Food, Faith, and Other Fabulous Finds

Recipes, devotional thoughts, and other cool things I come across.

Time for Thai July 26, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — foodfaithandfinds @ 8:49 PM
Tags:

You know, on busy days, it’s really nice to come home to a hot meal, that you really don’t need to do much to.  Enter the slow cooker.  I seriously love my slow cooker.  I particularly love mine on Sundays.  It’s so nice to come home after church and do nothing more than put on a pot of rice and dish up something hot and delicious.  One of the latest recipes we tried is for a delicious Thai peanut chicken.  Because the chicken is tossed in cornstarch, it stays really moist, and the sauce is plenteous and delicious.  It also tastes great with roasted vegetables on the side.  As usual for slow cooker recipes, this one is easy and makes at least 6 servings.

Slow Cooker Thai Peanut Chicken (from Averie Cooks)

1 tbsp. olive oil

2 lb. cubed, boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1/2 c. cornstarch

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. pepper

1 14 oz. can coconut milk

1/4 c. honey

3/4 c. creamy peanut butter

1/4 c. soy sauce

2 tbsp. rice vinegar

2 tbsp. lime juice

1 tsp. sesame oil

1 tsp. ground ginger

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1 pinch cayenne

  1. Drizzle the olive oil on the bottom of the slow cooker.  Place the chicken in a gallon sized ziploc; add in the cornstarch, salt, and pepper.  Seal and shake til the chicken is coated, then pour in the slow cooker.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together all the remaining ingredients, then pour over the chicken.
  3. Cook on high for 2 hours or on low for 4 hours.  Serve over rice and top with chopped peanuts, cilantro, and green onions.

Slow Cooker Thai Peanut ChickenSlow Cooker Thai Peanut Chicken 3

It was raining this afternoon, and all of a sudden I found myself wishing it was fall.  Normally, I don’t get that feeling til late August, but I guess it decided to come early this year.  When does that fall feeling come for you?

 

A Cookie and Some Deep Thoughts July 19, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — foodfaithandfinds @ 10:42 PM
Tags: , ,

Sometimes you need a cookie that you don’t feel totally bad about eating.  You want something a little sweet, but not something that will suck you into a black hole of sugar from which there’s no return.  For times like that, you might want to consider these healthy monster cookies.  They’re made with oats and whole wheat, so they’re better for you, but there’s still enough sugar in them so that they do taste like a cookie.  They’re also really easy to whip up, and they only make about 17 or so, i.e. not enough to put yourself in a total food coma.  ;)

Healthy Monster Cookies (from Amy’s Healthy Baking)

1 c. quick cook oats

3/4 c. whole wheat flour

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/8 tsp. salt

1/2 tbsp. melted coconut oil

1 egg white

1 tsp. vanilla

1/4 c. natural peanut butter

1/2 c. brown sugar

1/4 c. milk

2 tbsp. mini M&Ms (FYI, there are just 2 tbsp. in those little tubes they sell at the checkout line in the grocery store.)

2 tbsp. mini chocolate chips

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the oats, wheat flour, baking powder, and salt.  In another bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, egg white, and vanilla, then whisk in the peanut butter til smooth.  Stir in the sugar and milk, then stir in the flour mix just til incorporated.  Fold in the m&ms and chocolate chips and chill for 30 minutes.
  2. Once the cookies have chilled, preheat the oven to 325 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment.  Drop the dough by tablespoonfuls onto the baking sheet and flatten to your desired thickness.  Bake 10-13 minutes; cool 10 minutes on the pan, then finish cooling on a wire rack.

Healthy Monster CookiesHealthy Monster Cookies 2

Have you noticed that this blog has been low on the “faith and finds” lately?  Well I have.  It was never intentional, but the food just kind of took over for a while.  It’s not that I haven’t found new things, I guess nothing jumped out and screamed “Share me!”.  Until this week.  I’ve been reading Spurgeon’s book Praying Successfully, and there were a couple passages that were just so meaningful that I couldn’t go without sharing them.

This first passage is about God’s timing versus our timing when answering prayers.

“I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that the worlds were made by God.  I am sure of it.  Yet I did not see Him making them.  I did not see the light appear when He said, “Let there be light” (Gen. 1:3).  I did not see Him divide the light from the darkness and gather the waters together so that the dry land appeared.  Yet I am quite sure that He did all this.  Even though I was not there to see God make even a bird or a flower, all the evolutionists in the world cannot shake my conviction that God created the world.

Why should I not have the same kind of faith about God’s answer to my prayer in my time of trouble?  If I cannot see how He will deliver me, why should I wish to see it?  He created the world well enough without me being there and knowing how He would do it, and He will deliver me without my having a finger in it.  It is not business of mine to see how He works.  My business is to trust in my God and to glorify Him by believing that what He has promised, He is able to perform.”

I don’t know about you, but I’d never seen it quite that way before.  In another passage, he also illuminated just how truly amazing God’s mercy is.

“It has always been true that the great mercy of God has been turned by some into a reason for continuing in sin, but God–and this is the wonder of it–has never restricted his mercy because of that.  It must be a terrible provocation of almighty grace when people pervert God’s mercy into an excuse for sin, but the Lord has never taken the edges off His mercy because people have misused it.”

I don’t know about you, but I certainly don’t like being taken advantage of, and I don’t stand for it.  But there’s God, the Creator, the King of Kings who sees us abusing His goodness and mercy, but for all that, he doesn’t stop being good and merciful.  Ever!  We truly have a wonderful God!!

 

Fast Flavor July 12, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — foodfaithandfinds @ 10:58 PM
Tags:

Well, this week I’m back with another one pot dinner that delivers plenty of tasty food with very little effort.  I love having so many of these in my recipe box.  It means that I have a lot of flavor options to get dinner on the table fast for those busy weeks where I can’t prep a lot ahead of time.  I nearly always serve these with some roasted broccoli which is quick enough to prep on Saturday, then on the weeknights, I just toss some of the broccoli with a bit of oil and spices and roast it while I cook the dish.  You could also easily serve it with a simple salad on the side.  This one is actually one of my favorites.  Cooking the rice in coconut milk gives it an especially lovely flavor, and the fish sauce keeps it from being too sweet.  Here’s how it goes:

One-Pot Thai Turkey and Rice (from Martha Stewart)

1 tbsp. fish sauce

1 3/4 c. sliced shallots

1 tbsp. safflower oil

1 lb. ground turkey

1 tbsp. minced ginger

1 tbsp. minced garlic

1 1/4 c. jasmine rice (If you up this to 1 1/2 c., then you’ll round this meal up to 6 servings.)

1 1/4 c. coconut milk (If you up the rice to 1 1/2 c., then you should up this to 1 1/2 c. also.)

2 thinly sliced sweet red peppers (about 1/3 c.)

  1. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat.  Add the turkey, ginger, garlic, and shallots, and cook, stirring, til browned, about 9 minutes.  Add the rice and cook, stirring for 1 minute.  Add the fish sauce and scrape up the bottom of the pan.
  2. Add in the coconut milk, peppers, 1 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1 1/4 c. water (1 1/2 c. if you’ve upped the rice and coconut milk).  Bring to a simmer, cover, lower the heat, and let cook, stirring occasionally, til rice is tender, about 15 minutes.

One-Pot Thai Turkey and RiceOne-Pot Thai Turkey and Rice 3

Have a great week!

 

Chocolate for My Hubby July 5, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — foodfaithandfinds @ 11:01 PM
Tags: ,

I realized this past weekend that I forgot to tell you about the “something special” that I mentioned 2 posts ago.  The something special was that my hubby and I took a 3 day trip to Milwaukee and Chicago.  (Although if you know me IRL, you already knew that.)  We checked out a few zoos and museums, ate more pizza then I normally would, and just generally had fun spending time together and seeing new cities.  Our particular favorites were Wells Brothers Pizza in Racine, WI (super amazing thin crust pizza!!), Giordano’s (stuffed pizza which I surprisingly liked), and basically everything from Oh Danish Bakery (The kringles!!).  If you want more info, you can always check out the pictures I posted on Instagram (foodfaithandfinds) or ask me in a comment.  Still, it’s always nice to come home to everything familiar, and I’m happy to be back and sharing some delicious chocolate treats with you.

This first recipe was way too sweet for me, but hubby loved it.  He’s a big milkshake guy, so this was right up his alley.  Supposedly, the recipe makes 2 sodas, but I feel like it could be 4 for people who aren’t as into super sweet milkshakes as my hubby is.

Chocolate Soda (from The Little Black Book of Chocolate by Barbara Bloch Benjamin)

2 oz. chocolate (I just used chocolate chips.)

1/2 c. chocolate syrup

2/3 c. cream

Cold carbonated water

4 scoops ice cream (It didn’t specify a flavor, so I went with vanilla.)

  1. Melt the chocolate (via your preferred method), stir in the syrup, and set it aside to cool.  Once cool, pour into a blender with the cream and process briefly.
  2. Pour into 2 chilled glasses and add the carbonated water to fill each glass up halfway.  Add 2 scoops of ice cream to each glass and then top off with more carbonated water.

Chocolate Soda 2Chocolate Soda 3 The directions didn’t say to mix it, but (as you can see in the 2nd pic), I decided that it might work better to mix everything up.  Either way it was very rich and super chocolatey.

Another chocolate dessert that I just recently made for the first time is chocolate souffle.  Some time ago, I’d found kind of an easy version, and I finally gave it a try.  Compared to all the horror stories I’ve heard about making souffles, this was definitely an easier version.  It does have several steps, but none of them are actually hard.  I’m not a big eggy dessert fan (no flan for me, please), so these weren’t my favorite.  However, my hubby enjoyed them, and I think it’s nice to have something like this in my wheelhouse, just in case.

Chocolate Souffle (from Good Housekeeping)

4 oz. bittersweet chocolate chips

1/3 c. sweetened condensed milk

3 separated eggs

2 tbsp. confectioner’s sugar

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and generously coat four 4 oz. ramekins with nonstick baking spray with flour.
  2. In a large, microwave safe bowl, heat the chocolate chips on high for 20 second increments, stirring between each one, til just melted (1-2 minutes).  Once melted, remove from the microwave and whisk in the condensed milk.  Whisk in 2 yolks til just blended (you don’t need the 3rd yolk for this recipe).
  3. In another large bowl, beat the egg whites on medium speed until medium stiff peaks form, 3-4 minutes.  Add 1/3 of the beaten whites to the chocolate mixture and whisk gently til incorporated.  With a rubber spatula, gently fold in the remaining whites til just incorporated.  Divide the batter among the ramekins.
  4. Sift the confectioner’s sugar over the tops of the souffles, then place the ramekins in a jelly roll pan.  Bake 11-13 minutes or til the tops rise about 1 inch above the rim of the ramekins.  Do NOT open the oven door at all while the souffles are baking.  Once done, serve them immediately.

P.S.  ALL souffles fall.  The trick is to serve them right when they come out of the oven, that way you’ve started eating them before they get a chance to “fall”.  

Chocolate SouffleChocolate Souffle 2

Since chocolate is running the show today, I’d like to know what your most unusual, yet favorite chocolate dessert is (read: not brownies, chocolate cake, or chocolate ice cream)?  For me, it’s a tie between magenbrot (chocolate gingerbread/cake) and rustic chocolate pie.

 

Cheesecake Time! June 28, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — foodfaithandfinds @ 7:24 PM
Tags: ,

Raise your hand if you love cheesecake.  Everybody’s up?  I think it’s safe to say that most people LOVE cheesecake (though somehow neither my husband nor my dad do), so it’s about time I shared some delicious cheesecake recipes on here.  (I’ve shared some before, but it’s been a while since the last one.)

This first recipe is for cheesecake pancakes, because who doesn’t want to have dessert for breakfast?  Honestly, I didn’t want to like these.  The cream cheese has to be prepped at least 8 hours ahead of time, so I really didn’t want to like them, but they really do taste like cheesecake, especially when topped with a fruit sauce instead of syrup.  Other than prepping the cream cheese, these are made similarly to regular pancakes.  Mine stuck a little more to the pan than other pancakes, so just make sure you grease the pan again between batches.  We got 6 pancakes out of a half batch, so plan accordingly.

Cheesecake Pancakes (from Betty Crocker)

1 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese

2 c. Bisquick

1/2 c. graham cracker crumbs

1/4 c. sugar

1 c. milk

2 eggs

  1. Slice the cream cheese lengthwise into 4 pieces.  Place on an ungreased cookie sheet, cover, and freeze 8 hours or overnight.
  2. Brush a griddle with veggie oil and preheat over medium heat.
  3. Cut the cream cheese into bite-sized pieces and set it aside.  In a large bowl, stir together the Bisquick, graham cracker crumbs, sugar, milk, and eggs and whisk til blended.  Stir in the cream cheese pieces.
  4. Pour by a little less than 1/3 c. onto the griddle.  Cook til the edges are try, then turn and cook on the other side til golden brown.

Cheesecake PancakesCheesecake Pancakes 2

The other recipe I have for you is for the best cheesecake.  (!!)  That’s actually what it’s called on the website, and it really is a delicious, basic cheesecake.  As cheesecakes go, it was easy to make, very creamy, and it didn’t crack.  The recipe calls for you to top it with cherry pie filling, but it’s also delicious on its own.  Or you can top it with a different type of sauce or filling.  Some of it we ate plain, but some slices we had topped with a homemade strawberry sauce.  :D

Best Cheesecake (from Kraft)

1 3/4 c. graham cracker crumbs

1/3 c. melted butter

1 1/4 c. sugar

3 8 oz. pkg. softened cream cheese

1 c. sour cream (Greek yogurt works too.)

2 tsp. vanilla

3 eggs

1 21 oz. can cherry pie filling (optional)

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  In a medium bowl, mix together the graham cracker crumbs, butter, and 1/4 c. sugar.  Press the crumb mix firmly onto the bottom and 2 1/2 inches halfway up the sides of a 9 inch springform pan; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese and 1 c. sugar on medium til well blended.  Add the sour cream and vanilla; mix well.  Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating on low after each addition, just til blended.  Pour into the crust.
  3. Bake 60-70 minutes or til the center is almost set.  Turn the oven off, open the door slightly, and let set for 1 hour.  After 1 hour, remove from the oven and cool completely on a wire rack.  After it cools, refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.  Loosen the cheesecake from the rim of the pan, remove the sides of the pan, and top the cheesecake with the filling just before serving.

Best Cheesecake 3Best Cheesecake 6

Are you a cheesecake person, and if so, what’s your favorite flavor?  (I love basic cheesecake, but I think chocolate chip is my favorite.)

 

Parmesan in a Hurry June 21, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — foodfaithandfinds @ 6:03 PM
Tags: ,

Sometimes you can’t sweat the small stuff. I fully expected to post last week, but life happened, and I decided I can’t let that bother me.  I was spending time with friends and family, so that kind of trumps blogging.  ;)  But I did get to try some delicious new recipes that I’ll be sharing in upcoming weeks.  Now, for tonight, I’m going to share a couple recipes that we had for our eighth anniversary dinner a couple of weeks ago.

I’m slowly trying to go through the myriad of recipes in my recipe boxes, so when I got to the recipe for this basil Parmesan dip, I thought it would be perfect for our anniversary.  If you like pesto, then you’ll love this dip!  If you’re growing basil, then you could easily make pesto, freeze it, and then thaw to make this whenever you need an appetizer in a flash.   Or of course, you could also make it fresh with the harvest from your herb garden.  It’s so quick to whip up, and has such a great flavor, definitely one of our new favorite dips.  (I think it would also be a good “sauce” on some chicken or fish.)

Basil Parmesan Dip (from Cooking Light)

1/4 tsp. black pepper

1 c. lightly packed basil leaves

3/4 c. finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

3/4 c. reduced fat sour cream (I used fat-free Greek yogurt, and it was delicious.)

2 tsp. lemon juice

1 clove minced garlic

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and blend til smooth.  I served ours on toasted bread.  Yum!

Basil Parmesan Dip

To go with that fabulous dip, I decided to make some of our favorite pork chops.  These Parmesan pork chops are super flavorful and easy to make.  Like the busy day pork chops I posted recently, these use on hand ingredients which is great for a weekday dinner, but they taste so good that they work for special dinners too.

Parmesan Pork Chops (from Taste of Home)

1/4 c. butter

1/4 c. grated Parmesan

2 tbsp. all purpose flour

2 tsp. Italian seasoning

2 tsp. dried parsley flakes

1/4 tsp. pepper

4 6 oz. pork loin chops

2 tbsp. olive oil

  1. Melt the butter.  In a large Ziploc, combine the Parmesan, flour, Italian seasoning, parsley, and pepper.  Dip each chop in the butter, place in the bag one at a time, and shake to coat.  (I actually use two shallow bowls, but whatever works best for you.)
  2. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat and cook the chops 7-8 minutes on each side or til the juices run clear.   (I just stick  my meat thermometer in the thickest chop and set it for 160 degrees.)

Parmesan Pork Chops and Basil Parmesan DipParmesan Pork Chops

We rounded out our anniversary dinner with some leftover mac and cheese from a recipe that didn’t pan out and a chocolatey dessert that I’ll tell you about in a later post.  Have a great week, I’ve got something special coming up that I’m excited to share with you (hopefully) next week.

 

Lemon Lovin’ June 7, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — foodfaithandfinds @ 9:18 PM
Tags: ,

Are you a citrus lover like I am?  I don’t know what it is, but the words lime, orange, grapefruit, citrus, and lemon really catch my eye in a recipe.  Things like lemon pepper steak, blood orange olive oil cake, lime cilantro chicken, key lime meltaways, coconut limeade, and others like them just appeal to me.  So today I have two lemony recipes to share the citrus love with you.

This first recipe is another of our one pot dinners – this one’s filled with oregano and lemon to impart a Greek flavor.  The method for this one is a little different than the other one pot meals, but I tweaked it a little to make it faster for us.  It’s got a nice flavor, and we always love these combination meals.

One Pot Greek Chicken and Lemon Rice (from Recipe Tin Eats)

For the chicken:

5 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (For the faster version, I used cubed, boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Maybe 4?)

Zest of 1-2 lemons (However many you need to get that amount of juice.)

1/4 c. lemon juice

1 tbsp. dried oregano (I thought the oregano was a tad overwhelming, so I halved each amount, which to me was perfect.)

1 tsp. salt

4 cloves minced garlic

For the rice:

1 1/2 tbsp. olive oil

1 finely diced onion

1 c. long grain rice

1 1/2 c. chicken broth

3/4 c. water

1 tbsp. dried oregano (I used half this amount, see the above note.)

1 tsp. salt

  1. In a large ziploc, combine all the chicken ingredients and let marinate at least 20 minutes but up to a couple of hours.  (The original recipe says up to overnight, but with that much lemon juice it can start to “cook” the meat if you leave it too long.)
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Remove the chicken from the bag, but reserve the marinade.  Heat 1/2 tbsp. oil in a deep, heavy, oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat.
  3. Place the chicken in the skillet, skin side down, and cook til golden brown; flip and let the other side brown.  Remove the chicken and set aside.
  4. Remove the fat from the pan then return the pan to the heat.  Add 1 tbsp. oil, let heat, then add the onions and saute til translucent.  Add in the remaining ingredients and the reserved marinade.
  5. Bring the liquid to a simmer for 30 seconds.  Place the chicken on top, cover, and bake for 35 minutes.  Remove the lid and bake for 10 more minutes or til the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed.  Remove the pan from the oven and let rest 5-10 minutes before serving.

Alternate method: Brown the chicken breasts in a nonstick skillet.  Towards the end of the cooking time, add in the onions and let them cook til translucent.  Then you add in the rice ingredients and reserved marinade, bring to a simmer, then turn down to low, cover, and let cook for 18-20 minutes.

One Pot Greek Chicken and Lemon RiceOne Pot Greek Chicken and Lemon Rice 2 As you can see, I served it with a side of roasted broccoli.  Can you tell we love broccoli?

Now if that wasn’t enough lemon for you, you might want a little more for dessert.  A few months ago, I tried these “brownies” at my SIL’s house.  I fell in love with them and immediately asked for the recipe.  And still it took me this long to make them, what’s wrong with me?!  I was watching my bestie’s kids recently, and her son and I made this together (read: easy and fast).  When we cut into them after lunch, she fell for them just as hard as I did.  (And though they’re amazing with lemon, we also want to try them as orange brownies and lime brownies.)  By the way, don’t let the name mess with your head.  I’m sure whoever came up with this didn’t want to call them lemon bars since that conjures up images of a shortbread crust and curd-like filling.  But to me the name brownie implies chocolate (which these don’t have).  Personally, I would call them a lemon blondie, but names are just semantics here.  The point is that they’re lemon (or orange or lime) heaven and you need to make them now.  Other good things about this recipe: basic ingredients, quick (though you have to wait for the glaze to set up), and super flavorful.

Glazed Lemon Brownies (from Life in the Lofthouse)

For the brownies:

1 c. all-purpose flour

1 c. sugar

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 c. softened butter

2 eggs

2 tbsp. lemon juice

1 tbsp. lemon zest

For the glaze:

1 c. confectioner’s sugar

1 1/2 tbsp. lemon juice (It might just be the Texas weather, but we needed a touch more lemon juice to get a spreadable consistency.  I’d say start with the 1 1/2 tbsp., then adjust as needed.)

2 tsp. lemon zest

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease an 8×8 pan.  In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, and salt.
  2. Add in the butter and stir til combined.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, 2 tbsp. lemon juice, and 1 tbsp. lemon zest.
  4. Pour the batter into the pan and spread evenly.  Bake 25 minutes, then cool completely on a wire rack.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together the confectioner’s sugar, 1 1/2 tbsp. lemon juice, and 2 tsp. lemon zest.  Pour over the cooled brownies and let set.  (Of course, if you just can’t wait, they still taste amazing!)

Glazed Lemon BrowniesGlazed Lemon Brownies 4

What’s your favorite type of citrus?

 

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.