Steve is a thoughtful son. A while back, Steve’s parents came back from Ghana for a family wedding. It was a short visit, only a week long, and we all knew they would be stretched thin to do and see all that they could in their short time.
Steve wanted to spend time with his mom. He also knew she would be making bread to enjoy the week while they were home. So he arranged to have her teach him how to make bread. An added bonus was bringing Hallie along and letting her enjoy the experience as well. She was all in.
They spent the afternoon together. Talking and catching up and learning. Steve enjoyed his time. Hallie couldn’t wait to show me how her loaves turned out. And I’m pretty sure his mom enjoyed passing on years of experience in bread making to her son and granddaughter. And we all benefited with some delicious bread!
My sister-in-law made us a delicious Sunday dinner of Chicken Tikka Masala after Briggs was born. I know it’s one of their family favorites and it was delicious – we made it again not too long after and it was just as delicious and relatively easy. It’s a tad spicy – I thought it came from the jalapeño in the sauce but even the grilled chicken was spicy. The marinade ingredients seemed completely random but they work – I could eat the grilled chicken on it’s own.
1 cup plain yogurt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons black pepper
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon salt
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
Combine all marinade ingredients, and coat chicken and refrigerate for at least an hour.
Grill or cook the chicken and discard marinade.
1 tablespoon butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper finely chopped
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 8-oz can tomato sauce
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Salute garlic and jalapeño for one minute. Season with cumin, paprika and salt. Stir in tomato sauce and cream. Simmer on low until sauce thickens (about 20 minutes). Add grilled chicken and simmer for 10 more minutes. Garnish with fresh cilantro and a little plain yogurt or sour cream. Serve over hot rice.
Every winter, Steve and I both agree it’s the perfect weather for grilling and we try to cook out more often. One of our family’s very favorite grill item is bacon wrapped chicken skewers. They’re simple enough that they don’t require a recipe – but fair warning, it can be time consuming to get everything chopped up and on sticks.
The staples are fresh pineapple, bacon, chicken, pepper and onion. I personally like tomatoes on them as well, but they don’t always make the cut.
Cut everything into bite-size pieces; this includes cutting a package of bacon in half. (We make these often enough that I purchased metal skewers from Amazon which I prefer over the wooden skewers.) Skewer the pieces in whatever order you like – wrapping the chicken with a piece of bacon before adding to the skewer. Sometimes I’m a nice mom and I make separate skewers based on what the kids like and other times I make all of them exactly the same.
I used to make a teriyaki sauce to marinate the skewers in, but then I found a sauce I liked better and I haven’t turned back.
Refrigerate for an hour or two, or even longer if you have time and then cook them on the grill. Serve with rice and teriyaki sauce.
If you want to get really fancy – ourbestbites.com has a recipe for lime cilantro rice with pineapple that compliments this palate quite nicely.
One of our family’s favorite treat is “Frozen Oreo Delight” (That may or may not be a family assigned name to the dessert!). But the minute peppermint ice cream hits the grocery freezer our family’s favorite dessert gets a holiday makeover. This takes just a few minutes to throw together and it will have everyone begging for more!
Here’s what you need:
Candy Cane Joe Joes
Peppermint Ice Cream (Blue Bell is my absolute favorite)
1 stick of butter
Crush or blend a box of Candy Cane Joe-Joes in a food processor or blender. (You can substitute regular Oreos if you don’t have a Trader Joes close). Typically we make Oreo Delight in a 9×13 glass pan, but part of the holiday makeover is making it a little more fancy by creating layers in a springform pan. Divide the crushed cookies into two bowls. Melt 1/4 butter and mix with one bowl of Oreos. Press Oreos into a greased springform pan.
Put it in the freezer for about 30 minutes until firm. Soften 1/2 of the container of peppermint ice cream. You can leave it at room temperature to soften or you can be impatient like myself and pop it in the microwave for just a bit, stir, microwave, stir. Spread over the Oreo mixture and freeze until firm.
Create another Oreo layer with the second bowl of crushed Oreos and 1/4 cup of butter. Freeze. Use the second half of the peppermint ice-cream and press into the pan. Freeze for 2-3 hours.
Once your ready to serve, run a warm wash cloth along the outside of the pan and release the spring. Top with softened cool whip, drizzle with chocolate syrup and sprinkle with crushed candy canes.
Now just try and contain yourself from licking every plate as you hand them to your guests!
There’s never enough time and never enough fairy dust to make everything fun and magical for the kids during the holidays. I often find myself caught between practical mom and fun mom so I’m always looking for shortcuts. I discovered this shortcut 6 years ago preparing for Hallie’s 4th birthday party when I was running short on time and I needed a quick and easy Halloween treat. (So short on time that I even bought sheet brownies from Sams club!) It’s now an easy go-to when I’m looking for a festive treat and the generic mini-cupcakes stacked 10 rows high at Wal-mart just aren’t cutting it.