Yum Hey What's for Dinner Mom?

2.13.2016

Valentine's Day Friday Frenzy

Friday Frenzy
Close to Home, Mostly Food and Crafts, Hey, What's For Dinner Mom? and Sizzling Eats welcome you to FRIDAY FRENZY where we come to share your Recipes, Craft projects, and whatever else you've been working on. When you link up to the Frenzy your posts will be featured on all four of our blogs for quadruple the exposure. Each week we'll showcase a few of our favorites from the week before, and pin them on our Friday Frenzy Pinterest Board as well. Please follow your hosts
  • Please visit the posts in the linky that are listed as HOST, and at least two links from your fellow bloggers. We all love visits and comments on our blogs, so share the love. Moreover, if you get a visit from a fellow party-goer, please return the favor and visit them back.
  • We would love for you to add a link back to the party in your post, or a party page. We want your creative friends to join us too!
  • By linking up to this party, you're giving authorization for your submission to be featured with a photo and a link back to your blog, hopefully sending some readers your way.
*Featured Links from last week*
With Valentines Day coming up, our first feature are these adorable Cinnamon Cut Out Sugar Cookies from A Budget Friendly Life. 




Who said donuts pans are just for donuts.  Check out these adorable Valentine's Day Rice Krispies Sandwiches. 




Looking for a quick Valentine's for Co-workers or older kids.  Then you need these Tic Tac Toe Valentines Printable. 

   


  Be sure to share what you made this week with us by linking up below!    
   

2.10.2016

Pan Fried Dumplings for #FoodBloggerLove

Hey everyone I'm participating in an awesome event called











#FoodBloggerLove?? Yes! It's food bloggers all getting together with the help of the PinterTest Kitchen to support No Kid Hungry AND fellow bloggers. Each blogger was matched up with another blogger to help support, promote and share the love for the their fellow bloggers, we're supporting No Kid Hungry by making a donation to be part of #FoodBloggerLove. If you'd like to donate to No Kid Hungry please feel free to do so! And there is a giveaway too, stay tuned for that but first I want to introduce to Elaine of Food Parsed

If there was ever someone leading a life completely unlike mine it is Elaine, she normally cooks for herself, instead of for two growing boys and a husband, who leave very few scraps and leftovers for a mastiff, 2 cats and 30(ish) chickens. She's somehow attending MIT and keeps up with a food blog, I who can barely ride a bike and talk on a phone at the same time,  I wonder how she does it? Hop on over and check out her interesting blog, it's so different than this space and yet oddly familiar...

I was charged with sharing a twist on one of Elaine's recipes, or something that inspired me from Food Parsed. When I first read her blog I was delighted with her post on Spicy Sichuan Fish Stew, I didn't even know if I could recreate it because Elaine used broth saved from a restaurant to make her stew but I was so intrigued with it! Then I came across her Hot Chocolate for One post and thought I'd make a stove top version of her microwave recipe. I was all set to roll on the single cup of cocoa on the stove top idea, when I came across the newest installment in her fascinating flour and water series which was, dumplings!


I finally decided to make her Homemade Dumpling Dough because were set to have a huge dumpling feast (happened last weekend) and I really wanted to compare a homemade dumpling dough with a store bought dumpling dough. Reading her post was enough to push me in that direction, could tasty dumplings be so simple? While I was at it I decided to make Elaine's Vegetarian Dumplings too, minus the tofu, which my kids aren't that fond off. Now you all know I don't cater to my kids, they eat spinach salad and brussels sprouts for heavens sake, but tofu is a hard sell, so I generally skip it. I simply replaced the amount of tofu called for with an equal amount of vegetables and added a 1 tsp of corn starch as a binder, it worked great! Just in case you're wondering, I discovered that this homemade dough is far superior to store bought dough both in flavor and durability but it is time consuming to make these although the effort is worth it.







Pan Fried Dumplings, Gyoza or Potstickers

includes dough recipe and vegetarian filling recipe

Elaine's Two Ingredient Dumpling Dough

makes about 48 wrappers for dumplings

3 cups all purpose flour+extra for dusting the counter
1 cup warm water-you may find you need an extra TBSP or so to pull the dough together

put the flour in a stand mixer fitted with a mixer paddle
add the water all at once
mix to combine
then switch to the bread hook, making sure to clean all the dough off the paddle
knead for 3-4 minutes or until a smooth dough is formed
if the dough has trouble coming together add warm water 1 TBSP at a time until a smooth dough forms
cover with plastic wrap and let it rest at least 10 minutes, it can rest overnight if you make it the day before your meal



Vegetable Vegetarian Dumplings


you need a total of 4 packed cups of chopped vegetables, the best way to get these is using a food processor so the pieces are chopped finely enough to fit in your dumplings
the amounts listed below gave me roughly four cups, you may need a little more so be ready to chop a little more carrot or cabbage of whatever you like

4 carrots, or so
3 cloves of garlic
1/2 piece of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
6 large mushrooms
about 1/2 head of napa cabbage
1 green onion
8 large basil leaves*optional
1 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp salt
1 batch of Elaine's Dumpling Dough

run each vegetable through the food processor in succession or you'll get a mushy blend
process the garlic and ginger with the carrots because the carrots are rough enough to kick the small pieces down and get them chopped up, scrape into a mixing bowl
proceed to chop the rest of the vegetables
toss together in the mixing bowl and then sprinkle the cornstarch and salt over the top and mix again
the salt will cause the vegetables to weep so you may get a juicy filling, you can put in a strainer over the the mixing bowl if you prefer

To Make Dumplings
line a baking tray with waxed paper and lightly dust it with flour, lightly dust your work surface with flour also
get a little bowl of water for sticking the dumplings together with
divide the dough into 8 equal parts, then divide each piece into six equal pieces, each piece will be one dumpling wrapper
roll out a number of dumpling wrappers, laying them on the prepared baking tray, then place a dollop of filling on each one
to fold dip your finger in water and run it around the outer edge of the dumpling then fold the dough up and over the filling, pinching a creasing the front piece of dough to make a pouch, ---the video Elaine recommends shows how to easily fold over the dumpling dough the correct way, you can skip the first 3/4s of the video though unless you want to feel really bad about how you just rolled out all your dough (*hint* not the correct french way!) --
once you've filled all the dumplings you've rolled it's time to roll more
keep rolling and filling until your dough and the vegetable filling is gone
you may want to cover your filled dumplings with a damp paper towel 









To Cook the Dumplings
you will need a skillet with a lid that fits because this type of cooking involves, frying, steaming and then frying again 
cooking oil
water
dumplings 
heat a  TBSP of oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat
add as many dumpling as fill fit without crowding the pan
fry until the bottoms are browned 
pour 1/4 cup or so of water in the pan, watch out it will sizzle and pop, cover the pan and let the dumplings steam for 4-5 minutes
remove the lid and continue to cook until the bottoms crisp up again
cool and drain on paper towels while repeating with remaining dumplings







I had so much fun making these dumplings but I had a lot more fun EATING them. Make sure your visit Elaine's blog, Food Parsed, for solid simple meals you can make anywhere including a college dorm! And be sure to check out all the great #FoodBloggerLove posts going out to all the amazing food bloggers you know and love.



An InLinkz Link-up


And for that giveaway I mentioned? YES, enter HERE for a chance to win a Kindle Fire!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

2.03.2016

Eat Dinner In #MangiaTonight

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. 
#MangiaTonight #CollectiveBias




When you cook, photograph, write, eat, repeat, for a living, most people think you've got it made. Your fridge MUST be full to overflowing with good food. Of course you always know just what to make too. And because you work from home obviously you have all day to cook.  Can I be honest with you? Sometimes, even for me, 5:00 sneaks up on me and whoops no dinner plans.  I feel like EVERY meal can be special if we just put a little effort behind it, like adding good silver or candles to the table.

So because  I KNOW this is going to happen I like to keep a couple of "ace-in-the-hole" meals ready to roll out at the first discovery that it's time to make dinner. These meals need to be something that everyone will enjoy, they have to be literally faster than fast in the cooking area, and they're usually something I won't make for myself. I picked up a couple these Bertolli Classic ready to cook meals the other day at our local Fred Meyer store, I chose Chicken Parmigiana because I won't make it
myself but everyone WILL love it.


You can find Bertolli Classics in the frozen dinners part of the freezer section, I made a little collage for you, check it-->>






Whenever I make one of these ace-in-the-hole meals I like to make a nice fresh salad to accompany it, usually something that can be whipped up while my quick fix meal gets fixed quick. I add bread and maybe even a scoop of gelato and this quick dinner becomes such a special meal everyone enjoys and will ask for again. While I'm hustling in the kitchen, I set my kids to setting the table with our best dishes, using nice napkins can elevate the mood too, so out they come. Add in my grandmother's silver and some lighted candles and the scene is set for a truly memorable meal. Even if you're in a hurry you can still slow down and enjoy, it only takes a few minutes to make dinner something to remember.




This quick, easy to make salad uses carrots and apple shredded in the food processor, if you don't have one you can shred by hand but it will take a little longer to prep. It has a light vinaigrette dressing that comes together easily while the main dish cooks itself quite nicely. It uses the juice of an orange for the dressing but feel free to use lemon juice or even vinegar, taste for sugar and add a little if needed.



Quick Shredded Carrot Apple Salad

serves 4
prep time 10 minutes

ingredients

1 pound carrots, peeled if desired
1 crisp apple such as gala or fuji
juice of an orange, divided
1 small clove of garlic, minced
1/2 piece of ginger root, minced or grated
3 TBSP olive oil
pinch of salt
parsley for garnish if desired

directions

fit a food processor with a shredding blade
run the carrots through
slice the apple off it's core and run it through as well
add all to a mixing bowl
measure off 2 TBSP of the orange juice and pour it in a small bowl to mix the dressing in
pour the remaining orange juice over the apple and carrots to prevent the apple from turning brown, pour off excess
to the remaining juice add the ginger, garlic, pinch of salt
whisk briskly and pour over the apple carrot mix, toss to coat
garnish with parsley if desired and it's ready to go




Next time 5 o'clock sneaks up on you remember to breathe deep and reach for an ace-in-the-hole meal, like Bertolli Classics, for a meal you will truly enjoy. Find Bertolli items at some of the lowest prices of the year in a Kroger or Kroger banner store near you. Kroger banners include Fred Meyer, Smiths, Frys, Dillions, King Soopers, City Market, and QFC. Find a store near you and get cooking!





1.28.2016

Easy Butter Chicken (Whole30 and Paleo)

While it's true this is a Whole30 and Paleo recipe you certainly don't have to be following either of those diet plans to enjoy this velvety Butter Chicken, just serve it with rice and no one will ever know! And if you are Whole30 or Paleo you're going to love this soul satisfying curry that packs a flavor wallop.






I've only been to a handful of Indian restaurants in my life, that doesn't make me love the food any less. In fact I've discovered I just need to be creative (and willing to take a few risks) to make Indian food happen in my kitchen. I've had several Indian cookbooks and after a few fails I kind of struck out on my own, following my taste buds, a few links on Pinterest and the occasional blog that called for ingredients I could actually acquire. Nothing really blog worthy, although the Satyamma's Cauliflower curry from Moosewood was of course bloggable and delish!

Until now, now we've got the Butter Chicken from My Heart Beets and it's the kind of tasty that I want to make happen in my kitchen again and again. And I do at least once a week. The curry is velvety, I swear it is, and the chicken spice is top notch. All of it together is so good, I've worked myself up to being hungry again just writing about it.





Be aware this needs a few hours to marinate, 4 is good 8 is better.

Paleo/Whole30 Butter Chicken

marinade
1 can of coconut milk-divided use some for marinating save the rest of the can for the curry
1 TBSP lemon juice
1/4 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp coriander powder
1/4 tsp cumin powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp of paprika-(I used smoked because hello addicted!)
good pinch of salt
2 pounds of boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into bite sized pieces

curry
2 TBSP ghee
1 onion, chopped
1 inch chunk of ginger, peeled and diced
5 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp garam masala
pinch of cayenne pepper-optional-I leave it out
1 tsp coriander powder
1 green pepper, seeded and chopped, can be left out if desired
1 can tomato paste
2 1/2 cups water

make the marinade--begin by mixing 1/3 cup of the solid coconut cream from the can of coconut milk with the lemon juice through the salt in the marinade ingredients, add all of it to a bag and smash it up
add the chicken and mix it all up, put it in the refrigerator and let it marinate at least 4 hours
make sure to put the rest of the coconut milk in the refrigerator too you'll need it for the curry
after marinating for 4 hours, more is fine it's time to
make the curry-- begin by heating the ghee in a large dutch oven over medium heat
once it's melted down add the chopped onions, stir to combine and let them cook, you don't want them to burn but them get good and dark and flavorful
once they hit that stage add the garlic and ginger and cook a few more minutes
then add the spices and let them toast for a moment
add the marinated chicken and all it's spices and any of the marinade and the green pepper if you're using it
cook for 3-5 minutes letting the chicken sear a bit
open and stir in the tomato paste and pour in the water, stir to combine and get the lumps out
let simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes or so
then add the last of the coconut milk and simmer another 10 minutes or so, you don't want to boil it hard but you do want to make sure the chicken is cooked through
taste it and add more salt as necessary
serve hot
you can of course serve it over rice for your non-grain free friends


I often times find myself adding an extra pinch or two of garam masala powder, I like it so much I always think more is better. It's good either way! I do think you should adjust the seasonings to your preference so add more of any of the spices you like and customize it but I always say that don't I?








Friday Frenzy {an Ode to Winter Food}





an Ode to Winter Food

Winter weather brings Winter Foods and that's what I'm featuring this week on Friday Frenzy. I'm feeling kind of jealous of everyone else in the United States right about now, you're ALL experiencing a real winter while Alaska sits up here, snow-less and warm. No snow and our typical winter wind storms of 50-70 mph of set us up for an early and very dangerous fire season. The long term ramification of snow-less winters is a possible lowering of water levels in our aquifers, thankfully the mountains still get lots of snow so that is less of danger and more of a long term concern. Lets not even talk about winter sports like dog mushing, skiing and sledding.

 I think I speak for many of us when I say, we'd gladly trade our warmth for your snow! -- Laura 


Friday Frenzy





Close to HomeMostly Food and Crafts, Hey, What's For Dinner Mom? and Sizzling Eats welcome you to FRIDAY FRENZY where we come to share your Recipes, Craft projects, and whatever else you've been working on. When you link up to the Frenzy your posts will be featured on all four of our blogs for quadruple the exposure. Each week we'll showcase a few of our favorites from the week before, and pin them on our Friday Frenzy Pinterest Board as well.



Please follow your hosts
Maria from Close to Home Facebook Twitter Google+
Amy from Sizzling Eats Facebook | Twitter 
 
  • Please visit the posts in the linky that are listed as HOST, and at least two links from your fellow bloggers. We all love visits and comments on our blogs, so share the love. Moreover, if you get a visit from a fellow party-goer, please return the favor and visit them back.
  • We would love for you to add a link back to the party in your post, or a party page. We want your creative friends to join us too!
  • By linking up to this party, you're giving authorization for your submission to be featured with a photo and a link back to your blog, hopefully sending some readers your way.
*Featured Links from last week*


This amazing Paleo Slow Cooker Cabbage Rolls really does just mean winter. It's got it all, winter storage vegetables, ground meat and the crock pot, what else? Oh yeah it's Paleo for anyone watching carbs.


Next up Swedish Meatballs. Sorry but what could better than gravy meatballs and pasta? That's right, NOTHING! 



And what winter meal plan would be complete without a chicken noodle soup variation? None is the answer so check out this mouthwatering Chicken and Orzo Soup recipe from Olives and Okra







1.25.2016

Getting Ready for the Big Game with a Hospitality Basket

This is a sponsored post for SheSpeaks/P&G. 

Whenever I'm getting ready to have guests over, whether for the big game or just for a dinner party, I always always always have to start with a clean house. Before I cook, I clean, for me the work is never in the cooking but always in the cleaning. I don't want to worry about cleaning up right before guests arrive but I'd rather just have it done and and touch up before they arrive. So I plan accordingly, I make the shopping list, making sure to top off my cleaning supplies and get to work on cleaning so I can get to the fun, the cooking!


When I clean I always start with my bathroom, I have three boys so if there's anyplace that's going to be offensive that's it, for sure. So after a good deep clean I set up a nice Hospitality Basket for my guests. I simply fill a nice basket with things I think my guests might need. Things like extra Charmin, facial tissues, Febreeze, sanitary products, wet wipes (if I have them), and an extra hand towel for the sink. The last thing you want during a party is an uncomfortable friend calling from the bathroom for help, so I like to try and solve that before it happens, the Hospitality Basket attends to most would be problems before they happen.



Once the bathroom is clean, the next thing I NEED to have clean in my house are the windows. WINDOWS for the big game? Yes, because when you have three this size




in one room everyone notices them, and they always say "wow how do you keep them so clean?" Er? I clean them? I've tried every method too and the best by far is using paper towels to avoid newsprint smudges or fabric softener residue on rags. Bounty Paper Towels work well because they hold together so well while scrubbing and then they polish so nicely after they've scrubbed.

Once the bathroom and the windows are clean the last thing I make sure to do is a very basic vacuum, dust and mop. After these chores are done I feel like my house is ready for cooking up a storm and welcoming guests. Right before my guests arrive I set my kids to one final trip around the house, one picks up clutter the other grabs laundry out of the bathroom. Whenever I have kids do laundry I like to have Tide Pods on hand, they really reduces the amount of detergent kids use. It's so easy to grab one and toss it in the washer with the laundry and just be done.



If you're looking for a one stop shop to get all your supplies for a Hospitality Basket or for the big game or you need a little game day inspiration check out Walmart.








1.23.2016

Friday Frenzy

Friday Frenzy
Close to HomeMostly Food and CraftsHey, What's For Dinner Mom? and Sizzling Eats welcome you to FRIDAY FRENZY where we come to share your Recipes, Craft projects, and whatever else you've been working on. When you link up to the Frenzy your posts will be featured on all four of our blogs for quadruple the exposure. Each week we'll showcase a few of our favorites from the week before, and pin them on our Friday Frenzy Pinterest Board as well. Please follow your hosts
Maria from Close to Home Facebook Twitter Google+
Please visit the posts in the linky that are listed as HOST, and at least two links from your fellow bloggers. We all love visits and comments on our blogs, so share the love. Moreover, if you get a visit from a fellow party-goer, please return the favor and visit them back.
   
  • We would love for you to add a link back to the party in your post, or a party page. We want your creative friends to join us too!
  • By linking up to this party, you're giving authorization for your submission to be featured with a photo and a link back to your blog, hopefully sending some readers your way.
*Featured Links from last week*
Get ready for the playoffs or the Super Bowl with this over the top Edible Football Stadium.

winter football


With the cold weather looming, why not start thinking of citrus flavors like these Mini Key Lime Pies. 


key lime pie


Stuck at home in a snow storm? Get crafty and make these adorable Easy Valentines Day T-Shirts. 






I have done the room mom thing for many years and coming up with fun crafts and games for the kids is always so much fun.  Teach Mama has a great roundup of Valentines Day Class Party Ideas.
 
Ready to share YOUR best?? Well link 'em up and visit a few of our wonderful blogger friends!