Curry Coconut Peanut Dressing

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IMG_1019There is something about coconut milk that is ridiculously addicting.

Ingredients:
1 c coconut milk (make sure it’s the real kind, not the drinking kind)
3 T Peanut Butter
3 T Fresh Lime Juice
1 T Curry Powder
1/2 tsp salt

Directions:
Add to a bowl and whisk until smooth
Refrigerate to thicken up.

Recipe courtesy of The Roasted Root.

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Wine Slushy

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IMG_1017It’s hot out. This drink makes it not so horrible.

Ingredients:
Frozen fruit
Wine

Directions:
Blend.
Drink.

Tips:
I used blueberries, strawberries, and some pinot grigio I had left over from cooking.
It should go without saying that you shouldn’t use expensive wine.
It should also go without saying, don’t use shitty wine because you still have to taste it and consume it.

Mexican Inspired Chicken Fried Rice

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10273134_10103010341907588_7451416837155151319_oMy second cooking adventure with a cast iron skillet. I think it makes everything taste better. This was thrown together out of various things I had in the kitchen. Nothing like “a little of this and a little of that” type cooking when you’re in the mood to mix food genres!

Ingredients:
Butter
Onion, chopped
Garlic, minced
Frozen Vegetables, chopped
Chicken, chopped
Eggs
Black Beans
Brown Rice, cooked
Salsa
cilantro
Lime Zest

Directions:
Heat skillet and once very hot melt butter
Add in the onion and garlic, cook until starting to soften
Add in the frozen vegetables and saute until starting to crisp
Push vegetables to the side of the skillet and cook the chicken until it has browned
Stir everything together and saute for a little bit
Push everything to the side again and add in the eggs (I used 3) and scramble
Mix everything together and add the black beans and rice
Stir everything together well and saute for another 10 minutes or so.
Once it’s good and fried, add in a just enough salsa to lightly coat everything
Stir in a handful of chopped cilantro and lime zest

Tips:
I used butter with every step. It helps make it crispy without drying everything out.
The best part of fried rice is actually frying the rice and making it crispy. Once everything is added and stirred together, let it sit in the skilled undisturbed so it can crisp up.

Chicken & Pepper Hot Sandwich

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856340_10103008180069928_6775126809448118742_oThis was inspired by the Philly Cheese Steak, but I hesitate to say that out loud because that’s a pretty sacred sandwich. Hot sandwiches are one of the best foods ever invented, so whatever you want to call this, it’s delicious. I’d recently bought a cast iron skillet (finally!) and this was my first meal with it.

Ingredients:
Buns
1 Onion, sliced
2 Bell Peppers any color you like, sliced
Chicken, cooked and sliced
Cheese

Directions:
Toast the buns
Saute onion and bell peppers until soft
Add chicken and cook until heated
Cover the pan evenly and add cheese on top
Cover to let the cheese melt
Using a spatula, scoop the filling onto a bun

Tips:
The cast iron skillet made charred the vegetables and chicken really well. I highly recomend it!
I used sliced cheese, but I’m sure shredded would work just fine since it melts into the filling anyway.
I put a little bit of mayonnaise on the buns, but I would love to make this with some sort of aioli.

Mashed Potato Cookies

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IMG_0948These are technically called Duchess Potatoes, but the husband saw them and said, “Mashed Pototo Cookies!”, so that’s what they are in our house. They are a little different from the recipes I’ve seen for Duchess Pototoes in that I didn’t add egg yolk or do an egg wash or brush with butter.

Ingredients:
Mashed Potatoes

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 and grease a cookie sheet.
Fill a pastry bag or plastic bag with mashed potatoes and pipe into mounds on the cookie sheet.
Bake until golden brown and crispy on the outside, it was about 40 minutes for me.

Meatloaf Cupcakes with Mashed Potatoes and Gravy Frosting

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10001297_10102997688260598_5258552941214644320_nI made this for the husband’s birthday dinner. It was quite a hit! I’m sure I found this idea on Pinterest because it’s such a Pinterest-y thing. I’ve never made meatloaf, so this is a combination of about a dozen recipes I looked at online.

Ingredients:
1/2 Onion
1 Celery Rib
1 Carrot
1/2 Red Bell Pepper
Demi Baguette, about 4 oz.
Italian Seasoning
Black Pepper & Salt
1 1/2 lb Ground Beef
1/2 lb Group Pork
1 Egg

Glaze:
2 tbls Apple Cider Vinegar
2 tbls Dark Brown Sugar
1/4 c Ketchup

Mashed Potatoes
Gravy

Directions:
Line a muffin pan with cupcake papers and preheat oven to 325.
Chop onion, celery, carrot, and pepper and saute until soft
Tear up bread, add Italian seasoning, pepper, and salt in a food processor and process to make fine breadcrumbs. Dump the breadcrumbs into a large bowl.
Add the softened vegetables to the food processor. Process until finely chopped, but not pureed. Add to the bowl with the breadcrumbs.
Put the meat into the bowl and crack an egg.
Now, the fun part! With your hands combined all the ingredients. Be careful not to handle the meat too roughly or the meat will get too tough.
Divide the meat among the muffin pan and fill each one to the top, pressing the meat to fill the whole liner.
Wisk all glaze ingredients together.
Brush the glaze on top of each mini meatloaf.
Bake about 45 minutes, or until a meat thermometer inserted into the meat reads 155 degrees farenheit.

While the meatloaf cupcakes are baking, prepare the gravy, and make mashed pototes to your liking.

After the meatloaf has cooled for a few minutes, remove from the cupcake papers. I found they were a little greasy, so I blotted them with a paper towel to remove the excess fat.
Put mashed potatoes in a piping bag and pipe the “frosting” onto the “cupcakes” (You could also just blob it on there)
Drizzle the gravy on top.
You can add chopped chives or corn or any other topping as “sprinkles”

Gravy Without Meat Drippings

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IMG_0947This worked out really well to make gravy without having any drippings on hand. The only thing I would have done differently is to reduce the broth first so the flavor would be more concentrated.

Ingredients:
1/2 stick Butter
2 tbls Flour
1 cup Broth – I used beef, but you can use anything you like
1 tbls Cream of Milk

Directions:
Melt the butter and add the flour.
Wisk to remove the lumps and let the flour cook for a minute or two.
Wisk in the broth and let it simmer for about 5 minutes
wisk in the cream or milk and add salt to taste.

Tips:
This can be made and refrigerated ahead of time. As it cools, it becomes gelatinous. Once it’s reheated it goes back to a normal consistency.

Recipe inspired by Chocolate Moosey.