Skip to content

Welcome!

You'll find over 385 of my favorite recipes here, including ideas for Quick meals, Cooking for 2, Feasting on Leftovers, and cooking with 5 Ingredients or Less. I'm adding new posts regularly; you can subscribe by email or RSS feed if you'd like to receive the latest recipes. Bon appétit!

Sambal Oelek Roasted Chicken

September 30, 2016

By Kath Dedon

.

I stumbled across Kirthana Kumar’s recipe for Sambal Oelek Roasted Chicken on Food52. It sounded so good, and so easy, I just had to try it.

It takes just a few minutes to mix the flavorful marinade. It’s recommended that the chicken should marinate for at least 3 hours and overnight is fine. I marinated chicken thighs for just 3 hours and they turned out great! Next time I will plan ahead and marinate them overnight for a super easy dinner the next night.

I bought a fresh jar of sambal oelek because the one I had seemed to have lost some of its punch. (“How long has that been in the refrigerator?”) I used 2 tablespoons which we thought gave the chicken a medium amount of heat. (Maybe 2½ stars) I thought it was just right, but I did put the jar of sambal oelek on the table so Bob could amplify the heat.

If you’re looking for a new take on roast chicken, I highly recommend this easy Sambal Oelek Roasted Chicken!

.

sambal-oelek-roasted-chicken

.

Sambal Oelek Roasted Chicken

(Adapted from Kirthana Kumar’s recipe found on food52.com)

.

(print the recipe)

.

Serves 2 – 4 (Could easily be doubled.)

 .

ingredients

.

2 tablespoons sambal oelek (or to taste)

2 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon light soy sauce (I used wheat-free tamari.)

7 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1½ – 1¾ pounds of chicken thighs (or drumsticks)

Salt

(Optional) Sliced green onions for garnish

.

1. Stir the sambal oelek, honey, soy sauce, and garlic together in a small measuring cup or bowl.

2. Put the chicken in a gallon-size ZipLoc bag and pour the marinade over the chicken in the bag. Seal the bag, getting as much air out of it as you can, and then squeeze the bag to spread the marinade over the chicken.

.

marinating

.

3. Refrigerate the chicken for at least 3 hours. It can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours.

4. Take the chicken out of the refrigerator about 30 minutes before you want to roast it. Preheat the oven to 350°.

5. Put the chicken in a baking pan. Lightly sprinkle with salt. Roast the chicken for about 50 – 60 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer reads 165° and the juices run clear. (Timing will depend on your oven and the size of the chicken thighs. Large ones can take as long as an hour. If using drumsticks, turn them over after about 25 minutes. It’s not necessary to turn thighs.)

6. Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes. Serve garnished with green onions, if desired, and with extra sambal oelek.

.

sambal-oelek-roasted-chicken-copy

.

Salted Peanut Butter Cookies

September 23, 2016

By Kath Dedon

.

It was just nine months ago that I made 3-Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies. They were so easy and so good!

But a few weeks ago I stumbled upon a blog post on smitten kitchen for Deb Perelman’s Salted Peanut Butter Cookies. She wrote that she had made 3-ingredient peanut butter cookies a few years ago and was underwhelmed.

Deb later had the opportunity to try a peanut butter cookie made from a recipe from Ovenly in Brooklyn, NY. It was basically the 3-ingredient cookie with the addition of a bit of vanilla and salt. She said it was “spectacular”. So, of course, she made the cookies from the recipe in Ovenly: Sweet and Salty Recipes from New York’s Most Creative Bakery, by Erin Patinkin and Agatha Kaluga.

I had to try this new version. It’s really just as easy as the 3-ingredient recipe, but it does have a couple of extra steps. The dough is put in the freezer for 15 minutes before shaping the cookies. After the cookies are shaped on the baking sheet, the baking sheet goes in the freezer for 15 minutes before baking. The chilling probably helps them to keep their domed shape a bit better. It apparently also improves the flavor and texture. Check this post to read all about it.

I made half the recipe, yielding a dozen cookies. Mine didn’t keep the domed shape quite as well as Deb’s did. It may be because I used Jif peanut butter instead of Skippy. Even without the full dome, these Salted Peanut Butter Cookies are indeed spectacular! Bob said I could quote him when he declared that they are A-1 terrific!

.

You can see the cookie I cut in half  to show the inside. These cookies are a bit crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.🙂

salted-peanut-butter-cookies

.

Salted Peanut Butter Cookies

(Adapted from Deb Perelman’s recipe on smittenkitchen.com which she adapted from the Ovenly cookbook.)

 

(print the recipe)

 

I cut Deb’s recipe in half. You can easily double this one to make more cookies. If you double it, you’ll need 1¾ cups of sugar and 1¾ cups of peanut butter. A commenter on Deb’s blog mentioned, and Deb confirmed, that a 16.3 ounce jar of Skippy contains 1¾ cups of peanut butter so no measuring required.

 .

A couple of comments on Deb’s blog mentioned that their cookies turned out great without the second time in the freezer on the baking sheets. I’ll be trying that next time.

 .

Makes about 12 cookies

 .

I did substitute maple sugar for the light brown sugar to make them Bob-friendly.

ingredients-for-cookies

.

¾ cup + 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar (I substituted maple sugar.)

1 large egg, at room temperature

¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

¾ cup + 2 tablespoons smooth peanut butter

Coarse-grained or flaked sea salt, to finish

.

  1. Preheat the oven to 350° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk the sugar and the egg together until smooth.
  3. Whisk in the vanilla.
  4. Whisk in the peanut butter until it is thoroughly blended.

.Whisk in the peanut butter.JPG

.

5. Put the bowl of dough in the freezer for 15 minutes, stirring it once after about 8 minutes.

dough in the freezer.jpg

.

6. Scoop or spoon the dough into balls on the prepared baking sheet. (Deb used a 1 2/3 tablespoon – 40mm – scoop. I used a 2 tablespoon – 44mm – scoop.)

Ready for freezer.JPG

.

7. Put the baking sheet in the freezer for 15 minutes.

.

I had to use the carton of ice cream to prop up the baking sheet so the parchment paper (and cookies) wouldn’t slide off.

tray-of-cookies-in-the-freezer

.

8. Sprinkle the cookies with the salt and bake for 15 – 18 minutes. (Mine took 17 minutes; start checking at 15.) When done, the cookies should be getting golden around the edges.

Baked.JPG

.

9. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for several minutes and then remove to a cooling rack to finish cooling.

.

Yes, the recipe did make 12 cookies, but Bob grabbed one as soon as I got them on the cooling rack.

cooling

.

10. When totally cool, store in an air-tight container.

.

salted-peanut-butter-cookies-copy

.

Coconut Milk Mashed Potatoes

September 3, 2016

By Kath Dedon

.

It was a revelation when I read in Heather Christo‘s beautiful cookbook, Pure Delicious, that she made creamy mashed potatoes with coconut milk! She uses vegan butter in her recipe, making it totally dairy-free and vegan. She promises that the potatoes do not taste like coconut.

Heather explains in the opening chapters of the book that people who have a true allergy to dairy products are allergic to the milk proteins found in all dairy products, including butter. Those who are lactose intolerant are sensitive not to the milk proteins, but to the milk sugars. They can usually eat butter which is low in lactose, the milk sugar.

Laura joined us for dinner last night and I decided to make Quick Roast Chicken Parts with Carrots and my easy recipe for Mashed Potatoes. This time, however, I used coconut milk! The Coconut Milk Mashed Potatoes were excellent! They definitely did not taste like coconut. We truly couldn’t tell the difference between the coconut milk mashed potatoes and dairy milk mashed potatoes.

I did use butter. If you need the recipe to be totally dairy-free or vegan, just substitute a vegan butter for the dairy butter.

If you, or people for whom you cook, have special dietary needs I highly recommend Pure Delicious. Heather is a trained chef and former caterer and her recipes reflect her professional background. You can check out her recipes on her blog, too. heatherchristo.com.

.

Leftover Coconut Milk Mashed Potatoes reheated beautifully alongside the chicken and carrots for Bob’s lunch. In the background is So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk that worked so well in the recipe.

Mashed potatoes made with coconut milk

.

Coconut Milk Mashed Potatoes

(Inspired by Heather Christo’s recipe in Pure Delicious)

.

(print the recipe)

.

Make it vegan, and dairy-free, by substituting a vegan butter for the dairy butter.

.

Serves 4 – 6

.

2 – 2½ pounds Yukon gold potatoes

1/3 – ½ cup unsweetened coconut milk (I used So Delicious found in the refrigerated dairy case.)

2 – 3 tablespoons butter (or vegan butter substitute)

Salt

Pepper

.

1.    Scrub the potatoes well. If they’re about the same size and small, leave them whole. If not, cut them into similar-size pieces.

2.    Put the potatoes in a pot. Cover with water and bring to a boil.

3.    When the water’s boiling stir in about 1 tablespoon of salt. Reduce the heat so the water is simmering. Cover and cook until done, about 15 – 25 minutes. (Timing will depend on the size of your potato pieces.)

4.    When the potatoes are tender, drain the potatoes and put them back in the pot. Put the pot back on the burner for a few seconds to evaporate the rest of the water.

5.    Mash them right in the pot with a potato masher.

6.    After mashing a bit, add some butter and the coconut milk. Start with the lower amounts; you can always add more later. Continue to mash, adding more coconut milk and butter if needed, until done the way you like them.

7.    Season with salt and pepper. Serve, offering extra butter at the table.

.

Mashed potatoes made with coconut milk - Copy

.

Lesson learned about Hatch chile peppers!

August 22, 2016

I made Mika Garnett’s Southwest Chicken and Green Chile Stew again last night. It’s a recipe that we both had really enjoyed before.

.

Doesn’t this stew look good?

Mika Garnett's Southwest Chicken and Green Chile Stew

.

Well, I’m here to bring you this Important warning about hatch chile peppers!

This really is a great recipe, so I made it again yesterday with 4 hatch chile peppers that I found at Thriftway. They had two side-by-side boxes of hatch chile peppers that looked identical. One was labeled “Hot” and the other “Mild”. I chose the mild. Or so I thought.

When I researched hatch chiles before making this 3 years ago, I found this information someplace: “They can range from mild to medium-hot.” Wrong! I now know they can range from mild to insanely hot! 

Thinking I had identical peppers to the ones I had used before, I just added them to the chile. Just before serving I used a spoon to taste the broth for seasoning. I’m talking about 1/2 teaspoon of broth with NO visible signs of pepper pieces in it. WHOA! I don’t think I’ve ever eaten anything so hot before. I thought the top of my head was going to blow off.

Now, I’ll admit I am a bit of a sissy when it comes to hot stuff. (I order 2* at Thai restaurants and it’s plenty hot for me.) But this was insanely hot! I knew there was no way I could eat this stew last night. Bob offered to take me out for dinner, but I just quickly popped an emergency freezer meal into the microwave for my dinner.

Bob, Mr. 5*-Thai-food-guy who usually asks for extra hot sauce to add to his food, said he’d eat the stew. Well, he did finish his bowl, but I have never seen him sweat so much when he eats hot stuff! After he was finished, he admitted that it was even too hot for him!

So we threw the leftovers out.

I’m passing on the lesson I learned from all of this. Never assume your chile peppers are mild or medium. Taste a bite before adding them to your recipe. Had I done that, I would have used 1/2 – 1 of these crazy-hot chiles and it probably would have been fantastic. Lesson learned!

I still highly recommend the recipe, just be careful with your chile peppers. I might take the super-safe route and use a 4-ounce can of chile peppers next time.😉

I’ll be back with a new recipe soon!

.

This volunteer sunflower sharing a pot with geraniums and lobelia bloomed the day before Carrie and Rhett’s wedding!.Volunteer sunflower - bloomed 7-29-16.jpg

Quinoa Salad with Oven-Dried Tomatoes

August 9, 2016

This Quinoa Salad with Oven-Dried Tomatoes from Heather Christo’s Pure Delicious is perfect for summer parties! I made it to take to a Seafair party last weekend where it was well-received. I had to share it with you, so I made it again yesterday and took photos.

.

Quinoa Salad with Tomatoes.JPG

.

.

Yes, it has been a while since I have posted a new recipe, but we have been very busy around here with happy wedding festivities! Carrie and Rhett were married on July 30!

.

Photo by Frank Bedoya

Frank's picture of Carrie and Rhett

.

.

The rehearsal dinner the night before was at our house, beautifully catered by Café Turko. The wedding was outdoors at a lovely park just outside the Pacific Tower, the Art Deco building that you can see from I-5. Then we all went up to FareStart’s venue on the 8th floor of Pacific Tower for the reception. The Panoramic Room is a stunning location for a reception with its 180° view of the city, the mountains, and Puget Sound. It was an awesome evening full of wonderful family and friends, great food, and lots of dancing to the fun playlist selected by Carrie and Rhett.

.

View of Seattle from the Panoramic Room. Photo by Frank Bedoya.

View of Seattle from Pacific Tower

.

The next morning many of us met Carrie and Rhett at Volunteer Park for Starbuck’s coffee and Costco croissants and muffins. It was great to have the opportunity to have a relaxed visit with Rhett’s family and some of the other out-of-state guests before they left Seattle.

All in all, it was a fabulous weekend full of love and joy!

.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

.

OK, so back to this Quinoa Salad with Oven-Dried Tomatoes! It’s a great choice if you’re hosting people with allergies. Those who are vegan or need to eat gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, or nut-free will appreciate this option. Plus, it’s just plain delicious!

It’s a very easy recipe to make. It takes a bit of time, but that’s only because the tomatoes slow-roast for 90 minutes. While they’re roasting, you can cook the quinoa and chop up the parsley and green onions. The dressing includes some of the roasted tomatoes; after a quick spin in the blender it’s ready to go.

This is the first recipe I have made from Pure Delicious. I am looking forward to trying many more. You can check out some more of Heather Christo’s “Deliciously Allergen Free Recipes” on her blog at heatherchristo.com.

.

.

Tomatoes

 

Quinoa Salad with Oven-Dried Tomatoes

(Adapted, barely, from Heather Christo’s recipe in Pure Delicious)

.

(print the recipe)

.

Serves 6 – 8

Oven-Dried Tomatoes

1 pound cherry or grape tomatoes, washed and cut in half lengthwise

3 tablespoons olive oil

Salt, to sprinkle on the tomatoes

 

Quinoa

2 cups white quinoa, rinsed and drained

½ cup dry white wine (I used wine; you can substitute vegetable or chicken broth but reduce the kosher salt if the broth is salty.)

1 cup water

1 teaspoon kosher salt (If substituting table salt or sea salt, use ¾ teaspoon.)

 

Tomato Dressing

¼ cup of the oven-dried tomatoes

1 garlic clove, coarsely chopped

¼ cup red wine vinegar

¼ cup olive oil

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

 

To add to the salad

2 green onions, thinly sliced

½ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Additional salt, if necessary

 

  1. To roast the tomatoes, preheat the oven to 250°. Spread the tomatoes out on a rimmed baking sheet. Pour the olive oil over them and toss to coat. Sprinkle with some salt and roast for 90 minutes.

Oven-dried tomatoes

.

2. While the tomatoes are roasting, cook the quinoa. In a 3-quart sauce pan, bring the wine, water, and salt to a boil. Add the quinoa, stir, and cover. Reduce heat to very low so it will simmer. Cook for 15 minutes. Remove the pot from the burner. Do not remove the cover; let it sit for 20 more minutes. Then remove the cover, fluff it up with a fork and put it in a large bowl.

3. When the tomatoes are done, make the dressing. Put ¼ cup of the roasted tomatoes in a blender. Add the garlic, vinegar, olive oil, and smoked paprika. Blend until it no longer has any lumps of tomatoes.

.

Dressing in the blender

.

4. Gently stir the dressing into the quinoa so it’s all evenly coated. Stir in the rest of the oven-dried tomatoes, the green onions, and the parsley. Taste and season with additional salt if necessary. Can be kept at room temperature to serve within a few hours, or cover and refrigerate for up to 5 days.

.

Gently stirring the dressing into the quinoa

Stirring the dressing in.jpg

.

Quinoa with Oven-Dried Tomatoes and Smoky Tomato Vinaigrette - Copy

.

Homemade Twix Bars

July 17, 2016

By Kath Dedon

.

Laura made these Homemade Twix Bars for Father’s Day dinner. I had not seen the family swoon so much over dessert in a while! These bars are incredible!

There are recipes for people with allergies that are acceptable and appreciated by the one who has the allergies, but they leave the rest of the group wishing they could have the real deal. This is NOT one of those recipes. Everyone absolutely loved them and eagerly devoured them.

Laura had found the recipe on Rachel Conners’ blog, bakerita.com. The only change she made was she substituted peanut butter for almond butter to accommodate an almond allergy. It worked beautifully!

The family gathered again last week for Bob’s birthday and I decided to make the Homemade Twix Bars for dessert. I couldn’t believe how easy it is to make them! The actual hands-on time is very minimal, but you do need to allow time for the shortbread crust to cool. After adding the caramel layer to the cooled shortbread, it needs to chill in the refrigerator. Then the chocolate is poured on the top and it is refrigerated again before serving. So it’s made in stages, but very easy stages.

If you want a special treat, do try these amazing Homemade Twix Bars!

.

I turned one bar on its side to try to show you the layers.

Homemade Twix Bars

.

Homemade Twix Bars

(Adapted from Rachel Conners recipe on bakerita.com. Rachel adapted the caramel filling from a recipe on Blissful Basil.)

.

Special note about coconut flour

Coconut flour is very different from regular flour. It absorbs a lot of moisture. It is not easy to substitute other flours for coconut flour. If you want to make the bars with some other kind of flour, I suggest you find a recipe for shortbread using the flour you prefer and make that for the shortbread layer.

.

(print the recipe)

.

Makes 16 bars

 .

Shortbread crust ingredients

Ingredients for shortbread.JPG

.

For the shortbread crust:

2/3 cup coconut flour

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

3 tablespoons pure maple syrup

1/3 cup coconut oil, solid

.

Caramel filling ingredients

Ingredients for caramel filling.JPG

.

For the caramel filling:

½ cup creamy peanut butter (I used Jif. I think a natural peanut butter would be too oily.)

1/3 cup pure maple syrup

1/3 cup coconut oil, melted in a microwave oven

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

Chocolate topping ingredients

Ingredients for chocolate topping

.

For the chocolate topping:

¼ cup coconut oil, melted in a microwave oven

¼ cup cocoa powder

2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

½ teaspoon flaky sea salt (optional, I didn’t use)

 

1. Preheat the oven to 350° and grease an 8 x 8 square pan with coconut oil.

2. Line the greased pan with parchment paper and then grease the paper.

pan ready.JPG

 

3. Either in a small food processor (what I used) or in a bowl, combine the ingredients for the shortbread crust. Process or mix in the bowl until the dough comes together in a cohesive ball. You’ll probably need to use your hands to make that happen in a bowl.

in the food processor

.

4. Spread the dough out with your fingers in the prepared pan. Bake for 9 – 11 minutes until the edge is starting to brown. (9 minutes was perfect in my oven.)

Baked shortbread crust

.

5. Allow time for the crust to fully cool.

6. Combine all of the caramel filling ingredients in a small saucepan and heat over low heat, stirring constantly, until everything is melted and combined. Pour over the cooled shortbread. Refrigerate the bars to allow the caramel layer to cool and set.

.

A small whisk made it easy to combine the ingredients in the saucepan

Caramel filling

.

Caramel topping poured over the cooled shortbread crust

Caramel filling poured over shortbread

.

7. For the chocolate topping, stir the ingredients together until smooth. Pour over the set caramel layer. Sprinkle with the flaky sea salt if using. (Recommended, but I didn’t have any.)

Chocolate topping poured.JPG

.

8. Refrigerate before serving so the chocolate will set.

9. Use a sharp knife to cut into 16 bars and serve. Refrigerate any leftovers.

.

Homemade Twix Bars - Copy

.

 

Slow Cooker Mexican Black Beans

July 8, 2016

By Kath Dedon

.

Wow! These beans! Slow Cooker Mexican Black Beans are a fabulous side dish with anything grilled. I found, though, that they are so delicious, they could take center stage as Rick Bayless suggests in Rick Bayless’s Mexican Kitchen. He says that one of his favorite suppers is a bowl of Frijoles de la Olla (“Pot Beans”) served with tortillas, salsa, and a salad.

I used both Mexican Kitchen and Bayless’s Mexican Everyday for reference. In Mexican Everyday he gives instructions for cooking the beans in a slow cooker.

I learned from both Rick Bayless and J. Kenji Lopez-Alt that there is no need to soak the beans before cooking. Bayless observes that he has never seen cooks in Mexico soak their beans. And Kenji did all of the scientific testing to prove that soaking is not only unnecessary, but it makes inferior, less flavorful beans. In the case of black beans, they lose their rich black color when they are soaked and the soaking water is discarded.

In his epic book, The Food Lab, Kenji proves that it’s best to add salt in the beginning, contrary to popular belief. Most recipes, including the two Rick Bayless recipes for Frijoles de la Olla, give instructions to only add salt after the beans are tender. Kenji’s photos clearly show that the beans that were salted in the beginning were superior. Salt prevented the burst skins and blow-outs that the unsalted beans experienced.

I recently made plain black beans in the slow cooker to use for a dip. It was super easy. If you want to cook beans to use instead of canned beans, I would recommend that simple recipe.

If you want a beautiful bowl of flavorful Slow Cooker Mexican Black Beans, I highly recommend this one. The beans were cooked perfectly and had a wonderful creamy texture. I loved the rich, porky flavor that the bacon grease gave the beans. I served the beans as Bayless does, in a bowl with some of the bean broth. Leftovers were also delicious drained and reheated. We just finished the last few beans last night tossed in an impromptu pasta dish. I’m already thinking of making Slow Cooker Mexican Black Beans again. They are that good!

.

Slow cooker Mexican black beans - Copy

.

Slow-Cooker Mexican Black Beans

(Adapted from recipes in Rick Bayless’s Mexican Kitchen and Mexican Everyday, and from J. Kenji Lopez-Alt’s The Food Lab)

.

(print the recipe)

.

I don’t really know if the epazote made a difference. I have some growing in a pot outside. Bayless recommends it for black beans. If you can’t find it, I think the beans will still be great if you omit it.

Make it vegetarian by using oil instead of the bacon grease. If you use oil, Bayless recommends cooking the onion in the oil until it is golden brown, about 10 minutes, before adding the onion and oil to the slow cooker. He says cooking the onion will give it a “roasty flavor reminiscent of what you’d find from pork fat”. There’s no need to cook the onions if you’re using bacon grease or lard.

Makes 7 – 8 cups

 .

1 pound (about 2½ cups) dry black beans

3 tablespoons bacon grease (can substitute lard or oil)

1 medium white onion, diced (about 1 cup of diced onion)

1 large sprig epazote (optional)

2 quarts water

1½ teaspoons salt

 

1. Check the beans for rocks and rinse thoroughly. Add them to the slow cooker.

2. Add the bacon grease, onion, and epazote, if using, to the slow cooker.

.

Measuring bacon grease from saved bacon drippings

bacon grease

.

Beans, onion, bacon grease and epazote in the slow cooker

black beans, onion, bacon grease, epazote.jpg

.

3. Pour in the 2 quarts of water and stir in the salt.

4. Cook on low for 8 – 10 hours.

5. Serve in a bowl with some of the broth.

.

.

Slow cooker Mexican black beans

.

.