Tuesday, June 30, 2015

coconut chicken curry









I bought a Joy of Cooking cookbook at a garage sale for $2 on Saturday and this is the first recipe I decided to try.  It was a joy to cook- my oldest chopped the vegetables as I gathered the other ingredients. My husband walked in the door just as dinner was ready and the weather was perfect for enjoying dinner outdoors.  This was a very enjoyable dish, easy to prepare and healthy.  We'll have it again sometime!

coconut chicken curry (adapted from The Joy of Cooking cookbook)
2 pounds chicken breasts (I fileted mine) seasoned with salt and pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup chopped onions
1 large carrot, sliced
1/2 cup peas, thawed if frozen
2 scallions, sliced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped (we didn't have one so used garlic chile sauce to heat up the dish)
1 tablespoon finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 1/2 cups light coconut milk
1/2 cup golden raisins
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon salt

Heat oil over high heat.  Add chicken and brown on both sides.  Remove from the pan.  Add onions, carrot, peas, scallions, jalapeno pepper, ginger and garlic.  Cook until the vegetables are soft, 5 minutes.  Add coconut milk, raisins, curry powder and salt.  Add the chicken, reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until the sauce is thickened and the rice is cooked.  Serve with cooked rice.

Monday, June 29, 2015

store bought favorite: hawaiian style chicken





























I picked this up at Costco hoping it would be good.  We have church from 1-4 on Sundays so coming home and putting this dish into the oven was quick and easy which was GREAT.  All of my kids enjoyed it- it was a tasty little dish.  All you do is put the chicken on a tray and heat it up in the oven and heat up the pineapple teriyaki sauce on the stove.  Throw some rice in the rice cooker and you've got dinner.

store bought favorite:  hawaiian style chicken (Costco)
Fully cooked charbroiled chicken thighs with teriyaki sauce and pineapple
Serves 10
7 grams fat, 12 grams carbohydrates, 10 grams sugar, 16 grams protein
It was around $13.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

cherry pineapple jam













Jam.  Truly a labor of love.  I made 36 half pints of cherry jam which will be put to good use this Christmas.  Yes, I think ahead that far.  This was my first time making jam using cherries.  I never even knew about cherry pitters until recently- what a terrific invention!  My cherry pitter pits 4 cherries at a time and arrived in 2 days thanks to amazon.com.  It really is a fun toy.  If I hadn't run out of cherries I'd still be making it...

cherry pineapple jam (adapted from kraftrecipes)
2 cups prepared fully ripe sweet cherries
2 cups crushed pineapple
1 box  fruit pectin
5 cups sugar, measured into separate bow
1/4 teaspoon almond extract

Stem and pit cherries.  Finely chop of grind fruit.  Measure exactly 2 cups of the prepared cherries into a large pot.  Add 2 cups crushed pineapple.  Stir in lemon juice.  Stir pectin into fruit mixture in pot.  Bring to a full rolling boil on high heat, stirring constantly.  Stir in sugar and extract.  Return to full rolling boil and boil exactly 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat; skim off any foam with spoon.  Ladle immediately into prepared jars, filling to within 1/4 inch of tops.  Wipe jar rims and threads.  Cover with two-piece lids.  Screw bands tightly.  Place jars on elevated rack in steam canner.  Process 10 minutes.  Remove jars and place upright to cool completely.  After jars cool, check seals by pressing middles of lids with finger.  If lids spring back, lids are not sealed and refrigeration is necessary.


Thursday, June 25, 2015

slow cooker taco soup










This was requested by my oldest; my lover of food.  This soup cooked for 8 hours so the beef was very tender- my kids went hog wild for it!

slow cooker taco soup (adapted from allrecipes.com)
2 pounds ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 can kidney beans with liquid
1 can tomato sauce
2 cups water
1 (28 ounce) can tomato puree
1 (4 ounce) can diced green chiles
1 (1.25 ounce) package taco seasoning mix
1 cup of your favorite salsa
shredded cheese for serving
tortilla chips for serving
sour cream for serving

In a skillet ground the beef.  In a slow cooker, combine cooked ground beef, onion, kidney beans, tomato sauce, water, tomato puree, green chiles, taco seasoning and salsa.  Cook on low for 8 hours.  Serve with the works- cheese, tortilla chips and sour cream.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

dining out: ocean bleu at gino's










We really don't eat out all that often but my parents were in town so we dined at Ocean Bleu at Gino's in Newport, OR.  Look at the food!  A friend recommended we go there for the clam chowder- and now I agree with her that it's the best.  The fish & chips were so light and delicious.  The crab cake was the best I've had- so fresh.  I ordered the seafood stew and it was equally as wonderful.  I do love to eat out and there's no better place to eat seafood than on the bayfront on the coast.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

blueberry white chocolate oatmeal cookies










One of my favorite things about Oregon are the blueberries.  Another favorite is my friend Shonda.  She made these delicious cookies and shared them with my family today.  They got rave reviews and my husband said they're even better than the Mrs. Fields cookies you can get at the mall. So how do you like that?!

blueberry white chocolate oatmeal cookies (my friend Shonda found the recipe at Picky Palate)
2 sticks butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups flour
2 1/2 cups quick oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups dried blueberries (you can get them at Costco or if you're an Oregonian you can pick them yourself and dry your own!)
1 cup white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugars until light and fluffy.  Beat in the eggs and vanilla until well combined.
Place flour, oatmeal, baking soda and salt into a large bowl; mix to combine.  Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients along with the blueberries and white chocolate.  Mix until just combined.
Use a medium cookie scoop and scoop dough onto a silpat or parchment lined baking sheet.  Bake for 9-11 minutes or until edges are just turning golden brown.
Remove and let cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan.
Makes 4 dozen normal sized cookies.



Sunday, May 24, 2015

double chocolate orange brownies









My husband declared these Hall of Fame!  He says it's the orange essence that did it.  I normally go for the box because I've been disappointed by made-from-scatch brownies.  Not these.  These are worth the extra effort, which by the way isn't much effort.  If you can crack a couple of eggs, pour in water and oil for a box mix you're half way to these brownies.

double chocolate orange brownies (Taste of Home)
3/4 cup butter, cubed
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
3 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon orange extract
1 teaspoon orange zest
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup flour
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter and chocolate in a microwave proof bowl.  Stir until smooth.  Cool slightly  In another bowl, beat the eggs with the sugar.  Combine the two mixtures.  Add orange extract, orange zest, extracts and flour.  Pour into a prepared 13x9 pan.  Sprinkle with chocolate chips. Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Do not over bake.  Cool completely and cut into 2 dozen brownies.