put us into poultry overload the night before thanksgiving – everyone here loved it.  Use green or red enchilada sauce – canned or homemade – you pick.  I’d even swirl them together if you were trying to stretch.  Adding leftover cooked potatoes to this would be tasty as well!  Enjoy!