Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Pineapple Chicken with Black Beans and Rice

Here's a new favorite!  Quick and easy - especially when hubby will cook the chicken on the grill, and you make the rice in an electric steamer.

Pineapple Chicken with Black Beans and Rice

2-4 lbs BSCB (boneless, skinless chicken breast)

1 16 oz bottle BBQ sauce
1 22 oz can crushed pineapple, gently drained
1 16 oz can black beans (good additional source of protein)
1/2 t madras curry
2 t cinnamon (I may have been a little more generous with the cinnamon, but 2 t is close enough)
2 t dry ground mustard, or 1 T dijon mustard (like Trader Joe's)

3 c rice, cooked according to directions

Cook chicken and steam rice according to directions.  I used my favorite Calrose with a dash of wild rice blend.

While chicken and rice are cooking, combine all other ingredients in a medium pot. Simmer over low-medium heat for about 10 minutes. Let the flavors mingle. This has a fairly high sugar content, so you'll want to stir often enough you don't scorch the bottom.

Serve by making a bed of rice, with chicken on top, and pour a generous scoop of sauce over both.  We enjoyed a green salad on the side to round the whole thing out.  Yay for protein!

Thursday, July 14, 2011


Trader Joe's opens in Kansas City!!!  TOMORROW!  I'm so excited.  I will meet a couple friends (also die-hard TJ's fans) there and track down my already bulging list.  Here are some of the staples I'm looking forward to having:

Chocolate Chips
Dijon Mustard
Jarred Garlic (pureed)
Jarred Ginger (that isn't all stringy)
Sourdough Bread (Stan's favorite)
Shaving Cream (like Alba's, only less expensive)
Pink Sauce (no, not spaghetti, this is a creamy roasted red pepper spread)
Tortilla chips with Lime
Pepitas and other nuts
and did I mention Chocolate Chips!? mmm...

And I know there is a long list of other things I have forgotten.  Salad dressings and candies and vitamins.

I can hardly wait!

Meat Fork

This is one of my favorite tools. It's a simple meat serving fork by Oneida that I picked up at Target. It's great for serving meat, but it's even better for smashing bananas or scrambling eggs.

When I make Banana Split Muffins, I use this fork to scramble the eggs and smash the bananas in the same bowl with the oatmeal. In this case, I had 4 bananas to mash for banana bread, so I smashed them on a cutting board.

I'm sure you could use a potato masher - but I don't own one. I use an electric mixer to mash potatoes (in the same pot I cook them in). But, that's another post...

Sharpie Magic

This is so much fun!  Saw a tutorial on CraftGossip and had to give it a try.  So simple and very stunning.  

I started, then got called away, and found that the ink carries differently over already dried spots.  I could play with this method for a long time trying to master it, but the fun is - you don't have to!  I do, however, recommend doing this in a well ventilated area.

It washed up really great too.  I did heat-set it, with an iron and in the dryer for 30 minutes on high heat.  Then washed it in cold.  Next I'm curious to see if I can use laundry soap or crayons to create a batik-type relief for a pattern.  Could be very cool.  Stay tuned!

Summer Night

On the way home from Stan's 1st softball game.  It was beautiful outside!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Frog Eye Salad

I can't believe I hadn't shared this one yet!!  Frog Eye Salad is a favorite cool and creamy dessert.  It's also non-dairy (as long as you consider cool whip non-dairy).  And it has a fun name.  It takes some time, but you can break the steps out to prepare some of it in advance.

Frog Eye Salad
Prep. Time: approx. 2 hours
Serves: 16 (1/2 cup servings)

1 lb package Acini Di Pepe pasta - this is where the dish gets its name, when cooked these little pastas resemble little frog eyes.  "Mmmmm.... frog eyes."  Makes my son laugh every time.
2 eggs
1/2 c sugar
2 T flour
1/2 t salt
1 (22 oz) can crushed pineapple, drain reserving juice
1 (22oz can pineapple tidbits, drain reserving juice
1 (16 oz) can peaches, drained and chopped
1 (16 oz) can pears, drained and chopped
1 (15 oz) can mandarin oranges, drained
2 c mini marshmallows (optional)
16 oz whipped topping, thawed

Prepare pasta as directed, drain.

In heavy saucepan, beat eggs until foamy, whisk in flour, sugar, salt and reserved pineapple juice.  Cook on low heat until thickened - but do not boil.  A little simmer is ok, but if you over heat the eggs they will get grainy.

In a large bowl, combine pasta with pineapple sauce.  Chill 1 hour, or until cool. While pasta is cooling, chop up fruits.

Combine pasta with cool whip, mallows and fruits.  Serve chilled.