Recent Cravings

I got on a turmeric kick earlier this year. My favorite way to drink it was in hot milk with a little honey: à la golden milk. It’s sounds magical doesn’t it? Well supposedly it is magical! Turmeric is one of the those ingredients that is said to cure everything. When I was in India (Link) in February they gave one of my classmates a nightly drink with turmeric after she injured her leg during practice.

Mostly I just like the way it tastes and I’m feeling a bit under the weather so a bit of the good stuff can’t hurt!

A quick and easy recipe:

  • 1 tablespoon turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon (or to your liking) honey, maple syrup or other sweetener
  • 2 cups your choice of milk – I use regular milk or almond milk if I have it

Mix together, heat up and enjoy!

P.S. If you have any other ingredients such as vanilla, cardamon or cinnamon on hand these would make great additions. Sadly I’m out of all these things!

Image result for turmeric

 

Recent Cravings

Welcome Fall

Soup is a major part of Fall and now that the weather has cooled a bit soup has been on my mind. Does it feel like Fall where you are?

A few recipes I’m looking forward to trying are white bean, dill and vegetable soup and ratatouille.

My Fall-iest picture to date:

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I’m not quite ready to let go of summer and I’m headed back to SH  where it is likely to still be a bit sweaty so there’s still time to try this frose. Yes, please!

Welcome Fall

Greek Chicken with Olives

I am quite envious of Ashley’s gorgeous garden and the produce that it produces. I don’t have a garden here in China and the wet market is about as close as I get to ‘home-grown’ vegetables.

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With the summer heat and intense humidity, I’ve been searching for meals that are light, summery and of course delicious. After winning an “Olive you” basket at a couples shower and my determination to grow up and acquire a taste for olives I have been trying to incorporate olives in my meals.

The latest was an easy Greek chicken with olives and onions. It did mean I had to turn the oven on but since we have a small table top oven it usually doesn’t heat up the house too much. I based my recipe off this one for a light Saturday night meal. Pair with white wine (duh!).

Greek Chicken with Olives

Garden Season: Cucumbers Two Ways

Garden season is finally upon us. I dragged my feet getting our garden started this year because of the wedding, honeymoon and, oh, life in general. However, now that stuff is starting to sprout, I’m so happy I took the time to plant.

Along with garden season comes a frantic time in my kitchen. The pile of fresh veggies means I have to come up with something to do with the pile of fresh veggies. And, it may just be me, but I feel items picked from the garden have a shorter shelf life.

So, in a quest to help others dealing with this fabulous problem, and maybe to inspire Ann to cook again, I’m going to share my go-to and test recipes this season.

First up, cucumbers!

These are two easy, yummy ways to savor their fresh flavor.

Cucumber Cilantro Chips

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Ok, I’m being a bit generous with the term “chip” here. BUT, these taste fabulous. Slice up a fresh cucumber, sprinkle with salt, squeeze with some lime and top with fresh cilantro. They taste amazing, take one minute to prepare and are so good for you!

Cucumber Lemon Water

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I received this infuser pitcher as a wedding present (another cute option here) and love it. I’m trying to kick a diet soda habit and it helps to have cool, flavored water ready-to-go in the fridge. Cucumber is my absolute favorite infusion. It doesn’t get bitter like some fruit can and, because I know how good cucumber is for your skin, I feel like I’m doing something good for myself.

 

 

 

 

 

Garden Season: Cucumbers Two Ways

Masala Chai

In February, I spent five weeks in India completing yoga teacher training. The experience was one I won’t forget anytime soon but something that will stick with me for life is my newfound love of chai. I knew before going that I wanted to drink as much chai as possible. Now I have a full-blown addiction.

‘Chai’ and ‘cha’ means tea in many languages from India to Africa to China and beyond. The particular chai in India is masala chai. Much like chai, masala the word is used in many different ways and refers to a mix of spices. One goal upon returning to China is to master my own masala chai at home. I brought back spices from India, have experimented a bit and am still working on the perfect cup. As it may take a while for my chai to be as good as Indian chai, I thought I would share some recipes that are getting me close to the real thing. I’ve been playing around with recipes from the always trusty The Kitchn blog and this recipe.  Two tips: cardamom and ginger are key – Jai jai for chai!

Chai chai

Masala Chai

Tasty Tea

While I absolutely hate the word ‘detox,’ this is sort of a recipe for a ‘detox’ tea, but for our sake lets called it ginger party tea time!

Little rant: detox, okay people what are those ‘toxins’ that everyone says they are ‘getting rid of?’ Just ask, and you’ll most likely be met with a befuddled face. Why can’t we just enjoy good food and good times? Sure there are times where I’ve eaten (and/or drank) too much and need to drink some more water and eat a little lighter, but a detox, no thanks.

Rant over and on to tea. I’ve thoroughly enjoying this tea on Sunday afternoons when I have some time to use real ginger. A little ginger, lemon, turmeric and cayenne  –  ends up spicy and wakes me up!

Get the recipe here and enjoy!2016-01-03 15.20.42

 

Tasty Tea

#Nailed It: Red Velvet Edition

Skip loves Red Velvet. I love sweets. It is a dangerous combination.

I needed to use up a red velvet cake mix, so I went to the Google to find a new idea.

I stumbled upon this Red Velvet Monkey Bread recipe from Something Swanky. The pictures, of course, make the treat look delicious. Unfortunately my version turned out a bit off. This might be due to the fact I don’t eat dairy so I subbed out coconut oil and light karo syrup for the butter and honey in the recipe! Regardless, it was fun to make and I learned you can’t use coconut oil for everything.

Red Velvet Monkey Bread _1 Red Velvet Monkey Bread _2 Red Velvet Monkey Bread _3

Then a few weeks later I wanted to make a fancy red velvet cake for Skip’s birthday. I got it in my head that I should put cake ball filling (IE: cake mixed with frosting) as the middle cream to hold the layers together. While this was a tasty idea, it didn’t hold up too well. I think it was too soft to keep the cake upright and straight.

Red Velvet Birthday Cake

Until the next time, I’m going to keep #nailingit. Tell us your stories of #nailingit in the comments.

 

#Nailed It: Red Velvet Edition

Quick & Easy: Tarragon Chicken

In an effort to bring more health into my life, I’ve been trying to cook at home more. Living in Shanghai, I have never eaten out more in my life. This is good for my taste buds and bad for my wallet, but nothing beats a home-cooked meal.  One of my favorites as of late is Chicken Tarragon, a quick dish that feels decadent.

This recipe is so simple to put together. I think of it as “healthy” as I use coconut milk to get that creamy taste and it has vegetables. There is no hint of coconut, only the rich flavor of tarragon shining through. Even my mushroom-avert boyfriend loved this dish.

The only picture I have is the horrible one below as I had got home from a day of work to prepare this for a Friday night meal and was more focused on getting wine in the glass and food in my tum than taking pics.

Check out the easy, delicious recipe here.

Tarragon Chicken-

Quick & Easy: Tarragon Chicken

Vegan No Bake Cookies

No Bake cookies may be the easiest dessert to make. It looks like effort, but little do the recipients know you only used one pot and whipped these up in about 20 minutes. I can’t think of any other ‘baked’ item that takes less time.

I hadn’t made these cookies in a while and forgot how much dairy goes into the traditional version. This vegan recipe from The Minimalist Baker is phenomenal. I don’t always have the best of luck cooking with coconut oil, but no problems here. I even doubled the recipe once and it turned out fine! I didn’t add the coconut flakes, but I imagine they are a delicious addition.

One tip, use a cookie scoop to make the little balls at the end. I got one for a gift a few years back and use it for anything and everything I bake. It keeps size and shape in check so everything looks uniform. Vegan No Bake cookies no bake 2 no bake 3 no bake 4

Vegan No Bake Cookies

My Go-To Recipe: Fruit Crisp

I believe every girl should have an easy, go-to recipe that can be whipped up at a moment’s notice. For me, there is nothing like a bite of fresh-from-the-oven fruit crisp. I say “fruit” and not apple, strawberry or peach because this recipe can be used with any fruit available. Fresh or frozen, it still turns out amazing. I am spoiled because I often use fruit from my parent’s orchard. They have about eight fruit trees and my mom is a master freezer. But whatever you have on hand will suffice. I printed this recipe from allrecipes.com about eight years ago. You can see it has been used and abused in my kitchen. Original crisp recipeRecently I stopped eating dairy so I adapted it to fit my lifestyle. The secret is in the two layers of topping. I mix one cup of brown sugar, rolled oats and flour. I put a shake or three of cinnamon in as well and give it a good stir.

Yummy crisp toppingInstead of ½ cup of butter, like the recipe calls for, I use ½ cup of applesauce, apple butter or plum butter. Whatever I have on hand. It doesn’t get crispy quite like topping made with butter, but I think the taste is better. The recipe calls for three apples, but I generally add whatever I have on hand to fill the dish to the top. You can sprinkle a bit of sugar on the fruit if you are working with something tart. I used raspberries and strawberries but I like tart so I didn’t add sugar.

Fruit fillingAfter spraying a 9-by-9 inch pan, put half of the crumble as the bottom layer.

Bottom crispTop with your fruit (and a bit more cinnamon for good measure).

Top with fruit Finally top with the rest of the crumble.

crisp 5Pop in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes and voila! The perfect fruit crisp.

crisp recipe (3)

My Go-To Recipe: Fruit Crisp