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  • Have a Spooky Halloween!

    Cheddar Witches Fingers - Cheese straws in the shape of fingers, complete with a black almond "finger nail." Delicious and totally spooky.

    Candy Apples - You don't need to go to the fair to get my favorite treat because you can make these at home. Black food coloring gives them a festive touch.

    Pumpkin Caramel Sauce - Having a not-so-scary Halloween party? Serve ice cream with this pumpkin infused caramel sauce on top.

Monthly Archives: July 2009

Thai Chicken Pasta

This was mine and Eric’s first attempt at making Thai food, and I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. I’ve ordered dishes similar to this at most every Thai restaurant we’ve ever been to, but I never would’ve guessed I would be able to make it at home.

This dish is full of flavor, with the creamy peanut butter and the spicy chili sauce making for a bold combination that has just enough heat. The peanuts and green onions add great texture and color. This has quickly become a favorite at our house.

Thai Chicken Pasta

For the marinade:
3 chicken breasts
1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup lemon or lime juice
1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon Siracha sauce (or other Thai style chili sauce)
For the sauce:
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1 green onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon ginger, minced
1/2 teaspoon Siracha sauce (or other Thai style chili sauce)
1 tablepsoon brown sugar
3 tablespoons peanut butter
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup hot water
For the pasta:
1 box Pad Thai noodles (or other Thai style noodles)
green onions, thinly sliced, for topping
lightly roasted peanuts, for topping

-Cut chicken into large chunks.
-To make the marinade, whisk together all ingredients. Place chicken in the marinade and allow to marinate in the refrigerator overnight or at least two hours.
-Follow directions on box to prepare noodles. (We’ve gotten a different brand each time, and they all call for different soaking times.)
-When chicken is ready to be cooked, heat a medium skillet to medium-high heat. Drizzle in a small amount of peanut oil.
-Heat chicken until cooked through (time will vary depending on the size of your chicken pieces).
-While chicken is cooking, begin the sauce by heating the peanut oil in a small saucepan over medium-low heat.
-Add the green onions, ginger, garlic and Siracha sauce and cook, stirring constantly, for about a minute.
-Add the remaining ingredients, stirring until the sugar has dissolved and the peanut butter is smooth.
-Place noodles in skillet with chicken, pour sauce in and toss to combine.
-Top with peanuts and green onions and serve.

2 servings, plus one lunch-sized portion

Source: Adapted from Made by Melissa, orginally from and Tyler Florence

L.A. Burger

I couldn’t think of how to start this post, so telling you this is the best burger I’ve ever eaten will have to suffice. I was a bit wary about putting avocado on my hamburger; however, after trying this, I can’t imagine eating it any other way. This burger was so moist and flavorful that the only toppings it needed were the avocado relish and a few pieces of red leaf lettuce.

Bobby Flay suggests using 80% lean ground chuck for this recipe. We never buy that type of meat, but I figured we should just follow the recipe. The result was an incredibly moist and juicy patty, and I don’t think we would have gotten the same result from a lean type of meat (like the 97% lean we would normally buy). The seasoning for the meat is simple – brush with canola oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill until desired doneness. Top with cheese, if desired, lettuce and avocado relish. Oh, and make sure to give your buns a good toasting on the grill once the meat is finished.

I’m sending this recipe to Joelen’s Bobby’s Burger Bunday weekly roundup. Be sure to check out all the great burger recipes every Sunday!

Avocado Relish
2 avocados
1/2 small onion, diced
1 jalapeno, minced
juice of one lime
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
salt and pepper

-Mash together avocado and then mix in all other ingredients. (This was more than we needed to top the burgers, but the extra tasted great with tortilla chips.)

Source: Adapted from Bobby Flay

Spicy Eggplant and Red Pepper Pasta

Eric and I both love pasta recipes, but I get tired of having the same type. This dish was a welcome change to our menu. This pasta has some kick to it, so reduce the amount of red pepper flakes if you don’t want it quite as spicy. The sweet red peppers add a wonderful crisp texture to the pasta that nicely balances the soft and meaty eggplant. This dish will definitely fill you up, and even the people that prefer having meat with every meal will appreciate this one.

Another great thing about this recipe is that the sauce can be prepared ahead of time and refrigerated until you’re ready to make the pasta. This makes for a quick and delicious meal, perfect for busy nights. ┬áThe leftovers taste fantastic, too.

Roasted Red Pepper & Eggplant Pasta

Spicy Red Pepper Sauce
3/4 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 cup white onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 large red pepper, roasted (fresh is best, but the jarred kind will work fine)
14 ounce can whole tomatoes, drained and roughly chopped
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper

-In bowl of food processor, pulse roasted red peppers until relatively smooth and set aside.
-In large stock pot over medium heat, heat oil.
-Add diced onion and cook until translucent and just beginning to brown.
-Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
-Add pureed red peppers and chopped tomatoes and heat until starting to bubble.
-Turn heat to a simmer and add remaining ingredients, stirring to combine.
-If storing, remove from heat and place in airtight containers in fridge once cooled.
-If serving immediately, simmer until begins to bubble and serve.

Spicy Eggplant and Red Pepper Pasta
3/4 teaspoon olive oil
1 small eggplant, chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
1 large red pepper, sliced into 1 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 pound penne or pasta or your choosing
Spicy Red Pepper Sauce
1 tablespoon chopped flat leaf parsley

-In large stock pot with salted water, cook pasta according to manufacturers directions to just al dente.
-In large non-stick pan (important with the eggplant) heat oil over medium high heat.
-Add eggplant and cook, stirring constantly, until beginning to become tender, about 10 minutes.
-Add red pepper and continue sauteing until peppers become crisp tender, about 3-5 minutes.
-Add pasta sauce and stir to combine, bringing to a slight simmer.
-Add pasta and stir to combine.
-Top with fresh parsley

Adapted (to serve 4) from Good Things Catered

Meyer Lemon Ice Cream

Ever since reading about Meyer lemons (a cross between a lemon and an orange), I have been on the lookout for them. I was sure the season had passed, so imagine my surprise when I came upon a large basket of them at the grocery store a few weeks ago. Being the foodie that I am, I squealed with excitement. I knew for sure I wanted to make some type of dessert with these lemons, but I was torn between ice cream and sorbet. Though I wish I would have gotten enough lemons to do both, I’m not at all disappointed that I chose the ice cream.

This is a very refreshing ice cream, which I think is due to its wonderful fruity flavor. It’s perfect for a hot summer day or night. It also tastes amazing with chocolate chips mixed in.

Meyer Lemon Ice Cream
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons Meyer lemon zest
6 egg yolks
1 1/2 cups half-and-half
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
pinch of salt
3 tablespoons fresh Meyer lemon juice

-Combine the sugar and lemon zest in a food processor until the sugar is moistened.
-Using an electric mixer, whisk together the sugar and egg yolks until the mixture becomes pale and thick and forms a ribbon when the whisk is lifted.
-Add the half-and-half and 1/2 cup of the heavy cream to a saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer.
-Pour a small bit of the cream mixture into the eggs, whisking constantly.
-Continue whisking and pour in remaining cream mixture, then return mixture to saucepan.
-Add salt and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, about three minutes. Do not allow mixture to simmer.
-Remove mixture from heat and let cool for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
-Stir in remaining cup of heavy cream and lemon juice.
-Freeze in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s directions.
-Remove from ice cream maker and freeze in for at least four hours before serving.

Source: Apple a Day, originally from Savoring America