Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Pineapple Basil Chicken

This recipe comes from the cookbook called Thai Cooking and More that I picked up at a book outlet years ago. Every recipe I have tried from this book has been a winner, including this simple but delicious Pineapple Basil Chicken. I cut this recipe in half.


For this recipe you will need, chicken, pineapple, corn starch, a hot pepper, oil, garlic, basil, cashews, soy sauce and fish sauce.

The most important part of making a successful stir fry is to have everything measured and ready to cook before you even turn on a burner. Measure out your pineapple, juice and nuts.

Mix the corn starch with the pineapple juice.

Chop your pepper and your green onion.

Chop your basil, garlic and chicken.

ready to cook
Once everything is staged near the stove, you can start cooking.

First things in the pan are the chicken, garlic and hot pepper. Stir fry these for 3-4 minutes.

Once the chicken is cooked, add in the green onion for another minute.

Stir in the pineapple and cornstarch mixture and stir until it thickens.

Almost ready
Add in the pineapple, cashews, basil, fish sauce and soy sauce. Let this cook for another minute or two and you are ready to eat!

Pineapple Basil Chicken
Delicious and so simple. You could easily do this with mandarin oranges as well. I am definitely going to experiment more with this dish and make more recipes from that cookbook.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

Here in the US it is a long weekend for most of us. Memorial Day is often celebrated by grilling up some good food and spending time with friends and family. I love a good hot dog and burger, but if you are looking for something a little different you might want to check out these recipes for grilled curry salmon and macaroni salad. As you can see below, it looks delicious and is a nice change from the regular cook out food.

Grilled Curry Salmon and Macaroni Salad

I hope you all have an awesome long weekend!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Favorite Things #52 - Cooking Sunday

I cook a lot more than I actually blog about, and I love Sundays when I can do cooking for the week and make a meal that doesn't need to come together quickly.

This is what my kitchen usually looks like on a Sunday morning.

Today's pic is Plastic. A lot being used on cooking Sunday! #theidearoom #photoaday #picoftheday

By the end of the day it is all cleaned up again and ready for the week. This Sunday I made some Thai Meatballs with noodles that Tom actually ate with me and really liked.

Thai meatballs and noodles

I will share the recipe soon because I know I want to have these again soon!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

The Deen Brothers' Marinated Chicken Gyro Wrap

Have I mentioned that I have way too many cookbooks? My Mother In Law used to manage housewares at Dillards and they would get in a lot of celebrity chef cookbooks. She picked up a Deen Brothers cookbook and it has some really good recipes in it. The one I chose is a chicken gyro. I love all the flavors in a gyro and this just lightens it up by using chicken. Of course Tom would not eat this because of that vexing protein so this was cut in half.


This recipe is in two steps, the marinade and then the cooking.

ingredients round one
For the marinade you need chicken, olive oil, garlic, oregano, cumin, salt and pepper.

Cut your chicken into 1 inch pieces.

mmm garlic
Get it in a bowl and add your garlic, I just used my garlic press to mince it.

ready to marinate
Add in the oregano, cumin, salt, pepper and olive oil.

Cover it and put it in the fridge for at least an hour.

After it has marinated it is on to round 2, cooking and eating. Preheat your oven to broil and lets gather ingredients. You need pita bread, dill, onion, greek yogurt, garlic, lemon juice, tomato, cucumber and lettuce. I didn't have lettuce so it didn't make it on my gyro.

Chop your dill and onion.

Get the yogurt, dill, onion, garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper into a bowl and stir to combine.

Get the chicken out on a tray, I used nonstick foil on mine for easy cleanup. Pop it under the broiler for about 6-8 minutes.

While the chicken cooks chop up your gyro toppings.

Smear your sauce on a warmed pita and you are almost ready to eat!

Get the chicken out of the oven and layer some on the pita with your veggies.

The Deen Brother's Marinated Chicken Gyro Wrap
This was so good, and so easy to make. I made way too much sauce but Tom helped me take care of it by using it as a veggie dip for the leftover cucumber. If you don't make the whole sandwich I would definitely recommend making the sauce as a light and tangy dip.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Person Behind The Plate #3

One of the main reasons I started this blog is because I love to cook and Tom is definitely not into food. When I first met him he lived off of chips, subs, nachos and pizza. There might have been a hamburger thrown in every once in a while with lots of fries. He was basically eating the dream diet of most 12 year old boys.

According to his Mom he has been picky forever. Everyone loves the story that even before he could talk he could tell the difference between orange juice brands and would fling his sippy cup down if it was not Donald Duck OJ.

What do you mean you don't like chicken???
I imagine the caption of this picture as, "What do you mean you don't like chicken?!" That would be Tom surrounded by family members at the dinner table.

Fast forward 35 years...

Tom just tried a chicken skewer. Not impressed.
Yep, still does NOT like chicken. I figured that it was breaded and deep fried, who doesn't love that?! Him.

Over the last 13 years I have been slowly getting this food hater to at least try some new things, and the blog is here to share all of the wonderful things that he still isn't ready to try.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Andrew Zimmern's Ramen Noodles from People Magazine

I love magazines and have since I was a kid. Growing up the only magazine we got regularly was the TV Guide. When I was in junior high my sister got a job as a cashier in the local pharmacy and I would spend evenings there at a small card table reading all of the magazines in the store. I vowed that when I grew up and could afford it I would subscribe to every magazine I wanted. Well, one of the guilty pleasures from those days persists and I read People magazine every week. I was excited when they started including recipes and so far all that I have made turned out great. This recipe for Ramen Noodles is super easy and delicious, and guess what, Tom even ate it because I substituted beef broth for the chicken broth.


For this tasty soup you will need carrots, green onion, broth, soy sauce, ramen noodles (toss that nasty flavor packet), sesame oil, sriracha, ketchup, sugar, lime and an egg.

lime and egg
Juice your lime and whip up your egg.

Chop your green onion.

Get your water on to boil.

Measure out your broth.

Mix together soy sauce, ketchup, sriracha, sugar and sesame oil.

noodles in
When your water is boiling drop in your ramen. I break mine up just so it is a bit easier to eat.

noodles out
Ramen noodles only need to cook for a couple of minutes. Get them out and drain them and set them aside.

Put the broth into the pan.

sauce in
When the broth is boiling, reduce the heat to medium and stir in the soy sauce mixture.

carrots in
Add the carrots and cook for one minute.

egg in
Slowly stir in the egg.

noodles in
Add the noodles back in and let those cook for about a minute.

onion and lime in
Get the pan off the burner and add in the lime and green onion and you are ready to eat.

Andrew Zimmern's Ramen Noodles from People Magazine
This was so good, and spicy! Tom liked it too but said it wasn't hot at all. Apparently I am still a wuss when it comes to hot food. Tom also added a handful of peanuts because he wanted a little crunch in his soup. He said it was a great addition.

I hope you all are having a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Corn Casserole

old cookbook

I love old cookbooks, the older and funkier, the better. I also love when I get a cookbook from a thrift or antique store and there are recipes tucked in the pages. This cookbook is the best of both worlds. It is an old cookbook and in the front are envelopes filled with clipped and hand written recipes. I was so excited to go through them all.

hand written recipes inside

Here is what the actual cookbook pages are like, it seems like this was a build it over time kind of book, where you would get mailed new sections.

Hospitality House cook book

I decided to try one of the more simple recipes and I love a good casserole, so this was my first pick from this book. I cut this recipe in half.

Corn Casserole recipe
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and lets grab some ingredients.

You need some corn, ground meat - I used chicken to lighten it up from the original recipe, tomatoes, green pepper, shallot or onion, an egg, bread crumbs and butter.

Chop up your veggies and melt your butter. You can also see my favorite seasonings hanging out in the back, garlic and paprika. I added those guys to the chicken while it cooked for some more flavor.

Break your egg and whip it up.

Combine your breadcrumbs and some butter to make the topping.

butter and oil
Now lets start cooking! Melt your butter in the pan.

Add in your meat, onions and pepper. You can add some garlic or other seasoning here if you want also.

cooked chicken
Cook the ground meat until it is all browned.

egg in
Stir in the egg.

Make a layer of corn, I had a lot less corn than I thought, but that is ok. I was just cooking for me so it didn't have to be perfect.

chicken mix
Layer half of the meat mixture on top of the corn.

Add half of the tomatoes.

ready to bake
Repeat the layers and top with the bread crumbs. You can season the bread crumbs if you'd like as well. I am all about adding in flavor where I can.

Corn Casserole
Bake this for an hour and you are ready to eat!

Corn Casserole
This was tasty and unlike a lot of the old school casserole recipes there were no cans of soup involved. I am looking forward to trying more recipes from this fun little cookbook.