Thai Butternut Squash Soup

Thai Butternut Squash Soup – I’m back!!!! I know it has been forever since I last posted, but I had my gorgeous little baby! And all I want to do all day is play with him and cuddle and maybe eat him a little bit. And of course sleep when I can (who are we kidding here!). Being a new mom has been quite an adjustment, but as we’re settling, I’ve been able to get into the kitchen more and more, which is so great. I really did miss it.

So I figured I’d resume where we left off…at butternut squash. When my little man was having some lovely daddy-son bonding time, I was able to dig into my growing pile of magazines and found this great recipe in Cooking Light for a Thai Butternut Soup. How inspired! I have never used butternut squash with Thai flavors before and the pictures in the magazine looked so scrumptious I had to try it out! I followed their recipe pretty closely but adjusted some of the ingredients to my taste and put my own twist on it where I could, and it turned out creamy and delicious with an incredibly complex flavor profile. This is definitely one recipe that is going into my soup rotation!

Makes 4 large servings.

Ingredients

1 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp sesame oil + more to drizzle if you choose
1 medium onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 inch piece ginger, minced
2 tbsp Thai red curry paste
1 lb butternut squash, cubed
1 1/2 cup veggie broth
1 (14oz) can coconut milk
2 tsp brown sugar
2 tsp soy sauce (or more or less to taste)
Zest of 1/2 lime
Juice of 1/2 lime
1/4 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
1/2 cup roasted peanuts, chopped

Heat a saucepan and add the oils. Add the onion, garlic, and ginger, and cook until onions are soft and ginger-garlic are fragrant, about 5 min. Add the red curry paste and cook another 2 min. Stir in the butternut squash and mix until it is coated with the onion-red curry paste mixture. Allow to cook for about 5 min, stirring frequently. This will allow the butternut squash to brown a bit and build flavor. Add the broth, coconut milk, brown sugar, soy sauce, lime zest, and lime juice and bring up to a boil. Reduce the heat back down to low and simmer until the squash is tender. With an immersion blender or food processor, blend the mixture until smooth and creamy. Adjust seasonings. Serve with cilantro leaved and chopped peanuts and maybe one last squeeze of lime juice for freshness. I also like to drizzle a little sesame oil on top for extra richness.

Grape Jelly BBQ Sauce Recipe

Grape Jelly BBQ Sauce Recipe -Okay, this is a unique one!  A Grape Jelly BBQ Sauce recipe.  Yep, your heard it right.  And no, this won’t turn into a peanut butter and jelly BBQ sandwich.  I don’t think that’s a combo anyone could stomach.

Now after searching the web high and low, I’ve found several recipes for making a grape jelly bbq sauce, from easy (or maybe even cheating) to a more typical from scratch bype recipe.  I even found a recipe for meatballs with grape jelly and BBQ sauce which sounds pretty darn good!

This first recipe has no measurements, so this one is for the expert BBQ sauce cook to figure out the right proportions.  The next recipe below has all the proper measurements for the ingredients.

Ingredients:

  • Grape jelly
  • White vinegar
  • Ketchup
  • Brown sugar
  • Topatilla hot sauce
  • White wine

Yellow mustardDirections: Combine all ingredients, then simmer for about 20 minutes.  Add lemom juice to enhance at the end.Ingredients:

  • 2 (6 Ounce) Cans Tomato Sauce
  • 1 (6 Ounce) Can Tomato Paste
  • 1 Cup Ketchup
  • 1/4 Cup Karo Syrup
  • 4 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
  • 2 Lemons (Squeezed)
  • 6 Tablespoons Liquid Smoke
  • 8 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Louisiana Hot Sauce
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 1 Teaspoon Garlic Salt
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoon Onion Salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Marjoram Power
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Cumin Power
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Thyme
  • 1/2 Cup Cooking Oil
  • 1/2 Cup Orange Juice
  • 1 Cup Wine (Cooking or other is fine)
  • 4 Tablespoons Grape Jelly
  • 4 Tablespoons Woody’s Cooking Sauce

Directions: 

  1. In a medium sauce pan, add water, cooking oil, liquid smoke, worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, and Karo syrup.
  2. Bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer and add all the other ingredients.
  3. Again return to a simmer, cook for at least 30 minutes, stirring frequently.
  4. Only 2 ingredientsIngredients:
  5. 1 16 ounce bottle of Kraft BBQ Sauce
  6. 8 oz (half a 16 oz jar) grape jellyDirections:  In a saucepan, first heat the bottle of Kraft BBQ sauce.  Then add about 1/2 to 1/3 of the grape jelly and stir until it is completely smooth.  You might want to start with a 1/4 of the jelly and add based on taste so it’s the right sweetness you want and thickness.

Recipe for the Meatballs:

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 cup fine dry breadcrumbs
  • 1/3 cup onion minced
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup Crisco vegetable shortening, to brown meatballs

For the sauce, use any of the above recipes for the grape jelly bbq sauce. Another very simple but very different tasting sauce for the meatballs is:

  • 1 12oz bottle of chili sauce
  • 1 10oz jar of grape jellyMeatball Directions:
  • Combine the first 9 ingredients, mixing well.
  • Shape into 1 inch meatballs.
  • Cook the meatballs in an electric skillet in hot shortening over medium heat for 10-15 minutes or until browned.
  • Cool meatballs by draining on paper towels. Discard grease.
  • (For the Sauce) Combine chili sauce and grape jelly in a medium saucepan (or same electric skillet); stir well until jelly is melted.
  • Add meatballs and simmer UNCOVERED on low for 30 minutes (to thicken the sauce), stirring occasionally.
  • Serve hot meatballs with toothpicks out of the skillet or a crockpot or chafing dish set on low to keep warm.

Best Butter Cupcakes

Best Butter Cupcakes Here’s an easy,delicious Butter Cupcakes. If you’ve not made cupcakes before and are intimidated by the process, then try this recipe. It is simple to follow, bakes well and the frosting is simply delicious.

Good butter cakes should be moist and flavourful. It should have a good structure, tender but sturdy so that it does not crumble when handled.

The butter should be whipped with sugar, until it is light and fluffy. The sugar will create tiny bubbles that will rise when raising agent like baking powder is added. Butter Cupcakes.

Ingredients.

Makes 20 Cupcakes.

1 and 1/2 cups (180 g) all-purpose flour

1 cup (110 g) cake flour

3/4 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

3/4 tsp salt

3/4 cup butter, at room temperature

1 cup sugar

2 eggs, at room temperature

2 egg yolks, room temperature

2 tsp vanilla essence/extract

2/3 cup sour cream, at room temperature

Preparation.

1. In a bowl, sift the flours with the baking soda, baking powder and salt.

2. Use a mixer (attach page) and cream together the butter and sugars until light and airy for about 7 minutes until well combined.

5. Keep the mixer running and pour in the eggs and yolks one at a time until well-combined. Then mix in the vanilla essence.

6. Then pour in the dry ingredients and sour cream mixture,alternating between the two. Beat until well combined. Do not over beat.

7. Spoon the batter into 20 cupcake liners. Fill until two-thirds full and arrange onto a pan. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

8. To ensure even baking, rotate the pan halfway through.

9. Remove pan, place on a rack to cool completely before frosting the cupcakes.Buttercream Frosting.

Ingredients

Servings: approximately 24 to 48 cupcakes

This Buttercream Frosting requires a stand mixer to obtain better volume and thickness.

1 and 1/2 cups sugar

1 tbsp corn syrup

5 egg whites

3 cups butter, room temperature and soft.

Preparation.

1. In a heavy medium saucepan, combine sugar and corn syrup with 1/2 water and mix until all sugar is sufficiently wet.

2. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook until it is 114 degree Celsius.

3. Beat the eggs until soft peaks form with the stand mixer. Leave the mixer running and add the combined sugar & syrup into the egg whites to form a meringue.

4. Keep beating until the meringue cools to room temperature. This will take approximately 10 to 15 minutes.

5. Make sure butter is also at room temperature and cubed. Then bit-by-bit, with the mixer running, beat the butter in until completely incorporated.

6. When ready, use at room temperature. If you are storing it in the fridge for later use, ensure that it comes to room temperature before using it.

Glazed Banana Spice Loaf

This delightfully sophisticated Glazed Banana Spice Loaf can be served at a dinner party and it is easy to whip with ingredients typically found in any fridge.

Glazed Banana Spice Loaf.

Makes 1 loaf.

Ingredients.

1 LARGE Banana or 3 medium-sized Bananas

4 oz (115 g) butter, at room temperature

5 1/2 oz (150 g) caster sugar

2 eggs, at room temperature

7 1/2 oz (215 g) plain flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon soda bicarbonate

1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

6 fl oz (175 ml) soured cream

1 teaspoon vanilla essence.FOR THE GLAZE.

4 oz (115 g) sugar

1-2 tablespoon lemon juice.Preparations.

1. Preheat a 350 Fahrenheit/ 180 Celsius, Gas 4 oven.

2. Mash the Banana in a bowl, set aside.

3. Use an electric mixer and cream the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating to blend well after each addition.

4. Sift together the flour, salt, soda bicarbonate, nutmeg, allspice and cloves. Add to the butter mixture and stir until well combined.

5. Add the cream, Banana and vanilla and blend until smooth.

6. Pour into a prepared buttered or well-oiled tin.

7. Bake until the top is springy when touched gently for approximately 45-50 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then turn onto a wire rack to cool completely.

8. As for the glaze, combine the icing sugar and lemon juice until smooth. Place the loaf on a plate and gently pour the glaze evenly over the loaf and allow to set.

9. Serve with coffee or tea.

FROM Banana Spice Loaf to Banana Bread Recipes.

Great BBQ Sauce Recipes

Great BBQ Sauce Recipes – If you are looking for great Bar BQ, BBQ, Barbecue recipes or however you like to spell BBQ, then you’ve found the right place!  This website is dedicated to the fun of making your own Bar BQ sauce.  We’ve got everything from hot and spicy to sweet and fruity.  Regional styles of Bar BQ Sauce that range from vinegar and mustard style BBQ sauces to the more common Kansas City style sauces.

So, to get you started, here’s a simple, really easy recipe to try.

Bar BQ Sauce Recipe #1 (If you don’t have these ingredients at home, you ain’t cookin nothin!):

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 dash hot pepper sauce
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions: 

In a medium or small saucepan over medium heat, stir together the ketchup, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, hot pepper sauce, garlic powder, mustard
powder, and salt.

Bring to a simmer, then remove from heat and allow to cool slightly before using on your favorite meat.

Since everyone seems to love a good Honey Bar BQ Sauce, then here’s a second easy homemade sauce recipe for you to try out.  After this one, give one of our
hundreds of other recipes a try, tell us about your favorite recipe and we’ll publish it right here and give you the credit!

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions:

Melt the butter in small saucepan over medium heat.

Then add the onion and saute for about 5 minutes or until tender.

Stir in the ketchup and the remaining ingredients.

Bring to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for about 5 minutes.

BBQ Chicken Pizza Recipe

Ever had BBQ chicken pizza? Maybe an even better question is have you ever had BBQ Pizza?  I’d never thought of doing pizza on the grill at home.  But, just a few weeks ago I was at a friend’s house and they have a great vegetarian pizza they have been cooking for years.  This time, they mentioned they had done it on the grill and I said what the heck, I’d like to try it!  Sometimes I forget, if you can cook something in the oven, you can always also cook it on the grill.  I just takes a little extra prep or careful monitoring.  And, of course, it was great!

I think the secret is still to have a pizza stone that’s well heated up so you get that nice crispy crust.  So, before putting the dough on the pizza stone, just like you do when using one in the oven, heat the stone first.  Use a little cornmeal on the stone before you put the dough and stretch it on the pizza stone.  Then sauce and make your pizza.  Takes only 7-8 minutes on a really good and hot grill, just like in an oven.

Now, how do you cook a good BBQ Chicken Pizza on the grill?  It’s not that hard, but you have to do a few things differently than you would with most grilling recipes.  For example, you’re not going to be able to cook meat directly on your pizza.  You can, however, cook it on the grill and then add it to the pizza during the final cooking stage.The recipe here is for a very basic pizza: bread, cheese, and sauce. That may be enough for some of you. How you spice it up yourself is up to you!BBQ Chicken Pizza RecipeIngredients for the BBQ Chicken Pieces:

10 oz boneless skinless chicken breast cut into 3/4 inch pieces or cubes

1 Tbs olive oil

2 tablespoons of your favorite BBQ SauceIngredients for the Pizza:

1 recipe for the Dough (I like to buy it fresh from the market, already made and ready to use)

Cornmeal, semolina, or flour for handling

1/2 cup favorite BBQ sauce (a spicy−sweet sauce works best for BBQ Chicken)

2 Tbs. shredded smoked Gouda cheese

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

1/4 small red onion, sliced into 1/8 inch pieces

2 Tbs. chopped fresh chopped fresh cilantro

Directions:

To make BBQ Chicken:

1. In a large frying pan, cook the chicken in olive oil over medium−high heat until just cooked, 5-6 minutes. Do not overcook.  Or, if you want to do it all on the grill, you can cook the chicken on a griddle plate on the grill.

2. Coat the chicken with BBQ sauce; the set aside.

To make pizza:

1. Place the pizza stone in the center of the grill and preheat to 500 degrees F. before cooking pizzas.

2. Use a large spoon to spread BBQ sauce evenly over the surface of the prepared dough within the rim.

3. Sprinkle smoked gouda cheese over the sauce.

4. Cover with 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella.

5. Distribute the chicken pieces evenly over the cheese.

6. Place the pieces of red onion over the surface.

7. Sprinkle an additional 1/4 cup mozzarella over the top of the pizza.

8. Transfer the pizza to the grill; bake until the crust is crisp and golden and the cheese at the center is bubbly, 8 to 10 minutes.

9. When the pizza is cooked, carefully remove it from the grill; sprinkle 1 Tbs. cilantro over the hot surface.

10. Slice and serve.

Grilling Marinades for Tuna Steak

Grilling Marinades for Tuna Steak – Well, it’s almost summer time and what better time than now to break out a few marinades for tuna steak to start out the grilling season!  I’ve assmebled several different recipes for you to try depening on the type of marinade recipe you like.  Everything from a simple soy sauce based marinade to a more complicated recipe with Orange and Ginger flavoring.

#1 Marinade for Tuna steak (Soy Sauce)Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp. soy sauce
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1 tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. sesame oil
  • Pinch dried red pepper flakes
  • 6 thin slices peeled fresh ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed

Directions:

Blend all marinade ingredients in non-aluminum baking dish and add tuna steaks.  Or, even better, put in ziplock bags to maximize marinating the meat.

Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour, but not more than 6 hours.

Turn once or twice.

Bring fish to room temperature.

Grill on preheated grill or broil in preheated broiler 4″ from heat.

Baste while cooking and turn once. Cook about 5 minutes each side. Do not over cook. Serves 4.

Swordfish, salmon or mahi mahi may be substituted for tuna.#2 marinade for grilled tuna steak (with oregano)
Now for a marinade with an Italian flavor using both oregano, basil and garlic.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 c. oil
  • 1 tbsp. oregano
  • 1 tbsp. basil
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp. salt

Directions:

Mix all of the ingredients together.

Cover the tuna steaks with the marinade.  In a dish or in a ziploc bag.

Marinade at room temperature for 1/2 hour.

Cook 6 to 8 minutes per side on grill.  Never overcook the fish!  I’m bad about doing that so my wife always comes out and tests it and tells me when to take it off!

 #3 grilled ahi steaks marinade

This recipe is a soy sauce based recipe but instead of lime like the first recipe above it uses lemon juice.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1 clove crushed garlic (for each steak)
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • small amount of sea salt, to taste
  • fresh ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:

Same as the other recipes.#4 tuna steak marinade with orange and ginger

Now for my favorite marinade recipe of the four here:Ingredients:

1 tbsp. orange marmalade

1 c. fresh orange juice

1 tsp. powdered or minced ginger

2 tbsp. peanut oil

1 lb. tuna steaks

4 scallions, chopped finely

1 tsp. freshly ground pepper

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. powdered garlic

I hope you found a marinade that you liked out of these recipes.  As I find more great grilling recipes and marinades for tuna steak I will post them in this section for everyone to try.

Banoffee Pie – The Quintessentially English Pie

Legend has it that the Banoffee Pie was invented in 1972 in Jevington, East Sussex, England by Ian Dowding and Nigel Mackenzie of The Hungry Monk restaurant.

Unfortunately, it was not patented which resulted in some supermarkets repackaging it as an American pie.

There are a couple of ways to spell the name…most call it Banoffee Pie which is an obvious combination of the word Banana and Toffee but the Hungry Monk restaurant prefers to call it Banoffi.

Now, there are several ways to make a good Banoffee Pie although the traditional way is a wee bit “dangerous”. It involves placing an unopened can of condensed milk into a pot of boiling water and letting it boil away for about 3 hours.

If you are not careful and the water evaporates away, the unopened can may explode! Banoffee Pie

Ingredients

Tin (400g) of CONDENSED milk

Three large bananas, sliced

One packet of Hob-Nobs (or any digestive biscuits)

1 cup of double cream, or whipping cream

2 tablespoons butter Preparation

1. Place the digestives into a freezer bag and crush them with a rolling pin until they are crumbly.

2. Melt the butter in a saucepan.

3. In a bowl and using your hands, combine the crumbs and liquid butter until well combined.

4. Pat crumbs into a pie dish or fairly large glass dish (e: Pyrex) until the base is covered.

5. Place the base in the refrigerator to set.

6. To caramelise the condensed milk, place the tin in a shallow pot or pan of boiling water. Do not open tin first though.

7. Allow to milk to boil for about 2 hours.

8. You should put a lid on the shallow pot or pan to ensure the water does not completely boil away. Please check regularly to ensure there is water in the pot/pan all the time.

9. When done, very carefully remove the tin and allow it to cool. I suggest pouring some cold water on the tin.

10. When it is cool enough for you to handle it, very carefully open the tin. At this point, the milk will have caramelised and if still hot, may splatter out of the opening.

11. Carefully, spoon the caramelised milk/toffee from the tin and spread it over the biscuit base.Place the dish into the fridge again to cool for half an hour.

12. Remove dish from refrigerator and arrange the sliced bananas on top of the toffee.

13. Meanwhile, whip the cream until peaking, then fold on top and smooth it out.

14. Place into the refrigerator again to cool and serve when needed.

Easy Peasy Banana Fritters Recipe

Delicious Banana Fritters with White Coffee – All my life, I’ve eaten Banana Fritters as a staple dessert snack…very quintessentially Malaysian! It’s sold all over the place in Malaysia, particularly between 2pm and 6pm daily. Banana Fritters is called Goreng Pisang in Malay. This popular Malaysian snack is sold at restaurants and posh eateries for the unsuspecting tourist served with ice-cream at an unbelievable price tag!

Actually, it’s most commonly sold at roadside stalls with other fried snacks like tubers fritters called Ubi Goreng. You can get a fairly large amount for only RM2.00! That’s about USD 0.54 and it can feed about 4 people too!

p/s If you’re traveling to Malaysia and want to experience this snack without paying touristy prices, get in touch with me and I’ll point you in the right direction.

Anyway, I’ve always thought that this snack was uniquely Malaysian and/or Asian but I found out to my amazement, its not! Banana Fritters and it’s variants are part of many other cuisines and available in most tropical countries in Africa and Jamaica where Bananas are found in abundance.

Here’s a simple Banana Fritters that only takes about 10 minutes to prepare…easy-peasy! Banana Fritters Recipe.

Ingredients

130g plain flour

1 tablespoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup water

about 10 small ripe Bananas, peeled and cut diagonally

1 egg yolk, optional-I prefer adding this to ensure the batter sticks better to the Bananas.

oil for frying.
Preparation

1. Combine flour, sugar, salt, water, and egg yolk (if using) in a small bowl and stir until a smooth batter forms. To reduce lumpiness, you can use a blender.

2. Heat oil in a wok over medium fire. Dip the sliced Banana one by one into the batter and drop into the hot oil.

3. Fry in batches until golden brown and crispy.

4. Drain on absorbent paper and serve with hot tea or coffee. Yum!

Variation

You can also sprinkle the freshly fried Bananas with cinnamon for a spicy taste.

Banana Split Recipe

Who does not enjoy a Banana Split Ice Cream once in awhile?

It’s a tradition that brings back such good memories from our childhood and how once a upon a time,we could eat a huge Banana Split Ice Cream all by ourselves and not gain a pound for our indulgence!History and Origins of Banana Split

Have you wondered about the origins of this interesting dessert?Here’s something I picked up while reading Wikipedia:

As history would have it, apparently, one David Evans Strickler, apprentice pharmacist in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, enjoyed inventing sundaes at the store’s soda fountain and is credited for inventing the banana-based triple ice cream sundae in 1904.

A year or so later, according to historians, a Boston ice cream entrepreneur created the same sundae, with one minor oddity — he served his banana splits with the bananas unpeeled until he discovered that ladies preferred them peeled! Duh!

In 1907, restaurant owner Ernest Hazard organized an employee contest to come up with a new ice cream dish. When none employees came up with any innovative ideas, he split a banana lengthwise, threw it into an elongated dish (called a boat) and created his own dessert.

The town commemorates the event each June with a Banana Split Festival.

Later, Walgreens was credited with spreading the popularity of the banana split.

The early drug stores in the Chicago area adopted the banana split as a signature dessert. Fountains in the stores proved to be drawing cards, attracting customers who might otherwise have been just as satisfied having their prescriptions filled at some other drug store in the neighborhood.

Here’s a recipe for the ever-popular ice cream snack and dessert.
Banana Split Recipe

Ingredients

2 large Bananas, peeled

ice cream of your choice preferably two different flavours

chocolate or strawberry sauce

chocolate rice

whipped cream

fresh strawberry, cut in half

seeds and nuts of your choice

Preparation

1. Arrange side-by-side one large scoop of ice cream each on an oblong-shaped glass serving plate.

2. Place a Banana each at side of the ice-cream scoops.

3. Sprinkle with the chocolate rice, seeds and nuts.

4. Squeeze some sauce in a zig-zag manner over the dessert.

5. Arrange the cut strawberry and it’s ready to eat!