coconut jasmine rice

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we love us some asian dishes around here..
this past month, i have been adapting all all of our go-to recipes for my better half’s whole30 challenge (which we have loved and highly recommend). i edited so many good ones from the blog and made the cinnamon bun muffins as a reward when he was halfway through. i even made this hearty baked potato soup whole30 approved! (check out the “whole30 friendly” category on the right side of the home page to check them all out.)
our favorites that we pretty much kept on repeat were these asian turkey meatballs and these chicken lettuce cups. now that the husband is about to cross the finish line on his challenge (which by the way he did wholeFORTY 😐 overachiever), i am excited to re-introduce a few things into our diet at home, including rice!

this recipe – IT’S AMAZING Y’ALL. it is not just your average side dish that comes to you in the chinese restaurant.. it’s super creamy and tons of flavor comes from the coconut milk. and i will tell you, i am not a huge fan of coconut itself, but cooking with coconut milk is totally different and i love the flavor of it. this is a super simple recipe and one that is sure to become a kitchen staple in your house too.

coconut jasmine rice
makes about 3 cups

ingredients

1 1/4 cups jasmine rice (uncooked)

1 14-oz can coconut milk (unsweetened; not “lite”), shake well before opening

3/4 cup water

a very generous pinch of coarse sea salt

directions

  1. in a medium sized saucepan, combine all ingredients. heat to boiling over moderate high heat. once boiling, reduce heat to low and cover. cook rice for 12-14 minutes until all water has been absorbed. fluff with a fork and serve along with your favorite asian main dish.
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vanilla cream scones

vanilla cream scones | via she likes to eat
one of my favorite memories is my first trip to london with my mom and grandma. my maternal grandparents lived there and my grandma took me there as a gift for my 16th birthday, to share with me a place she loved so much. it was on this trip that i discovered my innate love for rain, a ploughman’s lunch, and the perfect scone. i fell head over heels, to say the least (with the city and the baked good). as the rain would randomly begin to fall, we would quickly duck into the closest cafe and have ourselves warm cups of english tea with milk and platefuls of scones with jam and clotted cream. over the years and several trips, london remains one of my favorite places on earth and a good scone always reminds me of the times i have had there.

scones can have so many wonderful additions like blueberries or strawberries, or made with different spices or glazes. but i am a purist first, and love a basic vanilla scone – one that has just the right amount of sweetness. these are not overly sweet, so you can serve them on their own or with jam. i make them different ways each time, but i love topping them with different kinds of specialty sugars. in the picture above, i used plain turbinado sugar and also espresso sugar. (in that batch i also used strawberry sugar and clove sugar.) if you can find them they are the perfect flavoring, but i think they are just perfect with plain, unflavored turbinado.

vanilla cream scones
adapted via king arthur flour
(makes 13 large scones or about 40 small scones – depending on what size cutter you use)

ingredients

3 cups all purpose flour

1 tbsp baking powder

1 tsp sea salt

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 tbsp vanilla

1 1/3 – 1 1/2 cups heavy cream (plus more for brushing)

directions

1. place a rack in the upper third of the oven. preheat to 425. line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper (if you are making larger scones, you will only need one baking sheet. for small 2 to 3-inch sized scones, you will need at least 2 sheets.)

2. in a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. in a small bowl, combine and whisk the cream and vanilla, then slowly add to the dry ingredients, while mixing to form a cohesive dough – but not a sticky dough.

3. lightly flour a clean work surface. place the ball of dough onto it and roll it out to 3/4″ thickness. using a biscuit cutter (depends on what size you desire) cut scones from the dough and place on prepared baking sheets, about 1 inch apart. brush each scone with heavy cream or whole milk and sprinkle generously with sugar.

4. bake for about 14 minutes for larger scones, and 10-11 minutes for the small scones, until just beginning to golden on the edges. remove from the oven and serve warm.

enjoy!

fresh homemade banana bread

this past summer i posted a lovely spiced banana bread recipe – it is a fantastic recipe, very different from your everyday banana bread, with ginger and other spices to change it up a little. the rebel in me (and my mouth) loves that!

now i want to introduce another banana bread recipe.. it is more of a traditional banana bread, and i adore it because it’s the exact kind i crave when i want banana bread. it’s super moist (yeah, i said it) since each loaf is packed with 4 whole mashed bananas. this recipe calls for no other spices, which i think makes this banana bread stand out because of it’s simplicity – the banana flavor really takes center stage.
and i love the pretty cracks on the top. when i take it out of the oven and it’s so pretty, i feel a real sense of empowerment that day, like i could climb everest or solve a really hard algebra problem.

fresh homemade banana bread
adapted from alexandracooks.com

ingredients

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened

1 1/2 cups flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp fine sea salt
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup buttermilk
4 ripe, mashed bananas

directions
1. preheat oven to 350. butter a loaf pan generously & set aside.
2. in a medium-sized bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt. in another large bowl, cream butter and sugar with a stand or hand mixer, until light & fluffy. with the mixer on low, add the eggs one at a time, beating for about 10-15 seconds after each addition. add the vanilla, buttermilk, and bananas.
3. add the flour mixture and mix until just combined. pour the batter into prepared loaf pan.
4. bake for about 1 hour, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. turn loaf out onto cooling rack and let cool.
serve warm with butter and enjoy!

my favorite chocolate chip cookies

my favorite chocolate chip cookies - she likes to eat
as every normal american girl, my life has been a quest.
a quest to find the perfect chocolate chip cookie.

it’s not something i daily think about per se, but in the back of my mind, almost subconsciously, i have always been searching for my favorite. as someone who likes to cook, i have tried so many cookies and recipes over my life and loved so many. my grandma used to make some pretty great ones. phoebe’s mom’s friend mrs. nestle tollhouse has a pretty decent one. several of my close friends have really good ones too. but until recently, i wouldn’t have been able to say “i’ve found my favorite”. my go-to for picnics or to take to a friend. my favorite recipe that i always make when i just need some chocolate chip cookies.

this recipe is the one. it is a perfect chocolate chip cookie with a round buttery taste and a bit of saltiness, with just the right amount of chocolate chips that you can still savor the cookie that’s in between. i love adding the depth of the espresso powder but these cookies are just as wonderful if you choose to omit it. (interestingly, the espresso puffs up the cookies a little bit during baking. without it, they are a little flatter.)

recipe edited just a bit on 1.25.2015

my favorite chocolate chip cookies
makes about 30 cookies

ingredients

1 1/2 sticks butter, softened

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 egg

1 1/2 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp instant espresso powder  [see this page for where to get it]

1 heaping cup chocolate chips

directions

1. preheat the oven to 350*. line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. in a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and espresso powder. set aside. in a large bowl, with a stand mixer or hand mixer, cream the butter and both sugars together, until light & fluffy. add egg and vanilla and mix well. add flour mixture and mix with a spatula until just combined. add in chocolate chips. (the batter is quite thick, so using your hands is helpful here.)

3. using a cookie scoop or your hands, form dough into balls and place on cookie sheets. bake sheets one at a time in the oven. bake first sheet for 5 minutes, then take cookie sheet out & bang lightly on the counter (this gives you the yummy-looking lines on top of the cookies). then rotate the pan (so they bake evenly) and put it back in the oven. bake another 4-5 minutes, until the sides are set and golden brown, but the center is still under-baked.

4. repeat with the other 2 cookie sheets. once you remove each sheet from the oven, bang the pan lightly on the countertop to create more lines on the tops of the cookies. cool cookies on wire racks.

enjoy!

recipe adapted from the vanilla bean blog
*sometimes my cookies spread better when cooked at 375 – depends on your oven and how hot it gets.

spiced banana bread

photo (24)

you know when you go to a restaurant and they have a house wine? or a house sourdough bread? those places have found the best, their favorite variation or recipe that they have adopted as their “house” drink, or their “house” bread. well, i want to start sharing my “house” recipes – basic recipes that are staples in my kitchen and in most people’s kitchens. it will be a new category you will find as you scroll down, on the right. it will include my whipped cream, these blueberry muffins, and coming soon, a chocolate chip cookie recipe that will make you kick off your shoes and do the bernie (my  favorite old school dance move, in case you were looking for some random trivia on she likes to eat).

so for my first house recipe, i give you homemade banana bread. i tried these out first as muffins and wasn’t that crazy about them, but when i made them in the classic bread, i LERVED it. it’s simple in its ingredients and the addition of the ginger adds such a delicious touch. OH and it’s a one-bowl wonder.. meaning my husband jumps for joy when he sees i have made banana bread because it means less dishes for him to do.

thanks to a sweet friend of mine that brought me 6 overripe bananas, knowing that i would be able to get some use out of them, i got to make it a few times to get it just right. this is my favorite banana bread recipe and i hope it becomes yours too.

homemade spiced banana bread
makes 1 loaf

ingredients

1 1/2 cups brown sugar

2 eggs

2 medium ripe bananas, mashed with a fork

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp ground ginger

1 stick plus 2 tbsp butter, melted and cooled (about 10-15 min)

directions

1. preheat the oven to 325. generously grease a loaf pan with butter, preferably, or non-stick spray.

2. beat eggs and sugar in a large bowl until well incorporated. with a spatula or wooden spoon, mix in mashed banana. add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and ginger and mix thoroughly with a spatula until well incorporated. pour in melted butter and mix well.

3. pour into prepared loaf pan. bake for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes, until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. let the bread cool for 15 minutes or so in the pan before cutting & serving warm with butter. (try it with the whipped butter under the cooking tips & tricks page.)

enjoy!

recipe adapted from hummingbird high
photo via food network

perfect whipped cream

2009-11-23-WhippedCream

i could have posted this recipe in the “cooking tips” section, it being such a simple & common kitchen basic. but this is the best whipped cream i have made and, like the reason for my starting this blog, i want to shout it from the rooftops. dance about it. make sure you all know about it, make it, and keep the recipe in your back pocket for every time you need to make whipped cream.

or if you’ve just had a rough day and need a little light, fluffy, sweet love.

perfect whipped cream

ingredients

2 cups cold heavy whipping cream

1/4 cup powdered sugar

1/4 tsp vanilla

directions

pour heavy whipping cream and vanilla into a large, super cold bowl** (or the bowl of a stand mixer). beat on high for about 45 seconds. add the powdered sugar. continue beating the mixture until stiff peaks form.

use immediately for all your whipped cream needs… on top of these waffles, in hot chocolate, as a topping for this sweet potato tart or these lovely pumpkin bourbon milkshakes. or on a spoon. or let’s be honest.. just take the bowl to the table and have at it.

**about 20-30 minuted before i am going to make whipped cream, i put my beaters and my large  metal bowl into the fridge to chill so that it’s cold when it’s time to beat – makes for much better results.**
photo via thekitchn.com

best ever blueberry muffins


these are the perfect blueberry muffins.
these gorgeous little pieces of heaven are STUFFED with fresh, not frozen, blueberries. overflowing with them.
they are thicker, more like a biscuit and on top, a sprinkle of sugar creates this crunch when you bite into them.
i have had more than my share of blueberry muffins in my lifetime and i think these are the best.
definitely the best recipe for them that i have come across.

this recipe is from gwyneth paltrow’s cookbook and are her mother’s famous blueberry muffins. you will soon know why!

blythe’s blueberry muffins
(makes 12)

ingredients

8 tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted & cooled

2 eggs

1/2 cup milk

2 cups all purpose flour

3/4 cup plus 1 tsp granulated sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp fine sea salt

2 1/2 cups fresh blueberries (2 – 6 oz containers)
directions

1. preheat oven to 375. line (one 12 cup or two 6 cup) muffin pans with paper liners.

2. whisk the butter, eggs, and milk together in a large bowl. in another large bowl, whisk together the flour, the 3/4 cup of sugar, baking powder, and salt. combine the dry and wet ingredients. then fold in the blueberries. divide batter among the 12 muffin cups and then sprinkle tops with the remaining teaspoon of sugar.

3. bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the middle of a muffin comes out clean. serve warm & with butter.

enjoy!