Monday, April 29, 2013

Vegetarian Curry

Hooray I have a Meatless Monday recipe to share with you! I have made this vegetarian curry dish several times now. It's so easy and so good and so healthy! If you don't like a lot of heat be sure to leave the pepper out of this, as just with curry alone it has a little kick. 
You can add or subtract whatever veggies you like or have on hand. This time I forgot to get chickpeas so I substituted some small potatoes. I think sliced summer squash or zucchini would also be excellent in this! It also is a great recipe to make ahead and keep warm in the crock pot. My friend Jess shared this recipe with me after she got it from our friend Kelly. Thanks ladies! :)
Vegetarian Curry
Serves 4

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small yellow onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon ginger
1 thai or jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon pepper
1 ½ teaspoon salt
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into ½ inch cubes
1 can chickpeas drained and rinsed
1 can coconut milk
½ cup water
½ cup frozen peas
½ cup diced tomatoes

Warm oil in dutch oven at medium low. Add garlic, ginger, onion and pepper. Cook until onion is translucent, about 4 minutes. Stir in curry and season with salt and pepper. Add sweet potatoes, chickpeas, coconut milk and water. 
Bring to a boil then reduce to simmer for ten minutes. Add peas and tomatoes and cook until heated through. If you want to keep warm in a crock pot, this is time time to transfer everything over. Serve over rice.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Cream Cheese Brownie Batter Dip

This decadent dip is another Pinterest find. I made it for my play group and served it with fresh strawberries, graham crackers, sliced bananas and Ritz crackers. It was a big hit - kids love dipping things don't they? The original name for it was Brownie Batter Dip but I changed it because of the very strong cream cheese flavor. 

Cream Cheese Brownie Batter Dip
From Something Swanky
Printable Version
Ingredients - I doubled this because I was feeding a large crowd
8 oz block of cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter
2 to 3 cups powdered sugar (varies by desired consistency)
5 tablespoons flour
5 tablespoons cocoa powder
5 tablespoons brown sugar
3+ tablespoons milk (varies by desired consistency)
1 teaspoon vanilla

In a stand mixer whisk together the cream cheese and butter. Add the brown sugar. Add the 2 cups of powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time and 2 tablespoons of milk. Add the flour, cocoa powder, vanilla and 1 more tablespoon of milk if needed. Whisk all until smooth. Add remaining powdered sugar and milk alternately if needed until dip reaches your desired consistency.  Serve with fresh fruit, crackers or eat with a spoon! 

Monday, April 8, 2013

40 Garlic Clove Chicken

This meal is one of the best I have made in a very long time. It was so good that no pictures of the finished product were taken because my husband and I scarfed it up so quickly! The chicken was juicy, oh so wonderfully garlic-y. My husband was literally drinking the gravy that I made with the juices. With fresh herbs and a ton of garlic (40 cloves, to be exact) this chicken was out of this world delicious. An added bonus is your house will smell divine as it cooks! Do yourself a favor and serve it on top of some mashed potatoes. 
40 Garlic Clove Chicken
Found on The Crepes of Wrath
Serves 3-4
Printable Version
3 1/2-4 pound fryer chicken (I used a whole chicken but recommend chicken that is already cut into serving pieces)
Salt & pepper to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
40 cloves of garlic, peeled but still whole (about 3 cloves of garlic)
3/4 cup white wine
1 teaspoon thyme (I used way more because I had fresh on hand)
1 teaspoon rosemary 
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon butter 
Spray the inside of your crock pot with non-stick cooking spray. Rub the chicken generously with salt and pepper and place in your crock pot. 
Heat the olive oil in a small skillet and add the peeled whole garlic. Cook for 5-8 minutes over medium heat until the garlic is golden. 
Then add the white wine and stir until the liquid has mostly evaporated, another 3-5 minutes.
Pour the garlic and white wine over the chicken and sprinkle the thyme and rosemary over top of everything. Add in the bay leaf. Turn on the crock pot to low and cook for 3-4 hours. Set aside. Pour the juices from the pot through a mesh sieve into a saucepan. Press the garlic through the mesh sieve, scraping it off to form a paste. Cook with a tablespoon of butter over medium-high heat until slightly thickened and serve over the chicken and whatever else you happen to be eating (cooked vegetables, potatoes, crusty bread, etc). Enjoy! 

And because I don't have a finished product photo for you here is something pretty for you to look at -- this view is from my front yard (and what I often see out my kitchen window) - an amazing sunset over the East China Sea!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Seven Layer Bars

I was told by my Aunt Chris that I have been neglecting my cooking blog and she is 100% correct. I have a very busy 9 month old on my hands and barely have time to cook these days, let alone take pictures of it, edit the pictures, and sit down to write it all up in a blog. But this blog was kind of my first baby (aside from our very spoiled pug Wendell) and I do need to give it some love and attention from time to time. Thank you for those of you still checking in on it. I hope you will forgive me for the neglect by sharing these delicious Seven Layer Bars! I had never made them before and really have only had them a couple times, but for some reason I got it in my head to make them a couple of weeks ago. I sent them in to work with my husband and when I asked how his co-workers liked them he told me that one lady said, "I love your wife!" And that makes it all worth it, knowing someone else enjoyed these tasty treats. They are fairly simple to make but plan ahead because they have to cool for TWO HOURS!
Seven Layer Bars
From Brown Eyed Baker
Printable Version
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
9 graham crackers, crushed or 5 ounces of graham cracker crumbs
1 cup finely chopped walnuts (I prefer pecans so used those)
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup butterscotch chips
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9X13 pan with two overlapping pieces of foil or parchment paper, leaving overhand to act as handles for lifting the bars out of the pan. Spray with non-stick cooking spray. 
Spread the coconut on a baking sheet and bake until the outer flakes begin to brown, about 4 minutes (keep a very close eye on it!). Set aside to cool.
Melt the butter and combine with the graham cracker crumbs in a small bowl. Toss with your fingers until the butter is evenly distributed. Press the crumbs evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan to form your first layer. 
In order, sprinkle the pecans, chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, butterscotch chips and then coconut on top of the graham cracker crust. Pour the sweetened condensed milk over the entire dish. 
Bake until the top is golden brown, about 25 minutes. Cool in the pan on a wire rack until room temperature, about 2 hours. 
Remove the bars from the pan using the foil or parchment paper handles and place onto a cutting board. Using a sharp knife cut into small bars because these babies are RICH!


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