Friday, December 21, 2012

Green Bean Bundles

Whether you serve them with your Christmas ham, or plate them alongside some roasted chicken and a nice rice pilaf, these little beauties are always a smash hit! (Don't you just love how I plan your menu out for you?) Can't be helped!

They are so very simple to make. The only tip I strongly suggest, is that you line your baking sheet with plenty of foil. It will save you the clean up later. If you've ever tried scraping caramelized sugar off of a baking sheet, you know just what I'm talking about! Other than that, they are a dream side dish! 

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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Chicken Vindaloo

I have been meaning to post this recipe for quite some time now. I spent the better part of this past week thinking that my computer wasn't working. Turns out it was fine, and that I am simply an airhead...That's a whole other long, very silly, story.

So without any further ado...(ahem)

My daughter turned 18 last month and asked me to make Indian food for her party. No pressure there!
(Indian food is not my forte.) In fact, I had never tried making it before now. It's the type of food we go out for. 

Trying not to panic, I scoured the internet for an Indian dish that would be simple enough for a first-timer like me, yet impressive enough for a birthday dinner. I ran a few choices by my daughter, and Chicken Vindaloo it is! 

Rich with spices, and absolutely delicious! I can't believe I had never made this before!
Dinner was a HUGE hit at the birthday party and with my whole family. Even my picky-snicky 15 year old loved it!

I have made this dish several times since the party and have played around with it just a bit.

 When you look at the list of ingredients, you'll see my mention of Vindaloo Paste. I bought a jar of it while I was out shopping for spices and I'm SO glad I did! It's an excellent alternative for those of you who don't usually keep the spices needed for this dish in your pantry. I have it listed as an either/or in my recipe. So, you can make this dish using either the spice mix blend or the vindaloo paste. I have made it using both, and it's excellent either way!

Chicken Vindaloo with warm Naan, and coconut curry rice with lime. For the rice: Follow directions on package of Basmati rice. Simply add 1 to 2 tsp curry powder and 1/4 cup coconut milk the last 10 minutes of cooking. When rice is ready, squeeze a lime over it and fluff with fork. So good!

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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Grandma June's Super Simple Granola

"No one who cooks, cooks alone. Even at her most solitary, a cook in the kitchen is surrounded by generations of cooks past, the advice and menus of cooks present, the wisdom of cookbook writers."

I love this quote. Especially the part about being surrounded by generations of cooks past.

Some of my fondest memories of childhood were the times I spent in Austin, visiting my Grandparents. I will always remember how beautiful their home was. My Grandma's garden. My Paw Paw's record player. And all the wonderful smells coming from their kitchen. Ah...heaven!

I figured it's about time I shared one of my Grandma's wonderfully smelling recipes. I don't think a blog about cooking is really bona fide without a recipe from Grandma. (And yes...I just said bona fide) Don't ask me where I got that word! Must be from all this nostalgia...

This recipe is a favorite that has stood the test of time. I have had friends I went to high school with call and ask me for it.
(My mom always had snacks waiting for us after school.) Brownies, sheet cakes, or my Grandma's granola. What a compliment, to have people calling 25 years later asking how to make it! Grandma would be tickled pink!

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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Broccoli Cheddar Soup has been around for ages. (Or at least it seems like ages.) Anyway, like most beloved dishes, it's open to interpretation. My interpretation of this soup came out of my intense need to re-create a bowl of soup that was just as delicious as the bowl of soup I had at my favorite sandwich shop. (Fellow foodies understand.)

This version right here is the one I have gone with for quite some time now. And, not to toot my own horn, but my daughters tell me that they never order broccoli cheddar soup when they go out for lunch, because all other bowls pale in comparison. I know...I know...nothing is as good as mom's. But still! That is a HUGE compliment!

Because of it's richness, I pretty much only make this during the cooler months. That's when we're all bundled up in sweaters and boots anyway, right? Besides, it's nice to splurge every once in a while!
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Monday, December 3, 2012

Holiday Fruit Salad

I think Pinterest is one of the best sites on the internet. I can seriously get lost for hours on there! And, even though I appreciate all the ideas and inspiration I find as I click through all the pins, it can also be overwhelming and even intimidating.  (Not to mention gut AND budget busting.) If you're anything like me, you want to make and taste just about everything you see!

Well, I am happy to say that today's dish is a Pinterest find that is both budget and belly friendly. It also happens to be ridiculously simple to prepare. And is incredibly delicious! We won't be discussing exactly how much of this salad I actually ate. Almost all of it!

Pretty enough for the holidays and yummy enough for any day of the week! No question, this is one of my new favorite finds. Enjoy!
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