Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Mangoes and Sticky Rice... the real deal!

This is from a friend from college Amber Flake

When we were in India, the 2nd graders at our international school had a mela (sort of a shopping fair) to learn about economics. The kids were selling all sorts of things, and were giving the money to charity. A cute little Thai girl was selling dishes of my favorite dessert (Mangoes and Sticky Rice) for the equivalent of 50 cents. I bought one, and it was so good I offered her about 5$ (all the money I had with me) if she could get her mom to write down the recipe. After tinkering with it, I think I have FINALLY nailed it!

This is the recipe I got from the Thai girl at AES.  The only thing I had to "tinker" with was how to cook the rice in my rice cooker.  The ratio of rice to water in a standard (cheap costco variety) rice cooker, was 1 1/2 C rice to 2 C of water.  Only cook the rice till it is about 3/4ths done.  It needs to be semi un-done so the coconut syrup can soak into it without making it into mush.
Her mother also said to use fresh coconut milk, which is delightful, but unnecessary.  It would take like 10 coconuts to get enough anyway!  I use the heaviest coconut milk I can find.  Shake the can, and if it feels like it is all liquid, try another brand.  It should feels somewhat solid, and have a high fat content.  Try the "lite" if you want, but I like my desserts to be genuinely dessert-like.  This is a treat, afterall!  Stir the coconut milk up before you measure it out, so that the water and solids are homogenized.
The recipe calls for sticky rice.  This is sometimes labeled as glutinous rice, or more likely, as sushi rice.  There were 3 different brands of sushi rice in the Asian section of my grocery store....I just bought the cheapest one.
The mangoes need to be ripe, or you might as well not bother.  There are many different varieties.  Just be sure that the flesh is very soft, and the skin has gone from green to whatever color your variety is when it ripens (usually orangey yellow to red).
Here is the recipe.  I double this to make a ton for my big family.
1 C. coconut milk
1/2 t. salt
1 C. sugar (I've seen, and tried, recipes that call for palm sugar, but the plain white sugar does the trick, and it is what the Thai girl's mom said to use!)
Boil these together, and keep it warm.
Now you need to cook the rice.  Mix 1 1/2 C of sticky rice with 2 cups of water in your cooker, close the cooker, and start it up.  Check on it every once in a while, and once it is close to done, but not quite, unplug it.  Then mix the boiled mixture quickly into the rice.  Close the lid, and let it sit for at least 20 minutes.
For the topping, mix the following in a bowl... you don't need to cook this, or even warm it. 
1 C. coconut milk
1 t. rice flour (you can find this pretty easily... I buy the cheap Goya brand stuff they have in the Mexican section.)
2 T. sugar
dash of salt
Now just slice up the mangoes in your preferred fashion, arrange around the rice, and drizzle the whole concoction with the sauce.  It is an easy dessert that makes people think you are some sort of a chef!  Give it a try!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Quinoa Salad

Quinoa Salad

1 cup uncooked Quinoa
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup chicken stock

Rinse Quinoa then cook like you would rice.

1 Rotisserie chicken cut into pieces
2 cans back beans
1 can Rotel mild tomatoes and chilis
1 cucumber cut up
1 large tomato cut up
2 cobs of corn lightly roasted and cut off the cob
1/2 a bunch of cilantro cut up
2 ripe avocados cut up (you may want to add this right before you serve)

Add cooked Quinoa and the above list in a large bowl.

1/4 cup lime juice
1/2 a bunch cilantro
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil (or canola oil)
1/2 a packet of italian salad dressing packet 
1/2 tsp garlic

In a blender or bullet mix dressing.

Pour over everything and mix together. Eat and enjoy. 

I made this for Ike's birthday party and it was a big hit, among the mom's that is. So hears the recipe for those who were there and those who missed out. 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Healthy Reese's Granola

Healthy Reese's (like) Granola

  • 1 cup (dry) oatmeal
  • 1 cup toasted coconut flakes (I used natural unsweetened, it already has a crunch to it)
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (dark chocolate or sugar free)
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter (or almond butter)
  • 1/2 cup ground flaxseed
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1-2 scoops protein powder (I use vanilla)
  • 1 cup rice crispies
  • 1 Tbs. Cocoa Powder

Put all the dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix.  Put peanut butter, honey and coconut oil in a microwavable bowl and heat for 30 - 60 seconds. Then incorporate it all together. Pour out into a 9x9 pan and press. Refrigerate. 
It tends to fall apart pretty easy so I usually end up putting it into a ziplock bag after it cools. 

I'm addicted to this stuff. To me it tastes like Reese peanut butter cup cereal which I love. But oh so much healthier.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Cafe Rio Sweet Pork Salad


I Stole these recipes but I've made the pork and it was really good. I'm making the rice and beans tonight. I know the California family misses Cafe Rio even though they have one in Oxnard now but thought you guys might want to have a Cafe Rio night dinner. It's really not that hard to make.

Here is how we put it all together: First of all, we bought the aluminum deep-dish pans (they had these at the grocery store, you will know when you see them.. they look JUST like the Cafe Rio tins). Lay a tortilla in the bottom of the pan, sprinkle cheese on it, and put in the oven at 375 for about 5 min or until the cheese is melted. Remove from oven, add beans, rice, pork, then lettuce and a little scoop of diced tomato and onions (pico de gallo). Add guacamole (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED) and sour cream. Add crushed tortilla chips, a shake of Parmesan cheese, and top with a few cilantro leaves. Serve with the cilantro ranch or vinaigrette dressing and there you have it! (makes about 6 salads)

(scroll down to see the rice, beans, pork, and ranch recipes all together...)

2 pounds pork (we like to use boneless pork ribs)
3 cans Coke (NOT diet)
1/4 c. brown sugar
dash garlic salt
1/4 c. water
1 can diced green chilies
3/4 (1ooz) can red enchilada sauce (I used Old El Paso brand, medium spiciness)
1 c. brown sugar

Put the pork in a heavy duty Ziploc bag to marinade. Add about a can and a half of coke and about 1/4 c. of brown sugar. Marinade for a few hours or overnight.

Drain marinade and put pork, 1/2 can of coke, water, and garlic salt in crock pot on high for about 3-4 hours (or until it shreds easily, but don't let it get TOO dry). Remove pork from crock pot and drain any liquid left in the pot. Shred pork.

In a food processor or blender, blend 1/2 can Coke, chilies, enchilada sauce and remaining brown sugar (about a cup, you can add a little more or less to taste..). If it looks too thick, add more Coke little by little.

Put shredded pork and sauce in crock pot and cook on low for 2 hours. That's it!

1 c. uncooked rice
1 tsp. butter or margarine
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
1 can (15 oz) chicken broth
1 cup water
1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tsp. sugar
3 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro

In a saucepan combine rice, butter, garlic, 1 tsp. lime, chicken broth and water. Bring to a boil. Cover and cook on low 15-20 minutes, until rice is tender. Remove from heat. In a small bowl combine lime juice, sugar and cilantro. Pour over hot cooked rice and mix in as you fluff the rice.

2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/3 c. tomato juice
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. fresh chopped cilantro

In a nonstick skillet, cook garlic and cumin in olive oil over medium heat until you can smell it. Add beans, tomato juice, and salt. Continually stir until heated through. Just before serving stir in the cilantro. (**NOTE** we added a can of corn, drained, to the beans with a dash of cumin and chili powder, it was AWESOME! We recommend doing this even though it's not "traditional Cafe Rio")

1 packet TRADITIONAL Hidden Valley Ranch mix (not BUTTERMILK)
1 c. mayonnaise
1 c. buttermilk
2 tomatillos, remove husk, diced
1/2 bunch of fresh cilantro
1 clove garlic
juice of 1 lime
1 jalapeno (we like it SPICY so we kept the seeds in it, if you like it mild, just remove the seeds)

Mix all ingredients together in the blender. That's it!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Chili Verde


2 lb tomatillos

6 garlic cloves, not peeled

3 Anaheim or Poblano chiles

3 Jalapeños, seeds removed, chopped

1 bunch cilantro leaves, chopped

4½ lb pork shoulder, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1 to 2-inch cubes

Olive oil

2 small yellow onions

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 TBSP dried oregano

3 cups chicken stock

- Remove papery husks from tomatillos and rinse well. Cut in half and place cut side down, along with 6 garlic cloves, on a baking sheet. Place under a broiler for about 5-7 minutes to lightly blacken the skin. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

- Roast the Anaheim chiles over a gas flame or under the broiler until blackened all around. Let cool and remove the skin, seeds, and stem. Roughly chop.

- Place tomatillos, skins included, into a food processor. Remove the roasted garlic cloves from their skins and add them. Add chopped Jalapeño peppers, Anaheim chilies, and cilantro. Pulse until all ingredients are finely chopped and mixed.

- Season the pork cubes generously with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed dutch oven over medium high heat and brown the pork chunks well on all sides. Work in batches so that the pork is not crowded in the pan. Using tongs, lift the browned pork out and place in bowl. Set aside.

- Pour off excess fat, leaving 1 or 2 tablespoons. Place the onions in the same dutch oven and season with salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until limp, about 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook for another minute. Add the pork back to the pan. Add the oregano, the tomatillo puree, and the chicken stock. Bring to a boil and reduce to a slight simmer. Cook for 2½ – 3 hours uncovered, until the pork is tender.

- Adjust the seasoning to taste with salt. Serve with rice and warmed flour or corn tortillas.


I made this a while ago and it was so yummy! I'm going to make it again for Ike's birthday dinner. He won't eat it but I will!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Chicken Stroganoff | Real Simple Recipes

Easy Key Lime Pie | Real Simple Recipes

German Chocolate Cake Trifle

German Chocolate Cake Trifle

1 Chocolate cake mix, made according to directions
1 Instant Chocolate Pudding mix, made according to directions
2 cups Coconut toasted
1 cup Pecans, or Walnuts chopped
Buttermilk custard (recipe to follow)

In Trifle dish Layer Chocolate Cake, Drizzle Buttermilk Custard, sprinkle on Coconut, sprinkle Pecans, Spoon in Pudding. Repeat 2 more times. Make the top look pretty!

Buttermilk Custard.

1 1/2 cups Buttermilk (original recipe called for a can of evaporated milk)
1 1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs

In saucepan add 3 ingredients and whisk cold. Place on medium heat and add

1/4 cup butter
1 tsp Vanilla

Stir frequently till boils and becomes thick. Cool before using in Trifle.

*I saw a similar recipe on Sandra Lee Money Saving Meals but I modified it and added pudding. I used one large box of pudding and Ryan said it needed even more. I made it for Sunday dinner and it was a big hit, especially for Jace who loves pudding and coconut.

Miracle Bread (Hannah's)

Photo thanks to Michelle

10 1/2 c. white bread flour

1/2 c. sugar

1 T. salt

3 rounded tablespoons saf-instant yeast

3 T. liquid lecithin (I didn't have lecithin, so I used 1/3 c. oil)

4 c. hot tap water

Mix dry ingredients. Add lecithin (or oil) and water. Mix for 1 minute and check consistency. If dough is too dry, add a little more water. Dough should be very sticky. Mix for 5 minutes. (Do not add flour to the dough after it has finished mixing.) Spray counter and pans with Pam. Shape loaves, place in pans and cover with a dish towel. Let rise 25 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.Makes 4 loaves.

For whole wheat bread, use the same recipe only with whole wheat flour; replace one cup of the hot water with applesauce, and add 1 additional tablespoon lecithin. Mix for ten minutes.

**Note: if you are making this in a KitchenAid, halve the recipe and make 2 loaves of bread.**

I made bread for the first time! It was so easy I want to make it again and again.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Raspberry Freezer Jam

I made some yummy freezer Jam the other day. Since I'm off sugar for a while I used 'Agave' instead of sugar. If you don't know about agave you should pick some up. It's the about the consistency of honey and it's 3 times sweeter than sugar so you use a lot less.
In a large bowl mash up
7 cups of Raspberries
3 small Peaches
10 Strawberries
1 cup Agave Nectar
2 tsp Vanilla (I think Vanilla cuts the tartness of the fruit but it's a personal preference, I add Vanilla to everything)
2 packets of Freezer jam Pectin
Follow the directions on the packet, which basically says stir, put in containers and freeze or refrigerate. Then eat it up Yum!
My favorite way to eat it which completely defeats the purpose of using Agave is putting it over Breyers Vanilla Ice Cream. I need to get some plain Yogurt and try it in that too. Plus it's just good on toast. Which reminds me I want to make whole wheat bread too. Shoot I'm hungry now.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Playground Granola Bars

2 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup wheat germ
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup raisins (optional)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup honey
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
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Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Generously grease a 9x13 inch baking pan.
In a large bowl, mix together the oats, brown sugar, wheat germ, cinnamon, flour, raisins and salt. Make a well in the center, and pour in the honey, egg, oil and vanilla. Mix well using your hands. Pat the mixture evenly into the prepared pan.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes in the preheated oven, until the bars begin to turn golden at the edges. Cool for 5 minutes, then cut into bars while still warm. Do not allow the bars to cool completely before cutting, or they will be too hard to cut.
I saw these on Allrecipes.com and want to make them. There are alot of alternative suggestions. I'll make some and let you know what worked for me.

Saturday, April 25, 2009


I finally figured them out! I've made them a few times recently and they've always turned out like the ones on the left. Still yummy but not popped like they should. Then I looked up the recipe on http://www.allrecipes.com/ and read a suggestion that said to put a little dallop of butter in each cup after heating up the pan in the oven for about 5-10 mins. So I put a little drop of butter in the six cups on the left and see what happened. Woo Hoo lovely popped Popovers. I've also tried making the batter as room tempature as possible which may help too, but my little experiment proves that a little butter is the key. So go make them, I've already made them twice this week and will probably make them Sunday morning too since Ryan said he's never had them before.


2 Eggs (room temp if possible)
1 Cup Milk
1 Cup Flour

Pre heat oven to 450* put the muffin tin in while it's heating. Take tin out, spray and add a drop of butter to each cup. Bake at 450 for 20 mins then lower the temp to 350 and bake another 10-15 mins. Eat warm with butter and strawberry jelly or lemon juice and powder sugar.