Browsing Tag

homemade

Kitchen Diaries: Fresh Mango Salsa

August 27, 2019

Friends, it’s been a minute (several, actually) since I’ve recorded my Kitchen Diaries, but I’m back with a simple yet extremely delicious recipe for fresh mango salsa! It’s the perfect summer concoction. Now, I’ve had my share of store-bought salsas but there’s something about creating a condiment, no matter how easy, from scratch. You’ll be surprised at how flavorful and refreshing this mango salsa, courtesy of a Cookie and Kate recipe, is.

Ingredients:
3 ripe mangos, diced
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
½ cup chopped red onion
¼ cup packed fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
1 jalapeño, seeded and minced (or not, if you like spicy)
1 large lime, juiced (about ¼ cup lime juice)
⅛ to ¼ teaspoon salt, to taste

Dig into more of this fresh mango salsa recipe after the jump!

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DIY Time: Last-Minute Couple’s Halloween Costume

October 30, 2014

Last week, I fashioned a last-minute Halloween costume with my BF for his office party. I was able to make my costume with items I already had at home, and Dash’s costume was very cost-effective to put together. There are pictures of the finished product, but first take a guess at what we dressed as.

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Kitchen Diaries: Sloppy Joes

June 10, 2014

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When’s the last time you had a Sloppy Joe? I know, right?! It’s been quite some time since I feasted on that time-honored union of saucy meat and toasted buns. Honestly, having eaten more than my share of them during my childhood, I vowed never to have one again — or at least not for a long, long time. But feeling a bit nostalgic, I decided to give the Joes a go.

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Kitchen Diaries: Slow Cooker Chili

May 20, 2014

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This recipe was a long time coming. I had long wished to make a chili but was put off by all the ingredients, and debates over what kind tastes best. Tomatoes or nah? Ground beef or chuck roast? And don’t get me wrong, Hormel chili will do the trick, but there’s something about slicing up your own fresh ingredients, seasoning the concoction to perfection, and ultimately savoring the works of your hands. Thankfully, I found a fairly easy Slow Cooker Chili recipe from allrecipes.com, and I was quite pleased with the results.

Ingredients:
1 pound ground beef
3/4 cup diced onion
3/4 cup diced celery
3/4 cup diced green bell pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 (10.75 ounce) cans tomato puree
1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans with liquid
1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans, drained
1 (15 ounce) can cannellini beans with liquid
1/2 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon dried basil
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Place the beef in a skillet over medium heat, and cook until evenly brown. Drain grease.

Place the beef in a slow cooker, and mix in onion, celery, green bell pepper, garlic, tomato puree, kidney beans and cannellini beans. Season with chili powder, parsley, salt, basil, oregano, black pepper and hot pepper sauce.

Cover and cook 8 hours on Low.

I topped my bowl of chili with a dollop of sour cream, a pinch of shredded cheddar cheese and a sprinkle of diced green onion.

Variations: There really is no hard and fast rule for chili, which makes it so great. You can personalize it and improvise it as you wish. For example, I didn’t have chili powder so I used some paprika instead. I’m a fan of a little heat, so I sliced up a large jalapeño pepper and threw a whole one in the crock pot. It gave a much needed kick. Also, I’d never heard of cannellini beans before, but was surprised to quickly spot them in the canned food section at the grocery store. If you’re not as lucky as me, you can substitute them for navy beans.

Lessons learned: After reading some of the reviews, I decided to drain most of the liquid from the beans so it wasn’t as soupy. I checked on my chili at about 7 hours in, and sure enough it was very liquidy. However, I let the mixture cook overnight, and it had drastically thickened, plus it’s super flavorful.

Kitchen Diaries: Pumpkin Applesauce

November 18, 2013

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I’m finally warming up to autumn and all its chilly glory, so I thought I’d incorporate some fall-feeling food into my repertoire. Look no further than this pumpkin applesauce. It’s cinnammony and delicious, and makes a good pick-me-up snack served warm or chilled. Move over, Mott’s!


Ingredients:

4 apples, chopped & peeled (any variety, but softer ones do work best)
1 cup water
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup organic canned pumpkin
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cinnamon stick

Peel the apples and slice them into small cubes. Simmer the apples along with the rest of the ingredients in a medium saucepan. Stir occasionally, and let it cook for about 15 to 20 minutes.

Mash the mixture with a fork to remove any chunks that are too big. Remove cinnamon stick. If you’re serving immediately, let it cool slightly. If not, add the sauce to clean jars while hot and store in the refrigerator once cooled.

This recipe yields about 29 ounces of applesauce, and I easily doubled it for this particular batch.

Variations: Out of convenience, I just used a little more than half of a can of Libby’s 100% pure pumpkin, as opposed to organic canned pumpkin, and I don’t think the recipe suffered any because of it. Don’t get me wrong, the recipe is pretty delightful as is. However, I wonder what it taste like to add half granulated sugar and half brown sugar. I didn’t want to compromise the recipe my first go-round, so I only added a sprinkle of brown sugar. This time I used Gala apples, but as a fan of the tangy tartness of Granny Smiths, I may try a mixture of apple varieties in the future. I’m also thinking of substituting sweet potatoes for pumpkin. Oooh, and in the summer I’d consider adding tropical fruit like mango and/or papaya for a cool sweet treat. So many possibilities!

Special thanks to Cupcake Rehab, where I found this recipe.

Kitchen Diaries: Chicken and Dumplings

October 29, 2013

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The past few days have really felt like autumn, so I was in the mood for something hearty. I happened upon this fast and easy recipe for chicken and dumplings on Evernote Food and was eager to give it a go. Initial reports from the boo wop confirmed that this batch, my very first, was indeed delicious. This is sure to be in heavy rotation well into winter.

Ingredients:
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
3/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups milk
2 cups frozen peas and carrots (or vegetable medley)
2 1/2 cups cut-up cooked chicken
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 can (10 3/4 oz) condensed creamy chicken mushroom soup
2 cups Bisquick mix
1/3 cup milk

To simplify things and save time, consider getting a precooked rotisserie chicken from the grocery store and dicing the the breast meat into cubes. Saute the celery and onion in oil in a large skillet over medium heat for 3 minutes or until tender. Set aside.

In a 3-quart saucepan, heat 1 1/2 cups of milk, frozen peas and carrots, chicken, broth and soup to a boil. Add sauteed onion and celery.

While that’s cooking, in small bowl, stir together the Bisquick mix and 1/3 cup milk until soft dough forms. As the ingredients are boiling, drop dough by 8 to 10 spoonfuls onto chicken mixture.

Cook, uncovered over low heat for 10 to 15 minutes. Cover and cook for 10 minutes more.

Lessons learned: When dicing the chicken, I’ll be sure to look out for small, stray bones making their way into the pot. At least one found its way inside of the pot, and we don’t want any chipped teeth or choking hazards. Also, the dish was flavorful on its own, thanks to the pre-seasoned rotisserie chicken; however, next time I’ll throw in some additional spices and seasonings just to make it my own.