Friday, December 28, 2012

Thai Coconut Chicken Soup

I am often asked where I find my recipes. I really don't have the time nor the desire to create a recipe from the ground up. That takes plenty of work, there are test kitchens that do that sort of thing for a living. So how do I proceed? I find a recipe--in a cookbook, magazine, on a cooking show, on a blog etc, etc. There are so many recipes floating around. So I find a recipe that looks like something we might like. I make it once exactly as written. If it's good I make it a second time and give it my own spin. Take away ingredients, change quantities, reduce recipe size to fit our smaller family, etc,etc. Then if it is delicious I will photo it and blog about it. Now I have made many recipes that were said to be winners that just didn't work for me. These did not make it to my blog. Really only the best of the best recipes go on my blog.

This may explain occasional lulls in my posting. If I make a few bad dishes (or it's a busy week and we really just eat omelets),  I refuse to blog about them just to blog. My blog is for my family and friends, I'm not getting paid. I blog because I love to cook, eat and share this passion.  I have made many dear friends along the way.

I hope you enjoy my recipes--I will always credit my source, in turn I hope you will do the same. I love your comments, a comment always makes my day!  Let me know if you make something you find on the blog and how you liked it. I welcome questions--I will do my best to find an answer.  I am also open to requests, send me your favorite recipe - I'd love to try it.

Thanks, Cindy

Now here is what you really came for... a recipe!

Here is the perfect winter soup, served with sticky rice it is delicious. I've made it several times and many people have enjoyed it. It's a 30 minute dish inspired by a recipe in Cooks Country--a great little/big magazine. Here is our revised recipe:

Thai Coconut Chicken Soup
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
3 scallions, white parts minced, greens sliced on the diagonal
4 tablespoons minced cilantro
1 tablespoon red curry paste
1 1/2 teaspoons fish sauce
1 can low sodium chicken broth
1 can coconut milk
1 pound boneless skinless chicken tenders, cut down the center of the tenders, lengthwise and slice in 1/4 slices
1 sweet potato, peeled, quartered and sliced in 1/4 inch slices
1/2 red pepper sliced
 1 large lime--juiced
Heat the oil in a large sauce pan over medium high heat until shimmering.
Add scallion whites, 2 tablespoons of the cilantro and curry paste. Cook until fragrant about one minute. Stir in one teaspoon of the fish sauce, chicken broth and coconut milk. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes.
Increase heat to medium high, add chicken, sweet potato and red pepper. Cook until chicken is no longer pink and potato is tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and pour in a serving bowl. Add remaining 1/2 teaspoon fish sauce, lime juice, green onion tops and rest of cilantro.
Pour soup over a bowl full of sticky rice and enjoy!

Some have questioned my 30 minute meals? They really can be done in 30 minutes if you have a bit of prep done or if you have a sous chef! I like to chop veggies in the morning so at dinner time I really can pull off a 30 minute meal.

But if you have to run to the storage room several time to get needed items, thaw meat, chop veggies etc. 30 might be stretching it. But preparation pays off big time when getting dinner on the table. Good luck. Practice, practice, practice. Cooking is a skill that can be perfected. But I do love to chop veggies!!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Cinnamon Bun Popcorn

I delivered a bag of Cinnamon Bun Pop Corn to my friend--Nancy declared it 'just perfect'. I would have to agree this is one delicious treat. Be prepared to get it out of the house quickly because self control may not exist when this is in the house.
My daughter Jill makes this for a local boutique--it is always requested and sells out within minutes. One just can't make it fast enough! Make a batch for your family--share a little too.

Cinnamon Bun Popcorn
12 cups popped corn--I like to use a hot air popper
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup Karo
1/2 cup butter
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 ounces white chocolate
Put popcorn and pecans in a very large bowl. Combine brown sugar and and cinnamon in a 2 quart glass bowl mix well. Chop butter in chunks and add to bowl, pour Karo syrup over all. Microwave on high for 30 seconds, just to soften the butter, stir to combine. Return to microwave and heat for 2 minutes. Remove and stir and then microwave for 2 minutes more. It should be bubbly. Remove from microwave and stir in baking soda and vanilla, it will bubble and make you smile. Pour the mixture over the popcorn and pecans. Quickly stir and stir until everything is well coated. Spread the mixture on a foil lined jelly roll pan. Bake at 250 for 30 minutes, stir every 10 minutes.
Cool completely, spread on parchment lined surface. Drizzle melted white chocolate over all. Cool till chocolate hardens. Break into pieces and package for Christmas giving. I know I would love a bag of this from my neighbor!
Printable Recipe
This recipe comes from Our Best Bites, where all good cooks hang out!

One year ago----Orange, Cranberry Muffins or The Best Muffin Ever!
Two years ago---Christmas Advent Calendar
Three years ago--Quick Tomato Basil Soup

Monday, December 3, 2012

Gingerbread Baby Cakes TWD/BWJ

First of all please know that I do love ginger--in any form. I just made Dories Ginger Cookies for a Christmas party and they were delicious. I was excited to make Gingerbread Baby Cakes. I don't own baby pans so I made half a recipe and put it in a 'baby bunt' pan. It was beautiful as you can see. It smelled wonderful. But then I tasted it. I cut myself a small slice and put a big dollop of whipped cream on it. The cream helped for sure--but not enough. It wasn't that the ginger was too strong because all I could tasted was molasses.
I had my husband taste it, his comment was, 'that's really a waste of whipped cream'. You will have to check out other TWD bloggers and see how they felt, we gave it at least 2 thumbs down.
I'll stick to Dories All In One Holiday Cake.

But I do have a darling granddaughter, you can enjoy her!