Monday, September 23, 2013

Chicken Stir-Fry

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Howdy all!! Oh, how I’ve missed you so…. I guess I will start by addressing the large elephant in the room.

I’ve been gone.

Absent.

Missing.

Fallen off the face of the planet. Almost.

Disappeared.

Abducted. Not really. That’s not funny.

But, I have gone through some major life changes.

I’ve spent the past couple months gathering my thoughts and sanity after many facets of my life have gone from familiar…. to…. chaotic.

First, my marriage has ended. This alone is a such a difficult topic to address. I’ve spent time trying to figure out just how to address it on here, and I’ve come up with no definitive answer. I’ve welcomed all of you as readers into my life, so I feel as though you deserve to know the truth as to why I’ve been absent, and I hope you will understand.

On that note, thank you to my family and blogging friends who have been truly supportive during this strange, unchartered, and difficult time.

In addition, I have started a new job! And moved to a new town!
I am now a school counselor in Bastrop, Texas and loving every minute of my new job, and my beautiful surroundings.

More on Bastrop to follow! DEFINITELY a must see town in Texas.

Now that we’ve covered all that….. I’m gettin’ my blogging boots warmed up again…

I’ve decided to share with you one of my favorite comfort foods that my mama cooks me. CHICKEN STIR-FRY!

Now, truth be told, we’ve never cooked straight up Asian cuisine in our house growing up, so Mom puts a little Italiano flair to it. But it’s scrumptious nonetheless.

I really had to make it since Texas just experienced it’s *first* cool breeze of the season!

We are officially done with triple digits y’all! Of course, I probably just jinxed us by me saying that. *Sigh*

Anyhow, if it’s cold in your neck of the woods, give this recipe a try. And if ain’t cold in your neck of the woods, make it anyways, and maybe our magic “rain dance” will work and get us some cooler temps.

Miss, miss, miss and love y’all!!

Here’s to getting my baking and cooking mojo back!!

~Peace, Love, and Much Healing Y’all

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Chicken Stir-Fry

Ingredients:

3 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless, cubed
salt and pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion
1 zucchini, cubed
1 summer squash, cubed
2 cups green beans, washed and trimmed
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 cups spinach
6 cloves garlic, minced
6 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup white wine
1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons water
3 cups white rice, cooked

Directions:

Begin by cubing chicken breasts, season with salt and pepper, and sautee in a large pan with olive oil over medium heat until brown. Remove from the pan, and set aside.

Dice up the yellow onion, and sautee in the large pan. After a few minutes, the onion will become translucent. Add the zucchini, squash, green beans, and bell pepper. Cook 15 minutes or so over medium until vegetables are tender. Next, add chicken broth, garlic, wine and spinach. Return the chicken to the pan and simmer an additional 15 minutes or so. If you'd like to thicken your stir-fry, mix cornstarch and water in a cup until the cornstarch is dissolved. Add this mixture to the stir-fry, and simmer 5-10 minutes until the cloudiness has dissipated and the broth has thickened. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve over white rice, or grated cauliflower (for a Paleo alternative!).

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chunk Cookies

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These are based on my original Mom’s Chocolate Chip Cookies , and then I had to go and jump on the whole Salted Caramel bandwagon.

AND BOY AM I GLAD I DID.

(Here’s my favorite cookie scoop: Cookie Dough Scoop with Push Button (Orange))

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I’ve told y’all before, I know it’s cliche, but warm cookies are probably my favorite dessert. Maybe it’s something about the memories of home.

The memory of mom’s cookies.

Mom in the kitchen.

Me in the kitchen.

Mom and I cooking together.

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I made these, along with some other treats, for the Austin Bakes for West bake sale. Back in April, there was a devastating fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas. Thanks to the big love of Texas, local bakers got together and baked some DELICIOUS treats, all proceeds going to the victims of West.

THESE COOKIES WERE A HIT!

Everyone and their mother, and their grandmother, and aunt, neighbor, friend, babysitter, baby mama, and kid was asking for the recipe.

NOW YOU HAVE IT Y’ALL! MERRY CHRISTMAS! *wink*

Now tell me, what’s y’alls favorite cookie add-in?

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~ Peace, Love, and Salted Caramel Y’all

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Salted Caramel Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Yield: 5 - 6 dozen

Ingredients:

1 stick butter (1/2 cup), softened
1 stick butter flavored Crisco (1 cup)
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
12 oz. chocolate chips
6 oz. caramel chips
5 cups flour
sea salt, for garnish

Directions:

In a large bowl, begin by creaming butters and sugars. Once thoroughly mixed, add vanilla and eggs one a time, mixing well after each addition. Add dry ingredients one cup at a time. By the end, the dough will be thick, and it may be necessary to mix by hand. Add in the chocolate chips and caramel chips. Scoop cookie dough into balls, and freeze all dough balls, or bake as desired. When ready to bake, sprinkle a bit of sea salt on the top of each dough ball and bake at 350 for approximately 12 minutes, until golden.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Thai Forbidden Black Rice Pudding

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Here’s a little half hippy, half Southern recipe for ya!

I love THAI FOOD!!

Pad thai, noodles, coconut soup, chicken satay, THAI ICED TEA!!!!

I just can’t get enough!

In fact, it’s been a dream of mine for years to go to Thailand, and summer of 2014 I just might get my wish!
My cousin is getting married there, and *THIS GIRL* has already started saving for her ticket!

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My favorite Thai desserts include this Black Rice Pudding, and Sticky Rice with Mango.

The mango treat is made with white rice, also has coconut milk, and freshly sliced mango.

OMG, my mouth is watering already.

Black rice is sometimes called forbidden rice and in Southeast Asia they often eat this for breakfast. It’s a little sweet to me, but I suppose it’s no different than eating donuts, or the mounds of brown sugar I used to put in my oatmeal, uh, cough, before I went PALEO.

In fact, if you really want to bend the rules some, this could be kinda a healthy dessert. Cut the sugar back even more, or substitute honey instead of sugar. It has great flavor. Wouldn’t be Paleo since it’s got rice (a grain), AND sugar (a sweetener), but Paleo IS all about coconut milk! (Paleo is no dairy, grain, or sugar.)

I included a little link at the bottom to Amazon where you can find the products I used. I bought a bigger bag of Black Rice, because I love it, and knew I’d make it more than once, but I included a small bag too.

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You also be pleased to know you start this recipe in a rice cooker. The first time I made this, I tried the stovetop method.

Long story short, I’m a terrible stovetop method person, and it BURNT to the bottom of the pot, there was dark purple water splattered everywhere, and I had to soak my pot for a day and a half to scrub it all out.

#sadfoodblogger

I’ll stick to my rice cooker, thankyouverymuch!

Save some coconut milk, and drizzle that over the top before you serve.

Heavens to betsy, move over Grandma’s Rice Pudding, Thai-style has come to town!

P.S. Since I know I’ve infused you with an infectious curiosity for all things Thai now, go check out your local Thai joint, and let me know your favorite.  

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~Peace, Love, and Forbidden Rice Y’all

(Here’s an affiliate link where you can find the products I used:)

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Thai Forbidden Black Rice Pudding

Adapted from Epicurious
(The original recipe called for 1/2 cup sugar, but I reduced it to 1/4 cup. Experiment to find a sweetness to your liking!)

Ingredients:

1 cup forbidden black rice
3 cups water
1/4 organic sugar
1 can (13.5 oz) full fat unsweetened coconut milk

Directions:

Begin by placing 3 cups water and 1 cup rice in a rice cooker, and set to cook. While the rice is cooking, mix together 1/4 cup sugar and 1 1/2 cups coconut milk (saving the remaining milk for topping). After the rice is finished, transfer the rice and milk mixture to a medium pot. Over medium heat cook the mixture for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally until the rice is thicker. Let cool for half an hour, and drizzle each serving with coconut milk.