Archive for the ‘food’ Category

Recipe: Mango Sticky Rice

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This stuff is so good. And takes little time and effort to make. I’m all about easy recipes these days since often I’m cooking one-handed (holding a baby has improved my juggling skills tremendously).

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Not long ago, Chris bought us a rice cooker. It’s one of those unitaskers that I wasn’t particularly jazzed about. Rice? Come on, it’s hardly the show-stopper for any meal. Ice cream and popcorn makers are far more glamorous. But it dawned on me that I could use this to quickly cook rice to use in soups, stir fry, and to make pudding. Ooo, I love my puddings!

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Mango sticky rice, even for non-mango lovers, is a real treat. The subtle coconut flavor melds with the rich sweetness of the mango. Top it with smooth unsweetened cream, mint and a little lemon juice and you have yourself an opera of flavors. You know, because it sings all vibrato, fancy-like in your mouth and has a taste range of several octaves. Yum!

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I didn’t have any fresh mango on-hand, so I used frozen chunks and diced them smaller for the presentation. As tedious as it is to chop cubes into smaller cubes, the texture was much better with the smaller chunks.

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Rice Cooker Mango Sticky Rice

Makes about 6 servings

  • 1 1/2 cups Calrose Rice
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup raw turbinado sugar (regular sugar is great, but this adds a more complex flavor)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup milk or half and half
  • unsweetened whipped cream
  • lemon juice (a fresh lemon would be ideal)
  • mint
  • diced mango

 

Rinse the rice and put in the rice cooker with the water.

In a saucepan, heat coconut milk, sugar and salt until incorporated.

When the rice is about 10 minutes away from being done, open the cooker and add the coconut milk mixture. Close to cook. The rice will absorb all of the liquid. Just before it’s done, add about a 1/2 cup of milk or half and half. Stir to incorporate.

Serve warm with diced mangos, unsweetened whipped cream, mint chiffonade and lemon juice (lemon zest optional).

Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 5 days.

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Enjoy!

Food: Chocolate Brigadeiro Cake

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As a belated birthday celebration for Chris, I made him a chocolate cake. But not just any chocolate cake. It’s filled with brigadeiro and raspberry preserves. It’s heaven on a dish. In fact, I barely managed to get a picture of the cake. I was planning on taking pictures of a slice of cake so you can see the interior, but Chris kind of massacred it this morning.

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We thoroughly enjoyed the cake.

I was pretty proud of my rustic frosting job. It’s not perfect, but darnitall it looked quite tasty! Recipe below:

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Fudge Chocolate and Brigadeiro Cake

Makes 1 chocolate cake | Prep time: 30 minutes to an hour | Cook time: 27 minutes

 

Cake

  • 1 box chocolate cake mix
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder (dutch process is ideal)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350º F. Grease 2 8-inch cake pans and cut out 8 inch parchment circles and place inside the cake pans. Combine all ingredients. Pour into cake pans and bake for 15-17 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Set aside to cool. Remove from the pans, wrap in plastic wrap and put in the freezer to cool completely.

Brigadeiro

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 4 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk

Heat the saucepan with medium-high heat. Melt butter, add cocoa powder and whisk until incorporated. Add milk and stir for 10 minutes. Remove from heat.

Frosting

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup cocoa powder (dutch process is ideal)
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar

Whip butter until soft and smooth. Add cocoa powder, vanilla and milk. Blend until smooth. Slowly add powdered sugar until desired consistency.

To assemble the cake: Slice cake in half with a bread knife. Separate two layers and spoon half the brigadeiro and spread evenly. Place one 8 inch cake on a cake plate. Spoon raspberry preserves on top of the first layer (I prefer Bonne Maman or homemade jam). Slice the second layer in half. Place bottom half of second cake on top of the first. Spread brigadeiro and place second half of the second cake on top. Place in the refridgerater to rest (10-15 minutes max). Spread an initial thin layer of icing onto the cake. Crumbs may fall into this layer. Place in the fridge a second time, then create a final frosting layer. Garnish with sprinkles.

Foodie: Liege Waffles and Peach Preserves

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Sometime in 2009 I was introduced to the Liege Waffle. Transformative is the only way I could describe this experience. I’ve always enjoyed waffles, but this was unlike anything I had ever had in my life. Caramelized, dense, crunchy, soft and the perfect amount of sweet. Knowing it was a dough-based waffle that required yeast (not my best friend), I brushed it off as one of those foods that I’ll never be able to make.

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Until . . .

Feed Zone Portables. It’s a recipe book that Chris bought while researching portable recipes that he can make for pre and post-workout snacks.

I haven’t talked about it much here, but since January Chris has lost 30 pounds and become quite serious about his exercise and diet. We had no idea he would lose that much (and keep it off). It’s been annoying to me that he’s been shedding the pounds while I’ve gained them. He’s supposed to gain sympathy weight with me, right?!? Back to the book – the book is full of on-the-go recipes for athletes, the salt/water content of each recipe (particularly the rice cakes) is made to keep your guts happy before, during and after a workout. It’s a really interesting book with easy recipes to grab from the fridge/freezer and go. Perfect for school lunches.

While thumbing through the book, Chris and I came across a liege waffle recipe. I’ve made it half a dozen times already with 100% success every time. Yes. I made a dough that works!I’m beyond stoked about it. So now I’m going to share it with you.

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Liege Waffles

From Feed Zone Portables | Makes 12 waffles
  • 3/4 cup warm milk
  • 1 tablespoon yeast
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 3 eggs + 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 cup melted butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • pearled sugar or raw sugar

Combine milk, yeast, sugar and 1 cup flour with an electric mixer until smooth. Let dough rest for 15 minutes. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, syrup, butter and vanilla. Add egg mixture to the dough along with the remaining dry ingredients (no pearled sugar just yet). Dough should be tacky. Add a little extra flour if it’s too sticky. Cover and let rise for 1 hour. Punch down the dough, cover and refrigerate overnight.

Divide the dough into 12 portions, roll in sugar and cook in a waffle iron until dark golden brown.

Notes: You can easily double this recipe and freeze half for later. After you roll the dough in sugar, wrap each ball in plastic wrap and store in an airtight container. For a little extra punch, put some chunks of chocolate inside the balls of dough and cook. Serve à la mode with bananas and peach preserves for a tasty Sundae.

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Tart Peach Preserves

From a recipe that my mom gave me | Makes 1 quart
  • 4 medium-large peaches, peeled and sliced
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons pectin

Peel the peaches (I use a blanching technique like this one). Slice into about 8-12 slices. Place in a bowl. Pour lemon juice overtop. In a separate bowl, mix sugar and pectin together, then fold in gently to the peaches. Serve or freeze. Preserves last about a week or two in the fridge. This makes for the perfect topping on waffles, ice cream, cheesecake and more. Add some peppers and put in a fish taco!

Our neighbor’s mom gave us 3 large boxes full of peaches last week. So you may be seeing more peach recipes here soon! I can’t seem to get enough. I’ve already canned a gallon of peach jam, nearly 3 gallons of frozen sliced peaches and a couple of quarts of the above sliced peaches. Penelope is already tired of them, but Felix and I aren’t!

Recipe: Homemade Kettle Corn

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Every once in a while our house gets inundated with 6-8 year olds. It’s great. Penelope has a little gang of friends that she parties with, they bounce around from house to house on their bikes scavenging for tasty snacks and things to do. I tend to keep a closed pantry policy most days, but every once in a while I bust out the popcorn maker and make a giant batch of popcorn and send them outside. It gives them something to do, something to eat and it’s incredibly easy/cheap to make. It’s also very allergy friendly as well (unless using peanut oil).

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For some reason I thought that kettle corn was a tricky recipe with a tricky process, until last week. It’s not. Now that I’ve figured it out, I’m off to experiment with other flavors.

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I found this recipe on How Does She?, a recipe for stove top kettle corn. Below is my adaptation for cooking corn with a regular popcorn maker. This would not work for a hot air popper. Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do!

Kettle Corn Recipe

Makes about 6 cups of popcorn | For popcorn maker adapted from How Does She?
  • 2-3 tablespoons of coconut oil
  • 3-5 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1/2 cup unpopped popcorn kernels
  • dash of salt

The coconut oil in this recipe makes a huge difference with the flavor. It’s incredibly delicious. A MUST add in my opinion.

Turn on the popcorn maker so the spinner is rotating, but the lid is off. Put coconut oil in the popcorn maker and wait for it to melt to an oil-like consistency (takes a minute or so). Add the popcorn kernels THEN the sugar. Replace the cover and allow the corn to pop until you hear a 1-2 second pause between pops. Pour into a bowl and sprinkle salt overtop. Serve. 

You may want to add more oil and more sugar for a more caramelized, intense flavor.

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Measuring bowls c/o Red Envelope. 

Food: Raspberry Cupcakes

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I’ve been mildly obsessed with making cupcakes lately. I got the right size icing tips* that I’ve been searching high and low for. Getting the right icing consistency and cake density has now been my master goal.

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I won a cupcake cook book at a blogging event nearly a year ago. I’ve been working my way through the cookbook with fabulous success for each recipe I’ve tried. Chris went wild for the frosting on these cupcakes. He’s been a pretty disciplined eater since January (losing 30 pounds in the process), so I get great satisfaction when I make desserts that are too tempting for him to pass up. I’m such a devil.

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Since moving to the mountains two years ago (we’re at 6300 ft elevation), I haven’t been able to make a decent cookie, but cupcakes I can do! At some point I will figure out how to make all my mom’s cookie recipes altitude friendly, but for now I’ll just stick to cupcakes. Playing with frosting is too much fun, too.

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Raspberry Cupcakes

Adapted from Lizzy Early‘s Strawberry Vanilla Cupcake recipe (Your Cup of Cake)
Makes 24 cupcakes
  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Gently whisk egg whites, oil, milk, mayo and vanilla in a large bowl, until smooth. Add sifted cake mix and stir until combined. Fill cupcake liners, I used just shy of 1/4 cup batter in each cupcake liner. Bake at 350 for 17-22 minutes – I pulled mine out at 15 minutes and they were perfect. Cool.

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 4-5 cups powdered sugar
  • 2-4 tablespoons raspberry jam**, or raspberry puree

Beat butter until smooth, about 2 minutes. Combine lemon juice. Slowly add powdered sugar until it reaches a thick consistency. Add raspberry jam (**I used Bonne Maman jam. That or a freezer jam would be ideal – don’t use the cheap super sugar stuff or you won’t get much raspberry flavor) slowly until it’s the right consistency. Pipe frosting onto cooled cupcakes and serve.

 

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* Icing kit and adorable milk jars courtesy of Bake It Pretty.

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