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Curry Fries

I cannot contain my excitement any longer.  I had another recipe planned to post today but it wasn't nearly as exciting as these curry fries are (in my opinion)!

Typically I wouldn't make a recipe like this because it's what I call a "two-parter".  I have to make the curry sauce and then I have to make the fries.  However, we are talking about fries, which are my spirit animal.  (Just go with this analogy please). 

When my mom and I traveled to Edinburgh last fall, we stopped at a cute restaurant for dinner after trekking up to the Edinburgh castle for a few hours.  We were famished and we ordered quite a few dishes.  Since we both love curry and I have an obsession with fries, we decided to order the curry fries.  It might have been the best food decision of the trip.  I knew I needed to recreate this once I returned to the States.

Of course it's taken my months to get around to it...but I've finally made it happen!  Can I also just give a shout out to Trader Joe's for their out-of-this-world frozen fries?  Seriously, I'm never making fries from scratch again when they can be this good with minimal effort.  Bravo Trader Joe's.  You're taking over the world with your Movie Popcorn and Frozen French Fries.  I can dig this.

I also really dig this curry sauce.  I had some left over after I drenched the fries in it, but that just means that I had some the next night as leftovers!  That's a win-win situation right there.
 

Curry Fries
makes 4 servings

Print Recipe

For the curry sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • 4 roma tomatoes, diced and seeded
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup milk or cream

For the fries:

  • 2 lbs frozen fries
  • cooking spray
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red chili pepper
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese or paneer cheese, cut into 1/2 inch cubes, for topping (optional)

Make the curry sauce:

1) Place a medium-sized pot over medium heat.  Add the oil and the butter.  Allow the butter to melt.

2) Add in the garlic, ginger powder, tomato paste, garam masala and curry powder.  Use a wooden spoon or spatula to toss the mixture together.  Allow the mixtures to cook for about 4 minutes, stirring every minute.

3) Toss in the tomatoes, water, and salt.  Allow the sauce to simmer over low heat for 1 hour, stirring periodically.

4) Remove the sauce from the heat.  Use an immersion blender (or a regular blender) to puree the sauce to the desired texture. 

5) Add the sauce back to the pot and stir in the milk or cream until fully incorporated.  Cover the sauce with a lid and keep warm until time to serve.

Make the fries:

6) Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.  Add the frozen fries.  Toss the fries with all of the seasonings, reserving the cheese.

7) Bake according to the directions on the package.

8) Once the fries are done, add the desired serving amount to a plate or serving platter.  Drizzle with the warm curry sauce.  Top with the cheese if you are using it.  Serve immediately.

--recipe slightly adapted from Oven Baked Curry Fries

Gooey Snickers Cake Bars

 

Oh my.

How have I not shared a dessert recipe with you since 2016?  Yeah, go ahead and check.  It's sad but true.

As you can imagine, I have been EATING desserts and chocolate like mad.  (Can we say half-priced Valentine's Day chocolates?  Yes please.)

So now I present to you a cake bar that I had no intention of making for the blog.  I was "teased" at work that I hadn't brought in any snacks lately.  Which was true.  So I decided, alright, fine, I'll make a sweet treat for everyone.  I pulled out a quick recipe from my extensive list of Coworker recipes (yes, I have a Bookmark for recipes to make for my coworkers).  This Snickers cake bar was so delicious that I seriously contemplated only taking half of the pan to work.  I could easily finish off half a pan of this myself.  But I did the right thing and took them to work.

Since I hadn't actually taken any quality shots along the way, I knew I had to make these bars again so I could showcase them here.  I'm sorry / You're welcome.  You'll also be hooked by how quickly this can be whipped up and also by how tasty and gooey these are.  Let's not forget that Snickers bars are fabulous too.  I always overlook them because I'm weird and like to eat small pieces of candy, but I'll never turn up my nose at chocolate!

 

Gooey Snickers Cake Bars
makes 12-16 bars

Print Recipe

  • 1 stick softened butter
  • 1 box Yellow or Golden Butter Cake Mix
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 package Snickers bites or 2 1/2 cups chopped Snickers
  • 3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 3/4 - 1 cup melted chocolate

1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Use parchment paper to line a 9" x 13" baking pan.  Set aside.

2) Add the butter, cake mix and egg to a large bowl.  Use your hands to combine everything.  The dough will be shaggy but if pressed, it should hold together.

3) Transfer the dough to the baking pan and press into a crust.

4) Scatter the Snickers pieces on top of the crust.  Press them gently into the dough.

5) Drizzle the sweetened condensed milk over the Snickers pieces.

6) Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until baked through.

7) Allow to cool completely.  Drizzle the melted chocolate over the bars and allow to set.  Cut the bars into squares and serve.

--recipe from Picky Palate

Saffron Rice with Almonds and Raisins

We fancy now, huh?

Yeah, you know.  Just hanging out throwing saffron all over the place like a boss.

But really though, 5 second rule if anything drops on the floor.  We're not actually living that high life.

I was very fortunate to receive a package of saffron from my coworker as a gift recently.  I immediately started planning what I was going to make.  In the end, I decided on saffron rice.  But not just any plain old saffron rice.  I wanted it to have a slight crunch as well as an added sweetness.  Enter sliced almonds and golden raisins.  Perfect!

I served this rice up as a side for roasted chicken breasts and it might have been the best decision ever.  However, I encourage you to pair any meat (or non-meat) entree with this rice.  And if you're feeling adventurous, switch up the additions of raisins and almonds to something else.  (Let me know which ones you try!) There are no limits, so dig in.

 

Saffron Rice with Almonds & Raisins
makes 4-6 servings

Print Recipe

  • 1 pinch saffron threads
  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 2 1/2 - 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds

1) Soak the saffron threads in 2 tablespoons hot water for 10 minutes.

2) In the meantime, wash and drain the rice until the water runs clear.

3) Place the rice in a medium sized pot, along with the broth, salt, and saffron threads still soaking in the water.  Bring the rice mixture to a boil over high heat.

4) Once boiling, cover the pot and turn the heat to Low.

5) Allow the rice to cook on low heat, undisturbed, for 20 minutes.  Turn off the heat and allow the rice to sit covered for another 5 minutes.

6) Once the time is up, use a fork to fluff the rice.  Fold in the almonds and raisins.  Serve warm.

BBQ Chicken Nachos

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Are you ready for some football!

The New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons are playing this weekend in a little game called the Superbowl.  I'd like to point out that I'm not bitter AT ALL that my team, the Pittsburgh Steelers lost our game to the Patriots almost two weeks ago.  I'm not bitter.  Nope.

To bring me out of my funk (that was most definitely not caused by losing a kind of important game), I cooked.  More importantly, I baked.  Nachos.  This may be the easiest thing that I've ever thrown in the oven.  Despite the minimal effort, I was blown away by the amazing flavor that emerged.

Clearly I love nachos already.  Who doesn't?  But I ate almost half of this tray in one sitting.  Sometimes you just have to answer your calling.  Apparently my calling is to attempt to eat a bag of nachos all at once.  Who am I to say no to fate?

GO FALCONS!

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Chili Rubbed Pulled Pork

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I've done some extensive research, and I've discovered the best way to make and enjoy this dish.  You're welcome...

Step 1: Purchase pork.  A few days later, realize that pork is no longer good (even though expiration date is days away).

Step 2: Walk to two different grocery stores trying to find and re-purchase pork.

Step 3: Trim the pork.  Cut into chunks.

Step 4: Add to slow cooker.  Toss in all the spices in your pantry.

Step 5: Head to the bar for 4 hours.  Drink 3 glasses of wine. (Optional, but highly recommended)

Step 6: Return home. Shred meat.  Stuff face with shredded meat while standing at the counter. (This last step is optional, but very likely to occur if you chose to indulge in Step 5.)

 

And there you have it!  You just made this pulled pork a real thing.  Go on with your bad self.

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Ravioli in Creamy Pumpkin Sauce

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I didn't choose the pumpkin life / The pumpkin life chose me...

What? Can you tell I'm getting sick and my mind is going loco?

Even though we're done with Fall for another several months, do not think that I'm done with pumpkin/squash recipes until then.  In fact, this is my new favorite recipe.  At least until next week's recipe comes along.  But seriously, I'm in love with this super easy pumpkin sauce.  If you're unsure, I'll confirm for you that you need this in your life.  If you are one of those weird people who hates pumpkin...well, then I just don't know what to say, except that I'm sorry you're missing out on this fabulousness.Yesterday we had an unexpected snow day, which makes it even more important to curl up with a blanket and enjoy this warm ravioli.  Not that I did that last night.  I'm talking about a friend.  This is truly one of those easy recipes that comes together in minutes and allow you start relaxing as soon as possible.
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Balsamic Tomato Chicken Salad

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2017 has been a busy one already!  I could use a small break.  At the very least, let's slow it down.  Ironically, slowing things down also means that I want to get certain things done faster (so I can have my downtime!).  I found a quick recipe for a balsamic chicken salad the other day and was immediately ready to get down with it. 

 

Fun fact - I used to carry a bottle of balsamic vinegar with me when I traveled to Pennsylvania 4 days a week for work.  Yeah, I'm that obsessed with it.  In my defense, what if I wanted a salad and no one in all of PA had balsamic vinegar? Hmmmmm.....

Now that I've shown you my crazy, you might be able to understand why I had to make this salad.  (Even if you don't understand it, just play along...)  I also used a rotisserie chicken in this, which just might be my new favorite thing ever.  I don't have to roast a whole chicken OR chicken breasts.  There are no words to describe that feeling.  In addition, the creamy dressing is balanced out with crisp fresh vegetables such as tomato and sweet peppers.  So, like I said, SOLD!

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Edamame Avocado Hummus

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Happy New Year!!!

I'm super excited for a new start.  There's something about being forced to think about "starting over" that's a bit refreshing.  I guess it takes some of the pressure off having to declare it myself? Maybe...

You know what's also refreshing?  These Reese's Clusters chocolates which are chocolate-y and caramel-y and currently half price at CVS.  Calories don't count until next week, correct? I'm digressing...

OK, so let's get down with some real food.  Yum!  Did you know that I don't like most beans?  I'm partial only to garbanzo beans/chickpeas and soy beans/edamame.  All other beans can see their way out!

Today, we are making hummus with edamame and I'm super excited because it's healthy (to counteract the chocolate I'm eating) and it's tasty!  It's also so easy to make that you'll be whipping this up all the time.  I can use more easy peasy recipes in the new year, that's for sure.  If you don't have edamame at hand, I guarantee that the dash to your local grocery store will be worth it.  And think of all that cardio you can get in running there and back.  I'm already helping you work on your fitness in 2017.

Enjoy!!

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Snickerdoodle Bars

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This holiday season, I would like to present to you these Snickerdoodle Bars.

I grew up eating a ton of sweets and those included anything covered in cinnamon sugar.  I have fond memories of making loaves of bread (well, my mom made them - I definitely didn't) and rolling out extra dough to make cinnamon-sugar-filled rolls.  Warmed and slathered in butter, it was one of my favorite treats.

This year, I think we should all satisfy our cinnamon-sugar sweet-tooth cravings with snickerdoodle flavors.  Message: approved.

Hint - These would be perfect for a New Year's Eve gathering.  Or, if you STILL haven't gotten a gift for that one friend, try whipping up a batch of these and wrapping them up with a bow.  I promise you that this will go over well.  Don't forget to sneak a few of these on the side for yourself as well!

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Mexican-Style Chicken Noodle Soup

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It's been so quiet in these parts!  Blame it on the holiday season.  I need another week to get ready for Christmas!  Oh, it's this weekend?  I guess that's cool.

I'm just over here making some soup that is overflowing with noodles.  BUT (1) I'm not mad at that and (2) you can simply decide to use fewer noodles than I did.  This excess of noodles really came about because I was pining for pasta and I got a little carried away.

I know this recipe doesn't immediately scream "Christmas", but hear me out.  You know how there's usually extra chicken or turkey leftover from a big holiday celebration?  I'd like to offer up a chicken/turkey noodle soup variation in order to help you out.  This is one such tasty option.  Don't mind if I do!

**Happy Holidays everyone!!**

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