"Sometimes I wonder about my life. I lead a small life - well, valuable, but small - and sometimes I wonder, do I do it because I like it, or because I haven't been brave?" - Kathleen Kelly (You've Got Mail)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Toasted Coconut Rice Krispie Treats

Oh my gosh...these are like a little piece of heaven in your mouth! So simple, yet so delicious! I love rice krispie treats and a looooove coconut so I knew I couldn't go wrong mixing the two together. I may or may not have eaten these for breakfast today ;)

Toasted Coconut Rice Krispie Treats

3 tbsp. butter
10 oz. bag mini marshmallows
1 1/2 c. toasted shredded sweetened coconut*, divided
1 1/4 tsp. coconut extract
5 c. Rice Krispies cereal
Generously spray a 13x9 pan with cooking spray and set aside.  In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium/low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Stir in half the toasted coconut (3/4 cup) and the coconut extract. Remove from heat and stir in the cereal until well combined. Spoon into the prepared pan and press down with your fingers (it helps if you put a little cold water on your finger tips to prevent sticking). Sprinkle the remaining 3/4 cup of toasted coconut on top and press lightly. Allow to cool at least 30 minutes before cutting and severing.

*To toast coconut, heat a skillet over medium heat (no oil needed) and add coconut. Stir constantly until lightly browned and crunchy, about 5 minutes.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Healthier Sesame Chicken

Here's yet another photo my hubby snapped on his iPhone at the dinner table. I've been too lazy to get my camera out I guess! This recipe is from my friend Jessy's blog. I've had it saved all year and finally got around to making it this week! Mine didn't turn out nearly as pretty as hers but it sure did taste amazing. And it was SO easy! I usually shy away from making Asian dishes at home because they usually involve many steps and a deep fryer. This didn't require either. We'll definitely eat this again!

Healthier Sesame Chicken
1/2 c. all purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/4 c. reduced sodium soy sauce
1/4 c. white sugar
1/2 tsp. sesame oil
1 tbsp. sesame seeds
1/4 c. chopped scallions

In a gallon size Ziploc bag, combine flour, salt and pepper. Add chicken to the bag, seal and shake well to coat. Generously spray a large skillet with non stick cooking spray and heat to medium-high heat. Add chicken to the hot skillet and cook, stirring occasionally for 4-5 minutes, until no longer pink. Transfer to a plate.
Reduce heat to medium and add soy sauce and sugar to the skillet. Stir until the sugar dissolves, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in the sesame oil and sesame seeds. Finally, add chicken and scallions. Toss and serve immediately over hot, steamed brown rice. Makes 4 servings.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Raspberry Almond Bars - take 1

I say "take 1" because I have a pile of raspberry almond bars/tarts/cakes etc. that I'll be trying out over the next several weeks to determine which recipe is best. Then I'll make my favorite for a big event I'm baking for in September.

This one turned out well. I don't have anything to compare it to though since it's the first! But it was really easy to make and they don't seem dry (something I'm trying to avoid). I'm feeding these to a group of ladies this evening...so we'll see if they go over well!

Raspberry Almond Bars

2 c. white flour
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 c. butter, softened
1 c. sugar
1 egg
2 tsp. almond extract
10 oz. raspberry preserves
1/2-3/4 c. sliced almonds

Preheat oven to 350 and grease a 13x9 pan and set aside. Sift together flour, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl and set aside. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 1 minute on medium speed. Beat in the egg and almond extract. Next, slowly add the flour mixture until well combined. Press the dough into the prepared baking pan and spread evenly with raspberry preserves. Sprinkle with the sliced almonds and bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, until dough is set. Cool completely, cut into squares and serve.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Mango Coconut Sorbet

Wow! This post is long overdue! So sorry for how dead it's been around here. We're still busy busy getting our house in order....I'll have some room reveal posts soon! Over the last couple weeks I redid our laundry room, Amelia's room and put some finishing touches on Margot's room. It's looking and feeling great!

I really wanted to take a moment and share this sorbet recipe with you. It's just too good not to! I made this for my family earlier this week and it was consumed immediately! Everyone raved about it. Even a couple people who don't care for either flavors loved it. Mango and coconut are two of my favorite things to eat so I was super excited to make this! It met all my expectations and then some! I can't wait to make it again. Someone snapped this photo and posted it on Instagram. I borrowed it since it was the only one taken :)

Mango Coconut Sorbet

3/4 c. white sugar
1/4 c. water
2 c. peeled and cubed ripe mango
13.5 oz. can coconut milk
1 tbsp. fresh lime juice
1.5 tsp. coconut extract
1/2 c. flaked coconut, toasted*

In a small saucepan over med/low heat, combine the water and sugar and stir occasionally until sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat. Next, place the mango cubes, coconut milk, lime juice and coconut extract into a blender and pulse until smooth. Add the sugar water and pulse a few more times until well combined. Place mixture into a container with a lid and refrigerate until chilled, at least 3 hours. Once mixture is chilled, place in your ice cream maker and freeze to soft serve consistency. Transfer to a freezer container with lid and freeze 2-3 hours, until firm. Serve topped with toasted coconut*. Makes 6 servings.

*To toast coconut, heat a large skillet over med/high heat (no oil needed) and add coconut. Stir constantly until lightly browned and crunchy, about 5 minutes. Cool and serve.