Applesauce Cake

This past summer I acquired more apples than I could use before they all went bad so I cooked a bunch up, smooshed and froze them. They were small, so I put them in a large pot, whole (yup, stems and all) a little bit of water in the bottom, lid on, and let them simmer until they were soft. Then I put them through a food mill, which kept all the peels, stems, seeds and core and gave me a beautiful, rosy, naturally sweet pulp. I froze the pulp in small containers-perfect for cakes, muffins or something to eat with yogurt. Of course, you can use a jar of prepared applesauce if you want.

1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup yogurt
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup applesauce

1 3/4 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg

Grease and flour a bundt pan (or tube pan or 9X13).

Cream butter and yogurt, add brown sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Sir together flour, baking powder, salt, and spices, add to creamed mixture along with the applesauce and stir just until combined. Pour batter into prepared pan.
Bake at 350F
for 40 to 45 minutes, or until done.

Moroccan Lentil Soup

Someone asked me for suggestions about lentils recently. She told me that she purchased them, but wasn’t sure what to do with them and she felt like they were mocking her. I know the feeling because I have a bag of organic brown and wild rice that is currently mocking me. Here’s what I made this afternoon;

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp ginger, minced
4 cups turkey broth (or chicken broth or water)
2 cups water
1 cup lentils
1 cup red kidney beans
1 cup black beans (a couple of kind of beans or a couple of cans of mixed beans-any beans will do)
1 large can tomatoes, smooshed with your hand
4 carrots, peeled and chopped
4 sticks of celery, chopped
1 tsp garam masala
1 1/2 tsp cardamom
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp ground cumin

In large pot cook the onions, garlic, and ginger in a little olive oil until they’re soft and clear. Throw everything else in and bring to a boil. Turn it down to a simmer and let it simmer and fill your home with a wonderful aroma for 1 or 2 hours until the lentils are soft and the vegetables are cooked. This would work in your slow cooker too.
Take about half of it out and puree it with my stick blender or food processor, then put it back in.

Thai Chicken with coconut lime rice

Thai Chicken
I needed a recipe that did call for anything I didn’t already have on hand, so I combined a couple of recipes I found and added my own touch. Here’s roughly what I did;

1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup fish sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons hot pepper sauce (I used Franks Red Hot with lime)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger root
2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves – cut into bite sized chunks

Marinate in a baggie for a few hours in the fridge.

2 Tbsp canola oil
Half an onion, chopped
one carrot, peeled and sliced thin
3 Tbsp peanut sauce
1 cup chicken broth (I used turkey broth because that’s what I had, but they’re usually interchangeable)
1 Tbsp chili garlic paste
one orange pepper, chopped
one yellow pepper, chopped

Heat a large skillet, add the oil. When the oil is hot, throw in your onion and carrot and toss them around until they start to get a little soft. Pour the marinade off the chicken and toss the chicken in the pan. While the chicken is cooking, mix the peanut sauce, broth and chili paste together and when the chicken is about half cooked, pour it in. Toss the peppers on top and let the whole thing simmer until the chicken is cooked and the sauce is thickened.

Coconut Lime rice

1 Tbsp butter
1 cup basmati rice
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup chicken broth
pinch of salt
3 Tbsp lime juice

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter, then toss in the rice and coconut. Stir over medium heat until all the rice is coated with butter. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring it to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer with the lid on for about 15 minutes or until the rice is cooked. I got this started at the same time as I started the chicken and they were done at the same time.

Spicy Thai Shrimp Skewers

A bag of frozen shrimp is a staple for me. They are relatively inexpensive, delicious and so quick. Pull a handful out of the freezer, throw them in a bowl of cold water and they’ll thaw while you change from your work clothes to your sweats. Use them in a pasta sauce or as an appetizer or a late night snack.

I used this recipe as an appetizer for a Thai themed meal I served.
3 Tbsp lime juice
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp curry powder
1 pound shrimp – peeled and deveined, but with the tail on.

I marinated them while they thawed, then threaded them on skewers. I baked them at 375F for about 10 minutes, but you could grill or fry them.

Delicious on Naan bread!

New Years Thai Feast

Quentin really wanted to go to a New Years Eve Thai party he was invited to, but instead we went to his parents house and hung out with most of his family. It was nice. We ate an assortment of appetizers, drank a little too much gin slush and played some version of dominoes that I’d never seen before.
Tonight I have his undivided attention (potentially) and so am planning a Thai feast prepared by me with ingredients I have on hand.

Here’s the menu;

Spicy Thai Shrimp skewers with fresh Naan to start.

Thai peanut chicken on coconut lime rice as the entree.

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp Cheesecake for dessert.

I’m pretty sure that the dessert is not in any way ‘thai’ but it’s not intended to be. It’s a combination of Quentin’s favourite dessert (Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp) and what I have on hand (cheesecake)

Stay tuned for the recipes…