Sunday, October 28, 2012

Halloween Dinner

Tonight was our annual Halloween dinner.  This dinner is all about my little ones and it is something they (and I) look forward to every year.  I sometimes wonder how long the excitement over things like a snaggle tooth monster mouth (apple with peanut butter and slivered almonds), mini pumpkin vomit (chili) and gummy worms in their pumpkin bile (orange soda) will last?  I hope forever!  

Halloween Menu 2012

Mini Pumpkin Vomit (chili) with Ghost Guts (sour cream), Moldy cheese (shredded cheese), and Goblin Nails (Fritos)

Spider Egg Sacks (homemade rolls)

Snaggle Tooth Monster Mouth (apple with peanut butter and slivered almonds)

Pumpkin Bile with Worms (orange soda with gummy worms)

Witches Wands (pretzel rods covered in white chocolate)

This year’s ideas came from my Aunt Traci's blog I Like To See My Recipes When I Shop

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Thai Green Curry with Butternut Squash and Basil

This recipe is simple and delicious.  Even my pickiest eaters (non-squash eaters) cleaned their plates.  I made this for a cooking with pumpkin/squash class and it was a favorite.  

Thai Green Curry with Butternut Squash and Basil

2 cans coconut milk (do not shake)
1/2 coconut milk can filled with water (optional)
3 tablespoons green curry paste
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1/2-1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into small cubes
1 pound cubed chicken, fish, or peeled shrimp (optional)
1 bunch basil, leaves picked

Place thick coconut "cream" from top of coconut milk cans into a large saucepan.  Add curry paste and cook until fragrant.  Add remaining thinner coconut milk and 1/2 coconut milk can filled with water.  Simmer for 10 minutes and then add fish sauce.  Add butternut squash.  Simmer until squash is tender.  Add basil right before serving to maintain its bright green color.  Serve over jasmine rice with warm pita bread on the side for dipping or scooping any of the extra yummy sauce. 

*I left out the meat, but I'm sure it would be delicious if added.

Recipe slightly adapted from Farm + House + Table

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Chicken Tortilla Stew

My birthday dinner was at my mom's this year and I decided that chili would be perfect dinner considering the cool/cold nights that October brings in Utah.  I had my mom make her Halloween chili (the one that has filled our bellies on many Halloween nights before trick-or-treating) and I made a white chili or rather a chicken tortilla stew.  Topped with sour cream, Monterey jack cheese, blue corn tortilla chips and cilantro, this one is a keeper and sure to warm you up on a cold October night.  (Noah was positive that it he didn't like it, but after persuading (forcing) him to take a bite, he actually liked it and ate his entire bowl.  That's all I ask...just take a bite).

Chicken Tortilla Stew

3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 large onions, chopped
8 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 jar (16-ounce) good quality roasted tomatillo salsa
2 quarts chicken stock
2 cans white beans, rinsed and drained
1 13.5-ounce bag white corn tortilla chips
1 rotisserie chicken, skin removed, meat removed from bones and chopped
1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
Juice of 2 limes
Sour cream
Monterey Jack cheese
Corn tortilla chips (I like blue)

Place a large pot over medium heat and add vegetable oil.  Add the onions, garlic and jalapeno, and season with coriander, cumin, salt and pepper.  Cook until softened, about 8-10 minutes.

Add the tomatillo salsa, chicken stock and white beans to the pot and bring to a low boil.  While the mixture is coming to a boil, place the tortilla chips (reserving a handful for garnish) in a food processor and pulse to grind, or in a resealable plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin.  You should have about 2 cups of ground chips.  Add the ground chips to the pot and cook for 10 minutes.

When ready to serve, add the chopped chicken to the pot along with 1/2 cup chopped cilantro and lime juice and cook 2-3 more minutes, until the chicken is heated through.  

To serve, ladle the tortilla chicken stew into a bowl and garnish with sour cream, Monterey jack cheese, tortilla chips and cilantro.

Recipe slightly adapted from Rachel Ray