Peanut Wraps

Another peanut sauce recipe, I think I could drink that stuff. The kids loved it, they even liked the broccoli slaw in it. I found it here

1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp pepper
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
1 tbs cooking oil
4 cups broccoli slaw ( I didn't used that much, just cooked a few handfuls, whatever looks like how much you would eat)
1 medium red onion I didn't have any fresh onion, so I just used the dehydrated ones
1 tsp grated fresh ginger ( I used powdered since that was what I had)

Peanut Sauce:
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup peanut butter creamy or crunchy
3 tbs soy sauce
5 tbs water
3 tbs cooking oil
1 or 2 cloves freshly pressed garlic cloves or garlic powder

Season chicken strips with garlic salt and pepper. In a large skillet cook chicken in hot oil on medium-high until no pink left. Put aside and keep warm.
In same skillet add broccoli mix, onion, and ginger. Cook until crisp but tender.

Make peanut sauce while veggies cook. In a small saucepan combine sauce ingredients, heat and stir until dissolved.

Serve by layering the veggies, chicken, and sauce in a tortilla. Wrap it up. Eat it up. Makes 6-8 wraps, it really does make that many so if you are really hungry and want more than 6-8 wraps, make more chicken and broccoli, we had no leftovers.


Bell Pepper and Onion Crostini with Pesto

Recipe from epicurious

1 (18- to 22-inch-long) baguette, cut into 60 (1/4-inch-thick) slices
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 350°F. Put baguette slices on 2 large baking sheets, then brush tops with oil and season with salt and pepper or garlic powder. Bake in batches in middle of oven until pale golden, about 10 minutes. Cool on a rack.

I actually just bought 3 loaves of day old bread from Jimmy John's. It's something like 50 cents for an 18 inch loaf, and I used all 3 loaves.

Peppers and Onions
6 assorted red, yellow, and orange bell peppers (3 pounds), cut into 1/4-inch-wide strips
2 large onions (1 1/2 pounds), cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar

Cook bell peppers, onions, and garlic with salt in oil in a wide 4- to 6-quart heavy pot over moderately low heat, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until softened, 20 to 25 minutes. Cover pot and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are very tender and just starting to brown, 20 to 25 minutes more. Stir in vinegar and remove from heat. Do not add the pesto yet.

Pepper mixture 1 day ahead and chilled separately, covered. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Assemble crostini:
Put about 1 tablespoon pepper mixture on each toast and top with about 1/4 teaspoon pesto. Serve immediately.

This made a lot, maybe 150, give or take, so you might want to scale it back a little. Then again, maybe not.

Zucchini Bites

I made these as the appetizer portion of a progressive dinner. I was in charge of the appetizers, which we ate all together (around 50-60 people), and then everyone broke out to their assigned houses.

Along with these, we had hummus with spiced (and plain) pita chips, no-knead dutch oven bread, and bell pepper and onion crostini, which I'll post separately.


5 medium zucchini (about 6 inches long)
Bleu or Feta cheese
Several sticks of string cheese
1 pint cherry tomatoes

Cut zucchini into 3/4 inch slices, and use a melon baller to scoop out the insides. Fill the whole with a small chunk of the string cheese, add a tomato slice on top of that, and then sprinkle with pepper, bleu or feta cheese, and maybe 1/4 teaspoon of pesto.

Bake at 400 degrees for about 15-20 minutes. The original recipe calls for only about 5 minutes in the oven just to melt the cheese, but I like cooked zucchini better than raw zucchini, so I cooked it longer.

When I made these, they were out of cherry tomatoes, so I just bought roma tomatoes, and I cut them in slices like you see in the picture and then in half, so they hung over the edge a little bit. Some people thought it was a sushi roll with a little piece of salmon.

This will make about 35 zucchini bites.


Ah, the heavenly alfajor. I've only made these a few times since coming home from Paraguay, but I should probably make them more often. They can be a little difficult to get just right, not all crispy and not crumbling to pieces. I haven't actually made this particular recipe I'm posting, but the ingredients look about right from other times I've made it. The main thing you need to look for is the corn starch. If you find an alfajor recipe with just flour and little to no corn starch, run away. Fast. The corn starch is what gives it the melt in your mouth consistency. The trick to knowing when they are done is similar to classic sugar cookies...they are done just a minute or two before you think they're done (not brown at all yet).

First, you need to make some dulce de leche. If you can find it already made, feel free to buy it, but I've had a hard time finding it in any stores. I've tried making it the classic way, which involves slowly boiling, stirring, and adding sugar to milk for several hours. The easy way is to take 3 or 4 cans of sweetened condensed milk, and throw them in a pressure cooker for half an hour. You probably only need one can for a batch of alfajores, but as long as you've got the pressure cooker running, throw a few extra cans in there. Take the labels off the cans before boiling them, and don't open the cans before cooking or until they are completely cooled after cooking. The pressure will keep the can from exploding, which can happen if it boils dry in an open pot, besides the fact that it cooks much quicker in the pressure cooker. Throw the extra, unopened cans in the pantry after they cool down and save them for later. It's great on graham crackers, on top of ice cream, to dip fruit in, and the list goes on.


1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon baking powder
6 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
non-stick cooking spray
1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut


To prepare dough: Sift together flour, cornstarch and baking powder; set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, sugar and lemon zest on medium speed until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Beat in whole egg, then egg yolk, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. (The mixture will look somewhat curdled.)

Add sifted ingredients all at once. On low speed, beat just until dough comes together. Scrape out sticky dough onto plastic wrap, press into a disk, wrap tightly and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly coat a large cookie sheet with cooking spray, line with parchment, and then lightly spray the paper.

Place chilled dough on a well-floured surface; roll out with a floured rolling pin to an even 1/4-inch thickness or slightly thinner. Using a sharp 2-inch round cookie cutter, cut as many circles as possible, occasionally dipping the cutter in flour to prevent sticking. Arrange the circles 1 inch apart on cookie sheet.

Gather scraps of dough, roll them out, cut more circles, and add to the cookie sheet. If dough becomes overly soft and sticky, chill it briefly until it is workable. Refrigerate the filled cookie sheet for 15 minutes.

Bake the cookies about 10 minutes, until they have just set and are slightly puffed but not at all colored. Let cool for 1 or 2 minutes, then loosen cookies with a spatula.

Pipe or spoon about 1 tablespoon of dulce de leche onto the bottom (flat side) of a cooled cookie. Make a sandwich with another cookie. Press the cookies together gently to spread the filling to the edges. Roll the sticky rim in grated coconut. Repeat with the remaining cookies.

If you don't like coconut, don't roll it in coconut. Roll it in something else: Rice Crispies, crushed Oreos, chopped peanuts, or just leave the edges gooey.


Bossk Brownies and Deja Vu

We needed a FHE treat and Caleb was assigned the treat. He said he wanted to make something new and yummy. "Let's get out the Hershey cookbook, no where is the Star Wars cookbook" I was laughing picturing Caleb making all the things in the Hershey cookbook. He finally decided on Bossk Brownies in the Star Wars cookbook. It says under the title "Bossk, the bounty hunter never caught his quarry, Han Solo and Chewbacca. Perhaps he was distracted by these delicious brownies."

Here's the recipe:

2/3 cup flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup white chocolate or butterscotch chips

Preheat over to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8-inch square baking dish. Put all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Don’t forget to USE THE FORCE! Pour into the prepared baking dish and smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Bake about 25 minutes (until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean). Cool completely, cut and enjoy.

We didn't have any white chocolate chips or butterscotch so we used Andes mint chips.


Chicken, Avocado, and Mango Salsa Quesadillas

This recipe comes from a cookbook called Panini Express that I checked out from the library. The original recipe actually called for shrimp, but we don't typically have any on hand, so I just used grilled chicken instead. However, that didn't stop these quesadillas from being what I would describe as a "flavor explosion."

• 1 grilled chicken breast, sliced
• 1 small ripe avocado, peeled, pitted, and sliced
• Juice from 1 lime
• 1/2 small ripe mango, peeled, pitted, and cut into 1/4-inch dice
• 2 scallions (white and light green parts), finely chopped
• 1-1/2 tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro
• 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
• 3 8-inch tortillas (this may vary on the amount of filling used per tortilla)
• Monterey jack cheese, grated

Place the avocado slices in a small bowl and sprinkle with juice from half of the lime. Set aside.

Place mango, scallions, cilantro, pepper flakes, and juice from the remaining half lime in a medium bowl and toss to combine.

Arrange the avocado on one half of each tortilla. Arrange the chicken on top of the avocado. Spoon the mango salsa on top of the chicken. Sprinkle with the grated cheese. Fold the tortillas over.

Put the quesadillas on a hot griddle, and cook until they are browned and crisp. Cut into triangles and serve immediately.