Fresh Tomatillo Salsa

It’s finally spring (well at least the date tells us it is) and all the beautiful vegetables and fruits are starting to make an appearance at our grocery store. Our friend had brought some tomatillos over the other day, and we forgot to cook with them. Kinda sacrilegious, I know. 

So today, on a day where my heat is kicking on automatically but the birds are out, I thought I would make some fresh salsa. (I also thought my dad would love it and I’m seeing him tomorrow!)

This is a very easy, very child friendly recipe. B sat in the high hair while Z and I got down to business.

This is what you’ll need:

3 large, fresh tomatillos

1/2 medium yellow onion

2 large garlic cloves

1 whole lime, juiced

1/3 fresh jalepeno

1/2 tea salt

In a food processor, blend de-husked and washed tomatillos, onion and garlic until smooth.

Add lime juice and jalepeno and blend until jalepeno is fully incorporated. 

Put in saucepan and cook over low heat for about 15 minutes. Salsa will reduce about 1/4. Add salt, stir and taste.

That’s it!

To incorporate your kids, (Z is almost 5) I gave her a knife and let her quarter the tomatillos (teaches a little math) and let her add all the ingredients and blend. She then stirred the salsa on the stovetop, and added the salt. She made it really.

  
 

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Gumbo

There are times when I really want to make something I’ve never made before. Something that isn’t even close to my (perceived) comfort zone. On those days, I like to invite friends over. Because who else will tell you if a new recipe is a bust or amazing, if not your friends?

Gumbo has always seemed intimidating to me. I know it’s a stew (with a roux…can you tell I’m watching cat in the hat?) but southern cooking often evades me. Maybe it’s all that buttermilk I never seem to have on hand. Or the mason Dixon line. I don’t know. So creole cooking has become my new obsession and with my sister about to go down to New Orleans I figured I would try my hand at one of the more popular dishes.

I used the traditional chicken, shrimp and andouille sausage. And okra, you gotta have okra.

This is what you’ll need: (Serves 8 adults)

3 cups rice

1 lb shrimp

3 chicken breasts

1 lb andouille sausage

7 tbsp. butter

1/2 lb fresh okra, 1/4 in. slices

1 medium onion, diced

8 garlic cloves, minced

4 medium tomatoes, diced

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 cup flour

3 celery stalks, chopped

1 red bell pepper, diced

1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce

lg handful fresh, flat leafed parsley, chopped

4 cups beef stock

First, add your oil and the chicken. Cook until the chicken is brown on both sides (about 5 minutes a side). Remove and set aside for later. Next add your Andouille. Cook, browning each side, and remove to the cooked chicken plate. Now add 2 tbsp. of butter and flour. Whisk until a thicken paste (or roux) is formed. Turn off heat and set aside to cool.

Once roux has cooled, add all chopped vegetables (celery, garlic, onion and pepper) into the roux and turn on medium heat. Add remaining butter and stir, coating the vegetables in the roux. Cook for about 10 minutes (vegetables should smell HEAVENLY and onions should be just translucent). Add Worcestershire sauce and 1/2 the chopped parsley, stir and cook for an additional 10 minutes. During this 10 minutes you’ll need to watch the veggies to make sure they don’t stick to the bottom of the pot. Add the stock, whisking constantly. Next add the chicken and the Andouille (I cut the Andouille into thirds and the chicken into slices). Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a low simmer and cover for 45 minutes. Next add tomatoes and okra. Cover and simmer for 1 hour. Make rice 20-30 minutes before gumbo is done. When you start rice, you need to add your shrimp to the gumbo!! Serve gumbo over rice and top with parsley.  I added a few hits of hot sauce before eating.

Kinda labor intensive during a couple of moments but SO worth it!

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Mason Jar Cup O Soup

Remember those? They were styrofoam cups filled with freeze dried vegetables, maybe some jerky-type meat and LOTS of salty bouillon powder. Yeah, I loved them too. But I love my heart a little more, so I improved upon them, with a little help from GOOP who featured a similar soup idea. What can I say? Great minds my friends.

Originally I intended to give this to my friend who was headed to the hospital to give birth because snacks are hard to come by on the labor ward, but hot water is not. Of course, this didn’t make it to her in time (so I ate it). 

This is what you’ll need;

1 tea soy sauce

1/4 tea ginger powder

1 cup rice noodle stick

1/2 cup shredded cabbage

1/4 cup shredded carrot

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 tea dried vegetable stock

Place in a large mason jar and close. When you are ready to eat, add 2 cups hot (boiling) water, seal and turn upside down for 2 minutes. Shake well and serve. YUM! 

 

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DIY: CHOCOLATE BIRD’S NEST

Originally posted on LE ZOE MUSINGS:

How is it possible that Easter is already around the corner? The weather here in Boston is as cold as ever. Regardless, I’m a mom and as much as I want to hide under the blanket until it’s 70 degrees outside; I can’t. Mommy duties require being really really excited for just about any holiday. The kids don’t care that you’re not feeling enthusiastic. And for their childhood memories’ sake, I have to do my part. That’s to make every holiday as fun and memorable as possible.

Zoey is very excited about the annual Easter egg hunt in our neighborhood. She also loves surprises. Each day, she has several surprises coming her way. There’s a surprise if she brushes her teeth, if she’s good at school, if she eats her dinner, if she reads a book. Sometimes there’s even a surprise just for waking up in the morning. Because you…

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Cranberry Orange Bread

Are you looking for something delicious and easy to make for Easter morning? Yes? Me too. Sooooo, I went to my freezer to see what frozen goodies I had. The answer, nothing sweet. Boo. But I did have some beautiful cranberries that my friend Nicole had given me. It doesn’t take much for an idea to form when you have something so beautiful to work with!

This bread is SO easy to make, but super dense. So it really does only make one loaf. A big loaf, but one.  I used a recipe from www.oceanspray.com and modified it a bit (as you do).

This is what you’ll need;

2 cups flour

1 cup sugar

1 1/2 tea baking powder

1 tea salt

1/2 tea baking soda

3/4 cups orange juice

1 tbsp. grated orange peel

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 egg

1 1/2 cups cranberries, washed

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Spray a loaf pan.

Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda in a medium mixing bowl. Stir in orange juice, orange peel, oil and egg. Mix until blended. Fold in cranberries and walnuts.

Add to your prepared loaf pan. Dot the top with cranberries.

Bake for 45-60 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. Serve. If you wish to freeze, let cook completely, wrap in tin foil and then place in a Ziploc freezer bag. This should keep up to 3 months in the freezer!

  

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Rainy Day Matzoh Ball Soup

I LOVE matzoh ball soup! Growing up, we used to go to Tabachnick’s and my sister and I would split a soup. We also would fight over the matzoh balls and my mother would very democratically split them in half. They were HUGE. And oh so delicious.

Since it’s raining today, that type of rain where you feel the wet in your bones, I thought it would be a perfect day for soup. It’s simple, it’s delicious, and the matzoh’s make this an incredibly filling soup.

This is what you’ll need;

a small child, to help you with anything you don’t want to do

8 cups chicken stock. I used homemade, but as you may know I am not opposed to store bought. At all. Make your lives easier my friends.

2 large carrots, peeled and sliced thinly (I’m feeding B this as well so I needed to ensure the pieces were soft and thin enough for him)

2 large stalks of celery (see same carrot note)

2 cloves of garlic, sliced thin

1 medium white onion, sliced in paper thin half moons

1 cup cooked chicken pieces

1 tea freshly ground pepper

1 tea salt

1 pkg. matzoh ball mix, made per instructions (I don’t mess with this. I stink at making these from scratch and you can buy two mixes for the same price as a box of matzoh!)

2 tbsp pastina, this was a Z request.

Cook your onions with a tiny bit of oil for 5 minutes or they are softened. Add carrots, celery and garlic. Sauté for 5 minutes. Add chicken and spices. Cover on medium heat.

Make your matzoh mix. This needs to rest for 15 minutes while your soup comes up to a boil. 

Roll your matzoh mix into quarter sized balls. Have your child do it! It’s messy, feels like grainy play dough and they can “toss” the balls into the boiling soup!! 

Turn heat down to low and simmer for 30 minutes covered, Don’t forget to add the pastina!!

  

Serve with salad! 

Posted in Dinner, Lunch | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Chicken Katsu Curry

emellt:

I know, I haven’t posted in awhile and here I am (eek) reblogging. But doesn’t this look delightful dear readers?
New things in the works for us over here at ZH. Stay tuned (and make this seriously AH-MAH-ZING dish! – with your kids of course!!)

Originally posted on WHAT TO HAVE FOR DINNER TONIGHT:

Chicken Katsu Curry (2)

Wagamama serve a dish called Chicken Katsu Curry. I have never actually eaten it, but in theory it sounds wonderful. Crispy, breaded chicken with a flavourful curry sauce and fluffy rice.

As we are trying to save money, rather than head out to try this dish, I thought I’d make my own version at home. It was all guess work really, but it turned out well – hubby declared it ‘restaurant quality’, but he is the biggest fan of chicken in any sort of crispy coating so he is biased.

The chicken and curry sauce worked really well together. It’s not the sort of meal you could have every night, but for a hump day treat, why not give it a go?

Try this recipe, and if you’ve had the Wagamama version you’ll have to let me know if it’s at all similar :)

This will serve 2, and takes…

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Orange liqueur cake with white chocolate ganache

Originally posted on the hungry mum:

orangeLiqCake1

I wish I could be paid to spend all day trawling Pinterest for delicious things to bake. I mean, I’m good at it. I enjoy it. I can and do spend hours falling down baking-related rabbit holes. But I just don’t think anyone is going to whip out the chequebook any time soon.

Sigh.

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Sharing a link

This isn’t something I normally do- but a father/son team have come up with food puns to identify each state. How perfect for Zara’s Hungry! Check it out!

http://news.distractify.com/pinar/foodnited-states-of-america/

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Beetroot-Walnut Salmon with Spiralized Baked Potato Rosti

emellt:

I have to share! This looks amazing! I’m making this tomorrow instead of salmon curry!!

Originally posted on food to glow:

spiralized-baked-potato-rosti-food-to-glowI am astonished at how much I love beetroot. And salmon and horseradish for that matter. My early introductions to all three did not bode well for them featuring in any way, shape or form in my kitchen. By all rights I should still be shunning them, and anything made with them. I shudder to recall the treatment of these fine foods in the unenlightened 70s. But then, we were still in thrall to boxed macaroni-cheese and tinned meat pies.

Not much was left au natural in those days, except perhaps personal grooming…

Beetroot in the1970s (when I was a nipper/sulky teen) was heavily vinegared. Ditto horseradish. Salmon was steamed through to the texture of tinned tuna, firm as a steak and often a bit whiffy. It also sat in an evil pool of white goo, daring you to spear it. I should probably add at this point that my parents…

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