Tuesday 2 november 2 02 /11 /Nov 13:07

Today is dedicated to all things sweet, I hope you enjoy!!!!!

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My ghoulish girl...

 

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Cute cupcakes...

 

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A cookie bouquet....

 

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By Iheartcooking - Posted in: random
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Tuesday 26 october 2 26 /10 /Oct 23:43

Last Friday, I decided to make something a little different for dinner. I was craving a milkshake, so I built my dinner menu around that:) I didn't really want to buy fast food, so I decided to try making my very own fried chicken. I was reading a gorgeous Persian cookbook and I wanted to use some of the flavours that I read about. Here's what I came up with: I bought a large pack of chicken legs and a pack of (bone in) chicken breast. I took the skin off the breasts but left the skin on the legs.  I seasoned these generously. You can of course use any part of the chicken you like, even a whole one cut into parts. I marinated all in a very tandoori like mixture of plain yogurt which I also seasoned. I dredged all the pieces in plain flour and fried. I think skipping the flour and grilling would be delicious as well. Have you ever created your own faux fast food? I'd love to hear about it! I served my fried chicken with mashed potatoes, corn and strawberry milkshakes. YUM!!

 

  

raw chicken legs Suat Eman

 

Fried Chicken

 

8 drumsticks

4 breasts bone in, split in half

juice of 1 large lime

8 oz plain yogurt (don't use low fat, it will be too runny)

2 tsp salt

2 tsp cracked black pepper

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

2 cloves garlic, ground to a paste

1 healthy bunch fresh chives, chopped

1 bunch parsley, chopped

1-2 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves stripped off the stalk

Roughly 2 cups flour

Vegetable oil for frying

 

  • Place the chicken in a large bowl, pour lime juice over, rub thoroughly with salt, black pepper and garlic.
  • Add yogurt which should cover the chicken.
  • To this add cumin, chili, red pepper, chives, parsley and thyme.

chicken-marinating.jpg

  • Mix everything well and allow to marinate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or up to 8 hours.

chicken-marinating-with-chives.jpg

 

Your mixture should look something like this.

  • Put enough oil to deep fry the chicken in a deep fryer or a large, deep skillet and heat over medium high heat until a wooden toothpick bubbles when placed in oil.
  • Put the flour (you can season slightly with salt and pepper) in a large brown paper bag. I recycle clean grocery bags for this. Put 2-3 pieces of coated chicken into bag and vigourously shake to coat while holding the top of the bag closed.
  • Carefully add the coated pieces to the hot oil and fry until cooked through.
  • Drain cooked pieces on paper towels.
  • Repeat until all the pieces are coated and fried.
  • You need to watch the heat like a hawk- too hot and the chicken will be burnt on the outside and raw on the inside, and not hot enough will make it a really greasy, not crispy chicken.
  • These pieces took approximately 9-12 minutes to cook through.
  • This recipe makes enough for 4 people with leftovers for the next day.

Fried-chicken-dinner.jpg

By Iheartcooking - Posted in: easy recipes
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Tuesday 26 october 2 26 /10 /Oct 01:52

My daughter loves pasta. Any kind- spaghetti, linguine, penne. I came up with this recipe which gave her the pasta fix she was craving and gave me the satisfaction of having two veggies in there. The garden peas gave the pasta colour and a sweet freshness, while the pumkin was invisible. Yes, I said invisible. I had some frozen pumpkin puree and I made it into a thick sauce with some garlic, et voila! instant creamy sauce without tons of added fat and calories. Best of all- no one suspected a thing. If you have a veggie aversion in your family or of you just love a creamy pasta that's actually healthy, try this. It's very quick which is why I make it on weeknights, with leftovers for the next day.

    

 

Spaghetti With Invisible Pumpkin Puree and Green Peas

pasta-with-peas-and-pumpkin.jpg

 

1 14 oz pack spaghetti ( you could substitute whole wheat pasta)

1 cup frozen green peas

1 cup pumpkin puree

1/2 cup chicken stock

2-3 cloves garlic, peeled and finely grated

1 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

1 dried bay leaf

1-2 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp butter

 

  • In a large pot, bring enough water to a rolling boil. Salt well.
  • Add spaghetti, cook al dente according to package directions
  • Add the frozen peas to the spaghetti water for the last 5 minutes of cooking.
  • While spaghetti is cooking, start the sauce.
  • In another deep saucepan, gently heat the olive oil over low heat.
  • Add the bay leaf.
  • Add the butter and garlic- you don't want the garlic to brown.
  • When garlic is fragrant, add the stock and pumpkin puree.
  • Stir to combine all ingredients, and bring to a simmer.
  • Add the salt and black pepper and
  • Let  mixture reduce to a thick sauce
  • Drain cooked spaghetti and peas, add to the sauce (still over low heat)
  • Toss quicly to coat spaghetti thoroughly.
  • Remove from heat and serve!

 

Here's my dinner:

pasta-with-pumpkin-puree-and-green-peas.jpg 

 

 

Here's my husband's:

Spaghetti-with-green-peas-pumpkin-puree2.jpg

He had to get the meat in there!!!

By Iheartcooking - Posted in: easy recipes
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Saturday 23 october 6 23 /10 /Oct 17:16

A deviation from the path of healthy eating, this recipe is one that I've always wanted to try simply because a coconut bake is so delicious when properly done. What is a "bake" you ask? Well here in TnT, "bake' is a term for any unleavened bread with fat cut into dry ingredients (kinda like making pastry). The dough can be either deep fried "Fry Bake", cooked in the oven, "Roast Bake" or cooked on a stovetop- "Pot Bake". The bake is served with whatever floats your boat, from butter and cheese to melongene choka. Coconut bake simply has fresh coconut flesh and milk incorporated into the dough.  I asked my co-workers for the recipe one rainy Wednesday, and out of all the variations (everyone had a "bess" recipe) this one provided by PAM seemed like the one closest to my ideal coconut bake. I made a few adjustments and here's what I came up with.

 

 

Coconut Bake

Makes 2  8" bakes

 

5 cups flour

5 tsp baking powder

1 tbsp instant yeast

1 1/2 tsp salt

1 tbsp sugar

2 tbsp ice cold shortening

2 tbsp ice cold butter or margarine

1 dried coconut, cut into 2 inch pieces

2 cups tepid water

  • Start by preparing the coconut- put pieces in a blender, add warm water. The water should just cover the coconut.
  • Blend until pieces look almost finely grated and liquid in blender is white.
  • Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, put flour, baking powder, yeast, salt and sugar.
  • Combine thoroughly using a whisk.
  • Add shortening and butter to flour mixture.
  • Using a pastry cutter or your hands, cut or rub fat into flour until mixture is grainy and resembles small peas.
  • Measure 2 to 2 1/2 cups of coconut flesh AND liquid into flour mixture while stirring gently. The dough will be slightly moist not wet.
  • When all the dry flour has been incorporated, knead dough for about 5 minutes.

coconut-bake_dough.jpg

  • Shape into a ball, place in bowl and let rest covered with a damp cloth for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Flour a flat surface like your countertop and place dough.
  • Divide dough in half and shape each half into a ball.
  • Gently press each ball into an 8" round and transfer to a greased baking sheet.

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  • Cover with damp cloth and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes in preheated oven or until top is a light golden brown.

Coconut-bake_1.jpg

  • Cool slightly, cut into wegdes like a pie, and serve with whatever you like! I enjoyed my coconut bake with another traditional Trini recipe, saltfish buljol. YUM!

coconut-bake_saltfish-buljol.jpg

 

Last word- you might have noticed that I cheated- I added both yeast and baking powder to this recipe, and replaced water with the liquid from the blended coconut. The leavening makes a tender fluffy bake, and the coconut milk gives a richer flavor.

By Iheartcooking - Posted in: Caribbean
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Saturday 23 october 6 23 /10 /Oct 16:34

I've been away too long, I know. I've been battling a cold for the past week and it really was an even fight. Thankfully I feel much better now so here I am again, sharing my veggie adventures with you. I was inspired for these easy oven roasted veggies by oven fries which I really enjoy, so instead of the traditional wedges, I used a beautiful white sweet potato and a butternut squash. I cut them into 1 inch cubes, drizzled generously with olive oil, and sprinkled all with salt and cracked black pepper. As these both have a fairly high sugar content, the caramelization gave a nice crunch, while the center was tender and perfectly cooked. I served the veggies along with a simple roasted beet salad, and grilled salmon filets. I'm quite sure that any firm tuber or root vegetable would work beautifully here- turnip, dasheen, breadfruit, try whatever you have in the kitchen...then let me know how it turned out!

 

 

Quick Oven Roasted Vegetables

 

1 large white sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes

1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp cracked black pepper

 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Spray a large baking tray with non stick cooking spray
  • Place vegetables on baking tray

oven-roasted-veg_raw.jpg

  • Drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle salt and black pepper.
  • Toss to coat evenly.
  • Roast in oven for 15-20 minutes or until veggies are tender,turning vegetables halfway through cooking time.

oven-roasted-veggies_cooked.jpg

 

  • Serve hot, and congratulate yourself for not indulging in those greasy fries!
By Iheartcooking - Posted in: easy recipes
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