Chicken Curry

Dear stomach. Your craving has been satisfied! Oh, the warming smell of delicious Chicken Curry - fresh spices all mixed together. It's amazing what wonders are created and what food can turn into. Incredible. It was far too long a wait to finally have a taste of this perfect, 30 minute meal. Quick, easy, and simply satisfying. The smell always takes me back to my incredible adventures in South Africa and the wonderful meals we enjoyed.

Chicken Curry

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbsp curry powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp paprika
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger root
1/2 tsp white sugar
salt to taste
2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into bite-size pieces
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 cup plain yogurt
3/4 cup coconut milk
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Saute onion until lightly browned. Stir in garlic, curry powder, cinamon, paprika, bay leaf, ginger, sugar, and salt. Continue stirring for 2 minutes. Add chicken pieces, tomate paste, yogurt, and coconut milk. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove bay leaf, and stir in lemon juice and cayenne pepper. Simmer 5 more minutes.
Serve over Basmati or Jasmine rice.

Fried Mozzarella Sticks

I know exactly what you all are thinking... aren't you trying to eat better? Yes, you're right, WE are. This post is about a month late. Please acccept my apologies. But I had to share with you how awesome these Fried Mozzarella sticks are. They are perfect party/guest appetizers and I guarantee they will disappear in a flash - at least, that's what happened in this household - and they're simple to make too! Actually, a bit entertaining because who makes Fried Mozzarella sticks in their own home? You do. Enjoy! Have a great day!

Fried Mozzarella Sticks

String Cheese (cut in half)
Small bowl of flower
2 eggs
3/4 cup milk
2 tsp. dried parsley
Panko Crumbs

Add the parsley to the crushed panko crumbs. Add any other kind of seasoning you'd like, or simply keep it simple! In a separate bowl whisk together the milk and eggs.

Step 1: roll a mozzarella stick in the flour mixture until lightly covered.
Step 2: Dip into the egg mixture.
Step 3: Place it into the seasoned panko crumbs and evenly coat. 
Step 4: Place on a clean tray.

Put the tray in the freezer for 20-30 minutes. This helps the Mozzarella from melting too quickly while frying. 
Pour about an inch to an inch and a half of oil into a frying pan and heat it up on medium high. Carefully add a few sticks to the hot oil. Once those cheese sticks are in the process will move quickly! Once they're nice and golden remove them from the oil and place on a paper towel to dry. 
Serve it up with some marinara sauce or ranch! Delicious!  


Pita Bread

I love that my talented cousin, Carly Lisonbee, also loves to cook and that we love to try out one another's recipes. I was thrilled to put this Pita Bread recipe to test and stuff it with delicious vegetables and lean meats. It couldn't have come out of the oven as a greater accomplishment and a yummier meal! The steps are simple and easy, even allowing time to do a workout while the dough set. I hope you find this as fun and eventful as Carly and I did! Carly has a wonderful blog as well @ www.carlyskitchen.blogspot.com! Enjoy.

Start out with:

1 1/4 cup luke warm water
1 Tablespoon yeast
1/2 teaspoon sugar

Let is rest for about 15 minutes until the mixture has bubbled. You always have the choice to throw all ingredients in the bread machine as well - I simply prefer to do it step by step.

Add In:

3-4 cups flour
1/2 tsp Salt

The dough will be thick/dense. IT'S OKAY! Break the dough into 8-10 round balls. Place dough ball on a lightly floured surface, pat it into a circle, and begin rolling it out. Don't make it too thin. Before you place it on a baking sheet, make sure both sides are floured. Place your first Pita on a baking sheet, and continue with the rest.

Let the Pita's rise for about 30 minutes. Before placing them in the oven flip them over.
Cook for 5 minutes!

We were creative with ours: Avocado, Lettuce, Cheese, Garlic, Onions, Mushrooms & Turkey.  Before we stuffed, we lightly sauteed the Garlic, Onions, Mushrooms, and Turkey. It was delicious!


Peanut Butter Balls

Disclaimer: despite the fact these are absolutely crave worthy, they'll kill you if you aren't careful!


4 cups confectioners' sugar
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups peanut butter
(recommend Adam's Natural Peanut Butter)
1 package chocolate chips
wax paper

(FYI: I halved the recipe and still filled up a cookie sheet and a half).

Combine confectioners' sugar, butter, and peanut butter in a bowl and mix together until smooth. Place in the refridgerator for a few minutes. This allows the dough to set a little, helping to make rolling into small balls much easier. Take out a cookie sheet and line with wax paper. Roll small balls, whatever size fits you best, and place on the wax paper. Once it's filled, put it in the freezer for about thirty minutes to an hour. Meanwhile, slowly melt your chocolate in a microwave safe bowl beginning with 1 minute, then alternate stirring and cooking every 12 seconds until the chocolate is liquified.  Pull out your balls, and dip the ball into the chocolate, knocking off any extra on the sides. Place your plan back in the fridge or freezer until ready to serve! 
 I froze the extras and put them in a ziploc bag. 


Chocolate Truffle Kisses

Happy Valentines Day! You'll find these delicious and easy chocolate truffles to be a favorite, not only amongst friends and family, but a melting taste you can't stop eating!


1 box Oreo Cookies
1 8oz Cream Cheese
1 pkg. Chocolate Bark


Crush the cookies in a blender or ziploc bag until fine and crummy. In a small bowl mix together cookie crumbs and softened cream cheese. Blend well. Form small balls and place on a waxed cookie sheet. Once all your balls are formed put the cookie sheet in the freezer for about 10 minutes. I find it's easier to mold this way so the dough doesn't stick to your fingers. Take out the cookie sheet and form each ball into a small kiss. Place back in the freezer until hard.
Meanwhile, prepare your chocolate. Place chocolate bark in small microwavable bowl for two minutes. Take it out a stir. Continue to cook in the microwave until creamy, stirring every 10-12 seconds. Do not let it overcook. 
Once your kisses are hard and chocolate is ready, take each kiss, place it on a spoon, and dip it in the chocolate, knocking off any extra. Place on the wax paper and put back in the freezer or refrigerator! Enjoy.


Honey Wheat Bread

Growing up it was my job to make bread every week. This wasn't for your average sized family with two to four children. I have 10 siblings and bread did not last us very long! I used a big silver bowl, my hands, and the largest bread pan I've ever seen to this day; a 12x4 three strap bread pan. You can imagine the amount of dough I had to work with! 
Now, nine years later, I'm back to making my own bread twice a week. And it's simple, just two small loafs. I tried a few and decided to stick with what I grew up doing, just minimized the recipe a bit and used Triticale Flour instead of whole wheat, giving it a healthy, lighter look.
There is nothing like walking into our small country home with the aroma of fresh bread right out of the oven. Hand me some butter and honey!

Honey Wheat Bread
makes two loaves

3 1/2 cups warm water
1 1/2 tsp yeast
1/4 cup honey

Place in a measuring bowl or mixing bowl and let the yeast proof, or rise and bubble. 

Mix In:
3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil

and let it sit for a few minutes. Add 3 1/2 cups more of whole wheat flour and mix well. Let is sit for 15 minutes. The dough should be sticky and stretchy. After it rests, divide the dough in half and kneed with plenty of flour slowly forming into loaf. Put your dough into the prepared bread pans, lining with tin-foil or wax paper for easy release, and let it rise until the dough has risen slightly above the edge of the baking pans. 
Bake the bread @ 350° for 35 minutes.


Homemade Oreo Cookies

After giving in to the constant begging from my husband, I finally decided to whip up a batch of one of his favorite cookies. Call them what you may, Whoopie Pies, Oreo Cookies, Sandwich Cookies, they still taste the same and would make for a perfect Valentine's Day gift with pink frosting! Why didn't I think of that before? They taste wonderful! Here's the simple recipe. Enjoy!

Homemade Oreo Cookies

Cookie Ingredients
1-package devil's food cake mix
2 eggs
1/2 cup oil

Heat oven to 350°. Add oil and eggs to cake mix and blend together. Roll dough into balls. Place on greased cookie sheet. Bake for 8 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool on sheet.

The rest is pretty explanitory! Spread and smash!

Cream Cheese Filling
1 stick butter
1 8oz package philly cream cheese
3-4 cups confectioner's sugar
1 tsp vanilla
(food coloring if desire)

Garden Pasta

I love budget meals! February was completely planning with weekly meals all fitting into our budget plan. It worked great and I found some wonderful recipes that incorporate healthy eating as well! This recipe was simple and delicious, taking less than an hour to put together. I had enough time to come home from work and have dinner on the table by 5:30 and the wonderful thing is half the ingredients were in storage from last years garden! Excellent & definitely a budget meal.

Garden Pasta

2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 med. zucchini, diced
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 small carrot, chopped
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup chicken broth or stock
1 cup crushed tomatoes
Salt & Pepper

Heat a deep skillet or pot over medium heat. Add the Extra Virgin Olive Oil and garlic and saute until garlic sizzles. Add zucchini, onion, carrot and bay leaves. Cover and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the zucchini is tender and onion are translucent. 
Remove from stove and add the stock. Stir up any good gunk from the bottom of the pot. Add the tomato, salt and pepper, and parsley. Let it boil for 2 minutes. Done.


Valentine Desserts

Anybody getting ready for Valentine's Day? As far as delicious desserts go, I am on board! I'm excited to share a few recipes and get your minds rolling on what to prepare for your special someone in just a few weeks from now! Along with desserts, I'll add in few delightful, healthy meals, all in time for Valentines Day and before you start your monthly shopping! 

Cinnamon Love Knots
Yield: 3 dozen
2 pckg active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup warm milk
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar 
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp salt
4 1/2 to 5 cups flour

2 cups sugar
2 Tbsp ground cinnamon
3/4 cup melted butter

In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in water Let stand for 5 minutes. Add milk, butter, sugar, eggs and salt. Stir in enough flour to form stiff dough. Turn into a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours. Punch dough down; divide into three portions. Cover two with plastic wrap. Shape one portion into 12 balls, Roll each ball into an 8-in rope. 
Combine sugar and cinnamon. Dip rope into melted butter, then coat with cinnamon-sugar. Tie into a knot. Tuck and pinch ends under and place on baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes. Bake at 375° for 12-14 minutes or until golden brown. Enjoy!