Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Mangos with Sticky Rice

Making this recipe has been kind of like Goldilocks and the Three Bears.  The first time it was too wet (pictured), the second time it was too dry.  The next time we make it, it will be just right.

I love Mangos and Sticky Rice.  My mom bought some perfectly ripe mangos and our friend, Heather, came over and cut the mangos for us.  (You probably already know how to cut mangos, but I was in need of a tutorial.)  And we used the recipe from She Simmers.  I'm typing out what we did, but the link does the dessert far more justice than we did.


1 cup rice (we didn't have sticky rice, so just used long grain rice)
1 cup coconut milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
2 ripe mangos

First, cook the rice.  I wanted to keep it starchy, so I didn't rinse it.  Just put the rice in a saucepan, add enough water so it's about 1/2 inch above the rice.  Bring the rice to a boil, turn the heat to low and cover until the rice is done.

I emptied the rice into a separate container and then heated the coconut milk, sugar and salt until the sugar dissolved.

Then poured the coconut milk over the rice.  We should have covered it and let it sit for about 30 minutes, but we didn't wait and served it about 10 minutes later.  (So the rice was too wet.)

Heather cut the mangos.

She sliced one side of the mango as near to the pit as possible.

And then did the same on the other side.

Then she scored each piece.

And the mango skin can be turned inside out.

And then cut the mango pieces.

Or scoop them (even easier).

Dish up the rice, top with the mango and you're in business!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Niall's Red Thai Curry


1 package Quorn chicken pieces (or about a pound of cubed chicken)
1 onion
1 head of broccoli
2-3 Tablespoons (or more) of Red Thai Curry paste (depending on how spicy you want it)
1 can (15 ounces) coconut milk
Sea salt to taste
1 Tablespoon shredded (desiccated) coconut
1 cup water
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
1-2 Tablespoons lime juice

Heat the oil in a pan (on low) and add the Quorn.  Stir to prevent from burning.

Add the water and the curry paste.

Chop the onion and broccoli and add to the pot.

Stir the vegetables into the mixture and allow to cook for a few minutes.  Add the lime juice.

Add the coconut milk and salt to taste.

Mix well and simmer until the vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. (About 10 minutes max, to prevent the broccoli from getting too soft.)  Add the flaked coconut.

Stir and serve with rice.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Taco Soup

Remember how I love soup?  Yup, here's another recipe.  This time in a slow cooker.


1 pound ground vegetable mince (or ground meat)
1 Tablespoon Ranch salad dressing mix (one envelope)
1 (15 ounce) can of tomatoes, pureed
1 can of kidney beans, undrained
1 Tablespoon taco seasoning (we used Old El Paso)
2 cups vegetable stock

Put all ingredients in the crock pot and cook for two hours.  (Or ten, in our case.)

Serve warm, garnish with tortilla chips, sour cream and grated cheese.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Broccoli Soup

I took a nap and when I woke up my mom had magically made this soup.  I love soup.


1 clove garlic, smashed
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 potato, peeled and diced
Pinch of dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 head of fresh broccoli (stem and all!), chopped
1 Tablespoon butter
1/4 cup milk
ground pepper
4 cups vegetable broth (or chicken broth)

Heat the oil in a large pot.  Saute the onion and garlic for a few minutes.  Add the vegetable stock.  Then add the potato, broccoli, thyme, and salt.  Bring to a boil and simmer until tender.  (About 20 minutes.)

Puree the soup (with a hand blender or upright blender).  You can set aside 1/2 cup to add some texture to the soup. Add pepper, milk and butter and stir well and serve with grated cheese.  (We opted for smoked cheddar and Red Leicester.)

Saturday, March 20, 2010


Amber's family makes tamales at Christmas.  They're amazing.  They have the most delicious pork filling with olives and the masa dough is made with pork lard (I think).  Let's just say there's nothing vegetarian about them.  But Niall thinks about them a lot and asked if we could please try and make vegetarian tamales.  We finally were able to get some more Mexican food ingredients and gave it a try.

Let me be clear.  These are not authentic.  The only thing they have in common with Amber's family's tamales is corn husks, masa and olives.  But, none the less, here's the recipe.  (P.S.  Tamales take forever to put together.  Props to Amber, Ashley, Alisa, Alicia, Aarica and all the other A's in that family that put together hundreds of tamales every Christmas!)


Corn husks
Boiling water

1 1/2 cups Masa Harina
1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup chili powder (optional)

Tomatillo Filling
1 package Quorn chicken pieces
1 cup green salsa

Adobo Bean Filling
1 package Quorn chicken pieces
1 (15 ounce) can of black beans
3 generous Tablespoons Adobo sauce
1/4 cup water
1 Tablespoon taco seasoning

Rinse the corn husks.  Soak the corn husks in a large bowl filled with boiling water for at least an hour.  (Ideally it would be longer, possibly overnight, but I'm not great with patience.)  Here are the husks just before the water is added.

Make the filling.  We tried two different kinds.  For the tomatillo filling, I simmered the Quorn with the green salsa in a saucepan until most of the liquid had evaporated.

For the adobo and black bean filling, I added all the ingredients together (including the liquid from the black beans) and simmered until reduced.  (About 20 minutes.)

While the filling is simmering, make the dough.  Real tamale dough has lard, but this mostly has vegetable stock with a little vegetable oil.  I made one batch of dough with the chili powder and one without.  Either way seems to work.  Mix all the ingredients for the dough together in a bowl with a fork and allow to sit for 15 minutes.

Once the dough and the filling are made, it's time to assemble to tamales.

First, take a soaked corn husk and pull off a piece about 1 cm wide.  (To create a string to tie the tamale.)  Repeat as each tamale needs two ties.

Take the corn husk and lay it flat.  Spread the masa on the corn husk so it's about 1/8 inch thick.  Leave about 1/4 inch border on the lateral edges and 1/2 inch on the ends.

Add the filling (do not overstuff.)  For the tomatillo stuffing I added the cooked filling and then olives on top.

Roll the corn husk to fold the masa over the the filling till the masa just overlaps.

Fold the ends under the tamale.

Tie the corn husk strips around the ends to secure the tamale.

Repeat (this is where all the time commitment comes in!)

I think each masa batch made 10-12 small tamales.  We froze some of them, and steamed the rest.  If the tamales are not frozen, steam for 20 minutes.  If they're frozen I'm going to guess 25 minutes will work.  (I haven't cooked frozen ones yet.)

Once the tamales finish steaming, unwrap and eat!  I'm secretly glad that Niall has no idea what Amber's family's tamales taste like.  Why?  Because he has no idea what he's missing and was happy with these.  The verdict is still out, but I think the tomatillo with olive stuffing wins out over the adobo and black bean filling.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Mitch's Mom's Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies

Do you want to make A LOT of cookies?  Then here's the recipe for you, courtesy of my mom.  It makes 112 cookies.  I halved it and still got so many cookies it was kind of ridiculous.  (About 60)

In the family we all have our favorite cookies, and my mom kindly rotates through them to keep all the kids happy.  But when she makes these oatmeal chocolate chip cookies I know she gets a special kind of joy because they happen to be her favorite.  She made about 600 of them for my wedding and carried them from Salt Lake City, Utah to Glasgow.  (And had to stop my grandpa from giving them away to random strangers in various airports.)  For the wedding we gave everyone the recipe, but it had way too much butter and too many nuts.  So here's the correct version.


2 cups butter (No Substitutes)
4 cups flour
2 tsp. baking soda
2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups brown sugar
5 cups oatmeal (I use the Old Fashioned Brand Quaker Oats but that brand may not be available in the U.K.)
24 oz. chocolate chips
1 tsp. salt
4 eggs
2 tsp. baking powder
2 cups chopped nuts (Pecans, of course)
2 tsp. vanilla

Cream the butter and both sugars. Add eggs and vanilla; mix together.  I love how this mixture looks.

Add the flour, oatmeal, salt, baking powder, and soda and mix well. Add chocolate chips and nuts.  The mixture goes from being pretty and smooth to this

Roll into balls and place two inches apart on a cookie sheet.

Bake for 10 minutes at 375 degrees (or until light brown-12 minutes worked for me).

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Root Vegetable, Tomato and Barley Soup

My mom continues cooking.  She claims she doesn't know how to cook in a British kitchen, but I disagree.  Last night she made a fantastic soup.  It was delicious day of, but even better as leftovers today.


1 15 ounce can of tomatoes, pureed
6-7 cups of vegetable stock
4 large carrots
1 parsnip
1 turnip
1 large onion
3 stalks of celery (we didn't add this since a certain someone is anti-celery but REALLY wanted to )
1 cup barley
1 bay leaf
oregano, salt and pepper to taste

Bring the stock to a boil.  Pour in the barley, turn the heat down to simmer and cover until barley is al dente.  (About 20-30 minutes.)

Wash and prep the vegetables (peel and dice).  Add the vegetables and spices to the stock.  Cook until the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.  Season to taste and serve.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Cashew Chicken Salad

My mom's here visiting, and we had this salad last night.*

Once when I was professional there was a baby shower at work.  My mom, being the trooper she is, volunteered to make this salad and I took it for the shower.  She told me that I would want copies of the recipe because people would ask for it.  I thought she was silly.  I mean, who makes food and says "This is so good you better take the recipe"?  But guess what?  People did ask for it.  Not just one person but several.  And when I didn't get them the recipe right away they kept asking for it.  So, as always, she was right.



4 Chicken Breasts, cooked and cubed
1 head of lettuce, cut into bite-size pieces
1-15 oz. can Chinese noodles (I prefer the rice noodles)
3 cups red grapes (If you are ambitious you can cut the grapes in half.  I have no ambitions)
2 cups cashews
1-2 stalks of celery, diced
1 bunch green onions, sliced


1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream
1 Tablespoon sugar
Celery salt, onion salt and pepper to taste

Prepare the fruit, chicken and vegetables.  I don't like iceberg lettuce but I'm okay using it for this recipe.

Combine the dressing ingredients.

Combine the salad ingredients in a large bowl.  Toss with the dressing and serve.

If you make the salad ahead of time mix everything but the lettuce, noodles and nuts.  Add the remaining ingredients just before serving so they won't be soggy.

*Niall says this is his favorite salad in the whole world.  Which is funny, because he doesn't eat chicken and he hates celery.  Also because we haven't been able to get the noodles here.  So basically Niall's favorite salad is not this recipe.  For the Niall version, we use Quorn chicken pieces instead of chicken, leave out the celery and add boiled egg noodles (usually Sharwood's) to replace the rice noodles.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

I really wanted chocolate cake.  And when I saw this recipe on Kuki's Cookbook, I thought the cupcakes looked pretty.  But the recipe it kind of scared me.  It's because the idea of peanut butter frosting-raw peanut butter mixed with butter-didn't sound appealing.  But the picture looked so pretty, so I made them.  When they were done I was scared to try them.  I finally did and they tasted fine.  The chocolate cake was descent and the peanut butter frosting was good as well.

I halved the recipe and got 11 cupcakes.  I followed the recipe on the blog except I used 2% milk instead of heavy cream for the frosting.

First, I mixed the dry ingredients together.

Then mixed in an egg, the vanilla, water and oil.

Poured into the cupcake pan.

Baked at 350 degree F until done-18 minutes worked.

While the cupcakes cooled I made the frosting.  Peanut butter, butter and powdered (icing) sugar.

Mixed well then added the milk.

Then frosted the cupcakes.  There was plenty of frosting, but my version didn't look pretty.  This is about as good as it gets around here.