Introducing Creativity To The Alternative Diet: Many of us have segued from traditional dietary lifestyle to alternative dietary lifestyles, i.e. Gluten free, Vegan, Grain free, Real food, etc. What are we discovering?? These recipes are NOT mediocre!

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Round Three!

Hey Ladies!
Can you believe it is already time for another round? WOW, time flies! An opinion or two has been expressed about the next round. It seems that we would like to go back to a non-theme blog where each one of us picks whatever type of cuisine they prefer. I also would like to suggest we stick with the same schedule (of course I'll update the dates) that we currently have. If there is anyone who would like to bow out of this round please let me know. It is understandable when a plate needs to be cleared and of course anyone who needs to take a break is always welcome to rejoin our chic club! Please leave your feedback and I'll post the new schedule asap!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Mmmm Moroccan Stew

Well, I feel repetitive... This was ssooo good. I love the mixture of the flavors. I have never really cooked with sweet potatoes but this was inspiring. My family really enjoyed this stew. My dad came for a visit and ate the leftovers and raved! I will be repeating this recipe. FIVE THUMBS UP!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Moroccan Madness

I forgot to take a picture, but here goes . . . . I made the recipe and I liked it a lot. I did have to make some changes, though. I am currently "gluten-free". So, I did not dredge the chicken in flour, nor did I eat it with cous cous. I put saffron on my list. I knew it was expensive, but I like to follow the recipes as closely as I can the first time and then make changes if I want to. However, when I saw that it was $15, I skipped it.
Even with all these changes it still turned out very nice. The sweet potatoes are so good and the lemon juice, cinnamon, and ginger give it a great flavor. And the cilantro is the perfect finishing touch.
I am enjoying the recipes from around the globe . . . keep them coming!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Thai soup Trials!

I was so excited about this soup! I am a huge Thai fan and love trying anything with the Thai flavors. My first attempt to try this soup was found to be unsuccessful, I realized I had NONE of the ingredients and went to the store (since when don't i have broth, coconut milk, or chicken on hand????) 1. I couldn't find the soup mix and the other ingredients were going to cost more then I wanted to spend on a single meal for just me so I called Carrie to see if we could make this one together.
Take two on Thai turned in to quite the ordeal! Combining what we had on hand the cost was totally doable! We planned to make it on a night we had dinner at her mom's because Mary really wanted to try this as well. I left Carrie with ALL the kids ( I know it is only 2 BUT, 3 toddlers is a handful) to make a "quick" run to Fred Meyers. I bought most of the stuff but still needed the soup mix, lemon grass, and the lime leaves. Well, after 3 more stores and $8 worth of lemongrass I still needed the soup mix so ran into a asian food mart. I didn't find the soup mix but I found twice the amount of lemongrass that was much fresher looking for $1. What is the deal with that? So, I made one final stop at another store and happened to be there just when the Taste of Thai rep was in the store. I found out that the soup mix is DISCONTINUED! Alas, I gave up my quest and headed back to the house.
Carrie and I made the soup and was impressed by how great of an aroma was lofting from the kitchen! The soup was ready and we both realized in our effort to make the soup and wrangler the kiddos we forgot to make rice. Lucky for us there was a bit left in the fridge from the night before so we carefully split the rice among the 6 bowls and served our soup.
It was mutually agreed upon that 1. we wanted a bit of a kick to the soup 2. between the girls all the parts of the soup were enjoyed, veggies for one, rice for another, and broth for the last 3. It is a soup that grows on you. We each added our own additions to kick it up a notch. I enjoyed adding thai curry sauce, Carrie like a bit of oyster sauce and soy sauce, and Mary added a spicy dried blend and sauce. I brought leftovers to my sis who added fish sauce and a "squeeze" of chili pepper blend.
I think the overall review was this would have been better with the soup mix and was a great base. We considered leaving out the chicken and serving it as a light appetizer to a Thai meal. We all felt that being a Thai recipe some added spice or flavor was a must but as we ate found it growing on us.
I'm not sure if we will rush out to make it again but will certainly keep the recipe in our file to pull out on the right occasion! How fun it is to try new things and find recipes to build on!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Tisha's Tasty Thai Treat

Well, I looked and looked for this Taste of Thai soup mix and couldn't find it. This remains puzzling to me since all of our grocery stores have entire isles dedicated to Asian foods. Oh well... the closest thing I could find was the correct brand and it was their version of Ramen Noodles, it was called Thai Ginger. So I began by substituting that and adding more coconut milk. I got the lemongrass from the market and didn't know that I was eventually suppose to fish it out of the soup before I served it so I sliced it up like a green onion. :( This made for quite an annoyance later. BUT, the soup was delicious! We ate it over the rice noodles that went with the seasoning packets. I really think the rice would be good and next time we'll try that. Actually, as I finished getting all the lemongrass out I took a few spoon fulls of the soup without noodles and LOVED IT. Since I am not much of a meat fan, I would much rather this soup without the chicken. I think when I make it again I'll put the rice on the side and everyone can eat it as preferred and maybe pick the chicken out of mine. My whole family ate it up and Andy had seconds! FOUR THUMBS UP!!!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Thai Chicken Soup Review

This is a great, quick recipe that I will make over and over. I am a huge fan of Thai food. The flavors in this are superb!
Next time, I think I'll try adding a bit of fish sauce even with the soup base. I like adding it to most of my thai recipes because it gives it a special, added dimension that you don't get from salt or soy sauce. After I added the rice with the soup I wanted just a bit more saltiness. Also, I think I added a bit more lime juice than the recipe called for . . . but that is just personal taste.
I wish I could write more, but I don't have much to say other than thanks a million!

Moroccan Chicken Stew with Sweet Potatoes

I really love this recipe. I hope you gals do too! Sorry I am a litte late.

Serves 4
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 1 1/2 pounds)
Coarse salt and ground pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 piece fresh ginger (2 inches long), peeled
1 cinnamon stick
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 medium sweet potatoes (about 1 pound total), peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
Pinch of saffron (optional)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 cup couscous
Cilantro sprigs, for garnish (optional)

Place flour in a wide, shallow bowl. Season chicken with salt and pepper; dredge in flour, shaking off excess. In a 5-quart Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat oil over medium-high. Add chicken, and cook until browned, 4 to 6 minutes per side; transfer to a plate.
Add onion, ginger, and cinnamon to pot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion starts to soften, 2 to 3 minutes. Return chicken to pot. Add broth, sweet potatoes, and, if using, saffron. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer until chicken is cooked through and sweet potatoes are tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Discard ginger and cinnamon. Stir in lemon juice, and season stew with salt and pepper.
While stew is simmering, prepare couscous according to package instructions. Serve chicken stew with couscous, garnished with cilantro, if desired.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Lamb Meatball Soup

I'm sorry not to call this by its true name but I'm so tired I can't seem to remember how to copy and paste the name in or even to simply look at it and spell it via another open window :)

Soooooo........I feel bad but no one but myself liked this soup in my family. My Mom and Jonathan both did not like the smell, stinky socks were mentioned, and because smell is such a big part of taste I think that's why they couldn't enjoy the taste. I on the other hand did like it, I who have no sense of smell, I thought it was really different and seemed like something I would actually be served in another country. I did wish there were some veggies in it, but that may just be the American me :) I don't think I would go to the trouble though of making it just for myself so it may not see another run in our house. But I enjoyed trying it!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Coming up next??????

Ok, so I may be jumping the gun a bit but I am really enjoying our blog and hope everyone is up for another round! I know this last round we all agreed to follow a theme and i was just wondering what the thoughts were for our next round? Personally, I have loved all the soups and like adding new to my repitoire BUT, think I prefer to have the random chaos of culinary creations. I am totally up for anything and if everyone else wants to do a theme again then I'm game. IF not, and we go back to whatever each "chef" deems chic for the week then I will gladly go along. soooo what's your thoughts ladies??

Monday, January 12, 2009

Broccoli (but really Vegetable) Cheese Soup

We loved the Broccoli Cheese soup. I loved all the vegetables that were in it, it was such a pretty soup when it was all done, I'm sad I forgot to take a picture! I actually did double the liquids and the cheese and threw in a little more of the veggies because it didn't look like very much with the prescribed amount, at least not enough to feed 3 hungry adults and 2 hungry kiddos. We all enjoyed it and my Mom liked it so much she's making it again this week. I concur with Tisha this will be added to my soup list!

Perfectly Cheesy Soup

I finally made the broccoli cheese soup last week, and I loved it! I thought it was creamy, flavorful, and hearty. I really liked the variety of vegetables in the soup. I have never made a cheese soup, so I was worried the cheese would be overpowering, but the amount of cheesiness (haha) was perfect. I will definitely be adding this to my list of staple recipes. Thanks, Staci!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Thai Chicken Coconut Soup

First of all, Happy New Year fellow Chic Chefs! Cheers to an upcoming year of creative new recipes, funny cooking stories, and blatantly honest reviews!

So my soup recipe is very simple, in fact I am going to recommend that you purchase a store bought soup base for it if possible (because of the amazing flavor it adds), but nevertheless it is the soup I most look forward to on cold days, and it makes for a great
weeknight meal. Jeremy and I first discovered this soup at a surprisingly authentic Thai restaurant in town, and we have been recreating it at home ever since. The recipe is a combination of instructions from my "Quick & Easy Thai" cookbook and additions that we have stumbled upon. Enjoy!

Thai Coconut Chicken Soup

1 packet "A Taste of Thai Coconut Ginger Soup Base"** (available at Fred Meyer)
1.5 cups coconut milk
1 or 2 chicken breasts, cut in large chunks
1.5 cups chicken broth
2 stalks lemongrass, cut in 1 inch sections
6 wild lime leaves torn (optional)
1 piece of ginger or galanga, peeled and sliced
1 cup mushrooms, sliced or halved
1/2 sweet yellow onion, cut in wedges
1 yellow summer squash or zucchini, sliced
1 tablespoon lime juice
coarsely chopped cilantro for garnish

Combine coconut milk and soup base over medium heat. Add chicken and cook 2 minutes. Add chicken broth and next 5 ingredients (through zucchini). Cover and simmer until chicken is cooked through and veggies soft (10-20 minutes). Stir in lime juice and cilantro. Serve in a bowl over jasmine rice or with a round of bread.
* If you can't find the soup base, use extra lime juice and also add 2tbl fish sauce just before serving.
NOTE: It is easy to overcook the chicken in this recipe, so keep your simmer low and don't dice the chicken too small.

Better late then never!

I swear this is the theme for my life! I have been cooking just not able to post so much. Things have been crazy around here with with Christmas and with all this snow. After 3 weeks of snow i can finally see my grass! It might not sound like much to some of you but we have never had this much snow in Seattle in my life time. The reason I'm telling you all this is so you can understand what happen to the lamb soup. Carrie and I got this great idea out shopping that the day we did our Christmas breakfast that if all was going well we would make soup for dinner while the kids played. I'm sure some of you are laughing and will not be shocked to find out that we didn't make the soup! So a day or two later I made the soup. So as I'm making a double patch of the soup (so i could take to Carrie) my husband is watching the news and they are saying all this stuff about 70mph winds and that it is going to be the worst right where we live! So since it seems that we lose power if some one sneezes to hard we thought we would be smart and pack our bags just in case the power goes out in the middle of the night. So now my house smells so good from the soup and just as I'm adding the egg the power starts to flicker! I did finish the soup and Nathan and i split a meatball to make sure it was done and we both thought it was great and then we both looked outside again to see that in the hour the soup was cooking we must have gotten like 4 inches of snow. With only my Acura working at the time Nathan made the call to go stay at his parents! The good news is it was a very good thing we left our house since we got some much snow that our car was stuck at my in laws for 3 days. The bad news was by the time we got back to the house and done with all the Christmas stuff we still needed to do the soup was bad! I was so sad! I think i will try this one again when they are only forecasting rain!

I also made Carries soup and it was a hit around here! The boys both had so much! The only thing Nathan said is he thought it needed more meat. I also gave some to my grandparents and they both really loved it too. They only thing they said it they could have done without the meat! I guess you can't please them all!

Also Happy New Year ladies! Even though I'm pretty bad about posting I love this and I hope that we keep it up for a long time.