Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Grilled Thai Chicken

Saturday our friends Lisa, Doug & Briana came over for dinner and some play time and I had fun making a meal out of all new-to-me recipes.  I mentioned over on my Moments with Maisie blog that I would post all the recipes as everything was delicious.  One of the dishes that I served was a Thai Cucumber Salad which I adored and posted previously and today I’m posting another recipe, Grilled Thai Chicken.  The interesting thing about these recipes is that both were inspired by recipes I found on Roz’s blog la bella vita.  Roz posted a delicious looking recipe for Grilled Thai Chicken and within that post she had a picture of her Thai Cucumber Salad  and she mentioned that the recipes would pair beautifully but that her husband’s stomach couldn’t take cucumbers.  I decided to test it out and I can wholeheartedly say that the chicken and cucumbers go together perfectly, a gorgeous match. 

Even though the chicken marinates in a wonderful sauce which contains very spicy Thai red chilies, once the chicken is cooked there is almost no heat at all, just wonderful flavor.  I think that the pairing of the Grilled Thai Chicken and the Thai Cucumber Salad is so wonderful because there is a similar flavor combination to both but the chicken is mild and served temperature hot while the cucumber salad is served cold but is spicy hot.  Whatever the reason, these two items on your plate makes for delicious dining.

 IMG_4726e1Grilled Thai Chicken (adapted from here)

  • 1 - 14 oz. can lite coconut milk 
  • 1/2 cup nam pla (Thai fish sauce)
  • zest & juice of 4 fresh limes
  • 6 large cloves garlic
  • 2 small red onions, peeled and diced
  • 2 Thai red chilies (leave the seeds in for heat or remove them for less heat)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Whey Low Gold (or palm sugar or brown sugar)
  • 1/2 large bunch fresh cilantro
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 6 scallions, trimmed and minced, for garnish or Thai basil
  • 1 fresh lime, cut in wedges for garnish

Combine the coconut milk, nam pla, lime zest & juice, garlic, onions, Thai red chilies, Whey Low Gold, cilantro and black pepper in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. 

Pour the coconut mixture into a large Ziplock bag and  add the chicken.  Allow it to marinate for at least 4 hours in the refrigerator, or two days as I did. 

Prepare a gas or charcoal grill.  When the temperature is medium-hot, remove the chicken from the bag and discard the marinade. Place the chicken on the grill; cover and cook for about 8 minutes on one side. Turn the chicken over and cook another 8 - 10 minutes, or until cooked through but still juicy and moist.  Transfer the chicken to a platter and if you have your act together better than I did, garnish with the scallions or Thai basil and serve with a beautiful wedge of lime on the side.


Sunday, June 24, 2012

Thai Cucumber Salad

It’s that time of year again when our garden is busting with cucumbers so I’m once again on the lookout for delicious ways to enjoy our bounty.  Last summer my absolute favorite way to enjoy the cucumbers was my Spicy Asian Cucumber Salad and though I know that I’ll be making that salad many times this summer I decided to try a new salad this year with our first harvest.  I was reading Roz’s blog la bella vita and she had a recipe for a Thai Cucumber Salad which really caught my attention so with my first cucumber harvest of the season I present my version of Roz’s salad which was wonderfully delicious and going into the cucumber salad rotation for future harvests.  

IMG_4764eThai Cucumber Salad (adapted from here)

  • 5 cucumbers, seeded (you can also peel them if you like)
  • 2 medium red onions
  • 4 Thai red chilies, minced (I left the seeds in for the heat but they can be removed)
  • 1 large bunch cilantro, chopped


Using a mandolin or food processor, thinly slice the cucumber and the onions and add to a large bowl.  Slice the Thai red chilies into rings, leaving in the seeds for extra heat and add to the cucumber & onions.  Chop a bunch of cilantro and also add to the bowl. 

In a separate bowl mix together the dressing ingredients and then pour over the cucumber mixture and stir to coat.  Put the entire mixture in a Ziploc bag and allow to marinate overnight.  This easily keeps in the refrigerator for a good week…if it lasts that long.


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Dried Cherry Almond Tart

IMG_4656eCan you believe it, we are now at month nine of the Improv Cooking Challenge and I haven’t missed a month yet.  The challenge is hosted by Kristen of Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker.  As always I looked forward to participating and finding or coming up with a great recipe which included the two theme ingredients.  This month the participating bloggers were asked to make any recipe of their choosing using the two given ingredients of cherries & almonds.  After all of our recent travels (If anyone is interested, cruise posts are here, here & here.  Travel posts: Ponta Delgada (Azores), Amsterdam, Malmö, Sweden, Copenhagen day 1, day 2 & day 3 and lastly London.) I have been very careful with the amount of sugar, carbs, chemicals & preservatives in our food so this month I wanted to make something delicious which didn’t do the diet in…yet I wanted something on the sweet side so this tart was born.

IMG_4630eI decided to use an almond crust which I’ve used numerous times before when making cheese cakes, pies and other tarts and it’s a favorite of mine and oh-so-simple to make.

IMG_4632eThe crust easily comes together in the food processor and then I just dump it out into the pan I’m using which has been coated with cooking spray.

IMG_4635eThen there’s no rolling involved, just press it evenly into the tart pan.

IMG_4636ePlace the tart pan on a baking sheet.  In this case, because I would be cooking the tart further with the filling, I only cooked the crust for five minutes but if you’re cooking the crust to then add a filling that won’t require further baking, the cooking time increases to about ten minutes or until it is lightly browned.

IMG_4640eWithout even washing it, I made the filling in the same bowl of the food processor in which I made the crust, so this is a one “bowl” recipe.  I poured the filling over the partially baked crust, added my cherries and it was back into the oven for this tart.

IMG_4647eGolden and delicious.  The crust is tender and the filling is custard like and creamy.  The entire tart had a wonderful almond flavor and the cherries were sweet little surprises hidden throughout.  Overall the tart isn’t especially sweet but with a little dot of whipped cream and with the sweetness of the dried cherries, it’s a perfect dessert. 

My previous Improv Cooking Challenge entries:

May 2012  Strawberries & Cream:  Strawberry Soup 
April 2012  Peanut butter & Jelly:  Peanut Butter & Jelly Bars 
March 2012  Potato & Cheese:  Loaded Potato & Buffalo Chicken Casserole 
February 2012  Ginger & Carrots:  Shrimp & Avocado Salad with Carrot Ginger Dressing 
January 2012 Lemon & Sour Cream:  Ponderosa Lemon & Sour Cream Tart 
December 2011 Eggnog & Cranberries:  Eggnog Popovers with Cranberry Butter 
November 2011 Pumpkin & Cream Cheese:  Praline Pumpkin Cheesecake 
October 2011 Caramel & Apples:  Caramel Stuffed Apple Cider Cookies

 IMG_4653eDried Cherry Almond Tart 

Preheat the oven to 350F.  To make the crust, add the almonds to the bowl of a food processor and using the pulse button, process until the almonds are finely ground.  Add the butter and 3 packets of Stevia and process until it all comes together and starts to form a ball.  Put the almond mixture into a 9-inch tart pan which has been sprayed with cooking spray and press the mixture to cover the bottom and up the sides of the pan.  Place the tart pan on a baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes.  The crust will still be very pale but that is okay.   

While the crust is baking, no need to clean out the food processor bowl, just add the whipping cream, eggs, almond extract and 4 packets of stevia and process until fully blended and smooth.

Once the crust comes out of the oven, lower the temperature to 325F.  Pour the egg mixture into the hot crust and place the cherries evenly spread out in the mixture.  They will sink but don’t worry about that. 

Bake for 20-22 minutes until the top is lightly browned and set.  Check the tart as it bakes and if it starts to get too brown just gently place a sheet of foil over the top.

Once baked, remove from the oven and allow the tart to cool completely before slicing.  Tart can be served at room temperature or chilled.  Decorate with a dusting of Whey Low powdered, some whipped cream and an extra cherry.


Sunday, June 17, 2012

Father’s Day Dinner

IMG_4624eToday was a nice quiet Father’s Day…well quiet for me which was wonderful because I haven’t been feeling well with a sinus infection and I needed a quiet day.  Eammon spent the day with Maisie as he took her to play mini-golf and ride the go-karts at Mountasia and then they went to the pool.

IMG_4622eWhen they arrived home from the pool Eammon had one of his favorite dinners waiting for him, steamed lobster tails, steamed shrimp, seaweed salad and of course some melted butter.

IMG_4618eMaisie wasn’t feeling in the mood for lobster so she enjoyed shrimp, corn and seaweed salad.  Though I don’t generally serve corn off the cob, wee little Maisie Miao Miao has her first loose tooth and has been hesitant to eat corn on the cob even though it’s one of her favorites.   

No recipes today as I just steamed the lobster and shrimp but if you’re looking for something wonderful to do with steamed lobster, and trust me had I had leftovers I’d be making these Wicked Good New England Lobster Roll, they’ll rock your world.


Hope that all the Dads out there had a wonderful Father’s Day. 


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Lacy Cheese Crackers

IMG_4596e1 Today I tried a new recipe for cheese crackers and it was a huge hit with both me and my taste-testing guinea pig friend / cracker hand model Lisa.  I’m not linking this recipe as it’s all over the internet and I read about the crackers on no less than twenty different sites.

Not only are these crackers crunchy delicious but super simple as I made them with just one ingredient…cheese!  Many of the recipes I read added herbs or seasoning but I went super simple and the crackers came out perfect…well after the first batch which I didn’t cook quite long enough.  These crackers are totally addictive and I found them to be quite rich and filling too.

IMG_4614eThe crackers are super thin and crunchy.

IMG_4613eThey hold up beautifully to a nice thick spread of Jalapeno Yogurt Dip. 

IMG_4599eLacy Cheese Crackers

Preheat oven to 350F.  Line a baking sheet with a Silpat or parchment paper.  Using a one teaspoon measure, place shredded cheese in six piles spread out evenly on the lined baking pan.  You must leave a lot of space between the piles as these little piles of cheese will spread.  Bake for 10-12 minutes until the color starts to get golden and it looks like all the oil from the cheese has seeped out.  Remove from the oven and allow the crackers to cool before moving to a paper towel.  Allow the extra oil to be absorbed by the paper towel.  Store in an airtight container.


Thursday, June 7, 2012

Mango Melon Banana & Chia Smoothie

IMG_4587E For this month’s Crazy Cooking Challenge the participating bloggers were challenged by our hostess Tina, of Moms Crazy Cooking to find the ultimate smoothie recipe.  The way that the Crazy Cooking Challenge works is that each month there is a dish that our hostess Tina challenges the participating bloggers to make.  We all go out searching non-celebrity blogs looking for what we think is the ultimate recipe for that dish and once we find it, we make it and then all on the same day we do our post featuring the recipe and the blog where it was found.  As I said, this month the challenge was to find the ultimate smoothie recipe and in our home Eammon is the big smoothie lover.  One of his favorite flavors is mango so when I came across Chaya’s Mango Melon Smoothie on her blog My Sweet and Savory I knew that I had found my recipe.  I only made two little additions to Chaya’s recipe in that I added 1/2 of a frozen banana which thickened up the smoothie a bit more and added another flavor and I also put in a tablespoon of chia seed gel just because I love adding it to our diet anyway that I can.  Eammon really loved his smoothie and I loved that I got some fruit into him.

IMG_4584EMango Melon Banana & Chia Smoothie 

  • 1/4 mango, cut into chunks
  • 1 slice of melon, cut into chunks
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 TBS. chia seed gel
  • 1 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt

Place all ingredients into a blender and process until it’s the consistency you desire.


My previous Crazy Cooking Challenge entries:

Grilled Cheese Sandwich Challenge: Totally Outrageous Jalapeno Popper Grilled Cheese Sandwich 
Blueberry Muffins Challenge:  Skinny Blueberry Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins 
Spaghetti with Red Sauce Challenge:  Tomato Sauce with Onion & Butter 
Chocolate Cake Challenge:  Double Chocolate Meyer Lemon Mousse Cake 
Chicken Noodle Soup Challenge: Thai Chicken Noodle Soup 
Fudge Challenge: Biscoff Fudge 
Mashed Potato Challenge: Aloo Tikki 
Chocolate Chip Cookie Challenge: Chocolate Chip Gingersnaps 
Mac & Cheese Challenge: Velvety Mac & Cheese


Monday, June 4, 2012

Candied Popcorn

IMG_4472eAfter missing last month with the Secret Recipe Club because of our three weeks of traveling, it feels great to be back and posting again .  If anyone is interested, cruise posts are here, here & here.  Travel posts: Ponta Delgada (Azores), Amsterdam, Malmö, Sweden, Copenhagen day 1, day 2 & day 3 and lastly London. We had a fabulous trip and I was honestly bummed to miss a month of the Secret Recipe Club but I just couldn’t squeeze it in before we traveled and the reveal date was on my birthday and I was busy with my daughter in Denmark touring Frederiksborg Palace, one of the most opulent castles I have ever visited.  Anyhow, back to reality and this post. 

This month I was assigned Carol’s No Reason Needed and as I hadn’t cooked in so many weeks I was anxious to get cooking again.  Carol’s blog is just filled with recipes…nothing with fish though as she doesn’t like fish, okay there was one recipe, but even though we love fish I could work around that one.  In the end it was Maisie who chose the recipe this month as she saw me scrolling through Carol’s blog and the Candy Popcorn caught her eye and she begged to make it.  In the end Maisie read the recipe and made most of it herself and I was only there to deal with the super-heated sugar mix and when the popcorn had to be baked as Maisie’s still too small to be taking things out of the wall oven.

IMG_4464eMaisie mixing the sugar mixture ingredients.

IMG_4467eI poured the super hot sugar mixture over the popcorn and Maisie mixed it all together.

IMG_4468eShe spread the coated popcorn on the pan and then we baked it.

IMG_4475eMaisie absolutely adored making and eating the popcorn and she’s asked a couple of times to make it again so I think this is a winning recipe in her book.

IMG_4469eCandied Popcorn

Preheat oven to 250F.

Combine margarine & honey in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave until melted.
Add the sugar & Jello powder. Stir to mix. Put in microwave and cook until it comes to a rolling boil (doubles in size).
Put the popcorn in a large bowl and carefully pour the sugar mixture over the popcorn. Stir to coat.
Place the popcorn on a Silpat lined or greased baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.
Cool & break apart.  Very important, store in an airtight container otherwise it will get sticky wet.


My previous Secret Recipe Club Recipe Posts:

Fruit, Nut & Poppy Seed Chicken Salad 
Broiled Sushi 
Health(ier) Peanut Brittle 
Crunchy Fudgy Heart Bites 
Texas Chicken with Lime Butter 
Pork Belly Soup with Collard Greens 
Thin Mint Irish Coffee 
Levain Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies 
Welsh Cakes 
Nutella Crêpes 
Cilantro Lime Chicken 
Holy Guacamole 
Home Style Chicken Curry

Secret Recipe Club

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