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Apples & Coconut Muesli

Last September Phil and I were gifted with a beautiful weekend at the Terranea Resort in California by Plexus. We had never stayed at anything so gorgeous on mainland USA in our entire lives! Absolutely stunning terrain and ocean views, beautiful weather, amazing food, and with wonderful people too! We were served several delicious meals during our stay, but on one of our free mornings, Phil discovered that the cafe downstairs was serving Bircher Muesli! He was so excited and came back with rave reviews, so the next morning we both got a bowl and enjoyed from our ocean-view veranda.

Now I’m sure the ocean breezes made this breakfast taste even more amazing, but I think it’s safe to say that my duplication of this recipe as best I could has brought rave reviews from our children and others back home too.

So without further adieu…..Musli Terranea // That’s the fancy name we’re giving this simple and delicious variety of muesli. Food like this isn’t easy to find in East Coast Amish country, but we’ve suggested it to our local coffee shop/cafe a few times! I’m pretty sure there are others who would love it as we do! Maybe soon we’ll see it on their menu!?

Now really, there isn’t much you can do to “mess up” muesli. Just add the following ingredients into a bowl and play around with it! For our family of six I usually start with four generous cups of oats. If making for one or two people, I start with one cup of oats.

Oats
Almond or coconut milk
Shredded Coconut
Apples finely diced (tart green apples are great, but any on hand will do!)
Favorite Sweetener ~ Honey is amazing, maple syrup is great . . . I usually do a little of either of one of those and then add extra stevia just because my family loves the sweet!
A few drops of coconut extract make this dish taste exactly as it should!

If using regular oats, you can soak at least an hour (or overnight in the refrigerator)… We sometimes use quick oats too because we enjoy the texture and eating immediately. Of course, adjust the amount of milk according to your preference. More milk added as the oats soak of course, and all depending on how “sloppy” you prefer to eat cooked oats or regular cereal.

Let me know how you like it~and if you think a local cafe would be able to see this by the pans-full as the cafe in California does! 😀

Oh, and if you are wondering just WHAT in the world muesli is, THIS ARTICLE some interesting history and recipe ideas as well!

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Pizza: A Weekend Tradition

Does your family eat pizza on the weekends?

I have so many great memories associated with weekend pizza from my growing up years. From extended family get-togethers with my aunts, uncles and cousins~pizza every Saturday to be sure or with my own immediate family on our own in later years when we moved across the country . . . to now building the pizza tradition into our own small family life.

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Our family eats pretty much anything, but when the weekend rolls around, at some point we usually eat pizza in some shape or form! We *love* the New York Style available on nearly every corner here in Pennsylvania~delicious!! But there’s something so satisfying to me about making our own pizza too! Building a business for the past 3 years definitely saw us ordering in more pizza than usual, and now that I have been taking more time for the things I have always loved~one of them being the kitchen~homemade pizza is back on the menu!

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I don’t stick with one particular dough recipe because I like to try new ones from time to time, but I do like Pioneer Woman’s pizza dough recipe or a similar one from a Mennonite cookbook on my shelf. Lately I have also loved using the ever-wonderful crusty bread recipe as a great “sour dough” crust. Typically I use the pizza sauce that we canned during the fall with the tomatoes from our garden, but there again I appreciate variety and I’ve been *loving* this new twist on sauce, once again, using among other things, the balsamic vinegar that I have been loving and using on many foods.

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Pizza Sauce from Scratch:
1 32 oz can diced tomatoes
6-8 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar (or if you’re like me, MORE!) 😀
salt
pepper
olive oil

Combine and blend in food processor, use fresh on pizza for a great taste! OR cook in pan, leaving tomatoes in chunks . . .and spoon onto crust.
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So wherever your weekend takes you, I hope delicious pizza is part of it! :) Maybe you’ll want to try this sauce recipe?? And if you’ve got a great pizza tip or particular way you like to eat it, I’d love to hear about it!

Happy Weekend!!

 

Thai-Style Coconut Chicken

This is one of my favorite comfort foods. Period. I don’t know if anything has the power to make my mouth water like coconut milk and cilantro and lime and ginger . . . all blended into one tantalizing aroma! I first discovered this recipe in a Betty Crocker cookbook that someone gave to us as a wedding gift. And let me say that it was worth every penny they spent, just for this recipe alone! I’ve tweaked it just a little to suit my taste, but really, you just can’t go wrong with this combination of ingredients.

This recipe is so delicious with jasmine rice, but if you are watching your carb intake, it is also great over konjac noodles, which I discovered through Trim Healthy Mama and have enjoyed many times in the past year.

So without further delay, let’s get cooking!

thai coconut chicken

2 Tablespoons coconut oil
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into bite-sized pieces
2 teaspoons grated lime peel
2 teaspoons grated ginger root2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
fresh serrano chilies or 1 jalapeño chili, seeded and finely chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
2 cans (about 14 ounces each) coconut milk (not cream of coconut)
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
2 cups sugar snap peas
2 medium green bell peppers, cut into 1 inch chunks
2 medium tomatoes, chopped (about 1.5 cups)
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves

Hot cooked jasmine or white rice if desired.

In a large skillet or medium pot, heat oil on high, add chicken and stir fry for 2-3 minutes til chicken is no longer pink. Add lime peel, gingerroot, garlic, chilies and cilantro; stir-fry 1 minute. Pour coconut milk over chicken.  Stir in brown sugar, salt, soy sauce, pea pods and bell pepper. Reduce heat to medium. Simmer uncovered for 3-5 minutes, until vegetables are crisp-tender. Stir in tomato. Top with basil. Serve with rice.

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Tips: I love to have ingredients on hand to make my favorite foods at a moment’s notice in case of unexpected dinner guests or in case of a c.r.a.v.i.n.g for Thai food striking suddenly. This dish has so many fresh ingredients, though, so it’s been a bit of a challenge. I have discovered though, that bell peppers freeze well after being sliced or chopped. Also, I used to always buy fresh sugar snap peas, but recently had a light bulb moment when discovering them in the frozen foods isle. As for the lime, ginger, and garlic, I tend to always have those on hand in my refrigerator anyways, but did you know you can freeze those as well? That leaves the cilantro, basil, and tomato. You can freeze the herbs and get great flavor . . . it just doesn’t look quite as pretty, so since you need the tomato anyway, you’ll just have to do what I do and get your husband to stop by the store on his way home from work. Seems to work pretty well most times. :) Also, the last time I made this, I used chicken breast that had been roasted earlier in the week with seasoning salt. I chopped it in small pieces and added to the mix while adding in the last of the vegetables. Mmmm! So good, and convenient too.

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