29 January 2010

Coconut Curry Cream Rice

Sometimes I like to just mix things that I like and see if they go together. Hot buttered rice is something I love to eat with just a little cream and sugar, and this recipe stemmed from that snack. I added more and more things that I thought might go together well until I had a dish that you can use as a side dish for dinner or a dessert. It's sweet and creamy and though simple, turns out quite impressive.

If you're a peanut allergy person, omitting the peanut butter doesn't harm the recipe.

Coconut Curry Cream Rice

2 cups hot cooked rice

2tbs butter
1 tsp cornstarch
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 can of coconut cream (well mixed)
1 tsp crunchy peanut butter
1 tsp McCormick curry powder
1 tsp sugar
3 tbs flake coconut

Cook rice while preparing cream sauce. In a medium saucepan, melt butter and add cornstarch, making a roux. Pour cream and coconut cream in, stirring or whisking over medium heat until thick and smooth. Add crunchy peanut butter and stir until melted and evenly mixed in. Add curry powder and sugar and stir until even. Add coconut and pour sauce over cooked rice, stirring to mix evenly. Serves 4-6 as a side dish with Indian or Polynesian food or by itself as a dessert.

20 January 2010

Chimi-Chili Dogs (Oh baby.)

A word on leftover chili: Chimi-Chili Dogs. Yes, it's exactly what it sounds like...chili and a hot dog in a tortilla, fried. OH, so very fried and delicious. They used to make these at A&W, (maybe they still do, who knows?!) and I loved them. Then I figured out how easy they were to make and I ADORED them!

If you tried my chili recipe and you're  a family of less than 8, you probably found you had leftover chili. While this is not a problem in and of itself, lots of leftover chili can get boring over time. So before that ever happens, I make chimi-chili dogs instead. If I'd been especially smart, I would have posted this two days after the chili recipe, but I didn't even think of it till this holiday weekend. :(

This meal is fantastic in that you can make as many or as few as you have the ingredients for. (If there's only a few leftovers, make them for yourself when no one is looking. The rest of the family doesn't need to know you eat better than they do at lunch.) If there's enough for everyone, you can top them with sour cream, salsa and/or avocados for a full meal.

Chimi-Chili Dogs

Leftover Chili
Hot Dogs (I like Oscar Meyer Beef ones)
Vegetable oil

Pour enough oil into your pot to cover half a burrito, (about an inch or so) then begin heating the oil on medium.

Assemble the chilidogs burrito style. Put a tortilla down, then a hot dog on one end of the tortilla (not in the middle).  Then spoon about a 1/4 cup of the chili on top of that. Fold in the sides on the ends of the hot dogs first, then roll from the side with the hot dog to the side without. It should look like a taco bell burrito.

Once you've made a couple of the burritos, the oil should be hot. Put one or two in at a time, flap down (I use these monsters, because I'm afraid of hot oil. But if you're less of a wimp, you can use regular tongs or your hands.). After a couple of minutes they should be ready to be turned over (again with the tongs) and left for another couple minutes.

That's right! In less than 10 minutes you can delight in a crispy-on-the-outside, oozing-and-gooey-and-meaty-on-the-inside Chimi-Chili Dog! Your taste-buds will thank you ( but your waist might curse you.)

(Apparently I'm in a parenthetical mood, sorry).

15 January 2010

To-die-for Cauliflower Soup

I'm a huge fan of The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond. I started reading her blog for the love story she wrote about her and her cowboy hubby, but I stuck around for the recipes and photos. I originally found today's recipe on her website, but what I'm posting here is my modification of her recipe.  The best part about this soup is it is both a cream and a broth soup, so it has all the creamy richness of a cream soup without being so heavy you still feel it two hours later in your tummy.

And don't give me any business about not liking cauliflower. The taste in the soup is super mild and it's a lot lighter weight than potato. I've tried the recipe with potato instead of cauliflower and it's good but just not good enough. Also, if you have the ingredients handy this only takes about half an hour or less. Dinner in a hurry, without the hassle!

Cauliflower Soup

1 stick butter
1/2 onion, finely diced
1 carrot, finely diced (honestly, I buy bags of baby carrots instead of whole carrots. This works well with  about 8 or so of those.)
1 large head of cauliflower, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon dill
1 quarts chicken broth
2 cups heavy cream
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup milk
salt and pepper, to taste

Chop the onions and carrots very fine. It's especially fast if you have one of these. In a big four quart pot melt 4 tablespoons butter, half the stick. Add the onion and carrots cook for a few minutes, or until it starts to turn brown. Add cauliflower and dill and stir to combine. Cover and cook over very low heat for 15 minutes. (Ok, truth here, I almost always use dill even if the recipe calls for something else. It's personal preference. The original recipe called for 2 tbs parsley and if you like that yucky stuff, you can use that instead.)

After 15 minutes, pour in chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and allow to simmer.

In a medium saucepan, melt the other half stick of butter. Put the cornstarch in the butter and whisk until combined, then add cream. Whisk till thickened. Remove from heat and stir in 1 cup milk.

Add mixture to the simmering soup, stir well. Check seasoning (ie, taste it!) and add more salt or pepper if necessary. Let simmer on low until ready to serve.

If you are the privileged one that gets to eat the leftovers, this soup is even better the next day or the day after that (if there's any left at all). It's hard to believe, but it's true. This soup is so hearty you don't even need meat in it to make a meal, but totally feel free to add a can of canned chicken to it if you want some extra protein in a hurry. It tastes fantastic both ways. Also, I like to add cheese to it sometimes. Drop some grated cheddar in, like half a cup, if you feel like it. Enjoy!

08 January 2010

Slap-Dash Chili

I'm starting with my chili recipe for a few reasons:

It's perfect for this cold winter Friday.
It's already typed up, therefore easy to post.
It has won first place in our church congregation's chili cook-off.
It's one of my family's favorite recipes.
I made up the recipe myself, so you'll get some idea of what I'm all about here.

Slap-Dash Chili

1 can premade chili or chili starter (Nalley is the best, but you put in what you like or can find)
1 can black beans
1 can dark red kidney beans
1 can navy beans
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can diced chilis
1 lb hamburger
dash kosher salt
dash black pepper
1/2 onion, chopped fine
1 cup salsa
8 oz grated cheddar cheese


Rinse beans, drain tomatoes and pour all canned goods into the crockpot and start it. Meanwhile, brown burger and add onion, salt and pepper. Make sure to drain off grease when finished. Mix the burger/onions into the bean mixture. Add salsa and cheese to crockpot mixture and stir in well. Set your crockpot to the desired time. Should you choose to leave it going for 8-10 hours, add a cup of water so it doesn't burn or get too thick.

If you choose to make it in a pot on the stove instead, you'll do things in a different order. Brown the meat and onions; add salsa, salt and pepper. When meat is thoroughly cooked, drain off grease. Rinse and drain the beans and tomatoes, add to the meat, and dump in the chilis and the can of chili. Add 1/2 cup of water and stir well.  For the finishing touch, add the cheese and mix in thoroughly. Cook on medium heat until heated through, then serve. We like it best with cornbread.

This feeds at least 8 people, you may have leftovers unless someone gets greedy.

Welcome to the Slap-Dash Chef!

Martha, I ain't.  I'm a mother to four hardy kids (three boys and a princess) and the wife of a very forgiving man. We're all in a white house in New England, living the American Dream (especially now that I have a Honda Odyssey.) I am just a regular, American girl. I still think of myself as a girl even though I'm 30+. I still imagine to myself that if I don't get a particular chore done, it's okay, because my mom will be along soon to do it for me. (And sometimes, she is!) I'm lazy about housework, my food is delicious but usually ugly, my kids are brilliant but a bit unkempt.

So what qualifies me to write this blog? Over the course of my marriage (currently 9.5 years and counting) I've somehow managed being a full-time housewife and mother and still found time to be myself. I've collected some delicious recipes and figured out some kitchen shortcuts that make life easier. And I'm continually learning organization and housekeeping tools that might help you, too. If you are a Martha clone, you probably won't enjoy this blog. But if you're just a regular person looking for some yummy food, and maybe a few laughs about life and raising a family, then welcome!

You should know, my goal is to put up at least one recipe a week, and I will do my best. But I can't guarantee anything. You should also know, that nothing I put up here will be low-fat, organic, super-fancy or take more than an hour and 15 minutes to make. Yeast and I are not friends...there will be no bread recipes. I've got a large stockpile of recipes to put up, but I will run out at some point so if you want to share, by all means! Please send me recipes that work for you. Some of my recipes are my very own, tried and true, made-up-entirely-by-me recipes. Some will be recipes from my very favorite food blogs and cookbooks that have been modified by me to fit my life and kitchen style. The rest are recipes from friends and family. I'll give credit where credit is due whenever possible.

You'll also probably have to put up with the occasional photo, poem, link, rant, trip down memory lane, or plug. If you choose to skip over all that and just grab the recipe, that's fine. If you like what you read or discover that one of my recipes is yummy and works for you, then please pass on a link to a friend. And please visit the links to the left there; some are the websites of  family and friends, some are websites that are influential to me, and one is the print shop selling my own artwork. ;)

I'm looking forward to the journey that is food blogging! Thank you for joining me!