Like many of you, I've been glued to the Olympics for the past week. I love the watching the competitions but I've also been drawn to the interviews with the athletes. Their stories are inspiring and inspirational. "Do what you love" - seems to be the common theme among these elite athletes.
So I'm going to take some advice from these Olympic competitors and get to doing what I love - cooking.
I whipped up some coconut shrimp and chicken for our Olympic viewing party tonight and they were so very good. The coconut shrimp was INCREDIBLE and the chicken wasn't too shabby either. I would give this recipe a gold medal.
Coconut Chicken and Shrimp
1 cup flour
1 cup lime flavored seltzer
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 1/4 cups sweetened coconut
1 1/4 cups panko
1 pound shrimp
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Heat oil in skillet. Fry a few pieces at a time, until golden brown. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
I served my coconut shrimp and chicken over brown rice.
I don't fry food very often so these coconut shrimp and chicken were a real treat. I am sure that I could have baked these in the oven but I just love the golden color and crunchy coating on these beautiful little morsels. If you're a fan of coconut shrimp - you absolutely need to try this recipe. You will NOT regret it.
I've never been a huge fan of french toast. I like the flavor but I can't get over the soft/soggy/mushy texture. It seems that no matter how long I fry or bake my french toast, I couldn't seem to get the outside to a nice crispy consistency.
I've tried adjusting my french toast making process to improve the crispiness of my french toast. I've experimented with dipping the bread for only a couple seconds instead of saturating it with the egg mixture but the results were still the same - a soft and unappealing french toast. I've even tried putting it under the broiler for a few seconds to crisp it up and only achieved marginal results.
Thanks to a couple of food magazines and an extra long flight to California, I think I've finally stumbled on the cure for soggy french toast - cereal. Cornflakes to be more specific. A generous coating of crushed cornflake cereal combined with some oats and almonds is exactly what I was looking for to take my french toast from soggy to crispy and crunchy.
Crunchy French Toast
1/3 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
pinch of salt
1 cup cornflakes
1/2 cup old fashioned oats
1/4 cup sliced almonds
8 slices whole wheat bread
Place toast on hot griddle coated with cooking spray and cook 3-4 minutes on each side.
Serve with syrup.
This recipe comes together quick enough to make for a weekday breakfast but it would also be a great addition to a weekend brunch. A little bit of yogurt and some fresh fruit is all you really need to complete this delicious meal.
New York City and Chicago are the pizza capitols of this country - and I was fortunate enough to grow up smack dab in the middle of them. There is no doubt that the city of Cleveland benefitted from and was influenced by pizza makers in both cities. In my humble opinion, Cleveland boasts some pretty fantastic pizza.
Despite all of the incredible pizzerias, my favorite pizza to eat when I was growing up was my mom's homemade pizza. My mom was by far the best pizza maker in town. She always baked her pizza on a rectangle cookie sheet and cut it into slices with kitchen scissors. (The true Italian way. LOL)
I will never be able to make pizza like my mom, but I do like to carry on the tradition of making homemade pizza for my family. We all like homemade pizza night. Everyone gets involved in the process: rolling dough, slicing toppings, sprinkling cheese, spreading sauce. Most of the time we end up with a half and half pizza.
I created this pizza to be just a little bit healthier than my usual thin crust pizza. A little parsley, whole wheat flour and tomato juice really pumps up the flavor of the crust. I loved the added nutrients in the dough but more importantly, we all loved the flavor of this pizza so much that the three of us ate the entire pie for dinner.
Veggie Pizza with Herbed Tomato Crust
1/2 cup whole wheat flour Toppings
1 1/2 teaspoon fresh parsley 8 ounce can pizza sauce
1 1/2 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped 1 bell pepper, chopped
1 teaspoon active dry yeast 1 cup sliced mushrooms
1/2 teaspoon sugar 1 red onion, sliced thin
1/4 teaspoon salt 1 cup shredded mozzarella
1/4 teaspoon pepper crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup tomato juice
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 1/2 - 1 3/4 cups flour
Arrange toppings over sauce and sprinkle with cheese.
Bake 25-30 minutes at 400. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes.
My mom still makes homemade pizza for us when we go to her house for a visit. She is STILL the best pizza maker in town. My pizza will never compare to hers so I don't even try to make her version. This is a pretty tasty homemade pizza though - you really need to give it a try.
Merry Christmas Eve!!
The busyness of the Christmas season has finally started to subside for me - the cookies have been decorated, the cakes delivered and the meals prepped. I feel like I finally have time to take a deep breath and soak in all that the season has to offer.
I baked a sweet Christmas bread this week to take to a Christmas dinner with friends. It was really delicious and the powdered sugar made it looked like it had been covered in snow. I don't quite have the twisting technique down yet but that just means that I'll have to make it more often to perfect it.
Repeat 2 more times. Finish with a dough circle. Place a 2 1/2" circle in center of dough. Cut 16 slices to the center of glass.
Twist each triangle two times - alternating directions. Cover and let rise 1 hour.
Bake 18 minutes at 375.
Dust with powdered sugar.
The original recipe called for a raspberry jam filling but I thought that nutella would make an equally good bread. (And I had a half jar of nutella that I had to use up.) I would like to try this bread again with the raspberry. And maybe a lemon version?
I hope that you all have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
I'm such a big fan of holiday parties. I love seeing everyone in their Christmas sweaters, I love the beautiful and colorful decorations that adorn the homes of friends and I LOVE Christmas party food. Ben and I have been fortunate enough to be invited to some of the most wonderful parties with the most incredible party food this year. Don't get me wrong - the parties are more about spending time with family and friends than it is about the food but the large displays of Christmas delicacies makes the party (and the season) even sweeter.
Anyone else wish that they could literally eat one of everything on the table when they go to a Christmas party? I'm the girl who piles her plate so high that I have to use 2 hands to keep the food from falling off onto the floor. I may take only one bite of each but I feel like I've failed if I don't at least taste everything on the table. LOL
With that being said - I've tried to downsize my Christmas treats this year. I'm making everything bite sized so that fellow over-achieving eaters like myself can sample more food. These Strawberry Tartlets really pack a punch into one little bite.
1/3 cup almond meal
8 graham crackers
2 Tablespoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1 Tablespoon butter, melted
8 ounces cream cheese
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup plain 2% Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups sliced strawberries
Arrange strawberries slices over filling and garnish with mint leaves.
Downsizing this recipe to make bite size treats was a great idea. (Until I realized that I had popped 3 of these little treats into my mouth without a second thought.) LOL. I do love the red and green combination on these little tartlets for Christmas but I think I want to try it with raspberries or blueberries this summer. These little tartlets would make a great little treat - any time of year.
Like my page on facebook.
Follow me on Instagram