desserts

Monday, May 1, 2017

Pressure Cooker Black Beans

This recipe is from my Grandma Carlson.  When I make these beans I think of her.  Her house was always filled with wonderful aromas!  She was a fantastic cook!  When she made them they would soak overnight and cook for several hours during the day.  I love that I can have the same beans in less than an hour - starting with dry beans!  She would have loved electric pressure cookers!



1 pound black beans
1 medium onion, diced
3 large stalks celery, diced
2 - 3 cloves garlic
5 teaspoons oil
1 jalapeno pepper
8 cups water
1 1/2 - 2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Rinse and sort beans.  Place in pressure cooker.  Add onions, celery, garlic, oil, whole jalapeno pepper, and water.  Cook on high heat for 32 minutes, use the quick release method.  Pour off, most of the water then add salt and pepper to taste.  Serve warm!

Note:  If you soak the beans overnight, cook them on high temperature for 24 minutes.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Santa Fe Lime Rice

This rice is super versatile!  I love it because it can go with my "Cafe Rio" salads, or with grilled salmon.  My family likes it as a side dish to just about anything.  I prefer this recipe to other lime rice recipes because I don't like garlic in my rice.  Sometimes I add a few tablespoons of chopped cilantro to the rice cooker as well.  This is perfect because it has flavor, but doesn't necessary scream Mexican dish.  In fact, depending on what I'm serving with, I don't always add the cumin.  I like to make this in my rice cooker, but you could certainly fix it on the stove.


5 rice cooker cups of rice (about 3 1/2 cups)
3 tablespoons butter, sliced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon lime juice, or juice of 1/2 a lime
3 chicken bouillon cubes
cilantro, chopped (if desired)
water - fill to line 5 of rice cooker

Rinse rice.  Add water to line 5 on the rice cooker.  Place butter, salt, cumin, lime juice and chicken bouillon cubes in the rice cooker.  Close lid and cook.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Crock Pot Basil Chicken in Coconut Curry Sauce



6 bone-in skin-on chicken thighs, skin removed* (about 2 and 1/2 pounds)
salt and pepper
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 (13.5 ounce) cans coconut milk
2 tablespoons dried basil leaves
2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon pepper
1 to 1 1/2 tablespoon McCormick curry powder
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 large red onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced (1 tablespoon minced)
1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon COLD water
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated or minced
1/3 to 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Remove the skin from the chicken. Salt and pepper each thigh.

Heat a large skillet to medium-high heat.  Add 1 teaspoon olive oil.  When the oil is hot, add 3 chicken thighs.  Cook for about 2 minutes, until nicely browned on the bottom.  Turn the chicken over to brown the other side for about 1-2 minutes.  Remove the chicken to a plate.  Repeat searing process with the other 3 chicken thighs.

Meanwhile, in a crock pot combine coconut milk, basil, 2 teaspoons salt, 3/4 teaspoon pepper, curry powder, and chili powder, to taste.  Stir to combine.

Add the chopped red onions, garlic, and jalapeno.  Add the browned chicken and stir to combine.

Cook on high for 4-5 hours, or on low for 6-8 hours.

Remove the chicken from the slow cooker and transfer to a plate or cutting board. Let cool for a couple minutes.

Add the ginger to the slow cooker.

In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and 1 tablespoon COLD water. Stir until it's not lumpy. Add this to the crock pot and stir.

Shred the chicken, removing the bones and any tough bits. It should just be falling apart.

Return the meat to the slow cooker and stir.  Return the lid and cook for another 10 minutes.


Season with salt and pepper, to taste.  Stir in the cilantro.  Serve with rice. 

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Lemon Chicken Pasta

This recipe is simple, delicious and has a freshness about it!  It's a twist on alfredo sauce.  My kids loved it!



Pasta of your choice
7 - 8 chicken tenders, cut into 1 inch cubes
4 tablespoons butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup featherlight flour
1 cup whipping cream
2 cups milk
zest of 1 lemon
juice of 1 1/2 lemons
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
salt & pepper to taste

Cook pasta according to package instructions, drain and set aside.

While pasta is cooking, brown chicken in butter.  Season with salt and pepper.  Just before chicken is cooked, add garlic cloves.  When chicken is fully cooked add flour and stir.  Cook for  1 minute.   Add whipping cream, milk, lemon zest, and lemon juice.  Bring to a boil, stirring constantly and simmer for 2 minutes.  Add parmesan cheese and whisk until smooth and melted.

Serve over pasta.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Zebra Caramel Popcorn

This crunchy, chocolate caramel popcorn is to die for!  You can add chopped mini candy bars as well if you'd like, but it doesn't need it.



5 quarts plain air popped popcorn
1 cup butter
2 cups light brown sugar
1/2 cups light corn syrup
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups Guittard Milk Chocolate Chips
1 1/4 cups Guittard White Chocolate Chips
20 "fun size" candy cars, chopped (optional)

Place popcorn in a very large bowl and set aside.  Preheat over to 250º.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter.

Stir in brown sugar, corn syrup, and salt.  Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.  Boil without stirring for 4 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in baking soda and vanilla extract.  Pour caramel in a thin stream over popcorn, stirring to coat.  Gently stir until all of the popcorn is covered.

Pour popcorn on two large shallow baking sheets in a single layer and bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.  Remove popcorn from oven.  Stir popcorn every few minutes until it cools enough to not stick to the pan.  Let it cool completely.

Break popcorn into pieces.  If desired, add chopped candy bars and mix.

Put milk chocolate chips in a bowl and microwave for 30 seconds at a time on power level 5, until melted.  Drizzle popcorn with melted milk chocolate.  Let cool.

Put white chocolate chips in a bowl and microwave for 30 seconds at a time on power level 5, until melted.  Turn popcorn over as well as you can, and drizzle the popcorn with melted white chocolate.

Let popcorn cool until chocolate hardens, about 30 minutes.  (You can speed up the cooling process by putting the pans in the refrigerator.

Break up popcorn if needed.  Store at room temperature in an airtight container.





Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Sweet Potato Fries

These fries are super easy and are a great way to serve sweet potatoes!  My kids devoured them!  You'll notice there aren't any amounts on the recipe.  I just sprinkle the seasonings on.  Put however much you like on them!  You can even substitute other spices if you prefer.  However, the spices below make tasty fries, without any spice being overbearing - just a good flavor!



3 sweet potatoes
about 1 tablespoon olive oil
salt
pepper
garlic powder
paprika

Preheat oven to 425º.  Slice sweet potato into fries.  Put on cookie sheet and drizzle olive oil on top.  Mix with your hands until the olive oil lightly coats the sweet potatoes.  Sprinkle salt, pepper, garlic powder and paprika on the fries.  Bake for 20 - 25 minutes, until crispy.  Serve immediately.