Mauve Cabinets and a Bottle of Red

My two passions–Food and books

Pasta Salad with Cantelope Dressing May 22, 2011

Filed under: Cookout/Potluck,Fruit,My Recipes,pasta,Quick and Easy,Salad — hmills96 @ 6:13 pm

One of the biggest challenges of going back to being single is learning how to budget groceries for one person. It might seem really simple–just buy less food! But for a cook who is used to cooking for others, it’s really hard! I go to the grocery store and get lost in the produce section, grabbing everything that looks good. It’s just really a bad way to do things. I’ve tried making meal plans, lists, but I can’t help it. I always buy way too much, and spend way more than I should.

Enter Angel Food Ministries. Every month there are a few different options on boxes you can buy, each ranging within $25-50. You order online by a certain date, then go pick it up at a local church. It was so easy, and the food is pretty good quality. I spent $60 and got at least $150 worth of groceries. Not only is it discounted food, it’ll keep me from buying everything in the store and wasting it all.

One of the boxes I got was a produce box. It had a melon, cucumbers, grape tomatoes, and a few other things, even a whole pineapple! I’ll have to learn how to break that down. It is super hot and muggy today, and a salad was just the thing to cool me off. This recipe needs some tweaking–I wish I would have had some mint, or dill. But overall, really good.

Pasta Salad with Cantelope Dressing
Original Recipe

1 cantelope, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 cucumber, cut into 1/2 cubes
1 cup grape tomatoes, sliced
Olive oil
Red Wine Vinegar
Salt & Pepper
Lime Juice
1 chicken breast, roasted in lemon juice, cubed

Set aside 1 cup of melon aside. In a food processor, puree the rest of the melon and half of the cucumber until smooth. Add vinegar and lime juice. Salt and pepper to taste. Blend. Slowly add olive oil  while food processor is on until you get your desired consistency.

Mix together cooked bowtie pasta (chilled), melon, cucumbers, tomatoes and dressing. Serve cold.


Spicy Mango Slaw May 4, 2010

Filed under: Cookout/Potluck,Fruit,Quick and Easy,Salad,Side Dish,Spring/Summer — hmills96 @ 6:25 pm
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J. and I were theorizing the other day. Why would God have created such an impossible fruit as the mango? It is soooooooooo delicious–IF you can get it into edible form. Most fruit has a round pit, or tiny seeds–peaches, pears, apples–all very easy to slice. Pineapple takes some muscle, but it’s not a puzzle. But mangoes–the pit is OBLONG. I mean COME ON!

Then, I had a revelation. Mangoes must have been the forbidden fruit on the Tree of Knowledge in Eden. Think about it. God did not mean this fruit to be eaten. OBviously. And…AND–It grows in hot climates. Eden is believed to have been between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers in the Fertile Crescent (the Middle East).

Anyway, they are delicious. But cutting them up is next to impossible. Every year I buy a few when they are in season at the market, and every year I say, “Never Again!” I’m pretty sure the only “easy” way to eat them is standing over your kitchen sink in your underwear. Take the peel off and just suck the fruit off the pit.

Or make this slaw–but it will require you to cut the fruit. It’s pretty worth it though. Especially when you have yummy pork tacos to go along with it. Which you will get the recipe for tomorrow, I promise.

Look at all the mangoey goodness!

Spicy Mango Slaw

Adapted from Cooking Light

1/2 head cabbage, shredded
2 green onions, minced
Juice of 2 limes
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil (since it’s a salad, go for the good stuff!)
2 Tbsp Rice Vinegar
2 fresh mangoes, sliced

Combine ingredients in a large bowl; Toss.


I got the picky kid to eat mustard! October 20, 2009

Filed under: Chicken,Fruit,Herbs — hmills96 @ 1:18 am
Meet B.

He’s basically at fault…er…responsible for bringing J. into my life. B. is my second cousin (or third, or something like that. Who knows really?) and J.’s best friend. Brother by a different Mother, if you will. And yes, I mean that in the cheesiest way possible. He was the best man at our wedding, and he continues to be the ultimate third wheel in our marriage (he even invited himself to our 1 year anniversary, but I nixed that pretty quickly). I would not have it any other way! We don’t see him as much as we used to when we lived up north, but he comes down for a night or two about once a month. Tonight was one such night. I had a recipe up my sleeve that I wanted to try, and I had been planning on making it for J. and P. (see the Buffalo Chicken Mini Night.) I invited them over too and set to meal planning. I was a little bit nervous though, because B. is the second pickiest eater I have ever met (ironically, the 1st pickiest is my ex’s best friend. Must be a side kick thing). J & P didn’t come over, but B. was pretty thrilled with dinner. “What is the spice that is on this? It has a kick!” It took me a minute to realize he was talking about the Dijon glaze. He was so proud of himself when I told him he was eating mustard, and liking it!

Mustard Glazed Chicken
5 chicken breasts
Poultry seasoning (I used Pampered Chef Sun Dried Tomato Mix)
Juice of 1 lime
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup soy sauce
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
3 clove garlic chopped
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup red wine
3 tsp Dijon Mustard
Juice of 1 lime
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup soy sauce
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
3 clove garlic chopped
Mix marinade ingredients together in plastic bag. Place chicken in bag and put in fridge for at least 4 hours.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Place chicken in 9×13 inch baking dish. Sprinkle with poultry seasoning.
In a small bowl, whisk together the rest of the ingredients. Pour over chicken. Bake chicken for about 20-25 minutes, basting 2-3 times during cooking time. Serve in baking dish with a large spoon so guests can help themselves to the extra glaze!
Cilantro Rice
Adapted from Aggie’s Kitchen
1 cup minute rice
2 cups cold water
3 cloves garlic, chopped
Large handful of fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
2-3 green onions, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
Worcestershire sauce
Splash white wine
Make rice according to package direction, with the addition of garlic. Fluff with a fork. Toss in cilantro, onions, salt and pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and white wine.
Cinnamon Apples
Recipe by Me!
5 Small to Medium apples (I used Honeycrisp because that’s what I had, Golden Delicious would be better for this though)
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp Nutmeg
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 cup real maple syrup
2 Tbsp butter
Peel and slice apples.
In large mixing bowl, mix sugar and spices. Toss with apples. Add Maple syrup, toss to coat.
In skillet, melt butter. Add apples. Cook until tender and sauce is thick and bubbly.

I won’t torture you any more… October 3, 2009

Filed under: bread,Fruit — hmills96 @ 9:07 pm

If you’ve been following me on Twitter today, you are probably going crazy! I’ve been torturing you with this one all day, even posting a different recipe midday, while Tweeting about how good this bread was smelling! How mean am I?

Well, no fear, my friends, here is the long awaited recipe (if one afternoon can count as long awaited).
This bread is pretty good, although it needs a bit more salt, maybe a little vanilla. I had frozen my bananas, maybe that had something to do with the blandness? And I think I would like to use the whole jar of nutella, instead of just 1/2 cup. I figure if you’re going to add nutella to banana bread, why not use the whole jar??? Unfortunately I only had half a jar left.
Also, I’m not sure how the whole jar would mess with the chemistry of baking. Anyone have thoughts on that? I’m no scientist.
Banana Nutella Bread
From Barbara Bakes (I didn’t change this one at all, this one is allllllll Barbara. Fantastic job!)
1 cup mashed ripe banana (about 3 small)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup low fat sour cream
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup Nutella (I melted it a bit in the microwave to make it easier to work with)
Preheat oven to 350.
Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl; whisk together until well mixed.
Combine flour and next 3 ingredients in separate bowl.
Add flour mixture to banana mixture, stirring just until moistened.
Spoon 1/2 batter into a loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Add 1/2 Nutella in dollops. Swirl a bit, then top again with remaining batter. Add rest of Nutella in dollops on top. Swirl again.
Bake for 1 hour and 5 minutes. Cool 10 minutes in pan on wire rack. Remove from pan and cool completely on wire rack.

Leftovers for Lunch!

Filed under: Chicken,Fruit,Herbs,Leftovers,My Recipes,Salad — hmills96 @ 12:00 am

I recently fell in love with French cooking. Or rather, the idea of French cooking. More specifically, Julia Child’s French cooking. I read Julie & Julia, then My Life in France. I just fell in love with Julia’s world, most of all, the food. I’ve been dying to move into our house and get my kitchen situated so I could learn to cook like her. I’m going to ask for her book for my birthday, and a Le Creuset French Oven for Christmas.

I don’t think I’m going to try her aspics though. *shudder* Sorry Julia.
I came across this crockpot recipe and I was so excited! I knew it wasn’t EXACTLY coq au vin, but I thought it would be pretty close, and something that I could let simmer all day while I was at work.
However, I was impatient and didn’t take the skins off the chicken, so the broth was suuuuuper greasy, and full of slimy skin. Ooooops! Not exactly appetizing. The dish was kind of bland, it needed more veggies, maybe some carrots and carrots. Something to give it texture.
Because it wasn’t exactly a hit, we had a ton of chicken leftover. I hated to throw it away, so I pulled the larger chunks of chicken out and put it in the fridge for the night. The next afternoon I made a rockin’ chicken salad with the ingredients of my fridge.
Fruity Chicken Salad
2-3 Cups shredded chicken breast
1 cup halved red grapes
1 diced apple (I like Honeycrisp)
1/2 -1cup Mayo (I don’t like much, just enough to hold everything together)
Sundried Tomato Spice Blend
Salt & Pepper
Garlic Salt
Handful Fresh Dill and Parsley, torn