THE LAST SUPPER

Hey there all you clever, celebrated chefs.  This posting is to let you know that I am going to be saying bye bye at least for awhile.  I have recently started a Christian blog (if you are interested the site is:  livingbeforegodsface.com) and I am realizing that I cannot do this blog justice while giving the necessary time to my new venture.

There are no words adequate to express my appreciation to all of you who so faithfully followed me and took time not only to read my posts but to comment.  To those of you whose culinary skills are honed I say keep the faith.  To those of you to whom the kitchen is still a bit of a mystery I say keep cookin’.  Relax, do not be afraid to experiment, and enjoy the adventure.  The worst that can happen is you burn the kitchen down—LOL!!!

Create the magic—YOU have the gift. 

Hugs,

Suga Momma

THIS IS WHAT I HAD FOR DINNER LAST NIGHT—CHICKEN WITH CURRIES & NOODLES, MIXED VEGGIES ON THE BBQ

Well my Leo and I had a wonderful treat for this meal.  My son Patrick came over and barbecued a variety of wonderful vegetables and then cut them up into bite size pieces and mixed them together.  He seasoned with something—I have no idea what.  But not overdone—just enough to add a bit of zing.  Oh my gosh—talk about delicious.  Anyway I served these with the main dish.

This is so easy but so very good.  Anythings works in this—white meat, dark meat or a combo.  The chicken needs to be cut into fairly small chunks.  Brown on all sides in butter or olive oil or both which is what I did.  

This is the sauce:  (all this came from Trader Joe’s but I know these items are available in other places)

Thai Red Curry Sauce

Thai Yellow Curry Sauce

Thai Green Curry Sauce

Mango Chutney

Alfredo Sauce

Minced Garlic

Mix all together and pour over chicken chunks.  Continue cooking covered over low heat until chicken is done.  I used wide flat egg noodles which I totally prefer for this and obviously the noodles need to be cooked.  After draining, stir them into the chicken mixture and you have a wonderful, flavorful meal.  Add a veggie and there you go.  Maybe you will get lucky and your son will come BBQ some for you!!!

I am sharing a joyful moment I had today.  I have a new kind of bird in my hood.  It has some resemblance to a mocking bird and its song is so joyful.  I was able to observe it this morning apparently retrieving insects from the trunk of a palm tree.  Your day will be much richer if you will be sure to grab one joyful moment.

Create the magic—YOU have the gift. 

Hugs,

Suga Momma

The ingredients—such a few for such a great taste.

Noodles, chicken and sauce snuggling together.

Where is your fork?

MY HAPPY KITCHEN—WHERE I PREPARED WHAT I HAD FOR DINNER LAST NIGHT

I thought it would be fun to take a detour from the main course (pardon my pun).   So we are going to visit about the place where all the action is.  

It takes just a small amount of money and/or time to bring magic into your kitchen and make it the “happiest place on earth”.  Your kitchen is the hub—the nerve center.  It can be a galley or a voluminous space but make it yours.  It can become a place of rejuvenation as well as preparation.  Just simple things do the trick.  But always remember YOU are the most important ingredient in this magical room.

I love having chickens and roosters in my kitchen because they are cool looking, they bring color into the room, and supposedly good luck.  I salvaged  mine from my sister-in-law’s front yard.  (No I did not help myself—she gave them to me—LOL.)  So they have even more special meaning. I also have a picture on my wall of chickens in a barnyard painted by my son Patrick for my momma when he was about 8 years old—what a treasure.

I like having a bulletin board in my kitchen.  Mine is actually a piece of mounted artist’s canvas I got on sale and I put some ribbon around the edges.  I have my week’s menus on it as well as some recipes, a vegetable roasting chart, etc.

Kitchenware–even colorful towels and hot mitts are a cheap but effective way to express yourself.    I purchased a set of inexpensive stainless steel mixing bowls that are a gorgeous blue and they make me smile every time I use them.  (You will notice I do like blue—from my Irish roots I guess.)

Speaking of happy—when you sit down for a meal whether it be by yourself, with a friend, a significant other. or your family be sure it is a positive time.  Not only is this important for good digestion but it is also very soul nourishing.  Put a shield around that time that dispels negativity.  Make a reservation for joy, inner core sustaining, and encouragement.  Now that is happy!!!

Create the magic—YOU have the gift. (Create it for others as well as yourself)

Hugs,

Suga Momma

Small rooster and hen sitting on top of my stove guarding my grandmomma’s mixing bowl and spoon.

I love this rooster crowing his little heart out!!!

 

My happy hot mitt and towel.

My pothos enjoying its home by my Patrick’s “chickens in a barnyard” painting.

THIS IS WHAT I HAD FOR DINNER LAST NIGHT—CHICKEN IN PUFF PASTRY, PEAS WTH GOODIES, MASHED SWEET POTATOES

Oh my gosh what fun last night was.  We had our very dear friends for dinner and if laughter has any thing to do with good digestion every particle of food was totally handled!!!!!  

So anyway I am going to give you the ingredients for the puff pastry chicken and the peas.  I will warn you the Puff Pastry Chicken is a bit involved but not at all difficult.  Just remember you are magic chefs and never afraid of a bit of a challenge!!!!   Not only is it delicious but the presentation is quite impressive.

The mashed sweet potatoes you already know about from another blog.  So just a quick reminder—obviously they need to be baked in the oven, skin removed when cool enough.  Mash them—I use a pastry cutter because they squish easily.  Then add butter, cinnamon, and brown sugar.  Mix it all together in a sauce pan so you can warm them easily.

Puff Pastry Chicken

Cut boneless, skinless chicken breasts in small chunks. 

Combine the following:

Dry Chicken Stock

Curry Powder (best if you have mixed in turmeric, dry mustard, coriander)

Pico de Gallo

Heavy Cream

Pour over chicken chunks and allow to stand for 2 or 3 hours (the raw chicken sucks this up like a drunk sucking up cheap vodka)

Before you start cooking the chicken saute’ the following in a mixture of oil and butter:

sliced mushrooms

thinly sliced shallots

Fresh Thyme/ small amount

Fresh Rosemary / small amount

Add this to the cream/chicken mixture.

Put the chicken and sauce into a skillet and cook until chicken is done.  Then turn the heat up and reduce the liquid—BE CAREFUL NOT TO BURN.  You do not want the mixture runny when you put it into the puff pastry.

While the chicken is cooking put down the puff pastry squares to defrost.  It takes about 15 – 20 minutes.  You want twice as many squares as servings.  For instance if you are serving 4 people you need 8 squares because each serving has a bottom and a top. Turn the oven to 400 degrees.  Put the squares for the bottom in a baking pan and put them in the oven for 15 minutes.  This keeps the bottom squares from getting soggy.  Then fill the baked squares with the chicken mixture.  Place an unbaked square on top of each.  Press it down firmly and be sure it seals as much as possible with the bottom square.  Return to the oven and continue baking for 30 minutes or until the top squares are turning brown.  

Peas

1 package of frozen peas defrosted

3 small shallots sliced thinly and cooked in butter over medium heat 

A tad of kosher salt

A bit more butter for good measure

Black pepper

Add peas to the sauce pan with other ingredients and cook until they are soft.  Turn heat off and mix in Parmesan cheese and dried or finely chopped fresh mint leaves.  Mix well, cover the pan and let sit for a few minutes before serving.

 Oh yes—in the interest of full disclosure—we did finish off with home made carrot cake!!

Create the Magic—YOU have the gift 

Hugs,

Suga Momma

Cream mixture, chicken chunks, saute’d goodies ready to be combined.

Everything deliciously simmering together.

Mashed sweet potatoes with all the goodies ready to be mixed.

Worth the effort would you not say?

THIS IS WHAT I HAD FOR DINNER LAST NIGHT—SALMON, CRAZY COUSCOUS, PEAS

Well here we are again all you incredible chefs.  Now I realize I am on a bit of a salmon roll—get it—salmon roll like at a sushi place—LOL.  I am not sure why—it is just tasting really good to me.  Maybe my body is craving something in it.  Anyway this is the last you are going to hear from salmon for awhile.  

Lightly brown the fillets on both sides in butter.  Mix together the following and pour over the fish:

Dried Onion ( I sometimes prefer this to fresh because of its nutty/sweet flavor)

Fresh Tarragon

Vermouth

White Wine

Lemon Juice

Minced Garlic

Sun Dried Tomatoes

Chopped Fresh Basil

Shredded Parmesan Cheese 

Tad Kosher Salt

Heavy Cream

Cover the skillet with a lid and continue cooking for about 20-30 minutes depending on the thickness of the fillets.  I like longer times for fish than most when using a sauce because it melds the flavors to the fish so much better—my opinion.

Oh heavens my bodacious chefs sometimes I just go a little crazy and start throwing stuff together.  And guess what—every once in awhile it works out!!!  So now for the “crazy” couscous.  I totally prefer the Israeli Couscous from Trader Joe’s.  I am sure it is available other places but to be perfectly honest I have never looked.  OK so I heat up coconut oil, sesame oil, and butter in a large sauce pan.  Then I add the dry couscous and slivered almonds and saute until both are browned.  You need to keep a close eye on it because you do not want it to burn and especially since there is sesame oil in the mix.  So keep stirring it.  I let the almonds and the couscous get really dark brown before adding the liquid.  Now of course you need to refer to the recipe on the box for the amount but I always substitute chicken broth for water.  Then about half way through the cooking time throw in dried cherries.  Stir and continue cooking until all the liquid is absorbed.  I will have to tell you this is amazingly delicious.  

Create the Magic—YOU have the gift (experiment and go crazy)

Hugs,

Suga Momma

Yes I hear you cheering, “Let’s hear it for couscous”.

Salmon simmering in a pungent sauce.

And dinner is served!