Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Easiest Curry That I Love

I would post a picture, but I'm just too lazy to go into my kitchen and try to style a bowl of green curry (cause that's the kind I made tonight) into something appetizing looking.

It is the yummiest thing, in my opinion, but not the prettiest.

I put carrots and potatoes in it, because that's what I always have on hand, and because I'm always annoyed (when we order curry at our favorite Thai restaurant) that there is only ever one big huge potato in the entire dish. I like potatoes, dang it. Give me more potatoes! One of these days I'm going to add onions, but my children would REALLY not want to put it in their mouths if I did that, and I do not want to discourage their new-found love of curry even a tiny bit.

Anyway, here is how I make it. It is probably not at all authentic, but I live in a town where there are no ethnic food markets. And I love it, so who cares about authenticity?

2 cans coconut milk
1/2 bunch cilantro
Curry paste (red, green, or yellow - whichever you prefer - and as much as you like...I usually use 3 TBSP of yellow or green, cause we like it really mild, and I don't like red curry)
3 TBSP (or so) brown sugar
raw chicken - cut up in bite-size pieces (as much as you like - I use one really big chicken chest)
vegetables (like I said, I use carrots and potatoes - yukon gold are my favorite)

Blend the coconut milk and cilantro until liquified. Pour it in a big pot and add the curry paste and brown sugar. Bring it to a boil and add the chicken and vegetables. Cook until everything is cooked and tender (about 30 minutes). Serve over Jasmine rice. And with naan. Mmmmm....naan...

*It needs salt, but I only add a little to the pot, because we all like to salt our own servings, but you could salt it as much as you like.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Dazee's Fried Potato Bacon Soup

It's fake spring: the time of year between February 1st and real spring when I stop wearing coats in an effort to convince the weather it's warm.

Fake spring also means renewed longing for fresh, healthy food. Which means I get back on this neglected blog and post a spattering of recipes.

Today's is neither fresh nor healthy. In fact, it is almost like a heart attack-wrapped stroke, smothered in delicate hypertension sauce.

But it's so good for cold fake spring evenings. And, technically, whole. So it belongs here.

My neighbor, Dazee, made it up and was kind enough to give me a recipe of sorts. I am mostly writing it down so that I can remember how to make it next time. My only regret is that I didn't take a picture of it. Sorry.

Dazee's Fried Potato Bacon Soup

A lot of potatoes (I used 6), scrubbed and cubed - no need to peel them
A lot of butter, divided (I used one cube altogether - Dazee uses a lot more than that: she's fearless and a better cook than I)
Paprika (I used smoked, cause to know me is to know that smoked paprika is awesome)
Garlic (I used 1-2 cloves), minced
Onions (I used 1/2 of one), diced (Dazee uses green onions, but I don't like green onions, so do with that information what you may)
Flour (1/3 C. worked for me)
Cream (however much or little you have on hand - I had about a cup)
Milk (any percent will do - I used whole, and just dumped it in until it was the consistency I wanted - I'd say 2C?)
Sharp Cheddar (1 C), shredded
Bacon (I used about 5 slices, but the bacon slices I buy are huge, so probably more like 10 regular slices), browned really well

Fry potatoes in half the butter on low-med heat. This takes a long time. Be patient: it will be worth it. Season with salt, pepper, and paprika. Generously. Add the onions and garlic when the potatoes are starting to soften and brown. Don't worry about it all sticking to the pan - it will all work out in the end. When the potatoes are soft (if you are impatient like me, they will never get soft, exactly, but will be al dente, which is fine), add the rest of the butter and the flour. Let that cook for 1-2 minutes. Dump in the cream and milk. Cook it just until it comes together and thickens. Add the cheese. Stir it in and let it melt, but don't let it boil. Season to taste. Crumble your bacon and throw it in.

Eat until your heart flutters. Then save the leftovers for tomorrow. At which time you will need to add milk when you reheat it, as it becomes a solid mass of butter and cheese when cooled.


Sunday, July 22, 2012

Zucchini Patties

Last night I was too exhausted to cook, but I wanted something homemade. Cause I've been too exhausted to cook for about 2 months, and I needed some good home cookin'. Oh, and I was out of practically every ingredient (because, like I already mentioned, shopping is a chore best left for times of the year that aren't summer). Oh, AND I had already made the tuna salad sandwiches I bragged about earlier one too many times this week. So I was at a loss. I got on Pinterest, since flopping down in a chair and staring at a computer screen were the only two things I could convince my body to do.

I came across these little gems, and my stomach growled, so I took it as a sign. Well, that, and we have zucchini coming out our ears around here, so I had at least one of the ingredients. And THAT is basically how I decide what to cook these days.

Anyway, here's my version of Zucchini Patties (I knew that if I called them 'cakes', the kids would be too disappointed to give them a fair shake):

1 large (mine was huge) zucchini, shredded and rung out between paper towels
1/2 C. parmesan cheese
1-2 eggs (start out with one, but if your "batter" doesn't stick together at all because your zucchini is the size of a transatlantic jet plane, add another)
1 C. bread crumbs (I just took two slices of bread and broke them up)
Nutmeg (maybe 1/8 tsp? I don't know. Just sprinkle some in)
Smoked Paprika (again, no idea. But make sure there's enough that you can taste it and everything is tinged orange. If you don't have smoked paprika - it's not the same as regular paprika! - go get some. It is amazing stuff.)
1 clove garlic, crushed
Salt (lots)

Heat large skillet over med heat. Add some olive oil. Place 2" patties in skillet and cook 2 minutes (or more - use your judgement) on each side. Transfer them to a cookie sheet. Broil them for 2-5 minutes. Serve with ranch dressing.

I loved them. They made a perfect light summer dinner when served with melon, blueberries, and cherries. While no one asked for seconds, my children all ate their serving without complaint, and then ended up eating a LOT of fruit.

And that, dear readers, is what I like to call,


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Improvise: Tuna Tuesday

What happens when you are planning on Cafe Rio (Taco Tuesday - every Tuesday!) for dinner, and out of nowhere your husband tells you he has to leave at 5:00 for meetings. And it's 4:30. And your car is in the shop, so that means you'll be stranded at home. And you haven't gone grocery shopping in almost two weeks (because it's summer, and who has time for grocery shopping in the summer?), so your fridge is empty? And your husband's answer to your despair is, "How about tuna sandwiches?" But you hate sandwiches (unless they are hot)?

You google 'Tuna Melt'. That's what happens. Because you remember a few years ago when you found this fabulous tuna melt recipe (before Pinterest was invented), but you didn't print it out like a level-headed person, and instead lost it to the black hole of cyber space.

What then happens when you find a recipe that tickles your fancy over at Pioneer Woman's blog, but you don't have any of the ingredients? Except for the tuna?

Why, you channel your Grandma Orton, of course! You improvise like it's going out of style!

(minus the raisins, though)

You combine tuna, zucchini, onion, tomato, dill pickles (you were just barely smart enough to can oodles of your own last summer - whew!), mayo, spicy brown mustard (remind yourself to buy more of that, cause you canoodled every last scrap out of the jar), Parmesan cheese, pepper and salt. Then you pile it onto sandwich thins, bake it, top it with shredded cheddar, broil it, and dinner is served! In about 15 minutes flat. Well, with a little help from fresh cherries, melon, and chips. Gotta have some fruit and chips to make it a real meal.

That's what.

*No pictures were taken because I didn't expect it to be terribly good. But it was. Terribly. In a very unterrible way. Also, I am convinced that you could add whatever vegetables you have in your fridge, and it would be fabulous. Just make sure you have the pickles and onions in there. And the cheese.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


(sorry, no picture. again.)

I love Orange Julius. I love it so much, that I am willing to risk the inevitable brain freeze that follows a sip of this delicacy.

I have been missing orange julius since we banned refined sugar, and meaning to experiment with a healthy recipe for it, but haven't had the time. What was I thinking? It wasn't rocket science. In fact, it wasn't even regular science. It was just plain logic.

This is what I came up with:

1 C. milk (you can use almond or coconut, but real milk works better, for reasons unknown)
1/4 C. plain yogurt
1/2 container 100% orange juice concentrate
12 (or so) ice cubes
honey (to taste) (my original recipe calls for 1/4 C. sugar, but I'd be willing to bet I only use 2 TBSP of honey)

Blender it all together. It isn't as sweet as my old version that used vanilla yogurt and sugar, but it is surprisingly delightful, for being healthy. In fact, I add egg whites to it (and every smoothie under the sun), and it gets nice and frothy, and I don't feel one smidge bad about having it for breakfast. Or snack. Or dessert.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Reader Recipe Friday - Waffles

First of all, I apologize for the lack of photographic evidence, but these waffles are seriously off-the-charts divine. Actually, the missing photo is BECAUSE they are so good. We eat them so quickly, there is no time for taking pictures.

Second of all, I know you probably all know this recipe by now. It's been around for a long time. But I have "cleaned" it up a bit, just to get rid of some of the less-than-perfect ingredients. And it is no worse for the wear! It tastes exactly the same. Now I don't know about you, but THAT is how I like my healthy recipes: tasting exactly the same as the unhealthy ones.

Third of all, here's the recipe:

Whole Wheat Blender Pancakes (yield: 6 large waffles)
1 C. wheat *
1 1/2 C. milk, divided
3 tsp. baking powder
1 egg
1/2 C. coconut oil (melt it on low in the microwave while you blend the wheat)
1 tsp. salt
1 TBSP honey

Combine wheat and 1 C. of the milk in blender. Blend on high for 3 minutes. Add the rest of the milk (1/2 C. if you weren't keeping track) and blend 1 minute more. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until mixed. Let it sit for a couple minutes while your waffle iron warms up, as it will thicken. Cook.

*I have substituted already-ground whole wheat when I didn't want to wake someone up who was sleeping (grinding the wheat for 4 minutes is really loud, as you can imagine), and it worked just fine, so that's an option. Just play with the amount a little - I think I used more than a cup. It's not AS good, but it works. Also, if for some reason the batter ends up really runny (like mine did this morning - probably because I 1-and-a-half timesed the recipe), add some whole wheat flour until it's the desired consistency. Basically, you can't go wrong.

Fourth of all, this morning I topped my waffle with peanut butter, maple syrup and blueberries. DEeeelicious!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Topic for Friday Announced

Once upon a time I got a waffle iron for my wedding. It sat, unopened, for a couple years.

Then I had a baby who was allergic to basically everything I ate, so I made waffles for practically every meal for 15 months while she nursed:

Waffles with raspberry jam. Waffles with applesauce. Waffles with syrup. Waffles with peanut butter. Waffles with peach preserves. Waffles with cool whip (non-dairy, of course).

Waffles and I were close. Too close. Especially since my waffles were always limp and dejected-looking. My husband wouldn't touch them, but I eventually forgot that waffles are supposed to be crispy, and I survived.

Until I stayed with my sister, and she made waffles for breakfast. REAL waffles. The kind of waffles that make you want to cry. And eat until you throw up.

It was then (but mostly after I got her recipe and tried it over and over with disappointing results) that I realized the problem: my waffle iron was a hunk-a-junk (unless you, reader, are the person who gifted it to me, in which case I say, "Thank you. It was a thoughtful gesture always to be remembered."). So I tossed it in the trash. Then I bought a fancy Belgian waffle iron, which worked alright, but which broke (as in crumbled into a heap of burning-hot rubble) half-way through a batch of waffles.

I swore off waffles. Who needed them? Not I! My house was a waffle-free zone for over a year. And then someone posted something on facebook or Pinterest about waffles, and I suddenly felt that I would sell my first born if it meant I could have a waffle.

So it was time to start shopping, again, for a waffle iron. My previous experiences with waffle irons had traumatized me into being very anxious about buying a new one. What kind was best? What brand was trust-worthy? How much money would I have to fork over? I actually ended up stumbling upon one at D.I. It was in its original, unopened box (otherwise, my overly-germ-freaked husband would have had nothing to do with it), and it was $8.00. It was fate! Especially when you consider that it has a fire-alarm-volume beeper that tells me when the waffle is finished cooking. Fate knows me so well.

I made waffles that night for dinner. AND THEY WERE SO GOOD. So I made them for breakfast the next day. And lunch. And now we have them twice/week. Once as a breakfast, and once as a dinner (usually Saturday nights when I have some wonderful gourmet thing planned, but then always decide that the last thing I want to do is cook).

Anyway, that was a very long and winding road to our destination. Which is the topic for Reader Recipe Friday:


I want your favorite recipe or favorite way of changing up an old recipe. Or topping suggestions.

I can't wait! Cause, you know, Saturday is (unofficial) waffle night.