27 February, 2011

An attempt at Chai Cupcakes

Like very weekend for the past 3 weeks I made a batch of homemade Chai Tea because every week I finish an entire batch (8 cups). They are great as chilled lattes at work!

Well, I had heard from a friend that you could make Chai cupcakes, and the thought just wouldn't go away. Unfortunately, I made some delicious, but overpowering orange cinnamon icing, so they really just came out tasting like carrot cake. This was a good thing because my husband is crazy for carrot cake, so I am not left to finish off the cupcakes alone.

Anyway, we'll just call these Spice cupcakes, since they really didn't taste like Chai...

This week's dinner recipes will include: Walnut-crusted chicken with quinoa and sweet potato chicken stoup. More to come later!

22 February, 2011

Thai Chicken Pizza

My husband and I LOVE this recipe. Although the "pizza sauce" is supposed to be duck or plum sauce, I've always used Hoisen sauce instead, since it's sweet and always on hand at our house. With 3 chicken breasts and 2 packs of Monterrey Jack cheese, we ended up with 4 mini-pizzas (using the whole grain, organic pizza crusts I picked up from the FM from Phoenix Rising awhile back).

The peanut butter/tamari sauce blend that coated the chicken is what really makes your mouth water- awesome! The bean sprouts are kind of a love/hate thing for me- what a mess! But man, these pizzas are GREAT.

14 February, 2011

Recipes 8 &9, if you're keeping track

Due to the unusually cool weather last week, I made chili and the most disgusting cornbread ever. I blame it on the website I found a substitute recipe for when I had no flour to make it with (I was waiting for some organic whole grain flour I ordered from Nuts Online, but the 0.25" snow made it arrive later than projected.) Luckily, we're having leftovers tonight (Round 2!) and I'm making regular cornbread the way it's meant to be- tasty.

I made spinach enchiladas last night. I have to give major credit to my sister in law who pointed out that a local restaurant, Los Barrios (owned by the parent of a current student), sold a recipe book that had recipes very much like my husband's grandmother makes. And, since she only speaks Spanish and doesn't write anything down, I jumped on the deal. They were delicious, but I think because I used fresh spinach, they seriously needed some salt.

I have to say, in the spirit of Valentine's day, if you ever find yourself married to someone of a different culture, don't be afraid to butcher the food they are used to. If they really love you, they will patiently wait until you get it "right."

In other news, the weather is very spring-like this week. The high the past few days has been just shy of 80. I am not complaining :)

05 February, 2011

Adventures with raw milk, snow, green onions and chai tea

I, like my online orders of baking supplies, am using the excuse of the southern "Arctic Blast" for why I am late this week. (Please ignore the fact that it was 82 degrees outside exactly a week ago.)

Last week's FM trip was a new one for me. After reading about all the benefits of Raw Milk (no chemical treatments, if it comes from grass-fed cows, there's usually no hormones or antibiotics, etc.) I decided to try it out. I dropped $7 on a gallon. Yikes! Once I got home, however, it slowly dawned on me that there might be risks to drinking non-pasteurized milk. Sure enough, just Googling "raw milk" provided enough info to scare me into spending 2 hours of my Saturday cooking my milk, and then of course skimming it since we were a little wary of 3.5% fat milk. On the plus side, I made some butter out of the skimmed layer (kindergarten style, shaking a glass jar until my elbow hurt). But, after that experience, we went back to store-bought milk this week.

In other news, I have discovered the secret to green onions. I am not kidding or exaggerating when I say that I made FM green onions last for 4 weeks before they became slightly limp and not at all mushy. The trick is to wrap them individually like a jelly roll in a damp paper towel, and then store them in an open plastic grocery bag (not the produce bags, the regular thick ones) in the fridge. It was AMAZING. (Yes, I am thrilled by the little things in life.

Unfortunately, there was no FM to partake in this morning. Yesterday, the entire city shut down due to about 0.25 " of snow. For you northerners, that's like a blizzard for us south Texans. So, apparently many of the farmers were still stuck at home this morning, since it tends to be cooler in the Hill Country. So this was the first time since December that I have had to shop for everything at the grocery store. Let me tell you, I am constantly amazed at all the things we have become so good at providing in the middle of winter. But, I stuck to my list, which only included produce that I could have got at the FM (except for the hubby's usual apples, he will not give those up!)

In response to the cold weather, I found this Chai Tea Recipe online last week and have just been waiting for the opportunity to make it!

 The tea came out great, but let me tell you, it sure did look weird steeping in the pot with bits of smashed ginger floating in it.

The high today is supposed to be around 65, but we're supposed to get another cold snap on Tuesday. If you're living in a winter wonderland, stay warm! And stay tuned for this week's Chili & cornbread, and spinach enchiladas a la Los Barrios.