DaMama's Kitchen

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Foodie Blog

DaMama's Foodie Blog

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Fajita Seasoning Blend

Posted by DaMama on October 7, 2013 at 2:10 PM Comments comments (0)

Fajita Seasoning Blend


1 Tbs Corn Starch

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp sugar

¾ tsp ground chicken bullion

½ tsp onion salt

¼ tsp garlic powder

¼ tsp cayenne pepper

¼ tsp cumin

2 tsp chili powder

½ tsp salt

 

Use dry herbs and spices. Blend thoroughly and store in airtight container for up to 1 year…I have to make new about every 6-8 weeks because we use it up!

 

You can use this as a dry rub for grilling or to season and sauté veggies. Add fresh squeezed lime as you remove food from the heat to brighten all the flavors.

 


Namaste (Hello)

Posted by DaMama on October 4, 2013 at 12:55 AM Comments comments (0)

Butternut Squash Soup - Curry

We love experiencing alternate cultures and adapting elements into our daily lives. My husband recently started working for an outsource IT contract company that is based in India. We live stateside but have had the opportunity to experience this culture in a new way. A couple months ago, “the boss” came over from India for about a week. I decided to host a team dinner party at my home. Many who practice the religion of Hinduism are either strictly vegetarian or have alternating days of vegetarianism. I gave great thought to what I would serve to our guests. I wanted to be careful to not try to mimic the food of a country I have never personally been to. I also wanted to serve all vegetarian so that no matter where our guests were on the dietary spectrum, they could try it all. I have also found that folks want to have flavors similar to what they are used to because, let’s face it, it’s scary to go too far out of your comfort zone! The conclusion was to make this wonderful butternut squash soup with curry spices. It was a little nerve racking making a new dish and serving it the same day to guests I’ve never met before. I started with scouring the internet for concepts. I am the kind of cook who never takes a recipe at face value. So I did my research and used my experience with blending flavors and came up with the following recipe. Please feel free to tweak it as necessary for your palette. Our guests loved the soup! Keep in mind there is a great deal of spice heat in this soup so if you are nervous to push the spice envelope, leave out the cayenne and maybe use less garlic. Taste throughout the process. If you get it too spicy, add more coconut milk to the pot or add some plain Greek yogurt or sour cream to individual bowls.

Humbly Yours,

DaMama

 

2 Butternut Squash – peeled and cubed

1 Tbs Coconut Oil

1 onion – chopped

2 Carrots – chopped

4 Garlic cloves, minced

2 Tbs curry powder

1 tsp kosher salt

½ tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp cayenne pepper (optional)

1 (13 oz) can coconut milk

32 oz chicken or veg stock

In Large soup pot, heat oil over medium heat, add onions and carrots; sauté until tender. Add cubed butternut squash, stock, coconut milk and seasoning. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer for about 20 minutes. Before serving, puree with an immersion blender until smooth. Taste and add salt & pepper to taste. Optional: top with a dollop of Greek yogurt or Sour Cream.

 

Avocado Cheesecake

Posted by DaMama on August 24, 2013 at 1:35 PM Comments comments (1)

Avocado Cheesecake

Our son Christian (currently age 7), like many on the autism specturm,  is a very picky eater. Getting him to eat fruit or veggies sometimes takes an act of congress! The rest of us, on the other hand, can’t get enough fresh veggies and fruits. We were quite spoiled living in Central Florida where nearly any day of the week, you could find a true farmer’s market with real people who grew their foods sold them to you! Now that we are in Atlanta, this is not such an easy thing to find. There are “Farmer’s Markets” but so far we have found that most of them are simply vendors and sell the things which they have created. This is often eclectic and interesting and a lot of fun, but is not the place to find our locally grown produce. We have spent several days/weeks trying to find local produce. On one such trip, we found ourselves at an adorable historic city. The sights, scents and sounds were enticing to say the least! Among the vendors at this market we found a woman offering free samples of her cheesecakes. Who’s going to turn down free samples of cheesecake (besides those with allergies)? She offered us avocado or sweet potato cheesecake. I looked at Christian with apprehension in my eyes. I thought to myself, he will never go for this and it’s going to end in a tantrum because he was teased by the offer of cheesecake. He looked up at this unusual woman and said, “I’d like to try the avocado please.” I just about fell over!!! Not only is he trying something that he KNEW had a fruit (yes avocado is a fruit) in it but he spoke to someone whom he had never met before and clearly asked to try something new! We all tried it and LOVED it! I know we should have purchased from her but honestly, she wanted $20 for 12 mini cheesecakes. I hadn’t brought that much cash with me and I did still need to buy what produce I could find. So Reese (the oldest at 19) and I decided that we can figure this recipe out and we did! This is a great cheesecake because it is light and not over dense. The fats in avocado are way healthier for you than what you will find in cream cheese and has some protein in it which helps your body handle the glucose better. I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s ‘GOOD FOR YOU’ but it is at least a little bit of a better choice.

 

2 ripe California Haas avocados zest of 1 large lime

16 oz. cream cheese 1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs *UPDATE try Nilla Wafers instead of Graham Crackers!

1 ½ cup sugar plus ¼ cup for crust 1/3 cup butter, melted

1 ½ tsp vanilla or lemon extract non-stick cooking spray or butter to grease pan

4 eggs

 

Preheat oven to 300* F

In medium mixing bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs and ¼ cup sugar, add butter and stir to make crust.

Grease bottom and sides of a 9- inch spring form baking pan then press graham cracker mixture evenly on the bottom of pan, going up about ¼ inch up the sides.

Bake for 7 minutes for the crust to set. Remove and allow to cool.

 

In a large mixing bowl, place cream cheese (room temperature) and mix with hand mixer until smooth. Add avocado, 1 ½ cup sugar and extract. Mix until well combined.

While mixing, carefully add eggs, one at a time until well combined.

Run this mixture through a fine strainer into another bowl.

Fold in zest and stir to combine.

Carefully pour mixture in pan over crust, evenly smooth out to cover with a spatula.

Bake 1 hour. Let cool at room temperature and refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving.

Top with your favorite toppings. We will usually use a fruit reduction and a Chantilly Crème.

 


 

Parlez Vous?

Posted by DaMama on August 23, 2013 at 9:50 PM Comments comments (0)

Poulet Marengo

For the last week and a half we have had a very special friend visiting. Berangere, from France, came to us first as an exchange student three years ago while we lived in Florida and I believe she fell in love with the U.S. We are unique as a country, that is for sure! She has returned to us for an all too short visit in the state of Georgia this time! Tonight I hoped to give her a taste of home. I don't know if I hit the mark of "home" but the meal has become a fan favorite! Poulet Marengo is a dish taught to me by my mother many years ago. This is one I have not altered except to add MORE for the additional family members. We have also changed the white rice of the original accompaniment to the more flavorful whole grain brown rice. The bread is a new addition. At 17:00 (or 5:00PM) I realized that I had waited too long to start some nice fresh bread for dinner. I scoured the internet and found a savory quick bread that is said to be French. I didn't have exactly what the recipe called for but close enough! The bread is a roasted tomato, bell pepper and feta cheese or in French: Cake aux Tomates Séchées, Poivrons et Feta. I don't speak French AT ALL so I will leave that for someone else to correct. To describe the bread, I would have to say it was almost the cacciatore of breads! Made with the rich oil of olives and the firm creamy goodness of feta cheese, the bread keeps a great moist texture much like a cake. The herbs and garden flavors of the tomatoes and peppers creates a fresh burst of summer on your palette. The bread is easily a new household favorite!  Please enjoy the recipes and let me know what you think!

Poulet Marengo

1/3 cup flour 2 Tbs olive oil
1/2 tsp salt 2 Tbs butter (use the real stuff, trust me)
1/2 tsp tarragon 3/4 cup white wine (whatever you're drinking)
1/8 tsp ground black pepper 1 can (15 oz) stewed or diced tomatoes
1 1/2 lbs skinless, boneless chicken breast 4 mushrooms - sliced (give or take)
1  tsp (or more) parsley 2 gloves garlic - pressed

Mix flour, salt, pepper and tarragon; dredge chicken with the seasoned flour. Reserve remaining flour.
In a large skillet heat olive oil and butter, add the chicken and brown on all sides.
Remove the chicken to a heavy casserole. Add reserved flour to fat remaining in skillet and gradually stir in the wine. When gravy is thickened and smooth, pour over chicken in baking dish.
Press fresh garlic over chicken, cover with mushrooms, tomatoes and parsley. Cover and bake in a moderate over (350*) for 45 minutes.* 
Serve over rice, we like whole grain brown.

*tonight I baked at 400 for 40 minutes to coordinate with the bread.

Cake aux Tomates Sechees, Poivrons et Feta OR
Dried Tomato, Bell Pepper and Feta Cheese Bread

1 1/2 cup flour
2 heaping tsp baking powder
3 eggs
1/2 cup olive oil (extra virgin is the best)
1/2 cup milk (we used 1%, doesn't matter, whatever you have)
1/2 cup roasted tomatoes (original called for sun dried but I had recently roasted some organic tomatoes from a farmer's market so used those)
1/2 cup canned red bell pepper - drained
7 (ish) ounces of Feta Cheese (We use Feta in many salads and happened to have 3 OPEN containers of varying amounts and flavorings. We used them all and the herb flavored added another level of flavor which was delightful)

Mix flour and baking powder then gradually add eggs one at a time until consistent. Add oil and milk and note that this is a quick bread and will be very wet! Chop tomatoes and peppers to desired thickness and add to batter. Finally stir Feta Cheese through and pour into greased bread pan. 
Bake at 400* for 40 to 45 minutes. Insert toothpick or cake tester and when it comes clean, Bon Appetit!! You will not be disappointed!!!

Make sure you serve this meal with some veggies!

Humbly Yours,
DaMama

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