Tuesday, July 20, 2010

katie's kitchen escapades

where do i begin? i was at work today working very hard of course, (okay, thinking about food) and i got a craving for pf chang's lettuce wraps. have you ever had them? yeah, you know why i got a craving for them! so i went searching (on.my.break.of.course) online for a recipe. i found one at grouprecipes.com that looked pretty good, so i printed it off and took it to whole foods with me to buy missing ingredients. as i was in the asian food section i glanced at the coconut milk and got another craving for my special coconut ice cream. i came up with the recipe a couple of years ago on a whim and it turned out so well. then, i remembered that i needed to get some low sugar pectin for some freezer jam i intended to make. so i headed over to the baking isle and got my pectin and a few other things. a trip that was meant to be a couple of minutes and 3 or 4 items turned into almost a full two weeks shopping trip ( i REALLY try to only shop every two weeks. i don't like grocery stores). with a full evening ahead of me in the kitchen i decided to record my activities so i could have something to show for the evening after all of the food has been consumed :)

pf changs lettuce wraps

here's the recipe. i added about 1 tablespoon of plum sauce and 2 teaspoons of oyster sauce as well. there is a notation on the recipe stating that instead of using chili sauce you could substitute cayenne or chili flakes. i used cayenne since it's what i had, but i used more than the recipe called for. it says to use 1/8 teaspoon, and for me that was not spicy enough so i used about 1/2 teaspoon. i used chicken breast and dark meat instead of the ground chicken, as i had some leftovers in the fridge waiting to be made wonderful :) c'mon it was a free range, natural, organic chicken. n-o-t-h-i-n-g about that chicken goes to waste not even the bones. (see how to use the bones here.)

since my chicken was already cooked, i simply sauteed the onions with some coconut oil in my cast iron pan until they were translucent, then added the chicken and the sauce mixture. waterchestnuts, mushrooms and green onions went in last. smells delicious!!! this was so easy, and really a good summer meal since it doesn't take heating up your entire kitchen.

i had received an adorable, tiny (softball sized) cabbage in my csa delivery last week, so i decided to use it instead of lettuce. good choice, although i think if i did it again i would steam them a minute before using them. the white stringy stuff you see are thin rice noodles. they add a bit of crunch, and the restaurant serves the wraps with them (the recipe did not call for them).

after dinner it was ice cream time!!!

my favorite recipe and flavor of coconut ice cream is the one i made up. i am sure someone else has thought of this too, but i don't know of it so i'll pretend this is all mine :)

2 eggs
2/3 cup sugar - beat the two together until thick and cream colored
2 c heavy or whipping cream
1 can regular coconut milk (using lite coconut milk will change the consistency and flavor of the ice cream)
beat these all together with a mixer, then transfer to your ice cream maker. i have a deni electric ice cream maker that was passed down to me a few years ago from my mom. once it is at a 'soft serve' stage, i add toasted coconut flakes.

the toasting makes them crispy and brings out the flavor so much more. yum. then i transfer it to a plastic container to go in the freezer for a while. after a couple of hours, it is set up enough to be scooped and enjoyed :)

now, for my first ever attempt at raw, lightly sweetened, freezer jam!!

yesterday mia and i went to philbrook farms and picked raspberries and blueberries. they were a buck a pound - you can't beat that unless you get them free from your backyard! i knew i wanted to try my hand at making jam this year after seeing a post on another blog using a simple method of preparing the fruit. i am not a fan of standing over a hot, boiling pot of fruit waiting for it to get to the right temperature to process in a hot water bath (yet more standing over pots of boiling liquid). i knew i wanted to try freezer jam, but when i saw lindsay's post i knew i wanted to try it raw too. no cooking? sounds good to me!

i am not going to post the recipe, since lindsay (passionatehomemating.com) did a great job on her site and i don't like duplicating work. visit her site, read her article, get the recipe there. she has an awesome site that i love going to regularly! i will say though that i used 1/2 cup raw honey and 1 cup sugar so that it wasn't too sweet from just one type of sweetener. also, here are some pics so you can see how easy it is.

i love that i could use so little sugar (1 cup!!!) and raw honey in this recipe and not lose the benefits of it being raw. same thing with the fruit. many nutrients and enzymes are lost when food is cooked, so keeping things as natural as possible is best. all in all, i started cooking at about 6:30 pm and finished at about 11. not bad for dinner, desert, and jam!

1 comment:

daisyfields said...

I am soooo excited to try those lettuce wraps! Thanks for sharing! :)