Coconut Chicken Curry

Coconut Chicken Curry

We have a fabulous little hole-in-the-wall Thai place right around the corner from our home.  I’m embarrassed to admit how often I think of their coconut chicken curry.  I want to call up and request just a tall glass of their coconut curry sauce.  Mmmmm Mmm.  I could just drink it! Since I can only tame that temptation for so long, I have been in the kitchen tweaking and playing with this coconut chicken curry recipe for awhile now.  FINALLY I can now daydream about my own coconut curry recipe. One of the most common questions I get about coconut milk is whether I use the canned or carton kind.  Well… it depends on the recipe, and I’ll make sure to specify when I mean the canned coconut milk.  For coconut chicken curry, definitely use the canned kind. Coconut milk is loaded with fat!  Don’t be scared though, my friend, this fat actually helps with weight loss, reduces heart disease, and does many many more wonderful things for you.  When purchasing coconut milk, purchase the full fat and NOT the light.  The only difference is light canned coconut milk has added water which dilutes the coconut meat.  It’s a waste of money, doesn’t taste as great, and this is one cream you can totally indulge in.   I have 2 kids.  I have busy days.  Some days I don’t want to cook.  Am I alone? I’m betting not.  This is now one of my quick, go-to dinners.  I start preparing the dish while the rice is cooking and everything is usually done at the same time.  30 minutes in.  30 minutes out. I have lots...
Pineapple Chicken Fried Rice

Pineapple Chicken Fried Rice

If your mouth was throwing a party, fresh pineapple, curry powder, and sticky rice would be the superstars on the invite list.  I love EVERYTHING about those three.  Combine them together AND I won’t stop eating until either my stomach bursts or I run out of food.  Whichever comes first. Remember our heart to heart about rice in my Steak Stir-fry recipe?  Let me put my hands on your shoulders just in case I need to shake you in a minute.  Sticky rice is the only way to go.  Not only will it make you look like a master chopstick user, but the quality is MILES above the rest. Just to make sure you don’t get mushy instead of sticky, I suggest buying rice in packaging you can’t read because it’s all in characters.  I really like the Homai brand at Costco.  Here are a couple of Amazon’s top picks.  I’m actually excited to try the Tamanishiki.  It sounds legit!  It’s worth investing in some quality rice. I lived in Taiwan for 18 months over 8 years ago.  Even though time has past, my mouth has a great memory. How could it forget juice running down my chin after gracefully (HA!) biting into a fresh mango? Or the creamy peanut butter that resembled dessert more than a nut butter?  Seriously… why does Taiwan’s taste so much better than ours? BUT, one of my most favorite dishes was pineapple fried rice. Let’s just say I don’t think 99% of Taiwan’s ‘restaurants’ would pass FDA’s safety laws.  You purchase most meals from street food vendors.  The tried and tested method for preventing food contamination was having a fan turned on high with a couple...
Steak Stir Fry

Steak Stir Fry

I’m spoiled.  I mean COMPLETELY spoiled.  Not only have I been able to travel to several countries, but I also have lived in Hong Kong and Taiwan.  For my fellow Americans, we’re being robbed.  Robbed of true authentic Chinese food!  They have luscious fruits and vegetables that are not even found in the States! **Moment for my pity-party**  Okay, let me reel it in a little bit.  I love me some true Chinese food.  It sparks memories of an amazing, unique culture that I’ve grown to love.  That’s why lots of love went into this colorful Steak Stir Fry recipe.  As for my HHFC (Handsome Husband Food Critic), I think I caught him licking his plate when I started cleaning up after dinner. Okay, I can’t hold back my food photography inner-nerd. Tasty Food Photography… what have you done to me?!?!  Look at all the colors!  Bell pepper… red and in your face!  Broccoli… you green crunchy little devil.  Steak… oh you juicy, medium-rare steak… get in my belly!  Not only are there lots of contrasting colors, there are lots of complimenting flavors. When eating a stir fry in Taiwan, I enjoyed the textures and natural flavors of the vegetables accented by a mild sauce.  Don’t worry.  You’ll still get the saltiness you crave from soy sauce, but why insult our vibrant friends… the veggies, I’m talking about the veggies… by smothering them in a sauce that’s more like a gravy? Okay, I think it’s time.  Pull up a chair and let’s discuss rice.  Rice is NOT made equally.  It ranges from grainy to sticky.  If you’ve attempted chopsticks, you know grainy is a no-go.  Sticky.  We...
Chicken Sausage and Rice Soup

Chicken Sausage and Rice Soup

Although I’m loving the warm weather, I may have shed a tear that soup season is coming to a close.  Wait… was that a tear or are my eyes non-stop watering from allergies?  Either way… I had to squeeze in this chicken sausage and rice soup one last time. When it comes to soup, my husband is pretty picky.  He likes hearty meals and feels most soups are well… girly food.  It’s not that he doesn’t like the taste, he just rarely gets full off of soup.  When he doesn’t like to eat something, he might as well triple-dog-dare me.  Game on, honey, game on. I’ve played around with this recipe a few times.  I found the additional spice from the crushed red pepper to be the cherry on top.  He LOVED it!  Direct quote, “okay, I think you finally made a man’s soup… I’m getting seconds.” A major part of healthy cooking is using quality ingredients.  I can’t emphasize the importance of reading ingredients!  Take two extra seconds, flip the package over, and read what ingredients are actually making up the food your purchasing.  You’ll be surprised what junk is thrown in our foods. I like Pacific Natural broths.  Especially the ‘cage free’ portion on the chicken broth.  Thank you documentary, Food, Inc.  I don’t know if I’m more scarred or informed after watching it.  Either way, I think we all need to open our eyes a little more about what we’re putting in our bodies.  Hence, my ‘reading all ingredients’ rule. Well, get ready for this fulfilling, satisfying, flavorful, rich, and yummy-in-your-tummy chicken sausage soup.  It will be a winner!...
Broccoli, Cheese, and Rice Casserole

Broccoli, Cheese, and Rice Casserole

Here’s how I usually celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.  I’m out running errands with my kids.  As I push my cart down an aisle at Target, I notice a little girl with an adorable green outfit.  While passing, I smile and compliment her cute green hair bow.  I keep shopping and stop by a woman who has on some lavish green nail polish.  I naively continue on my way until a boy runs pass me with a green shirt on.  I stop.  It’s St. Patrick’s Day!  I quickly scan myself and my kids searching for any sign of green.  Nope.  No green.  Since I want to spare my kids from a pinch-happy child at our library class, I head to find some green stickers or green ribbon or green face paint.  Just something GREEN, people!  I’m usually unsuccessful and decide to take the risk and head to the library anyway despite being green-less.  We get home, a few pinches later, and I promise myself to remember next year’s St. Patrick’s Day.   Am I the only mama out here forgetting the green?  Well, whether you remember or not, at least you can sneak some green into your day by making this quick and easy Broccoli, Cheese, and Rice Casserole.         I love cooking with fresh vegetables.  Not only do they have a bold dynamic flavor, but the colors pop.  Especially broccoli!  I mean look at how beautiful and bright the green is!  What?  Doesn’t everyone get giddy over the vibrant colors in their food?  Apparently, neither does my husband.  Whenever I cooked with broccoli, I started noticing that...

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