Thai cashew chicken lettuce wraps

 

As is the case in most of my recipes I don’t have a recipe. I decided to make these Thai cashew chicken wraps. I had so much fun inventing a recipe for them that I forgot to write it down as I made it. Here are the wonderful lettuce wraps made with cashews and chicken topped with green onions and fresh cilantro.  The dipping sauce was amazing sweetened and spiced to perfection. They were perfect, I bought growing lettuce which is tender and has a light flavor. The Thai sauce with cilantro, green onions, and pepper flakes was sweetened with honey. These flavors blended with the chicken and cashews were just what I was craving on a hot summer day. DANG WHERE IS THAT RECIPE!!

Pulse chicken breasts in a food processor several times until a fine chop occurs. Resist the urge to over chop or you will end up with chicken burger instead.  Combine vinegar, coconut aminos, red pepper flakes and honey for sauce. Separate half of the sauce and pour over chicken, stir to cover all. Marinate for 30 minutes.Melt coconut oil in fry pan over medium high heat.  Add chicken to fry pan. Quickly cook the meat stirring constantly. Cook just until meat turns white, then remove from heat.Have washed and dried lettuce ready. Arrange dipping sauce, chopped cilantro, green onion tops and chopped cashews in bowl. This is now ready to build your lettuce wraps

Ingredients
  • Sauce
  • 4 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 8 table spoon coconut aminos
  • 4 tablespoons lime juice
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Filling
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 2 shallots
  • 3 tablespoon fresh mint
  • 3 tablespoon fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons tapioca flour
  • 1 head bibb lettuce
  • ½ cup chopped cashews
  • 10-15 cilantro sprigs
Instructions
  1. Separate lettuce leaves, rinse and let rest in water bath for 30 minutes, rinse and let dry
  2. Combine sauce ingredients, stir to combine.
  3. Chop chicken in food processor to a fine texture. DO not grind you still want small individual pieces about ⅛-1/4″ in size.
  4. Pour ½ of sauce over chicken, stir and let marinate 30 minutes
  5. Chop peppers into thin slices and then cut in half
  6. slice shallots thin, chop mint and cilantro. Add to chicken toss to combine.
  7. To reserved sauce add tapioca flour, stir to combine.
  8. Melt oil in fry pan, over medium high heat.
  9. Saute meat just until it turns white.
  10. Pour of sauce in separate saute pan heat until thickened
  11. Add half of the sauce to the chicken. Stir to combine, heat a few minutes until chicken is coated.
  12. Use remainder of sauce for dipping, thin with water if needed.
  13. In a lettuce leave scoop in about 2 tablespoons of filling, sprinkle with cashew and cilantro sprigs, then fold over sides and dip in the sauce
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Fresh peach smoothie

I am a sucker for anything peach. Peaches bring back memories of our back yard as a kid and laying under the peach tree. We spent many hours waiting anxiously for those peaches to get ripe. When they finally were we would pick them and eat them right then and there with the juice running down our chin and arms. That one small gnarled tree gave us bushels of peaches every year. I still wait anxiously for peach season to arrive. A fresh peach smoothie is the best way to bring back those days of summer. Fresh peaches mixed with milk and a protein powder is delicious and nutritious. I also like to use frozen peaches just because it makes it nice and cold.

Peel and slice peaches

Make sure your peaches are ripe. They should be soft to the touch but firm, and have a strong peach smell. Wash the peaches then cut them in half. Remove peels with a paring knife, a ripe peach peel should come off easily. Remove the pit, a freestone peach pit will remove easily otherwise cut the peach meat away from the stone. Slice the peaches.

Combine ingredients

In a blender pour 1 cup of milk or milk alternative, (fresh half and half or coconut cream can be used to make it extra creamy) Add your favorite protein powder and the prepared peach slices. Add several cubes of ice. Pulse in the blender a few times then puree in blender until smooth.

Pour smoothie in glass

Once the smoothie is well blended. Pour into a glass and enjoy the fresh flavor of summer. The thick creamy mixture will replenish your body and your soul. This makes a great breakfast drink and a cool afternoon pick me up. This would be extra good poured over some diced peaches for variety.

Ingredients
  • 2-4 fresh ripe peaches
  • 1 cup milk or milk alternative
  • ¼ cup protein powder of your choice
Instructions
  1. Wash peaches, peel then cut in half and remove pit.
  2. Slice and put in blender, add the milk.
  3. Add protein powder.
  4. Pulse a few times, then puree until smooth.
  5. Pour in glass and enjoy

Food bloggers field trip

Utah food bloggers recently went on a field trip to Logan UT. The day started off at the Logan’s Historic Courthouse where the Gardeners Market (Farmers market) is located every Saturday during the summer. An abundance of fresh produce and other items were available to purchase. Here we were served free pancakes from “Stacked Pancakes”, complete with fresh fruit, and buttermilk syrup. We then wandered around the Gardeners Market which was incredible. After shopping for delicious fresh grown produce, we all drove to a local jam producer “Butchers Bunches”. This company started with a batch of jam and an idea, to make sugar free jam. This simple idea turned into a successful business. Following this stop we then went to “Gibbons Green Gate” a local farm in Smithfield UT They produces grass fed, free range, lamb, beef, fresh eggs and heirloom produce, which is then served on site at their farm to fork restaurant, “Carriage House Kitchen”. Here we sampled some of their delicious menu items, pepperoni omelet, fresh lamb sausage, zuchinni cookies. At this point I had to leave but the Annette and the rest of the group went on to Cafe Sabor for a delicious lunch, and they ended the day with a fresh batch of kettle corn from Craig Winder. I was sad to miss the last two event, but I look forward to our next field trip.

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The followign post contains sponsored links.  The authors received free products and services for participation in this event.

What fun can be had a a farmers market. Especially if it is a fantastic gardeners market. Like the one in Cache valley, which is held next to the Historic courthouse in Logan Utah also known as Cache Valley. This market had all the items one would expect, an abundance of fresh grown local fruits and vegetables and local vender’s of clothing, jewelry and crystals. As one would expect to find in Logan there was fresh local berries, which Cache valley is famous for. (In Utah anyway) Of course the sellers of the products were eager and willing to let you sample the product they were selling, raw honey and vinegar, salsa, bread, hummus. The variety found here was so fun and exciting I hated to leave.Cache Valley Garden Market can be found on the web at www.gardenersmarket.org

Short stack or tall stack which ever is your preference :Stacked Pancakes” has just what you are looking for. They can be found Saturday mornings at the Garden Market in Logan UT. The choices they have for finishing off your pancakes include; blueberries, strawberries bananas, pecans, peanut butter, Nutella and honey and their special homemade buttermilk syrup. The batter is whipped up right before your eyes using a cordless drill with a special whip attachment. The hot pancakes are cooked on a grill right before your eyes and the fresh topping are sliced and prepared  as you watch and wait for your name to be called. However you want your pancakes stacked this is the place to go. Get your pancakes and enjoy the rest of your day at the Garden Market in Logan UTTo find our more about Stacked and their services  www.stacked-pancakes.com

Liz Butcher greeted us in the loading bay of her commercial kitchen to show us her newest secret recipe.  I can’t tell you want exactly is in it, but the pictures give you an idea.   Her jams are all natural with no added sugar (ok one has some added sugar).  Even her pectin is gluten-free—–who knew that pectin had wheat flour in it?

Liz’s process is so much like homemade that if we weren’t using 20 gallon stock pots and standing down the hall from the loading dock I would have sworn we were at Liz’s house.  It’s simple, natural and obviously that makes it delicious.  We asked her all about how she choose her bottle design (turns out she was a graphic artist in another life), where she sourced her fruit (turns our she used to be a farmer), how she gets her inspiration (this one came from a pie), and most importantly we asked if we can sample.  And boy did we sample.  Liz combines unique flavors to create such amazing mixtures as Mint Lemonade Jam and Balsamic Berry Drizzle….I still can’t get over how they are all sugar free but without sugar substitute!  This tastes wonderful.  I have seen these jars at my local Harmon’s Grocery (guess they are at Whole Foods too)  and never understood why they held a space next too the gourmet cheese.  I comprehend it all now!!!!  And I am glad I know where to grab me a few jars.

Check out all their jams at butchersbunches.com

Gibbon’s Green Gate

“Farm to Table” have you heard of it?  Probably.  Have you experienced it?  Maybe.  Would you like to?  Definitely.  Green Gibbons Farm in Logan, Cache Valley is just that a farm to table breakfast joint situated in the middle of 6 acres of land used to breed cows, chicken and lamb.  With an extensive kitchen garden.

After Jared Gibbon graduated from Utah State University in Horticulture, he came to his father with this new idea of shortening the supply chain in the food so small that people would come to the farm to eat.  They grabbed a few more acres, built a kitchen and dining area above the garage and now they serve up omelettes and goodness to  locals and snowbirds for breakfast two days a week (Friday and Saturday only).

Jared carefully choose animal breeds for taste and yield to ensure that this kitchen offers the finest.  I can tell you that I thought the idea of lamb as a breakfast meet would be, in a word, “yucky”.  But Jared and his sister (chief recipe designer) have proven me wrong.  I actually found the lamb sausage to be tasty and not overpowering with that dry grassy tasty I ave had with lamb.  We wer also served up their Sicilian Omlette:  fresh eggs with pepperoni, a feta from their coworker’s own goats, and some kalamata olives  (ok the olives aren’t local).

The food may be the purpose of this kitchen, but the dining area just invites you to come in, sit down and enjoy.  Looking our picture windows as the grassy expanse of their property with mountains in the background you feel a part of the slow pace of a farm life.  With touches of country home from the wild flower filled vases to the farmstead tables you want to pull up a chair and set a while.

To call for reservations refer to their website http://gggfarm.com/

Cafe Sabor

Our final stop on this amazing tour was at Cafe Sabor.  The restaurant is in an old train station building lending it a pleasant aged feeling and a sense of authenticity you can’t get anywhere.  There is another restaurant I know of in Salt Lake City that is in an old train station, but Cafe Sabor has me loving their food so much more.  Just look at the custom menu they did for us.  These are all their best dishes.  How is a girl to decided?

I was torn between the house signature of Pollo Durango and the Sweet Pork Quesadilla (I really can’t turn away a quesadilla).

For hours and menu details check their website www.cafesabor.com

Kettle Corn

Since this is a foodie tour we can’t leave our restaurant without food.  So Craig Winder, local lawyer turned Kettle corn maker, shared his product with us.  Apparently lawyers are subject to being concerned about rising college costs, because he said he started the kettle corn business to get money set aside for is kid’s college.  He began selling the corn at Aggie (Utah State University) football games.  And it’s still going strong….not so strong he doesn’t keep his day job.

As kettle corn goes, this is good stuff.  I am not a huge popcorn fan in general.  But kettle corn does have that appealing sweet-salty combo.  And KettleCopia does not disappoint.  Kind makes me crave football season.

And in the end we all had a wonderful time.  When can we get together again and enjoy all the delicious foodie-ness of Logan, Cache Valley?

Birthday waffles

Belgian waffles are wonderful all by themselves, but when you add ice cream and fruit they become extra special birthday waffles. I made these for my kids on their birthday. Even after they were grown and out of the house they thought I should come and make them for them. It was always so fun to start of their special day with a birthday waffle piled high with ice cream, fresh fruit, whipped cream, sprinkles and, of course, a candle.

One year when my middle child was turning 10, we were traveling to Lake Tahoe with my sister and her kids. We were in Winnemucca, Nevada at breakfast time and we went in search of breakfast waffles. We went to several restaurants looking for one that had waffles with ice cream we finally found a cute  little cafe. With 5 kids in tow we went in and had a birthday breakfast party with birthday waffles. They all still remember this fun day.

Ingredients for great Belgium waffles include; flour, sugar, eggs, salt, milk, cream of tartar and melted butter.

One of the secrets to great Belgium waffles is cream of tartar. It is that mystery ingredient at the back of your spice cabinet. The white one you bought once but can’t remember why.

Combine flour, cream of tartar, egg yolks, milk, salt, sugar and butter. Stir until well blended.

The secret to true Belgium waffles is whipped egg whites. Start with separating the egg yolks from the egg whites. Place the yolks and white in separate bowls. You can buy fancy egg separators however I have found that the egg shell is by far the best tool.

Be sure no yellows are in the bowl, any yolk will prevent the whites from fluffing. Once the whites are separated, whip with a whisk until soft peaks form. This will take several minutes if done by hand. It can also be done with a mixer that has whisk attachments.

When you have whipped the egg whites to soft peaks, fold into the prepared batter. Gently fold eggs over batter by hand until eggs are fully incorporated. DO NOT beat the batter at this point as it will break down the fluffy egg whites. Gentle folding is all that is needed.

Preheat waffle iron. When it is hot pour on the batter. It is best to spray the iron with nonstick spray to prevent sticking. Close the lid and let the waffle cook until golden brown. This takes several minutes depending on your waffle iron. I like my standard Belgium waffle iron, the new fancy ones that flip just take up too much space. TIP: The lid will not lift easily if the waffle is not done. So, if the lid sticks do not try to force it open or your waffle will separate into pieces.

Waffles are delicious any way you choose to top them. Plain with just syrup or all decked out for birthday waffles.

Ingredients
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 2 cups milk
  • ¼ cup melted butter
Instructions
  1. Separate egg yolks from egg whites.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk egg whites until soft peaks form.
  3. Combine flour, sugar, cream of tartar and salt on a mixing bowl.
  4. In another bowl combine the egg yolks, milk and butter, mix to combine.
  5. Stir the milk mixture into the dry ingredients stir until just moistened.
  6. Gently fold the egg whites into above batter.
  7. Pour about 1½ cups of batter into heated belgian waffle iron.A soup ladle works really well.
  8. Cook until golden brown. If the lid won’t lift they are not done yet.
  9. If 1 /12 cups of batter is too much reduce amount of batter for next waffle.
Notes
Any fruit goes well with these. Fresh sliced peaches in the fall, warm cinnamon apples in the winter and berries for spring and summer. Whatever is your favorite or what is available for the season, it will make your day special.

Gluten free peach bread with crumb topping

As I have said many times I love anything peach and this gluten free peach bread with crumb toppings does not disappoint. With just a hint of cinnamon this will make your taste buds dance with delight. Warm from the oven it was surely divine and once it cooled it was just as delicious. The crumb topping on top was the perfect added touch. This is a great way to use those less than beautiful peaches. Serve this at a brunch or make for an afternoon tea, anytime it will be wonderful.

Peel the peaches, and slice. Remove and brown areas or other imperfections

Combine ingredients in mixing bowl. Blend on slow until incorporated, then mix on medium until the peaches are in small pieces.

Pour batter into a large bread pan or small casserole dish.  Cover with tin foil, leave the sides open. Bake at 400° for 30 minutes, remove foil and bake for 30 minutes more until light brown on top and a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool 10 minutes then remove from pan and cool before cutting.

Ingredients
  • 5-6 peaches to equal 3 cups
  • 4 cups gluten free all purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup coconut oil melted
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Peel peaches, remove brown spot and other imperfections
  2. Slice peaches. Set aside.
  3. In mixing bowl combine flour, oil, eggs, salt, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon,
  4. Blend to combine ingredients.
  5. Add peaches, mix on medium speed until peaches a small bits.
  6. Spray a large bread pan or a small casserole dish with nonstick baking spray.
  7. Poor batter in pan, place a piece of tinfoil on top of the pan and bake at 400 degrees for 30 min.
  8. Remove foil and bake for 30 minutes more until toothpick comes out clean.
  9. Let cool 10 minutes then remove from pan to finish cooling.
  10. Serve warm topped with ice cream or cooled with some softened cream cheese.

Gluten free blueberry pancakes

I love blueberry pancakes. This version of gluten free blueberry pancakes puts all others to shame. I order blueberry pancakes anytime I am at a restaurant that serves them. The warm berries pop in your mouth with juicy blueberry-ness and the sweet maple syrup adds to the blueberry tangy flavor. I thought blueberry pancakes always had blueberries inside the pancake. One time at a restaurant in the middle of Nebraska I ordered blueberry pancakes and I specifically asked if the blueberries were inside and the waitress told me yes. I was more than irritated when the blueberry pancakes arrived with blueberry filling on top of my pancakes and NO blueberries inside of the pancakes. I was so irritated I just ate them.

Here is a perfect gluten free version of homemade blueberry pancakes with fresh plump blueberries inside. The batter is made with fresh buttermilk, which makes a light and fluffy pancake, I used all-purpose gluten free flour in place of regular flour and the flavor was amazing, no hint of pastiniess as is sometimes the case when it is gluten free. Topped with fresh plump berries, baked in to the pancake, this was truly an all you can eat pancake delight.

What would gluten free pancakes be without fresh plump juicy blueberries? Wash, remove stems and leaves and any bruised fruit then let dry before sprinkling on batter.

Gluten free blueberry pancakes start with all purpose gluten free flour. Mix dry ingredients together to incorporate, then add the melted butter, whisk egg and milk. Stir to mix thoroughly. It is ok if the batter is a bit lumpy. If it is too thick add a bit of milk until it becomes a pourable consistency.  Thin enough to pour but not so thick it won’t spread out. Heat up griddle to medium-high or 350 degrees. Spray with non-stick spray.  To test the griddle is hot enough drop a few drops of water they should sizzle and evaporate in a few seconds. Pour out 1/2-3/4 batter depending on how big you want them.  Watch for bubbles to form before adding blueberries.

Once the edges of the pancake start to look dry, gently lift edge to see if it is turning brown. If not let is set a few minutes, if it is then carefully flip it over. It works best if the flipper is more than 75% under the pancake. Allow this side to cook until it is no longer doughy. The top should be firm when touched. Invert onto a plate, pile high with several pancakes at a time. Go for the tall stack. Add butter and fresh maple syrup for the ultimate in breakfast foods

Ingredients
  • 2 cups gluten free all purpose flour
  • 2 cups fresh buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 Tablespoon butter melted
  • 1 pint fresh blueberries washed and dried
  • Real maple syrup
Instructions
  1. Combine the gluten free flour, sugar, baking powder and salt, Whisk to combine.
  2. Add 1-3/4 cup buttermilk, whisk the egg, and melt the butter.
  3. Add egg and butter to flour mix, whisk until smooth. It is OK if it is a bit lumpy.
  4. Batter should be thick enough to poor but not so thin that it runs all over the griddle. If the batter seems excessively thick add remaining ¼ cup of milk and whisk again.
  5. Pour batter on a hot griddle that has been sprayed with nonstick spray.
  6. Pour ½-3/4 cup batter on griddle spread out a bit as needed.
  7. When dough starts to bubble sprinkle on blueberries. Let cook a few more minutes
  8. When bottom is golden brown and edges are dry. Flip the pancake with a large spatula in one fluid motion.
  9. Do not try to move it once it has been flipped let it cook for 2-3 minutes until dough is set then you can rearrange if needed.
  10. Keep warm on a plate under electric griddle in waiting to serve.

Homemade gluten free enchilada sauce

Ingredients
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • ¼ cup chili powder
  • ¼ cup garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • ¼ cup gluten free flour
Instructions
  1. Put chicken broth in medium bowl, add chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, oregano and salt.
  2. Whisk to combine.
  3. Heat coconut oil in sauce pan when hot add flour and stir to combine, it should form a bubbly paste.
  4. Add broth mixture and stir until sauce starts to bubble. Then remove from heat.
  5. Pour over your favorite mexican dishes; enchiladas, tamales, mexican rice and pulled pork or whatever you desire.
  6. Bake in oven for desired amount of time to make a hot bubbly spicy sauce.
Notes
Cayenne pepper can also be added to increase the heat, start with 1 teaspoon and increase as your palate desires.