All posts by AmandaE

Manic Monday

 Chana Dal with Spinach

Welcome to April Group A edition of the Secret Recipe Club!  This month I got to go Down Under, as I was partnered with the incredible Claire of My Hobbie Lobbie.   Seems rather fitting to get an Australian blog when just a week ago my littlest sister moved to Australia, tho she is currently in Melbourne while Claire is in Sydney.  Claire’s blog is stuffed with delicious Indian treats along with more traditional fare, but my stomach only had eyes for the Indian goodies.   Palak Paneer, Aloo Bhaji, Chana Dal with Spinach, the list just goes on and on and on!  In the end it was the story that went with the Chana Dal, as I loved the idea of taking a bland mash and turning it back in to the incredible dish that her husband remembered his mom making.    I wasn’t able to find ghee, so instead I used some brown butter – otherwise recipe is actually as Claire wrote it (converted to US measurements).

Manic Monday

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Chana dal
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • 2 green chillies, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1 tbsp brown butter (or ghee)
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 6 fresh curry leaves
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely sliced
  • 2 cups baby spinach, torn
  • Salt, to taste

Instructions

  1. Wash the chana dal a couple of times in water and drain then soak the chana dal for about an hour and drain.
  2. Boil the chana dal in 3 cups of water and a tsp of salt. After it comes to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes. Cook the dal until al dente - you DO NOT want a mush!
  3. Drain and reserve some of the liquids.
  4. Heat the butter in a large pan over medium high heat and add the curry leaves, garlic and cumin.
  5. Once the cumin sputters, add the ginger, chilli and turmeric and stir to mix well, cook for one minute then add the chopped tomato and stir. Cook for a 3-5 minutes or until the tomato has broken down a bit.
  6. Add the baby spinach and stir until just wilted.
  7. Add the drained chana dal and stir through, adding a tbsp or two of the reserved liquid, if you think it is too dry. Slowly add the liquid as the dish is meant to be dry and not soupy.
  8. Check the seasoning and Serve hot!

Notes

Chana Dal might also be advertised as split chickpeas if you are shopping in the bulk section.

http://dancingveggies.com/2015/04/manic-monday.html

This dish was fantastic!  I have a feeling it could also be converted to a slow cooker or done in parts in order to speed up the beginning with the chana dal.  Regardless, the taste was incredible and was very well received!  Another SRC success that leaves me counting down the days til the May reveal.


On the Shore

Waldorf Salad

IMG_20150404_195749

Welcome to Part 2 of my #partylikeamadman - again with a huge thanks to my in-laws for allowing me to use their kitchen since ours is still in construction mode!   In going through the Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook, one of my favorite parts was how each recipe included not only information about the episode the dish was featured in but also facts about the origin of the recipe.  In the case of the Waldorf Salad, the cookbook also included information about the evolution of the salad – as well as two versions of the dish.  I went with the classic dish, adding some grapes for an extra POP of color.     I served this for a large group of people but due to taste preference not all ingredients were increased the same way.  The first recipe is how I served it, while the second one is the original recipe plus grapes.

 

Waldorf Salad

Serves: Serves 8 as a side

Original Recipe: 2 apples 1/2 cup grapes 1 cup iced hearts of celery 5 tbsp seasoned mayo Lettuce for serving

Ingredients

  • 8 apples, peeled
  • 2 cups diced heart of celery
  • 2 cups grapes
  • 1/3 cup mayo
  • Lettuce, for serving
  • Salt and Pepper for seasoning

Instructions

  1. Peel and core the apples, divided in half and then cut in to slices. Reserve 12 slices, and cut the remainder into thin julienne strips.
  2. Combine the apple strips with the celery and toss with half of the mayo. Fold in the grapes
  3. Season to taste then place the mixture in the middle of a salad bowl and spread with the mayo. Garnish with the lettuce and the reserved apple slices.
  4. Serve and Enjoy!

Notes

Since this was part of a Seder dinner, the mayo was limited to Kosher for Passover and with that unseasoned.

http://dancingveggies.com/2015/04/on-the-shore.html

I wound up making this dish twice – the first version wound up with a technical problem in that I was the one taking the picture.  The second time around I served this up as part of our Seder dinner and it was the perfect fit (and quite the hit!).   I am so glad I was able to participate in this Mad Men Party,  and look forward to having a finished kitchen so that I can try out some of the more elaborate dishes in the book!

A Beautiful Mine

Chile Rellenos

mad_men_chilli_rellenos

When I first saw the call for bloggers to help with a Man Men Party to kick off the last season of the series- I was very interested but a bit perplexed.  When I picture meals in the 1960s, many menus and ideas come to mind and not one of them is vegetarian.  So I inquired and was thrilled to find out that this fantastic ode to the food of featured in Mad Men included a more than a few vegetarian recipes – in addition to classic drinks and fantastic treats.   I was so excited to open up my copy and get to work deciding on a recipe, narrowing it down to a whopping 5 dishes that begged to be enjoyed.  However with my inpending kitchen renovation, I knew that whatever I picked had to be quick and easy and low mess – so hello Chili Rellenos!  I’ve had Chili Rellenos before but always fried, so the fact that these are sauted made them even better – plus no breading so a great gluten free treat as well.  I had a bit of an issue with the technique, however for these delicious treats looks don’t matter – it’s all about the taste!  I also turned it in to a one pot dish but heating up the sauce at the very end while the peppers cooled a bit – this also allowed me to get all of the cheesy and eggy goodness out of the pan.

A Beautiful Mine

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 6 poblano peppers, split and seeded
  • 2 cups shredded or sliced Cheddar Cheese
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 1/4 onion, diced
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Place the cheese in to the poblano peppers and fold peppers over, if using large peppers using a tooth pick to keep close. Stuff all peppers than set aside.
  2. Beat the egg whites in a small bowl until firm but not dry, so just before peaks form. In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks until fluffy and then fold in the egg whites.
  3. Heat the canola oil in a deep skillet over medium heat. Dredge the peppers in the egg mixture then place in the skillet with the folds pointed to the sides of the pan. Be careful to not crowd the pan.
  4. Cook for 6 minutes on each side, or until brown. Continue until all peppers are cooked then remove peppers to a plate.
  5. Add the onions and diced tomatoes to the skillet and bring to a quick boil - then season to taste with the salt and pepper. Remove to a small bowl then Serve and Enjoy with the peppers!
http://dancingveggies.com/2015/03/a-beautiful-mine.html

Since I was serving these to my in-laws, I did a mixture of poblano chilis and standard green bell peppers – same technique just a less spicy pepper.  I served the sauce in a bowl on the side, and let people add as much (or as little) to their peppers as they wanted.  To take it from an appetizer to a true entree, I added some black beans and rice for the perfect meal. I am so beyond happy that I decided to join in the fun – and can’t wait to try out more recipes (Sour Cream Coffee Cake!) and even try my hand at bartending.

Make sure to check out all the other recipes featured as part of #PartylikeaMadMan

Instagram

I Wanna Marry You

Chocolate Caramel Cheesecake

 choco_caramel_cheesecake

Welcome to #15Cheesecakes – an anniversary celebration for Camilla and her husband.  Like Joe and I, Camilla and her husband also celebrated their vows with a delicious cheesecake in place of the standard wedding fare.  So when I saw her call for 15 bloggers to make a cheesecake to help them celebrate I KNEW I had to be involved.  My first plan was to recreate our wedding cake, a fantastic Dulce de Leche creation but that didn’t exactly work out due to poor dulce de leche making skills on my side – thankfully I had back-up ingredients.  One of the biggest take-aways from doing all these blog challenges is to always, always, always have a back-up plan in place.  Sometimes the recipe just won’t cooperate while other times it will be life in general.   Thankfully my back-up cheesecake worked out perfectly!  The real trick is to gradually lower the temperature of the cake to prevent it from cracking – or at least that’s what I heard many moons ago and so far the “trick” works.

I Wanna Marry You

Ingredients

  • 2 cups honey graham crackers (or honey Teddy Grahams in a pinch)
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 tsp caramel syrup, divided (I use Monin)
  • 2 oz blocks of cream cheese, one reduced and one regular
  • 1 8oz tub of plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp grated dark chocolate

Instructions

  1. In a food processor, blend together the melted butter. 1/2 tsp of caramel, and graham crackers. Pulse until pieces are pea sized. Remove from processor and gently press in to an 8 inch springform pan - working from the middle and up the sides. Set Aside
  2. Cream together the sugar and cream cheese for 6 minutes. Then add the eggs one at a time, continue to cream then add the yogurt and caramel and cream for a final 6 minutes, or until mixture is creamy. Fold in half of the grated chocolate
  3. Preheat oven to 375
  4. Pour the cream cheese mixture in to the crust and spread out evenly, then top with the remaining chocolate. Bake for 35 minutes, then turn oven to 250 and bake for a final 15 minutes. Turn the oven off but keep cheesecake inside with the door slightly propped open. Once cool cover and place in the fridge for at least two hours.
  5. Serve and enjoy!
http://dancingveggies.com/2015/03/i-wanna-marry-you.html

Happy 15th Anniversary Camilla and!  May you have dozens and dozens and dozens of more cheesecakes together!  Also a happy early anniversary to my husband – 5 years together tomorrow and 3 years married (!!!) next month :-)

Berry
Cheesecake Bars
by Baking and Creating with Avril
Cherry
Cheesecake Bites
by Cookaholic Wife
Chocolate
Caramel Cheesecake
by Dancing
Veggies
Chocolate
Cheesecake
by My Hobbie Lobbie
Chocolate
Topped Peppermint Cheesecake
by Amy’s Cooking Adventures
Creme
Brulee Cheesecake Bars
by Tara’s Multicultural Table
Easter
Basket Mini Cheesecakes
by Little Bit of Everything
Everyday
Cheesecake
by Things I Make (for Dinner)
Irish
Cream Cheesecake
by A Day in the Life on the Farm
Layered Cinnamon Streusel Cheesecake Cake by Famished Fish, Finicky Shark
Lowfat
Blackberry Cheesecake
by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
Matcha-YuzuCheesecake with a Meyer Lemon Gelée by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Mini
Churro Caramel Cheesecake
by Cheese Curd In Paradise
Mini Maple Pecan Cheesecakes by Join Us,
Pull up a Chair
Mom’s New York Cheesecake by Taste Cook Sip
Mudslide Cheesecake by Sew You Think You
Can Cook

{No Bake} Marshmallow Cheesecake by An Affair from
the Heart
No-Bake
Pumpkin Cheesecake
by Angels Homestead
Samoa’s cheesecake
by Goodie Godmother
Sopapilla Cheesecake Bars by The Savvy Kitchen
Sopapilla Puff Pastry Cheesecake by Pink Cake Plate
Skinny
Vanilla Bean Cheesecake
by Renee’s Kitchen Adventures
Twix
Cheesecake Brownie Torte
by Making Memories With Your Kids

Don’t We Go

Banana Cream Pie

banana_cream_pie

A bit late, but finally have my post from Pi Day!  Since Pi Day was also game day I knew I had to make something, and it had to be something awesome.  Thankfully /r/52weeksofcooking pointed me in the right direction with their banana theme.  I had never made/had a banana cream pie but figured it couldn’t be too hard – just a more solid version of banana pudding.  I searched the internet for inspiration but most of them involved ingredients I didn’t have on hand, and since I was doing this last minute the day after an embryo transfer going to the store just wasn’t going to happen.  So I decided to use a custard recipe I acquired many moons ago and just modify it as needed.  For the crust I went with my standard push-in-pan using vanilla wafers.  One day I’ll figure out how to roll a pie crust but until then push-in-pan it is!

 

Banana Cream Pie

Serves: Serves 9 - 12

Ingredients

  • 2 very well ripened bananas
  • 1 cup greek yogurt
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • favorite crust

Instructions

  1. Puree the bananas with the greek yogurt and set aside.
  2. Heat a large sauce pan over medium heat, add the milk and sugar and bring to a low simmer. Meanwhile beat the eggs and vanilla together in a separate bowl.
  3. Slowly whisk the eggs and vanilla into the milk and continue to simmer for 5 minutes before mixing in the banana mixture. Continue cooking for 10 minutes, being sure to not let the mixture bowl.
  4. Meanwhile prepare your favorite crust.
  5. Remove custard mixture from burner and allow to cool for 30 minutes (or move to a freezer for 10)
  6. Preheat oven to 375. Pour the custard into the prepared crust and bake for 30 minutes. Turn heat to 250 and bake for a final 10 minutes or until custard is solid.
  7. Allow to cool then Serve topped with whipped cream!
http://dancingveggies.com/2015/03/dont-we-go.html

Hope your sweet tooth is ready for this week as I’ll have another dessert recipe on Wednesday as part of #15Cheesecakes!