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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

THAI STYLE CHICKEN IN LETTUCE LEAVES - Fayetteville Pilates and Barre - recipedoodle Wednesday

My family and I loved these Chicken Lettuce "wraps".
Fresh tasting, with a delicious burst of mint, spicy ginger and cool cucumber. The flavors blended beautifully.
Placing everything out in the bowls, made it fun for the kids to put together, and even the adults enjoyed playing with their food.


3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
4 teaspoons garlic, minced
2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons Asian sesame oil
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 cucumber, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch dice
1 red pepper, stem and seeds removed, sliced
1/4 cup mint leaves
1/4 cup cilantro leaves
2 tablespoons roasted peanuts
1 head of butter lettuce
2 tablespoons water

In a small saucepan, mix the vinegar with the sugar and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Add 1 teaspoon of the garlic and the crushed red pepper and let cool.
In a large bowl, mix 2 tablespoons of the sweet seasoned vinegar with the remaining 3 teaspoons of garlic and the soy sauce, ginger and sesame oil. Set aside 2 tablespoons of this soy marinade. Add the chicken and the remaining marinade in the bowl and refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight.
Heat the broiler. Remove the chicken from the marinade and let it drain, slice thinly, then broil for about 3 to 4 minutes per side until browned and cooked through. Transfer the chicken to a platter and let it rest for 5 minutes.
In a medium bowl, toss the cucumber with the remaining sweet seasoned vinegar. Put the red pepper, mint, cilantro and peanuts in separate bowls. Arrange the lettuce leaves in a basket.
Add the water to the reserved 2 tablespoons of soy marinade.
Wrap the chicken and garnishes in lettuce leaves, and pass the soy marinade and cucumber salad separately.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014


I always love arriving back in New Zealand - swooping down over the beautiful blue ocean, hearing the kiwi accent, and seeing the familiar products and packaging of the candy in the airport kiosk.
After clearing immigration and gathering our bags, we made our way through customs, out into the beautiful, fresh morning, picked up our rental car and navigated to downtown Auckland and the passport office.
I was thrilled when I discovered I would be able to renew my New Zealand passport - I had let it expire, with life being busy, the belief that NZ wasn't recognizing dual citizenship, and being able to travel on my American passport, meant I hadn't paid it much attention. But, reluctant to renounce my New Zealand citizenship permanently, I called to see about my options before leaving America, and consequently we found ourselves searching for 99 Albert St and the official New Zealand passport renewal forms.
Eager to have our first taste of "kiwi tucker", we walked down to the Viaduct Harbour for lunch, settling on Sierra, as the kids were hungry and grumpy and had no patience for me inspecting each and every item on each and every menu to choose the absolute best place to dine. After our first glass of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, and taste of Fish and Chips, we did the bare minimum of sightseeing - Sky City. It was an incredible panoramic view of Auckland, the sky walkers, sky jumpers and straight down through the glass in the floor, to the street below.
Then it was time to make the 1 1/2 hour drive to visit family.

We also enjoyed a brief taste of Auckland on our way out of the country, two weeks later.  Safran, a Spanish and Mediterranean restaurant, located in the Newmarket area, offered a lovely selection of Tapas, a final glass of delicious New Zealand Pinot Noir, and a small park out front, where the kids ran and played before boarding the long flight home. It was difficult to choose a favorite from our tapas selection, the Pan Fried Mussels, Chilli Prawns, Scotch Fillet, Meatballs, Quabapa (beef sausages), Paprika Chicken, or Beetroot and Goat Cheese Salad - each was delicious.

Chili Prawns at Safran 

Monday, April 21, 2014


Easter has made its appearance, and Spring is in the air, with all its possibilities of new growth and fresh produce.
Although this Ricotta and Radish Crostini could be made with any type of radish, I thought the watermelon radishes looked especially lovely and seasonal.


18 1/4-inch-thick baguette slices
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon ricotta cheese
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon of salt, plus more for sprinkling
1 pinch of pepper
24 thin slices of radish
grated lemon peel, for serving

Drizzle baguette slices with a little olive oil, and toast in a 350F oven.
Stir together the ricotta cheese, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
Spread the ricotta mixture onto each toast and top with slices of radish, a sprinkle of salt and grated lemon peel.

Recipe adapted from Rachael Ray › Recipes‎

Sunday, April 20, 2014

post for Motherlode - Easter 2014 - Truffle Eggs

Happy Easter - make sure and take a few minutes to check out the FABULOUS Motherlode site
Always full of fabulous information and wonderful people - you can also find these fun eggs and many more delicious recipes.

Mealtime Mama: Truffle eggs for Easter brunch

By nwamamas - Last updated: Friday, April 18, 2014
ceri's recipe for easter
Our foodie friend, Ceri Wilkin (who blogs at Recipe Doodle) sent us this awesome recipe for truffle eggs. Aren’t they beautiful?
Ceri said these adorable eggs are fun (and easy) to make — plus they taste delicious!

truffle eggs

1/4 cup cream
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon light corn syrup
4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons nutella
1/2 pound white candy coating disks
5 to 6 drops of blue food coloring
1/2 to 1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
Directions: In a saucepan, bring the cream, butter and corn syrup to a boil. Add chocolate and nutella and remove from the heat (do not stir). Let stand for 5 minutes. Whisk until combined.
Transfer to a small bowl, cover and refrigerate for 45 to 60 minutes or until thickened, stirring every 15 minutes.
Shape 1 tablespoon of chocolate mixture into an egg. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Repeat with remaining mixture. Refrigerate until firm, about 5 to 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a microwave-safe bowl, melt candy coating, stir until smooth. Stir in food coloring. Dip eggs into cane coating, allow excess to drip off. Return to baking sheet and immediately sprinkle with coffee granules. Let stand until set.
Recipe adapted from Taste of Home, Easter Recipe Cards, April 2012
- See more at:

Saturday, April 19, 2014


A sweet Easter treat - and fun for the kids!


8 ounces of chocolate
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
1 cup crisp rice cereal
1 cup chow mein noodles
miniature candy-coated chocolate eggs

Line two baking sheets with waxed paper.
In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine chocolate and shortening. Microwave on medium, stirring at 1-minute intervals until chocolate is melted and smooth, about 2 minutes.
Gently stir rice cereal and chow mein noodles into chocolate mixture until thoroughly blended.
Drop chocolate mixture by heaping tablespoons 1 inch apart onto prepared baking sheets. Using the back of a spoon, make an indentation in each spoonful of chocolate mixture to form a nest. Place 3 eggs in each indentation.
Place chocolate nests on baking sheets in the refrigerator, chill until set, about 1 hour.

Recipe adapted from the Great American Home Baking, cookie collection

Friday, April 18, 2014


Basic bread for Good Friday.


25 grams of butter, melted
1 cup milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup sultanas
1/2 cup currants
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon all spice
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 cups flour
1/2 cup raw sugar
1/2 cup icing sugar
25 grams butter, melted

Line 12 muffin pans with paper liners. Heat oven to 200C.
Combine butter, milk and eggs.
Place the dried fruit in a large mixing bowl and sift in the spices, baking powder and flour. Stir in the sugar. Mix well. Add the liquid ingredients, stirring until just moistened.
Three-quarters fill the muffin pans. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes.
To make the crosses, sift the icing sugar into a bowl and stir in the butter. Add a tablespoon of milk if too thick. Pipe icing crosses on top of the muffins.

Recipe adapted from Foodtown Living Today‎

Thursday, April 17, 2014


Lamb was a staple in our diet growing up in New Zealand, but it can be hard to come by on a regular basis in the supermarkets here in Arkansas. So when I see it at the store, I always pick up a pack and keep it in the freezer until I need it. I was thrilled to come across this ground lamb, and then a delicious recipe to use it in.


salt and pepper
1 pound of pasta of your choice
1 pound of ground lamb
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 serrano chile, finely chopped
1 carrot, grated
1 shallot, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon orange zest
1/4 cup tomato paste
3/4 to 1 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup red wine
parsley and grated cheese for serving

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain.
While the pasta is cooking, pat the lamb dry with paper towels. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the lamb and cook, brewing up the meat, until browned, season with salt and pepper. Stir in the carrot, shallot, garlic, rosemary, oregano, thyme and orange zest. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring. Stir in the tomato paste for 1 minute, then the chicken stock and wine. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.
Serve sauce over the pasta, with a sprinkle of parsley and cheese.

Recipe adapted from Everyday with Rachael Ray, November 2011‎