Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Bacon Double Cheeseburger Grilled Cheese Sandwich


I found this recipe at Closet Cooking and made it for dinner last night. I had to make enough for 7 of us, so I never was able to get a photo of a finished product. So I'll show you the original photo from Closet Cooking.  This recipe was so delicious and the kids went for seconds!

To Quote Kevin at Closet Cooking:
All of the flavours of a bacon double cheese burger in a grilled cheese sandwich with plenty of ooey gooey melted cheese!
Bacon Double Cheeseburger Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Ingredients
  • 2 strips bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1/2 small onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 pound ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • salt and pepper or steak seasoning to taste
  • 2 slices bread
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 cup cheddar, shredded
  • 1/4 cup mozzarella, shredded
  • 1/4 cup lettuce, shredded
  • 1/4 cup tomatoes, diced
  • 1 tablespoon pickle, diced
Directions
  1. Cook the bacon in a pan over medium heat, set aside on paper towels to drain reserving 1 teaspoon of grease in the pan and the rest elsewhere.
  2. Add the onion and saute until tender, about 5-7 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about a minute.
  4. Add the ground beef and cook draining any grease when done.
  5. Mix in the ketchup, mustard, worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper, simmer to reduce, remove from heat and set aside.
  6. Heat a clean pan over medium heat.
  7. Butter the outside side of each slice of bread, place one slice in a pan buttered side down, sprinkle on half of the cheese, then top with the the bacon, beef, lettuce, tomato and pickle followed by the remaining cheese and slice of bread, buttered side up.
  8. Cook until golden brown on both sides and the cheese is melted, about 2-4 minutes per side.


Servings: makes 1 serving

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Healthy Water Recipes

The weather is getting warmer and, if you are like me, you are breaking out the cold beverages.  I thought I would share some great drinks that you can sip on all day and enjoy their health benefits as well. 




FAT FLUSH WATER 

You should drink at least three 8 oz glasses per day, they say the longer it sits, the better it tastes. You can eat them as well but they are intended as flavoring and still work, so that is a personal choice. The Vitamin C turns fat into fuel, the tangerine increases your sensitivity to insulin, and the cucumber makes you feel full. Try it for 10 days and see what you think!

Ingredients per 8 oz serving

Water
1 slice grapefruit
1 tangerine
½ cucumber, sliced
2 peppermint leaves
Ice – as much as you like

Directions
Wash grapefruit, tangerine cucumber and peppermint leaves. Slice cucumber, grapefruit and tangerine (or peel). Combine all ingredients (fruits, vegetables, 8 oz water, and ice) into a large pitcher.

Stir & Enjoy!


If you really want to cleanse then DRINK, DRINK, DRINK. Here are 8 home-made vitamin water recipes to help you keep the water flowing!

1) The classical : lemon/cucumber:
Mix in a pitcher: 10 cups of water + 1 cucumber and a lemon, thinly sliced + 1/4 cup fresh finely chopped basil leaf + 1/3 of finely chopped fresh mint leaves. Leave in the refrigerator overnight before serving.

2) The granite : Strawberry/Lime or Raspberry/Lime
Mix in a pitcher : 10 cups of water + 6 strawberries / 0r Raspberries and one thinly sliced lime + 12 finely chopped fresh mint leaves. Leave in the refrigerator overnight before serving.

3) The digestive : Fennel/citrus
First: infuse 1 to 3 grams of dried and crushed fennel in 150 ml of boiling water for 5-10 minutes. Allow to cool.
Mix in a pitcher: 10 cups of water + lemon juice (put the leftover lemon in the mix) + a small thinly sliced orange + 12 fresh chopped mint leaves + the infusion of fennel seeds. Leave in refrigerator overnight before serving.

4) The antiox : Blackberry/Sage
Note that a part from the berries, sage leafs is the herb that has the highest antioxidant content.
Mix in a pitcher : 10 cups of water + 1 cup of blackberries that have been very slightly crushed + 3-4 sage leaves. Leave in refrigerator overnight before serving.

5) Watermelon : watermelon/Rosemary
Mix in a pitcher : 10 cups of water + 1 cup of watermelon cut into cubes + 2 rosemary stems. Leave in refrigerator overnight before serving.

6) The exotic : Pineapple/Mint
Mix in a pitcher : 10 cups of water + 1 cup of pineapple cut into cubes + 12 fresh mint leaves finely chopped. Leave in the refrigerator overnight before serving.

7) The traditional : Apple/cinnamon
Mix in a pitcher : 10 cups of water + 1 cup of apple cut into cubes + 2 cinnamon sticks + 2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon. Leave in the refrigerator overnight before serving.

8.) The zingibir : Ginger/tea
In advance: heat 1 teaspoon of ginger in two cups of tea, let it cool down.

Mix in a pitcher: 10 cups of water with two cups of the ginger tea + 4-5 pieces of fresh ginger cut into cubes. Leave in the refrigerator overnight before serving.




Sassy Water  
Ingredients:
2 lemons
1/2 cucumber
10-12 mint leaves
3 quarts water
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Chill Time: Overnight or 8 hours
Yields: 10-12 glasses
Method:
1. Slice cucumber and lemons.  Place in the bottom of the pitcher.   Toss in mint leaves. Add water
2. Chill overnight or for at least 8 hours.  
And finally from Facebook:




Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Sate Ayam & Gado Gado

This is one of my favourite dishes.  It's from Indochef and so delicious that I just can't get enough.  


Sate Ayam 
Similar to kabobs, but so much better!! 

Ingredients:
1 lb Chicken

Marinade:
1 Onion
1 clove Garlic
1 ounce Dark Soya sauce
1 teaspoon Coriander powder
1 teaspoon Lemon Grass
1 teaspoon Hot Chili paste
1 glass Red Wine (optional)
1 ounce Water

Preparation:

  1. Dice the meat into 3/4 inch square cubes and put onto bamboo skewers (about 4 per stick).
  2. Combine all the marinade ingredients into a food processor and make into a smooth paste.  
  3. Pour this over the prepared sate's and leave to marinade for at least 2 hours.
  4. Cook the sate's on the barbeque or under the grill for 5-10 minutes until done and serve with hot Peanut Sauce.



Gado-Gado:
Indonesian vegetable salad.  The vegetables used are a suggestion, you can use nearly anything that is available to you.  Use at least 3 different vegetables.

Ingredients:
White cabbage, diced
Green Beans
Bean Sprouts
2 Eggs, hard boiled
Peanut Sauce
Tomatoes
Prawn Crackers

Preparation:
  1. Separately cook all the vegetables lightly.  They must still retain a nice crunch.
  2. Drain and arrange the vegetables in layers on a dish.
  3. Pour the peanut sauce over the vegetables.
  4. Decorate with the sliced egg and tomatoes.
  5. Just before serving, sprinkle the crackers over the sauce.
Best enjoyed when the salad is cooled down.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Spice Tips and Health Benefits


It’s important to periodically check your seasonings to make sure that they aren’t getting too old. Here is a guide, according to McCormick spices. 
• Extracts: 4 years (except for pure vanilla, which lasts indefinitely)
• Ground spices: 2-3 years
• Herbs: 1-3 years
• Seasoning blends: 1-2 years
• Whole spices (such as cinnamon sticks and peppercorns): 3-4 years

When you think of herbs and spices, you probably think of cooking and adding them to add some flavor to your cuisine. Instead of being stored in your kitchen cabinet, you might want to consider keeping them in your medicine cabinet. Herbs and spices have been used for centuries for teas, compresses and other medicinal purposes. 

Herbs and spices come from plants, so what’s the difference between them? 
• Herbs – the leafy, green part of a plant.
• Spices – the bark, berries, fruit, root, seeds or other parts of the plant.. 
Together, along with healthy food choices can help support your health and wellness. Use herbs and spices to replace regular table salt and artificial chemicals. 

While you think of using cinnamon in your baking or on your oatmeal, cinnamon has been shown to lower your glucose, triglyceride and cholesterol levels. It can also help with menstrual cramps and acts as a blood thinner. If you have frequent UTIs, you might want to increase the cinnamon in your diet. Dill, peppermint and thyme are herbs that are loaded with antioxidants. Other alternative, holistic, disease-fighting and natural healing ingredients hiding in your kitchen includes: 

• Allspice - Digestion. If you experience flatulence and/or diarrhea, you might want to give allspice a try. It's also helpful in a compress for arthritis.
• Basil - Multi-use. Basil is loaded in vitamins A & C, as well as phosphorus and calcium, iron, magnesium and potassium. It can have a positive impact with your eyesight, hair and your cardiovascular system. Use in a tea to help with digestive issues, headaches or fever.
• Cardamom - Indian spice. Great to use when you are experiences indigestion, gas and colic. Also has a warming effect on your body.
• Chili Powder - Anti-inflammatory. Capsicin, has anti-inflammatory benefits that can help relieve achy joints and arthritic swelling. 
• Coriander - Also known as cilantro. Frequently used in Mexican food and is a great source of iron, magnesium and manganese as well as phyto chemicals. It is also great to help remove toxins from the body. 
• Curry Powder - Protects your brain. Contains curcumin which may help fight Alzheimer's. 
• Feverfew - Migraines. If you suffer from migraines, make a tincture of feverfew to see about getting relief.
• Garlic - Helps your heart. Garlic consumption has the potential to lower your triglyceride and total cholesterol levels. It also increases your "good" cholesterol.
• Ginger - Anti-inflammatory. Create a compress and use on your chest for allergies, colds, and bronchitis, on your abdomen for cramps and on inflamed joints. Also great in a tea.
• Ginkgo Biloba. - Memory-boosting. Not only does Ginkgo biloba help boost your memory, but it is also a great anti-inflammatory and helps with asthma, tinnitus, fibromyalgia and helps you deal with altitude sickness.
• Oregano - Loaded with antioxidants. It may be good on Italian food, but it has antioxidant activity than any other herb. 
• Rosemary - Anti-inflammatory. Rosemary may help your circulation, your immune function as well as potentially reduce the severity of asthma attacks.
• Tumeric - from Indian medicine. This herb is a member of the ginger family and as been used for generations in Indian medicine. It has the potential to prevent Alzheimer's.
• Wasabi - Ulcer prevention - This Japanese horseradish is thought to be able to kill the bacteria that causes ulcers. In addition, it may fight tooth decay. 

Spices don't just spice up what you eat, but they can spice up your life and enhance your overall health and well being, both inside and out. 


Photo from Shelterness.com
I also keep my spices in drawers but I need to find these racks to hold them in place.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Grilled Shrimp with Avocado Salsa

I am a serious seafood lover. So when I found this recipe at Woman Know Thyself's Facebook page, I had to borrow it. 


Ingredients:

For the Shrimp:
24, 16-20 count prawns, peeled and deveined
18 cherry tomatoes
2 tablespoons fresh thyme
3 tablespoons shallots, minced
1 tablespoon cumin
2 tablespoons basil, chopped
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher or sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste
½ lemon (use while grilling)
6 skewers (soak the skewers in water for 6 hours before using)

For the salsa:
1 ripe avocado, diced
1 small red onion, diced
1 small roma tomato, seeded and diced
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
½ lemon, juiced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon white vinegar
Kosher or sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste

Directions:


For the Shrimp:
Marinate the shrimp in all the ingredients, except the cherry tomatoes and lemon, for at least 4 hours before grilling. Skewer the prawns with the tomatoes and grill, 3-4 minutes each side. Season with the lemon juice, salt and pepper while grilling.

For the Salsa:
Mix all the ingredients lightly and let set in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Atchar Tjampoer Kuning - assorted pickled vegetables


This recipe belongs to a Dutch-Indo friend. When she sent it to me, she told me it was her Mom's and that she generally didn't share it. 




Vegetables:
 
Carrots...sliced 1/2" thick and 2.5" long
Italian hot peppers, green and red...remove MOST of the seeds...slice on a angle about 1/2" wide
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 lb bean sprouts
1 lb of string beans...again thinly sliced on an angle
1/2 head of cauliflower....little sweet florets
1 jar of cocktail onions
1 can of baby corn
1 can of sliced bamboo shoots
 
Spices;
crushed fresh garlic, ginger, tumeric, white vinegar, a little sea salt, sugar
 
In a little oil, fry the onion.....add carrots, add hot peppers and garlic..simmer for about 2 minutes.Now add about 1 tbsp of ginger and 1/2 tbsp of tumeric.  Add string beans, cauliflower and simmer for another 2 minutes, add about 1/3 cup of white vinegar...if it is too dry...add a cup of boiled water...Add a good squeeze of Yellow mustard (French's)...stir.....Add corn, bamboo shoots, cocktail onions and the small caulifower florets.....color should be a medium yellow...not orange.  Stir...add the bean sprouts....Add sugar to taste...it should be sour/sweet/spicy with a little heat.....Add more water if you need to but it should not be soupy....the cooking shouldn't take you more than 8-10 minutes...you want the vegetables to be crispy but entrenched in the spices....  At the very end, I add a little 1/2-1/2 cream to it....now it will be a creamy colored yellow.....taste it....it may need a little more vinegar or tumeric or ginger...........
 
Make a large pot of it as it lasts for a very long time,....keep it in the frig.....
 
Great with a piece of fried fish  or chicken and a little sambal on the side.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Beef Rendang or "Rendang Daging" - Spicy Beef Stew with Coconut


Merging another recipe from my other cooking blog, Our Roots in Food.

Beef rendang or “rendang daging is of Indonesian origin. It's a time-consuming dish, but well worth it - save some leftover as it only gets better overnight.

Ingredients:
1 1/2 pound boneless beef short ribs (cut into cubes)
5 tablespoons cooking oil
1 cinnamon stick (about 2-inch long)
3 cloves
3 star anise
3 cardamom pods
1 lemongrass (cut into 4-inch length and pounded)
1 cup thick coconut milk
1 cup water
2 teaspoons tamarind pulp (soaked in some warm water for the juice and discard the seeds )
6 kaffir lime leaves (very finely sliced)
6 tablespoons kerisik (toasted coconut)
1 tablespoon sugar/palm sugar or to taste
Salt to taste

Spice Paste:
5 shallots
1 inch galangal
3 lemongrass (white part only)
5 cloves garlic
1 inch ginger
10-12 dried chilies (soaked in warm water and seeded)

Method:
  1. Chop the spice paste ingredients and then blend it in a food processor until fine.
  2. Heat the oil in a stew pot, add the spice paste, cinnamon, cloves, star anise, and cardamom and stir-fry them until aromatic.
  3. Add the beef and the pounded lemongrass and stir for 1 minute.
  4. Add the coconut milk, tamarind juice, water, and simmer on medium heat, stirring frequently until the meat is almost cooked.
  5. Add the kaffir lime leaves, kerisik (toasted coconut), sugar/palm sugar, stirring to blend well with the meat.
  6. Lower the heat to low, cover the lid, and simmer for 1 – 1 1/2 hours or until the meat is really tender and the gravy has dried up.
  7. Add salt to taste. If not sweet enough, add more sugar to taste.
  8. Serve immediately with steamed rice and save some for overnight.


Cook’s Note:
To prepare the kerisik or toasted coconut, just add the grated coconut to a dry wok and stir continuously until they turn golden brown.

This is good with white rice to tame the spiciness.