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Cooking for Couples and Singles

June 24, 2012

Thai Basil Red Curry Chicken

Filed under: Dinner — Tags: , — Cathy @ 6:24 PM

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An easy Thai red curry dish that can be made as quick as Chinese delivery.

You might be hesitant to use the coconut oil in this recipe, but I recommend trying it this way once.  It lends a coconut flavor very distinctive of Thai cooking.  If you prefer a different oil, the flavor may be altered from the recipe I provide here.  The oil is a flavoring, as much as it is a frying agent.  For substitutions, make sure it is a high heat oil to avoid smoking.

Notes about the ingredients:

Fresh basil is a must for this recipe. It is important for the overall look and quality of the dish. I grow basil in a herb pot on my balcony. You can buy packages in most supermarkets. Either Thai basil or sweet basil will work well.

Homemade chicken stock/broth is preferable, but if you don’t have any, try to buy a low sodium stock in the box, not the can. Canned broth can have an off "tin" taste.

The red curry I use was found in the ethnic food aisle.  The dish is fairly spicy overall.  If you like less spicy, you can try scaling back the quantity.  I plan on making a red curry paste from scratch soon, where it is somewhat easier to control the heat level.

Chicken thighs will have better flavor than chicken breasts.

Since this dish is fast cooking, it is important to have ‘mise en place’ ready.  It is a culinary term meaning, “Everything in place”.  Unless you are a lightning fast chopper and multitasker, you’ll want to have everything cut and ready to go.

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June 22, 2012

Savannah Farmer’s Market

Filed under: Articles — Cathy @ 10:38 AM

squash-01I fell in love with Seattle because of the farmer’s markets.  Of course there was Pike Place Market, the most famous one, but I didn’t know Washington state was farm country until I moved there.  Farmer’s markets and veggie stalls were ubiquitous.  I was introduced to the concept of u-pick farms where I pulled carrots, lettuce, potatoes, radishes, onions, zucchinis, etc, straight from the ground. 

I was told by a local, "If you can’t grow a vegetable in Washington, it can’t be grown anywhere."  The moist, mild climate seems to be a boon for plants.  There is a rain forest in the Olympic mountains, after all.

All I had eaten up to that point was store bought produce.  I didn’t know how veggies tasted fresh from the earth.  They taste ‘alive’.  They taste ‘green’.  They don’t need seasoning because they are naturally sweet and the flavor of fresh.  Eat them raw and they burst with water.

I was in the best health of my life.  Produce that fresh is jam packed with minerals and vitamins.

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June 18, 2012

Basic Shortbread Cookies

Filed under: Dessert — Cathy @ 7:18 PM

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A shortbread is a buttery, lightly sweet, crumbly cookie that is delightful with breakfast coffee, afternoon tea, or a petite dessert.  You can dress them up with chocolate, jam, as a side cookie with a scoop of ice cream, or a base to lemon bars.  They are easy and a versatile vessel for other desserts.

This makes a small batch so you can enjoy them for a couple of days, suitable for a weekend treat, or a companion to your Sunday coffee.

Makes 12 mini muffin cup cookies, or 12 thin 2” round cookies.

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10 Minute Breakfast Sandwich

Filed under: Breakfast — Cathy @ 7:00 AM

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Many people skip breakfasts, or opt for the drive through on Manic Monday mornings.  Fast food breakfast seems like a convenient option, but it’s poor quality and loaded with trans-fats or fillers.

Making food at home means better quality.  Better quality means better nutrition.  Better nutrition means better health.  When trying to lose or maintain weight, the quality of nutrition per calorie matters.

The barrier for many people is time, especially on a workday morning.  This is a breakfast sandwich that is as quick as drive through, but better for you.  10 minutes or less.

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June 14, 2012

Easy Banana Bread

Filed under: Breakfast, Dessert — Cathy @ 11:40 AM

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I don’t do a lot of baking mostly because I dread the cleanup.  I don’t have an industrial sized kitchen, so counter space is at a premium.  I have just a handheld mixer for those occasions when it’s absolutely necessary.

Most bread and cake recipes use the large loaf pans, which makes too many servings for my household of two.  My recipe makes a small 3×6 loaf, suitable for small portions.

My banana bread recipe is easy, and low maintenance.  It requires a couple of bowls, measuring spoon, baking pan, kitchen scale and a fork.  I prefer to measure in metric with a kitchen scale because I can add ingredients directly to the mixing bowl, instead of creating more dishes to wash.

I also provide a gluten free, sugar free version.

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