Thai Red Curry Deviled Eggs

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What to do with all those colored Easter eggs? Make them into spicy bites of wow! I brought these to a housewarming party this weekend and they disappeared faster than anything else on that table. I’ve read about wasabi deviled eggs, and since I didn’t have any wasabi but had been on a kick with the Thai Curry lately (soup postings to come soon), I decided to try this instead. It worked! And so easy! Make extras…

Thai Red Curry Deviled Eggs

Boil and peel the eggs. Halve and scoop out the yolks into a medium sized bowl. Mix 2 T of the curry paste with the yolks, along with the mayonnaise.

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Mix well to get rid of as many lumpy parts as you can. I like to use a fork. Mix in the scallions and a sprinkle of salt. Then scoop the mix into the egg whites, carefully with a teaspoon or if you are really into it use a piping bag. Then top with crushed mustard peas. I bet you eat at least 2 or 3 of them before they get to the party!

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You can usually find these at any Asian market. I put them in a baggie and smashed them up with the base of a wine bottle.

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If you want to make them even more spicy, try adding some Thai chili peppers, finely cut up, into the yolk mixture. Zowie!

 

Wilted Spring (Get-Over-Here) Salad with Shrimp

It’s the last day of February and this winter is getting long and tiresome. So what better meal to fix than a “pretend it’s spring” salad? Yes, please. Spring is around the corner and I can smell it, so why not make your kitchen smell like it too? Yes, please. I’d eat this every day if it brought a thaw around faster. Like there is Magic in Here

Wilted Spring Salad

Wilted Spring Salad

Wilted Spring Salad with Shrimp

  • spring salad mix or baby romaine mix
  • yellow peppers
  • sugar snap peas
  • precooked shrimp

Balsamic Dressing

  • 1/4 C balsamic vinegar
  • 3/4 C olive oil
  • 1/4 C red wine vinegar
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon
  • pepper and salt to taste

Stir fry your peppers and pea pods for 5 minutes in a hot pan with 1T olive oil. No need to measure anything, just cook up however much you feel like eating.

While that is cooking you can prepare the dressing. Whisk it together with some lemon juice. This will keep in your refrigerator nicely, just let it get to room temperature before serving and shake it up or whisk it again to freshen it up.

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Add the shrimp and cook for 2-3 minutes on medium high heat – you don’t want to overcook these as they will get tough fast.

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Next add your salad mix and stir it under the shrimp and veggie mix to get it wilted quickly. This should only take a minute or two.

Slide it into a bowl and toss with the vinaigrette and serve! Viva la spring!

 

Salted Caramel Chai-tini

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I did just do this! I am not really a dessert drink fan, for the most part, but this is dangerously good! You can use any instant chai tea mix that you like. I used Trader Joe’s Salted Caramel Chai Tea mix that I had leftover from the holidays, but I don’t think they offer it in their stores anymore (good thing I bought 3 of them!). I don’t think my stash is going to last long now that I discovered this little doozie of a drink…and what better than a Mancini tune to set the mood.

Ingredients

  • Chai Tea
  • Vodka
  • Ice

Prepare the instant chai tea as noted on the package with 2 oz boiling water, just enough to liquify the powder. Add chilled water, or milk if you prefer, and ice. Swirl it around in a cocktail shaker and pour into your mouth, I mean into a martini glass. There you go…breakfast of champions!

Pesto Pizza with Sun Dried Tomatoes, Artichoke Hearts and Pancetta

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Eat your heart out all you pizza joints that think you are special! It’s so easy to make your own pizza. I am not going to say that I’m above a good ol’ frozen pepperoni pizza either, but once in awhile it’s fun to make it yourself. It’s also a lot healthier. You can find pizza crust pre-made pretty easily these days, and I decided to use Archer Farms thin crust round style that you can get at Target. I really liked how thin and crispy it turned out, and also how it had enough flavor but wasn’t starchy like some crusts. I tried the whole wheat square shaped pizza crust, again from Archer Farms, and didn’t think it held up as well as the white in terms of crispiness and texture. Most of the other ingredients I used for this I found at Trader Joe’s.

I also made my own pesto, which I have kept since summer in the freezer. I froze it in batches, without the parmesan so it wouldn’t get bitter. This is so great in the middle of winter to have on hand! The recipe for pesto is at the bottom of this posting. You can also find pre-made pesto just about anywhere. Buy the good stuff in the refrigerated section if you can.

Pesto Pizza with Sun Dried Tomatoes, Artichoke Hearts and Pancetta

Pizza Crust
Sun Dried Tomatoes in Oil
Artichoke Hearts (whole, canned)
Pancetta (cubed into 1/4″ pieces)
Mozzarella (grated)
Parmesan (grated)

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Start by frying the cubed pancetta in a pan.

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While that is cooking, spread a nice layer of pesto on your pizza crust. Top the pizza with sun dried tomatoes (I liked to let some of the oil from these drip all over the pizza). When the pancetta is done, pat dry with paper towels.

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Crumble the artichoke hearts and spread evenly all over the pizza and then add the cooked pancetta. If you really like garlic, finely chop a few cloves and sprinkle on top. I figured there was enough garlic in the pesto to omit this step, and then afterwards I thought it could have used more, but that is up to you.

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Top with the grated cheeses and bake at 350 degrees on a cookie sheet or pizza stone.

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Basil Pesto

2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup pine nuts
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino or Parmesan cheese

Mix everything in a blender, adding the olive oil gradually while blending. OMIT the cheese if you are going to freeze this. You can freeze in small to medium sized tupperware containers, or even in ice cube trays depending on how you plan to use it. I made 4 times this recipe so you can make as much or little as you like, based on how much basil you have. Enjoy all winter long!

Cranberry Almond Chicken

I had some leftover cranberries from the holidays and wanted to do something with them. This recipe was so easy and the tartness of the cranberry sauce mixed with the brown sugar and orange peel, and the slight spice of cayenne, really made this something that will be a go-to recipe in my kitchen. Sometimes you just want an easy dinner, and this sauce jazzes it up just enough to make it seem like a gourmet meal. And no, I’m not going to link the obvious Cranberries song for this one…this recipe makes me feel like dancing!
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    Ingredients

3 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (4 ounces each)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 cup butter
1/2 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tsp red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon grated orange peel
1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted

Wash the chicken and cut off any extra nastiness like fat or tendons. I am famous for massacring my poultry. We won’t get into what I do to eggs…
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…so then pat dry and coat in mixture of flour, salt and cayenne.
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Pan fry in the butter until golden brown, on medium low heat. You want it to cook thoroughly yet still retain the juices. I like to cover it for part of the cooking.

Remove from heat and keep it covered so it stays warm.
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Meanwhile, in the same pan you just used, add the remaining ingredients (minus the almonds) and simmer on low heat until it gets thicker. I liked to wait a bit and then smash the cranberries in the pan with a potato masher (not kidding) so that the juices can fully add to the sauce. Watch out for exploding berries, so you might want to wear an apron.

Once the sauce is thickened, pour over your chicken breasts and top with slivered almonds. I paired this with steamed green beans, which was mighty tasty. This one is so easy you can start drinking your wine before it’s done…glug glug. Enjoy!

Turkey and Sweet Potato Soup

I’m not sure if anyone has turkey leftover from Thanksgiving anymore, but this is a great recipe to use the rest of it up. You can also substitute chicken meat if you like. This was one of the easiest soups I’ve made, only taking an hour to whip up as I used pre-made broth. I love having soup in the winter, and especially having extras in the fridge for later. Here’s a little song by the Soupy Sales Band doing a rendition of Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town, from the Wrecking Crew circa 1963. Yes, it’s that Soupy Sales. I try to add songs that are conceptually appropriate to these here blog posts. Enjoy!

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Turkey and Sweet Potato Soup

4 cloves garlic (chopped)
1 small yellow onion (chopped)
4 stalks celery
5-6 carrots (peeled and sliced – I used tri-color carrots)
1 large sweet potato (peeled and cubed)
1.5 C shredded, cooked turkey (or chicken)
1 box of chicken broth (organic if you can)
1 small box of tomato bisque (cheating!)

Heat 1 T of olive oil in a soup pot and add the garlic and onion. Stir frequently so the garlic doesn’t burn and become bitter.

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Add sweet potatoes and stir, covering for 5 minutes. Meanwhile cut up your carrots and celery to prep for the next steps.

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Then add the carrots and cook for 5 more minutes.

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Next add the celery and chicken broth and simmer on medium high heat, until the potatoes and carrots are getting soft.

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Add your turkey meat, pre-cooked, and the box of tomato bisque and let it come to a rolling simmer.

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This tomato bisque was something I bought at Whole Foods and did not like at all on it’s own. It comes in handy to add some weight and flavor to this broth though!
Cook until the celery is almost dissolved but before the potatoes and carrots are mush, and serve. Leftover soup is so handy to have around! I like to freeze some for later too.

Turkey, Pork and Fennel Meatballs

Well what to do with all these leftovers? I had some leftover pork sausage, tons of turkey and a fennel bulb so I decided to make them into some Thanksgiving leftover meatballs. Meatballs can be pretty forgiving. If you have more pork than turkey you can change them up, and add extra ingredients when needed to adjust to your leftovers. Meatballs and moondust!

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Ingredients

  • 1/4 # ground pork
  • 1/3 # leftover turkey, finely chopped
  • 1 fennel bulb, chopped
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 apple, cored/peeled/chopped
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 c panko bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp fennel seed
  • Salt and pepper to taste

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In a frying pan coated with olive oil, cook the fennel bulb, onion, apple and garlic until it looks clear and soft. Add salt and pepper to taste.

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In a separate bowl mix the pork, turkey, egg, panko and fennel seed. Mix throroughly.

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Add the cooked ingredients and mix well.

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Form into 2″ meatballs and fry in a pan, turning often to brown each side. I cooked these for about 12-15 minutes in the pan, leaving the cover on towards the end so as not to dry them out. I served these aside a field green salad with blue cheese, apple, dried cranberries and a balsamic dressing. So tasty!

Fall French 75

I recently read about a version of the French 75, and decided to do my own play on the cocktail while using the recipe as a base reference. For a party I was throwing I made a simple syrup with cranberries and fresh sage. This alone made my kitchen smell like an incredible fall day. Here’s a song for you to ecoutez while your cranberries are boiling, a crappy sounding version of one of my favorite Brigitte Bardot songs, Tu Veus ous Tu Veus Pas.

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Fall French 75

  • 2 oz Gin
  • 1 oz Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice
  • 1/2 oz Cassis
  • 1 1/2 oz Cranberry Sage Syrup
  • 2 oz Prosecco

In a shaker of ice, pour the gin, lime juice, cassis and cranberry syrup. Shake well and pour into a small glass. Top with Prosecco. Drink and repeat!

Cranberry Sage Syrup

  • 2 C Water
  • 2 C Sugar
  • 2 C Fresh Cranberries, chopped in half
  • 1 Bunch of Fresh Sage, chopped

Boil above ingredients in a pan until the sugar is dissolved. Let cool and store in the refrigerator until it’s time to make drinks! Should last up to 2 weeks, stored chilled. Add a shot of vodka to it and it will last another month, or until it crystallizes and loses it’s flavor.

 

Cranberry Sage Corn Muffins

An easy make-ahead Thanksgiving side dish is always corn muffins, and this recipe adds a little extra seasonal goodness to them. I also think these will be great for breakfast! Or with several glasses of wine… Come on pilgrim!
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Cranberry Sage Corn Muffins

      • 1 C all-purpose flour
      • 3/4 C cornmeal
      • 1/3 C sugar
      • 2 tsp baking powder
      • 1/4   tsp  salt
      • 1 beaten egg
      • 3/4  C buttermilk
      • 1/4  C cooking oil
      • 1/2 tsp finely shredded lemon peel
      • 1 C coarsely chopped fresh cranberries
      • 2 T sugar
      • 2 tsp finely chopped fresh sage
      • 1/4 C finely chopped walnuts

Line muffin tin with paper baking cups. Set muffin cups aside.

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In a medium mixing bowl combine flour, cornmeal, the 1/3 cup sugar, baking powder, and salt. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. In a small mixing bowl combine egg, buttermilk, cooking oil, and lemon peel.

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Add egg mixture all at once to dry ingredients. Stir just until moistened (batter should be lumpy).

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In another small mixing bowl combine cranberries and the 2 tablespoons sugar. Finely chop several sage leaves.

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Fold cranberries, sage and walnuts into muffin batter. Spoon batter into muffin cups, filling each 2/3 full.

Bake in a 400 degree F oven about 20 minutes or until golden. Remove muffins from muffin cups. Cool slightly on a wire rack. Serve warm. Makes 12 servings.

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Brussels Sprouts

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These are so easy and a great side dish for your Thanksgiving turkey! I posted about Brussels before, almost exactly one year ago in my blog post for Brussels Sprouts, Pancetta and Carmelized L’oignons, and although similar, these are different enough to deserve their own post. These are a bit easier and equally tasty. One holiday perk is you don’t have to sacrifice precious oven space for these. They will cook fast, even after your bird is out of the oven and waiting to be carved.

  • 1 Lb bag of Brussels Sprouts (washed and quartered, stem trimmed)
  • 1/2 Red Onion (thinly sliced)
  • 2 T Olive Oil
  • 1 T Lemon Juice
  • 1/4 C Finely Shredded Parmesan
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Start heating your oil with the red onion, to flavor the oil. Add the brussels sprouts and pan fry on medium high heat, stirring often so you don’t burn them but leaving them cook long enough between stirring so they brown up. You want them to turn bright green, but be careful so they don’t get mushy. Add salt and pepper and continue to stir once every 3-4 minutes. I think I cooked mine for 15 minutes total.

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Add lemon juice when they are already browned up and looking done. Remove from heat, place in a serving dish and garnish with the shredded parm. YUM! This is dinner in my book…of course with a glass of Malbec. Dig in to these tender and wonderful little mini cabbages!