Thursday, January 29, 2015

Super Bowl Party Food = Amazeballs.

Pittsburgh's going to the Super we go! Sadly, not this year, but you know where my allegiances always lie. Plus this Pennsylvania girl may have been a bit jealous of the snow up north, hence breaking out the best piece of head gear I own.

So once my hopes for an extensive post-season were as deflated as New England's balls, I started to think about not only where I would watch and hope for a Patriots loss, but what I would make. A request came in to make something healthy for a party, so I will post what I decided on in a future blog post. But in the meantime, here are some great options for those of you who want to keep your bellies fat and happy with all the awesome that comes with meat and cheesy goodness.

Katie's Super Bowl Top Five Dishes

Buffalo Cheese Bread: This post has received the most page views of anything I've blogged about over the last several years. I think it is a testament to how awesome my friend Nick's blog is. (see below for another reference and link). It takes everything that is awesome about buffalo wings and substitutes the meat for bread.

Janet's (meat)BALLS: Sweet, sweet meat.  Balls. 'Nuff said.

Sticky Wings: These are my favorite wings and they are the creation of my buddy Nick at I've made them several times and they are always a crowd-pleaser. If you like an Asian-style wing and love that Rooster sauce, these wings are for you.

Stuffed Jalapenos: These little pillows of meat and cheesy goodness are stuffed with chorizo and smoked gouda. And boy is it gouda.

Tomatillo Peach Salsa: This beats any jarred fruit salsa variety. Hands down and worth the extra effort.

And to give a quick shout-out to a former work colleague of mine who had a role in this little bit of amazing...don't forget about food safety this Super Bowl Sunday!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Slow Cooker Butter Chicken

Anyone who knows me knows that I'm a big fan of make-your-own-takeout. Not only is it economical, but I also think that many Asian dishes are pretty easy to make, and I often have most of the spices and necessary ingredients in my cupboard. From curry powder to garam masala to ginger, most have similar flavor profiles which make the dishes easy to make and in my opinion, not too difficult to mess up.

One thing that I hadn't attempted before in making my own Asian carryout was to use a slow cooker. Two weekends ago I found I had a craving, a slow-cooker, and a cooking partner in crime. The result was this lighter version of a butter chicken that makes enough to feed a small army.

Slow Cooker Butter Chicken (serves 8)


  • 1 TB olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 (14-oz.) can light coconut milk
  • 1 (6-oz.) can tomato paste
  • 2 TB whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp. garam masala
  • 1 tsp. curry powder 
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper (I like my dishes a little hot, so I think this helped with the flavor)
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder, or more, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. ginger powder
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 TB chopped fresh cilantro leaves


Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Add garlic and onion, and cook, stirring frequently, until onions have become translucent, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in coconut milk, tomato paste, flour, garam masala, curry powder, chili powder and ginger powder until well combined and slightly thickened, about 1-2 minutes; season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Place chicken into a slow cooker. Add sauce mixture and gently toss to combine. Cover and cook on low heat for 5 hours.

Serve immediately, garnished with cilantro, if desired. We made with brown rice for a healthy lunch that also froze pretty well.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Churro Pancakes

Hooray for a long weekend! Long weekends are for sleeping in and making complex brunch dishes. Because you have the time and you have the hunger.

Last weekend, while not a long weekend, was a busy one, but I found the time in the morning to try out a new recipe, one from my friend Nick's blog, It helped get me through the rest of the day and if you find yourself with some time on your hands this long weekend, you should give it a shot!

This recipe had caught my eye when he first posted it over the summer, but I was waiting for the right opportunity to make it. I wanted something sweet and I paired it with a side of bacon. Because bacon.

Churro Pancakes (makes 12 pancakes)


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 TB cinnamon
  • 1 TB baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • Spicy Chocolate Sauce:
    • 12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
    • 1 cup heavy cream
    • 4 TB unsalted butter
    • 2 tsp. cinnamon
    • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • Chili Cinnamon Sugar:
    • 1/4 cup sugar
    • 2 tsp. cinnamon
    • 1 tsp. chili powder

Stir together the ingredients for the chili cinnamon sugar and set aside.

For chocolate sauce, stir together ingredients in a metal bowl over a simmering pot of water. Let sit until chocolate melts and stir together. Keep warm over low heat and a double boiler until needed, stirring occasionally. I didn't have a metal bowl, so fortunately my trusty sous chef rigged two pots on top of each other to imitate a double boiler. Worked like a charm.

For pancakes, stir together dry ingredients and spices in a large bowl. Whisk milk, eggs, and melted butter separately. Then whisk liquid stuff into dry ingredients. If batter is super thick, add more milk.

Heat a griddle or skillet over medium. Add a small dab of butter or a drizzle of nonstick spray. Once hot, add pancakes in 1/3 cup measurements and cook them for 3-4 minutes on the first side until bubbles show on top of the pancakes and the edges start to pull up slightly.

Flip pancakes and cook for another 1-2 minutes on the second side.

Serve pancakes while warm drizzled with spicy chocolate sauce and sprinkled heavily with the cinnamon sugar mixture.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Quick Chicken Noodle Soup

It started with a sniffle, and then manifested into something far worse...a complete loss of voice. This is what I experienced over the holidays and I'm just now starting to feel more like myself.

From what I hear in the hallways  at work and amongst others in the area, this nasty bug has been hitting everybody. When you're sick, you often crave comfort food. For some people, that is the types of foods mom would make you when you were sick as a child. Peanut butter toast or grilled cheese were my go-tos. Nowadays, I tend to gravitate more to the exotic and I like to think that spicy food will cure what ails me most of the time. Unfortunately, when I was told I had a mild form of laryngitis, I was advised to avoid spicy foods and to focus on hot liquids and soups to nurse my way back to health.

When I'm not feeling well, the desire to cook anything that takes longer than 30 minutes is completely lost on me and when you don't have your mom around to make you that toast or soup, you have to cook through your Sudafed haze. So quick and easy is the way to go.

So I made the simplest, quickest soup I could come up with that included protein and vegetables: chicken noodle soup. Like most soups, this freezes well so I will continue to experience this soup's healing powers throughout this winter. But let's hope I don't need it!

Quick Chicken Noodle Soup (serves 6-8)


  • 1 lb. chicken thighs, diced 
  • 2 TB olive oil
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves, fresh or dried
  • Salt and pepper
  • 6 cups chicken stock 
  • 1/2 lb. wide egg noodles

Place a large pot over moderate heat and add olive oil. Add diced chicken thighs and cook for 5-6 minutes until the pink is gone. Remove from pot and set aside.
Add stock to the pot and bring to a boil. Add bay leaves to the pot. Then add carrots, onion and celery and cook for 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper.
Add diced chicken, return soup to a boil, and reduce heat back to moderate. Add the noodles and cook soup an additional 6 minutes or until noodles are tender and remove soup from the heat.

Remove bay leaves and serve with saltines, if you desire.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Apple Chutney on Toast

Ever since I last posted to this blog, nearly 8 weeks ago, I've debated whether I had the time and the desire to keep it up. I've posted over 250 times since I started this blog in January 2012.The blog came about a year after I decided to cook one new recipe each week for a year in 2011. It was the first resolution I'd ever kept, and I was determined to dive in head first to food blogging. And I enjoyed it, and I still do, but I found that the perfectionist in me was bound and determined to post twice a week without fail, writing about new recipes, restaurants I've visited and the foods I've eaten during my travels. And I was failing. A transition to a new job as well as sick family members made it nearly impossible to keep up in a way that I felt was adequate.

This doesn't mean I haven't been cooking, I just haven't been writing about it as much. But in the spirit of New Year's resolutions, I'm ready to recommit myself to this blog, but in a smaller way than in years' past. I vow to post once a week without fail, and more if time and the situation calls for it. I'll post about fun food events and restaurants I check out, my travel food adventures, and most importantly, what I cook up in my little kitchen in Columbia Heights.

I also plan to maintain last year's resolution of getting out of town for at least an overnight every quarter, which I'm sure will lend itself to more fun food travel blogging, which has been what I enjoyed most about writing this blog last year.

So here's a dish I made for a holiday party back in December. The recipe comes from my friend Nick's blog,, which continues to be a great resource for when I want to cook something new.


Apple Chutney on Toast


  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 inch of fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 apples, peeled, cored and diced
  • 1/4 cup dried currants
  • 2 scallions minced (not the green parts)
  • Baguette, sliced and toasted
  • 5-6 oz. blue cheese

Combine the sugar, red wine vinegar, orange juice, cinnamon and ginger in a small saucepan and stir over medium heat until the sugar melts, about 2 minutes.

Peel, core, and chop your apples and add them to the chutney.  Stir everything together and cook over low-medium heat until the apples are soft, about 5 minutes.

Add currants and chopped scallions to the chutney at the very end.

Cool the chutney for at least an hour and serve on toasts with blue cheese.