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Friday, January 22, 2010

Stuffed Avocados.. and other stuff

I made this because i had no fridge, so i couldn't have any meat in the house.. but luckily, tuna is canned, and so are the mixed vegetables i found. This is really good...we ate it as a meal, but you can easily just eat half of this plate as an appetizer. Serves 2 as a meal, 4 as an appetizer.
2 Avocados, cut in half and gutted (keep the guts)
1 small can of mixed veggies, drained
1 can of asparagus
4 eggs soft-hard boiled
1 tbsp mayonaise
1 lemon
1 can of tuna, drained
1. In a bowl, mix the tuna, avocado guts, mixed veggies, juice from half a lemon, and the mayonaise, and stuff back into the avocado carcasses.
2. to soft-hard boil the eggs, boil them for 6-7 minutes. the yolks will not be runny, but congealed, and better than hardboiled chalky eggs.
3. arrange the plate with the asparagus, stuffed avocados, eggs, and lemon wedges.

Actually quite filling for a makeshift meal! With the extra squeezes of lemon, the taste is very complete. Eric likes more mayonaise, but I prefer lemon.

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Monday, January 18, 2010

Jess's Spicey Chili

2 can kidney beans
1 lb lean ground beef or turkey
2 bell peppers pick 2 colors, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 Can Diced Tomatoes
2 tbs tomato paste
5 chopped cloves of garlic
1 jalepeno
1 chopotle pepper in adobo sauce
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
1 tsp turmeric
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp salt, pepper to taste

Chopped green onions, shredded cheese and sour cream for garnish

Throw in everything except for the bell peppers. Throw those in 1 hour prior to serving so that they aren't mushy.

Cook on low for 3 hours.

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White Chicken Chili

1 lb chicken, cut into small cubes
1 cup chopped onion
1 can chicken broth
2 cloves garlic, chopped finely
2 tsp cumin seed
1/2 tsp dried oregano leaves
3 15-oz cans of white beans (great northern or cannellini), drained and rinsed
Corn (can or cobb)
2 chopped bell peppers (mutli-color)
2 Jalepeno peppers, chopped finely
Monterey Jack Cheese
Sour Cream
Tortilla Strips
Green Peppers

1. Combine Chicken, onions, chicken broth, garlic, cumin, oregano, jalapenos in crockpot. Cook on low for 3 hours.
2. Add Beans and peppers :30 mins prior to serving (so that they are warm and not mushy)

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Broccoli and Cheese Campanelle

1 lb campenelle pasta (i used penne here)
2tbls onion flakes
1lb fresh broccoli flowerets
1jar cheddar cheese sauce (such as ragu)
8oz diced Ham
1 cup grated Jack Cheese

Variations: I throw in chopped Roasted Red Peppers. I have also substituted ham for turkey; broccoli for peas. :)

1. Bring large pot of lightly salted water to boil. Add pasta and onion flakes; cook four minutes. Add broccoli; cook five more minutes.

2. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, heat cheddar sauce, ham and Pepper Jack Cheese- stirring occasionally. Drain Pasta and broccoli, and return to pot. Stir in cheese mixture. Return to pot.

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Saturday, January 9, 2010

Obama's Mama's Chili

This is a family recipe, although not from my family, it has become a monthly staple in our meal rotation. I stole this from the Crockpot Lady, who got it when it was published during the 2008 elections. I cooked this for my French in laws, and they really really liked it. French don't really know what chili is, except for Chile con Carne that they buy in cans, but its really not the same thing as American chili at all. Oh yea, and I also got to test out my new Kenwood Slow Cooker that my MIL got me for Christmas!


1 can kidney beans (and the goop!)
1 lb lean ground meat (I used less than 1 lb ground beef but I've also used turkey.. very good)
2 bell peppers pick 2 colors, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
5-6 medium tomatoes, chopped (include seeds and all)
5 chopped cloves of garlic
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
1 tsp turmeric
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp salt, pepper to taste
1 part of a chili pepper for spice if you need it
Chopped green onions, shredded cheese and sour cream for garnish
Throw it all in, and go about your daily business. Serve with rice and garnish with chopped green onions, a dollup of sour cream, and shredded cheddar or swiss cheese!
If you don't have a crockpot, here's a stove top version with spices reduced accordingly.
This recipe serves 6 very hungry people! And even then, my crockpot wasn't even half full. It's a HUGE 6 Liter oval shaped.. and its just the 2 of us, so leftovers galore!

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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Lamb Curry

I wanted to share the rest of my NYE dinner. This was my lamb curry with Indian Lentils, makeshift Cheese Naan, and Basmati rice.. but I have to admit that I TOTALLY CHEATED!! I used a ready made Lamb Curry paste, but MADE IN INDIA and totally delicious!
1 box paste for Lamb Curry you get from Cost Plus World Market, and when they run out or discontinue this product, you can order it online directly. I think I saw some on
1 handful of cauliflower
2 cups water
1 lb lamb cut into pieces
1. In a sautee pan, mix the paste, the lamb, and the water on medium heat.
2. After about 15 minutes, add the cauliflower and let simmer for 15-20 more minutes.
you can throw the lamb, paste, and water in the crockpot... it will come out tender if you're using cheap or previously frozen meat.

Garnish with cilantro and lemon... mmmmm I'm drooling again
For the makeshift Cheese Naan, I found some pitas that I stuffed with Laughing Cow cheese and popped into the oven for a few minutes.

It's not as good as real cheese naan, but I just didn't have enough time or patience to do that.. I have done it before, though. Also, I'd like to add that you can find decent mass produced Naan at Walmart.. or at least I used to be able to in Florida.

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Samosas with Green Chutney

Along with my tandoori chicken as appetizers on NYE 2009, I made Samosas... which were hard to make into triangles, but I have rolled them like eggrolls before and they are just as delicious...they just don't look right. Here's a little video I like to watch before attempting these. I can't make the dough.. I've tried, but its easier to use eggroll papers and dip them in eggwash. Sorry if it is an insult to samosas =( It's kind of like when you eat white chocolate... you know its chocolate, but its white.. wtf?

3 large boiled potatoes, peeled and chopped into very small cubes
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 chopped green chilies (or way less because 2 makes it very spicy depending on the chilies you use)
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1/4 teaspoon garam masala
1 lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons oil
1/2 cup green peas (frozen)
some eggroll papers from your local asian grocery store
1 or 2 eggs and a little drop of milk for eggwash (unless you want to make it vegan)

1. Heat the oil in a frying pan on medium high heat. Test the heat by adding one cumin seed to the oil; if it cracks right away oil is ready.
2. Add cumin seeds as cumin seeds crack, add green chilies, coriander powder and stir for few seconds.
3. Next add green peas and turn heat to medium and stir until tender.
4. Add the potatoes and stir-fry for about 4 minutes. Stir in garam masala and lemon juice. Add more salt or lemon juice according to taste.
Let the filling cool to room temperature.

5. Spread the eggroll paper lightly all along the edge of one semicircle. Pick this semicircle up with both hands and fold it into a cone shape. Pinch the side of this cone so that it is completely sealed. Dip in eggwash to make it stick
6. Fill the cone with 3 tablespoons of filling. Press this filling down with your fingers. Now close the top of this cone into a triangle shape, pinching the top edge so that it is completely sealed.
7. Continue filling the rest of the samosas.
Heat about 1-1/2 inch of the oil in a frying pan on medium heat. To check if oil is hot enough place a small piece of dough in oil and dough should sizzle and come to the surface slowly.
Place the samosas in the frying pan a few at a time.
8. After samosas are floating on top of the oil turn them slowly. Fry the samosas until the samosas turn a light golden-brown color on all sides. If you use a high heat, the samosa crust will be too soft and not crispy.

For the Green Chutney, or Hari Chutney to dip your samosas in, nothing is easier than this!
1 big bunch of chopped Cilantro (or 1/2 cilantro and 1/2 mint leaves)
3 green chopped chilies (or less if you are sensitive to really really spicy food!)
3 tablespoons of lemon juice
1/2 inch ginger
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon oil
1 teaspoon sugar
Blend all ingredients, except the cilantro, into a paste in a blender.
Add the cilantro, a little at a time, and blend. If needed, add 2 to 3 tablespoons of water. The water will help in blending.
Blend well and add more salt, green chilies, or lemon juice to taste.

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Monday, January 4, 2010

Tandoori Chicken

Tandoori chicken is an all time Indian favorite. I finally found a recipe that didn't require a Tandoor, and it served as one of my appetizers for my New Year's Eve dinner... it was delicious! If you want to see a step by step video of how to make this, check out Sanjay's Youtube post. The other items in the photo are Samosas with Green Chutney...mmmmm

6 chicken legs
1 tsp Coriander Powder
1 tsp Cumin Seed Powder
1 tsp garam masala pdr
1 piece Ginger garlic paste
1 Lemon's Juice
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp Peppercorns pdr
1 tsp Red Chili Powder
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp turmeric
6 tbsp Yogurt
1. Clean and Cut 2 or 3 long slits on each piece. Apply salt, chili pdr and lime juice all over the chicken and keep aside for 15 minutes.
2. Make marinade with coriander pdr, cumin pdr, red chili pdr, turmeric, garam masala pdr to a smooth paste. Add 1/2 tsp salt to the paste and mix well with yogurt.
3. apply it all over the chicken, making sure to apply well between all the slits and inside. Marinate for a few hours.. I left mine overnight.

4. Preheat your oven to 425 degree Fahrenheit. Lay your marinated chicken in a baking dish on a bed of carrots and onions or whatever else you can find. Its so the juices drip down and it will feel like your chicken was cooked in a tandoor. Cook for 20 to 35 minutes till the chicken is tender. Remove from oven.
5. Remove from oven and serve hot, garnished with sliced onions and lime wedges. I made mine ahead of time and heated them on a griddle when we were ready to eat, and it turned out excellent!

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