June 29, 2010

Limeade Popsicles

Isn't she such a cutie?!

So I had a little leftover of our Brazilian Limeade. (Don't get me wrong, I could have drank the whole recipe alone) and had an awesome popsicle mold I got in the dollar section of Target -- don't you just love that place? So I decided to make these little popsicles. They are sophisticated enough for adults, but all kids love them too! My baby would fuss every time I took it out of her mouth so I could have a taste.

Brazilian Limeade Directions
Make this recipe
Freeze in popsicle molds overnight. Dip molds in hot water and popsicles will slide right out.

Tip: If you don't have popsicle molds, use ice cube trays, cover with foil, then stick toothpicks or cut straws, popsicle sticks, anything!

Can you tell she loves it?

June 28, 2010

Brazilian Limeade

This weekend was so beautiful - sunny and blue skies here. I loved just being with my family. It's just what I needed. And I am still ahead in my schoolwork. Not too shabby. On Saturday, my husband and I took our baby to the park and let her swing, slide, and play with the ducks. She loved it. But we were sure hot when we got home.
For dinner, I had planned on Fajitas. But after getting home from the park I was so hot that I needed something really cold and refrehsing to cool me off. I had some limes and remembered the delicious Brazilian limeade my sister had made. She made it for a dinner party a few years ago and I have loved it ever since. I called her for the recipe but she couldn't find it. I searched online, found some similar, and made some adjustment. This is so easy.  No real prepwork needed.

Brazilian Limeade
2 limes
3 Tbsp sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup sugar
3 cups water
1-2 trays of ice

Cut off the ends of your limes and then cut each into 6 pieces. Place limes, sweetened condensed milk, sugar, and waterin a blender. Blend for about 20 seconds. Place through a fine-mesh sieve, pressing down to get all the liquid out. Discard lime pulp. Return liquid to blender with ice. Blend desired consistency. Serve.
Makes 4 servings (or 2 of those glasses pictured plus a little leftover).
When blending it with the ice, I like to do it in 2 batches, I have less overflowing (and therefore wasted) juice.
If you want a slushy type drink, or if you want to stretch your drink a little further - use 2 trays of ice. If you want a nice cold drink - just do one. (Pictured is one.)
If you want to make this ahead, prepare your juice and then blend with ice just before serving.

June 23, 2010

One of Those Days

I am having one-of-those-days. I am sorry for my lack of real posts. I was going to do a real post earlier today. I really was. Sorry 'bout that. We are moving in less than a month and we don't have a place yet. I worked from 9-5 at a doctor's office then came home and had to work a night shift from 10 pm to 6 am. I was going to nap but my baby has been awake for 2 hours crying with teething. She's sad. I can't sleep. I should have done some homework if I was going to be awake. But no. I just layed awake in bed wishing I wasn't.

I was asked to submit a recipe and picture to a magazine. Wow! That's so nice. Then I was invited to go to evo'10. I am hoping to find someone to babysit, but the last minute notice is killing me. I am a little overwhelmed. I will try to get everything back in order. I promise to have a real post soon.

Thanks for reading -- love you!

PS - my sister took a picture of me, so I finally have one on the blog!

June 19, 2010

Happy Father's Day

Thanks to all those great Fathers out there. You make such a difference. To my dad - thank you for being the man you are to make me the woman I am.
To my husband - thank you for being the greatest father to my daughter. You strive so hard to be the best man you can. I love you. Thanks for the genes - they helped make such a cute girl!

For everyone else, enjoy this funny video. For more, you can go to the Fatherhood website. Check out the cheerleader that's my favorite... but I thought this one was perfect for a food blog.

June 18, 2010

Tom Yum Soup

My family has always been adventurous eaters. We love trying new places, new foods, and are always willing to push the limits. I remember ordering a pizza with anchovies on it because none of us had ever tried it. I think the pizza parlor was so excited to get rid of it they covered every inch of that pizza in those little canned fishies. We do stuff like that. We love it.

About 15 years ago my mom told us some of her fellow employees introduced her to a restaurant that served delicious Thai food. At that time I don't know if I could have told you where Thailand was on a map. This was long before Thai restaurants became big and when people thought asian food consisted of Panda Express and egg rolls at TGI Fridays. I don't really remember what we ate, but I do remember my dad eating a soup that had octupus in it and he was sweating because it was so hot (oh, that's another thing with our family, we like it spicy!) Since then, we were hooked. When we were in the area we had to stop for a bite. We still try something new each time we go, but we almost always order Tom Yum Soup.

This is what Hannah and I request when we are sick, this is our comfort food, our Chicken Noodle Soup.  And now, we know how to make it. It is delicious. It is simples, but does have some odd ingredients - but Asian markets are easier to find then they were 10 years ago. If you live in the Provo area, email me and I can tell you where I found my stuff.

Tom Yum Soup
8 cups chicken broth
2 stalks fresh lemongrass, sliced on a bias in 2-inch pieces
4 kaffir lime leaves
1-inch piece fresh ginger, sliced
2-3 tsp red pepper flakes
2 Tbsp fish sauce
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1 (8-ounce) can straw mushrooms, rinse
1 pound shrimp, peeled with tails on
2 limes, juiced
3 green onions, sliced
1 large handful fresh cilantro, chopped

Bring the broth to the boil over medium heat in a stock pot. Add the lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, ginger, and red pepper flakes. Lower the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes to let the flavors meld.
Uncover and add the fish sauce (yes, it stinks bad, but it will make such a difference for good in the soup), sugar, and mushrooms. Simmer for 5 minutes. Toss in the shrimp and cook for about 8 minutes until they turn pink. Remove from the heat and add the lime juice, green onions, cilantro. Taste to make sure there is an even balance of salty, sweet, savory, and sour - the beauty of thai dishes.  Serve with a lime wedge. There is a lot of flavor items in this that you shouldn't eat - the kaffir leaves and lemongrass especially. I don't eat the ginger and the shrimp tails either.
Serves about 6-8. 

Lemon grass, kaffir leaves, and ginger freeze very well - if you can only find more than you need, just save it for later. Trust me - you're going to want more!
To cut your lemon grass - cut off the drier tips and the root. Throw those away then slice the remaining.
If you have a question about how to use the products - most Asian market owners are so happy to answer questions (if they speak English).

June 15, 2010

We're Moving!

It's official. The plans have been in the works for a while, but nothing was certain. Just to prove my point - we were sure we were headed to Ohio for my husband's law schooling, but when he visited Ohio and Nebraska he really felt that Nebraska (University of Nebraska at Lincoln) was a better fit for our family. We are excited for a change, but are sad to leave all of our family (the majority of both of our families are in Utah, but no one is close to Nebraska). University of Nebraska College of Law - here we come!

We leave in about a month and a half. So as I cram in my finals, last days of work, clinicals, packing, finding a place to live, etc - I hope that you will be patient with me as my posts may be their usual.

Does anyone live in or near Lincoln that wants to start a cooking club? I am so sad to leave mine! Or any other Nebraska/Mid-West/Lincoln/Law school advice? I am all ears.
PS - We are pretty excited about UNL football! Go Cornhuskers!

June 14, 2010

Salsa Verde

Tonight for dinner we are going to have some ultimate nachos. I had a lot of tomatillos I needed to use up so I thought salsa verde would be perfect. This is perfect for all Mexican food, we especially love this with homemade taquitos. And don't be afraid of it - you can adjust the spiciness from mild to hot. I used to think this was always the hottest at restaurants, but it just depends on the cook. See what you think!
Oh you don't know what tomatillos are? They are actually a fruit, related to tomatoes. You can find them in the section of the grocery store where the specialty produce is (in our store they are by the jalapenos, altufo mangoes, cactus - you know, the weirder stuff.

This is what tomatillos look like - with and without the husk on.
This is what they look like cut. 

Salsa Verde
8 medium tomatillos, husked and cut into quarters
1 large (or 2 small) onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1-2 jalapeno, sliced
1/4 c cilantro, roughly chopped
1 tsp cumin
2 tsp sea salt
2 cups water
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice

Combine all ingredients except the lime juice in your saucepan. The water probably won't cover all your ingredients, but that's okay, they will cook down.

Bring to a boil. Simmer for 10-15 minutes or until onions and tomatillos are soft, or until you finish doing your dishes, which ever comes first.

Blend in food processor or blender (in batches - be careful!) until smooth. Pour into serving bowl and stir in lime juice. Place in fridge until ready to serve.  Serve cool or at room temperature.


(This isn't a hard recipe, I don't know why I have so many tips...)
  • For varying spiciness - just adjust the jalapeno. The seeds and veins are the spiciest part. So if you are scared, just add one without the seeds. If you want to blow your socks off, slice both with seeds left in. I like somewhere in the middle (but leaning on the spicy side) so I left the seeds in one and took out the other.
  • To pick out your tomatillos, pull back the husk and make sure the skin of the fruit looks okay, the husk may be nasty and the fruit okay, or visa versa. The skin should be smooth, even in color, with no "Yuckies."
  • If you use normal salt (which is perfectly fine if you ask me - you might need to add some more later, sea and kosher salts have more flavor)
  • This can be made a few days in advance - may get slightly spicier with time.
  • This makes a lot, I had a lot of tomatillos to use up, but you can easily reduce this recipe.
  • If you think your salsa is too runny (I did when I did three cups of water) then just return it to the pot (before adding lime) and simmer until your desired thickness.

June 11, 2010

Arugula and Goat Cheese Salad

Did you realize father's day is about a week away? I have no idea what to get my husband. Anyone have any ideas? Well, one thing for sure, I think I shall make a delicious dinner for him. He is into food almost as much as I am, and so appreciative of what I cook for him.
I made this salad for our cooking club and it was a hit. It is good enough even the men in your life would eat it! (Just tell them it has bacon.)

Arugula and Goat Cheese Salad
1 onion, thinly sliced
1/2 lb of bacon
2-3 tomatoes
4 oz goat cheese
1 bag baby arugula
2 Tbsp reserved bacon drippings
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp dijon mustard
pinch of salt
pepper to taste
olive oil (optional)

Cook bacon until desired done-ness, I like mine crispy. Reserve bacon drippings in a small bowl, set cooked bacon on paper towels until cool. In a medium frying pan, place 1 tablespoon of bacon grease and onions over medium heat. Cook onions until soft and caramelized. (You know how I love caramelized onions!) While those are cooking you can wash your arugula and dice your tomatoes. Then make your dressing: combine all ingredients in a small bowl or carafe. Shake or whisk until combined. Taste, if it has too strong of a bacon or vinegar flavor - add a tablespoon or two of olive oil.
Now your onions are done. Add to salad with dressing. Toss. Top with crumbled goat cheese.

If you want a little more substance: add some of your favorite shaped pasta!

June 10, 2010

Berry Berry Kix

Sorry for my lack of posting. I have started doing some clinical hours for my class and had 16 hours of that plus work plus homework plus life so... sorry.

Almost every week before I go grocery shopping I ask my husband if there is anything he wants me to get at the grocery store. The answer is always, "Berry Berry Kix!" (He's such a kid!) Do you guys remember that cereal? I could never find it. No grocery store I ever went to had it. So I did a little research and found it at Target. So if you ever want to buy them, that's where they are. Thank you Target, my husband was a very happy man!

June 07, 2010

Whole Wheat Penne with Swiss Chard

I recieved some swiss chard from our produce co-op. I was really excited to try it out. I have never had anything with swiss chard before. I made up this recipe hoping that it was like other dark leafy greens. I was pleasantly surprised at the end result (hope you like the surprise ingredient). I was especially surprised at my husband's response. He hates cooked spinach but loved this pasta. Plus, I felt so healthy eating it - hardly any fat in the recipe, dark leafy greens, whole wheat penne - can't get much better than that!

Whole Wheat Penne with Swiss Chard
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 bundle or 3-4 large leaves of swiss chard
1/4 c cranberry juice (this is the unexpected ingredient)
2 cans diced tomatoes
salt and pepper
1 lb whole wheat penne
1/2 c fresh Parmesan

Saute onions in a large pan with some cooking spray (if you don't want to do this, just use a teaspoon to a tablespoon of olive oil - I was trying to be on the light side). Meanwhile, boil you penne (or other pasta of your choice). Once onions are translucent, add the garlic. Saute until fragrant. Meanwhile, remove swiss chard greens from the stems and run through your beloved salad spinner. Add chard to your pan with the cranberry juice and season with salt and pepper. When chard starts to wilt, add the tomatoes.  Toss in cooked pasta and Parmesan cheese. Taste and adjust salt and pepper as needed.

- cook your pasta in really salty water (I hear it should taste like the ocean). If you try and salt it after it tastes like salt on pasta rather than flavorful pasta.
- When seasoning the chard, use a little less than you think. The Parmesan can be a little salty - taste and season after adding the cheese.

June 02, 2010

What's in Season - June

It's June! Can you believe it? Summer is here. Farmer's Markets are open, fresh fruits and vegetables are more available. Mmm. I don't love the heat, but I do love the produce the summer brings!

What's in Season in June:
Green and wax beans
Snap peas
New potatoes
Summer squash
Canary melon
Passion fruit