Saturday, January 24, 2015

Chili Cheese Pasta

Ever feet like there's no time to cook? Either you're in a hurry or you're extremely tired or perhaps you just plain old don't feel like it... well this recipe is perfect for one of those moments. It's a few ingredients tossed in together and the result is quite tasty (unless of course, if you're not a huge chili cheese kind of person, then perhaps a simple jar of tomato pasta sauce and sprinkles of parmesan cheese can be better to your liking).

Whatever the case may be, we can all appreciate a quick go to meal from time to time. 


Chili Cheese Pasta
Inspired by a a tasty sampler at Trader Joe's

Ingredients:
  • 1 can of chili (I used Dennison's Turkey Chili)
  • 1 cup of cheddar cheese
  • approx 7 oz of pasta
  • 2 tbsp of goat cheese (optional, adds more creamy texture and only a hint of goat cheese flavor)
Procedure:
  1. Cook pasta according to instructions via package
  2. Heat can of chili in a sauce pan until hot and bubbly, add in cheese(s) and mix until melted and well incorporated.
  3. Stir in pasta and enjoy.
** another (longer/probably healthier) option is of course make your own chili, however when in a crunch for time, this will get the job done quick and easy. 

Friday, January 23, 2015

Wandering (eyes) - Hatchery Dec 2014

December's box of goodies. Slightly delayed but what else is new right!? Here's eye candy to make up for it :)

  • Red Velvet Pancake Mix (Buttermilk INC, LA, CA)
  • Horseradish Mustard (Pantry House, Santa Cruz CA)
  • Shallot Oil & Amber Vinegar (Wei Kitchen, Seattle WA)
  • Bourbon Pecan Peanut Butter (Reginald's Homemade, Richmond VA)
  • Jalapeno Pepper Jelly (Sweet Fire Jelly, Palm Desert CA)

Monday, January 19, 2015

Coconut Blueberry Muffin Loaf!

Coconut flour... smells awesome, I love coconut...but as a flour, not a huge fan. It is such a pain to work with and unless you have about a dozen eggs lying around, you can forget about it! Its a decent substitute for regular flour I suppose for those who can't have regular flour but honestly if you don't have to, I wouldn't bother. 

Why so negative? Well because coconut flour is like a huge sponge when it comes in contact with liquids, it'll suck it all dry so in order to compensate, you add an obnoxious amount of eggs and liquids to the batter and even then you're still left with somewhat of a doughy "batter." For example, this recipe, normally a muffin batter is somewhat runny not as runny as cake but less so than cookie dough, this looked like cookie dough when I was done. It was ONE cup of flour and twice the amount of liquid. 

I suppose it comes with some nutritional benefits that regular flour doesn't offer like extra fiber and lower in carbs and whatever you make will undoubtedly come with more protein from all the eggs you had to use. Try everything once right? I just wished my mom hadn't bought such a huge bag of it not knowing what it was...her English is very limited and she read "coconut" and thought it was like coconut milk powder or something and bought the Costco 4lb bag. At the rate of ONE cup at a time, I fear we may never see the end of it...

The loaf is very dense and still somewhat on the dry side but not so much that its not good. Minus all that, this still turned out rather well in terms of taste, not bad for my first go at playing with coconut flour. The blueberries were a bit lost in there so its may not be a bad idea to cook the blueberries with roughly 1/4 cup of sugar for just a tad before adding to the batter so that some of that natural blueberry flavor can come out. I might even consider adding a bit of lemon zest to it as well (a couple of changes for next time around...I do have 4lbs to work with!).

Coconut Blueberry Muffin Loaf
Recipe from Nutiva Coconut Flour

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp raw honey (I ran short of honey so I continued with 2 tbsp of corn syrup; maple syrup and agave might be other options as well)
  • 1 cup coconut milk ( I ran 1/4 cup short of coconut milk and add in 1/4 cup of soy milk)
  • 6 eggs
  • 4 tbsp coconut oil, melted (I didn't have any coconut oil around so I used mainly coconut butter and about 1 -2 tbsp of olive oil)
  • 4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries 
  • 4 tbsp Chia seeds (optional
Procedures:
  1. Sift flour, salt, and baking soda together in a bowl
  2. In a separate bowl or blender, whisk together honey, coconut milk, eggs, coconut oil, and vanilla
  3. Gently stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients (mix in chia seeds at this stage)
  4. Fold in blueberries and pour batter into muffin or loaf tin.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes via muffin tins, approximately 30 minutes in a loaf pan at 350 F degrees or until the muffin/loaf begins to turn golden brown. Insert toothpick to test doneness, toothpick will come out clean.
  6. Sift a bit of powder sugar on top for garnish (optional)

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Oven Baked Nando's Peri Peri Chicken

I have to say trying to keep the blog up to date lately have been such a back burner item than I want it to be...

Currently I drive nearly 100 miles a day to get to and from work and I've been doing this for over 2 years and this past year, especially during the busy season, its been quite cumbersome. My original thought was to live at home for a bit, also watch after my dad for a  little bit after his car accident (another story for another time) but now he's gotten so much better and back into a somewhat regular routine, I think its time I find myself a place to call my own and live closer to work so I don't have to commute so much. I've forgotten what it feels like to live close to work, I bet its going to be amazing!

Of course, before I can get all excited about having my own place, there's that dreaded awful process of trying to find a place. Applications, looking at different locations, talking to potential landlords, etc. It's been so fun!... I'm getting close to actually calling a place my own...soon enough. So anyways bare with me as I might semi-continue to neglect this blog a bit more. No fear though, I've been compiling a list of fun experiments I want to play with once I get settled in. Then I can make up for some lost time. :)

In the mean time here is another recipe I snagged online from that bottle of Nando's Peri-Peri sauce I bought from my adventures in a supermarket. Enjoy!

Oven Baked Nando's Peri Peri Chicken
(recipe from Nandos.com)

Ingredients:
  • 4 pieces of chicken thighs
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup of Nando's Peri Peri sauce
  • 1 tbsp spice rub (optional, it'll give the chicken a much bolder taste)
Procedures:
  1. Marinate chicken with spice rub, brown sugar, 2 tbsp of Nando's peri peri sauce, and olive oil for at least 30 minutes or longer
  2. Bake chicken at 350F degrees for approx 30-40 minutes, glazing the chickens with a layer of sauce every 10 minutes.