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What’s Cookin’, Good Lookin’?

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Bon Appetit brings you 18 recipes featuring pink ingredients in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month: http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/slideshow/pink-recipes-for-breast-cancer-awareness-month/?slide=16

Which of these delicious pretty in pink recipes will you try first?

We’re eyeing the “Lemon-Raspberry Cupcakes.” See below for the instructions!

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar, divided
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lemon peel, divided
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups self-rising flour
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided
  • 12 teaspoons plus 1 tablespoon seedless raspberry jam
  • Fresh raspberries (for garnish)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners. Using electric mixer, beat butter, 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, and 3 teaspoons lemon peel in large bowl until blended, then beat until fluffy and pale yellow. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating to blend after each addition. Beat in half of flour. Add buttermilk and 2 tablespoons lemon juice; beat to blend. Beat in remaining flour.

Drop 1 rounded tablespoonful batter into each muffin liner. Spoon 1 teaspoon raspberry jam over. Cover with remaining batter, dividing equally.

Bake cupcakes until tester inserted halfway into centers comes out clean, about 23 minutes. Cool cupcakes in pan on rack. Meanwhile, whisk remaining 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, and 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon peel in small bowl. Spoon half of icing over 6 cupcakes. Whisk 1 tablespoon raspberry jam into remaining icing. Spoon over remaining cupcakes. Let stand until icing sets, about 30 minutes. Garnish with raspberries.

Voila!

What’s Cookin’, Good Lookin’?

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I recently tried this Oh So Delicioso “Spicy Caribbean Shrimp” recipe: http://www.ohsodelicioso.com/mango-cashew-quinoa-salad

The yummiest! I just adore when recipes include a side or salad.

I didn’t have the foresight to prepare the ingredients a few hours before dinnertime, so I skipped the marination step. To ensure that the shrimps were as flavorful as possible, I just doubled the ingredients for their marinate or ‘sauce.’ I then chose to cook the shrimp in a pan with the ‘sauce,’ which worked well. Remove the shrimp with a slotted spoon.

I’ve listed the ingredients and directions for this recipe below for your convenience!

Ingredients:

Spicy Caribbean Shrimp

*omit for vegetarian or vegan

  • 1 pound tail-off, extra-large, raw shrimp
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/8 c dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 t paprika
  • 1/4 t ground ginger
  • 1/8 t cloves
  • 1/8-1/4 t cayenne (1/8 t has some kick, 1/4 t has more)
  • 2 T canola oil

Mango Quinoa Salad

* vegan

  • 2 c uncooked quinoa, rinsed
  • 4 c water
  • 1/2 c white grape juice (can use water)
  • 1/4 c sugar
  • juice from 1-2 limes
  • 1 pineapple
  • 1 mango
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 4 green onions
  • handful cilantro
  • 1 c salted cashews

Directions:

Mix together all shrimp ingredients in plastic bag to marinate several hours in the refrigerator.
Rinse quinoa, bring 4 c salted water to a boil, add 2 c quinoa. Reduce to simmer, cover until cooked, about 15-20 minutes. Place in bowl in refrigerator to chill.
Make dressing by bringing white grape juice and sugar to a boil, boil about 10-15 minutes until it has thickened into a syrup consistency. Remove from heat, transfer to bowl, add lime juice and refrigerate until chilled.
Slice pineapple into wedges, spray with cooking oil (canola oil), and grill on medium until grill marks appear. Slice wedges into tidbits and refrigerate until chilled.
Chop mango, bell pepper, green onions, and cilantro. Add to chilled quinoa. Stir in cashews, chilled pineapple, and dressing to coat. Cover and set in refrigerator to let flavors marry.
Heat large skillet on medium, add half of the shrimp one by one to the pan with tongs. Don’t overcrowd the pan and don’t pour the remaining marinade in the pan. Once shrimp begins to turn pink and opaque (about 3 minutes), flip over. Cook another 2 minutes (until opaque and pink) and remove from pan. Repeat with remaining shrimp.  
Serve shrimp hot alongside chilled quinoa. Shrimp serves 5, quinoa salad serves 8-10

What’s Cookin’, Good Lookin’?

Mmmm, this is surely the perfect autumn recipe: “Apple Cider Sage Porkchops with Caramelized Apples” from goodLife {eats}: http://www.goodlifeeats.com/2013/04/apple-cider-sage-pork-chops-with-caramelized-apples-giveaway.html

We’ve also listed the ingredients and directions below for your convenience!

Ingredients:

  • 4 bone-in pork loin chops
  • Garlic Herb Sauté Express® Sauté Starter squares
  • 1–2 tablespoons fresh sage chopped, according to preference
  • 1 pound apples (I used Pink Lady) peeled, cored and sliced in ¼-inch slices
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup apple cider
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

In a large sauté pan or cast iron skillet, melt the Sauté Express® Sauté Starter over medium heat until it begins to bubble.

Pat the pork chops dry on both sides. Add the meat and cook for 3–5 minutes, or until browned. Turn and cook the other side until browned and the pork is cooked through (minimum internal temperature of 145 degrees F). While cooking, brush some of the Sauté Express® Sauté Starter on the side of the pork facing up.

In another skillet melt the butter over medium heat. Add the sugar to the butter and cook for 1 minute, or until it begins to melt. Add the apples and sauté over medium heat until the apples are browned and tender. This should take about 10–15 minutes.

In the pan with the pork chops, add the apple cider and cook over medium heat until the liquid is reduced by about half. Add the cream, bring to a boil and allow it to bubble for a few minutes until the sauce is slightly thickened. Sprinkle with fresh sage and season with salt and pepper if desired.

If serving immediately, spoon the caramelized apples on top of the pork in the pan. Alternatively, you can pass the apples separately at the table and portion them out directly on the dinner plates.

Serves 4-6 people, depending on portion.

Bon appetit!

What’s Cookin’, Good Lookin’?

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We can’t wait to try Budget Bytes’ creamy tomato and spinach pasta recipe: http://www.budgetbytes.com/2013/07/creamy-tomato-spinach-pasta/

We’ve also listed the ingredients and directions below for your convenience!

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 (15 oz.) can diced tomatoes
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp dried basil
  • pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
  • freshly cracked pepper to taste
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 oz. cream cheese
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan
  • ½ lb. penne pasta
  • ½ (9 oz.) bag fresh spinach
Directions
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until tender (7-10) minutes. Drain the pasta.
  • While waiting for the pasta to cook, dice the onion and mince the garlic. Cook both in a large skillet with the olive oil over medium-low heat until softened and transparent (about 5 minutes).
  • Add the diced tomatoes (with juices), oregano, basil, red pepper flakes, salt, and some freshly cracked pepper to the skillet with the onions and garlic. Stir to combine. Add the tomato paste and a ½ cup of water to the skillet and stir until the tomato paste is dissolved into the sauce.
  • Turn the heat down to low. Cut the cream cheese into a few pieces and then add them to the skillet with the tomato sauce. Use a whisk to stir the sauce until the cream cheese has fully melted in and the sauce is creamy. Add half of the Parmesan to the skillet and whisk until it is melted in. Add the remainder of the parmesan and whisk until melted in again.
  • Add the fresh spinach and gently stir it into the sauce until it has wilted (3-5 minutes). Add the pasta and stir until it is well coated in the creamy tomato sauce. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper as needed. Serve warm.

What’s Cookin’, Good Lookin’?

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Recently, I tried Budget Bytes’ “Easy Sesame Chicken” recipe. There’s this idea that the longer a meal takes to prepare, the more delicious it will be. Not so! I made this meal in under an hour and the instructions were indeed, very easy to follow. 

This recipe is also super customizable. I chose to place the chicken on a bed of quinoa instead of rice. I also prepared some miso soup and a salad of green beans, carrots, sprouts, and thinly sliced garlic.

See the rest of Budget Bytes’ post here: http://www.budgetbytes.com/2013/08/easy-sesame-chicken/

Ingredients:
Chicken
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 pinch each salt & pepper
  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil (for frying)
Sauce
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • ½ Tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1½ Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1½ Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
For Serving
  • 4 cups cooked jasmine rice
  • 2 whole green onions
Instructions:
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg, 2 Tbsp cornstarch, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Trim any excess fat from the chicken thighs, then cut them into small 1 inch pieces. Toss the chicken in the egg and cornstarch mixture.
  2. Heat a large skillet with 2 Tbsp of vegetable oil over medium-high heat. When the oil is very hot (it should look wavy on the surface), add the chicken and all of the egg mixture. Cook the chicken, stirring only occasionally, until it is golden brown and cooked through (about 7-10 minutes). Drain off the excess oil, if desired.
  3. While the chicken is cooking, prepare the sauce. In a small bowl stir together the soy sauce, water, sesame oil, brown sugar, rice vinegar, fresh ginger, minced garlic, cornstarch, and sesame seeds. (You can grate the ginger with a small-holed cheese grater).
  4. Once the chicken is cooked through and golden brown, pour the sauce over top. Toss the chicken to coat in the sauce. The sauce will begin to thicken as soon as it hits the hot skillet. Once the chicken is coated and the sauce thickened, turn off the heat.
  5. Serve the chicken over a bed of rice and sprinkle the sliced green onions over top.

What’s Cookin’, Good Lookin’?

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Butter Chicken:

Here’s an excellent butter chicken recipe given to me by a dear, past co-worker. I’ve modified it slightly to suit my own tastes. Feel free to do the same! This recipe is extremely versatile.

If you’d like to make it vegetarian, simply replace the chicken with tofu or soy-based imitation chicken. 

Making it vegan is a little trickier. Replace the cream with soy milk and vegan plain yogurt. Switch the butter with vegan butter. Holy Cow! has a great vegan butter chicken recipe here: http://www.holycowvegan.net/2011/12/tofu-makhani.html

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 1 pkg large chicken breast
  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 500ml 15% and/or 35% cooking cream
  • 1.5 tbsp. hot curry paste (Patak’s is good)
  • 1 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp. cherry sauce
  • 1 diced tomato
  • 4 diced mushrooms
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. masala
  • peas, to garnish

Directions:

  • Prepare the rice in a separate pot.
  • Cut the chicken into little morsels.
  • Place the butter into a big pan and cook at mid/low heat.
  • Add the chicken into the pan with butter.
  • Once the chicken is cooked to a white/beige color, add the tomato, mushrooms, and any additional veggies of your choosing.
  • Add the curry paste to the pan and dissolve. Stir as needed.
  • Lower heat and add the cream and tomato paste. 35% cream makes a nice thick sauce, though it can sit heavy and 15% is a bit too thin, combining the two can create the optimal thickness.
  • Add the cherry sauce to cheer it up, ketchup may also be used.
  • Add the cumin, masala, and even chili powder to one’s liking.
  • Place the desired portion of sauce and chicken onto a bed of rice.
  • Garnish with peas.

Serves 2-4 people, depending on portion.

The recipe’s author recommends naan bread as a fun side to this meal. Thinly coat a pan with vegetable oil, bring to medium heat, and cook the bread a minute on each side.

Superb!

What’s Cookin’, Good Lookin’?” was the text on a Valentine’s Day card given to me by my childhood crush. Pictured was a cartoon, bipedal cat cooking happily in a kitchen. I’ve kept it all these years.

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