Saturday, July 23, 2011

Berry Minty Lemon Pops

Berry Minty Lemon Pops
1 batch Lemonade
1/4 C blueberries
1/2 C strawberries
1/4 bunch mint
Popsicle molds or paper cups
Popsicles sticks

Make one batch of Lemonade and refrigerate.
Wash blueberries and set aside.
Wash strawberries and slice into thin slices; set aside.
Wash mint and remove leaves.
Julienne the mint leaves; set aside.
Place the molds on a metal tray.
Place a 2 blueberries and 1 strawberry slice in the each popsicle mold.
Add a mint leaf then top with 2 more blueberries and 2 strawberries.
Fill each mold with lemonade, leaving about a 1/8 " space at the top.
Place the tray in the freezer for about 6 hours, until pops are completely frozen.
When ready to eat, remove from the freezer. Let sit for 1 minute and remove from mold.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Watermelon Push-ups

Although it doesn't happen often, what do you do with a pitcher full of leftover Agua de Sandia (Watermelon Water)?  you got's push-up time!  I am not talking about a strange new exercise guaranteed to get you bathing suit ready.  I am talking about those fun popsicles that you push up while you eat.  I recently found molds for those food favorites from our childhood and decided to have some fun.

Watermelon Push-ups
1 batch Agua de Sandia
Push-up popsicle molds
  1. Make a batch of Agua de Sandia.  Refrigerate.
  2. Put the popsicle plunger in the bottom of each push-up mold.
  3. Holding the molds steady, pour Agua de Sandia into the mold, stopping 1/8" before the top.
  4. Place the cap on the mold.  Turn it quickly over and stand upright in a secure location in your freezer.
  5. Repeat this step for each mold.
  6. Allow molds to freeze for 6 hours or until completely frozen.
  7. When ready to eat, remove one from the freezer, take off the cap, push it up and enjoy!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Seaweed Cucumber Cold Soup (miyug owi neng guk)

This refreshing summer soup is from Korea.  It is full of vitamins and easily made in 10 minutes.  My recipe makes two bowls but you may easily multiply it for more.

(miyug owi neng guk)

2 C miyug (dried seaweed strands), reconstituted and chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped (optional)
1 cucumber, seeded and julienned
1 C cold water
3 C cold water
3 T rice vinegar
2 T sugar
1 t salt
  1. Mix miyug with garlic in a bowl.
  2. Soak julienned cucumber in 1 C cold water.
  3. Mix 3 C cold water with rice vinegar, sugar, and salt. Taste and adjust ingredients to your taste.
  4. Place 1 C miyug in a bowl.  Pour vinegar mixture over soup and place a handful (~1/2 C) chilled cucumbers in the center.
  5. Serve with rice on the side.
NOTE:  Miyug may be purchased at Korean markets or any market carrying Korean foods.  It is a fairly common ingredient in Korean cooking.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Downhome Mirepoix Rice

This recipe is lovely blend of rices inspired by the age old tradition of sauteing the rice before cooking it.  In a perfect kitchen, the rice would be cooked with Mirepoix*.  But, because of our allergy to carrot and celery, I omit those ingredients, adding a little garlic to pep up the flavor a bit.  This dish goes well with my Oven-Baked Chicken Fingers or Samgyetang.

Downhome Mirepoix Rice

1/2 onion, chopped
1 T rice oil
1 t salt
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 C medium grain rice
1 C Lundenberg Country Rice
2 green onion, chopped
1 1/2 C water
  1. Saute onion in oil until just soft.
  2. Add salt, rices and garlic; stir. 
  3. Allow to cook, stirring occasionally until rice browns slightly.  This step helps bring out a nutty flavor in the rice.
  4. Stir in the green onion and water.
  5. Cover and cook on the stovetop or transfer to your rice cooker bowl and cook on the mixed rice setting.
  6. Gently stir before serving.

* Mirepoix is a mix of aromatic vegetables (carrot, celery and onion) which are commonly found in French and Cajun cooking. This mix is delicious in the Downhome Mirepoix Rice. However, because of our allergy to carrot and celery, I omit it.

* For those living places where Lundenberg Country Rice may not be sold, it contains a mixture of Wehani®, long grain brown rice and Black Japonica.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Banana-Mango Smoothies

Whenever I have fruit that is at its, shall we say, prime.....I throw it in the freezer.  The next time you need an "umbrella drink", put some of those frozen fruits into a blender and make a smoothie.  This combo is one of my angel's favorites!

Banan-Mango Smoothies

3 C frozen mango
2/3 banana
1 1/2 C water or fruit juice
1 T sugar (optional)
  1. Place all of these ingredients in a blender.
  2. Blend until ingredients are completely liquified.
  3. If the frozen fruits get stuck, add a 1/4 cup of water and blend again.
  4. Pour into a fancy glass, top with a straw and little umbrella.
  5. Enjoy!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Let's Hula, Baby!

Who says that the fourth of July has to be just burgers and flags?  This year, we are going to usher in the heart of the summer with an old fashioned luau, complete with flowered shirts, roasted pork, and hula contests.  Here's our allergy-free plan:

The Food
Kalua Pork
Pineapple Citrus Chicken with Lime-Basil Glaze
Calrose Rice
Cilantro-Lime Rice
Fire Roasted Purple Sweet Potatoes
Salad with Citrus-Basil Dressing
Grilled Pinapple Wedges
Fruity Melon Pops

The Drinks
Banana-Mango smoothie
Pina colada
Apple juice

The Fun
Adult Hula Contest:  Hula until the music stops, then freeze.... if you move, you're out!

Family Hula Outfit Relay:  Place all of the elements of a hula outfit (skirt and coconut top) in front of each family.  About 5 yards in front of the hula ourfit, place a 5 leis in a bucket. The first family member must put on the outfit and run to the leis.  The person puts on the leis,runs back and takes off the whole costume... keeping one lei. The next family member puts on the costume, runs to the bucket and puts all but one lei back in the bucket (this means she or he keeps one) then returns to the line and removes the costume.  This continues until all members have a lei.

Pass the Beach Ball:  Pass the beach ball between your legs to reach the end of the line then pass it back.

Lei Me "Relay":  This may be played with couples or families.  Place 5 leis around one person's neck.  All of the leis must be transferred to the next person without the use of their hands.

The Prizes and Favors
Flower leis
Homemade Hooded Beach Towels
Beach balls
Luau outfit
"Hawaiian" Tshirt

Here is another great resource to help you plan your own luau:

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Grilled Chicken with Citrus-Basil Marinade

I have often used a citrus marinade of on our seafood and chicken.  A delicious balance of citrus and honey make it enjoyable.  But, I have never shared the recipe because I always felt that the sauce needed something to "step it up a notch".  Recently a recipe for Pineapple Citrus Chicken with Lime-Basil Glaze held the key.....basil!  I altered the marinade making it allergy-friendly and including ingredients more common to my kitchen.  I added honey to form a dressing then used that to baste my chicken at the end of cooking.  The result was so delicious that it was vulgar!

Grilled Chicken with Citrus-Basil Marinade
2 batches Citrus-Basil Dressing, omit the honey in one recipe
4- 6 chicken breasts
  1. Mix up 2 batches of my Citrus-Basil Dressing but omit the honey in one batch.
  2. Set aside 1/2 C of the dressing which contains the honey and put the remaining dressing in a gravy boat.
  3. Place the other batch of dressing in a plastic ziploc bag.
  4. Pound the chicken breasts flat until the meat is uniform, about 1/2 inch thick.
  5. Add the chicken to the bag of dressing and seal, squeezing out the air as you go.
  6. Massage the chicken, turning the bag so that the marinade covers the chicken evenly.
  7. Refrigerate for 2-8 hours, until ready to cook.
  8. Heat the grill.
  9. Cook the chicken breasts for about 7- 10 minutes on each side, until the chicken reaches a 165 degree internal temperature.
  10. Before removing the chicken from the grill (or just after if you do not want to dirty your grill with a sugary sauce), baste both sides of the breasts with the reserved Citrus-Basil Dressing.
  11. Let rest 3 minutes before serving.
  12. Goes well with Cilantro-Lime Rice and Gogoma.
Kitchen Tip:  When using the Citrus-Basil Dressing as a marinade, mix it in a large plastic ziploc bag nestled into a large Pyrex Measuring bowl.  Turn the tops over the edges of the bowl to hold the bag in place.