Decorating Easter eggs with scarves and turmeric

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Search pinterest “how to dye easter eggs with silk ties” and you’ll get a ton of results on this fun decorating idea.  I didn’t have silk ties but, I found some old scarves and put the method to the test.  It worked like a charm!  I also used the simple method of using a rubber band on eggs and dyeing them in turmeric.  It was amazing the deep yellow color I got just out of 20 minutes of soaking.  Will definitely use this technique again, and plan ahead with a trip to the thrift store searching for silk ties!

365 Project: Jar cozies

I needed a way to protect hands when serving hot, drinkable soup in these jelly jars so I took fabric scraps to make these jar cozies. For my women’s yoga retreat I needed 16 bowls, which I didn’t have, so coming up with this alternative cups makes serving up the soup so much more fun! And, I was so happy to re-purpose and recycle items in my house!
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365 Project: Easy, yummy vegan chocolate mousse recipe

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Yummy vegan chocolate mousse
1-4 servings
This recipe is vegan, gluten-free, and sugar-free

2 tablespoons organic coconut oil
1/4-1/2 cup organic almond or coconut or almond/coconut milk
1/4 cup organic cocoa powder
1 organic avocado in big chunks
1 organic banana in big chunks
OPTIONAL: 1 tablespoon chopped nuts (almonds, peanuts, or pecans)

In this order,  put cocoa powder, coconut oil, then milk in a blender/vita mix. (NOTE: For a lighter mousse, add 1/2 cup milk, for denser mousse, add 1/4 cup milk.) Start on low to mix in the cocoa powder then blend on high until frothy and the coconut oil is liquified. Scrape down sides.  Add the avocado and banana. Blend until creamy.  Scrape down the sides then blend again.  Serve this mousse in ramekins for one serving or up to four dessert shots. Sprinkle with chopped nuts. Enjoy this guilt-free mousse, which in our family can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner!

VARIATIONS:

  • Add sweetener as desired such as honey, agave, or stevia.  But, try it as is…you may be surprised how good it is without any sweetener at all!
  • Add 1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter to create a slightly stiffer yet still creamy consistency. It also adds a slightly salty/sweet taste.
  • Serve with a dollop of your favorite whipped cream to gussy it up. 😉

365 Project – 207: Sushi at home for a LOT less! (August 6, 2013)

My daughter requested california rolls for dinner but, I wasn’t in the mood to eat out or to pay for sushi tonight. So, for less than a dollar per roll I made california rolls at home with cucumber, avocado, and surimi (fresh from Anacortes, WA). I had forgotten how easy and inexpensive it is to make sushi! My rolls aren’t perfect but, they were pretty enough,  yummy, and budget-friendly! 🙂

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365 Project – 135: Sunny side up – yum or yuk? (May 15, 2013)

I’m a sucker for a runny egg yolk.  This is my typical breakfast, two slices of Udi’s gluten-free toast topped with local farm fresh sunny side up eggs, sprinkled with tumeric (more for the anti-inflammatory properties than for flavor.)  But, for some, runny egg yolks are disgusting.  Are you a fan of that rich, golden, runny yolk?  Yum or yuk??

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365 Project – 128: Kalbi beef rib marinade (May 7, 2013)

I always find it hard to photograph beef but, these kalbi ribs looked pretty appetizing to me.  Mmmm…

And, here’s a link to the marinade recipe I used. I loved the story behind this post too!  🙂

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365 Project – 69: What’s for dinner…filipino Arroz Caldo – YUM! (March 11, 2013)

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Fast and Easy Arroz Caldo with Chicken Recipe

When I think of filipino comfort food, Arroz Caldo is the first thing that comes to mind, It’s the filipino chicken soup for the soul dish which warms and heals the body, mind, and soup. In our family, this was the dish my mom would make when we were sick, when it was cold, or any time we were craving this savory porridge. The umami of this dish comes from the holy grail of onions, garlic, and ginger then topped with fresh green onions, a tangy squeeze of lemon, and the briny fish sauce (if you can get it, use “Patis” the filipino version of fish sauce.) And, it is SO HARD for me to write a recipe because I cook with my eyes and nose. I never measure. But, here goes! Enjoy and tell me how you and your family likes this recipe!

Note: Unlike chicken adobo, which I like to prepare at least one day before serving, Arroz Caldo is best served right away. However, you could make everything ahead of time, WITHOUT THE RICE. About 30 minutes before serving, reheat, add the uncooked rice, bring to boil, stir, then simmer and cover about 20-30 minutes until rice is cooked. The rice gets gummy if it sits too long since it keeps absorbing the liquid.

Arroz Caldo Recipe
Serves 4-6 Prep time: 20 minutes Cook time: ~ 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 yellow onion – diced
  • 5 garlic cloves – smashed & minced
  • 1 thumb-sized ginger – peeled and sliced
  • 1 tsbp cooking oil (coconut, avocado, high-heat olive oil)
  • 5 lbs. chicken thighs with skin on; pat dry and sprinkle with salt on both sides
  • About 4-8 cups liquid (water or chicken stock)
  • 1-2 cups dry, uncooked white calrose rice – rinsed
  • Salt to taste.

Toppings:

  • Patis or Thai Fish Sauce
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 bunch green onions

Directions

  • Heat oil on medium high heat in a pot or dutch oven
  • Saute the onion and ginger until onion is translucent. Then, add the garlic and saute another.
  • Add the rice and saute 1 minute. (Less rice = more brothy; More rice = more like a porridge.)
  • Use a spatula to scrape the rice, onion, ginger and garlic to the sides.
  • Lightly salt the chicken thighs on top and bottom.
  • Add the chicken to pot, skin side down, let it sear for 3 minutes. Turn the chicken over and sear another 2 minutes.
  • Add water or chicken stock until chicken is covered; then add another inch of liquid.
  • Stir. Bring to boil.
  • Cover and reduce to simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Stir, taste, and salt as desired.
  • NOTE: under-salt if you are using salted chicken broth and/or fish sauce as a topping
  • GINGER: okay, this is definitely not a filipino thing BUT, if you don’t want your guests to bite down on a hunk of ginger you could find the slices and take them out or just warn your guests. OR eat them.! So good for you!

Prepare toppings to serve at the table:

  • Chopped green onions
  • Patis/fish sauce – a dash goes a long way! Add a little bit at a time.
  • Lemon wedges

Serve in a bowl with toppings added as desired. What makes arroz caldo so extra delicious is ALL of these toppings. It is just not the same without the onions, patis, and lemon. Start with less and add more toppings to taste. Breathe it in deep while you enjoy it!

First time making this recipe? Let me know how it worked for you? I appreciate your feedback as a recipe tester! And, experiment with the amount of rice. Adding too much rice can make it gummy. And, not enough rice is thin and brothy.

“Kain tayo!” (“Let’s eat!”)

Amelia

365 Project – 23: – Mahi mahi over pineapple fried rice…Lava Lava Beach Club – Big Island, Hawaii (January 23, 2013)

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Rebar Chocolate Chip Cookies with apricots and walnuts

Chocolate Chip Cookies with Apricots and Walnuts
(from the Rebar Modern Food Cookbook)

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These will become your FAVORITE chocolate chip cookies!

INGREDIENTS

* For gluten-free cookies substitute Gluten-free Baking Flour for the unbleached flour

1/2 cup Unsalted Butter, softened
1.5 cups or less light brown sugar
2 Eggs
2 tsp Vanilla
1/4 cup Dried Apricots, chopped
1.5 cups Unbleached Flour *
1.5 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
1 cup Walnuts, roasted and chopped
1.5 cups Chocolate Chips

DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 350′ and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
In a bowl, combine apricots, flour, baking powder and salt.
In another bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add one egg at a time and blend well before adding the next. Add vanilla and set aside.
Add wet to dry and then fold in the walnuts and chocolate chips.
Drop on cookie sheet in heaping tablespoonful sized blobs. Leave room between for spreading.
Bake 9 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through baking. Cool on wire rack.

NOTES:  The first time I made this recipe I realized I actually didn’t have chocolate chips OR dried apricots in my pantry.  So, I substituted craisins for the apricots and chopped up a 1 1/2 bars of dark chocolate with sea salt.  I LOVE the subtle hit of salt from this chocolate bar.  And, I used that amount of bars because that’s what I happened to have in my house.  It felt like the right amount, although, you can’t have too much chocolate, right?  😉

Also, I used a melon baller to measure out the cookies and I baked them for 10 minutes, so rotating the pan at 5 minutes.  With the smaller cookies, 9 minutes seemed like the right time.

I’ve also kept this dough on hand in the fridge to make them fresh for guests.  Just right out of the oven, after slightly cooling on a wire rack, is just divine.  ENJOY!!!