Friday, December 18, 2015


Recipe Status: Pho is my go to soup for when I'm sick. The marrow from the chicken bones is good for your body, and the spices are very healing and soothing to your digestive system. I've made this multiple times, most batches have been heavenly, and some have been meh, but I'm sure I've figured out the perfect recipe for me. Bonus: Your house will smell AHHHHMAZING!

In a large tea infuser or cheesecloth, place the following spices:

5 Star anise seeds
6 whole cloves
1-2 cinnamon sticks depending on size
6 cardamom pods
3 tbsp fennel seeds
3 tbsp whole peppercorns
2 tbsp whole coriander
1 whole onion, peeled with ends trimmed off
3-4 inch piece of ginger, peeled and cut in smaller pieces
3 large cans/boxes chicken stock
1 flat of chicken drumsticks

• In a large pot, place spice packet, onion, ginger, chicken stock and chicken legs. Simmer on low for a few hours.
• As soon as the chicken is cooked (and this is very important so it doesn't turn mushy) remove the chicken legs from the pot. As soon as they've cooled down enough, separate the meat from the bones, and place in a bowl in the fridge. Throw away the skins and cartilage, and put the leg bones back in to the pot to continue to simmer. This is when you get all the healthy marrow. 
• Continue to simmer a few hours, and when you're ready to serve, remove bones, onion and ginger pieces from the broth and discard. 

While Pho is simmering, prepare/dice/shred the following items (to taste) to put in your bowls:
White onions
Green onions
Bean Sprouts
Prepare rice noodles per package instructions. They'll stick in a clump, that's okay. 

Assembling your pho bowls: 
Place, to taste, any or all of the suggested ingredients in the bowl. Add chicken and noodles, then ladle broth over everything and fill the bowl. Add a few drops of hot chile or hoisin sauce if you'd like. Stir it all together and squeeze a lime wedge over it. Enjoy! 
*Note: when leftover broth is stored in the fridge, it will thicken and will be slightly gelatinous. That's how it's supposed to be. Just warm it back up and it'll liquify.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Thai Sweet Coconut Sticky Rice with Mango

Recipe Status: I am in LOVE with this, and look forward to it at every Thai restaurant I go to. Unfortunately it doesn't always taste good. But THIS does! Happy sigh.

1 1/2 cups Boton rice
2 cups water
2 cups coconut milk, divided
1 cup large dried coconut shavings (NOT sweetened shredded coconut.)
1 cup sugar
3/4 tsp sea salt, divided
3 mangoes

• Combine rice and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce to low. Simmer until water is absorbed, about 15 minutes.
• While the rice is cooking, mix together 1 1/2 cups coconut milk, 1 cup sugar, 1 cup (or a large handful) dried coconut, and 1/2 tsp salt in saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, then set aside. Stir cooked rice into the coconut sauce and cool for an hour or two.
• Slice the mangoes in half along the pit, scoop out with a spoon and cut into cubes.
• Make a sauce by mixing 1/2 cup coconut milk, 1 tbsp sugar 1/4 tsp salt and a small handful of dried coconut if desired. Bring to a boil, then simmer for a few minutes until thickened.
• Place the mango on top of the sticky rice, then pour sauce over the mango and rice. Top with a pinch of cardamom or sesame seeds if desired. This will keep in fridge for a few days.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Soft Peanut Butter Cookies

Recipe Status: It's nice to have a peanut butter cookie that isn't hard and crumbly. And the wheat is a tasty compliment to the peanut butter. Yes, this recipe is a keeper.

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup peanut butter (we recommend extra chunky)
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups white flour

Cream peanut butter, butter, sugars, eggs and vanilla until smooth. Add dry ingredients until completely mixed. Roll (or use a cookie scoop) into walnut sized balls and place on a sprayed baking sheet.
Bake at 350 until the edges are slightly browned, about 7-10 minutes. A little bit longer if baking on a stone, mine took about 12 minutes. Store in an airtight container and they'll stay soft!

Candied Orange Peels

Recipe Status: Long standing tradition at Christmas time. My favorite is dipping each piece in high quality dark chocolate. Mmmm.

Peels of 3 oranges
2 cups water
2 cups sugar, divided

Cut the tops and bottoms off the oranges. Cut the peel in four vertical lines, like you're quartering the orange, and remove the 4 pieces from the orange. Cut each piece into thin strips.
Bring a pot of water to a boil, and boil the orange peels for 15 minutes. Boiling it in water reduces the bitterness of the rind. If desired, drain and boil in fresh water a second time. Drain and rinse.
Bring 2 cup water and 1 cup sugar to a boil over medium heat. Add the peel, reduce heat to med-low, and simmer until the peels are tender, about 45 minutes. Drain, and toss or roll peels in remaining cup of sugar.
Place peels on a cooling rack and let them sit until sugar coating is dry. Usually it takes about a day, sometimes 2.
If desired, dip each piece in dark chocolate, or lay a bunch of pieces on wax paper and drizzle chocolate on the bunch. Or eat as is. Delicious.

This is also exceptionally tasty with grapefruit rinds.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Fluffy Buttermilk Pancakes

Recipe Status: The BEST pancakes EVER! ;) Excellent flavor and texture.

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups white flour
3 tbsp sugar
3 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
3 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup milk
3 eggs
1/4 cup butter, melted.

Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over med/high heat. (Or if you have an electric griddle, heat to 350.)

In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, melt the butter, then beat together wet ingredients.

Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture, and stir with a spoon until it's just blended. Don't over stir. Scoop batter onto the griddle (1/3 cup is prefect size). Cook about 4-5 minutes (or until one side is golden brown) and flip and finish browning the other side. This recipe makes roughly 2 dozen pancakes.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Cranberry Apple Pie w/ Oat Cookie Crust

Recipe Status: It's like having apples dipped in a cinnamon-sour cream dip and topped on an oatmeal cookie. But better. Much better. Many thanks to my friend Tyffani for sharing this with me.

3 cups rolled oats, not instant
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
6 T brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup butter, melted

7 cups apples, peeled and thinly sliced (Granny Smith or Jonathan's are best)
1 cup whole cranberries, fresh or frozen
3 T fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 tsp grated lemon zest
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 dash of cloves
3 T flour
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sour cream

Combine all crust ingredients until completely moistened. Reserve 1 cup and set aside. Press firmly onto the bottom and sides of a pie dish, forming a thick crust.

Place sliced apples and cranberries in a large bowl. Drizzle and coat with lemon juice. Add spices and mix well. Add flour and mix again. Gradually add brown sugar and sour cream as you mix. Pour into crust, and distribute evenly. Sprinkle on remaining oat topping and pat gently in place.

Bake @ 375 for 45-50 minutes.

Sweet Wassail Potatoes

Recipe Status: I've always passed on the candied yams because they were sickeningly sweet, marshmallows, crushed pineapple, sugar, sugar and more sugar. Blech. But wanted to find a way to still have tasty sweet potatoes without all that sugary nastiness. Today's experiment was a success! (Even though it does have a small amount of sugar.) Smacking my lips...

3-4 large sweet potatoes, cubed (About 6 cups)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 tsp grated orange zest
1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
2 T fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 stick butter, melted
1/2 tsp each: nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger
1/4 tsp each: cloves, salt, pepper

Boil the cubed sweet potatoes until just tender. Spread in a 9x13 casserole dish. Combine brown sugar, juices and spices, and pour over potatoes. Bake @ 350 for 30 minutes. IF you so desire, you can top with mini marshmallows. But it stands on its own.