Chicken Tacos

Apparently tacos are popular in our household. K gets them regularly at work (Taco Tuesdays are super cheap, he says), and he requests them regularly for dinner. Luckily, we have now locked down beef, chicken, and shrimp recipes for them. I find tacos to be almost a guilty pleasure even though they they do not have to be unhealthy for you. Growing up, we never ate them. Where I lived, there were not many places you could get tacos, and even then I did not go. (I have only been to a Taco Bell twice, and the first time I did not get anything because I had already eaten dinner and it seemed wrong to me to eat a second dinner–such a good daughter.) At school, tacos were always hard shells with grainy weird-tasting meat. I cannot remember the first good taco I ever had, but at some point it kicked in and I realized they could be more than bad junk food. My brother and sister-in-law lived with me briefly and they invited me to join in their taco feast. I did, and enjoyed them, but was stunned to realize how much salt was in the taco seasoning. (Even more surprised because my brother tends to be the health nut in the family.) After seeing that, I decided I could make my own kind without resorting to packages.

K and I began making tacos using store-bought tortillas, but now I can’t think of the last store one I’ve had. When making this iteration, I mixed chives and onion powder into my tortilla dough and they tasted awesome without extra sodium. K surprised me by asking for chicken breast tacos. Normally he is not a chicken breast man (that sounds too funny) but he thought it would be okay. He ended up pleasantly shocked at how tender and flavorful the meat turned out to be. You could also make this recipe with thigh meat, but it is not necessary. For the tortilla recipe, you can go check out my beef tacos.

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Coffee Ice Cream (take 2)

Is it okay that I’ve only had this blog for a few months but am posting a second coffee ice cream recipe? This is the recipe for those who want a super strong coffee flavor. To be honest, this post would have come sooner but I thought I had already shared it. I was eating some of it and went to check the recipe. I thought I had already written it: I could even picture how I had laid out the pictures. So, I either did not save it or was blogging in my dreams. Either way, boo.

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This is another recipe that keeps popping up…a chocolate hazelnut cake that needs to get shared at some point. It pairs so well with ice cream!

So, here is a recipe that I adapted from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz. I was at the grocery store and remembered that I could somehow use coffee beans to infuse more flavor, but I was not sure how many to get. Just to be safe, I ended up getting about 1 cup and I was supposed to use more than 1.5 or 2 cups. Feel free to use more beans, but this version works just fine, too!

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Salisbury Steak

What do you think of when you think “American cuisine”? You might think of hamburgers, hot dogs, grilled cheese, apple pie, etc. Whatever food you grow up with becomes the norm, and foods that are different seem special and exotic. My husband K, growing up in a household where he was the first generation in his family to be born here meant that American food was exotic. Sometimes he has unusual taste requests that I have trouble understanding, and while some of it is just him, some is due to culture. To him, American food was the stuff you found in school lunches. Not until much later did he experience food like meatloaf, lasagna, macaroni and cheese, spaghetti, and more in a non-school setting. TV dinners were also exotic (although I also felt that way because microwaving your meal seemed so crazy!) and I think he was disappointed to find out that certain meals do not seem to exist outside of the frozen boxes.

Well, that is….until now! I was super happy to come across a salisbury steak recipe. This is one of those dishes he has talked about wanting for a really long time. What is a wife to do but make it for him? It was a little off-putting to see rice as an ingredient, but I did keep it in from the recipe at One Perfect Bite. Next time I would definitely leave out the rice because it did nothing for the dish, but the gravy is worth all of the time it takes. Mmmm!! The other change is that I used a whole egg instead of the yolk (I was feeling lazy and did not want to have to keep an egg white around). It turned out just fine, so do it however you like.

There is a bonus recipe by the way….

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Tips-y Tuesdays: Ice Cream Help

I was really nervous to make ice cream for the first time, and to be honest, it did not turn out as amazing as I would have liked. The ice cream was icy, the mix-ins were hard to eat, and the flavor was so-so. If I had stopped there, then I would never have realized how good homemade ice cream (and sorbet) could be!

Frozen Yogurt

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Kasespatzle

We had a different Labor Day weekend than we’ve had before. I’m used to spending it with my family but people were going to be a bit scattered and it’s an expensive time for flying back, so we decided to stay in Seattle this year. The first day was some food shopping followed by a trip on a friend’s boat. Sunday was spent mostly at the PAX convention. This was clearly for K, although I was a fan of getting to dance to the Dance Central 3 game early. For dinner that night, I wanted something that was not a dish to try during the week, but was light enough since we would be eating some junk food at the convention. I’ve never had this German dish but it didn’t stop me from wanting to try it. I was a little nervous about the process of making the noodles because I don’t have a specific tool for it, but it was fun!

If you’re like me and have never had this before, then the best way I can describe the texture is almost like dumplings, as in the chicken and dumplings. They have a bit of a chew to them, and then are soft. The taste is close to pasta because of the flour and eggs. They are fluffy and you can certainly add more seasoning to kick them up a bit.

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Blueberry and Cream Cookies

Enter dried blueberries in cookies! One of the few cookie recipes I have made without non-white chocolate.

Check out all of those blueberries!

I was shocked to see that I had not made a Momofuku Milk Bar recipe in months. That’s almost crazy-talk! Who knows, maybe I was too busy making lots of ice cream, did not have enough time for multi-step or day recipes, or just kept meaning to make one recipe but was missing a crucial ingredient….yeah…mostly the last one. For this recipe, I kept meaning to pick up dried blueberries but never got around to it until recently. The day I got them, after I was done being shocked by the price ($16 a pound???), I went home and started making the milk crumb: the only secondary recipe needed for this one! Yay!

My friend Lisa made these cookies, but I never got to try hers. My husband and I have had the originals from Milk Bar itself, brought to us by our friend Garett, but not at the bakery itself. And, we gave a Williams-Sonoma cookie mix box for these same cookies to our newly-married friends in San Francisco when we visited them. All of this, and still no homemade cookies by me. So, that had to be rectified, especially with my husband asking for them over and over.

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Portabella-Crusted Steak

I talked about running out of ideas for dinner in an earlier post, but then I find something that really gets me excited. Back before I blogged or even did as much cooking, I would bookmark lots of recipes that sounded interesting, but it is easy to forget about them or why I found them interesting in the first place. This particular recipe is only a couple years old, but I really wish I had not waited so long to do something with it. How can you not want to pair mushrooms and steak together? They bring out each other’s flavors so well and my husband loves both a ton!

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