Monday, December 20, 2010

Cranberry Coconut Macaroons

So much for my boycott!
After I suckered myself into sugar cookies, I decided I couldn't let the season pass without my traditional attempt at a new cookie recipe. So, here it is...not only does it taste festive and delicious, it's also Gluten free. No, I don't have issues with gluten, but enough of my friends and family do, so anytime I can share a recipe that is friendly for them, I try to do it. I came up with this idea after flipping through my newest cookie recipe book, and thought "Hey, wouldn't dried cherries or cranberries taste good in these? And then chocolate drizzled over the top?" Of course it would...
Cranberry Coconut Macaroons
3 cups flaked, sweetened coconut
3/4 cup sugar
4 egg whites
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup chopped dried cranberries
2 oz semi-sweet baking chocolate
Mix together all ingredients except chocolate. Spoon onto parchment paper and bake at 325 for about 25 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Melt chocolate and drizzle over cooled macaroons.

I don't think it could get much easier than this! I always thought you had to whip the egg whites for macaroons, but apparently you don't!
Enoy! (And thanks Kelli for the great picture!)

After hours...

Ever wonder what goes on in the kitchen after hours? Well, at my house, during the holidays, we make messes! That's right...
We decorate the sugar cookies that were generated during the day with the help of 5 kids...
We learn how to use Royal Icing...and sugar washes!
We break the rules...a Ziploc for piping!
We make masterpieces...
And memories!
And we simply enjoy the peace and quiet of three sleeping 3 year olds!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Thai Chicken Wraps

I found this recipe when I was looking for Gluten free meals. I didn't need it to be gluten free, but if you do, just use the appropriate peanut butter and soy sauce. This dish has become a favorite in our house!!

Peanut Sauce

1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup peanut butter
3 tbls soy sauce
3 tbls water
2 tbls cooking oil
1 tsp minced garlic
Combine ingredients in a small saucepan and heat until sugar is dissolved, stirring frequently. Set aside...
Chicken mixture
1/2 tsp salt or garlic salt
1/4 to 1/2 tsp pepper
12 ounces boneless chicken breast, sliced or diced (I used 2 breasts)
4 cups packed broccoli slaw mix (1 bag)
1 tbls cooking oil
1/2 of a red onion cut into wedges, and/or red bell pepper slices
fresh grated ginger
Corn tortillas or iceburg lettuce leaves
Season chicken with salt and pepper. In a large skillet heat the cooking oil. Add the chicken and stir fry over medium high heat until cooked through. Remove chicken from skillet and keep warm. Add the broccoli mix, onion, and ginger to skillet. Cook and stir for 2 to 3 minutes or until crisp tender. Add the chicken back in and remove from heat.
Layer chicken mixture, red bell pepper, and peanut sauce on warmed tortillas or lettuce leaves.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Mexican Lasagna

I'm always looking for different ways to make the same dish! I love lasagna, and I love mexican food, so of course, combining the two made sense. I wanted to have my own recipe though, so I looked at a bunch of different ones, took the parts that I liked best, and came up with this version.
3 lbs ground beef
1 onion, diced
1 16 oz can diced tomatoes
1 sm. can tomato paste
1/3 c. taco seasoning
Additional cumin, chili powder, and garlic salt to taste
1 cup sour cream
grated cheddar cheese
1/2 box of lasagna noodles (4 noodles for each pan)
Cook the noodles until just al dente. Brown the ground beef with onions, drain; mix in tomotoes, tomato paste, seasonings, and sour cream. Spray an 8 in. baking dish with non-stick spray and partially cover with meat sauce. Add lasagna noodles, then meat sauce, then cheddar cheese. Repeat layers, ending with cheese. I cut the noodles to fit, so each layer only needed 2 noodles. Bake at 375 for appx. 30 minutes, or until cheese is melted and lightly brown. From this recipe, I was able to put together two 8 x 8 pans of lasagna, which meant I could share with my sister, or put one in the freezer!
It was quite tasty, and I think we all enjoyed it. In the past I've used corn tortillas, but wanted to try something different this time.
  • Add cayenne pepper or hot sauce for more kick
  • Add a layer of beans or corn and olives
  • Use Monterey or Colby Jack cheese
  • Layer in cottage cheese for a creamier layer