Archive for January, 2011

Chocolate-peanut Spread (or Peanutella) – A small batch

This is for all those Nutella lovers out there, me being one of them! This recipe is inspired by one from Smitten Kitchen, I would have never thought of this one on my own, so it’s all her fault.

I really liked the idea since I can control the ingredients, sugar, salt, stabilizers. I think it was well worth the effort.

1 cup 100% natural peanut butter
1/4 cup unsweetened good quality cocoa powder
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon vegetable oil

In a food processor liquefy the peanut butter and oil
It can take as long as 3 minutes to become completely smooth. Scraping down the sides as necessary.
add cocoa and sugar and process until mixture is glossy. Again it can take as long as 3 minutes


January 31, 2011 at 4:29 pm 2 comments

Chicken Tikka Masala – A small batch


This recipe has been reworked to shorten the ingredients list, to simplify the steps, as well as reduce the carbs without changing the flavor.

2 chicken breast, boneless and skinless, cut into 1″ strips
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 large clove garlic, grated or put through a garlic press
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated

Combine all the ingredients listed, making sure to coat the chicken breast well, and set aside in the refrigerator for at least 30 – 60 minutes

Heat oil in a large skillet
place the chicken into the hot oil
cook until brown
remove from pan and set aside
let them rest a few minutes while you make the sauce

1/2 an onion, finely diced
1 large clove garlic, grated or put through a garlic press
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated
large pinch of red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon garam masala or prepared curry powder
1  14 ounce can crushed tomato
1 teaspoon sugar
3/4 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

When you’re ready to cook the sauce
heat oil in large skillet
add onion, cooking until light golden brown
add garlic, ginger, and pepper flakes, stir and cook for about a minute
add spices, and sugar, stir and cook for about a minute
add crushed tomatoes
bring to boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for a few minutes
stir in cream and return to simmer

While sauce simmers, cut browned chicken into cubes
stir into sauce
simmer for approximate 10 minutes, stirring occasionally
adjust seasoning to taste

Garnish with cilantro

The entire recipe = 21 carbs, making 2 good sized portions

I served the chicken with naan bread that were only 4″ wide. Each = 13 carbs

January 29, 2011 at 11:45 am Leave a comment

Potato Fish Cakes

1 1/2 cups mashed potato
1 1/2 cups cooked fish, flaked
1 egg
1/3 cup dried breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon flour
salt, pepper, and any other seasonings to taste
oil for frying

Mix fish, potatoes, egg, and seasonings together
form mixture into patties
mix breadcrumbs and flour, season to taste, and coat patties
fry until golden brown
drain on paper towels

January 25, 2011 at 3:18 pm Leave a comment

Burgers, Patties, and Fish Cakes

I find using the rim part of a mason jar lid the perfect tool to make well shaped and perfectly proportioned burgers and patties. The wide mouth version works well for sandwiches and the smaller size perfect for sliders or a side dish.

Line the band with plastic wrap and fill. Couldn’t be simpler. The plastic wrap and hole in the lid make for easy lifting.

January 25, 2011 at 3:14 pm Leave a comment

Moroccan Chicken with Couscous – A small batch


4 chicken thighs, bone in and skinless
2 carrots, quartered and cut into 2 inch lengths (or a generous cup of baby carrots)
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 zucchini, quartered and cut into 2 inch lengths
1 small turnip, peeled and cut into chunks (or a cup of frozen) optional
1 rib celery, sliced, optional
1  14 ounce diced tomatoes
1  8 ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (or half a large can)
1 1/2 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
chili powder to taste
salt and pepper to taste
Couscous, 2 servings prepared

Prepare the couscous for two servings per the directions and set aside

In a large pot, combine everything but the zucchini and couscous
stir well
bring to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes
add zucchini and cook for an additional 15 minutes

This recipe can easily be doubled by using 8 thighs, adding 1/2 cup water, and using an entire large can of chickpeas

This recipe was inspired by one done on Martha Stewart’s Everyday Foods TV show. It’s been reduced to a small batch, since the cooked veggies don’t hold up well to freezing and reheating.

January 18, 2011 at 12:48 am Leave a comment


Like all dumplings, pierogi are a labor of love and not for a cook that is faint of heart. This recipe is labor intensive and creates lots of dirty dishes, so no small batch this time. Invest a couple of hours for prep and cooking time, and then freeze in single servings for eating at a later date.

2 cups AP flour
2 eggs
3/4 cup water
1 teaspoon salt

2 cups mashed potatoes, cold
1 cup sauerkraut, rinsed, drained, and chopped
1 small onion, chopped

Mix ingredients for the dough and knead until smooth
wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes

Please be warned, this is not the easiest dough to work with. Leans towards the wet side, and needs a bit of extra flour and lots of finessing to become manageable.

Sauté onions until soft
mix with sauerkraut and mashed potatoes

Roll out the dough to an 1/8 of an inch thick
cut out 3 inch circles of dough with a glass or biscuit cutter
place 1 heaping teaspoon of potato/kraut mixture on each round of dough
pull and form the dough around potato/kraut mixture
seal seam with water

Boil pierogi for 5 – 8 minutes, or until they float
remove from water and drain
at this point you can either fry with butter and serve, or freeze for later use

Makes approximately 3 dozen

January 15, 2011 at 12:13 pm Leave a comment

Blintzes – A small batch

1/2 cup flour
1 egg
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon oil
pinch of salt

Mix all ingredients together until batter is smooth
pour 1/4 cup of batter into greased and heated small sauté pan
when edges brown and pull away from the sides, flip and cook for a few seconds
remove from pan and set aside

This is exactly the recipe I use to make crepes

1  7.5 oz package farmers cheese (whole milk ricotta cheese may be substituted)
2 tablespoons cream cheese (approximately, to make up for the reduced size of the package of farmer cheese)
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup sugar (or to taste)
pinch of salt

Mix all ingredients until well combined
fill each crepe with 3 tablespoons of filling
fry in butter until brown on both sides and serve, or freeze in a single layer, then wrapped with foil for later use

Easily doubled to increase servings

January 12, 2011 at 1:20 pm 2 comments

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