Friday, December 20, 2013

Soft Gingersnaps

Nothing says Christmas (or Thanksgiving, Jenny) like these favorites. We love that they are soft and chewy!

2 C sugar
1 1/2 C veg oil
2 eggs
1/2 C molasses
4 C flour
4 tsp baking soda
1 T ground ginger
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt

In a mixing bowl combine sugar and oil. Mix well. Add eggs one at a time, beat well after each. Stir in molasses. Combine dry ingredients. Gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. SHape into 3/4 in balls and rolls in sugar. Place 2 in apart. Bake 350 for 10 min. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Curried Vegetable and Chickpea Stew

A sweet friend here in Korea (thanks, AmyLyn!) passed this yummy recipe along to help us get through the long, cold winter... And it's been long and cold! We've had it twice now, and both times it's been a winner. I strayed from the original recipe on a few points, and I hope it's not too confusing. You get to choose your own adventure on this one: stovetop or crockpot, so try to follow along as I take you on a bit of a wild ride :)

As a side note, I suggest pairing this stew with either a crusty bread or... garlic na'an! It definitely has an Indian flair, so the garlic na'an was perfect IMO.

Photo courtesy of
Curried Vegetable and Chickpea Stew
Adapted from Cooking Light Magazine

1 tsp olive oil
1 large onion, diced
**optional: 1 lb. ground pork sausage**
2 all-purpose potatoes, diced (I used 4 Yukon)
1 T salt
1 T curry powder
1 T brown sugar
1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated (abt 1 T)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
2 C chicken or vegetable broth
2 (16-oz) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 head cauliflower, cut into bite-sized florets
1 (28-oz) can diced tomatoes with their juices
1/4 tsp black pepper
10 oz. baby spinach
1 C coconut milk

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat (or heavy pot if you're going to make this entirely on the stovetop). Saute the onion with one teaspoon of salt until translucent, about 5 minutes. (I actually omitted the oil and salt; instead, I cooked a pound of ground pork sausage and then cooked the onion with it). Add the potatoes and another teaspoon of salt, and saute until just translucent around the edges.

Stir in the curry, brown sugar, ginger, garlic and cayenne, and cook until fragrant--about 30 seconds. (This will smell heavenly :) Pour in 1/4 cup of broth and scrape the bottom of the pan to deglaze.

From this point you can follow directions for either the stovetop or crockpot:

Stovetop: Add the rest of the broth, chickpeas, bell peppers, cauliflower, tomatoes and juice, black pepper, and the final teaspoon of salt. Stir to combine. The liquid should come about halfway up the side of the pot. Set on medium-low temp and simmer for 30 minutes, or until cauliflower and potatoes are significantly softer. Stir in the spinach and coconut milk. Cover with lid and cook for one minute to allow spinach to wilt. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.

Crockpot: Pour the onion/potato combination into the bowl of your crockpot. Add the rest of the broth, chickpeas, bell peppers, cauliflower, tomatoes and juice, black pepper, and the final teaspoon of salt. Stir to combine. The liquid should come about halfway up the sides of the crockpot--add more broth if necessary. Cover and cook for 4 hours on high. Stir in the spinach and coconut milk. Cover with lid and cook for one minute to allow spinach to wilt. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.

**Serve on its own (as a stew with bread as mentioned above), or over couscous, Israeli couscous, or orzo pasta. Enjoy!

Chicken Tikka Masala

Everything here in Seoul is extremely expensive. We are lucky to have military privileges at the Commissary on post here (within walking distance from our house, no less!), and I am really grateful for that. But sometimes you just want to eat something that someone ELSE made, don't you??? There's a wonderful Indian restaurant that Jeremy introduced me to soon after we moved here, but unless you get their special lunch deal, it's hard to justify spending $35 on a small bowl of Chicken Tikka Masala--and that doesn't include rice. So I set out to figure out how to make my own :) The best one I've had yet comes from Ree over at the Pioneer Woman, bless her sweet heart. I could hug that gal... Anyway, here's the link to it. I can't say it (or photo-document it) any better than she can!

I wasn't a huge fan of the turmeric rice she (or Pastor Ryan) made. My suggestion would be to just make some steamed basmati rice, throw in the peas at the end, and serve it with some cauliflower on the side. I saute the florets in a little bit of oil, add some cumin seeds if you have them (and make sure the oil is hot enough so they pop and infuse the oil with their fragrance--amazing!). Then sprinkle a little turmeric on top to give the cauliflower that authentic (and yet SOOO fake-looking) Indian color, and put the top on for a few minutes to let them soften. If you need to add water, go ahead :) Enjoy!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Beet and Bean Salad

So we are both suckers for beets... so are my three girls (2, 5, & 8). Maybe you love them too! We just discovered this salad and love it... Karen, pesto, bacon and beets, can you go wrong??

1 16 oz jar of beets
1 can (15oz) cannellini beans (drained and rinsed)
1/4 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped red onion
4 Cups romaince lettuce/spinach
1/2 C pesto
1/4 C cooked and crumbled bacon (we use turkey bacon, works great)
1/4 tsp black pepper

Drain beets, reserving half the juice. In large bowl, combine beans, celery and onion. Add salad blend and toss gently. Add beets. In a small saucepan, cook and strir beet liquid, pesto, bacon bit, and pepper over medium heat until hot, 1 to 2 min. Add to salad, toss gently. Serve immediately.
variation: I think throwing in some kind of pasta (bowtie, rotini, etc) would be wonderful too!

Coconut Shrimp Curry

Okay sis... i think this has all your favorite ingredients... cilantro, shrimp, ginger, coconut milk. I think I found a winner. Let me know if you guys like it!! Adapted from

1 1/2 lbs large or extra large shrimp, peeled and deveined

Shrimp marinade:
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 T fresh lemon juice

Combine in a plastic bag and then add shrimp. Refrigerate for 15-20 minutes.

For sauce:
1 T canola oil
1 med red or yellow onion
3/4 C small bits of cauliflower
3/4 C diced red pepper
1 tsp pepper
1 T minced fresh giner
1 T kosher salt
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can coconut milk
1 C fresh cilantro

In a medium sized pot, heat oil over medium heat until hot. Add onion and cook for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the pepper, ginger, salt, garlic, coriander, turmeric, and curry powder. Continue cooking over medium heat , stirring often, until the mixture is very fragrant and teh onion is soft adn translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Add diced toms, cauliflower, and red pepper, stir til combined scraping browned bits from teh bottom, for about a minute. Increase the heat to med-high and simmer for 5-10 minutes, stirring often. Add the coconut milk, stirring to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil and add shrimp plus the marinade. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook intil the shrimp are curled, lightly pink and cooked through, about 2-4 minutes. Stir in cilantro. Serve over hot rice... this is sure to become a family favorite!!