Tag Archives: chili powder

I tried this meal kit and it did not change my world view

Laksa Chicken from Amazon's Meal Kit

Happy Friendly Friday, Folks!
It’s Fall, and the start of a new school year for many. What do you do to keep everyone fed and full of healthy energy to get things done?

I explore one option here.

While hosting family this summer, we gave those partially-prepped ready-to-cook meals a try, and started with Amazon’s kits, newly on the market. The lucky couple getting married Washington, Alanna & Alex even played guinea pig, and Kris picked up the slack when I started to feel a little spun around running multiple meal trials at once.* Continue Reading

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

…because some things are worth trying again after the first time didn’t quite turn out 10 years ago.

left: sweet, right: bbq, bottom: salted
left: sweet, right: bbq, bottom: salted

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Source recipes: the first search result off google + Food Network combinations

boil, season, bake.
boil, season, bake.

Ingredients:
Leftover pumpkin seeds from carving 2 medium-large pumpkins
Arbitrary Amounts of…
Salt
Olive Oil
Seasoning combinations (amounts to taste):
BBQ: brown sugar, ground cumin, chili powder
Sweet: Sugar, cinnamon
Plain: salt

 

Directions

  1. Clean the seeds.
  2. Boil for 10 minutes in salt water.
  3. Drain the seeds in a colander.
  4. Spread seeds onto a baking sheet and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, plus seasoning of your choice (see above for what I did).
  5. Roast seeds at 325F for 15-22 minutes, taste testing a few seeds at 15 minutes.
  6. Optional step: accidentally touch the burning hot pan and spill 1/6 of the seeds.
BBQ roasted pumpkin seeds
BBQ roasted pumpkin seeds

This Week’s Trial Recipe Rating:
Novelty Rating:
4 of 5
I tried roasting fresh pumpkin seeds once years ago, and it was dry and not tasty. This method with boiling first was delicious!
Likelihood of Repeat: 75%
Totally worth doing in 365 days when I have fresh pumpkin seeds again!
Lesson Learned: Boo!
11/1/14 edit: these are not as crispy and tasty second or third day, unless you toast them up a little again.

Happy Halloween!

BBQ roasted pumpkin seeds + rogue farms pumpkin patch ale
BBQ roasted pumpkin seeds + rogue farms pumpkin patch ale

Yay for Family Time, too! Charred Green Beans

Last week also saw my spouse and I visiting my parents. I was raised on a relatively mellow-tasting, healthy diet, similar to what I helped my mama make below. Lots of steamed stuff, and delicious tofu.

Dinner prep with Mama: green beans, fish, thousand year eggs, scallions, and tofu.
Dinner prep with Mama: green beans, fish, thousand year eggs, scallions, and tofu.
Dinner by chef Mama: thousand-year egg & tofu, steamed green beans, baked fish, and tofu miso soup (also: leftover pot stickers).
Dinner by chef Mama: thousand-year egg & tofu, steamed green beans, baked fish, and tofu miso soup (also: leftover pot stickers).

The next night, I made dinner in honor of my father’s birthday. Fell a little short on supplies cooking away from my kitchen, but I made do.

Baked Chicken
Ingredients
2 boneless chicken breasts
olive oil & butter (melted)
dried marjoram
dried rosemary
honey
salt & pepper

“Steps”
I preheated the good ‘ole toaster oven to 400 and oiled up the pan. I rinsed and dried the chicken, brushed it with the butter and oil mix, and sprinkled a generous amount of marjoram, rosemary, salt and pepper. Then I baked it for around 40 minutes, dripped a little honey on top on impulse, took it out around 10 minutes later.

Dinner prep: the chili oil is actually home made from a friend, just stored in that bottle..
Dinner prep: the chili oil is actually home made from a friend, just stored in that bottle..

Charred Green Beans
Originally from a Seattle Times 2008 article (their link was dead so I removed it), modified for what I had on hand, and to keep the garlic in the roast.
Serves 8

Ingredients
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons chili powder (this is the substitute shown above for not having chili oil)
1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
2 large or 4 small garlic cloves
1 pound green beans
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
Coarse kosher or sea salt

Steps
1. Combine vegetable, chili and sesame oils in a microwave-safe container. With the flat of a chef’s knife, smash the garlic cloves; remove and discard peel and add garlic to oil. Cover with a paper towel and microwave on full power for 30 seconds. Let sit while you prepare the beans.
2. Top and tail green beans, rinse them thoroughly and then whirl in a salad spinner to remove excess moisture. Pat dry with paper towels or a clean dish towel.
3. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spread beans out in one layer in two rimmed baking sheets. Drizzle oil over beans and toss beans until all are coated with oil.
4. Roast beans 15 to 20 minutes, depending on size, stirring and rotating pans halfway through. Beans should be browned in spots and beginning to shrivel. Remove from oven and drain on paper towels.
5. While beans are roasting, toast sesame seeds in a skillet over low heat, shaking pan and stirring frequently until fragrant; then remove from heat.
6. Sprinkle hot beans with sesame seeds and coarse salt to taste. Serve immediately, or store in fridge then serve at room temperature.

 

Dinner in the tiny rice bowls I grew up on. Not visible: rice.
Birthday dinner: baked chicken, charred green beans, and brown rice (not shown), served in the tiny rice bowls I grew up with (excellent portion control technique).

This week’s trial recipe rating:
Novelty Rating:
3 of 5 stars
The chicken was palatable, and I was happy it turned out okay, but was not remarkable. I’ve been making those green beans since 2008, they are in the regular meal rotation, so the only novelty is how tasty they are.
Likelihood of Repeat: 20%
Likely not to repeat the same ad hoc chicken, likely to repeat the green beans, but they weren’t the trial factor here.