Monday, April 29, 2013

Spicy Bok Choy Rice Bowl

So, I found out the other day my husband thinks I drink a green smoothie and eat a salad every day.  I kind of laughed inside because although that would be great, it doesn't always happen!  Hey at least I eat them enough that my family knows how much I love them and one day they may even follow in my footsteps.

I got some bok choy in my CSA basket a couple weeks ago and I wasn't quite sure what I wanted to do with it.  I looked up recipes for steamed and cooked bok choy and they didn't look that appetizing.  I prefer to eat my greens raw rather than cooked.

Anyway I had time one day to actually make my own lunch, rather than just nibble on my kids' leftovers, so I decided to throw together some of my favorite slaw ingredients and a simple dressing and it was heavenly!  I don't eat a ton of rice so I kind of surprised myself when I went back for seconds. This makes a great lunch; perfectly filling but not too heavy and loaded with nutrients and flavor. 

Spicy Bok Choy Rice Bowl
3/4 cup brown rice
1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
3-4 large bok choy leaves, thinly slices and
1 medium carrot, shredded
3-4 radishes, thinly sliced
1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
2 green onion, thinly sliced

for the dressing:
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
1 Tbsp. sesame oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. ginger, grated
pinch red pepper flakes

sesame seeds

Place rice and vegetable stock in a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 50 minutes.

Prepare veggies in a salad bowl and set aside. 

Whisk all dressing ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

When rice is done cooking, fluf and allow to cool.  You can even spread it out on a plate or tray to cool it quicker. 

When rice has cooled, add it to the salad bowl and toss with veggies. 

Drizzle with some of the dressing and toss again.  Serve in salad bowls and garnish with sesame seeds.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Menu Plan Monday Week 18 (2013)

Wow, I just checked back on last week's menu and I can't believe I got through all of it!  That's pretty much a miracle around here. I'm going to quick throw this up while everyone is still sleeping around here (Sunday afternoon naps are sacred around here), so I can still have some peace and quiet.

So, I think almost everything on the menu is a repeat this week.  I have stuff I need to use up AND I'm starting a 30 Day Love Your Greens Challenge so I want to keep things simple.  Speaking of simple, I have a new mantra; SIMPLIFY. I'm trying to apply it to all areas of my life and hopefully my kitchen and my meals will reflect it.

As always, dishes already on the blog will be linked.  Keep your eyes open for some yummy stuff I have scheduled to post this week.  Have a good one!

Dinner Menu Week 18 (2013)
Sweet Potato and Cauliflower Curry
Thai Coconut Rice

Chicken Milano
Italian Salad with Basil Vinaigrette

Burritos with fresh tortillas and smashed pinto beans
fresh veggies

Kale and Lentil Pasta


Penne Pasta with Smoked Ham and Pepper Cream Sauce
steamed broccoli

Tortilla Soup with Southwest Cabbage Slaw

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Wheat-Oat Blueberry Lemon Scones

Who says a scone can't be healthy?  Since I have been making them more often (because I always seem to have cream that needs to be used up in my fridge!) I figured I should start making them a little more healthy.  I switched out ALL of the white flour and traded it for whole wheat and oat flour, but I was pleasantly surprised how well it worked still.  My scones don't typically have much sugar to begin with but I still tried to do better by using just a smidge less and using raw sugar.  And of course, all the deliciousness of using fresh blueberries, these scones don't disappoint!  They are still light and fluffy and you can feel better about eating (a few more of) them!

Wheat-Oat Blueberry Lemon Scones
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup oats, blended to a powder
1 Tbsp. baking powder
3 Tbsp. raw sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
Zest of 1 lemon
5 Tbsp. unsalted butter, chilled and cut into pieces
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup blueberries (frozen, not thawed, or fresh both work)

Glaze (if desired): juice of half a lemon, powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 425°F.

In a blender or spice grinder, blend 1/2 cup oats until a powder.  Place flour, ground oats, baking powder, sugar, zest and salt in large bowl or work bowl of a food processor fitted with steel blade. Whisk together or pulse.

If mixing by hand, use two knives, a pastry blender or your fingertips and quickly cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal. If using food processor, remove cover and distribute butter evenly over dry ingredients. Cover and pulse until mixture resembles a coarse meal.

Put mixture into a mixing bowl. Add blueberries and toss.  Add cream. Stir with a spoon until a dough forms, using your hands to bring it together. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently, adding a bit more flour, if needed.

Form scones by patting the dough into a circle and cut into wedges.

Place scones on un-greased baking sheet and bake until lightly brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool on wire rack for at least 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

To glaze, use the juice of half a lemon and powdered sugar to desired consistency.  Drizzle over cooled scones.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Chicken and Veggie Stir-Fry

Oh, I have been searching high and low for a good stir fry sauce.  My husband loves stir fry just about any way he can get it and I only like it if it has a good sauce...and lots of sauce too.  I've tried many, many different sauces only to be constantly disappointed and leaving my husband to eat all the leftovers becauses I just can't bring myself to!

Well, I don't know what it is about this combination of ingredients, but they're pretty great. Easy and tasty and makes plenty of sauce.

You can use whatever veggies are on hand, but I try to make sure I  have a few different colors going on so it's more pleasing to the eye (that definitely makes it taste better too). I also like to load up on the veggies so I just chop a bunch and throw them in a big bowl to cook.  Some of the amounts in the recipe below give a range in case you want more or less veggies.

Chicken and Veggie Stir-fry
for the stif-fry:
2 chicken beasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 bunch of asparagus, trimmed and sliced into 1-inch pieces
1 1/2 cups sugar snap peas, tips trimmed and cut in half or thirds

1-2 red bell peppers, diced
2 medium carrots, julienne
4-8 oz. mushrooms, chopped or sliced

for the sauce:
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 Tbsp. cooking sherry
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. rice vinegar
1 tsp. sesame oil
2 tsp. cornstarch
2 shallots, sliced thin
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-inch piece ginger, peeled and minced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper

Chop veggies and set them aside.  Slice chicken and place in large preheated frying pan.  Drizzle olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan and cook chicken until no longer pink.  Remove to a clean dish.  Wipe out pan, if necessary and add another drizzle of olive oil or water.  If you have more rather than less veggies you may want to cook them in two batches.  Saute veggies until crisp tender and are still bright in color.

While veggies are cooking, whisk together sauce ingredients and set next to the stovetop.

When all veggies are finished cooking, return cooked chicken back to the pan. Whisk sauce one last time, to mix in any cornstarch that may have settled to the bottom, and add it to the pan.  Cook until sauce is bubbly and has thickened; about 2-3 minutes. 

SOURCE: Adapted from The Kitchn
Remove from heat and serve with hot cooked rice.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Balsamic Honey Pulled Pork Sliders

I'm sure if you're on Pinterest, you've seen these sliders floating around.  I pinned them forever ago and finally got around to making them.  I don't hardly ever cook a roast because most of the time it's just my husband and I that end up eating it, but we invited some friends over for dinner and it seemed like the perfect opportunity to do it!
One thing about cooking roasts that I'll never forget came from Ree Drummond-Pioneer Woman.  She said to always cook it in a little broth AND cook it until it falls apart; if you think it's done, you check it and it seems tough, keep cooking it. Follow those two rules and you'll always turn out perfect roast.
I love the balsamic sauce on these sliders, it gives it that tangy sweet contrast to the salty pork. I opted not to mix all of it in with the pork because I knew I would be serving little ones.  So, I mixed some in and used the rest to drizzle on top.
To my surprise the sliders were loved by all...each one of my children ate one and my oldest even begged me to make them again.  This totally caught me off guard since we hardly ever eat pork or even meat for that matter.  You are sure to love them as well.
Balsamic Honey Pulled Pork Sliders
for the pork:
2 - 3 lb. boneless pork shoulder roast
1 cup onion, chopped
1 tsp dried thyme, crushed
1/2 tsp dried rosemary, crushed
1/2 cup chicken broth
for the sauce:
1 cup balsamic vinegar
3/4 cup ketchup
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup honey
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp dijon mustard
1 tsp garlic, minced
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp salt
Place onion in bottom of crock pot. Place meat on top and sprinkle with thyme and rosemary. Add broth, cover and cook on low for 9-10 hours or on high for 4-5 hours or until meat shreds easily with a fork.
Remove meat from crock pot and shred with two forks.  It is easiest to do this on a cookie sheet.  Place shredded pork back into crockpot and toss with onion and leftover juices.  Turn crockpot setting to low.
Combine all sauce ingredients in a medium sized saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer over medium-high uncovered for about 15-20 minutes until sauce thickens; stirring occasionally. (Don't boil too hard or sauce will boil over!!) 
After sauce is has thickened, pour about 1/4 cup (or more to your liking) in with the meat mixture and toss to coat.  Let meat sit in the crockpot on low for up to an hour.
Serve pork on sliced slider buns (or dinner rolls).  Top with a drizzle of balsamic sauce and coleslaw, if desired.
SOURCE: Better Homes and Gardens via Your Home Based Mom

Menu Plan Monday Week 17 (2013)

It's Monday and I'm back with a new menu!  I hope I don't start making a habit of skipping a week of making a menu because I really need it!  I have reeeeealy been trying to clean out my fridge this past week though and not keep so much "stuff" in it!  I want to keep it down to what we eat and maybe a few extra things.  I've also been weeding out the condiment door, tossing or using up what we've got and replacing them with healthier, homemade versions.  For example...homemade mayo!  I've been buying fresh eggs lately and couldn't wait to make mayo.  Look for the recipe coming soon.
Trying to keep it simple with the menu this week, mostly  meatless, lots of veg and stuff my kids will eat. Here's hoping it goes over well.  Enjoy and be inspired to eat well!

Dinner Menu Week 17 (2013)
Soft Tacos with homemeade flour tortillas & homemade refried beans

Macadamia and Coconut Crusted Tilapia w/ Mango Salsa
Thai Coconut Rice
leftover salad and veggies

Mediterranean Lentil Salad
Artisan Olive Loaf
(Easy Sesame Peanut Noodles, fresh carrots and peppers for kids)

Pretzel Crusted Chicken Tenders with Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce
Steamed broccoli

Veggie Enchilada Pizza


The Perfect Hamburger with Homemade Burger Buns

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Bananas Foster Steel Cut Oats

We don't hardly ever eat cold cereal so you can imagine breakfast  has to get pretty creative around here.  Consequently we eat a lot of hot cereal. Recently my oldest daughter told me steel cut oats were her favorite oats so I started making them more often.  My go-to for oats after it's done cooking is a little coconut oil, brown sugar and cinnamon, but even that needs some changing up once in a while.

Bananas are my favorite add-in to pretty much any breakfast food so I worked with it and decided sliced bananas and walnuts sauteed in a little butter and sugar is completely awesome!!  If you remember my kids don't like chunky things in their food, especially breakfast foods, so I mashed up the banana in the mush and they weren't the wiser and totally loved it!

Bananas Foster Steel Cut Oats
makes about 4 servings
1 cup steel cut oats
3 1/4 cups water
pinch salt
2 Tbsp, brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 cup canned coconut milk
1 tsp. vanilla
2 ripe bananas, sliced
3 Tbsp. brown sugar
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1/4 walnut pieces

Bring water and salt to a boil. Stir in oats. Reduce heat to about medium and cook about 25 minutes or until desired tenderness, stirring every few minutes to prevent sticking on the bottom of the pan. After 25 minutes, remove oats from heat and add in salt, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, cinnamon, coconut milk and vanilla. Return to heat for another minute or two. Taste and adjust as necessary.

While oats are cooking, heat a skillet over medium high heat.  Saute walnuts for about 2-3 minutes and remove.  Add butter and 3 tablespoons brown sugar.  Once melted, add sliced banana and saute over high heat another 2-3 minutes.  Stir in walnuts.

To serve oats, place a spoonful of sauteed bananas in the bottom of each bowl.  Scoop oats out onto the bananas, then top with another spoonful of sauteed bananas. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Perfect Skillet Cornbread

Cornbread is one of those things that pretty much just can't be eaten without a big pot of ham beans.   I admit, Marie Callendar's used to be my go-to way to make cornbread, but I'm always looking for a better way.

Well, I don't need to look any further.  I think I'm gonna stick with this cornbread.  I'm sure it's not die hard southern cornbread because it's not all cornmeal and it's a little sweetened, but that's ok by me because I'm not a diehard southerner either (although I love 'em)!

This recipe is good for about a 9-12 inch cast iron skillet.  Ideally, I think 9-10 would be best, but I only had a 12-inch so that's what I used.  You could also use a round cake pan if you don't have a skillet at all.

Perfect Skilet Cornbread
1 stick butter, melted and slightly cooled
1 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
3 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat four
1 cup cornmeal
1 Tbsp.  baking powder
1/4-1/2 tsp. salt

Place cast iron skillet in oven and preheat together to 425 degrees F for about 15-20 minutes. 

In mixing bowl, whisk together melted butter, buttermilk, eggs and sugar.  In a separate bowl whisk flours, cornmeal, baking powder and salt.  Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture and stir to just combine.

Remove preheated skillet  from oven (remember to use oven mitt, it's hot!!) and pour in batter.  Put skillet back in oven and bake for about 18-22 minutes, or until slightly golden on top; for a 9-10 inch skillet.  For a larger skillet, start checking for doneness between 15-18 minutes.

Cool, slice as desired and serve warm slathered with butter and honey.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Brown Butter Tilapia with Basil Bread Crumbs

We have not had fish in so long, like years, so I thought it was time to throw it back into rotation once in a while. Brown butter and basil and unlikely combination...maybe?  But does it work..heck ya!! 

Brown butter goes good with just about anything.  I could probably swim in it!!  I love the crunchy breadcrumb coating, and the basil flavor really isn't too strong because it's dried basil.  Another thing I love about this fish is that it's cooked in coconut oil.  I love the flavor and smell of that stuff and it pairs so well with fish.

It's wonderful how just a few simple ingredients can make a wonderful and uncomplicated dish like this one.  This is melt in your mouth good!

Brown Butter Tilapia with Basil Bread Crumbs
4 fresh tilapia filets
1 1/2 Tbsp. virgin coconut oil
3 Tbsp. brown butter
1/3 cup panko bread crumbs
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 tsp. dried basil

Add 3 tablespoons butter to a small saucepan.  Heat over medium high heat and continue cooking until butter starts to turn brown and smells fragrant and nutty. Remove from heat.
Add breadcrumbs to a small skillet over medium heat and toast until golden, about 3-4 minutes. Turn off heat and immediately stir in garlic, dried basil and 1 tablespoon of brown butter. Set aside.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season tilapia with salt and pepper.

Melt coconut oil in a large skilletover medium high heat. Add in tilapia and cook 2-3 minutes per side, or until slightly golden or opaque. Remove from heat. Right before serving, drizzle with remaining brown butter and breadcrumbs.

SOURCE: How Sweet It Is

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Banana Scones with Brown Butter Glaze

Good heavens, I cannot get over how delicious these scones are!  Hello, brown butter and bananas, they were just made to go together.  My oldest daughter even commented the glaze tasted like yummy.

Like I said, I can't get enough of scones right now.  I made these the week before Easter when we woke up on a Saturday to MORE SNOW.  We needed a happy place and this was definitely it.  I actually made a double batch, which is not even double the work so quite the time saver, and froze half, so we got to eat these babies two weeks in a row!

My first batch I baked, I made them into wedges but I felt like they were a little large for a single serving.  This recipe makes a little more than my basic scone recipe.  So, the second batch I pressed the dough into a rectangle and cut them into squares.  Much more manageable.

If you have any extra time laying around this weekend, give these a try, you will fall in love as we did!

Banana Scones with Brown Butter Glaze
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 cups  whole wheat flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
Dash of grated nutmeg
10 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1½ cups mashed ripe banana (about 3-4 large bananas)
1 cup heavy cream (whole milk or buttermilk may be substituted)

For the glaze:
8 tbsp. (4 oz.) butter
1½-2 cups powdered sugar
3 tbsp. milk, plus more as needed

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Lemon Blueberry Cornmeal Muffins

Oh, we've been on a muffin kick lately!  My girls are loving it and keep asking me to make more.  For years I've stuck to about two or three muffins that I always go to because other recipes just didn't turn out like I had hoped.  I think I've finally got it down now.  Yay!

Making blueberry muffins with cornmeal came to mind a few weeks ago after I had suggested to a friend to make blueberry cornmeal pancakes.  It seemed to be a winning combination because both the pancakes and muffins were devoured!

These are delicious warm right out of the oven.  They are light yet still have that slight crunch from the cornmeal.  I have also used half whole wheat and half white flour to up the nutrition a bit.

Blueberries, cornmeal, will love them as much as we did!

Lemon Blueberry Cornmeal Muffins
1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
zest and juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup cornmeal (I used yellow)
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups blueberries (either fresh or frozen, unthawed will work)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together butter, eggs, buttermilk, zest and juice of a lemon and sugar.  Stir in flours and cornmeal, baking powder and salt until just combined.  Gently fold in blueberries.

Fill muffin tins with liners.  Using a large scoop, divide batter between about 12-15 muffin wells.

Bake 15-18 minutes or until slightly golden on top.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Portabello Ravioli with Gorgonzola, Walnut and Cream Sauce

I'm so glad I finally got this photographed! I have made this dish several times and it's usually gone beore I can even whip out the camera.  I got this recipe from my friend, Carrie.  It originally came from the book, While The Pasta Cooks.  The whole concept of the book is that you can make each pasta sauce in the same amount of time it takes to cook the pasta.  Genious!!!

I usually just make this for the hubs and I since my kids don't like much on their pasta, but that gives us an excuse to eat just the two of us, like a date. 

I don't make my own ravioli, I usually grab some from Trader Joes when I go.  You don't have to use mushroom ravioli, of course, use what you like.  Heck, you don't even have to use ravioli if you prefer another pasta, but I just love the combination of the mushrooms, gorgonzola and walnuts.  Simple yet amazing. Enjoy!

Portabello Ravioli with Gorgonzola, Walnut and Cream Sauce
10-12 oz. package portabello ravioli
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2/3 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt/pepper, to taste
pinch of smoked paprika (or cayenne pepper)
4 oz. Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
1/3 cup heavy cream

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook ravioli (or other pasta) according to package directions.

While pasta is cooking, heat oil in a skillet and add walnuts.  Cook over medium-high heat until toasted; about 2 mintues.  Remove from heat and add crumbled cheese, heavy cream and smoked paprika.  Whisk briefly. Check for seasonings and add salt and pepper, to taste.

Drain the pasta and toss in a serving bowl with cream sauce.

Serve warm.

SOURCE: While the Pasta Cooks via my friend Carrie

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Menu Plan Monday Week 15 (2013)

Well, spring break is over and it's back to life as we know it.  This week has been fun, but getting structure back will be good for all of us!  I'm finally feeling better too, the weather is warming up, although lots of rain is in our forecast this week, and I'm ready to lighten up our dinner fare and shed those winter pounds!!
This week's menu is light and easy, I'm even taking it out on the grill a couple times. Hopefully spending less time in the kitchen will allow me to spend as much time as I can outside with my kids, soaking up the nice weather.

Dinner Menu Week 15 (2013)
Ham Beans (oldie but a goodie and will be getting a makeover this week)

White Bean and Quinoa Bugers
Zucchini Bites

Veggie Stir-Fry
Thai Coconut Rice

Harvest Grains and Spinach Salad Salad with Basil Balsamic Dressing

Macadamia Crusted Tilapia
grilled veggies

Mexican Coleslaw

Cranberry Chicken Wraps
left over Mexican Coleslaw

On the side...
Homemade Tortillas
Kale and Blueberry Smoothie
Cashew Butter Cookies
Peaches and Cream Steel Cut Oats

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Harvest Grains & Spinach Salad w/ Basil Balsamic Dressing

I reemember my frist trip to Trader Joe's when it opened here in Salt Lake. I was so excited and couldn't wait to use all cool stuff I brought home. I used most everything right away, but there sat my little bag of Harvest Grains, unused.  I wanted to find the perfect recipe to use them in but couldn't ever decide.  Finally this salad spoke to me and it WAS the perfect dish for those little grains.  Of course one of my favorite additions is the basil in the dressing, but the combination of everything together is unique and delicious!

Harvest Grains & Spinach Salad with Basil Balsamic Dressing
1/2 lb. harvest grains blend-about 1 1/4 cups (I got mine from Trader Joe's, has yellow lentils, red quinoa, orzo, baby garbanzo beans,  and Israeli couscous.)
1 Tbsp. butter or olive oil
1 3/4 cups organic chicken broth (or water)
1/4 cup Sun-dried Tomatoes
2 cups baby spinach leaves, chopped
1/4 cup raw cashews, lightly toasted
2 oz. goat cheese, crumbled
Basil Balsamic Dressing (below)

for the dressing:
1/4 cup finely diced onion
1 cup tightly packed basil leaves
1 clove garlic
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tsp salt
Bring 1 3/4 cups  broth or water to a boil.  Add butter/oil and 1 1/4 cups of the grains blend.  Bring back to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered for 10 minutes.  Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. 
In the meantime, put tomatoes in a small saucepot and add water until just covered.  Boil 5 minutes and cool.  Chop and set aside.
Prepare dressing by adding ingredients into a blender and whiz until smooth.
If desired, toast cashews in a small frying pan over medium heat about 3-4 minutes.
Once grains have cooled, add chopped spinach, sun-dried tomatoes and cashews.  Pour some dressing over the salad and toss.  Add more as necessary.  top with crumbled goat cheese.
SOURCE: Salad adapted from Cookin' Canuck, dressing from What's Gabby Cooking.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Chocolate Chip Coconut Scones

I've been on kind of a scone kick lately. I simply adore scones and my girls love them too.  They are so wonderful to have fresh and warm in the morning and they aren't too sweet either.  Since finding a fabulous cream scone base recipe, I adapt all other scones I make to that one. Each flavor combination turns out better than the last, it seems like, and they are always so soft and flaky.

I'm nuts for anything coconut, but throw chocolate in with it and don't plan on holding me back! Amazing combination.

I don't usually glaze my scones, but I thought once in a while it would be ok.  These would be perfect for Sunday brunch when you've got some extra time on a quiet day.

Chocolate Chip Coconut Scones
for the scones:
2 cups flour
1 Tbsp.  baking powder
3 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
5 Tbsp. chilled, unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1/2 cup chocolate chips (regular or mini)
1/2 cup sweetened, flaked coconut
2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup canned coconut milk

for the glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
2-3 Tbsp. coconut milk
1/4 cup toasted coconut

Preheat oven to 425°F.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt and sugar. Using a pastry blender, cut the cold butter into the dry ingredients until it is the size of small peas and evenly incorporated. Work quickly so the butter does not soften too much.

Stir in coconut milk and vanilla with a rubber spatula or fork until dough begins to form, about 30 seconds.

Transfer dough to countertop, there will be some crumbly bits, and knead dough by hand just until it comes together into a rough, sticky ball, 5 to 10 seconds.

Press the dough into an 8-inch disc and cut into 8 wedges.  Place wedges on ungreased baking sheet and bake until  tops are light brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool on wire rack for at least 10 minutes.

While scones are baking, make glaze and toast coconut.

For the glaze, mix powdered sugar and coconut milk and whisk until smooth. Add more milk until it reaches desired consistency.

To toast the coconut, place in a medium frying pan over medium-high heat.  Monitor closely and stir frequently, until coconut starts to brown.  Immediately remove from heat and set aside.

Once scones are cooled, spoon glaze over tops, a few at a time, then sprinkle the toasted coconut on top.  Allow to finish cooling and glaze to set.

SOURCE: Adapted from Smitten Kitchen and My Baking Addiction

Monday, April 1, 2013

Menu Plan Monday Week 14 (2013)

Ok, time to get back to menu planning.  I took the past few weeks off not only because we have been sick but also to clean out my fridge!  I've been trying to buy as little as possible to get through the week so I can empty out my fridge and get it cleaned up before stocking it once again.  We're down to the bare bones now, just a few fruits in my fruit bowl and a few leftover veggies from our family Easter dinner last night.  I've made my grocery list and menu, now to get it cleaned before I have to go shopping this afternoon. 

There are only about two times year that I buy ham.  Now is one of those times; Christmas it the other.  I don't buy ham for Easter dinner, since we usually eat with family, but I love to have it for some of our favorite meals.  One of them is on this week's menu, Penne Pasta with Smoked Ham and Pepper Cream Sauce.  If you haven't tried it, DO, you'll love it.  Some more favorites are Split Pea Soup with Smoked Ham and Kale, and Ham and Swiss Sliders. 

Dinner Menu Week 14 (2013)
Ravioli with Gorgonzola Cream Sauce
Italian Salad

Veggie Stir Fry
Coconut rice

Penne Pasta with Smoked Ham and Pepper Cream Sauce

Harvest Grains and Spinach Salad with Basil Balsamic Dressing
fresh fruit

Pizza with Grapes, Caramelized onion and Gorgonzola (girls will do cheese)

Sesame Peanut Noodles
fresh veggies (most likely carrots, peppers and cucumbers)

Pulled Pork Sliders Homemade Burger Buns
Cabbage Slaw

On the side:
Blueberry Cornmeal Muffins
Apricot-Ginger Granola
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