Monday, November 5, 2012

Pork Gyoza (potstickers)

So today I finally made gyoza.  I've been thinking about making them ever since I've gotten used to whipping out those pelmeni.  Once I got the pasta dough thing down a whole new world opened up!  gyoza and wonton wrappers are very similar to pasta/pelmeni dough, so I thought I'd just go with that.  I will admit, I didn't even bother to look up gyoza wrapper recipes and now that I just did 2 minutes ago I don't think most of them include eggs.   That aside, I encourage you to google on your own and tell me how you did!  But if you're interested in the stuff I made tonight, it's this...
I read a few recipes for the filling a while ago, but I'll be honest, I just sort of threw stuff in there tonight based on what I remembered.  I unfortunately found moldy ginger in the fridge, so I went with powdered.  While it was still good I KNOW that it would have been amazing if the ginger was fresh.  So when you make this, use some fresh ginger okay?  It'll be better than mine.  

I apologize for the lack of photos, but I haven't blogged about food in so long that it didn't cross my mind until I saw the cool finished product!

Gyozas / Potstickers (not authentic because I didn't really look anything up, but probably really close) yields about 25

Wrapper dough
1 1/2c flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
about 3 tbsp water

1. Pulse the flour and salt in a food processor until thoroughly mixed.
2. While pulsing, add the eggs until the mixture is crumbly.
3.  Add the water very slowly until the mixture barely starts to comb together.  If it gets too wet you've gone too far and you'll have to compensate by adding more flour.
4.  Take the crumbly dough out and bring it together on a floured board.  Let the dough rest for about 10 minutes then cut it into about 4 or 5 long, thick sections.
5.  Roll out your dough with a pasta roller.  It may take a few times and extra flour so that it doesn't stick.  Try to get the dough as thin as possible.  Try to make your sheets about 4 inches wide.
6.  Cut out 4 inch circles with a cookie cutter, dust with flour and set aside on some parchment paper to prevent sticking.

1lb ground pork
1cup shredded cabbage
2tsp minced ginger (1tsp ginger powder)
1/4 c minced onion
salt and pepper to taste

1.  Mix all the ingredients together, making sure that everything is incorporated evenly.

2.  Spoon the filling into a circle of dough by heaping teaspoons and pinch and fold the edges over.  Seal the edges with water if your dough is very dry and not sticky.

3.  Heat some oil in a frying pan on medium.  Add the gyozas, after browning the outsides slightly add about a cup of water and cover immediately.  Cook for 5 minutes until most of the water has evaporated.

4.  Serve with sauce!
-soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, hot sauce


In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Dear Heavenly Father,
  I thank you for little helpers and exciting opportunities to bring others closer to you.  Help us all to grow in love and patience in the next few days as our country goes through this next election.  Amen.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Snack. Done that.

Okay, so I am not exactly trying out tons of new recipes and tweaking them at the moment.   I am however loving the stuff I've found on pinterest lately.  I've also been talking to a lot about homemade snacks with friends recently.  I think it's probably a product of being out and about with the children so frequently this summer.  Yay for hiking and play dates!  So I guess I'll share some great snacky recipes that I've tried in this blog post.

So in the last little while I've made:

Homemade Lara Bars

Spiced Cocoa Roasted Almonds (Warning!  These are ridiculously addicting.  Even the kids love them with the extra spice!)
I add the full amount of cayenne and reduce the sugars to 1/4c and they still taste great!

Lemon Zucchini Muffins (same recipe as the site except you pour the batter into a muffin pan and bake for 20-25 minutes).  I didn't make the glaze.


I made these Chewy Granola Bars not too long ago.  They were a favorite of ours when Clare was about 1 year old, but now I just find them ridiculously sweet.  I use honey instead of corn syrup, but still it was painful.  I think I'll probably try this again and halfing the brown sugar and honey.  Either that or trying another recipe for power bars I saw a while ago.

Pinterest is really fun.  Hopefully I'll have more to show for my pinning soon.  The creative juices have really been flowing, but until the little guy gets on a regular napping schedule (please Lord soon!), then this will have to suffice.  Have you found any great whole food snack recipes lately?

In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen.
Dear Heavenly Father,
  thank you for the gift of nature.  Truly, the world is the first evangelist for your wonders and glory.  Every time we see a snow capped mountain, raging river, or quiet forest help us to have a sense of awe and wonder while remembering you, our God, who made them.  Amen.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Coconut Gelato

I know it's been a long time, but that's sort of what having a brand new baby does to an amateur blogger like me.  I guess it took something amazing to jolt me out of blogging hibernation.  To be honest I've been doing incredibly.....boring things in the kitchen for the last few months, but this, I couldn't keep this to myself.

A few days ago I got some organic unsweetened shredded coconut in the bulk section at Central Market.  I intended to use it to make homemade Lara bars (thanks pinterest!), but the idea of coconut gelato kept enticing me.  I had it last week at the Spotted Cow and memories of having ice cream on the beach at our honeymoon resort in Mexico just came flooding back.  I love food related memories!  Ha ha!  Oh yeah, and the honeymoon was pretty fun in general! 

I think I can safely say that this recipe is mostly me.  I take the principles from David Lebovitz's pistachio gelato recipe and then I tweak it a lot.  To be honest, it'd probably be easier to use coconut milk, but I like the texture and flavor I got with my experimentation.  So here it is!

Coconut Gelato

Ingredients - choose organic!!
1c shredded coconut
1c boiling water
2c half and half
1/2c whole milk
2/3c evaporated cane sugar
3tbsp cornstarch

1.  Combine boiling water and shredded coconut and let soak for 45 minutes to an hour.

2.  After soaking the coconut process in a blender until it looks like a paste or puree. 

3.  In a medium saucepan combine the half and half and sugar.  Heat stirring constantly.

4.  Combine the whole milk and cornstarch until there are no more lumps. 

5.  Add the cornstarch/milk mixture to the half and half when the heated half and half just starts to boil.

6.  Turn down the heat to low and let the mixture simmer for a few minutes until it is thickened.  Keep stirring constantly!

7.  Add the coconut puree and stir to combine well.

8.  Cool the mixture completely and process in your ice cream maker.  Set in the freezer for at least 2 hours before serving or else it'll be soft serve consistency. 

Note!**As with any gelato or ice cream recipe I post make sure you take your gelato out 10 minutes before you intend to serve it for the right consistency.  Since I don't use heavy whipping cream or egg yolks it'll need a few minutes to soften up because of the lower fat content.   

Sorry about the lack of pictures.  I didn't think to blog about it until I was processing it in the ice cream bowl.  This is pretty fantastic gelato.  I like the texture of the shredded coconut.  If you like your ice cream smoother you can strain the coconut puree through cheesecloth or probably use a can of thick coconut milk instead.  I might try making this with some mango puree mixed in sometime, or I might swirl some mango puree in after the coconut gelato is frozen.  Try it out!  Let me know what you think!

In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Dear Heavenly Father,
thank you for wonderful memories, tropical vacations, and the warmth and sunshine that come with summer.  Help us to enjoy every moment and be joyful so that we can bring your light to everyone we meet.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Baked Chicken and Spinach Flautas or Taquitos

I'm not quite sure if there is a difference between a flauta and a taquito.  I have a sneaking suspicion that it may have something to do with the tortilla.  Anyone know? 

I suppose it doesn't really matter.  What I made last night was amazing for a few reasons.  1.  It was SO GOOD.  2.  It was baked and not deep fried!  3.  As always it was made completely from scratch and organic!!!  4.  It was relatively healthy!

Flautas are my "go to" dish at Mexican restaurants.  It's my default dish to compare Mexican Restaurants.  Just like "Pad See Ew" is my default dish at Thai Restaurants.  I know, I'm weird.  Whatever.  I never really imagined that I would ever make flautas at home because they're deep fried.  I don't really like doing the deep frying thing at home because I don't have a deep fryer, for some reason I hate filling pots with oil, and I really don't like getting spattered with oil which inevitably happens to me the 1 or 2 times a year I decide to roll up my sleeves and deep fry something (usually lumpia). 

Sorry I didn't get a fantastic plating picture, but trust me.  They were delicious!!!

When I saw this recipe that my friend Erin posted on Pinterest I thought it was too good to be true!  What's more, it looked really simple!  So I tried it out last night.  I thought it might actually have a chance to come out crispy because my homemade tortillas actually use a considerable amount of coconut oil.  By the way, coconut oil makes for fantastic tortillas!!  I've tried making them with butter, but the coconut oil seems to help them hold together better.  I'm not really the lard using type even though I know if you can get your hands on grass fed organic lard it probably won't kill you as quickly as everyone else thinks. :)

Anyways, I think I baked mine for slightly too long as the ends of a few of the flautas got a bit singed.  Just be sure to check yours periodically.  I also didn't flip mine over, because when I did I found that the flipped ones started looking less secure and might have opened up.  They got nice and crispy without flippage anyways.

I didn't really change this recipe, so I don't feel comfortable posting it in it's entirety, but feel free to click over to Healthy Delicious for these amazing Baked Chicken and Spinach Flautas.

What I did differently:
- I used cheddar cheese because I didn't have any Mexican cheese on hand
- I used baby kale because I didn't have baby spinach on hand.
- use my own tortillas (homemade tortilla recipe can be found here) with coconut oil. 
- I didn't simmer the chicken in beer.  I just boiled the chicken and then shredded it.
- I mixed together the cheese, chicken, spinach (kale), and jalapenos after they had all been cooked, for ease of flauta stuffing

Make sure:
- to grease your cookie sheet/sheet pan with some coconut oil before you lay the flautas on there seam side down
- cut your tortillas in half!  I think the fact that there was only 1 layer of tortilla surrounding the filling helped make the crispy tortilla mission successful.

Serve with some fresh guacamole and enjoy!!  Jon poured some store bought tomatillo salsa on his and seemed to like that too. 

In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  Amen.
Dear God,
   please help my baby come soon.  If it's your will.  Please.  Thank you!  Amen.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Mushroom Ravioli

I apologize to those of you without pasta rollers.  I'm having fun with my new kitchen gadget and tonight the most wonderful mushroom ravioli came from it!  Well, the ravioli tasted amazing, but it looked kind of funky.  I think I still need to get the hang of the consistency of pasta dough and rolling the dough thinner.  Or maybe I just need to remember that pasta expands a lot when you boil it, so I should make my ravioli and dumplings a lot smaller.  Ha ha!  Oh well, no matter.  Who doesn't love a giant ravioli right?  Especially if it tastes amazing!

I found the recipe for Mushroom Ravioli from foodgawker (it was submitted by a blog called "These Days") and I didn't make too many adjustments.  Just a few. 

- I didn't have cognac, so I omitted it.
- I didn't have semolina flour, so I used all purpose (I can't seem to find organic semolina anywhere either.  Anyone found this somewhere?  I usually get my flours from bulk sections because they're cheaper, but organic semolina is always absent)
- I had some portabella mushrooms, so I used crimini and portabella.  I LOVE portabella mushrooms.  You may not, it's purely a taste thing.
- I didn't have fresh thyme or parsley, so I used dried.  I'm sure the dish would have been really enhanced by the presence of fresh herbs.
-I had already bought ricotta cheese assuming that every recipe for mushroom ravioli I found on the internet would use ricotta, but low and behold this one asked for cottage cheese.  Whatever, the ricotta tasted great!

I think that's it. 
The pasta portion of the ingredients called for "oil", I used coconut oil.

Well, that probably looks like a lot of adjustments, but in my mind they were pretty minimal. 

I don't usually feel that I should write all the ingredients and the method on my blog if I haven't changed that much in the recipe and if I get the recipe from someone else's blog.  So here are the pictures from the ravioli process that happened tonight! 

I chopped the mushrooms in the food processor.  So much faster!

I also made the pasta dough in the food processor.  This was the consistency of the dough right before I started adding water tablespoon by tablespoon.
Pasta dough ready to be balled up for rest.  I think I ended up adding too much water again, but this time we're talking like, maybe a teaspoon or two instead of like half a cup more than needed (as in the dumpling fiasco).

Dough rolled out and mounds of filling ready for action!

Being a newbie to the pasta world, I had a bit of trouble making sure all the air was out of the ravioli.  I also brushed the surface of the pasta with a bit of water as I've seen done on cooking shows before.  While the water made the pasta stick better, it made getting air bubbles out a pain.  Any advice here?

The finished product!  Super yum. 

I just threw some extra mushrooms and garlic in a pot with some tomato sauce and italian seasoning and it made a great simple sauce for the ravioli! 

**Just a note!  I probably won't attempt to make this on a weeknight again.  At least not until I'm more proficient at working with pasta dough.  It always looks so uncomplicated, but it also always takes three times longer than I expect.  From start to finish, I think this took me about 2 hours total.  Way too long for a Wednesday night dinner prep, in my opinion.

In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen.
Dear heavenly Father,
  thank you for little mouths to feed and little hands to hold.  Please bring our little Gregory into the outside world safely and soon!  Amen.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Pel'Meni Russian Dumplings

There's this little hole in the wall sort of take out restaurant in Bellingham, WA (where I went to college).  I was introduced to this place late one Wednesday night after funk night at one of the local bars during my senior year in college.  At this magical little take-out spot there are only two options:  Beef or Potato dumplings.  One mouthful and I was hooked.  They were fantastic!  They were cheap!  They were the best post-bar food EVER!  I didn't remember what these things were called because everyone just called the shop, "The Russian Dumpling Place".  So I just knew the little bites of awesomeness as "russian dumplings".

Didn't Jon garnish his nicely?  Mine bowl did not look so good.  I must have been too excited to dig in!

A few weeks ago I was wasting time on facebook and I noticed my friend talking about something called "Pel Meni" and how amazing they were for dinner.  She thanked another mutual friend of ours for them.  So.....being the curious hungry pregnant lady that I am at the moment I happened to ask said friend, "Molly, what are pel meni?"  Lo and behold!!!  Pel Meni are russian dumplings!!!  SHE MADE THEM FROM SCRATCH!!!!  GAH! 

So Molly (as she described it to me) took on this personal challenge to find a great recipe for recreating the dumplings in our beloved Bellingham because our Campus Ministry Chaplain said something like, "You paid $5 for this plate?  I bet you could make these for $1 a plate!"  So the search began for the perfect recipe. 

Now dear readers, I pass the russian dumpling phenomenon on to you.  I'm not russian, I don't know anything about russian food, but these things are addicting!!!!

I will say though, tonight's pel meni making experience almost ended in pregnant lady food disaster tears.  I did not have such an amazing time making the dough for these dumplings.  I thought it would go faster if I made them in the food processor.  It probably would have, if I had added the water slowly, instead of adding the amount of water called for in the recipe as though that amount were set in stone.  To make matters worse, I was making a double recipe so that I could have some to freeze for an "I don't want to cook" sort of day.  UGH!!!  Just imagine a soupy mess!

This was also my first attempt at using the pasta roller I received for Christmas, which apparently doesn't have the most accurate dial settings!  Otherwise it works great!  Thanks Aimee!

But once I figured out the pasta roller, added another 2 cups of flour, and kneaded that chunk of dough until my arms hurt, we were in business. 

So a few tips on the dough.  Don't add all the water at once!!!  Add the water little by little until you get a dough that just comes together and isn't sticky.  If it gets too sticky and doesn't roll out properly add more flour little by little.  It should come together well in the food processor, just be careful about the water!!  I can't stress it enough.  When Clare saw the dough in a bowl after it had been made she asked, "Mama what's that sauce?"  That will give you an idea of how horribly wet it was to start out when I added the full amount of water.

See how sticky it looks?  Not good!
Other than that, happy dumpling making!  It goes much faster when you have someone helping!  Jon got really into it by the time we finished.

Pel'Meni Russian Dumplings
Adapted from HERE

1 1/2 cups flour + extra for rolling and consistency
2 eggs
1/4c water (start slowly!!!!  Just watch the consistency of your dough! The original recipe said 1/2c!)
1/2 tsp salt

1/2 lb  ground beef
1/2 lb  ground pork 
2 red onions minced
2 cloves of garlic minced
salt and pepper to taste

topping (sort of like the Bellingham place's toppings)
2tsp Sriracha sauce
2tbsp red wine vinegar
generous sprinkling of curry powder
sprinkling of cilantro
serve with sour cream!

1.  In a food processor combine flour and salt.  Add eggs one at a time pulsing to combine with flour.  (You can do this by hand on a board, or in an electric mixer with a dough hook as well.)

2.  Add water one tablespoon at a time, pulsing until you get a dough ball that comes together without being too sticky. 

3.  Take out the dough and knead it by hand until it comes together nicely.  Let it rest for 30 minutes.
I had to add about another cup of flour at this point.  It was much too sticky. 

4.  Combine all the filling ingredients and mix well!  
I recommend using your hands for this.  Everything seems to stick together better when you're doing it by hand rather than by spoon.

5.  Roll out your dough in sections with a pasta roller or by hand.  Cut out 2 inch circles.  Alternatively you could pinch off dough balls and roll out each one.  Make sure you put some parchment paper in between layers of dough circles so that they don't stick to each other!  I was not so smart about this.
The bottom layer of dough circles stuck togeher horribly.  They'll get rolled out again tomorrow after the dough scraps have rested more.

6.  Fill half of each piece of dough with a lump of filling (maybe a tablespoon) and fold half over creating a semi circle.  Pinch the edges together and bring the sides together and tuck them under.  They'll look like giant tortelloni.
7.  When you've filled all your dough circles boil the pel meni in salted boiling water for 7-10 minutes until the pel meni are floating to the top. 

Enjoy with all the toppings!!  Don't skimp on the curry powder or sour cream!

I'm going to have to find a recipe for the potato version of these for Fridays in lent.  I expect that the recipe would be something like hungarian perogies. 

In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen.
Dear Heavenly Father,
  thank you for fun college experiences and great friends.  Help us to continue to support each other in our faith and lives after college.  Amen.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Grilled Vegetable Pesto Calzones

I don't really have any excuse for being away for so long except that I haven't really been making anything new! 

I did however try a little something different for Ash Wednesday.  It was inspired by this cooking show I've been watching on Netflix called "Oliver's Twist".  I think it's an old Jamie Oliver series.  I don't think it aired over here, because all of the measurments and instructions are in metric.

In one of the last episodes he makes some calzones.  He makes sweet ones, these aren't them.  Then he makes some rolls (shaped like cinnamon rolls) but with roasted vegetables, tomato sauce, and cheese in them.  They were shaped like cinnamon rolls, but they were savory.  Well, I got both of these ideas mixed in my head somehow and went slightly more traditional with the calzone and made a savory version. 

It's not much of a recipe, but it was fun and the results were tasty for Jon's one meal of the day on Ash Wednesday.  I'd be fasting, but that probably wouldn't be so great for the baby. 

Here's what I did.

Veggie Pesto Calzones

2lb pizza dough (recipe here)

1 eggplant sliced lengthwise
2 zuchini sliced into thick sticks
1/2 onion cut into large chunks
1/4 red pepper sliced
1/4 yellow pepper sliced
1/4 orange pepper sliced
1/4 green pepper sliced
(If I had portabello mushrooms I would have used a couple of those.  If I had remembered I would have also added chopped spinach)

1/4c pesto sauce (recipe here)
salt and pepper to taste
cheese to taste (I use the same Italian blend that I use for pizza)

1.  Begin by grilling or roasting all of your vegetables.  I grilled mine on the George Foreman because I thought it would be faster for some reason, but in retrospect it seems like everything would have gone faster if I had just roasted all the veggies on one large baking sheet for like 20 minutes in the oven.

2.  Chop up the larger chunks of veggies and toss with pesto sauce.

3.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

4.  Divide your pizza dough into 8 equal pieces and roll each into a 8 inch circle.

I don't know why I deviated with this one, but I put the cheese down first.  Eh, whatever floats your boat!

5.  Fill half of your dough circle with the veggie-pesto filling and sprinkle with as much cheese as you want.

6.  Fold the other half of the circle over and pinch the edges together.  Fold the edges over themselves almost like you're twisting the dough over halfway.  Tuck in the last edge.  Repeat with all your pieces of dough.

7.  Cut one or two slits in the tops of each calzone and bake for 15-20 minutes on a parchment lined cookie sheet until they're golden brown.

This is what the inside looked like after it was baked!

8.  Eat them while they're hot or cool on wire racks (don't leave them on the baking sheet, or else they'll get soggy) and pack them for lunch!  

They're just a little something different from veggie pizza and they're slightly more portable.  The kids had fun with them too!

Happy Lent!

In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen.
Dear God,
  as we begin our Lenten journey help us to constantly keep our focus on you.  Help us to remember your sufferings more than our own and to join our small sacrifices with your ultimate sacrifices.  Show us how to be your friends along your sorrowful journey to the cross.  Amen.