Monthly Archives: January 2013

Coconut Rice Pudding with Mango

I love rice pudding.  This probably goes along with my love of oatmeal, risotto, tapioca, basically anything soft and tasty!  I made this when I was having company over because it is simple, you can make it ahead of time, and the presentation is nice.


The best part is it is a one pot dessert.  No need to bake that cake and then was 1000 mixing bowls before your company arrives! ok…. maybe not 1000… but it feels that way when you are in a hurry!


Coconut Rice Pudding with Mango

serves 4

1 cup  Coconut Milk
3/4 cup Almond Milk
1/2 cups Japanese Sushi Rice
3 Tablespoons Sugar
1 to 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 pinch Sea Salt
1 cup Chopped Mango, for topping

Mix together the coconut milk, almond milk, rice, sugar, vanilla, and salt in a heavy-bottomed medium size saucepan.

Heat the mixture over medium-high heat. When it begins to boil, reduce the heat, and simmer, stirring often, until the rice is tender and the liquid has been absorbed, 20 to 25 minutes.

Remove from the heat. Let the pudding stand for 5 minutes and then divide it among bowls, top with mango and serve.



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Filed under Fruit Desserts

White Bean and Chicken Chili

So January is the month of soup.  I love them and obviously it shows. When you live in Texas the window where you can eat soup comfortably is very small so I am taking full advantage of it.


This is definitely a weeknight soup and it is not like a traditional chili.  I like to think it has a little bit of Italian flair which would make sense seeing as this recipe was done originally by Giada de Laurentis.  My favorite part is you wilt in Swiss chard.  Anything with dark leafy greens and I am pretty much sold.


White Bean and Chicken Chili

Giada de Laurentis

4-6 servings

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 pounds ground chicken
1 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons chili powder
3 tablespoons flour
2 (15-ounce cans) cannellini or other white beans, rinsed and drained
1 bunch (about 1 pound) Swiss chard, stems removed, leaves chopped into 1-inch pieces
1 1/2 cups frozen corn, thawed
4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or more depending on taste
Freshly ground black pepper for seasoning
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the ground chicken, 1 teaspoon salt, cumin, fennel seeds, oregano, and chili powder. Cook, stirring frequently, until the chicken is cooked through, about 8 minutes. Stir the flour into the chicken mixture. Add the beans, Swiss chard, corn, and chicken stock. Bring the mixture to a simmer, scraping up the brown bits that cling to the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Simmer for 55-60 minutes until the liquid has reduced by about half and the chili has thickened. Add the red pepper flakes and simmer for another 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Ladle the chili into serving bowls. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley. Enjoy!


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Filed under Soup

Cherry Almond Biscotti

I know it is January and you are probably still avoiding sugar after the dessert filled holiday season, but I had to post this recipe.  One of my friends needed a cookie for a bridal tea she is helping host and I knew this would be the perfect thing!


The second baking is really important because it hardens the biscotti. Note however this biscotti does not get as hard as a lot of the other recipes I have tried. I believe its crumbly texture is what makes it so good!


Dried Cherry Almond Biscotti

modified from Anne Burrell

1 stick butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, plus 1 egg white
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. amaretto
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch salt
1 lemon, zested
1/2 cup whole blanched almonds, toasted
3/4 cup dried cherries
2 tablespoons turbinado sugar
2 squares white almond bark or white chocolate for dipping

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

In a mixing bowl, combine the butter and sugar and beat together until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl periodically. Beat in the eggs 1 at a time. Add the vanilla and amaretto.

Gently mix in the flour, baking powder, salt, and lemon zest. Once the dry ingredients are incorporated, fold in the almonds and dried cherries.

Divide the dough in half and roll the dough into 2 logs. If the dough is sticky, dust with flour. I needed to do this.
Roll the logs to the length of a sheet pan. Beat the egg white with a splash of water. Brush the logs with the egg white and sprinkle with the turbinado sugar. Transfer to a sheet pan and place at least 3 inches apart. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes.

Remove from the oven let cool for 10 minutes. Remove logs to a cutting board and slice on the bias about 3/4 inch thick. Lay the biscotti back on the sheet pan and return to the oven for another 10 minutes. This will harden the biscotti. Cool completely on a rack.

Melt almond bark or white chocolate in a double broiler over medium low heat.  Dip or drizzle onto almond bark and let harden on parchment paper. Enjoy!


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Filed under Cookies, Holiday


Bibimbap has always been one of my favorite things to eat.  A popular Korean dish it is essentially vegetables on rice.  I usually just take whatever I have in the refrigerator, saute it up, and put it on rice with a little kimchi and a fried egg.  No complaints it is really good, but when Bon Appetit Magazine did a feature on bibimbap they inspired me to make the dish and dress it up a little nicer.


The magazine article has a lot of suggestions for toppings so I am going to include the Epicurious link to the recipe.  You can decide what you like the best and make your own custom bibimbap!

This is what the Korean chili paste I used looks like and I would not skip it.  The date sauce made in the recipe really brings the final product together.


Another thing that I think turned out fantastic was the toasted rice.  Just leave the saute pan on a burner while you do everything else and you will have perfect toasted rice in the end.


For my bibimbap vegetables I used bean sprouts, carrots, zucchini, spinach and nori.  Feel free to mix and match whatever you like and whatever is available!


I made this twice.  For the beef bulgogi the first time I used ribeye, the second time I used sirloin.  If you are being cost conscious go for the sirloin and just soak it in the marinade for closer to 3 hours than 30 minutes.  The asian pear is important in the marinade because it tenderizes the meat.


Make this dish.  It is unique and delicious and you will not be disappointed!


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Filed under Beef

Potato and Fennel Soup with Smoked Salmon Sandwiches

If there are two foods I can always count on liking they are potato soup and smoked salmon. I originally came up with this idea when I stumbled across this potato soup recipe that called for fennel and smoked salmon in the soup.  I decided to hearty if up for a lunch or casual dinner and do the smoked salmon on the side in sandwiches.


Fennel Potato Soup and Smoked Salmon Sandwiches

serves 4

3 tablespoons butter
2 medium fennel bulbs, trimmed, chopped, fronds chopped and reserved
2 large leek (white and pale green parts only), halved lengthwise, thinly sliced crosswise
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 1/2 pounds yukon gold potatoes, peeled, cut into 2-inch cubes
5 1/2 cups (or more) chicken stock

4 oz. smoked salmon
2 oz. goat cheese
2 oz. cream cheese
2 c. arugula
4 Tbsp. capers, drained
8 slices of sour dough
butter for toasting

Melt butter in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add fennel, leek, garlic, and fennel seeds and cook until vegetables begin to soften, stirring often, about 8 minutes.

Add potatoes and 5 1/2 cups broth. Bring to boil; reduce heat to medium. Cover with lid slightly ajar and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 12 minutes.

Working in batches, puree soup in blender. Return soup to pot and rewarm over medium heat, stirring often and thinning with more broth by 1/4 cupfuls for desired consistency. Season soup with salt and pepper.


Melt a little butter in a nonstick heavy skillet over medium.  Add bread and toast on both sides.  You made need to do this in batches depending on the size of your skillet.  Immediately after toasting spread 4 slices with goat cheese and 4 slices with cream cheese.  Place 1 oz. salmon, arugula, and capers on top of cream cheese and finish sandwich with the slice of bread spread with goat cheese.


Serve alongside soup.


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Filed under Burgers and Sandwiches, Soup

Fresh Tofu Summer Rolls

Fresh spring rolls, or summer rolls are something I love but rarely think about making.  Now that I reminded myself how delicious they are I think I will do it more often.  Rolling them up can be difficult at first but keep going and you will get the hang of it!DSCN2728

I made my own peanut sauce which can seem intimidating by the long list of ingredients, but it is really easy.  This is the great thing about Asian cuisine, once you have all the ingredients putting them together could not be easier.


Fresh Tofu Summer Rolls

makes 12 rolls

12 spring roll skins
3 to 4 c. dried cellophane noodles
1/2 seedless cucumber julienne d into matchstick size pieces
1 large carrot julienne d into matchstick size pieces
1 c. thin sliced Napa cabbage
3/4 c. fresh bean sprouts
fresh mint and cilantro
Peanut Satay Sauce and Sweet Asian Chili Sauce for serving** you can make your own or purchase it

Peanut Satay Sauce
1/2 c. peanut butter * with natural peanut butter you may need to add a little brown sugar
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. sesame oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. fresh ginger, fine grated
1/2 lime, juiced
1/2 Tbsp. fish sauce
2 Tbsp. coconut milk
2 Tbsp. chili garlic paste
1 to 2 tsp. Siracha, depending on heat desired

Place cellophane noodle in large bowl and cover with boiling water. Let sit until tender then drain and rinse with cold water to stop cooking.

Place all you ingredients for the rolls out on your work space and fill a large bowl with warm water. Dampen a cutting board to roll on.


Dip spring roll skins in water just to soften. Place on cutting board and fill with noodles, cucumber, carrot, cabbage, sprouts, a couple mint leaves and a sprig of cilantro.


Fold sides of skin in and continue to roll tightly but carefully not to rip the spring roll wrapper. Place on wax paper. Do not stack or place them touching because the spring rolls will stick to each other and tear.


Serve with peanut satay or sweet Asian chili sauce.

For sauce: combine all ingredients in bowl. Store in refrigerator.


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Filed under appetizers, vegetarian

Red Lentil Soup

With the cold weather coming on strong it is the perfect time for a hearty vegetarian soup.  So warm and filling this is the perfect end to a busy weekday.


This soup idea was passed down from my mother and is perfect for using extra produce in the fridge.

Red Lentil Soup

serves 4

1 c. dry red lentils, rinsed
32 oz. vegetable stock
2 c. water
1 Tbsp. grape seed oil
1 garlic clove
i large carrot, peeled
1/2 medium yellow onion
1 chopped tomato
2 Tbsp. chopped parsley
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
1 zucchini, chopped
2 c. baby spinach
salt and pepper

Add garlic, carrot, and onion to a food processor and pulse to mince. This could also be done by hand.

Heat oil in a medium-large stock pot. Saute garlic mixture with the one chopped tomato and saute over medium heat for 8 minutes or until tender.


Add stock and water to pot along with lentils. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add in parsley and oregano. Simmer over low heat 45 minutes or until lentils are tender.

Blend soup to puree. An emulsion or traditional blender could be used for this. Return soup to pot over medium-low heat. Season with salt and pepper. Add zucchini and simmer 25 minutes. Once tender stir in spinach and stir to wilt and serve.


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Filed under Soup, vegetarian