Not feeling kneady

No Kneading Bread www.dealiciouscooking.com

There’s a lot that happened in my kitchen & table between the last post and this recipe, but I’m running short of time these days. But I had to stop and write this down because it’s too good to keep it to myself. I tried NO knead bread and it worked…it works!!!!!! I’m in absolute bread nirvana and I hope  you will be too. Here is my ‘NO knead bread’ story:

  • 3 cups all purpose flour (I used Gold)
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon instant yeast
  • 1½ cups room temperature water

No Kneading Bread www.dealiciouscooking.com

I combined flour, yeast, and salt in a bowl. Added water and stir gently. Allowed to sit overnight (over 12 hours) in a airtight container. This is how it looked like after sitting in my counter for 13 hours…sticky and bubbly.

No Kneading Bread www.dealiciouscooking.com

Shaped/folded into a loaf gently. I had to remind myself it’s a NO knead bread because I was still skeptical!

No Kneading Bread www.dealiciouscooking.com

I think the most important part of this process is how you bake the bread. It has to be baked in a covered dutch oven type of pot AND it has to be preheated at a high temperature for at least 20 minutes. I drizzled a bit of olive oil on the bottom after I preheated at 500F. Dusted the loaf with some whole wheat flour and dropped in the pot. Baked covered for 30 minutes, uncovered for 12 minutes (still 500F) and this is how it came out.

dealiciouscooking.com

Outside…Crisp, crackly, bread with a crust that pops as it cools. Inside… tender, moist and chewy texture. I’ll be definitely making this again, and again, and again.

dealiciouscooking.com

Breakfast Bowl: Roasted yams and apple with Greek yogurt, maple syrup and pumpkin seeds.

Yam Apples and Yogurt

Ahhhh…I would eat toast with butter and jelly everyday but that will end up crashing my 40 something metabolism and leave me hungry by 10am. It’s hard to come up with exciting choices when eggs and oats get old.

I’ve been obsessed with Greek yogurt and maple syrup lately. It’s a tasty combination. Adding roasted yams and apples to it may not sound very appetizing but it tastes truly ‘dealicious’!

RoastedYamsApples

Peel and cut in cubes 1 large yam and 3 honeycrisp apples. In a bowl, mix approximately 2 tbsp. of coconut oil, 1 tbsp. of brown sugar, pinch of salt and 1/4 tsp of cinnamon. Toss the yams and apples, place on a baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes. That was the hardest part. Now the easiest; top with plain Greek yogurt, maple syrup, pumpkin seeds for a bit of a crunch and enjoy this nutritious and wholesome breakfast!

YamsApplesYogurt

When your kid’s homework is to cook dinner for you!

My kid made dinner for us!

I’m pretty sure he would have rather spent his Saturday evening playing Call of Duty but he had an assignment for his Life Management class; cooking dinner. And by dinner the teacher meant an appetizer, a main dish, a dessert and a drink.

I was so surprised with his level of enthusiasm. He planned a menu. He shop for ingredients we didn’t have. He prep. He cooked. He set the table and he served dinner. Of course I supervised and help! But only with verbal instructions. I did not touch anything but my glass of wine!

The menu: Caprese salad; Carbonara pasta; Brownies and sparkling wine (which he opened on his own.)

My kid made dinner for us!

Nathan had already helped me a lot in the kitchen before and learned basic safety rules, like not leaving the room when a burner is lighted, and how to hold his fingers when chopping. He had mastered making a few dishes from scratch before like this Thai Curry  dish.

My kid cook dinner for us!

I admit it was a heartwarming (and heart stopping at times) mother-son bonding experience. I am pleased to report that there was no house fire and all fingers are accounted for. We had some yummy A++  home-cooked meal. And, best of all, my boy was proud of his handiwork.

The ‘Deal’ About Kale!

Kale deal @Sprouts

Kale is one trending vegetable. Even if you’re not a foodie or health conscious, it’s been hard to avoid it for the past 3, 4, 6? years. I’ve seen kale T-shirts, books devoted to kale (Fifty Shades of Kale? seriously), hundreds of Instagram images and entire Pinterest boards dedicated to this cruciferous (I had to double check the spelling on that!!!)

Some say kale is good for you. Same say it can be bad. I’m not here to debunk kale myths or reinsure kale benefits. I like kale. My kids like kale. Like any other food, we eat it mindfully which is hard to do when you come across a deal like this one above! (today at our local Sprouts!)

I got excited and probably bought more kale than my family can handle to eat! At the risk of having my kids convert to non-kale-lovers, I’m going to make a whole lotta of kale this weekend.

Below is our family kale favorites but I would LOVE to hear your favorite kale recipe, kale dish from a restaurant or any kale sugestion.

#1 Kids kale dish: Kale Chips (pump up the volume and click on the link!)

Kale chips @dealiciouscooking.com

#2 My favorite way to eat kale: Kale and Quinoa Salad with Spicy Citrus Dressing

Kale and Quinoa salad dealiciouscooking.com

#3 Breakfast kale fix: Sweet Potato & Kale Hash 

Sweet Potato and Kale

#4 The family pleaser: Kale Caesar salad

Kale Caesar Salad

Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup

Split Pea soup

Today I woke up wanting nothing more than to make a big pot of hearty split pea soup. Now, as much as I love it, I don’t make it more than twice a year. It’s delicious, satisfying and great for leftovers but OMG the gas it produces is outrageous. I bet if someone lights up a match at this household tonight we’re all doomed!

I made this batch on the slow cooker with mini hotdogs from Trader Joe’s (all beef, no nitrates, uncured) instead of the usual ham hock or bacon. Add some key spices (turmeric+mustard+oregano+white pepper+bayleaf), some drops of liquid smoke (totally optional) and you have the most fart worthy pea soup ever!

Start by setting up the slow cook for 3-5 hours on high. Diced and saute a medium onion on 1 tsp of olive oil.

Split Pea Soup

Place one package of mini hot dogs (OR the smoke meat of your preference OR no meat for a vegetarian version) and sauteed onions in the slow cooker.

Split Pea Soup

Add one box of chicken or beef broth (1 QT). Fill up the empty box with water and add to the mix. If you like your split pea soup on the thicker side add only half of the water.

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Next add the 1lb package of rinsed split peas and 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric, oregano, white pepper, mustard; 3 small bayleaves; 1 1/2 tablespoon of salt; 3 drops of liquid smoke (optional); also optional 1 tablespoon of Blackstrap molasses (I put this black-sticky-full of nutrients syrup on just about everything.)

Split Pea Soup

Cover and cook on high 4 to 5 hours or 8 to 10 hours on low until peas are mushy.

Cranberry Sauce Crumble Cake a thanksgiving leftover recipe

Cranberry Crumble Cake

Thanksgiving came and went fast…really fast. For the first time in years, I cooked the right amount of food. Not too much. Not too little. Enough to make a couple of sandwiches the day after. Not enough to make us sick of turkey.

One thing we didn’t manage to finish was the canned cranberry sauce. Yes…CANNED! I’ll whip salad dressings, avoid jar tomato sauce, but when it comes to cranberry sauce the can gets a pass.

And because we had nothing left to go with the it we baked this ‘oh so good’ Cranberry Sauce Crumble Cake. The recipe came from a holiday baking class I took at The Gourmandise School in Santa Monica many years ago. It never fails, no matter what the choice of jam is. I’ve even used Nutella instead of jam. Good every time!

The plan is to eat it with some hot cocoa as we decorate the Christmas tree tonight.

Cheers to a ‘dealicious’ Thanksgiving…onto Christmas countdown!

Cranberry Sauce Crumble Cake

Butter the sides of an 8″ cake pan and preheat the oven to 375F.

In medium bowl, whisk together in this order:

  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • 6 tablespoons of melted butter

Add the following dry ingredients to the wet mix in this order:

  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1 cup of flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder

Pour cake mix into the pan and spread evenly. Top the mix with dots of cranberry sauce (I used approximately 1 cup of cranberry sauce. May substitute with any jam or Nutella.) Reserve.

Cranberry Sauce Crumble Cake

Mix the following ingredients for the crumble topping:

  • 6 tablespoons of melted butter
  • 1cup of flour
  • 1/4 brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • pinch of salt

Rub the ingredients until crumbles form and top the cake and sauce/jam with it.

Cranberry Sauce Crumble Cake

Bake for 30 minutes or until crumble top is lightly browned.

Cranberry Sauce Crumble CakeCranberry Crumble Cakeimg_4954

 

Buffalo Chicken Balls

Buffalo Chicken Balls

You’ve probably seeing this finger food many times before, but I came across this recipe idea for the first time EVER and I had to give it a try right away. How come I have never thought of this before? Although I love the taste of Buffalo Wings I’m not a fan of the “wing” part. These chicken balls are the perfect twist to an American classic. They are so easy to make and eat–no fry (haha), no bones, no skin, no mess!!!!

Now, there are lots of recipes out there for Buffalo Chicken Meatballs, but I came up with this one inspired by Skinny Taste recipe.

Chicken Buffalo Balls

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground chicken (I used white meat)
  • 1 large egg (beaten)
  • 1 celery stalk minced (about 1/3 cup)
  • 1/3 cup minced carrots
  • 3/4 cup bread crumbs (or Panko)
  • 2 tablespoons minced onions (or green onions)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon wings sauce of your choice

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat a large baking sheet with olive oil and set aside.

On a large mixing bowl, beat the egg lightly adding the hot sauce. Add all the ingredients living the chicken and breadcrumbs for last. Using your hands, mix until combined. Roll chicken mixture into firm, 2 or 3-inch round balls (get your hands lightly wet if the mix is sticking to it) and place on baking sheet. Bake until cooked through, about 20 minutes.

Place the chicken balls in a bowl, add approximately 1/3 of  buffalo sauce and toss to combine. Arrange the chicken balls in a plate and drizzle ranch or blue cheese dressing to finish. Serve with celery, carrot sticks and a side of dressing.

Buffalo Chicken Balls

Let’s pretend it’s fall. Coconut Mango Curry Butternut Squash Soup!

Coconut Mango Green Curry Butternut Squash Soup

Right now, I’m sipping hot coffee, and it’s like 90F outside. I have a tank top on and I’m about to bring the fan out of its very short retirement in the garage.

This Coconut Mango Green Curry Butternut Squash Soup (try saying that in one breath) is good all year long. However, squashes are in season and I bought a Costco size tray of precut organic butternut squash (I do not enjoy peeling and cutting those monsters.)

It doesn’t look like fall weather is upon us anytime soon. So let’s just pretend it’s fall in Southern California and make some soup!

100% good for you ingredients. Coconut oil, butternut squash, mango, and coconut milk. The mango brings even more the sweetness of the butternut squash and adds texture to the soup. I added Sriracha to my serving to save the kids from the heat, but a teaspoon or two can be added to the recipe. I also added some of the last green leaves of thai basil from my almost dead herb garden. [sigh]

Coconut Mango Green Curry Butternut Squash Soup Coconut Mango Green Curry Butternut Squash Soup Coconut Mango Green Curry Butternut Squash Soup Coconut Mango Green Curry Butternut Squash Soup

Coconut Mango Curry Butternut Squash Soup!
 
Author:
Cuisine: American Thai
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
 
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1½ tablespoons Thai green curry paste
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 2lb. tray of precut butternut squash (got it @ Costco) OR 4 cups butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into cubes
  • 2 cups of mango chunks (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 (15-ounce) can whole coconut milk (can be sub. for light)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon Sriracha (optional)
  • 3 or 4 Thai basil leaves (optional)
Instructions
  1. Start by reserving the frozen mango (if using frozen) and letting it thaw while you work on the soup.
  2. Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add in the garlic and onion, and saute about 3 minutes.
  3. Add in the raw butternut squash cubes, pour in the broth, and add the curry paste plus salt stirring to combine. Cook for 3 more minutes, stirring often. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Cook for 20 minutes, or until butternut squash is tender. Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes.
  4. Add the mango to the soup. Use a handheld mixer to blend the soup directly in the pot or pour the soup into a blender in batches and blend until smooth. Pour the blended soup back into the soup pot over medium heat.
  5. Before serving, remove from heat and mix in the coconut milk slowly. Mix well. Pour into bowls and top with some Sriracha sauce.
Notes
The coconut milk is added last, after the soup has been blended. That way you can control the thickness of the soup.

 

How to eat Spain in 14 days! Second stop…A Coruña

There are so many things I hate about A Coruña; the cold weather, the humidity, the old fishing town feeling, the smells. Some of my worst memories were made there. But, somehow the Galician food seems to make up for all the bad memories, bad smells and bad feelings.

A Coruña has been a hub of the Galician fishing industry for centuries. Its cuisine centers around seafood, which is great both at the cheap and at the more formal marisquerias (seafood restaurants.) Polbo á feira (octopus served with olive oil, Spanish paprika and coarse sea salt) it’s the big “star”. You can find it pretty much anywhere in Galicia, but we had our share at the Pulpeira Maria Pita in A Coruña.

Pulperia Maria Pita

Although the octopus gets most of the credit, there’s so much more in the Galician menu. Delicious Caldo Gallego (Potatoes boil in broth together with chunky white beans, radish greens, pork belly, and usually chorizo, ribs, and other cuts of pork), empanada Gallega, Tarta de Santiago, Galician cheese, and the unbelievable bread (Pan de Cea) that you’ll need to sop up the last drops of just about any dish you eat in Galicia!

Galician Blond Beef

And there is Galician beef. Apparently, Galician Blonds (retired dairy cows, which can be as old as 14 years) have become as “famous” as the traditional Galician pulpo these days. Top chefs in Spain and England are willing to pay a small fortune for the beef which is on the menu of some of the best restaurants in A Coruña. These elderly cows’ milk is used to create the region’s speciality Tetilla cheese. Their meat is marbled naturally with fat created over the years, giving a deeper flavor than other beef.

Unfortunately, I learned all of that too late and we didn’t have a chance to try these old fat cows that, just like wine, get better with time. But we ate Galician beef at this weird (for lack of better word) place called A’gramalleira. Now, bare with me as I try to describe this cookware. As you can partially see in the picture below, the Gramalleira is a metal cone with spears. Meat cubes are placed in each spear. The Gramalleira, which looks more like a torture instrument rather than cookware, is than placed in a hook and it hangs over a fire pit. The meat cooks. The cone is transferred to a platter and yet hangs on another hook. Underneath the cone sits a bowl of steamed rice which sucks all the meat drippings. But wait! Once they bring the plater with the hanging meat+rice+3 different dipping sauces to your table, the server pours some type of liquor over the hanging meat and lights it up on fire. The meat hangs there all caramelized, the smoke intoxicates your senses, and the rice is swimming in juice.

A Gramalleira

Despite my “no love” for A Coruña, I have to admit that our time there was filled with great food and some very special memories. I’m so thankful my husband and kids were there with me this time. It made every little bite tastier and some of the bad memories less bitter.

Also, while in A Coruña…

Try Percebes (Goose barnacles)

Try Percebes (Goose barnacles)

Go Pokemon Go with the locals

Go Pokemon Go with the locals

Fry some local eggs

Fry some local eggs

Drink this or ANY Albariño

Drink this or ANY Albariño

 

How to eat Spain in 14 days. First stop…Madrid!

We had 14 days divided in 3 cities in Spain; Madrid, A Coruña and Barcelona. Parks, castles, churches, cathedrals, more castles, some museums, lots of plazas (squares), like a thousand of monuments,  a couple of beaches, family visit, and a whole lotta of food in between.

Although fascinating and honestly mind blowing, I won’t bore you with my mediocre writing of all of the historical sites and incredible experiences we had in Spain as a family. Rather, I’m going to try to taste Spain again through these pictures and hopefully make your mouth salivate as much as my did…does! It is no Elizabeth Gilbert’s “Eat, Pray, Love”  but almost more rewarding!

When in Madrid…

A CoruñaComing up next (after laundry, soccer practice, soccer games, volunteering, cooking, more cooking, endless dishes and hopefully a shower…maybe two!)

Until then Cheers…Salud!