Tag Archives: kid-friendly
6/5/13

Deep Dish Cornmeal Pizza topped with Smoked Mozzarella, Chicken Sausage, Corn and Balsamic Caramelized Onions

Deep Dish Cornmeal Pizza topped with Smoked Mozzarella, Chicken Sausage, Corn and Balsamic Caramelized Onions

This weekend I set out to recreate our all time favorite pizza – the Corn Pizza from Dove Vivi in Portland. It might not sound special, but this is no ordinary pizza. It’s a deep dish cornmeal pizza piled high with an unusual variety of homemade toppings: smoked mozzarella, sausage, corn, and balsamic caramelized onions. There’s no tomato sauce on this pizza, but there’s so much going on in every bite that you honestly don’t miss it.

Deep Dish Cornmeal Pizza topped with Smoked Mozzarella, Chicken Sausage, Corn and Balsamic Caramelized Onions

So anyway, I was attempting to recreate the goodness that is this pizza. I prepped the dough and set it aside to rise. And because I had a few minutes to spare, I flipped on the TV. I was excited to stumble upon The Cooking Channel; we normally don’t have access to it. Can you guess what was on? A special about pizza. And the show hosts were in Portland. And what restaurant did they highlight? Dove Vivi!
 
But wait! It gets even stranger. Guess what pizza they showcased? THE CORN PIZZA! Oh man, sometimes life is funny like that. 
 
5/12/13

Chicken Salad in an Avocado Bowl

chicken salad in an avocado bowl

My paternal grandmother was an artist and an amazing cook. One of my favorite things she served was chicken salad. But, this was no ordinary chicken salad. She made it with a ton of goodies mixed in – like fruit, veggies and nuts. She’d serve it with a green salad as well as different types of bread and crackers. It was a perfect family style meal because there was something for everyone. Even at a young age, I remember thinking that I would make this dish when I was grown up.

chicken saladchicken salad in an avocado bowl

I’m not sure if I’m a grown up or not yet, but I love re-creating her chicken salad recipe. I often modify it depending on what’s in our fridge and cabinets. And, like my grandma, I enjoy experimenting with different ways to serve the salad.

Currently I’ve been neglecting the bread completely and instead scoop the chicken salad into an avocado. Although I’m a total carb-o-holic, I don’t miss the bread at all in this dish. There is so much going on – different textures and flavors – but it’s protein-packed and therefore super filling at the same time. A win, win, in my book.

chicken salad in an avocado bowl

Next time you have leftover chicken at dinner, whip up some chicken salad in an avocado bowl. Wrap it up and tomorrow’s lunch is all set, and guaranteed to be soggy-free (is there anything worse than soggy sandwich bread? Ugh.) Tested and approved in our household.

chicken salad in an avocado

 

Chicken Salad in an Avocado Bowl
Serves 4

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Ingredients
1 cooked chicken breast (or use canned chicken or tuna)
1 celery stock, diced
1/2 diced apple
1/4 cup diced dried apricots
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/4 cup diced red onion
2 T diced green onion
1/4 cup mayonaise
Salt + pepper
2 ripe avocados

Instructions
Cube chicken breast into small pieces, and toss in a bowl along with celery, apple, dried apricots, almonds, and red and green onion. Mix in the mayo until covered evenly, and add salt and pepper to taste.
Cut both avocados in half length wise and remove pit. Line avocado halves on a plate and use an ice cream scoop to spoon a large scoop of chicken salad onto each avocado half. Serve cold.

Margaritas in the Rain http://margaritasintherain.com/

 

4/1/13

Mini Rosemary Cornbread Muffins

Mini Rosemary Cornbread Muffins

I have this theory that bite-sized treats don’t count. Take these mini cornbread muffins, for instance. This recipe is packed with chunks of corn, honey that helps caramelize the edges, and is topped with springs of rosemary for an earthy flavor. It is – dare I say it – the best cornbread muffin you will ever eat. And it doesn’t count! Because it’s mini.

Mini Rosemary Cornbread Muffins

Seriously though, my father-in-law will eat a whole tray of these – and he doesn’t even like cornbread. I think that says a lot. Try these mini cornbread treats with soup, chili or a salad. Or just on their own 🙂

Mini Rosemary Cornbread Muffins
Mini Rosemary Cornbread Muffins

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Ingredients
1/2 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup white sugar
1/4 cup honey
2 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup flour
3/4 cup cornmeal
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
2 springs of rosemary

Instructions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a mini muffin tray (note: lining will prevent the caramelizing). In a large bowl, cream together butter, sugar, honey, eggs and salt. Mix in flour, cornmeal and baking powder. Blend thoroughly. Stir in milk and corn. Fill each muffin tray up 3/4 full with batter. Top with a few rosemary leaves. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center of muffin comes out clean.

Adapted from http://allrecipes.com//Recipe/cornbread-muffins-i/Detail.aspx
Adapted from http://allrecipes.com//Recipe/cornbread-muffins-i/Detail.aspx
Margaritas in the Rain http://margaritasintherain.com/

 

3/21/13

Haupia Cups with Toasted Coconut

Coconut Haupia Cups with Toasted Coconut

If you’re not familiar with haupia, it’s a traditional Hawaiian coconut dessert; like pudding but slightly thicker. It’s usually served at luaus, so odds are you’ve tried it if you’ve ever been to one. Most people love it – including myself. But really, what’s not to love about coconut pudding?

Coconut Haupia Cups with Toasted Coconut

It’s no surprise that I love tropical flavors – and cook with them often. But for some strange reason, I had never made haupia, up until recently. And I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was. The most difficult part of the process is waiting to let the hot pudding set in the fridge.

Coconut Haupia Cups with Toasted Coconut

Traditionally this dessert sets in a large baking dish and is cut into squares. But (since my baking dish was dirty) I decided to make individual cups. And I’m always looking for an excuse to use toasted coconut, so of course I made some to top it with.

So ono.

Coconut Haupia Cups with Toasted Coconut
 
Haupia Cups with Toasted Coconut
Serves 8

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Ingredients
1 1/2 cups coconut milk
2 cups water
1 1/4 cup sugar
2 T unsalted butter
1 1/4 cup cornstarch
1 cup water
1 heaping cup of coconut flakes

Instructions
In a large pot, bring the coconut milk, water, sugar and butter to a boil. In a separate bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and water. When the coconut milk mixture comes to a boil, whisk in the starch mixture. Whisk until smooth. Cook on low heat until it boils. Immediately pour into cups. Chill for at least 3 hours.
While pudding is chilling, spread coconut flakes over baking sheet and broil for several minutes, mixing often, until browned. Scoop onto pudding cups when ready.

Margaritas in the Rain http://margaritasintherain.com/

Adapted from Sam Choy’s Haupia Recipe

 

3/19/13

Apple Butter Thumbprint Cookies (Gluten Free AND Vegan!)

I think I may be the only person in Portland without dietary restrictions. I swear, everyone here is either vegetarian or flexitarian or gluten intolerant… it’s like an episode of Portlandia. But real life.

I recently made dessert for a get-together where I knew there would be vegan and gluten-free eaters. Now, I make tons of recipes that are gluten free. Or vegan. But not both – and I figured out why when I was trying to decide what to bring to the party. It’s hard to find a good recipe that follows both restrictions! Luckily I found a yummy-looking thumbprint cookie recipe after some intense google searching, and put my own twist on it – including adding the homemade apple butter that I can’t get enough of.

And seriously, you wouldn’t have known these treats were vegan or gluten free! They were a huge hit, and I can’t wait to make them again with different jam and butter flavors.

Gluten Free Vegan Apple Butter Thumbprint Cookies
Gluten Free Vegan Apple Butter Thumbprint Cookies
Gluten Free Vegan Apple Butter Thumbprint Cookies
Gluten Free + Vegan Apple Butter Thumbprint Cookies

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Ingredients
2 1/2 cups Arrowhead Gluten-free all purpose baking mix
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp course salt
1 cup vegetable shortening
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
1 T vanilla extract
1 T agave nectar
2 T Bob’s Redmill egg replacer mixed with 6 T warm water until frothy (should be equivalent of 2 eggs)
3-5 T vanilla almond milk (can replace with soy or whatever you have on hand)
About 1 cup of apple butter for filling

Instructions
Whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. Beat in shortening, sugar, vanilla, agave and egg replacer. Add in almond milk as needed to make dough smooth. Cover dough and let chill for 1 hour. In the meantime, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat oven to 350F. Once dough is chilled, roll small balls of dough (approx 1 heaping T) and place on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Gently press down on the ball with your thumb to form an indent, and dollop your apple butter – or jam of any kind – into the indent. Bake for 20-23 minutes until cookies are golden. Cool on a wire rack.

Margaritas in the Rain http://margaritasintherain.com/

Recipe adapted from the Gluten-Free Goddess’ Thumbprint Cookies with Buckwheat Flour and Brown Sugar.

12/26/12

Light Frozen Lime Yogurt Pie

Light Frozen Lime Yogurt Pie

Is anyone else stuffed?

I really overdid it this season. I started at Thanksgiving and didn’t look back. From cocktails to cakes, I thoroughly enjoyed the holidays. But, it’s time to start the New Year smarter.  So – let’s lighten things up, shall we?

 
Light Frozen Lime Yogurt Pie

I don’t think there’s ANYTHING wrong with having a sweet tooth. These light and healthy lime pies satisfy even the meanest dessert craving. They’re sorta like ice cream cake – but made with yogurt. And pie crust. And… well, maybe that was a bad comparison.

Let’s just say, it’s the perfect post-holiday dessert.

As a side note, I typically prefer to make graham cracker crust from scratch ­– but couldn’t resist the ease of these pre-maid mini crusts I found at the supermarket. If you can’t find them in your local grocery store, simply buy a box of graham cracker crumbs and follow the instructions on the back of a box.

Happy Holidays!

Light Frozen Lime Yogurt Pie
Light Frozen Lime Yogurt Pie
Serves 4

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Ingredients
2 cups of lime yogurt (2 6 oz cups)
8 oz carton, heavy whipping cream
2 limes
4 mini graham cracker pie crusts

Instructions
Fill mini graham cracker crusts with ½ cup yogurt each. Wrap pies in plastic wrap and freeze at least 3 hours, until semi-frozen. If frozen too long, leave on the counter to defrost for several minutes so yogurt is not rock hard when you’re ready to serve. In the meantime, whip the cream in large bowl with a until it peaks. Add 1 T sugar if desired – I opted to leave out in the interest of having a lighter dessert. Pipe onto pies. Zest lime onto whipped cream. Enjoy while semi-frozen.

Margaritas in the Rain http://margaritasintherain.com/

 

10/24/12

Healthy Homemade Sushi

I love sushi.

Healthy homemade sushi

There are several great Japanese restaurants in our neighborhood, but we usually opt to make sushi at home. Believe me, it can still make for a steller date night.

We made sushi all the time growing up – it was sorta our “go to” meal. My parents often substituted in healthy options like brown rice and salmon. We would all help to chop the ingredients, and then put everything out in bowls and platters on the counter. And then, everyone served themselves and chowed down.It may not be fancy, but it’s a quick, easy, and healthy meal idea that we all loved. And, clearly still love.

healthy homemade sushi

My favorite part? The seasoned Korean-style nori (seaweed) sheets. Once you load them with all the fixin’s, there is no room for rolling. You’ve got to eat these puppies like tacos. 

Ooh, and if you’re looking to go more date night and less kid-friendly, pair this recipe with some chilled Sparkling Sake from Trader Joes. 

healthy homemade sushi
 
Easy Homemade Sushi

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Ingredients
1 package seasoned nori
Wasabi
Soy sauce
2 cups brown rice, cooked
Cucumber, sliced into sticks
Avocado, sliced into sticks
Canned salmon

Instructions
Place approx. 1 tablespoon of rice on nori. Pack down, and add toppings – salmon, avocado, cucumber. Sprinkle with soy sauce and spread a small amount of wasabi for spice.Pick up like a taco and enjoy!

Margaritas in the Rain http://margaritasintherain.com/