If I ever want to feel really lame as a food blogger (which I am not, really), a visit to Culinary Adventures with Camilla will do it for me. The woman is pretty much a miracle: she is a mom to two boys and sometimes posts four recipes a day, highlighting her family’s adventuresome eating style. And this month, her blog was my assignment for the Secret Recipe Club.
There is no way on earth, though, I can feel any animosity toward Cam. She is a wonderful food blogger, super supportive of other bloggers, and the group leader of our SRC Group B. I’m just jealous of her amazing blogging prowess, which I do not have.
My kids will generally eat any kind of chicken, no matter how it’s flavored, as long as it’s not too spicy. Which is good for me, since Mama doesn’t tolerate heat very well, although sad for Daddy, who loves spicy food. I was glad everyone loved this chicken, and we will definitely make it again.
1 1/2 to 2 lbs. chicken thighs (you can use skin-on, bone-in, or boneless/skinless)
4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 tsp. ground cardamom
1 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground coriander or dried cilantro
1 T cumin
1 tsp. turmeric
3/4 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
Place raw thighs in a single layer in a 9x13 pan or other large, flat container. Mix all spices (remaining ingredients except oil) in a bowl, then rub chicken all over with the mixture. Cover container and refrigerate overnight.
Remove chicken for the fridge at least 30 minutes before cooking time. Preheat oven to 400F. Move chicken to a baking dish if needed. Drizzle with olive oil for browning. Roast in the oven for 30-40 minutes, until chicken is cooked through.
(For bone-in thighs, you may need to increase this time. Boneless ones may take less time. Start checking after about 25 minutes to see if thighs are cooked through.)
Many, many years ago, I shared a favorite recipe from Kelly Minter’s No Other Gods Bible study, which I worked on when I was at LifeWay. It was high time to update this recipe with my own proportions and instructions!
We decided this summer to eat beans and rice once a week. My kids are so spoiled when it comes to food, given that we eat in the dining hall nine months of the year. They can pick and choose whatever they want, and definitely have never considered we or other people might not be able to afford meat or fresh ingredients. So this “beans and rice plan” has been a way to talk to them about people in other countries and how they eat. Not to mention it doesn’t hurt for us to eat meatless and save a few dollars, too. Mr. V and I love beans and rice and hope our kids can learn to love them.
(Verdict from week 1: David ate rice. Joshua ate one bite of avocado. Libbie found she could eat beans with a lot of rice and cheese, although she thought the texture was strange. I am proud of her for trying something new.)
Kelly’s original recipe calls for 4 whole cups of cheese on top of the beans. I used about 2 1/2 cups and our beans were swimming in cheese, so I think that’s plenty!
I realize the cheese increases the price on a beans-and-rice meal, but it’s a good place to start if you have kids who are scared of beans. I like these with avocado and sour cream, too, but they’re just as good as written (or with a runny egg for breakfast).
You can cook the brown rice however you like; I use Alton Brown’s method of oven-baked rice often, but the oven temps on this won’t match up. For this recipe, I used my brand-new Instant Pot to make the rice, and I was really happy with the texture and outcome! For brown rice, you use a ratio of 1 cup of rice to 1 1/4 cup water or liquid and cook for 22 minutes on high pressure. It’s like magic!
I got an ice cream maker for Christmas this year. It’s the attachment for my KitchenAid, so I love that it’s not really a whole other appliance to store. I just throw the bowl in my chest freezer to keep it cold, and the couple other pieces up with the rest of my KA stuff.
But I had only made ice cream once! What is my problem? And that time it was a simple coconut milk ice cream for when we had David off dairy. That one turned out hard as a rock in the freezer, although the kids still loved it! But I was unsure of how to proceed with a more “normal” ice cream.
Use a vegetable peeler to peel big strips of zest from two lemons; set aside. Juice the lemons to get 1/2 cup of juice. Place juice and 2 T sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Heat and stir until sugar dissolves. Pour into a measuring cup and place in the refrigerator to cool.
Ice Cream Base
To prepare, measure out the two cups of milk. Then, measure cornstarch into a small bowl. Add 2 Tablespoons of the milk and whisk to make a slurry. Set aside. In another small bowl, whisk salt into cream cheese and set aside. Fill a large bowl with ice and water.
In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, combine remaining milk, heavy cream, sugar, corn syrup, and the zest from the lemons. Bring to a bubble and let boil 4 minutes, stirring occasionally as needed. Remove from heat; add cornstarch slurry to the pot and whisk. Return to heat and let cook until it thickens somewhat, about 1 minute.
Remove from heat; whisk in cream cheese mixture. Pour ice cream base into a gallon-size freezer bag and seal; then place the bag in the ice water, submerging. Let sit for about 30 minutes, until the mixture is cool.
To make the ice cream
Set up your maker per instructions. Remove zest strips from the ice cream base, then add base to the maker. Start it up, then drizzle in the lemon syrup. Let churn until ice cream is the consistency of soft serve. Remove to a container with an airtight lid, pressing parchment paper onto the top of the ice cream before sealing with lid. Freeze for 2-4 hours before eating.
I couldn’t help myself: I had to try this recipe for a Super Bowl party my Sunday School class had on Sunday night. It comes from Erin Brighton’s blog, which I shared in my big #FoodBloggerLove post earlier today.
It’s Erin’s Creamy Black Bean and Corn Dip. The only substitution I made was using plain Greek yogurt instead of sour cream. The recipe turned out SO good – although you must let it sit for a few hours for all the flavors to blend together. I adore the Magically Delicious Corn Dip, but this one gave it a run for its money! Now you can make both and have a warm or cold option.
15.25 oz. can whole kernel yellow corn, drained (can substitute 1 cup fresh corn kernels when in season)
2 jalapeños, seeded, diced fine
3 green onions, white and light green parts, sliced
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 tsp. each salt and black pepper
1/2 c. plain Greek yogurt
1/2 c. mayonnaise
Stir together first five ingredients (through cheese). Add salt and pepper, mayo, and yogurt and mix well to combine. Refrigerate, covered, for at least 2 hours. Serve cold with tortilla chips for dipping.
Do you ever eat cookies for breakfast? We sure do. One of my kids’ favorite breakfasts is Giant Breakfast Cookies. (They also love having Popsicles for breakfast.) I am all about making their food fun so that they are more likely to eat healthier things. And since these cookies are probably way healthier than any muffin I make, I say go forth and make cookies for breakfast!
I also eyed the Irish Soda Bread (which I love, but the one I made most recently flopped in a big way) and Lemon Garlic Hummus; but in the end I was searching while I had sick kids at home and couldn’t go to the store, so I had everything on hand for the peanut butter cookies. Plus, cookies.
That said – for some wacky reason I didn’t have any whole wheat flour, which I ALWAYS have. So I did use white flour in mine, but I mixed in some oat flour to give it a little more healthfulness. I would definitely use white whole wheat flour if I had it on hand.
1 1/4 c. flour, preferably whole wheat (or a combo of all-purpose and oat flour)
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 c. chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350F.
In a saucepan over low heat, melt together the butter, peanut butter, and sugars. Move mixture to a large bowl.
Your mixture should only be warm, not hot; if it's too warm, wait for a bit to make sure the eggs don't cook in it. Once it's just slightly warm, add eggs, milk, and vanilla.
Sift dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, and baking powder) into the wet ingredients and stir until combined. Stir in chocolate chips.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone mat. Form dough into golf-ball sized balls and place on sheet, then press down slightly. (You can criss-cross with a fork for a traditional peanut butter cookie look, if you like. I didn't.) Bake for 7-8 minutes. They won't look done, but take them out anyway. Let cool on baking sheet 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Best served warm!
For these to be truly low in sugar, use a natural peanut butter that is just peanuts or peanuts and salt. Even "natural" peanut butters usually have sugar and oils in them. I like Smuckers brand.
I haven’t added most of these meals to my recipe archive, because I didn’t try them out or picture them. I found them at other places. But the Chile Sweet Potato Hash from Rachael Ray was one that I have made, often. Back when Mr. V and I were kidless, we ate this regularly for dinner, because it’s inexpensive and satisfying, and a nice mix-up for breakfast for dinner. I think I saw Rachael make it on “30-Minute Meals” once.
The only issue I have with this dish is the sweet potatoes. It’s difficult to get them to cook through unless you slice them very thin. I suggest slicing as thinly as you can. If they still aren’t cooking through, after your initial 10-15 minute cook time, change the heat to low, put a baking sheet or lid on your skillet, and steam them for a few minutes. Alternately, you could partially cook the sweet potatoes ahead of time in some boiling water. I may try that next time!
If you like heat, use hot breakfast sausage and throw in some cayenne or chipotle chili powder. If you don’t, this isn’t too spicy, but you can cut down on the chili powder if you want.
2 large or 3 smaller sweet potatoes - peeled, then cut in half lengthwise, then into half-moon thin slices
1 small onion, sliced thinly
1 T chili powder
2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. dried cilantro or coriander
1/2 tsp. dried turmeric (optional)
salt and pepper
eggs, cooked over easy
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add a drizzle of olive oil. When it's hot, add sausage to the pan and break up with a wooden spoon. Brown the sausage for about 3 minutes, then add the sweet potatoes, onions, spices, and some salt and pepper.
Cook, stirring frequently and continuing to break up the sausage, for 10-15 minutes, until sweet potatoes are soft.