Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Party in Your PJs! #249: Irish Delights

4 comments:


Happy Tuesday!  Welcome to the Party in Your PJs Link Party, where your posts will be seen on three different blogs each week.


  Meet the Co-Hosts


Nina @ Grandma Ideas 

Lynda @ Reviews, Chews & How-Tos 

Lynda's Features!

 Make sure you head over to the other members of Party in Your PJs
 to see their features - we each pick our own!




All links are pinned to a Party Board...you can follow the board on Pinterest...feel free to follow the board, there is lots of inspiration to be found there.

Ok...let's party!

Rules -Link to post, not your home page
-Link to something YOU made, wrote or thought
-No Etsy or Business Pages
-Link Parties, Roundups and Giveaways welcome
- Don't Link and Run! Please visit other links, make friends, learn something new, leave a comment.



Monday, March 11, 2019

Keftedes (Greek Meatballs) and Tzatziki

4 comments:


Although I visited Greece a few years ago, I mostly enjoyed pasta dishes, so  I never really experienced the unique seasonings that go into Greek style meats. Even still, I have missed the flavors and spices of Greece, and decided to concoct a meal reminiscent of my travels.

You can read all about my trip to Greece here:


This post is about my attempt at Greek style meatballs with tzatziki sauce.

Traditionally these would be made with lamb but I was unable to find that in my area so I settled for a mix of pork and beef with specific seasoning.  In spite of the simplicity of the dish, it reminds me of my time in Santorini.

Greek Meatballs
Serves 4

Ingredients
1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground pork
1 lg red onion grated
3 cloves garlic grated
¼ cup fresh parsley chopped
Juice from one lemon
¼ cup fresh mint
1 egg
¼ cup bread crumbs
Salt
Pepper

Mix all ingredients together, then refrigerate for 2 hours to stiffen (this will help make the meatballs easier to roll and give the flavors time to meld together.
Roll into golf ball size balls.

Cook in pan with olive oil at medium to high heat until crispy outer edge. (You could also bake these, but I prefer the crispier texture of a panfried meatball.)

Serve with Tzatziki for dipping.

Tzatziki
Makes 3 cups

Ingredients
3 cups full fat Greek yogurt
4 garlic cloves minced
1 cup cucumber seeded and grated
1 tbs FRESH dill, chopped
Juice from 1 lemon
1 tbs olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together and serve or refrigerate for up to 2 days.  This is wonderful as a dip, or drizzled into a pita sandwich.

Eat, while dreaming of  sunny Santorini!



Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Party in Your PJs! #248 - St. Patrick's Day Green

3 comments:


Happy Tuesday!  Welcome to the Party in Your PJs Link Party, where your posts will be seen on three different blogs each week.


  Meet the Co-Hosts


Nina @ Grandma Ideas 

Lynda @ Reviews, Chews & How-Tos 

Lynda's Features!

 Make sure you head over to the other members of Party in Your PJs
 to see their features - we each pick our own!




All links are pinned to a Party Board...you can follow the board on Pinterest...feel free to follow the board, there is lots of inspiration to be found there.

Ok...let's party!

Rules -Link to post, not your home page
-Link to something YOU made, wrote or thought
-No Etsy or Business Pages
-Link Parties, Roundups and Giveaways welcome
- Don't Link and Run! Please visit other links, make friends, learn something new, leave a comment.



Thursday, February 28, 2019

Crazy Rich Asian Chicken Satay

10 comments:

The February/March reading selection for the Cook the Books Club is Kevin Kwan's Crazy Rich Asians, described by its publishers as "a fun, over-the-top romp through the unbelievable world of the Asian jet set, where anything from this season is already passe and one's pedigree is everything."

That pretty well describes it!  I found it to be a lot of fun and a lot flabbergasting (these are the rich people so rich that the rich people barely know they exist).

Into this world comes the main character, Rachel Chu - a Chinese American academic who discovers (as one does in wealth-fantasy novels) that her unassuming fellow-academic boyfriend just happens to be the son of one of the most crazy-rich families in Singapore.   She finds this out while on a plane to go meet his family and from there, hijinks ensue.

I enjoyed the book a lot and whipped my way through the entire trilogy shortly before the movie came out.  The intrigues and drama are the sort that clearly matter a lot to the characters involved, and for the most part were so far removed from my own life that the whole thing was just fun escapism.

Crazy Rich Asians (the movie) captures a lot of what happens in the book and keeps the frothy tone of it with a few significant modifications.  The biggest one is the way Akwafina's character takes on her sparkling over-the-top-ness, making her quite different from the book version, who is actually one of the most grounded secondary characters involved.

I liked both versions just fine, but don't read the book expecting to see the same character.

By luck, the movie is also this month's Food n' Flix choice, hosted by Eliot Eats (and typical of me, I'm getting this in right under the wire).

Seeing so many of my favorite actors (Constance Wu!  Michelle Yeoh! Lisa Lu!) and enjoying the beautiful sets and fun, not too challenging plot made for a really enjoyable movie night.

The recipe I was inspired to make was chicken satay.  This is what Rachel's boyfriend shares with her when they first land in Singapore, and she's still reeling a bit at the discovery of who he is.

Rather than whisk her off to a fancy restaurant, he takes her down to a popular outdoor street market area, where she meets a few of his friends and they introduce her to the best street food choices in Singapore - especially the Chicken Satay.

Now, I'm not even going  to try to claim mine is as good as theirs was described, but we really enjoyed it!  This version has a spicy peanut sauce to go with it - and I used some extra sauce to mix into some zucchini noodles sprinkled with peanuts.

The recipe I used is based on Milk Street's Singapore Chicken Satay, cooked in the oven rather than a grill.  Other than the time it takes to marinate the chicken, this made for an easy and simple dinner that would also be wonderful as a part of a buffet table.

Chicken Satay
serves 4

2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1" wide strips

Marinade
2 Tblsp freshly grated ginger + 2 tsp. (reserve)
6 garlic cloves, finely minced + 1  clove (reserve)
1/4 cup sugar
2 Tblsp oil
1 Tblsp sesame oil
2 Tblsp turmeric powder
1 Tblsp ground cumin
1 Tblsp salt

Peanut Sauce
1/4 cup boiling water
2 Tblsp creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1 Tblsp sugar
2 Tblsp oil
reserved 2 tsp. grated ginger
reserved clove garlic, minced
2 Tblsp. chile garlic sauce
1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
1/2 cup finely chopped roasted peanuts

Prepare the marinade:
Combine all and stir until sugar is dissolved.  Add chicken and marinade for 2-3 hours in refrigerator. (Don't marinate any longer than that - it will get too salty.)

Prepare the sauce:
In a medium bowl, whisk together peanut butter and boiling water until smooth.  Add soy sauce, rice wine vinegar and sugar, whisking to combine. Set aside.

In a small skillet, heat oil and add ginger and garlic. Cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant (about 1 minute).  Add the chile garlic sauce and turmeric, and cook another 30 seconds, until fragrant.

Whisk the garlic-ginger sauce into the bowl of peanut butter and soy.  Remove 1/4 cup for basting the chicken, and set aside the rest in the refrigerator for serving.  Let come to room temperature about 30 minutes before cooking the chicken, and stir in 1/4 cup of the peanuts.

Prepare the chicken:
Cover a sheet pan with foil or parchment paper, setting a wire rack on top of it.

Drain chicken in a colander in the sink.  Using wooden or metal skewers (I used wood but would have preferred metal), thread 2-3 pieces of the chicken onto the skewers, and set on the rack in the sheet pan.  Continue with remaining chicken, making sure not to crowd them on the rack.

Broil chicken for 5-7 minutes, then flip them and broil another 4-6 minutes.

Brush the chicken with half the sauce reserved for basting, and broil until nicely charred, another 2-4 minutes.  Then flip the chicken and brush with sauce again, then broiling for 2-4 minutes, until well charred.

Serve with peanut sauce.

To serve I made a cold zucchini noodle salad by spiralizing some zucchini and tossing it with part of the peanut sauce and sprinkled with chopped peanuts.  Delicious!


Check out the Food n' Flix Round Up to see the other delicious treats inspired by Crazy Rich Asians!






Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Party in Your PJs! #247: Follow the Rainbow

4 comments:


Happy Tuesday!  Welcome to the Party in Your PJs Link Party, where your posts will be seen on three different blogs each week.


  Meet the Co-Hosts


Nina @ Grandma Ideas 

Lynda @ Reviews, Chews & How-Tos 

Lynda's Features!

 Make sure you head over to the other members of Party in Your PJs
 to see their features - we each pick our own!




All links are pinned to a Party Board...you can follow the board on Pinterest...feel free to follow the board, there is lots of inspiration to be found there.

Ok...let's party!

Rules -Link to post, not your home page
-Link to something YOU made, wrote or thought
-No Etsy or Business Pages
-Link Parties, Roundups and Giveaways welcome
- Don't Link and Run! Please visit other links, make friends, learn something new, leave a comment.



Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Party in Your PJs! #246: Enchanting DIY Projects

5 comments:


Happy Tuesday!  Welcome to the Party in Your PJs Link Party, where your posts will be seen on three different blogs each week.


  Meet the Co-Hosts


Nina @ Grandma Ideas 

Lynda @ Reviews, Chews & How-Tos 

Lynda's Features!

 Make sure you head over to the other members of Party in Your PJs
 to see their features - we each pick our own!




All links are pinned to a Party Board...you can follow the board on Pinterest...feel free to follow the board, there is lots of inspiration to be found there.

Ok...let's party!

Rules -Link to post, not your home page
-Link to something YOU made, wrote or thought
-No Etsy or Business Pages
-Link Parties, Roundups and Giveaways welcome
- Don't Link and Run! Please visit other links, make friends, learn something new, leave a comment.



Thursday, February 14, 2019

Sausage Spaghetti Sauce over Zoodles

2 comments:


While my husband I still enjoy a great pasta dish now and then, we often switch up the pasta itself for spiralized zucchini (zoodles!), not only to reduce the carb load, but because they taste great!  Both of us are 'pasta is the carrier for saucy goodness' people, so this really works for us.

This sauce recipe has been how I do it for years - make up the sauce a couple hours before dinner, zoodle up the zucchini in just a couple minutes and chop up those little zucchini tubes left behind and toss them in the sauce.  The actual labor is minimal, and this sauce freezes beautifully, so this is an excellent weeknight meal.

I like to keep those little four-packs of individual servings of wine in my pantry for cooking - a pack of red and a pack of white gives me just enough to add a bottle to a meal without having to commit to drinking the rest of a full bottle that night.  If you enjoy wine often, boxed wine also let's you draw a bit for cooking without the rest of a bottle going stale.

Heads up - this sauce is flavorful and on the spicy side!  If you prefer a more mild taste, reduce or leave out the red pepper flakes and use sweet Italian sausage in place of the Spicy Italian sausage.


Italian Sausage Spaghetti Sauce over Zoodles
serves 6

1-2 zucchinis per person, spiralized
2 Tblsp. olive oil
1 lb. spicy Italian sausage
1 onion, minced
1 pkg sliced mushrooms
1/3 cup of red wine
1 Tblsp minced garlic
1 can sliced black olives
1 large can fire-roasted tomatoes
1 large can tomato paste
2 cups beef broth
2 Tblsp. Italian seasoning blend
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese


Remove sausage from casings and brown.  Add onions and mushrooms, and cook until softened.

Add garlic and cook just until fragrant.

Add wine, and cook until wine is reduced.

Add tomatoes, paste, broth, olives and seasonings, stirring to combine and incorporate the paste. Bring to boil, then reduce and simmer on medium low for at least an hour - two if you have the time.

Taste about half way through, and adjust seasonings as needed.  If sauce gets too thick before you're ready for it, add some water or broth and let it continue simmering.

Spiralize the zucchini a few minutes before serving.  Chop the spirals a bit (otherwise, they're one long noodle strand) and divide into dinner bowls. Dice any unused zucchini bits and toss them in a pot - they'll cook in just a few minutes.

Top the zucchini noodles with the sauce - the heat from the sauce will soften the zucchini just slightly, so that they are al dente.

Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve.



I am sharing this with the Improve Cooking Challenge, a fun two-ingredient cooking challenge that posts on the 2nd Thursday of each month.  This month's challenge was Wine & Italian Seasoning.


 Check out what the other bloggers have made!

Improv Cooking Challenge: February 2019

Ingredients: Wine and Italian Seasoning


Lemon Caper Italian Chicken by Cindy's Recipes and Writings
Italian Sausage Marinara with Penne by Jolene's Recipe Journal
Pasta in White Wine Herb Sauce by A Day in the Life on the Farm
Sausage Spaghetti Sauce Over Zoodles by Reviews, Chews & How-Tos


The #ImprovCookingChallenge is a monthly blogging event where two ingredients are assigned to a month. Bloggers can make any recipe they like as long as it features the two ingredients.

If you are a blogger and would like to join us, please visit our Facebook page.You can also read more about the event on our our home page.  If you’d like to see previous creations, check out our Pinterest board.




Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Party in Your PJs #245: Valentine's Day Treats

4 comments:


Happy Tuesday!  Welcome to the Party in Your PJs Link Party, where your posts will be seen on three different blogs each week.


  Meet the Co-Hosts


Nina @ Grandma Ideas 

Lynda @ Reviews, Chews & How-Tos 

Lynda's Features!

 Make sure you head over to the other members of Party in Your PJs
 to see their features - we each pick our own!




All links are pinned to a Party Board...you can follow the board on Pinterest...feel free to follow the board, there is lots of inspiration to be found there.

Ok...let's party!

Rules -Link to post, not your home page
-Link to something YOU made, wrote or thought
-No Etsy or Business Pages
-Link Parties, Roundups and Giveaways welcome
- Don't Link and Run! Please visit other links, make friends, learn something new, leave a comment.



Monday, February 11, 2019

Salmon in Puff Pastry #BakingBloggers

10 comments:


This month, I am joining several other bloggers at Baking Bloggers to share a dish with this month's theme: British Baking!

My first thought was to try something amazing inspired by the Great British Bake Off, but as much as I enjoy watching the show, I do not make intricate desserts, nor do we eat dessert often enough to go through all that.

Instead, I looked into my Kindle, where I keep a ridiculous number of cookbooks, to see what I might have.  Sure enough, there was an old-fashioned little gem from the Hippocrene Cookbook Collection, entitled The English Country Kitchen, by Geraldine Duncann.

Among the recipes there was one I actually had all the ingredients for, so I decided to give it a try: Salmon in Puff Pastry from Northumberland.  This made for a nice not-too-heavy meal served alongside a salad, and meat wrapped in pastry is a British technique that goes back for centuries.


One note on this - the original recipe very cavalierly mentions removing the skin off the salmon fillets.  I did not find this to be an easy task, and some instruction on just how to go about that would have been good.  

I did not manage it gracefully, so it was a good thing the salmon was going to be hidden inside the puff pastry!

I did crisp up the skins in the microwave for our dog, so she won even if my salmon lost!

Additionally, I included the called for hard-cooked egg slices but honestly, I didn't find that they added much to the taste or texture when we ate them.  I wouldn't bother doing that again if I make this in the future.

Otherwise, I made a few modifications and this recipe is what I did. (sorry, I have no good advice on removing those skins!)

Salmon in Puff Pastry
Serves 2-4

4 Tblsp. English Mustard
1 tsp. nutmeg
salt and pepper
2 tsp. dried dill
4 salmon fillets, skins removed, thawed
1 sheet of puff pastry, thawed but still cold
2 boiled eggs, sliced (optional)
1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a small bowl, mix seasonings into mustard. Set aside.

Cut puff pastry into four rectangles, and roll slightly to make them large enough to encase the salmon fillets.

Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Set a fillet in the center of a rectangle. Spread with 1 Tablespoon of the mustard mixture. Set a couple egg slices on top, if using.

Fold the puff pasty over the salmon completely, pinching the edges where they meet  and at each end, sealing well. 

Set on the parchment paper, seam side down. Repeat with the other fillets.

Brush puff pastry top with the egg wash and make slits on top of the pastry.

Bake for 30-40 minutes until the puff pastry is golden brown and flaky.




Take a tour of these other Baking Bloggers sharing their British Baking dishes!

Bread & Butter Pudding by Sneha's Recipe
Chocolate Chip Scones by Jolene's Recipe Journal
Eccles Cakes by Caroline's Cooking
English Granary-Style Bread by Karen's Kitchen Stories
Fat Rascals by Palatable Pastime
Jammie Dodgers by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Mini Toad in the Hole by Sid's Sea Palm Cooking
Raspberry Bakewell Tarts by Pandemonium Noshery
Salmon in Puff Pastry by Reviews, Chews & How-Tos
Strawberry Almond Crumble by Food Lust People Love
Strawberry Dark Chocolate Shortbread Biscuits by Faith, Hope, Love, & Luck Survive Despite a Whiskered Accomplice
Wizarding World Chocolate Trifle by Simple Inspired Meals