March 29, 2010

Chicken and Vegetable Jambalaya

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Sorry, no pictures for this one. I completely forgot in my mad dash to savor this aromatic meal. The smells wafted through the house like fresh bread baking in the oven. Only these were scents of cajun cooking - Chicken and Vegetable Jambalaya.

Side note: if you've ever wondered where the term Jambalaya came from, it's possible origins are from the French word for ham, jambon. End side note.

There was no ham in this dish, and I usually only see pig in it in terms of sausage, but that's fine. No problem. No worries. We've got you covered with this here version that really spruces up a dish I always wished had more veggies. Mushrooms, squash, and tomatoes soak up the spices and flavor and some jalapenos add a bit of a kick to boot! Enjoy!

March 23, 2010

Southern Banana Pudding Pie

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Not my typical kind of dessert. But it wasn't a typical kind of day.

This hearkens back a month ago to Valentine's Day - wait, this goes all the way back to mid-January when we went to Luckenbach, Texas (middle of nowheresville) for the greatest Texas BBQ I've anyone's ever had. On that trip, after stuffing ourselves full of slow-roasted, -cooked, -braised brisket, pork, and ribs, we were introduced to a little southern hospitality in the way of Banana Pudding Pie.

I tasted it- let it hit all my taste buds. Hmm. Mmm. I like bananas, I like pudding, I like pie. Sold!

Yes, the above picture looks like eggs or some sort of ancient fertility goddess figurine, but despite the horrible photography, it really is something. So step on up and take a swing at Southern Banana Pudding Pie. Enjoy!

Southern Banana Pudding Pie

Yield: Serves 6-8
Ingredients
  • 2-3 bananas
  • 1 box vanilla wafers
  • 1 large box vanilla pudding mix (sugar-free if desired; plus the milk or non-dairy milk for it)
Cooking Directions
  1. Create the pudding mix as instructed on the box. Spread out a layer of wafers in a 9-inch pan. Slice bananas to desired thickness.
  2. Spread the pudding on the "crust". Top with bananas and press them into the pudding.
  3. Chill well. When ready, top with vanilla wafers, slice, and serve.
Alternatively (though I haven't tried this and I think the wafers would get really soggy) is to layer pudding then bananas then wafers then pudding then bananas then wafers and so on until you run out of ingredients. There's also the method of using a graham cracker crust as well. The texture will be different, yet delicious either way.

March 17, 2010

Healthy Baked Meringues

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I know. There hasn't really been a really awesome, blow-your-socks-off dinner recipe in a while. One (or two) are coming - promise. Your socks won't know what hit them!

Until then we'll have to fend off hunger with these Healthy Baked Meringues. Now some might get all righteous when they realize these are just whipped egg whites and nothing more and cry foul because they don't include anything else in a normal meringue. But to them I say "So?" Come on, we're trying to be healthy here! Sometimes you can have your cake and eat it too, but maybe this isn't one of those times for said foul-criers.

Oh, and use the egg yolks to make a decent little Healthy Zabaione. So please enjoy these little treats after the jump...if you dare.

March 13, 2010

Homemade Yogurt

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Keeping in line with our series on homemade things like our Homemade Oat Milk, today we have Homemade Yogurt.

For this there aren't any of those fancy yogurt culture starter kits - just a tablespoon or two of some store-bought yogurt. Pick one that has all the live and active cultures you'd like, and it would probably be best if the store-bought yogurt didn't have pectin or gelatin or something like that. A great brand is Fage Yogurt. Either the regular, 2%, or 0% will work with Fage (pronounced Fa-yeh). I'm 100% convinced a generic brand will work equally as well, but doesn't Fage just sound delicious right about now?

Anyway, follow after the jump for complete instructions on how to make yogurt (both Greek and non-Greek) at home. You could be savoring it by tomorrow. Enjoy!

March 09, 2010

Homemade Oat Milk

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OK, so here's what we have for today: homemade oat milk. Whoa whoa, calm down. It's not that difficult. Trust me. Hey, I see you not trusting me there...that's right....get back here. Don't worry. We'll figure this out together.


That's better. So oat milk is easier to make and more nutritious than rice milk by far. For homemade rice milk you have to cook the rice and let it sit and blend and strain. It takes about 4+ hours of cooking to get it right - not something we want to do when oat milk is SO much easier. All oat milk requires is some oats, water, a strainer or cheesecloth, and a blender.

So step on up, folks, for the best homemade oat milk money can't buy. Once done, flavor it with vanilla or cocoa or whatever you like. And use it as an excellent substitute in recipes and for its creaminess. Enjoy!


Homemade Oat Milk

Total time: 12 hours
Yield: 4 cups
Ingredients
  • 4 cups hot water
  • 1 cup oats (any kind)
Cooking Directions
  1. Heat the 4 cups of water and add to oats in a container. Note: do NOT use boiling water.
  2. Let sit at least overnight in the fridge but for as long as two days.
  3. Blend oats and water together in a blender. Add another cup of water if you'd like it thinner.
  4. Strain the milk through a metal mesh strainer or one layer of cheesecloth. Note: this will make your cheesecloth harder to clean than when you used it for the yogurt.
Ta-da! That's all there is to it. How simple. Use within 5-7 days unless you like oat milk that's started to go a little bad (hey, to each his own).

March 05, 2010

Grits Griddle Cakes topped with Cottage Cheese Yogurt

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Just a little something I cooked up the other morning for breakfast. Having the time to cook your own breakfast most days is really a blessing sometimes. It leads to wonderful experimentation moments like this one - Grits Griddle Cakes topped with Cottage Cheese Yogurt.

Not that it was THAT complicated or difficult to come up with. I mean I had already created the cottage cheese yogurt. I just used it differently this time.

If you know what a grits griddle cake is, then you're basically good to go. If not, you can find both delightful recipes (to the cakes and the yogurt) after the jump. Happy hopping!

March 02, 2010

Multi-Baked Potatoes and Veggies with Sauteed Garlic Mushroom Blend and Baked Pear

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Yes, this title is overly long. Sorry about that. But how do you convey all of the highlights of dinner in one title when everything was a knock out of the park?

So today it's two kinds of potatoes (purple potato and sweet potato) with carrots that were baked to soft, steaming perfection. Then mushrooms, red onions, green onions, and chives were sauteed with garlic over the flaming stove. And finally, as the dessert of the night, an elegant pear baked in its own juices - succulent and sweet. All paired with our favorite chenin blanc. Read on for more. Enjoy!